Category Archives: Dreams

Light Up Your Life – Be a Star

How do we deal with darkness and light in our lives?

Light Up Your Life - Be a Star - The Last Krystallos

Terry Pratchett in Reaper Man wrote: ‘Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.’

…but I agree with Robert D. Hales that ‘Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs.’

Moreover, Teal Swan tells us: ‘There is no source of darkness in this universe. There is only the presence of light and the absence of light. Darkness does not exist; it only appears to exist. In truth, it is only the absence of light.’

Both Light and Dark - J. K. Rowling - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

However you choose to deal with the two elements, they will touch your life. The old Indian legend: There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is: which wolf wins? The one you feed. Offers the best insight into how we should deal with them.

I often feel, though, that darkness has been given a bad narrative, I like the dark. I love winter and its cosy early nights, I love being out beneath the stars, and sliding beneath a warm duvet to sleep in the pitch black is heavenly. I’m more comfortable with dark colours, earthy tones, and have a black cat. The dark has its place, without it our internal clocks would go crazy, and so would we!

We need the dark to appreciate the light. Like all opposites, without it life would be dull and unrewarding. Even if we use symbolic darkness, we still need sadness, despair, pain, and trials to know and love happiness, joy, good health, and fulfilment.

Stars can't shine without darkness - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

And after all: Stars can’t shine without darkness…

We’ve all been through dark times and, generally, come out the other side better people. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is most welcome. Darkness gives us the opportunity to grasp light and embrace it. Eleanor Roosevelt said: ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness…’ Light your candle and let your light shine.

I’ve written before on who we are, and we’re all a mixture of light and dark, but it would be good to allow our sparkle to shine. We can be positive, happy, and bright, and shine like stars.

Dance until the stars fall from the sky and fill your hair with sparkle and light - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

We are an intrinsic part of this universe, whether you feel it spiritually or physically. In Cosmos, Carl Sagan tells us: ‘The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.’ We are made with the same atoms, molecules, and particles as stars… Think about that for a moment. In fact, this quote from sci-fi writer Doris Lessing enchants me: ‘We are all creatures of the stars and their forces, they make us, we make them, we are part of a dance from which we by no means and not ever may consider ourselves separate.’  So, let’s shine like them.

How do you see yourself? Are you made from the same stuff as stars? Whether you believe in Deity, Humanism, Atheism, or you are just Agnostic, DNA and the science of genetics is undeniable. However we dress it up we are created, made, formed with interstellar dust!

And whenever I talk about dust I am pulled right back into Lyra’s world in Philip Pullman’s: His Dark Materials… I won’t give away what Dust is, but it is integral to consciousness. Go read the books…

Light is a fluid of sunbeams - At-Tunikhi - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

So, light and dark, particles, DNA, and dust, interstellar stardust, are part of us. When we feel dark, or lost in the shadows, we can light the way. Light lives within us, and we can emit it without even thinking. Imagine what we can do if we choose to? ‘To be a star you must follow your own light, follow your own path, and never fear the darkness for that is when the stars shine their brightest.’

Shinesparkle, glitter, effervesce, shimmer, and glow with the light that lives within you.

Light replaces darkness - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Find your path, join your constellation, follow your dreams…
Know that when darkness falls it will always be replaced by light.

‘Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.’
– Sarah Williams, Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse

Advertisements

Losing your Armour – Breaking Down Walls – Embrace YOU

If I’d been a fairy-tale princess, I’d have been Rapunzel – not because of my hair –
but because I keep myself locked away in an impenetrable tower…
Have you lived behind walls – a self-imposed fortress?
Is there really a way to break down those barriers?

Losing your Armour and Breaking Down Walls - Embracing You and Becoming who you should be - The Last Krystallos

Living with anxiety, panic, depression, and low self-esteem lead me to seclusion. I only had a few really close childhood friends. I was open and friendly, but also detached. I was very hurt when in one of my school reports my class tutor wrote that I was aloof. I was about fifteen and though not shy, I was reserved and quiet, and the thought that anyone believed I was unapproachable or lofty was painful. If you truly knew me, I opened up, and was as fun and as giggly as the next teen, but you had to fight and get past my demons before you were allowed into my space.

As clinical depression hit in my late teens, I withdrew. My husband soon became all that I needed, especially after I cut the proverbial apron strings. I brought up three children in my twenties and hit a major crisis in my thirties. Except for my husband I had no one to fall back on, and I felt increasingly lonely. This loneliness lead me to build walls, and when friends I made generally moved away, I stopped making close friendships. My family became my life and my sole focus, even to the detriment of knowing myself.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are -E.E.Cummings - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

An assault took me to medication and therapy, and finally I began to take time for myself. My psychiatrist once told me that women in their thirties made the best psychiatric patients as they truly work hard to know themselves, and can make changes in their lives. My children, then teens, also encouraged me to know who I was and to venture from my tower.

To be nobody but yourself - the last krystallos- lisa shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Midlife can be the best time to work on you – to truly learn who you are and what you can become.

Brené Brown put it like this:

”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

Over the past fifteen years I’ve started shedding my armour and discovered how to break down my walls.

owning-our-story-and-ourselves-bravest-thing-brene-brown-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

I’d spent so long hiding that emerging was tough. It still is. But there are so many reasons to open up and become who you should be. Just watch spring blossom, or a rose, bloom – it’s worth every painful moment of development.

We grow all the time, inside us – ideas, passions, talents, confidence, courage, all these things are slowly rising ready to develop wings to lift us over our walls, bursting forth preparing to shatter our armour. We only have to acknowledge and embrace who we are.

If you cannot be the poet, be the poem-David Carradine-Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

How? I hear you say, weighed down with cares, emotions, and an introvert’s anchor plunged deep into your ocean bed…

It’s all about beliefself-belief. That armour that served you so well, keeping you safe, will eventually crush you, it will weigh you down more than your anchor, and will crush your spirit. Instead of hiding behind your walls, let those wings open like a phoenix and lift you over your fears and everything that overwhelms you. Soar like a dragon, set fire to your inner demons and 

Know that you are perfect just as you are.

Know that you don’t need permission from anyone else to be great.

Know that you are exactly who you are meant to be.

Know that you are loved and worthy of love.

Know that only you can ever be the best you.

Our deepest fear... - Marianne Williamson - The last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

I still live in a tower, but I’m learning how to break down the walls, how to fly and soar, free from the anchors and armour that weighed upon my spirit and dampened who I am.

Be who you are meant to be…

Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience-Anna Quindlen-Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Break down those walls and become who you are…

It's time to show up and be seen - Brené Brown - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Your Vote Counts – Vote for the Future #GE2017

This week, in the UK, we Vote…

Your Vote Counts - Vote for the Future - General Election 2017 - The Last Krystallos

My colours are nailed to the wall, always have been…
I’m the kind of person you can read like a book
and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but if you’ve seen my Facebook or Twitter you’ll know where my heart lies, and I won’t apologise for posting information and my political beliefs.

My plea for this election, a sudden – out-of-the-blue – UK General Election, called purely because the Prime Minister thought she’d win with a landslide, is to vote for those around you rather than for yourself, if your circumstances permit.

We’ve seen this world – this society – become overwhelmingly selfish. Those who are wealthy – want more, those who have enough – want more, those without – want more. It’s a natural ideology, we all want more, and that’s okay, but only one of those groups actually need more.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin, excuse the pun, we’ve counted the literal pennies and had nothing left at the end of the week, and at other times we’ve been able to save and spend. 90% of those without are without because of circumstance, not a lack of hard work, or laziness, and it’s highly offensive to blame people for their circumstances without knowing or understanding them.

The test of our progress... Franklin D. Roosevelt

We need to be considerate and compassionate and vote accordingly. We need to vote to help jobs, to save the NHS, to save lives, to offer affordable education, to raise living wages, to raise living standards, to eradicate poverty, to care for our children, the environment, and their future.

I want to vote for the future of this world, not my present one, but for policies that will guide and save our future – not condemn it and future generations. If I can do that I will save my present world alongside the future.

I want to vote for the future o f this world... Lisa Shambrook The Last Krystallos UK General Election 2017

© Lisa Shambrook

Please educate yourself, learn about the parties and their policies: Labour Conservative Liberal DemocratsGreenUKIPPlaid CymruSNP…  Read the manifestos and vote with your conscience.

As a final point – no matter what, please vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only Landowners and the Aristocracy could vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only men were allowed to vote.

It wasn’t long ago that only those over the age of 21 were permitted to vote.

There are still countries that deny the right to vote, through gender, age, circumstance, and still countries that do not hold free elections.

People have died for your right to vote, and every single vote matters. It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 118 – your vote is important in free politics.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

© Lisa Shambrook

There are plenty of apps and information out there to help you make your decision. Take a look at this 2017 Election Quiz or this one 38Degrees GE2017…and see whose manifesto policies you affiliate most with. Don’t listen to the mainstream media, do your own research.

But, most importantly, use your privilege to cast your vote – make it count…

…For the Many, Not the Few…

Bucket Lists and Dreams – Just Do It

Just recently I looked back at the things I’ve been doing for fun,
and it made me search out the Bucket List I made a few years ago!
What have I done since writing it?

Bucket Lists and Dreams - Just Do It - The Last Krystallos

Eleven years ago, back in 2005, I wrote a list. I realised as I came out of a long period of depression that I just wasn’t happy, we weren’t having fun – and I wanted that to change! The list included some easy, simple ideas, and some bigger, more out of reach dreams. Some of the simple things: meal out with the family, go swimming, paddle along the shore, swim in the sea, kick autumn leaves, play football on the beach, build a sandcastle, have a barbeque, write a poem, build a snowman, do a big jigsaw and more… The bigger things included: fly in a helicopter, romantic evening with Vince, night away with Vince, learn Welsh, paint a dragon, take a family holiday, outline a new story, take a maths GCSE, fly in an aeroplane, do Vertigo, buy a Suburu with rally decals…

family-portraits-the-last-krystallos

Family Portraits © Lisa Shambrook

We did some – as you, and your family, get older there is often a little more money available and we managed a surprise trip to Edinburgh on an aeroplane. We bundled the children into the car at 4am and took them on a mystery tour ending up at Cardiff airport and spending the day in Scotland! We went up in a helicopter for Bekah’s 16th birthday as Vince had a client who flew a helicopter and he was paid in kind with a ride up in the sky! Beaches were easy and we had barbeques, including getting pushed off the beach by the rising tide and finishing the barbeque at home in the back yard, in the rain! I swam in the Blue Lagoon at Aberieddy, a 90’ deep lagoon, loved it! Vince and I have had some nights away. Ice skating on the Isle of Wight, bought a real Christmas tree, family holidays to Butlins, got a dog, I passed my motorbike test, decorated some amazing cakes, took some awesome family portraits. I began a whole new career as an author and published three books. Vince flew a plane, and I got air sick.

helicopter-blue-lagoon-motorbike-planes-vertigo-the-last-krystallos

Helicopter, motorbike, planes, Blue Lagoon and Vertigo © Lisa Shambrook

I even did some things not on the list: I started a business – Amaranth Alchemy. I got my first high heels, got my first Dr Martens too. I didn’t paint, but I did create art and many stories.  I went to the ballet and saw Giselle. We went to Harry Potter Studios, saw Les Miserables in the West End, wrote a book in 30 days doing NaNoWriMo – twice, and I’ve dived from a 10ft diving board and lots more!

bucket-list-boots-the-last-krystallos

Bucket List and Boots © Lisa Shambrook

Some things will be crossed off the list because they are no longer important to me: I have lost the desire to skydive but my daughter did a couple of weeks ago – and it wasn’t as big a thrill as she’d hoped! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford piano lessons or a piano, I don’t want a rally car anymore, and I don’t feel the need to complete a maths GCSE, I’m at peace with my F grade!

travel-theatre-bekah-skydive-the-last-krystallos

Theatre, Bekah’s Skydive, wild camping, London © Lisa Shambrook

So what is there now? I’ve flown in that helicopter, I’ve done Vertigo at Oakwood Park, I passed my bike test, and taken the kids on a surprise holiday, and we even slept out in the wild in a tent on Dartmoor when we went wild camping, and began a pottery class.

cosplay-the-last-krystallos

Cosplay © Lisa Shambrook

There’s a lot more to come!

My new/current Bucket List contains more dreams
and some I haven’t ticked off my last list.

Build a big, old fashioned sandcastle on the beach.
Go to a Spa.
Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
Ride a gondola in Venice.
Climb the Eiffel Tower.
Go up in a hot air balloon.
Climb mount Snowdon.
Ride a long zip wire.
Rewrite my dragon books and publish.
Paint a dragon!
Stand out in heavy rain and get soaked.
Swim in a tidal swimming pool.
Learn sign language – I did once, but have forgotten it.
Travel with Vince on our motorbikes.
Get a professional massage.
Go on a Norwegian Fjord Cruise.
Drive a rally car – but not own one!
Do NaNoWriMo again.
Have a gardener fix my wild garden so I can redesign it.
Achieve consistent book sales.
Write a best seller.
Visit Canada.
Visit Iceland.
Bathe in hot springs in Iceland.
Walk on a glacier.

cake-decorating-the-last-krystallos

Decorating Cakes © Lisa Shambrook

In my debut novel Beneath the Rainbow, Freya leaves a list behind and her family vow to do the things she’d wanted to do… One of her dreams is one I share – to build a big sandcastle, on the beach complete with turrets and a moat! 

author-art-pottery-amaranth-alchemy-the-last-krystallos

Author, art and Amaranth Alchemy © Lisa Shambrook

What about you, what’s at the top of your Bucket List?

What have you already ticked off your list?

Get out there and have fun!

Destination Star Trek 50th Anniversary

I’ve been a Trekkie for a long, long time,
and I always wanted to boldly go to a Star Trek Con!

destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-the-last-krystallos
Since my teenage years watching Jean-Luc Picard, “Make it so” has been a watchword, a phrase that encapsulates my own dreams, and the spirit of adventure that we all need. So, throughout The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager… (sorry, haven’t seen Enterprise, yet) and eagerly looking forward to the new incarnation, I am right there. Got the movies box set and enjoying the new films and parallel universe, and handing the fandom down to my children too, yes, I’m parenting well!

jadzia-klingon-borg-destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-oct-2016

© Lisa Shambrook – Caitlin Shambrook – Bekah Shambrook

Birmingham NEC was the destination for the 50th Star Trek Anniversary in Europe and we spent our Saturday amongst a sea of red, gold, and blue. Uniforms of all generations, and wonderful cosplay! Data, the Borg, Klingons, lots of Andorians, and many more aliens.

jadzia-dax-cait-and-data-and-spock-bekah-destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-oct-2016

© Lisa Shambrook – Bekah Shambrook

My daughters cosplayed as Spock and Jadzia Dax, Vince wore his Enterprise Haynes Manual t-shirt, and I wore sleek black with my DS9 communicator!

bekah-spock-and-borg-and-cait-jadzia-dax-destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-oct-2016

© Lisa Shambrook

We saw Armin Shimerman (Quark – DS9), Walter Koenig (Chekov – TOS), Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris – Voyager) and Nicole De Boer (Ezri Dax – DS9) signing photos. Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi – TNG), Gates McFadden (Dr Crusher – TNG), Will Wheaton (Wesley Crusher – TNG), George Takei (Sulu – TOS), and William Shatner (Captain Kirk – TOS) were also there. We’d have loved to have seen Brent Spiner (Data – TNG), Michael Dorn (Worf – TNG), John De Lancie (Q – TNG, Voyager), Jonathan Frakes (Will Riker – TNG) and obviously Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard – TNG) but many of these actors had other commitments.

destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-oct-2016

© Lisa Shambrook

I’d hoped to find exhibits of the ships, Enterprise etc, which would have been cool, but there was a great art exhibition, talks, and lots of mechandise.

destination-star-trek-50th-anniversary-art-gallery-the-last-krystallos

Destination Star Trek Art Gallery

Anyway, we had lots of fun, photo opportunities, great cosplay and the pleasure of being amongst our people! 

Here’s to the next 50 years
to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations,
to boldly go where no one has gone before…

Free Spirits and Happiness

I yearn for freedom, for open skies, hills to run, and oceans to swim.
I yearn for the ability to drop everything and escape when life gets too much,
and sometimes I do. Sometimes I need to escape.

Free Spirits and Happiness - The Last Krystallos
My own views on mortality herald free-agency as a major part of our existence, and though life and circumstance does its best to trap us, freedom and reaching for our dreams is the key to happiness.

Dryslwyn-Castle-Lisa-The-Last-Krystallos-June-2016

© Lisa Shambrook

What is happiness? There’s a quote which says ‘Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.’ Henry David Thoreau. Sometimes we put too much into trying to find happiness when we should be enjoying life as it is, reaching for the stars, and supping at life’s great feast. Happiness can be the simplest of things to some, like bare feet on dewy grass, or the riches of life, like an expensive glass of champagne, to another, but it’s the liberty of choice that offers both of these.

Many of us regard things we own as the things which make us happy. I could list a fair few possessions that I love which make me happy, we all could, but what are the most important things?

purple-hearts-free-spirit-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

They say when you love something you must set it free ‘If you love something, let it go. If it returns, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it wasn’t. If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.’ (Commonly attributed to Richard Bach)

The-Bird-of-Happiness-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

There’s a story I remember as a child, a Swedish tale, retold in a picture book I adored. It told the story of The Bird of Happiness. A little boy loses his kite and is upset at its loss. An old man tells him possession is not happiness. Then tells the children the story of a bird, a beautiful golden bird, and it showers a village with happiness. Everyone was happy, and no one was in need while the bird flew and watched over them. Then one day the people began to worry what would happen if the bird ever left, if it forsake them, and they lost their happiness so they decided to build a cage. It was a fine cage, a magnificent cage of pure gold, and while the bird was asleep they trapped it and shut it in the cage.
Every day people came to see the bird, and it was sad, but no one could see. It refused to eat and its golden feathers dulled, and as it paled and greyed a twilight descended over the town. The people became unhappy, and the only thing that shone was the golden bird cage. The bird grew tired and smaller every day.
Then one day the sun stopped shining and the sad town grew quiet, and a flicker of a flame ignited in the cage. Everybody came to see as the bird burned and the fire in the cage grew and spread. The heat melted the gold and the bird suddenly rose in splendour from its ashes, bigger and more beautiful than ever. It circled and then left the town forever.
The old man told the children the bird disappeared and the townspeople had to begin to find happiness on their own. The bird now flies free and every now and then drops a tear or a feather and lights up someone’s life.

My freedoms are important to me, like the bird of happiness, without the ability to be free, to soar and to fly, I could not be happy.

Eowyn-cage-Aragorn-LOTR-Return-Of-The-King-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

In The Lord of The Rings – The Return of the King: Aragorn asks Eowyn, “What do you fear, lady?” and she responds, “A cage.”

Eowyn needed to escape, to be herself, to be a warrior and a fighter, and to reach for her dreams. My happiness lies in my family, foremost, and in nature, in the ability to write and to read and to escape. Perhaps this is why I like motorbikes, and dragons, and I feel like I have the spirit of a cat!

Raven-cat-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

I fought for many years to become myself, to spread my wings and to fly. I am forever grateful that my children have learned this truth early. Embrace who you are, embrace what makes you happy, don’t worry about being judged by those around you, they need to find themselves, not worry about who you are!

Lisa-Biker-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Fight to break those bars, to escape the cage that society places you inside. Your reason for life is you. Know yourself and then you can be the person who lifts and encourages, who inspires and stirs those around you to find themselves too. Be the person who frees others, be the one who cares, be the one who’s there.

Drop your tears and feathers into the lives around you and light up someone’s dark day.

Be happy.

What makes you happy?  

Never Changing Who I Am – Believe in Yourself

I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I’m vocal about it.
I know who I am and I believe in myself…

Never Changing who I am - Believe in Yourself - the last krystallos - Lisa Shambrook

I spent years not speaking, not literally – I’ve always enjoyed talking, but I kept myself to myself and avoided confrontation and controversy – no more. I posted last year about How to be yourself and love who you are… and once you’ve achieved that, I want you to embrace the YOU that you love!

To be nobody but yourself - ee cummings, the last krystallos, lisa shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

I’ve learned that no matter what, even a people-pleaser won’t please everyone. So stop trying. Just like I know that not everyone will love or even like my books, not everyone will like me, and I’m okay with that. I am confident enough in myself to know that those who do love me matter more than those who don’t. In the same way that when my writing touches another person and they tell me how much my book helped them, that is the person the book was written for, other opinions don’t matter.

Importantly, I keep writing for those who do love my novels, those who melt within my words and discover beauty and new worlds. I won’t change my writing to fit with the latest fad or style, my words are mine and hopefully when you uncover them you’ll drift away to a place of hope and dreams. But if it’s not your thing, that’s cool, keep looking until you find what matters to you.

This is the way I live my life. Other people matter a great deal to me, but I’m not changing who I am to fit. Once you know who you are, embrace yourself, and love yourself. It’s very true that if you can’t love yourself you’ll struggle to love others.
Robert Holden said: Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.

A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms – Sensei Ogui - the last krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

So, accept who you are
Never apologise for who you are
Love your flaws, they’re not flaws they’re YOU, uniquely you
Accept that society’s love for perfection is not only unattainable, but not truth
Stop comparing yourself to anyone
Live your own life
Be authentic, honest and true to yourself
Be good to yourself

Never changing who I am, It's Time - Imagine Dragons, the last krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Love who you are. Don’t change for anybody else. That’s not to be confused with not growing and we should always, always change for the better when we can. That’s when we accept who we are and love ourselves, when we reach for that distant star, dig deep, and spread our wings. Change is good – but never change because society tells you to, or someone doesn’t like you as you are. Only change because it is better than who you are now, and only change if you want to.

I know who I am – and I like, no, I love who I am.

Never Changing who I am - Lisa Shambrook - the last krystallos

Never Changing who I am – © Lisa Shambrook

I am a fighter and a rebel. I’m a peacemaker and a dreamer. I yell and I shout and I make a lot of noise. I whisper and ponder and learn. I battle for justice and integrity, and I yearn for equality and truth. I will stand and fight for what I believe and I won’t be quiet when voices need to be heard. I’m an observer and a star-gazer. I am a romantic and a crusader. I’m a cynic and I’m tired. I’m negative and positive. I’m an idealist and a perfectionist. I’m lost and I’m found. I’m both broken and whole. I am small, but I am, oh, so big and my ideas and my desires fill the world. I am strong and I love.

I will not apologise for being me. I don’t need to make anyone proud. I don’t need your validity, only my own, because I believe in myself.

Believe in YOU – BE YOU – Be yourself.

    Don’t let anyone change who you are.    

The Importance of Daydreaming and Freeing your Imagination…

I write about dreams, about believing in yourself
and reaching for those dreams that inspire you.
The tagline for Beneath the Rainbow is
‘It’s those silly dreams that keep us alive.’
And it really is!

The Importance of Daydreaming and Freeing your Imagination - The Last Krystallos

daydreaming-the-last-krystallos

© Bekah Shambrook

Were you the child who got told off at school for gazing out of the window, watching the clouds sail across the sky whilst you should have been learning Pythagoras?

Did you spend time staring into space as dust motes danced through rays of sunshine?

Do you lose yourself in your own mind as rain drums on your windowpane?

Has your boss tapped you on the shoulder as your muse tempts you and files rest unopened on your desk?

Unorganised thought, seeds of inspiration, moments of clarity – can all accompany daydreaming. There is a place for allowing our minds to wander, a place for letting our unconscious play, and it can benefit us.

Some of the greatest minds have come up with their ‘Eureka!’ moments through daydreaming, Richard Branson and Albert Einstein being just two of them.

Scott Barry Kaufman a psychology professor from NYU suggests expanding the list of intelligences to include “spontaneous” cognitive skills like intuition and sudden insights, which are only accessed by letting your mind ramble. So when you got told off for daydreaming many years ago, or just yesterday, know that daydreaming skills are another type of intelligence!

You use the most intricate parts of your brain when you tap into your memory banks and you can experience things that are locked when you are thinking about specific things or tasks.

Free your mind!

its-those-silly-dreams-that-keep-us-alive-lisa-shambrook-beneath-the-rainbow

© Lisa Shambrook

I’ve found it a natural way to help release stress and anxiety. It’s perhaps the opposite, or maybe companion, to mindfulness in that daydreaming lets your mind wander in an unstructured way, and free thought can be very inspirational.

Giving yourself to your mind’s ramblings can help you unlock the stresses of the day and help inspire you.

It’s also said that depression often kills daydreams, leaving the sufferer feeling flat and low. I’ve had times when my conscious has wiped out my dreams, leaving me only with nightmares, and life becomes one dimensional and hope fades away.

When daydreams or musings exist in my mind there is always hope.

i-am-imagination-peter-nivio-zarlenga-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Dreaming in the cold light of day binds both the conditions above, it provides motivation. Remember those famous words “I have a dream…”? Martin Luther King Jr acted on his dream and changed history.  Read the transcript of his speech and feel the inspiration, the strength, the hope, and motivation and discover your own dreams.

Daydreaming about our own lives helps us imagine, visualise and make choices about events before they happen, or they can inspire us to make changes.

They can literally change our lives.

those-who-dream-by-day-are-cognizant-edgar-allan-poe-eleanora-the-last-krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook (and this is my cat Raven…see what I did there…)

Where does creativity come from? It’s a mixture of dreams and motivation and action. Daydreaming is our imagination and our imagination is boundless, we can see anything in our mind’s eye and we can free-associate, which leads to both creativity and problem solving.

Our mind can see and go far beyond that which we can physically reach, thereby opening huge potential, wild ideas and even the surreal. It can break us free from the confines of logical thinking and introduce us to the lateral, the unusual and the downright odd.  

‘Perhaps imagination is intelligence having fun,’ said George Scialabba.

Daydreaming can create works of art, music, movies, books and much, much more.

So, take some time out and daydream…

readers-digest-nov-2012-daydreams-on-the-last-krystallos

Great advice found in the Nov 2012 Reader’s Digest

After all, Eleanor Roosevelt said
‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’  

Go and find yours…daydream until your muse inspires you…

the-future-belongs-to-those-who-believe-in-the-beauty-of-their-dreams-eleanor-roosevelt-lisa-shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

beneath the rainbow by lisa shambrook“Those silly dreams are what keep us alive…”
Old Thomas has a dream…one that seems way out of his reach. When he talks about it, it’s with a wry smile and a sigh. Others live his dream while he watches on the side-lines. Will he achieve his last dream, the one that keeps him alive?

Find out in ‘Beneath the Rainbow’ available on Amazon in Paperback and eBook.

9 of the Best Ways to Beat Procrastination

How can you beat procrastination and defeat the thief of time?
I always want to do all of the things – and then end up doing none of them.
So, let’s fight procrastination together!

9 of the Best Ways to Beat Procrastination - The Last Krystallos

Remove distractions/avoid interruptions – Turn off social media, no really, I mean it! Turn it off, do it now, or at least after you’ve finished my post… There are apps that can do this for you, or you can unplug the internet, or you can use willpower  – what’s that, I hear you ask? You know that personal strength inside of you…yep, it does exist – or if you have a better idea or strategy let me know – I really need to know! But, yes, turn off the TV, send the kids out to play, or at least choose a time when you have peace and quiet.

Discover what makes you waste time – um, Facebook – and take steps to reduce the time you waste.

procrastination the art of wasting one's time, the last krystallos, sleeping cat procrastination meme,

© Lisa Shambrook

Treats – have a reward ready for when you’ve finished your task. This only works if you have that proverbial self-control or if you lock it away first. If I have chocolate beside me, I eat it – while I’m procrastinating. Maybe don’t choose chocolate as your reward.

twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did, bowlines, sail away, safe harbour, catch the trade winds, sails, explore, dream, discover, H Jackson Brown Jr, Mark Twain, the last krystallos, quote,

H Jackson Brown Jr quote © Lisa Shambrook

Find your best time – find out the best time of day for being productive. I tend to finally knuckle down about an hour or two before I have to go and do the school run, then I’m back to square one and get interrupted while I’m on a roll. However, I know if I get started earlier, I can achieve so much more. Some of you will be morning people, some, like me, night owls. The worst thing for a night owl is having to get up early which curtails the opportunity to work late at night, so I’ve had to alter my habits and learn how to be productive much, much earlier! Better to cultivate an achievable productive time than languish and wait for time that will never come.

lists, how to beat procrastination, the last krystallos, one note,

My blog ideas list on One Note © Lisa Shambrook

To Do Lists – argh, the dreaded To Do List. I’m a list lover; I have them everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Scraps of paper abound with bullet points and scribbles. You can write your list on paper or use an app; not only is my house strewn with scraps of paper, but my One Note app is brimming with lists too! For some people they truly work. You can list and prioritise and those that love lists also relish that moment when you can score through an item and tick it off! Some of us even write lists including things we know we’ve already completedyes, you know you do – just so we can immediately cross things off. We get a buzz from it. Just make sure you actually do something on the list that hasn’t been finished too.

Prioritise – yep, mentioned above. Get your priorities right. There are often important things that need doing first. If it’s time sensitive it makes sense to get it out of the way. If you have so much to do you’re feeling stressed then choose a small quick thing to do first. Generally if you do something that only takes 15 minutes or less, you’ll not only feel good and be able to cross something off fast, you’ll have reduced the pressure you’re putting yourself under and achieved something. Then move onto something more complicated or time consuming.  You can even break your larger projects down into smaller chunks.

I’m world building, plotting and planning my next series of books, and rather than just list: write book, I’ve narrowed it into smaller tasks: research, history, characters, names, character bios, maps, etc, which helps me have perspective and goals I can manage.

gossamer dreams and concrete goals, setting goals, choose to put your dreams into action, lisa shambrook, the last krystallos,

Gossamer dream and concrete goals © Lisa Shambrook

Set Goals – see my post: Making Dreams Happen and Reaching Your Goals. Set achievable goals and write them down. Will Self said on writing: “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” Write things down. That’s important.

Quoted from my article linked above: Reaching our goals is the result of a choice and a decision to recognise and to work towards making something happen in our lives.

The stages of achieving are thus:

  • Recognise your dream, the thing you desire.
  • Write it down, it’s been proven that putting something on paper makes it more concrete and more likely that you will do something about it.
  • Make a plan. Save for that holiday, outline that novel, change your diet…
  • Decide to do it and don’t give up until you reach that star.

Set goals and make plans – without plans it’s difficult to motivate yourself. Your goals should have time factors, rewards and motivation.

that moment when you have so much to do you choose not to do any of it, procrastination, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Don’t guilt yourself – sometimes you’ll while away an entire day watching cats fall over themselves on YouTube, or you’ll scroll Twitter’s never-ending feed clicking here and there, or you’ll get caught up in a conversation on Facebook or Twitter. That conversation might have been important, you might have found an article you need for research, or you might have learned something new. Down time is just as important as getting things done. 

Every day I discover more and more beautiful things It’s enough to drive one mad I have such a desire to do everything my head is bursting with it Claude Monet, quote, the last krystallos,

I have such a desire to do everything – Claude Monet © Lisa Shambrook

If you didn’t accomplish anything start again tomorrow, analyse where you went wrong and take steps to fix it. Get that self-discipline working! If you’ve lost the morning, don’t give up, start again after lunch.

Lastly, just a few tips to remember – work in a warm room, it’s more conducive to productivity. If you’re overwhelmed with a large list, do some quick things first. If you’re getting bogged down, blocked or foggy, take a walk and get out into the fresh air. Fresh air will clear your mind, aid your creative juices and perhaps inspire you. Eat well and stay hydrated, drink water it can prevent headaches and keep your mind more active.

Create habits – good ones – it’s said that it takes 21 days to make a habit, maybe a month. So work on being productive and lessening your procrastination. And remember tomorrow is always a new day!

What are your tips for beating procrastination?

How do you motivate yourself?

Let’s all try and be better today than we were yesterday!

 

 

Those Moments before Sleep – which you’ll Never Remember…

I don’t know why the human brain allows us to conjure up
such brilliance as we fall asleep, but it does.

the-moments-before-sleep-dream-wake-the-last-krystallos-quote

Keep a notebook beside your bed and use it…and the ironic thing is my quote above was scribbled into my phone on One Note almost as I fell asleep…so you truly might just capture that moment of magic.

dream-bekah-the-doctors-journal-of-impossible-things

Bekah’s GCSE art from 2009 and The Doctor’s Journal of Impossible Things from ‘Human Nature’ episode, where John Smith keeps a journal of his dreams.

Don’t lose those thoughts, storylines, plans and grand ideas…keep a pen and notebook by your bed, or memo app on your phone…and write them down! 

Will Self said on writing:
“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.”