Life is no longer as we knew it.
Our struggle is real and lives are being lost.
But we have each other, our human spirit and the eons of potential, left unexplored for so long.
As we come together as one, with love and compassion for each another, with purpose as our guide, that potential will finally be unleashed and the foundations of a new, better world will grow as we emerge from the ashes of the old one.
So, please do not allow fear and panic to suffocate you.
Do not withdraw to 'I', remember the strength of 'we'.
Do not loose sight of truth.
Do not stop trusting.
Do not run from your soul and feelings.
And above all, do not loose faith in yourself and others.
It is our shared vulnerability, our compassion for our fellow human beings, our instincts and our faith in humanity, that will help us charter these unprecedented and unknown times.
Please remember, it is in our times of great adversity, that great hope, love and connection is to be found.
We can do this, together, with love, with belief and with compassion.
Please stay safe, stay home and believe in yourself.
As each day passes, my thoughts and feelings ebb and flow. I'm sharing them to try and help us all to feel a little less alone, a little less afraid, but most of all to find hope - for a future built on love, the best of humanity and a deep respect for the beautiful planet, that nourishes and cares for us all.
During these challenging times, I write from the heart to help me and others. Below are my daily posts, shared in the hope they will shine a light for you in some way, to help us all simply take the next best step.
2020 a global pandemic.
And I finally crack my priorities, dump the distractions and learn the value of a truly simple life.
So, no I won’t be going back to how it was.
I’m only going forwards to how it will be.
Which will definitely be different to how it has been.
Thank f*ck for that.
When all of this is over, there will still be suffering, death, unfairness and inequality in the world.
The question is, will there be more or less than before?
And the answer lies with us.
Will we continue to close our eyes to that which is too difficult to see?
Or will we open them and face the true reality.
We had the great privilege be able to build new hospitals and then put them on standby as we have not had to use their capacity after all.
We have the privilege to wash our hands with soap, whenever we need to.
We have the privilege to queue to access supermarkets, which can feed us.
And when all of this is over, we may have less money, less freedom, less stuff, but we will still have so much.
But many countries will continue with no real healthcare systems, many people with no food to eat, no clean water to drink and wash in and no home to live in.
So, before we think about returning to ‘normal’, let’s take a good, hard look at what ‘normal’ really means.
No man is an Island and if this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that we are only ever as strong as the most vulnerable amongst us.
And I for one, am not interested in returning to a world where such gross inequality is accepted and such gross inhumanity ignored.
We all need to wake the f*ck up.
I think we need some perspective.
The fear from people is palpable.
We may have to live in lock down for good reasons, but we do not have to live in fear.
It doesn’t help.
So, let’s look at some facts.
The UK has a population of 66.65 million.
As of 2nd May we have successfully tested 825,846 people for coronavirus. That’s approx. 0.01% of the population.
Of those tested, 182,260 were positive, that’s 22%.
Of those who were positive, 28,131 have tragically died. That’s 15%.
Of those who died, 95% had an underlying health condition.
We do not know how many people have actually had and recovered from the virus in the UK, but we do know that world wide, the recovery rate is approx. 4 times the death rate. And the figures above suggest ours could be more like 7 times.
Please remember that lock down was primarily to save lives by ensuring our NHS could scale up, to provide help to the people who needed it, whilst at the same time continuing to care for others with chronic illnesses.
It was not because we are all going to require hospital treatment, or die of coronavirus - we are not.
Death is our constant companion in life. A life lost will always be tragic. And we can all do our bit to try and avoid this right now.
But you don’t have to do so with fear, just love.
I’ve given the kids the day off.
They are knackered and so am I.
I’m laid in bed writing, reading and shopping - well looking. Actually that’s a big fat lie, l’ve just brought a nightie I can’t afford, in addition to the dress I brought last night, having absolutely nowhere to wear it to.
I admit I maybe distracting myself a little from reality.
But at least TK Maxx is closed on-line, it could be so much worse.
I’ve also just had a latte and a slice of lemon drizzle cake.
And I’ve no intention of moving of my arse today, unless it’s to get more lemon drizzle cake, or wine, or gin.
In the last month, I’ve walked 270 km, constantly washed, ironed, hoovered, cooked, cleaned, picked up copious amounts of dog sh*t (we have four with at least another one planned and no I don’t know why), shouted for England, cried for England, slept for England and tied myself in knots over incomprehensible physics tests and mind boggling maths equations.
And just because I’ve got f*ck all else to do, we thought we’d hatch some more ducks and then pop some chicken eggs in the incubator too. And no, I have no idea how many we already have - a lot I think.
So, this is what lock down looks like today and that’s ok.
Sometimes, we all need a break.
My check list for surviving lock down:
1. Wine, daily without counting how many glasses, bottles or barrels and/or gin.
2. Quiet, child free, organised space and a daily limit on how many times the word mummy, mum or anything else that is designed to get my attention and generally drive me f*cking mad.
3. Mother Nature and it really doesn’t matter whether it’s rain or shine, just put a coat on and go visit her.
4. Sleep, plenty of it, preferably in the afternoon and at night - f*ck it, add in the morning as well if you like.
5. Movement, nothing major just a walk into the garden, hang the washing out, do a hand stand, run, stretch, anything to move your arse.
6. Small goals only allowed, long ‘to do’ lists are absolutely banned, as are weighing scales, looking at some boll*cks portray of perfection on instagram and listening to any sanctimonious sh*t on being productive.
7. Cake and tea in the afternoon, at least 2 slices and crisps if you fancy them too.
8. Tea and sitting quietly alone, first thing in the morning before everyone else gets up.
9. Self pity, tears, tantrums, shouting, being irrational and neurotic allowed as frequently as required without self-flagellation, it’s ok to loose your sh*t.
10. Watch every Richard Curtis movie ever made.
Time is precious.
And the thing that I’ve found the hardest in lockdown is having my time stolen.
Being interrupted at will, like a tap being switched on and off, as and when people (mainly the kids but sometimes the hubby), need me.
Well actually that’s not ok.
I’m not just a wife or mother, I’m a person in my own right too.
I have my own sh*t to get done.
And my kids need to learn that I have boundaries.
As much for themselves as well as me.
How will they ever set their own boundaries, prioritise their time and respect their needs, if I do not.
So, home schooling task 1 yesterday for my daughter, was making this crown for me. On it, it says ‘her majesty shall not be disturbed’.
When I wear this no one is allowed to disturb me, unless it’s an emergency.
Because first and foremost, I’m a human being with my own needs which need to be met, so that I’m able to meet others.
And that is something we all need to recognise and stop feeling guilty about.
Because we are not f*cking taps.
Please do take care of yourself, to enable you to take care of others too..
Yes we are facing unknown times.
Yes we are facing unprecedented challenges.
Yes our lives will change.
Yes we will experience discomfort, fear and suffering.
But that does not mean we should panic, loose faith in ourselves and our fellow human beings.
Our greatest lessons and achievements, often come during our greatest times of adversity.
We can turn to our resilience, courage, creativity, love of life, innovation, amazing ability to adapt and the power of the human spirit, when it is called to action.
Now is the time to work together.
Now is the time to use our collective knowledge, skills, experience and passion to face our challenges.
Now is the time to believe in one another, trust in one another, care for one another and reassure one another.
No amount of loo roll will solve this crisis - remaining calm, understanding the facts, giving a sh*t about each other and stepping into the unknown with courage and determination will.
We are in this together, let love not fear guide us.
Let’s focus on the next best step.
Let’s deepen our belief in the human spirit.
Let’s remind ourselves of our creativity, innovation, ability to adapt and resilience.
It is in our time’s of greatest adversity that we have found our greatest discoveries, solutions and sense of purpose.
We can do this.
Please do not allow your energy to be consumed by fear, panic and doom.
Because we need it, to help us all take the next best step.
This is the reality for most of us.
We often do not see in ourselves, what others do.
We often do not understand the impact our actions have on others.
We generally far under-estimate the beauty, love and value each of us bring to this world.
So, here’s a truer reality for you all to believe in.
My take on the relationship between fear and belief in humanity.
There is always something you can do to move beyond fear, so please do.
I’m starting to feel the isolation today. The rising sense of panic. The ugly side of the unknown.
My sons school has closed, the swimming pool has closed, all activities have been stopped, the supermarkets shelves are all but empty and there’s so much fear around.
But I will not panic. I will not allow the fear to control me.
I will simply take the next best step.
I will go to the lake to swim instead.
I will walk the dogs for longer.
I will stay in the present.
I will read the books I never have time to read.
I will practice yoga at home.
I will skype my friends and family.
And I will find a way to do some good, to remain purposeful.
It’s ok to feel scared, but don’t let it control you.
Feel the fear and then do something meaningful anyway.
I run discovery sessions for people.
They are one-to-one discussions, sounding boards, a psychologically safe place to explore ideas, share fears, understand constraints, find inspiration and access an objective view to help make sense of what the future might look like.
But perhaps most importantly, it's about helping people to find themselves - to find simplicity in an increasingly complex world, to trust your instincts, to accept discomfort and uncertainty and transform it into opportunity and adventure.
In these challenging, scary and uncertain times I want and need to do something to help.
Something that’s bigger than me, that can really help someone find their light - and it may be one of the rare opportunities we actually get to reflect, pause for thought and really think about how we want our lives to be.
We may be physically separated but that does not mean we have to be socially disconnected.
Now more than ever we need the collective power of our human connection.
So, to anyone out there who would like a virtual discovery session, please do contact me.
I’m not charging for them and there is no hidden agenda, except to help me by allowing me to help you.
No, I definitely do not have my sh*t together right now.
I have 3 children at home and I hear the phrase 'homeschooling', which scares the sh*t out of me.
I'm not a qualified teacher and to all of those that are - I salute and I miss you.
I'm an over-achiever, who thrives on structure, needs her own space and hates being out of her comfort zone.
So, here I am desperately struggling to avoid falling into the black hole of anxiety, triggered by not keeping up with the schoolwork, not being trained in peace negotiations, not having the patience of a saint and having virtually no time to myself - as well as sh•t loads more washing, ironing, cooking and cleaning.
And so I have decided to change the narrative, I am absolutely not home schooling. I am running an emergency service, to keep my children occupied, give us all some structure and steel what bit of time I can to write and avoid a complete and utter f*cking meltdown.
Just in case anyone else out there is feeling overwhelmed and scared, you are not alone, we can do this.
Give yourself a break, none of the above is the end of the world. Just do your best and be kind to yourself.
Nothing is as it should be, so we just need to go with it and trust in out ability to do so.
Please stay home and stay safe.
To all of the teachers out there.
God I miss you so much.
I will never under-estimate you again.
I will never be impatient, unforgiving or judgmental again.
I will never dread your phone calls again.
I will never take you for granted again.
Thank you for all that you do, for your patience, for your dedication, for your care and for doing what so many of us cannot.
I salute you.
Let’s give our teachers the respect and recognition they deserve.
From a menopausal mum, just about holding it together, who finally managed to get her HRT patches today, which was a great relief for all concerned 🤗
Teachers - you are f*cking awesome, please remember that in these challenging times.
With much love
Now we are truly making history.
History is not made by our riches, innovations or wars.
History is made by people with a commitment to a purpose bigger than themselves.
History is our story, of the things that really mattered, in the most challenging of times.
This is not about who is right or wrong.
Who has more, who has less.
Who is richer, who is poorer.
Who is big, who is small.
It’s about humanity.
No border, culture, religion, gender or political model will save people.
It’s the people themselves who will do that.
The beautifully unique talents of humankind, brought together as one, to play in harmony focused on one goal and one goal only.
To protect lives.
We can do this.
This is ultimately what we are made to do.
Work together to achieve something far greater, than any of our individual minds could ever imagine.
We’ve got this. We’ve got each other.
Stay safe, have courage, stay home.
And the thing that no one thought could happen, that no one had imagined - well it came.
Without warning or fanfare.
It just quietly and quickly invited itself into our lives.
And the fragility of all that we believed in, all that we thought we needed, all that we had been distracted by for so long, became abundantly clear.
And we were all sent home.
But once we got there, another home was waiting. That within ourselves.
Many had not seen that home for longer than they could remember and many resisted stepping in, lest they see the mess they had left behind.
But the longer it went on, the more people were called to that home. So, slowly but surely they started to step back in. And what they found was not a mess, but timeless beauty, wisdom and love.
All the things they had been searching for outside, were simply sat waiting for them on the inside.
We have been given the chance to find our way home, to ourselves and each other. We must not waste this chance, this pause in the manic illusion we have all got caught up in.
This is where we will learn to understand our true priorities, grow deep connections, re-establish our communities and give birth to a new wave of innovation, creativity and humanity.
Allow yourself to go home and stay awhile, please.
My mind is racing. It’s market day. I need to venture out for fresh food.
It used to be my favourite day of the week. Chatting to the market holders and buying fresh, local goods.
Now I dread it.
So, I get there early.
I smile, keep my distance, buy the essentials and go home.
I don’t pop into the local cafe for eggs benedict, or sneak into the bakery for cheeky cakes, or delight in the beauty of the flower stall, or discover new products in the artisan shops, or smell the coffee beans in the local deli.
And I miss it, a lot.
And the thing I miss most, is having a conversation with ordinary people, going about their trade with a smile, no matter what the weather, who never forget my name.
So, I’m sad. And that’s a perfectly normal response, to an extraordinary set of circumstances.
But right now, it’s how it has to be.
To save lives and to get through this pandemic with the least possible damage.
It’s ok to have reasonable responses to difficult circumstances.
They are actually proof of our sanity and understanding of the challenge we are facing.
This will pass.
And the market days will return.
Please stay safe, have courage and stay home.
We feel so much anxiety, fear, panic and discomfort in our world right now.
But each of those feelings, if welcomed in rather than fought against, can help us grow.
Anxiety can be translated into positive action, whether it be going for a walk, facing the cause of our angst, or creating a path to walk alongside it.
Fear can be quietened by faith in yourself and humanity. And in that silence, you will find the courage to face what you thought you could not.
Panic can be calmed by logic, perspective, context - disconnecting from the drama, going within and trusting your instincts, not those as dictated by others.
Discomfort can be endured by finding a purpose bigger than yourself - a way to help others, to ease their pain, their discomfort and by doing so, relieving your own.
But of course, the most powerful universal force, as yet unexplained by our scientists, is love.
If you can keep love in your heart, in your actions, in your thoughts, there is no other force strong enough to stop it.
It is infinite, it brings understanding, compassion, connection, courage, faith, resilience, but most of all, it shows us the very essence of what it feels like to be a human being.
Don’t fight your demons, invite them to dinner and win them over with love.
Not the greatest start to the day.
More time out of my comfort zone.
More time managing frustration, fear, anxiety and resistance.
But try as I might, I simply cannot stop caring.
About the kids doing their schoolwork.
About the house being clean and ordered.
About sticking to some kind of routine.
About living each and everyday to the best of our ability, in spite of the lockdown.
Growth only really occurs when you get out of your comfort zone.
Resisting my new reality is exhausting, futile and soul destroying.
So, I’m sat here learning about polygons, quadratic equations and sh*t loads of other stuff, which scares the living daylights out of me, because it’s new and outside of my normality.
But I just have to trust that somehow, someway I’ll manage it and be able to look my son in the eye and say “we did our best”.
Because that’s where our energy can make the most difference.
Resistance is just a complete waste of f*cking time, I’ve concluded.
Embrace the discomfort, do your best and move on.
Stay safe, have courage and stay home.
Each morning this is what we immerse ourself in, to remind us of how much we have, to clear our heads, fill our hearts and prepare us to make the very most of the day ahead.
I know not everyone has this gift, but you will all have something, no matter how small, to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Please look for it each and everyday.
Because it will allow you to feel hope and with hope comes courage and with courage comes action - to be able to do what needs to be done, to not only survive but grow, as we move through these scary and uncertain times.
You can do this.
You are so much more than you know.
You will be so much more than you thought.
Stay safe, have courage, stay home
It’s not easy being at home, having your normality removed, learning new routines, accepting new restrictions, keeping the fear at bay and inviting the courage in.
But it’s more than possible - it’s what we are made to do.
We learn to adapt to ensure we survive, we grow through adversity, we flourish with purpose and we find our creativity when we do not have solutions.
Their is great opportunity, great hope, great innovation, great compassion and great change in amidst the panic, the fear and the suffering.
Our job is not to run from this reality, but to face it, with courage and resilience but most of all faith, in ourselves and our fellow human beings.
We may not know what tomorrow will bring, or how our challenge will be met, but we do know it will be and we will learn and grow from this and we will create a better world because of this.
Never under-estimate the power each and everyone of you has, to make this world a better place.
On the shoulders of giants we do indeed build and now is the time to build the foundations for our next generation to build upon.
Stay safe, have courage, stay home.
I’ve woken up with fear in my belly.
Fear because of a post I read on social media last night, of an awful experience a couple had whilst out on their daily walk yesterday.
They were judged (incorrectly) and verbally abused. By their fellow human beings, coming from a place of fear, absent of love and a lack of humanity.
I will not give in to it.
Because fear poisons those who allow it to control their actions, it hurts those who walk in its path and it spreads far faster than anything known to mankind.
So, I will not allow it to control my thoughts, my actions or my words.
Every single one of us has a part to play right now and the one thing every single one of us can do, every single day, is choose love not fear.
Please don’t hurt your fellow human beings with fear, anger and judgement, because you are poisoning your own soul and destroying the very things we all need so much right now - connection, acceptance, forgiveness and of course, love.
Own your fear, invite it in, cover it in love and move on.
Please do not use it to attack others, because that’s a really sh*tty thing to do - and you know it.
If your still lying in bed it’s ok.
If your struggling to stick to a routine, it’s ok.
If your tired despite having done very little, it’s ok.
If you’ve binged watched Netflix all day, it’s ok.
If you’ve eaten crap all day, it’s ok.
If your feeling lost, de-motivated or anxious, it’s ok.
These are not ‘normal’ times.
We do not know what the new normal will look like, nor when it will come.
We have not experienced life like this before.
Everything is uncertain and unknown.
So, if you haven’t managed to re-define your whole life, your schedule, your purpose, deal with all of your sh*t, find a deep spiritual awakening, decorate your house from top to bottom, train for a marathon, lost 2 stones, or become the fastest knitter in town, I still think your f*cking amazing.
Because, the fact you are getting through each day in one piece and saving lives by staying home is amazing.
Success does not always have a badge, a uniform, a name, or recognition.
Sometimes, it’s just a quiet way of being. Of having the courage to let go, to allow yourself to be whatever it is you need to be, to do whatever it is you need to do, to get yourself and others through this time, in the best way possible.
So, please be kind, be loving and give yourself a break.
Whatever I post is always about me.
Because it is my fears, my hopes, my dreams, my experiences, my weaknesses, my strengths, my angels and my demons, that create the content.
It’s not stuff I’ve found on a shelf, in someone else’s story, or that I think people want to hear.
It’s just raw, in the moment and honest thoughts about life, as I’m experiencing it right now.
And I write it down because it helps me, to acknowledge, understand and accept, whatever it is I need to, because I’ve got a life to live, not a soul to destroy.
And I post it, because it might just help others too.
To accept themselves.
To love themselves.
To love others.
So, it’s not always consistent, coherent, relevant or popular.
And that’s ok.
Because neither is life and neither are we.
Our beauty is our imperfection.
Our connection is our vulnerability.
Our power is our truth.
Our love is our acceptance.
So, please do not buy into the bullsh*t, not in the old world, not now and not in whatever is coming.
Because these things will never change, they are where your stability, your answers and your peace will always lie.
Whatever tomorrow may bring.
Stay safe, have courage, stay home