Thursday, 31 October 2013

November 2013 Newsletter

In this issue:

Reflections: Autumn and Aging
Inspiring links: Events, artists and nature

Reflections: Autumn and Aging

A few days after you receive this I will reach my 61st birthday. Today I picked up my copy of Anam Cara by John O'Donohue, which I haven't dipped into for a long while. There were two book marks I had left in the book, though I couldn't remember why exactly. I opened the book at the one closest to the back and smiled as I read, under the heading "Autumn and the Inner Harvest":

"It is customary to understand autumn as synchronous with old age. In the autumn time of your life your experience is harvested." and then: "Aging is not merely about the body losing its poise, strength and self-trust. aging also invites you to become aware of the sacred circle that shelters your life. Within the harvest circle, you are able to gather lost moments and experiences, bring them together and hold them as one. In actual fact, if you can come to see aging not as the demise of your body, but as the harvest of your soul, you will learn that aging can be a time of great strength, poise and confidence. To understand the harvest of your soul against the background of seasonal rhythm should give you a sense of quiet delight at the arrival of this time in your life. It should give you strength and a sense of how the deeper belonging of your soul world will be revealed to you."
Reference: p.208, Anam Cara, John O'Donohue 1997 Bantam Books (my copy - later editions are available)

These words bring me comfort and hope. Comfort that this time will see a benefit from the 'harvest of my soul' and hope that the 'deeper belonging of my soul world will be revealed to me'. I have been reflecting recently on how to calm what I call my 'busy-busy mind' (also known as monkey mind) and listen to the messages of my soul, my heart, my inner wisdom. It is proving difficult to do this at the moment, I am so used to using my mind to make decisions, usually based on what I 'ought to do' or 'should do'. When I follow the guidance and use meditation or flow writing to try to distinguish the deeper knowing, I am still not sure. I receive different messages. Which one should I follow? Should I do nothing? (Knowing that 'doing nothing' is a choice in itself). Is there another answer, another way of being, that I just cannot yet see?

Reading other people's words can help, but their way need not be my way. As my way will not be your way. The literal autumn happening around me here in Cornwall has some inspiration. As I write, our sheltered garden is still looking like summer - flowers are still in bloom, including the passion flower producing blooms outside for the first time ever this year. The trees on the more exposed banks and hedges are shedding their leaves. In this part of Cornwall the salty sea wind usually means that they are blasted straight off the trees without a chance to turn to those wonderful autumn colours seen in more sheltered woodland. (As in this picture below taken in the New Forest) 

Everything in nature is being itself, standing proud as the beech trees do: when their autumn colours are all gone then the beauty of their trunks are fully visible. The winter has a special gift enabling us to see the structure of the trees, the sturdy trunk, gnarled branches and tiny twigs, the buds already forming, waiting until the time is right in the spring to burst into life for a new year.

For you: whatever your age at present, some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
  • What messages does this season bring for you? (if you are in the southern hemisphere this will be spring)
  • What can you do for yourself to connect to nature and simply enjoy this time?

Inspiring Links

Another mention of the Euro Coach List Conference coming up in November (16-17th) at Eastwood Park near Bristol. I hope to meet some of you there, it is possible to attend for one day or two, residential or day visitor. The grounds have a wonderful display of autumn colour at this time of year. As I think I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, the website this year contains links to interviews with all the speakers and these make interesting listening even if you cannot physically be there with us.

Some time ago I linked up with Kathy Kane of Kane Creative Consulting, based in New Jersey, USA. We have such a lot in common and it is wonderful to share that across the miles and by reading and commenting on each others blogs/newsletters. Just recently we arranged to have a talk and now I am about to embark on some coaching with Kathy to support my own personal and and professional development. Every coach needs a coach of their own at various times and Kathy has a perfect way for me of 'catching' what I say and reflecting it back to me. This enables me to truly 'hear' myself, which I may not be able to do otherwise, as described in my reflections above. I will share some of the process as time goes on.

Soon it will be impossible to avoid thinking about seasonal gifts, especially if, like me, you will be sending them off around the world. The wonderful artist annie b has a beautiful 'Magical Trees' calendar this year, plus her Angel card packs and greetings cards. Patrick Gamble has his original paintings, plus calendars, prints and cards of his own work  and other gifts from far and wide available in his gallery in Polperro. Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards are exclusively available direct from me, I can gift wrap and send direct to the person they are destined for if you wish, contact me by email for details of this.

Finally a film about
underwater creatures to marvel at and amaze you with the wonders of nature.

Thank you for reading. Please do leave any comments or feedback 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 to read my monthly musings.

all best wishes


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A special request

29 October 2013

This week I am pausing - I realised that I have just drawn out the twenty-fifth card from the pack. As there are 50 cards, this is half way through this particular journey. Six months ago I set myself the challenge of writing and sharing my thoughts with you, and I have mostly achieved that every week with just an occasional break.

The other reason for pausing now is that it is my birthday on Sunday - by a strange synchronicity (or maybe divine design?) these two significant points this year have coincided. How interesting at this time, a time when I tend to pause for reflection anyway. Reflection on the year past and the year to come. I have already started a piece on 'autumn and aging' for the November newsletter which will be with you in a few days.

So, this week I would like to hand over to you. I have used one of my favourite flower photos from my garden: the morning glory shining light out into the world. Do you feel that reading about my experiences with the cards has shed any light for you? Have you found the writing interesting? Boring? Irrelevant? Inspiring? Irritating? Amusing? Thought-provoking? (And if so - where have your thoughts taken you?)

I would be very interested, and grateful, if you would like to send me your own thoughts this week - either in an email by replying to this message (in which case please let me know if I can share them with others), or on one of my blog pages or the Dare to Blossom Life Coaching Facebook page.

Thank you for all your support over this year (and over many years to those of you who also read the monthly newsletter) It has certainly been a challenge, and has moved me forward in ways I do not yet fully appreciate.

"Normal service" will be resumed next week  As is the way with any 'random' prompts such as these cards - the one I have drawn is beautifully appropriate: "Beginnings".

As always, please feel free to comment below, if you have any difficulty just find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook.

If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page. (They also make easy-to-post gifts for others.)

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this week and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


23 October 2013

My first thought on seeing this card was a memory of an Emily Dickinson poem that I love. I went on-line and found the words:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me. 
If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page.

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this week and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

Thursday, 17 October 2013


17 October 2013

My first response on drawing this card out of the pack was...... to take a deep breath in, and then breathe out, and ... well, respond to the suggestion to 'relax'. Despite many years of practicing self-care and using many techniques (which all at heart come back to that one thing - breathing deeply) - I still benefit from that reminder. So often I fall into the trap of the busy-busy mind: "I'll relax when.......". Those 'whens' include any number of things that are never going to be 'done', completed or finished. They will never be done because they are the stuff of life itself: my daily work, at home and out in the world; things I choose to do such as reading, writing to friends, taking photos, writing newsletters such as this.  So why would I want them to be finished I wonder?

I can choose not to do some of those things if I want to simplify my life. I can also choose that I will consciously take time to relax. As I sit here now writing to you, I am aware that my shoulders are tense; my hands are cold; I have my legs crossed at the ankle and tucked in an uncomfortable way under my seat; I am peering at the screen when I could easily put the light on. On top of all that I keep glancing at the clock as I have to leave for an appointment with my dentist soon. I can choose to relax instead  - by stretching, standing up, going outside for some fresh air.

The colour of this card is another shade of blue - a soft blue/grey. Very soothing and calming, the colour of a winter sea perhaps, or a hazy sky. I choose to breathe that colour in deeply......., and breathe out any stress or pain. At this moment the breathing out colour is a jangling mish-mash of colours, the sort of bombardment that comes at me from all directions sometimes - TV, Internet, etc etc. It feels good to be breathing that back out and taking in the calm soft blue.

As always, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts and comments. 

If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page.

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this week and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

*if you have any difficulty accessing the 'blogspot' service, you can also read here on the Daring to Blossom website, or find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook.

Thursday, 10 October 2013


10 October 2013

This card has been so interesting, since drawing it last week it has been my companion and I seem 

to have been surrounded by examples of 'emerging'. In addition to this, the soft but solid red colour
feels grounding and supportive. It reminds me of the Devon sandstone which produces the most 
luscious looking dark red soil in the fields and lanes in East Devon. And stunning red cliffs tumbling into 
the sea near Exmouth where we will be visiting again soon. That area is the beginning of the 'Jurassic 
Coast' that runs along to Lyme Regis where the eroding cliffs cause the emergence of new fossils.

Yesterday I drove into and through the thickest fog I think I have ever experienced - on the same road 
as when I wrote the piece I shared again with you recently. Then this morning there was a stunning 
sunrise. As I was hanging my washing out on the line (these moments come amidst the most mundane 
of daily activities), I was witness to a sky full of colour - so bright in the west that for a moment I 
could have thought I was looking at the sunset. Then when I turned towards the sun rising in the 
east, behind the trees, it was even more brilliant. The re-emergence of the sun each day is such a 
miracle, even though I may know the science behind it (or maybe because I know?).

What else is the 'Emerging' card showing me?  Recently a strong feeling of wanting to play with 

colour has been emerging, maybe painting or getting out my wax art set again, or collage. And 
photography is always a joy. This is a picture from the walk around Milngavie Reservoir with 
 my dear friends Mary, Gretel and Cynthia in August. I took several shots of this wonderful 
tree with roots wrapped around a boulder and some magical creature apparently emerging from 
the recess within.

My final thought prompted by this card was 'connections' - I wonder why? Thinking 'aloud' now as I type this to share with you - another thing that has been emerging for me has been just that - connections. Connections with you, connections with new friends that I meet through shared interests and experiences. Often this is through email or online places - so the meeting is in a virtual world. The depth of connection can still be as strong as any physical meeting. Thank you for playing that important part, adding to the rich tapestry of connections and the emergence of that  in so many ways.

As always, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts and comments, or find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook.

If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page.

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this week and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

Thursday, 3 October 2013


3 October 2013

This card has been interesting. So much has been written about communication, including the chapter I wrote myself in Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity. And "communication" is what I do all day in my work: putting over new ideas and concepts to people; helping them plan how best to communicate their own marketing messages about their new businesses; communicating with colleagues.

When I drew this card last Thursday though - the first thing that came to mind was communicating with myself, and with my body. I've been going through a period of physical pain - new ones and flare-ups of pains that have been a companion for years. This can be a reminder to slow down and listen to my body, not to over-rule the messages with thoughts of 'must' and 'should'; of duty and responsibility. Yes, of course those are important, I need to fulfill my obligations at work and with my clients; and at home. And, in order to continue doing those things I need also to look after myself.

When I first 'created' the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards (or rather, helped them pop into being from out there somewhere) - my feeling was that they could act as a guide and a prompt to anyone who chooses to use them. Working through them slowly, week by week this has proved to be so for me, they have been a guide to communicating with my inner self, with my body indeed. A prompt to listen in a different way to my own inner wisdom and to guidance from elsewhere.

As valuable and important as reflection and awareness is, nothing ever changes without action of some sort, even if that action is to stop doing something. Today I will take my own advice, give myself some time within my working day for self-care and for journaling.

If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page. People are also telling me that their friends and family love receiving them as gifts, perhaps an idea (dare I mention it?!) for Christmas?

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this week and reading my musings. Please do share any thoughts or comments below

Until next time,

with love,