Living Life On My Terms.


I have never been one to be bossed about and luckily for me when I was working, the bosses that I had were really lovely.  Taking a break out of working life to care for my sick husband has meant that I haven’t had to deal with bosses and workplace politics over the past few years and whilst that has been fantastic for my sanity, my finances have taken a real nosedive.

Most of the regular readers to my blogs will know that I became ill during my time out of work and that has hindered my return.  Some of you might recall that I was studying to get a degree in English and that I had many options I was pursuing.  Getting sick myself has certainly brought with it a whole new set of problems that have meant I had to delay my return to work.

Late last year an opportunity arose for me to become self-employed.  I have to admit I really didn’t think I was cut out for self-employment; sure, I write and that’s always been freelance, but the opportunity that was presented to me seemed too scary.  It was definitely something I was qualified to do but I just didn’t know if I had the energy and know-how to be my own boss.

I started working on my business in the new year and felt it was something I shouldn’t talk about much, which was crazy because how was anyone going to know about the services I provided if I didn’t market myself.  I started posting online, mostly on Facebook and found that it wasn’t so scary after all.  You see, we tell ourselves that we have to live our lives a certain way, we have to fit into a certain mould before anyone will take us seriously.

At the beginning of the year, I decided that I was no longer going to limit myself.  I was going to put all of my time and energy into growing my business and take myself seriously instead of putting myself down.  The thing is I was giving advice to people as part of my business and telling them that they shouldn’t be so hard on themselves, they should be nurturing themselves and being the best version of themselves, yet here I was cheating myself and being negative about me.  So I gave myself a stern talking to and started practicing my preach.

In the beginning it seemed a very strange thing for me to be doing.  So used to prioritising everyone else I found it really difficult to put my own needs first.  I felt selfish, I felt like I was letting my loved ones down.  I persevered and eventually I realised that I was worthy of the same time, energy and commitment that I gave to everyone else.  I mattered too.

Working from home, for myself, doing the things that I love has certainly been a revelation.  I have discovered talents I never knew I had.  I have learnt to prioritise my time and energy in such a way that I have a much better work-life balance than I ever dreamt would be possible.  I understand myself so much better too.  Many of you will be aware that I have several chronic illnesses and these illnesses prevent me from working in a traditional job.  They limit what I am able to do and certainly make life interesting.  Being self-employed has given me the freedom to become independent again financially.  Prior to this I was claiming disability benefits and with all of the cuts, my money was going down but my bills were steadily increasing.

I am not going to lie to you, there are days when I am confined to my bed, howling with pain and feeling like a ten-tonne truck has hit me.  I still have those days, I still am chronically ill.  I still have the mobility issues.  The difference is I get to choose when the work gets done.  I get to set the pace, I get to decide the hours and days I am going to work and if I hit a rough patch then I can work from my bed if needs be.

I am grateful for the opportunities my life has presented me with.  Admittedly, there have been many challenges along the way, but one thing I can honestly say is that I am a survivor and when the going gets tough I get tougher.

Living life on my terms is so rewarding and fulfilling.  I cannot thank the people who have helped me to achieve this enough, without them I would still be procrastinating and wishing for a miracle.



Spring has sprung and to celebrate I have a fantastic offer for you. For the next 7 days if you purchase any reading from me you will get another reading absolutely free. In order to take advantage of this amazing offer just use the code OSTARA at the checkout.

Watch Me Bleed 

Watch Me Bleed Lyrics – Tears for Fears

Tears for Fears Watch Me Bleed Lyrics

Heaven comes to he who waits

But I know I’m getting nowhere

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Though there’s no one near me now

How come everyone can touch me

You see the torture on my brow

Relates to neither here nor now

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Although my face is straight, it lies

My body feels the Pain and cries

Here the table is not bare

I am full but feeling empty

For all the warmth it feels so cold

For one so young I feel so old

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

It’s not allowed to be unkind

But still the hate lives in my mind

I’ll make no noise

I’ll hide my pain

I’ll close my eyes

I won’t complain

I’ll lie right back and take the blame

And trie to tell myself I’m living

And when it’s all been said or done

Where do I go ?

Where do I run ?

What’s left of me or anyone when we’ve denied the hurting ?
Tears for Fears Lyrics

(All lyrics above are the property of R. Orzabal)

Review of How Forever Feels.



How Forever Feels (Friends First, #4)


How Forever Feels is the fourth installment in the Friends First series.  Prior to reading this book I had not read the other three books in this series, but I found that How Forever Feels could be read as a stand alone book anyway.  Much of the history pertaining to the other characters who crop up repeatedly in this book gets explained, making it easy for the reader to grasp their relevance and understand their stories.

Maya McKay was married to Jack Rhodes’s best friend, Will, but they are now divorced after Will cheated on her.  Jack and Maya were always good friends but Maya hasn’t seen him since her divorce.  That all changes one evening when she is in a bar with her friends and she sees Jack standing at the bar.  They exchange pleasantries and Maya finds his return has invoked certain feelings for Jack within her.

Jack has always had feelings for Maya but he didn’t act on them years earlier because his friend Will had his eye on her.  Jack owes Will and his family a huge debt, they rescued him from terrible circumstances when he was a teenager and now he feels he could never betray them.  The trouble is, the chemistry between Maya and him is smoking hot and it’s only a matter of time before they give in to it.

Can Maya and Jack overcome the feelings of guilt that they have about their attraction to one another?

A book that lovers of this genre will want to read.  The characters are strong and often feisty, which I think makes for an excellent story.  The writer weaves the story in such a way that the reader cannot help but be invested in what happens to Maya and Jack.

Lovely read.  Recommended.  5 stars *****

Powerful Tools.

There are certain things in life that have knocked me down time and again. One thing I have learnt that will help keep you on an even keel is boundary setting.

Boundary setting is a scary prospect for those people who have never had the nerve to do it, but it is an essential tool in Soul Love.  It isn’t a selfish act, it is an act of love for the self, for the soul.

Boundary setting is a fantastic way to take your power back. How many times have you found yourself caught up in everyone else’s dramas?  Or, doing far too much for everyone whilst your own needs take a back seat?  This is where boundary setting is a brilliantly helpful tool.  Some people view boundary setting as a confrontational act, but nothing could be further from the truth.  

If people are pushing you to your limits then it is time to set boundaries.

Another tool I use when I feel life is becoming too much is music.  It seems too good to be true, listening to a few songs and being able to take your power back, but I can assure it works.  All you have to do is make a playlist from the songs that inspire you, the songs that rouse you into action and then, when you feel your power slipping you simply listen to your playlist and feel that persona power seeing back into your core.

On a personal note, whenever I feel myself slipping into a state of despair I listen to my cheer up song. I know when I have reached that point because I start getting on my own nerves and I know it’s time to take action.

Regaining your own personal power is an essential part of Soul Love.

International Women’s Day.

As you may have guessed by the title of this post, today is International Women’s Day.  For those of you who have no idea what International Women’s Day is let me enlighten you.

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.  This day marks the enormous contribution to humankind that women make.

This all may sound like some feminist tish-tosh but I can tell you from my position in the North of the UK women are still seen as the weaker sex.  You just have to look at businesses and politics to see the huge divide.  I don’t want this post to come across as a man bashing post because that is not my intention.

Being a woman is hard.  I suspect being a man has its difficulties too, but I am not qualified to comment about that.  From my experiences as a woman, I can understand the struggle many of us experience when it comes to equality in the workplace, or the lack of support in the business world because I am a woman.  These are my experiences and may not necessarily be the experiences other women  have had.  With that in mind, I am all in favour of days such as today.  I have read some negative stuff online about International Women’s Day being a day to get at men, to bully them.  From what I have seen over the past couple of years nothing could be farther from the truth.  the majority of women that I know want to be taken seriously as a person, not just a woman.  They want to have the same consideration when it comes to jobs, business, politics, sport, to name but a few.  Of course, there are jobs that men can do better than women and vice versa, but I don’t know any woman who is saying she needs to be equally considered in those roles.

Many moons ago society revered women, holding them in high esteem.  Now that we live in a patriarchal society the days of respect for women seem like nothing more than a distant memory, or even wishful thinking.  But the tide is turning, women are becoming less dominated and that is a good thing.  We hear so many stories about sexual violence and other violence against women, we would be forgiven for thinking that these crimes are on the rise.  But I think it is more to do with the fact that women are reporting these crimes now, whereas in the past many women would have been far too scared to come forward and blow the whistle on such crimes.  Women are taking back their independence, their self-respect, taking control of their lives.  They are less likely to allow men to rule over them, preferring to live in harmony alongside the men in their lives.

The view a lot of people have about women who want equality is very different to what it actually means.  Women who want equality in all aspects of their lives are seen as difficult, pushy, mad feminists  but nothing could be further from the truth.  Women who want equality love the men in their lives, even those women who are in same-sex partnerships, they will undoubtedly have men in their lives.  What I have found is that this myth about women who want equality are mad, radical feminists is usually purported by insecure men – that is not me male bashing by the way.  I want to be treat equally and I love and respect my husband, my son, my brothers and all of the other males who are in my life.  I was brutally attacked by a man when I was sixteen and I don’t hate men because of this.

Having a day where we celebrate women should be a positive experience.  I don’t see it as a negative way to hate on men.  If men decide they are going to have an International Men’s Day then I would fully support that.   I am not going to say “you don’t need this kind of thing because you already have all of the support you need.”  A day such as today is intended to raise awareness of the problems women face.  It is intended to celebrate those women who are successful, who have achieved the success men can very often take for granted.  Anyone who uses it as a way to put another person down, and that includes putting men down, isn’t really advocating the day or its’ purpose.  Saying men don’t need something similar in their lives isn’t really promoting equality either, certain men may have it all and were given the opportunity because of their gender, but that doesn’t mean all men have it all.

Whilst I am appreciative of this day to raise awareness to the inequality many women face around the world, and whilst I honour the women who inspire me, I also seek to raise awareness for equality for all because not all men are domineering decision makers who keep women down at heel.  There are plenty of men out there who strive to make this world a fairer place for all of us, not just a select few and I also honour them.

No doubt the arguments for and against days such as today will rage on long after the day is over, with both sides feeling they are victimised.  Human nature is a funny old thing and rather than supporting one another we often have to feel slighted by the strangest of things.  We could argue that a day like today wouldn’t be needed if women were treated fairly and equally.  Others will argue that most men don’t act this way and a day designed to celebrate just women deliberately misleads the public into thinking all men treat women like slaves.  Yes indeed, the arguments do and will continue to rage on.  The idea behind the day will be lost in the quest for who is right and who is wrong and pretty soon the brilliance of the idea will be tarnished, leaving a nasty taste in the mouths of those who sought to promote it as a peaceful, enlightening day.

Maybe what we truly need to promote is common sense.  Without common sense, the best of intentions becomes a hot-bed of mistrust and dissension over whose viewpoint is the correct one.  One seems blindingly obvious to one set of people is seen as utter nonsense by another and so the squabbling begins.  What if we all valued one another’s right to hold our own opinion?  What if we all acted like respectful human beings when we came across a differing opinion?  What if we all valued everyone’s contribution to society, whatever their gender?

We can but hope that such a time will arrive.  Until then, we celebrate such days as International Women’s Day.

Review of When Everyone Shines But You.


When Everyone Shines But You - Saying Goodbye To I'm Not Good Enough


When Everyone Shines But You by Kelly Martin is a book unlike any other you will read.  I guess the genre that this book is categorised as would be self-help.  Usually, when you read a self-help book the author encourages you to be positive, bury your anger and never be jealous of anyone.

All good and well in theory, but putting all of that into practice is another matter entirely.  If your life has been one catastrophe after another or one big mess after another then it is really difficult to just swallow all of that anger, bitterness, the disappointment, then you will understand just how difficult it is to be the best version of yourself.

This book encourages the reader to be fully present in the moment and if that means you have to work on why you are feeling angry about something, then that is what you have to do.  The author tells us that it is healthier to vent in private – she suggests using a journal or even a trusted person whom you can vent away to.  Self-help books have a tendency just to focus on the positive but Kelly wants us to work on all of our feelings.  This is very different to the usual love and light that most self-help books preach and I found it wonderfully refreshing.

Am I angry that some people use me?  You bet I am.  Kelly writes that it is OK for me to feel that anger.  She encourages me to get personal with it and work with it, and I have found that this is a lot more healthy than suppressing it and expecting it to just go away.  That’s the thing with negative emotions though, ignoring them will not just make them go away and left to their own devices they have the potential to fester and grow into something rather unpleasant.  Dealing with the negative stuff releases those feelings that we have about the situation that is getting us all bent out of shape and that in turn leads to a much healthy version of ourselves.

Kelly also encourages us to let go of our ego centred way of thinking.  This, for me, is where the real work on ourselves is.  How many times have we thought that we need something only to feel disappointment once we have actually got it?  That is the ego urging us on, telling us we must have the thing we desire.  Be it the latest gadget or a few more friends on social media, chances are we don’t actually need it, we just want it.  Kelly has a trusted method she suggests we use whenever we are faced with making choices.  She suggests we ask ourselves these three questions:

Do I need this?  Why do I really want this?  Is there anything beneath this want that may be messing with my judgment here?

By asking ourselves these three questions when faced with making decisions we can, the author assures us, be sure we are not just letting the ego lead.

This book is a revelation when it comes to getting rid of the negativity in your life.  Positivity is encouraged but dealing with the negative is also encouraged and this is usually where we get into trouble when we do this kind of work.  Kelly doesn’t promise that we are going to suddenly become forever shiny, happy people, that just isn’t real.  What she does encourage is to deal with all of the negative emotions as and when they arise in order to release them so that they have no power over us.  For me that is a winning formula, it is down to earth and very practical.  Not everyone buys into positive thinking anyway so this book is just what you need if you fall into that category.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take their life in their own hands and steer it towards the best version of themselves.  This book gets right into the heart of why we so often fail at becoming better versions of ourselves.  If you are looking for a no-nonsense book that will help you improve your life, then this is the book for you.