“Our own mind holds all that we need”

Wow, the end of one of the craziest years many of us have known is coming to a close and how many of you are thinking “Thank heavens?” I certainly am. I will be dancing my little heart out on this evening, albeit in my own living and probably in my pjs but nonetheless I will be celebrating the pasting of ‘the dreaded 2020' with a boogie and a sing-song.

This year has been so tough on so many people in different degrees of difficulties. Many people have lost jobs, loved ones, suffered terrible health issues, struggled and spent most of the year filled with worry and pain. It’s been sorrowful to watch and as an empath that sorrow goes deep, as I’m sure it does for many of you also.

 However, let’s be mindful of the fact that these dire times have in fact connected us all in such powerful and beautiful ways, which we must be grateful for…the phrase ‘Count your blessings’ comes to mind. Along with the pain, there’s been connection, love and a whole bunch of new incentives and ideas springing up, this has been amazingly heartwarming to see.

“Each one of us can make a difference but together we can make a change.” Barbara Mikulshi

As I sit here recuperating from a recent operation, not really being able to much else but reflect on this year and my blessings, I am of course forced to face the less than desirable aspects of the year and yes there’s been a few.

To say that this year has been the most horrendous year, personally, is an understatement and I have to say that ‘the virus’ and lockdown wasn’t the worst part. I separated from my husband a few months ago and even though it has been on the cards for a while, the sadness has been all consuming. The pain is still so very raw and as I process the past as well as the future, I've found myself in some dark places.

The stress, worries and sadness certainly contributed to me becoming very poorly and I believe my body and mind just needed a break. It cried out to me, to listen. Which of course as a woman, I didn’t. I tried to push on, get everything sorted, move forward while grieving greatly for the loss of a man that I believed with all my heart was my soulmate and friend.

Can you guess what happened next, yep, my body forced me to listen. It stopped me and I spent 5 days in hospital, had an operation and now am resting. Which entails not really doing much at all and even though I find that very hard, being still that is, I am certainly listening now, I can tell you!

Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some fantastic wins this year, you know some real big whoppers, some life changing moments and in a good way…Whoop Whoop! Let’s celebrate those all-important wins. I became an author this year, my jaw still drops when I think about that. Back in February I contributed to the highly acclaimed book The Girls Who Refused to Quit and in September my own memoir Escaping Bohemia was published which went onto become number 2 in the Amazon biography charts…yes you read that right and yes, I had to re-read that over 10 times for that one to sink in too.

So, as you can see, I’ve had some big beautiful blessings but as I’m sure you know that when our lives go through periods of change and sadness, we can’t help but fall into darkness and for sadness to overtake our hearts and minds. And, this is certainly the place that I have found myself in since summertime, in a whirl of self-doubt, loathing, questioning and heart-break.

 While I laid in hospital not being able to move and since I have come home, I decided that I needed to flip the script. I needed to let the sadness, hurt and pain go…but how could I do this. Sometimes it’s easy to say something but actually letting go of that emotion held deep in your being is another matter.

I’ve decided to try and yes, I’m still at the trying stage, but I’m happy with that. I’m trying wholeheartedly to look back upon the past as a whirlwind of much needed connections, whether perceived as good or bad. I will cease to see outcomes of events, as failures but I choose to view them as part of my journey.

Experiences that I needed,  experiences that taught me great lessons, developed me, helped me discover important things about myself and helped me be more ME. So, even throughout the painful times the beauty of the experience outshines the darkness, sometimes it takes a little searching though.

This reflection led onto me thinking about life in general as a series of connections. From childhood people come and go throughout our lives. Some enrich our lives with beauty, love and joy. We learn from their wisdom as they show us all that is good within the world. Others storm through our souls, poking, tearing and flattening our spirits, yet still we always learn a lesson. Even if we don`t see that until sometime after they have left our lives, but nonetheless we learn, we grow and untimely we become a better, more muchier person. Sorry, not sorry, I love Alice in Wonderland and I really want to be a muchier version of Sophia.

So, my message to you and myself, at the end of 2020 is, remember that everything has its season. Your life will have ups, downs and round-abouts. People will come and go throughout your life. Some will bring joy, love and fill your souls with delight. You will learn lessons from them as they nurture, support and help you along your path. Others will poke, tear and break you as they blindly leave you a whole lot worse than when they found you. Nevertheless they also teach you great lessons, lessons that you are in need of and will valve one day. Even if that day is in the distant future. Yes, I’m longing for that day in the future when I can look back on this year and say, ”Ah, that’s what I needed to learn” I won’t lie, I’m a long way off at the minute.

I ask you to consider this. In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. So, consider this when you feel broken, that crack, flaw or pain is your gold, baby.

Tough times will surely come but they will surely go also. During those dark times, if we keep in our mind that this time will pass, that may well make that pain easier to bear, if only a little and the darkness will seem to dissipate sooner.

Martin Luther King said “We must never lose infinite hope.”  Hope, faith or trust, whatever word that you wish to use is a force that will allow us to pass through the times of sadness and see the sun rise once again. I’m so hopeful for the future, that the thought of next year makes me beam from ear to ear because I have hope that I will find happiness and peace within my heart once more.

So, believe in yourself, your future and your dreams and skip towards them, leaving the darkness behind you. I promise that I’m not far behind, one step at a time, my lovelies, one beautiful step at a time.

To quote my most favorite writer and poet of all time, Maya Angelou, “Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”

Thank you, Queen Maya, “Still I rise.”

Escaping Bohemia is available on Amazon, if you want to find out more about me and my journey through childhood.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08HBKJXKB

And, if you would like to come and say hi, and join other crazy, passionate and loving women pop over to FabYOUlous…the hangout  https://bit.ly/2N1Vss3 and grab my freebie, Fearful to FabYOUlous, tips to shine on camera here https://shutterhutphotography.co.uk/shine-on-camera/

If you are interested in photography, which is my other passion, well one of them…us creatives always have way too many passions, you can view my portfolio here www.instagram.com/shutterhut or if you prefer good old Facebook here’s your link, www.facebook.com/shutterhut

I love connecting with like-minded women and must confess if it wasn’t for the support of some amazing women, I probably would not be writing this, on a Saturday morning, in my dressing gown, listening to the dogs snoring and knowing that I am truly blessed.

Let’s all continue to connect and support each and ALL smash 2021!

Love Sophia x

 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08HBKJXKB