Wednesday, 31 December 2014

January 2015

Reflections: Trust

Trust - such a short word, with such a weight. The Cambridge Dictionary speaks of hope or belief that something is true. Stories tell of taking the leap and trusting the bridge will appear.

Recently my friend Mary of
Star Therapies, recently wrote of choosing her 'word for the year' for 2015, and when I decided to do the same I immediately knew it would be 'Trust'. Interestingly, (and I had to go and check) - it is not one of the words in the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Pack.

So, what will having this word - Trust - as my companion, my mantra, for the year mean for me? Maybe I won't be able to answer that until this time next year. I intend that it will serve as a reminder: a reminder to trust, to trust myself first of all. I have many qualities that I often do not appreciate myself. I have strengths as well as the weaknesses that I am more prone to focus on; skills acquired over many years; experience that guides me in my next steps; intuition that comes in when sometimes it seems all else has failed.

This photograph for some reason came to mind - it was taken one spring in Trewidden Garden, one of the great Cornish gardens near Penzance. As we walked through the wood we saw this sculpture in the distance and eventually found our way to it around the hollow.

The meaning for me, today, is the unbroken circle, the circle of the seasons, of life itself. This particular circle is firmly anchored in the ground, in the earth. So this has a message for me at this time of the turning of the year, of the seasons as well was the artificial date of 1 January. A message to trust in the process, to remain grounded, to be patient and at the same time focused.

For you, to explore in your journal and meditations:

- Would you like to choose a word for your year ahead?
- Write down the first few that come to mind, look at them, perhaps leave them and come back a few times, see which word stands out to you. If you have a pack of Dare to Blossom cards you could use these to help you choose, or you might like to use a dictionary or other prompts.

- Would you like to explore 'Trust' for yourself? Write, draw, paint, male a collage, whatever works for you.

Any of these activities link in with your planned New Year journaliing, making a vision board, what ever other ways you have of setting intentions for the year ahead.

If you would like to share your thoughts please do post comments below

Launch of "Rediscover your Focus" - Special offer for readers

During this time, the 'gap' between Christmas and New Year, I have been refocusing on where I want the months ahead to take me; what I want to be doing; how I wish to be feeling. When I first began my practice as a life coach in 2003, I used a form for clients to prepare for each coaching session on the phone. Looking at this again, it is still useful, even though the way I work has evolved so much since those early days of feeling my way.

My name for it then was a 'Focus Form'. And that word, that concept - Focus - feels important for me right now. I am again feeling my way. Feeling my way to trust more, worry less; to create more and plan less strictly; to laugh more and frown less. 'Focus' now signifies for me intention; clarity; truth; and the spark. The spark of the new, of the spontaneous leap into being of a new idea; a painting; a story.

Feeling my way through this flow writing that I am sharing with you. Sharing, and feeling vulnerable again. Knowing that coming to this place usually means I am uncovering something deeply true for me. Sharing with you in case it helps you too. If not, I know you will simply pass on, not even read these words. If it resonates with you, as I know from your emails that these ramblings often do, if so - please feel welcome to walk a few steps with me. Share our way together for a while, learning from and leaning on each other. Sharing warmth and inspiration; stories and visions; laughter and tears.

Laughing at myself now - this section, efficiently headed 'Launch of "Rediscover your Focus"' was intended to be a pragmatic and practical offering of a new service. Instead I have wandered off somewhere along a woodland pathway, perhaps bewitched by the magical circle of bronze in the photograph.

OK, refocus Mary! Many of you have already tried out a Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Session, and I will look forward to speaking to you if you are planning to book one for the New Year.

Diane Kutz is one of the people I worked with recently and here is her description:

"Mary’s approach is one of gentle persistence. We began the session with a short conversation and grounding meditation. Then to the ‘business’ of drawing a card (I have a pack of the Dare to Blossom cards, so was able to do this for myself). Each card I drew added another level of thought, ideas came in. Mary’s prompting enabled me to not only go with a gut instinct response to the card, but to then delve deeper, gently drawing out more insights and thoughts. It was a timely and useful session, that I will return to in the future. Thank you Mary."

Diane Kutz
– human being and follower of a Shamanic path. 

"Rediscover your Focus" is simply another way to use Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Coaching with a particular intention. This can be done at any time with any coaching, and I find it particularly helpful myself to 'rediscover my focus' at this time of year. My belief is that everyone doing this sort of work benefits from having their own support network. There are many wonderful people in mine - thank you, if you are reading this. I have some coaching sessions booked with Amy Palko, who has already helped me so much in keeping clear in my path forward.

Special offer for readers - half price 'Rediscover your Focus' sessions
Last month I promised you another special offer: I have spaces to work with five people over the next few months. So the first five to book will receive all their sessions (up to a maximum of six) at fifty per cent off, half the regular price.

Full details of what you can expect and the usual prices are on the Rediscovery Process website
here. The special offer for you, if this seems to call to you at this time, are as follows: one session £45, two £80; three £112.50, six £180.

To apply for one of these special places, please contact me by email. If more than five people apply I will review then and decide what to do. We can discuss how you would like to pay. Payment is in advance, by PayPal, direct transfer, or cheque.

If you are even slightly intrigued by this opportunity, do get in touch and we can always have a chat on Skype or phone to answer any questions you may have.

Inspirational Links

This video received the most interest of anything I have ever 'shared' on my Facebook page, I think you'll see why. The title is "Jewish woman sings to a Christian lady with Alzheimer's disease."

Another one for horse and cat lovers, though I think 'cat sits on horse' might be a more accurate title!

Here is one of my favourite writers, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, in her
blog about 'The Crack Between the Worlds' at this time of year.

As always, please feel free to comment below.

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 month and sharing my musings. Wishing you a very special year in 2015, full of joy, laughter, and new things.

Until next time,

with love,


Sunday, 30 November 2014

December 2014 - The Road Ahead

Reflections: The Road Ahead

This week I stopped for lunch at a favourite spot and took a short stroll to take some photos of the autumn leaves. The colours are still beautiful in this sheltered valley even this late in the year. A contrast to the wind swept and salt-blasted trees on the North coast of Cornwall where I live. This spray of coppery-coloured beech leaves caught my eye:

Walking on, I crossed the ancient stone bridge and looked back the way I had come, and beyond to the road leading off into the distance. At the same time I was aware of the river rushing past under the bridge flowing to the sea.

I began to wonder what the new year will bring. In only a few weeks time Christmas will be over, with all the joy of sharing, the bustle and busyness. We will be moving into 2015 - where will the road ahead take me? From my viewpoint now the way is obscured, disappearing around the bend, through the trees. Or maybe I won't take the road at all: will I be floating downstream borne by the strength of the river? Will I be struggling against the flow, not realising there is a force of nature waiting to take me to a new destination effortlessly?

Am I able to be open to all possibilities without the need to control or predict? Can I set my intention for 2015 without attachment for how that intention is manifested?

This photo is one I have used before, just downstream of the bridge, taken in May this year. I have included it again as I love the life and energy of the river and the venerable tree spreading it's branches on the opposite bank.

For you: what are your intentions for 2015? Maybe you would like to explore in meditation, flow writing, painting, or a vision board?

Thank you
To each of you, thank you so much for reading and supporting me in all your individual ways this year. Thank you to those of you who took up the offer of a Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Session. It has been a joy to share time with each of you so far and I am looking forward to the conversations yet to come.

The Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards are an unusual gift, at Christmas or any time of the year, here is the link to order on-line.  If you would like more than one pack please contact me direct so I can give you the best possible price for postage and packing.

Look out for special offers in the January newsletter/blog post, and on Facebook

If you would like to explore for yourself how the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Coaching Process and the Cards can help you rediscover your own power, please do contact me to arrange a time for a free twenty minute consultation.

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

Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas and a happy and fulfilling 2015.

Until next time,

with love,

Thursday, 30 October 2014

November 2014

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom Newsletter

In this Issue:
Notices: last chance to join me at the ECL14 Conference
Reflections: Power
Inspirational links

Notices: last chance to join me at the ECL14 Conference

Regular readers will know that I attend this event every year. The date will be almost upon us when you read this: the conference takes place at Eastwood Park in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside on Saturday 8 November and Sunday 9 November. You can attend for one or both days or take up the option  as I do of arriving on Friday evening, giving me the luxury of settling in gently, and meeting with friends old and new over dinner.

As always there is a fascinating line-up of speakers running workshops including some dear friends of mine. For the programme and to find out if there are any places left, or simply to enjoy reading and following the links have a look at the Conference website.

Reflections: Power

An interesting word, 'Power'. It is one of the cards in the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Pack with a strong purple background. When I drew it out recently in my morning meditation, it arrived at an 'interesting' time for me.

So many things have been happening, some have shaken me, others have made me stop and think. Since I drew this card, the word 'Power' has been coming up in many readings and references - or I've been noticing it in any case. Either way, it has become more and more significant.

A few weeks ago, setting off early in the morning, the sunrise was so stunning I just had to stop and take photos. They were done very quickly and then I spent a moment simply basking in the glory of the light. I'll share this here even though the quality is not too good. The sky really did have shades of purple and bright pink, as well as the golden glow of the rising sun.

Natural power at the most basic and essential level. Without the power of our Sun no life would exist on the Earth. Each of us living here is linked to that power: the natural processes that make life possible, giving us air to breathe, food to eat. We humans talk about 'harnessing' power. We are also realising how often that power has been misused.

We each have personal power, how we choose to use that is up to each person. A responsibility and a joy. I am pausing here, uncertain. This piece is writing itself onto the page - where is it taking me? That is up to me surely? My responsibility, my joy, in my power to choose whether to share these words; whether to delete or edit; whether I have the courage to stand in my own power.

Personal power: just using the word 'power' about myself raises interesting reactions, feelings. A little scary, or maybe very scary in fact. So many associations with a simple five letter word. When I refer to a dictionary there are many meanings listed. The first is the sense of having 'power over' something or someone. As a collaborative person I've always preferred the idea of 'power with', of sharing, cooperating, working together.

The second definition is simply 'Strength'. A little easier for me, though even then I am not used to feeling strong. However, I know that I am - I have been able to survive all sorts of things during my life, physical and emotional, and not only survive but thrive too. In reality those things, although sometimes hard, have given me strength, enabled me to build up the 'muscles' to grow into my own power. In terms of improving physical strength the body has to have some thing to work 'against': a weight or an action such as to lift feet from the ground, to move forward. So, emotional power, spiritual power - maybe these too need an opposing force to strengthen them?

Is this another way of saying that the meaning of life may be to learn? To learn how to use each experience to increase our strength, our power for good?

A shiver has just gone down my spine as I realise that the music I am playing has just asked me, literally just this moment: 'What will it take for you to claim your power, now?' The strong woman's voice in the song gave me quite a start. The track is 'Isis' from 'Sacred Alchemy'  by Devaa Haley.

I will leave you with that thought: 'What will it take for you to claim your power?' In the words from my own website - Live a life you love. Start today. Start here! (if not now, when?)

If you would like to explore for yourself how the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Coaching Process and the Cards can help you rediscover your own power, please do contact me to arrange a time for a free twenty minute consultation.

Inspirational Links

This month I decided to explore some examples of people who have joined together in various organisations to use their power for good in the world.

I recently attended a talk at the Eden Project, by Sir Robin Hanbury-Tenison of Survival International launching an exhibition of photos of tribal people. The pictures are displayed amongst the rainforest vegetation of their native areas in the Rainforest Biome. Speaking at the event was a tribal spokesman Nixiwaka Yawanawa. I was moved by his talk and especially by the tribal chant he sang to us. Even though I did not understand the literal meaning of the words, they had power and communicated feeling.

At the end Sir Tim Smit of the Eden Project challenged us: the white, western, comfortable audience, to take action, to do something.  I have been reading the Survival International website - and the very least I can do is make a donation to support their work. Nixiwaka also asked us to write letters, write to people who have influence over what is happening to his people, and those of other tribes. For them, for ourselves and for the world.

Two other organisations I personally support are:
Kiva 'Loans that change lives' and Shelterbox

Finally, something to make you smile - an illustration of the power of now - I hope the cartoon will still be there when you click on the link.

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 month and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

October 2014

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom Newsletter

In this Issue:
Notices: last chance to try your special offer
Reflections: Harvest
An Experiment

Notices: S
pecial offer for readers - ends on 31 October

This special offer has been running all summer and I make no apology for putting it first in this month's newsletter as it ends soon, and thank you to those who have already responded.. For those of you interested to explore the Rediscovery Process in more depth, this offer is open to readers of this newsletter: If you would like to discuss the benefits for you, just email me, and we can always arrange a time for a chat first for you to decide if this is right for you. This link gives some idea of how other people have found this work helped them.

* One Hour in depth Rediscovery Coaching Session: £35 (usually £65)

* 'Short and Sweet' Rediscovery Session - 15 minutes £12.00 (usually £16.50)

These sessions are on the telephone or Skype, just contact me to book your time slot, some evenings available. 

**Offer expires on 31 October 2014**

Reflections: Harvest

Autumn equinox has just passed here in the northern hemisphere, while in the south you are entering spring. The field in the photo below has now been harvested and the grain stored, the straw turned into the large round bales that look like 'giant cotton-reels'..

I've been reflecting on all the wonderful things I have 'harvested' this year so far: the people I have been in contact with in my business and professional life; my friends and contacts around the world; the courses and workshops I have participated in, whether on-line or in the physical world. I am so grateful for this technology that facilitates and encourages people to connect and share, even when they are separated by thousands of miles and may never meet.

On a recent journey I sat on a plane next to a Norwegian teacher accompanying a group of teenagers on a school trip to Cornwall. We had a fascinating conversation, two strangers connecting briefly who will almost certainly never cross paths again. I was reminded that when I was a child (younger than these students) I corresponded with a pen-pal in Norway. I loved receiving her letters with the exotic stamps and reading her very good English telling of her life there.

There is a different quality to hand-written messages and cards and I continue to treasure those I receive. The beauty of electronic communication is the enabling of faster contact with more people, even though we are all aware of the potential down-sides of this.
........................................ a pause......... as I realise this flow-writing has taken me off down a different path than I expected, how interesting.

So - to re-focus on my personal 'harvest' this year, such a gloriously broad and diverse range of contacts has been one of the highlights. In a contrast to this, some very special relationships with a few close friends have been a rich source of choice 'fruits'. Beautiful juicy moments of joy, realisation, connection. And sharing sorrows and frustrations and supporting each other through these has been equally satisfying.

Now that I am tuning into this harvest festival of mine I am beginning to be overwhelmed with gratitude for all the treasures in my life this year: books, videos, pictures, phone calls, texts, emails. Workshops, retreats, conferences. Thank you cards, birthday cards, cards with children's drawings. Chance comments by strangers, overheard snatches of conversation. Sunsets, moon rises, star-lit nights. Stormy seas, calm waters, sandy beaches, rock pools. Flowers in bud, blossoms in full bloom, real produce of the land. Seeds to plant - metaphorical and literal.

Tears and laughter, shared silences, lively conversations. And so, so much more. This has become a gratitude list, and I love writing those - and it is also a focused 
one. I may have wandered off a for while along some interesting diversions, but I am feeling very much that I have honoured some of the wonderful harvest of my year. Some of that harvest is ready to 'consume' and enjoy now. Other things are more like seeds that will be stored until they are ready to be put into fertile soil, (or fall into it by chance), in which they can take root and grow. In nature some seeds germinate very readily and quickly; others take a lot longer or may need very specific conditions; others sit dormant for years.

So I am prepared for some of the work I have done this year to maybe not be ready to show results just yet. Maybe some of the messages and ideas I send out have not had time to settle and grow into actions for you to contact me and explore if my approach may be helpful to you. Maybe some of those seeds may never land on fertile soil; perhaps I need to add something extra - an explanation, a story or a reminder at just the right time for you.

I remember a person who bought some coaching sessions with me a few years ago telling me that she had been thinking of contacting me for a long time: she had read an article of mine in a newspaper; she had seen an advertisement somewhere else; eventually something had prompted her to pick up the phone and speak to me to explore - a little hesitantly at first - if we could work together to help with whatever issue she was facing at that time. When we spoke, she very soon told me that when she heard my voice she knew that what I was offering at that time would be good for her.

One of the reasons that I persevere in writing to you here every month, is just that - hoping that in hearing my voice in my unedited words as they flow out onto the page here - that in this connection - you will receive a gift from me that may be useful to you. And if that later prompts you to sign up for some of my services that have a monetary value attached, that is great. If it doesn't, that is fine too.

I recently read this blog article by Amy Palko, "Invitational marketing or why I don't hard sell.", which describes this approach beautifully. She has illustrated the concept of 'invitational marketing' by specific references to a group programme, one which I hope to participate in at sometime in the future. I was very tempted but knew the time wasn't right for me just then. My correspondence with Amy left me feeling fine about my decision and knowing that I will be welcome in the future, and just as welcome not to participate if that is my decision.

I hope that is how you feel reading my messages when I am talking about the products and services I have on offer. And you are always welcome to pick up the phone (or open up Skype) and simply have a chat, hear each other's voices, make an in-the-moment connection. My contact number is 07778 771021 and Skype name "mary.lunnen".

That is my invitation to you - and for you to choose to accept or decline or pass this on to someone else. And I hope you will continue to enjoy reading either way, enjoy these words written with love and joy at heart.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What is in your personal harvest this year?
- How will you choose to celebrate your 'harvest festival'?
- What seeds are going to lie dormant to germinate in the future? How can you care for and nurture them until they are ready to sprout and grow?

Wishing you a wonderful harvest of joy and insight, what ever the season where you are in the world.

An Experiment: A Reading using the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards

During my holiday at the beginning of September I decided to experiment, prompted by a question from Amy Palko during my coaching session with her: "Have you tried using your cards to do readings?"

A note here before I continue, I regularly mention one-to-one sessions I have with other coaches, and workshops and courses I attend. It is possible you may think 'If she is a life coach herself, why does she need to consult other people?'. An excellent question. I wholeheartedly believe in investing time, and if I can afford it, money (though this is not always required) in my own continuing personal and professional development. The ethos behind my own approach to coaching, and of the people I choose to work with, is that coaching is for when we are already good (in whatever aspect of life we are considering) and aspire to be even better. This is where coaching differs from counselling or a therapy: those are invaluable when I am unwell in some way, physically or emotionally, and want help to get well again. This is the reason I will often mention things I have learnt or my responses to questions asked by other practitioners of all sorts.

It may seem that this is contrary to 'finding the wisdom within' - and I am always aware of the tendency I sometimes share with most people - to look outside myself for answers. If I keep checking, I can distinguish when I am handing my power over to someone else, not acknowledging my wisdom; and being able to ask for help from a guide or companion along the way to hold the mirror of self-reflection for me.
So - that question of Amy's prompted me to try an experiment one day during my holiday. That morning I had already experienced a powerful meditation with some inspiring images arising so I felt I was perfectly tuned in to give this a try. Even when I am in a rush I draw a single card every day to give me a pause for connection and reflection. On this day I had the luxury of time so I decided on a simple three card spread: Past, Present, Future.

As I was doing this I decided to use a plain piece of paper to lay the cards out on, as well as recording my thoughts in my journal. After clearing my mind I asked for a question to appear as I shuffled the little pack of cards. The thought arose: "A review please."

I drew the first card and placed it on my paper under the heading Past: "Faith". n my journal I wrote: "Have faith that all your past was perfect preparation, a gift." Then I shuffled the cards again and drew one for Present: "Relaxation": this made me laugh as at that time my present state was being on holiday, so a literal interpretation, and an intention I had for my week, an encouragement to make sure I did relax.

Then it was time to draw a card for Future. This was "Fun", which made me laugh even more, and I wrote: " Enjoy life! All of it! See the fun not the problems." That feels a good motto for going forward into the future (in line with 'don't take yourself so seriously'.).

The colours felt significant too, Purple for Faith, a spiritual and powerful colour; soothing blue for relaxation, then zinging, lively bright cerise pink for Fun. As you will have notice there is another space under the three places for past, present and future, one with no label. Writing in my journal, as I reflected, I decided that a fourth card was appropriate, and I wrote: "all these are leading to......".

When I shuffled the cards and out came Light, I just felt filled with joy. A pretty good prescription for living for me: faith, relaxation, fun.... and light.

I've used the term 'a reading' for this activity for want of a better word. As the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Process is all about reconnecting with inner wisdom, it is not someone else 'telling' you anything. You may have noticed that I used very few words about each card as I drew them out of the pack. This is because, for me, the experience was more about the feelings that arose within. Trying to express these in words is often not productive for me - even though I am a writer - as sometimes words can be limiting. However - as I am communicating with you in words - I will make a stab at it: I felt: supported, loved, whole, joyous, lively, complete, connected, bouncy, happy, bubbly, peaceful........

The experiment was interesting and illuminating for me, and I will be repeating it and trying out some other prompts too. If you have your own Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards, have you tried anything like this? If not, perhaps you would like to, and if you also feel like sending me some comments on how it works for you, either privately or on my blog or Facebook page, I would love to hear from you. For me, it feels as if I have added another tool to my kit of techniques to use for myself to access my inner wisdom, and I hope it may prove to be so for you as well.

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 month and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

* 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

September 2014

Reflections: The Light Within - becoming our own teachers
Links to inspire and Amuse
Reminder: Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home and Special offer for readers

The Light Within - becoming our own teachers

Earlier this year I spent time at an art workshop run by Annieb. I've been to several of her events, each has been a wonderfully enjoyable and nurturing experience: a mixture of meditation, music, playing with paint, conversation, and insights, some shared and others developing over time. I returned with a painting that has powerful significance for me, and for the first time I felt I wished to frame and hang it on the wall in my study/office. The prompt for the picture was a visualisation about visiting our personal wisdom tree, and meditating there. Afterwards, I drew this tree: it has solid roots and a strong trunk with an exuberant spring growth of leaves. Within the tree is an explosion of light,  recognition of the internal - eternal - spark inside each of us.  The more we allow our light to shine out into the world, the more our unique gifts can be shared with those who can benefit from them and the more will reflect back to ourselves.

The Light Within by Mary Lunnen

The Light Within by Mary Lunnen

This image is proving such a gift to myself: something I can see, right in front of me as i sit here writing to you, or doing other work at my desk. It has taken me several months to decide to share it with you all here; to get over the 'I'm no good at art..' wobbles. Maybe I am or maybe I'm not - that is immaterial for this: I show it in the spirit of the child  proudly showing something that they have created themselves.

The other day my new feline companion Sparky was here exploring - also known as getting into everything and causing mischief - and at one point he sat on the cabinet gazing at this painting. I managed to take a quick photo of him (of course he wouldn't sit still for long). You can't see what he is looking at - and it may well have been a spider rather than the picture......


This month I picked out a book to read that I have had on my shelves for some time. In fact my note in the front of the book shows I purchased it from Cygnus Books in October 2011. (If you are not familiar with Cygnus I can highly recommend them.) I choose the books I buy carefully, and also intuitively - and I often find it is some time before the time is right to read a particular volume.

The book is The Bowl of Light - Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman  by
Hank Wesselman. You can read about the book at more on the link so I won't describe that here. I know I will be returning again to re-read and absorb more. For now, I wanted to share some reflections on how this ancient wisdom from a different culture has spoken to my beliefs and strengthened them.

Regular readers will know that my whole ethos in my Dare to Blossom work, and recently in the development of the
Rediscovery Cards and Rediscovery Coaching Process, is that we already hold all the answers to our questions within us, and our spiritual journey often involves finding our way back to that wisdom, coming home to ourselves.

At one point in the book the Hawaiian elder, known as Makua, quotes Hank himself, as saying: "...the time of the guru is over." Makua goes on to say in a later conversation:

"The truth already exists within each one of us. This is why no outside agency or religious authority can give it to us. We already have it! We just have to remember it."

"This is why I never agree to become another person's teacher. Each one of us is our own best teacher, and I would never deprive spiritual seekers of the power that comes wit that discovery."

These words have crystalised for me some hesitation I have always felt, a personal internal conflict. A tension between sharing my experience, knowledge and intuition to help others - whether in one-to-one coaching or in the written word; and feeling that I don't want to "..become another person's teacher." and certainly not a 'guru'.

In the past I have resolved some of this tension with the help of the various coaches and supporters I have felt honoured to have encountered. The way I have done this is by recognising that we are all coming back to that ultimate, and so simple, point - that the truth is within us, we are already whole, we are not broken, do not need 'fixing' by another person. The thing I may be able to offer, as do the writers such as Hank sharing Makua's words, is my particular and unique way of putting over these simple, but not always easy to recognise, truths.

There may be - there are - people out there for whom reading the particular words I have chosen (or a photo I have taken), for whom this will be, in one particular moment, exactly what they need to hear. They would not have 'heard' the message from their own heart in quite the same way if not through this channel at this time. I am feeling restricted at this moment by my chosen 'channel' of the written word, finding it hard to convey my meaning without feeling I am doing exactly what I claim not to want - to set myself up as a guru, a teacher.

This is turning out to be one of those pieces of flow-writing that are going to be a challenge to actually press the 'send' button on - and I will continue regardless as I have learnt that this feeling often means it is touching the spot - for me (hence the 'wobbles') and I hope for some of you too. Not for everyone of course - and you will pass on your way to something else if these words do not work for you.

So - can I make any sense out of all these jumbled thoughts? Reading The Bowl of Light has helped me feel connected to ancient wisdom - which I've always been drawn to as I suspect many of you will have been. Helping me clarify further in my own mind what my role as a 'life coach' is, to help resolve some of that 'labeling' difficulty. What I 'do' is simply offer to be a companion, a guide, a mirror to help you find your own way home to yourself. It is physically impossible to see what is right under our own noses (you just try it - you'll pull some very odd faces) - without a mirror. However much experience and knowledge we have; however many spiritual books we read, and well-developed our own intuition is - everyone at some time can benefit from a stalwart - even at times critical - friend.

I have recently experienced this in a very personal way - with a turbulent time in my life and my health, plus pressures in various areas of my work, all meaning - as I now recognise - that I had lost my bearings, been blow off course, dropped the connection with my higher self who would have been able to support me if I had only listened. I have come back home to myself now, with help from some wonderful guides and supporters (see more below), each of whom has played a unique and individual role in this process that no one else could have done at just that precise time.  I have also returned to making use of my own pack of Rediscovery Cards daily, taking the time to tune in and reflect. When I have time I post some thoughts on my
Dare to Blossom Facebook page - so if you enjoy that means of inspiration and support please do pop in and say hello.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What is your route to your inner wisdom within?
- How can you explore (or discover) this?
- Perhaps try some of these: meditation, dance, doodling, playing with paint, flow-writing, a collage of pictures from magazines, a walk in nature, exercise... the list could go on.
- As a prompt for any of the creative activities you could try using any pack of cards you have - maybe the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery cards, or any angel or goddess cards; opening a book at random (even a dictionary works very well!)
- Or if you feel you would benefit from a guide, contact someone you have worked with before or to whom you feel drawn now for some support one-to-one or in a group workshop.

I am smiling now, as sharing this - once I got through my hesitation and wobbles - has been exactly what I needed to 'hear' myself. So often I only hear my own advice, my own wisdom, when someone else reflects it back to me - as do all of those people in my extensive and wonderful support network. Some are listed below, my apologies to those of you I have not mentioned - you will know who you are, and I send my love and gratitude to you for touching my life in your particular unique and special way.

Links to inspire and Amuse

Here are just some of the people I am connected with, each one unique, amazing and special in their own way. Some I have known, or known of, for a long time, and then one day - the right occasion to link up and use their services arises. I will leave you to explore the links below if they call to you.

Amy Palko Amy Palko
Janette Colloby: Divine Equine Wisdom
Megan Selby The Living Voice
Mary McConnell Star Therapies
Soleira Green The Visionary Network

And finally - thank you to Ben for sending me a link to this cartoon:
The Shape of Ideas.

Reninder: Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home

If you would like to host a Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home Party in Cornwall or west Devon, please contact me. The person hosting the workshop receives a free place in return for providing a room and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits etc), and recruiting  at least four paying guests. Within Cornwall the price is currently £25 per person for a half day workshop. That will vary for locations involving more travel or for a full day event.

Special offer for readers

For those of you interested to explore the Rediscovery Process in more depth, there is a special offer open to readers of this newsletter:

One Hour in depth Rediscovery Coaching Session: £35 (usually £65)

'Short and Sweet' Rediscovery Session - 15 minutes £12.00 (usually £16.50)

These sessions are on the telephone or Skype, just contact me to book your time slot, some evenings available.

Offer expires on 31 October 2014.

As always, please feel free to comment on the blog* or reply to this email 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,

* find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook

Thursday, 31 July 2014

August 2014

Reflections: Change

Today as I begin writing this piece for you, I am thinking about all the changes that have taken place for me over the last month. This photograph was taken on the cliffs near Trevone. I've not yet been able to identify the plant - obviously in the same family as the dandelion.

I love the way the seeds appear to be about to explode outwards. In reality they are dependent on the wind to scatter them, but still, each seed has the promise of future growth, of stored energy, just awaiting the right time to burst into growth.

I set out for my walk that day with my mood matching the weather, grey and sombre, but calm and quiet. The sea and sky were both wonderful shades of slate blue-grey and silvery mirror effects. As I started looking at the miniature world around me and photographing the plants, I lost myself in the joy of observation and appreciation.

There is maybe no real connection between this photo and the subject of change, although it has enabled me to make a start on writing this. For me, it has been a time of upheaval, and a realisation that change is the only constant in life.

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves: we must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France (from 

I began this intending to share a long piece of flow writing about the recent changes in my life, and then I decided that while it had been good to write, it was not, this time, meant to be shared.

I had been thinking about how, as well as the big things that cause us grief in life, most obviously the death of loved ones, the disintegration of an important relationship,  or even the loss of a pet as I recently experienced, there are many other times when we feel grief. My experience is that I rarely allow myself to experience this fully. Not to 'wallow' in it for too long (nothing wrong with a bit of wallowing though!) - but to allow the feeling to be expressed. Ideally to be expressed in a way that does no harm to myself or others. Then allowing the feeling to flow through me and go, having served it's purpose.

So often I have not known how to express strong feelings, and have either suppressed them or let them burst out in unhelpful or even hurtful ways.  I have learned some means of doing this now, and have also become aware that it is 'OK' to ask for help. In preparing to write this today I drew a card:

This made me smile and reminded me that every change is an opportunity, if I choose to take it. The help I received with the process of dealing with the sad and sudden loss of my cat Mr B, and the big change of the arrival (much sooner than expected) of a new feline companion, Sparky, is an example, not just of opportunity, but of wonderful synchronicity.

Last year at Soleira Green's workshop I met Janette Colloby of 
Divine Equine Wisdom. Janette works with her horses to access ancient wisdom and intuitive readings. I was aware then that I wanted to experience this for myself but an occasion did not arise. A few weeks ago we reconnected via one of Soleira's on-line groups. Just after that Sparky arrived and his settling-in period was very difficult so I decided now was the time for a reading.

The guidance that emerged was exactly right for me and an amazing experience, helping me connect with Sparky and to see more clearly my future path. Many of my family and friends have a big involvement with horses themselves so maybe you will resonate with Janette's work. My experience is different - I admire horses as beautiful and majestic animals, and have not wished to be involved in riding. This did not matter, connecting as fellow entities in the journey of life - in this case remotely via Janette - has been profound and moving.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What changes are happening around you?
- Are they prompting any strong emotions for you?
- How can you express these in a safe and helpful way?
- Do you need to celebrate, grieve, or mark the changes with a ritual of some kind?

Be gentle with yourself while doing this, you may need extra self-care, and perhaps support from a trusted friend, or a professional, if strong feelings arise that are not easy to resolve by yourself.

Even though the focus of my work is about coming home to myself and that we all have the wisdom we need within us - I know all too well that I cannot always see this. Sometimes a helper to act as a mirror and a champion, standing by my side and cheering me on, is essential for me to to be free to take the next step.

Before I leave you, here is a photo of Sparky taken a couple of days ago, having settled in as 'boss' in my study/office, looking a little cross at being 'snapped'.

Inspiring events and links

'The Real Art of Transformation' with Soleira Green

I am attending the UK event in September, there is also one in Australia in October, an on-line course and a book, full details here.

The Euro Coach List Conference
This is something i write about every year - it is such an opportunity to spend time with an eclectic mix of coaches from all disciplines; attend workshops and talks; and enjoy those 'random' conversations that so often hold nuggets of gold, Early Bird booking is 
already open - I hope to see you there this year.

Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home events

As described last month, I am taking bookings for these events from September in Cornwall or west Devon. The person hosting the workshop receives a free place in return for providing a room and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits etc), and recruiting  at least four paying guests. Within Cornwall the price is currently £25 per person for a half day workshop. That will vary for locations involving more travel or for a full day event.

If you would like to host a Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home Party, please contact me

Special offer for readers - a reminder

For those of you interested to explore the Rediscovery Process in more depth, there is a special offer open to readers of this newsletter:

One Hour in depth Rediscovery Coaching Session: £35 (usually £65)

'Short and Sweet' Rediscovery Session - 15 minutes £12.00 (usually £16.50)

These sessions are on the telephone or Skype, just contact me to book your time slot, some evenings available.

Offer expires on 31 October 2014.

As always, please feel free to comment belowl 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.

PS And just as I am about to press 'send' to propel this out into cyberspace, I am having a 'wobble', a moment of self-doubt. A feeling of wanting to run and hide. How interesting this should pop up now. Shall !? Shan't !? Well, you'll never know if I don't press send so presumably I am about to.......

Until next time,

with love,

*find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Dare to Blossom Newsletter July 2014

July 2014 

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom Newsletter

Blossom, Fruit and Seed 

Today as I begin writing this piece for you,  I am sitting in my garden surrounded by flowers and luxuriant, burgeoning growth. Coming to the end of my week's holiday at home, I have - at last - been able to put aside worries and even plans. I had thought I would spend a lot of time at the computer, working on all my "what next?" ideas for my future work. Instead, the weather has kindly distracted me and it has been far too glorious to spend much time indoors.

Today, with just the weekend to come, I am gradually (but only slightly) re-orientating myself to begin thinking about these things. Sitting here, surrounded by flowers, I am once again prompted to notice the lessons of the natural world all around me.

The blooms are being what they are - one stage of the cycle of life for each particular plant. They fulfill their function of attracting bees to pollinate them, all in good time. If and when that happens, the fruit will develop, and gradually ripen holding the seed of future life within it's depths.

Maybe the plant needs help again once the seed is ready to be distributed. Birds and small animals eat the blackberries and juicy soft fruit (sadly also our strawberries and raspberries if we are not quick enough in picking them). Other types of seeds are taken by the wind, all are spread far and wide.

All these processes work to nature's cycle - there is a 'plan', a time scale of the seasons, and there is also no sense of urgency. Slowing down to nature's rhythm has helped me to appreciate anew the value of each stage of my own creative cycle.

As you know if you are a regular reader, I have often talk about periods of dormancy and germination. And also that I relish learning from other teachers and coaches working with the same aims as me, to enable and empower each one of us to blossom and reach our full potential. Reflecting now, I see that this slowing down on holiday has been a welcome period of 'lull' - the concept from Kaizen-Muse Creative Coaching I learned about from Kathy Kane. 'Lull' is not simply a rest, it actively includes 'Pause, Diversion and Gratitude' (see more in the book 'The Nine Modern Day Muses' by Jill Badonsky).

And this slowing down for me is also a time of 'Stillness, silence and space' - as described by Julia McCutchen at our recent Conscious Writing Retreat. In Julia's model the next stage is 'Inspiration' - and I just experienced that when the phrase 'blossom, fruit, seed' popped into my mind a short while ago. Then 'Imagination' - adding detail as I am doing now. Then on to 'Creative Expression' - putting this piece, currently being written by hand in my notebook, into the structure of the newsletter - and sending it out to you. (I know that Julia is working on a new book describing the conscious writing process in full detail - I am really looking forward to reading that, and I will let you know when it is available).

My observation of my experience is that these creative cycles can be operating on different levels at the same time, and the different levels can be working to varying time scales. So, in my example above, the first stage of relaxing during my holiday lasted a while: Then the idea and the chance to expand on that followed each other quickly; and I have my target of 1 July to send this out to you - so the expression and completion will now need to run through quickly as the end of June has almost arrived.

At the same time, another creative cycle playing out for me is a larger 'what next' question: how to develop the body of work produced during my year-long reflections on the Rediscovery Cards into something that will support and serve even more people. Spreading the word about the value of  rediscovering our inner wisdom and coming home to ourselves. Expanding on the new Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home workshops. All will be achieved by a series of small steps. Small steps during which I will enjoy the journey; small steps that will help me learn more along the way (or should I say, rediscover more?) to inform and clarify my work in the world.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What is your personal creative cycle?
- Where are you right now?
- Would you benefit from recognising your need for a 'Lull' and some 'Stillness, silence, and  space'?
- Or are you ready to move on into action of some sort?

I am smiling as I tell you that for the last two days my Rediscovery card has been 'Action' - after 'Opportunity' on Saturday before I left home for the workshop (and 'Emerging' there, see more below). Also huge thanks to Fraser, who provided the unsolicited testimonial: 

"This is not a polite little thank you note for your rediscovery cards, but a full-on raving fan letter! It has been such a positive experience using them in my journaling - affirming, insightful and fruitful.  They are a terrific resource......" Continue reading here

Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home workshops

The first of these workshops took place last Saturday. I am so grateful to the person who invited me and acted as hostess. The three hour workshop was everything I hoped it would be. If I receive any detailed feedback with permission to share with you, I will of course - in the meantime the 'one word feedback' comments people made at the end of the morning include:
*Inspiration  *Support *Relaxation *Safe *Grateful
*Nurturing *Welcoming *Gentle *Open-Up
(two words, hyphenated, are allowed!)

As a description of 'Coming Home to Yourself', I feel these words are perfect. Thank you so much to the people who were there, and to our wonderful hostess who shared her home with us for the morning.

It is not easy to describe exactly 'what happened'. What we did was share conversation; followed by a flow-writing exercise where we each drew a card and then we chose a spot - inside or out in the garden - to write without our inner critic piping up.

It is not for me to presume to write here about the experiences of others. As mentioned earlier, the card I drew was 'Emerging'.

Having described to the others the concept of flow-writing - keeping the pen moving on the paper even if what you are writing makes no sense - I laughed when I had trouble with this.

I wrote:

"I've been afraid to be seen, why? ....[long pause here]... Keep the pen moving! Not stopping is good, no need to think at all. Listen - a whirring; the birds tweeting, cawing. They are just themselves. Earthy red-brown like the Devon red soil on those wonderful cliffs. Delicate emerging - nurture and care but know when to let go and give a shove to fly the nest."

As you see, this makes little sense, and that is fine, it doesn't need to. As with doodling and having fun with paint or crayons - this sort of writing is not for sharing (even though I have chosen to do so here). 

Then we discussed what we had felt while we had been writing, and if we wished, shared a little of that writing. Some people found, as did I, that this elicited more unexpected words. when talking aloud All part of rediscovering our inner wisdom - my experience is that if I can provide an environment for myself, and here for others, where I can write, speak (and draw) from the heart - unexpected insights emerge.

After a refreshment break, the second part of the morning consisted of creative play, where
 people could make a greetings card for themselves. I provided the cards and envelopes, coloured pens, some pretty wrapping paper covered in butterflies, and a selection of packs of stickers with hearts, flowers, birds, stars, and more butterflies (such a powerful metaphor for transformation). The words people wrote in the cards as messages to themselves were private and everyone went away with a beautiful creation. How long is it since you allowed yourself to play without expectations - and without a child being present to provide 'an excuse'?

Other parts of the workshop were short opening and closing meditations and several inspirational readings that I chose carefully to share with those present.

For me, the fact that the workshop took place in someone's home meant that it had a very different feeling to other workshops I have run in the past. These have been equally successful - just very different. I felt a connection with the ancient land, in this case of west Cornwall. A place inhabited by generations of miners, farmers and fishermen and their families. Wives who were strong women who managed households in days with no labour-saving devices; women who also worked alongside the men as well as bearing and raising children. A connection with humankind; with inner wisdom and coming home to myself - to the larger Myself that we are all a part of; feeling a part of the web of life stretching back into the past and forwards into the future - all connected by individual people.

That last paragraph is a total surprise to me - a piece of flow writing that I choose to share with you unedited and untouched by my internal critic (which is jumping up and down a bit, and I am choosing not to hear).

I look forward to connecting with other places as well as people. Places such as a terraced house in a town, a suburban bungalow, a country farm-house - will all have their special characters and connections.

If you would like to host a Dare to Blossom Rediscovery at Home Party, please contact me. at present I can offer them in Cornwall or west Devon, on a limited selection of dates. In the future I will have more flexibility and be able to travel further afield. The person hosting the workshop receives a free place in return for providing a room and refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits etc), and recruiting  at least four paying guests. Within Cornwall the price is currently £25 per person for a half day workshop. That will vary for locations involving more travel or for a full day event.

Special offer for readers

For those of you interested to explore the Rediscovery Process in more depth, there is a special offer open to readers of this newsletter:

One Hour in depth Rediscovery Coaching Session: £35 (usually £65)

'Short and Sweet' Rediscovery Session - 15 minutes £12.00 (usually £16.50)

These sessions are on the telephone or Skype, just contact me to book your time slot, some evenings available.

Offer expires on 31 October 2014.

As always, please feel free to comment 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.