Are you a closet Success?

Do you ever wonder if you will ever truly feel “successful?”

Do you often feel embarrassed by your cash flow or lack thereof when everyone else seems to have plenty of money? 

Do you connect lack of cash with lack of success, even though you might have raised healthy kids, run several businesses or written a play?

 

Over this last week and many cups of coffee I have had the opportunity to talk with people I consider to be very successful, each in their own right. One thing that many seem to have in common is that they are so busy trying to match income with outgoings or pay bills that they dont consider themselves to be at all the powerful, inspiring, talented people that they are.

None, myself included, are driving new cars. None have an abundance of “back up” money. All have set up their own  business, many are running them alongside a regular job and ALL OF THEM HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE TO THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM FOR THE BETTER!

Think about that for a minute…..

People who strive to make something new, create a new business, develop a complimentary  business or manage to hold down a job and rear a family or look after a relative and yet still contribute to the community are very often the people who affect change.

They are the people who inspire us to take a chance, who motivate us to put ourselves forward, or who create a space, a shop, a cafe, a painting or a story that inspires us to give something a go. They are the people who say to us BY THEIR ACTIONS AND COURAGE, “go on, If I can do it so can you!”

To make or build or create you have to invest therefore you have to be super creative with money and decide to go without in order to make your dream or goal a reality.

A new car or a year’s rent on a premises?

A holiday abroad or a professional qualification? 

A loan for an extension to your kitchen or IVF treatment?

Beans for a month so you can print your business cards?

Think about this……..

 

I dont know anyone that started a business with a million euro in the bank. 

I dont know anyone who reared a child with a professional qualification in “how to rear your own child” before they started.

I dont know anyone who wasn’t nervous starting something new.

But I know plenty of inspiring women and men who are working away creating and building something that didn’t exist before they created it, yet problems with the clutch on the car or the fridge clapping out can be centre stage in terms of stress and energy, and in being so, can totally obliterate the amazing success they have achieved …..         ALONGSIDE THEIR STRUGGLES! 

Challenges with cash flow, tiredness, accounts, leaky windows, motor problems, relationship problems are all part and parcel of the struggle of building something extra into your life.

If you could go back in time and not have the children, not open the shop, not do the course, not build your business because someone told you that for a lot of the time you would have to be a financial contortionist, would stay in your former life???? 

Or would you acknowledge that there will be times when you are knackered, broke, fed up and pissed off, but there will also be times when you will make customers, clients, children and readers very very happy by what you do?

And THAT is what will keep you going.

That is the real treasure.

That is what you will remember. 

If you can manage to rear a child and still like them when they get older (easy to love them, liking them is a bit more of a challenge), if you can build a business and still enjoy the product you create, and if you can hold on to a job that wrecks your head but pays the bills so you can be the real person on the inside, then that, to me is 100% success!!! .

In short, would you feel the fear and say “feck it” I will do it anyway? 

I sincerely hope you would, because people who have an idea and a will to make it happen, leave the world a better place than when they left it, no matter what type of vehicle they drive 🙂 🙂 🙂

So how about this week you think about what you have achieved, and give it as much attention as you give the struggles? 

Ask those around you what they are proud of, what did they achieve?

What they were successful in? 

Think about who you consider successful and see what you have in common….you may be surprised at what you find!

Sometimes it takes someone else to ask you what makes you successful for you to acknowledge that you are…successful..and inspiring and all the things you forget about when you are short of a euro at the checkout.

 

alol

and sometimes it helps to have an imagination 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Elvis, Van Gogh and Stephen King – When is rejection affirmation?

Today I got one and half rejections for writing. One from a prestigious writing competition that said thanks but no…the other from a magazine that said they would get back to me in the autumn re a series of articles.  So why does this not feel like the end of the world or my budding writing career at the very least?

Because as the venerable Stephen King wrote in his book “On Writing“…..only writers get rejections and he put a large nail in the wall and pinned the first of many rejection slips (in the days before email) on it. He saw this as a sign that he was a writer and rejection, like auditions are part and parcel of the working life of a writer. King’s most renowned and first book, Carrie, was rejected thirty times. King decided to forget the book, which his wife retrieved from the bin  and convinced him to re-submit it. Otherwise we would never have the bejaysus scared out of us by Jack Nicholson in The Shining  or bit our fingernails to the quick watching Carrie.

After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager at the time that he would be  better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks.

During his lifetime Vincent Van Gogh received hardly any acclaim for his art and only sold one  painting to a friend for a very small amount of money. Nevertheless, he continued painting  throughout his life, and now his paintings sell for millions of dollars throughout the world.

Since I started facilitating The Artist’s Way, its is impossible not to be inspired by the creativity of the participants, and of course, there is no point in asking people to be creative if I dont practice what I preach. So I have been submitting poems, stories, articles ideas over the last year like I used to before life/work/being busy got in the way. The thrill is in the finishing, editing, submitting, finding a mistake you missed (oh yes!) AFTER you sent something in, and then moving on to the next thing, whatever that is. Some have been published, some have not.

The funny thing is, the more I write and submit, the more work I seem to attract.

I never claim to understand quantum physics but there is something about doing the thing you love and attracting positive outcomes in other places.  I bought a book one time called “Do what you love and the money will follow”.

To be honest, I never read it. But I love the idea. I still do. I never bought a book that said If you get rejected that means you are rubbish”  I definitely wouldn’t read that! 🙂 But I know that the more you submit your work/art/ideas the more resilient you become to rejection.

We are conditioned, courtesy of the Man from Delmonte and The Bank that likes to say “Yes” to believe that a Yes is always a good thing and a No is always bad.

But is a Yes to a mortgage around our necks till we are too old to do any of the things we could have done if we were not saddled with the crippling interest rates in the first place always a good thing? 

Is “No” always a judgement and rejection? 

If Stephen King, and Elvis, and Vincent Van Gogh had listened to the “No” they heard from people they submitted their work to, look what the world would have missed out on? It is entirely plausible that they considered “NO” to be the opinion of one person, and not the sum or judgement of their work. So they kept on making, writing, painting and making art. And we all have the benefit.

So what would you do if you were not afraid of “NO”? 

What would you make or show to the world if you were aware that some people won’t like it? 

What have you put off doing because you are afraid of rejection? 

What could you do this week knowing that the sky won’t fall if you get a NO? 

People like Thomas Eddison, Madonna, the man who invented the Rubix Cube all heard many rejections before they met someone who liked and appreciated what they did. Chances are your favourite film star, pop star, author didn’t start out with a plethora of “Yes’s”, but they did it anyway……..

So can you.

Do you hear what they are doing now???

How many times have you heard a sentence starting about what “they” are doing, saying, responsible for?

Do you often complain about “people ” who irritate you or annoy you because they “always” do the same thing?

Do you add fuel to an argument by using the old reliable petrol of “you are always the same” when you are angry, frustrated or just plain fed up with something? 

Agatha Christie said ““I often wonder why the whole world is so prone to generalise. Generalisations are seldom if ever true and are usually utterly inaccurate.”
Murder at the Vicarage

Do you ever stop to think about how useful generalisations really are? What exactly are  we saying when we speak in generalizations? Are we staying anything at all or are we just complaining about something vague so that we can feel better but in doing so feeding into a collective sense of hopelessness? Who is the “they” we are talking about? The government? The E.U.? Teenagers? The Youth? The Elderly? The Bankers?  Generalisations allow us to speak in sweeping statement using information based on one or two specific instances.

Louis de Bernières, says in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.”; “I know you have not thought about it. Italians always act without thinking, it’s the glory and the downfall of your civilisation. A German plans a month in advance what his bowel movements will be at Easter, and the British plan everything in retrospect, so it always looks as though everything occurred as they intended. The French plan everything whilst appearing to be having a party, and the Spanish…well, God knows. Anyway, Pelagia is Greek, that’s my point.”

In an age when we constantly strive to be an individual and encourage children to find their own path, and adults their own voice, surely generalizations are less useful than ever. Stereotypes are such an ingrained part of our psyche and language yet we now know that not all Irish people have red hair, freckles and live on potatoes, any more than all French people wear berets and stripy sweaters with garlic necklaces.

If we were to stop using sweeping statements and begin to think about our words and check to see if what we are saying is true, what difference would it make to our conversations?

Would what we say be of more value?

Would it be possible to say less yet say more as a result? 

We constantly strive to celebrate our differences and individuality, so how about you stop to think this week who exactly who it is you are talking about when you start your sentence with “Did you hear what they are doing now?” 

Lily Tomlin had a lot to tell us when she famously said “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”  

But Lily didn’t stop there. She took the famous “they” out of the sky and put it into words that make sense when she said “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie Crick, A Beautiful Death

delighted to have this painting featured in this month’s edition 🙂

DODGING THE RAIN

Natalie Crick, from the UK, has found delight in writing all of her life and first began when she was a very young girl. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in a range of journals and magazines including The Chiron Review, Interpreters House, Ink in Thirds, Rust and Moth, The Penwood Review. Her work also features or is forthcoming in a number of anthologies, including Lehigh Valley Vanguard Collections 13. This year her poem, ‘Sunday School’ was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Breath of Sun

Winter clouds are haloed between
Leaden sea and sky

Where Periwinkle blossoms
On the mountain ridge.

The Eucalyptus stirs
And scents the air.

Breath of sun alights,
Blinds,

Slipping into browning leaves
To surrender the past,

Dispossessed of sleep,
Drifting into dark;

A ghost, moon-bleached.
Moths swoop and twist,

Grey petals
Softened with savanna light.
Dying relics flake away.

This House

Fog rolls…

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Making a difference by being yourself, Albert Cashier and Jennie Hodgers, a real life ordinary hero.

Did you ever feel that to make a difference you needed to do something extraordinary?

That you would need a special kind of superpower not available to ordinary people?

Or that ordinary people are rarely extraordinary compared to people like Elvis, Nelson Mandela or Annie Lennox? 

Thinking we cannot make a difference without doing something magnificent can often blind us to the many ordinary people who paved the way for what we take for granted in an “enlightened world”.

This month I have been looking up extraordinary Irish female history makers in preparation for a new course for the autumn and one of the most extraordinary women I have come across (and there are many!)  is one Albert D. J. Cashier, who was born Jennie Irene Hodgers,  on December 25th, 1843, in Clogherhead, Co. Louth.

As a young emigrant, Jennie adopted a male persona somewhere between leaving Ireland and arriving in America. In August 1862, Cashier, as Jennie was then known,  enlisted in the Union army and was commended for bravery in combat in battles in Louisiana, Tennessee and Missouri.

Jennie, as  Albert,  was one of several hundred women fighting as male during the Civil War.  Whether it was a gender issue, or one of accessing a career with pay and opportunities, it cannot have been easy to maintain a female  physical gender undetected but Albert made  up in bravery what he was short of in stature.

After a remarkable term of service, Albert mustered out of the army and continued to work and live identifying as male, receiving a military pension for service to the army during the war after which he settled and worked as general handyman in Saunemin, Illinois. Although some close friends knew his physical gender, it was not until a car accident in 1911 that it became public knowledge and his secret became a sensation in the press for the next few years.

The real tragedy was to be what happened when, despite the ardent support of his fellow soldiers and veterans, Albert was declared insane, and forced to live in Watertown State Hospital.

C.W. Ives who was a comrade during the war was to recount his dismay when he met the older Cashier saying “I left Cashier a fearless boy of 22…when I went to Watertown, I found… a frail woman of 70, broken because, on discovery, she was compelled to put on skirts”.

This extraordinary person was forced to become “ordinary”, despite displaying amazing courage, tenacity and service. And in the forcing of the “norm”, Albert lost the will to live and in  1915, Cashier died  and was buried with full military honours and was buried in Saunemin, where he had settled and made a life in his later years.

How does an ordinary girl, born into a small fishing village in Ireland, illiterate and impoverished, find the courage and determination to create a new persona, a new identity, a new life of service and carve herself a role in the formation of the United States of America?

What did Jennie Hodgers tap into to create this amazing lifestory that inspired so many women to take up arms and become soldiers? 

Was Albert always afraid of being discovered? 

Sometimes we have to acknowledge that fear is not going to go away, so we have to do things whilst still being afraid.

But what if Albert Cashier just took the fear and ran with it, then learned to live with it but NOT be ruled by it, and in so doing, created an life more authentic than one married with several children, bound by domesticity and servitude at home, when the real calling was to a life of adventure?

What if Jennie/Albert was just an ordinary person who mustered up the courage to live a life that seems extraordinary to us, yet to many veterans who went on to work at manual labour after the war, it was an ordinary life, lived out in peacetime earning a living without a fanfare.

If you could muster up the courage to do ONE THING this week that you have always wanted to do, what would that be? 

It may not be as adventurous as Jennie Hodgers or Albert Cashier stowing aboard a ship and going to war, but what if  we could feel the fear and do it anyway?

Would that be a nod of thanks to the amazing women that went before us, creating new paradigms and frontiers so our lives are less restricted? 

I am guessing that no matter what our “one thing” might be, we will not be in danger of being shot by a musket or blown up by a canon, and it may involve something far more genteel like a red face if we ask for a raise, or the risk of a rejection if we submit a piece of writing to a competition.

So what about thinking this week about people like Albert Cashier and asking yourself “If they can do that?  how will I do this? ……see what happens 🙂

albert cashier image

Acres of Diamonds and Russel Conwell

Did you ever get to the end of something you really loved doing and find yourself thinking “what next?”

Does being your own boss mean you could do with a poke in the next direction?

Do you ever forget to take your own advice?

After finishing a really lovely course of The Artist’s Way in the Seamus Ennis center recently, the novelty of not getting up on Saturday morning much less not spending Friday night getting handouts/film clips/glitter and “stuff” ready, has already worn off 🙂

Courses traditionally start in January and September (totally out of synch with nature but that’s another blog post entirely) so it will be September before we start up again.

So what’s next here at Creatively Thinking?

I have to admit I need to listen to my own advice at times, particularly using Russell Conwell’s Acres of Diamonds Story which forms a vital part of the introduction to any of the courses I facilitate. The basic premise is that everything you need is under your feet and to stop looking over the garden wall at your neighbour’s lawn and water the grass you are standing on. (The full length audio and text version available on the link below)

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/rconwellacresofdiamonds.htm

I started out the personal development journey as a life coach, became a trainer, a mentor, a facilitator and a laughologist (yes, it does exist). But coaching has always formed a major part of what I do, whether one to one or in a group and my favourite way to coach is by telephone, so clients can access the session in their pj’s, with a mug of tea and in their slippers. Having a Tesco phone that allows me unlimited calls for 15 euro a month takes care of the cost involve (but you do make your own tea!)

You wouldn’t buy a pig in a sack so I like to offer complimentary goal setting sessions to people to see if they would enjoy the process and if what I do would be of benefit.

I enjoy working in this way because it is positive, practical and great fun, clients take time to make their goals a reality and discover all sorts of skills, talents and experiences along the way. It is a privilege to be a part of that journey and I have NEVER come away from a coaching session without being inspired by the amazing things people are capable of! 🙂

Being self employed has its challenges for sure, but the greatest benefit is the ability to move between activities and switch projects, and for those of us who like to do more than one thing, this is a gift! 🙂

So for the next four months, I will be working with a small number of clients setting goals and making changes as well as training with local authorities and voluntary organisations doing what I love best, empowering people who care to take better care of themselves 🙂 Simples! 🙂

For more information and/or to book a complimentary coaching session contact me on creativelythinking9@gmail.com, text 0892329373 or pm on facebook 🙂 🙂

 

 

A month of comfort

Would you ever buy a pair of uncomfortable slippers?

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes you are going to “slim into”?

Do you ever spend time with someone who made you feel uncomfortable?

We hear a lot of talk about how we should constantly go out of our “comfort zone” in order to learn new things. Over the last few years the word “comfort” tends to be associated with negative things like “comfort eating” or laziness or lack of motivation to live a magnificent life. But the idea of comfort is nothing whatsoever to do with laziness. We comfort a small child when it is in pain. We comfort adults when they are struggling. In fact, offering comfort is one of the kindness human exchanges we can experience.

So why do we have the shirt that only buttons half way up shouting “loser!” every time you open your wardrobe?

Why do we hold on to furniture that gives you arse ache every time you sit on it? or a mattress that curves  your spine eight hours a night but matches the bed frame?

Why do we spend time with people who make us feel less than comfortable or happy with who we are?

There is a world of difference between “Rescuing” someone and being kind to them, just as there is  world of difference between making someone a bowl of stew on a cold day or buying them a wheelbarrow full of sweets.

There is also a world of difference between staying comfortable in a paler shade of ourselves that stepping into shoes that really fit, and I mean REALLY FIT. 

If you were not embarrassed, afraid or worried about what people would say, what would you do that would comfort you this month?

Would you crochet a handbag for an egg?

Would you paint a sunflower on a table cloth?

Would you try your hand at Indian cooking?

An artist will never be totally comfortable unless they make things….whether it’s a poem, a pie or a piece of abstract painting.

Creative people will never be totally satisfied unless they acknowledge their need to make stuff.

It doesn’t have to be a violin concerto or a poem about irony, it need not be a piece of pottery or a lifesize painting of the Dali Lama.

It just needs to be what is comfortable for you to do. 

Making for an audience guarantees an endless supply of blank canvass’s. Making for yourself means you will create something, anything, and the more you do it the more comfortable your own skin will feel.  Who cares if it looks shite? Really? Who honestly cares if I make a paper weight out of clay that looks like a horse shoe with a pair of wings?

Answer……NO ONE! 🙂 🙂

But if I dont make, do, paint, create I know that everything around me will irritate me and make me uncomfortable and I can guarantee if that’s how I am feeling, I will be no sparkly ray of sunshine to be around.

In the Artist’s Way this week we talked about as grown ups we now wear Big Boy or Big Girl Pants…we can choose to comfort ourselves by letting go of embarrassment, shyness,  fear and just giving things a go, making a start, getting over our notions of Art being lofty or high falutin….we can take comfort from the idea that ALL ARTISTS PUT THEIR PANTS ON ONE LEG AT A TIME…..JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. 

By NOT creating we are guaranteeing that we will feel uncomfortable no matter what we substitute it with, so why not try this month to make a pot of tea, clear a space in your kitchen/house/shed and just make something.

Don’t make a drama out of it.

Just make it. 

For no one else but yourself.

Only show it to people you are comfortable with sharing your special thoughts with.

Then sit back and take comfort in the fact that you made it. 🙂  

The point of comparison

Do you find yourself comparing yourself to someone younger, thinner, richer, more educated, brave, accomplished, clever or kinder?

Do you find yourself thinking “well it’s ok for him/her/them?”

Do you feel fatter, poorer, lesser as a result?

Helen Keller could neither see nor hear, and yet she was one of the most remarkable people of recent times. What she overcame on a daily basis was utterly remarkable to those of us with sight, hearing and a voice to air our opinions with. She influenced world leaders and policy, inspired millions and lived through two world wars, literally starring in her own life in the process. Helen had many sides to a complex personality, but very little to compare herself with. Sure, there were other people who had no sight but shared a vision for a better world for people with disabilities, but Helen also was a suffragette, a union supporter, a writer, an actor, an activist, an educator and a lobbyist for a host of causes throughout her long and active life.

In short, Helen compared herself to nobody. There was nobody like her to compare herself with. 

When we spent time comparing ourselves to others, we are ALWAYS going to find someone thinner, richer, wiser, younger, older, more or less successful. We are guaranteed to feel disappointed as a result of comparing ourselves to others, but also to feel perfectly justified in NOT trying something new or different, difficult or challenging because we are busy sitting in the pity barn!

If a woman like Helen Keller, could achieve an extraordinary life with such extraordinary challenges, then how could we take just a little bit of inspiration and try to do something out of the ordinary, with our extraordinary array of senses?

If we tell ourselves that we will wait until we are thinner and wiser, we are also going to be older and possibly fatter as a result. Waiting until we are ready is like Waiting for Godot in Beckett’s play. The longer we wait the more scared we become. The more conditions we want to have in place before we make a start, the more difficult it is to start anything at all.

What would happen if we stopped waiting and just started? 

What would happen if we tried to make a change and hoped things would conspire to help rather than get in the way? 

What would happen if we ended up inspiring others to take a chance and find their voice, just by doing the very thing we were scared to start all along? 

So this week make a start. Stop waiting and see what happens and stop waiting….

helen-keller-pic

Dr. Spock and polished ears

One of the sheer joys of working with groups over the last year is constantly seeing and hearing things in a new way. Something familiar that we have been listening to for many years may be a powerful political statement or just a pop song, but if you polish your ears and listen to the words, you may be amazed at what you hear.

A classic example is the song that gets into your head and stays there ,usually making you smile, is  Gimme Hope Jo’anna by Eddie Grant. When you think of the song , you may feel a positive vibe and even start to dance a little bit. Why not?

But the song itself was incredibly controversial in its day and was banned in South Africa. Grant was, in his own words, a  political writer and artist. “I Don’t Wanna Dance can mean that you don’t want to go out on the dancefloor,” he says, “or it could mean that you don’t want to go along with an idea. That’s how I try to write: you take it how you want, but I am basically a writer of protest.”

When you really listen to the lyrics of Gimme Hope you will hear a song about apartheid, injustice, corruption and revolution. You can also hear a positive message of Hope for a country full of possibilities but caught in a maelstrom of negativity.

Just as Eddie Grant is an artist and a protest writer, Dr. Spock was much more than a wise vulcan with polished ears. Leonard Nimoy who played the Doctor is a gifted poet and director who wrote some of the most romantic poetry you will come across, as well as directing Three Men and a Baby. But he was also a singer who made the Ballad of Bilbao Baggins famous even if it was truly awful!

For Nimoy, as well as Grant, people could take them at face value as entertainers or listen and bit more closely and be inspired by ideas and concepts we might not associate with Hollywood.  One of Nimoy’s simplest and powerful poems suggest we rethink what happens when relationships end.

If love can be

If love can be withdrawn

It never was

My love for you is not a gift
To you
It is a gift
To me

And just when you think Mr. Nimoy was a poet of beautiful words he pops up as a degenerate old crank shoplifting his breakfast on Bruno Mars “Lazy Song” unoffical vide

 https://youtu.be/dULOjT9GYdQ?t=92

Music doesn’t always tell a story, unless its opera or country music, but sometimes we can listen to something for so long that we dont hear it at all, and often miss the very reason it became popular in the first place!

This week, when you drive your car or travel with i pod on or have music on your phone whilst you walk, run or work, and, listen to the lyrics, polish your ears and REALLY LISTEN and see what you discover!

And if you want to make a start, here’s the link to Eddie:

Do your friends help you fly?

“The good government of our nation has decreed that whilst witchcraft is to be sought out and destroyed by death, the practice of flying is not, in itself, objectionable!”  or so says the Lost Art of Being a Lady, A victorian Self help Guide for Modern Women.

Have you ever met a total stranger and was gobsmacked by how identical your life experiences were? 

Have you talked about something awful assuming you were the only one in the world who could understand only to find that your problem was not unique to you? 

Are you constantly surprised when you meet people who seem to come from the same tribe? 

When I grew up Witches were either cartoon figures in Disney fairytales or burnt at the stake during the Salem Witch trials. But in modern times I think we have a new breed of people who would have been definitely dunked in a mud pond had their conversations been overheard by the people in charge 🙂 At many of the Artist Way courses over the last year I noticed a group of strangers develop, without discussion, a mental telepathy or shorthand, and many times I heard the phase “we must have been witches in a previous life” as people who had  never met, realised that they had similar values, experiences or aspirations as the person sitting beside them.

Something happens when you meet someone who “gets” your way of thinking. Who likes the things that interest you. Who speaks your language. A mutual inspiration occurs when ideas are swapped, experiences compared and energy is most definitely raised. You often come away from such a meeting feeling reinspired, re energised, reassured. There is a whole world of support out there for you from people you already know or at the very least have the contact details for. People you admire, people you inspire to be like, people you like spending time with. People who encourage you to fly.

In short, spending time  with people of your own tribe makes you happy and is good for you. 

If you are not sure what someone from your own tribe is, think about how you feel when you spend time with a friend, colleague or family member. Do you feel energised or losing the will to live? Excited about life or looking around for a crucifix to hop up on? Do you laugh at the same things? moan about the same things? value the same things?

If you feel better about yourself after spending time with someone, then that person is going to make your life better. And a little bit of magic happens. You feel your wings.

Think about the people you spend time with and how you feel about yourself when you do. Is there someone you like spending time with that you have lost touch with? Someone you used to tell your hopes and dreams to that because of work/kids/family/life you dont get to see too often? Social media is a fantastic way to connect with people from the comfort of your own home and is a lovely way to connect to people who live across the ocean. But nothing replaces a cup of coffee and a chinwag. A hug or a handshake connecting two people is like a promise to keep in touch. If meeting up is not possible then at least try to write a card or a letter. If that is not possible (and why not? ) then an email is good. If you cannot  email someone then a text will connect you. And if all that fails then “poke”them on facebook.

As far as I know, no-one ever went to their grave regretting spending too much time staying in touch with people they liked. 

So this week, why not make an effort to meet your fellow witches? Your other tribe members? The people who “get” you whether they are old friends or new acquaintances. Share a coffee, share a meal, go for a walk. Spend and hour in the lobby of a hotel in a comfy armchair and find out what is happening in their world.

And if the person you are thinking of as you are reading this makes contact before you do, dont be surprised……