Letting go…

sigh
Today I woke early, too early for my body, but my brain was insistent. My head lay heavy on the pillow, weighed down by a headache and sadness, my limbs felt leaden and sank into the mattress; my eyelids fought to keep the light out as it crept round the blind, and my heart just ached and tried to hide. I struggled in vain as I searched for the sweet oblivion of sleep again, trying to shut out reality as thoughts and memories flooded in. Words, that once uttered cannot be retracted, and more importantly, words that are left hanging, hopelessly unsaid; once happy memories distorted by bitter betrayal and knowledge that cannot be unlearned, however hard one tries to forget.

I lay for a while, drowning in disappointment as the sunshine pushed at the window, anxious to drag me from my den of despair. The knot that twisted in the pit of my stomach was interrupted by a realization that flooded my body; because today I don’t have time to wallow, to wonder how life would feel if things had been different; a record that’s recently been stuck on repeat in my head. So fortified with a latte, I washed my face and dressed quickly, smoothing the pain from my expression as I swept my bed head hair into a bunch of carefree curls, and applied mascara (not the waterproof stuff).

Today is a beautiful spring day in London, and my little pocket of the city was buzzing industriously as commuters headed to work, and the world carried on turning. My meeting this morning was informal and fortunate enough to include a walk, so we headed up the hill towards the Heath, comforting familiar territory. We walked and talked, my companion is well travelled, intelligent and interesting, excited about embarking on a new chapter, professionally speaking. Our conversation was full of hope and visions of the future; we discussed dreams, far-flung destinations and career opportunities.

I noticed the buds on the trees have started to swell, and the blossom that had tentatively blushed along branches, now blooms bravely and enthusiastically. The path was clear, no longer squelchy and impassable without danger of muddy footwear casualty. We wandered through the woods, where branches stretched skyward, reaching into the blueness, soon to become adorned with shady green canopies. Winter it seems has finally lost its grip, and slips away lost amongst memories as spring asserts her hopefulness and promise of summer. We all have to let go in order to move forward; like monkey bars we need to let go of where we’ve come from to embrace where we’re going. I have observed that people who insist on clinging to their past, often impede their future, painfully. Change is inevitable, sometimes we have to just let it happen, and when some things fall apart, we just have to trust its making room for something wonderful that’s waiting to catch us.

You don’t always need a plan, sometimes you just have to let go and see what happens next. Life isn’t about control, it’s about adapting to the changes that are inevitable, and sometimes it helps to remember we’re not in charge, which is probably a good thing. Once in a while, let go of what you think you want, create some space for possibility, let life surprise you xx.

Blessings & love ❤ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words ~Hayley Darby ©2014}

Happy Valentine’s day!

val

Happy Valentine’s day!!

I hope that wherever in the world you are, whether you are married, dating or single, that today on the most romantic day of the year that you feel loved.

I wish for you the purest, unconditional love, one that appreciates you for exactly who you are, not your appearance, your intelligence, your success or achievements, or even some fantasy of what you could, should, would be. I hope you are loved for the essence of who you are, and that it’s a clear love that sees your faults and failings, and knows that these are a part of you as vital as your strengths and achievements, so loves them too.

I hope you feel an encouraging love, one that truly believes in you, and your dreams too; especially when you have trouble believing in yourself. A love that celebrates your unique gifts, and encourages you to appreciate them, that understands the intent that drives you, values your view of the world and dreams your dreams with you.

I hope you feel a supportive love, one that truly listens, not just with their ears but with their heart also, so that they comprehend your feeling rather than just the words you choose. A love that’s there by your side through the good and the bad; to hold your hand in the darkness and whisper words of comfort when you need them, and to revel in your success and bask in the light when you shine brightly.

I hope that you feel a forgiving love, one that sees your heart is human, and all the struggles it goes through, and appreciating your imperfections forgives the mistakes you make and urges you to forgive yourself too. Forgiveness frees us from all that isn’t love, and when we learn to truly forgive, we learn love.

I hope that you feel a kind love, one that cares for you and considers your needs generously. A love that will go out of its way to demonstrate how valued you are, with gestures grand and small, and to give without any expectation, just a hope you will feel loved. I hope that you will feel a love so kind that you want to express it in all that you do, and that love will inspire kindness in others too.

I hope that you feel a love that is as free as the breeze, that caresses you gently, yet never pushes or demands of you. A love that accepts you exactly as you are, and doesn’t try to change you, or trap you, or own you; but that delights in your flight, in your pursuit of life and the knowledge that your love guides you.

I hope that you feel a fun-filled love; one that will tickle your heart with giggles and helps you see the magic anew. A love that explores your imagination and takes you on adventures of discovery, finding miracles in the dusty corners of the ordinary, and treasures sequestered in the mundane. I hope that your love laughs heartily and embraces your experiences with joyful anticipation.

I hope that you will feel a trusted love, an acceptance that the love you feel is true, that you will not feel fearful of loss or protective against pain, because love does not die, and there is no need to question the integrity of genuine love. I hope that you will love yourself to know that you deserve this too.

I hope that you will feel loved, I hope that you will love bravely too, that you will not hide behind walls of pride, conceit, fear, or any other emotion that might try to protect you from the vulnerability of truly loving another. I hope that you will find the courage to open your heart, despite the risk of all that it may encounter, and trust that you have enough love to survive anything that the world can throw at you. Because love is what we’re here for, and love is what we are, and the answer is always love, so love is what we must do!!

I hope you feel love everyday, everywhere you go, and in everything you do, and if you’re wondering where to start, I’m sending love from me to you! Happy Valentines day, with love Hxx

September letter

beach type

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke early, around 6am, and snuggled into the covers in search of sleep again; happy just knowing I had the privilege of such an option. I drifted for a while as my mind considered attaching itself to the thoughts it observed floating by, but in the end the draw of the deep was too great to overcome and I succumbed to the dreamy depths, to dwell in that secure state where the answers are all obvious and nothing is a problem. I woke later in the morning feeling calm and refreshed, and decidedly carefree, as if any potential obstacles on the horizon will work themselves out, or I will overcome them and gain some new learning. So I lay for a while in gratitude for the peaceful feeling, until thoughts of coffee distracted me and I got up to greet the day beyond the blind.

It’s a cool autumnal day here in London, there’s a dampness in the air, but blue sky patches appear sporadically amongst the clouds, and it’s not raining (which is a relief after the relentless downpour yesterday). I pottered round the house for a while with my latte, still reorganizing my home after a protracted absence, and chatted with the dustmen (refuse collectors) who welcomed me back from my trip with tales of their summers and experiences in America. They are such a friendly team, always so cheerful and it’s nice to know that they’ve been keeping an eye on my property for me. I addressed some laundry, answered some emails, and made a list of all the important things that need doing today.

The top priority is my annual letter to Billy. Billy is a dear friend from my favourite Greek island, yesterday was his birthday, and every year I write him a letter, pouring out all the things I wish for him and all the important stuff I wish I had known at his age (he’s just turned 18 years). Billy is a beautiful soul, he’s a thoughtful guy wrapped in fun with a cheeky grin and lovely manners, and I adore him. It’s a letter of love really; just an out-pouring from my heart, that takes me on a journey as I write it, through my own learning curves, regrets and understanding, and is full of hope to inspire courage and compassion in this young man that is so dear to me. Of course I don’t have all the answers, and much of our learning must come from personal experience, but I write so that he knows that I care, that I believe in him, that I wish the best for him, that I will celebrate his success and appreciate his struggles, and that when his heart has been broken and trampled on, I will be here to listen and gently encourage him to pick up the pieces and keep loving. This annual letter writing usually takes place on a favourite Greek beach, when I arrive around the time he has to return to school on the mainland. So today I’m going in search of that space within, where I am full of gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me, and my thoughts can float with the sun on the sea, and a love that’s as deep as the ocean churns up all the words I need.

I hope that you have a beautiful day, and hope that you have received and will send love letters, not necessarily romantic, just a way to reach out and let someone know that they are cherished, and that your heart fills with all the beauty that you have seen, because you want to share it too Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words by Hayley Darby ©2013}

Sweet September

summer door

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke late after a late night, and felt the heaviness in my head, sunk deep into the pillow. I am a complete light-weight, one glass of champagne can sink me! However a large glass of water later, I was soon on the road to recovery, and memories of the previous evening’s dinner with an old friend soon put a smile on my face again. I stretched my whole length, still relishing the fact that I can push my toes into the cool brass of the bedstead, now that I am home in London, and rolled over to check my phone, finding a message from dear RO about our plans for a walk in the country and afternoon tea at a stately home. So I swung my legs out of bed and got up to draw the blind, finding a beautiful blue sky filled with cotton wool clouds and a definite autumnal hue after yesterday’s rain. Ah bittersweet September; I love the low sunlight, warmer seas, gentle breeze, and those lingering carefree afternoons, but it seems Summer’s end always arrives too soon.

However, I smile as I remember all endings are just beginnings in disguise. So whilst the end of warm sunny afternoons, flip flops, and breakfast on the balcony, make way for cosy cashmere sweaters, kicking the crisp burnt leaves and snuggling up by the fire, that the air is thick with possibility too. And then I (almost) wish I was going back to school, with a collection of freshly sharpened pencils, an exciting reading list, fresh new gym kit, and pocket full of good intentions, and I realise September has always been my favourite month, not just because of the fading summer afternoons, but the promise of a new chapter, the next leg of the journey, and maybe a doorway to pass through too!

I hope your weekend is wonderful, and that wherever you are, that September is filled with hope and beautiful beginnings too Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest. Words by me. ~Hayley Darby ©2013}

Great things happen, if we let them!

surf smile

Think about the things that made you really happy, I wonder how much was planned, and how often it was something you weren’t expecting or couldn’t have predicted? Some surprises take our breath away, and those are the moments of pure unexpected joy that fill our hearts to bursting with love and smiles. Trust me, it’s the unexpected gifts that life bestows that we will treasure most; for we cannot imagine the beautiful possibilities that wait for us to let them happen ❤ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words Hayley Darby © 2013}

Love selfishly (26th July 2013)

her

I wonder if you’ve been let down, or if you’re feeling disappointed, or if you give too much and are feeling depleted? Sometimes we’re very good at caring for others, but somehow manage to miss meeting our own emotional needs and get too busy to be kind to ourselves. Yet when we make time to notice how we are feeling, and discover what it is we need in this moment, we are serving others by taking time to “be selfish”. When we meet our own emotional needs, we are able to give generously from a place of abundant compassion and love; and can burn brightly in the darkness that surrounds us, sharing our positive energy without fatigue or resentment. What are you doing to take care of you? Make sure it’s something wonderful, because you deserve it!! Blessings & hugs, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words by Hayley Darby ©2013}

Turning corners

am meGood morning everyone, happy Monday!! Today I woke early, the morning sun having sneaked into the room to tempt me from dreams that held answers to questions I’ve yet to ask, and found me smiling. I lay for a while trying to make sense of the remembered images of my reverie, until they faded and curiosity called me from my bed to find what lays in the day ahead. The start of the new week is for me an inspiration for productivity, I have a list, a long list, an extremely long list, and it seems to keep growing despite the time period shrinking. So I drew the blind, made some coffee, and got back into bed with my laptop and diary searching for a sense of organised confidence in the tasks to complete, and ticked off several surprisingly quickly.

As I peruse my list: appointments to schedule, telephone calls to make, items to collect, information to clarify and notes to check; I am aware that life seems to have turned a corner, and each tick is a step closer to the next thing rather than a step away from the last thing. My energy has improved dramatically, and even the most mundane tasks are embraceable with an enthusiasm recently lacking. The change in myself, and the direction I’m taking are all due to a moment of belief amidst the uncertainty, when suddenly creating the life I desire became more important than the responsibilities and limitations I had previously let confine me.

I wonder what this week will bring for you, and whether the items on your ‘to-do’ list are taking you in the direction you want to be heading? Because if you’re just fire-fighting to keep your head above water amidst a sea of responsibilities, maybe there’s something you’ve neglected that you should be addressing, since in the words of Goethe “things that matter most should never be at the mercy of things that matter least”, and if today isn’t the best time, maybe it should be!?

Wishing you all a beautiful day and a productive week, with blessings & love, and a smile on my face Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Pictures

Me 1974

Happy Monday everyone!! This morning the day greeted London with blue skies and sunshine, that slipped under the blind and pulled me from my reverie. I’m not sure what I was dreaming of, but the feeling of discontent was difficult to shed in wakefulness, and it took some time, and a second cup of coffee to find the motivation required to address the busy ‘to do list’ that’s been waiting all weekend. I sat at my desk, and surveyed the books and papers, searching for inspiration, wondering where the answers to my dilemmas are hiding.

I have a photo in my office, a treasured memento; clients often enquire whether it’s my daughter, or perhaps a niece, but the little girl with her hair brushed in bunches, smiling at the camera, is me circa 1973. It’s one of my earliest memories, taken at playschool (kindergarten) and is a reminder to not let studying/work eclipse play too frequently. Today my younger-self seems to sigh and question why it’s so difficult being a ‘grown up’; making decisions, shouldering responsibility, and I wish for a moment that I could warn her not to embrace it too eagerly, to enjoy the freedom and simplicity a little longer.

I have a lot going on at the moment, and it seems exhausting juggling disappointments and realizations, opportunities and obligations; and I wished for a moment that I could escape it, that choosing which was my favourite picture in the book the photographer had given me, was again the only thing I had to worry about. Then I realized, it is still that easy actually, except the pictures aren’t printed, we have to draw them, not with pencils or crayons, but our choices and actions; and that creating the life we want isn’t about what it’s supposed to look like, but letting our imaginations run wild with the colours available.

Suddenly being the grown up version of the little girl in the photograph isn’t so daunting, life is a much bigger canvas than she could have imagined, and there are seemingly unlimited colourful possibilities. There are still decisions to be made and a myriad of complicated questions, but the answers are where they have always been (in her heart), and she knows where to look for them, when she’s patient enough to remember anyway. I hope you have a beautiful week, and that a snapshot of now will be a motivation in your future : )) Blessings & love

{Photo: Me circa 1973} © 2013

Spring awakening

kimono

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke early, rapidly rising to the surface from the dreamy depths, carrying vignettes of my reverie, like a million tiny bubbles rising with me, but bursting as they surfaced. I lay on the pillow, observing the thoughts already running round my head, my dream it seems was working through some aspects of sadness, and I watched my heart in the absence of anger and frustration, quietly bleeding. Sometimes we just have to accept where we are, and what we’re feeling, and be grateful for the learning. This gives us an opportunity to notice that the place we are at is just the starting point for a new journey, and that if it wasn’t a little uncomfortable we wouldn’t be tempted to take the necessary steps in the right direction. We are all just living our stories, and some things have to happen to put us on the right path again, with a kindly reminder to ‘dream a little bigger darling’.

I stretched and smiled at the sunlight pushing at the curtains, taking a deep breath of the day, enchanted by its gentle encouragement and budding potential. I made some coffee and sat watching the sky for a while, as clouds shifted to reveal chinks of blue and let the sun shine through, when I felt the light tickle my skin. I have been impatient and anxious for spring to arrive, and now that it’s here with all it’s hope and promises, I realize that the winter’s discontent has been preparation for the plans I have, and I am grateful in retrospect. As I stand here wondering how to make the next step happen, the answers are simple and at the same time complicated; let go and trust, and just keep focusing on the step ahead. Spring rewards our resilience with signs of progress, and reminds us that summer will be here soon enough; meanwhile it’s time to appreciate where we are, to live in the moment, enjoy the potential and notice the opportunities blossoming. Have a gorgeous day everyone, mine involves more decorating, and colours are changing : )) blessings & love ♥ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words by Hayley Darby © 2013}

Good morning 18.2.13

cable sweater

One simple, positive thought in the morning can make such a difference to the day ahead of you. Maybe gratitude for something small, or just shrinking your worries by choosing a different perspective. There is always a reason to smile, find it early and enjoy it all day long! Happy Monday everyone!! ♥ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}