Lake Llyn Ogwen, North Wales
Sometimes faith takes you by surprise; faith in yourself, in others, or in Great Spirit.
For me, it suddenly clicked into place not long ago, and I won't bore you with the rather “mundane” (at least, to anyone but me) story, but suffice to say, we needed money. Fast. And where I would normally fret and panic, this time I just felt calm and a deep sense of knowing that it would come, that we were known to Source and help was on the way. And help did indeed arrive, in a totally unexpected way. And several times since as well. But, only when I felt that true feeling of faith that I was being looked after. Doubt stopped it from coming.
The list of similarly strange happenings continues to grow, and with each one, my faith deepens. Faith that not only am I being taken care of, but I am being handed pieces of the puzzle that is slowly-but-surely building my dream life in ways I could never have imagined. Small stuff to begin with but recently it's gotten big… Very BIG. And I felt compelled to share the current goings-on for us in our small square of the Universe.
If you read the post about my recent situation with my hubby's money issues you'll know that life has not exactly been straightforward for us. We are in the midst of several seemingly insurmountable problems:
Me not being able to work much around Paul's shifts (8-day rolling rota, so he's never off the same days each week)
Not being able to regularly take the kids to activities that would support them in their home education or making friends
Not having enough money coming in to make ends meet without a struggle let alone get a second car that would've helped with all of these things
Just when we thought we'd sorted things out so we could get by, the small bonus Paul got at the beginning of the year pushed his tax bracket up and we lost most of our weekly benefits money that pretty much fed us and paid for Paul's petrol to get to work and back
Unless we were willing to move to a really shitty area and live in a small house with no garden, we couldn't buy anything cheaper than where we're currently living if we wanted to stay down here in Kent.
First off I want to mention that back in April I told my husband that I really felt like we needed to have the house back on the market by the end of August. I couldn't say why exactly, except that I just had the strongest feeling that what we were waiting for would be ready for us then and we needed to be ready for it. Well, being the practical and much-less-airy-fairy-than-me kind of bloke he is, he eventually talked me out of it and I resigned myself to waiting until March 2019. He argued it'd give us more time to do the work we wanted to do as well as get us a higher price for the property to improve our chances for a decent house closer to where we were before. I figured, whatever would be, would be.
Then one night Paul came home and said “Eff it, let's move to Wales.”
Now, he's said things like this before and I thought he was just having a down day (though I won't deny I got a bit excited; I've been talking about moving to Wales since we first went, way back when we first started dating). But something about him was different this time, and he made it clear he was actually dead serious. No more talk; time to really start crunching numbers and doing the research.
At first we looked at houses with land. Our top priority is to be completely mortgage-free and not reliant on any form of government assistance or fossil-fuel energy. But we soon realised that houses with a decent amount of land were few and far between under 100k, unless we were willing to take on a derelict building, which would mean we'd have to mortgage anyway to make it habitable.
We kept searching, him more than me. One early morning a few weeks ago, I was outside with my usual cup of tea when he sent me message from work with a link to a property. A garden nursery… I was like “Whaaaa…?” The heck am I s’posed to do with a garden nursery, with no house on the land, and zero skill in growing anything but spider plants successfully?
But oh my goodness… the more I looked at it, and the more I thought about the potential hiding in all the nooks and crannies (crooks and nannies), the more excited I got and the more inspired I became to all the possibilities for the place. And it looked like it was in a really pretty spot, a bit further south than I was hoping for, but near to the tourist hot-spot, Aberystwyth.
We talked about it all day long over hangout messages (very tedious, but he WAS supposed to be working…) and eventually I phoned the estate agent that afternoon to get some more information. It was daunting; no mains water, no sanitation, nothing but a couple of large polytunnels, a few veg beds, and a little lake with a small patch of woods, pretty much. Oh, and a part-time staff member (eek!).
I knew it would be a major struggle to afford the trip smack in the middle of Birthday Season, but I booked a viewing for July 31st and figured if it sold before then it wasn't meant to be.
We continued looking at properties, and kept researching, and went ahead with putting our house on the market - that's another story in itself! - but we kept finding ourselves coming back to the garden nursery. Eventually we gave in and focused on what it would take to make it work. For someone who's never used a compost toilet, they were suddenly very interesting!
We'd always talked about one day building our own house, and while my hubby favours the uber-modern white-box style buildings featured in Grand Designs, I was always much more of a mud-hut kinda girl! (As they say, "you can take the monkey out of the bush, but you can't take the bush out of the monkey"… I was not called a bush-baby all my childhood for nothing 😏)
It became clear that with Wales’ planning laws regarding building in rural areas and farmland, it was more likely to be a cobhouse than not, and only if we can prove the need to live on the land for the purpose of running the business as per the Rural Enterprise Scheme. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, and no guarantee that we'll get permission after all - it's quite a risk we're facing. But for the first time in our lives, maybe simply because we're backed into a corner with no better options, it's looking more like an opportunity to create what we've always dreamed of, rather than a frightening problem we don't feel equipped to handle.
And if anything could have swayed us, it was visiting the land and seeing it with our own eyes. The sheer incredible beauty of the land and the mountains around it literally took my breath away. We'd never driven up through that part of Wales before, always taking the motorway as far as possible to get up to the north where Paul's aunt lives, and I could cry over the number of times I missed the opportunity to see what we saw. I felt like I'd found a piece of my soul that I didn't even know was missing.
On the A470, near Rhyader, Mid Wales
I had to fight tears and find my voice as I struggled to greet the estate agent and landowner. And to say we hit it off doesn't cover it; it was like meeting long-lost family. The ideas Paul and I have for the business (and the community by default) were so in alignment with what the landowner and employee want that we left with their words ringing in our hearts, that we were a perfect fit for the land and the community.
We offered the full asking price on the spot and although they've had a lot of interest, they've so far (please hold true!!!) not had any more offers.
And the craziest part is the sheer synchronicity of it all. We had our first viewing on Saturday, one of our son’s friend's family, and would you believe that they've been wanting our house - our specific house - for years?! They wanted to view it when it was on the market last time but because we'd put an offer in already, they couldn't even get a viewing.
It gives me chills to think about it; my whole life I wanted to own my own shop - never considered a farm shop but since I've always wanted a place to sell my crafts and eco-products, what could be better? And it would give local crafters in the community a place to sell their products too! We've always wanted to build a house together. I've always wanted chickens and dreamed of a little smallholding. We've always wanted a home in a remote area but with a strong community behind it. We've always wished for a place the kids could roam free and learn a lot by default.
This garden nursery property has the potential for all that and so much more.
When I said it feels like the Universe is handing me the pieces of the puzzle that is creating my dream life, I really do mean it. Things I had forgotten I wanted are a possibility with this venture. I know it's early days, and there's a chance it may not happen, but if it does I will be as happy as a puppy with two tails! And if it doesn't, I know it's all preparation for something even better (though I can't even imagine what could be better for us).
The reason I named this post Walking My Talk is because I realised on the trip home from the land that if I wasn't the person I have become, I would never have had the courage to consider this beyond wishful dreaming. In my mini-course ‘How to get unstuck and an awesome mom’ I cover a very important aspect of stuckness - fear. And I give strategies for overcoming that inbuilt safety-mechanism so you can really take life and make it yours. This is a huge example of feeling the fear and doing it anyway; Susan Jeffers would be proud! Because goodness knows, I have a HUGE amount of fear going into this. But I WANT it more than I FEAR it, and that in and of itself is a big benefit in my toolkit against that fear.
I also often talk about listening to our intuition, and again, there's been so many moments throughout these developments that have proved to me how valuable and accurate my intuition is. Like CRAZY accurate!
But most of all, it's the knowing that if I had not taken the steps everyday to grow myself as a person, and to develop my spirituality (steps I outline in the course), I would never have the faith - in myself, in others and in Great Spirit - to even contemplate something as unconventional and enormous as what we're undertaking.
I have followed a number of "gurus" over the years and more often than not, I have been let down by them and my trust in their work has been broken when I discover that while they SAY they do a lot of things, they often don't actually do them. They don't walk their talk as honestly or consistently as they preach it. I have consciously striven to really walk my talk (or at least to be open and honest when I don't) over the last 8 months, and I realised that I am actually doing a pretty darn good job of it, if I do say so myself. And the reason I am being a bit smug over it, is because I want you to know that if I can do it, you can too.
I know everyone says that, but you cannot begin to imagine what it's taken for me to get to this place. Consistently doing things for myself just because I know they are good for me and are for the long haul, does NOT come easily to me. I have had to work for that. So when I say "If I can do it, you can too" I mean that with every atom of my being. If a chicken-shit scaredy-cat wimp of a girl can turn into a strong and confident woman capable and willing to take on the enormity of something like this, truly anyone can.
I hope this inspires you to say "Eff it, let's do it" with whatever that big thing is you've been dreaming about but didn't think you could. You absolutely can. And SHOULD. Life is a gift that many spend their days dreaming about instead of making the most of, and the fact is that you just don't know what could be around the next bend.
Don't be one of the sheep - dream big, and then ACT on it, starting today! Ask yourself what is the ONE thing you can do in the next 24hrs to get the ball rolling on your big dream. Even if that is just researching it a little bit, to see who else has done it and how, that's a fantastic start. Take that first step - you won't be sorry you did. But you will regret it if you don't.
So much love to you,
Tam x x