The Dark Side Part 2

Hubby and I went to the Adirondacks for six days this month, it was the first time we’ve been together alone for more than a day in 13 years. So it was quite a milestone. I even foolishly mentioned the word Honeymoon during one of our romantic dinners of which we had a few. However, the many bumps in the road that had to be maneuvered thinned out the romance. I can’t go into all the nuts and bolts because that’s unfair to Hubby, as he isn’t given a voice on my blog. Let’s just say I primarily messed up by not making the trip a priority and I avoided taking part in the planning because Mr Clipboard, my darling Hubby, is so good at all this organizational stuff. I read one section of one of the three guidebooks we bought on the area and I got excited by what I read. Yet I didn’t share this with Hubby. I guess I was overwhelmed with choice and expected hubby to make all the decisions. Well that was a big mistake.

So I was in a great mood when we set off, then the reality of the five-hour drive into the dark, enclosed, slightly scary woods hit me. I didn’t know what to expect.

Add in menopause and a late period that didn’t arrive the entire week but banged on my vaginal walls loudly with a strong chorus of period pains, brain fog and bloating. Did I mention my sore jaw also? Let’s not go there. All of the above brought on a rather different kind of mood.

I’ll admit that my passive aggressive head was firmly screwed on by the end of the trip.

I turned into Grouch bag central. Poor hubby had to “manage me” for the entire trip. Ok I produced one or two smiles, hugs and moments of gratitude – well maybe, but most of the time I was a Debbie Downer and it will go down in history as a lost opportunity. Sigh!

So here is what I’ve learned from this experience:

1. Get involved in the planning of a trip even when it’s more effort than you would like.

2. Make sure all parties involved get their needs met throughout the trip i.e. be flexible and accommodating.

3. Do not be the sacrificial lamb who goes on hikes that they don’t want to do or feel unable to do.

4. Mix in rest days and don’t be ashamed to bail on a plan if it doesn’t fit your energy level.

5. Bring plenty of great wine, a massive music playlist that you can sing along to, chocolate, and maybe a teddy bear.

6. Camping is best done near a clean toilet block that has a shower at hand. Primitive sites are for hardcore campers only.

7. Canoeing for hours is more fun if you stop for lunch on an island and paddle a bit more then stop and fish a little i.e. it’s okay to take things easy. Visit a local canoe store to help you with ideas as they organize trips to the best areas and use the most scenic routes all the time. Crossing land during a canoe trip is called a portage and I’d recommend renting a $5 trolly for the day to help you carry the canoe. Those darlings are heavy. If worried about getting lost book one of the canoe store’s trips.

8. Own your responsibility to make this a peaceful time of reconnection avoid an aggressive attitude.

9. If you are feeling lonely and unconnected during your trip don’t blame your partner, just let them know in a loving way that you really need to curl up with a good book while they hike that day. If feeling particularly daring ask them to visit an antique’s store or gallery with you. Demand a daily visit to an ice-cream parlor.

10. With focus and a little effort you can create a smile from your heart when you really don’t feel up to it. It flows positive energy from your heart into every part of your being.

11. Expect moments when you feel like your having a heart attack scrambling over giant boulders. Don’t be ashamed to ask your partner for a helping hand during the steep climbs even if you are going at a snail’s pace. Promise them some homemade trail-mix for their patience. Or whatever comes to mind that might motivate their gracious side. You will be filled with a cosmic shower of gratitude that you have lived to tell the tale and ended up hoisted onto a massive rock with a breath-stealing view of the Adirondack peaks and endless glass lakes. Nature Rocks!




I really hope you found this at least a little helpful and entertaining. Everyone messes up from time to time and it’s how you grow from it that counts. Be well my lovelies lots of snuggles Jackie



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My Rockin’ Soul Journey

I wish this self-reflection stuff was easier but I’m gonna pat my self on the back for making it a priority. So I’m a work in progress and I have a dark side. But I don’t allow this to overwhelm me too often, because I have to accept that darkness is a part of me. So I need to shine my light into the darkness and make it less intense. My light is full of love, joy, silliness and appreciation for people and my life. I sense gratitude a lot more these days since my soul travels started. But arrogance creeps in and I feel a sense of false importance and find myself being judgmental.

Am I really doing the man in the ticket booth a favor by saying hi? But if I smile at him and look into his eyes to connect for a moment, our exchange adds to my life. If I give him a compliment and tell him his hair is beautiful I get that little look of surprise and then his smile instantly grows. An interchange of positive energy occurs and we’ve both benefitted because I took the time to really look and observe. I made a small difference.

We have built very slim connections with our neighbors, as our houses are far enough apart that we don’t really have to. Yes again the dark selfish side of me pops up. Last week, I was discussing getting older with a neighbor who is a knowledgeable holistic nutritionist. Yet in general our interaction has been minimal other than my son still wears clothes that her teen grew out of and I am very grateful for them.

She explained her worries about wrinkles and dry skin. She told me I didn’t have any wrinkles. I’m blessed, thank you Mom and Dad for my oily, kind skin. It’s kind because it hasn’t given in to gravity yet and my wrinkles are minimal.

I felt a stronger connection with my neighbor when I said, “I don’t see any wrinkles, I only see your radiant smile.”

And it’s true, she has an amazing smile. Aren’t smiles awesome?

It’s a little sad that she focuses on the negative force of aging and not on the positive. If we routinely think about the bad then that’s what we’ll receive from the universe. She carried a sense of loss and lack instead of appreciating the abundance we have.

I know how that place of scarcity looks and feels unfortunately.

I’m the biggest negative thinking hypocrite that’s out there at times. Years ago, I was once asked at an interview if I was a glass-half-empty person. I’d never even thought about this concept. I’d been a nurse, a teacher, a daughter, sister, friend and lover by this stage in my life. I’d taken on all these roles and never once thought about this idea. Wow! There’s no surprise that the rigors of nursing nearly tore my soul apart. I obviously hadn’t been doing a particularly great job in any of my life roles. My relationship with my family, who are loving and supportive, wasn’t really much to write home about. I lived separately in England and rarely visited Ireland. I’d run away in the hope that I would be happier. But being a glass-half-empty kinda gal back then, and seeing life as only black or white, I didn’t notice that running didn’t work. I chose to dwell in the dark and succumbed to its gloom and kept making bad decisions. I needed my soul journey.

Part of my soul journey involves seeing a therapist, she reminds me of my favorite aunt way back when I was a kid. We talk each week and she asked me to start listening to my heart and recognize my feelings. I still don’t like myself much when I’m in the dark. I realize that I can be totally disconnected from my feelings and don’t think about my heart and soul. They tend to get lost in an abandoned ghost town. Yes I’m a drama queen too.

When people are in so much despair and don’t connect with themselves or others, suicide seems the only answer. That is the sad state of the world. Men in particular find it hard to be authentic and really connect with others and their feelings. Society has many faults and the expectation that men and women shouldn’t show their emotions is inhuman.

The therapist encouraged me to write about my feelings and hug the life out of my vulnerable parts. In doing so I’ve come to appreciate that the running away from my pain is pointless as the person I am trying to avoid connecting with is ME and I can’t run from ME.

Is it okay to be my authentic self? One of the most important parts of me that I’ve tried to reject is my sexuality and this is an awkward topic to say the least. Should I continue to bear the burden of guilt that my religious background gave me as a gift? The church and my older relations encouraged me to reject my sexual being. “Sex is bad” was a very loud and clear message blasted through a foghorn.


I’ve joined a choir and sang my heart out at my first concert in 28 years. It’s a scary process but it rocked!

So the pressure of not being authentic built up over time and my sexuality exploded out of me at inappropriate moments, especially in my twenties and it’s now affecting me in my late forties as I face menopause. My sexual drive can become a controlling and powerful entity, which has caused me to regret my actions afterwards. These whirlwind, self-destructive moments have chipped away at my self-worth. I transformed my sexuality into a dark force.

That’s how I lived before my soul journey.

To this day I’ve tried to heal and forgive myself for sexual abuse that occurred in my childhood. I talked to people about how it terrified me, left me feeling unsafe and untrusting towards men. But all the talking and angry outbursts didn’t help.

It takes time to accept that crap happens in your life and that it wasn’t your fault. I survived, I’m definitely scarred emotionally, and growing up during a raging civil war in Northern Ireland didn’t help either. But I’m fine and unscathed physically. By declaring this in my blog it’s kind of an official letting go of the guilt I bear. This is not part of dinner conversation but I think it bloody well should be.

So I’m in the process of embracing my sexuality and balancing it with my fear and mistrust. I realize that the only person who can heal me is me of course. I’m not good at cradling that young child in me, who never felt truly safe again. I keep saying hi and give her an imaginary squeeze and I need to add in a tickle or two. I keep saying to myself I am enough, a mantra courtesy of Maya Angelo and/or I will protect you.

I officially like my sexuality and own it proudly.


So I’ve written my novel to free myself of some of this weight and to create an evocative depiction of what happens to a girl when she lives with the constant fear of attack in her Northern Irish homeland. The wonderful part of writing is that I can use hindsight and make Kitty, my heroine, realize that she has the power within to conquer the pain and hardship that she encounters. Kitty does this so much quicker than I have and that’s fabulous. She doesn’t allow herself to be a victim. She makes powerful choices along her soul journey. I hope that in writing “Northern Branches” I will inspire many women to embrace their beautiful selves and honor who they are as beings. Great beings.

There is so much darkness in our world with religious fanatics killing innocent beautiful people. A friend’s friend ran from the truck in Nice and dived into a café to escape the shower of bullets. Luckily she was unhurt, at least physically.

Also during this sad time of fear and confusion with race relations and gun control in the US, the need to go on our personal soul journey is more important than ever.

Try to break out that radiant smile and truly connect with our loved ones, our work and life. That’s the only way to be happy. Invest in what we have already. A blogger I had the great luck to come across, Benjamin Hardy says it very simply:

“The better you are in your current position, the better will be your next one. Don’t wait for your circumstances to change, improve the circumstances you’re currently in.”

This is his link to a powerful blog post on happiness:


A fab family summer trip to Blue Man Group – so much fun!!!!!

Really concentrate our efforts on making our lives better right here and now. Brendon Burchard, a motivational guru I adore, stresses that we can make a conscious effort to bring positivity into any situation. It just takes a conscious effort like most things.

Let’s not reduce life to light and dark, let’s accept and be curious in the grey because we have the ability to generate joy in the shadows of our lives and make them radiant with bright, pure light.

Avoid running, personal experience tells me it sucks, find comfort in the grey, own your life and rock it!


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Site Settings ‹ Jackie Cartwright Author/Blogger —

via Site Settings ‹ Jackie Cartwright Author/Blogger —

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Bring on the Blush

I found a lot of wisdom in a conversation with a #weight loss expert recently. She said that the main reason women in particular unconsciously layer on fat is to cover up their #disappointments in life. I thought this was such a sad yet profound statement. On the weight gain front, I’m still fitting into most of my clothes so I’m a lucky.

Here’s some of my recent disappointments, but I focus on extracting positive vibes from them.

On occasion, I still yell at the #kids like a banshee when they say one thing and do another and my patience thins down to a microscopic layer. My daughter promises “No Mom I won’t waste the full water bottle, it’s gonna be a dog toy.” Five seconds later, the dog’s yelping and my kind, loving daughter is splashing our wretched Biscuit and making him run off with his tail tucked deep into his buttocks. I take a deep breath and avoid doing something violent to my keyboard as I’m typing. Sigh.  

My kids will always drive me nuts. At my deathbed my daughter will hold my hand and say “Mom, I forgot to tell you that…” and I’ll hopefully die before I hear the end of the confession. I can only hope for mercy at the end of life.

My writing group says my characters shouldn’t sigh – it’s too obvious a device to use. I guess I show disappointments too readily instead of making them subtler. If I’m self-indulgent I allow bitterness to suffocate my heart.

I can’t tolerate this feeling any longer.

Universe grant me more patience and openness.

I’ve been avoiding annoying experiences in general. For example I’ve put off calling our Health insurance company for over a month. They aren’t paying us properly for my physiotherapy sessions. I summoned up the courage to sort out the claim and a kind person helped me.

Rolling one

To unlock my stiffened joints, I’ve discovered #foamrolling with a hard, unbending cylinder, it hurts in my face-screws-up-dramatically kinda way, but I can do a few more downward facing dogs (that’s a yoga move Dad) than I could a month ago.

I’m even trying a plank challenge of sorts, (well I’ve done it twice.) Holding myself up on my elbows against all odds for a minute and I promise you the last fifteen seconds are meaningful. My famous purple veins pulsate as I try to avoid collapsing.

My once very painful jaw doesn’t shoot pain up my face when I move it anymore and it isn’t locked. So what if it clicks loudly sometimes and is a tad weak, I can eat a banana comfortably. The physiotherapist who works on my jaw is so cute I crave the headaches he gives me, and my bruised cheek fascia. Anytime David, and thanks you’re awesome!


My sister sent me a note saying we are never rejected from things in life, we are only redirected to better things. Word choice is everything here. I feel like every day a task I avoid distracts me or a meal I need to cook takes me away from finishing a chapter edit. So I wonder if that comment helps. But some of my redirections are fabulous.

I’m not writing as much as I would like, but I’m writing something. That something fills me with smiles and makes me feel worthwhile. It also allows me to connect with my readers and that is an amazing privilege.

I’ve started singing in a chorus despite not being able to sight-read. I often guess the rhythm of the notes when they get tied together and run uphill. Fortunately, I haven’t been asked to leave yet. When the conductor asks the altos to sing their part by themselves, I feel my cheeks flare-up. That doesn’t happen enough in life. I need to feel that fear, focus for two hours and breathe deeply during rehearsals. My brain gets a rest from all the other nonsense. I hear myself getting better and we sound like #angels sometimes which I know is a massive stretch. I can’t wait for the concert – we’re wearing black and pearls. Now we’re talking sexy!

My son is sweet to me, he compliments me: he says he respects what I do for our family. A friend says she really appreciates me and tells me I’m a person of excellence, which I scoff at inside and wish it were true. Another friend shows me love with a hug or a focused ear, it happens a lot yet I feel a little awkward about compliments. I normally tease my hubby or close friends to show affection.

Yet genuine sweetness and thoughtfulness is a #blessing.

I’m up for embracing all forms of sweet. A friend said, “Well get used to it.” So I will stop sabotaging warm moments with self-deprecation and let love soothe my mind and heart.

I’m giving up disappointment, am feelin’ the joy!   


Frustrations can go jump in the nearest germ infested hot tub with old tires lining the bottom to trap them in the murky depths.

A fabulous yoga teacher at New York Sports Club always says Be the positive example you want to see in the world. Shine your light.

I’m going to get #disciplined about disappointment. I won’t avoid it at all costs. I’m gonna use discontentment as a motivational catalyst to help me see what I don’t like in a situation and use it to promote change to improve my life.

Wow- now we’re transforming disappointments into a seriously helpful tool!

There’s no magic cure to life. We need to continue the hard work of being life-long learners.

A goofy video of an energy therapist offered an exercise to improve my happiness factor from a 5 to a 7 with 10 being max. (Yes I still choose some out-there distractions.) She suggested we increase our joy by breathing in and out while focusing on feeling happier. As I washed the dishes I half-heartedly followed along. It actually worked, bless her hippy voice and swirls of beads that dangled from her neck.

Focus on the positive and it shall appear! 

Be the alpha in your life!

Value what we want, these are our desires and we’ll start creating lasting change for our betterment.

Explore that class you’ve been thinking about. Take that dance lesson, read that philosophy book. Bake that meringue. Speak Spanish. Sing. Smile!

#Effort achieves #growth.

We’re not frightened of getting our hands and faces mucky.

Get out there and knock those disappointments out of your line-of-sight and bring on the #Bohemian Rhapsody!

Thank you for reading. I really hope it makes you smile.


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Star Wars and an old home revisited

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Distraction Infraction

#Distractions are welcome in my glorious mind space. Let’s party! But not for too long cos I gotta get back to the salt mines, but I appreciate your brief visit and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can because I love to laugh, be active, and social.

Divert#Diversions get a bad rap in general, seeing that road sign injects adrenaline into our blood stream and frustration floods our neurons. But I’m going to ease a little of our negativity and intrinsic guilt and say to hell with it – drive for ten miles further in the opposite direction, and sing out the window at the top of your voice.

We all search for #validation so let’s not fight with this basic urge to chat on Facebook or tweet a pic of the garden/our dinner. Let’s embrace it: watch a funny #YouTube video of your favorite band, or listen to a mind boggling #Ted talk and think on a plane that’s parallel to Everest’s peak. Sizzle pancakes, curl up crisp bacon and twirl to music you’ve just discovered or a friend recommended. I dare you to incorporate distractions into the daily grind to bring in more fun and light.

However I’m not saying that there isn’t a down side to allowing your mind to wander. I sometimes fill my confused head with obsessive, negative thoughts that actually aren’t true e.g. that cookie will not turn me into a size 16. Why can’t I just accept the truth that I need a pick-me-up, and decide to eat healthier when the uncomfortable sensation caused by this untrue thought has disappeared. #Guilt doesn’t last forever.

Other times I try to avoid the pain that a difficult relationship causes, instead of trying to work out ways to improve it. Denial inhibits healing and growth and disrupts the changes that need to occur between you and your peeps.

It takes 90 seconds for an emotion to ride through our super active brains. We have thousands of thoughts every day. We need to react to the positive and true ones and relish the effects they create.


When that disgusting feeling is triggered in your stomach because of fear, anxiety and untrue thoughts – remember that the unpleasantness will pass in a mere minute and a half. Reject these stories we tell ourselves. Your heart is not broken because Joey dumped you. You are an amazing free spirit who can have six boyfriends if you so desire!

Ironically final #childbirth contractions take 90 seconds making the pain bearable. Despite our #fear of birthing women have continued to produce adorable kids to invade our headspace and cause many more distractions.

#Kids are with us for so little time in reality. They sleep at the beginning, they go to preschool at 2 and real school at 5 and they’re gone in six blinks and a rendition of “Where have all the flowers gone?”

My son, who I pushed out dramatically 12.5 years ago, sounds like a man, tries to behave like an adult and focuses on Minecraft and hanging out with his mates. My baby boy-distraction is already leaving the building. So instead of getting stressed when he demands my time when I’m writing I’ll stop and satisfy his needs. I’m going to accept the surge of adrenaline and my voice rising. These feelings of “my son is annoying” will be gone in 90 seconds and they’re not true. His distraction is welcome and so short-lived I’d be a fool not to enjoy every second I have with him. Of course, some days I’ll call back, “Stop being a pain in the ass. Bugger off, can’t you see I’m busy?”

Now my daughter tells me every tiny detail in her head and life. It’s overwhelming at times to actively listen for ten minutes at a time. I swear she doesn’t take a breath. But she too is transforming into a woman at 11 and has interests that have nothing to do with me, and people influencing her that I don’t know. So I need to sit back and embrace the transience of our time. I will miss her chatty ways when the house is quiet and she is all grown up.

I’m hoping my kid distractions stick around, “I love you and savor every last drop that you offer me.” Even if it’s only possible 50% of the time cos I’m human.

On a side note #PTA emails need to be treated with caution and care. Yes they make you deviate from your routine and they can suck. Please stuff envelopes all morning, bake 7 dozen brownies, feed a hundred people at a chess tournament on Saturday. It’s a distraction I tolerate. I don’t say yes every time and I don’t feel guilty when I can’t deliver. I do what I can and celebrate that. If everyone does a little to help their local school our communities will thrive.

#BrendonBurchard (a fab success coach) encouraged his audience to focus on three issues they wanted to prioritize. So I plugged Compassion, Positive Energy and Kindness as a reminder into my diary in the early morning, lunchtime and evening. These daily phone reminders stop me in my tracks, sometimes when I’m on a rampage and make me think that maybe I should put out a forest fire rather than stoke it. So this distraction has positive intentions and results.


According to an article in #Oprahmagazine this month we should sniff lemons, or lemon essential oil and feel energized. Also a recent Japanese study states that checking out baby animal pics online resets your focus and makes us more productive. And my favorite distraction of all is to pop outside for a few moments and inhale a flower’s scent. Life seems more miraculous all of a sudden.

So it’s time to reevaluate and honor that idea of self-love and acceptance so we can embrace distractions and not shudder when we enjoy a moment with one.

Distractions aren’t the enemy – just consider how you use them. They actually give us more freedom and make us more human. That’s unbeatable. As always if our intention is for good then we’ll receive blessings.

Smile long and lightly and let your laughter ripple through every second of each glorious day.

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Flash Fiction: Rice would be Nice

Fab use of verbs and meaningful phrases!

Claire Fuller


‘We’re out of potatoes,’ my mother said, in a voice I wanted to mend.

I dragged my father’s garden spade (he’d taken the fork) to the vegetable patch. It hadn’t rained for months; his brassicas had gone to seed and his onions were flowering.

I jabbed at the ground, remembering the pale, earthy potatoes my father had let me find, like golden treasure hidden in the dark. I knelt and scrabbled, stuck my hands in the soil, my fingers discovering only a wet, rotten mess.

‘Rice,’ I said to my mother. ‘Rice would be nice.’


This is a 100-word story inspired by the picture above. This week, my mind decided to go in the opposite direction to the picture: gardens and heat, despite my best intentions. Thanks to Emmy L Gant for the picture, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading the Friday Fictioneers. Click here to join in, or…

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Setting the Bird Free! How To Accept Newness and Tear Rigidity off the Map

#Acceptance is very fluid and cunning state of being. Sometimes it’s easy to face changes but in my case it’s always been a struggle. My body is transforming and purple spider veins add character and a splash of color. Other times I look in the mirror and just see plain and middle aged. A midlife crisis has brought many unforeseen shifts, which have been physically trying and sometimes emotionally stomach wrenching! I guess I’m pretty rigid, yip cemented in my ways by #fear. A tweek in my perception, or God forbid, a lifestyle shift can cause a major seismic eruption in my #psyche.

I avoid #Fear normally or don’t handle it delicately. I’ll dodge chatting to a person because they make me feel dumb or embarrassed. I’ll delay getting my wisdom tooth pulled because the last time the pain left me curled up on the floor holding a cushion to my face while I cried my eyes out! I need a cap fitted on the tooth that sat next to my infected wisdom tooth, I’ve postponed the appointment three times, I’m not kidding. Go figure, I’m not proud of my normal method of coping – #DENIAL.

My reactions to change have intensified. Lately I’ve spent time staring at the clock face wanting the breathlessness to disappear and the questions to be answered by hubby, or anyone. Sleeplessness has plagued me. Waves of anxiety in Bloomingdales, of all places, have baffled me. Obsessive thoughts strangle me. I duel with monsters in my head.

I flunk the feeling-good-enough test – of course I lack something. Where’s my proper job that pays anything, boobs that don’t sag or a viewpoint that is dynamic and vibrant every second of the day? Well I’ve been talking to wise friends and experts about #self-love and we decided that #Unconditional self-love is difficult to feel when someone gets chewed up with anxiety or lost in being #judgmental or can’t trust their loved ones. They’ve convinced themselves they’re unsafe despite years of loyalty and love they’ve received.



Basically negative thoughts have built up obstructions in my psyche and I’ve forgotten how to trust my instincts about decisions or feelings. But as Maya Angelou says, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” And right now I’m having a hard time with the liking part.

So my new #Self-Loving Goals are:

  • Be kinder, calmer and clear my mind with a positive focus on being flexible.
  • Make tiny shifts in attitude to appreciate and accept my life more. This will transform my world (and yours.)
  • Stop focusing on the confusing and frustrating parts of my life, be grateful for all my amazing blessings – too many to list.
  • #Trust that I can move closer to obstacles and not panic. I can rise to a higher level of loving understanding and confidence -my #intention is to find the barriers and move beyond them.
  • Enjoy sitting in the dentist chair getting my brain rattled with the drill and accept the broken parts of me being strengthened.
  • Value the crap out of my new and improved dental addition.
  • Do Keigels daily to strengthen my pelvic floor so that I can fly squealing over a run at Catamount mountain called Sunrise and not wet myself.
  • Write like a virgin writer
  • Lavish myself with 70% dark chocolate, to balance the mind chakra, I got this.
  • Challenge myself in yoga three times a week.
  • Embrace that my relationship with family and friends is constantly evolving.
  • Appreciate the hard work that my hubby does and accept that we are wired differently and activities that are easier for him aren’t for me and that’s okay.
  • Widen my field of vision
  • Banish self-comparison (why am I not as good etc.?)
  • Employ a new attitude of positive intentions and infinite possibilities.
  • Love who I am instead of questioning and resisting change because of irrational fears that I create.
  • Remember to hug the three-year-old child who is trembling inside me and tell her I’ve got it and she’s safe now.
  • Believe that everything I need is already inside me.

I’M NOT BEING SELFISH OR WEAK – I have to combat fierce insecurities, and stop grabbing too tightly to people I care about. Don’t squeeze the bird until it dies, let it sing and fly where it needs to, so it can return with a flower and song in its beak.

Let go of being a #Control freak. It’s an illusion to think we have power. #Mistrust and fear makes me smother people when I should let them be! I can’t force my will to make things stay the way I think they should. Do I come from a place of scarcity or bounty? Let the fuck go and see what happens. {Oops did I just say that?} When I set loved ones free they soar and come back with wonderful tales of adventure on the high seas! Yes I’ve repeated a positive allusion here for a reason. I’m finding the letting go tricky. But I’ll be improving my loved ones lives and bringing more happiness into the world in general, so it’s a win win situation. Why can’t I see that?

Yes I’m far from perfect, as a chronic farter, and nose picker. Venting is my passion followed by being a victim during arguments and focusing on negative experiences. In menopause, my concentration is iffy. I procrastinate over decisions. I say things that are damaging and offer a tirade of criticism to cause angst.

It’s so hard – I keep failing and that’s okay. I pick my head up and try again. Next time with a wider smile.


“You don’t need another person, place or thing to make you whole. God {or the universe [my input]} already did that. Your job is to know it.” Maya Angelou

Easier said than done, but I feel lighter and happier and more powerful when I have #faith –and relax into a pose. Let’s look in the mirror, give ourselves a wink and a smile!

“As we encounter new experiences with a mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same, or it will get more intense. Whatever happens does not really matter.” Jack Cornfield 

But what does matter is that we frame our lives in a positive way and we walk through every doorway with the intention of upping our game, our energy and joy, because just having that intention makes miracles happen.

Listen up Peeps – You are Amazing and totally Enough! Cement that into your Gorgeous Skulls! Be gone over-thinking, Let’s Breathe deeply and Let go of the Bird!

I’m yelling this at myself cos I’m not getting any of my list items off and running, except the chocolate :).  I keep holding too tightly. I’ll be happier if I relax and focus on improving my life. I won’t give up. I’ll do the work and get my life in order. I believe and can let be!

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My Writing Process

Claire Fuller

DSCF6641 A sense of place

Vicki Goldman, a writer and book blogger recently asked me to write a piece about my writing process, which she posted on her website. She’s read and reviewed hundreds of books, if you’re looking for your next read, you should take a look. Vicki has kindly let me post the article below. 

I’m just beginning to write my third novel, and it’s taken until now to work out if my writing process is different for each book, or what similarities there are.

What I’m only just realising is how important it is for me to have an idea of place before I start. Where do my characters live – country, area, type of house, room – I need to be able to see the space they inhabit before I can really get to grips with the story.

And it seems after two and a bit…

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Tis The Season- Be the Light in our World!


Ho Ho Ho!

I met an Irish school friend last week, after twenty-four years, we’ve both married, had kids and we still breathe. Her husband to my surprise and pleasure sold holes (in the ground used by cable companies.) He made a good living from holes and so continued weeks of witnessing very odd and sometimes horrific events.

#Paris is a wounded city where #U2 (best band ever) played two gigantic stadium concerts recently. The song “One” our wedding tune and “Beautiful day” make me stop and remember life as a younger sassier Chico, I smile every time I hear them. In one of the concerts, U2 invited The Eagles of Death Metal to end their show. This band had played at the Batacian Theater, less than a month ago, when 89 people were gunned down including the band’s merchandising manager. So U2, a world-renowned band gave up their concert finale to an American somewhat famous, long-time rock band that didn’t get a chance to finish their set on that tragic night.

Terrorists tried to rip into the heart of French culture, but they failed to tarnish the passion for music, sports, entertainment and food. U2 told the world that culture wouldn’t be taken down that easily, and the Paris concert crowd showed their spirits through their united voices.

Then we come to a couple with a baby and a mother, who squirrelled away pipe bombs, and guns at home as if planning a garage sale. They decided to massacre devoted Muslims and Christians that the husband worked with just before his holiday party. At my husband’s work, his colleagues asked him if they were still going to their annual conference in France after the Paris shooting, because of the perception of increased danger. Yet my children had to practice a lock down at school this past week, where teachers and kids played dead in the hope that a crazed gun slinging murderer won’t find and massacre 20 children and 6 staff, as he did in Sandyhook three years ago. I don’t want to get into the gun law debate but really America is this a safer place to live day-to-day right now? Can’t we put pressure on the government to improve gun law legislation? I just can’t fathom why everyone isn’t taking to the streets and protesting that #guns should not be that easy to obtain. Weapons of mass destruction i.e. assault rifles should not be sold to civilians period. They are not protection weapons they are brutal tools of war.

I continue rolling my eyes at Donald #Trump and his crazed outbursts about temporarily preventing Muslims from entering the US and tagging those who are here. My ten-year-old daughter keeps reminding me that one of her dear friends is a Muslim. She is the sweetest, gentlest little girl that we have the privilege of knowing. But according to Trump she needs to be logged and monitored like an outlaw, just like the communists in the 50s and the Jews before that.

The next bizarre happening is that China and India’s CO2 emissions are the highest in the world right now, but we are all responsible for poisoning our water supplies and air. Don’t we need to breath clean air to survive? I thought that was a given. Don’t we need a stable environment? Yet look at us, we still insist on using environmental poisons to clean our homes, wash our dishes, kill our perfect lawn weeds and bleach our perfect whites whiter. Do our individual needs outweigh the rest of the worlds? Thankfully the Gods of fairness and sense have been awoken after 20 years of UN negotiations, the #COP21 is an agreement on climate that focuses on keeping global warming below 2°C. This is a tiny step in the right direction even if it is very overdue.

Sorry I’m getting on my high horse, but it is the season to gather everyone and talk to them. Gently suggest that your family eat food with local ingredients that they can pronounce, and ask them to think about gun control and whether the right to bear arms should come with no amendments attached.

Think of the young father who forgave the Paris killers when his beautiful young wife didn’t return home that evening to their baby. Remember the parents of Sandyhook who are still grieving the hideous loss of their precious little ones three years later. Yet these horrors don’t seem to move people to action.

So I’m writing a blog about my confusion, is that enough? Writing is something I have a little knowledge of. I hesitate to say that it might be considered a strength of mine and I’m going out on a slight limb by writing about something so serious, when I’m normally trying to be upbeat and inspiring. Yet I believe in humanity and a universal change in attitudes. I want terrorists, who are a small minority of extremists, to stop winning hearts and minds. The presence of a certain small-minded, big-mouthed politician, who incites fear, racism and hatred, must be rejected. Over one million people in the UK have signed a petition to ban #Trump from the country. I’m just saying. I want to spread love, hope and positive, fearless messages, not suffocating fear-filled threats and accusations.

Let this holiday season be a thoughtful and far-reaching time to reconsider our actions at home and question our acceptance of events that are completely abhorrent and should never be allowed to happen in the first place. Let activism and love be on your mind. Let us commit to being the best we can be and put our best efforts into everything we do. We will feel pride in our accomplishments and our spirits will soar higher than we ever imagined.

And have compassion for Aunty Ethel when she complains that the cat is making her sneeze and the Christmas Pudding is too chewy. She most likely has a cat allergy, and she may have some dental work pending. Give her a little compassion, an anti-histamine and a hug.

Most importantly set yourself up for realistic expectations (that might well have to change) at this stressful time of year and give yourself some love, a time-out, a walk, a drink of cocoa, something stronger, while you lock yourself in the bathroom, so that you can be the quiet in the raging storms of the Holiday spirit.

Happy Jingling and Debating. If all else fails listen to Adele’s latest song, it’ll keep everyone happy! This SNL skit is hilarious: just copy and paste into your browser.

xmas car

Be the Light in our fragile World!


Tell me about your Holiday experiences. I love to find out how everyone else copes with the juggling, the meal prep and the mountain of laundry and not forgetting Aunt Ethel’s allergies. Kisses x


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