29 November 2010

Dress code: Oh No

There's been a buzz in my office since Friday. Not of the recently discovered cockroach kind, thank goodness... But you can hear the faint whizz of emails between the few girls who work in my office, alongside the excited murmurs in the ladies toilets.

This Wednesday is my first proper work Christmas Party.

I love Christmas hype. I'm usually the one who hangs up mistletoe in November, and starts buying chestnuts as soon as they hit the shops mid October...  So, having heard all about the tinsel and taboos of office Christmas parties, I was hoping to be ditching my usual shirts, blacks and greys to opt for something more festive and fabulous to wear.

As I read the invitation, panic set in:
'We ask you to be inkeeping with the venue and atmosphere of the club and adhere to a Smart/Casual dress code'.
Oh no.

I'm sure 'smart/casual' and 'Christmas' don't fit on the same page.

I had thought about wearing a little black sequined number - imagining quirky ribboned bows on my heels and a good androgynous blazer to set it all off.

That dress code just downgraded my outfit from a Lamborghini to the new Fiat 500.

Christmas parties and work socials feel a little bit like the No Uniform Day at school. For me, it was always a giant freak-out the night before; sat on the bed in my underwear with clothes strewn about the place, desperately wondering what kind of kid I'll be perceived as at school for the next year, based on the one sole outfit I chose that evening.
I certainly haven't changed. Weekdays, I absent-mindedly pick one of the five rotational outfits which I have set out to the right of our wardrobe. Nice conforming colours perhaps, nothing too brash, tarty or exciting. These are the clothes which don't speak too loudly about who we may become once it hits 5:30pm - when our time is our own.

But now I'm flitting my wardrobe about in my mind - matching little black skirts with rock T-shirts, flower corsages and knee-high boots.
I wasn't the only one who feared wearing 'jeans-and-a-nice-top' whilst being placed on a table next to the CEO - who's wife prances about in couture. Whilst the girls secretly tried to find out what each other was wearing - trying to keep from wearing the most outrageous ensemble - and at the same time looking to trump the others, I decided to not freak out and throw everything I own about my flat. Not be the daring one who thinks that PVC trousers were a great idea. But remember that in order to look fabulous, I've just got to feel fabulous.

So what have I decided to do?
Yes. I've opted for the old faithful, the feel-good-every-time, the festive and fabulous...

My little black dress.

26 November 2010

Ode to the Tea

Oh, Tea. I love you. When my toes are seriously cold from wearing open shoes in -2 degrees weather, and my bones feel all icey and my lungs may have turned blue... Just when the train stops at each station declaring signal failures all up the line - you pop into my mind. I think of you when I'm exhausted from running like a loon to get to work on time, my nose is all sniffy and my ears are turning pink. I've forgotten my breakfast - no Muller Rice to fill my tum. *sigh*  I've flopped onto my desk with my coat still on, also gloves, scarf and hat. I look like an eskimo, a snowman, or such. Shuffle to the kitchen and pick my favourite mug - two spoons of sugar, teabag - stir - then milk. Just one little sip and im toasty right through. Dear Tea, there is quite possibly nothing, nothing in my world which makes me quite as happy as you.

25 November 2010

Beautiful thoughts, beautiful faces

Looking around the tube this morning, there were a sea of faces. Different kinds of faces. Some looked - as expected - half asleep (who could blame them, it was 7am...). One lady looked seriously angry. She was wedged between one very large gentleman with an itchy wool coat on, and an attractive younger woman with the bushiest hair I'd ever seen. Her face was all tense, eyes all darting about trying to squeeze herself out of the inconsiderate-people sandwich.  As usual there were all those mean people taking liberties in the centre of the carriage area, standing with legs sprawled, bums out, bags on shoulders - anything so they could keep the one square foot of carriage space to themselves. Not usually a gobby person (often) I politely asked them all to move a bit down. No one moved. Then I found my inner gob and yelled "Excuse me, we're all squished up here!".

shuffle, shuffle

It worked. I was physically able to breathe a sigh of relief. Looking about, I noticed that the face of the angry lady - who was suddenly freed from the bushy-wool sandwich - completely altered. With stress no longer plastered across her expression, she shot a relieved and thankful glance my way. Her whole face lit up. It was funny, for one inch of a second, she dropped her guard (put in place for locations such as the tube, the street and the bus to deter advances from weird strangers), and allowed me see who she really was.

I wondered what face I put out to the world when I'm face-to-face with a sea of strangers. (I quickly put on a non-creepy smile, careful not to grin at anyone in particular.) Our faces are our mask to the world. Maybe our eyes actually are windows to our souls. Faces are the first thing people (generally) look at upon meeting you, and then, the first thing people use to judge the kind of person you are.

Did you ever read Roald Dahl's 'The Twits' when you were little? What a marvellously horrible story. It tells of Mr and Mrs Twit, who aside from being actual twits, were very ugly people, both inside and out. And the reason, Roald Dahl explains, is all from thinking ugly thoughts.
"If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."                       
Roald Dahl, The Twits
They say that the kind of life you have had is written all over your face. To some extent, I believe this to be true. Each euphoric moment - the smiles have been written in the wrinkles around your eyes. Every hurt plays across your face in the moments you might be caught off guard. Forget palm reading, each person's face often tells their own life story.

When life throws hard lessons your way, yes, they shape your character, they take you on a rollercoaster of different emotions, but I primarily it is how you think whilst you are in these lessons (or even how you think about them afterwards - if they have hit you particularly bad) which is portrayed on the outside of you.

Consider the kind of thoughts you have. Are you an ugly twit? (I am sometimes...)
Do you send out love to the person who hurts you again, and again? Or do you feel bitter, and let anger eat you up from the inside, out?

Even just thinking beautiful thoughts, fills you with a warm, fuzzy, beautiful feeling right to the pit of your stomach.

So if it feels good, and it looks good - we've really got no excuse - have we?

Image cited from here

24 November 2010

Each to their own, eh?

I think today's post is a bit of a confession.

I was off work with a someone's-sat-on-my-chest-and-I-can't-breathe chest infection. My sinuses were terrible, I had headaches, backaches, eyeaches... and exhaustion to top it off. Pretty nasty.... but there was always...
  • The chance to hang about the flat in my pyjamas watching old movies like, Singing In The Rain, and Some Like It Hot, swooning and singing along
  • Hot water bottles by the million
  • Marvellous tea. Tea of all kinds; Peppermint, Earl Grey, Raspberry Leaf, and my favourite... Yorkshire
  • Big un-sexy socks and my Ugly Betty glasses - nice for me, bit scary for everyone else
  • Cooking like Delia - or rather attempting to cook like Delia with whatever I find in the cupboard. Makes for interesting eating....
  • Sofa beds. Duvet days.
I do try to look on the positive side of life.

So, my confession. Yes, it is a little bit that I loved being for a week, taking my usual Sunday Duvet Day and making it spread all across the week...

But actually, whilst I may look like a twenty-five year old, I'm really a little old granny in disguise.

I have a secret love, and it is crochet. I crochet all over the place. I even crocheted on the tube last week - amidst a few odd looks. 

I'm crocheting a multi-coloured square afghan blanket at the moment. Not sure how big it is going to be. Not sure just yet who it'll be for. But in pretty much every corner of our tiny, pokey, little flat are millions of beautifully crocheted squares ready to be sewed together for my blanket.

Having a bit of downtime meant I could sit on my tod in the flat at two O'clock in the afternoon and crochet my little heart out in peace, (cat on lap), without my man laughing at me, baffled at how a twenty-five year old would rather stay in with a crochet hook than trance it out with my peers in some sticky-floored club, cold and wondering how I'm gonna get home at 5:00am from central London with a tenner in my pocket.

19 November 2010

Friday I'm in love...

So many types of love... but today, I am celebrating possibly the most complex of all loves – my being-in-love with my man. 
If we go by our knowledge of period dramas (hurrah!) romantic love seemed simple – categorized primarily by the social class you fit into. You’re a farmer? Well, you cant marry the Queen, lovey.
It all centred around marriage. There were social expectations; no sex before marriage, try to marry into money, women – honour and definitely obey your husbands... But today most relationships are far more free – and thank goodness for that. The social pressure young people felt into choosing either a good marriage or a life within the Church, is luckily not the norm.
On the phone to my Gran yesterday:  ‘Guess what, it’s my five year anniversary tomorrow’.
(Hold your horses, not five years since marriage  - but since I was an infatuated teenager fresh into university, and he’d plucked up the courage to ask: ‘Will you go out with me?’...)
I certainly wasn’t prepared for my Gran’s answer: ‘Good Lord. You’re not marrying him yet are you – too young for that – I sometimes feel too young for marriage myself after making your Grandfather’s tea for over fifty years!
I was surprised. My Gran is a bit of a traditionalist. I remember being very young, around seven, and after being told that one day I would grow up and marry a handsome man, I piped up: ‘Ooh no, I think I’d rather live with him first – I need to make sure he’s nice before I marry him.’ Neither my Gran, nor my Mum were amused. Maybe social expectations hadn’t quite died out...
With my parents going through the nastiest divorce in history, I’m not hugely impressed with the white fluffy dress. Love and marriage does not always come together as Mr Sinatra would have us believe. Love just isn’t that safe or fixed. We are not in complete control of our lives, the events which might occur in them, nor in control of the person we may become in our future. In the case of my parents; they grew individually and at the same time didn’t grow parallel - they fell apart. The love got lost somewhere in the middle .

Perhaps an even bigger bash to love than focusing on your self too much, is becoming so engrossed in your relationship, that you neglect yourself – and forget how to grow individually. How easy it is – and I hold my hands up to this one - to love one person and love your relationship, but forget to love yourself.   It’s about looking forward together, rather than looking inwardly at each other.
Real, romantic love is like crystal. It’s so very delicate and utterly beautiful and can only take so many bashes before it breaks. It’s complex; two individual souls connecting on a love vibration, but two souls who feel, speak and hear life differently.
I have done what my seven-year-old self thought logical. I am living with my handsome man before I consider marrying him.  I am now fully aware of all his annoying habits - from cutting the end off the cheese in case it’s ‘gone off’, to stealing my deodorant because he forgets to buy his own – and thank goodness, it makes me love him more for his weirdness, not less.

Being in love has taught me that love is free and beautiful, and worth every effort to keep it from breaking, but it should be lived by the moment, not assumed for the future. I have been in love for five years, and it’s easy to transform years into expectation or routine but I am determined to live my love each day by day – and keep on reminding myself how special it is.


Looking outside the window, it's just beautiful blue skies, and sparkly reflecting sunshine off building tops and metal roofs. It's Friday. I've got a chest infection. And I'm staying in my bed. I just think to myself; what a good think it is, that I live on the 4th floor of a block of flats, and all I can see from my windows (apart from an inch or two of the Audi garage round the corner's roof) are these blue skies. Well, it's cheered up my morning, and it's lifted my spirit.
I love sun.

I'm not one of these put-oil-on-and-frazzle-like-bacon on the beach, sun worshippers... I respect my skin too much. I suppose I'm like a little flower.
I lift my head, and all my colours shine when the sun comes out.
It's uplifting; sunlight produces Endorphins - natural brain hormones -  which make us happy. FYI: So does eating chocolate, exercise, sex and smiling...

I like it best when my room is full of sunshine, everything is beautiful. It reflects of the mirrors, shines through my crystals on my coffee table - catching hundreds of rainbows - and draws our attention upwards. 
It's rare during November that we look upwards. When it rains, we look down. When it's cold we tuck our noses in our scarfs, and concentrate on just moving quickly. But bring out the sun, and suddenly everyone comments on the beauty around us, the way the dew sparkles on the lawn, and nature is brought up close and personal in our lives.

16 November 2010

Just for today

Paulo Coelho: “I know a lot of people who are going nowhere, very fast”.
Sometimes I want the world to just stop for a second, so I can get my footing, and exhale my breath. Life happens quickly. It changes by the day; your circumstances, but also what you know and understand. Often we don’t even notice how much we have changed before suddenly, ten years have passed.
It’s a frightening thought.

I was thinking back on my memories. Working through the random ones – pausing on those that made me happy – crying over those which made me sad. Flicking up and down through my life’s memories, testing myself to see how far I could go back. (I got to five years old, where I can recall getting a letter through the door accepting me into Primary School – hurrah!)

You see, I worry about who exactly I am right now. I believe that when I was a little person – we shall say, about eight – reflecting back, I well and truly felt I knew who I was. I liked making things, I liked Marmite pasta after school, I was bossy – I make my brother and sister play schools – I wore glasses, and I was the best reader in the class. It was simple.

When I thought to all the pictures of my past, my younger memories were my clearer ones.

As I grow older I feel I may have lost some of the ease of knowing what makes me, me. I am not just the little girl who collected flowers in my garden to make perfume – I am a whole lot more grown-up things too which I have collected along the way. As we grow older we become our reactions to the people who have left us, loved us, understood us, hurt us, tricked us and made us laugh.

A whole lot more complicated...

Appreciating our experiences, and loving how they have made us become, even though they may have hurt us deeply, is so important. It may be one of the harder things to do, but it stops us from exuding all those uncontrollable emotions like anger, jealousy and bitterness.

Perhaps think how lucky we are to have such opportunities to learn, grow and expand our minds upwards. I still love Marmite Pasta, but I love to listen now, and not just talk, I have learnt a deep empathy for people who have hurt.

It is through experiencing life; making mistakes and solving problems that we can make our spirit more beautiful and wise. The world doesn't need to stop for us to take stock of our lives, we just need to pause and give our spirit some respect for how we have got to where we are today.

The Reiki Principle:

Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today I will not worry.

Just for today I will not be angry.

Just for today I will do my work honestly.

Just for today I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.

12 November 2010

It's a bug's life in my office

There is nothing worse than being told that you have a cockroach (or potentially two) in your office. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a BIG animal lover – even the most commonly hated animals – like bats and rats, They’re sort of  vulnerable for being hated so much.
But I am NOT a fan of insects. Spiders give me the chills when they run – all the hairs on my arms stand up – but cockroaches give me feel-sick fear.
So I’m sat at my desk with my feet wrapped around my chair – feeling like one could crawl up my trouser leg at any given point.  
I remember when my cat had fleas from frolicking about in bushes too much; it was like every inch of my home was suddenly contaminated. You feel like you’re crawling with them – I immediately bought 3 bottles of house spray – blasted everything and quickly vacated (with the de-flead cat) and ran away to my Mum’s house for a holiday.
(I’m itching, just thinking about it!)
Ignorance is bliss, right?
I didn’t even realise cockroaches were a problem in London. Being told casually by my friend that “oh, they’re probably in most restaurants in London” was certainly news to me.
Irrational fears about insects are as their name suggests – really irrational; like me changing my sheets when I was eight, all because my brother dropped a monstrous spider onto my duvet whilst trying to throw him out the window.
My phobias are pretty common in the grand scheme of things – (does that make them less irrational?):
  • Claustrophobia in crowds – I can’t bear being caught up in a crowd of people – I’m quite little, and the feeling of being surrounded by people’s bodies – and ultimately their many auras – fills me with horror. I go all *panic attack*
  • Spiders. These little wriggly all-shapes-all-sizes Arachnids are scarier due to their unpredictability – and the way they run. I always feel like they are literally crawling all over me. I’ve got better since I was little and the latest school craze was for boys to throw Daddy-Long-Legs spiders into girl’s unsuspecting faces. *shudder*
  •  And apparently, as I have discovered today – cockroaches.
We know phobias are irrational as they make you over-react as your mind distorts reality – but fear is one of the hardest things for our minds to conquer.
A cute blog about phobias I came across called ‘Irrational Fears’ lists stories of reader’s different phobias – some freaky, some not quite so. They quote Franklin D. Roosevelt’s when he said:
 OK. I’ll stand up to my fear – I’ll face my cockroach, by unwrapping my feet from my chair and placing them firmly on the floor. It is only a little evil cockroach – a bug. Calling it a bug is far less scary...  Conjures up images of ‘A Bugs Life’ or ‘Antz’.
‘The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself’
However, I think that ‘Ignorance is bliss’ is a far better quote than Frankin D. Roosevelt’s brave statement.

9 November 2010

Little green men in my dreams

I had the most out-of-this-world dream last night (literally).
Now, I know that listening to other people’s dreams is one of those seriously polite but unbelievable boring things you can do. But I promise I’ll be quick.

I dreamt that aliens (bear with me...) had been hiding inside of the moon and suddenly they decided it was time to descend upon us from a little trap door from the bottom of the moon. Really. (A lot more happened – but as I’m not into boring my readers senseless - I’ve cut out some of the more hazy details...)

It was one of those dreams where when you wake up, your not 100% sure if you really did get abducted by little green men, or not. I promise I hadn't watched E.T the day before, or even thought once about crop circles...

Throughout the day our minds process many pictures, feelings, sounds, emotions at such a rate, that we don't often get the opportunity to contemplate or understand what they might actually mean to us. Scenarios which take place during our day can take a while to process within our minds on how we really feel about them - without our passionate emotions clouding up our viewpoints.
I mentioned in my earlier post 'do not consider painful what is good for you' how we rarely get time in our busy modern-day lives to really take a good look at who we are. Dreams could be the way our minds can exercise and explore the hidden meanings in our lives which go unnoticed in the moment.

The purpose of dreaming, scientifically, has never been fully understood or agreed upon, but the reasons why we dream have been debated since the beginning of time. 

A really rather spiritual way of looking at dreaming has to be the most ancient opinion. Right from, well, thousands of years ago, dreamers have purported to have been given messages directly from God, or receive divine inspiration within their dreams. There are 121 mentions of dreaming in the Bible, and even Paul McCartney believed he first heard the tune for 'Yesterday' played in his dream, stating:

So we get guidance from dreams? I could well believe it - but who's dishing out my guidance?

Psychologists definitely do not generally believe that God is hot-lining you hints of genius... instead that dreaming is simply a state of instability within our minds. Kant went as far to say that "the lunatic is a wakeful dreamer" . However, Freud believed that dreams were a way of expressing our (sometimes a little bit odd and sinister in Freud's opinion) unconscious desires.

So I decided to analyse my own little lunatic dream - check and see if I received any divine inspiration on the way - and find out what my mind may be telling me. Go on then, I'll share it with you.

Looking on Tony Crisp (dream guru)'s website I found this analysis on the prospect of 'alien encounters' in a dream:

"I'd dreamed it, I couldn't believe I'd written it. I thought, 'No, I've never written anything like this before."

"This usually indicates urges or feelings you find difficult to identify with; feelings of being an outsider in a group or society."

OK - I'm a new Londoner, new home, shiny new job - all new starts everywhere. Not too much of a surprise.

Tony didn't, however, have a category called 'Aliens escaping through trap doors in moon'.


OK. So I've got feelings of being an outsider. Let's imagine that externally (to the world) I am the moon - I'm all shiny, all familiar and safe whilst brightening up my society - but really, I'm on the verge of whipping out my Stanley knife to cut a little trap door in my external image and let out all those little green men telling me: 'outsider! outsider!'...

Analysis: I'm a scaredy cat in a big city and have no friends.

I'm sure God's not telling me I'm a loner - (at least not in this dream). I'm pretty sure being a big loner isn't a suppressed desire (Freud). I'll stick by my guns - this dream was my way of letting myself know that I still haven't quite found my footing in London. That in the whirlwind of change, sometimes you gotta let go and flow with it, and not hang on for dear life pretending it's all going well - as I seem to have been doing these past few weeks. 'Cos sooner or later your own personal demons (or in my case, aliens) will creep out and get you.

But maybe there really are aliens in the moon, and God's just given me a heads up!

(To be honest, I'm just quite glad I didn't fit into Tony's second 'senario' of the 'Alien' dream category -'Devowered by aliens' ...)

5 November 2010

Believe it - you're beautiful

I need a lot of TLC today, since I hugely abused my body with a big bout of work-related binge-drinking last night. Chant out loud: *my body is my temple, my body is my temple...*
These bodies we have made of skin, blood and bones etc are our soul/spirit’s ‘home sweet home’.  As a Spiritualist, I believe we arrive to this planet as pure Spirit – you might like to think of us as little balls of energy - or light.  I believe we choose a body for which to home our spirit in the time that we are here. Our bodies are ours, they belong to us and it is our responsibility how we wish to treat them.
It must have been quite a shock; a happy-go-lucky Spirit dancing about the astral planes to suddenly find myself trapped inside this ‘heavy’ physical body. However you only get one body to work with and it’s got to be a home for your Spirit for the whole of your life – so we’d better get used to it and learn to love our bodies.
But how many of you (like I do) look in front of the mirror and immediately lock your eyes onto those bits you dislike most about your body?
When I was thirteen years old a horrible little boy called me, ‘six eyes’.  Now, I had worn glasses since I was three years old, you understand, so the whole ‘four eyes’ didn’t bother me so much -  sticks and stones etc – I’m short-sighted, please get over it.  But ‘six eyes’ – this was something new - what on Earth?!
Turns out he had suddenly realised that I had prominent blue veins underneath my eyes – which apparently looked like another pair of glasses. Seriously. Where had these come from? I’d never noticed them before?!
It shouldn’t have made me think twice. However, subconsciously this must have affected me – for when applying my daily slap today (twelve years later...), the first thing I do is plaster a load of make-up foundation underneath my eyes.
Truth is – people’s opinions hurt. We are constantly seeking approval of our bodies from other people. Even the littlest dig about your body can cause years of hang-ups. What hope have we got of loving our bodies with all this going on?
Learning to love your body is a topic repeatedly featuring in the media. We are told ‘you are what you eat’, (thank you Gillian McKeith), we have to make sure we eat 5 fruit or vegetables a day, exercise regularly, avoid binge-drinking (oops), dont smoke ...
Phewph! No wonder most of us have given up on making our body a temple – it’s a lot to ask!
I believe that loving your body needn’t require a lifestyle upheaval, but begins with:
  • Acceptance that the body you have been given is the one you have to work with
  • Understanding that a lifetime of self-criticism cannot be undone overnight, so don’t be too hard on yourself
  • Realising that your uniqueness makes you stand out as beautiful - there’s only one of you in the whole wide world – now, that’s pretty special
  • Focusing on the bits you do like – make an open exclamation right now about just how damn good those bits are!
Each day, make it part of your routine: take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast – and then, pause. Affirm one good thing about your body out loud so you, your subconscious - and your neighbours if you’re brave enough! - can hear it, and believe it.
I want to hear just how beautiful you are!

Everlasting Love

Whatever today makes you catch your breath, fall down deep inside yourself or lose touch with who you are. Remember that love heals.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
-- Corinthians 13:7-8

How beautiful, and true.

4 November 2010

Poppies and pride

Ooh! I have to share this with you; it brightened up my morning!
I arrive at Green Park Station flustered - typical Thursday morning – I rummage in my bag for my Oyster card – find it eventually – beep through the gate – except as I walk out into the mass of people, there are soldiers everywhere, selling poppies for Poppy Appeal on the 11th November.  
I see a Scottish soldier with a brightly coloured kilt playing beautiful bagpipe music, and a soldier dressed in the uniform of the Queen’s Guard with his bearskin hat and many soldiers in their desert khaki combats representing the Afghan generation of the Armed Forces. They looked so striking. I marched from the station, with my poppy proud on my lapel, smiling like a loon at these very handsome men standing tall and proud for their cause.  

The Royal British Legion gives such needed support to millions who have served, or are currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Pick up your poppy today!
(I still haven’t quite lost my grin)

3 November 2010

'Do not consider painful, what is good for you'

Taking a little bit of time for the 'self' has got to be one of the hardest things to achieve. A lot of the time my days turn into one big automatic whirl. I play out my scene, speak my lines when duly expected, and as the curtain closes, I wonder what on earth just went on...  The one thing I’ve always been taught to do when I’m caught up like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz, is to breathe, relax and go within myself. Yes, it’s the first dreaded word in my dictionary; Meditation.
With life outside our minds so good at entertaining us, is it any wonder that our conscious mind is happy to natter about the menial things and shout ‘Entertain me!’ whilst staring out the latest episode of Ugly Betty or the fantastic goal on Match of the Day?
Meditation is the act of stilling the conscious mind, and allowing our subconscious mind in. You know, it still surprises me in the rare occasions I do attempt to quieten my mind, just how much relief I feel.
All these things around you which make up the drama of your 'life' are definitely all parts of you – but to feel truly awake to who you really are, and more importantly, to love who you are, you need to have a good look at your sparky little spirit -  which is 100% you.
I know I’m sounding like a self-help book. Truth is – I find it really hard to Meditate. The idea of having a good bare glare at my spirit sounds a bit scary – as beautiful as I think it could be. It’s the being still I find difficult – I secretly love the hubbub and chatter of my meaningless thoughts and find it quite comforting.
I pondered this problem on the phone to my grown-up friend, Caroline last night (very good meditating healer) who shot one word my way – ‘Discipline’. (Seems that must be the second dreaded word in my dictionary...)
Choosing not to meditate is like picking a MacDonalds over your Mum’s homemade soup. You know the soup will nourish you, fill you up, and make you feel better about yourself. But my God, how much more appealing is a quick-fix Big Mac?
As Euripides said; 'Do not consider painful, what is good for you'.
Ok, you win.

1 November 2010

Hangover of Halloween

Originally a Pagan holiday, so much Celtic history is rooted in ‘All Hallows Eve’, as a night where the dead could roam amongst the living. As not all these roaming spirits had good intentions, the Celts gave offerings up to appease their evil intents.
As I carved out my pumpkin on my tod on Sunday, I thought to myself how bizarre this whole weekend had been. There was definitely something in the air. Aside from the Draculas dancing next to Clowns and ‘sexy’ witches snogging human pumpkins at parties, I mean.
This something I seemed to sense came more from the ‘evil’-intentioned living than the dead. Everyone I encountered seemed hot-headed, confrontational and ready for an argument. I figured that this was most definitely not the work of mischievous spirits, but something far more down to earth.  
The Halloween I saw this weekend (I’m now talking about the Clowns and human pumpkins) seemed to be farcical and over-hyped – entertaining the idea that evil and darkness can be fun and on this one special night is allowed to be taken lightly. I am by no means a grumpy old woman (I promise – I even made a wicked pumpkin) but this kind of Halloween with children knocking on doors begging for sweets, feels a far cry from the pagan’s rather reverent offering of gifts out of respect to their dead.
Had the obsession with all things dark and evil turned people into little bundles of negativity? OK, perhaps that’s a BIG generalisation. But negativity does breed more negativity.
You can call me the Halloween-Scrooge, but I hope that by celebrating new cycles, like Samhain - the Celtic New Year, it will mentally, cosmically and any-other-way shift some of the hangover of this year’s Halloween.