What can I learn from this?

The New Moon is in Capricorn today. 

It’s the first New Moon of 2021 and the perfect time to set intentions aligned to the traditional calendar year.

If, like me, you graciously gave yourself the space to have a slow start to the year instead of forcing the creation of New Year’s Resolutions, now might be the time think about what you’d like to manifest in 2021. 

This New Moon asks us to get clear on what our goals are and to create practical plans in order to reach them, but it’s also a time to be aware of our emotions. 

In her book, Lunar Living, Kirsty Gallagher reminds us that this is a time to turn the ‘why’ into a ‘what’. 

If things aren’t exactly as we hoped they would be, instead of asking ourselves ‘Why is this happening to me?’, this is the perfect time to switch it around and ask, ‘What can I learn from this?’.

Continuing with the theme of embracing what is, now is the time to refrain from struggling against the things we believe aren’t working in our favour, and instead look for the positives we can find in any situation we’re currently facing.

Where in your life can you apply the question of ‘What can I learn from this?’

For me, I’m learning that although I spent a lot of last year doing healing work and exploring new ways in which I can reduce the anxiety I feel, I must remember that the tools I added to my repertoire are there to be used, and I must practice applying them to new, potentially triggering, situations as and when they arise.

What’s yours? 

Embracing What Is

2020 was a year that most of us can’t wait to forget.

A year of sadness, grief and frustration, peppered with some moments of relief, laughter and normality.

As we move into 2021, I’m trying to keep in mind the promise I made to myself at the start of the year.

I am going to try to embrace things exactly as they are instead of resisting them and wishing things were different.

Are you good at this already? Would you say you find yourself in a place of resistance or a place of allowing and embracing what is? 

Despite my optimistic intentions for the year where I planned to go with the flow and let things be exactly as they are meant to be, I found myself falling at pretty much the first hurdle.

The latest announcement of a full, national lockdown was enough to trouble me and throw me off course.

The idea that 2021 would begin in the same way in which we’d spent most of 2020 was too much to bear.

I quickly slipped back into old thought patterns and my habit of checking the news all too often – something most of us could probably benefit from cutting down on.

The good thing about embracing what is is that it encourages you to move on quickly. You can’t dwell on anything too negative for too long, otherwise you’re not in the present moment and doing what you set out to do. 

With that in mind, I gave myself the space to feel what I perceived to be the unfairness of it all, and I didn’t berate myself for having a rather human reaction to the news. 

Instead, I was kind to myself. 

I forgave myself for not being perfect and I took a moment to remember that all this is in place to keep each and everyone of us safe. 

Being gentle with myself in this way meant that I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of vigour to accept things exactly as they are.

I decided that if I’m going to be at home then I might as well be grateful for my home. 

I created a gratitude list detailing all the ways in which I am lucky to have the home that I do.

My home is a safe space for me.

My home is a relaxing space for me. 

My home is a loving space for me.

My home is filled with laughter.

My home is filled with cuddles.

My home is filled with fun. 

And, by doing this, it became clear that my home has all the things that I need to get through the next couple of months.  

As hard as it may feel right now, we know we can do this because we’ve already done it, so instead of resisting and speculating on when things might change, let’s allow ourselves to feel how it feels to embrace things just as they are.

A Reminder

Today I struggled to find the words, so I turned to one of my favourite authors, Gabrielle Bernstein. I stumbled across a lovely reminder that I’m sure many of us need right now:

Above all else, care about how you feel.

Of course we all want to feel good, but we don’t consciously think thoughts and take actions that make us feel good.

In fact, we often do the opposite.

Caring about how you feel means that you become more deliberate about the words you choose, the thoughts you think and the actions you take,

It means that you go out of your way to realign your energy with love.

Slowing Down

Frustrated – that’s the word to best describe how I’ve felt this week.

I’ve always advocated for slowing down and taking stock of where we are instead of ploughing on regardless, but I realise now that I have in no way been practising what I preach.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives in such a short space of time, and this forced slowing of pace is definitely testing.

I have, however, been getting daily reminders that slowing down is only ever a good thing.

Being at home has allowed me to appreciate the changing beauty of our cherry blossom tree as it continues to grow and bloom.

Queuing to get into shops has allowed me to indulge in a spot of people watching which I do so love.

Last night I meditated under the Full Moon and the surrounding silence allowed me to relax into it without any disturbances.

Afternoon walks whilst trying to maintain social distancing have allowed me to slow down even more as I must embrace the pace of those ahead of me in the street.

In what ways have you been reminded to slow down and take notice of what’s around you?

A Sense of Community

As lockdown continues to test us here in the UK, I have found myself going a little stir-crazy.

I have baked, I have cooked, I have meditated, I have taken part in workshops, I have continued my job search, I have indulged in bubble baths, I have had a glass of wine (or two, or three…), I have exercised, I have read books, I have laughed, I have cried, I have felt relaxed, I have felt angry, I have watched TV, I have played board games, I have napped.

I have done ALL of the things.

And yet, no matter how much I try to pursue the route of distraction, I can’t quite guarantee how I will feel on any given day.

Sometimes I wake up feeling energised knowing that I will get through this, and sometimes I feel like I’ll never reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have no doubt that these ups and downs are something that we’re all experiencing and becoming somewhat accustomed to!

One thing that never fails to lift my heart, though, is the sense of community that is becoming ever present as we isolate ourselves from the outside world.

It’s evident on social media, as we FaceTime with friends and family for the first time, and the other day it even landed on our doorstep.

A leaflet was delivered telling us about some local residents who had taken the initiative to create a volunteering group, providing support to those that need it during these trying times.

I signed up and offered to help, but I realised that up until that point I hadn’t engaged in adding to the sense of community that is such a source of comfort for me at the moment.

Have you looked into the ways in which you can serve your community?

The world can feel like a scary place at the best of times, and that feeling is heightened for many right now, but we must always remember that there are so many kind-hearted and lovely people in the world that will always make it a better place to be – let’s all do our bit and try to be one of them J

A Lesson in Treasuring

When I was made redundant in February I naively thought that it would be the biggest test that me and my, ever increasing, anxiety levels had faced in a long while. Little did I know that the Coronavirus would soon take such a hold that it would make finding another job feel nigh on impossible.

As three job interviews are cancelled indefinitely, a quarter of Alex’s paycheck is deferred until further notice, and the deadline of my last payday in April grows ever closer, I’m not going to lie and pretend I’ve been upbeat!

What I will say, though, is that my mindset is slowly shifting.

Testing times are ahead for all of us, that’s for sure, but during this downtime, I am definitely learning how to embrace things for how they actually are and lessen my incessant need for control.

An amazing thing happens when everything that you feel could’ve gone wrong does go wrong. You start to realise that your husband is right when he says everything will be fine. For the first time, I really believe it because it simply has to be true.

When there’s so much to worry about, you quickly realise there’s little point in worrying at all.

There’s nothing else to do but hold out hope for what comes next.

For the first time in what feels like forever, I truly have nothing to do – absolutely nothing at all. And, I’m beginning to see that this is time that should be treasured because this isn’t something I’m likely to experience again. I must start embracing it for the wonderful thing that it is instead of wishing things were different.

I wake up every day next to my wonderful husband who never fails to make me laugh. I’m getting to spend more time with my Mum than I have in a long time and I’m typing this as I sit in my garden with the sunshine on my back. I have so much to be grateful for and as people around the world are sadly losing loved ones to the virus, we must remember to treasure the little things now more than ever.

Things will get better because they simply have to, but until then, embrace the stillness, embrace the calm, and make sure you’re reaching out to those close to you – for your sake as much as theirs.

Re-becoming

When the moment comes that you realise you do no know what it is you want, just know that you are not lost.

You are re-becoming.

Your life is a blank page onto which you are called to spill your soul.

If you do no know what you want to create yet, just wait.

Wait, and explore.

Think and daydream, make lists and take notes.

This, too, is part of the process.

Go out and see the world and what other people are doing within it.

Slowly, as the inspiration starts to emerge again, you will realise that what you want is what you have always wanted.

The journey was only about finding the courage to pursue it.

– Brianna Weist

Patience, please

This week, I haven’t been in the office because the redundancy consultation process is taking place. 

Being at home, alone with no distractions, means that I’ve been confronted with the realities of being ‘jobless’ for the first time.

Vulnerable is the word that I would use to describe how I’m feeling right now. Although I’m a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason, I really wish I had a crystal ball so I could see how things will actually pan out over the next few months… 

When I feel like this, I try to regain a sense of control by taking action.

I’ve updated my CV, registered with recruiters, uploaded my CV onto job sites, and submitted applications for all relevant roles out there at the moment. But, now what? 

Now, I must do what I should’ve done in the first place – slow down and give myself time to process this latest turn of events. 

Alex reminded me of this when I voiced my concerns about not knowing what to do next. He smiled and told me that I have two months to find another job, I don’t need to make it happen on the first day… 

The Angels reinforced this when I pulled an oracle card entitled ‘Patience, please’. Here, it was explained that what I’m asking for is coming about, but I must have patience because there are unseen factors that must occur first. 

Is there something going on in your life where you feel a little lost and not in control? Do you also need this reminder to slow down and take a breath?

Change is Afoot

Tomorrow, I meet with the CEO to find out my fate; redundancy or a significant change in job role await.

In uncertain times like these it can be hard to remain positive, but we must always trust that the Universe knows best. It will provide us with the assurances that everything is working out for our highest good if we’re willing to see and hear them.

I visited one of my favourite bookshops, Foyles, in London yesterday.

Here, I sought out the Mind, Body & Spirit section where I’d spent many a lunch hour when I worked nearby. I browsed the books, taking in the wonderful new-book smell that filled the air, before picking up a copy of Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and settling on an exert titled: What Do You Want to Be?

In this particular story, Reverend Teri Johnson talked about a conversation she’d had with her young daughter.

Her daughter asked what she thought was a simple question, what do you want to be when you grow up, but Teri was somewhat confused. As a woman who is already a pastor and the mother of five children, she gave these as her answers, but her daughter soon grew frustrated by this.

It became clear that Teri didn’t understand her daughter’s question because her daughter still saw infinite possibilities waiting for Teri in her future. Whether she wanted to be a ballet dancer or an astronaut, her daughter didn’t see Teri’s age and life decisions to date as restrictions. She believed Teri could still go after anything she wanted.

This was just the reminder I needed and I’m very glad I stumbled across this story.

Have you had any signs from the Universe to remind you that things are working out for your highest good?

The Little Things

Sometimes when it feels like the world is getting to be too much, expressing gratitude for what we have can help to pull us back into the present.

It’s easier said than done when our minds feel like they’re constantly gravitating towards the negative, but, no matter how bad a day might seem overall, there are always little things that we can be grateful for throughout.

Here’s 20 little things that have made me smile recently:

  • Alex kissing me on the forehead
  • Finding a parking space right next to my office
  • Fresh daffodils bringing some sunshine to the living room
  • Relaxing into a hot bath full of Epsom salts and lavender oil
  • Doing yoga when I’m not in the mood, only to find that it’s a relaxing practice today
  • Eating food I haven’t had for ages and rediscovering why I like it so much
  • Belly laughing with friends
  • Someone kindly letting me out of a junction straightaway
  • Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face as I walk across the Tyne Bridge
  • A meeting being cancelled so I gained an hour of my day back
  • Green light after green light as I drive home from work
  • Daydreaming about where I would go if I had to money to travel
  • Coming across a quote on Pinterest that was just what I needed to hear
  • Finding exactly what I’m looking for in a charity shop
  • Putting on my pyjamas as soon as I get home
  • The wind blowing a gale outside while I’m tucked up in bed
  • Making homemade soup with what’s in the cupboards and it tasting delicious
  • Setting my out of office reply because I’m off tomorrow
  • Closing the front door after a long week at work and knowing I don’t have to leave the house unless I want to tomorrow
  • A song coming on the radio that I haven’t heard in years

Can you take inspiration from this and recognise the little things that make you smile each day?