I wanted to share something with you today that I think is a little freaky, especially as it’s a subject I’ve been meaning to cover for a while. Anyway, shut up Kate and get on with it. It’s about the universe, but it’s also a bit bigger than that.
I have this amazing friend. I don’t know whether to share her name, so I won’t for now, but she’s fab. A real gentle soul, and she’s relatively new in my life and I’m extremely grateful for her. She attended a talk yesterday run by a lady called Gabrielle Bernstein – Gabby is a writer and motivational speaker and from what I can gather (I’ve never heard of her before), her purpose in life (I’m quoting Oprah right now, as one should at least once a day), is to ‘help people tune into their own inner voice.’ Interesting so far, right?
So Gabby is speaking and my friend is doodling in her notebook/making notes, and she wrote down my name. For no other reason I’d imagine, other than I was on her mind at that precise moment. Which is lovely. Anyway, as she wrote down my name, literally as she wrote it, a lady in the crowd stood up and shared her personal story with Gabby. And it was the mirror image of my story. This lady asked how she could lean in towards love (instead of fear) as she had just heard that the man that physically abused her was coming out of prison. Now that’s not something I’ve told you guys before but it’s very similar to my story. Gabby said this is understandably a very fearful situation but it’s important to take back control – that that’s their shit, and we need to focus on our own. Concentrate on ourselves, our love and our happiness, and it’s not about forgiving the person that hurt us, but it’s about letting go of the situation.
My friend told me this and I burst into tears. It was an immediate physiological reaction and I think it was for several reasons. Firstly, I physically felt this other lady’s pain. To know that she, and others, have gone through something similar to me hurts my heart so much that I feel what I can only imagine they feel, as if it’s my own pain. If I wasn’t an empathetic person before, I know I definitely am now. And secondly, it felt like my friend put my name out to the universe at that point and the universe gave back to her what I needed to hear.
A quick word about this. Yes, I’m a bit of a hippy at heart, always have been, but only insofar as I’m very laid-back, a lover not a fighter, and I like flowers and shit. I do not like incense, dancing round trees or not washing my hair. Note: No offence to actual hippies intended. So when I talk about ‘the universe’, it’s coming from a pretty sane(ish) place, it’s just something I’m feeling more and more the older I get and the more in tune with myself I become. So, please have an open mind when I talk about stuff like this … I’m not completely crackers. I guess it’s just about being more spiritual.
Anyway. This whole ‘leaning towards love not fear’ thing is something I’d actually spoken to my friend about before she told me this story. I told her that I’ve lived in fear for a long time and, particularly since I’ve had therapy (which I’ve decided to finish by the way), I’ve made a conscious effort to lean in towards love and happiness instead. So what do I mean by that? Take September as an example. My birthday is on the 29th, and so I have decided that September would be a month where I would purposefully do things that make me happy. It was my present to myself, so I put that out into the universe, and here’s what I’ve got back so far … with a little assistance from me:
- I went to Brighton last week and ate good food and kissed a lot – two of my favourite things.
- I’ve just booked my first Air BnB to Whitstable next week whereby I intend to do the same things I did in Brighton, except this time, my new man-friend is going to cook for me. (I’ve also asked for Tiramisu for dessert fyi.)
- I bought new jeans with red piping down the side, even though my best friend didn’t like them, but they reminded me of my youth so I bought them anyway. I might look like a knob when I wear them, but I’ll let you know.
- I ate Dirty Fries for dinner last night, even though I didn’t really know what they were, I just lolled at the name.
- My eldest is coming to stay this month and I’m so, so excited.
- I’ve arranged a family dinner later in the month to celebrate my birthday.
- I ate three Viennese Whirls to help cure my bad back (surprisingly that didn’t work but they sure were tasty.)
- I’ve been headhunted twice for new jobs in the past week.
- I’ve contemplated going back to London for work because I want to be challenged … erm, and earn more money.
- My neighbours hoovered for what seems like hours today, but I decided to watch Sexpod and Place in the Winter Sun on TV instead, because life is too short to spend hours hoovering.
- I’ve had three midday baths this week, which feels like the height of luxury.
Bearing in mind it’s only the 10th September, I reckon I’m doing alright so far.
I’m not a life coach like Gabrielle Bernstein, and my musings are just my way of making sense of my life. It’s another form of therapy. I write stuff down and in some way, it means I can make sense of the things I’m feeling and doing because I’ll be honest, most of the time, probably much like you, I’m just winging it. Even at 46, very nearly 47. I used to think I’d have my shit together at 40, and look how that turned out, so maybe I will at 50. Or 60. Who knows? But I do know one thing. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I bloody well enjoy the journey.
There is no reason behind this post other than to share that weird story with you. I don’t meditate. I don’t have a zen den. I don’t bowl about wearing wind chimes on my head. But I am becoming more in tune with myself the older I get. What I need to make me happy. How to surround myself with positivity, and equally, how to remove negativity. How to turn to love and not fear, whether that’s through therapy or support from friends. You know some of my good friends are approaching 40, or have just turned 40, and I’ve told them all (as well as the poor 20-year-old girl that did my nails yesterday): “Turning 40 changed my life. It was the beginning of saying no to the things I don’t want in my life, and yes to the things I do.”
The universe approves.