Fidelity…some thoughts..

So this question comes up more and more these days… whether it´s the constant barrage of Facebook posts about how to maintain a successful relationship, how to keep your partner happy and faithful or how many relationships are falling apart and how easily we give up or sabotage our own happiness…

I know… big questions and well a real life issue for many.

So here are my thoughts…

I for one have certain issue with infidelity, having been cheated on by a partner in the past and knowing family and friends who have been though the same and YES, i know there are circumstances that need to be taken into account, but for anyone that knows me, my stance is strong.

If you cheat you´re out. My tolerance level for ME is such. I cannot and will not devalue myself to accept a partner who cheats on me, and once I find out, then that’s it, done.

I know it’s easier said than done.

So it may come across as rigid or even unwavering, and well I suppose it is.  But here’s where I’m coming from… I’ve had a few long term relationships throughout my adult life, where, from the very beginning cards were laid on the table. I never hide this absolute in my belief of fidelity and my belief in honesty. Luckily in all cases bar one, this was met wth agreement and respected for the duration of the relationship.

But these questions comes up often, so what happens if I’m unhappy or my partner is…does this give us a free pass to step out? NO, in my opinion, it does not.

Thankfully in my current relationship of over 8 years this was something that was discussed at the very beginning and we both strongly agreed to zero tolerance on all counts, however small or seemingly insignificant ; infidelity is not negotiable or acceptable.

I am aware that there are relationships that can function as ¨open¨(to what degree of measured success and happiness is debatable)  and that people can continue to live together and have long and seemingly healthy relationships where one or both of the partners have other partners from time to time… and hey, each to his own.

However, as hard as I try to keep my mind open on this issue, I just know that this is just not for me. I value ME too much!

And the one time it did happen, I remember the pain it caused, in not knowing how to handle it for a while.. But boy do I feel grateful for that experience, as it taught me about ME and about my worthiness and that yes mistakes can be made but also there is a consequence to every action and we all need to stop and listen and trust ourselves in knowing when enough is enough or we chose to continue to be disrespected or devalued.

In the search for doing what is right for us as individuals, I respect the choices of others, but that does not mean I subscribe to them, understand them or support them.

And hey! That’s okay!  We don’t all have to agree! We just have to respect that we have to live our own truth and take responsibility and deal with the consequences of our actions.

What I have learned is that we are a complicated species. Where love is concerned, most of us live our whole lives looking for it and once we’ve found it, holding on to it.

And finding love is indeed a wonderful thing.

But what about one’s own love for oneself ? One’s own fidelity? Where do we stand there? Are we true and honest with ourselves? Are we forgiving? Are we loving unconditionally?  When mistakes are made, how do you we learn and move on from these, with love and compassion?

Those questions I have delved into over the years on a personal level, finding solace in the realization that my imperfections made me who I am, that my journey, my doubts, my moments of light and my moments of darkness all played their part.  Albeit that I have suffered pain (we all have on some level), I have arrived at a moment where I can raise my head up and look around knowing that everything that is in my present moment has come to me at the right time and space.. and all the good and wonderful that is happening came out of the myriad of other experiences (difficult and growing).. and I feel grateful.

 

I am grateful for this faith, this loyalty and this fidelity that I have come to adopt as part of my everyday living. I look for it, I think I attract it in many ways through work, personal relationships and friendships..

And I value myself to the point that I won´t accept less, for me.

I chose.jpg

http://www.louisephelan.com

 

 

 

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Rescuing little creatures and finding them new forever homes..

I´ve always been an animal lover!  Ever since I was small we had a family pet… my earliest memories are of when Toby, our first cat, came to live with us in Ashbrook Gardens  – what a lovely cat he was! Then there was Benny, who arrived sick and wasn’t with us for too long, but he was a gorgeous dog too. Soon after then followed the gorgeous but half wild Sandy the kitten and a couple of short years later Muffy the puppy joined the family and both lived long lives and were very much loved..

My grandmother, Mildred was an animal lover, she always had cats and dogs at home and was a member of the LSPCA and the ISPCA (Limerick and Irish Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).. She was also, in latter years, a huge supporter of the Donkey Sanctuary in Co. Cork.  We would do sponsored walks, fundraising events and raise money for the Donkey Sanctuary selling christmas cards and other paraphernalia in aid of the Donkey Sanctuary, a place where rescued, abused, abandoned or retired donkeys came to live out their days and delight visitors with their antics and unique personalities!

In fact the very last card she wrote to me was on Donkey Sanctuary note paper. I received the card when I returned back to the US after her funeral and as hard as it was, it gave me such joy to read her words and I still have this card 🙂

Together with my grandmother Mildred, or as we called her Moma, we used to walk down to feed the swans regularly at the wild life sanctuary which was a short walk away from where she lived…  These memories will remain forever in my heart and have contributed to me and many other members of my family choosing to love and care for rescue animals.

When I moved to Mexico City on a permanent basis in 2010, I quickly realized that there were ALOT of animals that were in distress, abandoned, mistreated and being used for cruel sports and sacrificed for religious rituals.

I was truly horrified to see very very sick dogs and cats roaming some of the streets and often times being ignored or even kicked away by people who gave them little or no value in life.  I would return to the apartment where I lived and cry and struggle with the amount of lives that were being lost, trying to think of a way that we (my partner and I) could do something. We weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination at that time and we didn’t have a plethora of wealthy friends or a network of societies and people to turn to, so we began at ground zero.. One at a time..

Before I continue, I have to also mention that there are LOTS and LOTS of animals in Mexico that are well taken care of and loved as member of the family.  Unfortunately there is an opposite end of the spectrum where the contrary occurs and kittens, puppies, cats and dogs as well as other animals, get thrown out of homes, put into plastic bags, left in card board boxes on the side of the high way or main avenues (and that´s just telling you where we found some of our rescues).

Living in a small space proved challenging at the best of times as rescues came and went regularly and there were moments when every day had its challenges  but also its rewards..

Since 2010 we have rescued and re-homed over 60 animals, cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and also a baby chicken (his name was Nicholas 🙂  We gave them all names and we are in touch from time to time with their new families..

It is something that has come into my life and now plays a huge part in it. I can’t imagine not being able to do this.  That said, there are times that choices have to be made and I won’t get to all of the needy animals out there… But we try and remembering the cuddles and the unconditional love that is given to us from those gorgeous creatures that cross our paths is worth it all.

I give 10% of my CD sales income to animal rescue causes and hope to be able to someday, dedicate more time to this work as well as more ways to support animal rescue.

I am compiling a photo collection of all the animals we have rescued and will share them on here soon.  For now, we have six with us!  They have brought nothing but joy into our lives.

Popis: female dog found wandering the street

Baxter: male dog found abandoned shaking and barking outside a supermarket

Sneaky: male dog born to Popis and Baxter

Dorothy: female cat, found in a plastic bag thrown on the side of the street

Mildred: female cat, found in a plastic bag with her sister Dorothy & her brother Tim

Grace: female kitten, found in a cardboard box on the side of a major avenue

So, here are some of the animal rescue and animal rights organization websites at home in Ireland, here in Mexico and internationally that I support:

http://www.ispca.ie/

http://www.peta.org/

http://www.somosrescateanimal.org/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/albergue-san-cristobal/telefonos-de-rescate-animal-en-el-df-ciudad-de-mexico/414495855232727/

http://www.clubperruno.com/directorio/d-f/proteccion-y-rescate-de-perros/

 

Animal should be treated humanely and not suffer pain at the hands of humans.

This TED TALK was also 15 well spent minutes…

And this is my gorgeous and wonderful grandmother Mildred O’Connor with her dog Sam.

Mom a and sam

Please don’t buy your pets, adopt a RESCUE!!!

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I believe in miracles…and alternative healthcare options…

The other day I received some wonderful and actually somewhat miraculous news!! A dear friend who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour and who was given a horribly doom-filled prognosis by the doctors, had an MRI scan and the cancer is GONE! GONE!!!!

It´s truly wonderful and I have to say that this news has restored my faith even more than ever in MIND over BODY work and in natural and alternative health therapies, cures and practices! Hurrah indeed!

As for my encounters with the alternative…..  well as I work with Alexander Technique, I suppose that kind of falls under that umbrella for the main stream, although I look at it as something more of an education and an overall heightened conscious awareness.

However, that said, it doesn’t mean I steer clear of other forms of alternative health and healing. In fact I support looking at other options when one feels that is the right thing to do.

So, last week, I went and had a spiritual cleanse with a Cuban shaman who is someone I have come to admire greatly as he seems to me, every time I see him, to have a positive light around him and he exudes empathy and healthy resolve in situations that would seem otherwise overwhelming, out of control or just plain awful to most.

What I have come to understand is that there are ancient ceremonious, tried and tested ways to rid ourselves of negative energies and things that might be stuck inside of us without even knowing.

I’ve known that these ceremonies and practices exist and have come across and lightly experimented with one or two over the years with much success but never until now, quite so effective!

I´ve always been a believer that we are our own best healers, and this is essentially the premise to this work as well, but with some guidance along the way which is always appreciated. Of course trusting our intuition is a must in these cases and not just jumping into whatever with out getting a sense that it feels right for you.

If you’d have told me I’d be off having regular spiritual cleanses every month, I may not have believed you a few years ago. Maybe it was the sceptic in me and the fact that I was hell bent on figuring my own ¨shit¨ out and fixing it myself!

But suffice to say, here I am, three cleanses later and I feel good! Even lighter, emotionally and mentally, I feel like energies have been and are moving and much needed forgiveness and resolve is taking place as well as decisions are being made and doors of opportunity and learning are opening more and more!

Meditation is also something that has come back into my life more recently…  A quietening of the mind as I like to think of it. It doesn’t take a huge effort to just set aside 10-15 mins a day to just lie down or sit down somewhere relatively quiet and be mindfully breathing and quieting the mind.. maybe listening to some relaxing music or mantras.

For me meditation is worth a whole other blog space as when I get back into regular meditation I find things flow even easier and I often don’t understand why I’ve let so much time pass.

So having these options available to me and listening to my mind and my body when it tells me it needs to stop, rest, take a step back etc… All of the above has be instrumental in me staying well, living well and above all continuing to improve my body, mind and spirit connection

So whether I’m in a moment of teaching or singing, chatting with my partner, family or friends, potting a plant, watching my cats play or listening to my nieces laughter, there’s always some presence of peace, wellbeing and JOY!

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Time and space…

So there never seems to be enough time in the day and since moving and living in one of the biggest cities in the world (Mexico City) I find that time seems to just run away with itself!

Time OFF is virtually non existent now, as there´s always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to see etc etc..

SO how does one manage this time management issue and still hope for a few breaths of air once or twice a day.

I have to say honestly, I have struggled with it.  I mean, I have my days or weeks when I seem to feel like I´m on top of everything… but then the dreaded OVERLOAD ensues and I find myself, for want of a better expression, literally chasing my tail. From dawn to dusk it´s a never ending TO DO.

Thankfully, the TO DO’s that fill my days are all things that I love.  SO I don’t find them unwanted or undesired chores. THIS helps enormously! Even if my body is tired and just want to roll over and have a ¨duvet day¨ hahaha!

Actually there are times I need to just check out… and have a day to catch up on sleep, maybe watch some Ted Talks videos online or just read a book and enjoy my cup of lemon and ginger tea with the phone switched off.

Mobile phones smart phones, ipads, youtube, twitter, facebook, instagram, periscope, myspace your space… hmmm… it can all get a little too much sometimes, so I prefer to just press the pause button, knowing that I´ll eventually press the play button again, but need a little ME time and a little ME space.

So why did life suddenly get really busy and why oh why does it feel like time is moving more quickly.. I was so perplexed by this that I in fact went and started to investigate is there was some other explanation other than just getting older lol!  And apparently there is!  TIME DILATION!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

So, suffice to say, I am somewhat comforted to know that there may very well be a scientific explanation for why time is running away with itself, or at the very least running faster and…. it has to  do with gravity!

Oh gravity, my dear and trusted friend!  You bring me back to earth, support me, activate my anti-gravity reflex muscles and teach me so much every day… And now, you are partly to blame for time flying!

Ah sure could be worse!

Needless to mention, all scientific explanations aside, TIME IS MOVING FASTER! And in Mexico City it moves at an even faster speed because there simply are not enough hours in the day!  Things to do, people to see, family and close friends across the globe to FaceTime with, friends here to catch up with, exercise to be done, rescue animal homes to be found, kittens to play with, dogs to walk, mother-in-law to spend time with, work to be done, ted-talk videos to be seen, Downton Abbey to caught up on, social media to be updated, blogs to be written, classes to be scheduled and planned, rehearsals to be scheduled and planned for, concerts to perform, projects and plans to be in place, hummus and dark chocolate to be eaten, tea to be drunk, red wine to be sipped, hugs and kisses to be exchanged, inhaling and exhaling etc etc… You see where I´m going here!

And you see, every single one of these To Do´s are things I want to do! Things I WILL do, but all in their own TIME and SPACE.  Which means…… patience, organization, acceptance, sleep and rest, also exercise and trying to remain calm and not giving in to the inevitable temptation to be over-overwhelmed!

So whenever I feel that the dreaded OVERWHELMING feeling coming over me, I stop. I don´t always succeed. Sometimes I might just have a bit of a cry if I´m exhausted physically, but then I stop again and I take stock. I see the viable solutions to problems and I solve them or I delegate and most of all I take an overall look at the NOW and I see what is within my healthy possibilities and I move from there.

I also say NO, when I know that it is just one too many projects or balls to juggle in the air.  It’s hard to say NO to something that you really want to be a part in actually, but it has to be done. My rule of thumb is, if I can’t dedicate the time the project deserves then I won’t feel good more will I enjoy the experience. SO I have had to say NO to a few things that I hope will maybe come back around at another time.

My body lets me know and I listen when it tells me to stop.

Between teaching Alexander Technique at the Opera Studio, the youth orchestra, teaching privately from my studio, being involved in several different musical projects, rescuing and/or taking care of kittens and puppies as well as our three dogs and three cats, spending time with my mother-in-law and my partner, travelling for work and staying in touch with family… It´s FULL ON! So rest is a priority and eating healthy as well as exercise helps me tremendously too!

So as I sit here typing, with the gorgeous rescue kitten who has been staying with us for a while, Nick, curled up on my lap, I do feel like I´m headed in the right direction, or at least so far so good….

Time for a FaceTime with my best bud who´s in Denver now!

I shall post this blog now and await any thoughts or musings you may have on TIME DILATION and how you yourself manage your time and your space 🙂

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