The Warrior

I’ve been thinking about the concept of seeing myself as a warrior. A while back I was looking at areas in my life where I felt I’d been a failure. A lovely friend suggested that rather than being a failure, I had actually exhibited the characteristics of a warrior: the sense of going into battle time after time and fighting to survive; not always liking the outcome but never giving in and continuing to do what seemed necessary. A warrior is determined and has the courage to keep going.

I was blown away by these kind and empowering words – and I have returned to them time and again.  This is yet another reminder that attitude is determined by perspective.


I love this concept and in an attempt to embrace it, I am starting to psychologically clothe myself with the characteristics that I think are requirements of a warrior – courage, determination, discipline, integrity, ambition, endurance, purpose, faith, compassion. I will require these things and more if I am to succeed.  I may not have huge amounts of all of these characteristics today – but I believe they may develop –similar to the way a snowball starts off small and gets bigger as it rolls along.

My hope is that I will come out the other side –  in one piece and in the knowledge that I fought a good fight, I was true to myself and I did what was necessary.


The next step

6 Faith

I don’t know what’s ahead.  I’ve heard I’m on a staircase… but what’s a staircase? What does it look like? How big is it? How long will it take? What if I fall?

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole picture. Everyone has their own journey (staircase). You can stay on the step you’re on or you can take another step. You don’t need to see the whole picture right now – as long as you’re in the right place. Sometimes that’s enough for now. Take today’s step.

Note to self

Think you have time

…we do don’t we?  I’ll do that next summer or when the kids have left home or when I retire…    I’ll do that thing or have that conversation or work on that issue…

This is a reminder to:  be who you need to be and say what you need to say; and to do what you love because who knows what tomorrow might bring…


My Places of Peace (version 2)

I have spent some time walking and taking photos over the past 2 weeks.  I’ve also started playing around with my photos and I realise that on some level, most of my photos are about peace: places of peace and generally peaceful scenes.  In this photo essay I want to introduce you to some more of ‘My Places of Peace’ (version 2) – all taken within a 15 minute walk from my home and all taken in 2016. I have enjoyed the walking but loved appreciating the beauty around me and I want to share some this beauty (and peace) with you…

Introspection 1: Who Am I?

Someone told me that asking yourself the question “Who Am I?” can be useful tool to help clarify how we see ourselves – so I thought I’d give it a go and see where it leads.

I might as well start with the obvious things, like throwing a stone into a pool of water and watching the ripples – start with the smallest, closest ripples and work my way outwards:

I am a unique entity, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a colleague, a listener, a companion…

I am an introvert who appreciates my own space, and at times I need periods without other people around in order to unwind and recharge. I find doing something creative helps in the recharging process.

I am upfront (ie, what you see is what you get), someone who feels things, who enjoys painting and making quilts, listening to music, gardening, cooking, writing a blog, art history, watching films, drinking wine…

I take pleasure in nature, in the small things -the tiniest of plants, waves breaking on the shore, clouds, the colours of the sky and the way they blend from one colour into another, the skyline, trees in silhouette, the colours of the hills, the colours and shapes and composition of my garden, the multitude greens I see in nature…

I am a believer in a Force bigger than myself, who I believe created the universe and you and me – and wants to have a relationship with us as individuals, who cares who we are and how we are.

I believe in and value: kindness and compassion, love, empathy, graciousness, joy and peace. I see that we are all different in how we are made up – and I am aware of my own successes and failures; I see that I have achievements, and things still to be achieved; learning opportunities, and opportunities to give and receive; opportunities to be the best me that I can be; opportunities for solitude and reflection; for drinking in the joys of life, and sitting back and watching life go on around me; times for action and times for rest.

I am an explorer. I am proud of the courage I see in myself, that I haven’t always been aware of. I am growing, learning, evolving. I am not scared to face the hard stuff. I am not scared to be honest with myself. I am willing to take responsibility for my actions and behaviour. I believe that we control what we choose to think about and focus on. I believe in falling in love, but I think love is a choice rather than something we ‘trip and fall into’ which is beyond our control. I believe that now is the only time I really have. If I want to make changes in my life or want to take action, the time is now.

I like exploring the physical world around me and have explored many cities on my own. I love the challenge of having to be responsible for myself and my own well being in a foreign place. I’m not too scared to be brave – that is, my fear doesn’t limit my courage.

I am insecure and have a need for recognition. My self esteem is like clouds or the wind – hard for me to put my finger on, and constantly changing. Some days there are many clouds in the sky, some days there are few. Some days they are pale and wispy and barely identifiable, and others solid masses of colour, swirling and angry. Due to it’s state of continual change, I think of my self esteem as fickle and untrustworthy.

I accept that I’m on a journey and I see progress in terms of small steps. Decide on a new route and take steps in that direction, no matter how small. Keep walking. Stop for rest if you want but then get moving again. Life is a journey not a destination. I’d like to enjoy the journey where possible, to take in the views, to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me. And now and then it’s important to stop and look back and see how far I’ve come: the achievements and the failures; the good times and the bad; the sights and sounds, the colours and smells, the tastes, the touches, the textures; and to remember it all in glorious technicolor or in black and white or in sepia depending on my visibility at the time.

Stuff happens in life that can be outside of my control. In those times I go with it because I perceive that I have fewer choices. For the rest of life, I have options. I can make decisions and take charge or not. Others can provide guidance but the choices are mine. I can acquire tools that will assist me on my journey but at the end of the day, the action or inaction I take is mine and mine alone.

In my world, NOW is the new black. Carpe diem – seize the day!



The Best Me: I want to focus on the year ahead and my desire to evolve into the best me I can possibly be – that every day I want to choose to be the best version of myself that I can be – regardless of circumstance. (It’s a big ask.)
The thought has already been captured so well that I want to share with you a piece Amazing Life wrote that has stayed with me since I read it several months ago:



Here is a picture I have up in my locker. In the past I have written and spoken about modeling people who have succeeded in your chosen field. I personally read and follow people like Tony Robbins, Les Brown and others that inspire me.

I stand by that idea and encourage you to do so, but there is another person you want to model, the best version of yourself. To me, “be your own hero” means to act in such a fashion that the things you do both inspire you and give you a sense of pride. When I help someone to see the beauty in themselves and the world around them, i am my own hero. When I work with someone to improve the quality of their products I am my own hero. Even if I make a coworker or server smile, i consider myself a hero. The idea…

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