Category Archives: Inner peace

Here in this moment

Here in this moment, I see that I am free
Here in this moment, I see who I want to be
Here in this moment, all is glorious and wild
Like the beating of my heart, this moment happens just for me
Blades of grass sway gently in the breeze, like the dancing of my soul
There is a subtle flow to life, if only we could see;
The spirit of the forest is the spirit of you and me
Why then am I here, life coursing through my veins?
To witness the unfolding of this magical wonderland?
Or to dance with life; to hold its hand and make it once more my friend?
These words pour forth from somewhere
Somewhere yet unseen
This place and I are connected
Like the swaying of the trees

You are worthy of love

You are more than worthy of love, my dear.

Of this you can be certain

It’s time to allow the light to seep through

To those dark spaces you have been residing in

The dark prisons of your mind are of your own making, my love.

And the world is waiting for you to set yourself free

You cannot complete the journey alone

But your friends and family wish for you to receive their loving embrace

And to witness their affection seep through to your very bones

You have believed yourself to be unworthy for so long

And so the journey home to the truth may take longer than you desire

The pain you experience may sometimes seem unbearable

Please keep walking onward, one tiny step at a time.

And with each new day, awaken to the knowledge that you are lovable.

The sun and stars shine for you, my dear one.

And the beauty you see in the world is a reflection of your own majesty

Be one with the universe

Surrender your fears to the darkness

Leave them there, and take my hand.

Walking gently into the light

Why I love you

Hello my darling. I just wanted to stop by and take the time to let you know why I love you so. You see, you mean so very much to me. There’s no one else like you – you’re one of a kind! When the universe created you, it made something wonderful. You have so much to offer, just by being uniquely you, and letting it all hang out (metaphorically speaking, of course!). Your ideas may not be completely original all of the time, but your way of expressing them… Well, my love, that is all you. You light up the room just by being your true self, and when you don’t feel like shining your light, your presence is still wonderful to behold. I see that you are not perfect. None of us are! And who wants to be perfect anyway? I don’t love you for the things that you get right. I love you because you are you. And you – YOU – are amazing to me. Please continue to be yourself in every possible way, and know how very much you are appreciated, each and every day. Tonight, rest peacefully in the embrace of my love.

Loving me, loving you

Loving me is the greatest gift I could ever give to myself. Without self-love, the world will always look bleak and unfriendly. Without self-love, the love of others will never be enough, and my heart will continue to scream out for more. Without self-love, I will not experience the fullness of my being, and feel what it is to be fully alive and at home in the world.

How is it, I wonder, that human beings struggle so very much with self-love? Is it limited to the Western world? I suspect not, although our focus on image and financial success surely can’t be much of a help when it comes to feeling good about ourselves. Self-love is so fundamental to our happiness, and yet there are very few signposts or tools to help us navigate this important life skill. Except of course for our emotional guidance, which is always pointing our way home to our own hearts. But by the time we realise the importance of this emotional guidance system (which is like a sort of internal sat-nav for the soul), we have often strayed far from where we want to be.

We wait and wait for someone else to come along and love us in the way that we wish, and deserve, to be loved, until one day we realise that the love we crave can only come from one person – us.

I want my own love and acceptance more than anything else in the world.

I want the best relationship I have to be that with myself.

And this means loving everything, not just the bits that look acceptable or worthy to others. If we leave any parts of ourselves behind, they will follow us around, feeling lost and alone, until we have the courage to look them in the eyes and say: “I love you”.

I love you me. I love you me. I love you me. Thank you for being here, me, and for coming with me on this journey of self-love and acceptance. I love you. (If you’d like more guidance and encouragement with the journey of self-love, consider reading Tara Love Perry’s book ‘I love you me’. Tara also has a website and a YouTube channel, if you wish to learn more about her work).

One of the hardest things for me to get my head around on the journey of self-love is the idea of what love really is, and whether there is enough of it in the world to go around! I know this sounds strange, but I think all too often we believe that love is ‘out there’ somewhere, in the hands of others who can choose whether or not to give us what we want and need. But of course, love is something we all experience. Love isn’t an intellectual concept – it is a feeling, and something that lives inside all of us. That rush of love we get when we stroke our pets, hold hands with a loved one, or look into the eyes of someone dear to us, is ours. The experience of love is something that exists inside of our own hearts, and there is no limit to how much of it we can feel, if only we allow ourselves. A good question to ask is: what barriers do I have to experiencing love in my life? Or – what beliefs am I holding onto which prevent me from fully opening my heart?

Something else to consider, if you are spiritually inclined, is that we are in fact all deeply loved and cherished, always. Furthermore, we are all one with this source of love. To me this just makes good sense, since we cannot surely feel loving towards ourselves if we believe ourselves to be separate from the very source of love we wish to experience. Make sense?

Self-love isn’t easy for those of us who aren’t accustomed to it, or simply don’t know how. In which case, a good place to start is to love the part of you that doesn’t know how! Start wherever you are, not where you wish to be. (For more on loving whatever arises, see the many wonderful videos spiritual speaker and writer Matt Kahn has posted on his YouTube channel).

Go forth and love your ‘me’.

Much love,

Kath Xxx

Write for light

Write your way through the darkness, until a light begins to appear at the end, and you can feel that rush of returning home to yourself.

Write for your life, through the darkest moments, knowing that your words are read and received, and that it is always safe to acknowledge yourself and what you are feeling.

Write from a place of connection, or if you feel disconnected, write until the glimmer of connection begins to shine through.

Write until you are exhausted, or jot down a few choice words. Either way, you are a writer my dear.

Paint your nails and put your hoop earrings in, if it helps you to feel like the boss that you are, and to get the words you long to write down on paper.

Write in your pjs with greasy hair and a belly so full of tea you just know you’re going to need to make 100 more trips to the loo before the day is done.

Whatever it is that gets you in front of your computer or notepad, just do it.

Express yourself, and write your truth at every turn.

Don’t wait for anyone else’s invitation to begin writing your story, or sharing your ideas. Life is an open invitation to self expression, and the more of us who dare to show up and write from a place of authenticity, the better. The more we step into our own truth, the easier we make it for others to do the same.

Hey you – yes you, reading this!!! What is it that you long to write? Regardless of what you think your ‘audience’ may want to hear, or may bring the most hits to your blog. What issues are burning inside of you, just waiting for you to give them some air?

I don’t know why I’m writing this. I didn’t even realise I was going to write a blog post until I opened up my laptop and found myself tapping away. Maybe it’s a load of sh*t, or maybe it contains a nugget of wisdom that someone reading this will benefit from, in some small way.

Point is, I turned up, I wrote what seemed to want to be written, and I’d rather do that than wait for the perfect idea for a blog post to emerge. I’m not a creative genius (or at least I don’t think I am!). I’m just a woman who seems to want to write, and is fortunate that occasionally what I’ve written means something to someone else.

Who’s permission are we waiting for, anyway, when we’re pondering our worth as a writer? What human being was born into this world with credentials so great, and a talent for writing so enormous, that they can determine whether or not we are allowed to enter the fold and take to the keyboard? I’ll tell you who – no one!

So write! Write for freedom, write for joy, or write to get something off your chest. You are a part of this world, and this world needs you to show up as your true self. Writing is one way that you can do this.

Peace!

Kath Xxx

Learning to trust what arises

Let’s be honest, if we had the choice, we’d all want to be happy most, if not all of the time; we’re only human after all. In reality, life is a little trickier than that.

The trouble with feeling low, sad or anxious is that they don’t feel like very friendly emotions! They feel, if anything, like some form of punishment for something we’ve done wrong. We judge the emotion, and we judge ourselves for feeling it, which in turn only makes us feel worse.

I’ve read before about diving into every moment in life, trusting that it is our friend and not our foe. Spiritual writers seem particularly keen for us to ‘trust what arises’, no matter how bad we may feel at times. If I happen to be in a difficult place when I come across these messages, my reaction is usually not a positive one!! “If only they knew how bad I feel and how hard I’ve been trying to stop feeling this way, they wouldn’t be encouraging me to dive in deep and accept what is!”

My go-to response to feeling a difficult emotion is often to look for the escape button, in whatever form that may take. Now please don’t misunderstand me here – I’m not in the least suggesting that you stop yourself from looking for support, guidance or comfort in your moments of darkness. I don’t know about you, but I’m becoming increasingly aware of the fact that I’m not in this life alone, and whereas I absolutely must take responsibility for my own emotions, that does not mean that I have to do it alone. In fact, seeking support and guidance isn’t hitting the escape button – it’s a way of making what you’re feeling manageable and ensuring that you feel heard, understand and held. This is ALL GOOD and extremely important. Hitting the escape button, on the other hand, may include something that will temporarily numb the pain, but in the process prevent you from really experiencing what it is that is wanting to be seen. Think along the lines of a glass or two of wine, asking for reassurance instead of trusting that you can handle whatever life throws your way, or reaching out to someone you know gives you that rush of acceptance and approval, when what you really need is to accept and approve of yourself.

As I write this, I’m aware of how very hard it is to dive into the negative emotions that arise, and how much I still find myself wanting to fast-track my way to the good side of life. In fact, I’m writing this as an important reminder to myself, because it takes courage to sit with the ‘bad’ and trust that the ‘good’ will return. This stuff is hard guys! Like, super hard and gritty and painful and messy… It sucks, and I know it sucks, so please don’t think that I’m of the impression that any of this is easy.

It seems to me that there are a few key things to remember when it comes to navigating the darker side of life, and most of them have to do with trust… So get ready to learn how to trust, let go and allow life to unfold. It may seem scary, but it’s actually extremely empowering, and will help you to feel more connected with yourself and your fellow human beings. (Remember: no matter how alone you may feel, we are all in this together, and you are connected with every other living thing on the planet. The less ‘true’ this feels, the more you have to trust that it is).

  • Your life is not meaningless and random – it is VERY meaningful and everything is always exactly as it should be.
  • In every moment there are opportunities to trust more, let go of the need to control, and allow things to just ‘be’, knowing that life is always cheering you on and encouraging you to reach for joy.
  • Trust that you are worthy of joy and happiness. Often, when we feel particularly bad, joy can seem like it’s a very long way from us indeed. What I’ve come to realise is that joy is always present within us; it’s our ability to tap into it and get past our mental and emotional blocks that matters. If joy seems far from your reach, consider that it may actually be closer to you than you could ever have imagined, just waiting for you to give yourself a break, learn to love yourself or let go of the past…
  • Trust the journey that you are on. You know who you are, what phase of your life you are in, and what it is that you need to do to connect with that deep well of joy that exists inside you at all times. Don’t let the demons fool you into thinking that they know you better than you know yourself!! If anything, recognise that your fears are a natural part of being human, thank them for their concern, but ultimately remind them that they don’t get to call the shots. (NB: for more on living a more full and creative life in spite of the fear that arises for all of us, read ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert – you won’t regret it!)
  • All of the above will help you to relax and breathe, anchoring you in the present moment, which ultimately is all that we ever have.
  • Remember that breathing through the pain doesn’t mean accepting that this is how you will always feel. It is absolutely possible for you to accept pain and anguish, whilst dreaming of and trusting in a joyful future 🙂
  • Remember that you are ALWAYS loved. If you need a little encouragement with this one, please listen to ‘In Dreams’ by Jai-Jagdeesh. It’s a beautiful song to play just before bedtime.

As I move through my life, I am becoming increasingly aware that the only version of life that makes sense to me is a magical one, where we are all connected in a giant cosmic journey. The more magic I allow to be present in my life, the deeper my sense of trust and belonging. I’ve tried living in a mundane world-view, and it felt so far from the truth, and brought me so much pain, that I have no choice now but to dive in deep to the spiritual life I feel strongly is calling to me. If you too feel the call of the wild, please consider reading some of Martha Beck’s many wonderful books. She is one crazy lady, in the best and most wonderful way. There are days when just remembering that she exists brings me a sense of relief and belonging. I love you Martha!

Now go forth and allow yourself to begin trusting in yourself and your journey.

Much love,

Kath Xxx

 

Image courtesy of Terry Johnston via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

With great pain comes understanding and peace

When all is said and done, there is only love.

When all is said and done, connection and togetherness is all that really matters.

When all is said and done, what matters most about your life might have nothing to do with your external achievements or appearance.

What matters – the ONLY thing that matters – is how we feel.

Our connection to joy and inner-peace.

Our ability to sit with all of our emotions; not censoring them, but rather noticing and acknowledging them for what they are.

How we connect with the world around us and with the universe that exists within all of us is paramount to our happiness and well-being.

I’ve read and heard ideas like these for quite a few years now, but only in this moment can I say that I am finally beginning to fully understand the truth behind them. It has taken many a dark moment of fear and disconnection to finally allow my emotional blocks to begin dissolving away, giving way to a deep well of joy and peace I never knew I could experience.

I haven’t reached this point in my life in spite of the bad times, but rather because of them. They were my friend all along, and only ever wanted the best for me. My demons are my saviours, and for as long as I live, I will try to always listen to the dark moments of my life and hear what they are trying to tell me.

And for as long as I live, I will endeavour to let go of the need to control, or to always understand what a situation is about. I cannot comprehend a universe in which I am not in constant communication with some unseen, but oh so loving and friendly force. I have felt this connection from being a young woman, but I learnt to disconnect from it in favour of social norms and false ideas about what it means to be safe and loved in the world. It has been a long journey to come home to myself, and it has only just begun! I get the feeling that I have only glimpsed the very smallest portion of my potential.

I want so desperately to feel connected, and to help others do the same. I will no longer live in a world where we are all meaningless collections of atoms, because for me this no longer feels like the truth.

I occasionally come across bits of paper with scrawled notes or reminders written on them – I have an enormous collection of writing from the last few years, which has served to help guide me and remind me of what I already knew to be the truth. It’s not prize-winning stuff, but it was important at the time, and sometimes my own words reach out to me from the past and touch me in unexpected ways. This last happened just a few days ago now, and this is what I found:

Go find your joy

Go find your purpose

Go out into the world

Let it see you

And cast your eyes upon its magnificence

Don’t label yourself;

Be wild and free

Express yourself

And feel your connection to the rest of humanity

You’ve come so far

Know that nothing is outside of your reach

These were just the words I needed to read at that exact moment, so I guess I’m happy that I’ve kept all my scrappy bits of paper!

So, my lovely readers. What feels true for you? What do you ache to do or say, but daren’t because you fear ridicule, rejection or ruin?

What is it about your life that speaks to you the most, and what is missing?

Who do you most love to spend your time with, and who drains your energy and leaves you feeling hollow?

If you could trust that your life belongs to you, what would you do differently?

And if you feel a long way off from all of this very whimsical sounding self-help style material, then know that that too is OK. It’s all good, all of the time.

LOADS of love,

Kath

Shadows and stars

There are so many hidden parts of me, just waiting to get out. I see now, after so many years of anxiety and sadness, that I have been living in the shadows, unaware of what was waiting for me in the light. Like a long dark tunnel, it is necessary to keep moving forwards in order to reach the light. It’s terrifying – truly terrifying. But oh… once you’ve glimpsed the light which lies beyond that dark and confined space, you will know in your heart that there is no turning back.

It’s a strange thing to awaken to your true self. The truth of who I am has always been there, but I have been so very oblivious to it I can hardly believe it. I have been afraid, but I see now that I am brave – courageous beyond my wildest dreams. Where once I felt ashamed, I am beginning to feel a joy in letting it all hang-out. This is me, and there won’t ever be another one of me. Similar, yes. Kindred spirits – definitely. But an exact copy? Nope. I am a part of the universe that has never existed before, and will never exist again. And the same is true for you, whoever you are. A friend of mine called me a ‘star’ the other day, and I liked how it reminded me that I am a part of a much bigger picture. As Gill Edwards put it: “We are all pieces in a giant cosmic jigsaw” (I’m paraphrasing as I don’t remember the exact quote). Needless to say that when I first encountered this quote in Gill’s writings, I felt a sense of belonging and of family that I have spent my life searching for.

I realise that this post makes it sound like I’m close to having all the answers, which is far from the truth. I believe I have a lot more to learn about myself, and I hope many more adventures to go on. But for the first time in my 35 years on this planet, the longing to be my true self is greater than any anxiety about what people may think of me.

So much life to be lived. So many parts of myself to explore and express. So many lovely people to connect and share experiences with.

I still have days where I struggle to feel connected to myself and others, but I know now to let these days pass me by, trusting that they will give way to something more joyful and more true. My disconnected state isn’t my true self, but rather a state of being that masks my true self. This is different to the concept of light and dark existing alongside one another; there will always be good and bad times in our lives, just like the sky can’t always be filled with sunshine. But our true selves remain constant, even if they are hidden away, and even if it’s grey outside and everything in our lives seems to be falling to pieces.

So, I put this to you, my lovely readers. You are a star, shining brightly in an ever-unfolding universe. You are part of something wonderful, but you yourself are wonderful, just as you are. So make like those cheesy slogans we see all over mugs and tote bags, and shine bright for all the world to see.

And one last thing: if you’re only just entering the dark tunnel of your life, be kind and patient with yourself. Keep moving forwards, bit by bit, and when you least expect it, a small amount of light will begin to appear at the other side. Whatever you do, don’t look back.

Love,

Kath

Is it any wonder?

Is it any wonder that I failed to speak my truth growing up?

So much to say, but no one to hear me – including myself.

I learnt to be silent

I learnt to value the opinions of others above my own

I never learnt how to be an ‘I’

No sense of self

No space to freely explore and express who I am

And oh so much fear

Insecurity reigned, like an evil queen.

Always too scared to discover what’s on the inside

Too frightened to let anyone in

Have I ever truly let someone in?

And felt that true connection with someone I love?

There have definitely been moments: tiny sparks that burned bright but fizzled out all too soon.

But that inner-wiring exists nonetheless

I am hardwired for connection; we all are.

But first I must connect with myself, daring to lift the lid and see what’s inside.

I’m sure that what I see won’t all be good or perfect

But who wants to be good and perfect anyway?!

I will see – have seen – kindness, that’s for sure.

Oh yes, there is a giant heart beating inside my chest.

A heart that so desperately wants to reach out and touch the hearts of others

But first I must heal my relationship with my self

Then I will have much to share with the world

Then I will feel peace and joy

Then I will know that I have found my way home

 

Image courtesy of Ghost of Kuji via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Licence

Do you hear me?

I have recently become involved with a local Deaf and Hearing Support charity, as a volunteer and attendee of their free weekly sign language classes. As I’m in the UK, the language we are learning is British Sign Language (I’m told it’s VERY different from American Sign Language, plus the numerous other sign languages that exist – in fact, even within the UK there are many regional differences, making it just as complex to learn and understand as any spoken language).

You may be wondering by now why I’m writing about sign language, so I’ll crack on and cut to the chase. All of this has got me thinking about how we communicate with each other, and indeed with ourselves. I am only just now beginning to understand the devastating impact of having not felt ‘heard’ as a child and a teenager, and possibly also as an adult. We may be sounding out words, but whether or not they are being fully received and really listened to is another matter.

Let’s be honest, there are a whole host of reasons why we may feel unheard. Perhaps we struggle to communicate what we need, struggling even to formulate our emotions and experiences into sentences the other person can understand, or shying away from what we want to say because we fear being judged. Perhaps the person we’re speaking to can’t understand our point of view, or is too wrapped up in their own issues to fully empathise with us in the way we want them to. Or perhaps they are literally not listening to us, but rather coasting through the conversation with a series of words and noises which sound good enough, but our gut tells us that they’re just not interested. Whatever the reason, the effects can feel really devastating, especially if we’re talking to someone we feel really ought to understand, and whose opinion and understanding are important to us.

So why is this so important? Why do we need to feel heard in the first place? I’m sure most of you already know the answer: it’s simply part of the human experience to need to communicate the way we feel, and to thereby feel supported and part of a bigger whole. No man (or woman) is an island, and trying to operate alone is a very lonely and depressing experience.

I often find that I’m so frustrated with someone who isn’t meeting my conversational expectations, that I don’t realise I’m doing the same thing in return. I was talking with a family member earlier today, and because I was frustrated with them for not acknowledging what I had been saying, I started to lose interest in the conversation and give very minimal responses. “Listen to me!” I wanted to say. “Stop talking about yourself and listen to what I have to say”. It’s a vicious circle of people not feeling heard or acknowledged, often resulting in the individuals coming away feeling frustrated and depressed.

So what can we do to make sure that we’re really heard, and also that we’re aware of our own emotional and conversational needs?

  • Make time to do nothing. Carve out some time every day, no matter how small, just to take a breather, get some perspective and check in with your feelings. Keep a diary/journal if you want to. This can take any form you like – from a stream of consciousness to a bullet list of things to ask yourself, such as ‘how am I feeling?’ and ‘what do I need in this moment?’.
  • Develop an awareness of who amongst your friends and family is good to talk to, and who isn’t! Like it or not, there are often people in our lives we wish would really listen to us and provide that support and comfort we all crave, but for some reason they just aren’t able to give us what we need. Whilst this can really hurt, continuing to return to this person in the hopes that something will have changed is a recipe for heartache, frustration and a whole host of other emotions we’d rather not be feeling! Being realistic about what people have to offer means that you can ensure you seek support from the right places, and come away feeling lighter, not weighed down by additional worries.
  • Share how you feel. If you feel like someone in your life, such as your partner, isn’t listening to you in the way you’d like them to, consider letting them know. There’s no need to go in all guns blazing and blame them for not making enough effort – although obviously this might be the case! The best thing in my experience is to open up a conversation about what’s going on, what isn’t working for you, and how the other person feels about what you’re saying. Basically, just open up the line of communication and put your heads together to troubleshoot how you can both make sure you’re getting what you need. Consider carving out some time to get away from your routine, so that there’s enough mental space for you to really listen and be heard.
  • Cultivate friendships which feel good, with people who encourage you to express yourself and to become more and more of who you are. Some people drain our energy, whilst others build us up and help us to feel lighter. Once you’re aware of this, it’s easier to choose who to spend time with, when and how often. It’s not that there’s anything bad or wrong with people who drain your energy, or that by choosing not to spend time with them you are being disloyal to someone you love or care about as a friend. It’s just about being honest with yourself, knowing that if you take care of your needs, you will inevitably have more energy to give to everyone in your life.
  • Get creative! Your emotions don’t always need to be expressed as spoken or written words. Why not listen to some emotive music and do some freestyle dancing around the kitchen? Or if that’s a bit too out-there for you, maybe just get out some colouring pens and pencils and a blank sheet of paper and see what happens. I love to doodle and not put pressure on myself to create an artistic masterpiece – although sometimes I’m surprised by how much I like what I’ve drawn!

In conclusion, there’s a definite difference between hearing the words coming from someone’s mouth, and truly listening to what they’re saying/being emotionally available for them. And there is soooooo much to gain from listening to ourselves, and making sure we nurture and take care of ourselves the way we’d like others to take care of us. I often find myself feeling frustrated by how low I feel, when in theory I’m doing all the right things. But there’s a massive difference between what’s right on paper and what truly feels right for us. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, and whilst I still wish that there was a set of precise instructions for me to follow as I go through life, I’m starting to see that I am a unique piece of a greater jigsaw puzzle, and that the world needs me – and all of us – to show up as the people we truly are underneath all the social norms, peer pressure and family expectations.

P.S. I really love writing to you, whoever you are. I’m really trying my hardest to be more motivated, because I really do want to share as much as I can about what I’ve learned – mostly as a result of my less than smooth path in life thus far! Or maybe I’ll write a few more blog posts and realise I’m out of ideas…! Joking aside, it’s hard to believe in yourself (or in my case, myself) enough to keep writing a blog, especially living in the UK where we’re not supposed to promote ourselves or talk confidently about our skills or talents! Persevere I shall, and if you’ve taken the tiniest nugget of wisdom from this post, then I’m a happy English bunny.

Peace be with you, my fellow earth dwellers.

Bye for now x