Thought for the Day: 5 April 2017

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These words speak to me of love and parting, of tender affection and memories. It might relate to romantic love but it could also describe a dear friendship, and implies a closeness,  a gentleness; a relationship that the author will always remember with fondness.

I have been clearing out a spare room and going through old paperwork and small treasures from my past, and I came across this poem on the back of a card given to me by a good friend almost thirty years ago.

With the benefit of age and wisdom (I hope), time, perspective and hindsight – I think it’s fair to say that I appreciate the sentiment in this poem so much more now than I did then. I have an appreciation of the gentle tone the author has used, the tenderness of the affection expressed, and the softness or weightlessness of the language – like a description of the touch of a feather, or the texture of silk. I appreciate the sense I have of an impending separation without the need to specify the facts; the reference to how someone might be perceived from an earlier chapter of one’s life.

Looking back, it was a beautiful verse to be given, and I feel honoured to have been held in such regard.

And today the words are still beautiful and I just wanted to share them with you. I guess it’s always good to take a few moments every now and then to appreciate those who have come and gone from our lives, and to appreciate and be grateful for those who remain.

 

A few of my favourite things

The following are some of my favourite photos, all of which I’ve taken in the past 3 months.  I love vibrant colours but I also love soft tones. Five of the six photos were taken either in my garden or in the reserve behind our house. All photos were taken in Wellington, New Zealand and all taken on my iPhone 4S. These are a few of my current favourite things:

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Thought for the day: 9 March 2017

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I took this photo this afternoon while standing in a friend’s garden. He wasn’t at home at the time! Not sure what his neighbours might have thought had they seen me. Several days ago he and I were chatting and discussing our gardens and he was telling me about how lovely and vibrant his blue hydrangeas were. I asked if I could pop down one day to photograph them and he said “of course, come over any time”- so I did. And he was right, they were really lovely and so vibrant!  I often play with colour (along with clarity, light, tone, etc) when I’m looking at my photos but in this case I haven’t altered the colour of the flowers at all. So in a way, this is a photo of my friend’s hydrangeas being authentically themselves – this is simply how they were. And I guess that’s the point of this saying – about being yourself over and above, and before anything else.

And my steps may be slow but I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘being yourself’ business. And this is today’s reminder to myself.

You are Wonderfully Unique!

It occurred to me this week that while I struggle for acceptance in my workplace, I am wonderfully made. I am unique, a precious jewel and I was created to be me. So if others don’t like me the way that I am – that’s their business. Because I was created to be like this. And if I hide that away, that essential uniqueness, my character, then I’m not being true to myself or my Creator. And I am wonderfully and fearfully made.

Consequently….

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because you are unique, and you are awesome just the way you are.

Letter to my younger self

I know the idea is not original and I don’t claim to have thought of it but I have spent a number of days mulling over what I would say to an 18 year old me.

Eighteen feels like a long time ago… because it was!! But if I could go back and reassure my younger self, this is what I’d (gently and lovingly) like to say:

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If nothing else, know that there are some awesome experiences ahead!  You will travel far, meet an amazing diversity of people and experience much.  You will look back and know that you have much to be proud of, and many memories to enjoy.

Know that your courage will always be stronger than your fear; you will not be limited by your fear – and you can be proud of that.

Although there will be times when your feel like you’re unsure of your footing, you will always stay true to what you believe. Your behaviour may change but your beliefs remain like foundation stones. (You might ignore them but they remain firm never-the-less!)

You believe in honesty. You hold compassion in your heart. You value kindness. You desire peace. You adore joy. Your love is freely given. Connections with others are the lightning bolts of life that remind you that you are alive.

Take time for you. Take time to be. Time to rest and regenerate. There will always be another tomorrow (until there isn’t, and by then it won’t matter).

As you get older you’ll learn to pick your battles, and to not sweat the small stuff. It’s all about balance. You were taught that life was black or white but as you get older you’ll realise that life is about continuums, and the where you are on any continuum at any given point is only a snapshot in time. Few things in life are simply one thing or the other – there are so many shades of colour and you can always choose a different colour, a different shade or tone, a different style or direction or position or perspective. There are always choices.

You may spend a lot of time thinking that you weren’t good enough – but that’s not true. You are good enough. You are enough. You are so enough. You. Are. Enough.

Sometimes you will feel driven to achieve your goals, and at other times you can rest and just be. That’s how you know what’s important – most of the things you are passionate about now will stay with you for life. They will be your means of expressing your creativity, expressing essential beliefs that are intrinsic to you. (Did I tell you? You are SO enough!)

And by the way, you are beautiful – if you could please learn that now rather that later in life, you would save yourself a whole lot of time and angst. You are good enough. You are a unique being, a precious jewel, and you are beautiful.  Did you hear that? You. Are. Beautiful.  So precious. So unique. So exquisite in your own way. So worthy of being cherished and adored. And if those close to you don’t cherish you – then move on. Because you are enough. You are more than enough. You deserve not just to be loved but to be truly cherished.

And I will cherish the little girl you were and the young lady you are now. But if you could learn to cherish you, how much richer your life might be. I love you and I am proud of you and if we could do this all again – this is what I’d want you to know. Because I believe in you and that is SO important. And you are valuable, and precious and beautiful, and YOU ARE ENOUGH, and I love you.

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Gratitude Journal: 21 Nov 2016

Yesterday (Sunday) was the most beautiful day. It’s still spring and has been quite wet but yesterday felt like the beginning of summer. I took the dog for a walk through our usual summer track through the forest. It’s been several months since I’ve walked this track -it gets pretty muddy and slippery and is steep in parts so not somewhere I walk in the wetter months. Because it had been a while since I’d walked it, I was blown away by how green it was, by the beauty and majesty, the peace and serenity, as if I was seeing it all for the first time (again!). Dog got a little frustrated as I kept stopping to take photos but she was grateful for the exercise and so excited to be back in what I’m sure she considers to be ‘her backyard’.

The feelings from Saturday (Abandoned Mine & Introspection) have dissipated and it was good to sit and cry and release the pent up emotion. Both the emotion and the sense of feeling lost have passed.

While I’ve shown you photos before from this track, these are some I took yesterday. I just hope you’ll get a sense of the absolute beauty of this place – just down the road from my home.

For this walk, for the opportunity to be out there enjoying it, for the sunshine, for my favourite canine companion, and for the beauty I witnessed, I am grateful.

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A Gentle Reminder

The following is a gentle reminder to anyone who has suffered from depression or other mental health issues. It’s a reminder that we do indeed have the power to make decisions about our lives – regardless of whether those decisions are big or small – we have the power to make our own choices.

There have been times when I have felt like I haven’t had a choice; that life’s decisions have been taken out of my hands; that I was no longer in control. But this is a gentle reminder that that’s a lie. It might be a good lie, a tempting lie but it is NOT the truth.

Because we do have choices.

And at any given point, I can make a choice about my life. I can change the direction I’m heading in, or the look, the colours or the tone of my story. I have a choice.

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It never rains but it … blows

So in Wellington this week we have had a significant earthquake, followed by something in the vicinity of 1600 aftershocks. While this brought about mayhem in the central business district due to damage, this was followed by a LOT of rain and consequently flooding and more aftershocks.  This morning is bright and sunny (yay!) but unfortunately not supposed to last as another weather event is on it’s way, currently hitting the middle of the South Island and due to reach us this afternoon/evening bringing heavy rain and southerly gale-force winds with a severe weather watch having been issued for much of the central South Island through to central North Island.

OK, so it’s been an interesting week so far… but as I previously said, we have so much to be grateful for and things could have been so much worse than they were. Feeling positive and optimistic, I’ll leave you with some happy photos from around my city.

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The Animals Closest to my Heart

I recently shared a post called My Small Companion  about our dog.Recently I’ve been learning about editing my photos – altering colours, using filters etc and have been playing with a number of my existing photos.  Today I want to share some photos I’ve been playing around with of our 2 pets: a cat called Scout, and a dog called Fido. I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I do 🙂

Kia Kaha

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Kia Kaha is a Maori phrase used in New Zealand and it means “be strong” or “stay strong”. It is used as an affirmation, as a term of comfort or solace (an equivalent of be strong – my thoughts are with you) and is sometimes used as a valediction at the end of messages.  It became popular through it’s use by the 28th Maori Battalion during World War II. You’ll find it in books and songs, in poetry and used as a motto.

This is purely my opinion, but it seems to me that in the past twenty-five to thirty years, we New Zealanders have become more aware of our history, our nation, the beauty that we have here, and as our sense of belonging and identity has grown, so has our sense of national pride. As such kia kaha is a term that is often used to encourage those representing New Zealand to the world. My interpretation is that it has come to mean this:

        ‘stay strong, your brothers and sisters in New Zealand are here with you;                                                 you have our support, and we have your back’

I think it’s fair to say that when we see our national rugby team, the All Blacks perform the  haka (traditionally a Maori war cry or challenge) we have a sense of identity, of pride, of something at an emotional level that says “this is part of my homeland, this is part of my identity” even though I am a New Zealander but not of Maori heritage. Such is the sense that “this is part of who I am” that it can, and often does, evoke an emotional response when a New Zealander abroad is confronted with a haka (often performed as an honour towards the person/team/group for whom it is given).

From my perspective this is a wonderful thing – it’s not a nasty overt sense of pride (like a desire to dominate the world), it’s simply an acknowledgement that ‘this is from my homeland; it relates to my sense of belonging; my place in the world’ regardless of where I am currently living.

I am proud to be a kiwi (a New Zealander) and I am proud of my country – it’s identity, it’s beauty, it’s belief in itself – we were the first country to give women the vote, and in the 1980’s we stood up to the world and said no to nuclear ships entering our waters. We are small but we know our mind. We have a sense of honour and value and respect for our country and it’s history and it’s peoples, regardless of where they are from.

To my online friends I offer these words: kia kaha – be strong.

 

My Coastline – Dawn & Dusk: March 2016

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Easter greetings fellow bloggers – March hasn’t been a good month for blogging but it has been a good month for taking photos and for walking. I have done a LOT of walking this month. I’m still job hunting (sigh!) but this is interspersed with much exercise (to keep my mental health in perspective) and the exercise has been awesome. It’s also got me out and about and appreciating my environment. So while I am loosing enthusiasm for job hunting (but still working at it), the product has been some photos that I can look back at and enjoy. And I’m probably fitter and healthier than I have been for some time – so that’s great. Enjoy!

My Walk to Work: March 2016

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Following on from My Back Yard, I want to share with you my walk to work (highlights that is!)  I take a train to the city centre and have started walking around the Wellington waterfront to get to work. It takes longer but I get to see some awesome sights, and no two days are the same. Here is a snapshot of Wellington on my walk to work in the past 10 days. Enjoy!

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