Why me?

I began this blog, bursting with positivity. I intended to write a post, at least weekly, hoping to inspire others, but despite good intentions, I wasn’t organised enough. Posts were written sporadically, occasionally two in one day, then perhaps a month or so before another. It wasn’t what I’d intended.

I was filled with recriminations, yet no matter much I blamed myself, nothing changed. I told myself I was a failure. I considered giving up, but before I could make that decision, life set it’s own rules. A succession of personal and health difficulties took away my choice. After a period in hospital, I expected things to return to normal (or what passes for normal in my world) within a few weeks, yet somehow, it’s been almost almost 18 months.

Since that period I’ve been unable to write anything worthwhile. My books, short stories, even my newspaper column fell by the wayside. Many times I’ve tried to find my muse, yet it seemed to have deserted me.

Already in the throws of deep depression, I felt bereft. Why couldn’t I write? It had been my coping strategy, helping me make sense of the world, but for some reason, I was left stranded. My self-esteem and confidence were dragging along the floor. Life seemed pointless. Two years previously, I’d been riding high. I live with EUBPD (emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder) so life can be a rollercoaster but this felt different. A long battle with DWP over my PIP entitlement had left me frail and exhausted, a mild heart attack soon followed. There was no point in writing- I had nothing interesting to say. My depression worsened, yet I couldn’t see that it was probably the cause of my writing block.
It took anti-depressants, good friends and a lengthy period of counselling with a wonderful psychologist before I faced reality.

I’m not Super Woman.

No matter what I’d like to be, I’m a disabled woman in my late 60s, living alone, doing my best to make a good life in difficult circumstances. Once I reconciled myself to those simple facts, things began to make sense. The fog began to clear.

There is nothing to prevent me from writing. I may not be Shakespeare or Wordsworth, but I have a gift and people tell me that my words help them, furthermore, my disastrous life experiences mean I have plenty to share with the world. So here I am, back again, writing my first blog in an absolute age. I’m a little rusty and not without a bucketful of nerves, but I’m doing my best.

Once I’m back in the swing of things, I’ll attempt to post regularly, but won’t heap unnecessary pressure on myself this time.

We aren’t given a life rule book, we just make it up as we go along. No one has any other choice. A fortunate few seem to have a comparatively easy ride, sailing through life with barely a blip, while others are constantly on the verge of collapsing under the weight of responsibility. Allowing the pressure to suffocate us is futile.

As far as I know, none of us has superpowers.

In life, some have been dealt a good hand, others not, but while some thrive on stress, others can barely cope. Yet even in the hardest lives, there is something positive to grasp.

We can’t all be highly successful or wealthy, yet we can still be proud of ourselves. Almost certainly you have a special talent. Are you shaking your head?

Let me show you…

Are you reliable?

A good friend?

Perhaps you are creative?

Are you extremely patient with children or the elderly?

Do people turn to you in a crisis?

Is your shoulder always available to cry on?

Are you loving and caring?

Perhaps you gave a natural affinity with animals?

Do you volunteer to help, or raise money for charities?

Are you passionate about the environment?

The list is endless. You might not find it easy to blow your own trumpet, but that doesn’t take away from your success. If even one person truly cares about you, you are a winner.

If you believe you’re failing in some aspect of life, don’t allow it to define you. Illness or circumstance can knock any of us off balance, but it isn’t the end. Lick your wounds if you need to, then get back up and continue your fight. For you, that might mean quietly, perhaps behind the scenes. Do it your way. As long as you don’t trample on others, how you get through your life is unique to you. You might be overlooked, even loved ones may fail to recognise your positive attributes, but don’t let that throw you off course.

You are a wonderful, unique person. Even if you think no one else believes in you – believe in yourself. Stoke the fires to keep your shining light burning brightly.

You are worthy, just as I am. We deserve the best possible life. It’s there for us, we just need to grasp it.

If you want life to change, you need to change it. If you sit and feel sorry for yourself (as I did), opportunities will pass you by.

Remember, success doesn’t need to be measured by income or status.

A good, kind person us worth far, far more.

Don’t just dream it. Live it. Remember, you have the world in your hands. Cherish it.

Rosie x

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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.

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

Day of awareness

My post today is very different. I had a choice of subjects that I wanted to write about, however the following subject grabbed me by the throat & refused to be silenced, so here goes ……….

For the umpteenth time recently, I’m sitting in a pub just a few doors away from my home, simply because I have absolutely no energy to cook myself a meal, so am eating here. I had my day mapped out. I intended to do some housework,a little weeding in the communal garden, clean my goldfish tank & catch up with paperwork, as well as making myself a healthy meal. Things went awry after a friend called & suggested that we go out for a walk as it was such a glorious day. Although I’ve been struggling to stay on my feet as they are dreadfully painful, I decided to ignore the pain & take in the sights & smells of the Jewel in Wells’ crown – the Bishops Palace gardens. It is a fabulous place. I was fortunate enough to be given a membership for my birthday, so am able to visit freely, but typically I don’t go often enough. Today however, I forced myself & am so glad that I did. As my friend is elderly, he was happy to walk slowly, so we strolled around in the sunshine, sitting when needed, enjoyed a cup of tea overlooking the croquet lawn & had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Walking back towards home was less fun, as I was beginning to doubt if I could make it home & of course then I would need to make myself a meal. With the pub in sight, I decided to rest awhile & eat in the hostelry.

As today is part of the bank holiday weekend, as well as such a glorious day, the place was heaving!
I pop in sometimes for a cup of tea, especially if I need a breather before I get home. Usually, because I avoid evenings, it tends to be fairly quiet, but today the noise was at a very high volume. The doors into the garden/ smoking area were open, so there was a cool breeze, which was lovely. I sat by the open door, enjoying the fresh air ( well, tobacco enhanced, but air never the less.)

After ordering my meal, I returned to my table, clutching a diet cola, which is an occasional treat & did as I usually do – I took out my notebook & began to write. Although I have plenty of subjects on he go, I like to use cafes / pubs as a space for observational writing. Noticing the people around me, their behaviour, language, snippets of conversation etc is very interesting & gives me a lot of subject matter, as well as food for thought. Today was no exception.
I find that when I am writing, I’m in a near sound- proofed bubble, although I am aware of the volume, it hardly disturbs me at all.
What does affect me, although not as much as in time gone by, is the smell of alcohol. Drunken people cause me worry, but I think that’s because of my past. I am very conscious of them & give them a wide berth. It’s ironic really, as years ago, I too used to frequently drink far too much & at times could be as drunk as those that I now avoid! This made me think about my own behaviour at that time – did people avoid me too? I dare say that they did, as I have no reason to believe that I was any less obnoxious!
The smell of alcohol, especially beer has the ability to transport me back to those very bleak days, or should I say years? Like so many other people, I didn’t realise what a life destroyer & family breaker it was. Of course I knew the down side, but didn’t really understand until I lived with an alcoholic. No, I’m not a party pooper, most things in moderation are alright, but why have we allowed our society to become so dependant on drinking? A social drink can be undoubtedly pleasurable, but how many people know when they have crossed the line? I was sure that I knew, yet I drank far, far more than was healthy, even worse, I allowed it to destroy much more than my health! Being married to an alcoholic made it easy to excuse my own failings. Between us we allowed our family & finances to suffer. Having one or two drinks inside can make us loosen up & be fun, more than that……?
From a personal point of view, seeing someone that I dearly loved being transformed from a witty, clever man, into a bumbling violent wreck was heartbreaking. His life was being eaten away, simply because he was unable to resist drinking. He was not able to draw a line at which to stop, oblivion was his stopping point! He admitted that he no longer enjoyed the flavour, but would do literally anything to feed his habit. Thankfully My drinking wasn’t an addiction, so when I made the decision to stop, it was incredibly easy for me, but I was very, very fortunate! But for many people, how would they know if they were addicted, unless they tried to stop? Ask most drinkers & they will say that they could easily stop if they wanted to, yet they won’t try.

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With this train of thought, I began to notice the behaviour of some of the people sitting nearby. I’m sure that they would hate to read my observations of them – I would have!
Sitting next to me, by the open door into the garden area, there was a group of young women, (maybe in their 20s). They had obviously been enjoying their day & had presumably been drinking for several hours. They were excruciatingly loud & embarrasing – tomorrow they will probably have major hangovers. I can’t tell you how clearly I remember those!!! Their pounding heads & upset stomachs will likely affect their bank holiday plans, so why do they do it? Why did I?
One girl in particular, a very neatly dressed blonde with a beautiful figure was especially mouthy, shouting, swearing & being obstructive when it was time to catch their bus. Screeching, with elegant long legs going everywhere except in a straight line, she was last heard threatening to be sick on the pavement! Classy! Her friends were laughing at her, just as I’m sure mine did to me! One ‘friend’ was even capturing the image on her phone, no doubt sharing it on social media for the world to see. Thank goodness that wasn’t available during my drinking days! I wonder if she has considered the side effect of alcohol on her wonderful complexion & slim figure? I certainly didn’t!

At the table in front of me there was a couple, possibly in their 30s. Already there when I arrived, they seemed to be having a pleasant meal. Over a very short time, aided by several glasses of wine, the woman got progressively louder & louder. Without trying, I overheard many personal things that I’m sure she wouldn’t have wanted to share! I learnt where they met, how long they had been together & how much she hates his sister. I even know what her favourite sexual activity is – believe me, I really didn’t want to overhear that! As he went to the bar to top up their drinks, she began the ‘I love you’ phase. I’m sure that most people know how it goes : ‘I really, really love you, do you love me?’ ‘I love you too’ he responds, ‘but I really, really love you, much more than you love me – do you love me?’ “Yes, you know that I do” came the reply. Tearfully now,”Do you love me? Promise? Tell me you love me?” He grumpily responds & walks to the bar. She begins to sob uncontrollably. He returns & their drinks are wasted as he escorts her out of the pub. Their day probably now spoilt too. I remember that conversation myself. I wonder why alcohol brings out our insecurities?

To one side of me was an older couple, grimacing at the chaos a party of young men near to them was causing. They were having a great time, with no consideration of the upset they were causing. Eventually the older couple left, their part eaten meal, a sign that their day was spoilt through no fault of their own.

As I was gathering my belongings, ready to leave, another couple came & sat nearby. She was hanging around his neck, calling him ‘ babe’ every few seconds, alternating with criticising & swearing at him for how he was treating her. His response was to let out a very unbecoming belch! She didn’t seem to notice & was draping herself all over him. A couple of men, presumably his mates began to jeer & egg him on to ‘go for it!’ I was glad to leave! This may be normal behaviour late on a Friday or Saturday night, but this was at 6pm on a Sunday! At a time when there were several families around, it didn’t seem right!

Although now in my 60s I’m not at all straight laced & enjoy a joke & laugh as much as anyone, but I did find the pub visit an eye opener. Not just because of the behaviour of those so obviously inebriated, the main realisation was that although I can say that I was never that bad, I’ve no real way of being sure. Drink numbs us & helps us to have selective memory. I lost my family through alcohol ( not primarily mine, but it played it’s part!) thankfully, now single & teetotal, I am beginning to rebuild bridges with them. I would never try to prevent anyone from drinking, if that is their choice, but I wonder if things would be different if we were able to see ourselves as others see us. Probably not! Youngsters have an excuse, they are just learning, experimenting. It doesn’t make their actions right, or any less annoying but it is understandable. As we get older, it’s very tempting to gloss over our pasts, or burying them in the hope that they will never be unearthed.
Facing our demons, whatever they may be is a very difficult thing to undertake, but a very worthwhile one. Hindsight would be helpful, but not available, all any of us can do is our best with the tools we have. If we use them to try recollection, we can admit, even if only to ourselves, that we made stupid decisions, probably acted atrociously at times, embarrassingly at others. Most of the time they weren’t actually choices as such, we just didn’t think about the consequences of what we were doing.
Tonight, in the pub, seeing reflections of my past was horrible, yet illuminating. I have come through those days & although I can’t rewrite them, I can learn from them & forgive myself. I can move on.
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All of that said, I hope that you all have a lovely weekend. Enjoy the good weather, drink enough water & whatever you do,be kind to yourself, as well as to those you love.

Thanks for reading this, although not my usual style, it feels good to get it out of my system.
I hope that you will ‘follow’ or subscribe to my blog. I love sharing my thoughts with you all.

Love & light

Rosie x

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

Refinding the feel good factor

Last weekend, while I was discussing the viability of a vulnerable friend volunteering in a local charity shop, I did something that surprised myself!

The charity shop in question was unable to accept my friend, as they had no vacancies in their sorting room ( my friend is uncomfortable around people.) Me being me, a conversation  ensued, with the Manageress explaining how they were in need of till staff.  I heard myself asking if they would consider taking me on!!!  I certainly hadn’t had any intention of volunteering there, especially as my role has been as a flexercise leader with older people. I recently had to withdraw from my voluntary job, as it had become too physically challenging for me , which really upset me. I’ve been trying to decide what to do, I like feeling useful but my health has to be taken into consideration.  Hence the reason why my offering my services that day had taken me so much by surprise.

As a total believer in following where the Universe leads me, I realised that this had happened for a reason, so duly filled out the application forms before self doubt got the better of me. I should mention that this shop is one of the busiest in our City, so it would be anything but a quiet job!

At 12.30 today I got a call to ask if I was able to start this afternoon -at 1pm, as somebody had called in sick. Talk about shock!  It was actually wonderful, I didn’t have chance to doubt myself, or my abilities.  I am very aware that I can be clumsy, forgetful & tongue-tied, yet my head told me that I was more than capable. Most of my self doubt has been cultivated through years of depression & anxiety, now thankfully long conquered.

Newly found confidence allowed me to say that I would be a little late, as I needed to have lunch first, which I did. Then without panic or fear, I headed to town. There was no hesitation, I entered the shop, telling myself that I am as capable as anyone else. And I think that I proved it!

It was a really enjoyable afternoon. The staff were welcoming & after introducing me to the wonders of the kitchen & toilet ( vital!) I was left with an experienced volunteer. Thankfully the shop was quiet at first, although got manic later. I have been allowed to take things at my own pace , so haven’t yet used the touch screen till or taken credit cards, but it isn’t much different than using a touch screen computer. I loved it! I am a people person anyway & found a natural affinity with the shoppers, finding it so easy to chat naturally with them all. I was surprised that I managed to sell several of the more expensive items in the locked cabinet – I didn’t really try!  Our sales figure was good, the Manageress was delighted & I felt like I’d been working there for ages!

Where were the nerves?  It was great because I was able to remain seated between customers, so didn’t get too exhausted, met several friends that I hadn’t seen for ages & shockingly wasn’t tempted to buy anything myself! Absolute Win, Win!

I am so glad that I followed where I was being guided & trusted enough, not to try & talk myself out of it.  I have never worked in retail before, although have lots of market & boot sale experience. The job entailed me doing several things that were alien to me, yet there was no mistakes or panic at all! I don’t doubt that mistakes will happen, after all, I’m human, however I can’t wait to go again. Nowadays I am eager to learn new things, life is far too short to shy away from them. 17 years of agoraphobia have taught me that!

The absolutely amazing thing is that all of this, the new courage, the enjoyment of challenges & more, only really came to fruition one year ago when I undertook a sponsored walk for charity. Until then I had always thought that I wasn’t capable. That walk was a catalyst! My life continues to improve day upon day.

Retirement has been the opening up of my life & oh boy am I enjoying it!

Thankyou for sharing my journey,

until next time, take care.

Rosie x😊

 

It’s too easy to make excuses!

I have  been having a battle of wills with my inner saboteur.  It needs to stop!

My desire to become an author has taken over so much of my time, that I find myself chasing my own tail. I want to write all of the time. I let life get in the way. I tell myself that I ‘really should be……….’ I add different excuses all of the time!  It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually did the things that I tell myself that ‘I should’. Ironically I have perfected the art of NOT doing any of the important things, I waste time, often I can’t even work out where the time has gone.

Yesterday I settled down to do an important rewrite, ready for a competition. I was exhausted, it was late, but I persevered, typing, rereading, retyping.

Then the message appeared……..

Windows 10 is reconfiguring an important update on your computer. Please save your work or cancel.

I was too busy writing, I thought that It would be alright to finish what I was doing first.  WRONG!   The update completely took over my laptop before I had saved my work.  I convinced myself that it would be safe somewhere.  WRONG!  Finally at 1.30am  the install had completed, I eagerly went to Open Office to check my work – totally gone! Several hours of work wasted!  I’ve tried to convince myself that it obviously wasn’t good enough & that it will be better at the next rewrite.  Do I believe it?  Hmm, not sure.

Unfortunately my solution to this wasted work was to spend 5 hours wandering around the town today, instead of putting my head down & getting on with the job in hand.  Procrastination in the extreme.  I do this sabotage in many different ways, for example I hate having a pile of dirty dishes In the sink, when I want to write. Simple. Wash the dishes! No, I sit down, or maybe do something else rather than do them. I don’t mind cleaning the dishes, so why don’t I just do them?   Another example, I noticed while in town, that my mobile needs charging. That was over 9 hours ago, it still needs charging. I can’t receive calls until it is done, nor can I settle to anything else because I keep telling myself to charge up the phone!  It would take no more that a couple of minutes,  yet rather than do it, I’m writing about not doing it!  For some reason this sums up my way of putting things off.  It really annoys me, yet I continue to do it.

I have been inspired to write this now because I have just read a blog about making excuses for not writing.   Is that what I am doing?  Am I so critical of my ability to create something worthwhile, that I am using the flimsiest of excuses to put off the completion of any of my writing projects?  I know the answer.  I do this a lot.  I have used excuses throughout my life, usually for avoiding something that would take minutes to rectify.  One childhood memory is of trying to avoid cleaning my teeth, or washing my hands.  My Mother would check my toothbrush/ hands for evidence of use. Knowing this, I would go to great lengths to wet the brush, squeeze some paste down the plug hole, ruffle the towel etc, which took me much longer than just doing it!  I was a child then. That was well over half a century ago. I’m still using the same, illogical reasoning towards avoiding tasks. I want to do them, I want to get things done. I want a clear, uncluttered home, allowing me to have clarity of thought yet I still make excuses to myself that prevent me from doing them.

Bizarrely I don’t do this where other people are concerned. If something needs doing for someone else, I do it as soon as possible. Why is it different when helping others?  The answer is that I don’t like to let people down. This seems to suggest that I don’t mind letting myself down! Aren’t I worth more than that?

What can I do to challenge this behaviour?

The answer is so simple –  I just need to do, rather than think about it!  I made a start recently, I installed some to do apps on my phone & iPad, to allow me to keep track of things that I need to do & allow me to prioritise my tasks.  I felt quite pleased with myself. Good start I thought.  Hmm, I now have daily messages telling me about the overdue tasks, I haven’t even ticked off any jobs that I’ve completed!

Now I could use this ineffective idea as an excuse to stop trying. I could delete the app. I could ignore it.  Or……….

I could do something radical – I could actually try again. No excuses, no delaying tactics, I could simply start at the beginning of my list & work through it. Making excuses is a really pointless exercise, something that should have been left behind with childhood.  So I will try again. I won’t give up. I have an incredibly busy life yet could easily make more time if I simply became more organised & got on with the job in hand.

Having got this off my chest, I’m going to have an early-ish night & make a positive start in the morning, after a good nights’ sleep, but first  have to put my phone on charge!!!

bye for now, take care everyone.

Rosie 😀

 

Inspiration is everywhere!

I am frequently asked where I get all of my positivity & inspiration from, the answer is really very simple -in this beautiful, ever changing world of ours, inspiration is literally everywhere!

Far too many people rush around, barely noticing what is going on in the natural world around them. They fail to notice the diversity of trees in their neighbourhood & probably have never even considered the differences between them all. Each Country tends to have it’s own ‘signature’ tree, in Canada a large percentage of people would say ‘Maple’, in England the Oak is synonymous with our countryside – ( can you imagine Britain without it?)  However, I wonder how many of us consider the differing attributes of these beautiful features in our landscape?  How about the way they move in the wind?    The Willow, for example is fexible, graceful with strong sweeping branches that sway & rustle in even the slightest breeze A tree with similar structure but very different characteristics is the tall & slender Silver Birch. Like the willow , it too sways easily, but is extremely hardy & is said to be the first tree that would re-emerge after some form of world devestaion ( although I’m unsure how this could be substantiated!)   The Oak just oozes stability. In fact all plants & trees have qualities of their own.   People make jokes about tree huggers, but it’s not as bizarre as it sounds.  If you are feeling particularly stressed, which tree would you seek solace underneath?   Most of us have a favourite.   When you consider how long they have lived, what storms they have been through, how widespread their roots & yet they need no special care. They get all that they need from the Earth, Air, Water ( rain) & Fire ( sun).  No one teaches them how to grow, or whether they need to drop their leaves in the autumn. Like all living things, they do this automatically.  Their knowledge is inbuilt, as is ours, yet we have learnt not to trust our instincts, we rely on ‘facts’, books, tutors & other information sources. Have you ever wondered why?

How does all of the above relate to my search for inspiration?                                                           When I have a problem or am looking for something to motivate me, I don’t turn to technology, I normally can find my answers during silent meditation, a stroll around the garden or even just gazing out of my living room window.  We all know the answers to our problems, we just need to trust ourselves.  Our intuition works on most occasions,             (although unfortunately it rarely works for choosing lottery numbers!)                                   How often has an idea/ solution popped into your head, only for you to dismiss it as ridiculous?  What if you’d tried it, could it have worked?  Quite frequently the answer would be yes.  Fear & doubt stopped you, you didn’t want to be considered idiotic or different.  You didn’t listen to your inner voice!   Of course, unlike trees & plants, we have the ability to use common sense too, which sometimes we need.

I use symbols from the natural world for a lot of my inspirations.  If a notice a feather, I may walk past, however if I keep on seeing them, I may ask myself what it could mean. A traditional suggestion could be that a departed loved one is trying to make contact. I see a differing idea – to me, the feather is a sign of lightness of thought, or ideas that already floating around in my head , maybe I just need to pluck that idea from it’s resting place & work with it.   If I notice a lot of drooping flowers, despite rain, it may well indicate that I need to take more care of myself, or of someone else.   If I notice a single bird flying away from it’s flock – that one is easy – it is a sign that I must follow my heart & not follow everyone else. * Readers of ‘Jonathon Livingstone Seagull’, wonderfully  written by Richard Bach will probably understand why! A single sheep, running away from it’s flock, to me means the opposite – it makes me ask myself if I am just being stubborn!                      I use similar tactics when deciding whether something is good or bad for me, if something looks bright, healthy  & inviting, I’ll eat it, if I really fancy something yet it feels heavy or looks uninviting, then I’ll leave it.  Sometimes I surprise myself by trying a food that I’ve always refrained from, simply because it seemed to call me.I haven’t been disappointed once! If I get caught in the rain unexpectedly, maybe I need to consider if I need to clear away negativity. Symbols & signs are everywhere & just like inspiration they are just waiting to be noticed. When I write, I rarely plan anything, I trust that the right words & ideas will spring into life. I allow my inner voice to speak it’s wisdom, which only makes sense to those who need or understand it.

Yes, I’m aware that this all sounds a bit fanciful & weird, but that doesn’t worry me. I’ve learnt to trust my instincts. I don’t need approval or permission, this is my life to live, in the best way that I can. As long as I don’t cause harm to anyone else, then what reason could there be for me to stop? I spent far too many years of my life toeing the line, being unhappily ‘one of the crowd’. I conformed & absolutely hated it. I felt so stifled & unfulfilled. Years later I went to the other extreme & made a point of standing out & being different. I wore dramatic clothes, huge jewellery & wore my hair very wild & long. In it’s own way that was equally unfulfilling – I ended up just playing a part, still not finding a way to express myself.

Things are very, very different now. I write about my emotions, I bare my soul & risk ridicule, but finally I am being myself! I wear my hair short,wear very bright clothes, whether they are suitable for a pensioner is open to debate! I changed from vegetarian to vegan, but in a form that I am happy with. I live a fairly simple, uncomplicated life, don’t drink, smoke or gamble, but don’t feel the need to justify my choices, why would I?   I’ve been called a rebel, but I’m not really, I just live my life in the way that seems to work for me.   I don’t mind being considered an oddball or eccentric, ultimately  I have the last laugh.I have confidence by the bucket load. Very little frightens me. I’ll have a go at most things, does it matter if I fail?

I live a very contented, uncomplicated & stress- free life. I am extremely happy with the way things are going. I now need very little & feel comlete. I rarely get depressed or upset, have a good social life & plenty of friends. What more could I possibly want?

Love & blessings to everyone,

Rosie x

Challenging your own views

Respecting other points of view

I have a tendency to be very headstrong, especially if it involves something that I feel passionate about. I’ve always convinced myself that I know instinctively what is right or wrong for me. As I have grown in maturity ( questionable!) I have had to rethink a lot of my hard held beliefs, Particularly about my attitude towards anyone who tries to alter my choices without justification.  This has been very strongly engrained into my psyche, even as a small child I have had to fight for my often unorthodox attitudes to be given any serious considerations.

I was always dressed in beautiful clothes as a young girl & wasn’t allowed to question it, even though I wanted to be like my friends- I hated being different!                                                       As the years passed, my personal choices became very important to me & it has to be said that I have been known to deliberately dress inappropriately just to prove my point!             I have also been know to stick my heels in over issues that were really non important, just because someone tried to force me to do something against my will.  Of course this is a very silly attitude to take albeit one that many people subscribe to.

Occasionaly however it is worth rocking the boat if you really believe it necessary.   One example of this was at school when I was about 13.  I have always enjoyed all thing creative, partly because it allows self expression.  My art teacher was always telling us how things ‘should’ look & had a nasty tendency to alter our pictures against our will.  The final straw came when she actually took my paintbrush from me, against my wishes & totally transformed my work of art from something that I was happy with, into her vision of what it should have looked like. To add insult to that humiliation she then told me to pin it on the wall,  ready to show parents that evening.   I was a very reserved, nervous child who did as she was told at school & rarely got into any trouble,   but this time I saw red!!!                           I  REFUSED!      Point blank   NO!                                                             It was no longer my picture, I wouldn’t put my name to it!     Even under threat of punishment I stood my ground.                     I got sent outside to reconsider my stance, but it actually strengthened it.     Defiance gave me a feeling that I hadn’t known & I have to admit that it felt good.                                      Yes I got into trouble, both with my teachers & parents but it was a lesson I’ve never forgotten.

Unfortunately standing up for yourself can often backfire if not kept under control.    We all need to chose our battles.    Being the winner loses it’s glory if you choose to go to fight over every issue that you disagree with.     Equally unsuccessful is the attitude of always  giving in just to keep the peace – this causes unexpressed frustration & anger.                                               Balance as always is the key !

Following a very turbulent marriage, during which I found myself losing control of my own thoughts & actions, I had to work very hard to rebuild my confidence.   I struggled for quite a while because I couldn’t get the balance right – I couldn’t find the right way of stand up for myself without being confrontational.    With time & practice  (and lots of failures)  I  have more or less learnt how to express myself,   but it hasn’t been easy!    I have grown very strong & now am no longer afraid to oppose something that I feel is unjust.   This however can backfire,   sometimes we can be so wrapped up in the injustice of something that we don’t stop to question whether we may have got it wrong.

Writing is a newly revived passion of mine & whenever I have created something that I feel pleased with,  I protect it,  mindful of the art teachers’ clumsy attempts at improving my artistic talents.  I treat my new creations as if they are really something precious!   Some might say that this is as it should be,  but is it really?

I attend a writing class which I thoroughly enjoy,  however I am not too keen on criticism or suggestions on how to improve my work.   I tolerate them,    after all I know that they are being said as part of the course- no one is above learning & to do that we have to accept that improvements could be made.     This happened to me again today & although I accepted the feedback,   I quietly told myself that it wouldn’t make a jot of difference – after all,   it was MY WORK   not theirs!   I noted the suggested alterations  but didn’t really believe it was necessary.   However I found myself rewriting my story,  following the alternative ideas,    Mainly to prove to myself that my idea was better.   But was it?    Now I am not sure.     That’s the point – I’m no longer certain.  Both methods have brought pleasing results,  but both very different.  This has made me stop & have a total rethink,    not just  about the writing,   that will find it’s form,   but about  re evaluating  our beliefs & views.

We all know people who are totally sure that their way is the only way.     We are usually in agreement that these people are very deluded,    no one can always be right.   But how many of us are happy to relook at ourselves & our stance over issues that we feel passionate about?

As we grow, we change,   our outlook changes,   our actions change,   but do our views change?     I know that I for one have radically changed my thoughts on things that I once would have fought tooth & nail for.    We all need to follow,  like  or  do things that work for us.   We are not sheep.   All of us have free will to think for ourselves,  yet so many still follow  their parents’ political views without questioning why.  Too many women ( especially older ) agree with their partners views on everything,   as if they aren’t entitled to think for themselves.

I’m not advocating anarchy.   I’m a peace lover.    What I am suggesting is that we all look at why we follow certain things.   If after reassessing  our reasoning  we come back to the original belief, all well & good,   at least those thoughts will   be current & viable  for us personally.    In so many cases there is no right or wrong way, just different.    As long as we are true to ourselves, then our opinions really are relevant.

I learnt a lot today at the writing class.    (Once the dreaded pride was pushed out of the way.)    I’m a learner, no more, no less.    I’m inexperienced, that’s why I am at the class.  I need to be taught.     I don’t need to hang onto things out of principal.    I can reassess,  rethink  & change what I’m doing  or stay as I am.   My choice.   As long as it is my decision & done for the correct reason,   then it really is ok.     I can go with the flow, or swim against the tide,    but I really should understand  why I am doing it!

whether you agree with what I’ve said, or totally disagree, as long as it is your own free thought, then I am happy, this blog has done it’s job.

written with sincerity & love

Rosie X