Life, dreaming and what I have come to learn

On the eve of my 30-B birthday, I started compiling a list of all the lessons I had come to learn along those 30-something years of life. I struggled, not because I couldn’t come up with a list but because it just did not do justice to the thoughts of my heavy heart on this day – and my life isn’t really about lists.

In my quiet moments of reflection, I have packaged by thoughts into a nutshell and this is what I have come to learn:

Life is amazing – Life is too amazing not to be authentic about it …

… About who you are 

…About what you like 

…About what you do.

It’s okay to feel it – It’s okay to say it – It’s okay to do it (generally).

 

The rules are the ones we create for ourselves. Let’s for a moment replace rule with general guideline. In the practice of law, we often refer to issues being viewed in context and on a case by case basis – nothing is a one fits all approach, arguably, the only way upon which we can assess life circumstances on a case by case basis is if we are present in our own world. It’s easy to feel as though we are dragged through life and running to keep up. Things in life will happen – we may be seeking a higher meaning to justify a negative life event – to ease pain and sadness by blaming the universe – if this works, sure, why not! Blame the universe… full moon, life moves in cycles, there is a greater purpose… one door closes for another to open. Some things will never have an appropriate justification and you will be angry without direction and that’s okay – but whatever the life circumstance allow your soul to heal. Breathe through the sadness and give your heart the time and the nourishment to heal and to keep moving forward.

Feel confident enough to ask yourself the hard questions – does this life fit me? Are there things in my life that are counter productive to my happiness? Are there other things that I want to do and can do? 

It’s equally okay not to have all of the answers – It’s okay to have some answers – It’s even okay to have the answers but you haven’t implemented any changes. The reason it’s all okay, is that you are at the very least being an active participant in your life. That’s the authenticity in it.

This is life – your life – Own it – All of it, even the parts that aren’t fantastic or flattering or life events that make you cringe when you think back to your own actions. Own all of it because that is part of your life’s history and your blue print – it helps to shape your world, of which you get to choose how your life is shaped.

Today as I sit here… at the age of 32, I distinctly remember in my early 20’s thinking that I couldn’t wait to be 32 – It was an age I had come to believe would be the age where life would fall into place or everything would be figured out – I am confident enough with myself to allow the roaring laughter at naivety  – I probably have more questions than I did at 19! Again, that’s okay – I am likely to have even more questions at 42, 52, 62…

At 32, life is full of questions, hopes, aspirations, vision boarding, dreaming! All of these blissfully romantic thoughts sit along side the domestic life in my brain because at 32 my life is also full of clothes patiently waiting to be washed, a daughter who is fiercely independent but needs mummy cuddles (on her terms obviously), a thoughtful and loving husband, my awesome tribe of my dearest family and great circle of friends… my work, my writer dreams and glasses of wine for those challenging days…

 

Today will look different to tomorrow. Life will keep happening – whether I have caught my breath or not. I will continue to be shaped by experiences, both the positive and the challenging and that’s okay.

 

I work at life everyday to be in it and to steer it and to make it a life that I continue to feel blessed to live in all of its messy, chaotic and authentic glory!

 

~ F.P

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A Letter to my Daughter on Love

To my dear angel heart,

At this moment, you are light years away from any meaningful walk down an isle that is not the local grocery shop, better described as chaotic zigzagging to touch anything you can reach.

You are miles away from a heartbreak that may shape your idea on life and love and you are enjoying the blissful age of showing love with few words and through your innocent affections but at this moment, I choose to pen the ideas of marriage in hope you too come to learn.

So my dear daughter…

Fall in love.

Be not afraid of any future heartache for any guarding of the heart may lose you the opportunity to find the greatest love story of your soul.

Age does not determine the ‘rightness’ of your love. Your daddy and I feel in love as young and spirited teens. We grew together-we navigated life together-made mistakes together and learned but we knew, we always knew that we are a commitment and two souls living our life’s path in compliment to one another and not in consumption of the other and we continue to love each other madly.

Embrace the fear accompanying love. Giving your heart to anyone is one of the greatest acts of taking a leap of faith. You cannot control the response of another but be not afraid for those three words to leave your lips to land on another’s heart. The greatest regrets come from the times we have not more than the times we have.

Throw out the idea of a perfect love. Love takes work, it takes faith and it takes courage.

Settle not for stable. No stability in life is worth the sacrifice of true, awesome, heart pounding love.

Be cautious of distractions by glamour and promise. Be not dazzled by promise of lavish gifts and exotic escapes-love can flourish merely between the souls of each other-minus the fireworks, the roses and any grand gestures.

Marry the person you can laugh at life with… Because when life throws you lightening bolts of chaos sometimes the only option open is to laugh!

Marry the one who holds you tightly when you cry, swooping your hair back caught in your tears and still manages to make a little smile appear… But be cautious if your tears are forever falling over them.

Marry the one who you find yourself caught up admiring.

Marry the one who’s compassion shines especially when they stop to pat a puppy.

Marry the one who dreams your dreams and encourages you to dream to greater scales.

Marry not merely because you were proposed to but because your soul sung the song of a hundred angels rejoicing over the path of fate.

Marry when the time is right by your souls clock and not by the expectation.

Your daddy and I waited until the universe aligned with our souls and life schedules which was not always the accepted situation of those who questioned our motives for delay.

I will tell you a secret – there was no ‘perfect’ time for a wedding.

There was no perfect time for our wedding…we had already well and truly committed our love and that did not need the approval of others as you won’t either because in every love story, you write the rules.

Or marry not at all.

You choose the path of your heart and above all-be genuine and navigated by love.

~ F.P

If money weren’t an issue how would you spend your time?

This week I learnt two new things about life dreams.

 

First, everyone dreams of travel. They either wish to travel more or start and travel for the remainder of their days – unsurprising really – travel is the ultimate dream for many – me included.

 

Second – even if coming into a substantial sum of money (think the recent USA lottery jackpot of way too many millions for one person) many people will choose to continue working – just in a different capacity to the job they are currently in.

 

If money weren’t an issue how would you spend your time?

 

It appears unanimous that we want to spend our time productively whether that be volunteer work, developing a hobby further or starting up that business we have dreamed of and built up in our own minds a hundred times. So essentially if we have a financial safety net the leap of faith into the life we dream of would be taken with ease? Pause. Let’s take a moment to think about that for the briefest of seconds because we need to consider time.

 

Time is a concept pondered at length because it just is. It merely exists in its untouchable form and yet has the most profound impact upon how we chose to live. There are people fighting for more time; we are often quoted as saying we have no time and that time is going by quickly. Perhaps the better question is how are we spending time – the most precious aspect of life…

Yet time just is – It is an unforgiving. It exists without the ability of being manipulated. It cannot be paused or rewound or fast forward and if we don’t spend our time as we want, we are merely watching it pass by irretrievable because the greatest truth is that time is the only thing that can never be brought back.

 

Those at the end of their mortal time speak of regret and often in regards to taking leaps of faith. Why wait for life to be in such a way that you will feel confortable to take a leap – because what if that perfect time never eventuates? We wait for so many things! I will refrain from listing all the many things we wastefully wait for because I appreciate your time is of the upmost value – but if you don’t believe that yourself it may be time to reflect a little deeper because our tomorrows are never guaranteed.

 

Right now, there is someone out there that was brave enough to step out – even without a huge financial safety net – and this person is now living your dream. They didn’t wait for a lotto win that may never come because they put the highest value on their dreams and decided that leaving it to chance and in the hands of the universe was not an option. They most likely shared your reservations. Your concerns also weighed on their shoulders. Your worries probably kept them awake at night. They undoubtedly listed all of the ways they could fail and they may not have succeeded completely first time, or the second…or the third time… but there is one big difference between you and them in this moment – the biggest difference is that they bundled up all of the concerns and fears and they took the leap – and they are living your dream with their feet up and cocktail in hand marveling down at the creation of their happiness – because no one hands you your dream… you create it!

This person is now working in your dream job and living life with the satisfaction of patting themselves on the back for realizing that often there is no better time than now.

 

Your mind is unmistakably and silently screaming out in fear. Fear can be debilitating. Fear of failure is a great concern but realistically the only failure is never getting started. Perhaps the word ‘failure’ should be replaced with the term ‘degree of success’ which is determined by you… just some food for thought…

 

Ultimately, I am not here to say jump prematurely – or to take massive risks to achieve big unless you calculate the risks and jump wisely and with knowledge and a plan – but take steps to get there. Start moving your dream in the direction of having it realized because in the words of Les Brown

 

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.”

 

 

Let’s change that today…

 

 

 

~ F.P

 

And a Happy Valentines Day to you… from you

Valentines Day.

Love

The day marked in a calendar to remind us to display and celebrate love and appreciation, often in the form of grand gestures. Flowers, chocolates, cards, candle lit dinners, gifts, hot air balloon rides, picnic in the park – anything synonymous with the concept of romance.

 

The historical aspect of the significance of this date appears to have been blurred somewhere along the way. One such story took me to ancient Roma circa 3rd century where we are introduced to a Christian martyr called Valentinus. The story so goes that being sentenced to death for his religious beliefs and practices, he meets a young woman and the result is described as an all consuming love for one another and with all great love stories it would appear has only one fate… to end by death as did this one. In fairness and in comparison to Romeo and Juliet, this story of Valentinus started with his impending death.

 

He was alleged to have been executed on this day, February 14. In his legacy, he left a note for his love, signing it off “from your Valentine”. Yet again in fairness, as with all stories and particularly romances, the truth of the story is dependent upon who is telling it…

Love book

Leading up to this day, the advice for creating the perfect one have been endless with guidance of the type of gifts you can and can’t buy and the way you should or shouldn’t spend it. So many rules! It’s no wonder many have been sweating the arrival of this day in fear you can and will get it wrong… and if it isn’t the most perfect day you imagined, what then?

 

To some the day will mean nothing more than hearing and potentially witnessing many moments of love; to other’s it may be a day that will forever be marked in the diary of their love stories; and to others again it may be a day of some sadness for lost loves or no current romantic love… but why can’t it be a day to remind ourselves to love us first. Be your own champion in your story!

 

Today, like every day before and after should be a day to make yourself a priority in your own world! Love yourself first, completely and unconditionally! Regardless of whether you’re celebrating with a significant other or not, you should never neglect to fill your heart with your own unconditional love.

 

Today give care to what your soul is in need of and today listen…truly listen to your heart. Listen deeply through the haze of commercial hype and instead swim in the ambiance of the positive and loving energies being circulated today. In today’s society with the many tragedies and devastations’, it is rare that societies focus is on love and kindness in this way… let your soul take advantage of it and use it as a boost to reignite the passions. It should never be the role of another to love you in place of loving yourself. By recognizing your personal value independent of another’s value of you, you will never look to another to validate your place in the world. You alone are responsible for the footprint and legacy you will impose upon the world; and you are responsible for the love you bring in and put out into the universe; and you are responsible for the path upon which your life will take.

 

So today the day of love, be kind to yourself. Take a moment to nourish your soul. Do something to create the space in your heart for love and passion to swell unobstructed and be gentle of your minds thoughts to allow the free flowing of love and happiness to be embraced.

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Today show the world that you are not afraid of love… and today and everyday show that you will love yourself just as much as you do and will love others. Create some space in your soul for a deep and connecting love with yourself for it will be a love that will create the life and happiness you seek… and that is a love that creates love stories that even Shakespeare would envy…

 

~ F.P

And a Happy New Year to you!

New Years Day is the perfect moment to take a long and anticipated breath.  One of the great joys of life is taking a break from our routines and having some space to think and reset our practices.

As we all take a collective sigh that the Christmas chaos has now passed and the count down to welcome in a new year has now concluded, we can now actually start our focus upon the new years resolutions we may have created.

Our common resolutions range from becoming fitter, healthier, living more holistically, working less, make more money, travel more… the list continues.  As life moves in cycles, our priorities change.  The new year resolutions you made last year may not be as important as this year.  Additionally, twelve months is a long time and life can change in a moment, altering the course of everything you were initially working towards.  This is plainly and simply life.

The new year break gives us the possibility to step back and assess what is not working in our world with fresh, optimistic eyes… however, it is easy to romanticism what life should look like verses the reality of what life is and what is realistically achievable.

January 1 provides a day of optimism about life and with it, we often try to pack a great deal of new practices into our already busy and time challenging life.  For whatever reason, it has now become more realistic to make some life changes than it was days before.  I am not immune to the crazy, infectious optimism that is the concept of new year, new intentions.  Quite honestly, it is my favourite time of the year!

I often hear successful people speak of the ability to have it all – just not all at once.  This is a quote I hold to be true and this year it has been the foundation upon which my resolutions have been created.

This year instead of setting the intentions of what I will do more of, I am taking life back to basics – a lifestyle I have been working towards for the entire duration of 2015.

I have decided that I want 2016 to be about quality and ultimately living life basically.

I have decided that this year will be about positive living and to create a sustainable lifestyle of health, quality and living as authentically as possible ~ and I acknowledge that throughout the next twelve months what this looks like may differ from month to month and I will be awake to life to acknowledge and make necessary adjustments.  There will be absolute ownership of all choices and therefore no room to hold regrets. With these intentions, I have recognised that stripping away the unnecessary, it will enable me to rediscover what about me is my authentic self and I am diving into this challenge with great excitement and enthusiasm.

 

Whether you choose to create new year resolutions or not, remember that everyday is about the choice to live your life on your terms. Whilst you may be sitting around feeling unhappy and unable to change your circumstances, ask yourself if that is an absolutely accurate description of your circumstances… because the only thing that can never be retrieved once lost is time…and in honor of all those who no longer have the gift of time, I have chosen to embrace and utilize every moment I am gifted with…

images

 

Here’s to 2016 your way!

~ F.P

Life Advice to my Daughter

Parenting feels like a whole lot of mental gymnastics!

The months leading up to my daughters’ birth, I would get caught up trying to visualize what the baby would look like, not knowing she was a girl. I wondered about her eyes ~ the colour and shape they would be; the lips; the hands and feet… whether the baby would be born with hair. I would wonder about her personality ~ the questions were endless. Then she arrived and those questions were answered which triggered a whole lot of new thoughts. Now my mind is preoccupied with all of the things I want her to learn, experience and know and it feels like the list is ever growing (insert head explosive emoticon here).

I once heard a saying that it takes a whole village to raise a baby. The endless parenting blogs, social media forums and every personal opinion is keeping that saying alive. At first I was preoccupied with reading all the articles that gave advice on how to raise a ‘perfect’ child. It took but a few moments to stop reading them and sit back and think.

I didn’t want to mold the perfect child, dictated by societies standards. I want my daughter to grow into the person she will choose to be. I chose to shut out the millions of voices on these topics and have looked to make this much more basic.

Here are a few things I want to teach my daughter:

 

  1. Always practice kindness

Never underestimate the value of your kindness extended to another, even to those who many be rude to you ~ they are often the ones in need of kindness the most.

There will be many people you will encounter in this world that will challenge you emotionally ~ it’s important that you never drop your personal standard to match another. And remember, take others as they are – sometimes that includes the warts and all.

 

  1. Use your common sense

The world can be a scary place ~ unfortunately this is largely out of your control, but don’t be afraid to live in it. Question everything around you at all times ~ do not blindly accept what you are being presented with and use your own judgment. Your intuition will be a powerful tool in your possession.

Your teenage years will present many challenging circumstances (and while those years are a great distance away, my heart already clenches are what you may be faced with) but face each of them with common sense and the knowledge that you have choices to make and that power is in your hands. With every circumstance remember there are consequences.

 

  1. Love your body

I once heard a quote that I can’t quite find the origins for now but it goes

I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. If you could, you would see just how beautiful you are, and the extraordinary miracle of being you.

The moment you were born I looked at you and was astounded by your beauty. I loved every tiny inch of you and as I continue to watch you grow, I continue to love each and every part of you.

In the cycle of life the body will continue to change. You will go through lots of different external versions of yourself ~ that is normal. There will be times where you may find it challenging to accept these changes ~ that is normal too but remember to love your body for all it gives you ~ the ability to wake every day and engage with life wholly and completely.

Nourish your body with goodness from the foods and drinks you consume to the activities you will engage in.

Taste the foods of the world! Dance and climb and run and jump! Use your body as an important tool in the life you will create.

 

  1. Give care to your mind.

The greatest assets you will ever possess are your thoughts. You will have many of them and no doubt you are already expressing the many you possess now.

Never forget the train your mind to remain open. Welcome new thoughts and ideas all the time. The more you nourish your mind, the greater rewards you will reap as you will continue to view the world around you in new ways.

 

  1. Embrace technology but…

You will never know life without advanced technology. You will be encountering technologies that haven’t even been conceived yet. You will also hear the ‘old people’ (mostly Dad and I) talk about what life was like before technology took over and you will no doubt shake your head at our ‘strange’ descriptions of life. We will no doubt shake our heads at the new technologies that we will have difficulties in grasping.

Embrace the technology and learn to live with it to your advantage ~ yet remember there is a world out there that needs to be smelt, felt, seen and heard by you ~ all of which technology has nothing to do with.

Feel the sensation of the ocean as you swim within it and of the grass when you walk upon it.

          Watch an amazing sunset.

               Listen to the sounds of a rainforest and waterfall or the thundering clap of a wave smashing

               against the shore.

                    Smell the amazing scents of the trees and the ocean or the foods created from the earth.

Remember to switch off from technology and live outside of it. That is where you will create the greatest memories.

 

  1. Never compromise your happiness

Life has much to offer you. Open your hands out to the universe and accept all of the marvelous gifts it has and watch your happiness flow. However ~ Happiness will not always come easy. You will have to work on it and often look for it in times where circumstances may be difficult. There will be times where you will be faced with choices that may make another person happy at the cost of your own ~ think carefully about these choices and always remember that if someone honestly and genuinely cares for you, they would not seek to have you compromise your own happiness for theirs.

What makes you happy today may not make you happy tomorrow ~ that’s okay. Be flexible enough and brave enough to make the choices as to what makes you happy and never settle for anything short of it.

 

  1. You cannot save the world… but…

It is not your job to change or fix another person – nor is it your job to be the hero in someone else’s story ~ but never stop doing what you can to make the world a better place. Always think of the footprint you are living upon the soul of the world.

There will be people who will reach out for your help and because you will (hopefully) be exercising your kindness you will provide assistance but keep in mind that your morals, values and thoughts may not be universal.   Tread carefully in imposing your ideals of life on another. Instead learn to listen to the help they are seeking and do not judge them for not accepting your help – even when they have asked for it. Everyone deals with their lives in their own way and time.

 

  1. Listen to your soul

Take the time to learn about the person you are ~ remember that this person will evolve and change over your lifetime ~ and this is okay ~ but at every point through your life’s journey pause to listen to who you are becoming and it is a collective decision between your heart and your mind as to whether this version fits with your morals and values.

You will experience happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, grief and every emotion in between on the rainbow of emotions ~ this is okay and often the appropriate reactions to the situations life will throw at you. Remember that nothing bad lasts forever and in the toughest of situations ask the question ~ will this matter in five years? The answer is usually no… unless you are a teenager and every circumstance will feel like the worlds end is nearing. I promise you – nothing bad lasts forever.

 

  1. Mistakes will happen…

You will make choices that in hindsight may not have been the best ones to have made. I will expect you make many perceived mistakes ~ that is okay, but with every ‘mistake’ I ask you to learn from it. Take the lesson you need and move forward. Do not dwell on them or fall into fear of making another, halting your life’s progression. Dust off your knees, Keep moving forward. There will be ‘mistakes’ that you may need help to fix ~ this is also okay. It is important that you understand you can always ask for help. Dad and I will always help regardless of the problem free of judgment. There isn’t anything that cannot be fixed.

 

  1. Dream Big! Aim High! But…

There is nothing in this world that you cannot accomplish. There is no dream too big or out of your reach. We will tell you that you can be absolutely anything you want to be or as many things as you want to dream to be! There is no limit to your goals but! Never forget that all your goals are within your hands to attain – through hard work – through determination – through your own motivation.

No one else will hold your hand to push you in life better than yourself. No one will hand your dreams to you ~ it is for you to work hard to achieve it. You will be so much prouder of yourself when you reach your hard earned goals with your own determination.

 

Dad and I will proud of you and love you always.

 

~ F.P

 

 

What does your happiness actually look like minus the stress and guilt

“There are two things to aim at in life; first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second”.

 ~ Logan Pearsall Smith

 An excepted understanding of life is that it moves in cycles. These cycles refer narrowly to our own lives and broadly to humanity overall. Throughout time there is a resurgence of past eras working as inspiration for the future. This resurgence involves fashions, lifestyle habits and values. I am now in my 30’s and have watched attempts at reviving aspects of eras gone by many times in many different incarnations from the 1970’s fashion of bell bottom pants to the scrunchy crazes and tie dye clothing of the 80’s; remakes of both songs and movies and the current revival of 1960’s furniture. Another currently trending revival is the attempt to live more simply and organically ~ just in a more complicated and stressful way.

Humanity continues to evolve socially but it is undisputed that we are currently living in a world dominated by stress and anxiety attributed to the lack of balance in our personal lives. We have become time poor and consequently living an unsatisfactory life. We always seem to be chasing the illusive dreams of being able to achieve happiness based on certain life markers drawn by societal expectations and those we draw for ourselves. In reality, these markers may never be crossed. Does that mean we will never be as happy as we want to be?

We work hard to create the life we desire ~ long work hours and lots of energy in molding such an existence but then we are often too tired to truly enjoy it. It has been stated many times over that we now have bigger homes but less people living in them and less time spent in them. We spend so much time building our careers and less time enjoying it. We spend so much time stressing about being healthy and less time putting things in place to achieve this. We spend so much time living with guilt at not giving family time they deserve and almost feel as though we are living in a cycle of unhappiness and resentment at our life’s responsibilities.

There has been much written about in helping our society achieve balance and happiness. To be frank, I am tired of being bombarded by articles that preach to have the answer to our first world concerns because in reality, if we were to follow the ascribed ten steps to happiness written on every life aspect, our lives would never achieve any sort of balance but will continue to raise our levels of stress and anxiety at not achieving the accepted happiness. While these articles may be helpful to some, I have started to look at them as though they are condescending and trying to break my soul down until it neatly fits into a mold. My soul is too big for a mold of any sort – nor does it deserve to live as one.

Life and how it is lived is subjective ~ that is the essential beauty of it. We chose what our happiness looks like and how we wish to achieve it. There is a false conception of what our happiness should be.

Pause.

What does your happiness actually look like?

Reflect.

Taking a step back for a moment as I ponder this very question, I reminisce on my childhood. It was happy ~ it was simple.

We grew our vegetables and ate healthily together at dinnertime around the kitchen table. We bonded as a family in the backyard tending to the veggie patch or playing sports games. On weekend drives we breathed in the fresh air and enjoyed walks and swims and relaxation in the outdoors. We watched the sunrise as we drove out early to a far destination. We listened to the music that happily flowed from the radio.

Our way of life wasn’t the exception, nor was it hippie – it was just life and how my family chose to spend our time. We weren’t preoccupied with finding a balance nor were we stressing about how to do it all… we did what we could and how it worked for us.

 

Perhaps we should try to stop reinventing the wheel and take life back to basics.

Life is not meant to be overcomplicated – Life is meant to be lived, to be embraced and to be enjoyed.

 

“There are two things to aim at in life; first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second”.

 

Here’s to molding a life of happiness ~ the way happiness looks to me and maybe one day I can achieve the wisdom of succeeding at enjoying the happiness I want…

 

~ F.P