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

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

Helping others

Art, Belief, domestic abuse, Expressions of art, Faith, Growth, Helping, Helping others, Hope, Inspirational cycle, Inspire, Kindness, Nature, Reconnecting, Share yourself, support, writing

Hi all, it’s good to be here. I hope you are all keeping well and if you are currently being challenged as I am then I hope you have some support to keep you on your path.

I think I have a previous post about this however my desire to help people just keeps growing stronger. I support children, teenagers and adults in my work as a mental health counsellor which I love. This is a different kind of desire. This comes from deep down, deep within my soul. When I am going through challenges in my life, my opportunity for growth, this is when the desire burns stronger. I spoke to a lovely friend of mine the other day about my ideas for helping support more people. When I told her some of my ideas she said how kind and selfless they were. I know this was a compliment, however I actually disagree slightly in that on some level I feel that helping in these extra ways will help me also and so can not be purely selfless. I guess the difference now is that I am not trying to make myself ‘feel better’. I just empathise with people and their challenges, especially when those challenges leave you feeling isolated. This is a feeling I have had many times and I know how hard it is. I also now know that reaching out to others is a way of connecting. There is a deeper will to want people to know that by offering what you can, a simple message of encouragement or small token that ‘you are not alone’.

To feel this compassion from people is a feeling that can not be replicated. At Christmas time, my daughter and I were invited to an event held by Harv (domestic abuse charity) where we were shown all the donations that people had left for Christmas presents. It was very emotional for me as it was a very powerful message that people who had never met you wanted you to know that they care, you are in their thoughts and to remind you that you are not alone. There is no greater feeling.

The truth is, no one is alone. We are all connected to one another, to nature, to our universe. We either do not realise this yet or we have become detached, disconnected. The good news is that we can all connect again. Disconnection is temporary and in a way not even real. It is more of a perceived feeling as we can never truly be disconnected to who we are at our core and if we keep that with us always this will always keep us going. I feel the need to reiterate this as it is a very powerful statement. “We can never be disconnected from our core. If we keep that with us always, this will always keep us going”. I love this.

I can feel the flow more now in my words. Sometimes it takes time for the flow, sometimes it comes immediately. I just remember that it comes when it is ready, when I settle into myself and into my thoughts. When I am in the moment, in the here and now and being mindful. I can only be me now.

I just remembered what I started my post about and that was helping others. I am reading a book I got from a charity book shop in Hexham about compassion and it really is helping me cement my desire to help in a bigger way than I currently am. I know there is something a lot bigger in me and the ideas and thoughts are all coming to the forefront. I need to collect all of my ideas and put them together in the best way to showcase empathy, compassion and a willingness to support. I know I will use my art within this as art has got me to where I am now. Art was a huge influence for me. Art helped me to connect to my feelings and to reconnect with myself. Art helped save my life and I owe a lot to the arts.

I am going to put together an inspiration board to collate my ideas and thoughts and see how I can best put forward my plan. I want to show what can be done in your local community, how every little helps and how if we all share a bit of ourselves then we can all make this a better world for us all.

With hope and healing

Sophie Marie xx

Connecting deeper to your core

Belief, Hope, Inspire, Minimalism, Self love, Share the love, Uncategorized

As I looked back to see how long it has been since my last post, I realised that I still had a draft post which I had forgotten to publish. I think I was waiting for a photo and then forgot in the midst of life at the moment. Forget the photo for now I have just sent it out.

I have been thinking about how I have not been writing for quite a while. To be honest, with the challenges I have going on at the moment I have been focusing on these and as such I have felt a bit stuck about posting however much I wanted to. I have felt a barrier which I have not liked but have accepted. The positive is that I have been working really hard on these current life challenges, I am no longer prepared to be silent or to keep my voice hidden, me hidden as I do not deserve to hide. I truly believe that all of this is happening for a reason and that I need to face and come to terms with how life was previously before I chose me and my freedom. I let out a deeper breath. I know there is work to be done here and it will come out when it is ready.

A friend of mine had to cancel coffee and catch up this morning, I was disappointed as this was something for me, time away from everything that I had given to myself and was looking forward to. I am still doing what I would have done and just had a nice stroll through the park just reflecting on life, nature and myself and I am treating myself to a coffee whilst I write. With funds as they are at the moment coffee is a big luxury however one coffee will be ok as I need and deserve this time for me, to reflect, to offload, to come to terms with things, to release. I need to be with myself today and love myself more.

I am really happy that I am still meditating every single night before bed and have also increased to sometimes during the day as well. I truly love meditation and how it makes me feel. It really is something that you build on and learn to build into your life with other kinds of self care and I know it is something that I would like to expand on in many ways. It is a way of keeping a protective barrier around you, it enables you to go deeper within yourself and almost like digging really deep within yourself and giving yourself a big hug. That is how I describe it anyway. I guess for me it connects to feeling closer to God and I am learning more every day what I think that means for me. I feel that this feeling of being closer to God and more protected going through struggles and challenges is me being closer to myself. When I used to hear in church about God being in you I never could connect with that concept however more recently I have felt more connection. I feel God is around/in me and I am around/in God as God for me is a higher, deeper state of being and I know that I have reached this deeper state of being lately. I have connected even deeper to myself and I have found that as this has happened I have felt so much less isolated.

I feel that the isolation I have felt is an isolation from some parts of myself and because I have still not got deep enough in myself and with myself. I do feel connected to myself and thankfully have done for a while however I now feel a deeper connection as I know I am connecting and getting in touch even more with my true being, my true self and this is where the isolation dissipates. I am feeling what I want more and more and what I feel I would like to be doing in my life at the moment, what is calling to me at my core.

I have been putting out a few more of our personal items around our home and this has felt so good. It has been lovely and so exciting to see items that have been packed away put out on display and looking at our home as a whole with all the aspects of it. I really love our home and all of the work that I am doing in it. I saved a shelf from a vintage bookcase that I bought a while ago as the shelf itself is stunning. It is very plain however the colour of it will look beautiful against the dark purple walls and I am going to look in a while for some brackets to hold the shelf up. I have the idea in my mind and I would like to try and get that designed this weekend if not today. I have an industrial hanging light, very subdued on the wall in my living room alcove and my idea now is to put the shelf near this light and display some other items of ours on this area. I get creative ideas for items that I may have saved a long time ago or that had previously been used elsewhere and I can then visualise giving them a new life in a different place. This excites me greatly, this is when I can connect with my deeper self, my truest self as I feel like a kid in a sweet shop after having eaten all of the sweets also. I love the feeling.

I feel at home writing and I feel very blessed that I am able to write and also that I dare to write. I do not filter what I am writing as I want it to be just as it is when it comes out of me, real and raw as nothing else really fits with me or feels right. It is not about trying to sound good or intelligent or anything, it is simply me taking out what is in my brain and putting it on down on paper or as in right now on a laptop. I know I should be writing more and not stopping when life gets tough however I am still learning as we all are so I am not going to beat myself up about that. I have made some huge steps over the last month and ones which I am truly proud of however in all honestly despite me saying this it also fills me with anxiety literally as I write about it as I do know that I have not processed all of this yet. As I say this I realise that this is probably what is causing my anxiety, I know there is a lot to reflect on and accept and process and then in time feel, grieve for and then let go and this will also take me to another level.

I have been getting rid of more things in the house, trying to sell a few bits and donating others to charity which helps others as well as myself as I do connect more with an organised, minimal space. For me organised is not about control, it is about making life easier for myself having a space for things and knowing where things are, only being surrounded by what I need and or love and also about respect. Respect for our items in so far as being able to see them, really see them and treasuring them as I do. It is about my self worth also. It is like the tidy house tidy mind attitude however I believe also for me that it is tidy mind tidy house. When I am feeling connected with myself I like our home to look more organised, it is easier, easier to keep tidy, easier to clean, just easier and calm and with it all being decorated and designed to my personality, it just feels right and natural and free. I feel free.

I am really happy to be writing, I love how I can just type literally what comes up in my brain and in doing so release me as well as connect me. I would like to write more in different ways and I hope to be able to fulfil this for myself. It all comes from me and it all comes from you. Only we can do it and we have to do it not only for ourselves but for others, to help show them the way, to encourage, to inspire, to pass on. We must always pass on as you never know when you need someone to pass on to you. Lets make life better for everyone, share what you know and others will do the same. We all benefit from other people, others ideas, others skills and experience and others love.

Share the love always

Sophie Marie xx