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.

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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.

Accepting when to take a step back.

Unusually for me, I have been forced to take a spell of complete rest ( well, not quite as complete as I should!)
I’m a hard personal task master & dislike feeling useless or inadequate but occasionally everyone has to accept their frailties.
I’ve known that I have been over pushing myself but tried to convince myself that I was Superwoman, if I kept going, I would push through the physical difficulties & emerge triumphant. Of course this was never going to be possible!

I’ve been beating myself up for not updating my blog, falling behind with paperwork, not submitting stories to editors, etc. etc.

Pride?
Stupidity?
Stubbornness?

A bit of all the above and much more.
Now forced to have total rest, I’m paying for my stupidity, but it’s been a timely reminder.
None of us are perfect, nor can we push our boundaries beyond their full stretch. Equally none of us is irreplaceable. Being forced to swallow my pride & get someone else to take over the running of my writing groups, has been hard, but hearing how well they managed without me has forced me to rethink my superwoman status. I’m no superhero. Just me. And being just me is enough.
I’m thankful that I’ve been reminded of that.

Rosie x

Apologies for the haphazard posting but thank you for still reading my ramblings. Please share the link to this blog, to encourage me to write more regularly.
Thanks all x

Learning from disappointment.

I have had the strangest week!
I tend to overbook myself & end up burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle. Not one to give in, I keep pushing myself until I come to an abrupt halt. Recently I have been approaching the halt sign & had tried to reduce my unnecessary workload before I hit it – however I needn’t have worried, it was taken out of my hands.

Having more than one commitment a day causes me extreme exhaustion & pain, however sometimes it can’t be avoided, Wednesday this week was one such day.
Although looking forward to the first event ( as a mental health champion with Mind/ Rethink at a freshers day talking to students) it was expected to be tiring. Knowing that I had an important meeting the same evening, I was a little concerned how to pace myself. I preplanned my meals, double checked bus timetables & was getting close to worrying about it.

The evening before, it got cancelled.

I used the opportunity to attend a different group, then of course began to beat myself up because I was still over stretching myself.

On my return I received a message to say that I wasn’t needed at the evening meeting.

Hmm, bit weird. Maybe the Universe was making my decisions for me?

Following a very exhausting day at my voluntary job yesterday, I felt dreadful this morning. A friend gave me the routine lecture about taking things easier, which led to a discussion about my upcoming charity abseil –

Just received an email telling me that it has been cancelled!!!

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
As I rarely get stressed or worried about things, I emailed the abseil organiser asking to be notified if another becomes available,then decided to write this blog.

Just received an email telling me that another abseil is being arranged.

I wonder if the Universe is testing me or playing jokes?

It has however made me think whether I need to learn something from this. As always there was a very definite lesson trying to get it’s message across.
I have had to ask myself if I was getting a bit egotistical & full of my own self importance? Possibly I was. So many people do far more important & worthwhile things than I do. Of course to me, my achievements are big, but not to everyone else. I had been banging on about the abseil to anyone who would listen, probably boring the pants off them. Had I allowed my courage & determination go to my head? I had enjoyed the praise that I was receiving.

Humility isn’t simply a word, it’a life choice. Made for the right reasons. Not something done for glory, or to be boasted about. I had fallen into a trap.

Humility is about simplicity, about genuine care, about honour.
Part of me thinks that I should be ashamed, but isn’t that playing the same card?
I need to actually understand & learn from the lesson. Being ashamed isn’t the solution. I had strayed from my life choice, chosen to broadcast my glory. Been guilty of pride & tripped myself up. It wasn’t about doing anything wrong, it was doing things in the wrong way. I enjoy helping others, I do it because it helps us both. I don’t need to broadcast it. I’m no saint, just a person trying to fulfil my purpose on this earth ( as feels right to me). Helping someone so that you get praised isn’t what it should be about.

Acceptance & Humilty are all important. Or certainly should be.

I’m thankful for being able to understand what it all meant.
We are all trying to find our way through the maze of life. There will always be hazards, blocks & difficulties, without these we would be unable to appreciate when things are going well. The newer abseil gives me a chance to approach things differently. Yes I will still approach people for sponsorship but for the correct reasons – just to gain money for the charities, not so that I can bask in the glory of how brave I am. It lovely to be paid compliments but to accept them with grace is not the same as milking it for all it’s worth.

In gratitude & with humility I accept this lesson.

Rosie X

Thank you for taking time to read this. Please ‘share’ it with your friends. If you’d like to read more, please ‘follow’ me to receive notification of further posts from Rosieways.

Until next time, take care x

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

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

Life keeps getting better

Each time I believe that my life has reached it’s peak, it proves me wrong & something even more wonderful happens.

Despite my reservations I recently set up a free writing group which has been running for a few weeks now. Attendance has been comparatively low which has been disappointing, however I realised that I was sending out the wrong signals to the Universe. I had been doubting my competence, once I dismissed that notion & realised that knowing that I was capable was not an ego trip, things began to change. This week I have had several enquirers from potential new members. Hopefully they will all come but It matters not if they change their minds – I won’t.

Everyday I become more certain of my abilities. I am continually learning new skills. My enthusiasm is growing for the writing group as well as a few other projects that I have in the pipeline.

So many people believe that their life wanes as they age. I don’t believe that it does. What seems to happen is that we need to change our direction as we age. Things that inspired or interested us when we were young lose their appeal or are no longer relevant. Too many people are afraid to let go & hang on to what they used to do/ be good at. This prevents them from learning new skills & finding new interests that would suit them better. There is so much that is out there to learn & experience. Don’t let fear hold you back-
GO FOR IT!ūüėČ

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

When life gets in the way!

Having just come across this from last year, I felt that it was worth reposting. It has helped me to reread it. The decluttering is still ongoing………..

Recently I have been getting more & more bogged down with the practicalities of life. I’ve never been an organised person ( main reason for not blogging regularly.)I promise myself that I will become much more organised, spend hours sorting paperwork into files, boxes & drawers, then realise that I have no idea where everything is so neatly tidied away, causing a mad panic when I need to find something!

This has set me thinking about why I find it so difficult. The main reason is blatantly obvious – I’ve spent my life surrounded by clutter! My Mother loved clutter, 5 children attracted it like a magnet, poverty caused me to save everything & has been a difficult habit to break! The bizarre thing is that I hate living in such chaos! So why do I still do it?

I realised quite a while ago, that I found clutter comforting, because what I had on show was mine & it was a form of security. *(see one of my first blogs, where I talked about needing everything on show.) Once I felt more secure, I was able to begin the very long task of decluttering & letting things go. As regular subscribers will know, this has been an extremely long process & one that I mention regularly. I suppose it shows a) the amount of clutter I’d accumulated & b) the thorough job that I’m doing. I’m extremely delighted with my progress, my home feels far lighter & less oppressive, which in turn has made space to attract new positive energies, all in all, a win-win situation. However I think that there is more to my chaotic lifestyle, than simply clutter, but what?

Having an over active mind doesn’t help, because I find doing one thing at a time virtually impossible. I can be happily cleaning the kitchen, take something into the bedroom, forget the kitchen & begin sorting clothes, take washing into the bathroom & start cleaning the bath! (All the while, storylines, plots & characters are running around in my head, vying for attention!) If I’m not very strict with myself, I’ll just end up writing!
My bathroom needed clearing,being the place of cleansing my body, it made sense for it to be tidier to enable me to cleanse my mind more easily too. I looked around & realised the enormity of my bottles & jars collection. I am aware that many women have huge selections of potions & lotions, however I don’t use most of mine, they just sit there, gathering dust, filling every shelf. My mind immediately slipped back to my childhood, where I remember my parents arguing over my Mothers similar collection. Dad insisted that She get rid of them, which she obediently did. She was upset about it, but never filled the bathroom with anymore. I wonder if deep down, I’ve been following in her footsteps, keeping them to prove that I can!

I think that a psychologist would probably have a field day, untangling why I do what I do! However,the time has come for action, so I have now got rid of many of the unneeded bottles & have donated several beautiful perfume bottles to charity, which have raised quite a few pounds.

I think that this has been an important breakthrough for me. I’m not being forced to get rid of anything, I’m doing it out of choice, my choice -I am no longer allowing myself to be dictated to, or controlled by anyone else. When I give things to charity & they get a good price, I’m delighted. There’s no feeling of upset – it’s really freeing.
Occasionally I slip backwards, dwell in the past & relive the hurt.Thankfully I’m now strong enough to recognise it & pull myself back into the present. I’ve signed up for an online mindfulness course, which is due to begin shortly ( see Future Learn, for free courses) I’ve done a bit of mindfulness previously but have decided that a deeper understanding of these techniques will help me. I hope that they will enable me to focus more on the job in hand, not get so easily distracted & maybe manage my time more effectively. I’ve yet to understand why I’m not able to do so much more,since there are 24 hours in every day!

I am absolutely determined to become more organised, maybe even more tidy, (although I think that may be wishful thinking!) But I have a reason to overcome this chaos,partly because I want to be able to dedicate more time to my writing & it’s difficult to feel creative if I’m worrying about where I put something !!! But more importantly, because I actually want to!

A friend recently commented how nice my home is looking & feeling( she was diplomatic about the untidiness) this has spurred me on. Tommorow I am reluctantly rehoming my tropical fish & their large aquarium. I’ll be sad to see them go, but they are a lot of work to keep clean & it’s difficult for me to manage and realistically the tank is far too large for my room. It’s just another step along this enlightening journey.

For any of us to change, we need to make changes. It can’t happen by itself. We need to be willing participants. Saying goodbye needn’t always be difficult. Rather than losing something, or someone, you are simply freeing yourself to move on to the next chapter. Everything is transient, nothing stays the same forever. I refuse to be stuck in any form of rut anymore. I wasn’t ready before, now I am! I’m saying goodbye to this chaos!

I wish you all love & contentment.

Rosie x

Trust needs to be total.

 

Since I last wrote here, my life has changed considerably. My health continues to improve – not the pain, that is persistent, but a few months ago I took a really major decision – I needed to put my total faith in the Universe. What would be the point of fighting against the inevitable? Over & over I have been ‘told’ in my heart that I need to simplify my life, yet I am also being guided to take on loads more responsibility.

These guided paths have not been at all what I was expecting, or intending to do, but it has been like an avalanche, gathering more & more in it’s inevitable journey towards it’s goal!

As those who have been following me will know, I have been de cluttering for many, many months now. On the surface it would seem like the worst is over but actually it is getting tougher, but more satisfying. This may sound like a total contradiction, but it isn’t really. ¬†When I began to ‘let go’ it was fairly straightforward, anything that had bad or difficult memories was sold or given away & I felt a lot lighter & quite pleased with myself ( in hindsight, being self satisfied was a sign that I had a very long way to go!) ¬† ¬†The next step was to part with things that I liked, but didn’t need, most of these were given away as it felt wrong to gain financially over them. At this point I was also working on letting go of any emotional baggage or ties. I spent a lot of time looking inwardly, then trying to follow what I felt I was being told. ¬†¬†

One word kept being repeated – SIMPLIFY!

I tried to analize where would be the best place to start, I was already de cluttering & trying to spend less, but still that word kept coming!

One night, out of the blue I knew that I needed to simplify everything, literally everything in my life! I wondered how I was going to do this, when I knew.

I had to let go of my illness, my past ambitions, my constant planning improvements, even my dreams & hopes.   I had to let go of trying to control my destiny!     Boy that took faith!

(*I’m unsure what has happened, but two posts seem to have amalgamated, which has made it rather confusing! I will correct it when I am able to unravel the mystery, but until then, please accept my apologies)

To begin I had to distance myself from my own pain & suffering, after all, compared to the life that so many people lead, I have nothing to moan about, yet I still hear myself bemoaning how unwell I feel at times. ¬†I began using Self Reiki rather than relying on anything chemical. To that I added the affirmation ‘I feel great’, but I had to really work on believing it sometimes. ¬†This is something I recommend everybody tries. It is incredibly fulfilling answering a polite question about how I was feeling with a heartfelt smiling ‘brilliant thankyou’, the reactions have been almost totally positive. ¬† ¬†However it was difficult to maintain this belief, while still having a carer, so with a heavy heart, I let her go. ¬† I now take total responsibility for my own life.

During this time a neighbour was very unwell so I began helping her, visiting, phoning, shopping, cooking & probably more importantly, listening. ¬† Sadly she recently died, but despite causing myself pain, exhaustion & inconvenience I had really enjoyed it. ¬†I believe I had made her last weeks easier, but she repaid me in ways that no one could have guessed, she gave me a sense of purpose. ¬†I had always found ¬†being emotional quite difficult, I couldn’t show sentimentality, I always felt too open, it was too risky! ¬†But in helping her, it all felt natural. That was a real lesson in humility, one I hope I will never forget!I no longer feel that I need to dress up at all, or try to impress anyone, I try to be as natural as I can. By letting go of the public face, the genuine me is free to live life to the full. I began doing voluntary work, which I love. I especially love being a helper at a memory clinic. Their ¬† Dementia makes me full incredibly humble. They are watched, escorted, their liberties & identities taken away, but still they smile, laugh, take pleasure in whatever attention they are given, they touch, cuddle, hug & talk as if you have given them everything . Yet what sacrifices have I made? Given up some of my time, yet gained so much reward.

With the realisation that helping others was my biggest satisfaction, I chose to risk absolutely everything & have set up a business as a motivational coach. I am learning to be a life coach, but in the interim I am satisfied with being able to motivate & hopefully inspire people to live their lives to their full potential. I have sunk every last penny into this venture, the pain & exhaustion are beyond words, yet I am honoured to be able to volunteer with my dementia friends as well as putting my total faith into my newfound career.    Of course it is possible that this is just another lesson that I  need to learn, however that is a risk worth taking.

I believe that I am destined to walk a path of humility & service to the world. This business is a step on that path, one in which I can become fulfilled, help others & take responsibility for my life. Any money that I earn, outside what I genuinely need can be used for positive assistance to those in need.
Rosie x