Halloween Magic – a true life Fairy Tale

With my Christian upbringing, Halloween or All Hallows Eve is a time I was told of, where ghosts haunt and flaunt themselves one last time before Allhallowtide, a time to pray for and remember departed or demented souls.

But I have Celtic characteristics too and so Samhain is the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, winding into the long dark nights to come.  Yet, what ever the name or origin, the date is always the 31st of October.

There have been many All Hallows Eves in my life and on this one in 2019, I am suddenly minded of when, on another such night, I experienced some real Halloween magic…

Pink Wings

For over 5 years I was a Director at Damsels in Success – a personal development organisation for women; running groups and events across England and Scotland. On 30 October 2012, I had flown into Glasgow, powered by jet plane rather than fairy wings, to meet with my Scottish members.

Arriving at the meeting venue, I set about creating a gorgeous feminine ambience, by dressing it with candles, cushions and any other treasures I felt would suit the theme. Rather than carry all this with me on the flight from England, earlier on I had gone shopping in Glasgow town centre and bought some inexpensive ‘props’ as decoration, including golden candles and a pair of sparkly pink fairy wings.

I spent the night after the meeting at a friend’s house nearby in East Kilbride. It was Halloween and the neighbourhood children were out in their fancy dress costumes, tapping on doors and seeking treats. In Scotland ‘trick or treating’ is known as ‘guising’, sincechildren go out in disguise. In this particular household the children were invited indoors to ‘do a turn’ i.e. tell a joke, sing a song, etc., in order to earn their rewards.

And so it was that a succession of ghouls and monsters passed over the threshold and performed their Halloween magic. And in amongst a colourful group of ghosts, animals and witches, was a quiet little girl dressed in pink. “What are you?” we asked. “I’m a fairy” she said, “but I’ve lost my wings”.

Well, as luck or intuition would have it, I still happened to have the fairy wings I’d bought for the Damsels meeting. Normally – not having the room or luggage allowance to take such trinkets home, I would give or throw them away… but this time, as I was tidying the room up after everyone else had left, the voice in my head gave me the very clear instruction of: “Pack the wings”. So without question, I folded them up and into my suitcase they went.

Back in my friend’s living room, imagine the surprise of assorted children and adults as I flipped open my suitcase, pulled out my gift and said to the little girl “here are your wings!”. Everyone’s face was an absolute picture and the look on that fairy’s face was priceless, (and one I will always treasure…) shy, yet shining… I helped her on with her new appendages and she modelled them for us with the sweetest of smiles…

Right there was my own true fairy story and an adorable moment of Halloween magic. When I think back, I can interpret the instruction I received as happy serendipity or a sweet coercion of karma; maybe it was intuition, my higher self or whatever your spiritual deity of choice happens to be…

Listening to that thought and being ready to give a child her wings stuck in my psyche. As a result, wings and the flights they take us on have become a theme for me, in both a literal and figurative sense.

So how can I be in a position to continually create magic like this? When I meditate and concentrate, I can take flight and rise above the toils and heavy thoughts of life, to hover above and see them from a clearly over-arching perspective. From up there I see how things are and accept where I am.  It’s then that solutions and suggestions of an exquisite clarity start to flow, just as when I was ‘told’ to “pack the wings.”

For me, meditation takes many forms, be that conscious mindfulness – of trying to empty my head of thoughts with ‘oms’ and visualisation; taking a walk around the block to clear my mind; or being inspired by a luscious piece of music or prose.

From what I do for myself, to what I share as a coach, I can comfortably liken the tools of the trade to providing my clients with wings. I can too, support them with where those wings will take them. Yet I can’t dictate the route, draw the map and I certainly cannot fly for them, since they have their own journeys to embark upon, with their individual destinations.

My own flights have taken me into the territory of writing fiction.  The words I am currently working on are interwoven with the possibilities and complexities of where a glorious pair of wings can take the heroine of my very first novel. And one day, maybe even soon, I will give that book its own maiden flight.

But most of all, if ever I get a delectable instruction from an inscrutable voice telling me to “pack the wings,” or do anything else for that matter, I’ve learnt to listen and believe in the magic (or the logic or what ever else you like to label it)…

So I’m sending Samhain blessings to all faeries, daemons and anyone else navigating their way through the sunshine and clouds on this All Hallows Eve.

And to draw this passage to a cutely clichéd ending – it’s time to take flight then…

From Sandra x – A Flat Footed Faerie

PS: To experience more of the magic of life, buy the book of blog, where my ‘Love Letters to Life’ explore then celebrate the tiny and titanic aspects of life:  ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ is published in both paperback & kindle And for a Halloween special offer of a signed author copy – click here to go to my website now and buy the paperback for just £7.99…

Love Letter to Time Travelers

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 4 of 29

This latest blog is one of my more traditional Peachey Letters posts, where I analyse aspects of my life and muse them through to a decision, resolution, celebration, or all of the above.  Some are funny / trivial and some are quite dark and personal. 

As a coach that supports others to remove blockages and reach their goals (in all senses, from emotional to transactional), I have to start with supporting myself; so my Peachey Letters are a therapy that helps me to work through the ‘knots’ of my life and unravel the emotions and thought processes underneath them and then to weave them back into a satisfactory cloth of conclusion. 

The writing of them is both an exercise in ego and self- love, and the sharing of them lets others know they’re not alone, gives them something to think about, along with a whole host of other positive spin- offs beyond my ego that I never anticipated when I started writing them four years ago, including the publication of my first book – Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life.

The real point of my Peachey Letters, though, is to see how Love permeates every aspect of my life. This is Love in every sense of the word (an incredibly all-encompassing phenomenon that reaches far beyond simple romantic connotations) as a force of light, as positive energy, and in its many manifestations and methods; motivating me and those around me, somehow, in every way, shape and form. 

time

Love Letter to Time Travelers

Dearest Friends

I’ve been musing on the concept of The Present for a while, as various aspects of my life in these last few months have been sliding and shifting, as perspectives and people around me are changing.

This has turned me into a time traveller as I’ve been reflecting on the past, whilst simultaneously imagining various, and synthesised futures.

In my head I often browse the time space continuum – somehow I can never completely disconnect myself from the past that has shaped me and led me to where (and who) I am now.  When it comes to where I find myself today, I’ve decided to be good with my choices, and to practice forgiveness – always with others and especially for myself.

Sometimes these thoughts of what was and what will be, just keep running round and round my head.  It was most definitely time to stop the Time Machine and get out.  In other words, to get it all out of my head.

As a coach, I bring many things to the table, but one of them is not being a got together guru… I started my self-development for myself, to heal and be happier.  Very quickly into my learning I had the epiphany that the skills and strategies I was learning and the insights I gained, would also be an amazing gift to give to others.  As a woman – I’m ordinary, brilliant, empathetic, insightful and silly (and many more things besides), in turn.  I’ve been there, done that and worn many tee shirts, of many different sizes and colours. So when I coach others, I’m truly in my gift, understanding the patterns and complexities of life. This in turn means that I am present for and focussed on those I support, in guiding them to healing, reconciliation, achievement and greater emotional health.

As the LifeWork Coach – as well as giving coaching, I believe it is healthy and necessary to receive it too. So on my most recent visit to my own Life coach, I had a very specific request – I wanted to air and then jettison all the heavy reflections on my recent past.  I likened it a rocket – being propelled by the large and heavy fuel pack, but jettisoning all that heavy machinery for the ascent to its final destination to the stars.

So my coach held the space for me and listened. We laughed and cried together.  We ruminated and reflected.  And this was just what I needed so I could return to The Present – fully present; and not just walking, running or crawling to the next transaction, destination or distraction…

Then of course, as a seasoned time traveller – woven in between the past and the present, I inevitably contemplate the future. Depending on mood and circumstance – my many futures can be either dark or rosy tinted.

It’s natural to plan and to look forward, but when I do this with the negative weight of the past, the future inevitably seems black.  To bring this back into balance I then remind my recalcitrant mind what I have to be grateful for along with the positive past – i.e. what has worked well for me, and then I can constructively contemplate what new things I now choose to explore.

So as a time traveller I can easily find myself concentrating on my past and concurrently future pacing, meaning that somehow I then find myself stuck between these two time zones.

It’s a contradiction of coaching that although I will spend time assessing the past and planning for the future, I frequently have to remind both my clients and myself, that neither of these actually exists.

The past is a memory. The future is a projection.  The past and the future are not real, because they are not now.  The present – this precise moment in consciousness – is our only true reality. This is all completely logical, but still we find ourselves focussed on our divergent past and future lives.  How could we not?  We have memories and we have the capacity to make plans.

When it comes to describing and labelling such temporal phenomena, a definition often used is that a negative focus on the past is Depression, and an unhealthy interpretation of the future is Anxiety. In the context of the support that I provide, I believe that these offer a really valuable explanation of the definitions, but I prefer to use them concepts to elucidate, rather to label.  I am absolutely not decrying all the people in the world who live with these as conditions (not as labels) and are treated for them in variety of ways, including through the conventional health system.

This isn’t my area of expertise or the types of people I tend to work with, but it appears, to a greater or lesser degree to be a universal experience. During my time as a coach it seems that either of these labels could have been applied to most people at some point in their lives.  Often therefore, part of my role as a coach is to guide people to reinterpret their past, deal with what comes up and then learn from or simply accept it.

Often in coaching sessions I will be told ‘stories’ about the future along the lines of ‘this will happen, that could happen, what if, then, etc, etc’.  Indeed, when it comes to such future projections, I often have to remind clients that the future doesn’t actually exist.  What they are telling me are in fact, stories.  This is of course, an issue of degree – frequently we do have a notion of how things could pan out, but we often we have the power to change this or to disregard the story telling / negative connotations so that we then have more power to manage any resulting fears .

But I digress, and this is the power that time travelling through the past and the future can exert – they distract us from where we really are, right now, in the present. But if we are aware of this, we realise it is a power that we have (unconsciously) allowed and so with that realisation, we can take the power back and focus it on the here and now.

The trouble is that the here and now is often – troublesome, ordinary, boring or painful, just as the past could have been and the future may be.  We live through a whole range of positive and negative experiences, so would we really want to actually live in the now, when the now we are experiencing is not what we actually want?

To live fully and freely in the present, starts with a decision to do so. A decision that we are prepared to let go of whatever the past or the future held / hold for us.  This is also a decision to concentrate of making the most of what we have now, right in front of us.  My favourite practise to get me into this ‘present’ state of mind, is to think of all the things that I am grateful in my life – be it from getting out of bed that day, to the other trivial and momentous things that have gone well, along with the people I’m grateful for, the opportunities, the lessons and so on.

The next decision is to choose to let go of the past and the future. The past has passed, and the future will take care of itself.  Naturally there are times when we should plan ahead, but we can’t do this all of the time.  I therefore teach my clients various techniques around ‘letting go’ and these are some of the most simple yet powerful tools we can employ to live fully in the now.

The next step is a concept which is, I’m glad to say, becoming more common currency and less hippy and that is the practise of mindfulness. This is essentially being in ‘the now’ by focusing your awareness on the present moment, whilst calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations – usually centred on your breathing.

All of us are different and so I work with my clients to create bespoke solutions for their individual requirements. There is a wealth of resources about mindfulness, so you can research what will work best for you, but the fundamental starting practice is just to be still for just a minute and breathe

Give yourself the gift of 60 seconds to just focus on your breath. Breathe in slowing and deeply through your nose, filling your lungs as far as you can.  Hold that air there for a few seconds and then slowly release it through your mouth, deliberately pushing as much air out of your lungs as you comfortably can.  Do this at least 3 times, concentrating all of your focus on your breath.

And despite following all these practices, you will still often find that there’s that voice in your head which still wants to linger on the long lessons of the past, or else point out the pitfalls of the future. But know this – it is just that – a voice.  Just that recognition in itself, is so powerful. It allows you to start distancing yourself from the time travel and to ground yourself instead in the here and now.

All these practises and thought patterns take some practice and effort, so you should always do your best to ensure that you are in the best energy you can be, by nourishing yourself. See a coach, talk to a trusted friend, read a good book, go for a walk – deliberately make time to do whatever it is that works best for you, to get you into a clearer and more constructive head space.

So to summarise these steps:

  • Tell, speak or write down your memories and stories. Get them out of your head and off your chest.
  • Let go of the need to remain attached to them. Accept what is.
  • Decide to live in the now.
  • Practise gratitude – give thanks for all you have and all you have learnt, generously.
  • Focus on the now. Take time out to breathe deeply and practise Mindfulness.
  • Recognise when you are ‘time travelling’ and get out of the tardis.
  • Nourish yourself.
  • Then decide what to do next.

Take and repeat these simple steps to bring you back into the now. Then you will be in a stronger position to accept the past and know when you are really ready to plan for the future – not worry about it.  This gets easier when it is complimented with the right kind of support, so explore hiring your own coach.

The thing is with time travel that it takes up so much unnecessary time and energy. However, what is really important is that your time is most definitely now.

Yours, mindfully…

     Sandie

Sandra Peachey
Coach, Student and Optimist

PS: To explore how coaching with me could make a difference to your life, drop your details in here and I’ll get in touch.

PPS: A collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)