Stop Thinking and Think!

Dear Reader,

How is that year, you called THE year going? What changes have you made? Have your desires to put your thoughts into action been fulfilled? Or has time slipped, deeming it as ungraspable and a greater force, sitting in the same chair as yesterday, wishing of a planless daydream and none of the goals of 2017 being ticked off? This platform allows the voice in your mind to be a passive nurturer that enables maintenance of this unhelpful stream of thought. The voice grows louder, keeping you stationary, as time moves forward.

Well, I’m sure I am not the first person to tell you that this dwelling on what could be, what if’s, what not’s and what could have beens’ is an experience shared by many –including myself. This thought process is something that causes utter panic and fear, by perhaps stimulating some sort of need to enter the nostalgic garden, a place where I sometimes find myself meandering, thinking the air was fresher and safe when I leave I ask myself “that was then, where am I now?” People are very talented and skilled at thinking about the past and imaging the future, but the middle bit, the bit that gets forgotten is the present. This present, as I write it. comes to me, is actually a present. While we are preoccupied with everything but the now, we are ignoring the insistent knocking of the character of the present from being let in. The sound of the present may provoke unpleasant and uneasy feelings, BUT we can use the present to change what the present echoes, and that’s why the present is a present; unwrapping its dreamy complexities and work with what is actually there!! “Good one, great, unrealistic point made” you might say. But wait before you change your choice of read, think about what you are doing right now. You are turning off the present switch and going back to your dreamland. Wouldn’t it be nice to stay and put in good grounded plans in place to have a reality of you dreams?- Come on, stay! You will also get a huge thanks!

The truth is I also had a big idea of how I would start off my 2017. The stereotypical, eat well, sugar only on weekends, keep fit and the more personal, write to you more frequently and get a plan together for what the heck I want to do next. Results from the first twelfth are in and shows a slight detour from this grand idea. I have eaten well, if this was to include my love affair with biscuits –sometimes Sugar Sunday is just not enough-, I have tried to exercise more though- maybe once a week sometimes twice but for me that’s good (I am not going red…I just got… warm all of a sudden), I am trying to plan to write to you once or twice a month, I was very lax in my first year of blogging and that didn’t sit well with me- so  I will work harder, designating time each month to try and achieve this aim! Okay I haven’t exactly demonstrated the story I sold myself before New Year, but I am trying to at least grabble with and trying and make possible my intentions. In some ways it is a very, snail-paced process BUT I am moving!!! I am trying to adopt and attitude that says don’t let your next present moment be filled with thoughts which echo ‘actually I could have done that, but I was thinking ‘what if.’ Be present now!!

I am writing this post not only to remind others and myself about the limitless wonders of the present, but to pose a question, ‘what can you/I do now?’ and with this hope that you let yourself hear the knocking of the present. In addition to this hopefully provoking thoughts, I hope that this will facilitate conversation, maybe the present has just revealed itself, maybe the plan-that was just left entitled ‘THE PLAN’- have now mapped itself out, maybe you only now have a vague idea of what you want or maybe you are just shaking your head and saying  “Sorry chick, you lost me at ‘Dear Reader’” . Whatever thoughts you have on this I would love to know!!!

I hope, for those of you still reading this, you have enjoyed you extended stay in the present- a huge thanks!!!

All my love XX

Finding My Shoes

Dear Reader,

The word ‘I’ and it’s frequent uses, used to connote to me egotism and self-absorption; thoughts that inner personal feelings and experiences should only be shared in a few and far between perfectly ‘right timed’ moments, was my thinking. Moments that would be, and sometimes still are, analysed and questioned if it’s ‘okay’ to express my thoughts without my words being visually imagined as some kind of eyesore. BUT, actually talking/writing about the ‘I’ is something to admire; to have confidence to pronounce ‘I am this’ ‘I am not that’ ‘I like this’ and ‘I don’t give a hoot about that’ is something that lacked in me, is something that was wrongfully called being an egotistical jerk (my own ego was winning that fight) and is something to be embraced. So here I AM!!!

Previous posts which I have written have commentated on the world around me, without ever revealing to you who the commentator was. This is what I have realised through conversations with others. This truth should be shared. I have forgotten that one also can find comfort, and perhaps strength in the ‘honesty in your words’ from more personal experience, a very dear soul recently explained to me. So I will now share with you, I.

I will start this new level of honesty by sharing with you something which I rarely talk about (when I do, I skip over it quickly), yet is important to express; not only for some form of self-liberation but, to perhaps encourage others to simply be. I have something called Cerebral Palsy, which is something that affects my muscle coordination. This means I have difficulty walking (or as I like to say, perform dramatic ballet) and due to this, I use a wheelchair to get about most of the time. The reason why I keep this matter needlessly under wraps is out of the want to avoid the fearsomely narrow-minded people. These people are freakily quick to create a story in their mind- you know how that story ended  their ‘H-E-L-L-O.’ Instead of getting to know the person, these people have placed them in already labelled boxes, just by observations, which they do not deserve to be in.( I know I am not in the right box that I was placed in by that uninviting, degrading and patronising ‘H-E-L-L-O.’) Then these boxes are put behind some fancy, closed curtain, that blends with the décor of their room and these people, with these incomprehensible views, forget about what has just happened. But as I think about this, it up to me how I use or not use the opinion of others, it does not need to have an impact.

I started with the disclosure of CP with I have. This is the most important thing for myself and others with CP or with other obstacles to remember; it is something that I have, but it is not who I am! When thinking about CP, I think of it as having a lifelong teacher. I characterise this teacher as a helpful springboard within life, guiding me through times of difficulty, enabling me to discover alternative ways to grasp hold of life. Having CP means my hands are a little shaky, and so I have help from others to assist me with things that would be a little tricky to do otherwise. I have learnt that it is okay not to be a solitary leader all the time; sometimes it nice to turn to someone to seek assurance- but just remember not to lose who YOU are. In turn, my teacher has also taught me another level of gratefulness for the treasured people in my life who have helped me on my way, a million thank yous are simply not enough.

But sometimes, I see my teacher as cruel; my teacher see the things I want and waves it in front of me, like a child at Christmas when they see the thing they want most in a window display, but it is unattainable. I enter this cycle of negativity, asking myself dangerous, too dark to handle, questions such as “What if I didn’t have CP?” “What would life be like without CP?” I go into a dreamy state and start to visualise. Meanwhile time slips, being wasted on figments of imagination, attempting to reply to these ridiculous questions that are impossible to answer. I suddenly refrain from entertaining these thoughts and refuse to be pulled along by a rope surrounded by a foggy, dull and opaque cloud. A more helpful voice interrupts this internal conversation “What have CP given me?”. I start to try and dismantle the trail of thought. I realise that my teacher’s stubborn ways have made me work harder to find myself at the other side of the obstacles it challenges me with. I reflect. The girl who was told she would never sit up can now walk linking arms with someone (this is when I can show off my dramatic ballet- if I feel like it); the girl that used to get nervous when speaking to strangers due to impaired speech is now not as bothered anymore (speaking has got better over time- when there is difficulty being understood why not see as an opportunity to let the voice be heard, again!!); the girl, who at just six/seven years old, once advised to leave mainstream school, thinking I could never achieve,  ignored and proved that advice to be the wrong advice (a huge thank you to my treasured Mum for being my voice here) and went on to deepen my love of learning and went on to study Psychology at university, the girl who used to avoid, or loosely use, the one-lettered word is now saying/writing ‘I’ (a big thank you to my sister, who I simply adore, who have also helped me to find this confidence). With this said the answer to the question “What has CP given me?” is determination. The determination to use my legs for their intended purpose.  The determination to overcome fear and allow my voice to be heard directly. The determination to disprove doubt and succeed in my passions. The determination to find the courage to share personal experiences with you, without my ego being triumphant when nudging me and being annoyingly inquisitive asking “Why are you speaking/writing like that for?” sorry ego you just have to lick your wounds!!!

Coming from this, one of my favourite things about my teacher is when my teacher goes on holiday leaving me, well, to just be me, making their appearance when I need to learn or revisit a lesson I have not grasped. It is these times, when I’m left to be me, when who I AM is let be. I am a member of a family, who have my whole heart. I am a nature lover and enjoy being in its environment, witnessing all of nature’s wonders. I am a bad joker, or so I am told by those who have also chuckled. I am the world’s biggest lover of food, pasta- with melted cheese on top, or a delicious juicy mango, or some strawberries, or chocolate- Dairy Milk’s Marvellous Creations to be precise-, are just some of the foods that make me go starry-eyed. I am a blogger, it is a space where it allows me to share my thoughts, views, imagination, and reflect. Lastly, not written in an intended order nor is it the final thing that I am, is that I am also someone, like many, who is trying to find their way in the world- trying on many shoes, searching for the ones that fit best that maybe are yet to be made.

And there, we have it. I have written with the word ‘I’ and shared with you a little about me! I have realised that the ego does not have to play a role when describing myself. The ego might put on its fancy frock, but it is up to me whether I entertain it. Yes writing this was difficult but I have got to the top of this mountain- the view from here is so liberating!!! If you struggle with speaking/writing from the ‘I,’ try this just once. Do this powered with honesty and resilience. Set yourself free from the prison you have built yourself. Who knows, you might do it again? I know I AM!!!

Thank you so much for reading this.

All my love XX

Authority and Me Before You

Hello Readers,

Recently, I have watched the incredibly emotional film Me Before You. This film open minds, bends stiff ideas and leaves you with one (or lots of) tears. I believe sharing my thoughts on this particular film is important to express. Like a post I have written before, regarding a film, I will write about Me Before You in relation to a theme that it so elegantly illustrated, and that is authority. Authority, in this film, shows that you can be the master of your own destination, if you have a little believe. This was demonstrated by both characters that I wilI write about. I would like for you to read this with an open mind and to remember nothing is ever ‘black and white.’ Feel free to comment any thoughts you may have on this!!

So much, if not all, of society is controlled restricted and overruled by a superior force, in one way or another. This could be in the form of the government, teachers/people we seek advice from or your parents. Sometimes the sense of authority can make you feel ‘safe’, providing you with assurance that your life choices are accepted agreed and Okayed by a figure that you admire. With reassurance given it motivates you, consciously or subconsciously, to succeed even more in the decisions that you make. This sense of security that comes with authority could, however, be so overbearing that one is left trapped, finding themselves in an unrequested life, unable to grasp hold of the steering wheel of their life, simply be a passenger on route to a unknown destination. But just because you are answered with a dismissive glare and hear the stomach-churning, two letter word ‘NO’ do not mean you cannot find your own way. You can create your own key to open the lock!!

The film, Me Before You, follows the story of Will; a man who once was a young highflying city banker with a zest for life and had a love for travelling was left paralyzed following a motorbike accident. He was back living with his parents in a place he described “That people come to when they get tired of actually living.” Will’s life, post-accident, is a total contrast from the way he found his way in the world; from being completely independent, and in control of his destination to having to ask for assistance with every little movement and having it authorised by another person.

Will’s story merges together with the life of Lou. A young lady with a quirky personality, trying to earn money for her family, but finds herself unhappy in every job she takes. She is living in the world not truly knowing which way her life is headed. Lou then applies and is successful caregiving job to a young man, who just happens to be Will. In her first few  encounters with Will, he appears to be shut off and very closed minded to the idea of any sort of companionship with anyone including Lou; the personalities of both theses character could not be more different, with Lou always looking at life with ‘the glass half full.’ Will’s bitterness is highlighted when he says to Lou “What if I said I didn’t want you here?” to which she replies “I’m not employed by you, I’m employed by your mother.” Here we see the lack of authority Will have; the director of his life lies with someone else.  However Lou’s raw honesty to Will about the effect his pessimism on others “making….life…miserable” that results in his company “not being particularly enjoyable,” allows him to see another’s perspective and that others have difficult times too. From this moment in the film Will’s cynicism begins to fade, letting a relationship with Lou blossom. They both learn things from each other that would otherwise be an unknown territory if their lives did not pave the path that it did; from Lou’s perspective being magnified, enabling her to find a deeper meaning of life that she craved for, and Will’s ability to look beyond stereotypes and find true beauty in people, stepping out of his comfort zone. Both of these characters could be said to play a ‘teacher’ role to each other, one teaching the other vital life lessons.

This beautiful relationship between Will and Lou that makes them re-define the word life plays a deep importance in both of their lives. However for Will what he desires for is unattainable, Lou learns of Will’s wish to end his life; not wanting to endure anymore of the endless physical or emotional pain he experiences every day, as a result of his disability. In the hope that he will change his mind and see that “life is  worth living” Lou establishes and make come alive Will’s dreams, dreams of traveling, going to concerts and being part of activities that he enjoyed as what he termed as the “Old Will.” But even in times of joy, Will is reminded of what he yearns for; after He and Lou drive home from concert Will says “I just want to be a man who’ve been to a concert with a girl in a red dress, just a few minutes more” in reply to Lou’s comment “we better get you in (both still sitting in the car).” He still has to ask to do things in order to experience just a fraction of his desired life, which would perhaps be otherwise left unsaid.

Both characters show that some they can gain or regain power over their life. This is firstly demonstrated by Lou and her ability to persevere with the cynical temperament of Will when they both meet, showing him the light amongst the darkness of his perspective. Throughout the film we see Lou’s sense of self blossoming, being able to stand up for herself and not having something or someone else have power over her. Secondly Will regains his ability to be heard and respected. This is first demonstrated when Lou expresses the effect he has had on her when she tells him “I have become a whole new person because of you,” indicating that he have the abilities to change people lives, even if it is unconsciously.  A second way in which he regains authority is by having the final say on the direction of his life. Although Will is tried to be convinced that he could still experience life and fulfil his dreams, he wants to experience those things as the “Old Will”; he is still wishes to die. After six months of when he first shared his wish with his parents, he makes his final journey to Switzerland whereby he ends his life. This was solely Will’s decision and a decision he persisted with. Even though people who authorised the way he lived was in disagreement, Will got back control of his life and directed it in the way that he knew best.

All my love XX

The Wolf of Time

Hello Readers,

Lately I have been thinking about the concept of time and its meaning. I thought I would share my thoughts and questions with you and maybe ‘open a new door’ as to how time is percevied!!

If time was a character what would it be? Would time be a character deemed as enchanting and one that radiates warmth? Would you personify time as a protector, allowing you to experience beautiful and meaningful moments, aiding your development? Or would you describe time as a cruel, deceitful and overriding character, letting the vibrant lights of life quickly fade with its shadow looming over, reflecting the stillness of your world?- Back to the real life you go, you hear time say. How would the face of your time look? Would it have an endearing smile and eyes which would unlock and grant you your hopes and dreams that you envisioned? Or would time’s face be emotionless, giving you a cold glare with its stone eyes that conveys authority and overruling power, leaving you feeling crushed?

The idea of what time is, what time means, can change throughout one’s life. Time in childhood should bring one moments of joy, beauty and pleasure, a period in which one is given a chance to explore their surroundings, a stage in which that dreams are created. As children we try to hold on to the aspects of life that filled with fun, laughter and love, trying to make activities which exudes such moments last longer, whilst rushing through other more mundane activities. It could be said that time is segmented, renamed and categorised into joyful and pleasurable and gloomy and uninspiring events; the way in which a child expresses these times suggest how favourable or favourable they are. For example the way that a child excitably announce that ‘Its playtime’ depicts that it’s moment of magic and wonder, contrary to when ‘Its homework time’ said in a lifeless tone.

This want to breeze past some moments of time and meander through others is shared by adults, but to a lesser extent. Suddenly you wake up to the fact the there is no second chance; time is slippery, there is a limit to how long you have to hold on to something. It is only as you get older that you truly appreciate time and what time have given you; you might have been taught useful lessons, making you wiser and equipped for the unused time, you might have been given a chance to fulfil a dream or simply given you moments for you to treasure.

The harsh fact that time is running out, or that time is not giving you enough space to full, leaves you panicking, trembling with fear: ‘I want to do this..’ ‘When can I do this now?’ Yet whilst one experience all these thought and feelings, time is still continuing, getting older, fading; the volume of life left in the timer is slowly disappearing. W. H Auden once wrote in a poem ‘You cannot conquer time,’ personifying time as an all-knowing character. However instead of taking on a defeatist view, seeing time as an enemy, create a harmonious connection with time, go forward with ease. Change that monologue in your head from ‘What I could haves’ to ‘What I can dos.’ Make time your friend; is it the one that will see you until the very end- who knows how your character of time could change?!!

I hope you have enjoyed this read and thank you for you so much time!!

Untill next time,

All my love XX