Posts Tagged 'life'

Love Restoration

Doris modelling re-purposed jeans and fabric from various dresses

The pull to go quiet could not be ignored a while ago as a wealth of change rolled in. I was not managing to wrap myself around everything that was calling for attention.

Hitting the pause button carved out some space. I didn’t try to make anything happen, as I just let myself be. I found peace in leaning into the discomfort of change and not knowing immediately what to do to ‘fix’ it. Who says things always have to be ‘fixed’?

Many moons ago, back in the eighties, I used to make clothing for friends from a vague idea, or a strand of conversation. Then I forgot that I loved doing that.

Recently, I was searching for a creative workshop that a friend and I could do together, as her birthday pressie. I came across one re-purposing clothes, but it was fully booked. I went to bed that night and had a dream about the things I used to make. Waking up excited, I started to explore the idea and it came together effortlessly. I already had a sewing machine, my dining table is now a work bench and I have years of stored threads, ribbons, buttons and my Granny’s old sewing basket. As soon as I mentioned this to my birthday friend she lent me her dressmaker’s dummy, who was immediately nicknamed Doris. The re-cycling contacts that have been established with my de-cluttering business were delighted to be of use and I simply started to create clothes. My friend asked to come here for her birthday, so we could be together and knit. Cake was involved and it was lovely. ❤

I find myself waking up with designs and ideas in my head.

Internet research and some experimentation with different platforms led me to open an eBay shop. Another dream gifted me the idea of taking the photographs on our roof terrace with The Mersey and Liverpool as a backdrop.

This name seemed perfect…

I can step back from taking on new de-cluttering clients now and spend some days creating, whilst still flowing with loving family care and my existing clients.

Happy days, as I’m just off to edge a jacket. The edge was an old blouse of mine, but as I took it out the wardrobe I thought ‘Ohhh, that would make a perfect edge for the jacket I picked up the other day.’ Then I reached for my scissors. I will end up going out dressed, but only just!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/loverestoration

The tide still runs…

Gosh, getting the hang of the new WP editor is fun (not!!). Sometimes change for change’s sake, at other times because life flows in the unexpected.

A few months ago my phone rang on a Sunday morning and Dad said ‘We’re in trouble, can you come?’ My mum was lying in the back yard with a broken hip and wrist.

What flowed from that was a steep learning curve for all of us, with moments of loving grace, sharpness from ‘front line’ living, organisation, getting to grips with new social terminology, healing, care, the kindness of strangers and keeping the ship afloat. All bonded together with fear, resistance to change, quick decisions, prayers and love.

We’re several months down the road and a new routine has emerged. Mum is healing well (down to her indomitable spirit), Dad is less fearful yet poorly, support is in place and I have returned to my home, with regular visits back to flow care. Mum and I ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ and cherish our teamwork. ❤

The tide still runs outside the house I call home as I pick up the threads of my life and business. Grateful for this peaceful space and treasured friends, who flow with unquestioning love and support.

As I go back into my clients’ homes I find myself asking the question ‘What do you need now?’ The answers have been varied and surprising. Two lovely souls needed help rediscovering the love of their homes, with each home as different as they are. We’ve had fun planning, exploring in local DIY stores and experimenting. The things we’ve purchased on-line have gifted the most fun. I found myself holding some beautiful dolphin decals yesterday , looking at my client and commenting ‘Gosh, maybe we ought to have checked the measurements!’ They are now leaping across her bathroom window and loo seat, raising smiles for all who need her bathroom.

It’s been a sign of discovery for me. ❤

Romantic rescuing…

I made a new video for my YouTube channel yesterday and it’s a tricky topic, so I pushed myself into a vulnerable space to share from my own experience. There’s a fine line between sharing to support others and simply banging on about yourself, so I hope I haven’t crossed it!

It has taken me many years to work something out and I did not truly ‘get it’ until I understood my ‘Why’. Also, as I work with my spirit guides, I see things in pictures, so I tend to talk that way. This story is full of pictures….

I have been a romantic lighthouse and rescuer for many years. My natural way of being would shine a loving light and this drew in souls who were struggling to sail in ‘holed’ boats. They would beach themselves on my rocks and I would don my rescue cape and dash down with my repair kit. I compounded this by not only trying to repair their boats, but then jumping in and sailing with them. Some of these adventures lasted many years and I would be called upon to repair new holes and keep the boat afloat.

This was ‘roses round the door, birds singing in a blue sky’ kind of thinking and not balanced. My own boat had holes and I was trying to repair it and bail it out by doing the same thing for others, whilst not repairing my own.

The latest painful relationship break-up brought me to my senses. The pain was so acute, that this time I cracked wide open and had no choice but to lovingly ask myself ‘Why’.

You see it is no-one else’s fault. Their boats, the water they sail in, the sails they set, the harbours they enter and the actions they take; are their lives and choices. I needed to make different choices and in order to do that, I had to understand why I was making the choices I had been.

So I paused. Life carries on and I still needed to flow care to those I love and to make a living to support myself, but I stripped everything else back.

I came to see my peaceful home as a boat house, as I left the lighthouse life behind (along with my cape and rescue kit) and went to work on my boat.

I started to do things I love, drawing threads of those into my everyday and I also experimented with new things. Nothing happens instantly, so I gift myself time too.

Recently, I have taken my repaired and re-vamped boat out sailing. She’s holding up well, and with gentle on-going adjustments, I am trying out a new business (alongside my existing one) and venturing further afield. I feel grateful for the myriad of blessings that flow from sailing with other souls, who are out there in all manner of craft, as the sea winds of life flow between us, yet we all sail together with loving curiosity.

Aug ’18 update: I have removed all my videos from YouTube.

There’s always something…

Early on Saturday morning I sat out on the sky garden and a Blackbird, perched on the roof opposite, was singing his heart out with a background chorus provided by the harmonious sparrows.

Then the Police helicopter flew over and started to circle.

After a good few months, and multiple visits from different telecoms engineers, the crackling landline was fixed yesterday. My relief was palpable and my Mum was the first one to ask if I had baked him a cake.

Happily flowing with telephone calls today, my landlord started to mow the back lawn underneath my window. Given the number of trees in pots out there, this is a lengthy and challenging task and noisy, very noisy.

The craft group I started in the local heritage centre has been loyally supported by my buddies, but has not caught the interest of anyone else. Time to gently fold it.

When I was there I met Carla from The Kollective and she has invited me to join her local artist’s group.

At Aqua Zumba we all share and support and even if we are weary from a long day, it lifts each and every one of us. One of the lifeguards keeps pace with all our moves poolside and he’s hilarious.

The other evening the music speaker started to break and then kept going silent for several minutes. We all started to sing our hearts out, filling the gaps and with great spirit, keep moving at the same time. A round of applause, huge grins and much laughter, as the class finished.

There was a wonderful program on the BBC recently, about villages, towns and cities entering the ‘In Bloom’ annual competition. I loved watching it for the community spirit and the wealth of ideas that sprang forth. Being blessed to know so many by their first name in our local area, it struck me that a community project would bring much love in. This has stayed as a thought, till yesterday.

I was dashing home with groceries, when I saw a group tending to the grassy area at the top of our little cobbled street, next to a parking places and the main road. I went over and talked to them. From love, they have come together and are tending to local public areas and planting flowers and I have been invited along to their next get together.

Taking a break for lunch today, I went to sit out in the sky garden. The Blackbird was back on his perch, singing his heart out, with the sparrows supporting him, as the tide went out and the waves caught the highest point of the beach, shushing along in time. ❤

Sparks in the gloom…

Life has flowed with a few challenges lately and I've been left gasping for air at times.

I lay there in the middle of one sleepless night and simply did not know what to do to soothe myself. My wisdom said 'Stay still and do nothing.' Then I sensed a lovely dog in spirit on the bed beside me and felt my Gran and her Mum, my Great Gran, close by my side. A feeling of calm settled in and I could let the feelings I had be, just as they were. Breathing in the experiences, breathing out the feelings.

I needed unconditional love, so the next day I asked my heart family if I could borrow their lovely boy, Boris, the German Shepherd. 'Absolutely' was their swift reply and he's coming to stay with me for a week after Easter. ❤

That sparked another idea and I ordered insurance, new wellies and some marketing postcards. Say 'Hello' to Jane's Dog Walking Service. My old flowery wellies have done two years sterling work, so I took my new ones out at lunchtime today and christened them in the sea. I also found some more sea glass and treasure to add to my collection.

My heritage is rich with hand crafts, so it is no surprise that I turn to that for comfort again and again. My lovely buddy Pam and I set off on Friday to a local art gallery, as they were running a Creative Think Tank, with taster sessions on all sorts of crafts being showcased. I had it in my head that I would finally get to have a go at wood carving, which has been a long held dream, and willow basket weaving. You just know this didn’t go to plan don’t you? We had a great time and saw all sorts of wonderful things, while discovering that the basket weaving and wood carving courses were out of our financial reach right now. Then the unexpected happened. I had made a connection with one of the receptionists when we arrived and he was looking after everyone by keeping the whole event flowing. Pam was absorbed trying out a Viking weaving loom and having a great time. I glanced up and Mark came over and said ‘There’s more going on in other rooms Jane, can I show you?’ So off we went and I found myself at a table where a lovely lady was demonstrating rug making with re-cycled materials. I took a seat and Alison let me have a go weaving strips of old t-shirts into hessian and I was right there, in the moment. She showed me what materials to try and what to back the rugs with. The edging stitch that holds it all together is new to me, but my Granny said in my head ‘I can show you that Jane’. I’d discovered a new joy. As I sat at home later, knitting, my creative sparks started to fly. I have been a painter since I can remember when and for the last few years it has stopped ‘talking’ to me. With the rug making I can chalk and ink my design on the hessian and by hooking in re-cycled materials, there is more leeway. It doesn’t have to be precise and as the freedom of this sunk in, well I am sure my heart singing could be heard far and wide.

It’s been dark and raining like ‘billy-ho’ today and then just as I finished my new wellie walk, the sky brightened and the clouds looked as if they had been brushed on the blue.

Instinct and timing….

The Lakes are stunning and yesterday unfolded in many unexpected ways.

The coach was an hour and half late in picking us up at the start point and a regular driver left his warm bed to stand in for a colleague that had got confused with his rota. I feel this threw a lot of our group off kilter.

The scenery is breath-taking and with a light dusting of snow everywhere, it had a magical quality about it.

I chose a gentle walk and there were fourteen of us who set off on this one. The rest of our group split up into other groups ranging from those with the highest summits in view, to those who ambled about the shops and had a roast lunch in their sights. It stayed below freezing all day and we negotiated frozen puddles and went past frozen waterfalls, as it snowed on and off. The wind chill was a lot lower than freezing, but we were all togged up and stayed warm, as long as we kept moving.

About halfway up the first hill ascent a voice came into my head saying ‘Double back and find the shoppers and a hot lunch Jane’. I ignored the voice, telling myself that I had set out to walk and walk I would. I asked our walk leader how much further we were going to climb and he replied ‘Just five more minutes Jane’.

Half an hour later we crested the top of the peak and I took the photograph above. As Lake Windermere appeared as a large puddle in the distance I surmised that we had climbed more than the promised 600ft. My fellow walkers confirmed it was at least double that.

Our group started to ask our leader how many more ‘ascents’ there were on the walk. We were promised just one and it was about half what we had just accomplished. For those that know me well I do try and come at things in a light way. Within minutes we were facing another steep accent. I asked what this was called and he replied ‘It’s an undulation Jane’. ‘I would call this a hill.’ I assured him. Undulation my backside, that was as steep as anything we had previously faced and whilst climbing it I twisted a muscle in my groin. The pain was instant and increased with each further step.

I felt that our leader’s interpretation of time, height and terminology was different from mine and some of the other group members. I took a deep breath and caught up with him and let him talk. It turns out that he used to lead groups of teenagers on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. All started to become clearer and I explained that I was injured and needed to know exactly what was ahead of us in time, ascent and scale of difficulty. He was unclear on details and explained that as a Yorkshireman, unless he had a limb hanging off, his Mum had always told him to get on with it. I replied that I rarely made a fuss and needed the facts, so that rather than being jollied along, at 58 years old I could make my own decisions. I know my limits and I was in trouble. Also, the last thing I wanted to do was hold the group up, because each time we paused we all got chilled instantly.

It is one of nature’s laws that water rests at the lowest point, so as we rounded the lee of the summit we were on, this view of Grasmere was before us.

It became apparent that we were headed to the water down below and then climbing the next hill to follow the track along. A few of us asked if the track we were headed for was on a level and we were assured it was. It wasn’t. Having managed to go down and back up again I stood at the bottom of yet another ascent on the track, which was rocky, icy and treacherous. My courage dipped. My left leg was screaming in pain and with tears in my eyes I looked up at our leader and asked if this was the last ascent, because I wanted to turn back to the main road down below. He assured me it was and crab-like I made my way up. At this point another one of our group lost the plot. She openly accused him of lying and started to verbally rant as she walked. I focussed on putting one foot in front of the other and thought ‘Think Jane’. No irony there at all.

He paused to wait for me and I had an idea. ‘Can I look at your map please?’ He happily showed me the map and I made a decision. ‘Please show me exactly where we are?’ He did. ‘That track ahead will take me back to the main road and that is where I am heading. I will find my way back to the town from there.’ I left no room for him to disagree. ‘What is the name of the car park that the coach is parked in?’ I asked. He didn’t know and started to bluff and bluster on directions. Our verbally venting group member then slipped in ‘loopy bananas’ mode at speed and opted to come with me. He offered me his mobile number, but I took the number of another long standing group member instead.

We walked down to the main road and I gently reassured her that she could trust me and I would get us back. As we got to the bottom there was a space carved out of the stone wall and several people were standing nearby. ‘I bet that’s a bus stop’ I said ‘and there must be a bus due’. We checked the route on the notice board and sure enough a few minutes later a bus turned up heading through Ambleside. It went slightly awry at this point, because the bus driver was not local and he thought he knew where our coach was, but it turned out that he didn’t. About half an hour later, there we were two women not at their best, deposited at an unknown bus stop and still not near our coach. Ambleside is layered up a hill with a one way system. My colleague was still venting verbally, as I am sure this was the only thing keeping her going through her frightened state. I gently reassured her and said ‘Walk with me, I promise I will get us back to the coach.’ I remembered the road number from the leader’s map and a sign had flashed by on the bus, so we headed for that. Turning left at the sign we walked down the road and as we reached the bottom nothing appeared familiar. I saw a couple walking with their dog and baby and I asked them. Fortunately, among all the tourists and walkers there that day, they were local. I described how the car park had looked to the ‘Dad’ and amidst all the noise of my colleague sounding off, his eyes locked onto mine and he gave me directions. We set off again and it was at this point that I lied. ‘I can see the coach.’ I told her and I kept saying it. As we finally went down a little lane, what I was saying became true. We changed out of our muddy boots and boarded the coach.

As the rest of the group started to come back on board and asked after us I said the same thing, again and again. ‘I have met some lovely people today and The Lakes are as beautiful as I had hoped. Unfortunately, I chose a walk that was beyond my capabilities.’ My colleague seated a good few rows behind me was still sounding off loudly with a different perspective.

I will return to The Lakes, just in a different way next time.

Buds are appearing…

Yesterday the weather had settled a little and the Isle of Man catamaran ran again. She sailed through the gentle falling rain into port, yet with barely a ripple on the water. Today it is lashing it down with a mixture of snow and sleet with rain and hardy fisherman are sheltering in their tents on the prom, not even letting the weather deter them from their ‘timeout’.

There is a natural cycle that is never ending out there as the branches are waving in the wind. All the old leaves have fallen and if you look closely enough the signs of new buds are coming. The tree roots go way down into the ground, yet the branches, buds, blossom, fruit and leaves change throughout each year. Occasionally, the tree breaks and uproots when the storms rage.

I have been given pause to ponder lately on what happens when we don’t let our old leaves drop. Hanging on putting additional weight and pressure on our branches and in time choking the promise of life out of any new buds.

There is a vulnerability in letting the leaves go, as our branches are left bare and exposed with every single knot, scar, wrinkle, dent and bump there for all who care to see.

Carrying old leaves will give us a tree that resembles the old tree and the added weight can bend the branches beyond anything recognisable, as we shelter behind old foliage.

It’s painful to let the wind blow through your bare branches and feel the rainfall. Yet the wisdom in letting the rain in nourishes roots, allows the wind to strengthen foundation and the light to nurture new buds.

I am more than aware of the simplicity of my words and the meaning contained therein, yet sometimes the cry for simplicity can rage through the wildest of storms.


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SHEILA RENEE PARKER

Paranormal Author, Artist & Empath. Follow Sheila on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram! @sheilareneeparker

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