Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Just For You

I dedicate this post to those of you I’ve not been in touch with... I know that sometimes silence is a necessity; it allows a person time to heal and gather their strength which is necessary for recovery... Thank you for being there and despite my silence I’ve been grateful for your kind words and thoughts...

"Strength does not come from winning. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." Mahatma Gandhi

In life when things change too much or too quickly, there can be the possibility of it becoming overly complicated, even stressful. I recently read an article that stated if you think back a year or two and think about how much extra responsibility you’ve got? You may well find you have too much stuff going on or even too many possessions including, projects and commitments. I did this and listed down all the changes in my life over the last few years and realised surprisingly, for someone who doesn’t like change a lot happened… As some of you may know, not all of it for the good… Also I feel it’s worth mentioning, as much as I share I also possess a silent side and quite rightly there’s the private stuff I keep for me and my lovely man.

If I had to describe it, I’d say for me it’s been like watching a mountain being built and trying to figure out how you can deal with each individual issue, as the mountain grows, its foundations crumble… The fragility of it all penetrates your soul; sadly you’re left feeling the fall-out with a vulnerability that’s concerning enough to make you want to crawl away until it all stops dead.   

I’ve found my dislike of change reduces my focus, increases stress levels and usually lowers my performance. I’ve been known to take on too much… Oh you know what it’s like, we have good intentions, but, if that stress button lights up, then it becomes difficult and unmanageable…

Over the past few months I’ve discovered, I don’t let go of things easily… I realise this is not a good thing!  The last 3-4 weeks with extra support I’ve learnt to cut down on stuff like projects, plans and possessions. I know this has been the busiest year of my life and although I knew there would be lots of changes, I felt confident I would cope and I was doing ok until my beautiful girl’s condition became worse, then everything seemed to go out the window and all the questions which surged from my core, overwhelmed me completely, leaving me reeling. I also know what didn’t help was my lack of positivity. The change in me became significant enough to overshadow everything I once believed in.  The last two weeks I’m pleased to say, have been positive in that I’ve managed to make a start on changing my thinking… I’ll quickly add it’s an ongoing project and I have to be honest with you, it’s damn hard…  This change is necessary; it will benefit not just me, but my family and friends as I’ve become well aware that they really worry over me. The differences they’ve witnessed over the last two years have caused further anxiety… Now that my thinking’s become less cloudy, I know I’ve missed so much stuff. Not only have I missed within my personal life I’ve also missed out on work colleagues… I have every intention of catching up and soon!

We all know life’s unpredictable, if I had any advice, it would be... YOU have to come first, so look after your-self… if you let yourself drop into the darkness then it’s very hard to lift yourself out, especially my friend if your questions remain unanswered.  I’ve gathered from this experience, nothing lasts forever but, the positivity here is that family and friends who have remained in contact despite not receiving anything back, has shown me by reinforcing that there are some beautiful people on this planet and for that blessing, I will always be truly thankful.

Namaste..... X

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thankfulness and Beyond

It’s always so nice to receive thanks for things we say or do. It fills us with fuzzy warmth that is deeply comforting, reaffirming, we did the right thing... Everyone likes to be thanked and not surprisingly, no one ever gets tired of it...

As some of you may already know the past 2 years have been especially hard and at this point that struggle continues... On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, my reason for writing and sharing this post is quite simply to look at you all, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind words and thoughts, not forgetting physical, emotional and virtual-cyber support... some of you will never know how deeply you‘ve touched me and subsequently my family.  

Family, friends and yes, even strangers have reached out and touched my heart. I believe gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy and as long as I can feel that, I will continue to sense our connection.  It’s so important to be able to share this deeper element of oneself.  I came to know this truth from experience... once upon a long time ago; I let someone leave this wonderful planet without telling them how I really felt.  Alarmingly the finalisation of that frustrating knowledge, eventually helped me understand that being oneself, sharing ones heart and being the real you with genuineness, is really what’s important for the here, now and future....Unfortunately, on my travels I‘ve come across individuals who have disbelieved sincerity, who’ve sadly gone on to disconnect all ties under many false illusions with their unrealistic ideas of what is actually fact, truth or fiction... Like anyone this could have happened to, we know the awful injustice will remain for as long as we are, because, the unfairness of it strikes deep within our hearts and we know we have lost something that could have been so beautiful and wretchedly we grasp with clarity, the fact that we’ll never be able to recapture lost time or potential precious memories.
As usual I’ve veered off the track, because in thanking others it sorrowfully reminds me of the past... My family mean so much to me, I am always full of regret when I remember we are not all together and yet, I know they are there...

I want to end on a huge positive so I will continue with this thought...

I'm where I should be. My world, although not perfect is as perfect as can transpire... I've learned and continue to learn much and I especially know with crystal clear understanding, being here for my family and friends is where I want to be... I know you know that nothing is perfect, so live your life, dream your dreams and remember, be yourself with a genuineness that won’t compare...  

Oh and guys... Thanks again!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Final Maltese Chronicle 2010 Part 7

Friday 3rd Dec 2010:
As long as I live, I know that I’ll never be able to capture the words to describe the final, complete and exquisite magic which happened within the confines of our Maltese Hotel, on our last evening together...

Oh What A Glorious Day!

Little did we know just how magnificently this beautiful day would end? With sad hearts we rose knowing this was our last day...

On entering the dining room for breakfast all four of us visibly brighten as guests and hotel staff shout good morning greetings, waving at four ladies from England. Waving back we take great pleasure in reminding them they’re in for a real treat this evening, tonight, we squeal is fancy dress. Genuine Warm smiles mixed with laughter follow us as we go to choose breakfast.
Several days earlier we’d decided, Friday was going to be our chilling day, a last day to try and capture more Maltese rays of warm sun-shine, but unfortunately it was cloudy with spit spots of threatening rain.

After breakfast, the four of us stood in front of our hotel, its splendid window frontage overlooking a most wonderful view of the sea. Silence pulsates between us as we all stood within our own dream world. It was Charlotte who broke into the moment...
“I know, let’s go shopping” 

Four sets of eyes need no further persuasion... four hours later found four shattered females flopping down into a favourite  snack bar as we order, delicious chicken and mushroom bakes ~ beer, wine and sangria... I exhaled as I heard Gypsy Kings playing in the background.  Giggling, toe tapping and much chatter continued to keep us busy as we explore the night ahead. 

Sixty minutes later, walking back to our hotel, thoughts of sunbathing in the rain ~ more laughter!
On a wet sunbathing terrace it wasn’t hard to see, sunbathing was definitely not order of the day ~ guests weren’t around, staff laughed and waved when they witnessed us covered in beach towels, lying on sun loungers with sun brollies up... enjoying the last few hours of warm daylight. We knew going back to England tomorrow we’d be returning to snow and a rather drastic plummet in temperatures.

Drinks ordered, we lay on sun beds when the lovely Selina joined us. 

“Where are you all eating tonight?” Selina wanted to know

“We’ve booked into the Chinese for our last meal” I returned misty eyed.

“We’ve invited Frank” Samantha said.

Ninety years young, Frank was such a good guy, a true gent and a delight to be around.
When we walked into our favourite Chinese restaurant that evening, guests and staff could not believe their eyes.  We had little red riding hood (Charlotte) A super sexy bunny (Miranda) a first sexy class airline pilot (Samantha) and me... a masquerade-ball princess. As we walked through for our meal, Frank had the biggest smile. Cheekily I whisper to him that he was behaving like and just reminded me of Charlie with his angels; this simply made his grin deepen. If I say this was the beginning to a hugely wonderful evening, I truly didn’t realise at that point how absolutely amazing it was going to be.

As we wait for starters, music, laughter and cheerfulness emanates throughout the restaurant. It was only when we felt a gentle breeze blow towards our table; we knew someone had entered the restaurant... Imagine our surprise when the hotel manager approached our table laughing, holding up a cat mask he said
“Selina has sent me to see you” He spent a few moments chatting and sharing with us that he felt we’d been good sports all week and the hotel, its guests had appreciated our company... He further said that he would appreciate it if we’d join him for drinks later! 

The four of us were kind of speechless after he left... to have been thanked by the manager him-self was truly a compliment and an honour...
The rest of dinner was fabulous, loads of gorgeous food, copious amounts to drink, all made for a truly magical beginning to what was to become an outstanding night.

Walking slowly back I kept thinking how wonderful we all look and how delighted Frank was at escorting us ladies back to the most beautiful bar in the world. Personally I felt so happy, I wanted to hug myself and everyone else around me. We walked slowly due to Frank’s age, walking slowly also had perks... In a world of my own, I looked at my friends and realised how much I truly loved each and every one of them with their complete acceptance of most of what I might say, my thoughts made me emotional. As we walked further through our beautiful hotel grounds and its immense corridors, the black and whiteness of its marble reminds me just how gorgeous our surroundings are... As I Listen to my huge masquerade ball gown swishhhhh along marble, I know my heart forever keeps, holds, and locks in tight irreplaceable memories from our week in Malta... I also know my mask hides misty eyes that glisten enough to bring my girls rushing towards me, luxuriously, allowing me the time to hold them tight for a whole five minutes... then realising they were getting worried I laughed, come on... last one to the bar buys the drinks... that was more than enough to kick start all of us (except Frank of course) into the well known bar run...  
Unfortunately Miranda came last and then moaned and moaned the whole way through ordering our round of drinks... Smiling at her irritation, I looked about the room it looked so beautiful, everything glistened and that’s when I see the strictly come dancing team, rush over towards us...

As they all push closer to look...

“Oh girls you look absolutely wonderful”...

The mood feels beautiful, people are happy; music blares... it’s going to be a brilliant night.
The dancing’s wonderful. We’re all up; the music’s taking us there... mind-you, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, as we all know, drink helps.

Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte, Selina and I were up and it felt great. The atmosphere pure electric, the place filled up fast and the bar, buzzed, mega busy.  The DJ started taking requests and the whole of the bar started to join in a circle, a circle that grew and grew... through the flashing lights the music started up and I heard Frank Sinatra’s voice call, New York New York... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-ZUXQuFcnw  The atmosphere twitched and trembled as every single person in that bar joined hands and started dancing in an unbroken circle, the smiles, the ambience hit everyone... kicking legs high we sang with Frank Sinatra and as New York ,New York faded, the girls and I went to the stage eager and happy to address the crowd, telling them we’d had a fabulous week and although we were really sorry to be going...  the memories we would take with us, would never fade... We called Frank over and thanked him for looking after us... his eyes misted as he thanked us back, saying he’d really enjoyed our company and was sad we were leaving. Individuals were coming up and hugging us and saying goodnight and goodbye...
Phew I said, how the heck do you beat this? “You don’t” whispered Miranda.

A restless night and a sad journey home... but once again, at Manchester airport despite our sadness at leaving Malta, we rejoiced at landing on familiar territory. As I kissed and dropped my last friend off I put my foot down in a bid to reunite with my beautiful man...

Will I go to Malta again? I don’t think so; you cannot expect to repeat perfection a second time around!


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Meditation and the Journey.

Today I learned... Buddha is a complete way of life, concerned with the wholesome development of the individual. In the words of Buddha himself: Learn to do good, Cease to do harm, Control the mind, and Benefit others. These are principles I try to live by, but being tutored feels especially beneficial in helping my understanding of things that I questioned before.

Not being completely sure what to expect from my pre-booked meditation class, I arrived at the school, parked up quickly then as I stepped out of the car I felt the nerves begin to twitch. Hurrying through the school car park, no clue where to gain entrance, I saw the back of a lonely figure a few yards ahead of me. Calling out... the young lady turned and without taking breath I asked where K Block was, she smiled and said she had no idea then asked where I wanted to go... Meditation, I said breathlessly, aha she smiled that’s where I am going.  As if by magic, I now had someone to walk into class with. All day I had been anxious and dreaded the very thought of walking in alone. It was almost like my prayers had been answered. Good start I thought!

The room not as I imagined a meditation-room to be was an ordinary class-room the students used for drama. There were film posters around the walls, books and tapes. I observed the seated individuals and yes despite my surroundings, I sensed something very calm about the room and its occupants.

Welcoming the class our teacher introduced herself. We spent the first part of our time with a prayer and then with a teaching on different levels of ‘happiness and love’ and what that meant in terms of how we perceived and dealt with these emotions. There was a lot more to it and I felt the teacher explained herself very well... despite me never having attended before, I had a clear grasp on what she was saying and it all made perfect sense to me. I felt like I’d been here before and I understood the concept of the message and at that point I felt a warmth begin to spread inside of me. Previously I’d worried I wouldn’t understand, and yet here I was in a new class, I felt completely at home. I knew I had made the right decision to attend.

Our first mediation about to begin... I felt incredibly nervous and I wanted to laugh... My teacher told us to relax, place both feet flat on the floor and hold our hands in our laps, whichever way felt comfortable, and to help stop hands from moving we were to hold our thumbs close together. Throughout the first meditation all I heard was her soft soothing voice. I have to admit, I kept opening my eyes, thoughts kept breaking through. I felt frustrated knowing this is just what happens at home, I’m never going to be able to quieten my mind I thought negatively. There was a further Buddha teaching, which I found very interesting, it made me think of the possibilities of these new thoughts, especially now they were being explained to me. We then had a second meditation this was called a ‘Contemplation Meditation’ by this time I felt more comfortable and felt able to relax. Throughout I concentrated on my breath... My teacher told us if you find thoughts invading your mind; concentrate on the breath as you inhale through your nostrils... Each and every time those thoughts penetrated, I immediately took myself to the breath and it worked... so much so, I almost fell asleep and experienced a complete blankness which had an amazing affect on me. As long as I have lived, that’s never happened. I have never been able to have nothing on my mind...   After ‘Contemplation Meditation’ we got to chat to each other over coffee. I further discovered all of the participants had been doing meditation for a couple of years and longer... they were friendly and I didn’t feel awkward.

I also learned how Buddhism teaches us to overcome problems and difficulties by understanding and overcoming their causes. I understood from discussion that normally we look outwards for answers to problems, Buddha teaches us to look inwards. He shows how feelings of dissatisfaction arise from negative states of mind. He offers methods to eliminate these by developing generosity, compassion, wisdom and other positive states of mind. Cultivating these qualities, we discover an inner state of peace and strength.

Throughout the two hours in class and further reading, I learned the word Buddha means ‘Awakened One’ A Buddha is one who has awakened from an ignorant sleep, sees things as they really are and is free from faults and mental obstructions.

The Buddha school I attend encourages people from all ethnic backgrounds to adopt the wisdom and compassion of Buddha and to put it into practice in a way that suits their particular culture...

After all I have seen and felt over the last twenty-four hours ... My passion rises to unknown heights and although I know this is probably ludicrous to some. It will be magical to others...

Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to explore unknown depths.

Stay with me ~ Namaste

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

This Beautiful Mad, Mad World...

Remember whilst reading this article... It’s been said many times ‘You have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you really experience what they are going through’ we are powerful; with every thought, word, choice and action, we determine our future and how we perceive the world and its inhabitants... I want to see my world differently before it’s my turn to get off... I want to know I did everything right and to the best of my ability... I cannot over emphasise the importance of engaging at as many levels as possible, to purely attain your own knowledge and understanding to see and support the connection between us all, and there is a connection, a beautiful one that needs a little understanding to help us focus on the correct way to do things...  

As you read these words some individuals are on the internet busily networking or browsing for a better life. Other individuals are @ the gym, others are out shopping possibly passing a homeless person begging for their living. Parents are driving children to school or taking them to appointments; others remain at home searching job papers or sadly sat in a chair depressed at the very thought of going to work or simply living their life.

Whilst we may be aware that everyone is different, the same questions press through hearts and minds ‘How can I live today, where can I look to have a sense of well-being when my life it is dissolving right in front of me? How can I find the happiness I use to feel in this unreliable, unpredictable world? Where might I find peace of mind I desperately yearn? I share this, hoping to stop others from rushing around in this mad, mad world... it’s so important to see where you’re going, what you’re doing and why! Sensing those reasons as well as remembering this life is for living.  Your physical and mental survival is important. So is the realisation that we are not just here for ourselves, it’s terribly important how we live, love, share and experience life... these essential skills impact on just about everything, who we are and what we do...  

I've become aware that I’m going through some sort of transition... I have this incredible feeling that this should have happened many moons ago, but, for whatever reason I realise clearly I managed to put it off... Now my yellow brick road is moving again and I have a clear sense of change... hopefully it will be for the better!

Knowing I have company on this journey is comforting... because even if you don’t talk to me, I know you're there!

I enjoy reading positive affirmations to encourage me on my life’s path... I’ve always magically known, within all human-beings there lie’s a seed of enlightenment but, I also understand intuitively we have to be in the right place at the right time and just for added measure, be experiencing certain conditions for it to sprout... I’ve come to believe that self-actualisation is a powerful process and in embracing this we learn so much about ourselves in the process... This experience is not just for me, and willingly I share my all in the hope that I help someone else on this sometimes bumpy journey. 

To me self-empowerment will raise many questions as well as bring answers,  joy, and I suspect I will realise the me I am, the me I want to be, and the me I’m meant to embrace... if I manage to bring with that clarity more power to love, give, reward, share joyfulness, contentment, peace, healing, acceptance, genuine unconditional thoughts and attain a deeper wisdom then I will be happy to simply understand what all of that means, and share my experiences of attaining such beauty within my life...  I also know I have been through much and sadly I have to contain such sadness which I've grown to understand further enables a person to become a much stronger character... It also means I don’t have a problem talking about or understanding my own weaknesses, my faults, strengths etc...  Knowing I have done something about them is half way to reaching my goals of which I have many.

Please, stay with me!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Heart Body & Soul

For most of my life for one reason or another I lived in fear... then I became a mother and as if by magic I was no longer afraid... With my new role I changed, I grew and I blossomed. No one fitted the role better or more perfect... She was my beautiful girl, my heart-beat and I would always make life comfortable, safe, secure and happy... Unlike me she would have more than the basics in life, I would go with-out and I'd always make sure she felt the sparkling, enchantment of her precious childhood...

If you’re like me then sometimes in this life you may wonder ‘what the hell happened’ or better still ‘how do we get through this’ or maybe more realistically ‘how do we live with it’... the ‘IT’ in my world is continuing to deal with the fallout that we as a family are still experiencing since 2009... If you have read my brief but personal account of that horrendous time http://angeljanesworld.blogspot.com/2011/08/desmoid-tumour-research-foundation.html  then I’m sure you will know, maybe even understand the devastating effects that something like that can have on a family... During the past two years my journey has been hard, because not only am I struggling to accept that my beautiful girl has a lifelong condition but also the intense horror knowing that to date, there is no known cure... the doctors, even specialists all seem to have different view points and no two treatments appear to be the same, which is terribly disconcerting. 

I use to visualise my life’s journeys as a magical, shiny yellow brick road, the one from the film, ‘Wizard of Oz’ that path has not been an easy one and like others I have occasionally veered off from my journey, but since the’ IT’ came into our lives, it’s been extremely hard to visualise anything... sadly this has managed to send me spiralling emotionally out of control towards a darkness that I really didn’t want to penetrate... As a mother I don’t need to tell any parent how it feels not to be able to make it better, but when not making it better means not being able to do anything at all to ease your child’s worry’s or hurt then it’s hard to come to terms with. For me personally, it’s fallen into me being just ok, managing and supporting everyone else, to me screaming silently for someone to save and support me.  All this accumulates into a deep, dark stress which overwhelms a person into believing the opposite of everything they once believed... I use to believe so much prior to this and I always produced a happy face believing even if I wasn’t really happy, the fact I was able to convince others I was, made it better...

During the last two years I believe I developed illnesses when there wasn’t any. I felt darkness come and it stayed, because I made it easy to remain... I stopped confiding in my loved ones because I felt they had enough to cope with without me adding even more pressure. I genuinely thought I might die if I allowed myself to think of the unthinkable and although I’m not through the hoop yet, I made an important decision a couple of weeks ago... I sensibly decided, I’m no good to anyone in my present state and the best thing to do was tell the Doctor, tell him how I truly felt about things, instead of keeping most of my thoughts to myself, pretending to be half ok... With that enlightening admission, a wealth of help and support came and do you know what?  ~ It meant I didn’t overwhelm my lovely family with all the gory details of how I was feeling, which helped me feel much better...  After my disclosure, my clever GP referred me to the Gym, where I‘ve taken up Tai Chi. I also start Buddha meditation classes next week, something I’ve always been interested in... Already my pulse rate has lowered, maybe that’s an indication of how it’s going to progress. I’ve read recently about the Buddha principles, of their way of life and what it means. I don’t quite understand meditation except to say its explained simply as a tool for developing qualities such as inner peace, love and patience, all of which I need right now. On that note I will keep you posted and blog about my first night...   which will be next Wednesday.

To update my girl’s progress... A couple of weeks ago Christies offered her amputation, I can tell you right now, at that moment in the clinical, pristine consultation room, our world stopped,collided and crashed... I didn’t want to breathe, when I looked over at the consultant, I saw clearly he'd also stopped breathing... such news is obviously as painful for them as it is for us to hear... looking over to my girl, I saw big blue frightened eyes, they said it all... to this day, I’ll never know, how I managed not to cry my heart out...

If I tell you I have the strongest girl in the world then please believe me, because within 10mins of hearing that dreadful conclusion, she was up using fighting talk, advising me that no way was anyone taking her arm off... Her words not mine>>>She continued without taking a breath>>> I would rather live a short life being able-bodied, then a long life disabled and miserable... I tried to talk to her about people managing with these very sad conditions, her argument, we are all different mum and for me it can never happen... For someone so young It struck me I'd brought up a very strong, opinionated individual, who has her own mind and is ready for the fight.  My own conclusion to that awful day in the consultation room >>> If she can fight this, then so can I...
We’re a team, bonded heart body and soul.