Free (non)Thinking…

A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it.  I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.

Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box.  Sounds like perfect sense to me.  In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths.  I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example.  I really thought I was living without a box.

Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.

My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists.  I’m still constrained by them.

A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.

I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’;  moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed.  I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.

freedom butterfly

Perhaps silent is the wrong word.  I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.

Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons.  I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.

Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….

Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.  In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially.  She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head.  When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational.  i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her…  you can find her here... or here…

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20 years – OMG…

20 years omg - 17th and 18th october 2014 (13)


Us celebrating 10 years - this man always makes me feel beautiful
Us celebrating 10 years – this man always makes me feel beautiful
what's a party without cake ;-)  Thanks Kate xx
what’s a party without cake 😉 Thanks Kate xx

1422369_10204402590455593_360842402380198906_nTwenty years ago i was a ‘player’ , I’d spent two years backpacking and partying and was back in the UK to earn enough dosh for my next adventure. John was a quiet, gentle man, happily out of any complicated relationship and dealing with his ‘baggage’ as any good ostrich would!!  I was only going to be in the UK for 3 months so I was a safe bet for a fun-filled time before disappearing off into the wilderness.  As i said, that was 20 years ago.  I don’t like to call in ‘entrapment’…..

Ten years ago, having moved from London and banking to Essex and recruitment / software, we took a weekend break in the wonderful wilderness of Mid Wales in a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy cutesie-whootsie town called Llanwrtyd Wells.  And our lives changed forever.  20 years omg - harvey pix (1)

We celebrated our 10th by having a farewell party; a gathering of friends and family and some live music from our brother-in-law and his rock band Hedgehog.  Jason was seven.

This weekend we celebrated our 20th in our favourite pub in our lovely home town of Llanwrtyd Wells, surrounded by friends and entertained by live music from our son, now almost 17 and some of his, and our, talented friends

Me 5 months pregnant, at a friends wedding with my partner (I have never felt as beautiful as when I was expecting our son)
Me 5 months pregnant, at a friend’s wedding with my partner (I have never felt as beautiful as when I was expecting our son)
A brand new life
A brand new life

I have made 3 great decisions in my life.  The first was not leaving for Africa; the second was having our son and the third was moving to Llanwrtyd

I love my man more each day.  It hasn’t always been easy.  Anyone who knows me will understand why…. for sure I am not the steadiest of personalities to live with.    I have my depressions, my health crisises, my emotional turmoils.  But in John I have my best friend, my soul mate, my counsellor, my anchor, my lover and my life force.  Without him and his patience and understanding we would not have an ‘us’ – he has never given up on me and he sees in me the loveliness and goodness that I sometimes lose sight of.  He never does.

old friends and young ones ;-) Jason, Tyler, Lottie, Mick, Tracy and Ian
old friends and young ones 😉 Jason, Tyler, Lottie, Mick, Tracy and Ian

I believe I said that each and every person there and those who simply couldn’t be there has impacted on, played a part in and added value to our lives and i am proud and honoured to know that we are in their hearts and they are in ours.

This blog may appear slushy and self-indulgent but I think it is a story that anyone can connect their life to … We have friends.  We are so blessed.  This weekend whilst hosting our celebration i discovered how many amazing and wonderful friends we have.  I discovered great friendships blossoming in people I’ve known for 5 minutes and reaffirmed great friendships that have lasted nearly all our lifetime.  I even feel good to have disconnected myself with someone I thought was a friend and have finally accepted, is not.  I feel great.  Energised. Loved. 

Important dates punctuate our lives and it is appropriate to want to share those with the people you love. And the real people you love will want to be with you even if they can’t.  And these punctuation marks in our timelines remind us who our true friends are and how lucky we are to have them

20 years omg - harvey pix (5)
decorations coutesy of Hanna, Jen and Anna-lisa…. superstar artistic direction team

And anyway, with all that aside; what a party!!  A weekend of laughter, and joy, eating and drinking, walking, singing and dancing.  A weekend of music and friendships of reminiscences and forging strong bonds. Saturday evening in the Neuadd Arms Hotel with friends from near and far. The homely welcoming atmosphere it offers; the great beers brewed on site , the delicious  and over generous catering by their chef, Paul.  It was said as a joke, but not only are we blessed with great friend but some of them own a pub and brewery 😉 ….

… and some of them own great musical talent.  We were entertained by mandolins, drums, cajons, congas, guitars and great vocals – organised by our son and performed as an open jam…   I am so proud and happy to know so many great people.  I am so proud and honoured by our ‘extended family’ of Jason’s beautiful and talented friends.  I cannot thank Jason, Georgia, Tyler, Zak and Lottie enough.  Young, talented, thoughtful, and a joy to be with.  I also thank Ian, Eugene and Paul for performing, and am humbled by the distances some people travelled to share our moment.  (And of course i thank Mr Badaxe for his memorable involvement – lol )

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 20 years omg - 17th and 18th october 2014 (14) 20 years omg - 17th and 18th october 2014 (9) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

music music sweet sweet music















I am loved and I love back. Generously, unconditionally and wholeheartedly.  My friends, my son, my partner, Our life together…..

this blog is dedicated to all our wonderful and cherished friends

And I Love Her – Vocals – John Crompton, Guitar – Jason Crompton, Production – Mike Smith, Artwork – Ian Harvey

See I've definitely shrunk!!
I am a lucky girl xxxx