Tuesday, 4 December 2012

December 2012

In this issue:

Reflections: Not knowing
Tribute and Guest Article: Susan Jeffers
Inspiring events
Daring to Blossom News

Reflections: Not knowing

Sitting to write to you this month I find myself lost, I truly do not know what to write. I had various ideas, and a guest article - but the permission to use that may not arrive in time to send this out to you tonight.

So I am sitting with my feeling of 'not knowing' and asking myself "What else do I feel?"

I feel tired.
My back aches due to a slip and fall last week.
I feel cold.

Noticing these things I can do some things to alleviate them: make sure I rest over the weekend; change my posture to help my back; turn the heating up.

I ask again: "What else do I feel?"

I feel satisfied that I have had a productive week.
I feel anticipation for the Christmas celebrations approaching, knowing I can choose to be absorbed in that in a way I choose.

Hmmm - that 'not knowing' is still creeping in there somehow.
What else?

I feel - grateful.

Grateful for:
- my family, near and far, scattered around the world
- my friends, every single one of you - those who I have occasional contact with, and those with whom I have regular and deeply thoughtful correspondence. Those I have just met, and those I have known for years
- the natural environment all around me here in Cornwall
- my employment which enables me to do the work I love
- my private coaching and creativity clients who allow me to experiment and grow in ways that help more people
- all the authors whose work inspires me in so many ways
- .......and many, many more 'reasons to be happy'.

I have now arrived at a different place in a few moments of reflection: from emptiness and 'not knowing', to allowing gratitude to flow in and fill me with warmth and thankfulness.

That is the feeling I would like to enter this Christmas season with, a feeling of gratitude that does not require gifts of any kind, rather the recognition that the present of most value of all is the ability to be thankful, and as I wrote last month - to just be, just be in the moment, in the present

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:

  • Explore how you are really feelling right now, perhaps starting with 'not knowing'
  • Write your own gratitude list
  • Choose how you want to be at this time of year.

Tribute and Guest Article: Susan Jeffers

Many people will know the work of Susan Jeffers, author of the classic Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. This and her other books have been an inspiration and support to me over many years. It was with sadness that I read recently that she had died. Her work continues however through her books and team of people around the world offering workshops. Virtually every week I mention her name to someone.

So when I read the article below in the latest newsletter it seemed perfect for a guest slot at this time of year. As I mentioned earlier, I was not sure that the permission to quote would come through in time, but I received a reply from Mark, the CEO, at what must have been first thing in the morning at the offices of Susan Jeffers LLC in the USA.  It is with great pleasure and gratitude to Susan that I can share this with you:

by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
I definitely believe in "Instant Angels". What is an Instant Angel? As I describe in Life is Huge!, I was once saved by a tow-truck driver who happened to come around the bend in the road just as my car was about to be pushed over a cliff by flood waters in Big Sur, California. An Instant Angel, indeed!
His appearing on the scene just when I needed him could have been a mere coincidence...but I choose to believe that it was something more...that it had something to do with what I love to call the "Grand Design" - the Grand Plan for our lives that our mortal minds cannot see. And, while I never learned his name, (he was too busy cursing at me for bypassing the flood barrier in my eagerness to get to a workshop at Esalen Institute!), I often send my Instant Angel thanks in the form of Light and Love for being there when I needed him.
As the Holiday season approaches, I propose that in addition to our focusing on the decorative Angels that appear in our storefront windows, we put our attention on the real life Angels, seen or unseen, who make (or who have made) our lives a little easier, who protect us from harm, who are the embodiment of Love.
I then propose that we thank them in any way that we can...a phone call, a letter, a gift, or just sending them thoughts of Light and Love.
I further propose that from this moment on we all embrace the role of Instant Angels and, on impulse - or with great forethought - we step in to do things for others who need our help. I believe that we can ALL be "used" by that same Grand Design to serve as Instant Angels for others.
An example I like to give is this: I was standing in a pharmacy I rarely go into when I overheard an elderly women telling the pharmacist that she needed her prescription filled but she didn't have her wallet with her. She explained that she needed the medicine very badly to ease her pain and she would bring the money in later, but the pharmacist wouldn't fill her prescription without payment.
Without hesitation, I heard this voice from within myself saying, "I'll pay for your prescription." And I instantly pulled my credit card out of my handbag and handed it to the pharmacist. The elderly woman turned around and looked at me in amazement and exclaimed, "Are you an Angel? I just know that God sent you to me."
I answered, "I never thought of myself as an Angel, but maybe God did send me to you. After all, how come I showed up here just when you needed me?" And I thought to myself, "Why did I show up at just the right time...and in a place I seldom come?" Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Who really knows? I do know that as I left the pharmacy I was engulfed with an inner feeling of joy and gratitude for having been there when someone needed me.
That was the moment I came to the realization that...
ALL OF US can become Instant Angels as we step in to offer the gift of ourselves to others who need our help.
This requires that, consciously or unconsciously, we pay attention to the world around us. When we do, it's as though the Light of a Higher Power, whatever that may mean for you, comes shining right through us. And as many of you have already discovered, the feeling is Divine.
The beauty of it all is that being an Instant Angel is not just a Holiday kind of thing...it's a year-round kind of thing. This means that the Divine feeling of the Light of a Higher Power coming through us can embrace us every day of the year...How blessed we are!!!
From my heart to yours,

Susan Jeffers
Copyright © 2012 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
(Important: To use all or any part of this article, go to admin@susanjeffers.com for permission.)

Inspiring events: 10 week course with Mira Love

If you are in the West Cornwall area, you may be interested in this course with Mira, I was drawn to it, even before I saw that she has used the Anais Nin quotation that inspired my business name!

Mira says:

"My aim is to inspire and support you as a woman to break free from your limiting belief patterns and deep conditioning that has kept you suppressed and to reclaim your power.

Take this opportunity to give yourself time to embrace and enjoy the journey for a life-changing experience if you are looking for
Self-Worth    Confidence
A sense of Well-being    Energy and Enthusiasm
Clarity and Focus    Your Life Purpose
Self-Esteem    Abundance    Happiness

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom"  Anais Nin

Tuesdays 2.00pm - 4.00pm for 10 weeks
from 22nd January to 26th March 2013
The Natural Health Centre, Penzance
Investment - £125.00

Contact mira@miralove.co.uk

Daring to Blossom News

Coming to end of my first year of expanding 'Dare to Blossom' outwards into 'Daring to Blossom', I am reviewing before deciding what to offer next year. Thank you to those of you who have attended workshops and given me such valuable (and valued) feedback. I have been told that the word 'daring' has at the same time a gentler and a more active feel. For me the change gets past the 'hardness' of the challenge of 'dare to blossom!', and when people ask me (as they have quite often!) - 'well, have you dared?', I can answer, yes, I am daring. It is a work in progress, a life-long practice like any other such as yoga or meditation (and, for me, daring to blossom uses both those practices, for others it may be dancing, drama, surfing or sailing).

Once I have reviewed I will be deciding on new activities for 2013. At this moment I am in the 'not knowing' stage of this - so this will be a time of discovering for me. Thank you as always  for reading and being my support and inspiration. I am grateful to every one of you, whether you read every newsletter or just the occasional one.Please do leave any comments or feedback if you feel inspired!

very best wishes


Sunday, 11 November 2012

November 2012

In this issue:

Reflections: Being, being in peace

Inspiring links and events

Reflections: Being, being in peace
Today I am reflecting on a whole year as well as the last month. On 20th October a small group gathered for the last of the 2012 Daring to Blossom workshops, this time on the topic of "A Time for Reflection and Renewal". It was a glorious autumn day and we were able to spend a good part of the time either walking around the gardens at Pine Lodge or sitting outside on the terrace.

During my preparations the day before I worried about doing things right, providing what people wanted - and I awoke on the morning of the workshop in the middle of a confused dream about getting lost in a dark and muddy and rather threatening landscape. My dear friend Anna sent me a message of support with the following question from Dain Heer's work: 
"What energy, space and consciousness can I be to have total clarity and ease in all of this?" 

I focused simply on 'what can I be?' and found this thought very helpful throughout the day. Interestingly, there was a discussion about what can appear to be a dilemma. How can we reconcile the concept of being in the moment, being in the flow, with goal-setting and achievement and making plans for the future? My view has evolved over the years that there is a place for both these approaches, and the 'being' is facilitated by deep reflection on what I want to achieve, and why, before starting out on any planning or action.

During the workshop we all chose a 'Daring to Blossom' card (the prompt cards I've had printed that give just one word to focus on for meditation or writing). My card that day was 'Peace', which felt so much both a reflection of the experience we had all just shared, and of my aspirations. To be in peace, to live in peace, to bring a feeling of peace to others.

Following this, I came across this passage on page 207 of The Storm before the Calm, book 1 of Neale Donald Walsch's new series 'Conversations with Humanity':

"So coming from "being" does not mean the abandonment of "doing". It means our doing is sponsored by a different source. When action is an expression of "being", it becomes a powerful demonstration of who we are. When an action is undertaken for "actions's sake", it rarely achieves anything lasting. When action emerges as the natural expression of what one is being, such action impacts and changes the world."

Both these writers have helped me see and link into how I have been feeling, and the theme I started 2012 with "Seeing You, Being You", still feels relevant here. In fact, on reflection, I feel perhaps reversing the words is helpful: when I am truly being me, I can really see myself, and I am unafraid to share that true self with others. And to distill it even more: "Being" is the core; choosing how I choose to be in any moment impacts on me, and on those around me. Impacts without me "doing" anything.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
  • How do you choose to be today? Perhaps start by stopping, taking a few deep breaths, and tuning into what is really happening for you and your body right now.
  • Are you tense, and sitting awkwardly? Can you choose to be more comfortable? Are you thinking negative thoughts? Can you choose to change those thoughts? Are you smiling? Or are you frowning or down-at-the-mouth? (It is well-proven that simply smiling can make you feel better).
  • For today: choose a word, either at random from a book or dictionary, or one that comes to mind, and - if it feels positive to you - look at how you can "be" more of that quality in your life today.
  • An extension of this is to do some flow-writing around the word. Take a blank page in your journal or notebook, check the time (perhaps even set an alarm) and write for ten minutes without stopping. No reviewing or editing, no self-censorship by that internal critic, no thinking, just let the words flow onto the page and follow where they take you.
  • When your time is up, read through and highlight words or phrases that stand out. Use these for personal insights - sometimes you will have written something you didn't know you were thinking or feeling. You can use parts to polish into a more formal piece of writing or a poem if you wish.
I mentioned at the beginning of this piece that I am reflecting on a whole year. Next Saturday is my sixtieth birthday, and last year I resolved to make it a special year. I feel it has certainly been that and I will be continuing with more in-depth personal reflection on that, some of which I will share with you I'm sure.

And the next year will be another new beginning (as is each new day), I feel a lightness and joy and resolve to continue feeling connected to that - I will remember to be "Sixty going on six" and allow myself plenty of time to play - and just be.

New ideas are opening up for taking Daring to Blossom to another level all together. My heart-felt thanks to all of you who have been my companions through this year - at the workshops, as coaching clients, in my daily work, and through emails, text messages and phone conversations.

Keep reading these newsletters for what happens next...............!

Inspiring links and events

Healing with the Masters Series
There is a literal host of amazing video and audio material on this website, plus the opportunity to join live web casts too. Some is available at no charge and you can choose to subscribe for more. Every time I have dipped in there has been a nugget of joyful wisdom awaiting me.

Daring to Blossom talks
As well as the workshops I have been invited by various groups to talk at regular meetings this year. Thank you for those invitations, they have been much appreciated and have helped me in daring to blossom in a new way.

The talks this year have been tailored for each group (so you won't get a standard 'one size fits all' presentation), and they have been interactive - giving those present a chance to learn a new tool or technique, practise it and take ideas away for future use. There is a charge for my time that is negotiable depending on the location, duration and size of group, please do contact me if you would like to know more and book a date for your group in 2013.

Thank you for reading. 
Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested. If you would like to read past issues up to October 2011 you can do so by visiting the Newsletter page at Dare to Blossom. Issues since then are posted here on my blog please do leave any comments or feedback -  if you feel inspired! And if you don't want to miss my monthly postings you can sign up by using the 'Join this site' button at the top right of your screen.

Sent to you with very best wishes


Sunday, 30 September 2012

October 2012.
In this issue:

Reflections: Pruning
Inspiring links and events

Reflections: Pruning

Recently I've been doing some pruning to tidy up our garden for the autumn. As I worked I cleared areas that had become overgrown and was amazed at how much had been hidden gradually without me realising it.

For example we have a beautiful stone wall at either side of our gate across the drive. this had been completely covered by ivy and other greenery. Not only was I exposing a beautiful structure, I was also pruning back the bushes and plants so that they might grow more strongly next spring.

The dictonary defines 'to prune' as:

to cut off branches from a tree, bush or plant, especially so that it will grow better in future
to reduce something by removing things which are not necessary

I reflected on where aspects of my life might benefit from pruning. Would some things I am trying to do benefit and grow better if I remove unnecessary activities? Can I reduce the overload I often feel by removing some things? Would I reveal some hidden treasures, in my life or in myself, if I pruned back and simplified?

You: may find it illuminating to reflect in your journal or meditations 
on how you could prune parts of your daily activity so that your life will grow better in future.

Inspiring links and events

Daring to Blossom Workshop Saturday 20 October 2012:

A Time for Reflection and Renewal

I am delighted to say that this workshop on 20 October is definitely going ahead, and there are still some places left, so do get in touch soon if you would like to be there too.

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to take a day out from your busy life to review and reflect and choose, if you so wish, some actions that will move you on towards being more of the person you already truly are. Another step on your life's journey of personal growth and spiritual awakening.

We will share meditations, activities, talk and laughter. We will take the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the wonderful Pine Lodge Gardens - whatever the weather! (Bring appropriate shoes, coats etc)

Just one price: £25 per person: Your booking fee includes free entry to the Pine Lodge Gardens, plus light refreshments during the day. Bring a packed lunch or visit the cafe in the gardens. There will be a chance to buy a copy of Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity, at a special workshop attendee discount (£6 instead of £8.95).

Places are limited so book now if you already know this is for you. Please do email me if you would like more information, or to arrange a chat on the phone.

Other Events

The Euro Coach List Conference 2012
A conference open to non-members as well as members of the Euro Coach List, there is an inspiring line-up of speakers and workshops, held in the peaceful country surroundings of Eastwood Park. See here for more details and to book.The early Bird discount ends on 15 October. I'll be there again and it would be wonderful to see you and have time for a chat over coffee or dinner or while strolling in the beautiful grounds.

There is also a Facebook page where you can ask questions and share experiences.

Inspiring Links

Fractal Universe - we are all connected
Never Give Up

Thank you for reading, if you would like to leave any comments please do if you feel inspired. Please do
 forward this to anyone who may be interested. 

Thank you


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Reflection and Renewal

September 2012
On Reflection and Renewal plus the new Daring to Blossom workshop

Inspired by this stunning image of a Morning Glory flower?

Morning Glory flower

What do you see? You
may like to spend a few minutes with the image before reading further.

While developing the programme for the October workshop I took this photo, trying to get a good close-up - it is a little out of focus. When I downloaded to my computer I was wowed by the glowing light that seems to be beaming out of the centre of the flower.

The Morning Glory plant produces new flowers each day: every day the new buds open and share their inner glory with the world.

What an inspiring metaphor for starting each day afresh, living in the moment and daring to blossom!

All the work I do is about personal growth and spiritual awareness: each of us, everyone, is already perfect. We can grow as we become aware that each of us has that seed within, like the Morning Glory. A seed has everything within it to develop into the full glory of the plant, just needing the right conditions and nurturing.

'Growth' does not mean that you need to be more  than you are, or do more or have more. Growth is becoming the fullest and most glorious expression of who we are, living in our full glory. 'Awareness' helps us to see and to live in this knowledge, day by day.

Daring to Blossom Workshop Saturday 20 October 2012:

A Time for Reflection and Renewal

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to take a day out from your busy life to review and reflect and choose, if you so wish, some actions that will move you on towards being more of the person you already truly are. Another step on your life's journey of personal growth and spiritual awakening.

We will share meditations, activities, talk and laughter. We will take the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the wonderful Pine Lodge Gardens - whatever the weather! (Bring appropriate shoes, coats etc)

Just one price: £25 per person: Your booking fee includes free entry to the Pine Lodge Gardens, plus light refreshments during the day. Bring a packed lunch or visit the cafe in the gardens. There will be a chance to buy a copy of Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity, at a special workshop attendee discount (£6 instead of £8.95).

Places are limited so book now if you already know this is for you. Please do email me if you would like more information, or to arrange a chat on the phone.

Inspiring links
Some places to go for more reading and inspiration:
  • Neale Donald Walsch - the Conversations with God series
  • The Tiny Buddha blog
  • Lisa Baldwin's blog Zen at Play - I love her simple and quirky, thought-provoking style . For example her 'strapline' is 'On time, space and being awake. Mostly.'
  • A link to a short video The Butterfly Effect.
  • In Cornwall, Maud Field is restarting her regular High Vibrations Meditation Group in St Austell in September. Meetings are every other week from 5 September from 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm. Click on the link for more information.
Thank you for reading. If you would like to read past issues you can do so by visiting the Newsletter page at Dare to Blossom.  Please do leave your comments or feedback here if you feel inspired.

very best wishes



Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Keeping that holiday feeling

August 2012

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom newsletter

In this issue:

Reflections: Keeping that holiday feeling
Special offer: Signed copies of Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity
Inspiring links and events

Reflections: Keeping that holiday feeling
This will be a short newsletter this month as I've been having a break. I have just returned to work after a wonderful week on holiday at home. Those of you in the UK will appreciate how lucky we were - it was virtually the first proper hot week of summer after a very cool and wet June and July. 

I feel refreshed and rested and - perhaps as we all do - have resolved to keep some of the essence of 'that holiday feeling' in my daily life. I intend to do that in part by granting myself what Susan Cain in Quiet calls 'restorative niches'. These can be very short, sometimes just enough time to stop and breathe properly, stretch and clear my mind. At other times reading a chapter of a book at lunchtime, or a walk in the park.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
  • How can you work in 'restorative niches' into your regular daily routine?
  • Make a list of those things that would enable you to feel that holiday sense of space and relaxation.
  • Choose a few and practise giving yourself the gift of one or two every day.

Special offer: Signed copies of Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity

The Daring to Blossom workshop on 20 October (see below) will be using exercises from my book and signed copies will be available there at a special price.  If you would like a copy of my book and are unable to come along to the workshop, please contact me to arrange delivery of your copy with a personal dedication for £8.95 including UK postage. Details and reviews are to be found on Lulu.com, and on Amazon.

Inspiring links and events

This is a sweet and sad  video about how women under-value themselves and their contribution - thank you Anna for sending the link to me.

The ECL12 (Euro Coach List 2012) conference takes place on 24 and 25 November this year. The details are not yet finalised but you can pre-register here if you are interested. It is open to members and non-members and to anyone interested in coaching in the broadest sense.

Daring to Blossom Workshop Saturday 20 October 2012: 

Autumn: A time for reflection and renewal

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to take a day out from your busy life to review and reflect and choose, if you so wish, some actions that will move you on towards being more of the person you already truly are.We will share meditations, activities, talk and laughter. We will take the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the wonderful Pine Lodge Gardens - whatever the weather! (Bring appropriate shoes, coats etc)

Just one price: £25 per person: Your booking fee includes free entry to the Pine Lodge Gardens, plus light refreshments during the day. Bring a packed lunch or visit the cafe in the gardens.

Places are limited so book now if you can! A detailed programme will be available on the website soon and will be included in the next newsletter.

Thank you to all who read and comment regularly - your support means more to me than you will ever know. 

very best wishes


Friday, 1 June 2012

June 2012 Newsletter 

In this issue:

Reflections: Keeping the flame alive
Inspiring links

Reflections: Keeping the flame alive

As I start writing this month's reflections it is 19th May and the Olympic torch has just left Land's End here in Cornwall on the journey around the British Isles. Even someone uninterested in sport can be inspired by the symbolism.

The flame representing the Olympic spirit was carried all the way from Athens in protective 'Davy lamps'. Only the commentators local to Cornwall seemed to realise that these were designed by Penzance-born
Humphrey Davy as a safe way for miners to carry a light underground. There were three spare lamps in case one went out.

As the flame was used to light the first torch of 8000 that will be carried by nominated individuals, I thought about all those people taking a part in keeping the flame alive. Many of them have overcome great trials and adversity and have supported others.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:

  • How do you keep the flame of your spirit alive in dark times?
  • What renews your energy and light?
  • How can you bring light to those around you?
My first thoughts included: gratitude; knowing when to let go and move on; faith; connecting with joy. I will be meditating more on this exercise, it will help with a new workshop I am developing for October on the theme of 'reflection and renewal'. Do share your thoughts by commenting on the blog or by email if you feel inspired.


"Boosting your confidence and self esteem"

Fiona Crump is running this two day course for women at the wonderful Engine House at St Agnes on 6th and 23th July. Having been a participant in a group with Fiona some years ago now I can thoroughly recommend her approach. My experience was that she created a safe and thoughtful atmosphere where people could share with each other, and learn from her immense experience and knowledge.

For more information visit: 
http://www.evolution-development.com/blog/ or to book, email

reception@evolution-development.com  or phone 01872 555939

"Daring to Blossom: A Time for Growth"
 Saturday 21 July

Step into the energy of high summer in the wonderful and peaceful 
Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens, near St Austell.

Share a day with a small group to explore how some deceptively simple coaching techniques combined with taking time to access your own intuition can enable you to gain clarity and move forward.

Outline Programme: 
♥ Introduction to life coaching, my background and the format of the day
♥ Visualisation/meditation
♥ Sharing exercise combined with introductions
♥ What is growth? Exploring what it means for you and in what areas of your life it is important to you now
♥ Coaching techniques* and a chance to try them out
♥ Lunch and a walk in the gardens
♥ Creative exercise: access your insights without words and make a memento to take home. Relax, play and have fun, NB no artistic skills required!
♥ Sharing creative experiences and intuition
♥ Closing visualisation and goodbyes.

Throughout the day there will be a mix of individual activities, discussion in pairs and with the whole group. You are totally free to participate and share as much or as little as you wish. There will be a morning and afternoon coffee break and regular changes of pace.

The programme will be similar to the outline above – and also every event is a unique experience. Each group is special and different and each person present brings their own individual contribution and takes away some particular nuggets of meaning just for them.

*The benefits of these techniques are that you are given a chance to focus on particular aspects, answer guided questions and see where you want to be next, or sometimes how you want to be next. Then you can use suggested exercises to decide what route to take to achieve this.

My book Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity, contains many more exercises. Signed copies will be available to buy at a workshop special discount (£6.50 instead of £8.95) for those attending – and with a personal inscription for you if you wish.

Times: arrival from 9.30 a.m. for refreshments, start at 10.00 a.m., finish at 4.00 p.m.

Bring: a notebook, and a packed lunch.  Coffee, tea etc and biscuits will be provided.

Price: £60 per person, see Early Bird offer below for bookings made before 30 June.

Early Bird offer: pay only
 £30 for bookings received with payment before 30 June. To secure your place book via this link or email me to arrange another means of payment or instalments

You will find information on my background on my website and you are very welcome to 
email me or call 07778 771021 before booking for more information. Group sizes are limited so do book early if you feel this is for you. To read feedback from people who have attended past Dare to Blossom workshops, click here.

Advance notice of the next event:

Saturday 20 October 2012: A Time for Reflection and Renewal: Details to follow

Inspiring links:

Start with 'Why?': I was recently introduced to this in a presentation at a local event. For those of you in business and perhaps struggling with a seeming conflict between your values and making money, you may find this approach interesting. You may not agree with everything Simon Sinek says, but I have found the concept of 'Start with Why' very helpful. What do you think? Do let me know by commenting on my blog here


The power of words: I had heard this story before but not seen this video representation. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&vq=medium

Thank you for reading. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested. P
lease do leave comments or feedback  if you feel inspired!

all best wishes


Saturday, 28 April 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

In this issue:

Reflections: Energy
News on Workshops
Inspiring Links

Reflections: Energy

The last month has been, well, difficult I suppose is a good word. All sorts of things have been going on, and at the same time I have felt so low in energy as to sometimes feel like hiding, crawling into bed and disappearing under the covers and not coming out. I haven't (not quite!) done this, and I have carried on, whilst reflecting on this experience with the help of good friends.

As a wonderful piece of synchronicity (or, should I say - there is no such thing as coincidence?) - last week's subject in the Year of Questions course I am doing with Fiona Robyn was about energy.

I remembered that I had written about this subject myself, nearly five years ago now, in my own book on coaching and creativity. I will include an extract for you below. It made me smile, reading words I had written, and thinking, "why have I forgotten this?!" The reference to a list of feelings is to an exercise in the previous chapter, about anticipation. If you would like to try the exercise mentioned, just reflect inwardly and see what word comes up when you ask yourself - "how am I feeling right now". And this works best if you don't censor yourself, the feeling may not be a 'polite' or a comfortable one.

From: Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity 
Chapter 4: Energy and Evolution

 Now you have the list of feelings, can you use them to create more energy for yourself, a forward momentum? Every so often I think we all get a feeling of being stuck, not moving, even repeating the same patterns. I know I do.  A while ago I wrote the article below for my newsletter about waiting for the “flow”:

Mud flats – and the incoming tide
Reflections: written on a warm late summer day, sitting by the mud flats near the Camel Trail. (If you are not familiar with N Cornwall, this is a cycle track along the old railway line alongside the River Camel, though the vision of camel trekking is an attractive mental picture!)

I am looking up a creek away from the main river estuary. I can see an ancient landscape of fields, trees, hedges, and the salt marshes that are only occasionally covered by the highest tides. It is low tide now and the mud flats are exposed with streams cutting winding channels through them. The mud looks glutinous and smelly, but it is full of life, little worms and shellfish. The bigger pools have grey mullet swimming in them, splashing occasionally – though I can’t see them swimming beneath the surface as the water is murky. A breeze stirs the surface of the water; the tide has turned and is coming in steadily.

I feel sometimes that my plans and ideas are lost in a murky, muddy morass. I can’t see clearly what I should do next, or which way to go. Some of the steps I take feel like wading in the deep sticky mud.

Maybe I just need to wait for the tide to turn, in its own time – nothing I can do will speed it up. Once the tide covers the mud flats new life will sweep in, free to swim and feed and breed in a big expanse of open water.

The book I am working on has felt bogged down recently. I have been feeling that I have been working away at it but not getting anywhere. Some new ideas have just started emerging in my mind, maybe the tide is changing and I will soon find the right words.

Is there something you are trying to do that feels “stuck” or “bogged down”? Are you being too impatient? Would waiting for the “tide” – of ideas, of the seasons, of fashion or trends – to change make all the difference? If things you are trying to do seem difficult, a struggle, are you trying to “swim against the tide”? If you choose your time will the tide carry you along with it and take you where you need to go?

I thought about these questions and found the insights helpful: maybe I had been trying to swim against the tide, struggling against the current. If I relaxed and “went with the flow” my perspective would change and I would reach new understandings. I used this reflection to help me be patient in working on this book, and to give the process of writing the time it needs.

I have learned that my cycles of energy and progression (or evolution) mirror the cycles of nature. Sometimes literally with the seasons, sometimes to my own rhythm. I have times when I need to rest, reflect, recover my energy. This can be equivalent to the winter when nature lies dormant. The plants and trees may appear dead and infertile, but all the while their buds are developing, bulbs growing, seeds germinating, hidden from sight. Once conditions are right for each individual plant, perhaps in early spring or later in the early summer, the sap rises, the buds break, the flower shoots burst forth in new growth and blossom.

In my life I have observed that even when I seem to be repeating experiences, mistakes even, when I look closely there is a progression, an evolution. A spiral of experience as I grow and learn. I know now that I need to be conscious of these repetitions, and learn from them. If I want to avoid them coming round again, I can by fully observing (and learning and acting on) the lesson. There are lots of wise truisms about this, such as: “If you keep thinking the way you’ve always thought, you’ll keep doing what you’ve always done, and keep getting what you’ve always got.”

And Einstein said:"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Exercise: Generating energy from feelings
Over to you: using your list of feelings from the last exercise, choose one to start with and write for fifteen minutes about it with the intention of exploring how you can use the energy of that feeling to move you upwards in your individual spiral of evolution. Use the free flow method of writing. Time yourself and do not read or censor what you write, just let the words flow out onto the paper. It does not matter what you write, (it might be “I don’t know what to write.”), simply keep going. When you have finished read through what you have written and underline or highlight key phrases or lines. You may like to note these separately or simply leave them “be”, to see what else evolves from them.

When I did this myself again while writing this chapter I chose “freedom” as my feeling to write about. After writing for fifteen minutes and reading it back, the phrase I underlined was: “Freedom of thought – not to be afraid of my thoughts.” That definitely needed to be left to be and evolve.

Later I decided it would help to write about these questions. “Why freedom?”, “What for?”, and, “What will this do for me?” The answer that came up was, freedom to be me, the real me, all the different “me’s”, that are hidden away a lot of the time. I feel I have a lot more to work through on this for myself. On that occasion I didn’t even start to think about “not to be afraid of my thoughts” – which would generate a whole new series of questions to reflect on. Your work with this exercise may be similar in the way it changes and evolves each time you come back to it.

How does this tie in with creating energy for ourselves? In this context it is to do with knowing ourselves better. In my example above, the realisation was that most of the time it is only me stopping myself being “free to be me”. So the forward momentum I gain from this is: stop being afraid of my thoughts, take due consideration for others but not undue consideration. In other words: get on and do things once I am clear that it is right for me and what I really want.

Back to the dictionary once again:
Energy: noun(pl. energies)
1the strength and vitality required for sustained activity.
2(energies) a person’s physical and mental powers as applied to a particular activity.

Origin: Greek energeia, from ergon ‘work’.
It is interesting that the word “energy” derives from the word for “work”. We tend to think of work as “using” energy, not as “being" energy. Perhaps if we look at it this way it can change our perception of work as something difficult, hard, dull, and as using up energy. The most satisfying types of work are those that do energise us, help us feel full of life and enthusiasm and the joy of living. Those activities that help us grow and evolve and develop to our highest potential.

So, in my example, how can I use the energy of being clear that it is my choice to allow myself to experience freedom? In a very practical way, I can use it to motivate myself to put dates in my diary for myself that are as binding as a work appointment or a lunch date with a friend. It is up to me to choose to keep “dates” with myself, give myself permission to take time for rest, reading, or any other activity.

A final quote to end this chapter:  “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” (Seneca: Roman dramatist, philosopher and politician.)

Using the energy generated by clarity of thought and intention clears away the difficulties we put in our own way, and us to achieve the outcomes we have dared to dream.

© Mary Lunnen 2008

I hope you find this exercise interesting, if you try it and have any comments or questions it would be good to hear from you.

From my starting point of saying the last month has been 'difficult', I now feel that another way to describe it would be as a big step forward. I have come to some realisations and insights, taken some time to be tender and caring towards myself as well as others. 

News on Workshops:

The Daring to Blossom Workshop scheduled for 21 April did not take place - the date didn't seem to be a good one for many people, for others perhaps the subject was not attractive. My own feelings of exhaustion meant that it was almost a relief when I made the decision - which in itself is revealing. I always aim to speak honestly and authentically to you in these newsletters, and so I am happy to share that with you.

Thank you to those of you who responded to my recent survey, I could plan a "world tour" around some of the locations suggested by those of you whose reason for not being able to take part was the distance! Certainly in the future I hope to return to more locations in the UK. And also to look into online options too. 

The next workshop is on Saturday 21 July, the theme is 'A Time for Growth' - I am in the middle of writing a detailed description which will convey what you can expect - without being too prescriptive - always a challenge. Those of you who regularly take part in these sort of events, whoever runs them, will know that the magic for each person is in what happens around and between the structure planned by the facilitator.

I feel the description has to have a special something In order to attract more people who may not be familiar with this way of self-development (and those that are) as there are so many things going on that something has to stand out to gain your attention.

So - this workshop will help us to explore the concept in the Anais Nin quote that inspired the name for my business a number of years ago:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

We will explore potential, how to 'feel the fear and do it anyway' in the title words of the book by Susan Jeffers, and how to give ourselves that push, the momentum to take that risk, to leap into the unknown. Have a look at the video link below which is relevant to this. Even eagles - those wonderful majestic, soaring birds - need a push!

Early Bird booking at a special price is already open for 21 July - and places are limited - so if you are already inspired to join us, please book early. Here is the
booking page, more details will be posted there soon.

I would love to hear from you with your thoughts and suggestions too. Just by reading this you are part of my wonderful support network - thank you for being there and witnessing my own developing and  'daring to blossom'.

Inspiring links:
A lovely short video: "Even Eagles need a Push".

Friday, 30 March 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

In this issue:

Reflections: on Reflection
Book news: request for your help
Daring to Blossom "Seeing you, being you" April workshop: special offer for subscribers

on Reflection
Recently I attended the Mind, Body Spirit fair at Perranporth and had a brief talk with Patrick Gamble who I have known for many years. Since I last had a good look at his display he has produced new work including a pack of oracle cards using his amazing artwork.
My friend Maria and I drew a card each, and then decided to buy the book that accompanies the cards which gives a reading for each. My card was:
Look ahead, forwards, do not look back, embrace, future

The wolf’s piercing eyes look through you and know all of you, the eyes are the gateway to the soul and show all that we are and have been before.

The wolf is saying: ‘no more reflecting upon your past, reflect your energy towards your future.’

Our life is like a big invisible map that we are trying to see and make sense of. We try to learn and discover more of ourselves by retracing our own footsteps back to the early days of our existence. You will find no answers and no understanding there. Everything in life has polished you into the person you are, so allow yourself to walk your future and embrace your pathway ahead of you

(copyright Patrick Gamble 2011)

I found this idea of reflecting energy towards the future inspiring. So often I feel I start with good intentions of reflecting on past events in a positive way, and then it can be so easy to slip into various unproductive thoughts.

Perhaps I am blaming myself for something, berating myself for words I said to someone, ‘beating myself up’ about a past event that I cannot change now. Even grieving – for a person, a place, a part of myself that is lost. Allowing grief is an important and valuable process, andthere is also a time when I need to acknowledge and honour that, move on, and choose to take all the good memories with me into the future.

To accept, in Patrick’s words, that ‘Everything in life has polished you into the person you are, so allow yourself to walk your future and embrace your pathway ahead of you.”

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
  • What has polished you into the person you are?
  • How can you honour that and then embrace your pathway ahead of you?
You might wish to explore this in art or poetry, music or dance.

Book news: request for your help
Last month I mentioned that I am writing a book based on these newsletters, working title: 'Five years of Daring to Blossom'. And I would like to ask for your help - please could you look back and see if any past newsletters have had a particular resonance for you. Did you do the exercises? What was the result? Did you receive any useful insights?

I would be very grateful if you feel inspired to send me your thoughts, I feel it would be interesting to readers to hear about how the newsletters were received by people once I sent them out 'into the ether'.

You can rest assured I will not publish any of your words without your permission and you can choose to use an assumed name and/or have details changed to ensure confidentiality.

I will look forward to hearing from some of you. Many thanks in advance.

Daring to Blossom "Seeing you, being you" April workshop: special offer for subscribers
I recently sent out a special offer to all of you for the next workshop in Cornwall on 21 April. In case you didn't see that, here are the details again:

As a thank you for being loyal newsletter subscribers here is a very special offer for you: bring two friends with you to the workshop and qualify for a place for yourself at no charge. Even better, if they book before the end of March, the paying guests will still receive the Early Bird discount of 50% - so will only pay £30.

Once your two guests have booked, let me know who they are and I will register you for your place. There is one other thing - please ask your guests to subscribe to the newsletter so I can send them regular news direct.

Spring: a time for action: Saturday 21 April at Pine Lodge Gardens
This workshop will be an opportunity for you to take a day out from your busy life to review and reflect and choose, if you so wish, some actions that will move you on towards being more of the person you already truly are. We will share meditations, activities, talk and laughter. We will take the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the wonderful Pine Lodge Gardens - whatever the weather! (Bring appropriate shoes, coats etc!)

Early Bird booking before 31/3/2012 - places are deliberately limited to keep the group small so book soon for your 50% discount.

Here is the link again: Book Here!

I hope to see you on 21 April - or if not, perhaps on 21 July or 20 October

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

March 2012 Newsletter

In this issue:

Reflections 1: Honouring the people of Christchurch, New Zealand

Reflections 2: Driving into Fog

News of my next book

Inspiring links and events

Reflections 1: Honouring the people of Christchurch, New Zealand
Today as I start to write this month's newsletter, it is 22 February, one year since the huge earthquake. My great-nephew sent me this link to a musical tribute. Those of you with no connections to the area may not know how severe the damage was, and how the area is still experiencing aftershocks, some strong, that continually set back the process of assessing damage. The area in the centre of Christchurch, around the cathedral (shown at the beginning of the video in before and after photos) is still closed off.

Here is an extraordinary piece of writing about what it means to live in Christchurch at this time

"After the shock, this is what it means to me to live in Christchurch right now.
It means waking up with uncertainty in my soul each morning.
It means to inwardly wince when my children jump at a car backfiring, mistaking it for an aftershock.
It means watching my four-year-old son shaking his fist at the ground during an aftershock and cry "stop scaring me" and being powerless to stop his pain.
It means financial hardship and struggle.
It means watching your children lose a layer of innocence.
It means watching those you love battle unemployment.
It means an uncertain future
It means thinking "but I'm not over it" when you hear other people say how over it they are.
It means watching an elderly couple with poor health leave their once proud, now ruined, Avonside home of 40 years, with tears streaming down their faces.
It means getting upset when someone says: "Why don't you just leave?"
It means coming to work and having a colleague show you the photos they took of themselves on their cellphone when they were trapped by fallen concrete. And, when they say: "If things got worse I wanted them to know the body was mine".  It means not knowing how to respond without weeping uncontrollably.
It means being described as "brave and resilient" when you feel scared and traumatised.
It means laughing for the wrong reasons at the Novus "show us your crack" TV commercial.
It means endless goodbyes at the airport, watching lifelong friends leave for a new life in another country.
It means watching people you love crack.
It means taking your car to the garage a lot for its munted suspension
It means telling people you live in Christchurch and feel forced to add "but the house I'm in is OK now".
It means getting used to moving house.
It means wherever you go you're usually outnumbered by people wearing fluoro vests.
It means witnessing on a daily basis people's ability for kindness and understanding.
It means being humbled by fellow Cantabrians' inventiveness and spirit.
It means acknowledging, more than ever before, the need to be more patient and understanding with everyone you meet.
It means always checking that the cupboards are full of dry food and the emergency kit is OK.
It means discovering who really cares about you and who just says they do.
It means trying to keep the car full of petrol in case "something" happens.
It means waking each morning knowing that today could be the day another big one hits.
It means thinking every day: 'Today might be the day we have to flee our house; am I prepared?'

It means watching my 12-year-old daughter mature overnight because of her earthquake experience into a caring, wise, young woman.
It means never parking your car under or close to a big building.

It means being frightened of simple things like catching a bus or going to a mall, and gradually conquering those fears.
It means only shopping where you feel safe, constantly aware of what is beside you and above you while you do so.
It means entering a building and immediately scoping out somewhere you could shelter if a quake were to hit.
It means always checking your cellphone is fully charged.
It means showering more quickly than you used to with a cellphone within reach. Who wants to be naked if "it" happens again?
It means truly cherishing each moment you have with those you love.
I want those who live elsewhere to understand that we still have the capacity to be happy.
But, yes, some days we feel as broken as the buildings in the CBD.
I want Kiwis around New Zealand and overseas to truly know how deeply we feel their kindness, how thankful we are of ordinary Kiwis who did their best to fill our brokenness with their heartfelt words, hugs, songs, offers of holiday accommodation and fundraising efforts.
I don't want to remember
But I cannot forget that day
I cannot forget the days the earth roared
I cannot stop imagining the pain and suffering of those who lost their lives or who were trapped or injured on February 22
I cannot forget the fear on the faces of my fellow Cantabrians
In the last year I have learned to make peace with the anxiety that walks beside me
But for now it is always there, just under the surface, like the faultlines."
Read the original piece here: (I can't see the name of the author listed, it is from the website of Christchurch newspaper "The Press".) The power of this piece leaves me speechless, I can only honour and send love to all people around the world experiencing the unimaginable such as this.

Reflections 2: Driving into Fog
Over the last week the area where I live in North Cornwall has been swathed in a thick fog, especially on the coast. Driving in it is an eery experience. It is quite frightening: when coming up behind a vehicle I realise I can hardly see it is there, even if they have their fog lights on. Can the people behind me see my lights?

I take special care and look out for signs to show me where side roads are coming in to the road I am travelling on in case a car pulls out (though I should always be doing that, I think to myself). The usually familiar landmarks have disappeared, even though it is daylight I feel literally disorientated.

Sometimes I feel life is like this. I think I have things planned and 'know' what will happen to a reasonable certainty. Often this is not the case (as John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you are making other plans.") but as long as things ony vary a certain amount I can cope with that.

At other times life can change in an instant: an accident, news of the death of a friend or relative, diagnosis of an illness, a job loss. Some of these things, such as the job loss, may be known in advance - but the day actually comes when you no longer get up and go to a familiar place of work - then the feeling of disorientation can set in.

The change may be one that is seen as positive: attaining a big goal such as graduating from university, finishing writing a book, even perhaps (though I have yet to experience this one!) winning a large sum of money on a lottery.

How can we deal with the feeling of having the foundations of our lives rocked? Literally in the case of people living in an earthquake zone, and - not joking this time - what that is like is unimaginable for me. People around the world, including my own family in New Zealand,  are somehow carrying on with that knowledge every day.

Some people have a strong faith to support them: in their God however they name that entity, in the Universe, in the strength and goodness of human nature. People often say that a disaster brings out the best in people and also makes them reassess their true values. Some people seem to remain centred in any circumstances, maybe because they have a solid and supportive sense of who they are and what is true for them.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:

  • At those times in life that are like 'driving into fog', what is your rock, your solid core on which you depend?
  • Make a list of those things that are truly important to you. This list may look very similar to a list of your values, these are the things that will survive no matter what happens, that will carry you through.
  • Consider if you want to strengthen those values or bring more of those important things into your life right now. Maybe spend more time with friends, visit your family, spend time outdoors in nature.
  • Visualise or meditate on strengthening your roots, see yourself as grounded in the earth we all share, enjoying the air around you, gaining sustenance from fresh water and good food.
News of my next book
You may know that I have been mentioning here for some time my ideas for my next book. I have now realised that the delay in getting started on this has been due to something else wanting to come into fruition first. This 'something' is a compilation of the Reflections from these newsletters. This month is the fifth anniversay of my first ever Dare to Blossom Newsletter - and I will be pulling together a volume of extracts with additional thoughts. I'm not sure how long that process will take - but you'll be the first to know when it is available if you keep in touch.

Inspiring links and events

"Art of Calm" workshop with Claire Lucas, Saturday 17th March, at the Goat Barn, Boscawen'Un, Near St Buryan, West Cornwall. 10am - 5pm. Costs £60, including art materials, lunch and chocolate! Some concessions available to people on a low income. More info can be found at www.artofceremony.co.uk & www.landsendschoolofart.co.uk

Daring to Blossom Workshop Saturday 21 April 2012:
Spring: a time for action

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to take a day out from your busy life to review and reflect and choose, if you so wish, some actions that will move you on towards being more of the person you already truly are.We will share meditations, activities, talk and laughter. We will take the opportunity to spend time outdoors in the wonderful Pine Lodge Gardens - whatever the weather! (Bring appropriate shoes, coats etc)

Early Bird booking £30 before 31/3/2012, £60 full price for bookings after that date. Your booking fee includes free entry to the Pine Lodge Gardens

Places are limited so book now if you can!