Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

Baby steps, Beauty, Embrace true self, enge, Fear, Follow own path, Good enough, Growth, Interior design, Life, Light, Organisation, Patience, Small steps, Uncategorized, Unique, Write

Hi all, I wanted to write today about the importance and effectiveness of baby steps and slowly chipping away at a job/project. I have been working on our home since we moved in over three years ago. I remember having so many creative ideas, my creative juices were not just flowing they were overflowing. I knew, or thought I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted it to be done. I also fell foul to my impatience. A heady mix of enthusiasm, passion and excitement rolled up in a large blanket of impatience. The truth is, we are all impatient at times. Some people decide they want to lose weight and are disillusioned when they don’t lose what they want to by a given time. Others decide to take on a project and wonder what is wrong with them when they don’t achieve certain results in a timely manner. We are all guilty of wanting quick results, a faster turnaround or set ourselves unrealistic goals which all inevitably fail. People like to see what they want and with this they only see the end result and how to get there in the least amount of time. This method, although may work in some areas temporarily, only serve to end in disappointment as it doesn’t have long standing sustainability.

People are lazy. I don’t mean to sound harsh but it is true. People like instant gratification. When it doesn’t happen the result is blame. We blame ourselves and judge ourselves harshly or we blame someone else for our lack of progress. The truth is, long lasting results can only be achieved with a long standing method. Sounds simple. In theory yes so why do so many people still do it. Why do we set ourselves up for a fall. Why do we think getting something quick is the best way, a good way. Do we think we are more intelligent if we do it quicker or are we trying to prove something to someone else. If we get there before others, does this mean we are better, more worthy. No. If you want to be quicker, there will always be someone before you that has already done it quicker. It follows the same lines of there will always be someone smarter, thinner, taller, than you. If you think of it in this context you will never win. In this way, there is always someone else involved and when we try and compete, be better we are basically saying that we alone are not good enough. I am not saying do not have goals or strive to be more, just use yourself as the goal and build your own scale of progress.

Despite living in the same world, we were born with unique skills and capabilities. We need to use these and learn to understand that life was not created to follow a path. You were given life. You are unique and as such you need to learn that your life is also unique. Society tells us that we go to school then college, university, get a great job, get married, have a child and all in that order. When life doesn’t go exactly this way people wonder what is wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with you. You may be just following the wrong path. Your path may not go in that order or even have those aspects within it. People like to know what they are doing and where they are going. They do not like the unknown. People fear the unknown, it creates uncomfortable feelings which people want to run from. Anything unknown will always have an element of fear this is natural. The only way to get past this is to try. Once you have done it once fear loses its power as it is no longer an unknown. Each time you do it becomes less of an unknown and more of a known. This is when you have the power. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, we need fear to guide us and to challenge us in our thinking and doing. As scary as this may sound to some, there is no plan or rule book to life and what you have heard is from fairytales or from black and white thinking. The world is not black and white. The world is full of colour, accents, shades and tones and the only way to see the amazing variations in colour is to start looking at yourself and understanding that you have a unique path which only you know. It is up to you to start looking at what feels right to you, what fits with you and how that can fit into your life/path. There is no life path, only your path.

Sophie Marie

When you start to do this, you learn to understand the beauty in small steps. When I started decorating and designing our home I decided in my head that I would complete the whole house in a few months. As I write this now I laugh. My creativity was there, my passion and excitement however what I failed to do was to look at achievability. Was this achievable? I was passionate, would this not help? I was capable, did this not count for something? Yes, of course these all help to achieve but were my goals achievable? No, of course not. I thought I could because it is what I wanted. Pure and simple. I wanted it done quick and I thought that was enough. How funny. Quite ridiculous to write and read this. We all do it. It doesn’t make us bad people or stupid, it makes us human. What is so powerful is when you learn the beauty in seeing your own progress.

I regularly have to stop and reflect on how different our home is compared to how it was when we bought it. I sometimes get impatient and beat myself up for not yet having a finished home. This is when I have to stop and look around. Simply look at the beautiful, opulent colour on our walls. The stunning lamp that sits beautifully in an alcove next to a yellow photo frame. This is one of my favourite areas and I created it. It was bare, then I painted it. I then spent time looking for the perfect piece (perfect to me) and patiently waited until the right piece presented itself to me. I did it. It took time, there was no quick process and I was very patient at times.

I am not interested in buying for the sake of it or doing a rush buy. I am only interested in buying what is right for our home. All the pieces match my personality which is paramount to me. We live in our home, not a home. There is a huge difference. A friend came to mine Saturday and I was able to show her a few new things that we have invested in since she was last here. It gave me another chance to show the progress and for my friend to see where the house is now. They also get a chance to share in the beauty of my process. Saturday was a big day for me as it was the first day in a while that I could see the accumulation of all my/our hard work. I am including my daughter here as she does help me and spends time helping to organise her bedroom so that she knows where everything is and all her belongings have a place. She puts up with me when impatience kicks in and I get overexcited and embarrassing about storage.

It is hard to explain how it felt. It was a deep feeling, one that hit me hard in a nice way. I was in the kitchen and it just came over me. I realised how most places in the house are organised now. All the baby steps have taken form. Each drawer I tidied out, each item I found a home for and countless bags I gave to charity. The baby steps are the beauty steps. You can not always see the benefit of each small task however it is the accumulation of tiny steps that has led me here. Led me to this warm, touching feeling. This feeling of immense pride and shock. Shock that I can see what a difference there is. It feels like it has just happened but it hasn’t. The baby steps have added up and there is now a massive clearing. The overriding feeling has stayed with me, I can feel it strongly as I write. It feels light. It feels clear, ethereal. It is a beautiful feeling. The beauty of light.

Go and take your first baby step. Where will it take you?

With hope and love

Sophie Marie

All good writers must read and write a lot

Inspirational cycle, Inspirational Music Inspiring music, Inspire, Learning, Self respect, Share yourself, Small steps, Write, Writer, writing

Hi all and happy new year. I hope your Christmas time was as relaxed and peaceful as it could be. It sort of saddens me to say that this is my first piece of writing in quite a long time. I am hopeful that will change this year. Although I am partial to a great quote, I do not tend to use other people’s quotes in my writing. This quote is particularly relevant to me and one which has carried me through the last six months or so. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”. Stephen King.

I came across this particular quote whilst researching how to write a book and how to become a good writer. It really stopped me in my tracks and shocked me, in a good way. It may sound strange that I had never really thought of the reading part. The only books I read as an adult were self development books, autobiographies, literature based on mental health. The only other things that I read were interior design magazines and still do. I can spend long periods of time immersed in a page with only images to entertain me. This for me, is where I can read the story without words and this excites me. I can see the passion, the art and the style within the confines of another’s living room. Carefully curated to show the inner workings of a stylists mind. A hot bath and numerous images of mid century furniture and I am away for hours.

Like everything else in my life,I don’t just want to be a writer I want to be a good writer. Writing itself for me is still quite new in terms of writing for others as well as myself. I want to learn how to grow in this area, grammar being one area that I need to focus on. Somehow I have forgotten a lot that I learnt in school and I would like to learn how best to set out my writing, ensuring that I keep my writing brief and relevant (I am known for going around the houses so may struggle here). I want to be myself. Raw in my writing, with a more professional edge.

My business has been going the same way this last year. I had reached the stage whereby I wanted to look at areas that I could tighten up, become more streamlined and all together be more professional. I know that my work as a counsellor in my own practice is work to a high standard however there are some areas of my business that I always try and improve upon each year. I can see from my previous year in business what I need to look at and how I can market myself in a more professional manner in order to grow personally, professionally and my client base itself. Reaching a level of maturity for my business naturally flows into other areas of my life and what I want to achieve. The last year I focused a lot more of my time on my counselling business and growing this. I put the work in and saw the results. This year I would like to invest more in myself personally, allowing myself lots of time to write. I know that in order for this to happen, knowing my personality as I do is to dedicate time to it. I need to allocate time and organise my time more effectively. I have unconsciously placed writing as less important. I want this to change. I know the benefits personally for me when I write. I am more open, my confidence increases, I am more alert and most important it allow me to share myself creatively.

I love my work, however because of this I tend to trick myself that it is not work. It is. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a counsellor is not something that you put a hat on for. It is someone that I am every day, a big part of my being. I am however not just a counsellor. I am multi faceted and like my art piece “Two headed beauty” (available through my website) says “why be one dimensional when you can be your true, multi dimensional self”. By neglecting this part of me, I have been neglecting myself. I am now aware and so I can change. Creativity releases me and makes me feel free and more alive. It brings me back to the now.

You can gauge when you are following a positive path when the feelings that arise within you feel ‘right’. It is that feeling which is hard to put into words. It is like a kind of magic. It just creates a feeling of peace (and many other feelings) deep inside. It is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. It just fits. I need to write more. I need to set myself a goal, a schedule that I can achieve. I want to write with progression as I have to be continuously learning and growing. I can not stagnate.

I always want to write raw and in the moment which I have. The difference today is that I have gone through the piece and edited it. I don’t know what if any difference this will make to how it is read. This is a learning curve for me and I am enjoying it. Please look out for my next piece where I will be talking more about how reading has become a big part of my life and how I hope this will enhance my writing.

Looking forward to sharing more with you

Sophie Marie

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

If you are waiting to become a finished product you are waiting for death

Darkness, Faith, Growth, Hope, Inner child, Inspire, Never give up, Reconnecting, Self love, Small steps, Vulnerability, writing

I am aware of the harsh title of this blog however it is time to start living your life now. We have all done it and said it, many times. “When I get a better job I will be sorted”. “When I lose weight life will be great”. This place, this time, this “when” is now and can only ever be now. We are not alive in the past nor in the future. If either of these places is how you travel through your life then stop and reflect on where you are going. It is only by being right here in this very moment and connecting with now that you touch ‘alive’. You touch life.

Reaching this level of consciousness, this level of awareness requires visiting some dark places. I am not going to lie and say this is easy however I know for a fact that it is never as bad as how you imagined it to be. The unknown always appears larger than it actually is. Getting to the point of knowing that something has to change, you have to change brings every emotion out of the woodwork.

There is a knowing deep inside of you that is calling you. It is not scientific or magical in that sense. It is something very beautiful. It is you.

Your true self, your younger self, your innocent self wants to meet up. You want to connect. You need to connect. Without connection there is a disconnect. With disconnection there is separation. With separation you are alone.

We all know that you can be in a room full of people and still be alone. It is a horrific feeling at times. Somewhere along the journey of your life you left a part(s) of yourself and they are missing you. They have been trying to tell you for a long time but you have not been listening. When you didn’t listen I cried. I still needed you so I tried to get your attention in different ways. When I shouted at you I hurt you. I am not sorry. I did that out of love, for you. I love you and I just wouldn’t stop trying to tell you until you heard me. That is what real love is. It is not flowers and chocolates. It is not dishonesty. It is honest and brave and relentless. It will never give up on you. You are just not listening, not open. You need to be open to receive. Open your heart to love. Open your heart to you.

Love

Sophie Marie x

Setting up an art/creative website

Art, Hope, Inspire, Kindness, Small steps, Uncategorized, Wordpress

It has been a couple of weeks now since I first registered for my new art website and purchased my new domain name sophiemarie.art. I always knew it would be a challenge. Help and support is always available (thanks WordPress) however the day to day additions, alterations and improvements needed to coincide with my goals for my site are a new challenge each and every time. The most recent being the addition of my buy now paypal button which took me numerous hours and conversations and immense frustration to achieve and this was in the end with the help of a couple of people, one being from WordPress. IT has never been my strong suit and I doubt it ever will be. I will always however want to know how to do something even if that means I need to learn it a few times. This then helps me grow as I can remember parts that I learned to help me with the next challenge.

I have now created a few pages, written numerous blog posts, displayed a few images of my art and interior and have a working paypal button. With the addition of more aspects of the webite I was able to assess the scheme that I had chosen (there have been lots of changes) to see if it was still working. Although I like the look of Hemmingway Revisited, it wasn’t displaying my images alongside my blog posts as I would like so I spent time yesterday researching the various schemes (again) and came to my new choice which I feel works better for me and looks more professional at the stage I am at. I know I have another choice lined up for when I have more of my art displayed on a portfolio as some of the other schemes are more geared towards art based/photo/creative websites.

I know I am progressing with the development as I am always looking to see how the site looks with each new addition and how that may translate to others looking at my site. I do have high standards which in the past have caused me a lot of stress however there is also the positive side of this. I know that I have to be really happy with something now to put it out for sale and for me that is all in the finer details. The art produced is one thing however the process throughout is paramount. The process of choosing the right frame with the right look, colour, finish, style and feel. Feel not just in an aesthetic sense but within. I have to see the finished article and say “yes, that’s it”. It has to give me that pull, that excitement where I know it is ready.

As an artist that uses her experiences and knowledge in everything that she does, I know that there is always a depth in all of my work. Like anything in my life, if it is important to me I will do it and I will do it 110%, to the best of my ability which I feel is a strength of mine. I would rather not put work out if I am not truly happy with each aspect as I feel it is a representation of myself and the standard that I hold for myself and for the people that buy my art. I want them to be happy with the whole piece not just the art itself, that is what takes the time, the patience and energy as it all has to run in succession. I want all aspects of my business to not only look professional but be professional. Each detail is important to me down to the layout of the site so that it represents the artist and businesswoman that I am.

I have often been called diligent which is nice as it shows me that people do see how much of myself I put into a project and how I will never give up. I always put my heart and soul into everything that I do and I hope that shows to others. When you buy my art, you buy the heart and soul, the knowledge, the motivation, the spirituality within it. More than ever I want to connect with more people through my work as an artist as well as in counselling and I feel like this is one step further to my goal.

I will never ask people to like and share my work for the sake of it or because I am offering you something free. If you do like my posts and/or my art great, your feedback is much appreciated and if there is something that speaks to you in one of my blogs then please pass it on to someone that you feel may benefit from these words.

If we all help one another, even a little then it all adds up to something monumental. Everything starts with one small step, everything starts with you.

Think about yourself as a greater force than just you. A huge lesson I have learnt quite recently is to always put yourself (or at least try to) out there and by doing this you help to create the ‘ripple effect’.

You learn and you pass it on then whoever that is received by can do the same. There are endless possibilities in creating good in the world. It really isn’t complicated or hard. You just have to start.

With much hope, kindness and love

 

Sophie Marie x