Only for the “Lockdown” I may never have:
- Experienced gratitude for being allowed to go for walks.
- Followed the flight of a swan as far as my eye could see.
- Witnessed a heron spearing a fish with its beak and thought it was amazing (I’m vegetarian).
- Had so much quality time with my boyfriend.
- Got my boyfriend into Irish radio.
- Convinced my boyfriend to enter the daily radio competition so we’d double our chances.
- Dragged my boyfriend for his first proper canal walk.
- Felt surprised when he wanted to walk further than me.
- Wrote a poem about COVID-19 because all my cousins were doing it.
- Attended online classes via Zoom.
- Participated in a Women’s Circle (via Zoom).
- Attended a Life Coach (via Zoom).
- Started giving Life Coaching sessions over Zoom.
- Had video chats with friends, who live within a 30 km radius, using Zoom.
- Paid for a Zoom subscription.
- Watched a movie with homemade mini-pizzas, a nice bottle of red and a basin of popcorn on a WEDNESDAY.
- Listened to a podcast while lying on my bed. Listening to podcasts had only ever been a multi-tasking activity (alongside walking or cooking).
- Gazed out the bedroom window at a lone star.
- Listened to the wind in the trees.
- Had a day-time nap.
- Enjoyed bringing the bins out and hanging out the washing.
- Walked all the way to the “Big Tesco” instead of driving and didn’t mind queuing because “Sure, what else would I be doing?”
- Rejoiced when I spotted eggs in the supermarket.
- Let my hair go this grey.
- Reevaluated where I am in my life and what I want.
- Had all the time in the world to figure it out.
- Opted to write this list instead.
What have you been doing that you may never have done only for the “Lockdown”?
Posted in Modern Society, Random
Tagged affection, appreciation, blog, boyfriend, breath work, confusion, corona virus, covid-19, current affairs, drinking, exercise, friendship boredom, irish radio, life, life coach, life coaching, living, lockdown, love, nature, online, online classes, outdoors, pizza, podcast, podcasts, poem, poetry, popcorn, radio, relaxation, sleep, time, walking, wine, writing, yoga, zoom
Do you ever feel so bad about yourself that you can’t fathom that great things could happen? You don’t believe in yourself. You forget all the good that you do.
You close yourself off to all the love that surrounds you. You compare yourself unfavourably to others and see everyone else as confident, successful, flourishing…
You focus on the negatives. You spot rejection, failure and disappointment in every comment, action and imagination.
You push loved ones away then hate yourself more for doing so. For self-destructively banishing what you crave: love, care and affection.
They try to love you. They offer you acceptance. But deep down, you’re never going to measure up or be worthy of their naive loving of you.
You shut down the love. You silence the laughter. You dare not believe in your potential. It frightens you.
You sob. You cry. You let go. You open up. You let him in.
A smile breaks through. You can’t help but laugh. He’s so good.
He sees the best in you. You want to be that person. And one day, as you sip on a coffee in the afterglow of his presence, you realise that you are.
You are that bouncing, brave, beautiful person that he admires. But you block yourself.
You think thoughts and you believe them. You identify with the bad.
You stop dancing. You don’t feel the music. You forget who you are. You exist but you cease living.
While the real you simmers patiently beneath. Always there. Waiting for you to shake off the shackles and rejoin the dance.
Ready to roar in perfection. And smile and love and shine. And be free.
He loves you because finally you remember that you love you. You just don’t believe it.
Image: Author’s Own
Posted in Love, Personal development, Poetry, Positive Thinking, Random, Spirituality
Tagged acceptance, belief, beliefs, blocks, confidence, creativity, dance, depression, disappointment, emotions, existance, failure, faith, fear, feelings, focus, freedom, goodness, happiness, higher self, hope, hopelessness, inner soul, insights, letting go, life, life coaching, living, love, mindfulness, music, negative thinking, opening up, patience, personal development, personal growth, poetry, potential, presence, realisations, relationships, romance, sadness, self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-hatred, self-love, soul, source, spirit, spirituality, strength, talent, thoughts, trust, unblocking, unconditional love, vulnerability, writing
Yesterday, I took part in teaching a class. I prepared what I would speak about, dressed up for the occasion, and delivered my presentation. I received excellent feedback and felt I was behaving quite professionally.
After the lunch break, everybody was sitting and waiting for class to resume. I sat down and, right in front of everyone, I fell right through the chair, landing on my ass. We all laughed, my cheeks reddened (the ones on my face!) and we continued on.
As I sat there, trying not to guffaw, I realised that this was a hilarious lesson on not taking myself too seriously. I’d had an emotional week and I’d been feeling tired and fed up. It all felt like hard work. But I was proud of myself for getting through it and doing my best. And then I fell, bum in the air, in front of a room full of people.
Last night, I drank a glass of wine with my mother, watched ridiculous YouTube clips with my sister, and smashed open a coconut like I used to as a child on Hallowe’en. I slept in my childhood bed and didn’t get up until almost midday, skipping an all-day workshop that I could have attended.
If yesterday’s incident has taught me anything, it’s that I need to lighten up, have fun and enjoy life for what it is, instead of attempting to control everything and be perfect.
The funny thing is that, even if I do wind up bum in the air in front of everyone, we can all laugh about it, and the show still goes on.
Posted in Health, Positive Thinking, Random
Tagged acceptance, adulthood, childhood, control, difficulty, embarrassment, emotions, enjoyment, family, flow, fun, funny, hallowe'en, humiliation, humour, inner child, lessons, letting go, life, living, mortification, perfection, poetry, sense of humour, serious, teaching, the x factor, tiredness, work, youtube
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make the difference,
You see, it’s up to you….
~ Author Unknown
Posted in Poetry, Positive Thinking, Random
Tagged darkness, dream, friendship, hope, journey, life, light, love, nature, optimism, poem, poetry, power, song
Here’s one of my poems that my aunt read at the coffee morning yesterday…
in the hard concrete elbow
that joins kerbside and road
pink cherry blossoms
their once striking complexions
tainted with grey.
Maybe in minutes
a light summer breeze
will entice them to
rise in unison
with the sigh of the wind
like the hollow blow of a flute.
They’ll shake off their ashes
and revive all their passion
as they fly between sunbeams
these light fuchsia angels.
My aunt was asked to read a poem at a coffee morning this Monday so she phoned me looking for a few of mine to choose from. As I transcribed some of my words, I remembered the utter joy of poetry. Here’s one I wrote a few years ago…
Give her beauty and passion
and she sparks into flight
like a butterfly on acid
throwing light with her wings.
Oh how she casts rainbows
in the tears that spill
and plucks golden harps
of melodious laughter.
Her fires blaze in the hot eyes
of a fervent lover
while pleasure drops in sweat
She lurks amongst the Autumn leaves
gurgles in a virgin stream and
leaps off purple mountain peaks.
I see her fall with the whispering mists
and rise on the coin of sunshine.
Dizzily spinning beside moon and stars,
her silhouette rides angry clouds
that rage against the tranquil skies.
She swoops through many foreign lands
stealing romance and sweet aromas
then feeds me words not yet understood.
Forever roaming the ocean
glancing at corners
urgently probing for
just one sliver of poetry
to cover the silence
of this naked page
and awaken the butterflies
so I don’t plunge
Strip away all the bullshit
Layers and barriers
Walls of stone
Move away move away
I longed to be on my own
Damning the light
I felt damned
But I did the shunning
Afraid to live
I just wanted to feel safe
But it was silent and cold
Scared of the flames
I became lifeless
Lost so lost
But always one tiny glimmer
A flicker a glinting a beckoning
And so I returned
Passion and fun
Only to disappear again
Comparing and hating
Never knowing who
I really was
Crying and muting
Stalling and running
Better not to utter a word
Never admit it
Not worthy until I felt better
Part of it
The world doesn’t want red-rimmed eyes
Dark shadows and frowning lips
They only want smiles and laughter
Success and stories
It’s all bullshit
Who’s really here?
Who really gives themselves?
Who dares to stand in truth and presence?
Where’s that connection?
I’m ready to meet you
And really embrace you
Because I’ve cracked and broken
I’m coming in
It’s lonely over here
Isn’t this what I asked for
Every time I retreated?
Don’t get too close
Here was where I was racing
Always running away
Or running towards
I’ve stopped running
So I can finally see
Whether they give themselves or not
Here or not
Is it true?
What is real?
All around and everywhere
I am here now
I am here
Posted in Poetry
Tagged awareness, connection, depression, loneliness, love, personal development, poem, poetry, relationships, self-hatred, spirituality
Why is dreaming big so frowned upon? When a child announces that he’s going to be a dancer, his parents and teachers hope he’ll grow out of it. Why is it more acceptable to say you want to be a doctor or a teacher, rather than a playwright or a photographer?
Simple. It’s because the people who care about you want to protect you from disappointment and hardship. Because your talent, no matter how much you and your loved ones appreciate it, might not be to everyone’s taste. Because so few people blessed / cursed with creativity “make it”. Because “struggling” is the most common adjective to describe “artist” or “actor” or “writer”. Because they want you to be safe and get a “real” job – one that comes with a company car and a pension. So, you’re advised to just be realistic.
But what’s realistic is acknowledging your gifts and doing something with them. What’s realistic is at least giving it a shot. What’s realistic is wanting to live a happy life doing something you’re passionate about.
Of course, it’s easier to live a normal life. Sharing your creativity means baring your soul. It means lifting the comfortable veil that most of us wear. There can be no secrets when you allow others to glimpse the depths of your emotion, the shades of your pain, the hidden creases of your heart, and the crevices of your imagination.
Sadly, many people don’t even try to pursue their passion. They know they’ve got something special but they’ve given up on it before they’ve even started. Or they’ve never had the time or space to explore their creativity. There are too many bored secretaries, frustrated sales reps and depressed accountants. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning these occupations. Creativity manifests in many forms. I’d just hope that if you work at one of these professions, it’s because order or commerce or numbers are your passion. And if not, that you’d at least humour your creative side on the weekends.
Without dreamers, the world would be a very dull place. We would never have even heard of music, poetry, theatre or literature. If nobody took a chance on their dreams, there would be no Harry Potter or Bilbo Baggins, Dracula or Holly Golightly. We wouldn’t be able to talk on the phone or fly to another continent. Andrea Bocelli would be just another blind Italian. And we wouldn’t have the likes of this.
Starry Night - Vincent van Gogh
Featured Image: Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe – http://www.artchive.com/artchive/O/okeefe.html
Other Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amandamabel/5597604359/;
Posted in Modern Society
Tagged actor, andrea bocelli, art, artist, belief, bilbo baggins, blind, career, child, company car, creativity, dance, dance of the sugar plum fairy, doctor, dracula, dreams, emotion, fight, georgia o'keeffe, harry potter, heart, holly golightly, imagination, italian, job, led zeppelin, money, music, occupation, pain, painting, parent, passion, pension, playwright, poetry, poverty, profession, salary, self-belief, singer, soul, stairway to heaven, starry night, struggles, success, tchaikovsky, teacher, theatre, vincent van gogh, writer
Creativity brings colour and beauty to our lives. Be it a painting, a photograph or a piece of writing… But music is a worldwide currency, a universal language. It helps us feel less alone in our grief and confusion. It can seem like the lyrics have been wrenched straight from our swirling thoughts and splintering hearts.
Music adds force and meaning to drama and advertising. A simple song can bring a person to tears. Music unites people and collects them on the dance floor. It gives them license to sing into their hair brushes and whoop from their car windows.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Berthold Auerbach
Music encourages sharing. When we come across a new favourite song, we rush to post a link on Facebook and burn copies for our best friends. Music is especially delightful when it comes with a really cool video and a voice as satisfying as an impossible-to-reach back-scratch…
In the thought-provoking blog, 365 Days of Gratitude, there’s a section called Resonating Sounds, where the writer uploads some of her favourite tracks. Great idea! And it’s how I came across this fantastic cover of Robyn’s Be Mine…
This may be insensitive of me but when I was sent the following viral YouTube clip, the accompanying song made as much of an impact on me as its tear-jerking message about the unfortunately rampant issue of bullying…
When someone you know pursues their passion and you can watch them make a name for themselves, it’s exciting and encouraging. Carosel’s Michelle Phelan is what sunbeams and angel wings would sound like if they sang…
“Discovering” a new artist is particularly pleasing. Check out upcoming Irish talent, Laura Hughes, here.
Music is powerful. It lifts you up when you’re down, invigorates you before a night out, and motivates you on a run. It can soothe the rawest of emotions, remind you of a lover, and envelope you in a childhood summer. Music connects us and contents us and inspires us…
"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." Leopold Stokowski
Share your much-loved melodies too!
Posted in Random
Tagged 365 days of gratitude, be mine, beauty, berthold auerbach, blog, breathe me, carosel, childhood, cover, creativity, depression, ellie goulding, erik hassle, exercise, facebook, inspiration, internet, jonah, lana del rey, laura hughes, leopold stokowski, loneliness, lover, lyrics, michelle phelan, music, music videos, passion, pieces, poetry, robyn, sharing, sia, song, summer, talent, tears, unity, video games, vocalist, whats goin on, words, writing, youtube