Categories
life lessons Poetry Publishing

Finding Clarity: Reflections on Light

Let’s start with a poem.


Epiphany

Love is light,
And so is the absence of love.
It is both the way we are remembered
And casually forgotten.
It is the loyalty of a heart.
It is the betrayal of a promise.
Light is darkness and the flame.
It is a face in full sun
And a face wet with rain.
Light is the climb and the descent.
Both hunger pains and a belly full of bread.
I see it in your eyes.
I hear it in your words.
I hold it in your absence.
I be it in rebirth.

The Dual Nature of Light: Clarity and Shadows

When we think of light, we often envision clarity and warmth. It’s the glow of the sun on our faces, the flame that lights our path. 

Yet, light also reveals shadows, those hidden parts of ourselves and our relationships that we may not always wish to see. Just as love can bring us closer to others, it can also expose our vulnerabilities and fears.

Light as a Metaphor for Clarity

In this poem, light is a metaphor for clarity, a way to find our path in the darkness. In moments of confusion or doubt, it’s the light of understanding that guides us. 

As we navigate the complexities of life, finding clarity becomes crucial. We seek to understand our feelings, our relationships, and our place in the world.

Illuminating Hidden Truths

Both love and fear have the power to uncover hidden truths in our lives. Love reveals our capacity for deep connection, kindness, and selflessness, shedding light on the positive aspects of our relationships and interactions.

It can bring to the surface the ways we cherish and support others, highlighting the strengths we might not always recognize.

Conversely, fear exposes our vulnerabilities, insecurities, and the darker aspects of our experiences. It forces us to confront the issues we’ve avoided, revealing the areas where we need growth or healing. 

Together, love and fear act as illuminating forces, helping us to better understand ourselves and the world around us. By acknowledging both, we gain a more comprehensive and truthful perspective on our lives.

Finding Clarity in Both Presence and Absence

In the final lines of the poem “Epiphany,” we are reminded of the subtle ways we can find clarity through the words and deeds of others. “I see it in your eyes” suggests that body language often tells us profound truths that words might miss. 

“I hear it in your voice” emphasizes that both what is said and what is left unsaid can reveal deep insights into our relationships and experiences. “I hold it in your absence” highlights how actions, especially the lack thereof, can speak volumes and provide clarity about what truly matters. 

Finally, “I be it in rebirth” signifies that we can find light and clarity as we rebuild our lives after difficult times. By seeking light in both the presence and absence of things, we open ourselves to constant epiphanies. 

There is always light, even in the pitch-black darkness. In fact, the darkness itself can be a source of light. Your pain speaks as loudly as your joy, revealing deep truths.

Both the living and the dead illuminate wisdom and understanding. No matter where you are, there is light. Look for the lessons in every situation—they are the way forward.

The poem featured in this blog post is from my upcoming collection, “If You’re Looking for Brightness: Words on Light and Where to Find It,” coming in 2024.

Categories
Creativity life lessons

The Art of Reblooming: Finding Renewal and Growth

Having earned my diploma in floristry, I worked as a florist in the years after I left school. In that time, I learned a lot about flowers, and not just how to arrange them.

Flowers are amazing because they do so many things. They attract bees and other pollinators, help plants reproduce, and add to the diversity of life around us. Each flower has its own unique shape and colour, which shows how they’ve adapted to their environment. 

Working with flowers made me appreciate how they’re more than just pretty objects. They symbolise emotions, commemorate important moments in our lives, and maintain our connection to the natural world. Moreover, flowers represent growth and renewal, reminding us of the continuous cycles of life and the beauty of new beginnings.

Growth and renewal are fundamental aspects of life. This concept of reblooming—of coming into bloom again after a period of dormancy or decline—is a powerful metaphor for the resilience and renewal we can find within ourselves.

What Does Reblooming Mean?

In the world of floristry, reblooming is the phenomenon where plants flower more than once in their growing season. Similarly, in our lives, reblooming can mean recovering from setbacks, finding new energy after burnout, or embracing new beginnings after endings. It’s a reminder that it’s always possible to flourish again, despite past difficulties.

Embracing Life’s Cycles

Just as perennials in the garden bloom anew each season, we too can find opportunities for renewal at different stages of our lives. Recognizing that life is composed of cycles — each with its own time for growth and rejuvenation — helps us maintain hope and stay open to new possibilities.

How to Embrace Change and Reblooming

To successfully rebloom, embracing change is essential. Here’s how you can start:

-Let Go of the Past: Release old habits and beliefs that don’t serve your growth. This is akin to pruning dead flowers to make way for new growth.

Letting go is often a gradual process, like lifting one finger at a time before releasing something from your palm. It’s scary and lonely, and there’s often grief and doubt to navigate through. Sometimes, we have to let go of beliefs, people, or ways of living that we never imagined we would, making the shock of it all yet another aspect to process.

– Cultivate New Habits: Like a gardener nurturing their plants, cultivate habits and thoughts that encourage growth and positivity. Put yourself in the way of beauty, seeking out and appreciating the small wonders in everyday life.

Practice gratitude to shift your focus to the positive aspects of your experiences. Learn to be present, embracing each moment fully without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Embrace creativity and self-expression, allowing yourself the freedom to explore and develop your unique talents and passions. By doing so, you create a fertile environment for personal growth and fulfillment.

-Stay Open to Learning: Every phase of life has lessons to offer. Stay curious and open to the new insights each season brings. Learning is growing, and intentionally enrolling in education can move your life forward with assistance.

It’s like hopping on a train—the syllabus will take you somewhere, and by the time you have completed your study, you will have arrived at another destination. 

Learning is easier than ever, so don’t let time or finances get in the way. If you can’t afford to enroll in a course, commit to watching a series of YouTube videos about a subject, listening to a podcast series, or visiting your local or online library to indulge in learning.

Trust me when I say learning can be a lifeline.

The Benefits of Reblooming

Reblooming is not merely about recovery; it’s about reaching new levels of growth and understanding. It can lead to increased resilience, deeper self-awareness, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Each time we rebloom, we enhance our capacity to navigate life’s challenges.

Embracing the idea of reblooming can transform how we view our lives. It encourages us to keep evolving and growing, no matter what challenges we face.

Remember, with each season, there’s a fresh opportunity to start anew and bloom once again.

Poem used in the image is from ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing’, musing on the wisdom and wonder found in the natural world.

Categories
heart and soul life lessons

Mothering Teens with Patience and Resilience: 3 Key Challenges

Mothering teens -Wow!! To say that I’ve had to learn a lot about patience and resilience is an understatement.

So here, I’m sharing some real talk about the highs and lows of mothering teens.

Responding to Mockery

When our teens make fun of us, whether it’s about our actions or how we look, it can sting.

Consider my experience as a longtime dancer. After years of identifying myself through dance, hearing my kids joke that I “can’t dance” felt like a jab at my identity . 

One day, inspired by their comments, I watched myself dance in the mirror. What I saw was a middle-aged woman executing all the right moves, yet not looking quite as ‘cool’ as I felt. It was enlightening.

This scenario made me realize that teens often view us through a different lens, influenced by contemporary standards and peer perceptions. Their mockery isn’t necessarily malicious but reflects our differing views on style, ability, and even appearance. 

I believe it is absolutely okay to tell your kids how their comments about our appearance or actions make us feel, but it’s crucial to approach these conversations in a way that encourages understanding instead of causing defensiveness.

Instead of reacting defensively, we can use these moments to discuss our life experiences and the changes we’ve gone through, including our looks. It opens up a dialogue about aging gracefully, respecting differences, and celebrating our unique paths in life. 

Navigating the Grief of Digital Disconnection

The presence of technology in my children’s lives has often left me feeling a sense of grief.  I know many parents of teens feel the same. 

This emotional response stems from witnessing our children engaging online, participating in a digital world that seems separate from our own. This can create a barrier that keeps us from fully connecting with our children, even when they are physically present.

This digital divide can be particularly palpable during family times, like family holidays, where the clash between the online world and the real world becomes more evident.

It’s not just the frustration of competing with devices for attention; it’s a deeper longing for our children to experience life without the constant buzz of social media, to engage with the world directly and create memories that aren’t mediated through a screen.

Although I have always put boundaries around technology in place, this does not quench their desire to be ‘with’ their friends online rather than with me. 

On the other hand,  I  have  also felt pain when my children are not interacting at all as it is often a sign that they have been excluded, leaving them without a place to engage. 

It’s a paradox: we yearn for our kids to engage and connect, yet we also wish they wouldn’t spend all their time tethered to digital interactions.

This particular parenting challenge uniquely affects those raising teens who are not only exposed to this technology but are also intricately woven into its social fabric.

Our parents, who came before the age of smartphones and social media, cannot fully grasp this issue, and our children, who have never known a world without constant digital connection, can’t either. 

To effectively process this grief, we must fully acknowledge the disappointments and challenges that technology has introduced into our parenting experience.

Recognizing these feelings is the first step in managing them constructively.

Confronting Fear

Maybe responding to their mockery or navigating grief around technology seems like child’s play to you. You might be dealing with serious issues like drug use, depression, intense conflict or risky behaviors. 

Your teen may lash out, using harsh words that cut deep, blaming you for their struggles, and making you long for the days when they were content and carefree.

You might feel lost, wondering where your joyful child went and if you’ll ever have a strong relationship again.

In these moments, the guilt, pain, frustration, and fear can feel all-consuming.

Fear—now that’s a word we need to unpack when it comes to parenting. 

Fear can manifest as a constant undercurrent in our daily interactions, or surge forth in moments of crisis. Either way, it demands our attention and acknowledgment. 

By admitting we are afraid, we can begin to understand how fear impacts our decisions and interactions, allowing us to approach parenting our teen with more awareness and compassion.

A Word of Encouragement for Mothers of Teens.

You can do this!

If you’ve made mistakes, remember, you’re not alone—we all have. 

If you’re feeling the sting of the gaps technology has created within your family, it’s okay to acknowledge that frustration; it’s a common and very real challenge for many parents. 

If you feel mocked or unappreciated, remember, their words are not the truth but merely a perspective that will evolve as they mature. 

If your child is struggling, whether dealing with emotional pain, or confused about their identity and place in the world, continue to show your love.

Build them up with your words and actions, be their biggest cheerleader, and show them all the ways you find them incredible. 

Serve them with kindness, offer them a listening ear, and when they turn you away, gently let them know, “I’m here if you change your mind.” 

And above all, keep listening, and when challenges become too daunting to face alone, don’t hesitate to call for backup.

To read how Journalling has helped me to navigate mothering teens click here.

Categories
Creativity News Poetry Publishing

If You’re Looking for Brightness: Inspirational Poetry about Light.

Today, I’m excited to share with you the progress I’m making in bringing my next lil book into the world, ‘If You’re Looking for Brightness: Poems on Light and Where to Find It.’

My heart for this collection is to offer a little light in a world that at times seems to be on the brink of collapse. We all need someone to hold up a lantern in dark seasons and show us how to find perspectives full of luminous empowerment.

The Spark of Inspiration

Every book begins with a spark; a moment where the faint outline of an idea starts to glow with potential. For ‘If You’re Looking for Brightness,’ that spark was the concept of light—not just as a physical phenomenon but as a metaphor for hope, clarity, and discovery. 

The idea struck during a rough patch. I remember scribbling in my journal one evening, “All I need is a glimmer.” What I was really reaching for was just a tiny hint of insight, a sign to help me keep pushing forward. 

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Sometimes, all it takes is a simple “thank you” or an “you’re doing okay” from someone to keep our spirits up and our heads above water.

I started reflecting on all the times I’ve managed to move forward, all the different ways light had reached me in the past. I realized that there are four main ways I find the clarity and strength I need during those foggy times—when I’m unsure about my next steps, who I am, or how to move past a challenging moment.

These sources of light for me are found in love, pain, living things, and my own spirit. 

The Light in Love

When I’m going through tough times, seeing love in action can be incredibly life-giving. All I have to do is notice the many ways love has been shown to me. Whether it’s a warm hug from a friend, those quiet moments of understanding with my husband, or just some encouraging words from someone—anyone—it all counts. 

How do we bring more light into the world? It’s simple. We start by giving our attention to all the love we’ve received and continue to receive. 

The Light in Pain

Although it’s often unwelcome, I’ve learned that pain is a profound teacher. It shines a light on what truly matters, stripping away the superficial and leaving only the essentials. 

Pain challenges me to grow, to reshape my life, and to emerge stronger. It’s in these moments of discomfort and challenge that I gain deep insights into my own resilience and capabilities, teaching me lessons that comfort never could.

The Light In Living Things

There is an undeniable light in the natural world.  I feel that living things often offer me a sense of connection to something larger than myself, grounding me in the present and rekindling my sense of wonder and possibility.

Recently, nature has been an incredible source of healing for me. It inspired me so much that I wrote a book of musings titled ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing,’ capturing the wisdom and wonder of the natural world.

I can’t explain exactly how it works, but somehow, just ten minutes under a tree, in the ocean, or looking up at the sky seems to bring everything into clearer focus.

The Light Within My Own Spirit: 

There’s the light that comes from within—my own spirit. This internal flame fuels my creativity, drives my persistence, and nurtures my hope. It’s a personal sanctuary of wisdom, always ready to guide me when I take the time to listen. 

This light is perhaps the most personal and potent, for it is shaped by my experiences, beliefs, and dreams. Simply, I believe we’re equipped with an innate radar that helps us detect great things hidden just beneath the surface of our everyday lives, things we might never notice unless we dig a little deeper.

Anticipating the Release

Looking ahead, there’s much to do. The next steps involve more revisions, professional editing, cover design and eventually, the release. Look out in the coming months for the exact release date, cover art reveal and a list of where you can grab your copy. 

If you are interested in being a first reader and receiving your own digital copy in exchange for an honest review, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here

The Ever-Evolving Path

Creating ‘If You’re Looking for Brightness’ has truly shown me the beauty and complexity of the writing process. It’s not just about crafting words—it’s a deep dive into learning about myself and how light can blaze even in darkness.

As I move closer to the final stages of getting the book ready for release, I want to encourage you to keep chasing those bursts of inspiration.

Keep looking for light in your own life and then write it down. The light you see today might just be the brightness you or someone else needs tomorrow.

Categories
Creativity heart and soul life lessons

Investing in the Unknown: When Is It Worth Risking Time, Money, and Energy?

In the pursuit of any creative dream—whether you’re a writer, musician, artist, or creator—there comes a pivotal moment. It’s that heart-thumping instance where you stand at the crossroads of inspiration and practicality. The question looms: “Is investing in my creative passion worth the risk?” I know, I’ve asked myself this many times and the answer is always found in unpacking my fears.

Understanding the Stakes

To me, investing in the unknown  often feels like wandering through a fog—exciting yet intimidating. This isn’t just about financial investment. It’s about the hours of practice, the emotional energy in creating something personal, and the vulnerability of sharing it with the world. 

Recognizing what’s at stake is the first step toward rational, yet passionate, decision-making. First, I acknowledge that there are risks and that is why I feel resistance and apprehension.

The Real Cost of ‘What If?’

Before you turn away from your dream due to fear of the unknown, consider the cost of the unexplored path. What is the price of not knowing what could have been? 

I have a habit of focusing on the risk of failure neglecting the equally significant risk of regret. When I pull myself up on this taking a more balanced approach, the thought of never trying then becomes a far greater burden than the potential loss of resources.

Risk vs. Reward: A Creative Calculation

Not every creative venture will succeed in conventional terms. But every effort has taught me something valuable. Whether it’s improving my skills, expanding my network, or simply discovering my limits, these are the intangible rewards that I feel outweigh initial costs.

When assessing risk, I ask myself: Can I handle the emotional and financial impact if this doesn’t go as planned? What might I gain, even if I don’t achieve my original goal?

These questions help to pivot my perspective from seeing an unknown outcome solely as a potential loss to viewing it as a field of possibilities.

Investment in Yourself Is Never Wasted

When we invest in creativity, we’re building more than just a portfolio; we’re developing ourselves. Each step forward enhances our resilience, hones our craft, and deepens our understanding of both our capabilities and our potential. These are the tools that build not just a project, but an expansive creative life.

When I invest in my creativity I am also investing in my joy, fulfillment, sense of purpose and satisfaction that financial success alone cannot match.

Navigating the Unknown with Strategic Steps

While embracing risks is part of the creative process, being strategic about it can reduce unnecessary losses. Remember these three things:

  • You can start small: Before I wrote my first lil poetry book, I posted poems anonymously on instagram. 
  • Seek Feedback: Seek out mentorship. For me this looked like entering competitions where my work would be critiqued.
  • Build Incrementally: Instead of pouring all resources into one big project, develop in stages.

The Leap of Faith

Ultimately, investing in the unknown requires a leap of faith, but most often it is a calculated one.  While not all my investments have paid off in ways I wanted, all have contributed to my growth and understanding of my work and myself.

So, is it worth it? Perhaps better questions to ask might be, ‘Am I taking it far enough? Am I allowing myself the space to fully explore and embrace the possibilities before me? Will I look back on this moment in my life knowing that with wisdom I courageously moved forward? 

Categories
Books Poetry

Why Poetry Month Matters: Awakening Society Through Verse.

April brings us Poetry Month, a special time to dive into the world of poems. It’s not just about reading old poetry books; it’s about celebrating the way poetry impacts our lives; how it can really stir up our thoughts and feelings and make us see the world in new ways.

Poetry: The Language We All Feel

Poems help us understand love, sadness, happiness, and loss in deep ways. During Poetry Month, we’re reminded that poems are not just for book lovers; they’re for everyone. They’re in our favorite songs, in powerful speeches, and in those simple lines that say so much about what we feel.

Poems Show Us Who We Are

Poems are like mirrors that show us what’s happening in the world and within us. Poetry is full of story, whether it’s one of hope, struggle, or everyday life. Poetry Month makes this mirror even bigger, letting us hear from all kinds of people and understand each other better.

Finding Comfort in Poems When Times Are Tough

Life can be hard, and sometimes we go through really tough times. That’s when poems can be a big comfort. They remind us that we’re not alone; that our pain is not unique. Poetry Month is a time to remember that, through the toughest times, the words we need are available to us. 

Poems Can Spark Change

Poems can not only cause us to think new thoughts and feel deeply, they can also cause us to act.  Poetry Month celebrates not just the beauty of poems but also their power to make us think about big issues and make meaningful change.

My favourite  poets use their words to help me imagine a better world and inspire me to help make that world real.

Giving Poetry Time

Think of reading poetry like cultivating a garden; it requires patience, attention, and an openness to the insight and emotion that may emerge.

To read poetry in a way that allows it to make a significant impact in your life, approach each poem with a willingness to engage deeply, not just with your mind but with your senses and emotions. 

Take your time to savor the imagery, rhythm, and layers of meaning. Read aloud when possible, letting the sounds and cadences resonate.

Reflect on the emotions and thoughts the poem evokes, and consider keeping a poetry journal to jot down your reflections and the personal connections you draw. 

By immersing yourself fully and giving each poem space to breathe in your life, you allow the subtle magic of poetry to unfold, enriching your experience of the world and offering new perspectives on the familiar.

Happy Poetry Month – May you discover the poems that help you to breakthrough into a deeper, truer, freer and more fulfilling life.

My poetry books.

Categories
heart and soul Journaling

Finding Freedom through Surrender Journaling

Surrender journaling is a path offering a unique blend of introspection, release, and transformation.

Unlike traditional journaling, which might focus on the day’s events or future aspirations, surrender journaling invites us to let go, to release what we cannot control, and to find freedom in acceptance.

Today I want to talk to you about my experience with the liberating practice of surrender journaling and outline practical steps to integrate this method into your daily life.

What is Surrender Journaling?

Surrender journaling is a reflective practice that focuses on the art of letting go. 

It is about acknowledging our fears, anxieties, and the facets of life we can’t control, then consciously deciding to release them through the written word.

This method contrasts with conventional journaling by its emphasis on emotional release rather than mere documentation or planning. 

Surrender journaling serves as a gentle reminder that not all burdens are ours to carry and that there’s profound strength in vulnerability and acceptance.

The Power of Letting Go

The act of letting go can be transformative. Surrender journaling taps into this power, aiding in the alleviation of mental burdens and promoting a sense of peace. 

This practice encourages us to confront our inner turmoil, not with the intention to solve it on the spot, but to acknowledge its presence and then set it free. 

This process can lead to decreased stress levels, enhanced mental clarity, and a deeper connection with our inner selves.

Steps to Effective Surrender Journaling

Surrender journaling involves more than just pen and paper. Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Creating a Safe Space: Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable spot where you feel secure and undisturbed. This space should invite openness and reflection, setting the stage for honest introspection.
  • Setting Intentions: Before you start writing, take a moment to set your intentions. Ask yourself what you wish to release or understand better. This focused mindset primes you for a more purposeful journaling experience.
  • Embracing Honesty and Vulnerability: Write freely and without self-judgment. Let your fears, disappointments, and uncertainties flow onto the page. Remember, this journal is a private sanctuary for your thoughts; there’s no need for filters here.
  • Practicing Gratitude and Acceptance: Amidst acknowledging your struggles, make room to note what you’re grateful for. This balance fosters a healthier perspective, recognizing that even in chaos, there are glimmers of hope and joy.
  • Reflecting and Releasing: After writing, spend a few moments in reflection. Some find it helpful to read their entries aloud or to meditate on the words written. Consider closing each session with a small ritual, like taking a deep breath and imagining the weight of your worries lifting off 

Surrender journaling is not a quick fix but a journey towards self-discovery and liberation. It requires commitment, patience, and an open heart.

As you continue to practice, you’ll likely find your relationship with surrender evolving, leading to deeper insights and greater emotional freedom.

Personally, surrender journaling offered me a path to unburden my soul and embrace life’s unpredictable tides with grace and resilience. By committing to this practice, I took significant steps towards emotional well-being. 

Remember, the act of letting go first feels impossible. But in time as you commit to being consistent with this practice you will see and feel the benefits that surrender journaling in all aspects of your life. 

For more posts about journalling click here.

The poem featured in the image of this blog post is from ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing’ musings in reflection of the wisdom and wonder found in the natural world.

Categories
Journaling Therapeutic Writing Prompts

23 Journalling Prompts to Uncover Your Hidden Strengths

In the quest to unearth hidden strengths, one of the most powerful tools at our disposal is reflection. If you are seeking to navigate the rich landscapes of your inner world, you’re in the right place.

In this blog post my aim is to inspire you to embark on a journey of self-exploration that promises to unveil the reservoirs of strength lying dormant within you.

At the end of this post you will find a link to twenty three prompts that will help you to tap into your deep knowing and discover the strengths you did not know you possessed.

Unlocking Your Hidden Strengths

“Your strengths are not just the things you’re good at, but also the obstacles you’ve overcome.”  – Oprah Winfrey.

This quote reminds us that our true power often emerges from the crucibles of challenge and adversity. It’s in the moments when we’re tested that we discover the full extent of our resilience, creativity, and tenacity. 

However, the bustle of daily life can sometimes cloud our perception of these internal victories. It’s essential to pause, reflect, and engage in practices that bring these strengths to the forefront of our lives.

The Mirror to Your Soul

Journaling is not merely a practice of recording daily events but a profound exercise in introspection and self-dialogue. It’s a vessel that transports us through the layers of our consciousness, guiding us to revelations about our inherent capabilities. 

When we journal, we engage in a dialogue with our inner self, asking probing questions and uncovering answers that have always been a part of us, waiting for the right moment to emerge.

The Journey of Discovery

Embarking on this journey requires courage, honesty and an open heart, as it’s not just about celebrating our strengths but also confronting our vulnerabilities. It’s in acknowledging our fears, hopes, dreams, and challenges that we begin to see the outlines of our true potential. 

When you write, I encourage you to look for the gold in your failure, mistakes and shortfalls. Rather than dwelling on missteps, look at depths of character, virtues and emotional intelligence and way of thinking. This perspective transforms every misstep into a chance for personal growth, highlighting the inherent strength and adaptability within you.

Your Companion on the Path

To aid you in this journey of self-discovery, I’ve created a special freebie: a guide filled with carefully crafted journaling prompts designed to gently peel back the layers of your consciousness and reveal the hidden strengths within. 

A Gift for you

‘23 Journalling prompts to uncover your hidden strengths,’ is more than just a document; it’s a portal to a new understanding of yourself.  By engaging with these prompts, you’ll not only uncover strengths you were unaware of but also your passions and aversions will become clear.

The First Step to a deeper connection

“Every journey begins with a single step, and the path to discovering your hidden strengths starts with the willingness to explore.” – Lao Tzu.

These prompts are your first step towards a deeper connection with who you are. Don’t rush through them. Spend time reflecting on each one, allowing your thoughts and emotions to flow freely.

This mindful approach will enable you to uncover insights and understandings about yourself that may have been hidden just beneath the surface.

Let these prompts unlock you.  Download them now and discover that you are stronger than you know.

The poem featured in the image in this post if from ‘A Strong and Fragile Thing’, musings in reflection of the wisdom and wonder found in the natural world.

Categories
heart and soul Journaling life lessons

Solo Steps: The Power of Personal Breakthrough

In life, every individual encounters moments that are pivotal to personal growth and transformation. These moments, or personal breakthroughs, are akin to reaching a new summit in one’s inner life.

Drawing inspiration from the poem “Because I Am Scaling an Inner Summit,” this blog post delves into the essence of personal breakthroughs and the role of journaling as a tool for personal growth.

Understanding Personal Breakthroughs

A personal breakthrough can be described as a moment of clarity, a sudden insight, or a profound realization that leads to significant personal development.

It’s like a lightbulb moment that illuminates a path previously shrouded in darkness, providing direction and purpose. These breakthroughs often occur during periods of adversity, reflecting the poem’s theme of overcoming internal struggles to reach new heights of self-awareness and understanding.

Journal Prompt:

Reflect on a time when you experienced a personal breakthrough. What were the circumstances leading up to it, and how did it change your perspective or approach to life?

The Role of Journaling in Personal Growth

Journaling is more than just a method of recording daily events; it’s a powerful tool for introspection, self-expression, and mental clarity.

Through the act of writing, we can untangle complex thoughts, explore emotions, and identify patterns in our behavior and thinking that may be hindering our growth.

Journal Prompt:

Write about a recurring thought or feeling you’ve noticed in your journal entries. How does it influence your actions, and what steps can you take to address it?

Embracing the Journey of Self-Discovery

Each breakthrough, whether big or small, is a step forward in understanding oneself and navigating the complexities of life.

Again, the poem “Because I Am Scaling an Inner Summit” encapsulates what the journey feels like for me.

I realized that my capacity had diminished. Simple tasks, such as washing my hair, now required a significant amount of energy. Despite my life appearing calm and manageable on the surface, internally, it felt like I was playing an intense game of “the floor is lava.” I had to spend a substantial portion of my energy navigating my emotions, in pursuit of a personal breakthrough.

Journal Prompt:

Imagine your life as a mountain you’re climbing. What does the summit represent for you, and what obstacles do you need to overcome to reach it?

Nurturing Resilience Through Reflection

Journaling not only facilitates personal growth but also fosters resilience. By documenting your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, you create a personal archive that can serve as a reminder of your strength and adaptability in the face of challenges.

Journal Prompt:

Look back on a difficult period in your life and write about how you navigated through it. What strengths did you discover about yourself, and how can they help you in future challenges?

The Summit Awaits

Personal breakthroughs mark our progress as we scale the inner summits of our minds and spirits. Journaling, as a companion on this journey, provides a space for reflection, learning, and preparation for the next climb. 

Take your solo steps with courage and conviction, knowing that some things can only be won by one. That’s you. You are the one that must climb to the summit.

Your breakthrough may be just around the corner.

The poem featured in this post id from the collection ‘The Remains of Burning’. Available from bookstores worldwide.

For more journal prompts click here

Categories
heart and soul life lessons

Valentine’s Day: The Myths and Truths of Love.

As Valentine’s Day rolls around, it brings with it a mix of emotions, expectations, and stereotypes about love. From cinema screens to store shelves, the narrative of romantic love is adorned with grand gestures, expensive gifts, and picture-perfect moments.

But beneath the red roses and heart-shaped chocolates lies the real essence of love, often obscured by these prevalent myths. Before the big day, let’s debunk some common Valentine’s Day myths and shed light on the truths of genuine love.

Myth 1: Love Is All About Grand Gestures

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with grand romantic gestures. Advertisements and social media often portray love as an elaborate affair, involving luxury gifts, exotic vacations, and surprise proposals.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with celebrating love grandly, this portrayal can create unrealistic expectations. 

At nineteen, my boyfriend pulled out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. He showered me with roses, chocolates, and teddy bears, going above and beyond in his gestures. It was an extraordinary outpouring of gifts, more than I’ve ever in my life received for Valentine’s Day.

Yet, despite this lavish display, our relationship came to an end just two weeks later. The truth was, we weren’t in love, even if the grand Valentine’s Day gestures might have suggested otherwise to those looking in from the outside.

Truth: Love is in the Daily Acts of Kindness

True love is found in the often-overlooked acts of kindness and understanding. It’s found in the comfort of a shared silence, the warmth of a reassuring hug, and the security of a handheld during tough times.

Genuine love is built on a foundation of consistent, small acts of care and loyalty that strengthen the bond over time.

Myth 2: Valentine’s Day Must be Perfect

Valentine’s Day often comes with the pressure for everything to be perfect — the perfect date, the perfect gift, the perfect expression of love. This quest for perfection can lead to disappointment and overshadow the genuine expressions of love that may not fit the ‘perfect’ mold.

Truth: Love Embraces Imperfections

True love embraces imperfections, both in our partners and in the way we celebrate our love. It acknowledges that mistakes will be made, and plans may go awry, but what matters is being together and appreciating each other, flaws and all. Love is patient and forgiving, not just on Valentine’s Day but every day.

Myth 3: Valentine’s Day Is Only for Romantic Love

The commercialization of Valentine’s Day often focuses solely on romantic love, sidelining other forms of love that are equally worth celebrating. This can lead to feelings of exclusion or loneliness for those who aren’t in romantic relationships.

Truth: Love Is Universal and Inclusive

Love, in its truest form, is universal and inclusive, encompassing the love between friends, family members, and even the love we must nurture for ourselves within. Valentine’s Day can be a celebration of all forms of love, reminding us to appreciate and express gratitude for the diverse bonds in our lives.

Myth: Valentine’s Day is a Really Important Time of Year

Valentine’s Day is often portrayed as a crucial event, a day when love must be celebrated suggesting that the quality of one’s relationship can be measured by the scale of Valentine’s Day celebrations.

This myth propagates the idea that love, unless displayed loudly on this particular day, might not be as genuine or deep.

Truth: Valentine’s Day is Just a Day

In reality, Valentine’s Day is merely a date on the calendar. It doesn’t possess any inherent magic or significance that elevates it above any other day in terms of expressing love or affection.

While Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity for a special gesture, it’s the cumulative effect of daily acts of love that truly fortifies a relationship, making every day as significant as February 14th.

Myth: Being Single on Valentines Day Means You Are Undesirable

The emphasis on romantic celebrations can make Valentine’s Day challenging for those who are single, often casting singlehood in a negative light. 

This can make single people feel like they have been left out of the loop. When examining the reasons behind single status some may feel it is because they are undesirable or unworthy or love.

Truth: Being single on Valentine’s Day Does Not Mean You Are Undesirable

Let me say it straight, being single is a blessing. Why?

Because it means you’re not with your jerk ex-boyfriend anymore.

Because it means you are free to fly high and live without compromise.

Because it means your next great adventure in love is still excitingly ahead of you.

Because it means you are giving yourself room to grow and fulfil your potential.

Because it proves that although relationships are easy to find, it’s love you are waiting for. 

Because you are a-okay with it.

Rethinking Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, let’s challenge the myths and embrace the truths about love. Let’s remember that love is not measured by the grandeur of our gestures but by the depth of our bonds.

It’s a day to celebrate love in all its forms, free from the pressure of perfection, inclusive of all types of relationships, and acknowledging the beauty of love’s everyday expressions.

Let’s unwrap the true heart of Valentine’s Day and celebrate the genuine connections that enrich our lives.

The poem featured in this blog post is from my first collection, ‘The Remains of Burning’. Available from bookstores worldwide.