Those who love you..

Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the dark images that you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty or your purpose when you are confused.~Alan Cohen

How blessed we are with love, if we could only love ourselves so much when we need it too ❤ Be kind and gentle with your precious souls. Blessings, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited (via Pinterest)}

A black dress day

Today
I wore a black dress and red nail polish.
I worked late at the clinic, seriously late.
I played our elimination ball game in team fitness (I’m rubbish!).
I was happy to help someone lovely.
I was sad about an ending, and glad about a beginning.
I was reminded of a chance meeting 20 years ago.
I forgot to reply to a text received yesterday.
I was grateful for people who brightened my day.
I was disappointed that I missed someone.
I learnt how to operate some new software.
I taught someone about dietary influences on hormone fluctuations.
I appreciated the gift of some divine dark chocolate.
I was appreciated for helping a friend find something.
I was given advice about a neat ipad feature.
I recommended two of my favourite books.
I laughed with an old friend over nonsense.
I cried over a thoughtful note, left for me to find.
I spoke words I wish to say to someone else.
I listened to sorrow and difficulties.
I wished on the crescent of a new moon.
I thanked my lucky stars.
I lived another day of my life.
I loved it all with my broken heart and a hopeful lop-sided grin.
Tonight I will dream again…

♥ Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest, words ~Hayley Darby 22.June.2012}

Still wondering..

Today I realized my mistake, but made it again anyway, countless times until it became a habit; a guilty secret; shameful, painful, human nature. Turning over those feelings I can’t quite place, am afraid to label, impulsively tossing them away as rubbish, yet retrieving them almost immediately, because I miss their grip on my heart, unable to give up on something, which is nothing, except hopefulness.

Today I seemed to carry with me an imperceptible spell, drawing attention to my presence as I tried to hide my vulnerability. I collected smiles and attracted glances as I strode confidently into compliments, grinning whilst gliding away, yet carrying that girl’s heart inside the woman I appear to be. The girl who is too tall, too skinny, cares too much, talks too much, wants to do so much, know so much, searches for beauty, craves understanding, suffers wanderlust, and dreams of following her heart somewhere worth going; and wonders quietly if someone is brave enough to share the adventure.

I sat on the tube people watching, wondering what thoughts tumble around the feelings they carry in their hearts. I wondered if some of them even notice the feelings or whether thoughts obscure them completely, self-protection maybe. I wondered who they really were under the costumes they wore and the labels they have chosen: wife, father, manager, art student, tired doctor, caring mother, fashion victim, sexy secretary, funny guy, athletic type, responsible director, and a little boy asleep on his father’s lap (maybe a future astronaut or quantum physicist?). And I wondered why I am wondering about them, him.

And then I was there, back to the beginning again, my hands in my hair, stretching my neck, and sighing.. the girl, the woman, curious, thoughtful, sensitive, perplexed, unsure and still wondering.

Hxx

{Picture sadly uncredited via Pinterest, Words ~Hayley Darby 24.Aug.2012}

Miracles happen..

Today I have had the most fun lunch, and wonderful afternoon with my ‘Goddess girls’, my ‘Sex and The City’ equivalents, who are gorgeous glamorous girls that I adore. We met at ‘The Electric’, a fun lively brasserie in Portobello, scoring a cosy booth at the back amidst laughter and chatter to catch up on news. We discussed the usual; men, work, domestic appliances (really!!?!), and being modern women in the 21st century.

It was some time into the afternoon, once we had polished off our ‘Egg Florentines and Royales’, risotto, and mint tea, that our ‘Charlotte’ calmly announced the news that has made my heart practically burst with gratitude. This wonderful friend, a beautiful, kind, thoughtful, sensitive soul was informed some years ago that she would never bear a child. She is a much-adored godmother and favourite aunty, and simply one of the most maternal creatures you could expect to meet. She decided that despite her early menopause (<40 yrs), her single situation, and living in London continents away from her family, that if God meant her to be a mother, as she firmly believed, that she would find a way to facilitate this blessing. She invested in fertility, undergoing turbulent hormone therapy for many months, only to be told that this was insufficient to prepare her body to conceive and carry a child. Although initially daunted, she couldn’t give up her dream, and this determined belief in her role of motherhood, gave her the strength and courage to pursue greater expense and discomfort, despite being informed that her chances of falling pregnant were approximately 0.05%, that’s half a percent, 1/200 chance, on top of which, she could barely afford one shot at it.

Today she patiently let us gabble on about new homes, fridge freezers, washing machines, kisses, fashion, careers, study, dinner parties, dates, and all manner of things; before she calmly stood to reveal her 16 week bump, of the miracle baby residing within her ♥ You can only begin to imagine the joy and shock, tears and laughter, and jumping up and down at our already noisy table, as we celebrated her beautiful blessing. This woman will be the most wonderful mother, and as her friends we are so grateful that her dreams will finally be realized. Don’t imagine for one moment that she has the privileges one would associate with her journey, she has worked hard and diligently to move across the world, in a gentle, persevering manner to chase her dreams. Her faith has given her courage through the dark disappointments, and strength to endure much hard work, and hardship; I’m so proud to count her as a friend, and love her dearly, she’s such an inspiration; never underestimate God’s grace and a woman on a mission, a truly formidable combination! ♥ Hugs, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited via Pinterest, Words ~Hayley Darby 4.Dec.2011}

Shyness

I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!. ~Ingrid Bergman

Hmmmm.. I have never considered myself as shy (no really!!!?) and ‘confident’ is frequently among the first adjectives used to describe me. In fact I have been told on numerous occasions that I’m intimidating.. (who me?? seriously?.. you have to be kidding!!) which I have to admit I find a little hilarious. I’m rather tall, and still wear heels; I’m independent and know my mind; well, most of the time. I say what I think and think what I say (too often sometimes). The term ‘opinionated’ has been levelled at me on occasion (moi?), but I’m quite comfortable with the person I have grown into, and recognise that my faults make me human. I am happy meeting new people, and wouldn’t flinch about going to a party if I knew no one there but the host, alone. I think this ability is partly due to a prior career that frequently flung me into unfamiliar situations with new people; and it’s probably for a similar reason that I am happy to travel around the world as a single traveller, enjoying my own company and the freedom this affords me. I consider myself a reasonably adept communicator (my job depends on it), and am happy to stand in front of a crowd and deliver presentations, as long as I am well informed on my subject. For goodness sake I’m even happy to share some of my inner most thoughts with 33,000 or so people I have never had the pleasure of meeting (BTW, I’d like to change that, and at least meet some of you!). So, on the incredibly rare occasion when I find myself hesitating to find some appropriate words, when my brain for once can’t seem to place the required response neatly on my lips, and my mind races through a zillion questions with no answers; then my dear friends, I wonder what the heck is going on!

Andre Dubus is credited with the insight that “Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people”. And maybe there is some truth here, in that when we care too much of what other people think of us that we are faced with an acute realisation of what we wish it to be. Of course in this situation, it’s easy to start picking apart our faults, as we self consciously face our true perspective of ourselves, seeing more clearly what is hidden from view of others. As I write this I reflect that I ‘think’ I know myself pretty well, and value my close friends that willingly remind me of who I am, including the bits that I’d rather were different. I could probably be described as an acquired taste, and know I’m not for everyone. I accept my faults, believe me there are plenty, because I trust that they are held together by good intentions, and I have a (reasonably) clear conscience to accompany this belief. So I wonder what my fear of exposure is in this instance of apparent shyness, when I’m not distracted by my inner lioness in the busy business of living, defending all that I believe to be true, and championing causes I am passionate about. And suddenly the realisation dawns on me, it’s not that which I am worried might be seen, that bothers me.. it’s that I care, thats all!

Hmmmmm.. Hxx

PS. I have since met some of the 33,000.. which has grown to 63,000 since writing! Thank you!!!! I really appreciate your loyal support! …and yes, I still care, shyly : ))
{Photo sadly uncredited, words ~Hayley Darby 20.Oct.2011}

Titanic friendships

Goodnight everyone! I hope you have had a beautiful day. Today I must admit I was frustrated and disappointed by a situation where I find myself compromising my value for something I’m passionate about; a difficult thing between a rock and a hard place, currently. It’s not sustainable in its present form, but nothing stays the same and something will change. Life presents us with challenges, which we can view as opportunities to learn about ourselves and others; sometimes disappointing, usually necessary, ultimately valuable realisations. Whatever the eventual outcome, growth and understanding will occur, and this is the silver lining I am currently seeking.

I got caught in the rush hour crush on the tube home, delays kept the train stuck in the tunnels, and as I tried to consume as little space as possible, squashed somewhere between someone’s elbow and another’s shoulder blades, the metaphor was not lost on me. Then somewhere from out of the blue a charming gentleman emerged to insist I take his seat, he was kind and courteous, with a chivalry that is as enchanting as it is rare, without presumption or expectation just perfectly delightful. Thank you kind stranger for making my day that bit sweeter with your thoughtful generosity.

I raced home to meet my dear friend C for supper, she’s about to go on tour with a band she’s been dancing for, for 16 years; she’s famous in Germany and Switzerland, yet remains pleasantly anonymous in the UK, despite her superstar qualities, seriously she’s a legend and a darling friend. We popped round the corner for sushi, where the young waiter fell quickly into our routine, treating us like princesses despite (or because of?) my honesty gene telling him I’d had a dreadful day and needed handling carefully. Of course we were spoilt rotten, and we laughed raucously dispelling any tension that might have contemplated settling on my shoulders in lesser company. C and I have been friends for over a decade, and share many silly stories from modeling days, and other ridiculousness, and she knows exactly what really matters and what doesn’t, without necessitation of description. Some friends just understand instinctively, a cherished gift indeed. C has some good news, but it’s also complicated, and we giggled like teenagers about complications of the past and how they worked out, and the reflection gives me a fresh perspective as we regale each other with memories, causing cascades of tears to accompany eruptions of laughter, really life is totally ridiculous, and moments pass eventually!

We bid farewell to our gallant waiter, an absolute sweetie and returned home for tea on the awesome sofas. We demurely sipped our fennel infusions, recalling an epic night spent in situ years ago, involving too much champagne and dancing, some incoherent, miss spelt text messages, and a simple night we won’t forget for all the right reasons. Some friendships are like battle ships in stormy weather, and pleasure cruises for hedonists on calmer seas, this is one of those impressive vessels for love and laughter, compassion and understanding. We added a few more chapters to our stories as we caught up on news and relationships, whatever happens we’ll check in on each other and laugh again at memories of this evening. As she left to finish packing for her trip, I’m immensely grateful for the people in my life who have been there to steer me through the icebergs of disappointments, and continue to guide me with authentic love beyond titanic proportions, as we all float on a sea of uncertainty. The journey of life should be measured by companions rather than distance, and I am very, very blessed. Wishing you all sweet dreams, and wonderful souls to share the adventures with, much love & blessings, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, words ~Hayley Darby 19.April.2012}