As columnist Bernadette Petrie struggles with her own mental health, she reminds herself and us to slow down – take each day as it comes – step-by-step.

One day my son hopped into the car beside me and said; “Mum, I can’t wait until I’m taller than you”. He was about half an inch away. When I started to write Permission to Shine nine months later, he had overtaken me by a good couple of inches. It’s September as I write this and I’m taking time out from the world and pausing for my own mental wellbeing. And my son is now over six-feet tall. But as I sat in the car that morning, his words made me smile. Yet I also felt for him, remembering all too well, the angst of teenage growing years. In his race to manhood his height was ever present – the rush to leave childhood spurring him on. A few weeks before that moment he had asked if he could go to Amsterdam for the day with his friends (he was 14-years-old) and I heard myself saying to him; “Slow down sweetheart there is no need to rush.” I am very aware that the full expression of who he is to be involved significant changes, not just physical, over the last few years. And there are stages and steps he needed to take that enabled him to expand his world and do all the things he seemed desperate to do as a 14-year-old.

Whilst the physical changes seemed more obvious at his age and stage, the full expression of who I am to be in the future also involve me growing, stretching and continuing beyond my comfort zone too. 

As I edit this excerpt from my book I’m taking time out, having recently been a patient in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. I really fell down the rabbit hole this time. But our mental health is too precious for me to stay quiet about it, and any stigma attached is dangerous – so here I am saying I really needed help. I’m in good hands but as I thought about this column where I’ve always written openly about my own human path, this is the message I need to remind myself of; “Slow down sweetheart there is no need to rush.” Do it step-by-step, day-by-day. So I’m re-reading my own book. It’s like the life coach version of me, I knew I would need her  wisdom further down the rabbit hole.

My book was sparked by art. Over a nine month period, I doodled 277 flower doodles, one every day almost like daily meditation. Then one day I didn’t. I had shared them on Instagram as I doodled. I used them in workshops and I’ve given many of the original doodles to clients and started to refer to them as divinity cards. My desire was to explore the thoughts whispered to me by Source, illustrated in the form of flower doodles. The doodles throughout Permission To Shine, should you wish to read the first part of my story, will take you on an internal journey, enabling you to bring some of those parts of yourself home and as you do, you will get their permission to shine. 

I need to take my time in this precious life, I need to trust my inner wisdom because when we rush we miss all these beautiful uplifting moments, so I’m re-saying this to myself and maybe you need to hear it too; “Slow down sweetheart there really is no need to rush. 

Why am I telling you all this? Chances are if you read this column, like me you’re a multi-passionate spark of creation. Back then I uncovered my desires, but I didn’t have the self belief or tools to take action sooner, which is why my life coaching training has been, for me, first and foremost. Like Frances I’m waving my artistic creations into my whole business creations not because I think they’re amazing (although I do love what’s unfolding) but because it feels amazing to create.

You have something to share with the Universe and making time to find out what it is – is so important. Let’s stop trying to erase the past but instead weave from and make our own kind of magic.

With love until the next time.


You can buy Bernadette’s book and card deck online: www.thebarefootsanctuary.co.uk
Also available from: NØRDEN 82 High St, North Berwick.