Formative years

Baby, photo by Kathryn McCallum, Orlando, United States, nurturing chilhoodWhen a child is born we have a huge responsibility to be nurturing and caring especially for its formative years because it is so vulnerable and precious. That initial treatment has long-lasting benefits. However, should those childhood experiences be traumatic and filled with abuse or neglect, then there are serious consequences to the child’s growth. Such trauma can cause low self esteem in a person, resulting in them turning to feelgoods to cope better. Such feelgoods as becoming addicted to substances or processes to fill the void inside and ease the pain.

as they cuddled their new born baby
their gentleness and love showed
I knew how long they had waited
now they planned their parenting skills
not too fussy and overprotective
nor too busy and emotionally absent
so important to get a good balance
careful not to treat the baby as a toy
make sure there is a routine so
the baby gets proper rest and yet
ensuring that limits are set early on
they knew that these are
the formative years for
good self esteem and healthy living


Intimacy creates bliss

Lover, photo by heewon lee, Ghwachunsi, South Korea, closeness, trustAt the beginning of a relationship we experience bliss. Intimacy creates bliss. Intimacy is the closeness which exists between two people. This closeness is a combination of love, friendship, trust and passion or sexual desire. That’s the honeymoon phase of a relationship – the time when we think alike, understand each other implicitly and find so many similarities that it leaves us feeling amazingly connected. Later on in a relationship we may find that our life experiences have caused us to drift apart or distance from each other. Then in order to rejuvenate the relationship we simply spend some quality time together and that ignites the intimacy we once possessed.

I have seen couples move from
upper limits of intimacy and bliss
when they were madly in love
to losing trust and experiencing
resentment towards each other
becoming ready to separate
but wanting to do everything possible
before the end came
so getting in touch with what brought
them together in the first place
and what caused them to lose that
has often resulted in a turnaround
it is true – intimacy creates bliss
with love back in their eyes once more
these are the small miracles of Life



Broken Heart,, broken trust, Many of us are devastated by betrayal. In other words, the moment something happens, when we least expect it, that shows we’ve put our trust in the wrong person and have been shocked by their betrayal. We trust that someone will treat us the way we expect, and hopefully by the example we set. Then they do the unthinkable – they stab you in the back. What’s worse is that it was not expected because…either we are not hearing clearly what they are saying or we are in denial about how they feel about us. It all comes down to how the unexpected dishonesty can be a major betrayal. Better to learn from the experience instead of suffering too much because it happens to the best of us.

I was their golden haired girl
everything I did was successful
they raved about my achievements
they were also so friendly that
it came as a shock to find out
that it was not what it appeared to be
some were true and a few were not
but it was the few who ran the project
and I found myself on the outside looking in
what a feeling of betrayal
but I console myself with the fact that
I am still friends with those who were sincere
and the others don’t matter any more


Romantic wedding

Newport Beach, photo by Tori Campbell, Fort Worth, United States,  beach weddingAre you planning your wedding and wondering how to make it special? Are you confused about what to say? Don’t be, a celebrant can show you many readings to choose from that can express your innermost feelings and that fit the scene perfectly. That’s how you design your wedding. Then you can both consider where would be the most romantic place to enjoy this important event. It may be a small romantic wedding with only a handful of people or a large wedding at a function centre. Perhaps it could be on a secluded beach.

they loved the beach
and had been to some of
the best ones around the world
their tans were proof of that
they wanted to wear beach wear
white was their chosen colour
there would be a handful of
close friends and a short ceremony
was their preferred style
I gave them a list of readings
and they chose the words
from The Prophet
it was an unforgettable
small romantic wedding

Newport Beach, photo by Tori Campbell, Fort Worth, United States, beach wedding


Nothing stays the same

Roller Coaster Series 3, photo by Marc Gerardi, Nth Eastern United States, ups and downsLife is sometimes fun, sometimes difficult, sometimes easy, and above all fulfilling when we make choices that are beneficial for ourselves and for those we have dealings with. The times that we feel devastated can soon be matched by the moments of bliss that come just as unexpectedly. What makes the difference? Life is a force of it’s own and no matter what happens regardless of the ups and downs of living…Life goes on. It is important to remember that nothing stays the same. When things are bad it’s best to remember that the situation will improve and when things are good it’s also necessary to remember that things can change so be prepared.

as things improved she tried
to make a mental note of this
so that next time things looked bad
it would be more hopeful to
think that there was a light
at the end of the tunnel which
was not an oncoming train
and she also made a mental note of
enjoying the moment whilst she had it
cause nothing stays the same
so it’s best to be prepared for
the ups and downs of Life

Roller Coaster Series 3, photo by Marc Gerardi, Nth Eastern United States, ups and downs



Holding on tight, photo by Julie Elliott, Wichita Falls, United States, caring parentParents can improve or damage a child’s ability to relate healthily. It’s not easy to bring up children. First, our own self esteem needs to be well developed to cope with their phases of transition and testing the limits. Our own moods and behaviour are also mirrored by them and this is sometimes not a pleasant experience, especially when we are in denial about our own behaviour. On the positive side, when children grown up relatively well adjusted and happy, their parents can take the credit for a job well done.

yesterday, my father died 44 years ago
I was 18 years old and his nurturing but firm
parenting skills left me well prepared for Life
thank goodness because
my mother’s behaviour towards me
left me somewhat confused
when she walked out I was 8 years old
and from then on he was both my
father and mother for the next 10 years
creating a safe environment where I learnt much
from his way of thinking and used that method
in the childrearing practices for my own children
also in the way I relate with my grandchildren
this has rippled out to my work as a family therapist
all this from a gentle man with a sense of humour
who valued being a caring parent
I remember him well



sinfully brownie, photo by A. Hartini, Highland, United States, compulsive eatingThe most obvious symptoms of addiction are cravings. They compel us to pick up our drug of choice regardless of the harm to our health and wellbeing. Cravings result from a biological condition which then fuels dysfunctional behaviours. These behaviours are unbelievably difficult to overcome. Nevertheless, recovery can be achieved. The first step is to identify the problem and admit to it. The next step is to seek professional assistance and join a supportive self help group. Usually that process means becoming committed to a recovery program which makes life more manageable. However, should the cravings persist then it means that we need to reassess what we are doing and find a plan within the program that is more workable. Then freedom from cravings becomes a reality.

I have been on a journey of recovery for many years
fortunately I have found freedom from nicotine addiction
eighteen years free from chain smoking
but the compulsive overeating has resulted in
yoyo dieting, weight gain and loss and gain
with torturous overpowering cravings
then I developed type 2 diabetes
and the cravings worsened
I went into therapy and joined
a self help group which gave me hope
cause I knew that attending the meetings
would eventually set me free of the cravings
practice makes perfect they say
and it did because I became ready
to find a food plan that would work for me
I found a book by the Hellers about Carb Addicts
and found my freedom from cravings
I’ll write more about this later


“Where’s your passion?”

Man standing on the wall, photo by Amir Darafsheh, Tehran, Iran, meditation, procrastinationLife can sometimes pass us by so quickly that we wonder where it went. To avoid this happening too often we need to meditate more regularly to help us relax.? We also need to think about what we are doing and how that relates to our passion. Trigger off that thinking by asking “where’s your passion?” It’s amazing what thought processes and plans that question can ignite.

he thought about his plans
and found that he had got
bogged down!
and then I asked him
“where’s your passion?”
so he meditated and
then searched for the
answer to that question
and the rest was easy as he
became inspired and
flew over the procrastination