Things I love Thursday

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Day 51

20th February, 2014

There are so many things I have loved this week: being spoilt on Valentines Day ~ especially the beautiful blood red rose my husband gave me; hanging out with the wild blue haired cosplay crew on the film set of It’s Japan, Man; singing KPop songs at the top of my lungs in the car on the way to work! Watching Thor 2~ watching, watching, watching…Playing Mario Kart with the girls at our first ever Wii party; having a deep and meaningful discussion about chasing our dreams with one of my sons over a hot cup of tea; luscious rain; reading The Desire Map ~ such an inspiring book; eating freshly made scones with yummy jam and cream; falling asleep to the sound of rain outside my window; and receiving a huge gift box full of things to help me relax on my holidays from two of my beautiful, thoughtful, and just completely awesome girlfriends ~ especially the panda slippers, chocolates and champagne!

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

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Something beautiful happened today

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DAY 42

11th February, 2014

Today something very beautiful happened.

It was life changing.

The very act stopped me in my tracks and made me re-assess some vital elements in my life. How I go about my work, how I engage with other people, who I love and adore, essentially how I walk in this world and be me.

The very act made me realise a surprising truth about myself.

And it brought me to a breathless moment; a single instance of pure white light; a thoughtful experience in the middle of a manic day.

Today my friend made me a cup of tea.

In my cup.

Two tea bags.

Milk.

Two sugars.

Humph.

A luscious moment of being truly grateful for my friend. Unbearably grateful for a strong, sweet, hot cup of tea.

It wasn’t the being grateful though. Or the way my friend smiled at me when she asked me if she could make me a cup of tea. Or even when I started to get up out of my chair thinking I should really make the cup of tea myself – why was I letting my friend go to all of that effort, going out of her way to make me tea. Who did I think I was right? Who did I think I was to let someone go out of her way to do something for me? Who did I think I was to allow someone to help me.

Because that was it.

I was so tired. My head was a bit foggy, and I was looking at a list of tasks that needed to be ticked off before I went home and lay on the couch in an exhausted, depleted little mess.

I needed some help.

And I needed to let my friend help me.

I needed to allow my beautiful friend to make me a cup of tea. With her smile. And her love.

I often talk about how important it is for us to give to others, to ‘pay it forward’ with acts of kindness and compassion. It’s extraordinary that although we are the ones being kind, or generous, or loving, how life changing this is for our souls.

So we also need to accept, and allow others to care and give back to us, because in doing so we learn how to be grateful. In allowing someone to care for us, we experience vulnerability. In allowing someone to give back to us, we also allow for that person to feel the extraordinary life changing feelings in their soul.

So today something beautiful happened. My friend made me a cup of hot tea, and I gratefully accepted her gift.

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou

Dancing in the dark

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DAY TWENTY

Monday 20th January, 2014

What do you do when one of your dearest friends asks you to come dancing to celebrate her birthday?

You go of course! Even if the dancing turns out to be in a church hall. With the blinds drawn. In the dark. With lots of other strange people.

You show up and you dance with her.

Because being a friend (or being in any relationship) is about endeavouring to be present 100% and showing up. All of the time. Not just the times you don’t have something better to do, or you’re hit by the CBF (Can’t Be Frazzled) stick! It matters. I’m sure that we have all had moments when we have asked someone, our parents perhaps, or a friend, or a boy/girl friend to be there for us. And if they didn’t turn up, no matter what the reason, it destroys us a little. Because we all need people to be present for us and to show up! It really matters! It matters to your friend that you cared enough to come and dance in the dark with her. It matters that you kept your word. And it definitely matters that you are prepared to stretch your comfort zone, and do something a little crazy for her, because she means so much to you. You are also telling her that she is worthwhile and that you value and respect her by making the effort.

One of the key questions I keep asking myself throughout this DBM Project is, what kind of human being do I want to be tomorrow? It’s a little inside out this question. But basically it’s about considering the possibility that if the person/friend/lover you are with dies before midnight, what do you want to be saying to yourself the following day. What emotion do you want to be dealing with – regret? “Damn, I should have…” or that feeling that you honoured that person and that you did everything a human being should do for another. This question keeps me accountable somehow.

Perhaps you can ask yourself the same question today, or right now. What kind of human being do you want to be tomorrow? And therefore who should you be right now for your friend/lover/mother/brother/child…

And who knows , you may find yourself in a dark church hall on a school night, packed with other dancing divas, dancing to amazing music, celebrating with your gorgeous friend and feeling luscious inside your skin!

Bonus!

Post Script: Tonights dancing event was part of the No LIghts No Lycra dancing movement which is taking the world by storm. You can find out more about it here.

Life would be better if we wore more tutus

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Tracey was my friend. My best friend. A year ago today she passed away in the arms of her husband. The man she had loved since they were teenagers.

We met when we were 9 years old. I’m still not sure to this day why or how we became friends. She was in the cool group, and I definitely was not. But from that first day when we walked home from school together, she became my teacher, my protector and my very best friend. And I became hers. She taught me so much. Important things like how to light a match, how to ride a bike, how to scramble an egg, and how to dog paddle to save my life.

She taught me ridiculous things as well, like the choreography to Abba’s Mama Mia, the words to Carole King’s entire album, Tapestry, and how to talk to boys.

In the months leading up to her death, Tracey slowly ticked off most of her ‘bucket list’. She snorkelled, went whale watching, visited with friends she hadn’t seen for years, built bridges with her sisters and got married to the man she had been in love with for over 30 years, but was too scared to commit to before now.

She told me that she had been a fool, living her life to please everyone and being too frightened to take risks. When she was young, we had imagined her life on stage, singing to audiences across the world, with her beautiful voice that made our souls quiver. Instead, here she was, trying to cram everything she ever waned to do into months. Weeks. Days.

One night I came home after visiting her in palliative care and I got out all of our photos. They were full of two wild and crazy girls, who used to sing on the tram and dance in the street. Who dreamt of being extraordinary; every day. When did we take off those tutus?

In her last few days, Tracey made peace with herself, but I was left wondering, long after she left, what would have happened if she hadn’t been frightened. What had the world missed out on because she just couldn’t risk it?

The day before Tracey died, we sat in the hospital holding hands, and she told me how amazing I was. Me? I could only think how lucky I have been to have such a friend. Such an extraordinary, wise, beautiful, gutsy, brave friend.

I just wish we had worn more tutus.

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson