I showed one of my Positive Living groups the following videos. For those who’ve already seen (or couldn’t be bothered watching) them, the first one is about how we perceive ourselves, how we hone in our flaws and imperfections, and how we don’t see the beauty that other people see in us.
The second is a spoof on the first and I cried actual tears, it was so funny.
Afterwards, we drew pictures of how our souls might look like. I instructed the class not to think too much, to just go with the feeling. Below is a picture of my soul, drawn my me.
Then, I told the class to draw a picture of how they feel the soul of the person sitting beside them might appear. I reminded them not to worry about it being a work of art, to simply allow it to flow. Because I was teaching, I was sitting at the top of the room so there was no way my partner could have seen the picture I had just drawn of my own soul. Five minutes later, I was presented with this.
We squealed in disbelief and hugged. We had drawn almost the same image of my soul, except she had made it bigger, more vibrant and even more beautiful. And it’s not unlike the Sacred Heart, which is regularly depicted in Christian art as a flaming heart shining with divine light. Maybe it’s not so unusual to imagine a glowing heart when connecting with one’s soul but nobody else in the class drew a heart for themselves or for anybody else.
This was a great exercise and I thoroughly enjoyed drawing like a little kid, totally absorbed in colour, connection and creation. Why don’t you try it with your children, partners or friends? You’ll be amazed at what manifests.
Posted in Random, Spirituality
Tagged art, beauty, body image, children, classes, coincidence, colour, comedy, connection, creativity, dove real beauty sketches, dove real beauty sketches - men, drawing, imperfections, inner child, laughter, positive living group, self-criticism, self-love, soul, spoof, synchronicity, teaching
“I have an idea for a blog post for you,” someone told me this morning. “I was walking and, because it was raining, all the worms were out. I hate worms! Then, I realised that I always walk with my head down.”
I interjected: “That mustn’t be very enjoyable.”
“No it’s not,” she agreed.
“It’s great when you get these insights,” I commented. She nodded. “So, what’s the deeper meaning? The analogy for life,” I asked.
“Well,” she mused, “isn’t there some saying that goes like: ‘When you look down, all you see is the muck and the worms. When you look up, you can see the stars.’ Or something?”
Em, I’ve never heard that one before but I love the message that this woman has taken from it. When we’re plodding along in life, we’re focusing on the ugly and the mundane. All we can see is what’s wrong in our lives and what we’re afraid of. But when we have the confidence to hold our heads high, we catch a glimpse of the miraculous beauty and abundance that surrounds us.
Insight can visit us in the strangest of ways. Keep your head up and your eyes open and you’ll be amazed at what’s staring you right in the face. This morning, the rain-inspired worms helped open one lady’s eyes to the possibilities that lay just one chin-tilt away…
Posted in Random
Tagged abundance, awakening, beauty, boring, fear, insight, inspiration, life, mundane, nature, wisdom
A big thank you to Lisa from Random Encounters of an Inquisitive Mind for the Liebster Award! I remember seeing this award a year or two ago and thinking how deadly it’d be to have someone praise your blog with a super cool award like this. I must have attracted it my way with all my positive thinking
So, here’s what I have to do…
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award Presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.
11 Random Facts about me
- I prefer to sleep with the curtains open.
- I usually have a few books on the go at the same time.
- I don’t have television channels in my home.
- I start my mornings by giving gratitude and spending about five minutes in silence.
- I love the ocean, sunshine, cupcakes and belly laughs.
- I teach a Positive Living group once a week.
- I started this blog because I was feeling depressed over a man and I got the idea after watching Julie & Julia.
- I still have my blankie (which was once my grandma’s house coat).
- I’m half-Greek, half-Irish, and three-quarters mad.
- I was reading before I started school and I wanted to write so badly that I used to fill copy books with squiggles.
- For years, I had my little brother believe that his dolls and teddy bears could talk. They each had their own personalities. His favourites were two Glo Worms called Scrumptious and Snuggles. They were really bold.
My questions to answer:
- Why did you start blogging? Oops, I already answered this in Random Fact number seven.
- Would you consider yourself a writer? Yes. It’s been a part of me since before I could actually write. Check out my blog on this: Being a writer (and being the only one who knows it)
- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? A lot of what I’m doing now (writing, teaching, alternative health) but getting loadsa cash for it
- What type of music do you like? Anything that makes me feel the musician’s passion.
- Do you believe in love at first sight? It’s probably more often lust-at-first-sight but yeah, it can happen.
- Who do you love, and why? Ooh Lisa, I’ll have no secrets left! I love my family and friends and the people in The Lifeflow Centre.
- What is your most favourite thing to do? I’m not kidding when I say writing but also being in nature and having a bit of craic with friends (just to clarify, I’m Irish not a drug addict).
- What morals do you live your life by? Be present, enjoy life, do your best, share with others your joy and/or whatever will help them.
- Whats your favourite movie? The most recent one I fell in love with was Untouchable.
- What is your favourite quote? “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Questions for my nominees:
- What makes you laugh?
- What are you passionate about?
- Why did you start this blog?
- Who inspires you?
- Where’s your favourite place in the world?
- What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
- What good TV series would you recommend? (Okay, I’m being selfish now.)
- What’s one of your favourite words?
- Tell me something about one of your firsts (first kiss, first time you fell in love, first holiday…)
- Tell me a joke.
- What are you going to do with your award?
And now *drum roll please*, the Liebster Award goes to…
Okay, two things: some of the above may well have more than 200 followers but because I am a follower, I can’t seem to find how many others there are… And I really need to start checking out more new blogs. I’ll put that down as a goal for March.
Thanks for reading, thanks for following, and thanks again to Lisa! You’ve just rocked my Friday night!
I am lying in bed when Johann Pachelbel’s Canon starts playing. Tears spring to my eyes at the sheer happiness that emanates from this orchestra. In these five beautiful minutes, I marvel at how music must have been discovered. At how a violin is carved out of wood. And how someone decided to add strings and a bow and a chin rest. I marvel at the hours of practice, passion and dedication of the musicians. At how they all come together to play this magnificent piece of music. And how they must be feeling to be part of this wonderful creation. I marvel at how one man in 17th century Germany was inspired to compose such a masterpiece. And finally, I marvel at how all the violins and bows and musicians and passion and discovery and inspiration all sum up to this…
There is something about the wind in the leaves this time of year. It reminds me of the fizz of the ocean as it races up and down the strand. There is an entire symphony up every bark. A final farewell before journeying into winter.
This is my meditation music. I discard my iPod and tilt back my head. Leaves swirl from the heavens and blow across my path. Someday, I might understand the hum, hiss and chatter of the trees. If I stop awhile and listen.
Her arms are crossed tight over her chest. Her eyes flash. He takes a step back. His eyes dart from side to side. Her lip is curled back so her teeth are bared. I take a step back too even though I know she can’t see me.
The wind takes up her hair before whipping it back into her face. She brushes it away with her knuckles. He tries to speak but his mouth remains a perfect O as she raises her hand and smacks him across the face. He watches the ground. He doesn’t turn the other cheek. A single tear spills. I want to hold him, to tell him I love him, that everything will be okay, that it couldn’t be helped, that we never intended to hurt her. But I shouldn’t be here so I watch on in silence.
Her hands fly up to her mouth and she begins to shake and sob. He moves towards her. She utters one word, which freezes him in place. Finally, she allows him to speak. He talks and talks, streams of words I wish I could hear. She sinks down on the step and lowers her face to her hands. He looks around before gently sitting beside her. She doesn’t look up. Is she crying? I can’t tell.
He edges slightly closer. Soon, his thigh is pressing against hers and he puts his arm around her. Her head falls onto his chest. Her whole body shakes. Her face is wet and red and all scrunched up. I feel upset for her, at what we’ve done, at the line we’ve dared to cross. But it will all work out for the best. You can’t help who you fall in love with.
My eyes are drawn to his fingers as he moves them towards her face. He tilts up her chin with his big hand. He says something. She won’t look at him. He says something else. There is an urgency in the set of his face, in his eyes, his eyebrows, his mouth. She looks up slowly, then his face is on hers. Their mouths clash and push open. Their hands are in each other’s hair, on each other’s faces, in each other’s clothes.
It ends as suddenly as it’s begun. She pushes him, gets up and runs. This time, it is he who puts his face in his hands. I don’t move towards him. I cannot embrace him now. I walk away.
Sometime later – it could be an hour or a quarter of a day – he lets himself into my apartment. I hear him trudging up the hallway. My breath locks. He enters the living room, eyes downcast. “How did it go,” I can’t help asking. “It was hard but it’ll be okay. She’ll get over it.”
I stare into his face. I look at his lips – the ones that have kissed hers and mine and hers again. His left cheek is redder than his right. I stare and stare. I have nothing more to say to him.
Posted in Fiction, Love, Random
Tagged betrayal, cheating, deceit, fiction, guilt, hurt, infidelity, lies, love, relationships, sadness
I’ve just added a Fiction section to the blog. Hope you enjoy the first entry…
She comes with a spasm and thumping feet. And suddenly, she’s crying; all teeth and lips turned inside-out, with wrinkled forehead and scrunched-up, leaking eyes. In this moment, he sees everything she hadn’t wanted anyone to see.
Her mascara zigzags down her face. She thinks it’s waterproof. He doesn’t tell her otherwise. She’ll know when she next looks in the mirror. Plus, he likes the way the smudged charcoal emphasises the light green of her eyes. He prefers it to the previously controlled sweep of eyeliner. However, the total abandon she’s just displayed has made him uncomfortable. He wanted to fuck her, not find out what’s wrong with her.
“Sorry,” she breathes into his neck. She doesn’t want eye contact so she holds him tight. He’s still on top of her. His chest is squashing her breasts. He doesn’t ask her if she’s okay. He hopes his presence is enough. He’ll tell his mates he got the ride but only after they drag it out of him. He’s not a total asshole.
He wants to leave. Or at least roll off her. But he’s been raised better than that. He will make sure to thank her and take her number. She hopes he’ll ask to see her again. Not because she likes him. Because she’s a woman. And if he doesn’t call, she’ll feel used and rejected. She used and rejected him as soon as she orgasmed. She just doesn’t know it.
She smoothes the hair at the back of his neck. He doesn’t have a secure job. And he isn’t as toned as she’d like. Neither is she but she’s criticised herself for long enough. It’s someone else’s turn. He longs to leave. She aches to be left alone but hopes he wants to stay. So they lie there hugging, pretending a closeness they think they should feel after bumping genitals.
Below are some simple, speedy ways to uplift yourself… instantly!
- Smile (Simply put, this will tell your brain that you are happy.)
- SIT UP STRAIGHT (When you’re depressed, you slouch. Change your posture, change your mood.)
- Get out in nature (Energetically speaking, nature has a high vibrational frequency, which will override the low frequency of a bad mood.)
- Put on your favourite tune (And dance!)
- Read an inspiring quotation or watch an encouraging video (Buy a calendar that has a daily quote or subscribe to a blog / YouTube channel / Facebook page that posts regular uplifting updates.)
- Write down five things you are grateful for
- Say (aloud) five things you love about yourself
- Light a candle
- Take a few deep breaths
- Put on a slick of lipstick and your favourite perfume / your best shirt and sexiest aftershave
- Buy yourself a bunch of flowers (You’ll smile every time you walk past them because 1. they’re beautiful and 2. they’re a reminder that you’ve done something wonderful for yourself.)
Do one of these things right now and observe the change in your mood. Then, work your way through the list. Soon, you’ll be doing these things automatically because feeling good is so natural. Enjoy!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Posted in Health, Personal development, Random
Tagged beauty, breathing, depression, encouragement, energy, facebook, frequency, gratitude, happiness, health, inspiration, joy, light, music, nature, posture, quotations, self-love, singing, smiling, thich nhat hanh, vibration, youtube
I tentatively suck on a peppermint tea, its steam swirling like the dream sequence in a low-budget eighties’ flick. The taste transports me from my February bedroom to Tangiers, 2004.
I was sitting outside an ornate café with my new husband, drinking the most delicious sweet tea from a tall glass crammed with mint leaves. I watched the men and women on the streets, their robes gathering in creases as they walked. Cars weaved in and out of people; horns beeping constantly like a type of shorthand for impatient drivers.
I take another gulp and am reminded of the last time I drank fresh mint tea. About a year ago, a friend and I decided to dine in the Moroccan restaurant my ex-husband works in. As head chef, he didn’t have time to converse but he presented us with a procession of trays laden down with tasters of everything on the menu. By the time the main course arrived, we were already full. And then there was dessert. It was sumptuous.
We finished off the meal with mint tea in patterned glasses, which instantly banished the sickly stuffed sensation. When I hugged him goodbye, he didn’t really hug me back. That was the last time I saw him. He has since remarried.
The tiniest thing can whisk you back to a time or a place or a feeling. A waft of coconut sun cream. The rushing of the ocean. The smell of grass on a spring breeze. The delighted cries of children playing late into a summer evening. An almost forgotten song on the radio. The scent of your first crush’s aftershave. The feeling of a lake as your body breaks its surface.
This is beauty. However, it can lead to nostalgia, a wistful yearning for the happiness of the past. This dilutes the perfection of a simple moment with sadness, regret, loss, and longing.
The secret is to experience the magnificence of these minute details right now. There is magic in every spark and crackle of a winter fire. In the music of the wind and rain dancing outside as you snuggle beneath a soft duvet. In a tight embrace. In the pale orange and yellow of a young daffodil. In the comfortable silence that settles between two people who love each other no matter what. And in the feeling of warmth and serenity as you sip a peppermint tea.
Posted in Random
Tagged appreciation, beauty, divorce, gratitude, love, marriage, memories, mint tea, moroccan restaurant, morocco, nature, nostalgia, peppermint tea, presence, present moment, tangiers
Today, I read a mail from a dear friend who just got engaged to a lovely man she met almost four years ago while we were on Erasmus in Munich. I was a mature student and it was my first proper experience of what college life should be like. I hardly attended any lectures and drank lots of beer. The fun I had that semester!
I had earned the nickname Party Frau and because I was the one who organised all the nights out, My Dear Friend contacted me about the plan for that evening. She was young and Parisian. She didn’t speak much English and I’d forgotten most of my secondary school French but we made do with our broken German. We bonded over boys. She started seeing her now fiancé at the exact same time as I started seeing his friend. She got engaged and I got some short-term fun with a hot Norwegian. Moving along…
My Dear Friend and I became inseparable. I gave her jaunts on my cheap market-bought bicycle. We swam in lakes and smoked Marlboro Lights out my 17th-floor window. We made silly videos together (one hilarious one was of our ridiculous attempt at Unterwasserradfahren: underwater cycling). We travelled to Vienna and Prague and Paris. Her laugh alone made me laugh. We wore our matching Dirndls any chance we got. My Dear Friend wowed me with her cool, laid-back, affectionate, effortlessly beautiful self. We told each other everything. And when she returned to France and I was left alone in Munich for a fortnight, she made sure to have breakfast with me every morning via Skype. We’ve only seen each other three times since then. Once for Oktoberfest, and twice in Ireland. I owe her a visit.
Congratulations, Liebe! I am so happy and excited for you both. I love and miss you. Bisous.
In our Dirndls right before one of our many accidents...
Posted in Random
Tagged beer, engagement, erasmus, friendship, fun, love, marriage, munich, oktoberfest, parties, relationship