“You are not responsible for anyone except yourself. Ever.”

I did this today. I highly recommend you getting involved with this fascinating project…

My 12 year old self

Dear 12-year-old Kate,

You are not fat. Even if you were, that would be okay. I hate that you’re looking at your body seeing imperfections that just don’t exist.

I hate that you’re going to carry that burden of self-loathing for a long, long time.

You’ll only start to tackle that in your 40s but when the opportunity arrives, grab it and don’t look back.

Life’s too short to spend too long wondering, and you’re going to spend a lot of time fighting to save your marriage long after it’s over. And the core of this will be your lack of self-worth.

But you’ll be ok. The ending will ignite in you the beginnings of finding yourself again, and that will be exciting.

Go for it! I hate that you’ve lived through a childhood full of loneliness, where you felt you needed to be the joy for a whole household.

View original post 307 more words

the beginning

Where shall I start? Any story teller will ask and you’ll hear the words: At the beginning… But where is the beginning? There are so many fragmented beginnings, so many false starts, so many chances at getting off the blocks faster each time. But that’s making the assumption that this is a race, where as in reality this is a slow burn, a place to come and grow slowly… So I will pick one possible beginning, out of a miriad of possibles…

And it all begins with a long long sleep….

 

sleeping_beauty_by_abigaillarson-d6pj6ni

 

Once upon a time there was a women named Kate. She did not know if she was young or old. She was lost in time. A time that swallowed up her spirit and spat her out into mundanity. She knew she was a mother and a wife but that was all. her essence of herself had been swallowed up by the bears who had haunted her since childhood.

She knew that she had lived 42 winters because she had watched the snow come and go from her kitchen window. She had sat on the grassy bank under the oak tree and watched the starlings murmurate every autumn. And every spring had picked the daffodils that lined the lonely driveway. And as for summers she’s spent summer days, let out of the house to go to the beach, but not before having to organise all the beach picnic, beach toys for the kids and everything that was needed. She didn’t protest she did it willingly. She knew no other way but this.

There was a magic window that she looked out of daily and that was a window onto a wider world. It was a thrilling world of people who did stuff, thought brilliant thoughts and made friends with each other.

One day the magic window suggested a group of people that she might like to join. They were people who loved freely with no possession. They seemed to love with no expectations and she liked the look of them.

She began to realise that she was lonely. Not because she didn’t have lots of beautiful people in her life. She did. But as she slowly began to realise that she was not happy in her choices, she felt further and further distanced from the ones who were happy in the same kind of life she was still in. It began to feel like a coat that didn’t quite fit properly. A hat that was too tight and gave her a headache.

She looked at these people living their lives freely, and she was entranced. She felt like she was waking up from a deep slumber, and still groggy, she clicked the ‘join’ button which would gain her entry to this new world.

 

 

Resonance

What’s that saying? When the going gets tough, the going gets busy? Or am I mixing up that 1980s soda stream ad – Get busy with the fizzy….?? I’m busy on a new project with my friend and now, business partner Dawn. Something that’s been in the pipeline and I know it’s going to be good because it resonates – it excites me. I want to be excited again… (steady) Having a project is good though, it provides a positive place to put my energy.

Anyway, the pain remains. Of course it does, it’s not yet over… and realising that you’ve been putting it off in order to avoid pain is HUGE… and makes too much sense to be worthy of note, strangely. If I think like that I’ll remember the first break up I had with my husband just 3 months into our fledgling relationship, when I realised that we were too different to last. I was already in love with him, already loving him… and I went away after finishing it. The pain was awful so I rescinded… I came back. I avoided the pain.

Fast forward 22 years and here I am knowing that this is the right thing to do… being brave is so hard especially when you need to be liked (hand up, I admit it!)… to have lost your husband, your lover, your best friend in one swoop is so painful it’s untrue and eventually you have to face it and feel it. And have faith that time will heal the pain. That’s the hardest thing often, when we feel it, it feels so hard to believe that it will ease.

Maybe I should call it the 3 Fs… Face it, Feel it, and Faith in the process.

I’m watching a Canadian TV series at the moment Being Erica and the episode that landed at my feet today was in fact one about this very thing. Tagged!

One particular exchange touched a nerve:

Dr Tom: You can’t avoid the pain and the pain of breaking up with someone you love even if you know it’s the right thing is unbelievably hard.
Erica: What do I do?
Dr Tom: Nothing
Erica: Isn’t that too easy?
Dr Tom: It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. You do nothing, you sit in it, you feel it, until time eventually takes it away…

 

So, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve faced it. It’s over. I’m feeling it for however long to lasts and then I will have faith that it will end, IF I don’t run away. If I don’t hide from the truth this time. I promise to stay on the right path.

 

And in the meantime there is poetry… and resonance.

No words needed
with this picture
just a view like night
lit from within;
your light, my love,
your light.

KS 11th September 2016

 

14333132_1149922621759718_1048159124553650537_n

On Grief (and other jolly things)

Grief is a funny thing. Or at least my experience of it has been. At 18 when my dad died I remember just falling apart for a couple of weeks. But after that time life was supposed to just go on as normal. I was just about to sit my A levels. No one suggested to me to wait and take them the following year. So I just packed it all away I suppose. I have a pattern there. When my mum died when I was 24 I had a 2 month old, ‘very much not easy’, baby and because I’d learned this coping mechanism I again attempted to pack it away. Looking back I could see there wasn’t a place I could just lose it in, no one again came forward to offer that space and knowing me, at the time, I would have been refused, so adverse to being a burden as I am. But if someone with empathy had insisted I would have been eternally grateful, believe me.

Fast forward to now. Biggest break up of my life. Six months from my husband and I semi-splitting we are actually properly breaking up. Lots of new feelings are being triggered that I realised I didn’t have space for back in March. Back then I was exhausted, unable to function on many levels. It took me months to feel anything again once I’d finally decided that leaving was the only way we could get some peace from each other and all the triggered anger.

And now, these new feelings… There’s abandonment for sure. Who doesn’t have that? But there’s anger too. Anger that he didn’t pull it together soon enough for me… that I wasn’t good enough, worth enough, (so many not enoughs) to find that strength to fight for us. Even though deep down I know that we were finished, the feelings are there. This is how I know that these feelings are about my own self-worth, not about him. My own feelings that deep down I wasn’t enough to turn the relationship around. To save us, it… I wasn’t enough. So, who is my anger really for… him or me? I will ponder this over the next few days but I think I already know the answer. The buck stops here.

I’m grieving for sure but I don’t really have the space. That old pattern…! I’m keeping it together for the kids and the move, I don’t have a safe landing space except in the arms of my friends when I see them. Is this healthy? I doubt it. It feels fucked up and I’m barely coping really but I am. I am strong, I’ve learned how I can be strong.Even if I’m not being honest most of the time. I compartmentalise, and how interesting that I always have to carry on…. I hope at some point I’ll get some extended time away from the kids where I can just let it all go. I have three griefs to process really. A month in Bali would be nice. There I go – making light. Another coping mechanism…

I’ll continue to do all the self- work that I need to do here because it hurts and I won’t do the things I’ve done before to cope. I can’t push it down any more, won’t ignore it, and even though this is not the best time to let it all out. I must. For me. And ultimately for the future me. Whoever she is.

 

I wrote a poem last night and shared it on Facebook. This is how I try and make sense of my feelings and try to transform them into something else, something worthy, something  creative. I’ll keep doing this as it’s not denying, but transforming. Caterpillar to butterfly.

 

14317446_1148111341940846_6030177033452812760_n

 

 

meet me in the wild moon’s gaze,
the broken chill of lapping waves
where we can talk of this and that.
why i ran and why you sat

meet me underneath these clouds
let’s toast a new start right here now
let’s wash away our old dead pledge,
meet me at the water’s edge.

KS September 10th 2016

 

 

 

 

The Beginning of Creativity Workshop

People that know me might think I’m odd for doing Liz Gilbert’s course, as I’m pretty highly creative and motivated most days. Or at least I appear to be! I think the reason I’ve decided to do this now is that I want to learn how to hone in through the noise of my curiosity which often takes me down several different paths at once. This in itself I’m realising is not a bad thing. But I have a recent story… and in recent months it stole my spark…

I’ve left my husband this year. My husband of 22 years. A man I’ve adored, has been my security for a long long time. 22 years is a long long time, right? You bet, I hear you cry. It was 3 years ago that I realised that I wasn’t happy, that I’d been fooling myself, living in denial, you can use any number of platitudes to describe how I was feeling and here’s the rub, I didn’t realise my feelings were valid. I’d spent so long not engaging with them, ignoring them, putting everyone else’s feelings ahead of my own that I no longer heard them any more. And even when I did, I didn’t believe them.

I went to my husband and told him how I felt, but he couldn’t take it. He retreated into a cocoon of denial and for three years I felt like I was battling to save my marriage by myself. Now, I’m not doing blame – I’m sure he was having his own inner conflicts and fights and maybe even wars, but not much of this was communicated to me. We’d left honest communication behind many years ago. And it wasn’t until we opened up our marriage last year that we actually began to be honest with each other again. YES, you heard correctly. I tried to save my marriage by opening it up… but more about this later… I digress. I promise you juicy details before long… 🙂

So this year, my marriage fell apart amidst an explosion of his anger, and the many years of resentment that has built up around us, on both sides. My perceived flightiness, my constant curiosity that took me away from cleaning the house! I was never the sort of woman who could see the point in cleaning over and over – once is enough, right? I was basically a wild, bohemian type woman and this didn’t often gel well with the way my husband viewed our life should be. He was madly attracted to this free range woman but it didn’t add up to a harmonious stress free life. I like to try things, taste new things, I’m driven constantly by my curiosity so the first part of this course has been like a reminder and a validation that I can be this woman who I know I am… I can listen to that whisper deep down inside me… I’m rambling I’m sure – I’m not editing as I go and I’m just letting it flow in any order that comes.

Maybe I should start of some of the questions from the course!

Here goes:

What was the last thing you really wondered about?
That would be just a few minutes ago when I was wondering about how exciting it might be to be like Liz Gilbert and talk to and inspire people. And i got to thinking that I’ve always felt alive while teaching groups of people my writing skills and while writing my novels like it tapped into a secret part of me where something flowed. I’d love to maybe combine this and my passion for women and supporting woman into and back to their power after motherhood. Now, there’s a pathway I’m curious about…
What are my superpowers?
I seem to be able to put people at their ease. Mostly, they instantly warm to me. I enjoy meeting people hugely and I think this comes across – I’m curious about people, what their hopes and dreams are, etc. And they always tell me! If this is a superpower I have it!
What themes do I see in the above?
Well, I’m written two novels and I suppose I want to create a successful writing career for myself. This can definitely be done through promotion and inspiring people… I’d love to work on this aspect of my life.