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My journey back to faith

These past five months have been a real challenge for me, probably the most difficult time of my life, just trying to navigate my life as it is now without my Mum…..

Some things have gotten easier of course, like the initial shock, but the intense feelings of sadness and loss don’t really go away, so it is a job in itself trying to manage it all. I do have to go easier on myself when I can and squeeze little pockets of time for myself to settle my nerves, my anxiety, my emotions, especially when things get too much.

A lot has happened these past few months alongside losing my mum, covid, moving house – plus also organising my daughter’s Batmitzvah party and celebrations which has now been and gone which thankfully went really well… so it’s all been a real rollercoaster ride.

Now aswell, we’ve had the school holidays since the end of July, so it’s been full on with the kids keeping them all entertained, playing taxi service getting them to camp, their friends’ houses for playdates, taking them shopping and to their activities. Then, because there’s a bit more breathing space without all the school runs, there is generally a bit more time at home, so it’s been a good time to declutter last year’s stuff, books, uniform, and for us, the house in general as we are still unpacking from the move. It’s a slow process… I’m also organising all my “old school” paper photos that I used to always get printed out from my local pharmacy (or Dad’s pharmacy) after every holiday or birthday celebration once the roll of film was finished. It wasn’t quite so easy to just click on “delete” like we do now when we’ve taken a bad photo!

It really is very hard to just SLOW DOWN… So much to do still but at least the hot weather has forced us to slow down a bit at least; we’ve had an amazingly hot summer this year in the UK.

Fortunately though, I did manage to go away for some quiet time a few weeks ago for two nights – my husband treated me to a trip to the spa whilst he went away to Brighton with the kids (we have also just come back from Tenerife which is where the photo above was taken).

Though I love my kids, I definitely got the better deal… As you can imagine, this mini break was the perfect opportunity to just “be” and connect with myself again, with those things that make me feel calm, at ease, and good inside so I can get back to feeling my more aligned, calmer and happier self.

Whilst I was there, I felt the urge to follow my natural instincts and start writing again. I haven’t really written much in the past few months, over which time I’m sure I’ve been bottling a lot up inside subconsciously. It does feel like the right time to get back into my writing habit, to get out of my own head and put “pen to paper”. My Mum always loved reading what I wrote online which gives me good reason to pursue this.

I have an interesting story to tell to start with…. When I went down for breakfast one morning whilst I was away and told the waiter my room number, number 99, he told me an interesting fact and weird coincidence, that no one ever stays in my room though housekeeping cleans it everyday…. Bizarre right? So I looked up the number to find out what this all might mean. I had been thinking beforehand about how I might be able to communicate with my Mum on a spiritual level, especially as I don’t have the luxury of talking to her whenever I want anymore. However, this number and sign felt reassuring to me that there might be a way through this – it felt like I had her approval by taking that time out at the spa to be still and have that quiet time I needed. It felt like I was moving in the right direction.

I’ve really struggled getting back into being creative again over the past few months, whether it’s with my music or art, but I did start to use my creativity again in the garden about 6-7 weeks ago whilst I’d been planting new things and moving some other bedding plants around to make it look how I wanted it, plus I tidied up some other flowers and took out all the dead leaves and cutting them down a bit. Another form of decluttering, but it did feel quite calming whilst outside, especially in the quiet of the night after my youngest was in bed. I normally leave gardening mostly to the gardener, so I don’t think I did too bad a job all things considered.

It was lovely when the flowers started to grow, especially the red geraniums which really loved the sunshine, and the begonia’s too after I moved them under the rose bush in a more shaded area. It really felt like an achievement to see their growth, and pretty flowers always make me feel brighter. It was also nice to see our tomato plant growing really nicely – they really do love the sunshine too, and it gives my 6 year old son joy to point out to me the tomatoes that have ripened – he now knows to only pick the red ones! We had a few strawberries grow aswell which was nice but we didn’t have quite as many of these and as soon as they grew, they were consumed very quickly…

It seems that in life, especially when things aren’t going quite so well, where there is pain and sadness especially, we do have to focus even more on what we can control, to keep looking for a positive way through it all, continuing day by day to heighten self-awareness, to make sure we do those things that light us up that give us the fuel and energy to enjoy life in the moment. Life isn’t easy and everything happens to us for a reason though we don’t always know why. So instead on focusing on the pain, we need to look out for all the things we can be grateful for by having this experience – lessons are here to be learned and taken on board to be able to move through life in the best possible way.

It’s time to make that choice to enjoy our life whilst we are alive, to live in the moment, to be conscious of what makes you feel good and make that a way of living, and along the way, being gentle with yourself, taking one day or step at a time, so that we are able to discover new, exciting things in life and be guided in the direction of love, compassion and inspiration.

As Dalai Lama said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive”.