"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

ONCE UPON A DREAM; On Making Dreams Come True

Writing your Goals down aids manifestation

Someone once said of me "What most people only dream of doing, Marie actually does."  I am well known for my ability to make my dreams come true and for making my ambitions my day to day reality.  It is not a secret that I keep to myself - I am very happy to share my process - but one thing I have discovered over the years is that oftentimes, people prefer to dream.

In taking steps to make an ambition reality you run the very real risk of failure.  While ever the ambition remains a pipe-dream, bolstered by excuses of why you can't do it (children being the great get-out clause for many women) you are safe from the sting of rejection and failure.  Its a very negative form of self-preservation.  It will certainly keep you safe from failure, but it will keep you from any degree of success too. And what are you teaching your kids if you use them as an excuse for why you cannot be/have/do something?  It has always seemed to me that giving birth is the best way for women to avoid life.

So how do you make a dream come true?  First you need to ask yourself if it is a pipe-dream and something you occasionally think about from time to time;  or if it is indeed a viable ambition and something you feel born to achieve.  Everyone has pipe-dreams and there is nothing wrong with this.  It is fantastic exercise for the imagination.  You will know whether or not you have a pipe-dream as opposed to an ambition because you will find any excuse to avoid making the dream reality, or you will expect other people to make the dream come true for you - this is called Entitlement or Nepotism. 

With a genuine ambition you will be fully prepared to put the work in yourself to achieve it.  You will make sacrifices for the good of your dreams and you will be fully prepared to do it on the back of your own name, talent, and personal efforts.  In short, you will do the leg work.  If you are not prepared to do all of this, for months and even years at a time before achieving success, then you are a pipe-dreamer, not an achiever. 

I have always been a big fan of goal setting.  At the end of every year I write down a list of goals I want to achieve during the next 12 months and I keep this list in my diary.  As I achieve each goal, I tick it off on the list and put the date of when that particular goal was achieved. I have done this every year, for about 20 years, which is why I have achieved most of my lifetime ambitions.  On looking over my 2013 list I realized that of the 21 goals I wrote down, only 5 remain as yet unfulfilled.  Any goals that still remain by New Years Eve will go straight to the top of my 2014 list, with new goals added below.  

Some of my goals are smaller steps towards a larger goal.  I have always found that this is the best way to make a dream come true.  First I dismantle the dream, breaking it apart into smaller, more manageable goals. These goals are written on my list in my diary, to keep me achieving and working towards the dream, for at least the duration of that year.  It also makes the dream seem less distant, more manageable.  Break the dream apart and put it back together again, one step at a time.

If you have never tried goal setting, you might be surprised at how much you can get done in a year, just by planning ahead.  Over the next few weeks think, of what you want to do next year and then take the time to write down your personal/family targets.

In order to become successful in any field, you must first of all make space for achievement in your life.
Bon Chance!

Friday, 15 November 2013


Dancing with Jack Frost...

Jack Frost

The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see
And left your windows silver white...

And now you cannot see the trees
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane.

Rocks and castles towering high,
Hills and dales, and streams and fields,
And knights in armour riding by
With plumes and spears and shining shields.

And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze
And yonder palm trees, waving fair
On islands set in silver seas.

And butterflies with gauzy wings,
And birds and bees, and owls and sheep,
And fruit and flowers and all the things
You see when you are sound asleep.

For, creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the window-pane,
In fairy lines, with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The wondrous things you saw in dreams.

 Anonymous; circa 19th century

 This beautiful poem is thought to have been written in Victorian times, but it was either published anonymously or the author's name is long forgotten which makes me really sad. It is such a lovely piece of work.  It is a shame that we don't know who the author was.

Perhaps it was written for the Christmas cord industry, which was a new fad back then and not expected to catch on!  I took the poem from a book called The Country Diary Christmas Book by Sarah Hollis, inspired by the famous Country Diary of Edith Holden.

I hope that you will enjoy this piece of work...whoever wrote it has been making readers smile for a very long time with this lovely ditty.
BB Marie x

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Happy Guy Fawkes Night!

"Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."
Traditional English rhyme

I have mixed feelings about Bonfire Night.  On the one hand I love this traditional British festival occasion.  I like a good bonfire, I watch fireworks from a safe distance and with a healthy respect for the powers of fire and I enjoy bonfire food such as roasted chestnuts and hot mulled wine.

Yet at the back of my mind I can't shake off an uncomfortable feeling, for we are after all, celebrating someone being burnt at the stake and public execution.  This doesn't really sit well with me.  I find the concept of it rather unnerving and I often wish I could go back to a state of childish ignorance, when I could enjoy the party with no knowledge of it's origin and therefore with a clear conscience. 

When I was a little girl there was a huge bill poster of Guy Fawkes, similar to the image above, pasted onto the bricks of the local corner shop where they sold fireworks.   It was there for years and years, until eventually the rain washed it away.  I would walk past this poster everyday on my way to and from school. So in a way, you could say that I grew up with Guy Fawkes and  I think this might be the reason I feel some empathy and sympathy towards Guy and his pals.  Plotting to blow up the Houses of Parliament wasn't the greatest plan and he paid the ultimate price for it, largely because he came so very close to succeeding!   

But every year on November the 5th, as I watch the flames I think of how he and his friends must have suffered, so very long ago.  I will always be a fan of Bonfire Night and the gatherings that go on; it is one of our best loved autumn festivals. And I can't help thinking old Guy Fawkes might be dancing a spirit-jig that his famous name and  thereby, his cause, is now the origin of a great British tradition. 

Whatever you are doing tonight, spare a kind thought for Guy Fawkes and his friends, and enjoy a safe Bonfire Night.
Blessed Be,

Saturday, 2 November 2013


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness..." John Keats

Fall, leaves, fall;  die, flowers, away
Lengthen night and shorten day
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow.
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

By Emily Bronte

I love this poem by Emily Bronte.  It sums up autumn and my fondness for the season just beautifully.  The dark season has taken hold now, with the clocks going back last weekend.  As I write it is just after nine o'clock in the evening and it is dark as midnight.  The rain is lashing against the windowpanes of my little house and the wind is howling it's way up to a gale...it sounds like a wailing banshee.  

Last week was quite busy as I went to several Halloween events. A couple of them were held in Sherwood Forest, after dark.  I love being in Sherwood at night time; the owls were calling out to one another and the dried leaves lingering on the trees were whispering around us, like the ghostly breath of a spirit.  The Spooky Walk was a bit like a ghost train, with things leaping out of the trees and the Ghost Storyteller was dressed in top hat and tails, recounting ghostly tales of Sherwood Forest.  It was a lovely way to spend Samhain.

Today it was back to the grindstone, writing my column for Spirit&Destiny.  The lead times mean that we are actually writing the spring issues at the moment, so my head space is always several months ahead of time, but I do like to work ahead anyway. It has be difficult to concentrate though as so many fireworks are going off, it being the weekend before Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. 

In the darker months I like to make my house smell super cosy.  I'm currently burning Yankee's November Rain, which is fitting considering the weather.  I have lots of candles lit each evening as the nights draw in. I like to fill my home with little sparks of living light and dancing flames.  Cosy home fragrances are one of my shopping weaknesses, especially at this time of year.  I think it's because the shops really make an effort to capture the scents of the autumn and winter seasons in their products.  

My ex-fiance used to complain that I was wasting money on scented candles and oils - men just don't get it do they?  It isn't about having money to burn (though obviously that IS what I'm doing!); it's about creating an atmosphere...and atmospheres are magical.  For me scented candles, oils and incense sticks are about enhancing the enchantment of my living space.  They add to the sense of welcome and security of home. They make each room smell fabulous.  They bring the spirits of autumn and winter into my pretty little house and give me a satisfying sense of abundance.  

The oils from Marks&Spencer are wonderful; powerful fragrances that will last a couple of years, and they only cost a couple of pounds.  The comfort and joy these products give to me far outweighs the cost.  If you've never tried the festive oils from M&S, go and have a sniff. Their winter range is out now and they are quite inexpensive for the amount of time they last, as you only need a couple of drops to fill the house with fragrance. Give them a go.  They really are tiny bottles of winter's magic and sparkle!
November Rain (Blue) is the scent I'm snuggling up with tonight.