Sleepless nights & perspective


Good morning everyone! Today I woke late after a few hours sleep that occurred between the restless hours of waiting for my brain to shut up and leave me peacefully dreaming. It seems my cerebral activity was busy, ruminating on realizations and possibilities, stuck on a loop of endlessly searching for answers, which just kept disappearing around the corner as I approached them. The problem was, that despite the futility, I couldn’t stop chasing them; and I wandered deeper and deeper into my own psyche, getting more lost at every turn in a maze that’s apparently still growing. I woke this morning, finding myself deposited back on my pillow, rather rumpled and dehydrated, with a kingsize headache. I lay for a while, hoping it was a temporary fixture, but eventually crawled out from under the duvet in search of painkillers, washed down with coffee.

I sat on the sofa, analyzing my sleeplessness. I had worked late on my laptop, trying to figure out slides for a presentation, and guess my brain just got over-stimulated; or maybe when I was over-tired and vulnerable there was more room for uncertain feelings to squeeze in, and upset the equilibrium. Or maybe I’m just nervous about presenting to a large, unknown audience and am fearful in anticipation. Whatever the reason, I woke this morning feeling ridiculous and exhausted, knowing that I needed perspective that was clearly lacking at 3am.

It’s definitely a double latte kinda day, so I sat with my comforting mug and a heap of old photos, you know the kind before digital cameras, arranged neatly in albums that I haven’t looked at in ages. I flicked through images of history I’d captured, glimpses of past holidays, parties, picnics and special occasions. I smiled at the faces I’d shared them with and noticed the gifts of my youth I had taken for granted. I critiqued my younger wardrobe choices; no, pink was never my colour, and I still have that little denim dress, (although I no longer fit into it). I noticed the changes, and the things that remained the same, and knew that despite the upsets, I wouldn’t live it differently.

I perused my past, feeling nostalgic, wondering what I’d worried about then that was no longer important, and realized that I probably won’t be bothered about half the concerns that keep me awake currently that far in the future either. So I gave myself a moment to appreciate the person I was, before I became the person I am, and noticed that I’m doing OK, despite the worrying. The only thing that’s holding me back from growing into the person I want to become, is me, and if I survived the mistakes of the past, I’m pretty sure I can style it out through those in the future too. Stepping out of our comfort zone is the key to growth, and I guess we’re going to have to keep on making mistakes to find opportunities for learning. Today I’m going to focus on making the mistakes of the past worth the mistakes of the future. I’m accepting that I might be a bunch of flaws stitched together with good intentions, with a few scars and reminders, but that I’m going to keep on failing to keep on learning.

Have a gorgeous day everyone, and if you get a moment try and remember what you were worried about in the past, that didn’t make it to your future; and maybe some of your current troubles will be easier to let go of! Live in the moment, make mistakes, forgive yourself, and enjoy being perfectly human : )) Blessings & love, Hxx

PS. Take more photos!
{Above photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Procrastination for breakfast


Good morning everyone! Today I was rudely awoken by some road works in my vicinity, that incessant pounding drilled into my thoughts as they dug up the pavement, leaving me feeling rather less than chirpy as I pushed my head under the pillows, searching for tranquility. I had promised myself a restful day after a rather full weekend, but on waking the list of things I really must do and numerous responsibilities flooded into my thinking, filling the void my disappearing dreams had recently inhabited. I tried in vain to find the threads that would lead me back to my reverie, to those feelings of acute understanding and clarity that elude me on waking. There’s some security in sleep, where somehow priorities fall magically into place and my head and heart seem to communicate without the perpetual arguments and mis-understanding that I notice on waking. But the dreams were gone, and the roadworks continued to rudely disturb my usually peaceful abode, so I wrapped up in a robe and made some coffee.

It’s a cloudy day in London, with that flat opaque light that isn’t terribly inspiring, but does provide a blank canvas upon which to draw the day on. Another sunny day would surely have tempted me away from my desk, and really I do have to make a dent in this list that I’ve been writing in my head since waking. Instead of my habitual sojourn on the sofa to check in with my heart as I sip my latte, today I headed straight to my desk, full of good intentions and plans of productivity.. and then I sat there staring out the window, wondering. Then I noticed a familiar feeling, paralysis by analysis, when there is so much to do that I can’t see the starting point, and even if I could I am worrying so much about the ending before I unravel the middle, whilst sitting in inertia.

A few deep breaths, and I have identified the most stressful project, the one where the good ideas drop into my head when I least expect them, but disappear when I’m ready to incorporate them. And I know that the best place to start is simply anywhere, just start, have faith and the road will open up in front of me.. so I’m going to stop procrastinating, and letting the morning get away, I’m going to grab it with both hands and write my thoughts; a rough draft, imperfect but full of good intentions, trying at least, and hopefully heading in the right direction, even if it does happen to be the scenic route : )) I hope that you’re having a happy Monday, and that your day unfolds beautifully, that you enjoy the process, and that every now and again you will breathe and appreciate your progress! Blessings & love ♥ Hxx

{PS. No, it’s not my desk in the picture.. but mine does have the same elements.. a Mac, scented candle, flowers (orchids) a starfish reminder, and a vision board.. that happens to rather more blue and watery : )) Picture uncredited, via Pinterest}

One step at a time..

morning  window

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke late, luxuriating in the opportunity for a lie in as I let my mind peruse the dreams in my heart, and noticed how stubborn it really is. Sometimes I wish I was an easier version of myself, less complicated, less driven, I wish I could be satisfied with some of the perfectly nice things I am presented with, but instead I seem to be chasing challenges that leave me feeling bruised and exhausted, and yet despite the momentary glimpses of sanity, still not ready to give in

I eventually embraced the day, and stretched my full length before wrapping up in a robe for coffee. It’s another beautiful sunny start to the day in London, with blue skies stretching endlessly. It seems I’m not the only one feeling turbulent today, I had a call from darling GH whose heart has just changed direction, again! We talked about expectations and disappointments, and hopes and fears, as laughter replaced tears and we decided today was too beautiful to waste regretting anything. Perfect timing then for dear LS to text me suggesting a walk on the heath before lunch.. a great way to remember that life is best taken one step at a time, enjoying the sunshine whenever there is an opportunity, with friends by our side; who will be there through all the ridiculousness we get ourselves into, either encouraging us and cheering us on, or ready for tea and sympathy when required, the occasional sanity check when we really need it, and best of all laughing at what a wonderful, beautiful, chaotic mess life is, because we wouldn’t really want it any other way.. hmmmm!

I hope you have a fantastic day, whatever you’re up to, and that whatever is happening in your life story that you have friends to share it with and point out the silver linings. Blessings & hugs, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Smiles and sun salutations

beach yogaGood morning everyone!! Today I woke late, and snuggled back under the duvet searching for remnants of the dream that I was waking from. I caught a fleeting glimpse of a favourite grin before it disappeared around the corner, a little ray of sunshine that left me with more questions than answers, and I sat watching the sea again and wondering. I miss the sea dreadfully.. something not lost on those that know me. Yesterday I met darling DA for a breakfast, and as we caught up on news and gossip, he informed me that I was lacking a little sparkle, and asked if he could tempt me with a flight to a beach destination, as if temptation is ever a problem! DA works for British Airways, and flights are answers to all those tricky questions, don’t you just love those friends who know what you need to make things better!? We perused a few possibilities, fanaticising about sun salutations on long sandy beaches, as he quoted me prices that generously include his staff discount, whilst I tickled Tosca (the dog) under the chin where she likes it. DA made me laugh, and when he declared with a flourish that really I’m not the sort of woman that should fly economy, and I suddenly wished he was straight; because seriously I could fall in love with a man that thinks like that! We giggled over almond croissants and coffee before I left with promises to dog-sit Tosca whenever required, and walking home looked skyward, searching for vapour trails and inspiration.

Today the skies are blue, bright and sunny, stretching as far as the eye can see, beyond the proud resilience of the bare branches of trees by my window. It’s a wonderful day for a walk on the heath, and I’ve already been on the phone to LS, arranging a rendezvous that involves warm scarves and walking boots. The sun pours into the living room, spilling pools of light on the awesome sofa, a suitable hot spot for enjoying my morning latte. I remembered another snippet of my dream, noticing a feeling more than a situation, and smiled at the clouds in my coffee. DA is right, I have been feeling a little lack lustre recently, probably just still recovering from flu, the January blues, and let’s face it everything feels more difficult when the days are short, dark, and cold. However from now on, each day will stretch out a little longer, as spring draws ever closer. Dear DA is right, flights to sunnier climes are terribly enticing, but the best medicine for everything, are the friends that keep us smiling : )) I hope you’re blessed with people who put the sparkle back in your smile, and that your skies are sunny and blue whatever your weather this weekend! Blessings & love with hugs, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Snowy start

blonde snow

Good morning everyone! Today I woke late, feeling tired and not quite ready to release the sleep that had abandoned me unceremoniously, finding myself on the pillow fighting off wakefulness. After a week in bed with flu I returned to work this week to realise that perhaps I hadn’t recovered as fully as expected, finding myself struggling with exhaustion and feeling depleted. I lay for a while this morning, noticing how heavy my head felt as leaden limbs pinned me to the mattress, but sleep eluded me as a stream of conscious thought laden with responsibility flooded the space where dreams had left. I gave in quickly, grabbing my robe and a thick pair of socks, descending the stairs in search of coffee to find it’s snowing in London, beautiful, gentle, gracefully.

I sat with my latte just watching for a while as the fine flakes swirled on their descent, dancing on the breeze in absolutely no hurry as they alight the rooftops, branches, balcony and any upturned surfaces. The scene beyond my window has been transformed, the Victorian buildings seemingly more Dickensian with the soft white blanket that covers the dirt and blemishes of city dwelling. I smiled at the clouds in my coffee, the weather suits me, suddenly there is no reason to rush, and fortunately there is nowhere I absolutely have to be today. I made a list of the things I really must get done, the dreaded tax return being one of them, and I’m going to enjoy methodically working through them. Somehow the weather seems to dictate the day as a gentle one, time to stay warm and cosy, a chance to clear some chores from my desk, and take it gently. I do hope that whatever weather you’re treated to today, that it suits you too! Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Morning medicine

lue cup

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke slowly, from a series of dreams, invaded by a presence that swanned through my thoughts as nonchalantly as it wanders through the chambers of my heart; feeling I admit, half delighted at the sight, whilst half annoyed that it continues to permeate those layers of protection and sanity we all attempt to surround ourselves with. I lay in the mists that seemed several times about to lift yet descended again with sleepiness, despite the attempts of a cough to waken me, as I spluttered from the depths intermittently before drifting off again. I surveyed my internal terrain, noticing the soft spots of vulnerability, pretending to myself that I am perfectly fine, yet truthfully feeling a little less courageous, on a dark wintry morning waiting for spring to return.

The coughing eventually won, waking me to the realization I have a temperature, my body aches, and my head is pounding, illness is always so inconvenient isn’t it!? It seems I have a flu, which curtails my plans for a while, as I’m not one to martyr on and generously inflict my contagion. I believe that when the body communicates it’s struggling, that the best course of action is to listen and spend energy on healing quickly. This hasn’t always been the case, I have previously subscribed to soldiering on, dragging it out as I refused to make my health a priority. The truth is I’m not very good at being ill, in fact I’m absolutely rubbish, I’m not terribly brave and impatiently wish the time away, waiting to get better.

However, I remember a favourite lecturer from uni, a kind soul who told me once that being ill was something we should embrace, a time to stay in bed and read all day without feeling we should be doing something more constructive. He taught me that nothing is really so important it can’t wait for us to get better, and it’s an opportunity to gain perspective and assess our priorities. So I’m remembering his words of wisdom today, and taking time out rest, sleep, and be kind to my body; not minding the grey skies beyond the windows as it’s cosy inside, and refusing to feel guilty for all the things I ‘should’ be doing. I hope that you’re not sick today too, but if you do happen to be feeling under the weather, please be patient with yourself, as your body is busy repairing. ❤ Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via pinterest}


peaceful feet

If I choose to dwell in gratitude that focuses on peace in my heart, harmony in my relationships, health in my body, abundance in my life, and love in my soul; then I won’t let any fear, doubt or anxiety distract me from the business of being happy and thankful for my blessings. ❤

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest. Words ~Hayley Darby (2013)}

An indulgent start


Good morning everyone! Today I woke early to birdsong, and lay in the darkness waiting for sleep to reclaim me before my brain started spinning. The birds realizing their error stopped chirping since the dawn was not yet ready, I imagined them curling up in their nests, tucking beak under wing to sleep again, as the privilege eluded me. I snuggled deeper into my nest, curling into swirls of white duvet, searching for dreams, but unable to release conscious thinking.

Eventually the day arrived; cool, damp and misty, and as the hour turned into a reasonable one I got up for coffee, accompanied with that tired craving for comfort in the form of an almond croissant. So I dressed immediately, before giving myself time to contemplate, wrapping up in my scarf and coat, and headed over the road to the café. It’s a grey day, and the morning traffic was getting busy on the main road as I approached, focusing on the cosy, welcoming lights of the café on the other side of the street, glad I’m not a rush hour commuter, as people ran for the buses amongst the crowd walking towards the train stations. The baristas greeted me with cheerful smiles, bemused that I didn’t want my regular coffee order, just a croissant to take home and devour whilst curled up on the awesome sofa.

The dampness of the day seemed to creep under my skin in the short distance I walked to procure my breakfast, so armed with my latte and indulgence on a plate I swathed myself in some extravagant cashmere blankets dear ADS gave me yesterday. I lit a candle, scented with suede patchouli, a comforting smoky fragrance wrapped in vetiver bourbon and oakmoss. Then I turned my attention to breakfast, smiling at my treat, pulling apart the flaky pastry to reveal the sweet almond paste, and licking sugar dusted fingers. Food is a fundamental pleasure, and whilst I don’t advocate croissants for breakfast professionally speaking, I do think it’s important to feed the soul and mine just happens to desire a sweet, sticky, almond croissant on occasion : )) I hope your day starts beautifully too, and that whatever you treat yourself to, you thoroughly savour every moment! Blessings and love, with a sugar dusted grin ♥ Hxx

Good morning : ))

am glam

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke early, too early, and lay in the twisted sheets hoping sleep would reclaim me, back to the depths of oblivion where nothing matters so it’s easier to see how we are, really. I listened to my breath, trying to quiet my brain, before I realized that it was my heart I was hearing, and sighing sent love to those I care about, before getting up to greet the morning. I wrapped up in a robe and descended the stairs in search of coffee; a hug in a mug to compensate for sleep deprivation, and gratefully inhaled the rich aroma that filled the kitchen. I sat in the half-light with my latte, snuggled on the awesome sofa watching the sun rise, as a golden glow gently crept up the sky. Hints of amber highlighted the wisps of clouds that streaked across the horizon, and smiled beautifully at the dawning day, a warm light cast through the window settling on the bookcase momentarily, before a paler whiter light followed, and an opaque blanket of palest grey settled as a backdrop beyond the rooftops and bare branches of the trees by my home.

I lit some cheerfully fragranced candles and ran a hot bath, laced with reviving oils of grapefruit, juniper and rosemary to soak away the fatigue clinging to my temples. I let my mind wander down familiar paths in my heart, noticing details in the pictures committed to memory, a reminder of how much we unwittingly communicate without words, and smiled at recollection. I had a hearty bowl of porridge for breakfast and busied myself with patient notes in preparation for work, then dressed quickly in a black dress and prepared for clinic. I’m looking forward to seeing colleagues after the Christmas break, and am keen to see my patients’ progress as well as their New Years motivation.

I have an extra treat today too, an old friend visiting from Florida is calling in for afternoon tea, to share news of her new marriage and business, life is full of surprises! I hope that you are looking forward to going back to work too, I feel very privileged that I do what I love for a living, and although it wasn’t easy, and is still a work in progress, the transition from my previous career certainly feels worth it. I guess if you’re not doing something you love then the new year is a good time to change direction, and if you are, be brave it might be difficult, and the path might not be immediately clear, but I believe that if you follow your heart, you won’t regret it ♥ Time for me to rush and get ready, I’m going in early to meet a friend for lunch, and popping by Selfridges to pick up some coffee.. oh the sales are still on? Really!! ; )) Wishing you a wonderful day! Blessings & love, Hxx