Archive for April 24th, 2011

…….and my daughter!!!   As mentioned in a previous post, yesterday was my birthday and I had the joy of spending this special day with my daughter and enjoying a couple of adventures in London.

the city of london
one of my favourite views of the City of London; just a glimpse

I slept over at my daughter’s house the night before and our day started with a lie-in (unusual for me with the type of job I have), then tea and cake (chocolate of course) in the garden.  The weather was perfect , already warm and the heat a precursor of the temperatures ahead.  After a lazy morning we set out on our adventure: first into Twickenham to Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery for tea and cupcakes. Along the way we stopped to smell the roses

if only I could have captured the heavenly perfume.......

and admire the wisteria, now in full bloom just about everywhere you look!  Of course this is the easter weekend too so naturally we had easter cupcakes!! 🙂  We sat out in the courtyard, in the shade and enjoyed our tea, chatting away enjoying the slight breeze that wafted by.

tea and easter cupcakes at Sweetie Pies

From there we headed off to Richmond and onto the first train out, into London Central for the next leg of our adventures – first a guided tour of  The Guildhall in the City of London, then a guided Shakespeare Trail.  Exciting!!!   We alighted from the tube at Temple thinking to get a bus from The Royal Courts of Justice to St Paul’s Cathedral to meet our guide. We were ever so slightly behind schedule, so when we got to Strand and discovered massive roadworks going on in the area had pretty much wrecked any chance of getting a bus, our hearts sank.  However, not all was lost and quick as wink we hopped into a London Cab and within 5 minutes we arrived at our destination.  Love that you can just hop in a cab in this city!!

getting about the City in a London Cab

We met up with the lovely Zoe who is a City of London tour guide and set off for the Guildhall.  I have been to the Guildhall a couple of times before but never on a guided tour!  So cool! I wish I could have recorded all the interesting little snippets she told us! Suffice to say it was brilliantly interesting and I loved all the little details she pointed out.  The Guildhall is so worth a visit, it is fabulous inside: the memorials are fabulous works of art and the stained glass windows; breathtaking

guildhall london, shakespeare trail

stained glass windows at The Guildhall

After the tour, we parted company briefly with our delightful tour guide and  headed over to the Guildhall Art Gallery for a look at the Roman Amphitheatre and it was fun for me to play tour guide for a wee bit and show my daughter around.  We had a quick look at some of the beautiful paintings on display and marvelled at the talent and work put into these paintings, some of which look like photographs the detail is so perfect.  In fact in many ways they are better than photos coz they have texture and depth.    Then it was a quick look at the massive painting in the foyer of gallery, stunning!!  Exiting the Gallery we saw a wedding party; the outfits were a glorious spectrum of rich colours, and what a perfect day for a wedding!

We then strolled across the city back to St Paul’s to meet up with Zoe again who would be conducting the Shakespeare Trail.  Along the way we discovered all sorts of interesting things and items of historical note.  I love just walking about this city, you just never know what you will find!

a world of discovery; historical sites

This time we were joined by a young man and the four of us set off on a jaunt around London and through the portals of history, to discover more about Shakespeare and the places in London he frequented.  There was however, one piece of information that gave me quite a jolt……Shakespeare pre-dated the current St Paul’s Cathedral!!!!  I just never really even thought about it and just kind of assumed that this was the building that he saw on his daily walks.!!!!  And…..in order to cross the river to the Globe Theatre he would have had to use a ferry!! How about that!

don't pay the ferryman till he gets you to the other side... Globe Theatre is just to the left of the bridge on the other side of the river

The weather was perfect, hot and sunny and the city was quiet/ish with not many people about. Wonderful.

We learned so much that I can’t even begin to tell you everything, so instead I will give you a brief run down and suggest you book yourself on one of the tours for a more comprehensive view of Shakespeare and the London of his time.

London in Shakespeare’s time was miniscule in comparison to the size it is today, and the great urban sprawl we know wasn’t even a figment of his imagination I am sure, and the Great Fire of 1666 would have destroyed much of what he did know. Our first stop was the remains of Roman walls discovered during excavations for new buildings, I constantly marvel at how these places are largely preserved and not ripped out…..thank goodness.   Zoe gave us a glimpse into what London would have been like in Shakespeare’s day; pretty grubby and smelly by all accounts!!! Not at all the romantic images we tend to carry around.

Next stop was the remains of the historical site of a wee church where Shakespeare was likely to have worshipped: the Parish Church of St Olave’s. We learned some delectable tidbits about his connections to this church and one of the families he was closely associated with.  We also got to see the site of the lodgings where Shakespeare made his home in later life, just over the road from St Olave’s. On our way to the next stop of the tour we walked past the remains of St Alban’s Church and I finally discovered a) the name of it and b) that it is now privately occupied!!! How amazing is that! To live in the remains of an ancient church, albeit only a very small part of it.   This area of the city is closely associated with The Museum of London (in my opinion the best museum in London and totally underrated) and the road we briefly walked along; London Wall marks the boundaries of the Roman City.  Of course the area is now filled with towering skyscrapers and busy roads, but you can still catch glimpses of Roman, Mediaeval and Tudor London in hidden corners.

Our next stop was the ancient site of  St Mary Aldermanbury Church, now a tiny little park, where you can find relics of the original walls, and Love Lane where you will find a decorative memorial with a bust of Shakespeare looking towards the River (a good 5-10 minutes walk away), as well as a carved marble book depicting his first folio; published according to the ‘True Originall Copies London 1623’.  Compiled by John Heminge and Henry Condell, close friends of Shakespeare’s, these two gentlemen are in fact buried at this site.   The memorial commemorates John Heminge and Henry Condell – fellow actors and personal friends of Shakespeare.

memorial on Love Lane

Next it was back to the Guildhall where once again I was surprised and delighted to discover the links that Shakespeare had with the Guildhall, albeit not very pleasant links.

Also to be found at the Gallery are the busts of four famous citizens of the city: William Shakespeare, Christopher Wren, Oliver Cromwell and Samuel Pepys.

Heading back towards St Paul’s Cathedral we next discovered his associations with Carter Lane, The Cockpit Tavern, St Andrews-by-the-Wardrobe Church and many other interesting snippets and fascinating sites.  These are places that we tend to walk past without even the tiniest clue of what went before.  At the King’s Wardrobe we parted company with Zoe and meandered once again along ancient lanes to take ‘sup at one of the oldest pubs in London; with links to Charles Dickens!!! Guess who is next on my list! 🙂

the centre page, dickens pickwick papers

The Centre Page, near St Paul's - for the best darn chips and onion rings in town!

We enjoyed a delicious meal of Burger and chips with onion rings for CJ and baked spud with bacon and cheese, chips and onion rings for me.  A draught of apple cider (juice) slaked our thirst!!!   Replete, we strolled down to the riverbank passing a headless man along the way,

a headless man......

then we meandered along the Thames Path.  I love these views of the river!!  By now the horizon was black with rain, and the wind whipped the rushing incoming tide into a frenzy of choppy peaks and troughs!   As we hurried along (not too fast mind), we felt spots of rain, but not enough to discourage a number of stops along the way to take photos!

rain on the horizon

By then we had come full circle and reached Temple station where I said goodbye to CJ, she heading into the underground and me on my way to Charing Cross.  I discovered a memorial to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the entrance to Inland Revenue, And then the rain came down and I got soaked along the Strand! 🙂

Charing Cross - the story

A marvellous day and what an adventure!  I have created a short video with more views of our wonderful city that you might enjoy.

p.s. you will notice some of the photos have a wide border….it seems I am having some HTML issues. I have no idea why it’s doing this!! So, if you do….please let me know 🙂

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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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