Tuesday 28 May 2013

Growing bigger

I've always been tall, often the tallest woman in a gathering, the tallest kid in class, not really, really tall but above average......my weight has slightly fluctuated over the years but I've never been fat or super super thin, just kind of ok.
But you know I've always been small. Kept myself small, squashed myself into small insignificance, self sabotaged, assumed I can't do it, shouldn't do it, would be better if someone else did it. Write the book, illustrate it, raise the child, bake the cake, run the stall, make the speech. Hazy memories of shrinking down behind my desk at school cowering from praise from my English teacher, wishing my navy knee highs were long enough to cover my blushes.  Starting amazing projects, business ideas, courses, books......and abandoning them for fear of what? Fear of failure? Or fear of something else?

 I recently went to see a kinesiologist and what came out of it.....I have.a misguided, inherited pattern to see other people's jewels as more important than my own.
And it wasn't so much of a shock to hear it.
Resentfully bottom of the pile..oh its only me I'll just sit on the floor over there..yes I know I'm 7 months pregnant but its ok really. 

The other day I read a post from Lucy over at Dreaming Aloud What stands between us and thegreatness of our potential
Read it.
 To summarise in a phrase;
 What we are afraid of is not how inadequate we are but how powerful we are.
I read it and reread it and began to watch myself....

Recently I've been writing short stories, quite a few, to enter competitions. (note to self..I really wanted to add "not that I've any chance of winning"....grrr) . I notice that just when I get into the flow, just when I reach that luminous moment when the story seems to twist itself out of my grasp and capture the essence of what I knew was there, without any particular effort from me, just at that moment when my pen is jumping around in my hand from excitement and I'm smiling from that Yes Yes Yes feeling. Guess what? I head off to do the washing up, or sort the laundry, or make sure Freddie is doing his homework, or do a bit of general tidying in the lobby.

Strange isn't it. But familiar?

Its ridiculous that's what.

Ok I don't wear navy knee highs any more...(only in certain situations...just kidding) and I don't blush when someone appreciates something I've done, but I do have to fight hard not to disagree with them. Or I might do one of those little self deprecating put downs...oh yes but you should have seen me when I was .....insert some mildly humourous incident where I seem ridiculous or wrong.

This is where it gets serious.
I am 40, no kidding, my birthday was in December. I say no kidding because it's still a little surprising to me.
I'm pregnant with my fifth child, and pregnant for the eighth time.
I am an adult
I have lost my eldest daughter in a traumatic accident.
My house has burnt down.
I'm really an adult.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something.
I'm not saying that traumatic events happen just to send me some sort of cosmic message. But they have happened and although I am changed, I'm also still the same,  the same little me.
And I'm not ok with that.

Doing great things sure, daily hum drum things, little special things, hugging my kids, making up stories planting out squash and beans, smelling the apple blossom, coming up with another sugar free recipe, navigating the turbulent waters of adolescence, pregnancy, children.........but still feeling as though my life is only part lived. As though I'm a water nymph, swimming in circles at the bottom of the pond, catching a glimpse of the sparkling sun above the surface of the water, the azure summer sky, the rustle and dip of the soaring birds and dragonflies, just out of reach. Feeling ok, but knowing that something luminous and magical is there, just waiting for the gauzy translucent wings to sprout from my back to launch me into a vast shining universe that I hardly dare admit I can inhabit.

Because I can inhabit it...so can you, so can everyone. We were all born to live in the true joy of  a full existence and potential, and we're not supposed to live small mean cramped lives. You don't see an apple tree apologising in the corner of the orchard, limiting its blossom output and thinking well maybe I shouldn't this year. Or a robin at dawn thinking it ought to just tone it down a bit today, and sit quietly behind a leaf instead.

The more I think about this, the more I am aware of and drawn to the many shining souls there are, glowing with the energy and beauty of their creativity, enthusiasm, passion.


I have to fight the thought that they are different somehow from me, more able, more passionate, more creative......more more more than little me. Its hard to think this. Especially as its just my head that does this. My heart knows the truth, and when I have a moment's stillness; a moment of connection; a moment where my busy busy censoring judgemental pattern ridden brain stops its goddam thinking.....then I know. Then I catch a brief golden glimpse of the simplicity of how things could be, how they are, how I could be.

And I owe it to my daughter Lily to become this person, yes I owe it to myself, and my family, and the little tumbling babe still dark and warm inside me, but especially to Lily. I can't waste my life, I know I have bigger things to do, I can feel Lily, in those quiet golden moments of connection. She knows with the whole of her; unencumbered by a mind and a thinking brain, she is free to really see, and she helps me.

So I've decided to make some changes..ways to grow bigger. (And not just my tummy which is by the day!)I might share them here, I might not, but sharing helps, connecting with others helps, knowing that we all, to a lesser or greater degree go through similar doubts, restrictions realisations, moments of illumination.

I'd love to hear yours..please?!                                                                     


  1. gosh, what an amazing post... and when I read posts like this I think 'others are more passionate, more creative......more more more than little me' ... A lot of what you say here I feel in myself, especially when it comes to my writing. But in the last few years, little by little, those insecurities have started to diminish. I don't really know why, perhaps a boost here, a kind comment there, a feeling that I have something worthwhile to share because someone has connected with something I have written. But it's hard; hard to be that shining soul, glowing with energy because we don't always believe in ourselves. And perhaps that's what makes us more creative? because we are a little nervous, a little self-doubting... but that's why it's good to share, because then we can all nod along and learn to grow together. I look forward to watching you blossom like that apple tree in the orchard! and perhaps we'll get to meet at some point... we'll be travelling the UK for a few months soon :-)

  2. Thanks Alice it's good to hear that, it is good to share, and after all its what we humans are supposed to do, not fret alone but work together, talk together, learn together.
    Do tell me when you're in Devon...how exciting

  3. I read this post last night and haven't been able to stop thinking about it . . . so many thoughts and feelings come up. I completely relate, and wish I didn't. And turning 40 . . . I didn't expect that number to be such a big deal, but it is. It's scary. It feels like now or never and that's exactly the sense I've got, I can't waste my life any more, I'm not preparing for anything anymore, there is no "one day" anymore. And what am I going to do about it, and how?

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