A Life to Create

23/07/2014

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A Life to Create

How hard can it be
to relax and let go
to say that’s enough
there’s nothing to prove
or put on show?

There is a time to push
to strive for more
but also a time to stop
to say No
I’m feeling too raw

To soften doesn’t equate to being weak
it can remove inner barriers
open your mind
help you find answers that you seek

Being hard doesn’t equate
to always being strong
There’s no specific line
No definitive right or wrong

So much in this life
we are told that we need
but what is your soul crying out for?
On what does it feed?

Money
Results
Work done at high speed
Or is it just
that your soul
needs you to see
the self laid open
Flying free?

But in this life
many don’t seem to care
so how can you trust
open up
share?

Where do you sit
What could you shift
What do you want to change
and within what range
between the one side of hard
and the other of soft
where you don’t have to fear
being scoffed

What step can you take
to give yourself a break
to let go of anger
of judgement
of self hate?

Which could lead
to a chance
to begin again
where self-acceptance
is no longer in vain

For new decisions to make
A life chosen
A life you can create.

Words © June 2014 Michelle Payne
Picture found circulating freely online


Little Things

26/06/2013

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Little Things

There’s nothing very beautiful and nothing very gay
About the rush of faces in the town by day;
But a light tan cow in a pale green mead,
That is very beautiful, beautiful indeed.
And the soft March wind, and the low March mist
Are better than kisses in a dark street kissed.
The fragrance of the forest when it wakes at dawn,
The fragrance of a trim green village lawn,
The hearing of the murmur of the rain at play
These things are beautiful, beautiful as day!
And I shan’t stand waiting for love or scorn
When the feast is laid for a day new-born . . .
Oh, better let the little things I loved when little
Return when the heart finds the great things brittle;
And better is a temple made of bark and thong
Than a tall stone temple that may stand too long.

~ Orrick Johns ~


12 Life Lessons I Learned from my Cat

20/02/2013

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12 Life Lessons I Learned From My Cat

1. Pounce on opportunity. He who hesitates, misses catching the passing lizard.

2. Patience. Infinite patience.

3. Concentration. A cat studying an opportunity just beyond his grasp is the epitome of focused attention. He doesn’t even blink as he tunes out all distractions. His body is completely still except for his wildly twitching tail releasing his nervous energy.

4. Nothing is worth disturbing your beauty sleep.

5. Catnap. Even a few moments of shut-eye is refreshing.

6. If you’re happy, purr. Show your appreciation by letting people know that you like what they do.

7. Do cat stretches – and other yoga poses, and try Qigong. Especially as we age, gentle stretching is one of the best things we can do for our bodies.

8. Wrestle with your best friend. She likes it when you’re playful.

9. Eat when you’re hungry and not by the clock.

10. Ask for what you want. If you are lovable and patient, you will probably get it.

11. You can’t have everything you want. If you put your claws where they don’t belong, you’re going to get spanked.

12. Revel in life’s simple pleasures. A ball of string is magic. Catnip is heavenly.

~~ Origin: Unknown ~~


Affirmation of the Week

21/01/2013

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“TODAY I TAKE MY SNOW MINUTES”

 I read, quite some time ago, a daily message on the DailyOm website about scheduling a mini escape… ie: taking a Snow Day. Now… I’d never heard that expression before… I’ve heard of duvet day, chill out day… spa day, relaxing day even, but no Snow Day. I’m assuming it got its name due to people wanting to stay at home snuggled up when it’s cold and snowy outside… and since it’s actually snowing outside at the time of drafting this Affirmation, I figured it’s perfect timing 😉

For those that get to enjoy a day at home this Monday due to the weather, enjoy… as I will be donning the wellies, leaving the car and home and walking it to the train station both morning and night! However, if we look to this affirmation in a broader sense… why not take some “snow time” each and every day. I can almost hear the vast and deep intake of breath at that… for after all, isn’t our time stretched enough each day already? Don’t we have more than enough tasks, actions and even thoughts to deal with, without adding something else to our ever-growing daily list?

But think about it… each day we try and fit as much in as possible… and when it’s not possible and things get left undone… we usually sacrifice any quiet time, meditation time, me time… sleep time!… to achieve what we *think* we need to get done.

How much on your list… whether it be a physical or mental list… is actually a necessity… and how much a *should*?

Here’s what I’m proposing… let’s take 10… yes TEN… small minutes out of each day… to sit, to be still… or to do absolutely anything you want to do… with two small conditions *wink*… the first, that it makes you feel good… and secondly… that this is for you alone… not your partner, your kids, your parents, your work, your pets, your house, your finances or anything like that… but… just… for… you!

Ten minutes isn’t very long is it… especially out of a 24 hour period… and yet, you may think… what can I achieve in 10 minutes? Maybe it won’t feel like a lot to start with… but… how quickly do you think you may start looking forward to those 10 minutes each day… it could be reading, writing… a foot scrub… eating cookies lying in front of a fire (OK so I had to mention food… apologies to any who have diet resolutions *grin*)… 10 minutes peace and quiet with everyone barred from contacting you while you soak in a scented bath… a facial steam… a walk in the garden… standing at your back door and just looking up at the stars (a friend loves doing that one)… anything is possible… and 10 minutes could very well be the first baby steps you take to finding something new to enjoy in your life… it doesn’t seem a very high price at all when you think of it like that, does it 🙂

Affirmation questions to consider for this week are:

What would you like to spend 10 minutes a day on?
How do you feel when you think of those 10 minutes?
What do you believe is stopping you from taking those 10 minutes?
What do you think those 10 minutes may bring into your life?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2013 Michelle Payne


Affirmation of the Week

31/12/2012

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“I AM OPEN TO NEW POSSIBILITIES”

And so we hit the last day of 2012 which heralds another week beginning, as does another month and another year… that’s a lot of new beginnings!

Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie ~

I don’t know how anyone reading this blog is feeling (please feel free to post a comment and share), but I’ve definitely felt a shift of energy as we’ve moved towards this new year. Lots of change has been happening which has been accompanied by the usual increase in intensely vivid dreams (always an indicator of change for me) and a feeling of needing to declutter and simplify… again. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve got that much left to throw out *grin*.

So yet again, a time to move forward, and of course, once we have decided what we can, or indeed, must… leave behind… that will then create a gap for something new to come in. However, rather than attempt to draw something specific in, that fits a *perfect* criteria… I thought this affirmation was great for helping to keep our hearts and minds open to all possibilities… without judgement, without expectation… after all, it’s all very well to hope for something, but if we determine beforehand every single option, then that’s actually kinda rigid thinking don’t you think? Though do feel free to disagree with my train of thought 🙂

Whatever you want in life, start today.
Not tomorrow – today.
Let it be a small beginning – a tiny beginning.
Your happiness depends on starting today – every day.
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie ~

Of course we may not know what *new* things we want to accomplish, we may not even have a goal in sight at present, but by being open to possibilities, we open our awareness to the opportunities that may present themselves, so we don’t have to know these things. It is, in fact, enough just to be open, to take one baby step at a time… to have trust that we will know when a possibility presents itself, to believe that something will actually turn up… to have faith that yes, we will then know what to do.  One step at a time. And each step along the way will constitute a journey that one day we will look back on and see how far we have come.  Of course, it may be a bit easier if hindsight were to accompany us from the start, but alas it insists it will only appear further down our path!

Anyway, a new year lies ahead, one that is filled with new days which can bring anything and everything into our lives… I know I don’t want to limit what those possibilities are, and I know I want my heart to be open to them.  Do you?

I am the New Year
~ Author unknown ~

Life, I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice
what you have learned about life
during the last twelve months.

All that you sought
and didn’t find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out
with more determination.

All the good that you tried for
and didn’t achieve
is mine to grant
when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not will,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have –
these slumber lightly,
waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to Him who said,
‘behold, I make all things new.’
I am the new year.

Affirmation questions to consider for this week are:

What do you want to leave behind?
How can you stay open to all possibilities?
How open is your heart?
How much do you trust in opportunities becoming available?
What positive step forward can you take right now?
What would you like to dream into existence today?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2012 Michelle Payne


The Sacrament of Letting Go

12/12/2012

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The Sacrament of Letting Go

a poem from “Seasons of Your Heart”
by Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

Slowly
she celebrated the sacrament of
letting Go…

First she surrendered her Green
then the Orange, Yellow, and Red.
Finally she let go of her Brown.
Shedding her last leaf’
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.

Leaning against the sky she began her vigil of trust.
Shedding her last leaf
she watched it’s journey to the ground.

She stood in silence
wearing the colour of emptiness,
her branches wondering:
How do you give shade, with so much gone?

And then, the sacrament of waiting began.

The sunrise and sunset watched with
tenderness, clothing her with silhouettes
they kept her hope alive.
They helped her understand that
her vulnerability
her dependence and need,
her emptiness
her readiness to receive
were giving her a new kind of beauty.

Every morning and every evening
she stood in silence and celebrated
the sacrament of waiting.

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook


A New Day

05/12/2012

A New Day

Outside my window, a new day I see,
Only I can determine the day it will be.

It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,
Or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.
My own state of mind is the determining key.
For I am only the person that I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
Or be selfish and think just of myself.
I can enjoy what I do, and make it seem fun,
Or gripe and complain, make life hard on someone.

I can be patient with those who may not understand,
Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.
But I have faith in myself, and believe what I say
And so I intend to make the best of my day.

~~ Shirley Morgan ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook


Affirmation of the Week

03/12/2012

Calm

“I AM CALM”

Life. For the majority of us it can seem to be somewhat of a treadmill even though, these days, we have more appliances and services to help us get things done. There never seems to be enough time in the day, and often it seems to be slipping through our fingers like slivers of water. I don’t know about anyone else who visits here, but I know that I have a never-ending list of things that need to be done, which of course never gets fully completed and which could then lead to me getting stressed. When that happens, I know it’s time take some deep breaths 🙂

I know that when I feel rushed, I have the potential to get stressed. Likewise when I don’t get enough sleep or when it feels as if I haven’t had chance all week to just sit and be. Stress of course, to some degree, is good. It keeps us alert, helps to keep us motivated and pushes us to not be lazy. But of course there are also many downsides to stress, including health, attitude and behaviour to others… however I’m not going to focus on those aspects because that’s not what this affirmation is about.

One by-product of me getting stressed is my temper! Just like anyone else, I can get more than a little fiery. In fact I have been known to blow up a furnace in the past and when that happened, watch out to anyone who got in my way! Thankfully the ignition button has slowed down a lot over the years, life, experience, understanding and taking responsibility has tempered it and also removed a lot of the trigger buttons.

I would ask… what do you think when you see someone get stressed and fired up? When you see them lose their temper? When a man or woman gets so angry, so riled up or so upset that they start ranting and raving? If it’s a stranger or someone you don’t know very well… doesn’t that just make you want to back away, doesn’t it make you look at them in a different way than if they had been talking in a calm and rational manner? What about if it’s someone close to you? Their ranting then would probably affect you differently, but does it affect how you see them, think about them, feel about them at that point in time?

What about if the person losing their temper is you? How do you think you’re coming across at that time?

What about if you see someone acting in a calm and dignified manner? Dealing with something that is obviously awkward or even painful, but they are dealing with it in a quiet and considered way? When I see people doing that, I used to think, I wish I reacted that way. I wish I was that way. And over the years this is something I’ve definitely tried to incorporate into my life, and think I’ve rather successfully become!

You know what, at the end of the day we can be calm, if we want to be. Because it’s a choice. Our reactions can be changed, automatic defence mechanisms unlearned, new responses learned. If we choose to do so. And if we really really wanted to be able to do so, we can be calm, to be able to think about our responses before flying off the handle, to speak in a careful manner so as not to hurt someone else because really, aren’t we just subconsciously (thereby automatically) lashing out… and aren’t those “reactions” due to something we perceive as negative such as rejection, fear of failure, hurt, expectation, attachment or ultimately a lack of self worth, belief and esteem? If we choose to be a more loving and kind person overall who considers, feels and therefore behaves in a calm manner, then surely we should be able to (eventually) become such?

Questions for this week are:

How calm a person do you believe you are?
When do you fly off the handle?
Why do you fly off the handle?
What small step can you take to calmness?
What benefit will calmness bring to your life?
How will your calmness benefit others around you?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2012 Michelle Payne


Out in the Fields with God

28/11/2012

Out in the Fields with God

The little cares which fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fear of what might happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born–
Out in the fields with God

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook


Affirmation of the Week

19/11/2012

“I LISTEN”

Like everyone else, I have some bad habits… some more annoying than others… and one that I used to have in abundance was when confronted with someone’s problems, try to give them solutions, when that is not what they need. Nowadays I know better thanks to all that counselling training 🙂

One of the things I hope I’ve achieved over the past few years with studying counselling is a much improved listening ability and that this has not just culminated in a new professional career, but has rippled out so that my everyday listening skills have improved too.

Listening often seems to be seen as such a “passive” thing these days, we talk about problems and have solutions thrown at us left, right and centre. Very often these solutions include material things, which is not what’s really needed and in today’s material, driven society, such passivity seems to be classed as a weak thing. Well that’s how it comes across to me at times. Yet don’t you think that listening can be such a strong tool… and one that we all possess if we can but still our own minds a bit more?

One aspect of listening is when others need to talk or cry on our shoulders: listening shows that we care about them, their feelings and their thoughts. By providing a listening ear, we allow others to vocalise their thoughts which in turn helps them to validate themselves, their thoughts, feelings (and who doesn’t need that at one time or another)… we are then showing them receptivity, help and thoughtfulness.

Then there’s another aspect that by listening we learn things… like learning in school, or from parents, from colleagues at work… chatting or gossiping with friends, learning likes and dislikes of others… it means we can debate and discuss political, ecological or societal issues.

These are some external examples.

“You get wise from listening and regret from speaking.”
~~ Thought for Today ~~

We can also use listening for inner work. By quietening the mind, sitting with silence, we listen to our bodies, our minds, our nerve endings… our intuition, our gut feelings. By listening to the “Inner”, this can help us to hear more in the external world… like silence, air, birdsong, wind, trees whispering, music playing, conversations, trains, animals… and so on.

Or how about when we listen to what someone tells us about ourselves… when people don’t like what they hear, they very often just close down, filtering out what doesn’t fit in with their perspective, their reality… their “inner world”. Sometimes, being open and listening to someone else’s opinion could facilitate healing and growth when we need it the most.

For myself, I’ve learnt to love listening… that it isn’t weak, that it is in fact a strength and that by doing so, I can help others when they need to vocalise. And that by actively listening, I can hear what’s being said in reality, both explicitly and implicitly… instead of making assumptions or filling in gaps that have appeared when my brain decided to go wander off somewhere else mid-conversation.

Some questions this week to ask yourself this week would be:

What does the term “listening” mean for you?
How do you feel when people listen to you?
How good are you at listening to others?
What can you learn from listening?
What do you listen to? Or For?
How can you improve your listening skills?
What benefit will listening bring to your life?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

Image origin: Gregory Colbert
http://www.ashesandsnow.org/en/home.php


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