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Showing posts from 2016

Today my heart sings for...

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... the mercurial moods of autumn: from the the bold, dazzling colours gleaming in the sun, through golden twilights to murky, mysterious misty mornings... pigeons cooing and moulting a hundred feathers... my dear Auntie Jo... the bite of wind that brings roses to my cheeks... Luke Sital-Singh serenading me... finding a peaceful path through complicated relationships... the ginkgo trees in the park... the smooth, golden bark of the eucalyptus... oh all the trees, always... chai tea... Halloween... my little spare room space... rose petals... baba ganoush... the smell of incense... a weekend filled with friends, Friends...

It's a tromance

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The beech are catching my eye right now. I'm taking my time with them. Sinking in and letting the feeling of my heart dancing bubble up. There are huge, gracious, glories in my local park and hanging out with them is a daily joy. The magic of watching them takes me deeper into love with my life. I noticed for the first time this spring how soft and vulnerable their concertina leaves are as they push out of the long, spindly buds. Reaching out for the light; sure of their purpose. While I'd revelled in that acid green of fresh beech woods I hadn't realised what tender pleats they start out in. Collected, fallen beech leaves were my one reference. Shiny, summer toughened, autumn browned and I assumed they popped out hard and ready for their work ahead.

In one breath I'm not quite sure how we've swept from those tender spring days to these so fast. In another I am just, so grateful, to be here. There were times when I thought the summer would never end.

I'm feeli…

Open the love-window

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There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild Darling!
At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me.
Close the language-door, and open the love-window.
The moon won't use the door, only the window.
                                         Rumi


Library Love

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Just back from our three-weekly date night with a stack of new reads. Love the freedom in library picks, choosing on a whim, judging by covers, blurbs, mere fancy much more than when I am paying for a book. I find it easier to stop reading too if it doesn't catch my imagination. Back it can go and nothing lost.

Our little library visit has been a regular in the diary since my trip to the States last autumn. I visited two glorious libraries in Provincetown and Boston. Stunning buildings with huge collections that made you itch to just pull up a chair and stay all day. The previous summer I visited the most delightful gem of a members' library in Providence that seemed so perfectly formed it could have fallen from the pages of one of the novels it housed. They seemed to honour the beauty of the books that lived within them and like they would capture and create new bibliophiles second by second. I felt like our libraries paled into the background against these widely varied but…

The Summer of Not Much Love

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Oh how I yearned for a long, languid summer. Dreamt of sinking in to a deep ease in my body and the days. We bookended the months with an early June and a late August holiday. Quiet, beautiful country times to enrich the experience. Lovely as those weeks have been (are being) this has not been the summer of my dreams and desires and therein as ever lies the crux of the hurt. Wanting my experience to be other than it is. I feel like I've written so many versions of this post over the past few years, there's frustration with that of course but also some understanding that this is the way it will be until I find a rhythm of acceptance and surrender. Underneath knowing that perhaps it will even always be this way, perhaps this is always going to be my brick wall, thumped into periodically as I spiral around my days and that is okay. It's not about how you fall, it's about how you pick yourself up.

I have been surrounded by love and beauty and yet closed off from it. Fixat…

Humpty Dumpty

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Where all the king's horses and all the king's men would fail, when the bleak whisper of you're broken and you will never be well swirls these things will help:

Breathe. It will not always feel this hard. This too shall pass. Go on swear at me, slap my smug face. It's still true. I know it's the last thing that seems possible but batten down the hatches and just get through this storm by letting the breath connect you with your body. You're in this together.

Listen. Your body can tell you what will make it feel better, one step at a time. Believe it whatever your ego wants to tell you about what is 'healthy' or 'best' or 'right'. You don't do healing, you allow it.

Sleep. Yes, you can go back to bed after you just got up. Yes, you can have as many naps a day as you need. You will not always need this much sleep, it is not a bottomless pit, you can fill it up.

Water. Drink it, bathe in it, sit by it.

Friends. If you can't get to them,…

Dotting and dabbling

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What am I doing here?

It's a question more for life than this blog, though the layer of dust I just swept aside makes me note the relevance here too! It's a question that has got undue airtime so far this year. I think it came to the fore when I decided I was healthy, over the ME and then rather than revelling in the luxury of feeling healthy I somehow jumped to the story that I'd better get my ass in to gear and do something to demonstrate my spectacular awesomeness to the world.

Is it a coincidence that I've had one niggly illness after another since the end of January? I've felt like crap and all the while loaded more hurt and stress upon by body as I battled the fear that the chronic fatigue is not behind me. It's a sad fact that not recovering well from a cold and then finding yourself locked in the joy that this is chronic sinusitis replicates a hell of a lot of the symptoms and worse: the feelings - the doubts - the questions about what is the 'best…

Today I love...

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It's been a sticky sort of a week - aches, fears and frustrations swirling and if you'd asked me what I loved on Monday or Tuesday I might have struggled to find an answer. So the first thing I love today is that I feel fondly enough about life to make a list of loves!

I'm also loving - warm sun paired with cool April breezes, birds in flight, my new stack of library books calling out to me to be read, making lunch plans with friends, yoga, vanilla rooibos tea, feeling visible, my four colour biro, being at the start of a season, knowing that it is a full moon tomorrow, jacket potatoes planned for tea, soft cat noses, blossom, blossom and blossom, Artweeks soon, online shopping, the thought of tucking in to bed tonight.

24 hours of Glastonbury

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A week on from an overnight blast of Glastonbury I'm just starting to feel into where that magic place has created some new spaces to explore. My favourite time was spent with the Tor. It's a wonderful way marker of health, of vitality, of a trust in my body that for so many years evaded me. It's also right on the St Michael leyline and if my psychic reading is to be believed he's a spirit guide of mine.

I'm in two minds as to whether that last sentence needs an exclamation mark or not. Having a psychic reading was my "gently stepping over boundaries/living the willingness to be open to new experiences/exploring my magic" part of this fun trip. Before the reading it definitely would have had an exclamation mark; after, it feels out of place. It was such a gentle, straightforward experience. Much as I know better, I guess there's still a lot of Hollywood, Madame Zelda type associations in my mind when the word psychic arises. The lack of gold hoop ear…

Letting go of what and where and when..

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...and how and why and probably who.

I'm a curious orange and spend so much time in my head with the serving men as the mighty Kipling called them in The Elephants's Child:

I Keep six honest serving-men: (They taught me all I knew) Their names are What and Where and When And How and Why and Who. I send them over land and sea, I send them east and west; But after they have worked for me, I give them all a rest.
It's the last bit that trips me up, I spend so much time working them that I often forget to give them a rest. I have that poem on my pinboard at work, as a researcher it pleases me greatly to come back to those questions when I've been sidetracked off in to a blind alley. As a human Being I often try and use them to stop me getting in to blind alley, even though I know that getting somewhere you don't ultimately want to be can actually bring the greatest learning. I spend time trying to think my way through instead…

February 29th

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Just geeking out about the extra day. Remembering where I was four years ago, so bitter that the extra day was a work day. So grateful that is not my feeling today. So grateful for the bright, blue sky and sunshine and the crazy birdsong extravaganza going on out there today.

Love this quirky little fellow of a day. The Google Doodle today has a little bunny for 29 leaping in, easing into a spot he makes for himself between 28 and 1 and snuggling down. Very pleasing to me. There's something so quaint and anachronistic about our calendar, I see something rebellious about today. The fact that our orbit doesn't fit nicely in to the box of days we offer it and so we have to make it work a bit better, make it room with an extra day every four years. I like that.

I guess I identify with that. I feel like the extra bunny a lot of the time. Trying to find my space. I watched X+Y at the weekend and sort of loved it and sort of hated it. The ending? Anyway it left me sobbing, wretched …

Quiet

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This week has been the shadow of the light of last week. Squashed by a stomach bug less than 24 hours after I typed the last post. I might have been relishing all the colour of my life but then you find another perspective and it's been a black and white fortnight. In the grey I have found self care and compassion that validated all I wrote. I said thank you for the opportunity to reinforce my progress. I laughed. Also I cried and felt flat and sorry for myself. Yet always out of the harder bits of life come the biggest lessons and I tried to welcome that. I saw how afraid I am of doing nothing. I think I have cultivated time for stillness. Another perspective could be that I have created safe little pockets to dip into. I write this to help me remember when I am in the swirl of busy and exciting bemoaning the lack of peace and quiet: I create the swirl to avoid the quiet. That the quiet scares me because of what I might hear. I promise to try and listen.

A January week

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Let us imagine care of the soul, then, as an application of poetics to everyday life. Care of the Soul - Thomas Moore A regular week and an irregularly momentous one. Play and work. Work and play. Plenty of rest. Full in the flow of the remarkable and unremarkable. My basic routine has space for quiet ritual, for time in nature, for movement and stillness and space to do what my heart calls for in the most playful of ways. The simple everyday is so very good for me now, care fully curated, and I reap the rewards of that in health and energy even in this fallow time.

More particularly there have been delicious moments of note. The weekend brought time with friends, talking about the things that really matter and just being together - that amazing gift of time with people who really see you. This Tuesday I had one of my fortnightly coaching calls with Jen, we're just sprinkling magic on the mundane, recognising the sacred or as the oh-so-eloquent Mr Moore would put it applying poet…

The Gifts of Imperfection

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Winter and candlelight. Tea and biscuits. Sarah and her slippers. Things that are delicious together. Just like Brene and Oprah and art journalling and The Gifts of Imperfection.

I signed up for the on demand course last October and I was starting to wonder if it wasn't a little like my exploration of The Artist's Way. Bought in 2010 after it was recommended on a course the book has been in a drawer ever since, just waiting for the day.

 I tried to find my deeper way of engaging with TGIF in the spring but that didn't stick so this sounded like a perfect way to really play with the concepts that were so helpful to me last year. I gathered my supplies and then just couldn't find that overlap of time, inclination and a dash of bravery to begin. Despite Julia Cameron lurking in the drawer I just trusted that the conditions would be right, soon, however long that took. And hey presto the window of opportunity opened last weekend. I'm so enjoying playing with the exerci…

Instinctive embroidery

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This embroidery is growing like weeds! I have found so much inspiration from the wonderful Embroidery Workshops book. Along with the book my Ma had gifted me this flowery fat quarter, three exquisite skeins of thread and notions. When I opened it on Christmas Day I had everything to hand but I wasn't quite sure what to start as I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. So when I read the advice from the final chapter to "..please remember: Along the road of making things, it can be freeing not to worry too much about the end result." it was exactly the permission I needed. It freed my simple brain from the old trap of trying to get to the end before I've even started. 
I'm still not sure how I'll use or display this work but it has given me such enormous pleasure this month to just doodle on these flowers, simply stitching what I feel like stitching. With the gentle pull of the thread, I can get in to that peacefully present place, beyond the dictats of…

Now that's over, it's time for the real business of the season

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These holidays with their sparkle and bustle are quite the distraction. In years past I used to associate this time with the pinnacle of winter, as if  I were saying "shortest day done, mince pies eaten, new year rung in, righty ho lets have at this spring business then". January and February dragging on drearily with the dark and cold were quite the anticlimax and time for restless blues. Then we had a proper snowfall one January and I had to actually slow down to something like the right pace for me, it was a revelation, January and I could actually be friends. Now these approaching quiet months seem like so much more the point to me and my traditional mid-December funk at being caught up in doing too much makes perfect sense.

This is my big rest time, a natural lull in the cycle of the year. I think I must have been a hedgehog in a former life. The idea of lining my house with leaves in autumn, battening down the hatches,  emerging blinking somewhere towards the end of F…