Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Experience tells me that I have many qualities, (good and bad) but patience is not one of them... I am trusting in the universe and in whatever else I must trust in (myself mostly, and others!) but change takes time, and time means that I need to practice the art of patience... or at least acceptance of what I cannot change and being bold enough to challenge the things I assume are insurmountable. 

On the other hand, it is graduation day for me tomorrow, and this is one day that I do not wish to pass me by quickly. I haven't needed to practice patience and this is a day that has come about quicker than I anticipated. This time a couple of years ago I was graduating but I was not feeling the same excitement and celebration that I feel now. I am balancing a number of things that all constitute a life of organised chaos, but it really is worth-while to stop and take stock, even if forced, (very) willingly, for an afternoon and evening of celebration.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

I don't need many words for this one

I am writing sat in my living room with my new apple and ginger tea, following quite a bizarre day. I seem to have contracted some kind of 24 hour bug that I hope (optimistically) will be better tomorrow. As I have not been fit for the outside world, I have spent most of my day inside and have focused on more pressing issues. I haven't done any work, no emails, no reading, limited communication, and really some time for myself. I have been following the news as stories of life and death, love and loss, and solidarity are uncovered following the terror attacks on Paris last night. I don't have much that I need to say. There are almost no words, but I do have the need to say something. I have no response other than complete sadness. Not only for a city that holds some dear memories for me, but for humanity, and for what the world has come to understand as constitutions of love and peace. Our world will always be about love. And love, I do believe is the most powerful thing we have. Yet what I have seen is the sheer destructiveness and power of a weapon and a mind of violence and hate. I can see how this strikes fear and deep sadness across so many. And of course, it is a global issue and Paris are not alone in what they have experienced over the last 24 hours. As one small individual, living in the North of England, I do wonder what there is that I can do.... Is there anything?

It has been a sad day today, and perhaps what has impacted most is seeing the world's response to what has happened. 

I wanted to write, for once I didn't need a lot of words, but I did need something.

Even though it is late and I am not so well, I am still reminded of what is important, and it is somewhat contradictory (although I'm sure there is a better word!) that it should take death to make us think of life... There is a bigger picture here. Perhaps I need to be reminded more often, because too often do I not listen properly, not make the time, and not stop and notice the things and people who make a difference. Politics and power can (and do) act as a barrier to what is most important. So I approach the coming week with a clearer perspective, and keep close to heart something I read last year that has changed my learning and given me a language that I understand. These words remind me of the difference between the love of power and the power of love. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

the 'now list' or the 'yes list'...

So I fall behind on my plans once more to post each week here. This weekend I can forgive myself as I have been immersed in my research ethics form and various bits and pieces that I have needed to catch up on. Yes... Not the most thrilling, but oddly I enjoy time spent in this way, just no other tick lists to complete but your own, in your own time, in your own space.. this is a good weekend in my opinion. OK, some friends and some wine make that even better, but I did get that too!

I have had a rather long day, back to back students (because I haven't yet learnt that people do take lunch breaks...) but then a lovely evening in the company of some very spectacular people. I will always believe that I am fortunate to have such people in my life... 

Anyway, I really wanted to post something brief thoughts about my day and subsequent reflections. A very good friend of mine, and she won't mind me writing this if she reads this, told me that she sees me as a person who always says 'yes'... To me, this was a real compliment. It was not too long ago that I was too young to take responsibility for myself, but old enough to know that saying 'yes' was risky and saying 'no' meant that I was safe within the comfort of what I knew. So truly I found this to be a real compliment. I therefore had to think a good few times about this because to me, I feel that I am constantly saying no, or having to compromise, or am just absolutely stretched to the limits, meaning that any 'yes' elicited from me really is more in the tone of 'yes.... if you really need me to.....'. You know the kind of really disengaged and uncommitted indication that I would rather commit my time to other activities. Rather like my response to the marketing department who wanted pictures and statements of joy and celebration pre-graduation ceremony... I think I have done a good job at subtly questioning if this is really necessary....

So, given my identity to this friend as a 'yes person', I thought this was interesting. firstly given that I do not always say yes, and secondly, because we have been sharing thoughts recently about a 'now list'. This said 'now list' is a list that you create that consists of all the many things you would like to do; your commitments and goals and tasks, and then you select the 5 most important, and discard the remaining things that felt of secondary significance to your life. You make a commitment to say 'no' to anything that did not make the ultimate 'golden top 5'. This discarding is because it is worth only investing time and effort into the selected five. I initially thought this seemed like a great method to keep life in-check... However, I think I quite enjoy being a 'yes' person. I have worked hard at letting my boundaries down and not being defined by the 4 walls that contain me. Why stop now, and why limit life to only the five things you feel are of significant importance. Our lives, as humans, will always introduce complexities and curve-balls and there is no way of knowing what these may be. I do believe in balance being key. Life is truly for the living, and I believe that to live, we must embrace, 'stand naked in the storm' (still cannot shake this phrase from my mind, thanks to Mick Cooper), and say 'yes' to whatever the hell ignites our spirit or speaks to us. Surely that is the way to live,,,,  and that is the way to live regret-free knowing that you have made informed choices along the way that have led you to where you are right now, and that those choices have not been governed by a check-list of simply five things, rather decisions are governed by your own being and choice. Here's to the 'yes' list... I think it's just as important as the 'now list', maybe even more-so, and I believe that it doesn't have to be finite...

A friend shared the following words on Facebook - I am sharing it as the 'yes' list is almost never to be done alone. Often meeting others 'there' - living life in relation to others, is what makes the difference, as I have remembered this evening:

'Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I will meet you there'