Eternal Bond

never truly lost

Forever Young you shall be. Forever in our hearts you shall remain. I wrote this song for you a few years ago and my good friends Samuel Jones, Ben Jones, and Christopher Roach breathed eternal life into it… And for that I am forever grateful.

Happy 60th birthday Dad xx

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So short lived were my chocolate raisin days
The only thing I have now are the memories of your ways
No more bear hugs, no more Match Box cars today
I’m holding on tight cause this doesn’t feel right
Don’t let this slip away
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
Your brief time here, it was rocky it was rough
Never said you were giving up, my gentle giant was too tough
No need for fast cars, brief cases or expensive suits
Your love was just enough and your love was all for us
Don’t let this slip away
 
Your descent upon this material world
It was oh so brief, I was left in disbelief
I had to stop being Daddy’s girl
Your courage was reborn deep in my heart
The realisation that from you I shall never part
I’m letting go because I know I must grow
But you’ll always remain forever young
 
Cause I will never forget you
Your with me in everything I do
My smiles a reflection of you
I live my life through you because it’s all I can do
Your my parachute
 
My king of hearts has flown
But I’m willing to take the thrown
To your legacy I live
And I’ll give as you’d give
 
My parachute. My strength. My breath, my parachute. The reason I’m living so free…
 
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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.

raw-caramel-gingernut-slice-paleo

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.

hayley-paris

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

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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The Red Door

red door

We are sitting on the living room floor at number five Acresfield Road, my sister and I. I am five years old, Sarah is seven. Our eyes are glued to the eighties television set as we watch cartoons in our faded living room. Everything appeared to be brown back then; brown carpets, brown wall paper, brown television – a sepia stained era of times passed. Mum is at work earning her small income to keep us clothed and fed. During these times, Dad would take care of us. I never questioned why Mum worked and Dad stayed home, I guess I was too young to notice or to care. All I knew was that Dad took care of us after Gran dropped us home from school.

This particular day is to be one of my earliest memories, and it is one that will become etched into my existence, like a stray strand of hair which has embedded itself into my clothing, clinging on no matter how hard I try to shake it off. At most it simply shifts – falling to rest unnoticed on another part of me.

Dad appears in the doorway to our left, which leads into the kitchen. He is pacing back and forth, in and out of the living room, his face one of concern and panic. Fear transcends into my little body. I don’t know why Dad looks so frightened, all I know is that now I am frightened too. Dad’s right wrist is shaking and he grips it with his other hand in a bid to control the tremor. I stand, panicked. Dad tells us to, “Go away – leave!” We stare in horror and I begin to cry as Sarah grabs my hand, pulling me towards the other exit at the front of the house.

Dad disappears into the kitchen as Sarah drags me through the front door. Dad must have opened the back door because the moment we step outside the force of the wind courses through our home, slamming the front door tight with a deafening BANG. My heart stops in my chest. I turn to face the giant red door glaring back at me. The brass number five screwed to the top center of the door peers down at me as though mocking my age. “Five. Hah! What can you do?” The brass letter box sneers at me –  its gold teeth grinning with delight after swallowing my Dad up inside. My heart leaps back into action and I pound my small fists against the hard surface of the glowing red monster. I lift the brass letter box and cry out to my Dad, my voice trembling with fear and frustration, echoing deep into the belly of the house.

In later years, I told Sarah of this haunting memory, assuming that she would have her own version of events surrounding that moment – her own ingrained grievances, which I assumed would differ somewhat to mine. Yet, she told of how she stood waiting for our elderly neighbours, Ernie and Gladys, to answer the door, of how she remembers clearly watching as I repeatedly thumped at the door in a panic.

I don’t remember how I came to be standing in Ernie and Gladys’ back garden – the next thing I recall is watching in despair as Dad face planted into the concrete path of our own back garden – all six foot two inches of him. I remember how he fell without putting his hands out to break his fall. And that is where the memory ends.

It is one of my earliest memories, it is also when I learned of epilepsy; my first real encounter with fear, and my first recognition that Dad wasn’t safe.

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I often hear that the opposite to fear is love – that love transcends all fear. I have also learned of the importance in letting go. For some it is a ritual, for others it is prayer – for me, it is through the process of writing. Once it is recognised, it can be turned over to the angels, to God, to Source or The Divine – however you wish to refer to Higher Guidance – for healing.

With every heart ache comes a lesson. Once we recognise the lessons, each one becomes easier to release. Those stray strands which weave their way into the fabric of our lives are freed by the winds of change and lifted towards the heavens.

As I look back on this memory, in the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer ‘I can see clearly’ the way it has shaped and contributed to habitual fears in my life – fears which I am beginning to notice have held me back on this spiritual path – fears which I am ready and willing to let go of. I notice the walls I have built between myself and that which I love; passions as well as people. The way I have refrained from loving the men in my life too much. A fear of losing them? A fear of being vulnerable? I am not sure. All I know is that I have been known to freeze up when becoming too close threatens my sense of security. It’s as though that big red door is standing between them and I – preventing me from fully accessing my loved ones, as well as accessing those passions which bring me the greatest sense of freedom and joy. It also occurs to me that red is one of my least favourite colours (and there I was convincing myself that it’s because I support Manchester City, not Manchester United!)

I have walked passed that house many a times. It is one of the many houses we lived in growing up. The door is no longer red, it has been replaced by a newer door with a stained wood finish.  Its size is no longer so large and looming, since I have grown some extra inches over the years. That big red door has been torn down, its existence is no more. I have no reason to hold on to its memory, no reason to fear it. I send that door love. I send epilepsy love. I send my Dad love. And most importantly, I send my five-year-old self love. There is nothing to fear anymore.

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