Stunted By Logic

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Vision is a gift we all have yet seldom use. Too often we are stunted by ‘logic’ and the expectation to conform with society’s predetermined regiments: go to school, then college, afterwards, enrol at a recognised University and once graduated, acquire a job with a respectable company, one that offers security and preferably contributes towards a pension. If we are lucky, we may be granted four weeks of holiday each year to pursue our personal passions. Except, rarely do we use this time for ourselves. Instead, logic takes precedence once more as we dedicate our free time to the endless list of ‘To Do’s’ that require our attention: “I must repair that leaky tap; clear out the garage; tend to the garden; get on top of my paperwork; paint the fence; visit my mother-in-law…” Logic tells us we must complete these errands before we are summoned back to the office. Is this life? And if so, according to whose standards?

I am not suggesting we should quit our day job, nor am I discouraging anyone from study – if this is what kindles fulfillment and joy. However, we must ask ourselves this – “Does this path align with the vision I hold for my future? Or is this simply the next logical step?” Yes, it is possible that logic will take us from A to B – allow us to obtain that Master’s degree and secure us a comfortable lifestyle – but let us not forget, that imagination can take us anywhere.

It seems that as we move through the system, the creative vision we once held as children gradually becomes lost: “Yes – it would be great to be an Astronaut, Dear… But what about a real job?” When I was a child, whenever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I responded confidently; “An Author and an Illustrator!” I adored Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake and wanted to spend my days immersed in the world of fantasy and books. As it goes, my vision of becoming an Author was soon replaced by ‘logic’, the need to get my grades and find a ‘real job’ – just like everyone else. Like many, my dreams soon lay dormant in favour of following the status quo. It wasn’t until my thirties that I allowed myself to tap into that realm of creativity and imagination again. Coincidently, that’s when life, for me, began to flow.

What dreams have you resigned to the logic box? Today I invite you to lift the lid on logic and allow your imagination to run wild and free.

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It Begins With You

 

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We often hear of the importance of loving oneself. However, for many of us, this is easier said than done. We fret over our appearance, compare our progress with those around us and berate ourselves when we don’t ‘get it right’. What is it that prevents us from showing ourselves the loving care and kindness we so deserve? We continue to exhaust our very souls in our attempts to please and meet the needs of everyone else, yet when it comes to ourselves – we just ‘don’t have the time’.

I am a big believer that we cannot fill the cup of another if our own cups are running on empty. We may be able to sustain this for a short while, but it wont be long before we become stressed, depleted and desperately out of touch with ourselves. It is vital that we take the time to do what makes our soul happy. But for many of us, we have forgotten what that even looks like. “Take time out?” we scoff. “I don’t have time for that…I need to take the kids to school/prepare the lunches/take care of my sick mother/earn a living…who will attend to all of these things if not me?” I hear this everyday from women. I’ve been that woman too – so caught up in the Doing that I totally neglect just Being. It saddens my soul to think that we are a nation that prides ourselves on how much we can get ‘done’, and at the expense of our health and our livelihood.

If we continue to ignore our own needs, wants and wishes, we will risk becoming unhappy, overwhelmed and stressed with the every day demands of life. Feelings of guilt and resentment are not uncommon for the chronic ‘Doer.’  “I should be doing something….I wish I just had five minutes to myself.” It is no coincidence that those who take time to nurture their souls and do the things they love lead less harried lives. It is not that they have more time or any less to do, but that they are able to approach tasks with a renewed sense of joy and energy, because they have carved out time to fill their cups. Only when our cups are full can they overspill to those we love. This isn’t selfish, it is essential.

So next time you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, stressed out, run down or completely frazzled with by the long list of ‘To Do’s’ requiring your attention, ask yourself this: “Have I attended to the most important thing on that list? – my Self. Have I done something today that makes my soul happy?”

We cannot giveaway what we do not have. So love yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Romance yourself. Know that you deserve to fill your cup every single day of your life. And that in doing so, you can bestow your loving gifts upon the world with a renewed sense of peace and joy in your heart.

In love and light,

Hayley xx

 

My Writing Haven

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Writing 101, Day 6: The space to write

Today’s prompt asks:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?

I am really quite old fashioned at heart. I prefer books to Kindles (I was kindly bought a Kindle as a gift, and admittedly, I used it once on holiday and returned it to the box as soon as I arrived home. It has remained there ever since.) Even if it means carrying an extra few kilos of volumes in my luggage, I’d much rather have a real book in hand than a piece of electronic equipment.

The same goes for my writing practice. I have journals and notepads galore! I just can’t get enough of them and am a bit of a geek when it comes to shopping. Mostly, you will find me in the stationary isles. I love the unique design of each, I’m usually drawn to pastels and neutral colours, with designs that incorporate birds, flowers and nature. The crisp white pages invite me to fill the blank spaces in a way that the laptop just doesn’t ignite. I can, however, see the benefits of electronic writing; it allows for easy editing and takes up less space thanks to the invention of hard drives. But there’s something about the thought of discovering the original works of writers, in the early, raw stages of production that inspires me. Many poets, such as Wordsworth and Shelley, left behind extracts of original works that evolved and changed over time, extracts that are still able to be viewed by the public today. When a piece is handwritten, it arrives at the page straight from the heart; raw and unedited, regardless of how many times it has been crossed out or altered and changed. Watching it evolve is part of the process. Often with word processing, we see only the edited, perfected piece at the end, minus the struggles, alterations and changes it took to arrive there. Each time we hit ‘save’, we lose part of the manner in which the piece unfolded and matured. For that reason, I much prefer to use my pen and type it up later; to cross out, to insert arrows or an asterix, so that I can remember the journey and not just the destination.

I’m also quite privy to a Parker. I was first bought a Parker pen when I was eleven, it was a black fountain pen with blue ink cartridges (I much prefer blue ink to black, and tend to only use black when a form requests it.) I loved the way it felt in my hand, the way the ink glided over paper, I felt so grown up. My handwriting was never quite the same when I used other pens, and equally, none of my friends at school could write neatly using my pen! It was like it was made for my hand. I still use a Parker pen today, although I have moved on since the days of my fountain pen. My partner bought me a silver ball point Parker which I simply love.

In terms of my writing space, I just need peace. A quiet space in which I can connect with my heart and my pen. I like to gather ideas and inspiration from my surroundings, conversations with people, walks and solo missions, travels near and far; but once I have gathered this information, I need a peaceful environment to retreat to. If it’s a little noisy at home, I’ll put on some classical music in the background to get me in the zone. If it’s a nice day, I will take my notepad and pen outside to write, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Otherwise, I sit in my comfy armchair in my bedroom as I am doing now. Or on the bed. I do own a writers bureau, which I love. But as much as I love having a writer’s desk in my room to house my stationary, I rarely sit at it. Simply because there’s something about sitting at a desk that reminds me of when I was a child at school, when we were expected to sit and work, or of the time I was employed in an office and I was required to sit at a desk. Whenever I sit at a desk to write, it suddenly feels like a chore. I much prefer to be comfy so that my writing is inspired rather than forced.

So there you have it! My writing habits. What are yours?

I Write Because…

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Writing 101, Day 1: I write because…

…to become a writer one must write. It really is that simple. I have this written on the first page of every notebook and journal that I own. To become a writer one must write.

This is something I told myself after months, years even, of procrastination. And I still have to remind myself of that simple truth daily. Oh…I’m too busy/stressed/tired/insert any other excuse *here*. I am ashamed to admit that I am guilty of all of the above and have blogged about my tendencies to put off the one thing I love doing more than anything else here.

Procrastination is something I battle with daily. In saying that, I am becoming much better at establishing a writing practice (WordPress writing courses have helped significantly with this!) But would you believe, I almost made an excuse not to proceed with November’s writing challenge despite really wanting to take part? (Heh hem – you’re not supposed to say ‘Yes, I can believe it…!’) I signed up to November’s Writing 101 when the first invite was emailed – yet for some reason, I didn’t receive the usual confirmation or daily prompt when the course began. I immediately took this as a ‘sign’ that I was too busy preparing to emigrate in the New Year to commit to a writing practice anyway, and that I should probably wait for the next course to come around when things would be less ‘hectic’ (how easy it was for me to slip into my old habit of delaying the writing process!!!) So I had a quiet (and very stern) word with myself and contacted WordPress support before I could convince myself any further that it would be better to wait for that ‘perfect’ moment to write (you know – that perfect moment that doesn’t actually exist unless you create it?!)

Thankfully, here I am! And hopefully, I shall remain here throughout November, come rain or shine, taking time to indulge in a little writing each day. Yes – I will be sitting my ass down daily and committing to a daily writing practice because after all; to become a writer one must write!