The Soldier I Couldn’t Forget

The Soldier I couldn’t forget.
I was right there, right on your shoulder, I watched you die, I watched you leave this life. To look at your face no one could have known you had been shot.
I couldn’t look upon your face once you went. It wasn’t my place to feel your loss, I knew that. Another beautiful young man gone, the wastefulness of it all was becoming to much to carry.
I had to leave you, more casualties where coming. I didn’t want to, I knew your face was locked in my mind, I knew, I knew then in that moment I wouldn’t be able to forget you.
I felt it happen as I turned away, the moment I froze. I felt a strange feeling flow through me like ice had been injected into my veins. It stopped me from walking my feet rooted to the ground a heaviness like boots made of cement. My ribcage rigid I wasn’t breathing. The chill swept through to the very deepest parts of me.
I should have stayed by your side. A deep sense that something was very very wrong was permeating through all of me. More casualties where coming I had to go.
I saw your face in my sleep , I saw all of it over and over again, thousands of hours of trauma but this single moment played out on repeat. I would hear the chatter, a split second choice.
I never thought I would see you again. I was under hypnosis, some how I felt you in the corner of the room. I knew it was you. It felt so real, I said it out loud . ‘I know him thats the solider who died, I was next to him”
I heard your voice, you heard mine.
And then I saw you leave.
You said one last thing “my granddads waiting I have to go now, stand strong.”
I felt your warmth, the cheekiness the powerful safety you provided to your friends and family, you smiled and walked into the distance.
I felt a shift in my body like I had been righted on my axis
Hot tears pouring down my cheeks through my closed eyes.
I knew he was safe I knew he had gone.
I don’t know what happened that day, I know I healed, I healed in a way I never knew was possible.
I was brought back round, I blinked my eyes open. Some how it felt like my eyes where open for the first time in years.
I was experiencing things I had not felt in what seemed like forever. I could feel the breeze from the open window on my skin. Everything appeared more colourful, I could hear the birds outside. The room which had felt cold and restrictive now felt open, airy and calm.
The PTSD I was living with from deployment lifted. I could breathe again, I could feel again. I was awake and present in my own body for the first time in years. A sense of awaerness that had be lost to me was back.
I knew within hours I was back, the raw energy I had always relied on was coursing through my body. I felt grounded, connected, strong and whole.
It hadn’t been clear to me I had PTSD. Even with all my training, I couldn’t see it in myself. I had suffered no physical injuries.
I hadn’t understood that each individuals expericence of a traumatic moment is different and what may affect one person deeply, may not even scratch the surface for another.
I hadn’t understood that PTSD wasn’t a mental health condition, but a part of the human condition. Documented as far back as the ancient greeks.
I believed others had experienced worse, how could I possibly have PTSD.
This part, this feeling I later discovered was called a sensory flashback.
The moment your senses take a snapshot of all you are experiencing. And for what ever reason that sense is played out over and over again. I would feel the feelings of freezing of fear and terror and not know why.
Some how it was residing in my nervous system. It was exhausting a feeling I could not shake or get rid of..
It was accompanied with a constant state of expecting to be verbally attacked or questioned. I had no idea how or why I had be come so defensive and insular.
To cope I just numbed out, in many ways I don’t believe it was a conscious decision.
Adrenaline and endorphins seemed to bring me back to life I would train hard, it also served as a way to help me sleep. I recognise a compensation when I see one now.
I reached a point where exhaustion was winning, I would wake up and feel totally unrested, like sleep had not took place, I was wired seeking stimulants to appear present and able during the day. Caffeine and sugar became some sort of life line.
My emotions where completely lost to me I was either numb, angry or cried easily. I masked everything with a smile.
I cried so easily, I truly despised and hated myself for what at the time I thought was a show of weakness. I never ever used to cry. The slightest bit of conflict and I was an emotional car crash.
Concentration so painful it almost hurt to be still and focus, I would fidget feeling caged and uncomfortable.
My memory became lists on paper everywhere constantly losing things. I’m affectionately called ‘Dory’ I’m the person who forgot her dog at the supermarket!
I’m the person who couldn’t meditate or be still, or feel or any of that wonderful woo stuff.
Every single one of those feelings those ways of being left me the day I had a subconcious hypnotherpy session.
Cellular release therapy (CRT) was used on me…It was a life saving, life regaining intervention.
To this day I am astounded by the chaos and havoc that can be caused by one single moment in a persons life. That the net can be cast far and wide affecting every detail from mood to how a person sleeps, socialises works and feels.
I hear the stories now, much like my own, its only when the pieces are placed out in front of me that the picture of just what is happening becomes clear.
Then we go to work…
Healing does come.
Stand strong.
Change happens. 
Amanda x

When Manifesting Saves Your Life …

When Manifesting saves your life ..

…I was a seriously poor kayak racer age 17 and living in an inner city west London estate ..

I had been using a £100 pound old boat to race and train. I had to bail it out after each training session or racing run. No amount of black nasty ‘gafa tape’ was sorting that.

Some how I landed £1000 for a boat! It just happened!!! A trust fund had received a request from someone and sent me money!

I had just been saying to myself for months ‘I need a boat that doesn’t leak that I don’t have to patch with duck tape’.

I truly couldn’t have truly known why!

Money for me to get what I needed arrived out if what felt like no where!

I have a habit of naming things and although it wasn’t a yacht.. I felt my very own brand new boat needed a name …

I was going up a division bigger water bigger challenges …I needed a boat with a name that would carry me in thumping powerful conditions. That would put me closer to my church and connect me was what made me feel alive.

My chariot my racing companion was named Gabriel.

The first outing I ended up going to the rescue of someone on a Thames weir in high flood …

The water was pounding pumping with all the violent force you would expect..

I had gone there deliberately to train a stupid and reckless thing to choose to do.

Confidence of youth I suppose.

It had been phenomenal..

Even now the thought of the force, power and danger excites me..

I can feel all the fibres in my body heightening, a vibrational energy that makes the world seem sharper, colours brighter and experiences richer.

The surges of adrenaline that connect you to every breath, heart beat and moment…

Transferring power and energy like that through your body feels like you’re ridding lightning.

On a day like that you don’t come out of your boat, you just don’t. It happened

One of the paddlers lost it, hit by a wave. I paddled to him, scooped him up and headed for the bank.. Standard stuff…

But that day thousands of pounds of cubic force was pumping and thundering around us.

He wouldn’t let go of his boat.. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to tow him plus his water logged boat in those insane conditions. I was shouting “you have to let go of the boat”.

He was refusing eyes wide at me ..

I was in a battle against the monstrous current everything happening a million times faster … I knew there was risk down stream…. I had time…. I didn’t have time…

.. Wham

I was pinned up against a wooden pontoon my head inline with the top..

We had been moving so fast….much faster than usual, normally it would take ages to get to them.

We were in Red Hot DANGER zone.

Getting swept under would be a likely drowning in these conditions.

Some of the lads ran from the bank leapt across and dragged Dave out.

He stood on my deck as he was pulled out to saftey.. I heard the crunch it was my boat.

Instinctively I looked to my upstream edge. A near fatal mistake. A spilt second that nearly cost me big.

I looked to see where the damage was and flipped into the water my boat was being buffereted and bashed against the wooden posts with me still in it upside down.

I was about to be swept under an object in flood conditions no air, dark and no possibility of escape I had hundredths of a second to get this right..

This was a moment where one single action would mean life or death.

Choose wrong I drown.

My boat holding on ..not bending and folding … Gabriel was holding I could hear the cracking and banging of the carbon against the pontoon,a miracle he hadn’t broken under the force pressing around us.

To this day I don’t know how I broke the seal so quick.

I was known for rolling I never swam so my deck was tight .. I didn’t want it to pop in a race ..

It was normally a fight to get it off.

My hand located the handle effortlessly in the dark frothy water. It exploded open the force so strong it had felt like I had help.

The surface blocked I knew a had mere seconds ..I had to reach for the edge and fast I could feel the drag the force pushing against me.

My hand reaching up and grabbing the edge.

My boat disappeared under the pontoon ripping past my body as it proceeded to get smashed around and pinned in the dark gloomy black water.

That could have been me.

Charlie had hold the second my hand appeared ..I felt the safe warm grip both hands wrapped around mine.

Make it .. I heard …not today..

I pushed my other hand forward

….Reach …

Charlie pulled I broke the surface

Free of the wooden obstruction.

Charlie helped me climb to safety ..

I could hear the thumping of my boat underneath. My heart jumping with every crack and thud… it could have been me.

I fished Gabriel out.

Just one puncher hole..

Easily fixed I thought.

Had I of been in my old boat the force would have broken it.

I would have been trapped ..

I knew this with every fibre in my body..

This boat had given me time.

It had saved my life.

I would have never reached Charlie’s hand had I of been in the other one.

We never know how things are going to work out don’t give up on the day dream, you never know where that angel is going to show up.



Mand In The Mirror

There is one picture that when I ever see it…..IT… SHOCKS… ME.
It shakes me to my very bones because I see the mask I so tightly fitted to my face. The mask to hide the invisible scars I was now carrying. It shocks me because I can see that all ready I was gone. An emptiness behind my eyes, I had all ready started to disappear.
I see it now. I had been back 5 days from Afghanistan and the enormity of what I had bore witness to was sinking in.
The thing that scared me the most was the deep burning anger and dare I say it hatred. I was doing my best to suppress. Thrown back into normal life after hundreds of hours immersed in blast injuries, gunshot wounds, hideous crimes against beautiful children and humans. I was trying to make sense of women being torched because they dropped the dinner or tried to protect their children.
I was trying to process and understand how it was possible for Children to be carrying automatic weapons.
That even in 2011 barbaric and medieval principles where operating in that society.
The unfairness and wastefulness of it all left me burning inside. How there could be such disregard for life and living. I was exhausted I was angry, the rage it scared me. I was in a pressure cooker situation, It crackled and zipped just below the surface. My hackles raising easily, I could become agitated, anxious or just plain furious. This was not me. None of these feelings felt familiar to me.
My body no longer felt my own;
I couldn’t even take a walk with out feeling like I would hit the floor any second. I was now suffering with Vertigo! I never had anything wrong with my ears or balance ever. That symptom seemed to reappear when ever I became exhausted and stressed from that moment on. I now see my subconscious mind created a way to get me to stop. To force me back home away from the world that now appeared so threatening.
I wouldn’t stop. Its not my style, I would push on at the cost to myself. Why? because if I stopped and took time to look in the mirror I would see the shadow, the emptiness the fear the anger and the hatred I was so desperate to not feel. I would see just what shell shock looks like.
While I was deployed I felt like I made a difference, returning home the weight of it all pressed down on me. How could I detach from experiences that I felt broke my very soul. Strand by stand parts of me snapping, being wrenched away so violently.
I felt the hate boil up in me as I looked in the eyes of the most prolific bomb builders, women and children had been shredded by their hellish devices. It scared me to hear my self thinking why are we saving this person. They have taken so much why do they get to live. It rocked me to my very deepest parts. I was supposed to help, save, support life. How could I have thoughts like that?
I would immerse myself in exercise, push myself so hard I couldn’t see, all I could think of was breathing through the hot, dry, dusty air letting my lungs burn. My mind could rest at least then.
The anger would simmer under the surface for months, frustration building at the lack of understanding of just what life was like out there. It wasn’t any ones fault it was my responsibility. I had those experiences and they where tunnelling through my mind. I couldn’t release the emotions from them. It consumed me.
I had watched a women be defended, she wanted to be near her dying son and had arrived unescorted by a man….Gaurds needed to be positioned to protect her from a beating or even death. Even now I can feel the rage, a tightening in my body each muscle coiling and twisting. How can it be possible that anyone thought it was acceptable to attack a mother praying beside her dying son. Where was the compassion, love, support. I was engulfed in rage; Rules about how women should conduct them selves in the most of horrific circumstances? It was barbaric and crazy.
She was attacked because she was fierce, courageous and a lioness. They wanted to cut her down, I had honestly wanted these men to push a guard so hard he did the unthinkable. I did not like who I was becoming, hate rage and shame now at the fore front of my invisible armour.
I now know that I can transfer that harmful and destructive energy into love, hope and possibility. I am so thankful that I can accept my own emotions and have an awareness of  just how they affect me, protect me and allow me to grow.
I choose love, I choose to accept I only truly have control over my own emotions and there for my experience of this wondrous life I have been gifted.
Knowing all I have seen and bore witness to has made me grow. That I will continue to grow everyday leaves me hopeful and curious for what the future has instore for me.
I have come to realise just how privileged I am in this life. I am so damn thankful for all the love hope and positivity that is showered on me each and every day.
I know that I was given that experience for a reason. Understanding how these emotions manifest in our bodies and the energy they carry has given me an insight into how to bring others back from the brink.
I wasn’t at the brink, I had fallen off a ledge into the deepest and darkest of places, by some miraculous way I found a way back. Now I hold the light for others until they can do the same.
Amanda x

The Truth Is A Beautiful Thing…Accepting My Birth Stories

As my children get older I expect the feelings from their birth to dull. I was shocked last year to experience a labour pain for a split second as I remembered Tillys arrival.
Sinking so deep into the moment I felt a contraction.
I reminded myself I wasn’t in labour and carried on with the day. I will never forget the moment I held them in my arms uncontrollable tears of relief pouring down my cheeks. An explosion of love in my chest so deep it would drive a root into the earth and finally ground me.
Its not those feelings I want to dull or fade away. Its the feeling that I will never get invited into a very elite club. A club that Dads, partners family swell with pride and talk about. A club you are either in or out of. I will never pass the guardians of the I birthed my baby club.
Its a damn big club and I will never get to walk the hallowed halls, hear the praise or get looked at with wonder.
No not me ….My body just couldn’t do it…I couldn’t do it.
The girl with enough strength to lift 100kgs off the floor any day of the week.
The girl who had awards for bravery.
The girl who had shown dominant force with her body time and time again.
I’m proven.
I’m strong.
I can hold pain and carry on.
I was fit, I was healthy I had near perfect pregnancies.
I will never have the VIP card, no magical call the midwife moment for us.
My feminine power lost to me …..I had strength, buckets of it.
The ability to connect with my body and draw upon a unknown primal power. To bring my children into the world unassisted.
Not me!
My body failed me
I failed.
I carry the warrior scars – the openings that where made to bring those incredible lights into this world. I would sacrifice any part of me to make it possible.
As I write this now the scar running into my right glute is set alive.
It has awoken, the memory of its conception stirring it from its beastly slumber.
They say never tickle a sleeping dragon. The impossibility to tip toe around them, when they are branded on my body.
A literal line to remind me of how I failed.
I disconnected from the person I believed I was… Strong a protector.
I held on for as long as I could. My beautiful daughter had been set free into this world.
She had been pulled from inside of me. I knew there where two wraps of cord around her neck…I didn’t need to be told.
I could feel the edges of the world dulling the sound rushing away from my ears.
I felt the sickness hit.
I knew I was about to fall. Fall unconscious..Slip into the abyss.
My blood pressure had bombed like a heavy stone plummeting into a deep lake.
I told the doc, ‘my blood pressure just ….’
The alarms fired to life on the monitoring ….
I knew …
‘how much has she lost’ Fired out over me..
“4 litres”
I watched as they pushed my baby out of the room I managed one instruction..” don’t leave her stay with her”. I said a hazy silent prayer asking for us to see each other again …I thought of my beautiful boy..
And I drifted….
I felt myself pulled in a direction I didn’t want to go.
Backwards and forwards. Between the darkness, and the clatter and energy of the operating room.
Time disappeared.
At some point I felt myself completely in my body, weak but returned to where I belonged. I was moved to the high dependancy unit.
I felt lost my little girl not with me. I was in no way prepared to not have her with me. My heart was aching, with the burning need to have her close.
I also knew I was incapable of lifting my head off the pillow without falling unconscious. Time moved painfullyslowly.
Eventually my beautiful baby girl arrived. A surge of maternal energy kicked in. Work to be done. I thought she must be hungry. I had no idea how long we had been apart. The dizziness hit me like a train. I was moving slow and even that was to fast. I had been handed my newborn and I was now alone.
Fighting the urge to not sink into unconsciousness. Her tiny body swaddled in blankets my arms sinking with the heaviness I pleaded with myself to hold on. The terror I might drop her building in my chest.
I needed help there was none.
Begging myself not to drift.
I managed not to loose my grip…to this day I don’t know how.
I was left doubting myself badly. My ability to care, protect and provide. But in some strange way it left me with a sense of loss.
I did everything I could and I still couldn’t do it.
A voice inside me wonders if my baby came to harm because I didnt opt for a section.
A second one.
I could of….I was asked over and over again.
Every time I replied I have to try…every time more doubt about the choices I made about our lives.
The preverbal buck stopped with me.
My first birth was an emergency section…just as it sounds..
But far less traumatic. My son was delivered by my working family…He arrived in a room I had worked in for years. I could not have had a better team around me even if I had hand picked them myself.
The infection that followed unfortunately ….The site sheared open after 5 weeks. Pete went full on twilight pale when I removed the dressing and it opened like a violent volcanic eruption. Blood and pus poured out falling onto the carpet.
It was the beginning of a whole new pain journey.
I would rather endure 10 labours over, instead of revisiting the memory of a nurse driving dry gauze into the cavity in my abdomen.
It sent white hot pain searing across my body. The sort that locked you regid. For to move would render you incapable of anything. I soaked through my clothing with sweat. As the plastic implment drove it in deeper. The white flashes of pain sawing me in half.
It took me ten minutes to get from the car door into the drivers seat.
I could not face this again…I couldn’t electively opt for it.
I was terrified.
I didn’t speak to anyone.
Who wanted to listen to the new mum, the outwardly strong girl who had now been broken in half by cotton wool.
I took the codeine knowing it would render mt breast milk useless.
My ability to breastfeed all ready destroyed by the rampant infection raging war across my abdomen and in my blood.
Failed again.
I cried tears of relief when Leo glugged down his first bottle of formula. That incredible replacement food, saving him from hunger as my toxic milk dried up.
As I heard ‘will you consider a section’ all those memories pushed further forward into my consciousness.
” I will do what is best for us”
I was resolute I could not endure that again.
And here I was 2 years and a week later, flat on my back.
In a slightly worse condition..
A midwife looked at me and said “Well at least you got the VBAC you wanted”.
Yes I had A VBAC …
Had the surgeon not cut through a vein. Or at least informed the anaesthetist of the rate I had been hosing claret onto the theatre floor. I might have been in a position to verbally RAM your comment down your throat you utter FUCKTURD!
And it began ….
Triggered left right and centre about birth. On the whole I avoided mama groups. I couldn’t hear about the wonder births.
I was happy for them. I was fighting with myself. My inner voice telling me how weak I was. Questioning the colic and screaming. Was it my fault. I will never know, of course I carried the blame.
In time I would see these births gave me a perspective on what its like to be completely helpless and fighting for your life.
To be vulnerable and place yourself in the hands of strangers.
To try and trust in others.
I have to move to a place of acceptance these are my birth stories.
I had to wait for the magic, those first moments where I held my babies and breathed in their amazing smells. As I felt their tiny soft bodies against my skin. They are almost the moments that time stands still for you. As I fell madly and deeply in love. These moments are locked deep within my heart.
I will hold them close for all of eternity. My children grounded me, bonded me to this earth like no other force could.
I had been floating through life, lost until they locked my heart to theirs.
Today 2 years since the birth of my beautiful girl.
Today this is the story I’m rumbling with.

When Was The Last Time You Took Time For You?

When was the last time, you took time for you?

I had to make a hard decision back in November. One where I was facing huge conflict. Talk at an event or prioritise my self and my needs.

I had said I would speak. As time ticked on. I knew deeply that it was the wrong thing to do. I have always delivered on my word. It came as a big surprise to see my internal compass forcibly drive me in another direction.

On this occasion I could sense I wouldn’t be in a position to talk with any of the flare, abandon and courage I could normally muster. The message I have is important. Any chance to share it. I grab with both hands.

The internal conflict I was facing was absolutely massive. My gut instinct was practically shouting from the roof tops, this was a time to stop, reflect and evaluate.

Now that the time has come and gone I can breathe a big sigh of relief.

I choose sanctuary, I choose silence. I choose complete and utter indulgence. A beautiful town house, nourishing food. Amazing friends who understood my need to be quite or reflective. Or just to stay in cozy clothes. Even to throw ideas around into the early hours. Laugh or cry. No judgement. It was complete and utter heaven. I chose right.

Every fibre in my body knew it.

That weekend will go down in history as one of the most important choices I made. I never choose for myself. Never. A total habit and patten change that in time I know will deliver for so many others. Finally my head is unlocked after weeks.

Over December I rode an adrenaline rollercoaster day in day out. In a bid to be there for others. I threw caution to the wind and decided I would drink from the goblet of fire. Every night I faced down my own fears so I could support others.

The out pouring of energy was huge. On every single level it was so worth it. I would do it in a heartbeat again should the need arise. This year I felt it was so unbelievably important to be there.

The collective experience in the country over the last 12 months has been one of uncertainty, hardship and trauma. The mood although optimistic. The added pressure of Christmas was stirring the emotional barrel.

I sensed creating The Long Night Show. A place of connection, laughter and support. Was something I had to do.

Truth be told I was fried by the 1st of January. My creative flare stunted by emotional exhaustion. I was absolutely cooked not in a spicy that will sting way.

But in a I’ve walked through tunnels of fire and now I need to stop and learn from all the extraordinary experiences I’ve had day after day.

A gift that in turn is cultivating growth and understanding in me. I could not have done that any other way.

I don’t regret it for a second. I would do it in a heartbeat over and over again.

The message here the one I so often fail to see myself. Taking time to breathe to reconnect with everything that slows you down in the world. It’s not just important it’s a necessity.

I truly will not reach my full capability and potential if I do not prioritise my emotional and physical need to recuperate. As I get older and take on more responsibility for others in my orbit. I recognise I must pay lip service to down time. Or absolutely no one wins.

Interestingly my overall capacity to put out huge amounts of energy, love, positivity, hope and laughter. Has expanded exponentially since. Really focusing on daily gratitude. Opting for kindness and actively making and taking time for me has made a monumental difference to my approach to life and all its adventures.

It certainly isn’t always easy so many labels to stand into … Mumma, Wife, Mentor, Business owner.

The reality is they are just that labels. I am Amanda Wanowski. A girl who believes you can be the difference in the world just by showing someone kindness, by being open and responsive.

That hope can come from connection to other humans through laughter, love and positivity by celebrating our differences. And observing just how wonderful and miraculous humans are.

I see everyday that we have boundless levels of resilience and grit. That even through the most hellish of experiences love, compassion and empathy can conquer all.

And like me everyone can bounce back if they are showered in love. The potential you have to change your life is unlimited but it starts with the simplest of beliefs in yourself.

Believing you are important enough to be put first even for one day is a huge step in the right direction.

I had the words service before self literally drilled into me for years.

Now I serve myself so others can thrive.

And you know what ….. It seems to be working.

Amanda x

When Grief Hits You Like A Slegde Hammer In The Heart

Somedays I forget I am the the wealthiest person alive. I have love and I am loved. I can feel joy and happiness any moment I choose.

My time is mine and I use it how I please. I have food, and a roof over my head. My health is good. My family is with me. They are showered in love and their health is good. 

Days like today I want to just curl up and cry, I have no tears left. The unfairness of it all. Takes my breath away. The frustration and whys flowing think and fast. 

 I think about a friend taken by a condition in her prime. Today life makes no sense.

Today I recognise what it is to be alive. That pain is a clear marker that I am very much here. 

My eyes are set on the horizon. I must embrace every moment I have. Time is the most expensive commodity I have. I can never buy it back once it is gone. 
Today I am reminded that I must with all my heart live a whole life. I must pack as much love, hope, positivity, inspiration and connection into it as I can. 

I must embrace being alive and choose the path that connects me to feeling that way everyday.

Somedays carry pain I don’t want to bair. The truth of it is because I have allowed myself to love and when we loose it hurts.

But it’s worth it… Every tear, every heart stopping moment it’s worth it. 


FIND THE LITTLE vICTORIESThe warrior in you will not stand down. Every day you rise, rise into another apocalyptic day. Your heart aches each beat more painful than the last.

Your body heavy with the invisible load crushing you from the shoulders down. Your body crumpling under the burden. Standing up takes every drop of strength you can muster.

You move slow under the weight of it all. I see all you are doing dear friend. I see how each day you sacrifice your body to hold everyone together. I see how your mind never rests. How its easier for it to be empty.

Where there once was magic now only the nothing. The load is a little lighter with the nothing. Its Always there in the room , consuming, devouring you.

And yet you fight. The warrior in you will not rest. One foot in front of the other moving your self to the next sunset. A voice in side of you its getting quieter …

You can still hear it “Keep going’. Its all but a whisper. “We will get through this”. You reach for the coat tails of life. Clawing on to any small victory.

You have a heroes heart …Its beating hard for you . You are precious you matter.

You get up..

You make those beds.

You get dressed.

You keep everyone moving.

You hunt out those little victories as they add up, you see success in your day.

You can get everyone through this.

You are the life guard you are the guardian the protector the nurturer, the unstoppable wave of hope… Yes you.. Nothing is going to stop you. You find the little victories.

The darkness is so close…find the little victories each has light in them. I promise. The tiniest bit of light. The more you collect the more light you can carry….Push that darkness away…fight that Spector…It doesn’t get to take anymore from you.

You are a warrior.

You have enough light in you to hang on. Root your self to those little victories ….


Those little victories will carry  your  tired soul to the sunset and drive you into the next day and the next.

Stand strong my beautiful friend you have got this.

Change is coming, find the little victories.

You are a warrior.

Make a charge for the light.

Hold on x

The Boat And The Breeze


The Boat and the Breeze

The night closed in. Heavy dark clouds cloaking the stars. A little boat was trying to cross a choppy sea. Being buffeted from left and right. Its tiny wooded heart beating so fast she thought it would splinter.

The little boat was so afraid and all alone.

The little boat couldn’t find her heading, tiered and confused.

The force of the ocean pounding down on her deck, she thought she would break.

Her compass was spinning …She didn’t know which way was up down right or left. The little boat lost at sea. She tried to raise her sails. Each time losing faith in her self as they became less and less effective.

The little boat was bailing out water every minute.

How long could she keep it up. How long could she stay afloat.

The little boat panicking the heading wasn’t clear …

The little boat knew her tiny wooden heart had a big part in her direction. If only she could align it with her compass.

She felt so alone, her tiny hull shivering against the cold water.

Rudderless out at sea with no true direction.

The little boat would not last long. She knew it.

The little boat toiled away under the dark night sky. Yawing from side to side fighting for every meter she gained.

The little boat thought how can a tiny boat cross an ocean.

I need direction, I’m losing hope. I don’t understand how I fit in this overwhelming sea.

The little boats heart was splintering ….No she pleaded with herself, don’t I will have a hole. I will sink!

The little boat was about to take her sails down when she felt it. A gentle breeze began to lift her. She felt it all around her.

The breeze spoke “the universe has you.”

“Trust the momentum, embrace the challenges look how far you have come.”

The little boat felt the breeze it was warm against the dark night. It felt safe but still the little boat resisted.

The little boat spoke as she pulled her sails in tight. “What if I go the wrong way?’

The gentle breeze shifted again. It whispered to the little boat “let your compass settle, let go. Your course will appear.”

The little boat thought for a moment and with all the momentum she could muster let out her beautiful sail. It was as bright as the moon now glistening in the clear night sky.

I have the wind in my sails the little boat thought.

The little boat spoke to the breeze. “I am scared, these big waves keep coming.” The little boat didn’t like to admit she felt scared.

The breeze could feel the little boat was unsure ‘I will keep you true, I will right you in a storm. I will fill your sails. I will help you cross the ocean.

The little boat was no longer fighting the waves. The little boat was making headway as the breeze danced around her.

The little boat began to notice the stars, the moon, its beautiful she said to the breeze.

The breeze asked have you noticed you reflection at last? ….

the little boat staled, “how”?

“The beauty you see in the world is a mirror of all you have inside you” The breeze still dancing inside of every word.

The little boat could not understand …they moved slowly under the night sky. “I am tiered, I have not slept” the little boat said.

“Have the sleep you need” …Your heading will be true when you wake up the breeze responded.

The little boat heard one word, dancing like silk on the wind as she drifted off to sleep.


The little boat woke to see the night sky stretching out ahead. She could not feel the breeze.

The little boat thought of the rough sea she had crossed. She was now some where different. I had been brave. She thought to herself.

The little boat allowed her self to stop.

Trust she thought.

The breeze was no where to be felt. The little boat now able to take in the view…wondered what she could do until the breeze returned.

I will clear deck, she began tiding her lines and making sure her sails where in good order. I have time whilst I’m here. She thought. I will charge my batteries. I can use my radio to tell the world I’m out in the big ocean.

The little boat looked to the horizon. A new set of stars had appeared. They where shining brightly, precious jewels in the sky.

The little boat was transfixed. I am somewhere different I must have travelled thousands of miles. I am in a different ocean. The stars shone brighter for the little boat.

These are my friends the little boat thought. These new stars will help me set my heading!

I can follow them.

The little boats wooden heart filled with joy and love. She wasn’t alone lost at sea. She could find her way.

The little boat looked on as the stars the sparkled back.

The little boat missed the breeze. Where could the breeze have danced off to. You can go anywhere when you are a breeze. The little boat thought. How wonderful it must be.

The little boat felt a change the energy coursing thought out the water. The little boat could sea a huge wave building being her.

Oh no this will capsize me its to big, its to powerful. I will fail. She began to think.

The Ocean spoke for the first time. To the little boat.

” Intention is everything.”

The little boat had to act fast, the wave was coming …

How will I set my heading.. The little boat pushed with all her might. she had not realised her anchor had been dragging in the water it slopped over board unshackling from the little boat …

She was set free..

The momentum began to build the little boat could finally surf the big waves.

The little boat having fun playing on the glistening surface. Carving and dancing on the wave..

The little boat longed for the breeze to come and dance too.

The little boats heart was splintering what can I do she thought.

The ocean began to speak.

” The breeze will change, she is evolving each time becoming something more spectacular”.

“She will become the greatest guide you have ever seen”.

The little boat was amused, the ocean is talking to me she thought.

The little boat now feeling braver said ‘you are so big and I am so small, how can I make a difference”?

The ocean quiet for a moment letting the stars sparkle off her surface.

The little boat was dazzled .

“What difference do you want to make?”

The little boat thought for a second.

“I want to show the world what a little, rudderless, boat with broken compass can do”

Lots of other little boats had appeared whilst she had been talking with the ocean.

Each was beautiful in its own way. Sails of all different colours, magnificent carved wooden hulls. Each was unique. Each was on her own journey.

The little boat thought of the breeze. How could she transform? What would she become? What was more beautiful than a force of nature as your guide?

The little boat looked out to the horizon. The ocean stretching into the deep night.

The water beneath her became charged….energy surging and pulsing out to the ocean floor.

The little boat spoke courageously for the first time.

“show me”

A magnificent green neon run way jettisoned out from beneath her running to the horizon, moving at the speed of light .

It danced through and with the ocean. Light and colour flashing everywhere.

The voice she knew was back .


The little boats tiny heart soared.

The ocean had been lit up, the stars shone their brightest. All the little boats moved with the forces around them.

The majestic powerful ocean and the beautiful  luminous guide captivating the little boats as they moved as one.

The little boat thought I’m ready for an adventure.

The End x





When you cant take anymore…

When you c

I know you are out there …Fighting the big fight …The fight with Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Terror.

The fight with yourself. The fight with your mind. The fight with your history. The fight with your experiences.

The fight with all the shit they told you. The fight with the labels they gave you.

The fight with not knowing where you fit in the world. The fight to belong somewhere anywhere.

The fight to hide the torturous things you have endured. The fight to be seen, noticed and heard.

The fight to be respected and understood. The fight to be who you truly are.

I know you are out there.

I know you are feeling the endless exhaustion ebbing in and out of your body like the tides of the oceans.

I know you a feeling the fear in the nights and the emptiness in the days. I know you are out there.

It can be hard, so damn hard.

I know you are asking why me? Why am I being punished? Why is this happening to me?

I know you are out there.

I KNOW you are saying I want live. I want to fight for my life.

I know you are saying I survive.

I rise up.

I  shine brighter than an exploding star.

I ignite my soul. I command  all my strength. All my love.  Every last part of me.

I Fight.

I am a force of nature, I am unstoppable. I am the flood, I am the sunrise. I am the beauty in stars. I am the power in the river. I am the freedom on the wind. I am incredible.


The Imperfect Perfect Coffee..

Today I broke a habit, smashed it like Wonder Woman breaking a rifle across her back. I left the house with out my phone. 
The chorus of gremlins began singing in my head, you can’t drive your car without having your phone! What if something happens? What if nursery call?
But here I was leaving the house with out it. “I don’t need it” I said as I marched out of the front door.
We set of to nursery and then on to ‘jobs’. Once Tilly and I had finished we decided we would reward ourselves with a coffee and cake stop.
We did the usual toilet first drills. I only just managed to stop Tilly breaking out while I was mid flow.. Thankfully on this occasion the allure of the sink at toddler hight kept her entertained… Phew!
Amazingly we didn’t have to wait today. The Get Served Quick Gods where looking down  kindly on us.
I went through the auto pilot order, I remembered myself and made a point of using the barristers name. Its nice to be noticed right? He flashed me a huge smile back.
I asked for the drink I wanted, having succumb to the amazing looking coffee on the board. “Would you like cream with that”?
“William you are killing me” I said laughing.
William now having been noticed twice. Realising he was not just a human check out started laughing too.
Normally I would decline…….But not today………..Today I was surrendering. Today I was going to embrace the moment…
I was phone free after all.
In my head I was saying YES I want the cream.
YES I want it in all the Violet Beauegrade ways possible, full on spoilt child, I want IT. 
YES! I want the glorious mountain of cream on my coffee.
I deseve it.
I was all ready imagining that cup of magnificent coffee topped with  whipped cream sitting steaming in front of me. Decorated in a glistening sugary drizzle screaming DRINK ME!!!!
Today I was unashamedly having christmas in a mug.
What I actually said was “Can I have one of those marshmallow things and a baby chino please”.
William happily obliged his whole body smiling as he went.
We found a safe spot to occupy. I was set on not interfering with anyone else’s coffee moment. I then set to the Mummy, toddler chess game of moving and shuffling stuff around the table.
As we settled in, I handed Tilly the sugary marshmallow sword. Her eyes widened to plates, she embraced it with glee.
I could see the excitement radiating out of her as she clamped her toddler jaws around what looked to me like a rainbow coloured unicorn poo on a stick.
As gooey marshmallow oozed out of the sides of her mouth. I watched in amazement at how committed she was to embracing the whole moment completely.
I realised I was totally focussed on my daughter, watching her delight in devouring this sugary treat.
She put down her half eaten marshmallow pop. Picked up her cup and said ‘cheers Mummy’.
I thought my God I love this kid so much….My heart swelled to ten times the size.
This tiny tot knows how to be in the moment.
How to embrace the small things.
How to show gratitude and celebrate.
Who is teaching who?
I raised my mug “cheers Tills” as she clinked her paper cup against mine… 

Both of us revealing in our coffee morning.

We began the game of doing cheers for everything. Tilly squealing with delight every time our cups bumped each other.
All of a sudden I noticed something happening around us. I could feel the eyes. 

People had put down their phones and stopped typing, now watching us, someone went as far as toasting us back with their steaming hot brew.
Our fun had been infectious and others where now joining in with our moment of joy!
As Tills went back to her marshmallow it got me thinking. I would have missed all of that if I had brought my phone out.
As she now enjoys her well earned sugar high, and a joyful journey into a magical dreamscape.

I realised my two year old taught me about being present. What it means to live in the moment.
The habit of having my phone with me is well and truly broken.
The cost is far to high.
No more sleepwalking through life.