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growth poetry poetry community Uncategorized

Poetry and growth

So over the past 18 months I’ve fallen in love with reading and writing poetry as a creative outlet. This pandemic has opened my soul up to new experiences and coming out of my comfort zone by sharing my written pieces and also blogging/writing with pure honesty.

I’m so thankful for this and it really has been beneficial to my wellbeing, growth and being more present.

I wrote the following poem in response to a writing prompt from the mum poem press “I choose poetry because” for national poetry day on 7/10/21. It certainly sums up my relationship with poetry.

I choose poetry because…

It reaches the depth of my soul

Pulls on every heart string –

Every avenue is beautiful,

Breathtaking, painful, invigorating

Still, raw and full of growth.

I choose poetry because I had to,

It just happened.

Sometimes words flow; I can’t help it

Sometimes words are harder to find –

I dig deeper

I will choose poetry ” always”

Bernie Egerton

Poetry handbook to learn more about the art

Great poetry handbook to learn more about the art and from Mary Oliver, who was a beautiful poet ❀

Have you discovered poetry during these times and how has your relationship with poetry been? Or what have you discovered as a new hobby?

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and have a beautiful day β€πŸ™

Categories
mindfulness poetry community relaxation wellbeing

Autumn. Those colours, the cosiness and a little piece of rhyming poetry

Ah hello there you!

Do you like Autumn? I do. It’s such a lovely time of year. Plus October is also my birth month. Watching those colours in abundance and the crispy leaves crunching as you walk along the streets, is such a beautiful mindful experience (ok, it can be annoying when they blanket your garden and you have to fill bags full of leaves)

I love wrapping the girls up, taking them to the park to run through those leaves while picking up the remaining conkers that are still lying around. I also enjoy Halloween and getting the girls all kitted out and carving that pumpkin – oh I loved a good Halloween costume party myself back in my going out days!!

Poetry and mindfulness

I wrote and posted the following poem as one of my first blog posts back in March and I’m sharing it again (being Autumn and all; I wrote it last Autumn) as I’ve been practicing mindfulness during this pandemic and it really helps to be present and to ease any overthinking/worrying… My goodness, the difference when you adopt a new exercise into your life and start to focus more on “yourself”. I’ve fallen so much in love with writing during this pandemic.

Lost in the moment of life and it’s art

A Flock of wild birds
they fly in chilled air
I walk, embracing
the earths open heart.
A seagull it sweeps,
alone with no care
lost in the moment
of life and its art.
The ring of church bells,
white tracks,
a blue sky,
children,
they giggle
dog walkers pass by.
Bare trees that stand tall
with nests where birds grew,
leaves lying crumpled
and soggy from dew.
Clear beads as they rest
on blades of green grass,
autumn alive,
soft clouds as they pass.
A squirrel,
It dances,
I watch, he’s aware,
Its bushy long tail,
he captures my stare.
This vision absorbed,
the rush is no more,
nature alive
unlocking my core.
Connections so strong
I open my heart,
lost in the moment
of life and its art

Bernie Egerton


Thank you for stopping by to read my post. Don’t forget to look out for all those colours changing when out and about: absorbing that beauty and feeling those leaves crunching beneath your feet as the leaves fall!

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?

Have a beautiful day!

 

Categories
growth health and wellbeing self esteem, personal development, motivation, acceptance

People pleasing. How learning to say “no” helped me to reduce stress and to grow more as a person.

Hello there you!

Oh I could write so much about this topic.

You see, the thing is, I was a big people pleaser, and when I look back to who I was 5 years ago: I cringe to the point where my face resembles a tomato (now that’s red)

The beauty about writing this post, is acknowledging the fact of how far I’ve come. Back in my people pleasing days and not being able to say no; low self-esteem was definitely a contributing factor to my people pleasing tendencies, therefore causing me stress. Do you relate to this? Exhausting isn’t it?

Overcoming people pleasing

So how did I learn to say no more, am I now the master of saying no? Absolutely not, and you can’t say no all the time, it’s all about finding that balance and what suits “you”. But if I listen to my gut and know it doesn’t feel right, then I will say no in a diplomatic manner.

Saying no

At the start of finally plucking up the courage of saying no; I would wait for this dragon to turn around and blow that God damn fire straight into my face after I uttered those words (it never happens by the way). All you get is something like “ok that’s fine” then conversation continues to next topic. All that worrying, stress and overthinking for nothing. It doesn’t have to be as abrupt as no full stop, but something along the lines of “it doesn’t suit me this time”.

You see, the thing with me was “fear” of an awful argument happening (I also hate confrontation and would always build up how I really felt inside: the worst thing you can do) and would rather go ahead, stress the hell out of myself and plough along with appointments, get togethers, and making other people happy.

I remember a time where I was utterly exhausted (with working full-time and studying for a degree part time too) arranged to drive an hour after work to meet a friend to watch a show she was in, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Oh I went to that show and looking back, this lovely, lovely friend would have been ok If I said no (it was all down to my fear again of that dragon appearing)

The one person who needs your approval most is “yourself”. Start building on that relationship

-connectwithpoetry.com

Learning to say no

So how do you say no without feeling terribly guilty and stressed to the hilt? Start to work on yourself first, listen to your gut and baby steps.

Meditate, practice mindfulness to connect with your inner self ( whatever mindful practice helps you) I’ve been doing so much of this and that awareness helps you to tap into your “true” inner self.

Yes, learning to say no is hard, but the more you say it, the easier it gets over time and the less stressed you will become.

When I look back on a time when I was a big people pleaser, I just wasn’t aware I was doing it, and thought it was normal practice to get people to like you; seeking approval.

Remember to look out for “you” first

People pleasing is a trait many people have, for others saying no is like second nature (not second nature to me and what about you?)

Write a list from high priority to low and if it doesn’t suit, then say so. Remember to work with yourself through mindful practices, breathing exercises, writing your thoughts, whatever suits you.

Deep breaths are a great tool too. Take a step back and focus on how you are feeling.

The more you work on yourself, learning to say no and not pleasing others all the time will become easier. It’s all about finding that “balance”. Heck, I’m a Libra myself, and I’m working with those bloody scales every day. Growing, learning, self awareness and building myself to find that right balance.

You never stop learning/progressing/growing. Take your time.

Do you find it hard to say no? And do you feel you are pleasing others and putting their needs before your own?

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post!

It really is ok to say no. Be kind to yourself, and take your time ❀

Categories
journaling, gratitude

Journaling, gratitude and 5 tips to help you practice daily…

During Covid, so many of us have had time to reflect on life (I’ve been doing lots of soul searching) and to appreciate the simple things.

Practicing gratitude is something I’ve introduced into my life daily. However, some days it can be difficult to practice when you’re not in the mood, or life just becomes too busyΒ  and you have to dig that little bit deeper.

I also started writing a mood journal during Covid and I finish each entry with a gratitude list: finding it helpful to be more present and focussed.

5 Tips to help incorporate mood journaling and gratitude into your life.

1. Write, write, write… I find just putting pen to paper and writing in free flow helps to process any overwhelming thoughts and it’s good to let it out. Get yourself a good journal.

2. Try not to get too focussed on having to write everyday, but try to write as much as possible into your journal and always have the journal in a place where you can see it everyday (as a little reminder to write).

3. Write a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day – or even thinking about it as you wake up in the morning or before going to sleep at night.Β  It can be the simple little things and can make such a big difference.Β  The more you practice, the more habitual it should become and part of your thought process…

4. Write in the same place each time you journal, so it becomes a habit over time. I write at the table and have my journal and pen in a little basket on that table, so I’m not trying to find where I left it (cuts out the stress of looking for it)

5. Date each entry into your journal and write down whatever mood you are feeling that day. If you are looking back over your journal, you can pinpoint what triggers certain moods.Β 


Journaling is good for your wellbeing – a great way to process your thoughts and to also document the ups and downs in your life. We all have those ups and downs – we’re only human after all.

Writing for me is cathartic.

Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to appreciate the little things – when you stop, listen to yourself and become more aware and present.

Do you journal and practice gratitude? And what works for you?Β 

I hope this post has been helpful to you and helps to incorporate journaling and gratitude into your life β€πŸ™

Thank you for taking the time to read and happy journaling 😊

Categories
health and wellbeing motivation social media habits

Social media, the dreaded scrolling and 5 tips to help you when a break is needed!

Hello you!

Ah yes, social media scrolling!

I deleted certain social media apps many years ago and have never looked back. Yes, I was the type that checked in everywhere, posted all those amazing photos – showing the perfect life? Smiling your little heart out (when in reality I was probably having a bad day). Reality? because there’s no such thing as the perfect social media portrayed life.

We all have good days, crappy days and when you look online at a perfect social media life on those crappy days it makes you feel worse, doesn’t it? Why post all the good stuff. Unfortunately its the way social media rolls these days.

Selfies:

Selfies are huge (something I was never into), especially with younger people and the pressure to look a certain way (lets not start on filters), could be damaging to your wellbeing. Heck, back in my teenage years (I’m 40) taking a picture meant waiting until the film was actually developed to see how you turned out!! That was ok as you weren’t obsessed on taking hundreds of photos for the perfect shot.

Reflecting:

During this pandemic it has been an eye opener for ‘everyone’ and to reflect on what really matters. Being honest, open and kinder to each other and most importantly yourself. We are all human at the end of the day and this pandemic has us re-evaluating what matters.

Social media as a supportive environment:

I only recently set up a poetry social media account to connect with other poets/writers to share our work.  A brilliant community of supportive and encouraging writers.  However, the scrolling addiction reared its ugly head yet again.

You see, the thing is, when you have apps on your phone, the handiness you have to just click on it: next thing you know you’re scrolling for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, it goes on – when initially you just wanted to have a quick look ( great exercise for the thumb, but not the brain). You’re sucked in – down that bloody rabbit hole you go.

On the other hand, however, social media is extremely beneficial for businesses, small businesses, promoting ideas and connecting
with communities for hobbies and also support. Its all about finding that balance and keeping the scrolling to a minimum.


Top 5 tips to curb your scrolling habits and what works for me.

1. Uninstall the apps from your phone.  I only have social media on my tablet now and only check in the evenings.

2. If  you dont want to uninstall apps from your phone turn the phone off – put it into a drawer or anywhere you dont have quick access to – and be mindful.

3. Turn off all those notifications.

4. Set yourself a time limit for social media use.

5.  Be aware of your habits when online. Always being mindful. Think to yourself is this really urgent?


Between portraying the perfect life, selfie obsessions and addictive scrolling habits: these five tips listed should help, if the scrolling gets a little bit out of hand, or you just need a social media break.

Go for a walk and absorb all that beauty. Read that book (the physical hardback/paper type)  instead of scrolling.  Partake in those hobbies you enjoy!

Have you control over your scrolling habits or has it got out of hand?

Thank you for reading my post!

Have a beautiful day and find the right balance!

Categories
health and wellbeing

Cutting down on the rich foods and a bit of exercise for a healthier you!

Hello you!

So for the past month I’ve been cutting down on all the sugary, fatty foods to lose a bit of my mama weight! I have to say I feel so much better and not as bloated (I love my bread and chocolate treats).

At first it’s tough, as I’m following a certain plan (not a diet) and your body is like “hey wheres my sugar and whats going on here?” But when sticking to plan and recognising the overall benefits it has to your health in the long run, it makes it easier to focus and plough on through with your weight loss journey.

Balance:

Being a Libra myself, its all about the balance! Making sure you get the ‘balance’ right with enough proteins, fats, carbohydrates, calcium and iron (the list is endless)

Also drinking plenty of water to flush out those toxins helps. Aim for 8 glasses a day they say (I like drinking a pint of cooled boiled water as its easier to drink)

White to wholemeal:

Changing the white breads to wholemeal, white pasta to wholewheat and adding unsalted/lighter butter to your diet for the extra fibre that your body needs.

Grilling instead of frying.

All these little tweaks to your diet aids your weight loss journey, making you feel better.

Lets not forget plenty of fruit and veggies…

Exercise:

Along with cutting down on the aul lockdown munching (done plenty of that over the past year) I’m making a habit of going out for a 20-30 min walk everyday. Soaking up the beautiful outdoors, being mindful along with getting fresh air into my lungs. The best bit about it? Its free…

I know it sounds hard to cut down, but ‘you’ start to feel so much better and its just about tweaking your diet and adding plenty of water.

Now I’d like to add I’m no nutritionist but I’m sharing with ‘you’ whats helping me on my weight loss/healthier lifestyle journey. I feel so much better and plan to stick to it.

Hope these little tips help you! And please do comment on what helps you on your healthier lifestyle journey. Would love to hear.

Have a beautiful day, stay safe, be kind to yourself and ‘your’ body.

Thank you for reading πŸ’–

Categories
photography

A Bit of Amateur Photography, the Simple Things & a Haiku!

Hello you!

So another hobby I love is photography (amateur of course)… I’ve been getting to know my Cannon Digital SLR EOS 600D quite well during this bloody Pandemic!

I love messing about with settings, features, lighting and learning all about the different focus shots – like a child with a new toy!!

Now, by all means I’m no pro but its nice to sit down at a computer; edit those photos and adding the finishing touches. I’m sharing a few snaps from last year – when I was in Ireland with my little family and experimenting with Canon (along with a little haiku) πŸ₯°πŸ“Έ


Life through a clear lens

Precious moments are captured

Pictures of beauty

connectwithpoetry.com

This past year has made us realise the importance of the simple pleasures in life, and how beneficial it can be to our overall wellbeing: now we’ve learned to slow down, becoming more mindful.

Have ‘you’ discovered new hobbies during the pandemic?

Have a lovely day, enjoying the hobbies you find fulfilling: if its being snap happy πŸ“· or the little luxuries ‘you’ are grateful for πŸ™


Photos: ©️ 2020 Bernie Egerton

Categories
inspiration poetry

Atlantic Coast Ireland and Those Sunset Walks…

Hello you!

I wrote the following mindful/reflective poem using the writing prompt ‘tranquil paradise’! It was such a lovely prompt to work with: as it transported me right back to when my hubbie and I were on hols in my homeplace in Ireland with our girls. We would do nightly sunset walks along the beach – when our girls were tucked up in bed back in nana and grandads. The beach was a stone throw away and it was such a lovely evening ritual. I grew up in this place and now realise how much I took it for granted.

With lockdown we haven’t been back home since last summer. But we’ll be back again within the next few months (all going well πŸ˜‰)


Poem

Sunset walks

Atlantic Coast of Ireland and
Those daily sunset walks –
Shimmers on the salty sea
Gold glistens as we talk
A Gentle breeze grazing my cheeks,
Sounds of swishing waves
Tranquil paradise: I dip my
Toes and splash away.
Feathers float in setting skies
Horizon mixed with glows
On a shore where I grew up
Such beauty as it shows
Surfers surf in paradise like
Dolphins play with waves
Serene sunset, Atlantic Coast
Sunset walks, those summer days


Have a lovely day and keep writing – it really is good for the soul πŸ™πŸ’«!



Categories
mental health awareness week

Mental health awareness week, soaking up the outdoors and a poem on kindness!

Hello you!

As it comes to the end of ‘mental health awareness week’ (mental health foundation UK – a very worthy foundation) and its promotion on connecting more with nature, I reflect on the importance of this awareness. I feel a strong connection to nature and it is so beneficial to my mental wellbeing – especially throughout these uncertain times that ‘you’ and I find ourselves in. I’ve connected vastly with the outdoors throughout this pandemic.

It sounds so simple and it is: stepping outside, soaking up the outdoors and all that beauty – while getting a good blast of fresh air in the process! I know the thoughts sometimes seem harder than the actual doing! But ‘you’ start to reap the benefits from doing so…

Onto that lovely word called ‘kindness’

I shared the following poem about being kind as one of my first blog posts (I’m 2 months blogging now, so still a newbie πŸ˜‰), and I’m sharing it with you again. With it being ‘mental health awareness week’ I think ‘kindness’ is so important and how a little bit goes such a long way. Its one of the first poems I wrote when I first started writing poetry during this pandemic.


Poem:

Thank you, it’s nice to be kind

A gentle smile, a heartfelt word, clears the cloud from my mind:
lifting me out of the darkest of places ‘thank you’ it’s nice to be kind.
A little text with those words ‘I’m here’ travels the length of the earth –
the racing mind slowly calms from every word and its worth.

In a world portraying so much anger yet still has so much beauty –
spreading kindness every day is undoubtedly everyone’s duty.
Be kind you say, how hard is this in a world with so much confusion?
kindness helps one another, without the fear and intrusion.

To someone in need a simple hello or even a chat over tea –
is the greatest gift for a person to thrive and also to somewhat feel free.
A withered flower blossom’s again and is no longer blind.
Lifting me out of the darkest of places, ‘thank you’ it’s nice to be kind.

Bernie Egerton June 2020


Kindness is so easy

Little gestures – heartfelt words

The ‘kind’ that matters

Connectwithpoetry.com

Thank ‘you’ for taking the time to read my post πŸ’–πŸ™. Be gentle and kind with yourself; may it be filled with lovely walks/jogs/cycles (whatever you enjoy) kindness and surrounded by the beauty of loved ones and nature 🌲🌱🌻

Have a beautiful day and keep smiling – you’ve got this πŸ™πŸ’«

Do you feel a sense of connection to nature?


Soaking up the beauty of nature πŸƒ


Family πŸ’– – outdoor adventures with our busy bees πŸ₯°

πŸ’–πŸ’–

Categories
backpacking

Feeling nostalgic about my travelling/backpacking days, before social media and places of tranquility that stood out for me!

Thinking back to my travelling/backpacking days (a big passion of mine back in the early 2000’s) there were certain places that stood out as tranquil. For me, these places were:

  • Uluru in Australia
  • Ningaloo reef – swimming/snorkelling along the west coast of Australia
  • Falling asleep in swags under the stars, along the Great Ocean Road (pure bliss)
  • Sunrise at Machu Picchu after a tough 3 day trek
  • Camping in Chiang Mai Thailand
  • Interlaken Switzerland
  • Lake Matheson (reflection lake) New Zealand
  • Trindade Brazil (when it was so quiet while swimming through the warmest of waters with a small group of people in the rain)

These places for me were the epitome of tranquility πŸ™.

I’ve travelled with friends and also alone. I enjoyed both and for different reasons.

Out of all the places I’ve travelled, its the peaceful, relaxing journeys that stand out as memorable. Oh I enjoyed the nights out, parties, crazy activities (bungy jumping in Nevis & sky diving) and a bit of banter when travelling, who doesn’t/didn’t? But the natural places of beauty, the outdoors and camping trips are what stands out from my backpacking days!

Do you remember before social media? Social media wasn’t a thing back in my backpacking days and I also had one of those cameras that needed photo films (very old school!) as digital cameras were only just starting out then. I had about twenty films to process once I returned home to Ireland (the excitement of waiting to see how those photos turned out). How times have changed so much over the past twenty years!

When all this Covid is over πŸ™ I look forward to when we can take our girls to outdoorsy weekend breaks away in peaceful places of natural beauty, and back to where I grew up in beautiful Ireland. For now, we’re enjoying whats on our very own doorstep!


A river flowing

Calm through emerald valleys

Of tranquility

Connectwithpoetry.com

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day. Stay safe, be kind, keep smiling and hope ‘you’ find moments of peace and stillness throughout.

What places of tranquilty stick out for ‘you’ when you travelled/backpacked and do you prefer travelling solo or with groups?