I Believe 10

From the Heart by Robin Davis

I believe that it’s not always easy to speak your truth.

I have been encouraged by the many articles I’ve read recently about authenticity.  About speaking one’s truth, about holding space for what is important and sacred for you, and about maintaining one’s integrity.  I want to be in a place where I can do this.

I believe that authenticity is a huge part of self love and self care.  I believe that it is about understanding what is important to you – your values, your dreams, your principles – and holding space for these things in your life.  Holding space by making sure that there is time to incorporate these things, by valuing them sufficiently that you carry them at the forefront of your mind and by respectfully giving them priority over what others might think.

But, I also believe that others, too, have the right to do the same.  We all have different perspectives, opinions and values, and we all have a right to express these in the way we live our lives.  I believe that I have a responsibility to respect the values and opinions of others – not necessarily to agree with them, but to hold them in an open hearted way that allows me to embrace all of who they are.  I want to be able to understand that their experiences of the world are not the same as mine and that as a result of this, the things that they find important may be different from mine, and that the way they express these values and perspectives may not be the same as the way I do.

Finally, I believe that words and behaviour can be used in a manipulative way.  They can be used to hurt and wound.  When someone causes you to hurt, it is human nature to lash out and try and make them feel pain too.  You want them to experience what you are experiencing.  You want them to know and understand how badly you feel.

But sometimes it seems that there is a fine line between speaking what is true for you as a means of self care and authenticity, and being hurtful.  This is something I experienced this week.  I was hurt and wanted explain my feelings based on my experiences, but also to understand where my friend was coming from, but I could see that my words were hurtful – and this was something that I did not intend.

I believe that there must be a way to speak my truth, to express my perspective without disrespecting others who feel differently.  I wish I knew how.

Intention

A day late – but here nonetheless!  I didn’t get round to writing my intentions for the week yesterday – because I was too busy doing them!!

My intention was to make a card to congratulate Awesome Daughter Number Two’s partner on his graduation (which happens today) – Congratulations Craig!  And to make two birthday cards – one for my sister and one for Tech Guy’s sister.  I intended to send off my post to the luscious Kathy from Bliss Habits, who most graciously invited me to submit a guest post for this week’s topic of Resolve.  Well, I got all of those done yesterday – would you like to see one of the cards?  Check out the end of the post!

It’s Tech Guy’s birthday on Saturday, but we’ll be away on our holiday and Awesome Daughter Number Three will be away on hers by then – so we will be having a Birthday Day for him on Wednesday instead!

I have embarked on a gluten/wheat free diet having read that it’s a quick and painless way to eat more healthily – well, it’s not quick and it’s not painless – but more about that on Wednesday. And I intend to persevere with this way of eating, with all of it’s challenges.

I still intend to publish posts for this week – on Wednesday and Friday – in between shopping, cleaning, laundry and packing, so it’s going to be a busy week!

My last intention is to come to the end of the week without stressing and to make sure I pack my journal so that I can remember and work through the challenges and lessons that will come up next week, because I’m sure they’ll rear their heads!

Have a great week yourselves – what are your intentions?.

Gratitude Friday 4

‘House Sparrow’ – photo by Richard Blackburn

Ok, I swore that I’d never do this – but there are so many things in my life that I am grateful for today, that this is going to be a list!  And since I’m no song writer, it’s not ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…..’.

So here goes:

The view from my sofa that looks out over our bird feeders and all the birds that come to them.

The cat sitting at the window watching the very same birds!

The gift of language so that I can write these words.

The buzz of the bees as they hover over the Californian lilac outside the kitchen window.

Gluten free muffins.

Three awesome daughters.

One amazing husband.

Sunshine and raindrops.

Books.

Satin ribbons.

The first cup of coffee in the morning.

The last cup of chamomile tea at night.

Poppies and aquilegia.

Freshly laundered sheets.

Mike Oldfield.

Freebies in the post.

Fabulous friends.

Oh, and you guys for your support and encouragement!

These are a few of my favourite things!  What are you grateful for this Friday?

Aquilegia (Granny’s Bonnets)

I Believe 9

I believe that sometimes in the spirit of self love and self care, we need to cut ourselves some slack.

I am tired.  Over the last few days I have struggled to sleep at night.  The energies around during the run up to the full moon upset my sleep rhythms.  I have a desire to produce quality blog posts and at the same time be available to spend quality time with Tech Guy on his days off work, or with Awesome Daughter Number Three who is now on school holiday.  I have made a commitment to producing three blog posts a week and have been asked by the wonderful Kathy Sprinkle to produce a post for her website, Bliss Habits, which I am totally delighted to do!  In addition I have been planning for a week’s holiday, organising the production of a variety of greetings cards and preparing for a graduation.  On reflection it doesn’t seem like I’ve got all that much to do, but when my body and head are crying out for sleep that doesn’t want to come, it becomes a mountain.

Awesome Daughter Number Two, Tech Guy and Me!

Yesterday Awesome Daughter Number Two graduated from University.  We attended a lovely ceremony and watched so many young adults preparing to move on to the next stage in their lives.  Beautiful classical architecture surrounded us.  Families dressed in their finery, bedecked with cameras to capture the moments.  Pimms being served on the lawn, followed by a departmental reception to celebrate the achievements of their own students.  Mortar boards flying.  Proud parents.

Then out for a celebratory dinner.  Joined by other family members, grandparents and best friends.  Wine, food and conversation flowed.  Plans made for the summer to come and reminiscences about times past.

But this week, it’s all taking its toll and as a result I am completely washed out.  I have enjoyed, or am looking forward to each and every one of the above activities, but because I have been so tired they have become more difficult than they should.

However, rather than beat myself up about all the potential failures, I choose to be kind to myself.  I choose to prioritise and order my tasks, to do the important ones and to leave the others or find a way of making them easier.  Today I show myself some self love and cut myself some slack.  I’ll be back tomorrow energised and ready to go!

embrace of a rose – http://www.ladiesat11.com

This post is published as a contribution to Amy Palko’s Beautiful Beliefs Project.  If you would like to know more about Amy’s Beautiful Beliefs Project, then click here Amy Palko or on the box – it’ll take you straight there!

Intention

‘Remus’ – photo by Karen Blackburn

My intention this week is to honour my blessings.

Recent reflections have shown me just how many blessings I have.  My wonderful Tech Guy, three awesome daughters, two cute kitties and a beautiful view of my bird feeders out of the window!  My (newish) blog has been well received and I’ve been asked to write a guest post for one of my favourites, Bliss Habits.

If you are reading this, then you’ll see that this blog is a fairly recent venture.  It was inspired by the lovely Amy Palko who began a writing project inviting us to share our beliefs.  Finding that my first response was too long to fit in her comments section, I began a blog of my own.  Now this all sounds fairly straight forward, but I have hankered for many years to write.  Only, I never knew what to write.  Creative writing was not my bag – I don’t feel that I have sufficient imagination (however, based on the changes that have taken place over the last few months, that too could change!), but I knew that I could write academic essays.  I loved the idea of blogging, but was hampered with thoughts of ‘what do I have to say that is of any value?’ or ‘who would be interested in anything I have to say?’  Well, Amy’s invitation must have hit the spot because I decided to try.

I have read copious books, internet articles and blogs about ‘finding yourself’ – because I have felt over the years that this is what I needed to do.  What I found was that the thing I took most comfort from was realising that other people felt exactly the same way that I did.  It seems that it’s fairly common to feel that you’re ‘not good enough’, not slim enough, not rich enough, not smart enough and I came to the conclusion that if so many people felt like this then it must be a human condition rather than truth.

With this in mind, I began examining my beliefs – picking them apart – looking at where they came from, what their results were and how they impacted on my life.  I have been inspired by articles by other bloggers and life coaches and. as I have explored my emotions, feelings and beliefs I have come to better understand myself. I have realised that while they all combine in a particular way to result in the uniqueness of me, they are not unique to me and I realised that if I can be inspired on my journey by others, then perhaps my experiences would be equally important for someone else.  As you can imagine, this journey of discovery is an ongoing process.  My beliefs are opened to question every day.  I jump to conclusions and make judgements just like anyone else does, but now I can recognise when this happens and explore where it comes from (although sometimes I choose not to go there because I’m not ready yet!).  This work has given me freedom.  Freedom to begin accepting that I am enough.  Freedom to begin accepting that I have value.

And so this week, my intention is to honour my blessings.  To appreciate Tech Guy; to tell my girls that I love them and am exceedingly proud of them; to cuddle my cats (when they’ll let me); to feed my birdies and to continue to share my journey in this blog with love and integrity – and to thank you for sharing it with me.

Blue Tit -
photograph by Richard Blackburn