Category Archives: Life

Oranges, apples, bananas

I read an interview the other day. It was one of those ‘what do you usually eat?’ features, designed to encourage people to eat more healthily. The guy being interviewed scored a perfect 10. He was some sort of yoga teacher and clearly lived a life he loved – it wasn’t just his diet that was balanced (from what I could gather after reading one interview, that is) but his whole approach to life.

Photo credit: basketman at freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit: basketman at freedigitalphotos.net

After reading his interview, to which I thought I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention, three words stuck in my head, ‘oranges, apples, bananas.’ It was simply him listing his preferred fruit intake but something about these words really stayed with me. What it the fact that these fruits were childhood staples? Because I liked the way the words sounded together? Or perhaps I was struck at how these simple words could sum up this perfectly balanced life…? I still don’t know. Sometimes words surprise me.

Oranges, apples, bananas…

What do these words mean to you?

It’s the little things – A week of gratitude

Recently, a theme has been recurring for me – that of gratitude. After a rubbish couple of weeks when I had started to focus on the negatives, I recieved a lovely gratitude package from a new friend, Raeeka (@heartonsleevexx). Filled with so many lovely things, it really lifted my mood and re focused my energy back towards seeking the positives.

Later the same week, I read this post by Matt Madeiro. Both Matt and Raeeka reminded me of the power of seeking out that which I am grateful for on a daily basis. I do try to do this anyway, but actually writing it down seems to make it more powerful somehow.

So, last week, I spent at least five minutes every day meditating on gratitude and I would like to share the results with you….

Monday

That it threatened to rain when taking baby for a walk… But didn’t
A nice catch up call with my Nan
A dark chocolate kitkat

Tuesday

Four consecutive hours of sleep
An unexpected half hour to myself

Wednesday

A lovely email from a new friend
Baby giggling at the bear style snowsuit and licking the paws when dressed in it

Thursday

Baby smiling when I turned off ‘The wheels on the bus’ and put on Fela  (‘Water get no enemy’)
A beautiful sunset

Friday

Crumpets with proper butter
Realising the BabaSling is better for my back than the front carrier now that baby is bigger, and its easier to undo without waking baby up!

Saturday

The mini waterfall in our little local park – a lovely local green space
Got baby to nap for more than one sleep cycle – and had time to blog!
Cammomile tea and ten minutes’ silence

Sunday

Time to read my book
Sharing some chocolate (the sharing as much as the chocolate)
A good late night chat

It goes without saying that I am grateful every day for my nearest and dearest, to have them in my lives and that they are healthy and happy (as am I!), so I didn’t include these above.

I hope this post inspires you as Matt and Raeeka, among others, have, and continue to, inspire me.

If you would like to share what you are grateful for, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

The missing months

Ok so I’ve decided to get (a bit) personal for this post…

You may have noticed I’ve been missing for a month and rather absent even before that – well the Mummy stuff caught up with me again and I realised I’ve been trying to too do much. This is something I’ve always been guilty of, back BB (before baby), Mr B was forever on at me to ‘just sit down and rest for heaven’s (I am paraphrasing here) sake!’ as I ran around trying to fit a million and one things into each evening/every weekend, until it would invariably catch up with me and I’d get sick – my body’s way of making me take a break I guess.

Well, a couple of weeks ago baby got sick. Then so did I. I used to complain I didn’t have time to get sick. Ha. Now I really don’t! Baby doesn’t understand why Mummy wants to play on the bed all day – after all, the little angel is better and wants to play play play in a variety of locations. I just about coped and I was only sick for a week.

It made me reassess my priorities again. I realise I had got sucked back into trying to get everything done. Despite not being back at work yet, I was still filling my day – trying to keep baby stimulated by going to every baby group going, trying to keep on top of housework/laundry etc; trying to write something every day, keeping up with friends, etc, etc… It’s only when I got sick that I realised I’ve been here before. And it’s not healthy.

So, hats off to all those Mummy bloggers out there, especially those holding down full time jobs as well, I just don’t know how you do it (actually, how do you do it? I’d be interested to know and might learn something)… I am going to keep blogging but I guess from now on, at least for the time being, I’m going to be rather deliciously (I hope) inconsistent. Do come back again to read my offerings, I’ll try to make it worth your while!

A really refreshing dream

I had a really vivid dream last night. I wouldn’t usually share my dreams here, after all they are often intensely personal. Writing this almost feels more like a journal entry…. But I guess it doesn’t hurt to get personal once in a while.

The dream, which, unusually for me, I remember in detail (but will describe in brief!) began with me standing on top of a very high wall – let’s say cliff height. It was a long drop. On one side, birds were eating each other on top of muddy water. On other, the water was clear and still but there were many dangerous obstacles in it. I looked down at the birds, then back to the obstacles and decided to take my chances. At least the water here was clear. I dived in and hoped for the best. After what seemed like no time at all, I reached the shore. I had arrived at a holiday resort on a tropical island. With wet clothes, now in rags, and no money on me, I walked confidently into the hotel, knowing someone would help me get to where I needed to be.

So, if this dream is so personal, why am I sharing it..? Well, although several dream dictionaries offer different interpretations, I think that, for me, this dream serves as a metaphor for life. I can sit on the wall for the rest of my life, or I can leave those birds eating each other behind and take the plunge into something new. There may be obstacles along the way, but if I can see them, I can do my best to avoid them. The jump is a leap of faith, and, though it is not without risks, I may end up somewhere beautiful.

I had very little sleep last night as the baby was up every two hours, but after this early morning dream I woke up feeling so refreshed, and more importantly, motivated. I wanted to share this little piece of me with you, to let you know where I’m at. Who knows, it may say something to you too…. If so, or if you have any alternative dream interpretations, I would love to hear from you.

Putting the past behind me

Hello again. Been a while…

So, inevitably, this is a bit of a ‘Mummy’ post, seeing as that’s pretty much been my sole identity for the past three months. Now that baby is starting to settle into a routine (it’s a baby led routine, tweaked a little to suit my purposes, if you’re interested) and sleeps longer at night, I no longer need to nap every time baby does and am starting to get my life back a bit. Of course it will never be the same again (and I wouldn’t want it to be) but I am starting to remember what its like to be Rachael, as well as Mummy.

Whether you are a regular reader or are new to this blog, you will probably have gathered that being a writer is a big part of my identity. So a few days ago, while baby napped, I decided to pick up my journal and start writing again. Before I did so, I read my last few entries. I was surprised to see just how much I’ve changed. My last few entries were full of petty complaints and selfish concerns. I could blame pregnancy hormones for this, but, looking back, many earlier entries were also  rants about things or people that had upset me. Don’t get me wrong, I also wrote about real issues that I had needed to get out of my head clear my mind, about my concerns for others, or simply thankful thoughts for a particularly good day. However, the childish rants really bothered me. That’s not who I am any more and I wouldn’t want anyone to look back and remember me that way. Baby has taught me more patience and understanding, making me a happier and more at peace on a personal level, and an even more intuitive coach on a professional one.

So, dear readers, I have a question for you… Do I keep my old journal as a reminder of how far I have come, or do I destroy it, as a symbolic way of truly letting go of the past and starting over? Have any of you had the same dilemma? If so, what did you do? Please add your comments in the box below.

Thanks for reading – its good to be back!

Happy New Year!

It’s the end of another year already. 2010 seems to have just flown by, and yet so much has happened!

If you have been reading my blog since I started (if you have, do let me know – I’d be impressed and extremely flattered!), you may remember my post ‘End of the Noughties from December 2009. In it I mentioned that instead of writing a long post about the past year, I had been over to Meg Pickard’s blog and taken part in her post about the Mayfly project.

Every year from 2000 to 2009 Meg asked her readers to look back over the previous year, and then sum it up. In 24 words. I looked for Meg’s Mayfly project this year but couldn’t find it (if anyone else has come across it, please let me know so that I can post over there again!) but I loved the idea of summing up the year in 24 words so here goes:

Wedding. Malaysia. Marriage. Completing a poetry collection. Career shift towards writing and coaching. Morning sickness. Baby bump. Learning to drive (finally). Believing. Doing. Being.

As I said, so much has happened for me this year! If you are interested in reading my poetry collection, I will be offering this as a free download from my blog next week so look out for it.

So – How was 2010 for you..? If you think you can sum it up in 24 words, do give it a go! If you find that word count a bit restrictive (it is a good way to focus on what was most important for you but it’s not easy!), please feel free to comment below in as many of as few words as you’d like to use.

Finally, whatever you are doing tonight, I hope that your 2011 is everything you hope for!

I am not… Am I…?

(conclusion of the I am not… series)

“So what was that short ‘I am not’ series all about?” I hear you ask.

“So you’re not a photographer, you’re not a chef and you’re not an artist – so what? What’s the point you’re making here?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. The point was that, although I am not any of these things, that doesn’t mean I can’t give it a go if the fancy takes me. Also, having ‘given something a go,’ I might find I really enjoy it, and want to get better at it. For example, if I decided I wanted to be a professional photographer, I could go and take a course and study and practice until my photos were not just ‘alright,’ but outstanding, award-winning…  You get the picture (no pun intended). In order to get there though, I would need to want it enough.

Sometimes, a skill like photography, or cooking, is a natural talent. Those lucky enough to have been blessed can nuture this talent, or not, depending on their desire.

A while ago, I would not have called myself a writer. My main income did not come from writing (I have since made some progress here), and I have never had any formal training. However, writing for me is not a choice, it’s a calling. I always have, and always will write, and read about writing and write about writing and hopefully continue to improve over time.

So my point is… All the things we are not, are because we choose not to be. We can all do whatever it is we want if we want it enough.

I am a writer. What about you…?