advice · challenges · Changes · freedom · inspiration

When Freedom Begins.

A quiet bay, my kind of beach. Note to Self ~ I must spend more time visiting the beach.
A quiet bay, my kind of beach. Note to Self ~ I must spend more time visiting the beach.

Some of the most memorable conversations I have are brief, and with total strangers.

During the past week I had a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Marina, from a magazine I have subscribed to for the last ten years.

“What a lovely name you have”, I told Marina, to which she exclaimed, “I’ve asked my mother what was she thinking, naming me after a place where boats were kept!” And so our conversation began.

You may remember last year, (when my sewing shelves were much tidier than they are now!) I received a brand new wooden sewing box in the mail, along with other goodies that I had ordered over the phone from this same magazine company. Well, it is that time of year again, when they tempt me, the sewing and craft lover, with no end of fabulous paraphernalia, in an effort to have me part company with some cash.

I have to tell you, this is cash that I am happy to part with! They offer tremendous deals and as their offerings are purchased sight-unseen, when the boxes arrive in the mail it is like opening up a whole array of exciting Christmas presents!

But back to Marina. When I spoke to her, her manner reminded me of that of my daughter Emma, honest, friendly and easy to talk to, and whilst very good at her job, she loves a chat with the customers too.

She told me that she wondered what I would be finding to make with all of my new fabrics and threads when they arrived and I assured her that I had plenty of craft magazines on hand to give me inspiration.

I went on to tell Marina that it was only within the last year that I had returned to my love of craft and sewing for fun, that my priority of being a mother for so many years had meant my own interests had taken a back seat.

“It’s so good to know that there will come a time when I will get my “me time” back again!” Marina said, as she explained that she found being a mother was both demanding and time-consuming.

Whilst I wouldn’t have changed my last twenty-eight years of living in the Land of Motherdom, I must admit to feeling relieved that my children are now almost all independent of my motherly care and their dependence on my time is diminishing.

My brief conversation with Marina reminded me of those days, so long ago yet they seem like only yesterday, when my children were young. I recalled their sweet young faces and innocent ways, noticing my feelings erring towards accepted nostalgia rather than sadness of a time long gone.

When Marina told me that she was looking forward to her freedom I advised her to enjoy the days with her young children rather than wishing her life away; she told me she’d try.

Occasionally I have thought of my conversation with Marina a few days ago and it has helped me to realise that I am contented with the place I have reached in my life. The days when I look into the mirror and wonder who that person with the older face is are diminishing. She has earned the lines on her face, the greying hair and the skin that is beginning to age and sag. These are the signs of a life well lived.

As my conversation with Marina drew to a close she gave me her direct phone number to contact her, should I have any questions at any time, she would be there most days until six in the evening, she said. What a long day that is, no wonder Marina had no free time to herself for her own enjoyment!

This morning I came across a quote which reminded me of Marina. I get the impression that she may be a fun and quirky woman, however short of time she may be feeling. It is also a reminder to myself, a reminder of what true freedom really is ~

“Freedom begins in the moment you allow yourself to be you; the you that is fun and silly, quirky and different, unique and splendid, funky and kooky.

Hide not the parts of you, the expression of which fills you with joy and rapture, beauty and contentment, humanity and aliveness. It is by revealing those aspects that you radiate to the world the shining light you are and that we all yearn to see. “ ~ Robert Beno.

I’ve reached a place in my life where I am far more comfortable with revealing the real me, albeit with wrinkles! 🙂

advice · inspiration · knowledge

The Psychology of Colours ~ Featuring the Colour Red


“Red is the great clarifier – bright and revealing. I can’t imagine becoming bored with red – it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.” ~ Diana Vreeland.

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge announced a week ago invited us all to add a post about colour. Even though I didn’t add anything during the allocated week it did have me pondering colour yet again, and more to the point the psychology behind colours.

Varying shades of red...
Varying shades of red…

My favoured colour has always been within the range of red, although the colour that I would call “fire engine red” is one that I use sparingly. My preference begins within the range of pinks, but excluded baby pink, which I only like for babies, and hot pink which is great for the young. The photo above shows the colour of the walls in one of the rooms of my house, which is more of a dusky pink.

Various shades of pink in the curtains.
Various shades of pink in the curtains.

As you can see here, Miss Tibbs is the focal point of the above photo, but take a look behind her and you will see various shades of pink in the curtains. These poor old curtains have seen better days now and will one day be replaced. When I have worked out what I would like to replace them with, that is!

There are shades of red in the office too.
There are shades of red in the office too.

Even on my office desk I have some red items, although as I look around this room I don’t see a lot of definite colour in the room. What is there, however, is pink to reddish tones.

More varying shades of the colour red ~ they are everywhere!
More varying shades of the colour red ~ they are everywhere!

I’m working on a new knitting project just now (more about that at a later date though!) and the colour that I was immediately drawn when choosing the wool was maroon.

My Very Comfy Favorite Chair is burgundy, there are pink and red splashes of colour on the quilt over the arm of the chair and even my coffee cup, a Royal Albert Old English Rose design, has red roses on it.

So what does this all mean? Red is known as a colour of warmth and strength, a power colour, promoting a strong will and confidence. Red is also known as the colour of passion and love. Think about the number of red roses sold on Valentine’s Day and when a love-heart is shown in colour, it always appears in the colour red.

Keywords of the personalities of those who favour the colour red are ~ optimistic, courageous and confident, action oriented, energetic, ambitious and competitive.

Red colour people are explorers and pioneers, and on the down side can also be aggressive and argumentative. They have a need for power, like to control and are hard workers.

The colour red is regarded as a lucky colour in Chinese culture and is a sign of purity in Indian culture and a touch of red is often added to a wedding dress to symbolise the bride’s purity.

My appetite usually does need any help getting motivated, but apparently my red bowls are helping anyway!
My appetite usually doesn’t need any help getting motivated, but apparently my red bowls are helping anyway!

Also known to stimulate an appetite, red is often used in the advertising and business colours of food outlets. (I’m thinking of McDonald’s here!)

Too much of the colour red surrounding a person can also have an adverse reaction, making them feel irritated, even to the point of becoming angry. If a person is feeling unwell or under any kind of emotional stress, red is a colour to steer clear of, due to the high energy levels that red generates.

It is suggested that a dislike of the colour red suggests that you may find anger, which too much red can promote, a difficult emotion to cope with, therefore you will avoid the colour. Hmm, I can totally relate to that! Too much bright red really can upset my equilibrium, to the point of feeling extremely agitated and I don’t cope with that feeling well at all!

However, like I said, I have a preference myself for varying shades of red, so I have researched this aspect of the colour also. I don’t see myself as a power-hungry explosion of energy, that’s for sure, which is how a red personality person seems to be portrayed, so here are some variations on the differing shades of red ~

Those who are drawn to the colour maroon are more controlled in thought and action than their red-favouring friends.

Burgundy is associated with a more serious and sophisticated personality, and is less energetic than a “red” personality. (Whew, that’s a relief to know!)

Those who favour crimson are still known to be determined to succeed, but will do so without stepping on anyone’s toes, unlike their red loving friends.

Scarlet is also known as a less intense colour, indicating enthusiasm and a love of life.

Favouring the colour pink is a whole separate topic again, but just as the colour is softer than red, the suggestion is that “pink” people are much gentler in personality.

So as you can see, there are many diversions to the psychology of a colour, it’s not just a simple matter of the associated personality traits all being “black and white” (yes, pun intended….groan….)

I’ve enjoyed researching the indications of preferences for colours, and how each colour can affect our personalities. I do hope you have enjoyed reading this too, just for a bit of fun.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you agree that colour choices we make and colours we favour can have a psychological impact on us and influence our lives in any way, and whether or not a colour can be associated with a certain personality type.

If enough interest is shown, I may even follow up with some more research into the other “colour” personalities on the spectrum of life, but for now, I think I’ll head off, (wearing my dark red jumper, blue denim jeans and deep pink Ugg boots,) for a cup of coffee, in my red roses cup, of course.  🙂

advice · gratitude · happiness

Live the Life of Your Own Creation

“All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good and out of this situation only good will come. I am safe.” ~ Affirmation, Louise L. Hay.

Back in June of last year, whilst a guest writer at the Calm Space, I wrote an article entitled “The Wondrous Power of Our Thoughts”.

During January and February, the lovely Káren, editor of the Calm Space, is re-running some of her favourite articles from the past three years and she has given me the honour of again sharing one of my articles.

Thank you so much, Káren! 🙂

The topic of the power of our mind is one that I am rather passionate about. I truly believe that we all actually have control over our lives, through our own thoughts.

If my health fails, I ask myself what is bothering me.

If circumstances in my life are not as I wish them to be, I re-run my thought process of the preceding days.

More and more, I rely on the Universe and my own instincts to guide me through every day.

Why not try it for yourself? Follow your instincts and listen to your heart. Go with the flow and follow whatever journey you find your life leading you towards.

Believe in the strength of the power of intention and suggestion. Allow affirmations to guide you and show gratitude for the miracles you encounter along the way.

Have faith in yourself, believe that your own intuition will guide you towards the right path in life, the one that is just right for you and pay attention to the wonders that will unfold before your eyes.

When learning to mould your life through your own choice and intentions, some changes will become evident immediately, whilst other changes may take a little more time.

Be patient, while “The Wondrous Power of Our Thoughts” weaves its magic into your life.

advice · challenges

Persistence ~ I Can Do It!

After spending hours trying to work out some glitches, here on my website, I am now tired, frazzled and frayed around the edges.

My lack of computer expertise is not helping my cause any.

What I think looks right, isn’t; and what I imagine isn’t right, so often is!

Before trying to wind down my mind for the night I decided a few words of inspiration were in order. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep, with a mind still attempting to fix up website glitches!

High up on one of the top shelves of my book case, I caught sight of the words “You Can Do It”, running down the spine of an old, musty book.

Inside the stale yellowing pages I have found the following anonymously written words, under a very relevant title…


“Nothing in the world can take

the place of persistence.

Talent will not : nothing is more

common than men with talent.

Genius will not : unrewarded

genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not : the world

is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination

alone are omnipotent”.

Okay, so I have persistence and determination. I’ll do it.

Tomorrow…. 🙂

advice · Changes · daughter

Saying Goodbye to “The Doormat Syndrome”

Over the last couple of weeks I have had some extremely interesting conversations with my eldest daughter.

That statement could sound misleading, as if we don’t usually have interesting conversations, but we do! Constantly!

The difference with recent conversations is how simple they have been, and spontaneous, and significant.

A regular topic of conversation between us, which began around the middle of last year, has been “change”.

Changes we both wish to make in our lives, with each of us having different purposes for the desired changes, and discussing what actions we would take to bring these changes about.

Some of the changes we have made have been joint ventures, most have been independent of each other.

And I have learned something  ~ Old habits are hard to break.

With being, um, significantly older than my daughter (naturally!) I have become a bit, shall we say, set in my ways?

My daughter may use other more descriptive words, e.g. boring, predictable, even stupid!

Yes, stupid. It may sound harsh, but true. Thank goodness I have my daughter to point out my shortcomings to me!

I’m a creature of habit in many ways. There are regular tasks I carry out and many responses I make to situations, which I’ll admit to making on “auto-pilot”. I am so stuck in my ways and have acted and responded to things in such a habitual way, over so many years, that I don’t even realise I am doing it!

It’s the little things I’ve been stuck in a rut over.

  • Changing my own plans to fit in with other people.
  • Eating food that I would prefer not to, because that’s what everyone else wants to eat.
  • Doing all of the household chores myself, because no one else has the time.

Why does this happen?

I make myself available, I’m predictable. People know they can rely on me.

Why do I allow this to happen?

I like to see the people I care about being happy. And it also prevents arguments and confrontations.

Are there any winners here?

Everyone, except me.

Oh sure, there are many times when I willingly do things for others. My problem has been that I’ve taken helping others to the extreme, I say “yes” to everything, without giving it a second thought.

It becomes a problem when you are taken for granted. I believe a common term for what I am talking about is, “being treated as if you were a doormat”.

When the realisation of the err of your ways strikes, and you start to change your standard response from always being “yes” to sometimes being “no” it can be a shock to those close to you.

Is it possible to change this situation?

The good news is that when those close to you realise that you really mean it when you say “no” to their trivial and selfish requests, they learn to accept the changes.

A new kind of respect takes over and your own self-worth improves.

The doormat syndrome is transformed into a win-win situation; you are respected more by others, plus you feel a strong dose of self-respect developing within yourself.

Here I was, patting myself on the back for the constant focus I had been putting upon the changes I wished to make. Like all new habits, they do require attention until they become second nature.

I was seeing results. The changes I wished to see were actually occurring.

It wasn’t until my daughter pointed out some of the minor “old habits” I had been unknowingly clinging hold of, that reality took hold.

Anyone can change.

If it is possible for me to enforce the changes I want to see in my life, then anyone can do it. I can highly recommend having someone who you trust keeping a watch out for those old stick-in-the-mud ways which are so hard to break. Someone who can say to you, “that’s the old you, you can say no”, just as my daughter has been doing for me.

(Photo from Google Images)