Aim high. Ride easy. Trust the Universe.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

This morning, in that half awake half asleep space, I dreamt that our days were starting together. We rolled into reality with banal discussions on the smallest details of a life being lived and, in time, she pulled up a chair to sit right next to me. In that movement and moment the space between us was barely visible.

My deepest desire wanted to move my hand to touch hers but the invisble line of her emotional connection was, for now, stretched to it's core and that is the understanding I have come to breathe in.

"Everything in the Universe is inter-connected. Within each is reflected." I think this explains why we are so drawn to certain things. Why, of all the fallen branches I will choose the one that most resembles the way I have had to bend all of my life. Why, of all the places you could return to you choose the lip of a cliff featureless by wind because it lets you choose the worn lip of your heart that you show no -one.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 132

A theme keeps coming up for me - I was alerted to this a few years ago by a well meaning friend - and since then a special someone keeps pushing me back to it - relentlessly but lovingly so.  Showing up, really showing up as yourself, that's harder than it looks. It made me think of these words;

"Mining the moment for something that feels good, something to appreciate, something to savour, something to take in, that's what moments are about. They've not about justifying your existence. It's justified, you exist. It's not about proving your worthiness. It's done - you're worthy. It's not about achieving success, you never get it done. It's about 'how much can this moment deliver to me?'. Some of us like it fast, some slow, no-one's taking score. We get to choose. The only measurement is between desire and allowing. And our emotions tell us everything about that."

I have a busy life, blessed by a work and home life that never ceases to amaze and push me into more and more. This past weekend was no different - every waking moment crammed with busy-ness and it seems, at times, that I'm speeding along a track laid down by others, going so fast that I'm passing everything by in a blur.

But I was also pulled into a stark reality that I need to slow it all down, to really be present, for myself and the people I love. That is where the real growth, the real life is. So I'm not going to do that - blur anything - anymore.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 66

My very very very best friend got hijacked yesterday and it took that to make me realise she's my very very very best friend. I don't want to be that person - the one who has an ephiphany because of a shock but in this instance I am.

I've always fought against titles, famously saying 'Just call me Alex and pay me double' when someone else was responsible for my salary. The title of girlfriend, best friend, any friend always seems to rub up against me. I've bucked against the idea that a relationship needs to have a definition in order to give it the space needed and I still believe that.

But all at the same time there comes a time when you need to just pick - something, someone, some direction and throw yourself all in. And this is that time.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 100

"...Life is such a curious dichotomy. I don't think I understand it any more clearly than I ever did I just ride the storm a little more gracefully; feast and famine are part of the patchwork that is slowly sewing the quilt that will, I suppose, tell my life story.

I get it wrong, stumbling and falling with the "getting up" often messy and awkward but I'm up again. All the while my loves are running their own race and, more often, I find myself falling into their footsteps, running every so calmly with them until one of our paths digress and we're running alone again.

Living your own life is frightening and most of the time, if we're honest, we're lost. But here's the thing - living any other way is a wasted life. I am who I am because of the loves in my life. The people who see all of me and love me anyway"..

Continue reading
in Thoughts 241

I will never be a well behaved woman.
I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.
I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.
I would rather stretch my spirit and live like my soul means it.
I would rather own moments, than investments.
I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”
I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.
I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.
I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.
I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.
I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.
I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.
I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.
I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.
I have my own approval.
My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.
I build my own box.
I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.
I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.
Stocks are for people who get boners from money.
Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.
I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.
Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!
I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.
If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.
Seek, see, love, do.

~ Janne Robinson

Continue reading
in Thoughts 350

Dan Pallotta's extradinary TED talk is bold in the extreme; standing up there amongst peers and people bearing his soul whilst encouraging us to step into the same space is inspirational. Some of his words are too powerful not to share here:

"...I'm talking about dreaming as boldly in the dimension of our being as we do about industry and technology. I'm talking about an audacious authenticity that allows us to cry with one another, a heroic humility that allows us to remove our masks and be real. It is our inability to be with one another, our fear of crying with one another, that gives rise to so many of the problems we are frantically trying to solve in the first place, from Congressional gridlock to economic inhumanity.

Now, we're all here to dream, but maybe if we're honest about it, each of us chasing our own dream. You know, looking at the name tags to see who can help me with my dream, sometimes looking right through one another's humanity. I can't be bothered with you right now. I have an idea for saving the world. Right?

Imagine living in a world where we simply recognize that deep, existential fear in one another and love one another boldly because we know that to be human is to live with that fear. It's time for us to dream in multiple dimensions simultaneously, and somewhere that transcends all of the wondrous things we can and will and must do lies the domain of all the unbelievable things we could be..."

Watch his full talk, it is time well spent.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 740
"I heard the news today that you’re not mine to keep.....I heard the news today that you’re not mine to save."
 
I first heard the words to this amazing song watching this even more breathtaking video about a man and his dog. Anything to do with animals gets me but this was an extraordinary tribute from a man who knew all about adversity and still wasn’t dissuaded from embracing life and taking his dog along for every ride possible. It was a big bold life he led but the video was simple in its message, love the ones who love you and when they walk through the door, even if it's five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy.
 
I live a big life in many ways mostly in the amount of love that I have in it - I am blessed with an enigmatic family who love passionately (if not somewhat strangely at times) and as blessed by a close collection of very special girlfriends - all of them unique (obviously) but pulled together by one thing - love - for me, for themselves, for each other (in some cases).
 
Our lives are inextricably linked - some through a shared and long history of stories woven into adulthood; others bursting into my life more recently with energy, vigour and a deep sense of meaning but none less or more important. All of them form the intricate web of my daily life, each of them bringing me back to me, back to them again and again.
 
But with such depth can, sometimes, come great sadness when we hurt - either on our own or collectively. Whether the hurt is with them or with something outside of us - it’s hurt nonetheless. But of all the hurts I think the most complicated is when you’re on the outside looking in. The feeling of losing something that’s so important to you - as our friendships are - and no amount of being there or showing up (however perfectly or imperfectly) can shift it. And you have to let it go - not the person but the belief that you can journey this with them because, at the end of the day, we’re all alone even if we’re altogether in that too.
 
That moment of letting go is never said more profoundly than in this quote from Life of Pi: 

 

“He left me so unceremoniously it broke my heart. I have to believe there was more than my own reflection staring back at me. I know it. I felt it. Even if I can’t prove it. In the end, I suppose, the whole of life becomes a letting go."
Continue reading
in Thoughts 320

You died.

It’s taken me four months to say those words and even now it’s just breathtaking to admit it.

I walked to your stable before you left, left to be made better, I saw you in your agony, sweat and tears, your head hanging into your knees begging us to make it better. So we did, or so we thought.

Into the box you staggered all believing, loving and hoping that you’d be back in no time, as always, into your bravado and home. But it wasn’t to be and the box came home empty.

It’s months later; your ashes are planted and life grows around you but every day, EVERY day Huffy, I walk up to the stables and I see your face, hear your voice and see your face. It seems impossible that moments are just that, moments.

In retrospect you told me days before this - my camera tells me so - every day you reminded me to see you, be with you, love you. As if we could ever do anything other than love you. Thank you for making me aware.

I don’t understand life and I surely don’t understand why we fought so hard to meet you only to have you taken away so soon but I do know this, you will remain perfect (well done you) and immortalised in memories far beyond your imagination.

I don’t know what I gave you to, if anything, but what you did was awake my soul and you, my brightest boy, will live forever in it.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 747

Our hearts kept it simple.

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. I don’t really know when it exactly happened, but somewhere in between our intense eye contact and wiping my tears away as my walls came down that I spent years crafting, I crashed into you fully and never looked back.

My heart was unguarded, and I gave you all of me. We didn’t just hang out. We played. Our souls were alive – we were like two little kids again seeing the world for the first time – being with you multiplied all the good in life and changed me forever.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 626

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” - Roald Dahl -

When I look back on 2015, the more I read, listen, learn, watch and experience, the more I’m immeasurably grateful for the trip and fall that I took this year, the fall down, the staying down, that made me take stock. Take stock of me - who I’d created - and who I really was. As Brene Brown says in Daring Greatly ‘What we know matters but who we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen’. In the absence of any other coping skills I started to allow myself to be seen, mostly by myself.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 1073

A while ago we lost one of our horses. Not in the careless 'where did she go' loss but in the sense that she went to the big paddock in the sky type of loss.

I felt big, sad, heavy pangs of regret when I found out (because it's all about me of course!) for many reasons not least of which was because my Mum, in all her wisdom, had asked me for months to record her well-being on camera for her US-based owners. But of course the photos weren't forthcoming for varying reasons not least of which was because I didn't make the time. A plethora of excuses fell forward in an endless conversation about forgetting, being too busy and the light not being right.

The fact was that I didn't make the time because I thought she'd be here longer and there would be more time and at the weekend the light would be better and and and. But the weekend didn't come and the light certainly wasn't better. She was there and then she wasn't and I deeply regret not making the time.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 2265
I’m not sure if I’m waiting to finally have it all together or if I think everyone else is in on a secret that I’ve just not got yet but every day I have a variation on the theme of ‘ Well, this is it. Today’s the day, I can feel it, I know it, it’s going to be kick arse and I’m ready’. Today’s the day for what I wonder?
 
I was listening to a song that goes something along the lines ‘one day baby we’ll be old.. and think of all the stories that we could have told’ and I thought ‘well I must be old because do I have some stories!’
 
In those stories I know what I’d want to tell you; that I slayed the dragon, swallowed my demons whilst laughing in the face of my nightmares before finally finding my way to living happily ever after but the truth is much more ordinary.
 
The truth is that I breathe through the fear and, at times, pain, even on the days that it doesn’t feel possible because, it’s always possible. So here’s to our stories and, perhaps, one day even telling them.
Continue reading
in Thoughts 383

This evening, over supper and soft light my soul friend, ultimate mirror and true guide caught up. We’ve been missing things - each other mostly - and it was time. Time to find our way back.

But in truth I never wanted to go back, I wanted to find another path and that was probably where we missed each other. I had to find that - or am finding that - all on my own. It’s been the strangest thing and truthfully I never thought, of all the people in my life, the one person who really sees me, would be the one casualty of this experience.

I don’t know what made me lose my way. No that’s not the truth I know exactly what happened, bit by bit everything about me was chipped away until the last pebble dropped the brick wall I had built and nothing, nothing, was left. I took it for granted. The wall I mean. I thought it was a wishing well of sorts, a place I went to pull another defensive brick from in order to throw it at the blows life kept dealing me - you know that ‘attack is the best form of defence' mentality. Keep throwing those bricks and surely the attacks will be defected?

Continue reading
in Thoughts 912

My mother told me that when I meet someone I like, I had to ask them three questions:
 

  1. What are you afraid of?
  2. Do you like dogs?
  3. What do you do when it rains?


...of those three, she says the first one is the most important. “They've got to be scared of something, everybody is. If they aren’t afraid of anything, then they don’t believe in anything, either.”

I met you on a Sunday, right after the concert, one look and my heart fell into my stomach like a trap door.

On our second date, I asked you what you were afraid of. “Spiders, mostly. Being alone. Little children, like, the ones who just learned how to push a kid over on the playground. Oh and space. holy shit, space.”

I asked you if you liked dogs. "I have three.” I asked you what you do when it rains. “Sleep, mostly. Sometimes I sit at the window and watch the rain drops race. I make a shelter out of plastic in my back garden for all the stray animals; leave them food and a place to sleep.”

He smiled like he knew. Like his mum told him the same thing. “How about you?”

Me?

I’m scared of so many things. Of forgetting. Of people not knowing the true me. Of the hole in the o-zone layer, of the lady next door who never smiles at her dog, of not knowing enough, or knowing too much and especially of all the secrets the government must be breaking it’s back trying to keep from us.

I love dogs so much, you have no idea. I sleep when it rains. I want to tell everyone I love them. I want to find every stray animal and bring them home. I want to wake up in your hair and make you shitty coffee and kiss your neck and draw silly stick figures of us. I never want to ask anyone else these questions ever again.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 711

Not much else to add to this fabulous talk by Brene Brown when she talks of showing up. Here's to my fellow arena go-ers because "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyhow" ....

 

 

Continue reading
in Thoughts 658
It’s a funny thing - this internal divide between intellect and emotion, like a dance between two enemies which is mildly erotic but something that you feel, ever so slightly, embarrassed to be witnessing.
 
It’s taken me to middle age to realise that this journey is, I think, never ending. I have waxed the intellect side of things - consciously understanding and allocating experiences into little tick boxes - something learned - tick; something experienced - tick; something to do - tick; some more work to do on myself - double tick. The emotional side of things is far less chartered territory and much rockier too. But recently - this year mostly I admit - its been an arena that I’ve had to be in, I gave myself no other option - there really is only so long that you can happy away a burning topic and frankly, when you decide to live life authentically it doesn’t really make any sense to turn away, although admittedly its easier to do so.
 
I believe that life offers us the opportunity to lean into and learn from the changes and, when I’m being brave I do that, lean in that is.
 
And so this journey, this recent interlude has led me to feeling a deep sadness that has underpinned so much. For someone who can happy away most days and deeds this is a tough path to tread. You see intellectually and on paper my life is just all that - smiles and freedom, choice and happiness, luck and laughter - and it is, for the most part. There’s not a moment I’m not grateful for everything that my life choices come to show - even now when its so hard and treading water seems more like manovering through molasses. I know it will pass, things will shift and lightness will return but in the meantime do I just sit here - with a mouth full of teeth - without words on my lips? Because that’s what it feels like. It feels like if I open my mouth the tears come out and whilst I’m never adverse to a good cry practically prevails and work must be done!
 
I saw someone earlier this week …. I had no idea why I was seeing her, again I was led in that direction by a deep sense that I needed her. I’m not someone who asks for help and it’s deeply uncomfortable for me to do so but it didn’t seem like help at the time. I sat down, she held my hand and I let it go. The deep sense of sadness and loneliness, oh the loneliness seems crippling. How can someone, me, who has so much love and so much attention and so much so much so much feel so lonely …. all the time - even when I don’t really feel it, does that make any sense at all?
 
Writing has, for me, always been an outlet but recently the words don’t come - the intention is there but the words are stuck in the space between what I know and how I feel. And even now writing these words I feel like someone elses' hands are typing the letters - I can see them moving, I can hear me breathing, I can see myself sitting here but it all just seems like a version of me?
 
And in all of that, in all of the sadness, I still have a deep sense that everything will be ok. I’ll go home, I'll park the car, the dogs will welcome me like their very breath comes from me, I'll take in the garden and her generous beauty, I'll know I'm safe and loved, my house will share her small sweet smile, wrap her arms around me and say, again ‘"everything will be ok in the end, if its not ok, it’s not the end."
Continue reading
in Thoughts 1568


Do you ever just react? Not a moment passes before you’re into the swing of things. Everything is happening and you only catch up with yourself sometime later?


Well I do and it happened today. I really don’t know where it came from, I still can’t explain what triggered the outburst but it was right there under the surface, it’s the only way I can explain that, within a nano second I was in pieces watching myself as pure emotion charged the situation.


As with anything, I guess, once the moment has passed, and invariably it is just a moment, I withdraw to lick my wounds and wonder what I was thinking; well clearly I wasn’t thinking! I’m not big on those type of moments - I’m far too measured and controlled to feel comfortable in the centre of crazy but there it is - there I was.


I think these moments just feel too raw; being in control and calm (sometimes even only on the outside) is safe-ville, a far cry from crazy-central! But what I do know is that it’s also just not always real.


This quote, from The Velveteen Rabbit, came into my stream of consciousness the other day and it made me stop to take in again.


“He said, “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand”


I like the concept that as we grow into ourselves the pretty exteriors or the facades are no longer of any consequence - it seems kind and gentle to believe that, as we grow we leave behind the nonsense and take only that which grows us. Becoming real is taking me a long time.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 1401

I have loved an addict for many years now and this article (Johann Hari, author of 'Chasing the scream, the first and last days of the war on drugs) really resonated with me. I’ve spent hours of my life trying to understand - when I chose to stay with him I chose to understand him which, considering we often don’t know ourselves too well, is a big task to undertake.


I’ve read and written, cried and begged, cursed and prayed and that was just one morning of one day. But it’s been worth it. It’s been worth every tear shed and letter written. Every night I’ve cried myself to sleep and every morning I’ve sworn that I couldn’t do it anymore. Its been worth it because we’ve both grown. We’ve understood how much we’ve hurt each other, and ourselves, but we held hands anyway.

And now, it’s quiet, calm and ever-so-excitingly promising and I even dare to believe that it’s going to just get better. Why? Because it does.

When you sink your teeth into a hard task you feel, when you start, that you’re just never going to make it. Your muscles ache and wobble and cry out in pain but - as long as you don’t give in - those muscles strengthen, the crying abates and where there was despair you find hope.

The Johann Hari article is beautiful - long but so daringly and caringly written it can only make you stop and think about your own life. Because whether we care to admit, or not, we’re all addicts in some form or another.

Some of our addictions are accepted by society - those who work 14 hour days are revered as successful; people who nip and tuck the barest sense of a wrinkle are poster-children for what we should all look like; stressed children are paraded around as examples of what happens when hard work starts early. Call it what you like but, as this article, says "The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live -- constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us."

We were the lucky ones - we had an addiction that wasn’t accepted by society so we had to make a decision - let that become our life story or embrace the journey but journey on. We chose the later and it has made all the difference.

"Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention -- tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won't stop should be shunned. It's the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction -- and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever -- to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t."

Continue reading
in Thoughts 2788


The truth is that part of me was resisting doing what I knew had to be done. You have to be the change you want to see and I’m finally seeing that in one of the key areas of my life.

You see I fought against him for months in fact it was really the only thing that we argued over - me blaming his excessive drinking on my anxiety but frankly I wasn’t prepared to put my money where my mouth was. I was expecting him to be the change but it had to be me, it always does.

I made a commitment to myself that I would give up drinking from the beginning of January until my sisters wedding towards the end of February and that is what I’ve done - am doing - and it feels utterly liberating. Utterly liberating - it has to be said twice it’s that powerful.

Even as I’m writing this there is a smile that has formed on my face and a depth of emotion deep inside me that feels like I’ve released a flock of white pigeons into their freedom. But it’s me whose been released.

So many times, daily even, I remind myself that the only person I have any control over, and even that control is limited at times, is myself. And yet a thousand more times I shouted words of displeasure about a situation that was really mine to control - as least my involvement in that situation. it seems utterly ludicrous that I paddled around in that quagmire of despair for so long when all it really took was the decision, by me, to change it.

I can hardly believe the simplicity of that decision but I know it’s never that simple - the decision is the hardest part really and I’m experiencing that now. The months I agonised over where I seemed stuck - acting in victimhood of the situation refusing to see that everything is a choice.

I don’t know what kept me stuck but I do know that, now the decision has been made everything has shifted and I’m eternally grateful for that. It reminds me that at times my mind becomes attached to limitation rather than seeing it simply as a distorted version of reality. What wonderful innovations could I create if I surrendered my preconceptions?

If we remain committed to letting every thought, word and action come from their perspective I know that everything unfolds as it should.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 2646

And just like that it’s another year; the planning, shopping and mania giving way to the calmness, excitement and the peaceful energy of the festive season all of which is now being drowned out by retail sales, building work pressures, resolutions, goals and a general surge in the direction of the new year.

Don’t get me wrong I’m one of those pushing into the New Year but this year I’m trying to do it on my terms.

Every year seems to be a watershed year - some basked in only good memories others smothered in anxiety and stress. 2014 had, for me, some desperate lows (losing people who are marvellously loved is going to leave a blip on anyone’s radar) but ultimately it’s coming out in the wash as a great year.

Perhaps as we get older we learn the innate task of remembering only the things that please us and plastering over those that don’t (and no, Jo, this isn’t a spongey moment for me … there’s plenty of time for that!). I just can’t see the point in holding on to things that don’t serve us - negative thoughts, unkind people, bad experiences, lost ideas, misplaced words, unfilled ideas or general dissatisfaction.

My sister donned a phrase when we were younger (when the quantity of friends was may more important than the quality) and that was a ‘friendship audit’. It sounds mercenary (and coming from a lawyer perhaps could have been deemed as such) but really the aim was simply to learn to choose, keep, and be the type of friend who pushes you to be the best version of you, always. 

In some goal-setting and planning for 2015 I’ve come to realise that there’s not a single soul in my life whose not an absolute God-send and, for a moment it seemed quite startling to me - who knew i could have become that good at auditing!! In actual fact it’s nothing as well-planned as that it’s simply just being conscious, deciding - finally, who I wanted to be and being that. The rest just seems to fall into place.

So beautifully put ‘ the future belongs to whose who believe in the beauty of their dreams’ (Eleanore Roosevelt) so here’s to dreaming.

Continue reading
in Thoughts 1878