Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Dare to Blossom Newsletter - August 2013

August 2013

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom newsletter

Firstly - an apology to readers of the weekly Rediscovery card posts - something went awry with the formatting this time in the email newsletter and when I copied it over it caused problems.

In this issue:

Reflections: On the 'Genius You' Workshop
Request for your feedback: Dare to Blossom 'Magic Garden Rediscovery Retreats'
Inspiring links

Reflections: On the 'Genius You' Workshop with Soleira Green

Those of you who read the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards weekly newsletter/blog posts will already know that I attended this workshop on 13 July. And that I really didn't know why I wanted to go, just that I would be there. (Here is the link again for anyone who would like to know more, Soleira runs teleclasses as well as events around the world.)

It was a very special day so I wanted to spend a little time reflecting and sharing with you this month.  Everyone else who was there will have their own personal views and memories, which will be different to mine, 
with such an 'experiential' event it is hard to describe to you. So this will be a series of feelings and impressions (and a word or two from the very brief notes I took, a lot of the time I felt better without my glasses on - which is significant in itself - so I couldn't see to write clearly anyway).
Stuck.....! It was about witnessing and seeing for each other, as a group, focusing on one person at a time. Soleira described a process to work through: from seeing the greater person, to seeing the genius within,and then their personal 'genius signature' that they can bring to the world. Finally another step up to seeing what 'genius' wanted to be brought into the world by and through that person, a very special gift that only they can bring to the world at this time.
We shared a 'demo' exercise with one person who had not been to one of Soleira's training events before, tuning into her 'signature' genius, and then asking to be shown the great genius just waiting to come through. (my description is not in anyway doing this justice). We then went off into pairs to practice doing this, I was with someone who I first met several years ago, and have seen once or twice since. I can't remember much about how my 'reading' (for want of a better word) for her went, after I offered to go first. I know I had to keep focusing on connection and feeling (getting out of my 'thinking' head and into my heart), otherwise I found myself dwelling on the few things I knew about her. She said that the things that came up were very helpful and accurate when I was able to do this.
Then it was my turn and very quickly she said she was feeling/seeing that my signature, essence was like two different sorts of leaves: the first with a beautiful soft downy surface to it, the leaf was still strong underneath but the surface was soft, friendly. This sent a shiver down my spine as she was describing exactly the leaves on our glory bush that my husband and I had been looking at a day or two before and enjoying how beautiful they were. And the other type of leaf was a very glossy shiny one which is also a good description of a bush growing in our garden propagated from some seeds brought back from New Zealand or Australia on our last trip.

When I returned home I took these photos of the two plants in my garden:

Glory Bush leaves

Australian plant with shiny leaves
(I have not yet had any further insights on what this means to me. It is so powerful to be connected to such vibrant images -and feels expansive and illuminating, as if there is more to come. If while you look at these photos any insights come to you, I would be most grateful if you would like to share them by reply to this email or on the blog, thank you).
Then she said the phrase 'Magic Garden' came to her, and something about helping people to realise and use all of their senses. She said the word 'Pick' came up, that I have the ability to 'pick' just the right thing to say, the right words, the right moment, etc etc, she kept repeating 'pick' and using it in a way that felt as if it was describing intuition and using it very sparingly, without any pressure, just very naturally. 
Then we got together again to talk as group. Soleira mentioned again a phrase she used earlier: we are all living in an enchanted universe, there are ideas out there waiting for us to grow our businesses/activities (what ever we are doing). That we can 'step into the boat of wonderment' and access the feeling of already having what we are about to create, already being there, not needing to ask. 'Stepping beyond vision into limitless possibilities.' 
There was lots more sharing of thoughts and visions and 'genius ideas' for each other. Then (after a tasty home-cooked vegetarian lunch - thank you Santari) - we each took 'the stage' in turn for an exercise in 'genius listening'. This being where we could go beyond holding space to helping to 'co-create', to help call genius into the room for each person. But first she had each of us experience various types of listening. We had to stand in the centre of the room and start talking about something, anything (I don't think any of us knew what that would be until we opened our mouths). The rest of us were instructed to first not listen (very hard!), but to notice how flat and uncertain the person's voice was when this was happening (and when it was our turn each of us certainly noticed how difficult it was to speak at all). Then 'listen with our minds', when as speaker I felt I had to justify what I was saying. Then 'listen to the greater self' - much nicer to experience and everyone began to become much more energised and alive as they spoke. Then finally really listening and opening to 'genius' (or source, creation, etc), reaching for the new - and that was amazing to experience on both sides.
When it was my turn I started with "I've just realised that I live in a magic garden ..." and Soleira said (as she did to several others) that it was going to be very hard not to listen - I can't remember what I said now - the feeling when people were 'genius listening' was amazing. Feeling heard (and seen) in a supportive and creative way.
In the discussion afterwards, several people commented on how I could use the blossoming and growing metaphors even more in what I do, and also about how there is no division between my work for my job and my own work. Soleira said I work with 'people in transition', helping them to blossom. And also I could run weekend events or retreats themed around the Magic Garden. (See more on this below)
Someone said I was 'blooming magnificent', which made everyone laugh. another person that she could see a trellis with sweet peas, an old tin watering can waiting to be used (I like that as a metaphor for encouraging people to grow into their highest potential), I also wrote down 'Magic Life Gardener'. Soleira had the feeling there is something big still to come, to blossom fully into the world.
Another person, who has a very quiet and thoughtful presence, said she couldn't describe what she saw, it was like a huge wave powered with love moving people. (Writing now, I've just remembered and seen in my mind the way a wave works out in the ocean, the water itself doesn't move forward (not until it breaks on the shore) but the energy moves by each water particle rising and falling in unison as the energy of the wave passes through..... something to develop there I feel.)
I have been have been applying one of Soleira's suggestions - to use 'genius listening' in all areas of my life, at work and in 'everyday' life. If nothing else it helps me stay centred and more in the moment, which feels good. It is another way of saying 'active listening' and I like the way it ties in with the feedback I have had so far on people's experiences of a Rediscovery Session.

(Note: I haven't included any names in my account as it would have taken a while to go round and ask permission from each person. If any of you are reading this and would like me to mention your amazing Genius-led businesses and projects in the next newsletter - please let me know and send me a link to your websites).
For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections - or maybe to share with a close friend on your journey of discovering your 'Genius You':
  • What is your Genius signature, what is it that you, and you alone, can bring to the world? This need not feel 'serious' or 'worthy' - in fact the more child-like and fun the better sometimes. For example, are you great at building sandcastles or 'mud pies'? How could that help 'grown-ups' remember how to play again? Sometimes the most simple activities have the greatest impact for change for people.
  • What does Genius want you to bring into being right now? If you do not have anyone to co-create with in this exercise, simply ask Genius-out-there to inspire your Genius-in-you, get your 'mind' out of the way, put pen to paper, finger to keyboard or brush to canvas - and go! (And see what happens.)
Now, a few weeks after the workshop, a clearer picture is emerging of why I felt drawn to be there. Soleira's approach is another way of looking at rediscovering and returning home to myself; of illuminating for me some ideas; of pulling together things I already 'know' and helping them blossom into bigger and more glorious blooms.and, as I write, I am also seeing an image of the quieter growth that builds a strong plant, the roots reaching beneath the ground to take up water and nutrients and to anchor the plant securely; the leaves doing their part in feeding the plant (and as a by-product producing oxygen for us). Genius is not always loud and showy, sometimes it is gloriously so, at others quietly calm and strong.

I think i can speak for all of us there, when I say there were so many nods of recognition when people shared their insights for another person; a feeling that they too were experiencing what I did - nothing I didn't know already but perhaps seeing it in a new way and 'joining the dots'.

Request for your feedback: Dare to Blossom "Magic Garden Rediscovery Retreats" 

So, an idea is germinating:- a weekend from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime, where you could meet with other like-minded people in a beautiful garden setting. Where you could explore your steps to rediscovery, to finding your way home to your self. Where you could share the experiences with others if you wished and where you could witness each other's revelations and breakthroughs to blossoming into even more of who you truly are.

If this idea appeals to you, please do send me your thoughts and feelings. And even if it doesn't resonate for you at the moment, do you know any places that could fill this bill: a small hotel, guest-house or retreat centre where a small group can have exclusive use of facilities. With rooms, good healthy meals provided; with a garden and space to walk? I have a few places in mind in Cornwall and Devon - where would suit you best? Would you be happy to travel? Do you have your own property that could host an event such as this?

I will look forward to hearing from you, please do
email me or comment on the blog.

Inspiring Links

1. An article by William Bloom on 'Embracing our Shadow'.
2. I met Zeeba Ansari through Lapidus (the 'words for wellbeing' organisation), and she has just published her first collection of poetry: Love's Labours.
2. A final word from Soleira, written for all of us. My thanks to an amazing visionary person - I am honoured and grateful to have met you and to have you as part of my world.

"You are an extraordinary being with wonderful contribution to make.  You don't need to be fixed, processed, healed or changed. You already have within you your own special genius just waiting to be gifted to the world!"

If you would like to explore the Rediscovery Process for yourself - to order a pack of Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards, or to book a Rediscovery Session - please contact me or visit the dedicated web-page here. You will find some testimonials there from people who have enjoyed a Rediscovery Session.

Once again, thank you for reading, please do visit leave any comments or feedback below if you feel inspired. Or email me direct if you prefer your remarks to be private, either way it is so good to know that people read my monthly musings.

With love and blessings,


Tuesday, 30 July 2013



30 July 2013

This is coming to you early this week - the weather hasn't been quite so good here in 
Cornwall so I have been doing more writing and less gardening. Also, I have been 
composing the monthly Dare to Blossom Newsletter for August and I thought it might 
be good if they did not both arrive with you at the same time.

When I drew  this card I decided, as I often do, to look up 'Courage' in the on-line dictionary.
 I knew there was an association with the word for heart in a number of languages from Latin onwards.

The first definition was the current use of the word:

"The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, 
pain, etc., without fear; bravery."
From my reading about people who have been praised for their courage or bravery, almost every one would say that they felt fear aplenty, but they just did what they had to do anyway.

The second definitions is given thus:.
"Obsolete . the heart as the source of emotion."
I suppose this meaning may be 'obsolete' in the dictionary sense, but my feeling is that courage is following the heart's conviction, acknowledging emotions and using them as the motivational fuel that moves us forward. Courage is needed in many circumstances: the cases where a person is responding to danger or a threat to themselves or to others; and also the quiet courage to discover what is truly in your heart and to follow that path to becoming more and more of your true self.

'Courage' seems to be encouraging me not to delay, to follow my heart and allow my own 
unique and individual way of sharing and, yes, just being Mary, to be available to others. I am beginning to rediscover, remember, the universal truth that just by being the best I can be in any situation (even if that is sometimes a tired, irritable, disheveled sort of 'best') - just being that 'best' is how I can serve others in this world we all share. And each of us doing that (perhaps I should say being that?) spreads joy, peace, awareness, compassion, all those qualities that we know in our hearts have the power to make the world a better place.

Those who have the courage, in their own way, whether on a global stage or in their own 
homes to do this each contribute. I am reminded here of the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai who recently gave a speech continuing her campaign for the right of girls (and everyone) to education despite her experience of being shot and nearly killed by the Taliban. Whatever your views of the politics or religious views involved, (and there is a whole spectrum of these expressed in the comments below the YouTube video), her courage is undeniable, as is the impact she has had on the world. Other people have the quiet courage that cares for a sick child, or an elderly relative, day after day, with no end in sight. Or the courage that fights to learn skills and ways of making a living for themselves and their family in countries with no welfare state and few opportunities. (I support the Kiva scheme that organises micro-finance loans for people in these circumstances).

So, having side-tracked myself a little from my intention for these musings, of showing 
how one person can use these cards as a daily source of inspiration, back to the here and now. This little card with a big, big word - as they all are I am finding! - upon it: 'Courage' in those white letters on the dark blue background - what message does it bring for me this week?

The dark blue feels strong, reliable, and calm. Those are qualities I would like to have 
with me to face anything that comes my way in life. Small irritations or large dramas. It reminds me to stop and breathe, to call on the courage and strength inside me and available all around if I remember to ask for support and guidance.

I feel I'd like to add this photograph, taken in my garden one summer. The deep blue of the sky chimes with me as a representation of 'Courage'. The depth and intensity of the blue, combined with the ephemeral nature of the clouds feels like a reminder to look up, and outside myself, to the glory of nature and the eternity of space and the universe.

I am laughing now - just sitting down to finish this to send to you I decided to play some of Lucinda Drayton's music (I will be at her event at the Olive Grove Bistro on Thursday evening). I chose Pale Green Angel from the album 'You', and one of the lines is 'If you don't have the courage, ask for it.. ..' - and I had forgotten that!

Thank you for sharing this thinking space with me. If you would like your own set of 
cards just click on the picture of the 'Courage' card above and you will be directed to the page to order them.

Until next time,
with love,

Thursday, 25 July 2013



25 July 2013

When I drew  this card I laughed out loud, truly! The reason being that this was exactly the word that was coming up at the recent workshop with Soleira (along with blooming, and flourishing and other flowering words). Having seized the opportunity, as I wrote last week, the experiences that day moved me another step forward. Hmmm...... pausing to consider that... maybe that is true. Or maybe another way of putting it would be another step back to myself, a step along the way home, to rediscovering my true, glorious, genius self?

I think I mentioned that 'my' passionflower was this year about to flower outdoors for the first time ever, here is a picture of one of the first flowers to open. It isn't a very clear photograph, but I love the light and energy and the tendrils enjoying the freedom of the fresh air.

Passionflower blossoming in the light

It feels very significant that this is happening at this time, when I am feeling there is something bigger I can help to blossom into the world, something that my unique and individual experiences can offer. Something that will add to all the other wonderful things that every other unique and wonderful person is also in their own way sharing with the world. One of my realisations has been (and this again is a rediscovery, that feeling  - 'of course! I know that!') - that in limiting myself, by fitting in and keeping quiet, I am not serving the world, or myself.

This wonderful passionflower blossom doesn't care that it 'lives' inside the conservatory; is not afraid of the 'risk' of escaping through the window and blooming outside; doesn't worry what will happen when winter comes. In just being, being the glorious miraculous, magically perfect expression of itself, the passionflower has given me a gift of showing what can be achieved by 'daring to blossom' daring to be more of myself, to know that I am valued and appreciated. (Valued for being me, not just for the things I do.) And - the big one this - to value and appreciate myself, to rediscover the joy of self-love and self-care. And of jumping up and down like a child with the joy of this.

Thank you as always for sharing my blossoming, for being here with me while I talk through my latest growing pains and begin bursting out of the tight bud i have kept myself within. Thank you for helping me realise that "I was being more loyal to my fears than to my dreams." (A quote from Tara Mohr) Do add your own thoughts by commenting or joining the discussions just below.

Until next time,

with love


PS you can order your own set of cards here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013



17 July 2013

Perfect card for this week: recently I just 'grabbed' an opportunity - to go to a "Genius You" workshop with Soleira Green. (More about that event in the August Dare to Blossom Newsletter). I didn't need to think about it, I barely even read the description, I just jumped in, booked and then organised travel to West Sussex from Cornwall - all done.

I wonder why this happened with this workshop rather than any of the others Soleira organises? Why travel to Sussex when I could have taken part in tele-classes and seminars with many of the same people? I don't know the answer - not logically anyway. I just know that it was where I was meant to be that day.

Not only was it an opportunity - to meet old friends and make new ones, to share time together in an inspiring setting, it was also 'opportune' - as in the right time, exactly the right time, and everything slotted into place perfectly. It felt as natural as the bursting out of the passion flower buds of 'my' cerise passionflower. First inside the conservatory and now - on Sunday in fact, just after I returned from the workshop - the first ever to flower outdoors has bloomed into it's full glory in the air and the sunshine.

This feels very significant, and combined with the insights from 
the workshop I know that more of the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery work is about to jump to new levels - which I will be sharing with you soon. And the colour of the background - (as with last week's 'Authenticity' card) - is the passionflower pink. It feels alive with possibility, alive with new ideas, with opportunities just lining up for me in the future.

Thank you as always for reading, do share your thoughts below if you feel inspired to do so, until next time,

best wishes


Thursday, 11 July 2013



11 July 2013

How interesting! When I drew this card, my first thought was 'oh great, there is lots to write about this one'. Since then I have spent very little time writing. Partly for a reason to be celebrated: the wonderful spell of weather we are having here in Cornwall (and much of the rest of the UK). Glorious 'real summer' weather of long hot days, coming home from work to sit under a shady umbrella and just enjoy being outdoors. Eating our evening meal in the garden every day.

Also because, although there may be lots to write about authenticity, other people have written many pages of good stuff already. Maybe that is one pf the things that has stopped me? Maybe writing about being authentic and feeling I am echoing someone else's words feels inauthentic?

In this moment, while writing these thoughts for you - now - I return to look at the card. In my 'wobblyness' about trying to be authentic, I smile to see that this is one of the 'skew-whiff' photos. Those of you who have read these musings from the beginning may remember that I mentioned that I took the photos all on the same day (in what was then a rare sunny spell) and felt it would be more natural not to worry too much about lining each one up in a regimented straightness. So that in a strange way has helped me, acknowledging my uncertainty is in itself being genuine, being authentic.

Then I focus on the colour: it is another of the cards in the glorious cerise pink of my Dare to Blossom passionflower. A zinging colour of energy and compassion that fills my heart with joy. It has been so exciting over the last week - the passionflower plant in our conservatory that supplied the flowers for my photos that you see at the top of this message has just started to bloom again. Every morning as we open the curtains we anticipate with excitement if a flower will be newly-opened. This year, for the first time ever, some branches of the plant have grown outside the conservatory, 'escaping' through the ventilation gaps, and there are flower buds on these. They are beginning to develop the pink colour that means it will not be long until they open up in all their glory. 

Nature does not concern herself with an abstract concept of 'authenticity', everything in nature just is authentically itself and blossoms to it's best ability. And that is truly authentic - whether the plant is a stunning passionflower, or the tiny pale blue flowers of a forget-me-not that is growing, against all the odds, in a tiny bit of soil collected in the join between the base of the wall and the concrete path just beneath, and almost unnoticed. Unnoticed but being itself, fulfilling it's purpose of being a forget-me-not.

Babies and small children are also truly, authentically, themselves. We are people, not plants, and for human society to work there are systems of manners and polite behaviour which most of us, most of the time, feel OK with. Maybe authenticity is doing our best to express, in an assertive, non-aggressive, way what our needs are, whilst being aware of the needs of others too.

What do you think? Do you have a personal definition or favourite quote about authenticity? I would love to hear from you if you do, and you could start a discussion by commenting just below if you wish.

Thank you as always for reading, until next time,

best wishes


Wednesday, 3 July 2013



3 July 2013

Ah, a reminder - of a practice I always intend to return to every day. Often I do, even if I don't write a list, I do remember to think of things I am grateful for as I go to sleep at night, and when I awake in the morning. So as I sit here writing to you now, i am grateful for:
- Lucinda Drayton's music playing, still as spine tingling as when I first heard her voice. And I am reminded that I have booked to attend a concert/workshop that she is hosting soon
- for my room where I sit,surrounded by my books and pictures
- for my family, near and far
- for the flowers outside my window, and the produce from the garden that we have just eaten for our evening meal
- ........ and the list goes on.

I remember being so humbled a few years ago when visiting my mother in the nursing home where she lived after a severe stroke had changed her life in an instant. I arrived on my way home from work, tired after a busy day, wanting to see her and make sure all was well, but also a little bit of me was wishing I didn't need to be there. All the while being aware that the last thing she wanted was to be a 'burden', but also how much it meant to her - and also knowing that she gave me so much every time. And on this occasion the gift she gave has always remained with me.

As I arrived and sat down, my mother said, with a smile, "Well, I have been lying here counting my blessings." I was immediately pulled out of my slightly grumpyily tired frame of mind. Then she continued: "There is a big list, and the number one is you, Mary love." As you can imagine I cried tears of gratitude (and admiration for her lack of self-pity), we shared hugs and she taught me another lesson that has stayed with me.

The colour of this card has significance too. It is a deep indigo blue, almost a 'midnight blue'. For me it feels calm and deep, safe and supportive.

"Thank You" - is the simplest of spiritual practices, and maybe also the most powerful. Thank you to my body for carrying me through another day despite any aches and pains; thank you to everyone who has shared my day in any way, whether for a second or several hours; thank you to nature that surrounds me; thank you to everyone who shares these moments of reflection with me.

Until next time,