My wildest dreams

Last night I opened my journal and I wrote down 30 of the wildest dreams that I want to manifest for my life. I was inspired to do this exercise after listening to a podcast about how writing our dreams down with pen and paper and then taking actionable steps towards them can actually help to make our dreams a reality.

So many interesting things happened as a result of doing this exercise. Writing down my dreams, as many as I could think of without forcing them, showed me the life that I truly want because absolutely nothing was off limits. It didn’t matter if I didn’t know how I’d get there or if it might not happen for ten years. It didn’t matter if I felt it was silly or unobtainable. It only mattered that I wanted it to come true. This process brought into true focus what I want from this life, both for myself and of myself. It showed me that dreams can be different from goals but that goals are often the stepping stones to dreams. It helped me see my life unfold over the next year, then ten and then twenty and it made my stomach churn with a mix of giddy excitement and nervous fear.

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Journalling my wildest dreams

I could see how I want to be of service to the world and the work that I want to do to help others and yet the realisation of what this work is, left me smiling in surprise. I could also see, so clearly in fact, the things and experiences that I want that will make me feel fulfilled and thrilled with my life. Fire in my belly, joy in my heart, peace in my mind.

I wrote my dreams down and then I read them out again. I closed my journal and I spent a few minutes focusing on several of them in particular. The ones that stood out. The ones that are now vividly etched in my mind as dreams that I’m going to make come true. The ones that make me smile the instant that I think about them.

Then all of a sudden, I was hit with the guilt. That difficult emotion that never ever seems far away. Who am I to have these dreams when some people don’t even have a roof over their heads? Who am I to have dreams that perhaps are selfish, to benefit only me? Who am I to have these dreams that could actually come true because I was born into a life of privilege, compared to millions? Who am I to have these dreams when surely, I have so much already?

Who am I to have these dreams?

I’ve realised that guilt exists as an emotion not to serve us but rather to strongly remind us that we care. I felt guilty about my list of dreams because I care so deeply about the world and the people and creatures that dwell here. I feel guilty that I might get to live out my dreams when others might not, yet I wish that the same could be true for everyone. But then I realised too, that not everyone’s dreams are the same. Our dreams are a reflection of all our unique lives, relative to one another, relative to our values and beliefs, relative to the place and culture into which we were born and relative also to the work we are willing to put in, in order that they might one day come true. Every person on the planet is entitled to dream their wildest dreams and feeling guilty about my own will only prevent them from coming true.

We all live one life on this planet. We all deserve that life to be as beautiful and fulfilling as it can be whilst knowing that gratitude and humility must always come along for the ride. Whilst knowing that we will get out of life as much as we’re willing to put in. Whilst knowing that living a life of intention and seeking a life of joy, will and can help other people too.

So, I’m going to keep dreaming up my dreams. I’m going to dream boldly and I’m going to work on telling myself that I deserve it all. I strongly suggest you do the same.

 


Motherhood and the phenomenon of time

Time changes our children at a remarkable rate and time replaces our memories that were once so vivid with ones that have now become a little hazy, much to our disbelief.  Time changes the appearance of our children too. Longer hair, longer legs, a bigger smile. It fulfils for us a wish we made when they were babies, when we could only begin to imagine how they’d be as they grew and what a delight this change is to behold.

As our children approach their next birthday and become a year older, it becomes harder to remember them before, with the newer version of them forever replacing the older one even though really, they’re still the same. Layer upon layer builds up, each day providing new joys, new memories and new things to absorb. Do we have endless capacity to remember each and every change?

Photos and videos we took provide a heartwarming and beautiful way to remember times gone by yet also make us question how we let these moments pass and how, maybe, we didn’t realise then just how magical they were. Or maybe we did? We document first steps, first words, first birthdays, first shoes and first moments of everything in an attempt to lock these moments in time forever because otherwise, they just vanish. We can’t trust that our memories alone will stand the test of time in years to come.

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Newborn Jasmine

Time is a constant in our world and it is always moving forward, never stopping. A second will always be as long as a second has always been and a day, the same length too. Yet on some days time seems to stretch and drag and on others it races us to the finish line. Time reminds us that nothing, be it good or bad, lasts forever.

Time confuses our minds into feeling that the numbers can’t be true. “How can that have happened a year ago?” we ask, our minds searching to make sense of this confusion.  Our brains scramble that this week marks the start of year three of parenting yet day one feels like yesterday and in an instant we are stunned by how much time has passed, the proof being the child stood before us.

Time passing is a reminder of the need to slow down, to pause and to breathe and to take things in just as they are but then we remember that “slowing down” is simply a perception too because time waits for no man. Memories don’t stay as vivid as we believe they will. Not all memories anyway. The details slip away. What age they did that and what age they did this. Some of it is foggy now, not that it matters I suppose, as long as the memory itself still exists. It’s just scary how passing time makes us forget, isn’t it?

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Jasmine at 16 months, appearing to me now to be just a baby

Our children are constantly growing, blooming and changing at a far greater rate than we are, even though we grow as they do. Our child today, at nearly 3 is the same child she was at 2 because she was destined to be this way but who she is now was impossible to know as time doesn’t allow us to truly see into the future but just to live project forward using imagination.

Time makes things appear differently depending from where, or when, we are viewing them. Our once “so grown up” two year old now seems so baby-like to look back on. So small, so sweet and so young. At the time she’d never been as big as in that moment and so in that moment, that’s how she was. Now we are in a different time and therefore my view of that same child is warped and we are confronted with feelings of longing for that once so small child.

This childhood. This precious time of which parents so often speak. It is going so quickly though the speed of time has never changed. It is yet another perception. An interfering emotion. A desire to be able to hold on a little tighter to feelings and moments so that time doesn’t dissolve them as it so cruelly does and perhaps a desire too to speed things up sometimes, the long days, the hard bits, the not-so-fun moments.

We long for a way to be able to hold moments in time forever. That cuddle with arms wrapped round wide, that kiss on the soft and still chubby cheeks, that sweet and curious voice. We don’t want to forget that sentence that made us chuckle or that question that in it’s innocence made us momentarily remember childhood ourselves. Time allows our children to learn, to make sense of the world a little bit more each day. Time gives them the ability to experience life, moment by moment.

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Jasmine, one year ago today

Will time allow us to remember it all, to lock it up forever and have it all to look back on? The sacred details of the most wonderful moments that are a struggle to recall nowadays. Time often seems to be rushing us and it’s hard to keep up. It is the most precious commodity, each day only providing a finite amount, urging us in this quiet way to learn to live fully.

Time gifts us so much and is the gift that keeps on giving. Every day we are granted another day to Mother, to parent, to love and to laugh and to marvel at the funny games time plays with our minds. Every day we are given 86,400 seconds to use as we please. Every day our children live so presently as we, the adults, dart back and forth between past, present and future, forgetting so often that the only time that is truly ever guaranteed, is now.



Creativity in Motherhood

I’ve never considered myself much of a creative person. I’m the one drawing stick people and a house whilst my husband Ben is sketching faces full of character. I’m just no good at drawing and whilst I appreciate so many forms of creativity, “creative” has just never been an adjective I would have used to describe myself. Read More


To the lady who made my daughter cry

Dear unknown lady who made my daughter cry,

I do understand that what you did had good intentions, that you didn’t set out to make my daughter cry and that you were trying to be helpful. I do understand that it wasn’t the most convenient thing for my two year old to want to walk independently down the stairs of Oxford Circus Underground station by herself, at her two year old, slower-than-average pace, at a busy time of day on New Years Eve. She wanted to navigate those stairs by herself and why shouldn’t she, seeing as she does all other stairs by herself all day long. On top of that, her father and I had our hands full carrying her baby sister in the buggy downstairs because there’s no lift access at many of London’s major tube stations. Read More