Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The Spirit of The Camino and the spirits on The Camino.

When I first contemplated walking The Camino my head was filled with inspiring thoughts of happy, adventurous people all walking along; a merry band of comrades, climbing mountains and being amazing in their aspirations to reach Santiago. I had a somewhat romantic view of cosy alburgues, relaxing snoozes in the sun and the cameradie we saw in the movie ‘The Way’ (which, by the way, I must watch again before I go).  I had this notion of admiring locals who opened their homes and hearts to the ‘pilgrims’ who walked their way up mountains and down, along paths and through villages and towns, strolling into their chosen alburgue in the evening to find a cosy bed and a hot shower, of meals shared with laughter and fun.

And yes, this does in fact happen; the Spirit of the Camino.

I’ve read some extraordinary stories of people ‘rescued’ by kind-hearted locals who seeing their distress take said distressed person under their wing and guide them to a hostelaria/alburgue, or give them a hot meal, a lift in their car/truck/lorry to a place of safety. How pilgrims help each other out, lending money, clean clothes, toiletries, guidance and very often a shoulder to cry on. The Spirit of the Camino.

The Camino is also, by all accounts, tough!! Some people die. The spirits on the Camino.

There is also the dark side, a little of which we saw in The Way. People die on the Camino. People start walking and never reach their goal; their journey cut short by the grim reaper. The reasons are many: heart failure, complications from surgery, falling off a mountain, falling off their bikes (those who cycle) and some die from traffic accidents; knocked over by trucks or cars. Some people start the walk in the hopes that they will reach Santiago, but knowing that they likely won’t. It’s their final walk. Some people have reached the steps of the cathedral only to drop down dead right there at the last step.

And then there those that are murdered. Wow, I can tell you when I discovered that last year…. it came as one hell of a shock to me. The prospect of dying on the Camino had never entered my head!! I learned about this quite by accident last year when I first joined the Camino forum on Facebook. It literally took the wind out of my sails. Just a simple post to say that she, the person who made the update, had laid a stone on the cairn for Denise Theim, an Arizona lass who had disappeared while walking.  If you have the stomach for it you can read about it here.

I immediately set about investigating the story and that lead me to the reports of her disappearance, death and the eventual discovery of her body. The perpetrator as per the above article has since been captured and tried, soon to be incarcerated.

But what startled me most of all was reading the many stories of people who have died on The Camino. I often see photos on the facebook groups of memorials to people from across the world, both young and old who never left The Way; the spirits on The Camino.

I often think about these people now as I prepare for my Camino in September and of course the thought crosses my mind. Will I die while walking? Of course I have no idea, that is, as they say, and depending on which religious or spiritual belief your follow, determined by fate or the book of life…..your death predetermined before you are even born. Not sure I believe that notion, but there it is.

I have to say that it does bother me a lot. The f.e.a.r. presents itself in many ways, and I am in constant conflict with the emotions that arise from these thoughts. My daughter is getting married next year and I will be walking her down the aisle, guiding her to the man she loves, watching as she and he join their hands and lives in marriage and walk into a new future. I would be devastated if by dying on the Camino I caused her any pain and spoiled her special day by not being there. Although I’m sure she would kick my ass for saying that!! 😉  Mind you, she’s already advised me that she would be seriously pissed off with me if I die while walking. LOL We have discussions about this from time to time. About the reality of death.

I’ve questioned myself over and over. Am I being selfish? Am I not putting her happiness first instead of my selfish desire for adventure? Should I have waited till after the wedding…? I did contemplate that.

See what I mean? FEAR – false evidence appearing real. It manifests on a daily basis and gives me palpitations – and I haven’t even started yet!!!

But after many talks and encouragement from her I went ahead and booked my ticket. Not because we are fatalistic in any way, not because we discussed it in depth and not because I have a flippant answer “it won’t happen to me” (I don’t believe in making promises like that!), but because life is life. I could just as easily step off a pavement in my day to day life and get run over by a car or bus…. I could get knocked over on the many walks I take in my day to day life, some of which are along narrow country roads where cars whizz by at 80 kms p.h. leaving dust and a shivering wreck of a walker in their wake. Or I could contract one of hundreds of diseases that abound and die anyway.

So should I not go on this walk? Should I allow the fears to win? Or should I grasp life and go anyway. Well since I’ve already booked my ticket, obviously so far, that is what I will be doing.

But it still doesn’t stop me from thinking about the people who do die. I’m sure it must be absolutely devastating for their families. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them to receive the news. I have read of one Mother whose daughter died before they started their Camino. She will be taking her daughter’s ashes along with her to distribute at special places along The Way. God, I can’t even imagine how hard that would be.

I was doing some research this morning and found this blog https://gabrielschirm.com/2016/08/22/deaths-on-the-camino-de-santiago/

Gabriel gives a number breakdown of the more recent deaths on the Camino. It’s not a macabre list, just a matter of fact observation that yes, people do die while walking the Camino.

I also found this amazing blog; a beautifully compiled memorial to Camino pilgrims who have died on the way – some on their first day, others as they completed their walk.


It makes a sobering read. The spirits on the Camino.

So again it brings me back to the age-old question! Should I or should I not? F.E.A.R. But as mentioned earlier I’ve already booked my plane ticket for this year, booked and paid for some of the accommodation, bought the backpack, the badges, the clothes and equipment, the books…..and so on. And with my daughter’s blessing, I will walk the Portuguese Coastal Route in September.  I certainly plan to discover the Spirit of the Camino; but I have no plans to become a spirit on the Camino. And yes, despite the fear, I am excited 🙂




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As the year moves on, the time for me to step up and out on my dream of and goal to walk the Camino de Santiago (the Portuguese Coastal Route) is getting closer and closer, I’m reminded that no matter how old you are…….

In order to get more fit, I recently joined the #walk1000miles 2017 challenge. I’ve always loved walking and have done loads over the last year, but what I love about this challenge is that there are thousand of people around the world also walking and sharing their experiences and photos. Just brilliant.

What I loved about this quote, besides the image and the words, is that a few months ago I worked in Great Malvern where C.S. Lewis once spent some time, and where urban legend has it, he found inspiration for the lamps in The Witch and The Wardrobe after seeing the lamps there.

lamps in great malvern

lamps in Great Malvern; inspiration for C.S. Lewis

p.s. I had planned on walking the Camino last year, but money or lack thereof got in the way. This year then…..

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I can’t tell you how delighted I was to get the call from my agency asking if I was interested in taking on a job on the Isle of Wight!!! Was I ever!! Yes, for sure. It’s on my list of plans for 2017; 2 islands to visit this year, so definitely. As well as which it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit but never seemed to get this far….I’ve been to Portsmouth a number of times but never got to the ferry. So here I am, in Ryde!  On the Isle of Wight.

visit the isle of wight

the Isle of Wight

Just a 10 minute journey by ferry, catamaran or hovercraft from Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth Southsea and you’re here. Easy peasy 😉 I imagine the scenery crossing The Solent during the day would be marvellous.

After arrival at Ryde Pier Head, I set off at a brisk pace along the pier…keen to experience what is an early 19th century pier (built before Victoria came to the throne) and the world’s oldest seaside pleasure pier; opened 26 July 1814. Within 6 minutes I was in the town of Ryde……I’ve got a ticket to Ryde 😉 Surprised to find quite such a large town, to my relief the B&B where I was to stay was a short walk from the esplanade.

visit the isle of wight, ryde pier head

Ryde Pier

Welcomed at the Kasbah by Josh, I was shown up to my room. Hallelujah I had a beautiful double bed room off the main road. Very comfortable and cosy, the room was beautifully decorated with a small ensuite, a t.v. and a kettle with accessories. A cup of tea was immediately brewed 🙂

visit the isle of wight, kasbah b&b

The Kasbah B&B in Ryde, Isle of Wight

I rested awhile having my tea and then, since it was still relatively early…just on 19:40 in fact, I decided to have a bit of an explore….despite that it was already pitch dark. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!! LOL I meandered along to the esplanade and never one to be having a short walk….I ended up walking the length of the esplanade all the way to Appley Tower – 4.66 kms with 7250 steps there and back.

visit the isle of wight, ryde esplanade

Ryde Esplanade and scenes at night

Hah! It was quite chilly, but not unpleasant, a few dog-walkers, evening strollers and joggers about and at no time did I feel unsafe. I passed the train station, the hover-craft platform, the tiny harbour and a row of shops and lovely old houses. All along the way I could see and hear the sea slapping up again the rocks…I love the sounds of the sea.

visit the isle of wight, appley tower

Appley Tower – built in 1875 by Sir William Hutt

The Appley Tower, a coastal folly built in 1875 by one, Sir William Hutt, is also referred to as the Watch Tower. It’s awesome. Thanks mate…we love your folly.

By now there was not a soul in sight, I was on my own. On my way back I passed by the pond in Appley Park and a swimming pool that looked so inviting. Wish I had my swim costume. Oh well, if I ever come back this way…

visit the isle of wight, appley park

Appley Park pond and the swimming pool

Then it was back to the B&B for the night….work due to start on Monday.

I had a brilliant sleep, very comfortable bed and before the sun was even up I was out and onto the esplanade. A beautiful day for walking, again I saw a few people about, but by golly nothing at all like London where you can barely move for people.

I had a marvellous 45 minute walk all the way to the edge of Seaview where I caught the last of the sunrise. I had left it a tad late after all to get going. Then a brisk walk back to the B&B for breakfast.

visit the isle of wight, sunrise in ryde

sunrise in Ryde, Isle of Wight

On the way I stopped off at the hovercraft station to watch one of them come in to land. wow, fascinating and loud! I’m so going to take an opportunity one day while I’m here to cross The Solent to Portsmouth Southsea. The Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

visit the isle of wight, hover craft

Isle of Wight Hover Craft

I was well impressed with my ‘mileage’, and so enjoyed all the sights and sounds. Total 6.2kms and 9905 steps. At this rate I’m definitely achieving the desired 10,000 steps per day for good health 😉 and of course getting myself fitter for the Camino!

From what I’ve seen of Ryde so far; the esplanade and parks, it’s a really pretty place with fantastic views across The Solent towards Portsmouth in England – in fact I can see The Spinnaker in Portsmouth from the seafront and also from Seaview.

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth - across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth – across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

Watching all the shipping traffic is fascinating…..lends an exotic air to the place…ships from the far-flung corners of the earth….I think I quite like Ryde 🙂



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I recently spent 19 days working in Great Malvern – just before I started at my assignment I stayed over at a B&B nearby and climbed the North Hill in order to reach the Worcestershire Beacon…the highest point of the Malvern Hills.

wandering the lanes of Worcester

North Hill and Worcestershirebeacon Hill; part of the Malvern Hills

Since then I have used some of my breaks in the afternoon to endeavour to once again conquer this ‘mountain‘.  I managed to get to different levels on different days but each time, time foiled me and I just couldn’t make it.

Great Malvern - climbing worcestershire beacon

3 different days, 3 different achievements, 3 different experiences

But I didn’t give up, and after another week of walking, on 16.12.2016 with a distance of 4.5km, in 1:30:47 & 8651 steps I finally reached an elevation of 230 meters!! Nearly there!!

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

climbing Worcestershire Beacon on Friday 16th, I nearly made it….so near, yet too far

Determined to achieve my goal before I left on Wednesday 21st, I set off immediately my break started last Sunday 18th and strode with determination towards the hills!!!  Without stopping to take too many photos along the way (usually one of the reasons it takes me so long to get anywhere), switching on MapMyWalk I headed up into town, zipped past the Priory, stopped briefly at the water-fountain ‘Malvhina’ on Belle Vue terrace for a drink of water, whizzed through Rose Bank Gardens, staggered up the 99 steps, sloped up the pathway leading to St Anne’s Well, then onwards and upwards to The Beacon……

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

Great Malvern – climbing Worcestershire Beacon

I reached St Anne’s Well in good time…20 minutes ahead of my usual time (taking photos is useful for keeping tabs on when I was where). I stopped briefly to catch my breath and then with renewed vigour I strode up the path above the well and headed for the path that would wind it’s and my way up the side of the hill! Suddenly, to my dismay, I saw fencing and a gate across the pathway…..bearing in mind I had traversed this same pathway just two days before! Where did that come from? Was the route now closed? But before I broke down in despair (LOL) I walked up to the gate to read the notice…..it was nothing more sinister than a warning to dog-owners to keep their dogs on a lead….whew.

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

Please keep your dog on a lead…Oh and close the gate…..

I swung through the gates and set off….before to long I found the reasons for the gate….my way was blocked by a herd of cows, the same herd I had encountered higher up the hill on my previous excursion!! Okay, it was only a small herd, but I am wary of cows…they can, and sometimes do, get a bit belligerent and have been known to mow people down. So, keeping my distance and deciding on an alternative route, I plundered my way along what was a very narrow, and in many places rocky pathway….I didn’t like it at all…a yawning valley opened up on my left and I felt decidedly insecure; but still determined to reach the top.

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

a very narrow and rocky path…and a yawning chasm! Urgh!

I finally reached a wider pathway and with much encouragement of ‘come on Cindy, you can do it’ or ‘come on only 20 paces and then you can rest’ or just simply whipping my ass with – ‘get on with it woman, you don’t have all day!!’ I finally breached the crest of the hill and there it was…..the Worcestershire Beacon!! Hooray.

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

the views from the beacon are stupendous!!!

18.12.2016 Distance walked 5.1km, Duration 1:53:52, Steps 10562, Elevation gained 301m!!

The views are stupendous from that height and I had a fantastic view across the Severn Valley, the Malvern Hills that spread out along the ridge towards the Bristol Channel, and Herefordshire….quintessential England at it’s best. As a bonus!! I also caught a glimpse of an amazing sunset…something I am denied on a daily basis due to the fact that it sets behind the hill from where I’m located!!

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

The Earth is the Lord’s….. Sunset from Worcestershire Beacon

I had a quick whizz around the beacon and then it was time to depart…I was on a tight schedule and it had already taken me just over an hour to get up there!

So tripping and traipsing I first checked out the lay of the land and to where the correct paths were….I didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of this hill….I made my way down.

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

1. Looking towards the Bristol Channel. 2. Finding the right path down… 3. Great Malvern and the Severn Valley, Worcestershire

All went well for a while and I made good progress along the pathway, till just after a bend I spied the erstwhile herd of munching moos. Damnation!! I really didn’t want to test their mettle, so instead I tested mine. Looking around I spied what looked like a lovely green swathe of grass that faintly resembled a pathway that took a rather dizzying slope downhill and disappeared into a void!! Hello!!!

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

a ‘moosive’ herd of coos….and a very slippery slope….

Without many other options I decided well, for better or worse, that’s the way I’m going to have to go….at which point I noticed a rather large and determined cow/bull heading my way with a look of ‘what the fuck are you doing here’ on it’s face. Uhm! I’m just leaving 🙂

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

that grey speckled animal had a determined look on it’s face….I wasn’t planning on hanging around to chat….

With that, I put on my big-girl panties and set off downhill at a rather rapid pace…in fact if I was a horse, I’d say I definitely trotted down rather than walked…..the slope was that steep…I kid you not! In a most ungainly way I slipped and slid at an alarming pace!

Along the way I was ‘forced!’ to bypass a heavily fringed cow that fortunately was more interested in the grass it was busily munching than me! Thank god!!! And with that, still giving it as wide a berth as possible I slipped and slid past.

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

uhmmm…yes mate, you just keep munching….

Eventually my luck ran out, by now the slope was that steep that I was actually sliding more than walking or trotting, so before I actually took a tumble and rolled down the hill, I decided to continue on my journey backwards. All went well till suddenly I came to an abrupt halt….was there anything behind me besides open space?…I looked behind me and by golly, my 6th sense must have forewarned me….I was a few feet away from disaster …the slope did indeed suddenly end there and there was a great big gaping chasm waiting to swallow me up!!! OH.MY.GOD!!!

LOL!!! Actually it wasn’t that bad, but it was enough that had I continued going backwards, I would have taken a nasty tumble. So checking around to make sure the cows were at a safe distance and no longer impeding my descent I headed sideways and down to the path I could see below me 🙂

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

looking back……a steep slope. Putting distance between me and them….

On the way down, and just before I met up with the cows, I heard a buzzing noise above my head. At first I thought it may be a small plane but couldn’t see one. I then thought perhaps a microlight…but no it was a paramotor….the glider came closer and closer and then suddenly with the engine screaming and a whoosh of speed, it swooped down into the valley…..awesome!!! I was wayyyy jealous.

and just before I met up with the cows

a paraglider….soaring above the clouds

From there it was easy peasy and within no time at all I was back at the 99 steps and on my way back to work. It’s always a lot quicker going down than up!! Of course my photo taking surely uses up a lot of the time too, as well as stopping for swigs of water. I had stopped at the Malvhina Water Fountain on Belle Vue Terrace to fill my water bottle from the steady stream that pours 24 hours a day 365 days a year….ad-infinitum (unless there’s a contamination issue). It’s pretty awesome to consider that I’m drinking water that probably fell on the earth as rain hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago.

‘Malvern water, says Dr John Wall Is fam’d for containing just nothing at all.’

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

the slope down from St Anne’s Well, the Priory below Rose Bank Gardens                         Malvhina – dispenser of spring water

In all I was seriously well chuffed that I had achieved my goal of climbing to the top of the Worcestershire Beacon and back down again during my 2 hour break. The climb is murder on the old lungs and my legs burn like blazes, but if I’m to walk the Camino next year then I simply have to improve my fitness. Climbing a hill seems like a great way and I have the added bonus of the views 🙂

Great Malvern - climbing Worcestershire Beacon

Taking the water at Great Malvern; Route to the Malvern Hills

Worcestershire Beacon, also popularly known as Worcester Beacon, or locally simply as The Beacon, is a hill whose summit at 425 metres (1,394 ft) is the highest point of the range of Malvern Hills that runs about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border.

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I’ve just signed a petition on Care2; ‘Stand with women working to end gender-based violence‘.

The petition calls on the UK Government to fund the women’s groups working towards ending violence against women, and as such resonates with me and my past. They mention that one in three girls and women suffer violence in their lives. I think it’s higher than that, but I’ll take their word for it. It’s vitally important that this issue is faced head on and that Government, and us, takes the opportunities offered to make a difference.

I am one of those three girls and my mother was one of those three women….my sisters to a lesser and in some instances greater extent, were also one of those girls. We lived with extreme violence for much of our growing up lives; emotional, physical, mental and yes, even sexual violence, much of it directed at my Mother who eventually caved in under the onslaught….yes, she died. Aged 52. I know the official verdict was stroke, but I feel it was despair. She ate too much, she drank too much, she smoked too much, she lived under some of the most dire circumstances (in all three of her marriages)….and all of those combined to kill her….and what the coroner didn’t say was that all these too much ofs that she partook of were caused by stress and despair and pressure.

I don’t consider myself a victim, although in my younger years I felt victimised. I’ve grown up, I’ve become tougher.

But the scars remain. Those same scars affected how I raised my daughter and that affects her still today.  I won’t ever say I hate men, coz I don’t, on the contrary. However, my language right through my adult life and through my daughter’s growing up years has been negative; urgh men!! You can’t trust a man. Never trust a man. Well what can you expect; he’s a man!! – you get the idea….I never realised how powerful those messages were to a young brain growing up, and now it’s too late….the dye has been set and she finds it really difficult to form a lasting attachment or relationship. I set the boat on the water and I tore down the sails.

My sisters and I have all grown up to be tough, strong women, proud of who we have become. We don’t cave in. We don’t suffer fools. We don’t, with the exception of my younger sister (from my Mother’s side – 3rd marriage), have successful relationships with men. They are always fraught with anxiety, frustration, angst and determination to not be ‘the weaker sex’. I gave up on relationships 13 years ago. I can’t be who I become when I’m in a relationship.

There is an inordinate amount of violence towards women. Culturally (and I’m talking about world-wide culture in all ethnic groups bar a few). We, (and yes even in our enlightened Western culture) have been raised to believe that women are ‘the weaker sex’, of lesser importance (see the ongoing debate about salaries and managerial positions). If you look at many cultures today they are still fiercely Patriarchal. Women are refused entry to, kept out of, stopped from doing, have to ask permission of, cannot marry freely, are repressed and vilified, their natural cycles considered bad, disgusting, and a reason for being kept behind closed doors; being forced to stay behind closed doors is a more reasonable assumption. My first marriage rendered me unable to even open a Bank Account without my husbands a) permission b) signature and that was in 1972.

So that said, and oh I have SO much more to say, especially with this recent humiliation and repression of a Muslim woman in France, I ask you to please sign the petition. Thank you.

If however, you feel you don’t want to sign the petition, then please step-up, become an advocate for women, look out for signs of violence…those bruised eyes, the broken arms, the cowered down-cast expression, the sudden withdrawal from society, and if you see it…do take action. It could be within your own family. It was within ours. And no-one stepped up.



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In the past I have from time to time copied and posted an email that my sister sends to me.  I just got this one, and thought I would share it.

“Look how simple this is….. What a great idea, no more twist ties or rubber bands. This method is WATER PROOF AND AIR TIGHT. Great!

Who ever thought of this should get a Green Medal
The guy who first thought of the idea should be given an award for originality!!!

Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top.


Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top to seal. 


The bag is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak, the
secret lies with the top and screw cap!  
This is a great idea to share.
Good for us and the environment too.

Zip-top bags are great, but sometimes you buy something in bulk and you’re stuck with an unsealable bag. Home-centric blog Re-Nest shows us an easy way to give these bags an airtight seal with an old water bottle.
All you need to do is cut off the top of the bottle and take off the cap. Push the bag through the bottle neck, fold it over the edges, and twist the cap back on. Now, your bag has an air and water tight seal, and you didn’t have to waste the bag.”

It certainly does seem to be an ingenious idea. How green it is I am doubtful, except that it does ‘recycle’ an old bottle top.  What I would like to see is a complete replacement for ANYTHING plastic.  It was my intention last year to refrain from buying anything that comes in plastic, only to have my good intentions dashed at the first turn.  There is practically nothing that doesn’t either come in plastic or is not made of plastic or doesn’t contain plastic as one of the components, whether it be hard or soft. I would not be able to buy a massive range of household items or ride on the tube or a bus, use my phone or computer as well as a whole list of other items we need to live in the ‘civilised’ world; even my travel card is plastic….not to mention my money! 🙂

For my contribution, I never buy bottled water and endeavour to avoid using plastic or buying stuff with plastic wrapping wherever I can and  recycle whatever plastic I am encumbered with.

If someone could show us a way to not use plastic at all – now that would be worth a ‘Green Award’.

p.s. the pics I got with the email did not convert….sorry! You will have to use your imagination 🙂

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Tina Games - Moonlight Muse


Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 7 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Tina M Games whose book Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery (and its accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards) is celebrating its 1st birthday on Amazon on Tuesday May 3, 2011.

amazon journaling by the moonlight tina games

Journaling By The Moonlight Tina games

Author Tina M Games is certified creativity and life purpose coach. She calls herself the “Moonlight Muse” for women who want to tap into the “full moon within” and claim their authentic self, both personally and professionally. Through her signature coaching programs, based on the phases of the moon, Tina gently guides women from darkness to light as they create an authentic vision filled with purpose, passion and creative expression.

Yesterday, Tina visited Dr.Caron Goode at http://academyforcoachingparents.com/acpi/tina-games/ , where she answered about mom’s intuition, journaling enhancing intuition, techniques, self-discovery and the impatient mom advice.  

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Tina when I got to ask her some questions on her journey to doing this work, mother’s guilt due to extended family breakdown and healing processes for mothers.  I hope you enjoy it.


Tina M Games:  Thank you, Cindy, for your interest in my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery and its accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards.

tina games journaling prompt cards

journaling prompt cards - Tina Games, Journaling by Moonlight

 I believe that mothers are a significant part of the “ripple effect” – that will transform the world into a more loving, more nurturing place. Imagine for a moment a “pebble thrown into a pond.” It creates a ripple that goes on and on and on.
When a mother is living life with complete authenticity, she’s subconsciously giving permission for her kids to do the same. She’s truly at her best – creating powerful change for her family, her community, and for the world at large. It’s all part of “the ripple.”
It’s my belief that “a happy mother makes the best mother” – and our kids really do want to see their moms happy!
Cindy Eve: What lead you to the path you are currently on?
Tina M Games: Shortly after the birth of my first child, and after making some fairly significant life changes at the same time, I fell into depression – a place that felt so foreign to me, a place where I felt like I had fallen into a black hole with no way out. It was during this time, a period that spanned over two years that I had disconnected from everything that made me happy. Because my son suffered from chronic illnesses related to serious colds and severe ear infections, I made a very difficult choice to give up a successful career in order to care for my son full-time. I hadn’t realized until this experience how much of my identity was tied into my career. I really enjoyed working. And without that opportunity in my life, I felt very lost and very unhappy.
It was during this time that I fell back on a great passion of mine – journal writing. And as a mom of a baby who did not have a normal sleep schedule, I found myself exhausted and emotional much of the time. So night after night, after I’d get my son settled and after my husband went to bed, I’d grab my journal and retreat to my favorite chair – beside a big bay window where I caught a glimpse of the moon. It was the moon that taught me the meaning of transition. I’d watch this beautiful lunar goddess, night after night, move in and out of her various phases. And before long, I began to connect her phases with my own emotional tides.
I noticed that the moon always began in darkness and gradually, she’d move into full light – and cycle back around again. And I noticed the contrast between dark and light – the darkness of the night sky against the beautiful full moon light. I started connecting to this – as if I was being divinely guided through my own transitions of dark and light. I began to notice the ebbs and flows of my emotions. There were good days and bad days.
And then one day, two years later, I had an ah-ha. After several conversations with my own mother and other mothers whom I had encountered along the way, I began to wonder, “Are there other moms out there who may be having a similar experience?”
I decided to create two focus groups of mothers where we could have honest discussions about motherhood, careers, and life purpose – and how they all fit together. These dialogues eventually led to a series of articles and then to the creation of my coaching practice – where I could work with moms on a deeper level.
This is when I decided to write my book. I wanted mothers to realize that every human transition begins in darkness and gradually moves into light, where we get a glimpse of what is possible. And then we retreat, to ponder the many ways we can manifest these possibilities into reality. This requires deep work, where we step into our own truth and into our own power – and where we can emerge in the most authentic way possible. This is what I call the Blue Moon phase – when we finally realize that we are here on this Earth to be WHO we are, to put our personal thumbprint on the world in the most truthful, most authentic, most unique way possible. Each one of us are individuals being divinely guided on our own purposeful path.
And looking back on my motherhood journey over the past 12 years, I can now say that everything I experienced along the way has factored into my bigger life purpose. Each experience, as painful as some were, led me to the point of where I am now.
Cindy Eve: Do you think that mothers have all this guilt because of the breakdown of the extended family?
Tina M Games: We’ve definitely become a more transient society. And with so many mothers living in areas away from their extended families, support systems are certainly affected. But I don’t think that guilt stems from this.
Guilt is a normal emotion for every mother. We’re always feeling guilty about something we’ve done – or not done – for our children. As mothers, it’s very natural to put our kids above ourselves. And while this may be necessary some of the time, it’s not necessary all the time. As the airlines so smartly proclaim, “Always put the air mask on yourself before assisting a child or another adult passenger.” In other words, “Take care of yourself, so that you can assist in the caretaking of someone else.”

I’m a big believer that each and every one of us are living OUR life story – in whatever way that story needs to play out. And for many of us, this story involves lessons. In order to learn OUR lessons, we must journey through the challenges. This is where we grow – emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. And for mothers, these challenges often include guilt.
I often ask moms to describe what the guilt is about – and we work from there, trying to unravel its deeper meaning. What is the guilt trying to teach us about ourselves? What is it that we need to work through so that guilt doesn’t rear its head time and time again? And how can releasing the guilt help us become better mothers?
I’ve devoted an entire chapter in my book and an entire moon phase in my self-discovery process, to mother’s guilt. This is how big a role it plays in motherhood – and it’s why a mother needs to face it head-on. See guilt for what it really is – an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and why it plays such a significant role in our life story. There’s a lesson wrapped up, beautifully disguised as mother’s guilt. What is that lesson – for you? Once you discover it, you can shift the grip it has on you.

Cindy Eve: You talk about the healing process for mothers. Do you mean physical or emotional? If emotional – in what context?
Tina M Games:  Our need for healing – whether it’s physical, emotional, mental or spiritual – often stems from self-neglect. Mothers get a lot of mixed messages from society about our role. Many of us have been taught that to take care of ourselves is considered selfish. So we continuously put the needs of others ahead of our own – and many times, we completely wear ourselves out to the point of physical exhaustion, overwhelm, frustration, resentment and depression.
I can’t stress enough how important self-care is to a mother. It makes her a happier, healthier person – all the way around. And her kids, her family and her community really reap the benefits!
If we could all get in the habit of scheduling time for self-care (which includes journal writing) – with the same priority that we give everyone else in our lives, we can create an even stronger ripple effect. Not only are we honoring ourselves, we are modelling a great habit for our children.

In my book, Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery, I offer a series of journal writing prompts (called Moonlight Musings) that follow a self-exploration process. Each of these prompts are designed to take a mother to a deeper place within her being – and take anywhere from five minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how connected a mom might be with a particular question.
I’ve also designed an accompanying deck of 54 journaling prompt cards. Each card offers a prompt that guides moms on an inner journey to discover more about herself and how to honor her gifts in our external world.
When a mom can connect with her own self-worth, taking good care of herself moves up the priority list. She begins to recognize the value of being emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Tina M Games and that you’ll check out her book and card deck Journaling by the Moonlight: A Mother’s Path to Self-Discovery this month at http://moonlightmomscircle.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.html

Here’s why:

When you visit the page at the link above and request a “launch reminder”, you will automatically receive a FREE pass to Tina’s 3-day “I’m a Mom… But Who Am I Really? Telesummit” with 11 creative writing moms and grandmothers speaking on how to use intuition, journaling and creativity to explore life purpose.  You can listen to the telesummit online in the comfort of your own home, and even ask questions during the broadcast.

This telesummit is a completely free “no purchase necessary”
gift from Tina, to celebrate the 1st birthday of her book.

When you buy Tina’s book or the card deck during its birthday celebration on Tuesday May 3, 2011, you can ALSO receive a complete library of beautiful personal development gifts from authors, speakers, coaches and other enlightened professionals from around the globe.

To claim your 3-Day Pass and read about the free gifts, go to: http://moonlightmomscircle.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.html

Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Tina tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Theresa Ceniccola who will be interviewing Tina on mothers finding authentic purpose, guilt, creating authentic change and support system for mothers.   To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://www.theresaceniccola.com/business/journaling-by-the-moonlight/.

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