Who would have thought?

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Don’t worry, I’m not about to fill my blog with tons of pictures and videos of my kitty but I found this quite strange!  

This is Willow, she’s my rescue cat. She had been born in a shed and rescued by the local cat sanctuary, which is who we brought her from. She’s not the friendliest cat to be honest and won’t be picked up or stroked. Well .. she will be stroked if she has asked for it first!  Other than that, she’s actually quite vicious but she’s funny, cute and very much loved by us.

That is why I found this so strange. I looked out of my window and they were both just sitting out on the fence, like they were just exchanging greetings? Please excuse the video quality, it was short notice ha ha! Also the boyfriends  brummie accent … dear me lol!

Brief trip to historic Warwick.

The sun was setting by the time we managed to find our way into Warwick yesterday evening. It’s such a quaint English town and everytime I visit, I find something new I hadn’t noticed before.

I have a habit of using my imagination to strip away all the modern and replacing it with horse and carts. Placing long victorian dresses on the women passing by with the bustles on the back. Replacing the baseball caps with top hats and the t shirts and jeans with tailored suits from back in the day.  England is at its best in these historic places along with our beautiful countryside landscapes.

Of course the architecture is stunning, which helps when trying to picture how it must have been to meander through these walkways. We didn’t venture to the castle but only living thirty minutes away, we will do so soon. 

The Globe, an eighteenth century Inn offered the perfect resting place to watch the world go by. Tea for me and an ale for my man … perfect evening.

My first ever flight!

Torrevieja Spain 

Fabulous rainbow appeared at my first viewing of the ocean.

I had no idea I could tan so well!!

Spain I love you!

I can not express well enough , just how much it took me to do this. I had been terrified of flying, the thought of even contemplating going to the airport let alone boarding an actual plane had always, without fail, sent me into a panic.

I was lucky to be with such a patient man, who had gently and persistently encouraged me to get my passport.  I remember the day it arrived through the post, feeling so excited and extremely nauseous at the same time. Of course, my passport photograph didn’t help with the nausea, what do they do with those things that make you look so dreadful?? Oh my life, I dreaded handing that thing over and part of me was really hoping to get pulled to the side and asked if it was really me on this picture .. ha ha ha! 

So my passport had arrived and it was all getting real. My partner had relatives in Spain and it was only a short two hour flight, so we thought this would be ideal. I would get to meet more of his family and not be on the plane for too long.

A few months to go and I was already waking with indescribable fear. There was no way I was going to be hypnotised so I started my list of affirmations which is something I practice now, when I’m faced with things I need to conquer. Here is my list, I silently said to myself multiple times every morning, night and as often as I could manage throughout the day:

I am a safe traveller.

I am protected whilst travelling.

I am safe travelling in an airplane.

I love travelling.

I am happy, confident and safe in all forms of travel.

I have to say as the months went by, I most definitely felt more and more eager to conquer this silly fear. I went to the Docs aswell though, (as you do when you’re becoming slightly neurotic) just to be certain that “I was fit to fly”. 

The morning of the flight, I was physically unable to speak! I was just mulling over my affirmations and dropping Bachs Flowers Rescue Remedy under my tongue like a desperate junky. I had packed every medication, for every possible scenario I could possibly imagine. 

I was ready!! Then the taxi rang to say he was outside and that’s when my legs turned to jelly. I’m surprised he let us in the cab with my stumbled walk, my incessant, incoherent waffling all the way, it would have been easy to assume I was paraletic drunk.

I managed the check in and actually spoke a couple of real words! To my disappointment, she didn’t frown with confusion at my passport picture but never mind. 

We went to the restaurant. I had a cup of tea and managed to eat a piece of toast while constantly kwelling that little voice in my head telling me to run back through those doors and jump in the nearest taxi back home!

We checked the flights and our plane was boarding. My stomach felt like there were hundreds of tiny diggers in it trying to escape. I went through the tunnel and we took our seats. We also took a selfie which I won’t post here for worry of frightening any frail readers. I looked petrified, behind a fake, overly unconvincing smile.

Whilst the safety procedures were being read out, I shoved my fingers into my ears and shut my eyes. Too much! 

The engine started to roar and so did my tummy. With my fingernails deeply embedded into my partners hand and praying in my head, we were on the move.

Oh my life! I loved it! That feeling of speed and then take off, I was so overwhelmed, I could have sobbed. It was amazing, the whole flight was great. I surprised myself by looking out of the window much of the time and the landing was equally as fabulous as the take off.

I can’t describe very well the awesome feeling of stepping off that plane and knowing that I was in a different country for the first time. I know it’s something that millions of people do for the first time but for me I had never entertained the idea before.  It was something that out of fear I vowed never to do.

It has been one of my biggest conquers and I am so happy and proud of myself for doing it. I can say in honesty now that I love flying, I love travelling.  It’s one of the most liberating feelings to know that you have conquered a fear. 

I can’t imagine denying myself these experiences now, such beautiful countries and places to see. Being in totally new surroundings, with sun shining and no rain, is something I constantly crave now and go at least once a year.

We had the most fabulous time. Spain is such a beautiful country and the people were so welcoming. The ocean is stunning and I can’t wait to see more of Spain in the future.

I would love to hear if anyone else has conquered the fear of flying and how you did it? Please comment below x

Holding on to Letting Go

Holding on to Letting Go

Yes I know there’s a lot of posts, meme’s  and blah blah about how positive this process is but do people really, totally believe it.  

Let me tell you, it’s not the easiest but quite possibly one of the best things you can do for yourself. I started with things such as, “have I even looked at that in the past year?” a vile green ornament that I couldn’t quite work out what it was but had picked up on a momentous family trip. The realisation was that, it was the trip that was momentous, not bringing back some tiny item that quite frankly had been stuck in a draw since its purchase for sentimental value.

Before I knew it, I had bin bag after bin bag with items of sentiment. Along with clothing from the 80’s “that might just come back in fashion one day” despite their mothbitten condition.  Also the four sizes too small garments “that I might just get back into one day”…. Now it’s my opinion but just chuck it out! Make way for new! How else are you going to make the room and the space for the new and improved?

So why not apply the same principle with the people in your life that no longer fit? Nor you fit in theirs either? There is nothing wrong with removing yourself from a friendship/relationship that no longer brings you happiness.  Removing yourself from the negative impacts these kinds of communications have makes room and space for the new.

Give it a try, start with those jeans you haven’t worn for the last 18 months and work your way from there. Donate them to a charity shop or put them in the recycle bin. Then hold on to that concept of letting go, it will serve you well for a lifetime of exciting changes. 

Third Step to Change – Taking Control

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So for me this was a big challenge.  I was now single, recovering from a very bad bout of depression and recently redundant after working in the same workplace for twelve years and I really felt lost.  I needed to gain back some control as being unemployed wasn’t working for me.  As pleasant as sitting in the Job Centre was, going over job after job then signing that dotted line, it just wasn’t my thing lol!

Working at a college for so long, certainly had its benefits and I was fortunate enough to be able to study towards lots of qualifications.  I was lucky to have qualified in a variety of Nail Treatments so that set me on a path of becoming self-employed.  I also believe it put me back on a path that I had started on many years before, when I was a teenager but that’s another later post.

In fact, I often wonder if we have some sort of reset button? ..  You know like, when you play a computer game but you missed a crucial part and can’t complete your task so you have to hit reset? Life is sometimes like that, you missed something and get drawn back to it eventually, it’s a shame we don’t get to keep all our youthful characterics like you do in these games though, along with the magic potions, healing spells and all the rest of the paraphenalia.  I digress now!

I did my research, looked around at prices, checked out my competition and started formulating my business plan.  I was sent on a Business Management course which was only for one day but a huge help.  Again, another challenge for me, as someone who had rarely left the house since my job ended, I had been sent on a course right across town, through some of the busiest areas of the city.

Armed with my Android phone and a sick feeling in my stomach, I left for the train station.  Got off at the right stop!  So I have to find the right premises in the next thirty minutes and the map on my phone is telling me it’s five minutes away.  Fabulous!  Only, I was new to maps, and it was on car setting … oops!  Ok, so my brow began to sweat a little but thankfully the walk was only going to be fifteen.  Now, I don’t know if someone can be geographically dyslexic but if that’s possible then I am, because it didn’t matter which way I turned, that little arrow pointed a different way??  I decided to call the guy I was to meet with and he stayed on the phone with me, giving direction until I arrived at the door, looking dishevelled but totally relieved!

My next goal was to find a room to rent, something small to start, preferably in an already established business.  I had placed placed an advert for my business in a local paper and before I had even started looking for a room to rent I had a call from a lovely lady who was looking for someone to do the nails from her Wellness and Holistic Centre.  Again, taking me back to a path I had begun on as a teenager.

Although, eventually this venue became  financially unviable for me, I met some of the most lovely, like-minded people during my time there.  I gained lots of experience, had so much fun and really enjoyed being part of a lovely team of people.  There were two fabulous women who gave me the chance to join their venues and I will always be grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to succeed.

I was inspired to get back into my Holistic training, going back to repeat my Anatomy and Physiology Diploma and finishing off my Reflexology Diploma.  I am now a mobile Holistic Therapist, loving what I do and if you had asked me a few years ago if I thought this would have been possible, I would have laughed in your face.

 

 

Second Step of Change – Getting My Mojo Working

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So with my TV permanently switched off and not wanting to become a hermit with only a bunch of stray cats and a box to call my home I decided to haul my forty odd year old ass to the gym.  Wow, those places have changed, right?  My first choice was a place that had a whole array of toning tables and vibration plates.  I didn’t need to lose weight, at 5ft and weighing 49kg, I was fine but I had smoked for more years than I care to remember, so I needed to gain fitness.

This kind of workout was great for me, it helped with my breathing and increased muscle and tone.  I felt physically fantastic!  It was amazing how much difference feeling physically fit affected how I felt in general but I needed more, time for a mind and spirit workout.

As I mentioned before, I love reading and studying.  The more unusual and mind opening it is, the more I want to know.  It’s here I discovered the movies, “The Secret”, “Down The Rabbit Hole” and “What The Bleep Do We Know”.  I won’t go into the details of these movies but if you have never watched them, they are definitely worth seeing.  It was a real uplift for me, I love all things spiritual, I keep a very open mind and neither believe nor disbelieve but question, discuss and research as much as I can.  These movies are very much quantum mechanics based and combine spirituality.  If I can put it as simply as I possibly can, it’s taking a look at how the things we think about predominantly, can affect our lives.  Basically, how keeping a positive mind, even if you have to flip a switch to do that, can have a positive affect on our lives in general.

I will write more on this process in later blogs because it became such a part of my life it’s too much to write here.  However, one of the first things I did, was to start and end my day with ten positive things about my life.  When people are feeling at their lowest this can be one of the most difficult things to do but if you give it some thought the positive things are there.  For example, “I woke up today”, “I have a place to sleep”, “I have clothes on my back” as each day progresses you will find more.  After all, if you are reading this, you have internet connection, a laptop or a phone?  That’s a good thing, right?

I took walks and started really noticing the trees, the grass, the flowers and the many beautiful things that we take for granted every single day, without appreciating and being grateful for them.   Before I knew it, my lists of positive things and things that I am grateful for were too many to write down, so I spoke and stored them in my mind and still do this now to keep me uplifted.  Everytime I have a negative thought, I swap it for something positive, I don’t have an internal battle and turn myself into some neurotic crazy person.  I just chose the positive over the negative, every time!

I also took up meditation.  It’s not so easy to meditate when you have such a chaotic mind but you can do it and it’s still as effective. Don’t believe people when they say you have to clear your mind of all thought.  I mean honestly? … We are not the most experienced of Monks that have been meditating since birth, in the most beautiful secluded mountains.  Quite honestly, if you can sit even for a few moments, in quiet, just concentrating on your breath then you can meditate.

I started my meditations through various books, including some by Doreen Virtue and Louise Hay.  Also via YouTube because initially I needed the background music or an instructional voice to guide me.  One of my favourites is Ekhart Tolle, who does a fabulous meditation guide, even giggling half way through when he talks of the suggestion of clearing your mind of thought.

This was my reset, my re-entry back into a very early teenage interest.  All things, spiritual, different and a positive way of living.  Looking at and practicing all the wild, wacky and alternative ways of life that are so simplistic and yet so self rewarding, I don’t know why I hadn’t done it years ago.  It doesn’t matter though, its my way of life now and its awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

First step to change – Turning off the TV

Ok so this wasn’t easy, I had been so used to loudness, the silence was quite crushing!  I have always been conscious of how media can influence and manipulate our lives.  The things we spend our money on, the way we spend our time, the worries we have etc, etc.  Sooo, I decided, that my time was going to be spent away from TV.  I would allow myself cheery movies or nature documentaries but nothing else!   It was time to remove outside influences and find out what I was about.

Sometimes, when we work, raise a family and be a partner, we can be so busy that we actually forget who we are.  Doing those things are some of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. However, as the family grows older, your own awareness catches up with you and its time to explore.

So, back to turning off the TV, apart from the fact it was so quiet, I suddenly had so much more time on my hands. My TV was off for two years! Yes two years without media influence, as someone whose empathy has me struggling with a news story for literally months at a time, this was much-needed solace.

Relaxation pic

I have a keen interest in religion (studying not practicing) so I read all the books that had been gathering dust on the shelf.  I found myself mostly drawn to Ancient beliefs and Paganism but I will write a post later about that.

I also learnt to meditate, joined various groups and started to excercise and go to the gym.  More posts to come on all those too.

It was a first step to recovery for me.  A step to building a life that I had created for myself, no more sitting back and waiting for things to land in my lap.  Time to stand up and go get it.