Silent Symphonies is my debut novel – the first in a compelling trilogy. It was birthed out of my realisation that we all have this grand idea of what we think our lives will pan out to be. Whether or not we will get married, the kind of person they will be, number of kids we will have, the perfect job we will end up in, and how we will grow old and grey along side our nearest and dearest doing the things we love. We work towards our expectations, doing everything we must to ensure that by virtue of the laws of attraction we bag this customised life we have dreamed up. Life concurs in the sense that the very foundation of who we are will lead us down certain assured paths, however, life will not always co-operate. It will throw us random curve balls that will knock us for six. Within those circumstances, we will fight to fulfil what every fibre of our beings tell us is our destiny. However, life will pick us apart, breaking us down, showing us versions of ourselves we never knew existed, and slowly we will learn to accept that some paths are a must-walk, not because they are easy, but because they are assigned to us and sometimes it’s about unbecoming everything we are not to discover who we are.
#Unshakable is a state of mind
Have you heard about legally blind Jessica Gallagher – mega successful Australian Paralympic heroine? The rare disease Jessica suffers from means that her eyesight deteriorated over time. She’s unshakable! Do you think there were times when she hit rock bottom and questioned the validity of her life? Possibly. You see, I draw inspiration from stories of unshakable strength and courage such as these. My portion of sufferings may pale in comparison, however, I know what it feels like to hit rock bottom so much so that even the most basic requirement (waking up) is too much of an uphill task, too much to ask. I also know what it’s like to feel incapacitated within a situation created by unforeseen circumstances. I understand why the caged bird sings and I hear her lyrics clearly. I am familiar with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Having said that though, one thing I know for sure is that sometimes, rock bottom is a solid foundation. (Insert rock bottom photo here). You see, the reality of life is that we can form bonds, seek help and advice, discover people who walk the same path we do, but when it comes to the actual walking, nobody can do that for us. In the grand scheme of things, nobody can make our dreams come true. That only happens in Disney Land. It’s a human characteristic to seek validation, to depend on external influences for, happiness, fulfilment, to feel beautiful, worthy, make it all happen but the truth is that, as Jessica proves, all the power we need to be who we are destined to be exists within us already.During my process of self (re)discovery, I learnt this the hard way in many respects and have long since adopted the DIY philosophy. I learnt that people will let you down – jobs will fall short of expectations and things will go askew. Relationships will leave you in an emotional quandary and life will throw you weird arse curve balls. Your safe haven will occasionally sell out and the only thing that will make sense is your ability to decipher your own path in order to steer destiny in your favour. For me, it is right there…right there at rock bottom that the light bulb moment happens, after which I see clearly. In the depths of those cold moments of insane pain is where I learn to eliminate the words ‘I can’t’ from my mindset library to enable myself create magic moments of gold and gain. I think this is the point when amputated legs or blindness will not prevent a fabulous #TurnUp at the Paralympics, the loss of a marriage will not stop that dream, and from somewhere deep inside will erupt the courage to take a leap of faith for a dream that sometimes nobody but the dreamer can contemplate. One of the characteristics of being unshakable is to understand that in life nobody but you can save you. (Insert unshakable photo here) For me, it is at this realisation that I own my situation. I walk the walk, talk the talk, I become my own unshakable boss. This is the point at which I become my own damn super sexy superhero sporting a bright red cape. Yup. Recap – Rock bottom is a solid foundation. Unshakable is a state of mind. Sometimes you have to be your own superhero! (Insert superhero photo here)Be unshakable. Be in truth with yourself. Love yourself.Lots of love,Unshakable Sally x
On the long and winding path down memory lane, with eyes wide shut and gold glitter on my fingertips, I run my fingers through the cracks of my heart. Every crack tells it’s own story of courage and hope, of sadness and greatness. Each, intent on imparting a lesson that only the unwise would ignore.
1. To live for today and love for tomorrow is the wisdom of a fool, for tomorrow is promised to no-one.
2. Live for today. Live in such a way that our regrets are never due to carelessness, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Think about that for a second. Got it? Carry on 😊
3. Follow your heart, but take your head along with you always. They work better as a tag team.
4. Indulge your soul in a tango for two somewhere above the metaphoric clouds. Only in the solitude of empty spaces will you hear its favourite songs.
5. You can say ‘no’ and still be a good person. In fact, somewhere down the line, you might get a ‘thank you’.
6. Sometimes a ‘no’ will turn out to be a ‘yes’ in a roundabout way, and with the benefit of hindsight. A lesson is often a blessing in disguise.
7. You cannot miss what you do not have. For the days when your temper tantrum has to do with whether your tea was stirred anti-clockwise or not, remember that it was a kettle filled with water. Electricity enabled the boiling – a luxury that some will never know in a lifetime.
8. Everybody makes mistakes. We spend a lifetime learning. It’s fair to forgive yourself for indiscretions.
9. Everyone goes through the mistake recycle stage. Life will often allow a recurring situation until you learn the lesson it’s trying to teach you.
10. Never dim your light because it’s too bright for someone else. You could buy them sunglasses, but let that light shine always.
11. May your light guide your path of truth, and be of use too. When they try to stub out your light, you have more than enough in flames to burn that bridge. Burn it!
12. Home is where the heart is. Quite often, your heart will say: ‘not here’, ‘not this’, ‘not you’…
Trust the whispers of your soul, that’s Gods voice.
These are my favourite #unshakable truths for 2016. Join me in 2017 as we figure it out together. In the meantime, may we take our glittering gold clad cracks into the new year, safe in the knowledge that for all our cracks, we are imperfectly perfect.
Be unshakable. Be in truth with yourself. Love yourself.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ for a daily dose of #UNSHAKABLE truths. My debut novel, Silent Symphonies, is the first in a series of books about real, raw and relevant emotion. This book is also the foundation of #UNSHAKABLE. If you would like to buy a copy of Silent Symphonies, please click here:
It took a decade to complete my debut novel, Silent Symphonies. In that time, life happened – I emigrated to the UK, did the UK bar, got married, had two kids, got divorced and rerouted my career. As you can imagine, this is the short version. I can tell you, though, that publishing Silent Symphonies happened as part of a continuing journey of self (re)discovery, some of which I would like to share with you – my #UNSHAKABLE truths.
A day in the life of King WomanMy morning could not have started any worse. The sunshine blazing through the curtains woke me up. The sun never wakes me up. For the first time in a gazillion years, my alarm did not go off. Both my kids had come to share my bed the night before following an incident with a spider at silly o’clock and looking back now, I think one of them might have inadvertently hit a button and disabled the alarm. I jumped up because it was one of those days when we had to be out a good half hour earlier for multiple reasons.‘Wake up, wake up!’ I shook them out of their grogginess. ‘We are late!’Being a working single mother of two with a 9-5, a business on the side, on-demand chauffeur duties, and on call 24/7 for adhoc curveballs, my life runs like clockwork and everything has its own time allocation within the twenty four hours. Today, everything would have to run impromptu and off-schedule. I couldn’t look at the clock, not until I was about to jump in the shower and…’ding dong’ – that’s when I looked to make sure it was indeed 6.05am. Like seriously?! I was so going to ignore it but for the persistent knocking. The two strangers who stood at my front door were court officials collecting for an unpaid parking ticket. ‘Well, we have clamped your car and will be towing it away!’ He said matter-of-factly as he waved the paper in my face.‘How much?’ I asked, alarmed.‘It is errr….’ He read from the paper. ‘498 pounds please.’‘It was 30 bleep quid!’I couldn’t remember eventually paying it off and a part of me kicked myself for that unforgivable oversight. Another part wanted to ring up the company and burn it down with human rights breach accusations, but the most interesting of all my emotions was the part that missed being with a man. I admit this now because while my girlfriends have instant sympathy on offer, male friends wanted to take charge of the situation, replaying my reality with varying versions of how they would never have parted with a penny – not without a fight. In fact, thinking back a couple of moons and exes ago, there isn’t a chance in hell that those court officials would have walked off without full blown ruckus.I felt intimidated, vulnerable, alone and scared. How many times had I, King Woman, rehearsed the firm stand I would take if I ever encountered such incidents? The reality is that I froze and I couldn’t have parted with the money any quicker than I did. Once I shut that door, I leaned against it, clenching my chest so that my erratically beating heart wouldn’t drop to the floor. I got the kids ready for school without a flicker of suspicion, considering my impending implosion. Bree Van de Kemp’s (Desperate Housewives) poker face had nothing on mine. It was not until I boarded that train that I let it all out and wept. I wept because I wasn’t even accorded any time to fall apart over this – oh no, I could neither frighten the kids, nor go in late. I had a 9am workshop planned and I had bills to pay – especially having just lost part of my scheduled income to the brutal collection system.You see, I am well trained, via trial and error, in my role as King Woman and have become quite the expert in changing light bulbs with one eye on the oven contents. However, just because I can change a flat tyre and operate heavy machinery in low-riding baggy joggers doesn’t mean I am any less keen on strutting my stuff in a red dress with killer heels and in the company of a man who opens the car door for me to get in. I am also open to flowers (daffodils or tulips please. Red or ombré with a touch of white). I am feminist to my bone marrow, but I am not lost on the fact that some activities may be better suited to a particular gender. This does not mean that women are less capable than or weaker than men, or that gender inequality is justified. This does not mean that being single renders me incomplete either – in fact most of the time, my as-is situation works perfectly. It just means that I fully understand how during the whole creation thing, gender specification was intended as a compliment/complement of each of the sexes as opposed to a domination/replacement or ‘do or die’ affair.I was a tad late that day, but following a delayed train and yet, no time for a soya latte with a double caffeine shot, in the absence of slitting my wrists, I had not a single eff left to give. It was time to mentally regroup and by mid-morning it was all back to business as usual.It takes an unshakable mindset for any woman (regardless of relationship status) to pull off the off-schedule obstacles faced on a daily basis. This role is neither a walk in the park, nor does it come with a guaranteed 100% success rate 24/7. Humanness gets in the way and it can be bleep-bleep hard. On this basis, let respect be given where respect is due. Sometimes the King is a woman. It’s not a sex change, it’s an #UNSHAKABLE woman with a challenge. To you within whom this resonates, I doff my hat to you. Be unshakable…Be unshakable. Be in truth with yourself. Love yourself.With all my love,Sally xxx