“If you’re feeling the potential for a big life change on the horizon but still can’t quite take your first step off the diving board then, for now, take small considered steps. You don’t have to make great leaps from the get-go. Work out what you feel needs to change and make your choices around that. Decide which tiny stepping stones can set you in the right direction, but won’t feel like a shock to the system. If you know your inner happiness will improve with change, grab those choices by the horns and breathe into the unknown.”
– Fearne Cotton, Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect (page 111)
If something ends because things didn’t work out as you hoped that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time.
Try to remember the good that was there; the experiences, the happier times. Then look to the lessons you have learned since.
Take both of these things – the memories and the lessons – and start on a new step forward. It wasn’t a waste of time, it was an experience, and a part of your life story.
(c) Michelle G, She Holds The Bowl, 2018
It’s okay to admit you got it wrong. It’s okay to admit you made a mistake, took too much on, tried to ‘run before you could walk’, or you just aren’t ready yet.
Sometimes we can charge ahead, feeling like we ‘need’ to do something or ‘should’ be making progress. But sometimes we also need to take a deliberate step back, take note, and accept its not what we need.
Maybe you were trying to give or do too much while keeping little in reserve for yourself. Maybe you got caught up in dreams for the future and didn’t think about the practicalities of the here and now. Maybe you started on a path and you realise it’s not the right one for you. Maybe you tried to ‘get back into the world again’ before you’re fully healed and ready.
It’s okay to admit you made a mistake. It’s okay to reassess. It’s okay to realise you need to set healthier boundaries or practice better self-care. And its okay to say you’re not ready yet; that you still need time to heal.
It’s okay. You will be okay.
Sometimes the first step to a better future is to make sure we have a better relationship with ourselves. Admitting when we need to change things, when we need to take a step back, or when we’re not ready to face something yet is all a part of the process. Self-love and self-care begins with self-honesty, self-accountability and self-responsibility.
Love yourself enough to know it’s okay to admit you got it wrong, that you made a mistake, or that you need more time. It is not failure to admit these things. It takes great inner strength to look within and love yourself even when you stumble and fall.
Michelle Thereze, She Holds The Bowl, 2018
I’m going to be taking a break of at least a week across all my blogs. I want to prioritise self-care, get back to centre, and be present for all of the changes going on. I’m needing time to recouperate, re-balance, reconnect, reflect and reassess on a number of different levels. To do so I need to withdraw from a lot of external output so I can go within.
The reassessing will also extend to my various blogs. As I’m shifting, growing and changing my ideas and feelings about my blogs are doing the same. I’m not the same person I was 18 months, a year or even a month ago, and I need to reflect on that and see how I can translate it into my online presence and content.
I will be back, but until then: take care of yourselves, remember you have a right to self-care, and you are allowed to change, evolve and move into new things.
I’m going to start sharing some of the things I have brought/ bring in to my life that contribute to my self-care and self-love practice, as well as my overall wellbeing.
For me plants are part of my self-care. I love watching how they grow and develop seasonally and year after year. Taking care of them reminds me to take care of myself too. I bought this little Agave at a local May fair, and found the pot a couple of days later in the local branch of Tiger Store.
The colours tie in just right with my Kwan Yin card (from Lindy Lawler), which I’ve had for some time. The card itself was getting all bent out of shape from being on my window sill, so I finally bought a frame for it. I notice it even more now, and the message – “Remember you shine with the brightness of a thousand suns” – is something that particularly speaks to me. Remembering to honour our heart and our gifts is important for self-care and self-love.
(c) Michelle G, She Holds The Bowl, 2018
Perhaps you stumbled or took a detour. Perhaps something cut you off, or you severed the link yourself…
There are times when most people struggle on their pathway, for one reason or another. The first step is to accept that you have become separated from it, and to look into the reasons it happened.
Some events are out of your control, and there’s no way you could have predicted them, but you do have a certain measure of control in your response. After the initial reaction (emotions, fears or feelings) it’s time to take a deep breath and assess.
Once you’ve assessed you can start to make changes, address issues, or begin healing in a manner that will help to bring you back into balance.
Finding balance could mean identifying values or boundaries and living more in alignment with them. It could mean asking for specific types of help or support. It could mean organising or planning certain things. It could mean centering and finding a way to cope with anxiety or fear. It could mean getting real with yourself about how your own thoughts, actions, behaviours or issues are holding you back, and addressing them appropriately.
After this, sometimes you will also need to look at whether the path you were on is the one you need to be on now. In coming more into alignment with your Self and your real needs and desires, you may find that your pathway is to take a different route completely.
Sometimes things from your past that were pushed aside or left behind are brought back in and reappear. Perhaps you weren’t ready for them before, but now they’re coming back in as you start a new phase and have more self-awareness.
Sometimes you get knocked about by a situation and need time to regroup and heal. Then, when you’re ready, you pick yourself up and step back onto the path.
Sometimes your faith is tested completely, and you don’t even know what your pathway is anymore. You might need to wait and allow things to develop in their own time. You may be waiting for some time; or not. It may even feel painful, like a separation from yourself or o/Others*. Sooner or later things will start to reappear, but perhaps in different ways. Don’t miss out on opportunities because they’re not the specific ‘thing’ you’re looking for.
Everyone stumbles, falls or has times when the path diverges, changes or gets cut off temporarily. Don’t give up. Know that eventually a change will come about. Trust, and believe that the road or signpost will reveal itself eventually.
(c) Michelle G, She Holds The Bowl, 2018
*o/Others – family, friends, God, Deities, Spirit, the Universe, etc.
I’ve used oracle cards privately for myself and a few others for around 12 years now, but I’ve had a really strong urge to do weekly readings. I pushed it away for a while, thinking, “Who am I to do something like that?” But it’s something that kept surfacing, so I finally took the plunge and started a blog for weekly oracle card readings. This week I’ve also tried another setup and picked a card for the New Moon.
If you are interested in such things and would like to take a look then head on over to The Penguin’s Tidepool. I’m still exploring this medium in terms of ‘public’ readings, but it’s really challenging my beliefs about my capabilities and putting myself ‘out there’ in new ways. It’s a whole new creative, as well as spiritual, process for me and I’m loving it.
If there’s something you keep coming back to, something you just can’t shake off, give it a go. I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore new avenues. Even if they don’t work out or things change as you progress, you tried and you gained some different experiences in the process.
This week is M.E. Awareness Week.
I write the following from the perspective of someone who has M.E., fibromyalgia, migraines and other conditions. I’ve had M.E. for around 15 years now, since I was 17. I have spent various times being bedbound and (mostly) housebound. I am currently (mostly) housebound, so I know what it’s like to have something take over your life, where it feels you have so little say in what you can do.
It can be hard to separate your view of yourself from the illnesses/ conditions, but it can be done. We are all individuals and chronic illness doesn’t change that. We might change as a result of these things but we are not our diagnosis.
Remember that you are not your illness/ diagnosis. You are a person who lives with these things, and they define aspects of how you can live your life, but they are not You.
You deserve to be loved and appreciated just like anyone else does. Just because you have a long-term health condition it doesn’t mean you are ‘lesser’ for it. You still have your own personality, your own quirks and gifts, and you are worthy of being loved.
Never underestimate who you are because of the diagnosis you have received and the condition(s) you live with. You are worthy of being loved… and you can start by learning to love yourself for who you truly are. When you do, you teach others how to love you too.
(Michelle G, She Holds The Bowl, 2018)
Shared from Paging Mrs Zen:
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.
I made a Gratitude Jar recently to help me see how much there is to be grateful for in my life, and to remind me of the abundance that comes my way. Every time something good happens, every time I receive a gift, unexpected bit of money, or find something I’ve been looking for (especially of it’s for a great price), I’ll add it to my Gratitude Jar. I also add times where I feel like my prayers have been answered, help has been offered, or someone has said something or put up a post that really helped me.
I had a plain jar but wanted something a bit prettier to inspire me, so I dug out my stickers and got to work. For the little ‘Thank you’ notes I cut up pieces of thin craft card, and every time I have something to add I will pick a piece, write on the plain side what I’m grateful for, and on the coloured side I’ll write “Thank you” with a little x (kiss) as a symbol of appreciation. It’s really simple to do, doesn’t take long to set up, and is a really good visual reminder of how to make Gratitude a regular practice in your life. It’s especially useful when you’re going through a rough patch; you can look at the Gratitude Jar and remind yourself of all the good that has come in for you already, and know you will be able to add something to the Jar soon.
(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2018