Soulful Sunday #29: Happy Fathers Day

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Dad greeting me into the world xx

Welcome to my twenty-ninth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

Wishing my Dad a Happy Fathers Day in the sky. Heaven knows how much you are missed each and every day; how grateful I am to have had you in my life, and how privileged I feel to get to call you my Dad…

Thank you for blessing me with your love and for always being my guiding light. Loving you always, forgetting your never xx

Soul Strolls

During the Queen’s birthday weekend here in Melbourne last week, we took a day trip to Daylesford to enjoyed a lakeside lunch at The Boathouse. The sun was shining, the lake was peaceful and still, and the food was yummo! The perfect get away we’d been craving. We strolled around the town perusing the antique shops and boutiques.

The simplest things makes life so rich.

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The Boathouse, Daylesford

Soul Food

Today I would like to share with you this Raw-ish Caramel Ginger-nut Slice from one of my favourite health and wellness sites. It looks incredible. I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to satisfy my sweet tooth, and this one seems divine! I hope you have as much fun trying it as I will.

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Soul Music

In memory of Dad, I am sharing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Dad was a huge Dylan fan, and this track, which was played at Dad’s funeral, reminds me of the way Dad lived his life. He will always be forever young in our hearts.


Soul Sisters

I am sharing a beautiful post titled To The Beautiful Women Who Is Striving To Be Skinny by My Own Private Idaho. A powerful piece that acknowledges the way women become so entangled by the numbers on the scale. Here we have a stunning reminder of our inner worth and beauty.

I wish you all a peaceful Sunday. On this day, may we remember our Fathers past and present and send them peace and love.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

The Gift of Sight

two gifts
When I said goodbye to Dad for the last time, there’s one lesson I learnt – life is fleeting.

With the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, along with the many other lives lost each day around the globe, we are reminded to hug our loved ones.

Forgive quickly, love passionately, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too precious, too fragile, too fleeting to hold grudges, to love cautiously and to squander our days dreaming instead of doing.

Be willing to let go. Don’t be afraid to say “I love you…” you never know when it will be your last. See life for what it is, a gift. Live courageously. Laugh often (and loudly!) Spread joy. Be the untethered force of light that you are. There’s no need to live every day like it is your last… Choose instead, to live every day like it is your first… With a sense of childlike wonder, rapture and appreciation. Give thanks for the two gifts that you opened today – your eyes.

For today is another day you get to live.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

I Love You Because…


It’s been 12 years today since my bear hugs were taken away… There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to capture how greatly you are missed. But on this day I’d like to remind you of how much you are loved…

Dad, I love you because…

…you would walk us around on your feet as little girls.

…you would shine a spotlight on us as we danced around the living room.

…you never complained about your stroke or your epilepsy, even though the seizures frightened you.

…you made us smile and laugh daily with your unpredictable humour.

…you were the most selfless human being I’ve ever met and would spend your last £5 on chocolate raisins, Beano magazines and Matchbox cars for us.

…you lived with 3 feisty females and never lashed out physically or verbally once – you’d always walk away when angry.

…you gave the best bear hugs ever.

…you cared and worried about our safety.

…you surprised us with cups of teas and Garfield The Cat inspired butties in the mornings and always made them with a smile.

…you weren’t afraid to show your emotions.

Because of a million other reasons I never had the chance to say to you – but mostly, because you’re my Dad…

My love for you is infinitely endless. I love and miss you so so much. Thank you for being my guide.

Loving you always – forgetting you never 💙 xx

A Letter to My Younger Self

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Dear Hayley,

It’s me, Hayley. Your future you. I wanted to write to you because, well, I guess there are some things you don’t know yet that I think may help you along the way. Let’s begin at the start shall we?

See that photo? That’s you on the day you were born, all red faced and new in your Dad’s arms. In years to come, when he is gone (don’t panic – you have nineteen more years together before that happens…), you will look at this photo a lot; at the way his hands, which are almost as big as your body, are holding you tight in case he drops you. You’ll wish you could remember being held as you look longingly at the presence of you both together. Don’t worry – see how Dad is looking down on you even though your eyes are closed tight? Your eyes do open eventually… And when they do, you can see the bigger picture. Although there are many years of feeling bereft, in time, you do heal. So don’t fret little one – he’s with you now, just enjoy the warmth of his embrace.

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This is your first birthday. (Healthy right?) This is pretty much your diet growing up as a kid. In fact, you’ll eat nothing but white stodgy stuff right up until the age of about eighteen. It’s surprising you don’t resemble a loaf of bread really! (And by the way, you go through a really weird phase of eating nothing but instant noodles and meatballs.) But fear not, after much trial and error you finally discover the beauty of fresh ingredients, and by the time you are thirty one, you are eating a diet rich in wholefoods – you’re even eating organic! (I know – madness right?) But I just want you to know that you’ll be ok and that miraculously, you manage to avoid any fillings or cavities despite the copious amounts of fizzy pop you’ll consume far into your late teens. In fact, you haven’t drunk a drop of sugary beverage for the last seven years! Can you believe it? I still don’t know how you manage to survive not drinking a drop of water until you turn eighteen??? But you do. And now you can’t get enough of the stuff!

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This is your first school photo. I don’t know how it became all speckled like that, but it looks as though you have a terrible case of the measles. Behind your smile is a frightened little girl. This is the year you first witnessed Dad have an epileptic fit and it’s made you very fearful. You’re scared of the dark, of sleeping on your own, you still wet the bed and you’re even scared of your soft cuddly toys because you think they come to life at night! You hallucinate quite a bit and have scary dreams too… But I’m here to tell you that everything will be alright. I know it makes you sad when Mum won’t let you sleep in her bed; I know you lie awake all night in terror that something will eat you… But I promise that you won’t get killed by the freaky looking pot doll Mum bought you, and you don’t need to long jump into your bed in case an arm pops out from beneath it to grab your ankles and swallow you up! You are totally safe. And yes, there will be times in your teens, shortly after Dad dies, that you begin to have nightmares again. In fact, you will experience a year of terrible insomnia, but you get through it and, although you are still a light sleeper, you now have a healthy sleep routine. You’re even brave enough to walk to the toilet in the dark! (I won’t lie, your heart does beat a little fast as you do) – but the affirmations you say whilst tip-toeing down the hallway help! I am safe. I am protected. All is well…  And all is well!

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Heyyyyy twenty year old you! Don’t you look fresh? But behind that smile is a sadness so great I can almost feel it rendering me paralysed again now… In fact – here is another shot taken whilst you were off guard, and it reveals the true emptiness behind your eyes and your smile.

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You are numb. You are confused and your heart is heavy. You are also smoking a lot (thank God you’ve stopped that filthy habit) and drinking to numb the pain. Recreational drugs are taking their toll on your relationships and your job. You feel as though life is grim and grey and it is. You have recently lost your gentle giant, and Dad’s absence weighs heavily on your heart. Why pretend you are happy when you are not? It’s ok to feel grief, it’s ok to feel pain – just roll with it, everything is in divine order. I want you to know that things do improve. You have a few more years of losing yourself in drugs and alcohol, and unhealthy relationships. So if I could give you any advice right now, it would be to stop putting on a brave face. Stop worrying that your grief will effect others. This stuffing down of your emotions is causing you to turn to external ‘pleasures’ and false sensory highs. You needn’t numb the feelings. It’s ok to allow them to just be. I know you feel lost, I know you feel lonely and misunderstood, but this, in time, will pass.

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And this? This is me (you) now. (Well – actually that photo was taken last year in Paris) but still! – this is you at thirty one! Not as bad as you thought eh? How could you ever think thirty was old?

So a little of your life now…You are learning to love yourself. In fact, most days you look in the mirror and say, I love you Hayley. And guess what? You actually mean it! Some days it’s harder than others, but deep down you know that at your very core you are love. You have replaced drugs and alcohol with yoga and meditation. You love to spend time in nature (just as you did when you were little.) And you are a teacher too! You love working with children and seeing the world through their eyes. In fact, it has reminded you of the importance of embracing your own inner child and to follow your childhood dreams of becoming an author (just like Roald Dahl! Remember?) You write again and feel so much joy when you do. You have neglected your passion for drawing and sketching – but we can look for an art class here in Melbourne if you like?! (Oh yes – you now live in Australia!) And behind that lens is your best friend and man of six years, Mark.

It’s been a journey of self-discovery, of learning to love and be loved. But do you know what? You finally feel joy again. You have a deep and profound gratitude for life. You’ve discovered your true nature, your authentic self, and with that comes a knowing far greater than ever imagined – a knowledge that you are whole, connected, one – despite being imperfectly you. Dad is in your heart, you are in his, and that, my dear child, will never change.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Deep Holes In The Sidewalks

 

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Dear Dad,

Today I received a parking fine for $150. I hesitated when parking in that area, the sign was new to me and I was unclear of its meaning. I ignored the feeling of hesitancy I felt when exiting my vehicle. I was gone from my car for less than 10 minutes, and returned to find the parking ticket waving at me from my windscreen. My heart sank. It was the most expensive avocado and banana I’d ever bought. Normally in this situation, I would feel the anger rising. Thoughts of ‘Why me?’ surfacing. …but not this time. For I have been here before. The victim. The blamer. I know why I received this ticket.

Just the night before I had found myself in a familiar hole. Money worries, feelings of lack when I discovered that my work hours had been reduced from four days a week to just two. We haven’t had as many schools book our programs next term and I’d felt a worry over the drop in income. Scarcity thoughts crept in and I reacted from a place of low vibration, arguing with my partner and succumbing to the ego in me. My parking ticket was a confirmation of my scarcity thinking, mirroring back to me my false feelings of ‘lack.’

Looking down at my ticket, I sighed and resolved to step out of my familiar hole. Crying over it would only exasperate my situation, bring about more of the same circumstances.

Father, thank you for the sign. For the reminder to walk a different path. I am grateful for the extra time to myself next term, for the extra days you have provided so that I may attend to a project dear to my heart. The freedom from lesson planning is something to be thankful for as I throw myself into other avenues with great passion. And of course, two days of work are always better than none.

Love  always,

Hayley xx

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Dear Child,

Sometimes situations will arrive at your door in unforeseen and distressing ways. You may feel as though the world is against you, that life is unfair and this shouldn’t be happening. In each heartache there lies an opportunity for spiritual growth. Are you prolonging unhealthy habits that are holding you back on your path to freedom? How about stagnant thought patterns that are creating equally stagnant circumstances? Is there an element of your own undoing that you have been refusing to see? Blame, excuses, feeling angry and victimised…we’ve all been there. But those feelings no longer serve us.  Nor does the outward search for refuge and answers. The answers lie here within. Be still.

Let us open our eyes and our hearts so that we may hear the answers to our prayers – for the solution to all sorrow lies in communion with the soul, with God. Instead of proclaiming ‘This isn’t fair!’ – may we have the strength to ask, ‘How may I grow from this? How may I serve?’

There are no accidents in this world. The world is ever changing, ever evolving, all knowing and divinely timed. When you accept that this is so, when you trust in life and trust that life is preparing you for your purpose – you can smile in the face of life’s hurdles, for they are your greatest teachers. Be safe in the knowledge, that in time – all will be well.

In love and light,

Your Father.

If you too have found yourself stuck in a hole, may Portia Nelson’s Poem – There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk, bring comfort as she reminds us that it is we who hold the key to end all suffering.

There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk

Chapter One
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk,
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless,
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find my way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk,
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit …but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down another street.

by Portia Nelson.

Let us be kind to ourselves as we navigate life’s sidewalks, may we pick ourselves up out of those deep holes, and choose another path.

Happiness

Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to the beautiful Deb over at Once Upon A Hot Flash for tagging me in the happiness tag. I know some people prefer not to participate in these nominations, therefore, if I have tagged you and you’d rather not complete the process – please don’t feel obliged to! (Instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.)

I, on the other hand, couldn’t resist. (Especially since the subject is ‘happiness’.) Any chance to reflect on that which brings me great joy and for which I am grateful, is worthy of a moment of my time. Plus today is my Dad’s birthday! So in honor of his special day – I would like to spread some happiness…

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Happy Birthday Dad xx

Five Things That Make Me Happy

  1. Nature
    I love spending time outdoors. Sitting and contemplating, walking, observing, listening – I simply love it. Nature heals, nature uplifts, nature inspires. If you ever feel tired, lethargic, anxious, depleted or stressed – go for a walk. Find a park bench and sit for a while. Listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh air and just be.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Cooking and Food
    Some of the best conversations happen around the table. Growing up, food was just that – food. (In fact, I’m not even sure it could be called ‘food’ it was so over-processed!’) However, since discovering fresh, wholesome, organic produce – I just can’t get enough of the wonderful creation Mother Nature provides. Of course, I am human and occasionally indulge – but mostly, I enjoy the feeling I get from eating meals that heal and foods that nourish, energise and sustain. In fact, I am so inspired by this way of eating that I started a blog called Don’t Panic Go Organic. It is still in the early stages yet, however, this will be a place to share recipes, super foods and alternative (safer) every day products – as well as a place of spiritual healing and connection. Come and say ‘hello!’organic_food_delivery_dont-panic-go-organic
  3. Disney and Fantasy
    I love fantasy and make believe. I think that the best thing we can nurture in our children, as well as in our adult lives, is the imagination. The ability to dream, create and use our imagination is what sets the pessimists apart from the optimists. When you believe in miracles, miracles really do begin to appear everywhere. Go on – I dare ya! Make a wish!!!-imagination-logic-amazing-inspirational-intelligence-Albert-Einstein-
  4.  Stationary and Books
    I am a self confessed geek who loves books and stationary. I have notepads and journals galore, pretty pens and pencil cases and an ever growing book collection that I hope will rival that of Belle’s from Beauty and the Beast one day! I feel most at peace when I am reading the world’s wisdom traditions or when I am surrounded by my journals with a pen in hand and a heart full of inspiration.beauty-and-the-beast-library
  5. Divine Guidance and Connection
    I receive my greatest insights when I take a moment to be still, to quieten the busy mind and connect with Divine energy; that greater being that resides deep within each and every one of us. Whether it is through my meditation practice, yoga, my Angel Oracle cards, healing crystals or through prayer, there is no greater comfort and clarity than in that moment when we become one with our true authentic self – with Source. It is here that I connect with my Dad, with Spirit, with God, with every other being on this planet, with all that ever was, ever is and ever shall be.universe

At this stage I am also asked to write about 5 songs that make me happy – however, I have blogged about this previously here. But for all you happy bloggers – go ahead and tell us of five things and five songs that make you smile or feel happy – then spread the happiness!

My Nominations

1. Miriam at Out an’About who spreads oodles of love and joy along her travels.
2. Tammy, my dear childhood friend from My Little Bit of Serenity.
3. Oneta Haynes from Sweet Aroma who always manages to brighten my day.
4. Fatmawaty over at Qolamii who is delightfully sweet on her journey through writing.
5. MeRaw over at The Journey of My Left Foot who finds comfort along her healing journey through writing and connecting.

In Love and Light

Hayley xx

Five Reasons Why I Am Grateful For My Dad

It is but a simple shift in perception. From one of sorrow to joy; of envy to inspired appreciation; of lack to fulfillment, gratitude and abundance. With this shift in perception comes a renewed love of all things – even the ones that bring with them great heartache and despair. For it is precisely from knowing and experiencing such heartaches that we come to recognise and appreciate the rainbows after the storm.

Flowers grow out of dark moments.

– Corita Kent

Five Reasons Why I Am Grateful For My Dad

  1. You were, and still are, my greatest teacher. You were my biggest heartbreak, and yet my most profound awakening to a deeper kind of love. In losing you, I gained another part of you – a part that is ever infinite and always guiding.
  2. You taught me not to take myself too seriously. Ever the joker, you showed me that the quickest and surest way to ease my own sorrow is through laughter. Laughter really is the best medicine, and you had an ability to make others laugh uncontrollably. Whenever I feel glum or despondent, I turn to laughter. ‘Daft as a brush just like your Dad’ my best friend says. ‘Nothing embarrasses you’ Mum tells me, ‘you get that from your Dad, not me!’ It makes me smile to know that I will always have this part of you.
  3. You showed me the true meaning of grace. In moments of darkness you faced the terrors head on, never the victim – always accepting what life threw at you with an earnest grace. If I have learnt anything in this life, it is that our most trialing experiences are often our biggest teachers. Through your adversity, you remained steadfast and strong, despite your obvious pain – your love for us never wavered.
  4. Because of you I have an endless well of patience. Any man who can live with four hot headed females as you did, has reached a state of tolerance to rival that of taxi driver working the drunk o’clock shift. It takes a strong man to not react and continue navigating others home whilst all his buttons are being pushed. If ever my patience is tested, I need only remember your poise and ability to remain calm and nonreactive under testing circumstances!
  5. Without witnessing your life lived with epilepsy, I could never have developed such a profound empathy towards others. Through watching your struggles from a very young age, I have come to stare with deep sincerity into the heart of every soul regardless of their condition, social status, or circumstance. This has led me to undertake work that brings me great purpose and fulfillment. At the heart of every person lies a beautiful soul – and I am committed to treating others with compassion and understanding at all cost. I owe this gift to you.

Happy Fathers Day Dad – Loving You Always, Forgetting you Never xx

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