Learning

Life

It is AGES since I wrote in this blog.  Why?  Good question.

The short answer is that life was too busy.  I was too busy.  I have felt lost in rushing.

I started writing for and creating a magazine and that took over.  Instead of doing 7 hours a week for a few articles, it became all consuming.  I enjoyed it and it was a huge learning curve, but I had no time for me, despite clearing other work out of the way to do it.

Magazine

I actually thought I would leave blogging behind for good, but the need to write down my thoughts and discoveries about life has become all consuming once again, so here I am.

So what have I learned?  Oh my word!  How long do you want to read for?

It never ceases to amaze me that nothing stays the same for long.  Life just happens around you and you deal with it.  You have no choice.  I thought many times that things couldn´t get worse and was wrong, but on the other hand, things couldn´t get better and they did.  I am both blessed and struggling, found and lost, grateful and demanding, all at the same time.

Sad Times

We are experiencing a sad time at the moment.  We are waiting for the call that my husbands stepfather has died.  He is in the final hours of his life, in hospital.  He has been ill for sometime and is very old.  There is a knot in my stomach and a dread for this occurrence.  Death is never easy to deal with and it brings tears.  We are so worried about Mum and how she will cope without him.  Their´s is a love story of many years and they have been devoted to one another.  I am an em-path, so I feel other people´s pain keenly and it´s hard not to take that on myself.

However, I cannot help but be so grateful to this man for the life of my husband.  He will pass over but he will be remembered and appreciated, even if we didn´t always respect his views.

He has been the biggest influence in my husbands life, because he found him as a baby.  Imagine a tiny baby, 5lb in weight at 5 weeks old, left in the 1950´s equivalent of a workhouse and there you have it.  In walks a Doctor, who has been asked to find a baby for the best friend of his wife.  That was Ian´s mum.  She was unable to have a baby and this doctor had offered to help.

He had a strict criteria.  He believed in genetics and wanted to look at the parentage of all the babies in the unit.  He found this tiny little boy was the son of an accordion player and singer, in the pubs and clubs of London, and his father was an engineer.  The baby was filthy and undernourished.  He took him home where he and his wife bathed, fed and clothed him, and personally hand him over to Mum.

My husband is a professional piano player and singer, and he can make a computer make a cup of tea.  I believe in genetics!  I´m a convert.

Peter

Not the best photo. 

So thank you Dad, so much, for the life of my husband.  Because of you, he lives, breathes, has a great life, has beautiful children and walks beside me every day.  I celebrate your life, because you gave him his.

 

Learning curve

I think that most people now have heard of the book and film called The Secret.  It´s all about how to manifest what you want in your life and I read this book about 10 years ago.  I tried to implement it as much as I could, but found it impossible. I wasn´t in the right mind, place, emotion, whatever, it just didn´t seem to work for me.  We still lost our business, house, life as we knew it.

Looking back over the last 10 year, however, I realise it has been working.  Because I read that book, the universe, spirit, God, energy has changed and I have been learning so much.  If only I wasn´t so stubborn, maybe I could have learned it all sooner, but that old adage of ¨better late than never¨kicks in around now.

My journey is ongoing and I promise to share as I go along.  Suffice it to say that gratitude and serving other people is key now.  Love is all.  I thought I knew that, but what I knew wasn´t enough.  There is an energy that comes from loving and I´m not just talking about being in love.  It comes from loving yourself, loving people, loving animals, loving the planet and loving the beauty that surrounds you.  It´s finding gratitude in every day.  Be grateful for just being able to breathe when everything around you seems to be falling apart.

And then there´s plastic!

Yeah, I have done a weird subject flip.

Did you watch the BBC documentary, The Blue Planet II, with the young whale playing with/ingesting the plastic bucket?

Whale with bucket

This disturbed me so much.  I have experienced plastic pollution in the Red Sea whilst in Egypt and was disgusted by that too.  Many other documentaries and News stories of animals dying and, perfect condition lolly sticks from the 1970´s being washed up on beaches, has led me to take a stand.

Plastic has got to do one out of my life!!

My husband is very worried. He has seen my “fads” before, but this is different.  I am a vegan, have been for years and I guess he finally realises this isn´t a fad.  We do not need to use plastic, so I have been looking for alternatives.

We´ve stopped buying water in plastic bottles.  We store water in glass ones now.  I use tin foil instead of cling film, shop with reusable bags, but although we´ve cut down, we haven´t cut it out.  Food is packaged in plastic, plastic bags are given to put your fruit and veg in at supermarkets, detergents are packaged in plastic.  Even water filters are coated in plastic.  It´s crazy.

You´ve heard of stone age and iron age, we are the plastic age and we need to re-educate ourselves.

So, my next purchases are bamboo charcoal and coriander to filter my water, mesh bags to buy my loose veggies in the supermarket and hessian bags for shopping, because even the reusable ones break down and become unusable in the sun.

That´s it for now, but I´ll be back.

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Eureka

Yes, it is literally years since I wrote in my blog.  I can give you loads of excuses as to why, but I’m not going to bother.  I’m just going to draw a line under it, pick myself up, dust myself off and start again.

As human beings, we are on a journey, and it doesn’t seem to matter what age you get to, you  keep learning.  We fill ourselves with knowledge about our jobs and interests, but it’s when we learn about ourselves that the biggest changes occur.

I sell makeup because I love the makeup I sell.  It’s ethical, cruelty free, plant based products and is exactly what I was looking for, for years.  The difficulty for me has been how I sell it.  It’s all about network marketing and, in that, has been terrifying.  You see, I can stand in front of 50,000 strangers and sing to them, but please don’t put me in the middle of that crowd, or any smaller one.  I struggle to function at parties or speak to new people.  I am happiest surrounded by people who know and like me, but put me in a room of new people and I am completely out of my comfort zone.  So much so, that I am prone to panic attacks, heart palpitations and breathing becomes difficult.  Not what you’d expect of an entertainer eh?

Network marketing is about meeting, talking to and befriending anyone and everyone.  It’s about sharing your enthusiasm and love of the product you believe in.  It letting people see who you are and letting them in.  Now that’s scary.

Thankfully, with my company, comes a lot of help and self development and that’s what I have been doing over the last 10 months.  I have been trying to “sort myself out” and get over the crippling fear of reaching out to people, but to little avail.  I didn’t feel I was making progress and I began to question myself.

What is it that’s holding me back?  Why do I have these fears?  What is my mental block that makes me too scared to try?

My eureka moment came yesterday as I was driving in my car.  What came, like a bolt from the blue, was that subconsciously I am not good enough.  Who I am isn’t good enough.  What I do isn’t good enough.  People don’t like me because I’m not good enough.  In short, I am not enough!

Strangely I found this liberating.  Finally I realised that the reason I feel not good enough is because as a child, that is what I was taught.  My family were all shy, undemonstrative, quiet people.  I was the opposite.  I sang, I danced, I laughed, I cried, I talked loudly, with gusto.  They all say I wanted to be the centre of attention and I was outgoing and maybe that was true.  With my siblings and parents telling me to calm down or people wouldn’t like me…  Be quiet people are looking….  People don’t like pushy individuals…..  You’ll never be any good….  Dreams are just dreams, they’re not real…do you always have to be so loud?…  You don’t sing, you shout!…. Stop getting overexcited…. and much worse, every ounce of confidence was stripped away and although I am a singer and I am incredibly happy in my life in general, I have realised, only yesterday, that as a Mum and Grandmother, singer, writer and everything else I am,  my subconscious mantra has always been, “You can’t do this, you are not good enough and you are not enough”

The liberation comes from finally knowing and the freedom will come from retraining my subconscious.  So now, everyday,  every time I remember, I say out loud, for only me and my dogs to hear, “I am enough.  I am good enough.  It’s ok to be me.”

It’s going to be a huge learning curve and I am going to have to mindfully analyse  every thought process until it becomes ingrained, but the fear has taken a huge step back and I am grateful for that.  Not out of the woods, but better.

It reminds me of how careful we have to be when we speak with children.  How damaging we can be to little minds, without realising what we are doing or saying.  Careless or deliberate words can cause years of misery and self doubt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad’s Immeasurable loss

The day my Dad died changed my life immeasurably without anything changing.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but I will try and explain.

I moved to the south of England when I was just 18 and left my family in a remote part of the North.  There I met my first husband, married, divorced, brought up two children, married again and then moved abroad.  At first, money being the issue, it was difficult to keep returning and sometimes a couple of years would go past before I could make the journey to see my parents.

When my marriage broke up, I was on my own.  Living in a different area with two small children made me more reliant on friends than family.  I did see a little more of them as they would come down to London on occasion to see my sister and Dad loved going to the proms.

Eventually money became no object and I would make the journey north as often as I  could, with the restraints of school timetables and work commitments.

Over the years,  our best form of communication, was the telephone.  Dad was a mine of information and if any of us kids needed an answer or advice, we would pick up the phone and dial his number.  I always had a need to tell him everything good, but never mentioned anything I thought could hurt our relationship.  If there was any possibility that I thought he would disapprove, it was never spoken about.  I needed him to be proud of me.

He was not a demonstrative man and would never openly say that he loved any of us, but we knew he did.  We were all incredibly proud of him too.  He was an intensely private, artistic, highly intelligent man who was awed by the natural world around him.  His knowledge of bird life and plants was immense and he was happy to impart it to anyone who asked.  That was the key.  You needed to ask.  He would never presume to tell you his opinions nor say he knew the answer unless asked, so he was a humble man too.  When you had the right question though, he completely opened up.  You could see the passion for his subject in his eyes and you would get caught up in his enthusiasm.  Our old neighbour still has one of the best gardens in the town after Dad taught him and it’s wonderful to see that garden and know my Dad still lives on in it.

I once called Dad from Spain, after seeing a pair of hoopoes flying around in my new garden, and in my excitement rang to tell him.  The first thing he said was, “Upupa Epops.”  I paused for a moment, wondering about his sanity before begging his pardon.  He repeated, “Upupa epops.”

“Dad, are you ok?” I asked.

“That’s what it’s called. It’s latin name is Upupa Epops and you will never forget it.”

He was absolutely right. I never have.

He died of cancer at 1.15am and his loss still haunts me.  I left my family that very morning and flew home as I had a gig that night.  It was a surreal experience. I left a house full of grief and took my broken heart on a plane back to Spain, surrounded by passengers who had no clue that just 4 hours earlier I was watching undertakers remove my fathers body from his house.  I stepped off a plane to sunshine and slept as soon as I got home, then dressed in all my finery and stepped on stage with a painted smile on my face and entertained people for 3 hours.  I still have no idea how I did it, but if I had my time over, I would not do it again.  My biggest regret was not staying to be with the people who needed me in their grief because I needed them.  Time cannot change it though.

I returned home to a place my father had never been.  Here, there were no memories.  I have no recollection of him sitting on my furniture or in my garden.  Unlike England, he never helped me design my garden or walk through the supermarket filling up my basket with all the naughty things he liked.  We didn’t go to the pub here or drive in the countryside or go for dinner.  He didn’t birdwatch from my terrace and inform me of all the species I can’t recognise.  Here, in Spain, he never existed.  I go about my life with no change.  But the change is still immeasurable.

I never stop missing him.  I never stop wanting to pick up the phone and talk to him.  Everyday I see something beautiful and know he would have loved it and I want to share it with him.  I see that little bird with a black cap and green wings and I feel robbed of his knowledge.  I want to show him where I live and take him into the mountains.  I need him in my garden.  I know I can live without him as I have during most of my adult life.  There is no change in that.  The loss of his love, support, knowledge, advice and presence is a change that is immeasurable.