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Sunday, 11 August 2013

My Prosperous Heart

This weekend Mum and I decided to simply have a weekend before all the hard work hard work I mean the erecting of a new garden shed, and then filling that garden shed with things we had to put in our spare bedroom when we had renovating done a few years back. It's amazing how much of a mess life and the home can get into when you decide to have a new bathroom and kitchen fitted, and then find out the whole house needs rewiring, and floorboards gets damaged when the new gas piping get's put down... It became our living hell! It's only really been this year that we've finally been able to start spring cleaning on a major level. A lot of our things got ruined through bad weather damaging one garden shed, literally my childhood school photos, textbooks, spiritual magazines from 2004 onwards - all ruined and now replenishing Mother Earth courtesy of the Junk Yard. So today was very much a positive day, let me explain why...

Day 11 of 30 : Blogalong with Effy 

I got out of bed this morning, changed my bedding and looked out the window at my front garden. Mum said to me; "shall we try and cut the hedging and mow the lawn?" "yeah why not" I replied. So that was our day planned.

I managed to trim and cut the hedging on the one side of our garden - We have two rows of hedging, framing each side of our garden - which by co-incidence we measured today, and each are 5ft thick! So that's a massive 10ft of garden we are losing out on... 10ft that could have lavender bushes, rosemary bushes, roses, buddleias' and other pretty magickal flowers.

Before long, it started to rain, heavily, like it usually does here in England. So we had to scoop up everything and dash for shelter. When the tidying up had been done I realised my forearm was really itchy and burning and when I looked at it, I had come out in the most awful rash and was covered in scratches from the conifer cuttings. I think I am allergic to the cypress oil in them. I think cypress oil is good for something if my witchy mind recollects, but I can't recall what. I would love to harvest cypress oil... I could literally make oodles of it, if I only knew how to. Do you happen to know how I would make cypress oil from the conifer hedging cuttings? I have a huge wheelie bin stuffed to the top of the cuttings!

So now my arm is bandaged up because it is stinging and so sore :(

Anyway, this afternoon I felt really sleepy, so I watched Stepmom on the TV and cried :( So sad. And then I thought I'd go sit outside a little because the sun had come out. So I grabbed a couple of books that I'm reading right now and sat at the table. Funnily, we'd moved the table and so I wasn't sitting in my usual place but I felt so inspired, important and special... am I the only one to feel like that when you change something so simple? So there I was reading the odd page from The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron and came across a couple of quotes. One was; "fear knocked on the door, faith answered but there was no-one there". I love that quote and it got all kind of imagery going on in my head. Then I read a piece on gratitude, and then I thought, let's take a few minutes to write down all the things that I'm grateful for today. So I listed them... I think I had about 13 within a few minutes. They were;

  1. beautiful warm sunshine
  2. inspired creative desk
  3. 8x6 shed on it's way
  4. Money in my bank account
  5. 315 people on facebook who support me and believe in me as a life coach
  6. ease of ability to cut and trim hedging this morning
  7. time to get things done
  8. a boyfriend and life partner who loves me as I am
  9. a mind full of hope, ideas, creativity, youthful optimism
  10. LOVE
  11. lovely pink flowers to gaze at in my garden (Pictured above)
  12. time out to honour myself
  13. Clouds to daydream over

Then I just had this indescribable desire to pick up my sketching pencil and draw the outline of a heart, my prosperous heart that was full of all these things and more to be grateful for. No sooner had I drew the heart, I ran inside, grabbed a paintbrush (9 flat) and a selection of acrylic tubey paints; white, rose and violet. I grabbed a polystyrene plate and a tub of water. I squeezed a little violet and white, mixed it together and kept adding water to it until I had lots of paint. Then I painted the background, but ran out so tried to mix up the same shade and it came out lighter, but I found it added a lovely dimension to the background, so then I began on the heart itself, got the rose out and mixed some lavender and white to it and painted the heart. To add more dimension to the heart I flicked a little rose (neat) on there to show the darker shades, and then white, and found that it really brought it to life. I added white flicks to the purple background and saw how awesome it was when I outlined the heart like an energetic ripple of gratitude. Then I finished it off by painting a little pure violet around the one side of the heart to add shade to it. And this is what it looks like now...

I've also started a study support group for those wanting to join a community as they read Julia Cameron's The Prosperous Heart. You can read out it here and get all the details... we already have 2 people over there looking to start reading the book in the next few days, I'd love it if you joined us too! You can start any time and it's a lifetime's membership - to live with a Prosperous Heart xxx

Friday, 9 August 2013

Betrayal of the Sisterhood

Day 9: So here in the UK there is a huge media piece going on about putting men's 'trashy' magazines in protective sleeves so that children, and women don't have to see them .. if they don't wish to. At first, I was like probably so many women out there cheering the proposal on. Why should women and children and young boys for that matter be subjected to viewing half naked women on the covers of magazines, could this be the answer to men treating women with more respect and less like pieces of meat?

 Yesterday I was listening to a radio show that was debating this topic and they made some quite balanced points and now, I can see both sides to the argument.
Lads mags said something along these lines; "why should be have to screen our magazine covers from public view when women's glossies covers are lower for children to view on the shelves, and they are generally covers that bitch about women's bodies - isn't this against the sisterhood?"

And I was like... "Actually... you are so right there." I mean take just a few samples fo these women's magazines that I found on a quick google search...

Women, myself included buy these magazines weekly and look at the message they are sending out! Body battles --- there is nothing freakin' wrong with those gorgeous ladies bodies... sure they don't look like mannequins but NEWSFLASH... they are not supposed to, we're not supposed to! They are gorgeous, curvy and a positive role model to women to be happy with who they are.
Bad Skin Days ~ How utterly ridiculous! Everyone has bad skin days... EVERYONE!!!! I have them... you have them... why should these celebrities be pulled to pieces because they don't look airbrushed and happen to look real? yet we buy the magazines to read all about it.
Worst & Best Beach bodies ~ OMG! All those bodies look perfectly natural and gorgeous as they are! How can you say that one woman's body is better than another's? Does that make her any less good at her job? Does have cellulite free legs make her a better mom? Does wearing a more flattering bikini make her worthy of earning more money? Hell NO!

But sadly, we buy these magazines to read about how "normal" these women are... yet the text simply rips them to shreds about how much weight they've gained, how they are eating foods to cause break-outs, and how after having a baby, a woman is still to lose her baby weight... do we really need to fund these media moguls to be told that? Isn't that something we already know about?
Ugh! Shame on us ladies for buying these magazines and having them lying around our house sending us unconscious messages about our own identity and body image, and also to our children. Shame on ME for doing it! I totally betrayed the Sisterhood - something that I am trying to work hard against with my "Sexy Smart & Powerful Entrepreneuress coaching".
Another quote the lads mags said was that "at least our magazines promote women's bodies, we celebrate them and always advertise a positive message about women's bodies. We praise them, and show just how sexy and healthy women's curvy bodies are."
I have to hold my hands up there and say... maybe you do, maybe you don't... maybe some of your covers are sleezy and could be tidied up a little... but I guess you do send a more positive message out there about women's bodies than we women do ourselves... we are simply too bitchy for our own good.

Is there room for change here? Can we jiggle things around and come to a balanced agreement? Can we meet each other half way? What's your thoughts about this?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Things I Love

Today I thought I'd do something slightly different with my blog post. Sometimes I think I totally over complicate my writing, especially here on my blog. I always think that there should be a clear cut and divinely intelligent plan and mission behind my blog post. I put way too much pressure on myself. I totally need to practice the art of self care and love and just... well love on all over myself and be totally uber gentle on my delicate soul.

My morning pages of late have become such a huge therapy tool for me, not that I need therapy... no hang on... yeah.. I so do need therapy... I need the ability to have the space held for me so that I can be vulnerable, scared, intrigued by life and totally innocent. Morning pages hold the space for me, and allow me to totally be vulnerable with myself. I'm not good at admitting that I don't know something, I have this ego inner child that believes she should be super human intelligent and know all there is to know, but we both know that this is totally unrealistic. I don't know even a tenth of what there is to know and I doubt I ever will. I mean I know I am a freaking genius - we all are, in our own YOUNIQUE way, but we have to admit defeat sometimes.

So here goes Day.... 7 :) Awesome!

I thought i'd take a activity from The Artists Way where I'm going to list things that I totally love... things that make my heart sing, my soul dance, my fingers tap, my lips curve into a gorgeous smile, and my eyes sparkle like a starry night o' diamonds!

  1. Blogging - freestyle, just like this where I'm free to be me and have no expectations placed upon me
  2. Books - gosh I lurve books with all my heart and soul - I think when I go to the world o' afterlife, I want books- all my fave books to go with me, so I can read them on my journey ;)
  3. Writing - I am a writer, it's dancing, sizzling, and swirling in my blood
  4. Desire Mapping - Heart freeing, soul believing, desire getting, pure desire mapping o' gorgeousness
  5. Magick - my uber baby kitty
  6. Comfy pillows - all squishy and comforting
  7. PINK - sexy, smart, powerful, purring tempting PINK
  8. Money - :D rolling on a bed full of money notes, swirling with abundant energy like a Goddess!
  9. Diamonds - ahhh so pretty =)
  10. Nickleback - oh yeah!
  11. Art - Dreaming, possibility, creating, free, soul playing art
  12. Angels - dreamy, uber guiding, helpful magickal angels
  13. My Mr Handsome Paramedic - luscious, heart pounding, melting, hand holding, cuddling, Princess Lover, Sex God....mmmmm Me love lots :)
  14. Words -  awesome, describing, soul speaking words
  15. Friends - totally understanding, motivating, hilarious, weird o' purity, gosh I love you guys!
  16. Mum - All that I am, All that I have, All that I do, All that I was.... YOU xxxx
  17. Heels - skyscraper, painful, gorgeous dreamy powerful, sexy heels
  18. Sexy Smart & Powerful Entrepreneuresses - Ladies o' awesome, you rock my world!
  19. Effy Wild - New friend, boundary pushing, unapologetic goddess of awesomeness, motivating, believing,
  20. Willingness - My willingness to start over, try again, get back up, wipe those teary eyes and try
  21. Lisa Lister - My awesome rock star sista with uber goddess style, Pink lovin', totes super woman o' motivation, & Honest from the soul heart xxx Love you Miss L xxx
I could go on.... and on..... and on.... but 21 awesome things I love are totally rocking my positivity world right now.....

So what's rockin' your world right now? Please do tell!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Goddess Within wears a Crown

My lack of posts these past few days was brought to you by the power of University assignment writing! Ugh! Don't get me wrong, I love studying, and I get all giddy when I learn something new like I have done recently on my counselling module. But the freedom it takes from you is super ouchy! However...

Day Six:  Today I wake up with a giddy excitement because the assignment is well and truly done!! YAY! I sent it off last night to my tutor for marking after spending far too much time ensuring my referencing was done correctly (referencing seriously is pants - and not good ones either!). So today I am free to play! Free to dance! Free to exercise my booty off, and free to hang out in my new hood - The Glitterhood with amazeballs of people ; Applause for GlitterHood sisters!

It is soooooo liberating to finally be able to attempt some art and creativeness! I can read my books, and write my journal, and do my thing that makes me feel all kinds of super-woman like! I actually feel like ... now don't you laugh at me ... I feel like I have been re-born! I've cleared my life of all the things that left me feeling "meh" and have threw myself into the deep end of things, groups and people that make me feel..."Super-Goddess-Sparklelicious-awesome rockin'- empowered-sexy smart powerful - entrepreneuress like"!

Focusing on ME and what makes me sparkle has really begun to pay off freakin' awesomely! I've stopped doing things that I think and feel people expect me to do and I've started listening to that damn sexy voice inside that is my inner Goddess! I feel more empowered in my life coaching, more in tune, tapped in, turned on, sexy, sassy, smart, and divine! I feel free to be ME!

Friday, 2 August 2013

A Place to Call Home ~ Life Based Writing

Day 2: A Place to Call Home (BlogAlong with Effy)

I wanted to share with you a piece of writing that I have done that is based upon my Grandfather's life in Poland. I did this piece of writing for my Life Writing assignment in my Creative Writing course. I hope you enjoy reading it, and would love to get your feedback on it.

War touches people in different ways. It leaves a scar upon us all. Some of us are grateful for the outcome, for our loved ones who return home safe. Some become withdrawn from life, from their family, even from themselves. The ugly scars that are left behind are not always physical. Some of these scars are mentally damaging, so damaging that it can leave you with a yearning for normality; a yearning to rewind time and protect those who we truly care about.
                Everyone has their own story about war and its eternal effects. A war of love that can be likened to Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, or a raging war that brings disease to the body and mind, or a war to survive each hour of life when born into a third world country.
                This is the story of a man who was thrust into a war that was not his to own, but that became a part of him, a part that he had no desire for as it replaced his family. This is the story of my Polish Grandfather and his war to simply find a place to call home once more.

My Grandfather was called Jerzy which when translated into English is George. He lived with his parents and siblings in Warsaw, Poland on a farm, before the war. They owned the large piece of land with a few shire horses that he and his brothers used to help their father plough the fields. He was only young when the Second World War broke out. One can only imagine the fear that filled his young soul. To be under 18 years old and know that life would allow such evil to rage within it must have been terrifying. I’m unsure of the precise moment in which my Grandfather knew what ‘war’ meant, perhaps it was later on in the timeline of World War Two as we know if it today.
                He lived in a very close and religious family. He adored his youngest sister and instinctively would protect her should danger ever arise. Perhaps the true war that raged through him became guilt, through hopelessness as he remained powerless in this raging war that was sweeping through his life like an uncontrollable tornado. This was guilt that festered within him as he was forced into admission that he no longer could protect her or his family anymore, not in the physical sense.
                I assume life before the war was pleasant for my Grandfather if its effects are anything to go by. There always seemed a deep feeling of emptiness within him, a pining for something he knew he could never have. The longing filled his once, pure heart with anger, fear, despair and treacherous sadness.

The day the Germans invaded his family home and ripped them from its heart, is a day he never forgot. He dulled the images when he was asked about what happened all those years ago in Poland, instead insisting “it’s all a blur now”. But those watered eyes told a different version, these eyes said that in an instant he was there again, in Poland, in Auschwitz reliving it all again.
                The closest I came to understanding what happened to my Grandfather was watching a film based on Auschwitz. The film alone, knowing that it was only portraying a tiny particle of what my Grandfather and his family experienced, left a scar upon my heart, soul and mind. A scar that I will never heal from, even though I am simply his Granddaughter that was born in the eighties. The contrast between his young life and mine leaves me with unquestionable gratitude. Gratitude for having such a brave Grandfather, although he’d never agree to be called ‘brace’ or a ‘hero’ – yet he is and always will be to me. I have gratitude to have had such a loving and safe environment to grow up in. Something he and his beloved youngest sister had stolen from them.

The Germans claimed the farm, the land, the home as theirs and carted my Grandfather, his parents, and his siblings off to the Auschwitz camp. A place that is filled to this day with the energy of the chilling torment and torture, massacre and murder, that occurred there. Auschwitz is claimed to be where many souls were destroyed and had their dignity of death taken from them. Dignity was something my Grandfather claimed those German soldiers never had and never would. The anger inexplicably clear in his tone. The camp became the place my Grandfather witnessed the most horrific acts against man. It was here that he watched helplessly as his parents were led to the gas chambers to be put to a death that claimed not just their lives but their innocence and a part of my Grandfather also. This only occurred after they were chained like dangerous wild dogs to a rotating wheel and tortured into continuous movement without ever taking a rest. The walking, as if not torture enough was worsened by the fact that their circular pathway was laid down hot coals. They were walking bare feet on such immense heat, burning away their skin, down to raw muscle and bone that exuded a stench of burnt skin. Walking to their exhaustion was not enough for these torturers. It was then that they were led to the gas chambers when they no longer offered any sort of entertainment like unwanted toys threw out. The lasting torment upon my Grandfather did not end there. He never spoke of what he was made to do there in terms of labour. One can only imagine that he felt it insignificant in comparison to the punishment his parents and youngest sister took.

He once told me that I got my good looks from him, perhaps an attempt to look on the bright side, and that I looked very much like his sister, as if she had never left him never ageing. A comfort to him or a torment that he felt inside? I’m not sure. But the love for me that I felt from him was a comfort to me. Sometimes I’d feel deep guilt for my genetic make-up that moulded my physical appearance. Guilt for bringing back bad memories – yet – not once until now have I entertained the idea that my physical appearance offered comfort as he reminisced about the pleasant memories of childhood. The childhood before war scarred him.

His sister was victim to a death, a murder that not only claimed her life but yet more of my Grandfather’s heart and soul. Her torture and punishment was justified in the soldiers view because she refused to be affectionate with them. Her dignity and pride, her self worth that she had control over, was something she could be proud of. Still to this day I am immensely proud of her self pride, honoured to call her family. My grandfather was forced to watch as the moment his beloved sister would cease to see him again. To be so young and to have witnessed his parents being put to death only then to be forced to watch as his sisters beautiful hazel eyes were gauged out with fiery hot red pokers, is more than enough to cause in the very least a troubled mind. That moment, those collective moments were to forever haunt him as the years rolled by painfully.

When exactly he made ‘The Great Escape’ from Auschwitz is out of my range of knowledge. Understandably he never had enthusiasm for talking about his past. We have a saying that ‘to talk about something has the power to make it real’. I can presume compassionately that my Grandfather had no desire to make it any more real than it already was.

Jerzy made his way to England, finding solace in a community Polish Club. Why he chose England to escape to I don’t know. When he arrived the war was still ongoing, he signed up to the British Army and served a soldier. I’m not sure of ‘if’ or ‘where’ he served in action. Conversations about war, his war in general were almost non-existent. Memories and horrors that was perhaps better left in the past, if only the reality could.
                Eventually after the war was over, my Grandfather silently vowed to himself that he would live his life for his family. He would never let anything harm his family, protecting them the best way that he could, with the knowledge and understanding he had, and to the best of his ability. We may not have agreed with the way he did things, the way he bottled up his emotions, only allowing his anger to express at moments that perhaps, from a female perspective required compassion rather than anger, but we understood. We understand, especially as how he had his family and home ripped from him, leading him to England.

This is where he came to meet my Grandmother, fall in love with her, marry her and have six children who would give him six grandchildren, me being the youngest, just like his sister was in his generation. This was his attempt to not forget his past, he never was able to do that, the anger was too strong for that. But it was the place he attempted to build a new life, a new place to call home.

This is the written work of Dawn Brierley©  No written contents of this blog may be reproduced in any way (in part or in entirety) without the express written permission of the author, © Dawn Brierley
Thursday, 1 August 2013

There's No Place Like Home

As you know from my previous post, I had been renovating this blog and challenged myself to allow this blog to return to it's what I feel, it's glory of when I post here like I would in a journal. So, today, 1st August, I put out a request to the Universe to guide me on how I can create this blog the way I want it. Then I came across "Effy Wild" and read her blog. I had my answer. I would accept the challenge of 30 days of postings as I "BlogAlong with Effy" .

Day 1: There's No Place Like Home

Today marks the day that I have lived in my home for 23 glorious years. it was only about 10 years ago when I discovered paganism that I realised this anniversary fell upon Lammas. The move date wasn't organised because of the date, but rather life unfolded naturally and it just so happened that we moved into this home at Lammas.

I have had some of the best times of my life here in this house, and I've also had some of the downright most awful times here in my life. Right now, the house's energy is rebuilding itself after being abused by workmen - You know when you feel like your house just ain't happy? Well, our house ain't happy with the damage done by the workmen! No amount of smudging and singing bowl banging has helped, instead filling it with laughter and hopefulness has had to build up good vibes over the past few years.

The best times I've had here include the time when I received my "Pass" letter that told me I had passed my accountancy exams - I still remember that day now! I've also begun studying at University here in this house, I recall how and where I studied for that first ever module. It's also the house that I used to exercise in when I was younger and had a passion for aerobic videos (Rosemary Conley, Lizzie Webb, Shape Challenge, and so many more!), It's also the house where I used to dance late at night with my father whilst my mother watched us, laughing and smiling! It's the house that my baby Magick (cat) came to live with me in, the house where I thought I'd killed him by lying on him in bed when he was a baby - he was hiding under the bed, I couldn't see him. It's the house that I stood in my bedroom reading the newspaper that featured my first ever published in print article. It's the house that I studied to be a life coach in, and it's the house that I now run my life coaching online consultations and motivations from.

The bad times here, have been exactly that - downright bloody awful. Like the time that I was waking up on a Sunday Morning to the phone ringing and my Mum answering. From my bedroom I heard her call my Dad from the bathroom and he spoke on the phone before bursting into tears on my bed telling me that my aunty Doris had passed away after having another stroke. It's the house that was getting ready to celebrate the beginning of the Millenium, when at 8:30pm, literally less that 4 hours to seeing in the new year and the millennium, my beloved cat, Tinkerbelle, passed away, ripping out the entire families hearts. We went to bed by 10pm that night. No new year celebrations. It's also the house that I stood in when I watched my Dad leave the house for a hospital appointment 9 years ago and I stood by the front door watching him get in a cab with my Mum, and I said to my cat, Pepsie, I'm never going to see him again - 3 months later, he passed away in hospital from Cancer, I hadn't seen him since the day he left for the appointment as he deteriorated so rapidly and badly, it would have been too traumatic for me. It's the house that I was rushed to hospital from at 7 years old with food poisoning that almost killed me.


It's the house that has been my home. It's the house that keeps me safe, that contains all my childhood memories, the house that comforted me when I was recovering from the abusive relationship. It's my house that keeps me warm and dry, the house that is my sanctuary when I want to shut the world out, it's the house that I dream my dreams, hope to achieve my goals, plan for my future. It's my home that gave me the childhood that I am so thankful for having, the fun, the laughs, the birth of dreams.

It's my home. It's my childhood. It's who I am. It's a part of me.