How my clothes help me embrace my personality

Clothes, Free, Freedom, Good enough, Growth, Helping others, Personality, Quietly confident, Say yes to rest, Soul, Spirituality, trauma, Uncategorized, Writer, writing

For me, like my home my clothes are a big part of who I am and is another way that I can embrace being me. I do not like to look like anyone else and I do not like to wear whatever is ‘in fashion’. This is just another way that people conform to the masses, look like robots and follow each other. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people do this. I always say I do not like to look like anyone else but what that really means to me is that I just want to be me. I always knew that I thought about life and clothes in a different way to others and this at times has caused me to wonder what was wrong with me. Why did I think one way when a lot of people who I knew or were around seemed to view the world differently. I have written before about how I used to be when I was younger, in primary school. This was the true representation of who I was. Quietly confident in who I was and what I liked even though this was sometimes random or ununusual. I didn’t care. I did not even think about it. I just did. I just was and I was free.

When you experience trauma in your life, it changes you. Simple. Trauma changes life as you know it, trauma changes you, trauma changed me. It affects every single aspect of your life. The way you see the world, the way you view people, your own safety or lack of it, the way that you see yourself, the way that you present yourself. As I write this, hiding is the big word that keeps popping up. I do not want to write too much just now on this as I feel a poem will best help me to put this into words. When I write I like to feel. Sometimes, the words only feel surface and I feel that I want to go deeper and express more. It must be time, I must be ready and it feels safe. It feels special and important and something that I want to share. I remember when I kept everything to myself. All my struggles, all my pain. I am now in a place where I no longer want to hide, I just want to share. I want to share and inspire. I hope to inspire, just be being me. When we think we have to do more, be more. When I finally accepted that I am enough as I am, my life started changing for the better. When I stopped, I started. It is a big fear for lots of people that if they slow down, rest or stop then everything will crash down. You do have to experience it for yourself but I can tell you honestly from my own experience that the opposite is so true. The more you stop, the more you can keep going and growing. It feels magical. It is magical but not magic. It is real, it is you. You are not different, you have just gone deeper. You have touched a depth in your soul that turns on a light so powerful it can never extinguish. If you feel like the light has gone, dimmed down then don’t look outward, go deeper within. Deeper within you.

For now I will leave you with this as I want to walk and reflect before I write more.

Thank you for the pleasure of reading my thoughts, supporting me in my journey and enabling me to support and inspire others.

With love as always

Sophie Marie x

When you are aligned with the universe

Belief, Connecting, Embrace true self, Faith, Freedom, God, Good karma, Happiness, Helping others, Hiding, Inner child, Inspire, Kindness, Peace, Self love, Share the love, Share yourself, Spirituality, trauma, universe alignment

Hi all, I hope everyone is well. If you are going through any challenges, don’t forget that you can do this. You are stronger than you know and you will come out the other side stronger after having learnt more lessons. Remember that the challenges are not being fired at you as a punishment but as a gift. The universe does not give you what you want, it gives you what you need. You are doing this.

It has been a while since I last wrote. I have been working on other things and have just returned from a brilliant week in Brighton for the holidays and to celebrate my birthday. There is so much that I want to write about however as usual I am just getting on with it. No filter, just going for it. What will come out will come out. I am just being free. I am just being me.

I wrote recently about good karma and as my daughter will tell you good karma is my new favourite saying. Probably getting a tad annoying for her but hey ho. Good things are still coming into my path, from a kind girl giving away her tickets to us at the pier so that we can choose some keepsake goodies to a free coffee on the train. With each new token of kindness I feel more and more blessed and the feelings flood through me that the universe is working with me. I am not alone, I have not felt alone for a very long time as I have a deep faith inside of me that I know everything will be ok and all the things that I have been working on, building in my life will take me to some big places. By big I mean big in the spiritual sense. It feels kind of weird when I reflect on it that I just believe however it is natural and organic. It just is and I just believe. It is a very comforting feeling, very safe. As I write the word safe I cry. I cry as I remember how at many times in my life I have felt anything but safe. How at many times in my life I didn’t know what safe was. At the worst point in my life I was even scared of my own shadow. I am not going deep into that part now however I know that my writing calls on me. It calls on me to connect. I know now that I not only need to connect but I have to. I know it is a part of me that I have to share, a part of me that I now want to share . I think back to all the times that I kept myself hidden away where I thought I was safe, where no one could hurt me or use me or abuse me. At times I guess I didn’t even know I was hiding but I must have been. It was my safe haven, my self protection, my armour. The only problem is that when you shut away a part of you to keep the bad out you also shut out other possibilities. When you are closed nothing and no one can enter.

I am very emotional writing this tonight but they are happy tears. Tears of sadness for my old self that hadn’t yet learnt to love herself. I thought there was something wrong with me, I never felt like I fit in or that I was good enough. I cry for the little girl,me. I was sweet and innocent and lost the spark that made me me. The part of me that made me free. The part that had no filter, I just did and I just said and I love her. I love all of her. I love all of me. I love the me now that is sat writing in my jeans and my new hoody that I have been looking for for a while. A big, mungy dark blue hoody with I heart Brighton on it. Its tacky and I bloody love it. I feel safe and cosy and warm and loved and at peace. I always go back to what my old counsellor told me years ago, words that will still with me forever. He said “you will do great things”. I believed him then even though I did not know in what capacity and I believe it now even more so. I started writing a book a couple of years ago then I didn’t write for a bit and went on to set up my website and blog where I have been writing ever since. I know I need and want to finish writing my book. I am not sure as yet how to carry on where I left off as I feel like I have done that just in a different writing space. I will look at it tomorrow and I am sure after a while I will know what to do. I truly believe that having an autobiography is great however for me I don’t want to read a celebrity (whatever that means) book. I want to read the real life, nitty gritty of a local working person. Someone that has been through trauma and a lot of different challenges and as lots of people say is”still smiling”. I want to read real and raw and I want to laugh and cry with someone. To connect with someone’s pain the way I connect with an artist singing. When I can hear and feel every bit of their pain and fight and strength and courage. This is what I want to write and I am sure there are other people like me that want to read the same. This is why it is so important to me to write my book and not only that, to get it published. I want to make people feel, connect people and inspire people. I really do believe now that I am not just good at my job, being a counsellor. I can say honestly, with depth that I believe supporting people in the way that I do is my gift from God. I also now believe that my gift is also supporting people in other ways, through my art and writing. For me I am still doing the same thing, I am just reaching out in different ways. I am using the whole of me and it feels amazing.

I have a week by myself whilst my daughter is with her dad and I am going to use this week to exercise (try at least) catch up with my beautiful friends for my belated birthday celebrations , write more and create. If the sun shines that will be a bonus however I am happy either way as the sun is always shining in my life. I am as ever truly blessed.

May you learn that the sun is always shining

With deep love and admiration

Sophie Marie

The Beauty of Light

Beauty, Connecting, Dark, Darkness, Embrace darkness, Hiding, Hope, Life, Light, Nature, Peace, Pray, Shine

The Beauty of Light .. A short piece I wrote for the Festival of Light 

All around the world is light. A vast expanse of light, so powerful that you don’t even realise it is there. It is only in times of darkness, sorrow or loneliness that we begin to pray. We pray for change, for hope, for comfort, for the darkness to end. It is only through connecting with our own darkness that we learn about the beauty of light. 

We wish for a light at the end of the tunnel, a light to guide our way. A light of hope to help us through the day. We may think we are not good enough, not clever enough or that we are different and don’t fit in. It is these thoughts that keep us locked in the darkness, scared to come out. Hiding from the world, hiding from ourselves.

Looking deep within feels impossible and we are blinded, motionless. We see the darkness as something negative, something we need to run from. It is only when we connect with our darkness that we learn to truly connect with ourselves and when we connect with ourselves we connect to life, to people, to nature. It is like a light being switched on. The beauty of a warm, comforting flame beckoning us. Only the light that we have switched on has not come from an outside source. This light is natural, pure, honest and alive. It is the light that we all have deep within us, deep within our soul. It is our light and there is nothing more beautiful than our own light. Our light that helps us to be seen, it lights up who we are. When we see the light in other people shining brightly it helps us to search for our own light.

Do not be afraid to sit in the dark, the darkness welcomes you. You are surrounded by peace, knowing that the light is always there when you need it, when you are ready. Your light will never leave you, you just have to remember to switch it on. 

Light is life.

Light creates more light.

You are your light.

Light up yourself and you Light up the world.

Sophie Marie x

Chocolate for memory and revisiting the past (Part 1)

Alone, Anger, Angry, Cancer, Diagnosis, Fear, Forgetfulness, Helplessness, Hospital, Memory issues, Revisiting the past, Triggered by trauma, Unfairness

Well it has turned into a funny week. No major events, slightly quieter business wise this week but nothing else specific. I have had a few (apologies) gynaecological issues again which have repeated a pattern from last year where I ended up having a myriad of tests, scans, examinations, ultrasounds and an endometrial biopsy. It was a very upsetting, stressful time for me resulting in having general anaesthesia to remove a fibroid and polyps from my uterus. My memory, or more like lack of it is rubbish. I am having one of those weeks that for me are usually affected by a stressful event or of doing too much. Neither of these are happening however I am forgetting things a lot more. I literally just drove to the wrong village. Luckily only five minutes between them however I was like “Sophie, where are you going?”. This is a new one for me as I have never written (in public) about medical issues. I am being so much more open and honest with how I am feeling, very honest in fact. Its a new feeling but it feels nice. It feels safe. It feels real so I am just going with it.

I had different bloods done yesterday and my doctor has referred me for an ultrasound to check all is working as it should. When it comes to checks and doctors, nothing of interest however when you throw in further tests and ultrasounds I have often been triggered into a mass of emotion and at times sheer panic. I don’t feel any panic as I do not feel there is anything sinister happening in my body (I really believe that) however it obviously does bring some things up or I guess I would not be sat here writing about this. About thirteen years ago following a lot of different tests, xrays and scans I went to a hospital appointment and was told there and then that they thought I had cancer. They told me that they thought I had Hodgkins Lyphoma and that although cancer, it was supposed to be one of the better cancers to have. I don’t think the latter part entered my mind, all I heard was cancer.

I received a myriad of information and within no time I was signing a consent form to be put to sleep for a biopsy in a few days. I was in shock and I was on my own. I rang my then husband crying my eyes out saying “they think Ive got cancer”. I didn’t really know what to do right then and there and we went to my mum and dads where my mum and brother were. We told them what the hospital had said, they obviously freaked out and my husband left me and went back to work. This latter point I will talk about in more detail in another blog as it is very relevant in how I view the world and the people that I now need by my side in the world.

Everything happened so quickly and I think within a few days I arrived at Blackburn Royal Hospital for my biopsy. I remember the early morning arrival like it was yesterday. We went into the tv room to wait, Everybody Loves Raymond was on tv. A gentleman asked me what I was in for. When I told him I was having a biopsy, he said something like “they don’t think you have cancer do they?” and I said yes. This man who I had never met was visibly upset. He did not cry however I could see the emotion in his eyes. I felt in that moment that this stranger really cared about me and it was nice and scary at the same time as it just emphasised the seriousness of the day.

I remember being in the operating room and a few doctors feeling around the lump I had near my clavicle and saying that he thought it was probably just my thyroid. He sounded like he was minimising. I don’t know if it was intentional to try and calm me however the next minute I was under. When I awoke, my then husband and brother were together standing next to my bed. They were talking and laughing, perhaps trying to make me laugh. I did not laugh. I know they were obviously doing what they needed to do to keep it together however hearing laughing and joking did not go down well with me and I shouted and got upset. I just had a potential piece of cancer cut out of me. Laughter made me angry. Laughing was the last thing that I wanted to do. I probably had cancer. I think I probably knew I had cancer. This was just the official diagnosis, the double check.

Within one week, we were in the hospital waiting room. I was so scared. I went through many scenarios in my mind. “Surely he wouldn’t leave me out here waiting all this time if I did have cancer”. “He knows I have cancer and he is scared to tell me”. Understandably I was not living in the moment waiting for what will be. I was overthinking. I was making up scenarios. I was going through everything that he was thinking. I was terrified.

We were told that I did indeed have what they suspected. I had Hodgkins Lyphoma. A cancer within the lymphatic system, sometimes described as a blood cancer. I had cancer. Me. We got outside the building and we hugged, a lot and I said “it’s not fair”. I don’t remember much else at that moment. Life changed. My life stopped in that moment. Everything happened so quick. My life changed from then on……..

Good Karma

Be thankful, Belief, Faith, Freedom, Good karma, Growth, Helping, Helping others, Hope, Inspire, Kindness, Learning, Letting go, Pass it on, Self love, Share the love, Share yourself, Small steps, Spirituality, writing

Hi, how are you all. I have finally got my laptop fixed and so I am back writing after a while. Unfortunately I am not one of those people that can happily type away on a mobile. I am old school and I have to feel the touch of the keyboard, it is how I write and how I can maintain my flow. It feels good already. I always feel even closer to myself when I write and there is no better feeling. There is so much that I want to write about however rather than overwhelm myself I will practice what I preach and take it one step at a time, one blog at a time.

I want this first piece to be about karma however not the negative kind. Good karma and I would like to talk about how life and the universe is coming together with me and revealing itself. There is a lot to discuss so bear with me as I do like to go around the houses to tell a story. Hey, its what makes me me and I am good with it. There is a faith that I believe is missing with lots of people, I used to be one of them. Now when I say I used to be one of them, I mean I was always positive however at times of extreme difficulty I have not always possessed the ability to just simply have faith and believe that everything will turn out ok, turn out as it is supposed to. Until this year. Life really changed forever. I know I have experienced that many times, many different periods of growth, changes and increases of confidence and self esteem. This is different. This is real, genuine and certainly life changing and something so important that I want to share with you all.

I have written about this a couple of times however I know this will be something that will keep coming in to my blogs as it is so profound and so intrinsically part of my life now, part of me. This is spirituality, being at one with the world, with nature, with the universe rather than feeling like you are separate, alone and disconnected. Now I am no way a master on this, I know what I know based on my own experience of it and how I feel the world around me. I understand more now since I was drawn to reading and through my spiritual reading across different areas which also is an instrinsic part of who I am. Reading now also makes me feel more alive, more connected. I will keep doing what I am doing until I no longer enjoy it. I do not believe that you have to always keep at something just because you started it. Some things like some people are meant to come into your life for a period of time, everything does not and will not be forever and now I can happily say that I am at peace with this. I am sure in some areas this may not come as easy for me however I will take what I already know and feel and apply it to these other areas. I do not have to know everything and I do not need to know how things will turn out, if they will work out. I feel happy now to just do what I want, when I want with who I want. I don’t mean without a care in the world attitude, just having the freedom to be me in whatever way that is in the moment and being ok with that. I reiterate that I am no master of any of these and I do not have to be. Noone is a true master at anything, like no one is perfect. There will always be more to learn, more growth, more things to experience. You and I are ever evolving so we will never be a finished product. Why would we want to be? How boring would that be? To know everything already and have nothing left to learn. This is what I would equate to being a robot and I am not a robot.

I just realised that I have been writing away and I have not even mentioned good karma yet and that is ok. Writing, like life does not always go from one to 100 in a straight line, I may go up and down, to the side, high up then a few down or in whichever combination. It is what it is and I am what I am. I will get to it but for now I just want to write, to release, to speak and hopefully be heard. That is a new admission for me which I feel I need to stop at. This is where I would say (in my counselling work) “that sounds huge”. I feel it is. I am always listening. I like to talk when I feel comfortable to talk and with my friends this is easy however I still need to say outloud sometimes, anytime “I want to be heard”. “I want to be listened to and I want to be heard”. I have definitely got better in this area and will not just be quiet if a friend starts to talk when I am, I will assert myself and speak a bit louder. I used to get mad at conversations of this nature and with some people I have found it impossible. People are so wrapped up in themselves that they want to be listened to and they are however they do not then pass that back as mutual respect. I have started to think to myself after one of these conversations that I would love to say “it would be nice if you would now ask about me, what I am up to etc” This is really honest by me and in all of my years I have never said this outloud although I am accepting in myself that this is what I am feeling and thinking. If you have a conversation with someone in the street, at home, wherever and the other person gives you respect and time and space to talk a while and be listened to, please stop and think for a moment. Do not take advantage. Offer the same back. Ask them about themselves. They, I, may be a great listener but I would also like to be listened to. It is not about saying well Im not very good at listening, I think that’s a cop out. It is about the simple act of making someone else feel valid. We all want to feel validated by other people, it is innate.

If you feel like you have got something from someone, whether that be a simple but effective smile, a nice comment, a listening ear, someone asking you how you are or about your day please pass it on. If you feel like you received something, give something back. This is so valid across life in general. It is not our life, just for us as some people still think. We are all part of life. We are life and as such we need to look after it, to look after each other. Be there for one another. Now I guess I should talk about good karma or else I will have to change the title of this blog.

Since having the deep, inner belief that everything will work out and to let go and just allow life to be, the universe is really working with me. I went to Northumberland for half term and upon landing at Bardon Mill by train I realised that we were not in the right place I felt perhaps all my bus/train research had got a bit muddled. I needed to get to our YHA. There was a pub and nothing else. I went in to enquire and found out that to walk to the YHA would be a minimum of one hour, uphill and with a heavy rucksack, suitcase and my ten year old daughter in tow was a no no. After a lot of conversations with the lovely staff at the pub and another lady who said she would have driven us had she not been drinking already, one of the ladies working in the pub got her car and drove us to our hostel. From the moment I entered, I felt looked after and not alone. I had faith that we would get there and help came to hand. Whilst on the same trip, I was let off with money that I was short for the train and a free bus trip (the crazy AD122 bus journey,lets not go there). It was then that I felt more connected, not alone. I know for people it is really hard to believe that things will be ok, especially if they haven’t been for so long but trust me they will. Constantly hoping and praying it will be ok does not quite work the same. You have to learn to, as they say “let go and trust the process”. This is so true not just in counselling but in life. Once you surrender to what is and what will be, things seem to emerge in different ways. It is like the quote (sorry I don’t know the author of the quote) “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. So true. When you experience it for yourself you can say “I get it”. It all makes sense, it all slots together, naturally, organically the way it is supposed to.

I left my purse at home the other week and was stuck needing petrol to get me back home. No phone, no id, nothing. Whilst in the bank explaining my situation, hoping they would give me money without id, a lady came up to me and said “if they can’t give it to you, I will give you the money to get home”. I was really touched, she had heard my story. She heard me. Very powerful.

Thank you for all the people who think and feel that way and may they be a teacher to others who may not naturally be that way. We can all learn from each other. We just have to listen…..

With much love and hope

Sophie Marie xx