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Monday motivation – mirror mirror of the world

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The mirror of the world is neither silver nor gold

Designed from unleashed potential and projected self importance

Staring into it’s abyss, often ignites the emotion of inadequacy and comparability

The reflection staring back internally wounded, but externally portrait as “having it together”

With weakness an enemy, the internally hides, eats away at the soul and self is conflicted

mirror mirror of the world, why so cruel?

But am I? Am I truly cruel?

For the subjection of self to staring into that abyss of a made up world, is truly the cruellest?

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Marriage: the apple metaphor

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I’m an over sharer. I try not to be, but when it comes to matters of the heart I haven’t mastered the art of saying too little yet. Thankfully, my over sharing has so far worked out favourably. I find in sharing and sounding out my thoughts, I inadvertently expand my learning and reflecting. This challenges my perception and awareness, leading to emotional maturity.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on marriage and my definition of it. I’m coming up to my 2nd anniversary in six months time and so far marriage has been a big period of adjustment as you’d expect. Though, not as daunting as i’d imagined.

As someone who often felt conflicted about marriage. Wanting it, but on my own terms, which really involved the concept of an arms length union. Not too involved, but present. I knew I would face basic challenges.

And sure enough one of my greatest challenge is space. I love people, I love my family and friends. But in truth, I have my limit of how much interaction I can take in any one go. I love my own company; space to reflect, cloud watch, zone out, not be on a timer is vital to my sanity.

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However when you are married with a child, space can become like an inexpensive luxury that continues to elude you, despite it being in great supply, apparent! As we mere portals spend 22.3 per week, averaging 50 days per year watching TV.

I tend to live in my head, especially when it’s impossible or unlikely I’ll have the physical space around me to reflect at the time I need to. With a child, a shared bedroom (forever) and one bathroom, where do you go? Especially in winter!

Is this what God intended? I found myself asking recently. When he said two become one. That you suddenly have a shared sense of space on many levels with another human being. You are free, but bonded to co-existing until death do you part.

For some reason my mind conjured up a metaphor of an apple. I wanted to say grapefruit but it’s such a sour fruit in nature, consciously linking it to marriage, felt over negative. So let’s link marriage to an apple. My reasoning, went something like this:

“I am an apple and in preparing and accepting the choice of marriage, I will lose half of who I am. Half of all that makes me who I am, selfishly and unselfishly. But having been forewarned, I get to take all the bits of me that I really want to keep and stuff that into the half of me going into marriage, in order to merge with the other half of my soul mate”

I know, I know! I am a drastic thinker. “Deep” is the word often used by my friends I believe. Explaining my crazy, yet totally visual metaphor to a newly married friend, she challenged my thought process straight away. Her response was simply “maybe seeing marriage as a predefined thing is the problem”

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Whether it’s a fruit, object or set of rules. Each half comes with their own notion and definition of marriage, often based on teachings from our ancestors or ideals we have somehow deduced as fit for marriage from our own observations growing up. But shouldn’t marriage be an individual thing?

Sure there are foundation truths in relation to the success of any marriage, I. e communication is vital and never go bed angry….honestly, don’t do it.

I concluded this from our conversation: essentially marriage is a case of two become one. But in becoming one, you both together, have the opportunity to define and redefine a marriage that reflects who you both are anytime you want throughout your lifetime together.

In looking at marriage from this standpoint, there is hope and a sense of adventure for the journey and the outcome. So yes I do need space, I crave it. But it hasn’t been taken away from me. I just need to refine it within my marriage.

And in doing so, I can be fully be myself. Managing my time and space to reflect who I am, my interest, character and separating out a time for us and a time for me. That sounds a more balance view I think.

Here’s what I say to me writing this and you reading it, marriage isn’t like an apple, it’s whatever we want it to be. The version, shape or opportunity drawn together by two becoming one!

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The view from my favourite place

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Standing by my new favourite place, staring out at the view before me, I pledge to be more present. To take in the world around me, I tell myself. To not be lost in this season of anxiety and stress.

As I look out the kitchen window, with a brew in hand, tranquillity washes over me. I notice the swaying movement of my neighbours backyard tree as the wind moves gently through each branch and gives life to the little buds of flowers breaking through.

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Cascading my eyes to the patch of grass on my right, in one swooping motion, and am met by beauty in the simplest of form. The gentle caress of the wind moving through each blade of grass, triggers my reality.

I want my life to be like the branch and blades of grass. An existence in which the daily challenges of life, move about like the wind, but I am not destroyed or overwhelmed by them.

There is peace despite the challenges, and I am able to exude tranquillity to those around me.

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The glue gun saga and the power of motivation

As a mum of a creative and free spirited 9 year old, I have long learnt that nothing is safe in my house. Old dresses can be transformed into three piece outfits overnight, beautiful cards reserved for little notes to inspire others, become papier-mâché’ and even my sanitary napkin once became a shoe. I kid you not! As proof below you will find one transformed into a unicorn/person.

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Having illustrated the essence of my daughter’s character, I must say, I wouldn’t wish her any different. She is motivated by her creativity, which in turn makes her resourceful and witty.

Not only is my daughter motivated by her creativity, she is also massively motivated by money. I recently shared a video via Facebook, relaying my excitement at having bought a Selfie Stick. It was purchased on a Sunday for £9.99, and used to film my excitement and left in my room to recover.

As I got ready for work Monday morning I noticed my selfie stick had a shine to it. On closer inspection, I found it had been loving wrapped in gold tape. As I started to unravel the tape, I realised the selfie stick was broken. The little clever clogs!

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I promptly rushed into my daughters room, voiced my unhappiness and told her she would need to buy it back from her Christmas money. That was the worst news ever! She chanted the whole morning “I am not using my money to buy it back” and I was adamant, she would.

I have to confess, she did not. Miss little clever clogs, on return from school used the glue gun she received for Christmas to glue the selfie stick back to together! Her response “told you I wouldn’t buy it back”. Forget the cheekiness, in that moment I was so proud!

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Motivated by her creativity and a desire not to spend her money, she resolved to find a resolution to the predicament she found herself in.

It reminded me that at times we can find ourselves in unintended circumstances, where we are presented with limited options or no options at all; effectively stuck between a rock and a hard place.

In sharing this story I want to remind you, that you do not have to be trapped. Let your motivation be your light, your guide, your resolve to finding the right solution for your situation, and not to the detriment of your money, your creativity, your values, your relationship or any other factor. But staying true to who you are

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I encourage you as always to find your “why”, and hold on to it in challenging times. Persevere and find creative resolutions. Be confident in your goals, in your actions and keep striving.

If you find this a struggle, here are some helpful tips:

Reflect on what motivates you and put steps in place to keep yourself motivated, this may include:

  1. Writing down 1-2 sentences that affirm your “why”
  2. Repeating it to yourself everyday
  3. Taking 5 mins out of every day to visualise your vision
  4. Buddying up with a like-minded person
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Monday motivation – Focus, not follow

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Don’t be caught up in the hum of others people’s plan or vision

You have thought about where you want to be at this point in your life, you may have even made plans

You have thought about the future and everything in the now is a stepping stone towards that dream

Your vision is not the work of another’s plan and you will not attain if by weaving your way into ” their exciting thing”

Support others, but focus on your path in life and what is right for you. Everything else is a distraction

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Your path is yours alone

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I had driven nearly an hour in a muddle of road works and traffic, to satisfy an innate need. At the point I mentally committed myself to undertake the one hour journey, logistics was not at the forefront of my mind. I simply envisaged the reward awaiting me. A classic cheese burger from Bryon burgers washed down with an Oreo milkshake from heaven. Creamy, indulgent, thick, flavoursome milkshake sipped from a frozen metal cup. Pure indulgence!

Whenever I go to Byron I spend quite sometime staring at the menu, only to order the same dish. The cheese burger, with no onion. I then through nosy glances admire the tower of a burger being delivered to nearby tables, wishing mine would arrive looking just like that.

As the waiter approaches my table, I’m a little disappointed. “Oh, its so small” I think; and then I get stuck in, already convinced I’m going to need something else to eat as this will not quench my hunger. It simply will not do.

Then as I take my last bite of the burger, having drank half my milkshake. I get super happy that I did indeed chose the right meal, because my stomach is about to explode! I couldn’t eat another thing. I take comfort in my Oreo milkshake from heaven.

This story is a great analogy of the need to stay on our own path in life and make decisions aligned with our values, vision and what you can handle. Not decisions or actions based on what we see those around us doing.

It’s easy to steal glances or outright follow another’s path because it’s looks bigger and better, and you think it may bring satisfaction. In reality it does not and will not. Because that journey belongs to someone else and not you.

I encourage you, choose your own path, run your own race. Make life decisions based the outcome you want for your life. That way should challenges come you will be able to face and fight them based on your belief and vision.