Tag Archives: Show up

Legacy

Happy Sunday All,

Please Excuse me…I hope you’ll forgive my not posting last week, but one week and one day ago one of the most momentous events that I believe can occur in one’s life happened to me.

I became a Grandmother.

statue-572169_1280It’s been a week of transitions and changes and emotions and insights, which have left me reeling at times and awed at others. Don’t get me wrong, I have been aware of our little angel’s imminent arrival for the last nine months, but nothing and I mean nothing prepared me for the searing almost pathological love that consumed me when she did arrive.

Yes it was a little girl.

Beautiful…perfect and I believe with all my heart she is a gift handed down into the hands of my wonderful daughter and into our family, directly from the Angels themselves.

Roots

root-1013564_1280I have been in the privileged position of working with the next generation for the last ten years. This means I have been able to observe them, to know them and t love them intimately and to learn what we need to do for our children to survive, thrive and contribute.

Those children who have a less than secure, or indeed NO connection to their heritage, their foundation or roots, if they are not sheltered and secure as they grow, they are less able to find the self-esteem and worth required to allow us to teach them and to guide them. They have less self-love and this manifests in destructive behaviours, towards themselves, towards others, or both.

nature-1060244_1280Acorns

Like the acorns that fall from the Original Oak tree, they need fertile soil so they can begin to burrow their own fragile roots into the soil, they need time to feed and grow; become strong.

The strengthening and growing process is most successful when it takes place in the shade and protection of the branches of the mighty trees, which came before them. They are strong enough; they know the vagaries of the wind, they can read the seasons and know when and how to bend and not break, to store nutrients to survive the droughts and the storms, when to envelop the new sapling in their protective branches so they are not buffeted and destroyed by the elements beyond.

Saplings

If the older trees fail to do this, if they turn from the sapling and leave it exposed to the vagaries of the seasons before it is ready or able to deal with the searing sun or the biting wind then our poor sapling grows warped and misshapen, unable to grow tall and straight, unable to stand strong.

Grow model - New shootFor our little sapling the wind is harsh, not soothing and the sun is cruel, not nourishing as it was exposed to it too soon. Exposed when it had neither the strength, knowledge, nor experience to anticipate the damage it would suffer to and was left scarred by the meeting; blistered & burnt; limbs broken & weak…

Mighty Oaks

oak-1004607_1280If these ‘elders,’ the mighty strong Oak trees, which stand in the forest before them are loving and caring they will bow and bend, flexible enough to protect our young sapling, they teach it when & how to hide from the searing sun and the biting wind.

The sapling then grows knowing care, knowing love, secure; knowing and feeling protection. Our sapling faces the wind and the sun when it is ready, when it has the knowledge and skills and the strength to do so… the sapling grows straight and strong.

Legacy

Legacy: defined by the Cambridge dictionary as:

‘Something that is part of your history, or that remains from an earlier time’

I could have had mixed feelings when I think about ‘being from an earlier time,’ but for me this new phase of life; being part of her ‘history’ means the sapling (me) has become a ‘Mighty Oak’ and that ‘legacy,’  the passing on of the history, the sharing of ‘that earlier time’,’ is now my responsibility.

I am responsible for passing on the ‘legacy’ of who we are and who we were, to teach her where she came from, so she is able to navigate where she is going, to strengthen her roots and guide her through the wind and the sun, so she grows strong and straight, enabling her to become the magnificent ‘She’ that she will inevitably be.

I’ve been so moved by this new phase, it got me to wondering about what it means to me and what I hope to pass on to her and so I wrote it down..

Legacy

For Amelia:

I won’t care that you dirty your clothes

As long as I can sit with you on the doorstep in the fading sun, sucking on home-made lemon-ice, chit- chatting about everything and nothing

As long as I can show you how to mine your wonder and find your limitless potential

I won’t care what you do in your work

As long as I can teach you to do what it is your heart aches to do

As long as I can show you how to dream

I won’t care who you love

As long as I can teach you to do so with an open heart

As long as I can show you how to live with passion & fearlessness, always alive, always brave.

I will care when you are hurt by life and love and betrayal, but…

As long as I can teach you how worthy you are

As long as I can show you how to let your pain expand your soul, stay open to life, despite the hurt…you will rise.

I won’t mind (too much) that you sometimes forget to call or visit your ‘Ya Ya’

As long as I can teach you the power of your spirit

As long as I can show you the magnificence and the beauty of the Queens from whom you’re descended & whose fire & determination courses through your veins

I won’t care how many degrees you hold

As long as I can teach you to dance with life and express yourself in JOY

As long as I can show you how to live unrealistically and daringly, show you how to be limitless and carefree, show you how to not care one jot for the opinions of those who seek to restrict you out of their fear.

I won’t care (too much) to leave you…as it’s inevitable that one day I must

As long as long as I can teach you to keep on hoping, teach you to keep on dreaming, teach you you MUST keep wishing; knowing that there will always be a brighter day, knowing that you always deserve to see the sun rise

As long as I can show you how to truly ‘like’ whom you’ve become, look in the mirror and see the beauty in her…

Everyday…

Even when your life feels less than pretty.

I won’t mind that you’ll sometimes forget me

As long as you remember to ‘feel’ life through your grief and despair, as long as you remember the lessons I taught you

As long as you remember the loving kisses I gave you

As long as you remember the pressure of my arms around you

As long as you remember to look yourself in the mirror and see yourself with love and with acceptance.

As long as you remember you’re amazing and perfect

As long as you remember I am your friend

As long as you remember I’m always with you

As long as you remember…

I will ALWAYS…love you

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Commitment

Happy Sunday All,

Love-is-an-unconditional-commitment

You probably know that I write about the things I’ve learned on my journey and share with you because I hope that what I’ve learned will help you on your journey in some way.

What I choose to write about often comes instantly or there’s a theme that repeats itself in the conversations I have or overhear, or the information or articles I read.

As I went through my week one word kept re-appearing: ‘Commitment.’

It came up both a topic in my life but also in the conversations I have heard others having about their own. As I mused about the nature of the word and what it means it occurred to me that it’s a state we often say we’re prepared to enter into, but what does ‘Commitment’ really mean?

 The dictionary defines Commitment as:

  1. A willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in or a promise or firm decision to do something  OR
  2. Something that you must do or deal with that takes your time

When we commit to something or someone it means there is an expectation…

Commitment- After the mood has left youWhat you’re doing is making a promise, a promise to consistently and continuously spend energy. You’re saying that you believe in the project, or person or relationship and that you’re prepared to put in the time and the energy to see it through to the end; to realise the vision of the project, or relationship that you subscribed to.

How often though, do we commit in words and yet our actions fail to back them up?

 Commitment & Love:Commitment - Lincoln

With anything we want, whether it’s something we’d like to create, achieve or do means that invariably we create a vision beforehand. Most of us have an idea or an outcome in mind. Yet, more often than not we say we’re committed whilst in the feelings that go with creating the vision.

What we’re actually committing to is the feelings we’re experiencing whilst in the vision/creation stage, or else we’re committing to the feelings we anticipate we’ll feel once we achieve our desired outcome.

It’s pretty obvious that so many of us ignore the fact that we’re happy to sit in the space of Intention.’ The feel-good’ stage, but are less ready for the ‘focus’ and ‘plan of action’ needed to follow through and make our promises real?

I DO…Marriage - Commitment

Pledging a commitment is most identifiable in our society in the institution of marriage, yet our divorce statistics, show we are as likely to fail in this commitment as succeed, telling us clearly that even when we legalise and notarise our commitments and state them in front of those nearest and dearest to us, we are still not able to keep our commitments.

Why is this the case?

Imagine…city-563171_1280

Someone dear to you, you agree you love each other…in fact, you’ve said it to each other many times, you accept you are ‘committed’ to one another.

They know your favourite fruit is Pineapple and so they tell you they’re going to get up early the next day, go to the market and buy you the freshest, juiciest pineapple they can find and bring it to you because you mean something to them. Your relationship is important to them, they’re committed to you and your happiness and so they want to see you have the things you like and deserve.

Now imagine…

This very same person misses the first day. They wake up late and tell you not to worry they’ll go tomorrow. They’re just as enthusiastic, they intend to go, you mean so much to them and they really want to do this for you and show you how much they love you. You do know that they love you don’t you?

But the next day they sleep in too…and the next…and the next…and then they’ve got other things to do…other people to see…but they WILL do it, they just can’t right now.

There’s time…

Be patient…

But you know they love you… don’t you?

And so on

The Pineapple bringer:pineapple-382097_1280

They lack devotion to their promise, they’re unwilling to give time and energy to seeing their promise through, There’s a dis-connection between what they say they want and what they’re prepared to do to get it.

  • They lack Authenticity
  • Their commitment is simply ‘Lip service!’ without the focus and devotion to achieving the result.

 The Pineapple receiver:

pineapple-382097_1280Despite wanting desperately to continue to believe in the Pineapple bringer and to take them at their word; after countless disappointments they have to admit they are committed…The Pineapple bringer is not.

They have no choice…

They lose faith…

And eventually…

They stop believing…

 So which one are you?

What makes romantic love so wonderful is the intimacy it creates between you and your chosen partner. You feel valued, supported, accepted and embraced.

But Intimacy evokes a powerful mix of emotions. Intimacy brings you together, you feel empowered, you develop closeness and allow yourself to be vulnerable, but being vulnerable can mean you’re at the mercy of the whims, moods and opinions of the one you love.

Are you the Pineapple Giver

Whose dismissiveness (lack of time investment) i.e. rejection & inability to devote your time and energy to the promise you made creates deep-rooted hurt?

Do you criticise, become defensive or attack when your partner (nervously) reminds you of the promise you made, or do you retreat, emotionally withdraw or simply ‘check out,’ invalidating and rejecting your partner creating deep, painful wounds?

Or are you the Pineapple Receiver

Who decided in the beginning that you were prepared to find the time, energy & and devotion. That you will carry out the plan and achieve the outcome you both seemed to want. Whose consistent and persistent disappointment & rejection (no time investment, needs negated or dismissed – other things/people always come first), has made you so unhappy and so tired you can no longer be ‘patient.’ And you wonder if your patience is actually voluntary slavery in disguise.

Or are you enduring an unhappy state, not ready to give up just yet, your commitment blindly causing you to cling to something that’s dead out of a commitment now, not to the relationship, but to ‘how it looks’ or because you’re ‘used to it.’ And it’s less scary than what you see as the alternative or to ‘the children?’

Choose to…

its-your-choiceWhatever state you’re in, whichever one you are…you know and deep down you know that nothing changes unless you make a choice.

  • Choose to – Commit to the process of your relationship?
  • Choose today, to commit to the promises you made when you uttered those three little words
  • Imagine if we committed to working on and devoting ourselves to maintaining our levels of emotional intimacy as well as and learning what it is we had to do to support that process?
  • Choose to – Prioritise your intimate relationship by actually valuing the relationship over the less important things that we use as an excuse to delay or allow to get in the way?
  • Choose to – Make time to spend private time together, re-acquaint yourself with one another regularly
  • Choose to – Listen to and support each others’ needs. Try not to reject when your partner needs/wants to talk to you, assuming the worst or that it will inevitably be a confrontational exchange. Sometimes all we need is for the person who means the most to us to just listen.
  • Choose to – Change your thoughts instead of seeing the feelings and outcomes as the goal, remember it’s the devotion to the process that’s where the joy is found.
  • Choose to – Change your life to one in which you focus on the quality of experience and the flow of life
  • Choose to change if you know that your Joy is elsewhere. If it’s obvious that your commitment is futile as the ‘other’ has left the building… It is you and you alone who can free yourself to find it.

Be authentic!

2014-07-19 18.27.07The next time you are on the verge of saying something to another person, your boss, yourself that means you’re making a promise or commitment remember what it is you’re doing…Remember that it means to ‘Give time,’ to Give energy’ and make that promise only if you’re prepared to focus on the consistent action and devotion that your ‘promise’ will need to create your vision.

If you don’t want to do the work, then out of respect…

Leave well alone!

 Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What it means to be your mother

Happy Sunday all,

What it means to be your mother

roses-66527_1280It’s mothering Sunday in the UK and although I was originally going to talk on another topic today, I guess as the energy of the day is predominantly about appreciation for our mothers. I’ve decided that it would be a good thing and an appropriate thing for me to reflect on this area of my life as it colours every facet of every decision I make, every action I take and every word I speak. All are defined by the fact that I am a mother.

 manuscript-203465_1280A personal note

It occurred to me though that rather than define motherhood universally and discuss it from a distant, third-person perspective, I’d prefer to write a more personal note to my children and tell them what it means to me and has meant to be their mother. If what I have to say here resonates with you feel free to plagarise my words and let your own children know what they and being a mother to them means to you.

Where to start?

As a dear friend of mine always says…

’Indeed!’

Where do I start?

To Ella, Jake & Lily…

Being your mother has been THE most amazing, challenging, frightening, exhausting, exhilarating, hilarious, frustrating, heartbreaking poignant and beautiful journey I have undertaken.

wooden-boat-258953_150From the very beginning, being your mother meant being the best example of the values I hold to be true so that you could emulate them. I have always been determined to ‘walk my walk’ and not just ‘talk the talk.’ It is vital to me that I ‘show you how.’ The thing I strive for the most, is to one day have you three look at me with pride and say ‘That’s my mum…isn’t she amazing?’ You see your approval means the world to me. To know that the people I brought into the world acknowledge that I did all I could and they’re OK is all I wish for.

pregnancy-466129_1280The pleasure and the pain

From the moment each of you made the fluttering inside my womb, creating the feeling of nervousness and butterflies, the feeling that said ‘I’m here and I’ll see you soon’ to the moment you were placed across my breast and in my arms and until I leave this earthly plane you will receive nothing but my undying love and unconditional acceptance.

Being a mother is fraught with contradictions and expectations of what we are and should be. I have had to be strong and gentle, critical yet supportive, friend but at the same time mentor and guide, we’re cast as Madonnas, perfect and untouchable, yet we’re expected to be relate-able and ordinary at the same time.

In the beginningmother-429158_1280

In the beginning what it means to be your mother meant willing myself back from total and complete exhaustion and with you Lily potential death as I shook and trembled after giving birth. My body so truamatised it threatened to go into shock and the midwife and doctor rushing to do what they needed to avoid me fitting and slipping into unconsciousness. I was unable to hold you in your first few minutes of life because being a mother then meant maintaining my own.

What it means to be your mother…

It means becoming a willing vessel from which you get your source of life. It means for at least a year, you used my body so yours could be sustained, maintained and thrive, regardless of energy, or nourishment, or sleep or wellbeing every calorie or vitamin my body possessed became yours…

2014-04-29 18.46.39It means I got to marvel at your fearlessness as each of you fought to ‘get on with life’ and crawl, walk, read, feed yourselves say your first word, hold a pencil, make friends I was grateful to get to see all these firsts. The desire and determination to move forward you showed, despite falling down so so many times taught me perseverance.

From you I learnt to laugh more and be more, iron less and sing more. From you I learnt to give myself permission to be ‘authentically me,’ I had to if I wanted you to learn how to be that for you too.

What it means to be your mother…

It means I got to comfort you when you were sad or the others were mean to you or left you out. I got to remind you how amazing you are and to hug you. It means I cheered from the sidelines (too loudly for you Jake I know!) of Netball and football matches with hot flasks and sandwiches in biting gales and with wet, soggy feet, but nevertheless feel my chest swell with immense pride at your efforts, win or lose.

girls-204323_150It means accepting your right to independence and that you don’t always need me. Making sure you didn’t see how sad I was that you no longer wanted to kiss me before you ran into school, or to have me drop you off, but go it alone on the bus…but at the same time being relieved and proud because it meant you were OK… you were finding your feet and becoming the wonderful you that you are today.

What it means to be your mother…

It means enduring your hatred when I wouldn’t let you do what you wanted to do. It means I had to be resolute, knowing that my duty to you was to do my best for you, do what’s right and that my obligation is to be your guide and that means I can’t always be your best friend.

heart-297313_150It means enduring the humiliation of having to receive a hand out in order to eat and having my heart pierced with Ice and break in to million tiny pieces as you look at me in disgust.

It means surviving… surviving so I could be some kind of a mother, knowing that no matter what you needed a mother, needed ME to be your mother, when it becomes life-threatening to mother you in the same space as you.

It means making choices… choices which mean either outcome is unbearable to contemplate, yet still having to make that choice and making one that you think will benefit your children the most, regardless of the outcome for myself.

What it means to be your mother

It means suffering the anguish of not being able to create holiday memories with you. It means being maligned and criticised and it means swallowing the painful lump of shame as potentially my children and others look at me and think “She’s obviously a bad mother!” without any knowledge of the reality..

There’s so much more I could say, so many examples of what it means to be your mother but I think for the sake of brevity I had best leave it here.

coast-631925_1280What it means to be your mother…

What it means to be your mother is to hold undying and unconditional love in my heart and mind for each of you until the breath leaves my body. It means I will always be your fiercest champion and tireless support.

It means I will advise you and encourage you to always do the right things even though there may be an easier way. It means being the best example of what it means to be human that I can be and to persist in this example for you no matter the consequence. It means being the template from which you fashion your suit, it means being the footsteps that went before and guiding you with a steady firm hand, but knowing when to let you go.

 In closing…

love-544408_1280It means learning to surrender my ego or needs and to learn to trust…both myself and my life’s process and in so doing come to learnt to trust the same thing for you. It means I was fearless when the reality was I was fearful. I means I had to learn to strike a balance between being lax and pleasing you for fear you wouldn’t like me anymore and setting boundaries and limits…firmly and I hope always with love, so that you could develop strong and straight

It means I did this and will continue to do this regardless of whether or not we see each other, whether or not you choose to talk to me, whether to not you think I did my best, whether or not you approve of my life choices, whether or not I’m rich enough, or pretty enough or whatever enough you think you need me to be for your approval.

It means that I love you

 It means I am your Mother

Blissings and much love always

 Ma x

Showing up!

Happy Sunday All,

Showing up!

This week’s been another hum dinger! But one that seemed to have a theme: Showing up…How do you do it?

Breaking up…Making up?

On Friday evening a friend broke up with the man she was dating. No, no, it’s cool, they are of an age now where there’s no need for the screaming and hysteria.

Don’t get me wrong there was still the hurt, the regret and the upset feelings. The self assessment, the why can’t I get this ‘love’ thing right?’  down the phone, some blame too as well as the usual navel gazing.heart-297313_150

I know they’ll both unpack this later and have one or two, or several lightbulb moments, but for now it’s over and they need to learn how to move on in a healthy way.

However, she confessed that during the now common ‘social media’ exchanges; (that’s another thing. I’m old school…what happened to face-to face or the goddamned telephone?) Anyway, I digress!

Who’s to blame?

you-151415_150During their exchanges he mentioned that he suspected she was, like all the women in his experience, ‘flaky’ and that he had been ‘holding back.’

Whether it’s because that’s true or not, or whether that’s his way of masking his hurt and insecurity only time and reflection will tell.

What he said, though brought to mind something I was told years ago; a phrase which had resonated and had always stayed with me. Let me ask you a question…

What percentage of your relationship(s) is your responsibility? 25%? 50% 75%…

The answer is: YOU are 100% responsible for your relationship(s)!

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!

We all know that the only thing we can control is ourselves; our own thoughts and feelings, our behaviour, but how many of us are in relationships where we insist the ‘other’ ‘should do this,’ ‘could have done that.’ or we critique with ‘I would have done this/that?.’

How many of us are in marriages, romantic relationships, friendships, relationships with colleagues, 2011-06-18 21.07.00siblings, and employers and feel that they are responsible for our lack of complete commitment?

That the things that are going wrong are due to their behaviour?

As a result we feel we are justified in moaning and complaining.

We defend our position and justify our unprofessional attitude, even though we are not fulfilling our duties, not honouring the contracts we signed.

pie-chart-154411_150We coast…offering only 30/60/75% of our talents and our expertise.

We defend our right to be upset even though we can’t remember the last time we volunteered affection, gave a loving  touch or planned a romantic or spontaneous date with our partner.

I’m sure we’d all have something to say if our bosses asked us to accept 30, 60 or 75% of our salary! Yet many of us show up intending to ‘get away with’ less than a 100% contribution.

Are you all in?

How often do we feel aggrieved when we are called out on being less than ‘all in’ only to blame the other party and insist it is their lack of commitment that’s causing the problem?

but how are YOU showing up?

Show them how it’s done!

hands-344759_150If you want a loving, respectful, affectionate partner show them how it’s done.

Are you being the most affectionate partner you can? Or do you give your partner the ‘cold shoulder?’

Are you being the most supportive co-worker and colleague? Or do you isolate yourself?

Are you haughty and look down on colleagues or family, believing you’re superior then play the victim when you’re made aware of your lack of effort?

Are you showing up as the most trustworthy of friends?

It’s all on you

Let’s take the first example… Your partner is not as demonstrative as you would like.

Instead of berating and moaning, why not show up as the affectionate partner you would like him/her to be. Try an alternative approach just this once…

i-105490_150Assume it’s your responsibility. Be affectionate in the way you want your partner to be; wholeheartedly, without condition, without expectation.

Perhaps in being this way you’re more likely to boost their esteem. Make them feel good about themselves, improve their mood and their feelings towards you.  In so doing, perhaps you’ll finally receive the affectionate response you’ve been craving in return?

If you want a more loving, adventurous, spontaneous, partner check yourself first.

Are you being all these things?

Why then is it their responsibility?

The Fear

There’s the rub… Fear!

We fear we’ll be hurt, fear they’re getting more than we are, fear, fear, fear…

That old ‘lack’ mentality shows up again.

madness-227958_150We allow the fear to take hold…then, afraid and desperate we close some part of ourselves off as protection yet somehow expect the ‘other’ to give us their all.

When that’s not forthcoming we become annoyed, we feel rejected and become angry or defensive. Then they, out of their own insecurity and fear hold back to protect themselves too.

The rejection cycle continues, the distance widens and before you know it there’s nothing between you at all…

Yet how can we justify feeling upset when they’re simply mirroring what we are doing?

The result of all this pulling away is two people offering each other so much less than 100%. Yet every one of us deserves 100%

Absolutely!

Always!

How can you hope to possibly create a perfect, nurturing, whole relationship that satisfies both parties when you are offering up so little compared to what you are capable of?heart-142736_150

If my friend’s former ‘beau’ had been holding back, how could he then expect full commitment from her?

If she on some unconscious level, sensed his lack of commitment, isn’t it likely that she’d ‘hold back’ in some way too, equally afraid?

The change you want to see

Don’t get me wrong, I am as guilty of this as anyone, I do not sit here in some lofty place, wagging a finger. Like the rest of humankind, I’m on a journey, a journey that teaches me more and more every day.

We owe it to ourselves, in the next friendship we form, the next relationship we enter into, the next job we take, to show up fully committed regardless of what we think the other is offering.

When you wholeheartedly commit, your reward is in that very commitment.

It is in the commitment that you will experience the very best of who you are and that is reward in itself. The approval of an outside ‘other’ is no longer necessary.

be-the-change

 

 

Mahatma Ghandi said:

 

 

If you want your situation, relationship, job, friendship, in fact any situation which means you communicate with others, to change in some way, the first place to start is to look at yourself…

What are you bringing to the situation or relationship?

Are you truly as committed as you think you are?

Are you ‘all in?’

The next time you feel you need to complain about or blame your partner, your friend, your managers, children, siblings, cat, gerbil or guinea pig for the current state you’re in… consider this:

Who are you being?

How are you showing up?

Blessings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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