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.

Life’s cake made with love, happy tales, more love and trust…..

Our valley

My sister, who has been so very poorly, has recovered enough to come over so we could spend the day together and she could have a change of scene. A gentle stroll was undertaken on the highest hill here. I think it’s a mountain, but I am assured by the locals it is not. Anyway, we drove up to a midway vantage point, and then sensibly booted, we set off to walk the rest of the way up, gently, so very gently. It was a warm day and very peaceful up there, but it wasn’t long before our nattering and laughter could be heard. It was a very still and misty day down in the valley below and there we were strolling along and every now and then I would say ‘Over there is so and so’. ‘Ah ha’, Debs would reply peering into the mist. After a while it became a running joke and she was heard to comment ‘Give up Fan, I trust you’. She has called me ‘Fan’ since we were teenagers, because she said I always ‘Fannied about’. I mean really, how rude, and I might add, blatantly untrue!

My special pressie

I have been putting hours in on the support service and my energy flags, unsurprisingly. My lovely friend, who was right in the middle of moving home last weekend, dealing with the builders in his new home and managing his business, paused and baked me a cake. He wanted to do something that would sustain me through my working weekend. It was as yummy as it looks and yes, I did share it. Also, Trev has now discovered a sure fire way to render me speechless, as I stood with the cake in my hands, eyes filled with happy tears and silent…..silent for quite some time. Then I hugged him.

Jason Garner

I have been following Jason Garner’s thoughts and writings for some time now and we have flowed thoughts and comments to each other over the web. Recently an unexpected email dropped into my Inbox from Jason offering to gift me a copy of his latest book. I am so touched by his loving thoughtfulness. Everything this man does is wrapped in love and the parcel package even had the words ‘Wrapped with love by…a name and a smiley face’. I am savouring and enjoying every word of Jason’s first book ‘And I breathed…..from a life of matter, to a life that matters’. A joy to read and it is a joy to be connected to such a loving soul.

Chris's picture

My postman is very aware of where I live, because another parcel arrived yesterday. A gift filled with much love and thoughtfulness and I can see this beautiful picture hanging on my wall as I write this post. Christine Moran Poet, Writer and Photographer is a treasured friend of mine. This photograph is one of my favourites, taken by Chris in her garden, and beautifully framed to hang on my wall. Her loving card is on my writing desk and her enclosed angel friendship heart is hanging on my door post. Love poured from her parcel.

Flowers

Trev brought these flowers to my front door yesterday with a smile. He wanted to flow care and for me to have something beautiful to look at while I worked from my desk. His loving offer of a home cooked meal in his new home tonight, and the space to explore some new ideas to ‘nail a challenge’ I currently face, was gratefully accepted by me. I think I’ll wear a frock.

Penny

One of my neighbours and I have a special connection. Alison and I have both been on various trips around life’s watermill and that gives us an understanding beyond words. There is much laughter and ‘Oh you’d never guess what’s….’ as we bob into each other’s apartments sharing love, cake, milk, sugar, clothes pegs, coffee, Welsh tea bags (delicious), my washing machine that I turn on with a ball point pen, her oven when mine gives up the ghost, trips into town, potters around local markets, ‘Ohh, look what I made today…’ moments, walks through the grounds to collect fallen apples and conkers, a shared love for living here and Penny. Alison’s dog Penny is a delight and she comes with us on our adventures and I often glance around to see her sleeping on the end of my bed as I am working. She sits between us as we natter and plan. Love flows from Penny in a constant stream and when you cuddle her she leans in.

As Jason and Trev always say, Hugs x

A moment of loving gratitude as pure as a rose …

Phone 2068

This beautiful painting is a commission that Emily has done recently.

Monday dawned as a day of much hustle and bustle. I dashed about Spring cleaning my place and with a brick ceiling trust me this needs doing every few weeks. It’s a good job I like spiders. Also, a trip into town was undertaken, and when all the list of errands were ticked off, I arrived back home just in time to log onto the system and start work on the support service.

Skype was turned on (as that is how HQ and I stay in touch when I’m working), I had a fresh coffee by my side next to my lip balm. I was ready for action.

I took a breath, looked outside and gratitude came in like a wave. The birds were singing and flitting between the feeders, the sun was dappled across the wooden planks of the barn, the herd were lowing, my lovely landlord and his oppo. were busy with tools in an apartment above me (there were a few serious discussions with hands in pockets between the two of them yesterday, but that is another story), neighbour’s dogs and cats were coming and going and bobbing in here to say ‘Hello’ and the balmy air was wafting in through my open door.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings in being here, the work flowing in and the loving links of support from my colleagues on Skype. All love as pure as a rose.

Gratitude sparked magic….

I saw an email pop into my Inbox as a blogging friend in the States re-blogged a post of mine to all her followers. My Inbox was then filled with likes, kind comments and new followers within minutes and they are still rolling in today.

My love and gratitude to Barbara at Idealisticrebel as she recovers from being poorly and generously sends loving sparks of energy out. Pure love. Xx

An unplanned reunion holds magic with breathtaking scenery…

Phone 2087

Kate and I were neighbours over twenty years ago and have remained buddies ever since. The card giving her my news and latest address coincided with her holiday to my part of the world and texts flew as we arranged to meet.

Huge joyful hugs and much nattering over cups of tea gave us both time to pause for a day. We sat there on the balcony of a cafe, beside a river tumbling over rocks, and decided to spend the day together. ‘What do you fancy doing?’ queries were followed by Kate pulling out all sorts of local guide maps. My new home has so many areas to be explored and I had not really ‘twigged’ that Snowdonia National Park is less than an hour away from my front door.

Phone 2080

Kate, ever prepared, had spare walking boots and equipment in her car and with glee and happy hearts we set off to walk together in the mountains.

We were gifted magic that day…

Phone 2099

We met and talked with so many interesting people and no Kate, I don’t think I will marry the farmer who chatted to us with eyes ‘a twinkle’ as we ‘booted up’ for our walk. There were people from all over the world in those mountains and a sense of kindred spirits as we all left daily cares behind for a while.

Phone 2101

We paused and sat looking at breathtaking scenery and listened to the birds and the peace amoung those mountains.

Phone 2105

That ‘spec’ in the photo above is Kate paddling and yes, it was as cold as it looked. With my capacity to fall over randomly I wisely kept my bottom on the grassy ledge and called out encouragement instead.

Phone 2111

We shared confidences and talked, as only dear old friends can, and made quite a few discoveries about each other up there.

Phone 2114

There was a mountain rescue helicopter out on manoeuvres and a fair few jokes made about Kate’s red scarf and how we might, just might, fancy being rescued.

Phone 2118

We are getting together again before Kate goes back home to Somerset and today she texted me to say that she is going to climb Snowdon itself, with (wait for it…..) an ex.SAS Scotsman. My reply to her will remain private……

I love you Kate. Thank you for a magic day and your special friendship.

Phone 2126

Love on the walls…

Butterfly love

There are so many higgeldy-piggeldy apartments here that we have a rustic mail box set-up under the trees in the courtyard where we park. It works and I have learnt to be quick off the mark in collecting my post when it rains. I go up there first thing each morning and a few days ago there was a little package waiting for me. When I opened it there were all these butterflies nestling in pink tissue paper and a little note on top from Emily, my daughter, saying ‘These are to match your paintings Mum’.

I look around my home and Emily is everywhere and each creative piece evokes memories. From the paintings she created especially for here, to the ceramic tea-light church and bowl she made as a child. Some of her marbles are in a vase here and their buddies are in a hand decorated Kilner jar that she uses as a door stop at Uni. Loving links and memories are everywhere.

One of my paintings

When Em was three I had a little business where I painted terracotta pots for garden centres. She’d stand by the understairs cupboard asking me what I needed ‘size wise’ and she learned to count with those pots. If I close my eyes I can see her doing it now. Often she would sit beside me painting her own. I used to leave them to dry on the kitchen windowsill and we had lovely neighbours Dave and Flo, aross the way. Dave would come up the garden path and kneel down to chat to Em. ‘What have you been making our Em?’ he used to say and she’d show him her pots. He would commission her to paint him some and she’d put the earnings into her moneybox. Dave always displayed her pots in his garden where she could see them when we walked past. We all adored him.

Both ‘us girls’ comfort, balance and work things out in life by creating. Emily has been creating lately and her paintings are on a whole new level.

Buttefly Heart

Vision

I sit here looking at her butterflies and remember the loving moment that breathed life into her latest creations. At her Dad’s there are some gorgeous new ‘grandchild’ members of her extended family. The little brothers were visiting recently and the toddler was bored, so Em got her paints out and started making pictures with him. They made a ‘handprint’ picture which he loved, so Em involved his baby brother and his Mum. There is a special video of Em holding the baby’s hands as she placed them on the canvas where he is chuckling and chatting away to her, with his little legs kicking out, and not once do his eyes leave her face. Those moments captured on film are very precious. The main canvas with all their handprints is a work of love and Em joined some of the hands as butterflies. I know their Mum will treasure those paintings and from this Em started to make butterflies and 3D paintings with hearts and butterflies.

Family Love Paintings

They are a work of love and I now have love flying on my walls. May you always create Em and flow with love Darling girl, for you will always have my love.

Butterflies


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