Ume’s Story 


This is Ume!

Ume was a Christmas gift from a good friend . . . who else . . . because enemies don’t usually give gifts.

Anyway, before Ume was Ume, I thought out very deeply, and researched very wide for a suitable name.  Given that Ume has a space in ‘her’ belly for a tea light candle I did a lot of research on the word ‘light.’ My own name means ‘light’ but that would just be complicated and confusing with two Helen’s in the house. J So I looked at names in other languages meaning ‘light’.  It was a toss-up between Zia and Uri depending if my new ‘balcony mate’ was female or male.  But in the meantime, while still deciding on a name . . . I decided to light a candle in Ume’s belly and see what degree of light ‘she’ gave off, and how it reflected out from within ‘her’.

Hmmm . . . I immediately noticed her metal frame heats up quite quickly.  I know this because she burnt me.  And seemingly her beautiful and colourful painted exterior is not of the right substance . . . because I’m getting a very distinct smell of toxic fumes.  And so I quickly ‘snuffed’ that tea light candle out!  Thus Ume is no longer a source of light on my balcony, but a décor item amongst my succulents.  And that’s how Ume became Ume.

While Ume is unable to be a healthy light, she is an emu (and spelt backwards), a reminder that just as they cannot walk backwards (a trivial fact), we should not look backwards.  So I challenge you to consider, as I have been challenged myself over the past couple of years . .

Are you a healthy light to those around you?

What kind of light do you give off, and how is it reflected onto others?

Are those around you, burnt by your words or actions?

No one wants to be burnt, and no one wants to burn others, but we’ve all been on both ends of the burn . . . or at least I know I have.  As with Ume, the candle I put within her was good.  The intention for light was good and purposeful.  But in activating that match, the effect of the flame, heating up her metal frame, drew out toxic fumes from the paint, making the environment unhealthy to those around her.

Likewise . . . our intention ’to give’ to another can be good and purposeful.  But in activating that ‘match’ . . . the negative effect of any misguided beliefs about ourselves and resulting learned behaviours (which make up our substance of who we ‘think’ we are) can result in actions that are toxic to those around us, making for an unhealthy environment.

Now if like me, you discover some things about yourself that need tweaking, I’m not suggesting you go ‘snuff out that flame’ as I did with Ume.  But rather instead get yourself right with a new set of healthy self-beliefs and behaviours.  So that in shining your light, you can give out and reflect the good light in the way you first intended and purposed it to do, ensuring healthy relationships with those around you.

Negative self-beliefs

lead to toxic behaviours

causing unhealthy relationships.

And as Ume would say:

“I know I can’t walk backwards.  So it’s not something I try to do, nor do I need to learn to do.”

Likewise for us, looking backwards at past ‘toxic events’ is not helpful.  We shouldn’t do it. and for many of us, we need to learn how to unlearn the’ practice of looking backwards’.

Think Ume:

Look forward.


Walk forward


Be encouraged.

P.S. As of this day the 31st of December, (with Thanks to my good friend for her clever thinking) Ume can now be a healthy source of light in 2018 . . . with a battery operated tea light candle.

What about you? There’s always a way . . .

If you’re not already, then find a way to be a healthy source of light to those in your world for 2018!  Happy New Year ! ! !


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