Devonshire Delight.

 

I’m currently having a few days away at the favourite sea-side haunt from my childhood, hoping to rest, recuperate & regain my writing inspirational drive. Too much of my time is given to others, somewhere along the way I lost myself. I knew that a few days in solitude was what was called for, so here I find myself in Exmouth, spending money I can I’ll afford, but the cost of not doing it would have been far higher.

Earlier I met a lovely couple while I was scribbling a few lines, after falling under the spell of the marina. The man told me that he was an artist, yet he too had found himself too busy to take time out for his passion. This drove me to complete the marina piece. It is still in it’s raw state, but I’d like to share it with you.

To the couple who inspired me, apologies, I’ve forgotten your names already               ( possibly Jeff?) To them & all who find themselves being stretched so thin that they are unable to use their creativity when they want. Please, please don’t allow your creative juices to dry up under pressure of pleasing others. Take a little time out – NOW. Don’t allow feeble excuses to flow from your mouth. We all need to be true to ourselves & for those with an artistic bent, that means actually creating something before the drive is allowed to wither away.

Devonshire Delight.

To & Fro they rock, unwanted,  unneeded,  tethered, abandoned.                                                                      In comparative calm they bob, side by side, packed tight like sardines in their tin, floating in their bed of brine.

The mass of water still, just a ripple snaking across the surface from the stiff breeze. The near tranquilty belying the pounding, crashing seas, a mere few metres away. Here however, protected by the harbour wall, they are safe – removed from the chaos that nature has deemed necessary to inflict on this quaint sea edged Devonshire town.

Rangers Delight, Cup ferret, Arvor, Quick Silver, White Lady, Merlin V111 ( I wonder was there 1-7?  If so, I can only surmise their fate.) Unlikely names yet some aren’t even granted that dignity, just given a large, garish number adorning their otherwise sleek hulls.

Overhead a few flags flutter furiously. Two seagulls squabble over a discarded crust, their cackles cutting through the evening air, disturbing the idyllic scene. Above, storm clouds gather, racing to blot out the vestiges of afternoon blue sky. In the distance, indistinct idle chatter from couples taking an evening constitutional, heads tipped forward, collars raised against the impending rain.

Soon it will be dark, the inky night casting it’s blanket over the peaceful scene. But when dawn breaks these forlorn boats, with their coats of many colours will be in demand once more.                                                                                                              Trips into unchartered territory for some. Fishing expeditions. Pleasure cruises.              The sardine tin will be emptied until days end, when once again the entire scenario will be replayed.

This picture book scene will remain etched in my memory. Should I feel trapped or drained, I will be able to draw on it for inspiration. I chose to capture it in words, others may prefer pens or paints, others will use more modern technology. The medium doesn’t matter. What does, is not to allow the memory to go to waste.      When we are shown something so evocative, we are blessed. I for one will not waste it.

Rosie x

I hope that you enjoyed this little muse. Hopefully it will be the beginning of more regular offerings.

If you want to read more, please ‘Like’, ‘Follow’ & ‘Share’. Like most creatives, I write for  the love of it, but knowing that it is being enjoyed by others is like Manna from the Gods, food for the soul.

Until next time, take care. Rosie x

 

My apathy Disolver

I have many motivational posters around my home, remindinding me not to lose sight of what’s important.
One such saying is really simple, but helps me if I fall in apathy. It simple says

Always Be Calmly Active and Actively Calm.

I have this written directly onto my fridge. Every time I look at it, it gives me a kick up the proverbial…..

Perseverance is the key.

As many followers will know, I’ve pledged to make a booklet in aid of BBC Children in Need. The idea seemed a simple one – just collect a small compilation of work from members of the writing group that I lead. I would comb bind it and persuade friends to buy a copy. What could possibly go wrong?

Hmm, I hadn’t considered a few pertinent points;
1) health has a habit of letting me down.
2) I had already committed to writing a novel during November for NaNoWriMo.
3) I’m rubbish at sticking to the basics!

Already burning the candle at both ends, my health was on a downward spiral & although I recognised it, I refused to do anything about it. I was enjoying life, why would I want to slow down?
A charity abseil that I was due to do was postponed. Concerned friends told me how washed out I looked, eventually agreeing, I took advantage of the postponed abseil weekend to take a break by the sea. A weekend stretched into five days. Sounds great? It was, but rather than rest, I chose to run around like a loon doing all things that tourists do! I came back even more exhausted!

With November looming, I prepared for the NaNoWriMo challenge, setting the plot, sketching the storyline, getting excited & eager to start. I told everybody, so that I wouldn’t back out & on November 1st I sat in front of my laptop & wrote my little heart out. This had been complicated by an unexpected change of storyline. A new idea swept into my brain the day previously & refused to leave, so I was really winging it, having not had any form of plan to work with.
For 4 days I wrote solidly into the night, delighted that I was ahead of my word count schedule. ( NANoWriMo requires that a minimum of 50000 words are produced during the 30 days of November)

At the same time I was organising the charity booklet & had persuaded fellow group members to produce short articles & poetry for me to print. All was going well until I fell out with my printer. It refuses to cooperate. I took this as a sign that maybe I should look into having the booklet professionally printed.
After a lot of googling & comparing prices, I decided to go with a local printing company. Since the cost was greater, so was my need to produce a better book. Sheets of A4 inspirations were being handed to me, all I needed to do was put them into order.

No. Life for me is never that straightforward.

I decided that the booklet should be smaller, A5 size. No worries. HAH!
Now remember that I am a pensioner who only learnt to use a computer about 5 or 6 years ago, apart from the absolute basics, everything has been self taught.
I had also been told that I needed to put individual files into PDF form, then number them, put them onto a memory stick & take it to the printers. Of course I had heard of these new fangled methods, yet had never attempted them. To say that I made hard work of it is an understatement! Googling, books & Youtube to the rescue. I probably could have handled it better, had it not been for me having a slight stroke.

At first I thought that I was simply exhausted, but apparently not. I’ve had several small strokes & a larger one, so recognised what had happened, mini strokes are common place in my family, so the risks have always been accepted by me as just a fact of life.
This one knocked me for six! I was totally wiped out, unable to tackle anything. I did try to do some writing but will need to rewrite it, as it was such rubbish. Unable to go out, my groups & voluntary job had to be put on hold. I became a social recluse.

I have a good relationship with our local newspaper, writing a monthly column for them as well as various small articles & letters, so I had asked them to promote the charity booklet. They happily agreed, asking for a photo of me holding the completed book, to which they would add a piece asking for local support. I would have been delighted, except that the booklet was still in the planning stage. I couldn’t figure out how to do the necessary set up of files.

I didn’t want to fail but it looked like I was going to.

For an entire week, with brain of mush & no energy, I have sat through the night trying desperately to work out how to set up the files etc. One night I didn’t go to bed at all.
Every day I learnt something new. Windows 10 & myself are not best of friends yet & I’m struggling to find my way around it, but every night I realised that I’d found out how to do a new task ( things that most people could do with their eyes closed.) Every morning, before breakfast I would sit at the laptop, ready to use my new found knowledge, only to discover that I needed to learn more, before I could proceed.

I didn’t give up.

In the early hours of this morning, I realised that I’d finally cracked it. I crawled into bed, knowing that I only had a tiny bit more to complete this morning, ready to go to the printers.

The phone woke me from a deep sleep at mid morning. I had a friend arriving at lunchtime. ARGH! I had come too far to allow it all to drag into next week. I had advertised the book to be ready for purchase, Children in Need being next week. I had to complete it. I needed to succeed.

With only a couple of hours before I was due to go out for lunch, I sat at my desk & with absolute determination I set about finishing it. My friend duly arrived, to find me still in my pyjamas. Fortunately very understanding, she made a cuppa while I tapped feverishly on my keyboard. I’m not sure how many times I said to her “Just one last file & I’m finished.”

The important thing is that I got there. A couple of weeks late & very sleep deprived, I was able to proudly hand over the completed flash drive to the printers’. Exhausted & brain dead, yet happy. I’ve no idea how well my work will reproduce in print, I hope it’s good. I want it to be successful, to raise some money, but for me it’s been a worthwhile experience. I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve also learnt that perseverance pays off. The booklet should be ready to go on sale next week. I did it! Me! Little Ol’ me! I figured it out. Even if I’m left with egg on my face & a stack of unsold booklets, I managed to overcome all sorts of obstacles & am very pleased with myself. Yes ok so it won’t be professionally written, it’s only a small scale production, but I did it!

As for NanoWriMo? I had thought about giving up, having not written a word for a complete week, but have decided not to.
Allowing myself the luxury of a relaxing evening, I intend to recommence tomorrow, after a T’ai Chi workshop. There’s a very good chance that I won’t meet the deadline, but it isn’t important. I will write as much as I am able – I have the rest of my life to complete it. I accepted the challenge and will do my best but don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ve had a lot to cope with recently. But I have overcome it all & am still here to tell the tale.

My health is improving again. I’m eager to get on with my life. Bring it on!

Rosie x

If you enjoyed reading this, please ‘follow’ or ‘share’ all support is vital to a knackered old woman!
Until next time, take care.

Time to stop self doubt

Although I have been seriously writing for well over a year now ( blogging even longer), I’ve always introduced myself s an aspiring author, or would be writer. A short time ago someone took me to task over this. I’ve had several short articles published, as well as numerous letters, I also produce a monthly column in the local paper. That makes me a writer! Just because I have yet to win any competitions or get a publishing contract doesn’t alter the fact that I am a writer. Although yet to earn any money from it, I am a writer. I write everyday in some form or another, run a creative writing group as well as a writing for wellbeing one. Finally I accepted the title. However I was still slightly apologetic, almost sidled in, hoping that no one would ask about my qualifications. Why?

I left school at just 15 with no qualifications. I didn’t stay to take any exam. I was expected to go to work, which I duly did. I didn’t mind at the time, exam certificates didn’t mean much in the world of hairdressing, back in the 60s.
As my family came along, I began to regret not having anything behind me but told myself that I could do evening classes when I had time. It didn’t happen. By then, although I regretted it, it no longer seemed important.
Less than two years ago, being retired & living alone, I decided to take a creative writing class, then another followed by various workshops. I was hooked. I took a further class where grammar was high on the agenda. A stroke many years ago has erased most of my ability to put the correct names & terms for grammatical correctness. The teacher, although inspirational unintentionally caused me to feel inadequate. I already felt an outsider when friends discussed literature, my knowledge, by comparison was very limited. I enrolled on a Grammar course.
As I began the coursework, I realised that I knew what I was doing, knew how to use the correct formulation of sentences etc. Why was I doing this? At school I had always been an A+ English language & literature student, who was I doing this qualification for?
I decided to drop out. I have far more important things to do with my time. I was doing it to wave a piece of paper & say
” look, I’m as good as you now.”
I didn’t need to do that.

Of course there are gaps in my knowledge but nothing that I can’t get around. The stroke can’t be undone. Is it vital for me to remember what the correct terms are?
I write because I love it. I didn’t want it to become a burden.
Shortly afterwards I set up a creative writing group. I stressed at the outset that it was non teaching. I simply wanted to encourage others to have a go, to have fun. It has been an overwhelming success. Occasionally I get lost when some members discuss the classics or talk about writing styles, but I refuse to pretend to be anything or anyone that I’m not. Generally people appreciate my honesty, even if they don’t understand my reasoning.

One problem though, I still was an aspiring writer only, playing at it, not really serious. Except that by then I was.
I needed a change of mindset. When I’d begun, I had no intention of using it for anything other than pleasure/ therapy. Now I felt very differently about it. I intend to write for the rest of my life, to be successful too. A would be, will remain a would be. As a believer in affirmations & the power of positive thought, I decided to ‘rebrand’ myself.
I updated my Facebook profile photo, showing me writing. I introduce myself as a writer. I think in a totally different way.
I am shortly going to produce a collection of writing from my creative writing group, which we are going to sell for Children In Need. I am entering the NanoWriMo challenge to produce a 50000 word novel within the next month. I will, without question get some of my work into print. Whether I have to self fund, self publish or get a publisher, who knows? It’s not vital for me to know. One thing’s for certain – You’ll be hearing more about me in the coming years. I may never reach the heavy heights of a number one best seller, but I will definitely be producing some worthwhile work.
My name is Rosie – I’m a writer.

Security in self belief

Two friends visited today, as I have been unwell. One of these is a newly found friendship, hence this was her first visit to my home.

Strangers tend to be taken aback by my decor, as it is eclectic to say the least! Goddesses, Buddhas & Native American Indians vie with each other to find their place amongst a rather excessive collection of crystals. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that I am what can be called ‘alternative.’ Living in a retirement flat, my choice of decoration doesn’t appeal to many of the other residents, but thankfully I’m comfortable enough in my beliefs not to worry about their opinions.

The new friend who visited already knew about my chosen path, just as I did hers, however it was refreshing to hear her opinion of my chosen deities. She follows a diffent path, although we are both pagan, in fact until a few years ago, my chosen route was similar to hers. We had an enjoyable conversation, It was really interesting to discuss why I do what I do & having a slightly different viewpoint was stimulating.

After they had left, it set me thinking about the confidence that I have & my way of expressing it. For too many years I attempted to ‘fit in’ & even more recently I felt the need to explain or justify my beliefs. I no longer do that.

Is it an age thing,I wonder? Certainly my confidence has grown with the passing years but I think it’s more than that. I feel comfortable in my own skin now. I don’t need to appease anyone or attempt to justify anything. This has released me from the constraints that I had grown up with. I’m not just older ( & single) I’m emotionally free to be myself. I don’t need anyones’approval to be who I am. It is so liberating!

As long as I don’t hurt anyone or intentionally offend, as long as I can like myself, look in the mirror & see a friendly, kind person looking back, then I know that I am on the right track. The right path for me. I don’t need to conform to anyone else’s ideals because I’m strong enough in my own. It’s a lovely place to be.

I hope that you are able to feel even a tiny bit as contented with your choices, if not, think about why you live as you do, maybe you could consider changing? but only for yourself. Being true to YOURSELF is the key to happiness & ultimately inner peace. I hope that you are able to find it.

I wish you love, peace & joy.

Rosie x

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If you’ve enjoyed reading this, please ‘like’, follow & share it with your friends & contacts. Let’s try & fill the world with positivity, happiness & harmony x

Power is in the air.

Whether you are a believer in natural magic or not, most people accept that the Moon has a huge influence over our lives.
I can always tell when the Moon is nearing full – my inspirations & energy go into overdrive. It’s fantastic but does wreak havoc with my sleep pattern.

People throughout the generations have used the phases of the Moon to decide when the optimum time is to set plans into action, plant seedlings, harvest food & many other things. The Universal energies are intense at the time of the full Moon, so it makes sense to use that time to do things that need a positive boost. Similarly the New Moon is the time to start new plans & ideas.

As I am getting older, this energy force is getting more pronounced. If I’ve been planning something, I know that the full Moon is the time to set things in motion. At the moment I am eager to get my workshop booked, the Moon tells me not to procrastinate, do it now. I trust my intuition. I know when the time is right. Unfortunately I am also a 60+ scatterbrain! I am attempting to get more organised & yes, I am getting there but it’s frustrating when I miss a deadline or appointment because I have so much on my mind.

The bizarre thing is that when I need to focus on a particular subject, I find that I naturally prioritise & almost become a different person.
Rosie the motivational speaker or Rosie the workshop leader is very different from Rosie the shopaholic or chatterer. I think that we all have several personas but are often afraid to allow the other sides of our personalities to shine through. It seems logical that for us to be in total balance, we have to allow all sides of our being to be used.

I used to think that the scatterbrained me was who I was, but I now realise that I was very much mistaken. Initially at any function or meeting, I have 5 minutes of mayhem, once that’s out of my system, I can commit to my given task. In an ideal world I would always choose to arrive early at an event, but I haven’t yet mastered that. When I arrive in a rush, I don’t have time for my energies to settle & am like a whirling dervish. Clients & friends tend to look on, very dubious at the wisdom/ ability of this madwoman. I have been told on many occasions how pleasantly surprised they have been once I settle into my balanced self.

As my T’ai Chi training progresses, I am becoming more capable of finding my inner calm without the whirlwind start, unfortunately I am often running so late that I don’t allow myself the time to get centred.

Ah well. Nobody is perfect. Like most of the human race, I am work in progress. As I previously mentioned, I am getting there, but at times I need to forgive myself for not being more organised. Maybe one day😉.

Rosie X

Thank you for taking time to read my ramblings.
If you enjoyed it, please ‘like ‘ ‘share’ & follow me.
Getting new followers is very pleasing & helps me to write more regularly.

The busier my life, the better it gets.

There was a time, not too many years ago when the idea of being busy would have seemed abhorent to me. I had no energy & couldn’t understand those who urged me to do more – how could I? I was ill, depressed, too worn out to care. What did those do-gooders know about my life?

I ignored them.
I stayed stuck in my misery.

Today someone reminded me about a saying that I felt was very apt. I might not get the quote exactly correct but I’m sure you’ll get the gist of it.
Unfortunately I don’t know the author either, but here are the words:

If you always do what you’ve always done, in the same ways as you always done them. You will always get the same results.

Simple words, yet very true.
In those days gone by, I was doing exactly what I shouldn’t. I bemoaned that life was too exhausting, that I felt lethargic, uninspired, lacking in motivation. I wasn’t willing to try any other way. Sure I’d read self help books & listened to those ‘in the know’ but they were talking idealism, not real life. Or so I believed.

As regular subscribers will know, things changed for me quite dramatically. It took a while for the changes in my mind set to really filter through but it seems that the Universe has accepted my genuine desire for change. Life keeps on improving. The point that I’m making here is that things didn’t just fall into my lap. I had to work at it.

So how did I find the energy to do all the things that are making my life so complete? Simple really – I forced myself to put more in! It’s inconceivable that success & happiness will come for no reason. Obviously I had to play my part. I began to do things to help others,I’d always wanted to but hated the idea of being rejected, so was reluctant to offer. I forced myself to challenge that fear & began volunteering, befriending & at first simply trying to be a helpful & considerate neighbour. People expressed gratitude, I felt useful. I needed to do more.
I set my intention to be a good, kind, useful member of society. I asked for guidance. At times the ideals seemed impossible to ever achieve. I was just me, a little old woman with some pretty batty ideas! But something urged me to continue. I volunteered more, did more. I turned off the television. I stopped procrastinating. I began ‘doing’. It still exhausts me yet it’s so intoxicating that I never want to give up.

I fit more in my week than I previously would have done in a year ( or more). Although It makes me so tired, it means that I generally sleep well. I’ve become fitter, calmer & far more ‘balanced’ in every sense. I’ve also learnt to respect my body more. At times the pain rips through my body like a red hot poker, nothing can ease it. At these times I know that going out walking or working would be counter productive, so I remain at home. Here is where the difference comes – yes I’m at home, maybe, like now with my poor aching feet raised high, but I do something to keep my mind from fixating on my pain. I write a lot when I’m in pain, there again I’m regularly in pain! The thing is that keeping busy, having something to focus on, having a reason to force myself to get on with things or to drag myself out to a meeting is good. It’s extremely therapeutic.
All of my time is used usefully, even ‘wasted time’ isn’t really wasted, If my body needs to sleep, I sleep. If I need to relax, I do so mindfully or use meditation. I no longer force myself to fit into a schedule of what I feel that I have to do, I do things because I want to. I get so many rewards from helping others (emotional, not financial) I love seeing people happy, the work is it’s own reward. I enjoy everything about my life now, even the niggling annoyances of general life serve a purpose. There is positivity in absolutely everything, even though we can’t always see it at the time. If we are open to accept the good things that are offered, they will come, rarely in the form or way that had been anticipated but good things will come in abundance. At times I feel overwhelmed by the gifts that the Universe has showered on me, but I accept graciously & genuinely knowing that it is reward for what I do for others. I feel gratitude for these opportunities. The embarrassing part is that simply enjoying everything is reward enough.
I do things because I can. I can do things because I work at it. I work at it because I enjoy it. I enjoy it because I’m doing what I love & love what I do.

Wow! I’ve just surprised myself by what I’ve written. It’s late at night, I have a busy day tomorrow & a kitchen that looks like there’s been an earthquake in there but it doesn’t matter. I will sleep well & in the morning I will deal with what needs to be done. If that means the housework stays undone – does it really matter? Having a sparkling kitchen or smiling people? No contest!

This has been a bit of a ramble tonight. I hadn’t intended to write anything so it has all tumbled out, totally unplanned. I hope that you can follow my line of thought.

Until next time, look after yourselves & those around you.
Be happy,

Rosie X

If you have enjoyed this blog, please ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘follow’. Tell your friends about it. Let’s see if we can get this blog a wider audience. Not for glory, not for egotism, simply to share my love of life & gratitude to have been given the chance to make a difference, no matter how small.
Imagine how good this world would be if everyone tried giving instead of taking?
Bye for now X

A speaker worth listening to.

At my writing group today I recommended that a few members look up a motivational speaker & one of his most famous talks.

I will try to get a link for everyone but until then, I urge you to look up The Bozo on the bus, by Wavy Gravy. He is a very influential speaker & I love his simplistic yet deep analogies. Google it & see what you think.

Rosie x

I only need prove to myself.

Recently I have questioned myself about where my confidence has come from & why I keep setting myself challenges. I’m not totally sure of the answer but am so thankful that I feel this way.

Today two people were teasing me about my forthcoming charity abseil, saying that I was proving something to everyone else. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Of course it will be great to show the world that I can do it – me, little old age pensioner me! Naturally I hope that my children will be very proud of me but ultimately I’m doing the challenge for two very different reasons. The first being that I want to raise money for SOS Africa, as the plight of the people there is abhorrent. I’ve raised funds for the Country in a few ways but this is definitely the biggest that I’ve done.

I had hoped to volunteer in Ghana this October, teaching young children in the poorest parts of the area. It probably wouldn’t have helped very much but at least I would have tried. Unfortunately common sense has stopped me from going.

My health is very variable & I can have a bad spell without warning. Over there I would have been pushing myself to keep going, which is really asking for trouble. If I had become ill, I would have become a burden on the host family which would have been dreadful for them. I realised that going over there alone, with my health issues was being selfish.

I wanted to go. I wanted to do it. I wanted to be of help.
Sometimes however it’s more important to see the bigger picture.

There’s such a lot that I would like to do before this life ends. I wasted so many years through having agoraphobia that my choices are now limited. My teenage years weren’t filled with mad stunts,I was too busy being a Mum. I didn’t have the opportunity to explore the world or have exciting experiences, my children took up all of my time. Now so many years later, when many people begin to slow down, I want to experience everything that I am able.
I could save up & maybe in a few years afford a really exotic holiday but the thought leaves me hollow. What I want to experience is something that will enrich my life. Teach me something. I don’t need posh holidays, I’m content with what I do. I want something that money can’t buy me – and that is the inner satisfaction of proving to myself that I have enough trust and faith in the Universe to take these challenges.

I was a cowardly child. A nervous teenager. A troubled young mum & then a very anxious, depressed middle age woman. I was always so needy, incapable of managing anything on my own.

WHAT A WASTE OF LIFE!

Things are very different now.
I want to prove to myself that I have overcome those problems. I have finally discovered the real me & am happy but It doesn’t alter all of the wasted years.
Challenging myself helps me, helping others in the process makes everything even more worthwhile.

I want to embrace life. Celebrate being alive. That’s why I push myself. I could be taking it easy. Instead I fill my life with many diverse things, none of which I could have ever dreamed possible.
So no I’m not doing it for glory or to impress anyone. It’s my way of saying thank you for being alive and capable. I know how fortunate I am to have come through what I did. This is my way of showing gratitude.
I will be doing the abseil at the same time as I had planned to travel to Ghana – one door closed and another one immediately opened. Isn’t that amazing?

I will continue to challenge myself, some things may be trivial, some may not, but I don’t intend to waste any more of my precious time on this earth.

Rosie X

I hope that this has struck a chord with some of you & urge you to make the most of every single day.

Thanks for reading this. Please ‘follow’ & share my blogs, your support means such a lot X

How much had I been missing?

Today has been exceptionally good for me. I haven’t come into money, or met the man of my dreams, nor have I been on an exotic jaunt. No, my days was blessed with simple pleasures.

Despite feeling unwell, a fellow writer dragged herself out to pick me up, enabling me to attend a much enjoyed writing retreat in Frome. I had expected to miss it due to her illness, so being able to attend was terrific. I was able to do quite a significant amount of work, despite us needing to leave early.
I met several new people, hopefully recruiting a few new members for my writing group. I also paid a visit to the cottage that is key to my novel. All in all, an enjoyable morning. But there was much more to come……

The day has been very sunny and warm, too nice to go home, so I uncovered my mega size mobility scooter and headed for one of Wells’ jewels – The Bishops Palace. I was fortunate enough to have been given a membership by a dear friend which allows me free access to the magnificent gardens. I frequently go there to write, especially if I feel a little bogged down with hum-drum life. Today however, I simply wanted to bask in the sun.
I have recently been unwell (hence no blogs)and have become a slight recluse, purely because I didn’t have strength to venture outside. I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it.

I was filled with pleasure from the outset, having chosen to use a bridleway rather than the town centre. I’ve lived here for four years but for some inexplicable reason I had never used this route. Although the road has houses, they are non obtrusive and all the way there are overhanging trees and bushes. I immediately felt at peace. I even noticed the first blackberries of the season, something which, for some reason always excites me.
After a pleasant ride alongside the moat, observing the ducks and almost fully grown cygnets, I enjoyed a glass of elderflower presse, overlooking the palace before entering the gardens. That’s when I felt totally serene.

Leaving my mobility scooter safely inside the grounds, I continued on foot across the stream towards my favourite writing spot. Seating myself down, I tied my scarf around my shorn hair to protect me from the searing heat & settled down to get on with my stories, but was couldn’t. Sipping my water, I closed my eyes and enjoyed feeling the suns rays impregnating my skin. All around people were in good humour, due mainly to the weather I imagine, but I paid very little attention to them. The sounds of nature were speaking far louder. The water flowed, ducks quacked, birds chirped, leaves rustled and bees buzzed, I’m sure that I could even hear the insects scurrying around. It was idyllic.
My mind drifted to a time and place when I lived on Dartmoor, a memory that had become tainted by life problems. A storyline came into my head and as I quickly scribbled it onto paper, I knew that the happy feelings could be recalled. I felt myself smiling like a goon! Bare feet, scarfed head, a batty old woman sitting, grinning to herself but I didn’t care.

I spent a while writing before roughly sketching the scene. A couple of elderly neighbours stopped to exchange pleasantries before wending their way around the grounds. The Cathedral clock chimed. Taking a further sip of water, I realised what was making me so happy.
Life.
Pure and simple.
Life.

I have recently spent quite a while sharing the details of my 17 year battle with crippling agoraphobia. I’ve even had a near full page article about it published. Life is rapidly changing, new opportunities are making themselves known. I’m so enthralled with the fullness of my life, but I still hadn’t truly grasped what had happened previously. For seventeen long, lonely, miserable years I hadn’t spent any time outside. The warm air hadn’t brushed my skin. The breeze hadn’t blown through my (then long) hair. I hadn’t lifted my face to the sun, or heard the calls of the birds. I had been imprisoned through fear, yet it had affected me in ways that I hadn’t considered.

I now understand why it is so vital for me to encourage others to step outside. Face life. Face their demons, their challenges, their fears. No-one should take the elements for granted. It wasn’t just my physical freedom that I gave up – it was all of the years of poetry and song, writing and drawing. It was my potential that I had turned my back on.

I have been so fortunate to have been given another chance. If I could bottle that feeling of sunshine in my heart as well as my body, I would. Can you imagine sharing that with people in despair? Unfortunately I am unable to do that but came home with the knowledge of what I need to do.

I have been toying with the idea of giving motivational talks (not speeches)but have been dismissing it as a flight of fancy. It’s not. I have those feelings inside of me. I can write about them but I can also talk about them. I’m very capable. I KNOW THAT I CAN DO IT. It was the aftermath of the grey existence that was preventing me, causing doubt. The heady influence of the sun has warmed my soul, shone over my path, guiding me on the role that I was kept alive for. I feel so excited. I’m sure that the road won’t be smooth but it doesn’t matter one bit. I have a story to share, an ability to express it.
WOW!
A couple of hours ago I signed with a motivational speakers agency. The Universe won’t send me clients/jobs unless I’m ready. I’ve got no reason to doubt it.
My blessings are bigger than even I can comprehend. Yes I hid from life for so long as a caterpillar, protected in the safety of my chrysalis for the past few years. Now, today I have emerged into the sunshine as a fully fledged butterfly, dried my wings and have taken flight. I will be guided by the breeze of the universe. One thing is certain – I won’t stop until my job is done.
)0(

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that you enjoyed it.
If you did, please ‘share’, post onto your social media pages or even subscribe. I would welcome having you as a follower.
I am aware that my blogs are irregular-something that I shall attempt to rectify. Don’t give up on me. I’m still here, just sometimes a bit side-tracked.
Blessings and love to you all.
Rosie