My favourite slice of paradise

PN Kef emblisi pic

I awoke late by the Greek clock, early by the British hour, and my waking thought searched for that peaceful presence, that occupies a space in my heart recently encountered. I had been wandering along, feeling remarkably carefree and unsuspecting of the impending intrusion, and am left floating in the uncertain ocean of possibility, a place I have learned to embrace passionately, for after all it is full of infinite beauty, if we choose to see it.

I eventually found my body, having previously only been aware of my internal territory, and noticed the disparate relationship of my physical topography and the typically unyielding mattress of my austere Greek bed. Sounds of the port slipped through the shutters with the slices of light that had spilt across the crumpled sheet, wrapped around my legs, entwined in a memory. Sighing I summoned some strength and managed to inspire millions of motor neurons to move my body, in order to check the fluctuating Internet status of my abode by opening my emails. I read those I wanted, then sank back into my repose to process my findings until coffee called me, when I dressed swiftly in a faithful pair of denim shorts and vest, to bound down the stairs to greet the lively port and all the characters that make this particular slice of paradise so precious to me.

I wandered around the quay greeting friendly faces and answering the familiar questions (What took you so long? Where have you been? How long are you staying?), until I found Kosta in the quiet shade of his bar, whilst the staff served the tables outside as quietly as possible, so as not to aggravate his hangover. His face cracked into the most beautiful smile of recognition before his headache sharply reminded him of his condition. We laughed at life and hugged tightly despite his temporary fragility, catching up over a cappuccino (me) and water (he), sharing traditional pastries from the local bakery. Aggeliki lived up to her angelic moniker and administered her magical massage to the troublesome spot of Kostas neck that feels the tightest, and we lamented the consequences of age combined with the youthful behaviour of his crazy parties. Kosta surrendered to his struggling body and retired to bed, Aggeliki resumed her responsibilities at the bar, and I sat outside figuring there are worse places to contemplate ones indulgence in temptation, as the cheerful sunshine drenched the peaceful port, illuminating it’s beauty as boats gently traversed the glassy water.

After a while I left my seat on the balcony in search of the preciously acute and hilariously dry observations of Minas. He customarily spends the majority of the day at his favourite table, surveying his restaurant. Surrounded by his team of waiters, he called out across the square at my approach, heralding my arrival for anyone within 100m, and nursing his coke zero assured me that his diabetes is behaving lately. We discussed local politics and recounted stories of our shared histories, noting the changes and lamenting absent friends. We watched the life of the square and Minas’ grumbled for my entertainment, enjoying the audience for acknowledgement of his unique and frequently extreme viewpoints. I left Minas with a cheerful smile with a kiss for the orange juice, and walked around the corner to find Angelos in his office.

Angelos is a serious young man with the weight of responsibility resting on his shoulders, and a photo of his father smiling from beyond the grave on his desk. Our comprehension of the passage of time and our confusion over the specific years in which events occurred, served to remind us of the accelerated speed of time that age bestows upon us. Although at least a year younger than I (and a quarter of a century than Minas), he always makes me feel juvenile with my independent adventures in contrast to his empire building vocation. We put the world to rights, and he tells me to keep travelling and bringing home my stories for his enjoyment. I left him with promises to visit his mother soon and sent some love to his wife and children before sauntering back along the quay with an undeniable hunger for my darling, the sea.

As luck would have it, Makis had a similar craving, so when I popped into the shop on my way back to the apartment, he offered me a lift to his favourite beach; allowing me a quick change of clothes as he sat impatiently with the engine running. The car curled expertly into the curves of the road, just a short distance before our descent amongst the fragrant pines towards the turquoise water sitting, waiting, assuredly faithful, for our adoration. Makis changed in the car, and it was my turn to be impatient as I rushed towards the deliciousness. I paused momentarily to drop my bag on the beach and swap my ray bans for Cressi goggles, before hastily stepping into the water, saving my entering breath to exhale below the surface.

The crystal clear water engulfed me, and it felt as if anything other than bliss was cleansed from my soul, instantly revealing the clarity of this privilege. I swam towards the shelf, clearly marked by the line where aquamarine meets turquoise, inhabited by numerous fish that swim unafraid of the human company that dips into their world. I took a moment to float like a starfish in gratitude, to feel the surface tickle my sun kissed skin, feeling supported by the powerful entity in its reassuring calmness. Having spent the summer in California, enchanted by the ocean, my heart has still pined for my true ‘agapi’, the Ionian sea, with it’s gentle caress and beautiful hues of the heavenly blue spectrum. I submerged completely; lost in that peace that resides within and felt my physiology sigh thankfully, as does the heart in the embrace of a previously estranged lover. I noted my slowed pulse and that internal tranquility one finds when gratitude obliterates any other emotion, before breaking the surface to breathe in deeply the joy of living. I swam across the bay, much to the amusements of Greeks who tend to swim straight out into the darker deeper waters, beyond the rocks and around to neighbouring bays, whilst I cause disruption to the traffic system since I wasn’t born by the water and lack their confidence. I soon found my rhythm, breathing deeply for the long strokes my lengthy limbs prefer, and smiled at the un-phased fish, which loitered nonchalantly in my pathway, showing off their magnificent iridescence in the piercing sun beams. I finished my dip, resuming the star-fish floating position for my finale, before joining Makis and his sister on the beach to top up my tan as the sun sat high above the shady olive trees.

Makis returned to the shop, leaving his towel and flippers for his girlfriend Nancy, who appeared for her swim, bravely venturing beyond the visible rocks, before settling on the beach and into the conversation amongst the locals whose children played at the shoreline. I let the language waft over me as I lay under my panama, feeling the heat on my skin and remembering vocabulary and other trips. My thoughts wandered away from the beach and retraced some recent adventures, exploring new territory and chambers of my heart, slipping through the layers of awareness and comprehension, desire and vulnerability. The afternoon drifted by, as the shade inched towards the shoreline, soon eclipsing the beach, cooling my salt dried skin. Yaya, a French friend that runs the diving school, kindly gave me a lift back to the port, and I wandered down the steps smiling as I noticed my shoulders have dropped several inches after my sea-bathing. I encountered Nikos & Themis passing the bar, and admitted that I’d cheated on the Greek sea with the Pacific Ocean, but that my heart was ‘home’ again, laughing as they teased me good naturedly, but promising to join them for the last buffet at The Thai restaurant. It’s the end of the season here, and as tourism cools, businesses close for the winter. For me it’s the best time to visit; the port is returned to the locals, and as they untie themselves from their shops, bars and restaurants, they have time to relax and enjoy it again.

I’m writing in the port, replete after my Thai dinner and catching up with Anna & Pete (who tend to collectively know all the news in the village). I found a sweet spot at Le Passage, beautiful Eleni’s new business venture, which reflects her chic style and sweet nature, as well as her family’s famous restaurant for locals in the village up the hill. As I sip my tea (Jasmine) looking out over the still dark water, it reflects the pretty lights of the port in a perfectly mirrored image. The yachts are lined up and sit obediently waiting for adventures tomorrow, and the impressive private cruisers jostle for pole position for admiration along the quay. Passing friends greet me with hugs of welcome, and acquaintances nod in recognition; they know that this is my favourite slice of heaven on earth, and that I wherever I travel, I will always find a way ‘home’ again. I have had a gorgeous day, and I have more of the same to look forward to again tomorrow : )) Evlogimeni eimai (I’m blessed) !!

I hope that wherever you are, that you have an opportunity to appreciate your environment and spend time with people that enhance your being too. Blessings & filakia (kisses) ❤ Hxx

{Photo of my slice of Paradise 🙂 Words ~Hayley Darby ©2013}

Rainy days and panama hats

panama

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke early, to another grey, damp day in London. The sky is a pale uniform grey, and the soft opaque light lends a gentle quality to the quietness. It’s not currently raining, but after yesterday’s downpour, the cool air smells peaty and autumnal, and it’s tempting to curl up with my latte and laptop and spend the morning in bed. Yesterday was similar, and the day before, and the one before that, and although the changing season has its own charm, there’s a part of my heart that’s not quite ready to relinquish summer with all it’s carefree fun and joyful beauty, just yet.

Yesterday it rained, all day, relentlessly; starting with that fine rain, the kind that’s heavier than mist but falls slowly, gently, silently, and seems to soaks in thoroughly. I met my beautiful friend CE for coffee, in between her kid’s school runs (her little one has just started and is collected at lunch time). We sat in the big squashy sofa at the back of the café, knees curled up as we chatted about our summer adventures, about how life has a funny way of working out, and our current jewellery making projects and ideas. CE has an Etsy page, and regaled me with some of the sweet and romantic stories her customers write to explain they are purchasing her exquisite designs to celebrate, commemorate, and honour those special life events we wish to remember. She admits that some of the stories break her heart, and that as she works moulding the precious metals, she feels emotionally caught in the circumstances, as if she’s infusing her work with compassion and acknowledgment for each individual piece and it’s wearer. Her work is beautiful, delicate, elegant and exquisite; I especially love her fine droplets work; do have a peep! http://www.etsy.com/shop/chained7?ref=pr_shop_more
In fact she’s offering Pure Nourishment readers a 15% discount on orders placed before the end of October 2013, just mention the code word ‘PURE’ in your order (message to seller). Please do check out her FB page too! https://www.facebook.com/christinaeccojewellery1?fref=ts

CE and I said goodbye as she rushed off to collect her little one, the rain kept pouring, slightly heavier than earlier in the morning, droplets that bounced off the pavement and plopped in puddles, and I wondered whether I really needed to go anywhere in it. My heart pined for carefree summer days, walking out of the house without a thought of a jacket or umbrella, sunglasses perched on my make-up less face, carrying nothing more than my purse (wallet in US terms) and phone, and good intentions. I started to pack away my summer wardrobe, sighing heavily as I lamented the lightness of linens, and softness of cottons, smiling affectionately at the flirty panama hat and comfortable Birkenstocks. Then the phone rang, and everything changed, summer’s reprieve arrived with perfect timing. So I booked a flight and depart on Thursday, to my home from home on my favourite Greek island.. where indeed it also rains, but the light is still incredible and the sea is still warm, and frappes in the port with dear, dear friends are waiting. This weekend I’m packing again, I’ll be including some cosy jumpers and a waterproof jacket just in case, but the chance of the panama and Birkenstocks getting an airing is looking pretty hopeful!! Be careful what you wish for.. it might just be granted, and if you let it, life can surprise you with all sorts of blessings! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are, whatever your weather, it’s all so much better when we’re smiling! Love & happy smiles Hxx

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

Press pause

mermaid am

Good morning everyone! Today I woke late, slowly struggling to shed the layers of sleep that clung like wet seaweed as I slipped back from the surface several times, before eventually breaking into consciousness. I lay for a while as the final vestiges of fatigue drained away, and found myself washed up on the shore of a peaceful day with the gentle rustle of the breeze through the leaves outside my window. I drew the blind, to find a cloudy sky with big holes for the blueness to pour through, and feeling an autumnal ‘nip in the air’, wrapped up in my robe in search of coffee.

I climbed back into bed with my latte, and noticed my thoughts drifting towards some projects on the horizon, feeling a little nostalgic for my mornings watching the ocean, as I sat on the beach steps with my coffee, admiring the surfers and adoring the dolphins playing amongst them. Meanwhile some online messages interrupted my thought process, and some discussion about business direction inspired some creative thinking and enthusiasm, so that I was soon wide awake and firing those inquisitive neurons again.

I have several areas I want to explore; yet there is hesitancy, an undecided direction, and reluctance to commit just yet to tying up my energy. And as I write I realise it’s because at this moment in time I am enjoying the stillness, the feeling of being exactly where I am meant to be in this instant, and that my life will continue to unfold accordingly, as I dwell in possibility.

Previous to my trip to California I was feeling frustrated and disappointed as I tried to swim upstream, and fought hard to make something work in an environment that actively sabotaged my efforts. It’s no surprise that since my departure several newly appointed nutritionists/dieticians have met the same resistance and left the company already. My carefree Californian summer gave me space to recover from my dismay, reconsider my goals, and ultimately the realization that I could ‘dream much bigger’ darling. Trust me, ‘big’ in this context is an understatement!

Sometimes the most constructive thing we can do; is to do nothing, to wait and see what will be revealed. When we take time out to listen to our hearts, and hear the melody of our souls singing, we are more open to finding the answers that really matter, to seeing our dreams and feeling them draw us, rather than searching for solutions that will allay our fears, albeit temporarily. My three months in California have given me a beautiful fresh perspective, not to mention a relaxed happy vibe with which to enjoy it, and for now I’m just loving each step as it unfolds in front of me.

I wonder if there is something you are struggling with that would benefit from taking a step back too? OK, maybe not three months, but perhaps 3 days, or 3 hours, or even 3 minutes will help you accomplish more by truly looking at the situation, rather than ploughing ahead determinedly without checking your direction. I hope that whatever you do, that you can take some time to quiet your mind and listen to your heart, and then have the courage to follow it. You never know, it might just send you to California, and if it does, I’ll meet you on the beach, watching the dolphins amongst the surfers, because I’m pretty sure my heart is sending me back there soon! Blessings & love, Hxx

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

Laguna Beach 18th June 2013

Laguna me 1

Hello everyone!! I’m sitting in my Laguna kitchen, watching the breeze dance with the shadows of the leaves on my patio, as the fragrant flowers blush in the afternoon sun. I am relaxed, content, happy, extremely grateful that I’m here, and privileged that this SoCal paradise is my home for the summer. It doesn’t seem possible that two weeks since my arrival have flown by already, yet at the same time it feels as if my London life is a distant memory, as it appears I have stepped back into the rhythms of life here almost seamlessly. I have shed a ton of worry and responsibility along with the jet-lag, and life feels lighter, brighter, and bursting with hopeful possibility.

I have enjoyed catching up with friends here, and re-acquainting myself with the laid back vibe this beach town absolutely hums with; and I have enjoyed meeting ‘me’ again. That’s the me that walks on the beach with a heart full of gratitude, that feels the resistance slip away in downward dog, that breathes in deeply the air perfumed with jasmine and gardenia, and sips my soy latte slowly savouring my environment. It’s the me that doesn’t have a head full of lists to tick off, emails to answer, people to contact, and chores to address; rather it’s the me that has room for acute observation, happy amusement and spontaneous decisions that make my heart happy and my soul sing. Life is easier here for lots of reasons, but most importantly of all, I feel as if I am perfectly positioned in this place, time, and sentiment, for whatever is meant to be, and it’s a wonderful feeling!

The past two weeks have been spent being gentle with myself, letting go of the ‘shoulds & coulds’ and accepting the way it is as I live in the moment. I have focused on sleeping well, eating well, and exercising gently; I have indulged in massage and manicure, reading, and making my home a sanctuary. I have purchased several scented candles (plus room sprays and diffusers), soft feather cushions, sumptuous body oils and creams, potted plants and bunches of peonies. I have joined a yoga studio, explored new beaches, reloaded my kindle, hiked in the canyon, discovered nutritious & delicious eateries, and watched the waves (and the surfers) each morning with coffee. I think it’s safe to say, I’ve settled in nicely!

There have also been some beautiful gifts here, it seems just waiting for me to come and claim them. My first day I met a British hairdresser, (as a curly girl stocking up on ‘Be Curly’ (Aveda) is a priority to tame the tresses), and we got talking (as you do!). He asked what I would be doing here in Laguna, and when I mentioned writing he immediately suggested I met his client that publishes books on health and nutrition. As it turns out, the publisher (relocated from New Jersey) has an impressive listing and I feel extremely privileged for the introduction. Then there’s the talent manager I briefly met last summer that I had coffee with this morning (SHE called ME!) and the exciting and energizing discussion we had about building the Pure Nourishment Brand. Suddenly I am aware that I have shed any prior tiredness and fatigue, and have caught the optimistic enthusiasm that infuses my SoCal experience, life is full of potential, I am surrounded by beauty, and I am bursting with gratitude for this opportunity : ))

Funny, I was going to give myself the whole of June as pure vacation, but suddenly I am itching to write that book proposal! Maybe I need another walk on the beach to consider the structure? ; )) I DO hope that you find time this summer to get reacquainted with the ‘you’ that you enjoy best too, the one that makes time to appreciate your needs, is gentle and kind with yourself, and finds serendipities waiting Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest; words 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}

Blue skies & scars

counter

Good morning everyone! Today I woke early as the sun crept round the blind, sneaking in to the room to call me from dreams that blend reality with possibility and a generous hint of the ridiculously absurd. I landed on the pillow with a crumpled smile, and found my thoughts leaping into the day ahead, listing the tasks I hope to achieve and the time I anticipate they will take, searching for the opportunity for a walk on the heath, before sighing and getting up for coffee.

It’s a beautiful morning in London; the spring sunshine spills through the kitchen window, warming the herbs that reside on the sill, releasing a fresh fragrance to be inhaled deeply with eyes closed in appreciation. The light on my shoulders is deliciously warm, and encourages me to sit on the countertop and steal the rays from the bowl of lemons and assorted cooking utensils, as they curl round my legs and creep up my décolleté. I sipped my latte and smiled at the sky; an endless blue stretching into the distance above the rooftops, with only a single vapour trail, like a small scar to mar its perfection.

I glanced at the scar on my knee, a fairly neat white line that holds a story, and wonder about the scars on my heart, everybody’s heart, how would they look if we could see them? I suspect I would pick at the edges of the latest wounds, impatient for healing but unable to ignore the regret and disappointment wrapped up in their memory. I’m resisting the temptation, most of the time, but admit that occasional moments find my mind in the ‘if-only’ territory. I wonder how long will it take that particular hurt to fade into a smooth white line, and become ‘just another story’, something that happened to the girl I used to be?

And I smile at the blue sky, because however long it takes, I already know that that particular scar will always be the start of the next adventure, the one that whispered ‘follow your dreams, you’re the author of your story’. So the crazy idea that morphed into possible plans has now become more probable than mere potential, and I have a blessed opportunity. I also have a contract to sign, and a ticket to buy, another white scar to trail across the sky. Meanwhile that list still persists, and the clock is ticking, but it’s OK, because I’ll make time for a walk on the heath anyway, after all, chances become more precious when they’re numbered don’t they?!.

Have a gorgeous day everyone, and remember your scars are souvenirs of your journey, but you’re still the author of your story. Blessings & love, Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via fatallyflawedpalate.tumblr, words: Hayley Darby © 2013}

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

Hope springs..

leggy am1

Good morning everyone!! Today I woke late as dreams of possibilities, that no longer seem tangible, slipped through my fingers like fine sand in a sea breeze. I lay on the pillow, lamenting the loss a little before focusing on the present to find that the reality I am left holding is not such a hard truth to swallow, and I decide to chase it down with a soya latte. The sunlight pushing at the curtains, burst into the room as I drew them, like a playful puppy that bounces around everything a little too enthusiastically. I stood for a while with my forehead against the cool glass of the window pane, and closed my eyes to feel the light on my skin, before smiling up at the baby blue sky that continues endlessly on this beautiful morning.

I made my latte and sat on the sunny end of the sofa, chatting to dear GH on the telephone, making plans for later, and moved my legs to catch the rays that stream through the window. I imagine for a moment that I’m planning a walk along the beach, rather than tea in Richmond; and right on cue, a cloud floats in to relocate my thoughts back to a February day in London. The daffodils on the mantelpiece remain cheerful, and promise that it might not be here yet, but spring is coming, and the clouds move to reveal the sun reassuringly. And I wonder where hope would flourish if we didn’t face disappointment, would spring’s beauty be appreciated without the winter it follows, and could we build new dreams if we didn’t let go of the old ones? ..and then my mind was back to wondering about which beach I would like to wander along..

I hope that the sun shines on your part of the world today too, but if it isn’t, know that it will come back again soon. Blessings & love ❤ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via kikisloane.tumblr}

Love..

kiss bench

Love isn’t practical or rational or sensible or convenient.. in fact it’s often rather disruptive and awkward and if you’re really lucky it turns your world upside down and inside out and gets you into all sorts of trouble, none of which really matters of course, when you’re in love. You know it’s love when it’s at least slightly insane, completely ridiculous, totally inappropriate. It often seems to happen when it’s least expected, when life really doesn’t need any more complications or extra stuff that needs figuring, especially all those feelings of fear and vulnerability that accompany the faster heartbeat and weakness at the knees. It can cause you to stumble and question all the other aspects of your life that you thought were important, and you may wonder why suddenly all that seemed so clear and gave you direction, starts to feel uncertain and full of elements requiring procrastination. Chances are you’ll fall for someone who’s not at all ‘your type’, who doesn’t come close to meeting the criteria you thought was important, and who fails to tick most of those boxes, even if you didn’t realize you had any. Someone who at first didn’t seem like a threat to your sanity, will find a way to your heart when you weren’t paying attention, simply because your defences were down and let you be yourself rather than the persona you think will be more attractive. They will be the reason you are distracted, lose your appetite, can’t wipe the dirty big grin off your face or sleep at night. When life throws you this particular curve ball and you’re feeling unsettled and unsure, I want you to know that nothing is certain, except that love is what we’re here for, whether we’re being knocked over by it, or we’re struggling to survive it, or our hearts are bleeding, or we’re hoping, somewhere we’re afraid to admit, that it will happen again. Love can grow and evolve, and as it develops it’s strength lies in its ability to shine in the dark, and brighten up the ordinary. Because love isn’t all roses, or easy, or even logical, but it is the most important thing. The most wonderful thing that will happen to you in your lifetime will be love, in one form or another, be brave, embrace it, take any chance you have for it! Here’s some love from me to send you in the right direction : )) Happy Valentines day ♥ Hxx

{Photo sadly uncredited, via Pinterest}

Sleepless nights & perspective

winds

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}