Flourish Reflections Part ?

OK I’ll start with an admission. I don’t actually know how many weeks there have been of flourish, but we have reached the end of four months together, or a third of the way through the year. Some weeks have been very tough going, but today we had a lighter session. We were asked about “Living the Dream”.

Q Imagine you are in full ownership of your life, at the wheel, in the driver’s seat. What car are you driving? Who’s in the car with you? What three things do you throw out the window as you drive into your best life? Where do you go first? What song is playing?

Well the first thought was that my car is actually a chariot, like Boudicca’s, fighting for the freedoms of the people, from the oppressors. It was more like a past life regression, but it is what came to mind, so I went with it. I am alone in my chariot, but I am surrounded by like-minded people, all who want common law reinstated. The freedom to chose who you see, what you do and understand that you body is your body and only you get to chose which risks you take with it, who you allow to penetrate it, and what with. We do not judge those who prefer to stay at home in the farms, we cannot all be warriors. There is nothing to throw away that has already gone, warriors take little into battle, all things in the chariot are necessary. Any un-necessary item would go flying, in the heat of the battle, but to be unprepared is equally folly. Preparation is key to ensure that the load in the chariot is what is needed to take up the mantle. Nothing more, nothing less. The best life is one where freedom is not a dream but a reality. Free to wander, freedom of speech, freedom in bodily autonomy . First I go to the troops, to plan and communicate the plan, forewarned is forearmed. To inspire confidence that this is a battle worth fighting for, that some will die for the cause, but without it, we are all dead, even if we survive. The song is a rallying cry, Flower of Scotland, Scotland’s National Anthem, which will get the blood surging through the veins of all those who accompany me on this journey.

This post has little to do with adoption and I am not quite sure of it’s relevance, but it has great parallels for where I am in life right now. We have a fight on in our country, and embracing the courage of Boudicca is certainly something that I would encourage to all who have taken on the fight to support our freedoms in this country. Our Party Election Broadcast can be seen here.

Maybe my next post will be a reflection on this post and I will allow my imagination to run riot, as I jump into the car of my dreams and drive into the sunset.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Reflections on Flourish

Yesterday in my Flourish group we were asked to tell the story of our true north, and what grand gesture would we need to take to solidify this. Here is my response, written in the 15 minutes that we were given:

My true north is wherever and whatever God wants to align me to. I have dreams of writing my story. I have had prophetic words spoken over it. I have had visions given to me that if I don’t write my story, thousands will be denied my wisdom. It is not magic, it is God’s creation. Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall receive.. I set my intention, I visualise my intention, I see my book manifested in physical form. I create it by taking a book and covering it with my book cover, with my title book publisher on the dust jacket. I visualise a famous author writnng the foreword. I cast a spell on my story being a success. I visualise myself at book signings and recitals. I see myself standing up at Adoption UK conferences and at APPG, who have no adoptee on their panel. I become an adoptee advocate and voice to groups who think they have adoption at their heart, but they continue to use language and miss the basics that only fuels the issue with the children of today, who will become the adults of the future, with the same issues that we have in Flourish. Parents need to know how they are adding to our issues. That is my true north. If my true north aligns with God’s will, then it will happen.

My first grand gesture is to hand over my ego, to surrender to God, to stop trying to get it to happen, and relax, safe in the knowledge that God has this. It is not magic, but by the power of the Holy Spirit this shall com to pass. I need to play my part, take the action of taking the time of sitting down and writing my story to send to the publisher.

My practical grand gesture is to take what appears to be a side-step, to stand for a seat in the Scottish parliament, safe in the knowledge that God has this and that each step in my life is a step towards my true north. Skills and experiences will help my development as a person, dealing with things that I have not encountered before, which will prepare me for events that I have not thought about in the book world, for the future. At times when it has been dark and hard, I have struggled to cope with it, and it is only with hindsight that I have come to realize that beautiful gems come as a result of either irritation in the case of a pearl, or intense pressure where diamonds are formed. By going through the furnace and fire of life, I will get to my true north.

Where is your true north and are you sterring towards it?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

How Do You Own Your Time, Money and Energy?

Where am I not in ownership of my own time, money and energy? This was the question I was asked in the Flourish group this week. I have done a pretty good job in being in ownership of all three I thought, but I will reflect further now and expand on the jottings that I got down in the five minutes allowed in the session.

I knew that five minutes was not going to be long enough to delve into the question fully, that it would take more time that that to do it justice, so I scribbled a few sentnences about knowing what makes Joy happy, and therefore I can spend time money and energy being happy on my own, but that can come at the detriment of my relationship with others.

I struggle to remain present with others when they want to do something that I don’t want to do. Take shopping as an example. I find no pleasure in shopping and so I deny myself time with my daughter who loves to shop. For me, my judgemental mind says that she doesn’t need more clothes, she has plenty and so to buy more is un-necssary. When we do go shopping, it breaks my heart to see her go for the reduced sale rail, as I then think that she doesn’t see any worth in herself, that she is only worth reduced items, when I know she has great value. Bargain yes, pay over the odds No! I too struggled with putting value on myself as to what I was worth, to buy clothes to clothe myself. It took me years to be able to easily buy myself something at full price, and when I do buy them I am not comfortable showing them off. I secrete them into the house and hide them, I cannot show them off and take ownership that I deserve them.

A few weeks back I shared with you how I had bought a painting and kept it hidden for a week as I wasn’t sure how my husband would react and feel about me spending money on it.

I am very selfish with my time. I know what makes me happy and I know that I am not happy if I am unhappy. By that I mean I don’t find it easy to go along with doing stuff that I don’t like. I have become better at spending time with my husband recently. It’s not an effort but I have to really check in and remind myself to spend time with him as it is important for our relationship.

We are not big talkers. I am, he isn’t. I talk, he mainly listens, occassionally we discuss by which I mean discuss big issues, not what we are going to have for the next meal or whether or not we want a cup of tea. I’m talking feeling big issues. Today we discussed how two siblings may have very different views and explanations about the same event.

The three natural siblings of my adoptive parents have never really spoken to me about how it felt to have random babies come into their home. How did it feel to their 10- 8 1/2 and 7 year old selves. How many babies did come through their home? I was the last, and stayed and was adopted, but I actually have no idea how many there were who were fostred before me. 1? 10? 20? Did my siblings feel that we were taking what was rightly theirs, in their eyes? Their parents time, money and energy?

One thing that my husband and I did discuss was that my feelings aren’t unique to adoptees, non-adoptees can also feel that they don’t deserve to have money spent on them, they cannot accept gracefully when someone wants to but them something, without feeling obligated to buy something in return. I know that on the call today that this reflection on my ownership was going to take longetr than five minutes. I have promised to spend some time with my husband this evening, watching a film with a G&T in hand. So I am going to honour that promise and call it a day here with my writing, and pay full attention to the film he has chosen and switch my laptop off.

What sort of relationship do you have with time, money and energy?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Reflections on Flourish Part 14

Ownership: What does it mean to you? We were asked in our latest Flourish meeting.

Ownership: What does it mean to me?

I was asked on Sunday where I was in ownership and where I wasn’t. I think I am much better at being in ownership than I was. Adoptees are good at being chameleons and learning to blend into their adoptive family, and it was only when I left home and emigrated to Australia that I started to discover who Joy was, what she liked to do, where she liked to go and what she liked to see, that I then would only do what I wanted and hadn’t learnt to negotitate. Prior to my move to Oz I let everybody else make the decisions for me. In Oz I took control.

I don’t take the blame for what others have done to me, the blamegame doesn’t really get you anywhere, apart from unhappy. It has been a very long time since I blamed anyone else about how I felt, not since I learnt to take ownership over how I feel. No-one has the power to make me feel anything, only I can do that. I can be unhappy, sad, guilty, resentful, bitter or happy, joyful, gracious joyful, fulfilled. Only I can decide which set of chemicals of emotion dominate my life, and I chose the emotions of connection.

I take ownership of the fact that any success I achieve comes from hard work, application and faith. Being on facebook, twitter or other social media outlets aren’t going to make me a successful author. With targetted posts it might build an audience, but what is the point of a platform with nothing to give them? I need to take ownership that today I spent far too much time on my laptop and too little time on the creative writing side, and that isn’t going to get my story told. Why am I not focussed on writing my story? Why do I hesitate to write my story, even to outline the chapters, further than the headings that I’ve got down. Is it because I think it will be too painful, too emotional, too draining? What am I scared that I will uncover?

Do I only kid myself that I am taking ownership, when I keep myself at home, isolated from humanity, connected via a keyboard. I surround myself with very few people, unless it is on my terms, as in my work. Am I just kidding myself that I take ownership? Hidden away at home, on retreat, or am I just hiding behind a nice wall? Am I still putting walls up around me? They are smaller walls that in the decades gone past, in fact they could be considered hurdles. Hurdles that can be jumped over. This month delving deeper into ownership with my Flourish family is going to be interesting.

Where do you take ownership and where do you not?

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Spring Equinox

Today the daylight and night hours are of equal length. We celebrate balance today, the light and the dark, the inner and the outer, the joining of the unconscious to the conscious. As I continue my journey with my Flourish Family, I am working hard at bringing the unconscious to the front of my mind, so that I can acknowledge and then heal the dark parts of me. It has not always been an easy path to travel, but one that is reaping it’s rewards.

It is also the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. We went for not one walk but two today. The first was a few miles from home and the second was round the park at the back of the house. The sun was not out quite as much as it had been in past days, and so the lighting was not great to take photos, but I managed to capture the spring flowers and blossoms, all of which remind me that summer is just around the corner and despite what has been going on globally, we don’t have to go too far from home to appreciate the beauty of nature and that it continues regradless of the actions of the humans on the planet.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Reflections on Flourish Part 11

Having spent 2018/19 looking at words such as “judgement, acceptance, surrender and love” I have now joined the Flourish Family and turning all that I have learnt about myself on it’s head. Now I am being asked to look at “moreness”. Is that even a word? Apparently it is.

It means “the state of being greater than something else” or “the state or condition of being more”.

Neither of them sit comfortably with me. To be greater than something else would be boasting wouldn’t it? Although I think we are being asked to be greater than ourselves. Be a greater version of ourselves. For me that means all that I learnt about acceptance now needs to be turned on it’s head. Or does it?

I have spent years trying to deal with the issues that can trigger me and to some degree I have had success and then yesterday happened. My husband cooked a lovely roast dinner for Mother’s Day, my daughter was visiting. I had my Sunday Flourish call before I ventured into the kitchen as he was dishing up dinner. He’d put the gravy in the gravy boat. I felt myself “splitting from my body” and the anger rising a little, over something extremely silly, but that’s all it takes. I took myself into the dining room and stared out onto the garden, taking deep breaths, willing myself to stay in my body. It worked until my dinner was put in front of me and gravy had already been applied all over the meat. What am I? 2? Am I not old enoughto handle hot gravy and put it where I wanted it on m y dinner, not have it applied by someone else, like I am a child, a toddler incapable of pouring hot gravy. I ate my dinner without saying anything. I don’t know if those at the table noticed or not. My daughter didn’t utter the words “What’s wrong with you?” to which I normally “nothing”, because it’s just the way I am, I accept that, but I know there is “moreness” to life. I am able to be greater than this version of Joy.

So today instead of bringing up the incident about the gravy like I wanted to, I chose to become more aware of the moreness around me, tune in to them, in an effort to tune out those elements which bring me less joy in my life.

I prepared fruit for a fruit salad. I savoured the aroma of the tangerines rather than huff and puff about the amount of pith there was to remove. I cherished the crispness of the apples. I mindfully thought of the sun that had ripened all the fruit. I stroked the coarse skin of the kiwi as I peeled it off the fruit. I looked out of the window and saw a dog in the park, running like a dog does. Running after a ball that was being thrown for it. It was full of moreness and I yearned to be just like that dog.

It’s a start, and I kow it won’t be easy, and that there will be times that I won’t be successful, but I have people in my life who need me to be the best version of Joy I can be.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Shared Experiences in the Flourish Family

The Flourish family have been together for just 2 months now and are beginning to really open up to each other, and I am feeling it. I am feeling the collective pain of us all, as I come to realise that we have had so many experiences that are similar but different.

On Tuesday I shared Sara’s blog “Said by Sara” and today she published another post where she talks about “not feeling well” as a child. Feelings that she only started to understand in her mid 20’s, as being the result of having been relinquished as it’s root cause.

I was reminded of my second day at school and vomiting on the step leading up into my classroom. Nobody saw me, but the pavement pizza was discovered by a teacher who was concerned that a child was at school who was ill. I confessed to it being me, but assured the teacher that I really was ok, and didn’t need to be sent home. I don’t recall the sense of abandonment at the school gates, I think I have totally blocked that off, but I am sure that my 5 year old vagus nerve made my stomach do a flip and present my breakfast to the step.

I turned 60 six weeks ago and have only just discovered that my start in life has coloured my whole life experience. The fog is clearing and it is a painful journey, but one that I hope will be worth it. I am already feeling much happier, being enlightened about the issues, and I always have the support of my Flourish Family, who innately understand what we are all going through. My husband, bless him, and my daughter do their best, but only Flourish family members really get it. When we are allowed to travel again, it is going to be one hell of a family reunion.

If you are an adoptee, and would like to join the Finding Joy Community on facebook then please do. This community is one for healing and support and is for adoptees only.

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Let’s Hear It for Sara

For my regular followers, you will know that last Sunday we discussed about taking risks in the Flourish group, which I will from hereonin refer to as my family, my Flourish Family.

Well Sara admitted to having a blog that she has written the past 2 years, but she had not hit the “public” button. After the meeting, she wrote a post, that Anne shared, and you can read it by clicking on this link Said by Sara How proud the Flourish Family are to support her in her blog.

Please head over and give Sara some love and support. You can also find Sara on Instagram @saramarie419

Blessings and Joy, Joy

Adoptee Fellowship

Today I got to have an idea of what a shared experience is. In one of the first flourish group meetings, Pam mentioned these two words and I really didn’t understand them. That is probably because I had never really had one until today. A bit like the women in the polls who ticked the “I don’t know” box when asked if they’d ever had an orgasm? Once you’ve had one, you know you’ve had one. Here’s what happened:

Today a friend came round to the house. I have only met her a dozen times or so, in the four years that I have known her. I always knew that she was adopted, but we had never really spoken about our mutual experiences. Until today. We started by me telling her about the flourish experience, and how we refer to non-adopted people as civilians. We then spent the next two hours hooting with laughter, as we recalled stories of our childhoods, growing up with natural children of our adopted parents and what we did to them. We had a common experience and could empathise with each other and how each of us interacted with the world, based on our experience of being adopted. We shared our stories, we shared our mutual experinces and , as a result of that, we spent our time together laughing, something that I think adoptees have a hard time doing. Life is not funny to someone who had a very hard lesson on day one. But get two of them in a room together, and they can howl with laughter. We howled as we recounted eating whole packets of biscuits in one go, and turned to my husband, a civilian, and said “See, this is what we do!”

We could also recognise the pain and suffering that we had endured at the hands of our birth mothers, in different ways, and we could celebrate the healing that we had gone through, as only God can heal us, and make us whole. It was truly enlightening to spend those hours in each others company, sharing our stories about a shared experience. Empathising with each other as only people who have gone through the same thing as others can. We are at one end of the spectrum possibly, both members of the collective consciousness, who can express joy and happiness when sharing our mutual experiences about our adoptive stories.

On reflection back to the flourish group and what it can provide, I saw the potential for supporting and healing for each one of us, through sharing our stories with each other of the shared experience. We are there for each other, despite being in our own homes connected only via zoom and a mutual experience.

Blessings and Joy Joy

Could You Speak for 3 Minutes on What is Important to You? GO! Flourish Reflections Part 6

Week six of Flourish was slightly different, we didn’t write, we spoke, for 3 minutes on what was important to us. It was very powerful and enlightening. I was first up and initially I thought that it was going to be easy. I can talk. But during my time I had no idea how long I had spoken for, nor how long I had left as I was totally unprepared and someone else was keeping time.

As we progressed through the session, other people had more warning, and were prepared with timers of their own, to save them the pain of being stopped mid sentence, mid idea, mid flow. The stopping of our own voice being heard, just as an adoptee is sharing their thoughts and ideas- in a safe environment – that’s a biggie. Some were just not prepared to be unprepared for it. They took matters into their own hands, they remained in control.

Time? What is time? Are we paying for somebody’s time? Or do we pay for their skills, knowledge and wisdom, and it doesn’t matter how long, or more importantly how quickly they can achieve whatever it is we are asking them to do? A lesson I was taught when I was training to be a Chiropractor is, they are paying for your skills, not your time. Think about it? If a dentist could drill your tooth in 30 seconds, but chose to take 30 minutes instead, would you want them too?

So for some three minutes was a long time, for others. they appeared to be in full flow and could have gone on for longer. Was it fair to give us all three minutes. Was it fair to stop those in mid flow? Was it fair to make those who were obviously uncomfortable with it, endure three minutes of being in the hot seat.

Could you speak for three minutes on what is important to you right now, without any preparation? GO!

Blessings and Joy, Joy

This post is a reflection on the Flourish course meet that I am attending throughout 2021. Check out the “Flourish” category for more posts on this.

After writing this I went to work. During the drive I recalled that many years ago, the first question I would ask someone when they arrived at the house was “How long are you staying?” More reflections needed I think on what time means to me.