If I ever let my head down, it will just be to admire my shoes

Quote by the sensational Marilyn Monroe.

Firstly, friends sometimes in conversations ask questions about who you’d invite to a meal of celebrities both alive and departed; Marilyn would defiantly be at my gathering. Despite her iconic following, we share a love for shoes and so this quote absorbed my soul. I think she would probably have some feisty opinions and yet to me she seems fragile and vulnerable all at the same time. Who would you invite?

This quote also helps me reflect on two completely opposite perspectives, the first is probably rather shallow. BUT OH MY, I LOVE SHOES. Never understood a handbag girl, never liked accessories, not too fussed about hats but give me a high heel and I can take on the world. Measuring in at 159cm’s (yup, I never left the kids department) and with size two pied’s my collection is extensive and sparkly and the higher the heel the happier I am. I’m not a great fan of flip flops, flats or anything remotely practical, with perhaps the exception of a trainer ( actually many of my trainers have heels?) or converse. Ive been totting in heels for more than two decades and I wear them most days – all day. My one rule when it comes to shoes is; you never take them off. Why? because you will never get them back on and over the years Ive probably become immune to the pain and they make me so happy, this leads to my second ultimate weapon. I look down at my shoes for courage, joy and happiness. If I have a horrendous meeting to attend, a super long day of back to back meetings – I reach for the shoe that excites me the most. During the dull day or perhaps if Im in a pressured situation I look down and smile. It instantly lifts my spirits and in turn the frequency I’m operating at. I will be over a hundred, draped over a sparkly pink zimmer frame and still be in a classic stiletto for this very reason. Heels are my equivalent to superman’s cape or Thor’s hammer. I also practice yoga weekly to prevent joint issues and counter balance the harm a heel does to posture.

On a deeper level, Marilyn was probably talking about being confident and holding her head high. Mannerisms play a key part in being successful. In moments of self doubt and when the darker days are dawning, letting your head fall can be the beginning of the end. I imagine Marilyn faced many people who tried and perhaps succeeded at attacking her soul. As a human grown in the soil of earth I have definitely had my share of people making me feel inferior, inadequate or taking chunks of my self doubt. Sadly, I probably have also done the same to others without even knowing it… but there is something I am teaching my son to prevent him from ever having to look down (plus Thors hammer is priced at £26 in the Disney store and its not practical for him to take to school, so we needed an alternative). Its simply the thought process that you allow other people to make you feel a certain way. If someone tells me a joke, I choose to laugh (or run), If someone says an unkind comment, I either allow it in or like a mirror reflect it back at them, not necessarily in retaliation but in the essence that the comment is a reflection of them, they said it. I don’t have to listen, feel or absorb it. Its me that looks down at the ground or chooses to look up to the heavens.

Sounds easy? Like a perfectly poached egg it requires the right conditions to thrive (water, heat, and time) and on rare occasions it can be useful to over cook a poached egg to know how you like it. Contrast is essential to happiness; you can’t know what you want, until you know what you don’t want. You can’t always be as strong as Thor’s hammer because for one, we don’t all have access to Uru – the Asgardian precious metal and secondly humans are designed to bleed. Sometimes people will hurt you, usually the closer they are to you the harder they hurt. In daily life I feel we can choose to look up a little more, deflect more frequently and only look down because frankly its a day where my shoes bring me happiness.

 

Rock bottom has created more heroes than privilege

Quote by Anon.

Rock bottom is a place I have been within my own journey and not one id like to visit again any time soon. The great thing about us as individuals is that everybody’s rocks are at varied levels, like a metamorphic rock; some of us are granite and have experienced challenge following grief, others are more slate and have been homeless, broken hearted may be a layer of Anthracite and within the stages of rock making much like humans there are thousands of layers.

There is one huge positive about your individual layer of rock bottom…things can only get better. It may sound obvious and perhaps patronising but there is also a delight in knowing that however bad your today is, tomorrow will be better simply because it can’t get any worse. The real issue is seeing that in the bleak depths of rock bottom.

Gratitude is a way to raise your current reality. Appreciating what you do have, rather than wallowing in what you don’t is a hard but necessary step in raising your vibration (one thats easier said than done) when life throws you a new level of rock bottom you didn’t know existed.

I also have a huge amount of respect for individuals who are now considered great within our history books and came from rock bottom.

  • Oprah Winfrey came from poverty and is now the richest billionaire black woman of our times.
  • Celine Deon was the youngest of 14 children (ouch) and grew up with very little, she now is worth around $400 Million.
  • Jim Carrey when young was made homeless and his family lived in a van…he now makes $20 million per film and is well known for his upbeat and grateful vibes and of course his humour.
  • Jay Z grew up in poverty and around crime – he even shot his own brother aged 12. From crime came a hungry talent that values the rapper at around $550 million

Of course it isn’t always about money. Many people grew up without love and experience  fantastic relationships in their adult life or have rock bottoms that involve other ‘lacks’ and find them as they age.

Privilege however doesn’t seem to have the hunger to do well that poverty and a lacking nature can offer. There are many aristocratic families within the UK that achieve very little for their families wealth or persona. Not great news for the ‘Made in Chelsea’ crew; although none of them seem to be falling on hard times just yet.

However, I believe that the real essence of this quote is about hope. This little four letter word is crucial to anyone wishing to have a better tomorrow. Hope has fed thousands and continues to do so across the globe daily. Hope usually manifests itself in small amounts, much like a seed. It doesn’t require much to nourish it to the next level – a few drops of water and some sunlight and great things begin to happen. As a stalk appears abundance can expands and from one small seed with very little life can come a wonder of blossoms, beauty, nectar and nutrition.

So if you are at rock bottom, I offer you a seed of hope and with a few small actions or risks can come the motion towards a life you use to dream…plus its cold and wet at rock bottom, what have you got to lose?

Remember today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday

Quote by Dale Carnegie

As a teacher, at the beginning of new terms or even on a Sunday evenings getting the ‘fear’ is not uncommon. Something about standing on the edge of a new week can seem rather daunting. For some, it means another week of demands, overwhelming task and the race of life – chasing that never ending ‘to-do’ list. Of course the ‘fear’ isn’t just a teacher or student concept – the ‘fear’ is inclusive to the entire human race. Sadly.

During exam periods I always encourage my pupils to books several big events during the revision / exam period – it gives a positive focus to what can seem like a never ending carousel of post-its, essay practise, and highlighting sentences. This year one of my high anxiety pupils booked a concert, a meal with friends (no revision cards allowed) and her Mum booked her a ‘surprise weekend’ which turned out to be some well needed family time at Centre Parks.

When I first became a Mummy on maternity leave I realised that I would quickly need a similar recipe for success and sanity. Money was an issue, so instead I treated myself to smaller treats like ‘posh teas’ and made sure I had time to drink them hot (oh the luxury). I used cooing visitors or close family to have bubble baths and silly treats of time mainly to straighten my hair, paint my nails or frankly just sit alone with a book or just to daze out of the window. I guess in some respect this post is a similar message to my last post found here, which is about prioritising yourself.

However, this week I want to take that message one step further – to creating moments of joy in the humdrum of life. To planning family time that units all members and to crucially prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed.

If you look at many of the people winning at life, from Oprah to Louise Haye meditation is key to their mental well being and subsequent happiness and success. I recently embarked on an 8 week mindfulness course. Many of the aspects of the course I found unhelpful – either because I already do them or chewing a raisin for twenty minutes just doesn’t seem to resonate with me. I signed up for the course because I was keen to increase and perfect my meditation practise. My instructor gave us a CD full of mediations of different time spans and contents, but I have always found youtube to be an awesome source of led meditation (if thats your thing). I have a few favourites that motivate, chill or empty my mind. During the course I was foolishly waiting for the moment when I had perfected my meditation process and could leave proudly announcing to the world that ‘I can meditate’ and hold my certificate proudly…only to discover that its a daily working progress and you can’t actually meditate incorrectly. In essence for non-meditating readers; you focus on your breathe and try to stop your mind from wondering off…at the start its a little bit like supermarket shopping with a toddler, with practise you learn that online shopping is best for all and that popping in to Waitrose for some milk and bread is your maximum capacity. You become comfortable in your own skin, head and letting go seems to flow much easier. What they don’t warn you is that is highly addictive and the sense of well being that it can give you is exactly the same as when your child reaches the age where you can monthly shop with them and ACTUALLY enjoy their company.

If you have never tried it – you’re wrong. Ive never met anyone who hasn’t driven somewhere like on a daily commute to work and upon arrival can’t remember the journey. Or perhaps read a book and become so enthralled in the characters and plot that you’ve lost track of time, although not ‘strictly’ meditation these events are extremely similar. Escaping your current reality and the demands of the world and freeing your mind – even just for a few minutes.

The evidence for this practise is abundant and a quick google will put any logical mind at ease. However, if you are someone that resonates with the quote above about worry dominating your life, or perhaps every now and then anxiety pops around for an unexpected cuppa and stays way too long, or you just can’t remember when you last enjoyed the now, the today and the present and instead your mind is busy analysing the ‘what ifs’ of tomorrow, then I promise making a few minutes before you fall asleep and listening to a guided meditation will be the best gift you gave yourself.