What’s on your playlist?

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I love music. Behind every song there’s an (often untold) story. Music speaks when you just don’t have to words to express yourself. And I think it heals the heart and soothes the soul. Music expresses what the world doesn’t know about me. When I was undergoing intensive therapy for my clinical depression and PTSD, music therapy was a big part of that. I actually think that was the best part of therapy for me.

So tell me what’s on your playlist at the moment? Let me know 🙂 I’m always looking for new music.

Here are a few of my favourites at the moment:

  • Lost in the Trees – Past Life (look at the music video above – love this band!)
  • Sylvan Esso – Coffee and Hey Mami
  • Young Fathers – Low
  • The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition and Science of Fear
  • Broods – Never Gonna Change and Bridges
  • Anything by Radiohead 🙂
  • Thirty Seconds to Mars – Up In the Air
  • Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence

Life – an invitation to explore and live

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A few years ago we visited Dubrovnik in Croatia. We visited this beautiful Franciscan Monastery. This image of the stairs and the cat is my favourite of the whole trip.

A few years ago we visited Dubrovnik in Croatia. We spent some time at this beautiful Franciscan Monastery. This image of the stairs and the cat is my favourite of the whole trip. It is such a beautiful scene – serene, mysterious and filled with promise. It is also inviting – you feel that you have to climb those stairs and see where they take you. This is kind of like how I see life. It is an invitation to explore, find beauty, be adventurous and truly live. I always want to see beauty in life. When I stop doing that, it is usually my cue that something is not right.

 

 

Celebrate the gift of life

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lovingsupport@buddhadoodles.com

lovingsupport@buddhadoodles.com

I’ve discovered these awesome little Buddha Doodles. I subscribed and they drop into my inbox each day. Buddha Doodles was started by a cartoonist in 2011 as a daily sketch practice for personal therapy. It quickly went viral in social media and appears regularly on the Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha.com.

I liked this one – it reminds me that I have a beautiful life. And I treasure every minute of it, even though there are some difficult days (weeks…months). It is a privilege to be alive. I can stand outside in my garden and appreciate a beautiful sunset. I can walk in the park with my family. I can see my son grow. I am fortunate to have the most amazing life partner. I have enough. I am enough.

 

Blue oblivion, mute memory

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This is true – nothing ever truly abandons the mind forever. That’s why I blog. To write about the stuff that hurts. I’ve realised that running away from my problems is a race I will never win. Someone once told me that life is like a dual carriageway – the good and bad have to exist together. It find that difficult – terrifying at times – but also beautiful. Everything I want is on the other side of fear. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the difficult times. I’m going to keep going. ❤

Ginger writing - Instawrite

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Nothing ever truly abandons the mind forever. Neither pain, nor love, nor happiness or sadness… every moment lived and every emotion felt remain inside the body and the consciousness as an echo, bouncing endlessly between the walls of sanity.

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22 September

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Winter Mulberry tree in the rain

22 September is often a difficult day for me. It is my father’s birthday – the man who I’ll never have a relationship with. I’m not exactly sure how old he is today. Probably nearing 70. It is one of the biggest sorrows in my life. I often mourn the relationship I’ll never have. I always wonder what it would have been like to have him in my life. I see so much of him in me. But I’m realising that my life is going to be like this – and many people face this kind of difficulty – it is often an uneasy blend of sorrow and loss with joy and happiness. And I think the challenge for me is getting comfortable with both.

So today Dorothy Thompson’s, (an American journalist and radio broadcaster, who in 1939 was recognized by Time magazine as the second most influential woman in America next to Eleanor Roosevelt.) words are on my mind. This is one of my favourite quotes:

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow. ❤

From the mud of adversity grows the lotus of joy

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My lotus flower mandala tattoo, November 2013

My lotus flower mandala tattoo, November 2013

The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud. – Buddhist proverb

This is the first time I’ve ever uploaded a picture of my tattoo on a social media platform. But I wanted to share it with you now. I guess it has always been a sacred thing for me – I decided to get it at a turning point in my life and the lotus/mandala symbol is very significant to me.  In Buddhism, the bud of the lotus symbolizes potential. The lotus flower represents an awakening, spiritual growth, and enlightenment. And that why I wanted a lotus – to me it signifies renewal, rebirth, strength and resilience. A spiritual and emotional awakening.

Here’s a short summary about the story of the lotus (taken from http://www.withanopenheart.org)

The lotus flower is a beautiful flower that can be found all over the world. But the start of this flower’s life is not as beautiful is one might image. It’s unlike many other flowers. When the lotus first begins to sprout, it is under water, making its home in lakes and ponds in areas where the water remains fairly still on the surface. But underneath the surface, the lotus is surrounded by mud and muck and by fish, by insects, and simply dirty, rough conditions.

Despite these conditions, the lotus flower maintains strength, and pushes aside each of these dirty obstacles as it makes its way to clearer surfaces. At this time, the lotus is still just a stem with only a few leaves, and a small flower pod. But in time, the stem continues to grow, and the pod slowly surfaces above the water, into the clean air, finally freeing itself from the harsh life conditions below. It is then that the lotus slowly opens each beautiful petal to the sun, basking in the worldly beauty surrounding it. The lotus flower is ready to take on the world.

And my life has (and still is) like this. I don’t really think I’m ready to take on the world. I’m still confronted by so many harsh things and difficult decisions. I’m feeling the pain of so much loss and grief at the moment.

But eventually, as Carolyn Marsden so beautiful puts it, “from the mud of adversity grows the lotus of joy.” The lotus opens slowly to reveal each beautiful petal to the sun. Mother earth is extraordinary. I find comfort and hope in how the lotus manages to push through the mud.