Meteoric Musings

Today has been a perfect day. It’s been a perfect weekend. Yesterday I had a party for my 42nd birthday. I put Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on to initiate the few who had no idea why I was in my pyjamas and the rest of us sat outside in the sunshine and chatted for hours. Everyone brought a plate of food to share and a few friends I haven’t seen in months popped by as well. At about 2.30am Doug and I drove up to Newlands Corner to see the Perseid meteor shower. It was freezing and Doug cuddled me as we observed some wonderful trails as fragments of ice no bigger than a pea ignited themselves on the edge of the atmosphere. After a languid sleep-in a friend visited for a couple of hours then we spent the remainder of the day reading in the sun and eating nachos.

I’ve had an excellent birthday month so far. The focus has been on self-care, appreciating my body and discovering a new way to think about myself. I suppose the whole year has been about that last point, but this month particularly so. The end of last month was so difficult, but Kas’ idea of listing the things I like about myself has been a real impetus to improve my self-image. I have also decided to send some self-made cards to people whose presence in my life I truly appreciate. I think it’s about time people know how much I value them and the process of making a list of the wonderful people I know, creating and sending the cards has been a tangible way for me to appreciate the great things in my life.

In spite of my worries about money, I made it to the end of the month with food in the fridge and fuel in the car. My mum sent me birthday money and I’ve been able to use it to treat myself. Great shoes, great books and lovely smelly things from the Body Shop are just the start. I intend to treat myself to a massage and a session with a hypnotherapist this month. Perhaps the abundance ritual has manifested its effects, just not as immediately as I might have hoped, nor in the way I was expecting.

The Perseids are like that. I know they’re coming, the planet passes through the debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle every year at this time. I can look up into the night sky in the general direction I expect to see them. They’re called the Perseids because they appear to radiate from the constellation of Perseus. I know what to look for but when the meteors show themselves, they do so entirely unexpectedly. They are invariably not where I’m looking and are certainly more beautiful than I imagined them to be. In fact, by the time I’ve seen them, the meteors have disintegrated and all that’s physically left of them is the trail burned for a microsecond onto my retina. The best bit is, as long as I can appreciate the infinite beauty in that brief glimpse their splendour is eternal.

Abundance is the same. It’s never where you think it is, it never looks like what you think it will look like and it lasts forever if you appreciate i

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I forgot to forget to land…

This last month has been tougher than I ever dreamed. I’m not the most optimistic person in the world, but I’m reasonably positive with a heaped tablespoon of pragmatism that makes me seem like a perpetual black hat thinker sometimes. My depression has reared its ugly head big time this month. I battle constantly with feeling like a failure. My partner is so great at listing all my successes, all the things I’m good at, but when the monster grips me I just feel like such a waste of space. All I want to do is curl up into a ball and die. I know that sounds dramatic, but that’s how it is when it’s really bad.

July’s focus was A Leap of Faith. I listed a few areas where I felt I needed to leap and I can faithfully report I’ve leapt but I kept remembering to land and my mind is feeling every one of those hard landings.

Allow me to share three things that happened this last month.

First, on the waxing moon, I cast a spell. I don’t believe I’m actually magic, but I do believe that sometimes, in some situations, a small ritual with a simple meaning can have a profound impact on the way things are perceived. So I thought about how I feel about money and how I want to feel about money and tried to leave it to the universe to sort out. I just wanted to feel differently about money. I want to feel that I have enough. The very next week money got so tight I was grateful the kids were at their dad’s otherwise I wouldn’t have had enough money to feed them. That’s not a nice feeling and I felt monumentally disappointed. I felt downright shitty.

The next week, an opportunity to attend a really fabulous business and life retreat course came up and all I needed was $3750 AUD. I really wanted it. I wanted it so badly. I decided I would email the woman who runs it and tell her I didn’t have the money right now but by god I was going to get it. I posted it on Facebook. I even asked my dad for some money, first time since 1991. I was ready to sell my car. I was going, dammit! Then the email came back, the course was fully booked. To make it worse I’d done the one thing I swore I’d never do again – give my dad an opportunity to say no. As it is, he hasn’t even bothered to respond to my email so I’ve concluded he doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. I don’t know if that’s true, but I can’t keep hoping he’ll be the dad I want him to be. Or the grandfather for that matter.

The last thing was two really superb posts by the woman whose course I wanted to attend. This woman is so perpetually happy, successful in every way. I want what she’s got! She wrote a post about being your own best friend and about how to improve your mood. Both of these just made me bawl my eyes out, and actually I still feel incredibly sad when I think about these posts. Sad, because I want to be this way but I have such a low opinion of myself and my achievements. Basically, I just don’t feel like I’m worth it. I don’t know how to change this feeling, I suppose I’m hoping this whole year’s journey will lead me to a place where I can write myself a love letter and bloody well mean it.

So that’s where the month ended. Not that great, really. It’s just as well this whole transformation thing is a work in progress. Just because the month is over doesn’t mean I leave the focus behind, it just means I’m shifting my vision to something new. The Leap of Faith will come but it’s very hard.

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Moving On

Keiran’s first day of school at Horsell Village

This week was a week of endings. My youngest two children finished school and so far haven’t driven each other mad. In September they will both be starting at a new school, Naomi in Reception and Keiran in Year 3. There were Leavers’ Balls and Concerts and Parties to juggle and lots of goodbyes. I gave the thank-you speech to the teachers at Keiran’s school because I was the only one who wasn’t blubbing! I don’t get very teary at these sorts of things. I’m emotional, so proud beyond measure, but I’m not sad. I am excited to see my children reach their milestones, I take great delight in their growth and development. So here are some photos, beginnings and endings.

Keiran’s first day of school, warm and sunny! He didn’t want me to take a photo, because the sun was in his eyes. Fair enough too!

I like to think that Keiran was feeling quite proud on his last day of school. The night before he was feeling pretty down, but I think that might just have been that he’d had to go to the orthodontists and he was convinced everyone was having a better time than him. He was probably right, but I wan’t going to say anything! His teachers have been fabulous throughout his time at Horsell Village, even if I could never remember all their names…

Keiran looked so smart going to his Leavers’ Ball. He got really sulky about having to wear a vest but he cheered up when a few of his friends also were wearing vests. I just think he looks completely adorable!

Peter was able to take the morning off to be with Naomi on her first day of pre-school. Right from the beginning she loved it and would always race in, a quick hug and a kiss and off like lightning. It was a wonderful start for both her and Keiran.

It was sad to say goodbye to all the ladies at Mayford, lots of happy memories there.


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Leap of Faith

I started writing this post at the start of the month, as I should, but sometimes the start of the month isn’t the right time to introduce a thought or a theme, so the post got parked for a bit. Now I have some alone time, let’s see what happens *rubbing hands together, fingers to the keyboard*

Most of my posts happen intuitively. I usually start with and idea, but the actual words that end up on the page come from somewhere else. I like that. Sometimes it’s a bit weird to read my old posts because it seems like someone else has written them, but I’m also pleased because those are the posts that seem to hold some truth for someone. Some might say I’m ‘channelling’ or something. I don’t really care about labels. I just do what feels right. That’s all my journey has ever been about.

This month’s card is Aine (pronounced AWN-ya. She’s Celtic. ‘Nuff said.) Her message to me is very simple but full of power:

Leap of Faith: Take a risk, put your heart’s true desire into action!

So here’s my first Leap of Faith:

The cards are more than just themes. They are the Goddess Herself, guiding me along the road. Even as I write I feel a bit dizzy with it. It seems very big, but very personal at the same time, because the Goddess is really just me, different aspects of myself. The Goddess is in all of us, whether male or female and She manifests according to our need.

I have other Leaps to make as well.

The Leap that I am already wealthy, that I have everything I want right now.

The Leap that I Am Enough, even in my anger and doubt.

The Leap to Embracing My Brilliance, that I am being everything I am capable of being (although this one is a bit hard, for some reason I find it a bit scary).

The Leap of taking responsibility for everything, not just the stuff I want to take responsibility for. Read that again. It really does make sense.

The Leap into the power of my intution, fully utilised and expressed.

The links above are all to Goddess Circle bloggers who have been sharing so much wisdom that’s made a difference to me. Some of it I understand right now, some of it I’m still working on, but all of it is part of the Goddess Path.

Blessings to you xx

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Love is…

June has really been a month of ups and downs, but it’s ended on a high and I’m primed for July 🙂

The Royal Barge.

The first weekend in June (moon 3/4 waxing) was a long weekend, due to the Jubilee Celebrations. My love and I spent a very wet Sunday in London watching the Thames pagent, then on Monday, which turned out to be gloriously sunny, we went to to Glastonbury – Hippie Central! I enjoyed browsing lots of pagan/new age shops and bought a couple of bits and pieces. Can’t believe I felt comfortable in a new age shop, very weird for me as a Christian. Guess I’m not Christian anymore. Maybe I’m more than that. I don’t know

Anyway.

Glastonbury High Street

On the second weekend (moon 3/4 waning) I did the reiki level 1 course. It made me realise quite a lot of things, not least of which was that I’ve been seeing auras for the last 20 years or so and didn’t even realise that’s what I was seeing! I just assumed everyone could see what I could see. It didn’t occur to me that it was the very thing I first dismissed with derision then later, still dismissed but with a bit more consideration for the other point of view. Finally, the tingling sensation I’ve experienced in my hands for roughly the same period of time has been explained, if not totally then at least to my satisfaction. On a deeper level, the Master talked about a different way of experiencing the universe that has gradually resonated more and more with me as I think about it. Trying to explain it, I sound like I’ve completely lost what little of my rational mind was left, but I don’t mind. Later I will reclaim my rationality, but I will do so by balancing it with my intuitive self.

The Saturday of the third weekend in June (moon 1/4 waning) was spent at District Training. I am privileged to be Area Governor for the year 2012/13, looking after four wonderful, vibrant clubs in Woking, Camberley, Guildford and Farnham. There is the possibility of two clubs chartering during the course of the year, so it’s an exciting time. I’m looking forward to embracing my true self and not holding back anything any more. No more negative self-talk!

Sunday was spent conked out.

Dawn on the Summer Solstice. You’ll have to take my word for it.

On the 20th (New Moon) my love and I went to Butser to watch the dawn on the solstice. It was grey and pouring rain and I was so upset and disappointed, which led to arguments when my love tried to explain that I create the weather. Well, not exactly, but how I respond creates my experience. This is a recurring argument we have and I frequently want to slap him but that’s by the by…

Keiran very excited and happy to be on the Australian team!

Butser Ancient Farm, when it’s sunny!

The fourth weekend (moon 1/4 waxing) was fabulous. We went to the Horsell Schools Fair on Saturday morning, then my friend Cly’s annual Spring party in the afternoon, where we shared good food, interesting conversations and a smattering of barbershop. We even saw a Spitfire! On Sunday I was so excited that the day forecast for 100% chance of rain dawned sunny and hot, so we took the kids to Butser Ancient Farm for a Fairy Festival.

The weekend of the 30th (moon 3/4 waxing) was a little strife-filled. The man really pissed me off and I found myself doing typically annoying female responses to his mind-blowing insensitivity (I exaggerate for effect… a little). He wanted to watch sport and I became unreasonably annoyed. Can’t believe I said “FINE!”and “WHAT?!” before giving him the silent treatment he didn’t realise he was getting. In reality, it was a bit more than just the sport that upset me, we basically had the kind of conversation that ended in me saying “I don’t know why I’m with you” and storming off while he went back to watching tennis. I can’t remember the details, but he thinks so differently from me that sometimes it’s hard to comprehend where he’s coming from. I felt so angry and frustrated, there’s so much going on in me it’s hard to understand and sometimes it comes out in a fury. I’m fearful, but glad to be going through the process. How’s that for paradoxical?! I carry a deep pain, so deep I can’t put it into words. My Band-Aid solution has been to ignore my intution, my inner wisdom and to deny my inner self. Now I’m embracing that part of me of course the pain is coming out.

An audience with Orla the Queen of the Fairies.

So, where am I now after that part of my journey? I appreciate my love more than ever. Yes, he pisses me off sometimes, but he loves me in a way that is rock-solid. He has been so supportive of me and more than anything else that is going on in my life, that support makes this journey possible. I know that whatever happens, the love from my Love is eternal, regardless of outward appearances. My sense of Spirit is being revived and my heart will mend.

(PS I noted the phases of the moon because I want to see whether there’s any relationship between my feelings/what’s happening in my life and the moon. Science says don’t be daft, but intution rules. I don’t pretend to understand, I’m just doing what feels right. Don’t ask me to rationalise…)

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8 Points for Presentation Structure

Everything you wanted to know about creating a top-notch speech all in one place!

The Presenters' Blog

by Peter Watts

Preparation is everything.

While we focus on our content, and sometimes fuss about our slides, it’s essential we never forget about the framework holding everything together.

  • How will we introduce and conclude?
  • How should we segment the content into logical bite-sized pieces?
  • How do we pull together our fundamental arguments?
  • How can we handle the questions at the end?

That’s why I’ve put together this page with links to the various Presenters’ Blog topics on the subject of presentation structure.

Behind each of the following links, you’ll find ideas and tips for successfully navigating the stages of successful presentations:

Introductions
The skills you need to find your feet during the crucial opening moments.

The Main Message
Identifying the key themes you want your audience to walk away with.

The Argument
Presentation protein is held in the sinews of your argument. Here’s how to make it compelling, relevant…

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Thoughts on Divorce

I did a little peice for BBC Surrey today, I thought I might share it with you. This isn’t exactly what will go to air, it’s too long, but I thought it might be kinda nice to share it. It’s from the heart, after all….

Good morning, I’m Vanessa from Woking, a mother to three children aged 4, 7 and 14 years.  I’m 41 years old and 18 months ago I got divorced after 18 years of marriage. Getting divorced at this age isn’t all that unusual. In 1970, 22% of marriages ended by their 15th anniversary. By 1995 this figure had grown to 33%. Although the divorce rate has declined nationally since 2002, with a brief rise in 2010 due to the recession, the number of marriages is decreasing as well. None of this comes as any great surprise to me, because I’m one of the statistics.

My divorce happened in the kitchen. Well, the decision to divorce anyway. My husband asked me if I wanted to divorce and I, tears flowing, nodded and said yes. We hugged each other for such a long time then. I think we both felt relieved that we were finally being honest with each other. We had finally stopped pretending that everything was fine.

We had married very young, we were just 21 and still at university. My husband says he knew within a month of us going out that he wanted to marry me but he waited for two months before popping the question. We married six months later, nine months after we met.

We were and still are good friends. We grew up together, really. I was there when he got his first proper job, then a better one, our first car, first holiday. The first baby came along after 6 years together and we were happy. We moved to the UK after 10 years together, a huge challenge but we did it together and we prospered. We travelled a bit, got a bigger house, had two more children and got on with the business of life. But I started wondering “is this it? Surely there’s more to my life than this…”

And then I met someone else and I discovered that there was indeed more to my life. I wasn’t looking for anyone but when I met him I realised my life as it had been was over. It was like a lightning storm. I didn’t know who I was without my husband and finding out has been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs.

I have discovered capabilities I never dreamed I had. I can stand up in front of people and have something to say that they want to hear. I can lead two voluntary organisations. I can sing at the top of my voice and entertain. I can be a businesswoman, a writer, a sharer of my experience. I have the confidence to try stuff and see what works. I’m still a mother and a teacher, but now I’m finding there’s so much more to me.

Divorce is the end of a marriage, but it’s not the end of a life. It’s the next stage. I appreciate my former husband, without whom this journey would not have started. I appreciate he who is the other half of my soul, with whom the journey continues. Love really is all that matters. A love shared is eternal, no matter how things change.

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The Most Powerful Thing About You

The really great thing about following a few great blogs is that every now and again a post comes along at just the right time to encourage me.

The day before yesterday I decided to set up a new project, The Balancing Goddess. I’m not quite sure what it will become yet, but in the beginning it will be the place to share my story. One day I hope it will become a book, maybe an on-line course or workbooks or who knows what. The Balancing Goddess is my story. It’s how I’ve struggled and grown, been excited and depressed and how I keep on trying.

The most powerful thing about me, about any of us, is our story. Sharing the journey and the lessons learned will inspire, educate and challenge others.

The Most Powerful Thing About You.

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An open letter to all parents from a non-parent.

I came across this blog article via Facebook and I just had to share it. It reminded me of how I felt when we came home from the hospital. It was literally, right, we’re home, now what? It took us about half an hour to decide whether to leave her at home with my mum or to take her with us to the supermarket. Simple decisions took on a whole new complexity! I have to say though, it wasn’t quite as bad as painted in this article, but I do think you lose a little bit of your brain with each placenta 😉

trying to be good

I just finished babysitting your baby today.

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I have salmon stuck on my neck and in the crease under my left breast.

My eardrum is damaged due to high frequency screaming.

I had to hold her while I was peeing because from her perspective it seemed like Satan himself would rape and kill her slowly if I put her down thus I did not get the chance to wipe myself properly…

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…no matter though as I am covered in a thick layer of sweat from pushing the stroller up the hill so a bit more wet between the legs even things out.

I washed my hair this morning but all of a sudden it looks like a stringy bag of shit pile.

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I haven’t had a chance to eat anything except snatching a few cold peas from her snack pack and my head is pounding.

I watched her draw on…

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Best Online Community EVER!

If you’re looking for an online community that takes love, support and really practical information to the next level, I recommend The Goddess Circle. I’m only scratching the surface of what this space has to offer me, and I’m a long way from figuring out how to give back to it. One way to return the scrummy wonderfulness I’ve experienced is to share it with others, so click on the link below. Blessings to you!

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