Such a sweet planet we walk on, when we walk it with heart….. Jeff Brown

sisters
Exchange your righteousness for humanness,
your judgments for compassion,
your hopelessness for faith,
your armor for love.

Such a sweet planet we live on
when we walk it with heart.

‘Love it Forward’ by Jeff Brown

Both my sister and I have let go of differing situations in the last week and set-up a new home together. Whatever stormy seas brought us here, we have found a loving harbour in this place. Not living under the same roof since we were 14 and 16 (which is a few years ago now, ahem), we both feel the hand of divine timing in what has unfolded recently.

We have chosen a modern house near the hospital where Debs works, with room for our grown up children to stay and space for me to work in peace. Here we are a week later on a stormy Sunday, all safe and cosy, with Debs asleep after a night shift and me logged on for work with the support service.

Deb’s eldest son and his partner helped us move and there was a priceless moment as Rob came out of our new home to take the latest box from me at the van and this is how the conversation went…

Rob: ‘Mum is showing my baby photos in there!!!’

Complete puzzlement on his face….

Me: ‘Well you were a beautiful baby.’

His next facial expression was even more eloquent.

It has been a week of loving support, mass activity, normal work for both of us girls, lists, laughter, shopping forays, yet more lists, yummy food, Mum and Dad visiting, friends popping in, gifted flowers and plants, messages of support, appliances mis-behaving and being replaced, the blessings of a kind landlord, a decisive and speedy furniture purchasing trip around Ikea, more laughter, warm rugs going down in each room, efficient heating (thank you), assembling of flat pack furniture with very helpful ‘back seat driving’ assistance being given from the sofa (not), ‘oohs and ahs’ over new home accessories, bottles of bubble bath and perfume appearing on windowsills, many cups of tea and coffee, queries of ‘Does this look good here?’ and ‘Is that hanging straight?’ and even more laughter.

We have plans for the future and we feel excited about them. Right now though we are taking time out to simply ‘be’, to catch our breath and let this new life we have drawn together seep in. We each react differently to change and cups of tea and coffee, yummy food, loving support and a cosy home nestle us, while we hold each other safe as everything settles.

And a new chapter begins….

Life’s flags and flowing by letting go….

Clwyd Valley

I thought I had found my place here in this North Welsh valley and my creativity has certainly been sparked by many joyful moments here. There have been many blessings nestled in this time, yet I find myself packing up home again.

In this lovely old coach house I have been coping with damp, mould, a tiny hot water tank (small baths and short showers), a tempremental oven that either cremates or leaves things half raw, a distinct lack of natural light inside and a washing machine that flashes electrically and needs starting with a ball point pen. I have been able to creatively work my way around all of this, because I loved being here. Then the heating broke.

I always gently advise my clients to pay attention to ‘life’s flags’. If we ignore the first warning flags, then bigger ones go up and they will keep going up, until they slap us around the face and we are forced to make changes. The thing is it’s all about trust. Trust for your own instincts, for life and for your journey. So if you pay attention to the first flag, or flags, you may never get to know if you have made the right choice, but at least you made a choice.

As soon as I had my landlord’s response to my request for heating help I knew. I simply knew that it was a flag that he was overstretched and important things were falling through the cracks. My instinct said ‘Get out Jane before Winter truly sets in and you are in serious trouble old girl’. So I gave notice and started to explore a number of options, whilst trying to stem tears at the loss of leaving here.

I summoned all of my strength and the Lakota type blood (thank you Grandfathersky) I have created in my life so far. Divine timing came into play and an unexpected option appeared, that fast became a plan and is now unfolding at speed. Saturday is moving day and many blessings and new opportunites are coming in to flow loving support into this choice.

As I prepare to leave North Wales to head back into England, I still have no heating and a landlord who is struggling to cope with broken heating in several places over the estate with some very unhappy tenants that are reacting in differing ways. I have thanked him for the time in this very special place and the many gifts it has held. I move forward with loving trust that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing and it goes without saying that I am togged out in my trusty woolly hat and snuggle socks!

Let the new adventure begin…..

Creativity sparked by subtle loving blessings…

Tree

I have been tucked up working and creating and in an effort to keep fit I walk into town whenever I need anything. It rains a fair bit here and we are only a few weeks away from Winter now, so my thoughts are turning to sturdy footwear. Anyway, I digress. Today I finished painting my latest canvas and propped it up to dry and togged up to walk into town. My sister and her lovely man are away working for their nursing charity in Uganda and they have sent through some wonderful waterfall photographs. The feeling from them inspired my painting today.

I set off and five minutes into my walk down the long and winding driveway the heavens opened.

Loving kindness weaved in. My lovely landlord and his brother, my lovely farmer, have a real family set-up going on here. Lots of ‘lovelies’. Their Mum lives in the main hall, and up until now, we had not met. This afternoon she picked me up on the driveway and we drove into town together. Jane and Jane (really…) nattered away, swopping family details and history as women do and parted company with broad smiles in the small square at the top of the town.

Just over five years ago my apartment was a milking parlour when the farm was a dairy enterprise.

Having finished all my errands I walked back down the country lane to the feel of rain falling softly, sounds of a rugby game in full cry at the local secondary school drifting across the fields, a toddler walking with his Grandad and marveling at a rainbow across the hills, cows calling to one another and a dog barking on a far away farm.

My lovely farmer picked me up on the drive and we drove up the rest of the way nattering away together. Then we stood and watched a Jay break out from the fishing lakes and my lovely farmer said ‘She’ll land in that far tree’ and he was right, she flew across the field and settled into the chestnut tree on the other side of the field.

Jay in flight

After the recent local firework display a cygnet, still with grey feathers, took refuge on the fishing lake and we both feel that she will not be on her own for long. She is slowly turning white.

I remember a quote from Miss Marple, in an Agatha Christie story, when she was asked how she could know so much from living in such a small country village. She replied ‘Oh my dear, but all of life is here.’

In our ‘here’ we all thrive in the midst of life, with loving kindness and a rainbow painting love across the sky.

DSC_0187

Breaths of Love….

soap-bubble-338175_1280

While I have crafted my new web site Jane Thorne Design and a fresh painting creativity has started to flow forth, several thoughts have floated up.

I have not got here alone and it is the ‘Breaths of Love’ that have carried me this far: loving support from family and friends, shown in so many ways, each and every day. Love for what I am doing flowing through as I paint and create. Love for where I live, as I sit here surrounded by the familiar, listening to the oh so comforting everyday sounds of the farm.

In these ‘Breaths of Love’ I thrive and create and I am grateful.

DSC_0177

Life’s twinkly, sparkly gifts….

sunlight-73207_1280

As I sit working on the support service this morning it is a mild Autumnal day in North Wales. My front door is wide open, and although the breeze is quite strong, it is lovely to just peacefully sit and reply to the messages asking for help coming in over the ether.

The front of my little place is all glass and right now I have a reflection in it from the kitchen window behind me. My kitchen window looks out onto the courtyard and trees and the image sparkling on my front glass is the sunlight coming through the leaves and twinkling right in front of me. In the afternoons these twinkles play out across my kitchen slate floor and it’s magic to watch.

Me being me, I see this beautiful display of nature as an analogy for life.

Time and time again on the service, I talk to our clients about seeing the gifts in every connection, especially when they are beating themselves up because something has ended badly. Life can be very messy indeed, but there are gifts within. It’s about gently helping people to gain confidence in their life steps. I do not see things as right or wrong, or as mistakes (good and evil are two different things entirely), but as life’s flow without labels, measurement or judgment. That’s loving and being loving to ourselves is right up there as an important thing to so. If we can be loving to ourselves, then we can flow love to others. Taking forward life’s gifts gives a self awareness that makes future decisions simpler. For it is all about awareness and common sense, rather than making decisions that are fear based. There is a huge difference. If you make a decision/action because you do not want a certain outcome, then that is fear based. If you make a decision/action, because something is not sitting right within you, then that is made from awareness, not fear. It allows life to flow along, because you are not trying to control it. You are just setting your boundaries on what does, or does not, sit right for you.

I read a cracking expression the other day…I love it. ‘If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck….it’s a duck!’ If something, or someone, is not sitting right within you, pay attention, it’s your twinkly lights from behind trying to tell you something.

Reflecting and capturing the gifts from what has passed is not looking backwards, it’s taking the twinkly, sparkly light of life’s gifts forward. It also helps you to live without fear, just simple awareness and that is a very loving thing to do.

Life’s layers unfolding with loving grace…

Shropshire plains

A few weeks ago I traveled across to the Shropshire hills to care for a dear friend’s furry brood while she was away painting for a few days. What an idyllic spot she lives in. A beautiful country cottage, high up on a hill looking out across the Shropshire plains on one side and towards the North Welsh hills on the other. Claire has a purpose built painting studio and workshop in her garden and they will weave into my story later. Just outside her front door there is a stile and once over you can walk for miles along the ridge, across fields full of sheep and ploughed furrows awaiting future Spring plantings. On Sunday morning I awoke early to start work on the support service and I promised those around me, wagging their tails expectantly, that we would all have a walk first. Tiggy and Max, her dogs, love their walks and Gus, a beautiful marmalade tabby cat, always waits on the stile till we are safely back home again. The biscuits they all get after a walk are not the main incentive here of course! This picture shows the mist that was rolling through the valley that Sunday morning and in the stillness it was like being in another world.

Valley mist

In a recent romantic connection I was starting to feel unsettled and could not ‘pin’ the why, then life blew the mist away and the landscape was laid bare. Sadly in life, there are souls who have absorbed the belief that love is not pure and it becomes twisted inside of them. On the service I offer support and loving help to those who are stuck in relationships where all sorts of harmful patterns are being acted out. One belief I hold close, is that people do not ‘see’ their own harmful patterns, nor change them, till they are ready to do so. Sometimes, this realisation never graces their lives. The only souls we can change in this life are our own. It became very clear to me this week that a destructive pattern, under the guise of love, was being introduced into my life. I firmly set my sails in another direction and sailed away.

Last night, looking at a recent canvas I have painted, I really ‘saw’ the detail in the images. I could feel the passion flowing from the paint and I recalled where I had created it. Claire lives with loving grace as an exceptionally talented painter and she is a very special soul. She lovingly said I could use her studio, paints, equipment, anything that I needed, while I stayed there. Thank you Claire. That Sunday afternoon when I had finished work, I tucked up in her studio. Her windows look out across the fields where ‘Sheep-a-vision’ plays out naturally under a soft blue sky, tractors trundle past and the birds sing their hearts out. I created something in a completely new style which sprang from my love for life and I am now going on to create more in this different style. I had loving ‘pats’ at the doors while I painted and gentle, furry company came in to join me.

Love is not cruel, manipulative, controlling, nor unkind in my world.

The Gang

Stories, love, fear, acceptance, control and ‘letting go’

Em's latest painting

This painting is one of Emily’s latest and I love how her creative journey is expanding and developing. I delight in the messages and ‘Skype’ conversations that fly between us. We trust each other implicitly and bounce ideas and creations off each other at each stage, with much loving encouragement. Also, with helpful advice, laughter and cries of ‘Time for a hot chocolate….mini marshmallows with that?’ ‘You betcha…’. Her painting perfectly illustrates this blog post, which has been rumbling in the background for some time and now sees the light of day.

All our lives we have a ‘story’ running through us and our ‘story’ builds momentum as we live each day. Through the beliefs and words the ‘story’ tells us, we take our steps and make our choices. The ‘story’ is a mishmash of our childhood, our beliefs about ourselves, our experiences, how others see us and how we treat ourselves and others. It’s no wonder self nurture, healing and therapies are becoming so popular.

I work with souls who are struggling every day as they try to make sense and edit, or re-write, their ‘stories’. We are all doing this every single moment of every single day. We are bound to get weary and lost sometimes, as things get muddled and complicated.

In loving simplicity, my heart feels that we approach everything from two foundations; one out of love and the other from fear.

One of nature’s laws that we can change things by making our own choices, can be daunting to a lot of souls.

Life and people do not ‘do’ things to us.

We can change so much by editing our ‘story’ and the words we tell ourselves. With love we can look at a situation, or how someone is reacting, and choose, edit, tweak and change how we react to it. Then our thinking, feelings, words and actions flow from that reaction. We choose how we weave this into our ‘story’.

Pausing to reflect on the ‘why’ is self nurturing. Stepping forwards with love and kindness flows love to all concerned. Our personal responsibility is to our own ‘stories’.

Love to me is ever flowing. It is loving to ‘let go’ and accept how other souls flow for they too have their own ‘stories’.

It can be frightening to ‘let go’ and see where life’s flow takes us. There are so many things that are done because ‘control’ is a motivating force and that springs from fear.

‘Letting go’ is loving.

Flowing from love, trusting, moving forwards, working, being kind, taking responsibility for my ‘story’ and nurturing my open heart have all brought me to North Wales in the middle of this Summer. A totally new area for me with no previous life links, or memories at all. I had no idea why at the time, it just felt instictively good for my ‘story’ to settle here.

Days have unfolded in a beautiful setting as I nest happily in my little home. New friendships, laughter, a kind landlord, magic moments, work, family and friends visiting and a growing love for this land have all woven into my ‘story’ with a loving richness.

Now I have a beautiful soul who holds my face in his hands and says ‘I love you Jane’. As I am learning his ‘story’, he is learning mine.

Loving acceptance.

My heart is full of gratitude for the new threads weaving into my ‘story’, as I now know the ‘why’ for coming here.


Jane Thorne

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