Letter to My Mum, Two Years On…

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Dear Mum

I woke up with a headache at the start of this heavy day, and tried to slow the spiralling circles of head locked thoughts whirling round my brain, in the still too early and bright hours of dawn.

My body claimed its’ pain: a hurt head, a pulled muscle in my shoulder, thoughts running on from a night of intermingling dreams and nightmares…

The light outside my nestling room announced itself as bright glorious summer, with all the inherently delicious possibilities of sun, slowed time and sacred space. A time to rest and regenerate; to enjoy the seasonal fruits of nature; to live an animal life outdoors.

Instead now I fret in my sleeping cell, door shut against the world; head boxed in, with stamping thoughts traipsing round in never and ever decreasing circles, the lid on the box firmly shut – the thoughts wearing heavy boots, they are determined to stomp and stay, instead of escaping to the light and setting me free.

You see there is a wolf out there, out to get me – growling and prowling around my homely borders and literally threatening me for money. And that wolf is one thing, I will either ignore it or fight for my right; whilst the abysmal howling canine creature circling instead in my head, is quite another matter…

So I breathe deep and distract myself… I read; then set myself up for resolution and for this gorgeous (and tortuous) gift of a day – I pray and meditate; then I energise – I get up and off the bed and go out into the quiet, light world outside – to walk off my woes, shift my psyche and earn my breakfast. Sunshine and fields and rivers accompanied by music and marching happen, and then I return to my door step. Then it’s on with my day.

And as the day unfurls, it comes to me, quietly… the realisation that another year has passed since my mother passed away…

And now I keenly feel my orphan loss. There is no one to fiercely defend me (as only she would) from such big bad wolves. The sorrow washes over me and then out of me, splashing its’ exit in hot, slow tears.

I feel a sudden selfish jolt at my childish thoughts. She was many things my mother, and now – the attacking thought goes – I seek to eulogise her, in order to simply feed my stringent self-pity.

Then the next, protective impulse clicks in and now I allow… She was/is my mother and she is physically gone – so now it is simply time to grieve again, and naturally I will overlay that on my current state of mind – so allow this to happen Sandra, just allow…

My mind whirls on and then winds back; and a Mum memory comes into my mind…

Around the age of 10 I was bullied by not one, but three he wolves from my school. Yes – three bully boys lay in wait for me, to and from the trek to school. And they menaced me for money, just like my present day wolf. They picked me, and then plotted together to take from me. ‘Tell’ they told me ‘and we will beat you to a pulp’.

I kept their threats within and did not tell. I used my dinner money to pay them. When payment was chased by the school I pretended I had lost the money. But what I gave them wasn’t enough of course – wolves can never have enough blood. So one day at home I crawled into the secret dark hole of the cupboard under the stairs, to quietly break open my noisy rattling, pink piggy bank.

Suddenly my mother flung the door open and caught me in the act… Coins scattered guiltily and sharply, falling all around me; and that’s all I remember… The details after that are bleached out in relief… I don’t remember the act of telling her about the wolves and their money menacing, but I do remember the consequences

My mother was off, like a rocket; no telephoning or courtesy, she just marched straight down to the school and right into the head master’s office, with me in hand-held tow.

The wolves were named and then very publically shamed. This was still the time of corporal punishment. In a penalty pantomime, each boy was pulled out of the class room, literally by the ear – one by one, and then soundly caned.

Then those wolves left me alone.  Little Red Riding Hood was saved… This time…

And now, back to this ‘sorry’ sunny day – I wished my ‘she wolf’ mum would rocket off to the head master again and call off my present day prowlers…

So then I prayed: ‘Mum, please would you go to the Head Master (God), and call off the big bad wolves for me again??? The wolves don’t need to be punished Mum, we’ve all been through enough now. But please, please, PLEASE ask God to make it STOP. Let us learn from this. Let us move on from this. I want to live my life, love the summer, savour today and then tomorrow’s next steps.’

As well as this, here and now, I pray for surrender (of thoughts and burdens), and I pray too for the harder goal of the greater good. That last particular prayer scares my ego… what if it doesn’t go the way my ego wants it to? So now I pray that I let go all of the thoughts and feelings that do not serve me and that in doing so, the inner wolf will stop howling and keening.

It is time instead to breathe deep into my heart’s reality, to feel the beauty of now, and not to live in future fear. You see all this follows a sustained period where it feels as if my very safety is threatened in so many ways. And now these emotions manifest themselves and transmute into tangible wolves.

I haven’t wanted to share the wolfish details publically, (I’ve shared them with family and friends), since there are always two sides to a story; and whilst I will absolutely defend myself – I want to use love, not war, for a change of hearts and history.

And to move this forward I have asked for love, support and healing from the wider world, without saying why; and because I asked, so I received and this, I know with all my heart, (and despite my loud and fearful ego), will make a difference.  And will my mother answer my prayer too? Surely the very act of asking is a benediction in itself?

So now I pray for resolution and for love. I allow myself time to grieve for my mother and am also leaving space to celebrate her too. To celebrate my mother, who has partly made me, and who has done so many things, including defending me from the world’s wolves.

Thank you for that Mum.  Time for Little Red Riding Hood to leave and for the wolves to be gone then…

With love, from your cub, always…

          Sandra xx

The author of this ‘Love Letter to Life’ has written a whole book of love letters, for you to peruse, to dip into or to read from cover to cover – whether to answer life’s puzzles, to celebrate or know you are not alone. You buy your own copy of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life on Amazon and book websites around the world, in both paperback and Kindle.

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Letter to the Nay Sayers

eye‘Dear’ Nay Sayers, Bullies, dark thoughts and mis-placed egos…

I remember, only too well, those looks that you have all shot at me… Shot being the operative word…

At school, public praise from teachers was rare and when given was a real joyful jolt that would just make me smile ‘out loud’. Such smiling was allowed in my childhood home world, where good behaviour and performance were rewarded and the bad, chided and punished.

But I learned early on at secondary school NOT to appear pleased if praised. If I turned to a desk friend and smiled my delighted, I was met with a scowl or a blank face. And so I remember several times being told by teachers that an essay or a poem was good, and having to hold myself down and fold myself in, and not respond beyond a bland acknowledgement.

Basically at school, it didn’t do to stand out and be different from my peers. And doing well meant being different, or at least it did in the circles that I ran around in. And like most children I was good at some things, average in many and poor in some. So when I was good, I wanted to revel in it, but wasn’t overtly ‘allowed’ to. Revelling meant getting picked on and punished, so I developed other ways and means of getting by in school life, and beyond.

So many children develop protective tactics and I was the ‘talkative / funny’ one. I wise cracked confidently with my friends, was shy around everyone else, all the while feeling that telling and sharing was natural, not boastful. But I was punished and picked on for that assumption. ‘Big head’ was the phrase we used back then…

Round about the age of 12 or 13 I remember doing really well in an important test. I remember being pleased about it and that short days later, two friends ‘broke up’ with me and stopped speaking to me for months…

After all this unknown rivalry, the Sixth Form was a real relief to me, since there were now only 50 pupils, instead of hundreds of competitors; and we went from class rooms to a common room with comfy chairs and a common interest in learning and drinking tea.

So you start to learn… some places are safe and in some, you just don’t dare to share… I remember a few short years later, in the world of work, (and still ever the clown), that I broke my wrist and it was all hugely funny ‘dear world’ (actually it was really painful). As a result, a jokey article and picture of me was featured in the Staff Newsletter (an actual mini newspaper that went to the printers – do you remember those days?). I was delighted and giggly, but then I saw them… the looks… Whilst I giggled and preened, the girls in the office were rolling their eyeballs at each other, or should I say, me???

So I learnt to stay schtum at work, and be efficient and get things done quietly, without sought for recognition. Then I learnt that although I fitted in, people also often took me granted, passed me over, and never had any true concept of the extent of my capabilities.

And you know, I wore a mask most of the time in most of my life. I attempted to appear bland, not to show emotion. I was spikey and jokey. And somehow I stayed with my first adult boyfriend for 5 years and in all that time told I loved him a sum total of twice.

This ‘keep your head down’ lesson had failed to prepare me for life and I only really progressed in my corporate career by consciously starting over and again, and then over yet again, in new jobs, with new vistas, and with new people would really ‘get’ me, this time

And still I waited to be seen and sometimes I would show my colours and more often even, I would simply get my head down and just get on with working and breathing.

But something was stirring and changing in me and maybe this began when I started to accept that some people did really ‘see’ me. It was around this time that I finally learned to accept compliments. You see I had, for years, treated a compliment like a shuttlecock in badminton – that is something to be batted back to the person who had sent it my way. It was rejected or laughed at or demurred or returned with a joke. After having this pointed out to me many times, I learned to accept the compliment, then breath and then respond with an acknowledgement.

And as for complimenting myself – it didn’t happen often – quite the opposite in fact! Are you familiar with the phrase ‘your own worst enemy’? You know, that voice in your head which berates and nags and criticises? I know that voice so well…

And the voice still has its’ say, but now I don’t hide my achievements or my feelings. If I can support you, in your life and work, I will be committed to and passionate about the cause and honest about the wonderful consequences. I can say ‘I love you’ freely and happily and now I dare to share my shit too – the gritty, torrid inner workings of my sometimes still unhappy heart.

So I am standing on my soap box now and am openly going to tell you that deep down, I have always thought that I am someone special and unique, and that whilst not everyone in the world has to see that, I have literally been grief stricken at times when some people have been blind to it, and the possibilities that they and I have missed as a result!

Yet before any accusations of ego fly from me or you, I want you to know that I believe this of every one. This is why I am a coach, so I get to support people in shining the light on themselves and the possibilities before them and why, indeed I have to stand on my soap box and shout and show the way. Yet so often in the past I have definitely allowed people to look through or beyond me but now this has to STOP.

Inherently I have the fear, still, that I will get those looks, that I’ll be judged a big head, that people will reject me… And sometimes you know, they do… But I will continue to show up any way and here is why… How will you know I am here, how will you know I can support you, how will you know what results you can expect from being with me, if I don’t share that – with you and the world? And what about you???

If I stay quiet, it could be that both and you and I stay small and suffer, and are stuck in world weary grooves of learnt behaviour – trapped in our heads, with negative thoughts and expanding or contracting emotions propelling us towards oblivion, or distracting us from how absolutely magnificent we really and truly are.

If I stand up and speak my truth, then you get to see me and hear me, and so get to know yourself better too. You get to know that you are not alone. You get a radiant reflection of your amazing self, not a skewed perception, peddled by peers with their subconscious and obvious influences.

And how about I tell you how wonderful I am, that I make money doing what I love, that I dress for success and that in doing so, I help others to do the same and so, so much more. And yet, yes, I am also a fallible failure, and impossibly imperfect and that is what probably makes me even more fantastically, marvellously, awe inspiringly special, because I suspect that you are too…

So be I shunned or elevated, it’s time to step up and shine. And when many lights are lit together, it illuminates the world so much more doesn’t it, so I would love you to join me…

With warmest wishes

        Sandie

Damsels in Success is a REAL Winner… Now it’s YOUR turn…

In previous blog posts I have been telling you all about the upcoming Women Inspiring Women Awards, which then took place on the 5th of July. It is now time to gear up for my next local Damsels in Success event, to which you are cordially invited; AND I am delighted to tell you that for the third year in a row, Damsels in Success – Burton was a real winner!

That is cause for celebration right? But being human, it is bringing up my ‘stuff’ too and instead of getting into my stuff, I’ve decided to turn it into a soapbox instead! So here goes…

  • In 2012 Burton member Hayley Wilkins won ‘Rising Star’ and ‘Most Inspirational Member’ at the Women Inspiring Women Awards, sponsored by Damsels in Success.
  • In 2013 I won the ‘Director of the Year Award’ for Damsels in Success – Burton.
  • On Saturday night Burton member Caroline Ashby won the ‘Most Inspirational Member’ Award 2014.

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Caroline accepting her award

Out of 24 groups and nearly 300 members, these are fabulous achievements! We are literally a winning group, in an amazing national community of inspiring women. This isn’t coincidence – I put my head and heart into Damsels in Success and deliberately attract amazing high vibration women who want to make a difference too.

Caroline does amazing work supporting families who have autistic children and she is a very worthy winner who gave a gorgeous and heartfelt acceptance speech that raised a huge cheer and a lump to many throats. What she does SHOULD be recognised, not least to give more people the opportunity to benefit from what she gives to the world.

And yet STILL I have held back from publically sharing this – there is a negative voice in my head saying: ‘you shouldn’t boast, you’ll be judged and thought big headed’… The thing is that these thoughts will keep me small if I let them and my REAL mission is to make a difference to the way women live and work; so I am choosing instead to share my pride and celebrate both my member’s achievements and my own. At Damsels in Success – Burton we support, inspire and make a difference, so really who the heck am I NOT to share that with you and invite you to come along and see the magic for yourself?!?

WIW1

Me on stage, sharing how to create your own Visibility ‘VIBE’

Is it coincidental that I stood on stage at the ‘Business with Ease’ seminar we ran (on the afternoon on the Awards) to talk about ‘Visibility’ – no?! I put my head above the parapet despite my misgivings and truthfully it is HARD putting myself out there, but I will absolutely continue to do this while there is even ONE woman I can support in living her life of CHOICE.

Caroline Ashby, AKA the Autism Nanny has given me permission to share this post she made on our Member’s Private Forum yesterday:
“Two and a half years ago, I walked into my first Damsel meeting on Burton’s 1st Birthday. I was nervous and completely out of my depth, but as I looked around at the amazing women in the room, I knew I wanted to belong … I was hooked!
On Saturday night, I won the Award for the Most Inspirational Member 2014. I still cannot believe it! The fact that a community of women, who I hold in such love and awe, could think I’m ok is not a feeling that I am used to …. but I love it!
I dedicate this Award to my daughter, Emily, who has taught me so much about how to live in the moment, cherish each and every beautiful second, when things get tough … love more and try again and to see the beauty in everything that this amazing planet has to offer.
I would like to thank Sandra Peachey, who has supported me, believed in me and been such a great teacher and role model. She is a very special woman and blends wisdom with gentle magic! xxx
Lucie Bradbury, thank you so much for creating such a safe, inspiring, uplifting and magical place, for women to be themselves and share themselves with the world … you are awesome! Xxx”

When Caroline was announced as the winner I cried for 10 whole minutes! I loved winning an Award last year, yet this was even more emotional… you see – this is my mission, and to see another gorgeous member thrive, stand in her power and be recognised – just blows me away!

Is any of this resonating with you? Then I say to you, ignore the dark thoughts and excuses and choose to step into your light. And please, do NOT go it alone; at Damsels in Success we are here to give you strategies and support, and to ensure that you are part of something bigger than yourself. And THIS is when ‘so called’ miracles happen. It is no coincidence then that our theme this month is ‘Making Miracles’!

wiw3The winning women of Damsels in Success

If you would love to be a winning woman too, come along and see what we are all about at Damsels in Success – Burton. I am inviting YOU as my complimentary guest. My next meeting is being held on the evening of Wednesday 16 July, in Ashby de la Zouch and indeed we get together EVERY month. Check out all the details and sign up free on line here… We are going to be in real celebratory mode – so come along and join us and choose to create your OWN miracles 🙂

With warm and winning regards
     Sandie
Sandra Peachey
Coach, Author and Director at Damsels in Success

* Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life as featured in local press, Psychologies, The Lady & The BBC!
* Co-author of ‘The F-Factor’ – the blueprint for entrepreneurial women to have Success without the Stress
* Winner at the 2013 ‘Women Inspiring Women’ Awards
* Nominee in two categories in the ‘Association of Professional Coaches, Trainers & Consultants’ Awards, 2012 & 2013. Shortlisted for the Women’s Coach category, 2014.

Tel. 07921 494363
http://www.peacheydays.co.uk
http://www.peacheyletters.co.uk