The Voice inside my head

As I’ve been growing my blog and business I’ve become even more aware of my self doubt holding me back.

I have always thought it was my voice, my own doubt that caused it but having really analysed this now, I know it is someone else’s voice I hear. In fact three people, who at different times in my life (sometimes together) have literally told me “you’re not good enough”, “you don’t deserve to be happy”, “anyone is better than you”.

I once overheard a conversation over the back wall that sent me crying to my room at about the age of ten, no one knew. And the older I became the less I said how I felt, other than angry.

I became jealous and competitive for a time, but my general feeling throughout my teen years was one of total belief that I was and never would be enough.

I joined the military for a time, and felt that I had done something people would be proud of me for, I married a man who had been vile to me in front of people who care about me and no one said anything. This made me feel like I’d either imagined it, or I wasn’t worth standing up for.

I remember on my wedding day, surrounded by happy friends and family, feeling a sinking feeling but knowing I had to go through with it because otherwise I’d been seen as a failure. I thought, at the ripe old age of 20, that this was my last and only chance of happiness.

My beautiful son was born and the confusion got too much. The feelings I had for him overwhelmed me, and when I looked in the mirror, soon after his birth, I didn’t recognise myself. I felt that I could never be enough and now it wasn’t just me it was too much. I don’t remember much of my first few months of being a mother. There are photos of me at my sister’s wedding, but I have no memory of that, or many other days in that time.

The one day I do remember, is the day I looked up at my then husband, and realised I had a baby. It was like a bolt of lightning that shot my mind out of oblivion and into to such guilt and depression that it physically hurt me.

The guilt that I hadn’t been there to care for him, to bond with him, to be his mum was unbearable and further solidified my knowledge that I was not enough.

Despite this feeling, I was driven to look after my son, I wanted to make every day count and we have a close relationship because of this I believe.

My marriage ended and I felt liberated in a way. This man, although he had been there whilst I was so ill, told me we were having more children, end of discussion.

I knew this could not happen. I couldn’t risk the same thing happening again and being away from my boy again.

I left and it was very acramonious and messy. He blamed me, and decided because of that, he wouldn’t have anything to do with our son. Once again, I felt like I had let my son down. I still do on this matter.

My second husband, I know now, was one of those people who can sense weakness. He bombarded me with messages and love and gifts and told me I was the most beautiful person he had ever known. I needed to believe that, I never had that feeling before. He made me feel like a princess. Until he didn’t, and then it would be my fault, always my fault.

In the background, the real voice from my childhood remained in person, in effect backing up what he said, making me question myself and lose myself more and more.

To cut a decade long story short, that husband and that real voice from my childhood, tore my family apart, and near enough destroyed my sanity.

During this decade I begged doctors to tell me why I felt like this but none of them could.

But the day it really did implode was the day other people finally realised what had been happening to me. A policeman told me I need to protect myself and fast, my friend realised what I’d been hiding, my GP had tears in her eyes as I told her why I thought I was mad and needed locking up and she helped me realise what I’d been subjected to.

I have never questioned my soundness of mind since that day.

But those people’s voices are the ones that hold me back sometimes even now.

I’m not telling you this for any sympathy, I don’t see myself as a victim or a survivor, for me, I have had to forgive three people to enable me to move forward. I don’t want to look back at that. My forgiveness doesn’t absolve them, or make me under any obligation to see either of them ever again, it frees me!

Although their voices creep into my head due to years of conditioning, I have other, stronger voices now. I have my son’s voice, telling me I’m a good mum, firm but good 😉. I have my partner, Mark’s voice which is gentle and encouraging and accepting of who I am just as I am. But I hear my voice in my head now, my self esteem helps me to identify which voices to listen to and which to acknowledge but ignore, and it also tells me not to be so hard on myself for letting the ghosts remain.

“Our scars remind us that the past is real” Papa Roach

Without that dark, I wouldn’t have the light that I have today. The peace in my mind now, is interrupted less and less by these negative voices, and the fact I have peace in my head at all still remains a novelty.

I no longer have to watch every word I say in case it’s twisted. I can have my own feelings without being called dramatic. I am not ignored or pushed aside. I can succeed without being pulled back and criticised.

Part of me wants these scars to heal over without a trace because they still hurt every now and then, like right now, because I’m writing about it. But my past has taught me a lot about people.

I still blindly look for the good in everyone, and I don’t ever want to stop doing this, even though it’s very unpleasant when I get it wrong.

Maybe it’s because of these people that I have worked so hard to make myself good, and authentic, and have spent so much time trying to figure my own head out.

Maybe I was always good and authentic and that’s why it took so long for them to nearly destroy me.

But I know this, I won’t be successful to spite their voices in my head, I will be successful because I am worthy, as we all are.

Exceptional People – Like you and me

This month has been another busy one for me.  As I promised, I’ve kept learning and moving forward.

I’ve read three more amazing books:

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy which is about the difference taking a small action each day has.  If you read nothing else in this book, read the $3,000000 vs $1 bit – it blew me away.

Secrets of Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker  so many “aha” moments in here and lots of practical advice and actions you can do to improve your money blueprint.

Low Cost High Life by Mark Homer this is book filled with an interesting story of success, contrarianism (which I love) and success.

So this month, I took Cam on a weekend property training course and it really opened his eyes to other ways to make money.  He’s starting to come round to the idea that I may have instilled a slightly one sided view on him.  In May I’m taking him to a two day money course, to help re-programme us both.

I’ve attended an amazing three day training event which has resulted in a lot of knowledge on E commerce, but perhaps more importantly, I’m in a What’s app friend group where we check in on each other and motivate the group to keep going.

I’ve found a commercial property for a national developer and am just waiting on feedback as it was my first.  If it’s a no, I’ll learn a lot that I can put into practice on my next attempt and if it’s go, I’ll get a nice finders fee. Win:win.

I’ve learned that I need to focus on one thing, a little bit each day but this left me at a bit of a loose end whilst I wait for things to happen so I’ve revisited this to focus on one of my three projects each day.

I’ve also been learning about marketing and social media so Sort My Shit Out Blog is now on Twitter @sort_shit and Instagram @sortmyshitoutblog as well as Facebook and I’m attempting to be much better at posting.  I’ve decided to go for inspirational quotes, I know they are everywhere but I’ve found people like them and they have a bizarre habit of being relevant at that time.  So hopefully you’ll find them useful, amusing and/inspiring.  I’ve tried to keep them close to what I do and add some context.  If you have any snippets of advice, do send them in, I’ll of course credit you :).

The biggest thing I’ve learned this month is about how “normal” exceptional people are.  I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to meet so many people this month, whom I would class as inspirational, and they are, but the thing that strikes me the most, is how like me they are, how normal and down to earth and keen to help and share their success and learning.

It’s made me realise that I can be successful too, the only difference between myself and them is that they took sustained action.  I have, for want of a better word “pedestalised” many people, and had an aspiration to be like them, but I am like them, I just need to learn from them and take action.

Twice this month I’ve gone out for a meal with two sets of amazing people, and felt right at home, not out of my league and not at all awkward.

We all can be exceptional, we just need to get going and take action!

 

 

This week: Radiators, Drains and another type of person!

Well, since last week it’s been a whirlwind. I promised myself (and you) I would get moving forward with my actions towards success and what a week it has been. I have forgotten just how much I have managed to get done.

I’m still scared a bit but mostly excited, isn’t funny how these two feel very similar, and the only difference is mindset?

I remember a good friend of mine telling me there were two types of people, radiators and drains. People who radiate positivity and vigour, and those who just “drain the life out of you” as my friend put it.

This week, I have attracted lots of radiators, from unexpected places and it’s been inspiring to have them push me forward and I felt I’ve been able to provide a bit of forward movement for them too which is amazing.

I went to a networking event, and although I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, I got there and spoke to people – next one at the end of the month – I will be braver still at that one. Being surrounded by positive and successful people really is catching and I love it.

I’m very lucky that I have very few drains in my life, they probably got annoyed with my positivity to be honest but there are a few and this week I’ve found a way to tune out of it so that it doesn’t “stick” to me.

I only listen to actions.

People moan a lot, I believe some of it is genuine, goodness knows I can moan at times, but I think it’s more of a habit for people. Some people are happiest when they are having a good old moan and sometimes we all need to vent.

But if a moan is genuine, someone will be forced into taking action.

So this little reframe, has made me literally be able to ignore moans, check to see if they are genuine problems by whether people address their concerns or not. It really turned the negativity volume down on people for me this week.

I’m going to attempt to not moan at all this week – a bit of a challenge – any fancy trying it with me?

In my attempt to take action this week though, I encountered another response – neither negative nor positive – but paralysed which was really strange, I’ve seen it before in this person and never really thought much about it but I did this week.

He asked me what I’d been up to this week, and I explained that I was on my way out to a networking meeting to find people to make money for and with. I explained what my plans were briefly and that I wanted to get into property and help sellers find buyers and investors find deals.

Well he just froze, for several seconds, and then made his excuses and left.

Very curious! Most people I have started telling ask at least one question and most have an opinion, but this person, someone quite close to me, literally froze and then scurried away like scared rabbit.

It was hard not to feel little bit offended, I’d chosen very carefully the people I was going to tell but whatever the reason, I had to remind myself that his reaction is his reaction. Maybe he’ll come back next week and ask more, but I suspect it will never be mentioned again which is sad because I’d like to share this journey with him too. Hey ho.

Has this ever happened to you?

The next day though, I met someone I hadn’t met before at work, and we really clicked, I told her my plans and she had loads of questions which really helped me.

When I went to the bank to open a business account, I was able to talk really confidently and passionately about what I wanted to do even though I have never done it before. At first I think the the guy thought I was a fantasist, but by the end of our meeting, he was asking me loads! I felt really proud of myself, I didn’t let his eyebrow raises, or “are you sure” style questions shake me at all. And, I won him over! He started out sceptical but ended up intrigued.

Despite the strange episode halfway through the week, I have taken some quite big actions:

  • I have set up a limited company within which to operate my property plans
  • I’ve got the marketing going on the blog facebook page, with the help of a young entrepreneur
  • I’ve had a bit of brainstorm with a member of an online community I’m part of
  • I’ve registered with the ICO for data protection
  • I’ve outsourced my cleaning (feel so much better for doing this)
  • I’ve attended three training webinars and one networking event
  • I have my first viewings booked
  • I’ve opened a business bank account
  • I’ve written my first policy for my business
  • I’ve almost completed my website
  • I’m joining in much more on the forums and communities I’m part of and getting braver when approaching people
  • business cards and stationery have been ordered

I had a lovely message from a lady checking to see if I’d progressed this week and this really made me realise how important it is to be accountable, and how easy it is to talk yourself out doing things. Having someone checking up on you really makes you want to do even more 🙂

Next week is going to be another week of action:

  • publish business website
  • attend two days of training in London with Cam
  • book more viewings
  • build new relationships
  • register with an ombudsman service
  • write two more polices or processes
  • read one physical book
  • listen to another great ebook
  • listen to podcasts every day instead of music

My favourite podcasts at the moment are:

The Disruptive Entrepreneur

Mark my Words

Goliath Sourcing Academy

amongst many others – podcasts are amazing!!! Find them on itunes or Stitcher

But I don’t know what I want!

For a long time, I’ve been working on sorting out my head and life.  I’ve been on courses, tried new methods and loved every minute of it.  But deep down, I feel I have struggled to understand what it is I actually want.

There’s a lot of things that people can list as their wants, but for me, they are only ever “likes”.  I’d like to have a flash car, but then why would I need one?, I’d like to have a bigger house, but it would just feel empty, I’d like to have more money, but what would I do with it.  Not knowing what you want can be a real challenge when it comes to setting goals.

Since just before December 2017, I’ve been working hard to identify what I want, and it’s certainly true that you get what you focus on.  I duly set myself some goals and read that it’s a good thing to write the goals, down.  Not just once, but every day!  Well this tied in nicely with a journal I had purchased to keep me moving forward so that was quite easy.  I was writing in the journal every day so I just added this exercise to it.

I noticed my goals were evolving each day and after a couple of months, I am really comfortable with them, even though they are “big hairy goals”.

Let me explain the concept of big hairy goals:

If you set yourself realistic goals, you might achieve some of them either in entirety or partially, which is great, but, if you achieve some of your big hairy goals in entirety or partially, you would, by the very nature of how big they are, have achieved much more than the realistic goals. Clever concept right?

I didn’t know what I wanted, but the goals I set have evolved and grown and I noticed that my highest priority is security.  If you read my last post, you’ll know that Mark, my other half, needed to have a real chat with me about not taking action, even though I know the correct path to take.  I realised this links right back to my value for security.

Even though my goals seemed, frankly, ridiculous, when I first wrote them, (and they are massive) they are sitting really well with me.  They seem to be “sticking” much better than any other goals I have set int he past.

Right now, I’m listening to  The Values Factor by Dr. John DeMartini on Audible, and the penny has dropped!  The reason these goals, big and hairy as they are, have stuck, is because they are based on my values.  Everyone’s values are different, so the first stage to figuring out what you want is to figure out what drives you in terms of your values.

Much like everything I have learned, this now seems entirely obvious but looking back, I can see why I haven’t figured this out before now.  Our internal and external lives can be in direct conflict with each other for social or other reasons.  That creates incongruence which upsets us emotionally. I experience this as what feels like a bag of stones sitting in my tummy, I can’t swallow it and it hurts.  As humans, we often yearn simply to just be like others and many of us struggle to accept we are different (all of us are, which is what makes this ironic).

I hear a lot about the concept of being “authentic” and I have tried very hard to live like this since a major event in my life almost five years ago.  People often struggle with this as they aren’t used to authenticity, more used to being “British”, i.e polite and avoiding of difficult topics. The more authentic I was, the more I learned about people and the more people learned about me. How many times has someone said “hey, how are you?” and you’ve just said “fine thanks, how are you?” when you really weren’t fine and would have loved to talk through the issue but were scared in case the other person was just being polite?

Bizarrely, whilst I’m writing this, I’m feeling I’ve veered off the topic slightly, but this has made me realise that congruence or authenticity is also a clear value for me.  And it links right into my security value, i.e. I want to become financially free for security purposes but I have to do this ethically and authentically, otherwise it won’t sit well with me.

So back on track, many people really champion the writing down of thoughts and goals, and I think you can see how much this has helped me in this short space of time already.

Don’t know what you want?  Write some goals, rewrite them every day until they “fit” you authentically and then keep writing them every day anyway.  This will help you to articulate values based wants. Writing does bring out a lot that speaking can’t.  Trust me, my written work is much better quality than my verbal work 😉

If you don’t know what drives you, or you goals don’t “fit” you, read the book above.  There’ll be lots of “aha” moments I promise.

Buy a beautiful notebook or journal and diarise time each day with it.  Mine takes five minutes, not a lot of time for quite a lot of impact.

If you think you don’t have time for reading or learning about this,  find time, do things like listen to ebooks and podcasts in your car instead of music or when you are out running or walking or even at work if you can.  Turn off the television 5 minutes earlier so you can jot down your thoughts and rewrite your goals.

Figure out what you want, what really drives you, it’s often not quite what you think, I am surprised by mine but the clarity of knowing them means I can now plan my future in a way that will be much more sustainable.

Dr DeMartini has a website you can sign up to where you can analyse your values to get you started: http://www.drdemartini.com/values/login

 

 

It’s been a while! This has been my struggle.

Something amazing has happened to me recently! Truly amazing!

I have been presented with a clear path to success – it’s so obviously the right path – and I’m still stood looking at it and feeling like another path is the one I should take.

How bonkers it that???!!!

Mark and I have just been for dinner and I finally admitted my self doubt. Despite having all the tools I need to take this path to success, I am struggling to walk along it. The last few months have been almost unbelievable for me, my life is going to change massively and as much as I’m a sceptic regarding “the universe” and concepts such as “cosmic ordering”, I simply cannot deny the opportunities and momentum that is occurring in my life since I wrote down what I want. I realised I hadn’t told Mark any of this, and how it all linked, he convinced me I needed to write about this and share my “stuckness” in the face of the glaringly obvious path to choose.

Here is the story:

You’ll know from my previous blog posts that I read The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich in December and this had a massive impact on me. I decided to put something into practice:

  • I set goals
  • I learned to view work differently
  • I decided to learn and learn and learn

So I carried on this momentum and purchased a book called “Money: Know More, Make More, Give More by Rob Moore, whom I’d never heard of at this point but am now a total fan!. I felt sick as I read it, but for a great reason. I’d always been really proud of the values regarding money that I’d managed to instil in my son, Cam, mostly based on some major errors and hard earned learning myself. I realised reading this book, that I had set him on a fairly risky and thankless journey.

I wrote more goals based on the advice given in this book and worked on identifying my values. This has evolved over the couple of months and I now understand that I value security above all else. It’s vital to know what drives you but it can be quite hard to figure out.

I decided to follow the advice in both books and reach out to the people at the top. So I dropped Rob Moore a line, not expecting to hear anything back, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and that was what I was aiming for. And you know what? I did hear back from Rob! Life has been pretty different since!

Reaching out like this led me to a massive new community and I was invited to attend some training. Which I did, and this has opened even more doors, physically and mentally and I have literally been soaking up all the learning I can as a result. I’ve been engaging in threads on Facebook and really getting a taste for path of success. I’ve already met lots of amazing and inspiring people and this has lead me to other learning and opportunities for Cam and I which I’m so excited about!

This opened me up to learning even more, and I’m hungry to know everything I can. But bizarrely, in my head, I’m stood at a crossroads looking down two different paths. The path on my right (in my head) is the path to success, I’m 110% sure of this, yet on my left, I feel a tug towards the path I know well.

This situation has practically paralysed me this last week. But I did recognise this in myself and instead of just stopping, as I previously would have, I kept soaking up the learning based on good advice, and this has gotten me to the point that I can verbally articulate my internal struggle to Mark. Mark pointed out the glaringly obvious to me (which I was unaware of):

  • I’m a qualified and experienced NLP practitioner – I understand people
  • I’m a qualified and experienced coach and I get great results when I do coach people
  • I’m real – I have a really rubbish filter and my thoughts just fall out (apparently this is good)
  • I just want to help people feel better about themselves and for themselves
  • my internal struggles are things other people will feel too
  • everyone gets stuck
  • most people give up at this point and stick to what they know
  • I have all the knowledge and tools I need and just need to take action

Bizarrely this resonated very loudly as yesterday I’d listened to a Progressive Property Podcast which talked about strengths and challenges and overcoming them.

So after a very frank discussion with mostly Mark talking (those of you who know us will know how unusual that is), I promised to take action.

  • I walked through the door and contacted a young entrepreneur who I’d been talking to about social media and told him to “go, go, go” with developing the reach for my blog page.
  • I typed this blog post and have set a goal to keep going, I’ve had great feedback so far and now I just need to be brave and let people I don’t know read my work.
  • I’m going to share this blog to a wider audience – eek
  • Tomorrow I am going to be setting up my property investment website
  • I am also going to package my first deal and present it to a friend who is an investor and get really valuable feedback from him at the very least, and who knows, maybe even a deal that will benefit us both
  • I’m going to stand up at two networking events this month and introduce myself, build my network and relationships for my business
  • I’m going to go on a course in two weeks time and ensure that I am taking actions based on my new learning straight away
  • I’m going to teach Cam what I learn, and drag him along to the courses I go on where I can, to teach him the right way to do things

I’m sharing this on my blog to keep me accountable – make sure you check up on me by sending me a message – I need a good shove down the path of success!

I thought I was stuck, I just needed to say it to the right person to know I need to constantly work on sorting my shit out. I felt a bit ashamed of my stuckness because even to me, the choice is obvious.

The mind is powerful, and part of being successful is not suppressing these thoughts, but acknowledging them and finding the right way to balance them.

Most people fear failure, my fear is of success, which sounds crazy, especially when you are so sure of how to achieve success. This recent journey has made me realise that I value security above anything else and although there is little risk in taking this path and much to gain, it’s different to what I know and that makes me insecure and therefore affects my deepest value. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle isn’t it. And this is why it’s so important that I have become part of such a large and supportive community and shared this experience and learning with Mark.

I’m choosing the path to success! As of now! And I’m going to struggle a bit with this. But being surrounded by people, virtually and in real life who can reassure me is so important. I’ve realised that I’ve often been given the tools to be successful in the past but I have never followed through with consistent action. Well that changes now!

If you’d like to get inspired head to these websites:

http://www.robmoore.com

http://www.unlimited-success.co.uk

http://www.progressiveproperty.co.uk

Exercise changed my mind!

I’ve always done some sort of exercise, but never really taken anything particularly seriously.  I struggled with finding motivation and commitment and then would feel bad as I watched the pounds pile on.  This created a negative cycle in my mind and had an impact on my body too.

A few years ago, I was chatting with my brother in law and he was telling me about this new gym he’d found.  Their family live several miles away so I had a look to see if there was anything similar near me.  There was, and there was a free trial session so I duly went along to Crossfit Southampton in Eastleigh.

O….M…..G!!!!!!! When I got there, I was very scared.  It was a massive, noisy warehouse, no machines, just a load of ropes, metal climbing frames, a few big balls and barbells dropping all around.  I nearly turned and walked out but I was greeted by a cheerful lady around my own age who I later found out was one of the owners.  So I stayed, I did the workout, which was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and from that point on, was totally hooked.

I signed up for the membership the very next day and virtually lived there for two years, going almost everyday.

I was literally the worst at everything, except skipping and sit ups, but something about it kept me going back.  I worked enormously hard, inspired by the women around me who were the strongest I have ever seen.  Everyone cheers you on and even being last is an achievement, by the fact you didn’t give up.  People in Crossfit gyms really respect effort!  And, so began my obsession.

I remember my first deadlifting attempt.  I managed a very small weight, under half my body weight.  Two years later I lifted 1.5 times my bodyweight.  I went from barely being able to hold on to a pull up bar for five seconds, to being able to do two strict pull ups.

I met an amazing group of friends there and my amazing other half.

After two years, my obsession turned into curiosity about the mechanics of our bodies and the beauty of form, and I started to realise that lifting heavy wasn’t my goal anymore, movement was, so Mark and I made what felt like a heart wrenching decision, we switched entirely to Calisthenics – more on that in another post.

This journey with sport, has had much more of an impact on me than simply dropping dress sizes.  It has informed the way we eat, the approach we take to sleep and improved my overall mental health.

Crossfit taught me lessons – it humbled me every day, yet I got up to do it all over again the next day.  Because simply getting through one of those workouts is a physical and mental achievement.  The buzz that gives you is amazing.

It introduced me to so many people, when you suffer together you bond.  I remember rolling around on the floor fighting the urge to give up, next to one of my now closest friends and yelling at her to keep moving!

It taught me that I have strengths, and others have different ones.  I was often humbled by people complimenting my squat or my sit up prowess, or my ability to double under skip, all of these people were people whom I saw as “elite” but realised they, like me, have weaknesses too.

It gave me the realisation that I can endure practically anything!  Sometimes the fight to finish was not with my body but with my head.  There is a short workout called Fran, it consists of two movements, barbell thrusters and pull ups, this, like all workouts are scaled to your ability, it takes around 5 minutes to complete, but every single person hates it.  You just want it to stop right from the first round.  To be fair, most workouts did this to me.  But again, that feeling afterwards is such a reward.

It gave me confidence, which I was severely lacking, and days when my self esteem was low, I’d go and lift some heavy weights and that somehow made me strong in my head again.

It inspired me to learn more, to challenge myself, to push harder, to achieve more and frankly made me feel quite invinsible at a time in my life when I was sliding down.

Callisthenics provides this for me now, handstands are my current main project.  A few years ago,  I would have given up after a while, Crossfit taught me to never stop trying, and slowly, my handstand is improving.

I am stronger now, at forty, than I have ever been in my life.  My posture is better, which enhances my breathing which helps in everything.  I can endure a lot more mentally and push myself hard.

I still need motivating and to help with this, I always workout with Mark, and we have had a personal coach in both Crossfit previously and now Calisthenics.  I moan a lot but we laugh a lot, usually at me, but I’m good with that.  Crossfit also taught me to laugh at myself.  There are several memories I have of  our group going home with sore abs, not form the workout, but from laughing.

I progress slowly, but I progress. When I think back to when I first started Crossfit, or even when we made the switch to Calisthenics less than a year ago, the improvements are enormous.

It’s easy to forget how far we have come in any part of our lives, but I often get frustrated at my lack of progress.  In our whats app friend group, we often flip from being annoyed by our gym performance to reminding each other just how much improved we all are.  I’m not one for looking back on the past, but I know it is important to do this.  To remember how we have changed and celebrate this.

Time tends to blur all things, experiences, memories, feelings, but it is important to see back through the blur to the reality at the time.

Being committed to exercising, is being committed to yourself.  I see it as an investment in my future.  I want to be agile and pain free as I age, I want to be fit and able to move freely at 100 (lets face it, we all might live this long now).  But I want the peace and pride that it gives me in my head the most, the foundation to be healthy.

 

 

 

My unknowing friend – Chester Bennington

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This is a bit off piste, but I’ve wanted to acknowledge Chester Bennington’s impact on my life. I never met him, I never even saw him live in any of the groups he fronted, yet he was ever present in my life, and saved me many times from feeling so alone, and confused.

……..

I’ve always loved music! And my tastes are wide and varied. One group that, for me, changed everything, in music, and in me, is Linkin Park, my first introduction to the raspy, and undescribably emotional voice of Chester Bennington.

Linkin Park, are true musical pioneers, the likes of which I have not seen again in my lifetime (yet). They are the musical game changers of my generation and all so talented.

Their style has, at many times in my life, reflected what’s in my head: angry and loud, yet beautifully melodic and serene at the same time. A true juxtaposition (previously a “word of the week” for a friend and I, more about that in another post 😉).

There have been times, when this group’s work have saved me! Times when I have felt alone and down and confused. “Crawling” for example, describes an aching to feel better but struggling to do so. It made me feel like someone understood me, I was not alone, and this made my problems feel shared, and you know that old saying “a problem shared, is a problem halved”. So many of their songs carry this theme.

The battle in the songs and the unmistakable voice of Chester Bennington literally spoke to me. It was my comfort, my realisation that other people have things like I had going on in their heads and in their lives.

The pain was always apparent in the songs, even as their style evolved, lightening, darkening, reinventing over the long career they are enjoying and Chester’s vocals really touched my soul, they chilled me and warmed me at the same time. No other vocalist has had this effect on me.

When “Heavy” was released, it reminded me of how it felt when I needed to let go, it reminded me of how far I’ve come in my life, and how much better my head is now. Mostly down to the company I now keep, but I remember the isolation and my inability to let what was sitting like rocks in my heart go, when others seemed to be able to do it so easily.

I have never mourned celebrities who have passed. I never understood how people could feel so upset about people they didn’t know. But when news broke about Chester Bennington taking his own life, it hit me like a train. I didn’t cry, but I felt a massive kick to my stomach, it took days for me to believe it and every time I hear him, not just Linkin Park, but Dead by Sunrise and Stone Temple Pilots, that unique, raspy, amazing voice which articulated such raw and passionate emotion, I feel a deep pang of sadness. His voice, and the words he wrote, co wrote and sang, pulled me up out of my darkest times, he was unknowingly a friend in my life, the one who seemed to be able to genuinely say “I know how you feel, I’ve felt it too”.

His music will always be here, and Linkin Park will evolve, they have such talent. But my sadness is that Chester couldn’t find the solace that he gave me. When I hear “Heavy” now, I hear more pain, more confusion and more desperation than ever.

So, to Chester! For saving me over and over again. Rest in the true peace you struggled to find here.