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I went straight to the second Blog post

This is the post excerpt.

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Loving the community vibe

So we are moving on with adjusting to life here in France, the bats have had babies and they are actually truly cute 🙂 tiny little bundles of flappy-ness moving around the barn. The downside is they pee on poo on the bikes but a well chosen cover up with tarp has solved the problem. It will be a shame to see them all move on in September but I feel our time together will be at a close as they and their babies are all able to fly on outta here to find a lovely new cosy barn roof to hang from. We have partially reclaimed space in the barn and it is looking fab, Andy is looking forward to developing the man cave.

The barn looking very clear The other fantastic news since my last blog is the bikes being on the road 🙂 I have to say it, the riding here is bloody brilliant, we have lots to explore and because of the demands of work and house renovation, it is just a day grabbed here and there to get out and about at the moment but so many moments trundling down the road with the sun on our faces and for me singing out loud – luckily I have not yet swallowed any wildlife on my travels whilst singing with my piss pot helmet on 🙂

The unexpected pleasure of our new life here has been the extended visits of family and friends and the energy and meandering conversations that has brought. In the UK our visitations would be an evening out or a few hours catching up with a brew. Here, we sit and chew the fat, we share our thoughts, our hopes and dreams, we share a glass or two or more of our chosen tipple and laugh, play music, share stories. Waking up and sharing breakfast, exploring the area, sitting in companionable silence reading books, not needing to fill that heart filled silence with nonesense conversations but enjoying peace and tranquility together. Family and friends showing up with willing hands and hearts and helping to transform the place and always with the banter and the laughter ❤ Such generous hearted people, it is quite a humbling and empowering way of being in the world.

Soon we will have a kitchen and not using a campout kitchen set up in the front room, I will miss having to balance plates and pans on boxes and chairs …. not.

It might sound strange but Andy and myself chatted tonight about Winter coming – maybe a nod to GOT or maybe an acknowledgement that we will be facing the unknown, the tourists will be gone, the visits from family and friends from the UK will be over for a little while  and we are curious as how life will unfold over the winter months.

The abiding truth for all of us, life is for living, for giving and sharing and bringing something to the party ❤ people and experiences matter, not things or places or ownership of anthing. I wish everyone a smile today and if not today then soon ❤

Our first few weeks living in France

Well it has been a crazy busy couple of months but hilariously fun and challenging in equal measure. We have moved into our new home in the Dordogne and were met with snake skin in the conservatory, bats in the kitchen, lizards and a nation of spiders scurrying about the place. All, I’m assured completely normal for a farmhouse out in the woolly wild of France but disconcerting none the less.

snake skin

I made a firm decision to exist with the wildlife and stop screaming like a person who screams a lot and runs away, the skin crawling tension had just become too much for me and so I took hold of myself and made a firm decision … I think! The truth is now we have cleared, cleaned and begun the renovation, the wildlife now pretty much stays outside which works really well for me.

When we first moved in, there was a kind of surreal quality to the experience, I have always worked full time and now I have given up my role as a full time lecturer in sexual and reproductive health to become unemployed .. erm sorry I meant to become an entrepreneur.

The house was full of the previous owner’s belongings and it felt so disrespectful and a little sad to be trawling through them and clearing them out. A life lived here, a full life and all the signs and little trinkets around as evidence of that life, even the late Mme’s washing on the washing line upstairs in the barn as a testament to her latter times here in the home they had built and loved in together.

Bit by bit as the weeks have rolled by this house has become our home and now it feels like us, like the life we have brought to share within these walls. Friends and good people have visited and we have many more friends and family arriving over the next couple of months, a real growing sense of community exists here, it feels so good to be able to share this place and the sunshine and smiles with our children, family and friends and it feels so good for us to be here together, we are best pals my husband and me and we laugh easily together.

The first couple of weeks in we were like two bears with fizzingly sore heads, we growled and snapped at each other, I think it was the range of emotions, exhaustion and the magnitude of what we have done here all swirling and whirling around. It felt so good to get bedded in and back to our old banterful selves again. Getting both of our Harleys on the road has been amazing too, that is my meditation, my time and play time for us both.

We sat tonight out in the garden until the wee small hours with Moby setting the mood, and talked and talked about our vision, our people and our love, just really wanting at the end of this blog post to just simply send out a little prayer of gratitude, feel so very thankful this evening.

We don’t know the whole picture yet, what we’ll do and who we’ll meet but we are happy to go with our flow and let it all unfold.

When does life begin?

whatever is good for your soul do that  The moment you open your eyes blinking into the world is  traditionally where the beginning of our lifetime’s journey is percieved to happen. I have other ideas, I believe we can all live like the walking dead, disconnected and completely at the mercy of outside influences and opinions until we truly connect with our own authentic power, our Soul and live according to our own passion, truth and ideas. I have worked in the field of authentic empowerment and alignment for the last 25 years and within Sexual Health for the last 16 years and there is one thing I have come to understand from the thousands of people I have worked to support is that disempowerment and disconnect can lead to many issues of ill health in all aspects of life and can lead people into stuck emotional patterns and increase vulnerability to abuse and intimidation.

My own story is a very real and challenging journey of learning and developing skills and awareness to connect back to my authentic self, my journey, to slide on over to the driving seat of my very existence to live – to open my eyes and come blinking into the light of allowing joy, exhuberance, passion and Faith into all those hidden places of grief, separation, insecurity, disempowerment and generally being out of whack!

I have witnessed and supported people of all belief systems, genders, race, age groups, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds move through disempowering ways of living, with side effects such as poverty, fears & phobias, domestic violence, overweight, abuse of drugs and alcohol, rape & sexual assault, child sexual exploitation or just living feeling isolated unworthy and disconnected lives being far less than they were meant to be.

My intention with this Blog is three fold, to share what I know in terms of actual tools and techniques for change in the hopes this will inspire others to utilise them  to make real change in their own lives. Secondly, to contribute to positive sexual health and inclusivity for all in bringing relevant timely sexual health insight and information from a very grounded perspective and thirdly  to share my stories – the funny, the tragic and sometimes daily happenings to illustrate how I continue to connect, to align, to strive to live in congruence with my own nature. Gary Zukav terms this as the ‘personality serving the Soul’. I choose now to live in joy, to laugh often, to play and to serve life and people in every way I can and in service to a raising of perspective and promote a sense of ownership and empowerment in how we create our own life story.

This Blog will not be perfect, but it will be real and honest and hopefully really helpful for people in providing some useful tools, techniques and insights.

Catch up with you soon

Mandy xxx

Zukav, G. (1989) The Seat of the Soul. New York: Simon & Schuster