In the beginning …

FeaturedIn the beginning …

A few years ago and approaching the dreaded 50, I decided to make a few changes and start living a life I wanted to live, instead of sitting back and waiting to see what or who crossed my path. I have always kept a journal, mainly because I love writing and also because I have the most dreadful memory.

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I have a chaotic mind so I doubt very much I will stay on topic. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and opinions on most things and think its a great way of expression and learning.

I will be sharing some of my journey here and also some of my travels. I actually didn’t have a passport until I was 46 years old, can you believe that?? Everywhere I go now, I feel like I am looking through a child’s eyes and seeing things new for the first time, quite incredible.

This will be as much practice for my writing as it will be for my skills in technology. In fact, I am looking right now for a save button …. has to be here somewhere! Aah update!!

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Doreen Virtue’s A-Z List, My View

Doreen Virtue’s A-Z List, My View

Doreen played a huge part in my own spiritual journey. She certainly wasn’t the only spiritual person that I was inspired by but was up there with some of the biggest. I will start by saying that it’s everyone’s personal choice in what they believe. People change their mind constantly and of course that’s fine. It’s our own personal right and thank goodness we have it, not everyone does.

However, I am going to say this, I thought her recent ‘A-Z List Of New Age Practices to Avoid”, which included Pagan and other Spiritual followings, not only unnecessary but disturbing and quite frankly, a bit of a betrayal. Surely, there has to be more reason for this, than simply letting us know she is now a Christian. I think one of the biggest issues for me was her criticism of ancient deities, yoga and meditation. Non of us has the right to question centuries old cultures and beliefs, regardless of whether or not we take practice in them ourselves. I would also just like to point out that I really do not like the term “New Age”. Let’s be honest, there is nothing new about them, just like there is nothing new about the persecution of them either …

I have around 10 packs of Doreens cards because I just love them. I also have many of her books. She no longer wants them sold or distributed and I haven’t quite decided what to do with this information just yet. I’m still processing that.

I don’t understand where the condemnation has come from and I guess it’s not for me to understand and therefore, I will let it go.

I will still practice all that I have ever practiced before. I will continue using cards, wear my crystals (though I have never worshipped them). My Reiki, Angelic Healing and meditation will remain a big part of my life. I will always be grateful to Doreen for her part in my spiritual journey. She has provided me with some beautiful tools to use in my practice.

If what has been said in this A-Z List has left you with doubt, remind yourself, Doreen is one Spiritual teacher who has changed her path. She most likely appeared into your life because you were looking for spiritual guidance. Your spirituality came first, the need for a more spiritual life was what you were seeking not the that particular person. There are lots of spiritual teachers, gurus and wise ones out there. Don’t question yourself just because one person has chosen a different path. There is a very strong spiritual community out there, like a second family for many of us.

I know that everyone in the spiritual community, including myself wish Doreen lots of love and happiness on her new journey.

Love to you all!!

Being Fabulous Fifty and Job Seeking!

Being Fabulous Fifty and Job Seeking!

In addition to my writing, I am currently employed in retail. I desperately want my weekends back, so that I can spend them with my loved ones or going on our fabulous trips!

Being 50 plus and job searching has real potential to knock the stuffing out of you! I have found myself wondering if I’m being sent for interview because I fit into a particular age bracket because the company need to show they’re fulfilling a certain criteria … I know! Negative thinking right there on my part!

Let me explain though. I have a great cv! I am applying for admin posts, which is an area I have over twenty years experience in. I have a qualification that allows me to assess an NVQ candidate in completing their qualification. Crazy right??

I get the interviews and I feel they go well and I am told they go well. I don’t get the job though and the most feedback I get is that someone with more experience was successful on this occasion. I guess I might get a better chance when I’m 60 then?? Lol!!

Seriously, here is what I have to say to myself and anyone else faced with this challenge and it might sound a little cliche! These employers are the ones missing out and here is why!

We have a wealth of experience behind us.

Most of us, male and female have done our years of partying hard, work is our social scene.

We have most likely faced the most difficult of societies people already and quite proficient in handling them.

I don’t know about anybody else, I am much calmer individual than I was many years ago.

Our child rearing days are most likely over, so no dependents to be worrying over.

A lot of us will be looking for a job that will take us to retirement, that’s commitment, right there!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying these things don’t apply to the younger generation also. I am trying to highlight that being a mature age shouldn’t write us off as a fab employee. We have a lot to offer too.

I will just keep applying and taking my fabulous self to these interviews. My job is out there somewhere!

A Day Out at Packwood House

A Day Out at Packwood House

We are quite lucky to have a number of National Trust properties quite close to home. Packwood House is just a 25 minute drive away for us, closr to Lapworth and an ideal choice for a chilled Saturday.

Packwood House was originally built in the 16th century for the Fetherstone family, as a modest timber frame farmhouse. It was later purchased in the early 20th century by Industrialist Alfred Ash. The house was restored when it was inherited by Graham Baron Ash in 1925.

It all looks very impressive walking up to the house and there are plenty of grounds to walk around.

It wasn’t a particularly warm day and I am an absolute wuss when it comes to the cold, so on this visit we got indoors quick! England can be so damp and grey in the winter but I love to visit old buildings on these days. I think it just adds to the atmosphere!

We were greeted at the door by a volunteer who was very pleasant and directed us the best way to wander around the building. Unfortunately, the upper floor was closed and although a little disappointed, it just means we get to go back again. I will make in the summer and explore the grounds next time brrrrr …. too cold on this occasion lol.

The first room had a fabulous fireplace and the walls adorned with beautiful tapestries that were quite clearly aged.

Above is a photo of a small doll representation of a lady and her serving boy. I ask you to zoom in on this photo and pay particular attention to the top middle and left. Do you see it? Please someone explain??!

The house has a very grand walk through into the dining/ball room area.

There are some fabulous pieces of furniture and tapestries to view the whole length of the corridor. Also my man, in his cap!

Volunteers put together the memoirs from diaries of World War veteran.

Memoirs put together by volunteers in the shape of air balloons. A truly spectacular display.

An artist’s Lay Figure, used by poor struggling artists to learn to draw! At a cost of £1 instead of the usual £3 for a human model!

I really enjoyed Packwood House and look forward to revisiting in the summer, when I’m brave enough to wander around the gardens! I also can’t wait to see the upper floor.

I am so pleased we decided to join the National Trust. It’s so important to keep these places in good repair and restore them for future generations to see.

Seeing our history holds so much more value than simply just reading about it. Not only can it serve as a warning that there are things we should never repeat, it also reminds us of a far more simplistic life. Where people gathered and spoke and entertained each other without the technology! We played instruments, we sang, we danced and we read to each other. We walked for miles, we rode horses, we grew our food, we cooked, we baked and we swapped trades. We did it all with the basic of equipment and we survived!

Getting my Wires Uncrossed, Neurolinguistic Programming Course

Getting my Wires Uncrossed, Neurolinguistic Programming Course

I haven’t written in a while for personal reasons, so here is a short update on my first goal for 2019.

Flu season has arrived and with it, what feels like a decade to payday! It’s unusual for me to catch these things but oh my life this virus has been a b#$#h! I had parts of me aching, that I forgot I had lol! One minute shaking like a loose leaf on a tree about to fall to it’s depth and the next blazing hot like a volcano about to erupt! I’m writing from my bed armed with throat soothers, paracetamol, tissues and albas oil, whilst pleading to the universe to heal me quick!

I’ve started a course on NLP, Neuro linguistic programming and I’m eager to get back into reading my coursework. I first heard of NLP many years ago. It appealed to me because according to the limited research I carried out, it seeks solution almost immediately. As opposed to trawling through past historical scenarios and ironing over them again and again like a piece of linen, that’s been screwed up in a tight ball at the bottom of your laundry basket for the past decade. NLP seemed to offer a different approach, take that screwed up ball of linen lay it across a super duper steam press, shut the lid, quick shot of fresh steam and same trousers come out looking fresh, smooth and brand new!

My son’s, who both have Psychology Degrees, speak highly of the process too, so I am really looking forward to my studies. Initially I will begin online and then move on to a class room based course.

It’s only my opinion of course and I’m no expert .. just yet! What I will say is, different folks, different strokes. What works for one person, may not work for another but NLP seems to get fabulous feedback and I am all about seeing people happy.

If any of you have experience with, or of NLP and would like to share your opinion on it, please leave a comment. I would love to know more!

Christmas at Bourton On The Water, Cotswolds!

Christmas at Bourton On The Water, Cotswolds!

We were actually heading off to Chipping Camden Christmas Market but Craig had got the wrong date … After the hour drive and my Michael Buble CD blasting out his Christmas songs, we weren’t going to be put off! We continued on for another 20 minute drive to Bourton On The Water.

We had both been through quite a stressful week, so it was time to get festive in a peaceful way! We normally visit the German Market in Birmingham around this time of year but the recent atmosphere and anti-social behaviour in the city is a major put off for me. We needed to chill and Bourton On The Water is my favourite place in England, I adore the place!

The River Windrush runs the middle of the village and there are five pretty stone bridges that cross it. The bridges are believed to have been built between 1654 and 1953. It’s been a long held tradition to see football being played in this part of the river during the summer months. The shallow, clear water makes it a safe place even for supervised small children to paddle in.

Of course I was with Craig and his belly rules the day, so first stop was food! We chose to eat at De La Hayes, which I have to say is stunning inside. We had never eaten there before and was so pleasantly surprised. Even the loo’s were a delight to walk in to!

I had a child’s meal, I try to tell myself, I’m cutting down but that’s a kiddies fish, chips and mushy peas, so not sure that works?? Craig went for a full English breakfast and both our meals were delicious.

Our next stop was my favourite store and the reason for my first ever visit to Bourton On The Water. “The Lodestone” is a crystal and spiritual gift store and has so much choice, it’s incredible! I recommend you check it out. I got myself a new crystal pendulum whilst I was there.

With a lovely craft store in the Town Hall, and some gorgeously quaint gift stores there’s some fabulous choices Christmas to ponder.

There are too many traditional pubs and restaurants to mention here but I recommend a visit so that you can go and see this stunning little place yourself. If you find yourself there in the summer, go and visit the bird sanctuary, it’s an absolute delight!

As if all that isn’t enough, there is a spectacular Christmas Tree right in the middle of the stream!

Dealing with Setbacks – Moving Forward!

Dealing with Setbacks – Moving Forward!

Before reading any further, please know that whilst I talk of some negative stuff, this is a positive post! I promise you!

Really I don’t consider myself to have had setbacks, I prefer to think of them as sidesteps?? Sounds better and really, that’s what these things are.

My Sidesteps

My career isn’t where I had planned it to be. I work with some fabulous people and we have formed a great team. It’s just not doing what I had hoped to be doing right now. With that said, I’ve met some truly lovely people and I am grateful to know them.

I haven’t been writing as much as I promised myself I would. I am actually two thirds of my way through writing my novel and have been for quite some time now. Every time I pick it up, I love it, the storyline is right up my street but I do a little edit and write no further?? I began a blog in 2014 and really haven’t blogged anywhere near as much as planned. I have loved the idea of writing ever since I was small and saw that my Nan kept her journal. I would love to read that!

I also haven’t maintained my spiritual practices and that really is a big deal for me! No meetings, card readings, meditations or spiritual books.

My Factors

I feel that the most important thing to do when you’re finding yourself side stepping like a drunken dancer is to ask yourself why you have allowed this to continue? I think this is the difficult part and where we have to bare ourselves a little!

I think the beginning for me was the long suffering illness and then death of my father. I dealt with his death, we had a fabulous relationship and I was grateful for no regrets. It was his undeserved suffering and the loss of his company I had problems coping with.

His loss had a deep effect on my ability to practice spiritually. In particular I found meditation really difficult, which was a fundamental part for me to get into my right head space. We are all so different and at this time I was self employed. It was my spirituality that kept me motivated and inspired, so sadly I allowed that to fail. I had lost my mojo, I allowed laziness and lack of self will and self discipline in.

It would be easy for me to blame too much competition in my chosen field. I could blame the economy or any other number of reasons but truth is that, it was on me.

So, on top of this huge change in my life, I also have an issue with distraction. Maybe a Gemini issue?? I have a burning desire for knowledge and that leads me onto course after course! I recently had the most interesting reactions from my sons, dropped jaws, wide eyes and shaking heads are their normal response for me now! I announced that I had just completed my ‘Angel Healing Diploma’ along with my ‘Paranormal Investigation and Ghost Hunting Diploma’.

It seems if I have an interest in something, it’s not enough to just read and enjoy. I have to learn it thoroughly and get a certificate to say I have lol!

My Reflection

The reason I am where I am, is entirely my own doing. Now don’t get me wrong when I say that. I know that huge things will affect and influence us as I’m sure it did with me. However, I should have took time out, dealt with it and then maintained my spiritual connection, even if it were just through reading.

I was bloody good at my trade and could have fought on! It eventually wouldn’t have mattered if there was the same service behind every door on my high street. Word of mouth would have seen me succeed.

If I am easily distracted, then I must be looking for distraction! It really is that simple, if I were that immersed in what I was doing then I wouldn’t be looking elsewhere!

My Answers

Accept responsibility – I’m owning everything. Start to finish, is on me! If something goes wrong, I choose the right reaction/solution and deal with it properly and positively.

Use a Planner – Find a good diary, app on my phone or journal. Use it to maximise all my future plans.

Set Goals – Set completion times on my novel, blogs and photography.

Plan my Time – Set aside time to write. My novel separately to my blog time. (Important when you’re in other paid employment).

Meditate – Use a guided meditation if necessary!

Affirmations – Get back to my positive affirmations. At least 10 each morning and 10 each evening before sleep.

Mindfulness – Get back on it! Ekharte Tolle, The Power Of Now! What a great guy and a fab book!

Time for me – Most likely something spiritual, reading my own cards or a book. Maybe a likeminded group!

Focus – All the above will keep me focused!

Just a little Summary

We see so many blogs, vlogs, books and articles on rags to riches stories in ten easy steps or through some scheme. I am genuinely happy for these people and truly hope their stories are for real!

I am starting mine here, with its ups and downs. I’ll keep my journey updated aswell as my travels. So what do I want in life? I want to live in a quiet, peaceful place overlooking countryside. Doesn’t have to be big, just scenic outside! I want my bills, my needs and my wants paid for without worry. I’m not an extravagant person, as long as I can scrub up nice, have a lovely holiday and rest without money worries, I will go from happy to ecstatic! More than that and you will find me dancing on rooftops!

I hope this might help someone reading, who may be experiencing something similar.

Please feel free to comment, add any tips that I may have missed! Above all, keep on moving forward, never stagnate! Stop, take a breath and put your best foot forward x

Crisp Wintery Day at Symonds Yat

Crisp Wintery Day at Symonds Yat

We had planned to visit Symonds Yat so many times before this but never quite made it. It was very cold and the rain was making the usual on/off appearance.

We arrived around 11am and the Sat Nav just couldn’t direct us to a car park that was close by the water. So we did the best thing in these scenarios and searched for a pub! The parking meter was cash only and of course we had none on us. We moved the car further over into the next one to find that was the same! After Craig reaching full meltdown and looking like he was about to transform into the hulk, (the Sat Nav had already ground him down) we got change from the ‘The Saracens Head Inn’.

With Craig back in human mode, we took a walk along the bank. The views are stunning and you get a real sense of just how ancient this place is. The name ‘Symonds’ is believed to come from Robert Symonds, who was the Sheriff of Hertfordshire in the 17th century. The word Yat is an old word for pass or gate.

Evidence of human inhabitance dating back 12000 years, has been discovered here, with items of clothing and tools being found. There has also been bones from mammoths, sabre tooth tigers and hyenas uncovered.

The water on the River Wye was running fast and strong, we could see why it is a popular place for visitors. The rugged terrain just adds to it’s beauty.

We headed back up to the ‘Royal Lodge’ where we stopped for coffee and a warm. Did I mention how cold it was?? Both restaurants were very busy so we decided to head off and eat on our way home.

River Wye Symonds Yat4

We pulled into a lovely little pub restaurant that we had spotted on our way up called ‘The Stag at Redhill’. Another lovely pub with great service and fabulous food!

Carvery at The Stag!

We will definitely go back to Symonds Yat in the summer. I want to go on the hand ferry across the water to the other side.