THE DEATH OF JOY

You know, I updated my status on Facebook late last night, asking about Antoinette Maree aka Sydney Fashion Blogger.

She has the best wardrobe I have ever come across, however I could not help but wonder, where on earth does she go everyday? And isn’t she broke?

I’m sure being as popular as she is, designers send her free stuff all the time. I’m also quite positive that she is invited to a bunch of exciting events all the time, being in the fashion loop the way she is.

But does this mean that us mere mortals who follow her and these other fashionistas and socialites on various social media platforms, set ourselves up for financial bankruptcy and social despair?

Is it now the norm to be consumed with throwing together expensive outfits and frequenting the hottest locations, in affect living beyond our means?

I know plenty of people who think nothing of it to go and adorn themselves in the latest designer outfits and sip cocktails in the trendiest bars and restaurants. But are we cutting off our nose to spite our face?

Life in general is expensive. Mortgage repayments, rent, car repayments, fuel, medical insurance, electricity bills, groceries, the list goes on.

So are we sending ourselves broke in every sense of the word? Are we all a little out of touch with reality?

Fame really is a powerful aphrodisiac, and becoming enamoured with these types of celebrities often does us more harm than good. We set ourselves up for disappointment. For not being good enough.

We don’t dress well enough, we don’t have enough of an active social life, we aren’t a part of the “cool” crowd. I say all the time that people are still very much stuck in high school, and by comparing your own life to ones of these celebrities makes you ask the question “is my life exciting enough?”

I am the first to admit that my life is anything but exciting. If anything, quite the opposite. But I’m living MY life. Not someone else’s. And my idea of what I appreciate and want out of life differs to that of others.

I actually earn a decent income. I drive a nice car. I have a nice home. I have a cool wardrobe. But none of this means anything. Yes, it makes you more comfortable, and alleviates certain worries, but in the end, none of it really matters.

All that really matters is that question we all ask ourselves at some point. Are you happy?
Are you really doing what you want? Or are you too busy peering over the fence, wondering on what you may be missing out on?

What is it going to take to truly make you happy? Surely it’s not having an envied wardrobe, or a full social calendar? Or is it?

If it is, does that only confirm the fact that we do have our head in the clouds? That we are chasing an eternal high like some sort of addict?

Have we all become so shallow that this has now become the benchmark for what happiness means?

Happiness to me means the freedom to express myself in whichever way I choose. To spend time with the people that I have connections with. To be able to be myself, and be appreciated for who I am at my core.

Don’t consume yourself with the need to please. Do what it is in your heart that you truly desire, and stop comparing yourselves to others, because comparison is the death of joy.

LET GO

I went water-skiing on Saturday for the first time in years. Fear has held me back from doing lots of things in my life.

I went to visit a friend at his Hawkesbury River property to get back to nature and have some quiet time.

I went there for a coffee. My friend was drinking a beer. He asked me if I’d like a coffee. “Um, I’ll actually have a beer too” I said.

I rarely drink beer, but I thought I may as well do something different for a change.

So we drank our beers, whilst we chatted about life. Then his son said he wanted to go for a ski.

“Do it now while Amy’s here because I need an observer in the boat” he told his son.

My friend, being a gentleman, scooped me up and placed me on the back of the boat and off we went.

His son went skiing whilst my friend drove the speed boat and I navigated.

When we returned his son said “don’t put the boat back, Amy is going to go for a ski”.

My mind, which is normally going at a million miles an hour, and coming up with reasons why I cannot do certain things, was unusually unresponsive. A combination of the beer, and being relaxed on the water, had stupefied me into a state of relative calm. But I still had some fight left in me.

“But I didn’t bring any swimmers” I said.

“That’s OK, just wear your undies” my friend replied.

“But I just washed my hair this morning”

“Who cares”

“There won’t be a wetsuit small enough” (I’m the size of a child)

“You can wear Ashlee’s”

“But what if there’s sharks” that was my mother talking now.

They laughed at me. “There’s no sharks in here”

I sat for a nano-second.

“OK” I relented.

After 3 attempts to get up, I was on my way. Just like riding a bike.

Being very sensitive and thinking of things way too deeply, I couldn’t help but recount my experience today, and the life lesson in it.

After skiing for a while, I fell off. The water had gotten choppy. I tried my hardest to hold on and keep myself upright and balanced. But it was just too hard. And I had to let go.

Sometimes in life we are faced with the same scenario.

To hold on, or to let go.

Whilst I was afraid to let go, and have to bob about in the water like a cork, waiting for the boat to come back and retrieve me, I had no choice. Imagining the eels, and fish, sharks, and other assorted river monsters lurking beneath, waiting to devour me (OK, I know I’m being dramatic), it was simply too difficult to hold on.

So it was somewhat of a metaphor I guess.

At times, as hard as we may try, it’s easier to let go. To surrender to the inevitable. Sometimes holding on can mean getting more hurt than letting go. And only when we are faced with that choice can we realise there really is one way to go if we are to save ourselves. Even if you are afraid of what may lie beneath.

And we never really know what may be lurking beneath anyway. A lot of the time its all in our mind. And I’ve survived to tell the story, so there must be some truth to that too.

It takes strength and courage to hold on, but it also takes an equal amount of strength and courage to let go.

“I’LL JUST GIVE YOU SOME PRIVACY”

Most of us women have heard this before.

I’m talking about when we go to the doctor for a Pap smear.

The doctor tells you to remove your clothing from your bottom half down and she closes the curtain around you to give you some privacy.

I mean, really. The doctor is about to get you to open your legs while she inserts a speculum into your vagina. I hardly think closing the curtain and giving you privacy is really necessary when she is about to perform that particular task.

So what is today’s article about?

Well the above sentence is merely an observation and not really anything to do with what I’m about to write about. Or is it more what the title of this article contains?

It is about things that you notice as you get older.

The first thing I’ve noticed is that I’m actually beautiful without makeup. I never used to think so. I guess after having my face for this long I’ve come to love and accept myself for who I am. Unless I’m actually going sonewhere, you’ll rarely see me with makeup on anymore. I’m comfortable in my own skin.

And I’ve also noticed that a lot of women get better with age. I know men certainly do, but it seems like women do too. I watched a program once where a man said “women are not like a fine wine. They do not get better with age. They are like milk and spoil quickly”. I laughed when he said that. That’s not the truth. For some women it is. They really do let themselves go, however in my opinion I think we actually improve with age.

The next thing is that I’ve embraced the fact that I’m actually a bit of a homebody. I like staying at home. I have everything I need there, and I’m comfortable.

But wait. Here’s the contradiction thrown in.

I’ve also noticed that so long as I’m relaxed, I can feel comfortable anywhere. After all, home is where the heart is, and I take my heart everywhere with me. Whilst the material things we collect along the way do bring us comfort, at the end of the day it doesn’t really mean a thing. You can’t take any of it with you.

The next thing I’ve noticed is that as you get older, you become less tolerant. In every way. Less tolerant to bullshit, less tolerant to spicy food, less tolerant to late nights out. I often find myself being excited about going out for the evening, but it’s actually more to do with the getting dressed up part rather than being out till all hours of the evening. And I’m generally yawning and dreaming about hopping into my bed come 9pm.

Speaking of tolerance brings me to my next observation.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of people are still very much stuck in high school. They will bully you, talk behind your back, and generally be quite mean. I actually experienced this the other day when I left the room to do something and this particular person waited until they thought I was out of ear shot before making an ill-informed comment about me. Yes, I heard you. If I wasn’t so polite I would have ripped you a new asshole. But I have self-respect and wouldn’t humiliate you the way you did me. I’ve also noticed that unless you stick up for yourself, very rarely will someone rush to your defence. It really is every man (or woman) for themselves.

Speaking of that particular incident, another thing I’ve noticed is that people love to speculate about what may be going on in someone else’s life. Unless you know exactly what someone may be going through, you haven’t earnt the right to have an opinion. So unless you are genuinely concerned and know the full story, please mind your own business. You really are speaking out of school. People may claim they care about you, but a lot of the time they are only thinking of themselves. At times in our lives we are brought to our knees by our circumstances. You are not in the position to judge unless you have been there.

The other thing I’ve noticed is one I put on my list of things that nobody teaches you. The one being that nobody owes you anything. Nobody does owe you anything, and in turn you do not owe anyone anything. People put expectations on people, and it just isn’t the way things are. If you choose to give, or be vulnerable, or open your heart to someone, that is on you and you cannot expect anything in return for your efforts. People will disappoint you. It’s part of life. But you cannot hold them responsible or accountable for your feelings or what you have chosen to lay on the table.

And the last thing I’ve noticed is the need for freedom. Nobody should feel oppressed. We are born alone, and die alone, and we need to be able to express ourselves in whichever way we wish. It is not selfish, nor does it make you a bad person.

Life is all about learning. You have to learn things for yourself. Through the discovery of self. To evolve individually to that high level of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love.

So I guess the title, “I’ll just give you some privacy” has a hidden meaning in it. Give everyone the privacy, space, and respect to figure it out for themselves. And be there to hold their hand if they ask you for it.

I SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW

You know, Anthony Robbins says that people do things to avoid pain. Or at least what they fear as being painful.

I grew up a Catholic girl. When I had my confirmation in the sixth grade, we were to ask for a gift from God. The gift I chose was courage. I was always incredibly fearful.

My mother is a bit of a mental case. She lives in the future. In a perpetual state of “what if?”. She has successfully managed to fill me with fear and doubt through my formative years.

If I am going to the beach it’s “be careful of the sharks!”, if I’m going for a walk “there’s snakes around this time of the year”, if I sleep with my window open “someone could break in and murder you!”, even if I’m driving to the gym “don’t have an accident. There’s lunatics on the road!”

They say if you live in the past, you live in regret. If you live in the future, you live in fear.

That’s why Eckart Tolles best selling book “The Power of Now” is so hopeful to so many.

The past is gone. The future hasn’t happened yet. The time is always now.

He gives the analogy of a tree.

He says if you were to ask a tree (assuming trees could speak), what the time is, they would reply “time? What is time? The time is now.”

Time is where fear comes into place.

“But what if I don’t get that job?”

“What if it’s raining tomorrow?”

“What if I have a car accident?”

What if.

None of these things have even happened yet, however it still manages to produce the same level of anxiety and fear. Because we are living it as if it is happening.

I read a book a number of years ago that used the example of imagining eating a lemon.

Let’s do it. Start concentrating.

In your mind, slice open a lemon into quarters. Now pop that lemon slice into your mouth and bite into it. You should be salivating right now. That’s the power of the mind. Whilst you are not actually eating this lemon, you still have the same reaction.

Which brings me back to the now.

Right now, I am sitting outside in the sunshine, drinking a coffee, smoking a cigarette (which I really need to quit that filthy habit), and writing a story. That’s all. There is nothing at all to be concerned about.

However as usual, in my contradictory fashion, I want to speak about the past. Even though that is not living in the now.

The reason that you are the way that you are, is shaped by your experiences in the past. You cannot deny that. If you are who you are as a result of the past, how do you let go of it and live in the now?

This is something that whilst makes sense in theory, in practise I simply cannot comprehend. Living in the now that is.

You are who you are because of all that you have experienced and endured up until this point. So how on earth do you forget the past and move into the now?

Do you forget about people you have met along the way? Do you forget about all you have learnt? All you have felt? All that has helped shape you into the person you have become?

Ordinarily I’ll conclude my posts with some sort of answer, but to this particular question, I have no answer. I simply do not know.

THE PEOPLE WE MEET

Are the people we meet there to teach us lessons? To reveal undiscovered or hidden layers of ourselves? Or are they there to break us in some way?

Elizabeth Gilbert in her memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” talks about soulmates.

I don’t necessarily think that a soulmate needs to be one in the romantic sense. It can be in a best friend, in a sister, or even in some random person that the universe decides to send into your direction.

In her book, she has this to say about soulmates:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life…”

I absolutely love her thoughts on this.

My guru once told me that when the universe wants you to change something, what does it do? First it nudges you. Then pushes a little harder. Then an outright shove. Then a king-hit to the head, and if you still haven’t managed to make a change, it will completely floor you.

At times this is what needs to happen.

But if the people we meet have this effect on us, are we in turn having a similar effect on them? The law of polarities would suggest that yes, this is indeed the case. So we, in turn are also smacking them awake.

So if a true soul mate is your mirror, does that mean they possess qualities in which you lack? Does this mean that once you have developed these traits yourself that the union is done?

I am the first to admit that I don’t have any of the answers to these mysteries in life.

Perhaps it’s easier for some to keep their blinkers on and keep their minds closed to the endless possibilities that abound.

And sometimes maybe we should remove those blinkers, pay attention to everything that the universe is sending us, good, bad, and indifferent, and know that everything does happen for a reason, and not remain ignorant or close-minded to what is.

QUOTE OF THE DAY – THE BIRD AND THE CAGE (Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes)

“Once upon a time, there was a bird. She was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers.

One day, a man saw this bird and fell in love with her.
He invited the bird to fly with him, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. He admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then he thought: She might want to visit far-off mountains!
And he was afraid, afraid that he would never feel the same way about any other bird.

And he thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, she will never leave again.”
The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

He looked at the bird every day. There she was, the object of his passion, and he showed her to his friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.”

However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that he had the bird and no longer needed to woo her, he began to lose interest.

The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of her life, began to waste away and her feathers to lose their gloss; she grew ugly; and the man no longer paid her any attention, except by feeding her and cleaning out her cage.

One day, the bird died. The man felt terribly sad and spent all his time thinking about her. But he did not remember the cage, he thought only of the day when he had seen her for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If he had looked more deeply into himself, he would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was her freedom, the energy of her wings in motion, not her physical body.

Without the bird, his life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at his door.
“Why have you come?” He asked Death.
“So that you can fly once more with her across the sky,” Death replied.

“If you had allowed her to come and go, you would have loved and admired her ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find her again.”

SHUT THE FUCK UP

Strange title hey?

Well, let me enlighten you on the reason for this blog title today.

Yesterday I was at the beach. And I was smoking a cigarette. A filthy, disgusting habit I took up about a year ago which I am going to stop.

Anyway, I was at the beach, smoking a cigarette.

A thin, leathery, woman I’m her 50’s marched over to me and reprimanded me firmly.

“This is a non smoking beach” she told me furiously.

I looked up at her innocently.

“It is?”

“Yes. Can’t you see the signs?!” She yelled at me.

“No” I answered truthfully. As if there are no-smoking signs at the beach.

“I’m almost finished anyway” I said as she went and sat back down on her beach chair.

“Can you put it out right now?!” She called out to me.

I looked at her in disbelief. Was she kidding?

“No worries” I replied, stubbing it out in the sand.

Seriously, what a fucking bitch.

Ok, so I was unaware of this no-smoking policy at the beach. Whatever. I just got schooled.

But why the fuck did she feel the need to take it upon herself to be the “no-smoking-on-the-beach-law-enforcer”? And be so rude about it? And have I ever mentioned that I hate being told what to do?

I am positive that is not her job. Why did she care so much?

Ok, I get it that it may be bothersome to a lot of people, but there’s certainly no need for her to be so rude about it, and treated as though I am some sort of second rate citizen.

There are plenty of things that shit me, but I don’t go and pull people up on it. Nor do I have the right.

Take the shopping centre car park.

Once in a blue moon, if I am in a hurry (and it’s only ever after 9pm), I will park in the “parents with prams” spot. The car park is generally deserted at this time, and whilst there are occasionally one or two cars containing baby-seats parked there, they rarely have a child in tow, given the time of the evening.

If I get a fine, that’s my problem. But in no way is it right for someone else to feel as though it is their place to come and tell me that I’m “not allowed” to park there.

It is not their job, and whilst it may be morally wrong (although given the time of night I hardly think it’s a crime), it does not warrant being pointed out by a mere civilian.

And, on top of that, unless you actually are a parent with a pram, and only have the evidence that you have procreated by way of your car containing a booster seat, you too are also in the wrong.

Same goes for exiting a car park the wrong way.

Sometimes I do this too. Very seldom, but sometimes it happens. Yeah, I’m a little bit of a shit at times. But whatever. Again, not a crime.

There is always some asshole shaking their head violently from side to side letting you know you’re going the wrong way. Is it really having such a detrimental impact in your life? Lighten up bro. You’ll give yourself a heart attack.

I think people take life a little too seriously and that whole “if you see something, say something” thing has been taken to new heights.

It’s not really that big of a deal. It’s really not. Particularly as it’s hardly against the law, nor do I go out of my way to do this every time.

And there are lots of things that bother me, that whilst not having any rules to govern it, still annoy me in the same way that others may get annoyed. Things that you just don’t say. Why? Because it’s not my place, and it’s impolite.

For instance, there is nothing more infuriating than a screaming child on a plane. Ok, this is hardly something that can be helped, nor is it not permitted, but I would never go and ask the parent to sort it out. It is what it is.

And people on pedestrian crossings.

Is it just me, or does their pace seem to slow when they get to a crossing? It’s not my place to wind down my window and tell them to walk faster.

Or people who walk exceptionally slow in a shopping centre whilst you are stuck behind them.

Or people who line up with a trolley full of groceries in the 12 items or less lane.

Or people who are flogging their child in public. Not my business.

Stupid examples I know, but same principle. It’s not my place to say anything.

Unless you are employed as a rule enforcer, leave it up to those people to sort it out and give you a fine or a slap on the wrist. And until then, shut the fuck up.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER

I have opted out of Facebook for the last week on a self imposed hiatus.

I have the shits. And I thought that everyone can go fuck themselves and be deprived of my pearls of wisdom.

Not that that’s the real story. And I’m joking about my pearls of wisdom.

I do really have the shits though. I would love to be able to blurt out the reasons why, because some of my best writing comes from a place of pain, but for at least the time being, my lips are sealed.

So. I deleted my Facebook. I was furious. I wanted to go off the radar. For several reasons which I will not go into. And I decided I was never going to blog again. “What for?” I asked myself. Again for reasons I will not go into.

And then a girlfriend phoned me yesterday.

“Where have you been? Why haven’t you been writing?” She asked me.

I do this sometimes.

They say creative people are highly sensitive. And I am no exception. Sometimes it’s just easier to retreat and go into my cave. Isolate myself from the world.

So we met up for a coffee, this friend and I.

We spoke about a bunch of things.

Women do this. We need to vent. Not necessarily to find solutions, just to get things off our chests.

My friend lost her father 4 weeks ago after a long battle with his inner demons. She is going through the terrible stages of grief that come with this sad and untimely loss.

She begun to tell me about the fact that she was craving that male energy.

Because I’m very much a believer in polarities, I think this is the natural thing to do. To seek out that of which is missing within. The missing link which makes us feel whole. To provide us with that elusive balance.

She told me about this particular guy quite a few months ago that she just can’t get out of her mind. You are all well aware of the fact that I deeply admire the author Paulo Coelho and his teachings.

“If it’s still in your mind, it’s still in your heart.” I quoted him.

“Oh my God I love that!” She cried.

So the story goes like this.

Let’s give my friend and this guy some fictional names.

Because I’ve never had any children and have never had the opportunity to name anything other than a pet, I’ll choose some names for them. Let’s call them Grace (after my Grandmother), and Kingsley (I had one of my contractors with this name and I’ve always liked it).

So Grace had a relationship a year ago with Kingsley. At the time she was fresh out of a failed marriage, and she wasn’t ready to settle down with anyone. Yet, he was everything she wanted in a man. Attentive, warm, caring, and a freak in the bed.

He had a tattoo on the inside of his bicep. “Trust” it read. One night after being intimate together, she kissed this tattoo on his arm.

“Why did you do that?” Kingsley asked her, a little bit taken aback.

“What do you mean?” Grace replied, perplexed.

“Have I told you about that tattoo before?” He probed her.

“What are you talking about?” Grace responded.

“I always said whichever girl kisses that tattoo, is my soulmate”

Tears welled up in my eyes, all of my hairs stood on end, and a warm fuzzy feeling came over me. I simply had to write about it.

So back to the story.

After some time, they went their separate ways. She continued dating other men, and he went on to become engaged.

She thought about him often, and always wondered what might have been.

The week that her father took a turn for the worst, she was very sad, and was reaching out for support from her friends.

And then she got a text from Kingsley saying that he had a feeling that she was struggling with something.

She hadn’t heard from him in months. This is called synchronicity. A fated experience, or a meaningful coincidence. Their souls are intrinsically connected.

I implored her to reach out to him. The one lesson that I have learnt is to draw on whatever resources you have. Whatever gets you to where you need to go.

So she did. And a funny thing happened.

He opened her heart to her, admitting that like her, he has never stopped being able to think about her.

She was floored.

He was engaged to another woman. What does all of this mean?

She dug deep within her soul, and realised that whilst he has her heart, it was simply an impossible situation. So she decided to let it go for now.

But that is not the end of this seemingly tragic love story.

True love will find a way no matter what, and whatever is meant to be will be. I believe in my own heart that they are destined to be together, and the universe always sends you the exact experience you are having right now to enable you to gravitate towards the person who has your heart. No matter what obstacles need to be overcome.

So Grace, thank you for sharing your personal story with me, and opening my heart which the door of stubbornness and fury had slammed shut for the past week.

You have managed to drag me back to my passion, which is of course my love affair with writing, and not censoring myself (well there are certain things that I censor out of dignity), even though laying your cards on the table is rarely without risk and ridicule. We must do what is right for ourselves.

My wish for you is that I can return the favour. And open your heart to the passion and fate that is before you. No matter what the risk. Above all, like I wish for all of us, I really want you to have your “happily ever after”.

SELF TALK AND CULTIVATING YOUR GARDEN

I have written before about an “inner dialogue”. The self talk that goes on in our heads.

I have OCD. I like everything in its place. All of the stripes on the cushions in my home need to face a certain way, all of the dishes need to be done before I go to sleep at night, or I won’t be able to sleep. I also have this constant inner dialogue going on. Funny little thing i am.

I noticed my inner dialogue on Sunday as I was searching for a coat hanger to hang a dress I had just washed and worn to a wedding the night before. That’s another OCD habit I have. Washing my clothes immediately after I wear them.

“No. No. No.” I said in my mind as I scanned my bursting closet, with no hangers to spare, looking at which dress I was willing to remove from its hanger in order to hang my new dress. I have an astonishing amount of clothing. Yet, like most women, still nothing to wear.

“You don’t deserve to be on a hanger” my inner dialogue said, as I removed a dress I didn’t particularly fancy, and left it sitting on the wardrobe floor. If I had this conversation out loud, people would assume I’m bonkers.

And I have this is the shower too. I always look at the shampoo bottle and read this word that’s on it. Combability. “That’s not even a word” I say to myself each time I look at it.

So I’ve established that there is this ridiculous inner dialogue constantly taking place in our minds.

But what about the negative self talk that sometimes floods our thoughts?

“God I look fat today”

“My boobs are too small”

“Is that a wrinkle?”

“Is that a pimple?”

“My gosh that front tooth is really crooked”

I am constantly picking myself apart. I think everyone does this to themselves. But these are just the surface criticisms. What about the ones that cause us real damage?

“I’m so stupid”

“Why don’t I have any courage?”

“I am so negative”

“I am my own worst enemy”

“I’m not good enough”

This self talk undermines our confidence, and yes, when we do think this way, we really are our own worst enemy.

Why do we have this perception of ourselves?

Why do we only absorb the negative, and never the positive? How is it that a bad comment can cancel out any of the good?

You know what negative thoughts do. They undermine our confidence. They destroy our self worth. They create doubt. And they can cause illness. Where do you think the word “disease” comes from? Dis-ease.
If there is an element of dis-ease within, it can actually cause disease. Initially it manifests as anxiety, depression, headaches. Then irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, insomnia. Sometimes then the more sinister stuff can take hold.

Let’s liken it to a garden. Let’s grow some tulips.

If you do not look after your garden, removing the weeds, turning over the soil, fertilise it, water it, and generally take care of it, it will be overcome with weeds, and those beautiful tulips will be strangled and die. And if you don’t care for them from the start, they may not even get the chance to bloom. But here’s the best part. The seed is still there, and it’s never too late to cultivate your garden. Those tulips can always be late bloomers.

It’s important to eliminate any stress and dis-ease from our lives to enable this proverbial garden to flourish.

Stop with the negative self talk and start loving yourself for the gift you truly are.

INTUITION AND FOLLOWING YOUR HEART

For those of you who follow my Facebook page and Instagram, you would have seen that the inspirational author Paulo Coelho, whom I deeply admire, tweeted an article I wrote the other week.

paulo 2

 

I was absolutely floored when I saw it, and I have no clue how he managed to even stumble across it, let alone be so impressed by it that he sent it out to his 8.5 million followers.

That was a true validation right there that I am on the right path with being authentic to myself, that I’m following my hearts desire, particularly as I have been faced with some criticism over my writing.

“We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It’s amazing how when you send out your hopes, dreams and desires into the universe, what transpires. And how intuition plays a huge part in guiding you towards what your heart really wants.

Take writing for the Huffington Post.

That was purely my gut telling me to do it. I was sitting on the couch late one evening and for some strange reason, the thought randomly popped into my head. “I want to write for the Huffington Post”.

“Learn to recognize omens, and follow them”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

So I sent them a quirky email introducing myself. Then they sent one back asking me to submit something. So I did. And they wrote back and told me they don’t accept diary style writing, and that my blogs were far too long.

So I sent them my IVF article. And they wrote back saying it was interesting, but needed to back up my claims, particularly because it was a controversial piece.

I almost gave up then. It was getting too hard.

But my determination overruled and I went searching for the references I used, even though I had initially wrote that article quite a few years ago. I found all of the information and submitted it back to them, and I waited.

A few hours later, they wrote back to me, thanked me, and let me know that because I had credible resources to back up my claims, and because it was such an interesting article, they have decided to not only accept me as a contributing author to their blog platform, but also run that article as a feature on their front page first thing Monday morning.

What a result. My tenacity paid off.

So I had a friend a few weeks back ask me what’s the point in contributing to the Huffington Post, after all, I don’t get paid for it. I said its for notoriety and exposure, and that you never know who’s reading it.

And lo and behold, this is where Paulo Coelho discovered my article. Via the Huffington Post.

So there’s an answer to that question right there – you never know who’s reading your writing. It may well be one of the best-selling authors of all time.

Whilst I would love to be generating an income from this passion of mine, I am not doing this for the financial reward. I am doing it because I am compelled to do it. Because this is my hearts desire.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist