Tag Archives: Self-love

For those who may be struggling with their truth

Sad-FaceToday…

Today I am sad and miserable and blue

Today I am hurt and don’t know what to do

Today I grieve, I lost my greatest hero

Today I’m lost, I’m weary and low.

Today, I have no idea who I am

Today I am shaking, a soon-slaughtered lamb

I don’t know why I’m here, nor how I should be

I want to free myself

from always trying to be…

The best, the perfect, version of me

And…

Though I know, I’ll swell like a blimp, I wanna eat biscuits and bread and chips and Ice-cream and stuff it ALL down, coz you see feelings like these are alien to me.

I don’t know what to do, to express and let go I just don’t now how and it’s killing me slow

Today I want to be open and real and raw and wide and honest and open and true

Today… Can I give myself permission to spew

My a.u.t.h.e.n.t.i.c.i.t.y?

The hurt and regret for the Me, still unknown

The me wringing hands, confused and undone,

for the life I still seek, for the seeds not yet sown?

Will I have time?

question-1301144_1280

Today I wonder; When will it feel right?

But surely by now I shouldn’t be so uptight?

Today I wonder why, who, when, what, where and how?

Do I truly have the power to manifest the glory I vowed?

And

Though I know the theory and I feel it in my bones…

We are pure essence, pure beauty, pure connection, pure love,

It’s just out of reach, out of sync

So Remote…

Today I don’t want pity or sympathy or comfort or speech

Today, just for one day

I just want to be free

Of every expectation I’ve ever placed on me.

I want to sit by a lake in my fear and be soothed, open up to the breeze and admit

I don’t KNOW!

For today, I want to love me, snuggle up to myself & find the key…

Unlock the door to MY my talents, my gifts, my inner, my peace

the me I am waiting…

No, yearning to see

hands-423794_1280

And today

just for one day

This is ME…

This is the best, the very best I can be…

And Today

(perhaps just for today)

This…

is A-OK

Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

 

 

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Shame

Happy Sunday All,

This week I seemed to discover a number of people both in my home and work lives who were, it’s become clear, walking in a cloud;  They were, I discovered, walking under a cloud. A cloud which caused them to lower their heads, a cloud which makes them constantly compare themselves to others and come up wanting, a cloud which sapped them both of their energy and their power.

A cloud called SHAME.’

shame-799095_1280The trouble with shame is, it’s great at disguising itself. It wears many different cloaks and so is often not recognised for what it is. This leads to it being ignored, mis-treated or dismissed. This week I have seen shame show up as grief, as self-loathing and as guilt and failure, yet at the root what each person was really desperately trying to deal with was SHAME.

What the experts say

Psychologists have identified that many of our negative behaviours come, not from guilt, but from shame. There are of course degrees of shame. Feeling embarrassment or shy, are perhaps the less damaging lighter end of the shame spectrum; indeed in some social circumstances, perhaps we need to feel these less deeply-rooted, less insidious versions of shame, but shame becomes a serious and incredibly dangerous emotion when it becomes tied to our self-image.

The root of the problem

root-1013564_1280As with anything, which can destroy us; shame invariably takes hold in infancy. Those children, who have been criticised incessantly, punished severely or cruelly; neglected, abused or suffer abandonment receive a message that they don’t fit in the world and that they are deficient in their ‘being’ not for what they’re ‘doing.’ They develop low self-esteem and those with low self-esteem are often oversensitive and afraid.

Their fears focus on ‘getting things wrong’ or not knowing the ‘rules of the game’ which manifest as embarrassment or humility on the one hand to social phobias and disorders, abuse, rage, bullying and a range of other personal and social issues on the other and all of them mask the deep-seated root of the problem.

So what’s the difference?

flowers-182312_1280Guilt is different, a message that you ‘DID’ something wrong. This means that you’re able to make amends or correct the error, but with shame the thought is that YOU are wrong. The message is one that you do not ‘fit’ and are inferior or inadequate.

Guilt is how a psychologically healthy person responds when who realise they have done something wrong. To feel guilt helps us act more responsibly the next time around and positively make good on what it is we have done.

Feeling Guilty means – We can correct it…

But shame has a tendency to direct us towards destructive behaviours when we try to drown out, push down or obliterate our feelings of disgrace and shame, or to other destructive behaviours, such as intimidation, rage and abuse to transfer our feelings of shame to others.

When we’re convinced that we are wrong in our core because of the shame we are feeling, we destroy our healthy sense of self.

Stop blaming yourself

A New EndingEach of the people I spoke to or heard about this week were experiencing a depression of sorts and as they spoke to me about their feelings It occurred to me that each of them had adopted the idea somewhere that they were intrinsically ‘NO GOOD’ that somehow they were not loveable, they were not acceptable, that something about them was abhorrent.

One had suffered abuse as a child, one had lost a parent at a young age and the other was experiencing a transition, a downturn in their business fortunes, yet despite glaringly different situations, as each of them spoke it became clear that they were connected by the feelings they had about themselves.

The more we talked the more it became clear they each were experiencing feelings of shame. Each had acquired a form of depression as a result…

 

Now, I was confused.  Why?

You see it was obvious to me that whatever their situation was or had been they (especially the first two) were powerless to prevent them.

So, why were they blaming themselves?

Why were they convinced that the fault lay with them?

Why were they unable to see that it was their abusers and persecutors who’s own feelings of shame had led then to act out and transmute their feelings of self-loathing into harming them.

Stepping up to life can be fearful...What's next?

It’s the expectations

The other thing I noticed when talking to each of them that the source of their happiness (or rather lack of it) came not from the reality of what they were experiencing, but from an ideal they thought they SHOULD be living but weren’t.

The point of this post is really to get across to anyone reading this who is blaming themselves for things that have taken place and yet were beyond their control.

IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT!

2014-10-04 08.11.16I’m spelling out here what became so obvious to me during my conversations. You are not and I repeat not inherently abhorrent or shameful or disgraceful. None of us are.

How we feel about ourselves is directly linked to what we think we are, what we think we should do, where we think we should be and what we think we should have achieved. The feelings of dissatisfaction that come up when these expectations don’t match the reality we find ourselves living are what creates our pain, or dissatisfaction our guilt and our shame.

Let’s stop torturing ourselves eh? Let’s NOT focus on what we haven’t done or where we don’t find ourselves and switch our attention to what we HAVE achieved.

Shift your focus to the things you are grateful for in the now, and not on where you think you should be but aren’t. Reflect on your achievements in life so far and really appreciate who and what you are TODAY, now, in THIS very moment

Uniquely, beautifully and originally YOU

vipassana-997076_1280You see, of the billions of people on the planet, of all the people who have EVER been or ever WILL be there is and only ever will be one you.

YOU, yes you, are a beautiful, UNIQUE, a rare, gift, a one-off, a wonderful being.

You DO NOT deserve to feel ONE moment of shame…so please believe what I know is true, that you’re whole, that the only thing you are and should be unapologetically, is the wonderful essence that is YOU

For today and every day…

Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

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Valentine

Happy Sunday All,

Valentine’s Day…

valentines-day-1182246_1280This year, Valentine’s day falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year, It’s the anniversary of the George Ferris’s 157th birthday, it’s also the day a famous massacre took place in 1929. In 1945, just after midnight the German city of Dresden was bombed and finally the saint after which the festival is named, ST. Valentine, was executed on this day some time around 270 AD according to historical records.

It’s a day when we express our affection with cards, excesses of chocolate, roses, wine and all manner of tokens.

Valentine’s day is a day of romance, declarations of love and gift giving

Love…

love-1153972_1280 What is it really?

For many of us, love (romantic love, that is); the affection the care; the companionship, the respect; the support, the shared laughter and the faithfulness that we want in our love relationship seem rather elusive.

As you have come to learn, I am a bit of a ruminator. I think deeply about things and as this day of romance approached I got to thinking…

Thoughts on Love & Romance

Don’t get me wrong I’m a great romantic. I luuurve the idea of us loving one another and I love nothing more than the ‘frisson’ and thrill of meeting someone new and getting to know them. The hope and the expectation that maybe this time we have found someone a person we can hope share our life and experiences with, someone we can laugh with and cuddle up with and ‘be ourselves’ with.

But as I contemplated Valentine’s day and the nature of ‘love.’ I realised that in my life and experience I have learnt that the ‘Valentine’ and Romance movie version of love will remain an elusive and distant dream until we recognise what love and loving really means…

5 benefits of learning to love yourself

red-hearts-1182249_1280

No. 1

We cannot give what we don’t yet have ourselves…

Yet so many of us have so little love for who we are, but at the same time we are desperate to have another love us

To truly find love and a love that lives up to our idea of romantic love, we first need to know how to love ourselves…

  • Loving yourself heals every problem you have in life
  • Loving yourself makes you happy
  • Loving yourself improves your health and well-being
  • Loving yourself generates positive energy and that positive energy creates positive experiences.

No. 2

footsteps-390516_1280I have learnt that loving yourself is the pathway to your PEACE & your HAPPINESSWhen you love yourself you feel pretty good most of the time and feeling good all the time means you’re pretty happy.

Even when you have challenges, if you love yourself you respect and honour your strengths, you understand that you can overcome because you know how amazing you’ve been and the wonderful qualities you possessed that helped you deal with your previous challenges.

No. 3

You are enthralled

person-723561_1280As you voyage deeper into self-discovery. You gain a deep-seated appreciation for the YOU that you are. You accept the different parts that make you YOU; The foibles and idiosyncrasies, the embarrassments and peculiarities. You celebrate all parts of you and find yourself walking taller, feeling more peaceful and smiling without having a reason to…

No.4

You let go

Of the need to control or define others. Having a deeper love of yourself makes you to realise that your only purpose is to do just that and that your happiness is YOUR responsibility. You therefore begin to accept that you cannot ‘save’ or create happiness in others, that’s THEIR job. Once we ‘get’ this we begin to let go trying controlling circumstances or the emotions of others and more importantly we let go of…buddha-709861_1280

No. 5

You learn to stop blaming yourself.

Yeah OK, we all have our quirks and habits, our fears and ‘weirdnesses,’ but once you learn to truly love yourself and I mean develop that complete acceptance for who you are in your core; develop the ability to forgive yourself, talk softly and lovingly to yourself as if you would a young child, then you understand that those less than perfect actions you are simply opportunities for you to ‘choose’ again, a lesson in the school of life. You understand that you too are no better or worse than anyone else and that it’s OK to falter or make a mistake, you’re simply learning how to create the ‘you’ you choose to be.

You see once you understand how to LOVE YOU…

Then you are filled up with it.

Full to the brim with it…

Overflowing…

water-984476_1280It is then, when you know how to love you, when you are so full, that you have more than enough to share and still be full, it is then that you know how to replenish any that you do share and you make it your mission to always replenish your reserves first, that you will you truly understand love’s nature.

In this space you will be able to truly honour and respect and love cherish another enough to share the best of YOU

So from today…

Make it your mission to truly learn how to understand, honour, accept and deeply appreciate all of yourself; without condition.

Learn to do this and you’ll know instinctively how to do so with the one you choose to share your life with and between you you’ll create magic!

vintage-1171961_1280Happy Valentine’s Day!

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

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Criticism

Happy Sunday All,

Criticism & (dis) Approval

Sad-FaceThe other day I was chatting with a group of friends when the conversation turned to memories of childhood. Being criticised or a lack of approval seemed to be themes that arose and it was quite clear that even now, into their middle years, some of them still found it a challenge to respond to situations and emotions in a way they wanted to, rather in a way that was being driven by their experience of being criticised.

As we chittered and chatted it became clear that many of the people in the group still had varying degrees of challenge around self-identity and esteem due to the criticism they received as infants/children some, still experiencing acute insecurity and a lack of esteem despite significant accomplishments, when they thought about how their world had been shaped as children.

The Battleground

be-423796_1280As an educator, this is my battleground. It’s not so much the intellect, or attention span or environment though these are all factors. My fiercest foe when teaching others is the belief they have regarding who they are, what they are worth and what they deserve.

Being criticised is a MAJOR determiner when it comes to one’s emotional security, feelings of self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

The Psychology

social-media-550766_1280I think you’ll agree that the world-view of a child is mostly created by the attitudes and behaviours of its caregivers. A child comes to us with no information about the world so they tend to believe what they’re told. I mean our Santa Claus Myth and others exist because children are blank sheets of paper on which we, who came before them, can etch whichever pattern, design or words we choose.

If a caregiver told a child consistently that a sunflower was called a rose and they had no other reference for a Sunflower, had never seen one and had never heard another person name one, though WRONG they would of course believe it.

If they are subject to criticism, by the people who care for them and whom they come into additional contact with they will begin to believe it.

The Results:

As a result the child spends the rest of their life dealing with one of the following or several in combination.

  1. The first and most obvious one is a Lack Of Confidence – whatever the child is persistently criticised for will lead them to believing they are not very worthy and affect their interactions and relationships for a very long time if not for life. I’ve often had to intervene when a child who lacks confidence, despite the pain and humiliation of taunts & of intimidation feels unable to say ‘Stop’ because deep down inside they acquired the belief that somehow they ‘deserve’ this behaviour, that deep down inside they are intrinsically bad & not worthy of anything better.
  1. Being criticised causes a deep and painful Emotional Wound(s). This wound(s) will have an unconscious trigger(s) that reminds the child or indeed the adult of his wound causing the emotional pain to become more acute and deeply buried. To avoid feeling this pain they can adopt destructive behaviours either as a distraction or sedative. Anything but feel the pain and be reminded of their deep-seated flaw, which is their shame.shame-799099_1920
  1. Being criticised can make you feel aShamed. When we feel ashamed we can withdraw or retreat into ourselves and become uncommunicative. No child (or adult for that matter) who feels shame is able to express their emotions openly and honestly, as they do not feel worthy enough to do so, after all isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with them in the first place, something warped at their core? A person who feels shame fears taking risks no matter how beneficial that risk may be to their wellbeing or life in general. A person who feels shame is governed by FEAR because they live in the grip of a mortifying dread of anyone discovering that their inner being is somehow warped and ill-formed. Nonsense I know! But just as they were told a Sunflower was a rose, so they came to believe they’re somehow disgusting or despicable and unworthy of receiving anything good.
  1. One of the most common features I see as a result of criticism is the misbelief of their own personality. So many times I hear young people (and I have to say a few adults) say things like “I’m just not good/rubbish, I have anger issues…’ Here they are trying to prove the negative criticism the have now come to believe. On an unconscious level they sabotage themselves, by not studying, distracting themselves and others, walking out on examinations, so that the outward expression of who they think they (the no good/unteachable/angry/stupid/worthless) self matches the inner belief they have come to interpret as their truth.
  1. dualism-597093_1280Perhaps the saddest of all consequences is the criticised child’s inability to feel loved and develop a healthy emotional attachment to their parent/care-giver. Feeling unloved and worthless the child looks for love in other areas. According to Psychologists many Narcissists, sex addicts and manipulative and controlling adults have been deprived of love as children. The very act of ‘Looking’ for love is outwardly focused. If one cannot believe in and love the self, then it’s unlikely you’ll be satisfied with anything no matter how hard you search. When we participate in something from a place of need then we are open to manipulation. Others smell the need in us and use it to get from us whatever they want as the unworthiness we feel keeps us from defending, standing up for ourselves or choosing differently. OR, we risk becoming abusive as our ‘un-loveable-ness’ is made clear to us and becomes too painful to face.

A Plea

Hopefully this post has helped explain or shed light on some of the challenges you may have had as you grew into adulthood Once we are made aware of something then we are more likely to be able to face it and perhaps (and this is my hope) break any negative hold it may have on us.

toddler-878749_1280To those of you who interact with children & young people, my plea is that you help them to grow into strong, secure, self-loving individuals by showing them encouragement and using your words, actions and energies in a positive way in your interactions and relationships with them.

Children have a natural exuberance and belief in the good in us all – Speak to this. Yes, they need to be guided and shepherded, but if you do so with love; explain to them ‘why’ and not criticise, you will succeed in shaping full formed, balanced people who will grow up and become positive adults; believing in and contributing in a positive way to the world.

Just get rid!

IMG_0330Avoid criticism. Our delicate new souls are too young and fragile to endure it and no adult deserves nor needs to be triggered into re-living any criticism they may have been exposed to as children.

Look to yourself and remind yourself of the challenges you have had unravelling the negative results of criticism you may have received.

Remember people form their sense of identity and who they are in this world at a very early age. The results of criticism can stay with us for a lifetime.

Next week I hope to discuss this topic a little further and comment on the wider social effects of being critical.

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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More YOU

Happy Sunday All,

Earlier in the week I began to consider what `I should write about today.’ I began to think that as this would be my first communication of 2016 that it should be some deeply profound statement about the human condition or some revelatory insight that immediately resonates with hundreds of thousands of others across the globe.

It then occurred to me that those thoughts were profoundly arrogant of me. I am by no means a Guru, nor would I want to be one. I share because I believe wholeheartedly that as we walk this Earth we are here to

LEARN & CONNECT

skydiving-658404_1280This life we are experiencing is our University.

What I know too is that I have learned some lessons in my brief time here. I know also that my experience (s) are not unique; that others are experiencing some of the life stages, events and challenges I have already passed through and so I share them (connect) in whatever way I can.

I share more ME, so you can find more YOU

– Thank goodness for the Internet eh?

  1. I share in the hope that the lessons I have learned will bring comfort or insight or awareness or whatever it takes for just ONE person to realise their infinite beauty and potential and power.
  1. I share in the hope that just ONE of you to come to the realisation that your very ‘being’ means that you are perfectly who you should be and that who you are right here now, is exactly who you are meant to be and where you are meant to be.
  1. I share in the hope that just ONE of you understand that if your reality FEELS uncomfortable, undesirable or challenging then you have the power and the will and the right to change it, if that is what you want, at any time.

In search of MY-self

encourage-866765_1280One of the most painful periods of my life was the period from about 33 years old to about 45 years. This was the period when I had no option but to become a seeker; a seeker of my truth, a seeker of the ‘real’ me; a seeker of whatever this life is meant to mean.

Life and the pursuit of all the ‘right’ things still hadn’t placed me in a space of contentment or peace and I knew I had to find anther way of living, of expressing. I had to find a way to be the ‘true’ me. I had to find the answer to life, love and everything and what that means for me.

I can’t say I have found IT yet – a definitive, one phrase or one word answer or a definitive ‘way’ of being to explain the meaning of everything, I’m not sure there is ONE, but:

  • I HAVE come to understand that it’s all OK and if it isn’t, I have the right to change it. I have found a ‘tru-er’ me who I feel is on the right path to finding the kind of life and peace that is right for me.

So this is what I’d like to ask you to focus on.

This is my message to you at the start of 2016

My wish is for you to find:

THE TRUE YOU

From about 5 or 6 years of age to about 33 years I was blissful unaware that I was in pain. During that time; the time when I became aware of me as a distinct and separate ‘self’ to the time when I knew this way of thinking wasn’t working for me and that there ‘had to be more to life than this!’ was a time of sleepwalking. I was doing what I ‘thought’ were the right things to do to be happy, to have approval, to gain recognition. None of them had worked.

hands-423794_1280

 

And so the inevitable happened and I had to ask ‘Is there more to life than this?’ For me at that time, at 33 years old, the answer was ‘YES.’ And so I began to take steps to find out what that ‘YES’ meant for me.

Getting closer?

Over a decade later I know that happiness, contentment and peace come from being more YOU; from finding out what is true for YOU and living it, being it, feeling it teaching it, expressing it

Stepping up to life can be fearful...What's next?
Stepping up to life can be fearful…What’s next?

How the hell does one know what IS true? You ask.

Well, as I said before, all I can do is share what I have learnt in my time in this University and what I have learnt about finding out what is right for YOU is simple and is two-fold.

  1. You have the knowledge and the insights already you just need to tune into them
  2. They are indicated by how you feel – NOT what you think.

Any experience, any meeting of minds, any work or creative endeavour, any place or thought, any idea or book or insight; anything you undertake that makes you feel joy, expansion, stillness, that makes you laugh or cry with happiness, that creates a deeper compassion and love for yourself and/or                                                                                  others, that simply makes you smile…

Is a something or someone who will lead you to becoming more YOU and so to your truth.

Finding YOUR truth is where your happiness, your contentment and your bliss lay.

So if I have anything to impart for 2016, it would be to resolve to become more YOU.

Follow your bliss

Follow and seek expansion and feel good feelings, follow light and heat and rain and snow, if they are what make you feel good. Follow laughter and creativity or physics or road sweeping. Follow reading or children or whatever induces feelings within you of being more settled in your own skin… More YOU.

In so doing you find your way and step into the ‘MORE THAN THIS.’ You’re reaching for.

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

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Self-Care

Happy Sunday All,

This week I’m afraid I’m a little under the weather to say the least. It’s late in the day and only now do I have the energy to put ‘fingers to keyboard’ so to speak. As I coughed and spluttered my way through the day I felt a moment of tremendous guilt as I hadn’t yet managed to write this weeks post.

This got me thinking about self-care

Self care means those individual choices we make about our lifestyle choices, on a daily basis that contribute to our long-term health and well-being. So choosing to brush your teeth daily or shower, to exercising or taking proper medicines when we are ill are all examples of self-care.

It is imperative that we take care of ourselves, especially if we have others that rely on us in some way or are dependent on us for their physical well-being, livelihood or other aspect of their life that they need us to supply for them.

2014-04-30 20.15.22It’s vital, no imperative that we allow ourselves the privilege of caring for ourselves first and before all else, especially at times when we are under the weather, otherwise what energy will we retain in order to look after those others if we don’t?

It’s been a challenging place to be in today as it brought up many feelings:

Guilt… because I felt I wasn’t upholding my promise to myself and to you to post weekly.

Fear… that those of you expecting communication for me would be disappointed and therefore abandon my writing in the future.

My ego took a bashing too as I realised:

  • I’m not invincible,
  • I’m fragile,
  • I’m like any other and can suffer weakness & feel vulnerable and

Most controversial for me;

  • I need support at times too.

In the spirit of self-care and after much soul-searching I decided I needed to rest and care for me today and not use my mental, emotional and physical energies writing and sharing today.

So, dear friends. This is as much as I can muster today, but I urge you surrender.

When the need for self-care arises please be kind to yourself because if you don’t who else will care for you enough so you can continue to be the magnificent being you are?

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

So, for today and the week beyond, all I can say is:

TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF YOURSELVES

and I will hopefully be back fighting fit agin next week.

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Pissouri Pilgrimage No. 1

Happy Sunday all

greece-565926_1280Here’s the first instalment of my ‘Pissouri Pilgrimage’ posts. There was some learning and there was some insight, so for the next few weeks I’ll share them here with you.? My hope is that they help you in some way by shining a light on your thoughts about yourself or life, or give hope if you’re feeling less than confident. Maybe they will confirm for you how amazing life is!

4th October 2015

Pissouri – Cyprus 23.55 (local time)

Trepidation

I’m away as you can see.

cute-18833_1280For some strange reason I had a real feeling of trepidation about travelling and was almost in tears as I left this morning at 8am for my flight to Larnaca from Leeds & Bradford Airport. I had no idea why, I just felt so fearful; a complete feeling of dread was nestling in my chest and I nearly didn’t come. If it wasn’t for the fact that I would regret wasting the money spent and that I’ve had hassle changing bookings and etc. I think I may have ‘chickened’ out.

But, I’m here now.

10 days…alone with myself abroad.

It’s quite daunting and I think this is what made the fear rise up in me, even though I have travelled alone before, but that was some time ago.

I managed to re-assure and calm myself on the plane by playing with my angel cards, (I have brought them with me). Whether they provide comfort or not I believe they do and so that’s all that matters.

aircraft-479772_1280On the flight I sat next to Carol and her friend Margaret. Both phenomenal in their 70s (looking decades younger) and travelling to meet a friend who is very familiar with the island as she used to live here. They’ve both been before, but never alone and called me ‘brave.’ Hmmm… not sure I was feeling too brave at the time, but hey! I was still gripped by this in explainable fear, but you can’t exactly tell the pilot to turn around or stop the vehicle now can you?

Through someone else’s eyes

Airport terminal and they were aghast that I had not sorted my onward journey and had no idea how I was going to get from Larnaca to Pissouri. It turned out to be quite simple. A bus from Larnaca to Limassol and then a taxi to Pissouri. The bus was only €9, a bit better than the £74 round trip it was going to cost for transfers when I tried sorting it from sunny Leeds!

So there I am, pleased with myself that I’ve sorted the bus and I won’t have to spend a fortune and dip into an already sparse pocket. I’m still panicky, so I remember to be grateful and tell myself I’m lucky to be where I am and to be having this experience. I focus on reminding myself that the universe will support me and that things will turn out OK…

I believe it (kind of), but I say it to myself none-the-less.

woman-41891_1280It’s funny how we see ourselves differently to others. They saw a brave woman, going it alone, but because I was on the inside of me I focused on the nervousness I was feeling. Yet they would never have done what I did and would rather have lost the money they spent.

Sometimes it does you good to listen and see yourself through other’s eyes. You may just be surprised by what you discover.

Taxi ride

Well, just as this girl thought she’d done ‘good,’ the bus driver says I have to get off at the first stop and get a taxi. Now when I bought the bus ticket the woman made it quite clear (she even circled it on the bus timetable she gave me), that I should get off at the second stop; St. George (a church – I get the impression there are a few churches here, to say the least!)

baby-216876_1280Something tells me this is bit of a ‘swizz’ and the bus driver and taxi man are in cahoots, but I have no choice, my driver is going no further.

Pah!

€40…YES €40 later I am at the apartment.

Don’t get me wrong, me and Mr. Taxi man had a lovely chat. It turns out his daughter is studying ‘Biomedical Science’ at Leeds University, Yes, my hoe City – Clever girl!

What a very small world indeed…

He has three children like me and like me has two girls and a boy. His son is just finishing school and will have to do National Service and daughter no. two they are trying to get a position within the navy or something as she tried studying in the UK as a make-up artist, but gave it up. I don’t think he was too impressed.

i-105490_150The conversation sounded all too familiar and you realise that no matter where you go, people are all the sam. The same wants and dreams, the same concerns and issues. The language and the customs and the faiths and the cultures are wonderful manifestations of our uniqueness, yet below the surface there’s the universal experience of life that connects us to each other.

Underneath it all we are ONE…

I’m reassured.

Fleeced?!

But, I’m at this point smarting from the realisation I may have been ‘HAD!’ and I’m seriously worried about how I’m going to survive here.

pound-414418_1280This, I think was what my panic was about. I know how to penny pinch at home, but abroad?

And who wants to feel restricted in such beauty? But then I tell myself I am as confined and restricted as I think I am.

After orienting myself around the apartment, which is lovely by the way. Modern and very, very cleeeen! My kinda place. The lovely Theodora came up and introduced herself and gave me a bit of a run down. She’s from Eastern Europe, but says she likes the weather here.

A quick shower…

The panic rises again…

That first night out and dinner alone.

I talk myself down and take another couple of angel cards. Pretty Stupendous they are too: ‘Blessings,’ and ‘Archangel Michael.’

So off I pop, telling myself blessings are all around me, that Michael is with me and will take away my fear…

Dinner

I’ve just returned from dinner (yes alone).

greek-salad-689674_1280Halloumi, olives, pitta and hummus…delish! I DO love that cheese, and proper goat’s milk too, so no bilious belly and cramping later, but so very rich; I’m going to have to abstain and not indulge every day methinks.

At dinner I people watched and gave thanks for the lovely food and the very handsome cats that hovered like vultures wanting anything that might fall from your table. I had visions of the god almighty bloody scrap that would ensue if all five (or was it six?) of them descended on some morsel I might drop and I’m to put it to the test, but declined.

Being open to connection

psychology-789612_1280After eating and feeling very satisfied and just whilst I was just taking in my surroundings, a gentleman started to eat the grapes that hung from the roof of the restaurant. I did for a moment think they were real, but there were so many and they seems so perfectly round and plum and juicy, I’d deduced they’re fake.

Xenios offered me some (at least he wasn’t called Costas – That was the taxi driver!) and I have to say they were delicious, though a tad dusty, but what’s a little dust between new acquaintances? We chatted and he seemed to know quite a few people…he is also, it seems rather accomplished as a businessman as he seems to run a lot of different enterprises. Anyway, no doubt I’ll bump into him again as he has a water-sports business on the beach.

Reaching out

girl-843076_1280Conversation over, I walked back to the apartment in that profound darkness that there always seems to be when you’re on holiday and marvelled at the fact that I could clearly see the constellations and I was so grateful for the lack of light pollution. I mused how we can only connect if we are open to it. If I’d been fearful or resistant Xenios would not have approached me. Sure he probably does it with everyone, but for me alone, it was a welcome distraction from my nervousness and fear.

In what way could you connect? you could be the person who relieves a moment of anxiety for someone else. so consider the next time you pull back from reaching out due to your own nervousness or fears.

A decision

I decided to write-up my day in a diary, but then realised that perhaps this trip will contain significant learning & insights that I can share, so here goes.

Today has been about trust:

  • Trusting that the ‘other’ source is there to support me and to support all of us.
  • Trusting myself and my instincts to get it right
  • I was tested and thrown into strange and unfamiliar situations and with people I did not know…
  • This frightened me.
  • I was tired and not wanting the challenge of having to do this all alone.
  • I had to rely on myself and more importantly, to trust that the universe would create the best outcomes for all concerned.sueaking-482701_1280

She did…but the outcome would have been very different I suspect if I’d gotten into panic and continued to have negative thoughts when my fear arose.

Like the boy in the Polar express I kept feeling my way when all I wanted to do was give up or turn around and go back.

I stayed in gratitude, trusting that I’d be OK…

I now believe I will be just that…OK.

I swallowed my fear and ventured out, when I wanted to stay in and hide and give myself the excuse that I’d just arrived and I could go out tomorrow.

Instead, I pushed through my panic and fear and…

I ate well

I made a connection

And the crème de la crème… I found a vegan raw food restaurant on the walk home…

Guess where I’ll be eating from now on?

Kale chips a plenty!

23.24 UK time: 1.24 Pissouri time. Time to sign off

Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

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Love YOU

Happy Sunday All,

When I started writing this blog over a year ago now, my reasons were simple ones to help someone, anyone, even just ONE person who may be at that moment in their life facing a challenge that MY experiences could shed some light on and to write.

I simply wanted my learning from life to support others if it could.

Love thyself

A fortnight ago a friend and I were talking and she said that I needed a ‘core’ idea or message. I hadn’t though about that before and it got me considering what that might be. It took a few days, but I realised that my message is, at its core is one of

Love is a Fruit“SELF-LOVE”

My mission, I now realise is to help as many people as possible o find their way to loving themselves.

My message is always:

‘Love YOU’

 The theme ‘Love YOU’ then showed up in three distinct ways (you know they say everything comes in threes, well it did) over the last week or so:

  1. The question from my friend
  2. A conversation with a filmmaker
  3. A christening

Conversation with a filmmaker:

whisper-408482_1280The message Love YOU continued into last week when I had an online chat with a filmmaker who had produced a film about love. Rather than it being about romantic love and the external expression of love towards someone else, his message is to love YOU as the path to your salvation, redemption and potential. It seemed as he said to me ‘We were on the same page.’

Whilst talking with him I realised that one of the major factors that made me decide to commit my message to paper was because it broke my heart as an educator to see so many young people; people who should be carefree, vibrant and fearless, so consumed with ‘getting things wrong’ afraid to even try, convinced they were no good.

The result of such thinking is of course to compensate for the feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence with bravado and boastfulness with ‘overdoing.’ These shallow and often angry expressions of a fake confidence, this overdoing, mask a deep-seated insecurity and I believe a deep-seated cry for love, attention and affection.

But they won’t find it fighting the world outside!

We’ve all seen them: Young people (and many adults) calling each other names speaking aggressively, putting others down and ridiculing others in a vain attempt to find some feelings of worth, becoming caricatures of wo/manhood.

aggression-657087_1280These caricatures bully and shout or are hyper-sexual or over-made-up. They make vain attempts to feel ‘excitement’ to mask and push down the lack of love for themselves that rears up if they are still for too long. This ‘excitement’ takes the form of violence, drug use, sexual activity and living vicariously in fantasy worlds through the use of technology, anything but face themselves in THIS word.

In their attempts to leave childhood and the unworthiness  attached to it, in their desire to ‘grow up,’ Their behaviour causes them to turn against each other as they lack the maturity and self-worth to communicate their needs, wants & feelings in a responsible & respectful way. These outbursts are in my mind, clear indications of Feeling unworthy…

Feelings powerless…

Feeling unloved

Not able to Love (who they are).

A christening & balloon chasing

toddler-878749_1280Little Ava is a powerhouse. She’s lively, intelligent, articulate, vibrant & self-assured and last Sunday it was clear she had a ball. Last Sunday little Ava was christened. As I watched her and the other ‘little children’ (0-6ish) I saw how beautiful it is when you love YOU.

These children don’t care what others think.

They are quite clear what they want and need and are happy to express it. They understand on some cellular level that they are worthy, as worthy as the next and have every right to:

  • Dance when they want to dance, no matter who’s watching,
  • Eat when they’re hungry,
  • Chase balloons when they feel inspired and
  • Sit in the dirt if that’s what they feel like doing no matter if any one cares or is looking.

They need no-ones approval; their self-worth and value is not decided by others, it comes from within…

Self-love is a given, so automatic it’s not even thought about. It simply is…

love-229977_150As I watched and smiled at how free they are and actually how loving to themselves and others, It confirmed to me:

We are all born in love…

We are born loving ourselves…

You were born to Love YOU

 Arrogance & Humility

I know what you’re going to say. I know someone who loves him/herself and they’re pretty arrogant, but arrogance is simply another display of a lack of self-love.

A display of arrogance is always trying to feel superior. In so doing you show that you’re really insecure, as true self-assurance doesn’t need another to push against to feel valued or worthy.

For example, the next time you do create or achieve or do something you’re proud of, instead of playing it down and adopting the false modesty that we’ve been trained to else we come across as arrogant of boastful, congratulate yourself.

DancingBy being ‘humble’ and dismissing our achievements are we not unconsciously asking for more recognition as others, then say ’Oh and s/he’s so humble too?’ The focus is still on us. Instead we should have confidence in and love for ourselves enough to graciously say ‘thank you,’ should praise come but still in LOVE with who we are and what we do not needing it regardless.

Be proud of what you’ve achieved after all you put the work in. give yourself and internal pat on the back and allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of achievement As long as your thoughts or celebrations are in no way causing upset or harm to anyone else then why should you be denied them?

At the end of the week, I congratulated a friend on something he’d visualised and had worked hard to achieve and which now it seemed to be coming to fruition. I was so proud of him and the work he’s tirelessly put in to reach his goal. I heard the hesitation in his voice as he said: “Yeah I’m quite proud of myself” and why shouldn’t he be? I was truly happy for him, but my feelings should not matter to him if he is in love with himself.

Baby Steps

Sister DanceAfter years of self-criticism and doubt it is a daunting prospect for so many of us to think we can get back to (I say ‘back to’ because remember the children, we all started in love) a place where inside there is no doubt that you love YOU, but you can.

Baby steps lovelies…

It starts with your thinking, as does anything…

You see love…

  • Cannot harm
  • Does not belittle
  • Does not exist if another is made to feel inferior
  • Does not criticise
  • Is not painful
  • Does not need others to be/do/like us to feel worthy
  • Cannot thrive where there is anger
  • Cannot survive is there is fear
  • Is always INCLUSIVE
  • Always feels good
  • Uplifts and supports
  • Unifies
  • Starts with the SELF

Journey back to love

Love-is-an-unconditional-commitmentforest-249029_150It occurred to me then, that we CAN journey back to self-love simply, through one thought at a time. Simply recognising and celebrating our successes, even if out of shyness you just think it for now.

One thought, then another, then another and slowly you begin to change your attitude to yourself. You begin to commit to yourself unconditionally.

You go from:

  • Criticism to consideration
  • Being Needy to self-belief
  • From denial to acceptance of your needs, allowing yourself to feel then and allow them to be satisfied.
  • Manipulation to motivation
  • Bullying to bravery enough to say ‘sorry’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘well done.’ Even when someone is attempting to get where you want to go and you’re not quite there yet.

When we celebrate and love ourselves, it doesn’t matter to us what others think or feel about where we want to go or what we want to make, do or be and we automatically understand and accept the right for others to love and respect themselves too.

Namaste

buddha-169511_1280In Yoga we end each session by bowing and saying ‘Namaste.’ It means:

“The god in me honours the god in You”

You see it tells us that we are all one, from the same core and as such should recognise that love/god is in each of us.

It is only when you begin to recognise the Love in you and love YOU that you can then truly ‘see’ and recognise the Love/god in others and then accept or allow love FROM others.

If you do not love YOU, then you will always (sooner or later) reject and doubt the love, praise, support others want to give you. In your mind’s eye you will decide there is something very wrong with them if they love you because after all aren’t you un-loveable/unworthy?

When you reject your achievements, when you play down your acts of kindness, when you reject support or love, if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and truly love what you see then you are rejecting your essence. Rejecting the GOD in you.

How then can you hope to find peace or love or true happiness?

I doesn’t matter if you call it ‘being independent,’ ‘being modest’ or if you are ‘not wanting/needing charity’ or think you’ll be seen as ‘arrogant or ‘full of yourself’ or you find some other excuse like ‘your aged parents’ or ‘your children’ or ‘distance’ or whatever other excuse you can come up with to reject love or attention or success or praise. If this is what you’re doing it’s because you’re in fear and need to work on loving YOU.

coast-631925_1280The City of ‘Self-Love’ is the destination for the journey we are all making, and every journey starts with a single step.

Start today so you get there in the shortest time possible.

Take your example from our babies and just enjoy being you.

Think well of YOU allow the goodness and joy and love that comes to you, so it can flow through you and enjoy all that being you involves.

Be kind to YOU,

Speak gently and softly to YOU,

Love YOU

 

NAMASTE

Insightful Angel

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Loving the skin you’re in

 

Happy Sunday All,

i-am-429698_1280Today I’d like to discuss with you, something which I may have touched on in a previous blog, but which seems to have been the theme of my week. I’d like, right here and now to get you to really begin to

‘love the skin you’re in.’

You see, too many of us don’t.

I often hear people I know and love commenting on the features or qualities they dislike about themselves or bemoaning the fact that they don’t have a particular talent. When we don’t accept ourselves, when we allow the ‘inner critic’ to constantly berate us how can we possibly access the goodness, abundance, the joy the peace and love we all want in hearts?

hands-423794_1280Mahatma said: ‘Be the change you wish to see…’ Michael Jackson said ‘He’s looking at the man in the mirror, ’ so anything we want to achieve, have or change starts with US.

The start begins in your mind and the things you say to yourself. We cannot hope to be our best, achieve abundance or business success if our mind-talk is perpetually reinforcing our insecurities.

Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t you think?

The very features or qualities you bemoan or have learnt to dislike can turn out to be your biggest and best asset and yet you’ve spent most of your time not appreciating it. I’ll give you an example:

Yesterday after yoga a fellow Yogi came up to me and said I had the most fabulous arms!

My Arms… Really? You’ve got to be kidding?

You see my sisters and I have muscular arms and have, over the years commented on this fact. It’s a feature I have often wished was more sleek and feminine. I have seen my arms as making me look more male and often thought they were too muscular, yet here was a woman telling me how beautiful they were to her. My Yoga teacher agreed too.

A feature that has always been a slight embarrassment to me was being applauded and commented on as being admirable.

From serious flaw to greatest asset

Elsa-FrozenAnother example is my voice…

When I was younger criticism led me to believe my voice and what I had to say was either a nuisance, inappropriate or too much. So I spent many years believing I should ‘Shut up.’

Yet, in my teens and twenties I discovered I could sing and in my thirties and forties and now into my fifties the desire to use my voice (speaking, writing) to uplift and support others has become irresistible and is now one of the talents I receive my most positive responses to.

Another instance.

My daughter’s birth-mark (on her neck) was a source of upset for her. She begged and pleaded to have it removed all through her childhood. She hid it whenever possible and because of it was insecure. I insisted that it made her unique, I refused to give in to her pleas. I told her that one day she would love it and be proud of it. Today she acknowledges that it separates her from the ‘crowd’ and actually enhances her beauty. She no longer covers it up.

Your greatest flaw can turn out to be your greatest gift…. but only if you accept yourself just as you are.

Like poor Elsa in ‘Frozen’ she has come to realise that the thing she believed she should dislike about herself is the thing that enhances her uniqueness. I’m sure we all remember Jennifer Grey of ‘Dirty Dancing’ fame, but what happened to her star and it’s rise after she messed with her nose?

Her internal critic obviously had one particular point of view, yet her nose was the very feature that made her cute and gave hr face the form that made her believable as ‘baby.’ It contributed to her a achieving the success she had no doubt spent a long time working on.

Without it she lost it

Comparison the devil in disguise

elphaba, the wicked witch of the westIt seems to me that the problem starts when we look outside of ourselves. When we begin to make comparisons. When we compare ourselves we invariably find ourselves lacking in some way and then instead of thinking ‘well It would be lovely if this, that or the other were better, BUT I have this and this talent and this quality that I admire and love about myself,’ we obsess over the one or two things that we see as inferior,

But inferior to what?

In the main we are comparing ourselves to manufactured ideals that bear little resemblance to the qualities of real people and when you look at it, really examine what we are capable of as a species you see we’re pretty damned amazing and achieve some phenomenal things when we get out of our own way and just get on with the business of living our best lives.

Children know the secret

Very rarely do you come across a toddler or baby that worries that they’re not good enough. How much joy do we get on social media from seeing children just full of fun and laughter, dancing for no reason or singing and simply being…

DancingThere’s recognition of something that we know we’ve lost, but are afraid to admit. I mean who the hell made up the rule that as adults we need to be ‘sensible?’ that we shouldn’t dance or sing with joy, that we shouldn’t believe in magic and dreams and completely believe ANYTHING is possible?

How well are you looking after yourself when you criticise and berate yourself?

Instead of sending the focus of your positive affirmations outside and onto others, appreciating their qualities and talents, you would be better to create a more positive mind-set within yourself and around who YOU are.

Like attracts Like

If you have a desire for success, whatever that looks like to you, how can you create this success if at the same time your mind talk  and constant criticism indicates that you’re undeserving?

To create success, whatever that may look like, you need positivity. A healthy nurturing mindset and context into which the success can appear. This is why there are still wealthy people who are unhappy, super rich and talented sports people who are depressed, super-slim and beautiful women who are suicidal.

Despite having ‘IT ALL’ as we are brainwashed into thinking, they are obviously still discouraging themselves and feeling unworthy because of their inner critic. This creating a toxic and depressing inner world and leads to external symptoms of insecurity and self-loathing.

buddha-562033_1280This is what you’re doing to yourself when you tell yourself you’re unworthy or wrong or just ‘toooo…’

The skin you’re in is unique.

You are the only ‘you’ there is.

You have a set of gifts and features that are a unique and special combination and are found only in you, so rare that the odds are millions, probably trillions to one that that same combination will be found elsewhere.

I don’t know about you, but if I found something that rare, my tendency would be to cherish it, care for it and make sure it as well looked after. I would want it to know every day how beautiful and rare I thought it was.

This is how you should speak to yourself!

Unique NOT the freak

fractal spiritWhen you speak positively to yourself, when you focus on your talents and gifts, when you appreciate your creativity, kindness or the myriad  of other features all positive and that YOU bring to the world,  you to develop a mind-set and thought process that is positive. A mind-set that uplifts and believes in you, a mind-set that is focused on creating SUCCESS.

For this week, When you find yourself criticising yourself (you know those thoughts that start with ‘I wish I…) make a deliberate effort to think about the talents and skills or features you have that you LIKE about yourself, the things that make you unique, that confirm that you’re one in a million.

Practise… and soon you’ll be smiling. You may even find yourself, like the toddler dancing with joy for no reason.

Pretty soon, you’ll find that you are indeed:

Loving the skin you’re in!

A Space to B… Appreciate the uniqueness of YOU..

Blissings & much Love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Light & Beauty

Happy Sunday all,

I came to Sunday rather worn out after an afternoon trekking the shops of Leeds City centre yesterday afternoon. So you find me today, still rather weary after chores of washing the week’s laundry, cleaning the kitchen bin, sorting the recycling and cooking a very delicious Vegan meal – Sometimes I outdo myself I swear!

Well, as you gathered the a.m. and afternoon & early evening have been rather leisurely this Sunday, but I am now rejuvenated and ready, so here are my ramblings for this week. I hope you enjoy them, but more importantly I hope you find here insights within it that go some way to improve your life.

The presence of Beauty

roses-66527_1280You probably do not know, but I tend to reflect on my week and then decide what the ‘theme’ has been. If I can then offer any words of wisdom on that theme or idea, I will then take to my laptop and ‘hey presto’ another message is penned and ‘Yes,’ I do get up and write them on Sundays. I don’t queue them up and have the computer automatically send them on a particular date, though it would make life easier for me if I did.

Anyway, back to the purpose of today. The theme that seems to have been prevalent this week is ‘Beauty.’

A Surprise for the year 10 Bandits

You all already know I teach and as such I come into contact with children of all shapes, forms, temperaments, dispositions and character. Earlier this week a female student of mine was surprised when I agreed to an after-school session to help them with some coursework.

Now, just a bit of context. This Year 10 group are small, but notorious in the school. They include four pupils (out of 14) who are constantly in trouble. Two in particular, if they haven’t been excluded are usually on some form of report or other for their behaviour.

This group has gnawed at me, niggled and taunted me. They have insulted me, disrupted lesson after lesson, and taken me to the very ‘end of my tether,’ yet I refused to give up on them.

Ayesha’s Surprise

So Ayesha was surprised, no shocked when I agreed to give them the extra help and said incredulously:baby-216876_1280

“Even me! But you hate me!”

I could have fallen over!

“Ayesha,” I said, “ I have never in my decade of teaching met a child that I didn’t like.”

“Not even me, after everything?” she continued.

Well, that was my cue for another one of my ‘put your pens down and listen,’ leap-onto-my-soapbox moments.

I made to clear to her that of course I challenged her, but it was her behaviour that I resisted, not her. I asked her if she understood that who she is, in her essence, her being, is not the same as how she ‘CHOOSES’ (and it is a choice) to behave.

I think she got it…

Light & Beauty & more beauty

Later in the week, Thursday to be precise, I was talking to a friend and during the conversation I mentioned how much I adore being around the pupils I teach; how they are “So full of light, & beauty but they don’t know it.”

Don’t worry; there is a point to all of this…

jyoti-amgeLast night, I came across an article on Jyoti Amge, (see image left), who according to the Guinness book of records, is the smallest woman in the world. She reminded me of the lovely Muhammed who I taught up until last week.

He, like Jyoti has a form of dwarfism (which appears very similar to hers) and stands about 2ft and a bit in height, yet he’s 12 years old. I wondered what it’s  like to spend your life literally ‘looking up.’ to everyone you meet and staring at thighs and kneecaps when you’re in a crowd.

As I saw him chatting to other pupils on the corridor and shouting ‘hi’ as he delights everyone he meets It occurred to me; he is unusual yes, but beautiful, ordinary, he is Muhammed and he is completely at peace with who he is and that is as it should be. It occurred to me that many of us should do as Muhammad does and just be ourselves.

Accept YOUR beauty…

Completely.

It’s in ALL of us…not just SOME of us

Then today, during another conversation, I happened to say to another friend during an online chat, that:

“The longer I am on this earth the more I more I appreciate the beauty in all of us.”

 Why is it then that like Ayesha we often cannot see the beauty that lies in us all?”

social-media-550766_1280Whether you’re like Jyoti or Muhammed or Erika Ervin, the world’s tallest woman (6ft 8inches), whether you’re Ayesha, a confused teenager, searching for self acceptance, purpose and love or whether you’re just YOU, what I’d like you to see and really understand, that what I have learnt in my time here is:

  1. You are beautiful.

  2. We are ALL beautiful.

  3. We are ALL a true reflection of the life’s beauty and the beauty everywhere on this Earth.

In the same way that I have always seen beauty in my pupils, despite what they feel, despite what they fail to see in themselves, what I hope you really get is that someone somewhere is looking at you with love or admiration or respect or all three!

My challenge to you this week is to see your own light, your own beauty.

Truly see it

See it now

Relish it,

Celebrate it regardless of any external reflection or approval.

When you DO, you will truly start to live free from the need for acceptance.

Realise that your life is yours and you will encounter life in ease or resistance according to what you think about yourself and through the relationship you have with yourself.

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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