Thursday, 31 January 2013

February 2013

In this issue:

Reflections: Rediscovery
Inspiring Book and links: The Prosperous Heart Julia Cameron
Late Notice of a workshop this Saturday 2 February

Reflections: Rediscovery

A definition:
Rediscover: to find something or someone again after losing or forgetting about them for a long time. (Cambridge Dictionary Online)

My reflections recently have been around 'ending the struggle' and not feeling that is necessary to keep on seeking. I recently discovered this poem:
To Come Home To Yourself

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.
May your fears yield
their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.

~ John O’Donohue

As my regular readers will know, I often refer to John's writingsthere is such wisdom in his words, and the Celtic Irish heritage of his work chimes with my home here in Cornwall. (See more links for John O'Donohue below)

I feel I have been on a spiritual path for a while now, perhaps you do too, At times it seems I am always seeking. Finding new ideas and teachers, reading new books, listening to online seminars. Longing to find what I am searching for – maybe not knowing what that is.

And at various times I realise I am rediscovering something about myself that I have lost or forgotten about for a long time, and wondering how that could be. Then life goes on, maybe I become disconnected again, caught up in the successes and stresses of daily life. Absorbed in the excitement and drama around me, lost in personal joys and sorrows.

Then something prompts me to look up, and to look within, to see with new eyes, to step back and remember the part of me that is the observer, the eternal one. Aha, I think, here I am again – and my higher self rejoices: “There you are dear one. You had forgotten again and lost touch with yourself, welcome back.”

Many spiritual writers would say that this is the journey of our lives, that we arrive in this world still connected but forget in order to experience again all that being human means, to learn and grow and love and feel.

As a very small child, 
while ill with quite a serious condition, I had an experience  which I remembered for a long time: hearing a voice at night that spoke to me. Then I forgot, and it was years before I recollected having the experience and only very recently that I remembered one day during meditation what the voice had said to me. Back in the shape of that little girl, afraid of the dark and of being unwell, I heard a powerful yet gentle voice say: “You are safe my child.”

My adult self wept, with joy and with gratitude for so simple and so profound a message. A message rediscovered at a time in my life when I can begin again to truly believe that my fears may yield their deepest tranquilities, that all that is unlived in me can still blossom into a future graced with love. (With gratitude to John O'Donohue for his words included here)

And I know now how I can use my grand total of sixty years of experience in this life, I know what I was searching for over the last year, as I have shared with you here at various times.

My voice that says “You are safe my child”, now also tells me not to berate myself for “losing or forgetting about my true self for a long time”, but rather to celebrate the journey. From my time being a 'seeker in the surf of the Universe' (and thank you to my dear friend Callie for that phrase, see links below) - I am moving on to finding my fountain within. Or rather, rediscovering my fountain, my connection to universal wisdom.

For you to reflect on in your journal or meditations:

Firstly relax in the way that works for you, using yoga breathing or scanning over your body and feeling each part stretch and let go.

Then feel and go within, inside you where there is a connection to infinity. Ask your heart how it feels, what you need to feel loved and cared for, what you can do now:

  • walk
  • swim
  • sit in the sun
  • watch the sea
  • play with your children and/or your dog or cat
  • read
  • listen to music
  • potter in the garden
  • run
  • play a vigorous sport
  • meditate
  • write
Choose whatever appeals to you in the moment to reconnect and celebrate who you really are  today. Perhaps come back to your journal and write some more.

I will be sharing with you a way you can explore your own rediscovery and the process of coming home to yourself - and remember that truly 'you never left'. Look out for an email with a Special Offer for Newsletter subscribers. This will be for a 'Personal Rediscovery Session' of 45-60 minutes by telephone or Skype.

If you choose to try this, you will give yourself the gift of a quiet reflective time with me as your companion, to explore what really matters to you, reconnect with those things that make your heart sing, and arrive at a way forward to continue the process – by yourself or with my support whenever you wish.

I am developing this process based on all my previous experience in coaching and healing, and would be very grateful for your participation - so the offer will be at a special price for you. The new service is still evolving, at present I see the personal rediscovery sessions as something you might choose to take up at intervals, perhaps three or six months. In between you might identify things to work on in an action-based life coaching format, or you might like to take up email support or subscribe to weekly prompts to keep you focused in your journal reflections.

Please do write and send me any thoughts that my 'thinking aloud' here have prompted: it would be very helpful for me to know if this appeals to you, and if not, why not. And if it does appeal, what type of format would work for you, of those described above (or any others you may like to suggest).

I wrote the piece below a while ago while thinking about developing workshops based on the rediscovery process:

Finding Peace within the Successes and Stresses of Life

Are you tired of feeling out of place in your own life? Weary of feeling you are struggling against the current? Tired of seeking and not finding?

Would you like to recover the peace and serenity of a swan, to rest and preen with self-care, and reflect in the cool water?

  • Recognise your inner strength and glory?
  • Remember you are a human being not a human doing?
  • Feel your right to rest in grace and peace?
  • Love the life you live and the work you do? 
And doing this, allowing this, coming home to yourself, then – whenever you are ready and so decide – you will also recover your zing, ignite again your inner spark, release your creative genie, become inspired to go out into the world, regain self-belief and confidence to make changes if you wish.

There are as many ways to find your own peace as there are writers, poets, philosophers and teachers – and none are better than any other, all are right for different people – and your own way is the way for you.

I moved on after writing this and decided it may be useful to more people if I offered a telephone session before developing workshops - and the concept of finding peace is encompassed in Rediscovery. 

So - work in progress for me, and in a few days (or maybe a week or two!) I will be sending you the special offer with details of the Personal Rediscovery Session, so do look out for that if it is resonating with you. 

Inspiring Book and Links: The Prosperous Heart Julia Cameron

I'll start with the links I referred to in Reflections above: 

John O'Donohue: - there are a number of links from the main website, and one I found for the first time today provides recordings of John (who passed away in 2008) reading some of his poems, it is wonderful to hear his voice.

Callie of
CreaTEAvity - a great inspiration to me, one of my amazing friends. She is full of energy and ideas. Reading about Callie's latest Prosperity Circle - which started on 28th January, introduced me to a book from one of my favourite authors, which I immediately ordered from Cygnus Books. (And I will be looking out for the next Prosperity Circle)

The book is The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron. I can't write a review as I have not yet read the book, however, knowing how much her other writing has helped me (from The Artist's Way onwards), I know it will be another treasure. The subtitle itself Creating a Life of 'Enough' brought me a feeling of 'ahh', release and relief. If you have already read The Prosperous Heart, would you like to write a review to be featured in a future newsletter? It would be wonderful to hear from you, just drop me a line.

Late Notice of a workshop this Saturday 2 February: I am attending this event with the talented and intuitive spiritual artist annie b. The title is: Art from the Heart: Painting your heart's true desire. If you are in Cornwall and able to join us, do contact annie b to ask if there are any spaces left, it would be lovely to share the day with you.

Friday, 4 January 2013

January 2013

Happy New Year!

If this has been forwarded to you by someone else, you can sign up for your own copy every month here.

In this issue:

Reflections: Finding solid ground (before leaping)
A New Year's Gift
Inspiring Reading
Inspiring Listening

Reflections: Finding solid ground (before leaping)

For this New Year message I had lots of ideas: in the past I have written about doing a new year review; about looking forward with a vision board for your hopes and plans for the year ahead; about endings and new beginnings. All useful and interesting exercises.

This year I wasn't sure. As I wrote last month, I felt in that place of 'not knowing' again. How to be true to myself and still write something that will have resonance for you? A big variety of people read this newsletter, from close family and friends, through people I know quite well, to those of you I have never met or spoken to - how to offer something to all of you?

All those doubts start to creep in. As I sit here now, writing for you, the internal critic voice is piping up: "Who do you think you are, why would anyone want to read about your experiences, surely people want useful exercises and not your thoughts?"

So I turn to another voice, less shrill and piercing, the quiet still voice that says: "This isn't about you, this is about sharing truly and authentically from the heart. If people find those words speak to them they will connect.. If not, those people will find what they need elsewhere. If you listen to the doubting voice you won't have helped anyone."

This whole year, 2012, has for me been a time of finding my quiet still voice, of listening and learning to trust, of "finding solid ground" within myself thus knowing that when I leap there will be equally solid ground where ever I land.

So, I have returned to some meditation and writing I did a few days ago during which I received this message:

"Be safe in your soul, stand firm and true, not swayed by the outside world."

Years ago, at a health and well-being conference, I attended a workshop run by some people who worked with troubled children, We were introduced to cards with pictures of animals that they used to encourage the young people to talk about themselves, their worries and concerns.

To demonstrate, we were encouraged to choose one that felt significant (the cards were face up so the pictures were visible). I chose a koala bear, clinging to the trunk of a blue gum tree with one arm, eating leaves with the other hand. At the time my life and work were quite unsettled and I felt the picture represented security: the koala could hold on and be safe even when the tree was swaying in strong winds, and no harm could reach him high in the branches.

This image continued to be useful to me for some time. Eventually however I went through a very distressing and turbulent time, and I tried to return for comfort to the image of the koala safe in his tree. But I found myself seeing the eucalyptus forest on fire, the blue gum trees burning fiercely and the koala having no means of escape. I couldn't face up to this thought and for many years tried to put it out of my mind and use other methods of supporting myself.

Over this Christmas period I have spent some time reading, meditating and writing, and through this process I have been given another image. This time it is not just a picture in my mind, useful though that was for a long time. This time it feels true, a reality, solid.

Reading Anam Cara by John O'Donohue: on page 181 in my copy, he writes:

"Frequently people need to belong to an external system because they are afraid to belong to their own lives. If your soul is awakened then you realise that this is the house of your real belonging. Your longing is safe there. Belonging is related to longing. If you hyphenate belonging it yields a lovely axiom for spiritual growth: Be-your-longing."

There is much more in Anam Cara about this. (See John's website for details of his books and more about his life and work). After I had read and contemplated that chapter I wrote this message to myself:

"Be safe in your soul, stand firm and true, not swayed by the outside world. Like the koala, but your tree is spiritual so is not affected by bush fires or any other physical circumstances. Your tree is the solid Tree of Life. All healing emanates from here, from the Tree of Life, with roots in Mother Earth and branches in the blue, blue, immortal Heavens. The Tree of Life provides a home for all souls wherever they are in the cycles of the Universe."

These words, though they came through  my pen, feel as if they are written for me, not by me. And as a gift to share with you.

I know that as this new year starts I am on the cusp of new ventures in my coaching and healing work. I feel I have been taking time over the last twelve months to develop a strong and true foundation from which to take that leap into the unknown, "Jump and the bridge will appear."

Now I see that my 'belonging' is internal, not reliant on other people or external circumstances. Now I know that by being-my-longing I can carry my strong and true core of solid ground with me wherever I land next.

This is not to say that I will be isolated or cut off from others, just that I can support and be supported; practise sensitive detachment, love unconditionally. And that is what I intend to do - to develop my new services for personal development and spiritual awakening to offer to you. At this moment, on 31st December 2012, I do not know what form this work will take. If you choose to keep reading these monthly missives I will treasure your company along the way to find out 'what happens next'.

In the meantime, the offer of a free telephone (or Skype) consultation to explore how a coaching session works is always open to you, just contact me to arrange a time.

For the year ahead, my wish for you is for you to truly experience what has always been the case, that you are "safe in your soul".

A New Year's Gift 
The first two people to email me with their postal address will receive a gift of a personally dedicated copy of Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity. I have also extended the special offer on a limited number of copies, visit the Daring to Blossom site for details of how to order.

Blog note: the two free copies have now been snapped up - the special offer (£7.00 and free p&p, instead oof £8.95 plus p&p) is still open using the link above.
Inspiring Reading 
I love this familiar and always inspiring piece. (Note: if the word 'God' is not comfortable for you, simply substitute one that is, 'source', .'nature', or 'the universe' perhaps)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves:
‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you don’t feel insecure.

We are all meant to shine as children do.
We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically releases others.


Variously attributed to Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech, and Marianne Williamson ("Return to Love")

Inspiring Listening
A musical link to the latest single from the Military Wives Choir, Stronger Togetheran amazing example of what can be achieved by 'ordinary' people.
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. Feel free to leave any comments or feedback here. It is always so good to know that people do read and enjoy.

all best wishes