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.