Letter 15: To Every Woman

15 February 2012

Dear Gorgeous

I am writing to you – ‘Every Woman’ with so much love in my heart.  You, who represents all of our sister kind, you who is every woman out there, in what ever shape, how ever you are dressed – body AND soul …

What is not to love about woman?  We are the miracle of this planet, we create, we care, we are the very blood in the veins of life, in every degree.  Yes, man is there too and I acknowledge his role, his shape; but this is YOUR letter my gorgeous Goddess xxx

And I know you in so many ways, as Goddess, Damsel, Crone, to name but a few of our flavour, our hue …

For so many of us, our lives in this modern mess of life, are a dichotomy.  We always knew, through out the millennia and the recent centuries, that behind every great man there’s a great woman and slowly, in this Westernised world, our voices came out from the nursery and the kitchen sink.  Then in our own mother’s and grandmother’s histories, man’s war took the men from our hearth and we kept the home fires burning and we fed those fires and we manufactured the killing machines of war, keeping the life of our nations, turning.  And still we loved and danced and made babies …

And then our free-er daughters ran free, stepping in the masculinity of sex with choice, work with trousers and the heady prizes and loneliness of leadership.

So my wonderful woman, like children we have tested our boundaries and we lived tied by kitchen sink chains for millennia and then we tried suits and swagger for our recent decades.

And yet despite all this being out there in the ether of the earth; I know I dreamed as a small child of being a beautiful Damsel, waiting to be rescued by a prince on a white horse; and a field of multi coloured horses have galloped by since … So the waiting Damsel became a Damsel in Distress, turned bitter by lack of love and worn out from driving the wheels of the man’s world of work and play.

So many of us fabulous females know this story, this dichotomy of being pulled so many ways – being bound into a life of straitened female destiny (wife, mother) AND an endless modern male morass of choice and push (wage earner).

So many of you my sisters, have started to seek, to live, to be, to find the Third Way in our ‘her’ history, our her story, our herstory.   To cherish the many millennia of our mothers and to honour our recent female fore bears their trail blazing to our modern day selves.  We seek to heal, to redress and accept the many faceted female characteristics that make us, and to take them and make them our own; forming new paths in this wonderful womanly world.  To transform from a ‘Damsel in Distress’ to a new archetype – the ‘Damsel in Success’.  Having our cup cake and eating it, wearing the shoes we chose, to walk down the streets, up the mountains and along the path ways where we dare to dream the way forward …

That was and is my journey, to being a Damsel in Success, to finding my way; making the path easier by knowing, loving and being myself, in all my girl glory.

I chose to be a Damsel in Success, in the form that works for me, facing life as part of the fabulous feminine-kind that I was born to and I know now – born for.  Knowing my self is being woman; woman who was man made and can be man, sometimes, when the occasion is called for … to take charge, be business like … then back to blonde, back to girl, back to friend, back to mother …

So from me back to you – Every Woman.  So many of us sisters are finding the Third Way now and we come together – to learn, to share, to support and to lead the way – the third way: some to trail blaze, some to shine a soft light on the world of woman AND of man and of course of our co-creation – child …

With women’s hearts, as natural creatures of love, the combined power of our feminine pulse is immense.  So feel that feminine power, the strength of sisterhood, the love of many millions of good women … each one an amazing piece of nature and then nurturer of dreams, of babies, of creations and so we are back to love – again; my gorgeous, fabulous, Every Woman …

    With lots of love and chocolate

              S xxx

PS: As a ‘Damsel in Success’ I must honour and acknowledge the organised sisterhood of the same name, of which I am part; and of which I am both member and leader.  An early convert to the cause, I have the joy and privilege to work alongside it’s founder Lucie Bradbury and all of the fabulous team she has given birth to and nurtured; to support women to live the life of their own success, with natural feminine ease.  She has presented so many of us with the choice and opportunity to see and walk the Third Way, and my love and gratitude can know no bounds for that … S xxx

PPS: You can find out more at: www.damselsinsuccess.co.uk, where you will find your local UK group – and you can see ME in action at the Burton on Trent group …  S x

[PPPS: Dear Reader, if you liked this letter, you can buy your own hard copy of the complete book by following this link…]

Lucie Bradbury, my ‘Angel in Chief” & the next generation of Every Woman, her daughter Summer Grace …

Letter 14: To the One

14 February 2012

Hello You

I’m waiting for you … patiently at the moment as it happens.  That’s rare for me … patience is a virtue that’s definitely in development for me a lot of the time.  But right here, right now, I’m being good and patient.  I’m just scanning the horizon softly, biding my time.

At other times I long to see you and start our time together, but it’s fine that it’s not now.  I know it will happen when the time is just right …

It will be so worth the wait.  You will be amazed at just how good it is.  My love is so good – it’s like nothing you will ever have known and I have yet to discover too how your love will look, feel, sound, smell and taste, in every dimension of our being together.  I’m so anticipating our unchartered voyages of discovery, revelation and laughter.

As man and womankind, we are born with the gift of love … there is the physical realm – affection and ties that bind us together so we support and survive and there is also passion – the life force, pushing us to pleasure and procreation.  Next there is the realm of being seen deeply, of finding a kindred spirit, of feeling part of something bigger than yourself, being recognised and reflected back in all your glory.  There is simple togetherness, rubbing along as a couple, facing the day in company, a thousand million words and silences; touches and flashes.

But then I have known so much love in my life.  The word has been said to me and at me and by me, so many times.  I used to guard what I gave; I was spikey and defensive, because I felt I had been unfairly attacked by it in the past.  Then I decided to change, to open my heart and give freely and in the flow.  Now as a tactic, neither of these paths seemed to have lead me to any where in particular … except perhaps towards heart break or inertia … but that is the past, my Mr One and now it is time to move on.  It is up to US now to create a new époque – one that is grand and quiet and which sweeps away the hurt past and sees our many lessons in love as our future joys.

Where shall we move on to you and I?  I sense it now, glimpse our time together – these future memories which will be ours alone.

How will that love be, between you and me?  It will be what it will be, that is our little secret for tomorrow, when our time becomes today.

Do I dare to call you ‘soul mate’?  Several times already in this life I have had those words uttered to me, so I’m guessing I’m allowed more than one soul connection!  Such a label doesn’t really matter to me my Mr One, because we will write our own book of life and of love, together.

Will we have a different kind of love?  I really believe that you cannot love two different people in the same way, so that will have its own perfect consequences for us and so I can move to you, new, free and unfettered; surrendered and sure.

Well now, it’s nearly the end of another Valentine’s day and I have faced the day happily.  I have given and shared love, I have celebrated; I have walked the woven fabric of my life and I am contentedly biding my time.  For the time will come, OUR time – that’s a simple fact, a knowing for me.  So I will prepare myself well and be as realistically ready as I can be, in body and heart.

Which means that I’m loving you already and I’m so looking forward to you, my Mr One.

Happy Valentines Day, darling.

  With so much love,

         S xxx

[PS: Dear Reader, as a Valentine gift – to yourself, or anyone else for that matter, at any time of year, you can buy the book version of these letters by following this link…]

Letter 13: To God

13 February 2012

Dear God

Today I am saying dear ‘God’ and that’s what you have been for much of my life, although sometimes, rarely, I have denied you altogether, since you didn’t seem to make any sense.  Then again there was a long period where I lazily hedged my bets and said that you MAY exist, for how could I know for sure?

I learnt of you via religious / Christian family ties, at Church, at School and through my bed time childish prayers.

I have spent much time with you, neglected you often too and now, we seem to co-exist, I believe, happily, most of the time.

But we know you and I, that there are times when I have fallen out with you, because I just believed, that you had got it wrong, that you were causing and inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering.  That you were, basically, to blame.  For if YOU had created ME, then how could I be the cause of all this so called misery, in the way that many modern wisdoms would dictate?

And there have been times, even very recently when I REALLY wondered what in heaven you were playing at … why you had created this turn of events, this misfortune of constant occurrences.  I just wouldn’t let you off the hook … I cried, I begged, I ranted and I cursed and still you stayed your course.   Falling out with you is such hard work and I hate being angry, but I was so angry with you.  Yes, I can say it, I was so very angry with God.  Where could I go with that?  What higher authority could I appeal to ..?

I just had to find the way, get it out of my system, in every way – body, mind and soul  … so you waited patiently … rock of ages.  Even when I blamed you angrily for all sorts of things – minor imperfections of happenings, broken things, difficulties, trips and tears.

At times like these you are GOD.  Masculine, patriarchal, bound in church stone.  In this God guise, I have accused you of being fusty, cruel and callous.

Yet as I have moved away from Church, I have stayed with spirit and so you have transferred and transformed to Gaia, to Mother Universe; you are the spirit behind and beyond the physical world.  The Universe is life force, creation, vibrancy, love and fortune.  The Universe is flow, positivity, she guides and glows and takes you with the flow.

The Universe is friend, is on my side, giver, sun shine provider … mother of all.

So as you have facets, then my love will flux and alter with the tides of your being, in both my mind and my heart.  Love shapes and forms and one expression of love is prayer.  I pray in many ways now, putting my intentions out there, expressing my gratitude, sharing the love.  This very letter is a piece of prayer.

I make my peace with you now, well most of the time; though it seems I ride a roller coaster so often and I’m not sure what will ever change that.  I used to ask for an even keel … that wasn’t to be.   Instead I play out the soap opera of my being, entertaining those around me with my constant stellar happenings, my seeming unconventionality, my breakages, my laughter … well may be that is my purpose, my created path or may be just a part of my own eternal puzzle of being.  So I surrender …

You are always the ultimate constant; so please forgive me, please teach me, please help me to see the way and shine the light – yes shine a light for me so that I can shine a light for others … for that is when I experience real love.  And the love of God that passeth all understanding is a gift, and a gift I greedily and gladly receive.

Thank you, for everything.

Love, Sandra

[PS: Dear Reader, if you enjoyed this letter, you can buy your own book version of my collected epistles by following this link…]

Letter 12: To Food

12 February 2012

Dearest Food

If music be the food of love play on … if music be the love of food, game on … if food be the driving force of all else, then I’m a very happy girl …

Food drives our physical life, it fuels this temporal body and is one of the longest, most enduring loves of my life …

You see it all starting with a tiny baby, curling its toes with pleasure at milk time and then moving on to the natural strangeness of solids.

It is a fundamental love and though YOU may eat to live, I most definitely live to eat and I LOVE to eat.  So call me a gourmet, call me a foodie or call me a greedy hog … that is how it goes with me.

There is the pleasure of preparation … first the shopping – the choosing, the selection, the lingering dreamings of meals to come.  Then gathering everything together for the feast: assembling, fettling, chopping and stirring the raw elements into a new, delicious entity.  Testing, tasting, tempting yourself with what is to come.

The impatience of waiting and finally … readiness, yummy-ness and happiness, as you consume your labour of love.

Taste … an oft neglected sense.  Often ignored, when it should be pampered, praised and perfected for the pleasure and glory of sustenance.

So I devour my love in every way.  I treasure and hoard cook books, slavering and anticipating over pages of pictures and food words.

For years I have pursued ingredients … herbs, flavourings and spices of every hue.  My freezer is filled with future joy.  I love the unusual, the divine, the out of the ordinary.  Then, when routing through the hoarding places, there are numbers which read ‘out of date’ – by years and years and so, I harden my heart and toss them out, unconsumed, unloved and left to moulder in the outside world.

Eating is an entertaining, an ecstasy. It takes you on voyages of new adventures, outside your door … in its’ pursuit I haunt and hunger around restaurants, cafes and tea shops, regard the menus – the very lists of love – and then wait for the love to arrive and so to begin.

Cooking for someone is an act of love … you are nourishing, treating and testing them.  And for ‘cook’ read make a slice of toast or create an elegant 5 course dinner party: the whole range of complexity is included here – it is ALL love.  Though the toast MUST be made from the best bread, taken close to burning point, then spread to every corner with melting butter; part soft, part crisp, all delicious …

Food is reason enough to share, to come together.  A social mixture, a treasuring of family and friends.  The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach … yes food is proof of love, to man or woman or child.  Food celebrates and food cements the tide marks of all our lives.

Food forms the structure of our days, punctuating our playings and our labours.

Food takes you on journeys, food tells the stories of a place, of it’s history and flavours and impacts.

Food is always there for you, greedily needed, a constant craving.

So what ever way you look at it … food is love.

   For ever yours

       Sandra

[PS: Dear Reader, if you liked this and my other letters, you can buy your own book of them by following this link…]

Letter 11: To the Lost Lover

11 February 2012

Dear Lost Love

I waited, not always so patiently for you to come to me … Over years, over tears, over dreams. Tumbling desires, stumbling steps taken halteringly towards you. False starts, then true strides to the man, to the one, to the lover, the faithful friend, the father, the sharer.

You’ve worn different faces, yet the end result was the same … a heart open, a heart broken, first by me and then, squarely, by you. Loving and unloved. True love and passion and comfort and life long togetherness, blessed … But not for ever blessed; tested and turned instead.

Why have you not seen me, fully? You saw me, were dazzled, then blinded … Why my lover, why is that my story, what purpose could that possibly serve?

It is not my karma to be left bereft, alone – I was born to love, born to fly. So is that my dichotomy? I cannot love AND fly? Why not ..? I want it ALL. So it seems my Icarus wings melt and I fall to the sea; I bide my time, build my wings and soar skywards again and again, oh and again. Gliding, coasting, heading for supersonic space and instead falling back down to earth – grave and gravity drawn.

So I left you and left you again and then I decided there could be no more leaving … Leaving was a far greater pain than the stain of staying. So I said I must change and change I did. I did everything to stay and then YOU turned me away … Once and then again – and I was so wounded, so rejected. So I took me to a nunnery. I stayed out of your path. I travelled to wisdom, I healed, I learned the lore of love. I listened I prepared … I waited.

Then I started the final journey towards you, slower, waiting, calling you softly, whispering to you as I waited … Composing a symphony of love, writing a lexicon of our life. Then the time for you came closer and I started to glimpse you in odd and twisted guises … trying you, testing you, discarding and ignoring the impure pre-versions of you.

And then it was your time. And you knew me, you heard me and I waited coyly, so sure of the outcome. You had heard my music, came to my clarion call. I knew your face, your words and, as I called you with song, so you spoke to me and wooed me in song too and told me of your love, before you would speak the words, in an Avatar.

So I was sure and certain – my call was answered, I knew your love words and heart promises before they were spoken. You breathed love before we cleaved. We wove, we danced, we dived, we planned. We fitted, allostericly locking into each other’s lives.

My life turned on you. I depended on you for the change; we wove a fabric of family and connection, love, praise and cohesion. A ring bound our promises and committed us to our forever future.

And I was free of my former life, now part mother, part counsellor, all lover, all me – too free.

Amazing love, sparks, passion, laughter, life bound together. There is nothing on this earth that can touch that time; that time that has cost so much and yet changed so little, when all is said and done, in the final analysis and yet strangely, it changed everything …

Then just one argument, just several words played. Forgotten by me, picked on and used by you. Festered on and faltering, heart altering, shattering, trashing, destroying.

So you were not mine to keep, my lost lover, not mine to treasure, to keep for ever. A rock crumbled, the footing lost, no anchor. Instead a missile, throwing me to your very own wolves, serving me up to your demons of rejection and fear and lack. You were first dazzled by me and then cruelly blind to me. Love now a four letter word … pain always a four letter word.

My heart could not hear your words. “Why why why?” – I cried to heart hardened ears – both yours and God’s. Why? When I had waited so long for you, I had served my time, I had learnt my love lessons, I was the best me I could ever be. Why? It was sheer insanity and death and grief and pain.

And life lives on, lungs still breath, the heart in so much stiffened pain, still beats. The sun shines again and there is laughter, there is the home of your own heart, with it’s infinite capacity for healing and it’s wanting to love and keep loving. There is a wisdom learnt, an ability to grow and cope and eventually to accept what passeth beyond your understanding.

Acceptance was so hard, so un-vindicated. Heaven could not wait, it seemed for me. It was a wrong doing, a divine mistake, wantonly and cruelly created. Why? To punish, to balance, to teach?  To push me back to square one, alone? For what purpose God? Why that cruel blow?

So I had to die, again, harder – to live again, more. To be more me, to shine freely and unfettered. To let you go … To create a new attachment, a thin umbilical cord, stuffed with love, letting go love, the cord getting thinner and thinner through to breaking point. We cannot ever completely be detached … you must know that …

Now it is a new year, a new me. I choose to cast my stones of intention and keep loving and moving to my light.  Now lost lover, I let you go – lovingly, to your own future without me and yet carrying a piece of me with you, for ever impacted, no matter how you try to eradicate.

You are lost to me and you were love to me and now you are past to me. We had our time and it was right that it was then.  So no regrets.  This is now, this is our tomorrow. Let’s go beyond our love, let’s do more, soar more, find our true freedom.  We are all done now, we are good now.

     So good bye lost lover and fare thee well.

          S x

[PS: Dear Reader, we always have love and to help to keep it and create it, you can buy your own copy of the complete book of letters by following this link…]

Letter 10: To My Love Letters

10 February 2012

Dear Love Letters

Well my dear Missives, it has been 10 days and I have written 10 letters so far … You are all out there, in the ether – created and thriving …

My love odyssey, my chaste challenge, has been to write a love letter every day of this month of February 2012 and already this journey has taken me in many different directions. To me that feels so right, for love shows itself in many ways and comes in many forms and as I move through this process, I realise the power of love and of letters and writing – more and more …

I can only sow the seeds and send my letters on their way. With the awesome power of the internet and public publishing, I put them out there, not even sure of the full extent of their reach. Yet I remember before the days of bullet points, texts and the World Wide Web – the absolute thrill, the life line, the love line of receiving a letter to me, for me alone – from family, friends and connections. There was the excitement of seeing the envelope, of recognising the hand writing and checking the wavy franked imprint covering the Queen’s face on the stamp. And STAMPS – I used to collect those too as a child, loving the exotic, far away connections to the world beyond my girlish knowing, to be reached out to and discovered in times to come …

Great things came in envelopes and landed on the mat … news, views, information, pen pals, photographs, my place at University, job offers … I remember too that I have been ‘asked out’ by not one, but two different men, by the medium of a letter! And there was sad news too, falling out, rejections and returns. And I remember friends sharing letters from their lives, a ‘Dear John’, read with a tears or love letters shared with pride. Yes, I guess they were some how slower times, that time of letters … time to consider, time to share, to re-read, to gorge yourself on words.

I used to avidly hoard my letters from lovers and from friends, with their news, emotional drama, falling in and out of love and friendship. They were so full of love and laughter. And then at some point in my life, I threw them all away … feeling that I didn’t have the time or space for them, that I should not be attached to my past. Well what’s done is done, but sometimes, oh sometimes I would love to trace the words again, to feel the temporal pull of the past’s triumphs and turmoils … So now I write again, I recreate, I replace, I redress the balance …

So now letters are a forgotten form, little used, replaced by emails and social media. We go for speed, for neatness, for cheapness instead.

A little while ago I reconnected with an old friend lost through time and she sent me a long, lovely letter, handwritten to perfection – honest, loving and beautiful. When it landed, unbidden on my hall floor, before I even opened it, I felt the thrill again. That day at home I had a visitor who wanted my attention, yet my attention wanted the unopened letter, to devour it and spend time with it. I asked for some time alone with my letter; enough time to read it over and over, to absorb it, understand it and commit to treasuring it …

As I have started this new Odyssey of letters, I have had the obsession of a new lover, wanting to spend time with you – my perfect little creations, feeling over the many facets of love and life, going into the lightness and darkness of love and where it takes you, shapes you and shadows you … You have filled me up, you have sent me spinning into the past and stepping into my future. I feel the force of creativity, of owning myself as a writer; and with all that – the flipping coin of excitement versus fear – my joy at sharing my love, versus the vulnerability laying myself open to who knows what ..?

So that is love for me, today … short and sweet, eternal, beautiful, brutal and obsessive; giving, tender, fierce and gentle. So many things you are and will be … my loves … my love letters to life and to me …

   For ever loving, Sandra xxx

[PS: Dear Reader, if you love letters too, you can buy my love letters in book form by following this link…]

Letter 9: To Sue

9 February 2012

Dear Suzy Blue

I’m wondering how to start this letter, as we’ve known each other such a long time, haven’t we – since we were five in fact.  And I’m blessed with two best friends I’ve known since then, how fortunate am I?  So that’s a lot of history, yes many many photos, stories, smiles and sobs.  All part of love and of life.

So Suzy Blue, the story of me and you started at infant school.  There were shared lessons, scandals and whispers.  You were always the model student, with good grades and neat hand writing.  I would get told off for talking in class, sometimes praised for my brilliance, sometimes chided for my lazy ways.  At the end of the school day we would walk home, down the streets of our childhood, where we would reach your house first, say good bye and then I would troop the last few streets alone back to my home and hearth.

We were two in a group of four girls, who together shared endless childish summers, making mud pies in summer gardens; then hopping on the bus to dance classes or swimming, all mixed in with endless chatter, laughing and boasting.  The other two girls are lost through time, occasionally glimpsed, part of the fabric of our lives.

My quiet weekends were boldened and brightened by the trips out to the countryside, the pair of us in the back of your dad’s car.  On the best trips of all, there was a corned beef sandwich wrapped in wax paper, or the ultimate treat … a glass of lemonade in a pub garden.

The next phase in our lives meant we went to the same senior school, but amongst the 1500 girls there, we found ourselves at different ends of the campus, catching glimpses of each other and now just dipping in and out of each other’s lives.  We had newer friends and walked different paths.

The clock turns again and we found ourselves together in the comfy chairs of the Sixth Form common room.  We rediscovered our friendship and created our kinship.  So then we embarked on Barcardi with Coke, school discos and boys …

The adult world beckoned and changed the ties, my Suzy Blue.   You went out into the world of work, whilst I finished my A Levels.  Then off I went to University and you became a nurse.  Still we kept in touch and that far off time, was probably the last time I wrote you a letter.  Hundreds of miles away at my northern University home, letters were such a life-line and each one was devoured and re-read and savoured, as they chronicled our ascent into adulthood.

After gaining a certificate, cap and gown, I returned home and we picked up where we left off, becoming closer still; pretty much living in each other’s pockets and still having alternative lives with family, friends and men.  I practically lived at the hospital digs in your tiny bedsitter room.  One of my favourite memories of then, is you and me walking home from the night club at 2 in the morning – an endless 3 miles home, taxi not an option … in our bare feet, our high heels dangling from our hands … ah – burning feet, happy days!

And as they loaded us into a car, with our holiday suitcases, our mothers said how they could not imagine the other one not being there … like sisters they said …

Then men happened … then a baby – your first baby, my god daughter Elizabeth; and so the edges of our relationship shimmied and altered.  Then work, more babies, the process of growing up and going through life.

You now a married women with 3 children, nourishing and nurturing the next generation.  An amazing mother, putting in so much love, so much effort and so much time.  The boundaries of our relationship altered again and still we became closer.  I became part of the family.  Me now cool ‘Auntie’ to Elizabeth, Jenny and James.  There were holidays in caravans, soothing baby tears, watching the children grow and along the way a myriad of shared sorrows and joys.  Part and not part of your family, part of the in-crowd of grand parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews …

And when my father died, you were there and when your father died much later, I was there and that is how it was.

And time ebbs and it flows and then it took you away from me to live in Africa.  So I grieved for a while and when we phoned each other, we would nearly always be in tears, letting the other know they were missed and loved.  You came back to me though, you always do.

And then a shock – you became a grand mother!  Yes, that makes me a Great Aunt! Look: you know your friends will bring children into your life, but now time and love take on a whole other amazing dimension …

Well Suzy Blue, that is me and that is you.  And there are times when you are gone from me again and yet I don’t grieve now, because after so many years, we are wiser and warmer.  And we know that where ever we are, we love each other, through sharing and friendship and time; and every now and again, we remind each other of that gorgeous big little fact – don’t we?

      Lots of Love n Stuff,

                 Sandra xxx

[PS: Dear Reader, if you liked this letter, you can buy all my letters in book form by following this link…]

You & Me on your Wedding Day …

Letter 8: To Work

8 February 2012

Dear Work, otherwise known as Labour, Passion or Obsession

I remember years ago when I was a child, my mother buying a postcard with the phrase ‘Work is a Four Letter Word’ printed on it and taking it into her own place of work … I don’t know what response it got or if her boss ever saw it … and the whole ‘four letter word’ thing passed by my childish understanding until later life …

I started off my working life as a baby sitter, passed teenage Saturdays and holidays cleaning and shop assisting and after the high expectations of University, my first foray into the big, adult world of work was selling photocopiers.  God – how I hated plodding round industrial estates asking for compliment slips, knocking on doors, getting rained on and rejected.  And still I sold more than all the men who worked in the office with me … Though eventually I got ‘the sack’ for taking time off ‘sick’, because it made me so miserable …  And that seemed to be the first in a long line of sabotage tactics that would get me out of ‘jail’ fast and supposedly free.

I have had jobs since then that have made me so miserable I that would groan as soon as I woke up, knowing what I had to face that day … horrible tasks and nasty people, sucking out my soul, all in the cause of work and pay.  I stopped, started and moved around in my 20s, until I fixed on a ‘career’ in human resources and unwittingly became a manager – and that not even by choice.  I was working at the time as a HR officer in a dark little office in a factory some where and thought I might just be there for ever.  Then one day I got a call from a ‘head hunter’ and was chased and flattered into a situation where overnight I doubled my salary, status and stress and became a career girl.

Well dear friend, you changed your name from ‘work’ to ‘career’ and we had a real love / hate thing going didn’t we?  I loved the sense of importance, the drama, the sparks I could create and the difference I made.  I was the object of respect, lust and puzzlement on production lines and in offices.  I adored the company cars and all the other trappings of corporate reward; including working lunches and trips abroad – even when most of my colleagues were men in grey suits.  I loved dressing the part in my own smart little suits.  And there is the camaraderie of work, I have always loved that and made some very close friends as a result.

I climbed higher and higher up the corporate ladder, yet hated taking other people’s flack and working insane hours with no thanks.  Then there was being one boss’s favourite and another boss’s nemesis, and often I would start off as the favourite and some how end up as the nemesis – sabotage unconsciously ‘saving’ me and then pitching me back into a new lion’s mouth.  And more and more I was the agent of the corporate machine, making people redundant and acting like an undercover police woman out to catch them in deceit and wrong doings.  That made me miserable.

I wanted to make the change, but didn’t know to what.  I just couldn’t think outside the treadmill, the responsibilities I had created in this life and any alternatives just seemed unfeasible.  As the years passed I felt more and more jaded, burnt out, broken and incomplete and HAD to start my journey to the light, to living my truth, though I couldn’t see the direction and threw away several torches to it along the way.

So I went on courses to ‘fix’ me and spent time with people who nurtured me and who were walking a path I dared to dream to follow.  Then I realised I wasn’t actually broken and that all this ‘stuff’ I was putting into me, would be an amazing gift to share …

And suddenly an opportunity came to me to combine my years in Human Resources and my coaching skills – my own unique life combination – to help 200 people facing redundancy find new work, change careers and face new futures.  I felt passionate about supporting every single person in my care, even if it meant swimming across raging rivers to get them to where they wanted to be.  Wow – career turned to passion!

Then came my own business, which sometimes succumbs to the name ‘obsession’.  I lead, I coach, I train, I mentor, I make a difference to individuals and companies and all the time speaking my truth, doing it in the only way that I can.  I am my own sum total, a fabulous confluence of skills and experiences that I pour into my life and the lives of others entrusted and entrusting to me.  I love, I give, I challenge, I stretch, I support and I laugh.  And I cry sometimes too …

This isn’t work, this is life and this is love.  And you KNOW how much I love Love!

Happily yours

      Sandie x

[PS: Dear Reader, if you liked this letter, you can buy your own copy of the complete book by following this link…]

Letter 7: To John

7 February 2012

Dear John

‘Dear John’ – that phrase in the world of cliché means the beginning of a ‘good bye’.  Yet this time, for me, this is the beginning of a hello, a getting in touch, a getting to know you, to connect with you and so to deepen the connection with myself and to understand the role you have played in my life.

Do you know me John, your sister, the one that came after you?  You had so little time in this living realm, a tiny baby born early, who breathed this side of the womb for 2 days only.

Your passing was a pain, a grief, a darkness that reached into my time, born as I was, 5 years later.  I always knew about you – and our mother told me that not one day went by when she did not think of you.   And in tears and arguments, your memory would surface and be tossed around by our parents, a turmoil unresolved, unforgiven, never forgotten.

It’s a dark place John, to think of the pain and torment of your passing, so let me pass back to the realms of love and dreams and consequence …

We have a living brother of course, two years older still than you; and in my dreams I have seen you, another version of my family … familiar and yet separate.

So you were a fascination to me, part of my puzzle, a missing strand of DNA.  And as a child I often imagined how you would be, if you walked in this world.

And I have realised over time that had you stayed in this world, then I probably would not be here, as I am, in this form, in this living plane of being.  So I thank you John and it’s a complicated thank you, for your part in who I am.  And because of your passing and my safe and happy arrival; my parents were so over-joyed to welcome me when my time came to enter this world.  And separately they have both told me that I was their saviour, angel child, which feels like a beautiful privilege sometimes and at other darker times, an expectation I have felt I simply couldn’t live up to.

You were named John for our grandfather – our mother’s father.  Another John gone before I was born, another John not known by me.  Though for this John I have photographs, stories and a history …  This John stands in line in our parent’s wedding photos and his physical features sometimes reveal themselves in the living descendants that are my familiars.  This John is part of our Scottish heritage and so Grandpa John was known as ‘Jock’.  And I can only guess at what other inheritances we have all got from him.  I would love to explore that part of my past puzzle one day if I can …

And one of the many legends of Grandpa John is that he had another family, one that came after my mother; the fact of which was scandal at the time.  So my mother would say that she is an only child and so she was in fact until her mid 20s.  In recent years she has sought to know her later siblings – a half brother and sister and so I have traced the pieces of paper that would link us to them.

But what comes next?  Do they know of us?  Do they know they have a sister, niece and nephew?  And here’s the thing too, my (half) uncle out there, some where, is also John, named for Grandpa John too – and takes his first name AND his surname.

Another John not known to me, now old enough to be retired … is he still alive, does he have his own family, what did he do with his life?  Could he be a piece of the puzzle that fits, or could he care less?  I stopped the search because my mother, his half sister, became ill and needed our attention and now, further down that line, for many reasons, I’m not sure whether to pick it up again.

What ever the case, I am trusting that this John lives and loves and laughs.  And of my three Johns – brother, grand father and uncle; it is Uncle John who comes into my mind most of all, now I’m at this time in my life.  My father gave us an uncle and two aunts who have all left this world now, so it’s good to know that there is more family out there and maybe, at the end of this letter, that’s all I need to know about them.

We all have our legacies, our legends and live with the consequences of love – our own loves and the love that was created by those who went before us.  In the final analysis I want to connect to the love, live and breath it in every form and on that note I will bid all my Johns, for now, a very fond farewell.

    With love from Sandra xxx

PS: Thanks go to my brother and mother who agreed to let this letter be seen and for reminding me that when I was in my pram, we used to visit my brother John’s tiny grave.  A connection unremembered … and one for which I am grateful.   S x

[PPS: Dear Reader, this letter and more are now published in book form, you can buy your copy by following this link…]

Grandpa John, a face known and unknown …

Letter 6: To Money

6 February

Dear Money

We’ve been through the merry-go-round together, haven’t we?  There have been dips, there have been peaks and NOW Money, I have changed the status of our relationship again.  It took a little getting used to, didn’t it – changing the rules like we did?  Taking our own path and defying the rules of a whole, conventional, former life, the nay sayers and the non-believers …

You’ve always been there for me, though at times I confess I thought you weren’t really on my side … still, I have to say, that you have always come through.

Because we have an unconventional relationship, not everyone understands how it is with us … yet we have an understanding and I want to you to know how I want things to be between us from now on.  So here are my intentions, this will be our story – the map of our voyage and last, but not least, my love letter to you:

Money be mine …

Money come to me with ease; walk and run and dance with me on my journey through life, and in doing so, be my true and constant companion.

Money reward me for my virtues, for my passion, for my work, for the difference I make.

Money fly to me with wings and soar with me through the stratosphere as we spread our light together, you and I.

Money stay with me, abound with me and befriend me, for I am deserving of your light and I you know that I am a warm, true and loyal friend.

Money be with me and I will take you on journeys near and far, enjoy you, use you well and share your gift.

And in return Money, I ask that you feed me soul and body; that you will protect me, give me security and luxury, clothe me in gorgeous gowns and house me in heaven.

For all this Money, I will honour you, I will take care of you and I will share your energy for the good of human and animal kind.

Money be mine for ever and we will share the glory and celebrate the greatness.

Money be mine.

Love

    Sandra xx

[PS: Dear Reader, if you liked this letter, you can buy your own copy of the complete set in book form, by following this link…]