Wednesday, 14 November 2018

I AM LISA


I had two names.

My pseudonym, Cassie Kennedy, was born when I became a writer.  Working for Police Scotland as a Researcher it seemed like a good idea at the time, I did not examine the reasons why I needed to embrace another identity.  I only trusted my instincts.

Cassie Kennedy become my champion, the more confident part of myself and I gloried in her presence.  When fear shrunk Lisa, Cassie came to protect her.

The dichotomy is I didn't acknowledge or accept my need to hide within another identity.  Now in retrospect, I understand why.  Cassie was my protector and like a lioness with her young cub, she kept me safe.  And I'm forever grateful because when I could not see in the dark, she took my hand in hers and led me into the light.

I will be forever grateful to her, my family and my friends for helping me to see Lisa.  Lisa May to be exact named because my Mum, the original lioness, liked the name and May, after my kind-hearted and loving Gran. 

For years, Lisa hid in the dark, scared of moving, scared of making a noise and scared of being hurt because she didn't understand anything other than fear.

In the last year, I've found these twin energies are more alike than I gave them credit for.  It turns out Lisa is independent, determined and spirited and she smiles and laughs regularly.  And I have gloried in making her re-acquaintance.

To those who know me as either Lisa or Cassie I'll still answer to both and I’m thankful for your understanding.  For I am both vulnerable and brave.  

I am me. 







Wednesday, 7 November 2018

THE YEAR OF SAYING YES



Recently, while out celebrating with friends, I came upon an idea.  It was a night of celebration; a culmination of 10 months of introspection, self-awareness and a feeling of merging into something more than I have been.  My idea manifested as 'the year of saying yes' of being open to new experiences, with caveats, I'm allowed to say no to anything making my nostrils flare.  While I say this in jest, genuine curiosity lingers at where this approach may take me.

However, I've not always felt this way.  Three years ago, I wrote a blog called 'open your heart' and at the time I genuinely believed my heart was open.  It wasn't.  It was locked in a prison of my own making.

In recent years, I have cancelled plans with friends but I was unsure of the arrangements, I've halted relationships because I was scared and I have closed my heart in case it gets broken.  And I've done it all because I wanted to stay safe.  And to those I pushed away, for my part, I'm truly sorry.  I didn't know why then, I do now.

Creativity is the only place I allowed myself to be free and through the world of my imagination I have lived a thousand lives, yet as the ending of any story unfolds, I have discovered within the now, the expectations, the what if's, the maybes and the outcomes no longer matter.

I’m writing this now because it’s time for me to step out in faith, to believe and trust in myself and others.  Even if it’s dark outside, even if it's scary and even if it hurts, I’m still going to do it.   I'm going to let myself to be vulnerable and be seen.  I am going to live and love a full, brave and happy life.

That’s the secret.  When you unlock the door, you get yourself, the real you, and it's such a gift.  I'm so thankful I'm here right now.  And as for the what's on the other side of the door? I don't know yet, I'll see it when I get there. 


Tuesday, 28 August 2018

THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS


Recently, I watched The Theory of Everything.  It's a movie that’s been on my list for a while and my viewing came at exactly the right time.

Professor Stephen Hawking.  A man whose life epitomised making the impossible - possible.  When diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) aged 21 he was given a couple of years to live and and survived for another fifty-five.  

And what a life he lived as a Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist and Author.  Translating astronomical theory into an everyday conversation.  I own a well thumbed copy of A Brief History of Time and every time I pick it up it makes me feel smart and intellectually insecure at the same time.  The whimsical first sentence enthrals me.

"We live in a strange and wonderful universe."

What I love about Professor Stephen Hawking is his spirit.  His undeniable passion for science and thirst for learning.  As his diagnosis progressed, he communicated at the end of his life by using only his left cheek to type the his words into a computer screen.  Embracing life experientially with infectious self-deprecating humour with appearances on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory.  And who can forget the smile on his face as he experienced weightlessness at the age of 75. 

What a life. 

When he passed earlier this year the scientific community reacted with genuine grief at the loss of this inspiring soul and celebrated not only his unique contribution to their field but his humanity.  Professor Stephen Hawking never gave up.  No matter what the limitations he always persevered.

Lately, I've been thinking about perseverance.  As a scholar of psychology and counselling, you naturally refer to your internal building blocks and last week I discovered the source.  I listened to my Mum talking about determination, how once she starts something she finishes it and I marvelled at her.  My Mum describes herself an in introvert and she is, however, she is also my rock, my champion, my guiding light and my dose of common sense when I need it most.  I'm so very lucky to be her daughter.  And when I grit my teeth, dig deeper and work harder, I call upon the inheritance my Mum gave me to go the extra mile. 

When you are doing what you love - what burns the fire of your passion, you feel so alive and inspired you exist within a world where the impossible is possible and nothing else exists.

Professor Stephen Hawking lived in that world and so do I.  I may not get there today or tomorrow but I’ll get there.  I always do.   Because I’m my mother’s daughter and I will never ever give up.



The composition, The Arrival of the Birds, by Johann Johannson from The Theory of Everything soundtrack is magical and I would encourage a listen.

I AM LISA

I had two names. My  pseudonym, Cassie Kennedy, was born when I became a writer.  Working for Police Scotland as a Researcher it se...