Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dare to Blossom Newsletter: June 2014

Reflections: Emerging

News: What Next?

Reflections: Emerging

This has been a very special time for me: the completion of my year of writing about each of the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards feels like a milestone has been passed. As I mentioned in the final piece, on 'Celebration', there were other reasons that this time of year is significant for me, one being the anniversary of my cancer diagnosis.

Last weekend I participated in the long awaited
 'Conscious Writing Retreat', led by Julia McCutchen at Glastonbury. 

I know I will be writing and sharing more about this experience over coming months. It was deeply powerful in a multitude of ways and will take some time to integrate. It was a true retreat: we stayed at the beautiful Abbey House, immediately next to and overlooking Glastonbury Abbey. All the major sites we might want to visit were in easy walking distance - the Labyrinth at St John's Church, the Chalice Well Gardens, and Glastonbury Tor itself.

The accommodation was basic and comfortable, with no television to distract, and although there was wifi, I chose to only use this for a brief look at email messages rather than Internet browsing.

I found I was hardly even drawn to read the books I had brought with me, preferring to spend my time in my own writing, journalling and meditation. It was a joy to be able to use my pack of Dare to Blossom Cards daily.

Some days I came back to the pack and drew a card several times. So much was happening that when I returned to my room for personal writing time I felt things had moved on and my further thoughts would be sparked by shuffling and drawing anther time.

On Sunday, the last full day, I drew 'Emerging'. I had arrived on Friday evening hoping that a big new 'next step' would become clear for me over the weekend. A new book, a course or a new project - what would it be? Instead I found myself taken back to the practice of 'small steps', of moving forward steadily and openly, seeing what arises with each new turn in the path.

So 'emerging' was a perfect card. At lunch time I shuffled the cards well, and out it came again: 'Emerging' - making me smile. Then before dinner, when the same happened, I laughed out loud. I could hardly say I hadn't got the message: allow my next steps to emerge gradually; to organically evolve rather than looking for a giant leap forward.

Julia has posted some of the group photographs taken on the last day, I hope
this link will take you there. One of the intentions we were encouraged to set was to continue some of the practices on our return home - and I feel these photos are a great reminder of the very special connections we made as a group and as individuals.

So, although I had intended to wrote a lot more for you about the experience, this week I am taking Julia's advice to go gently with ourselves. I am ignoring my 'inner critic' and sending this off to you as it is, unpoilished and maybe incomplete. At the same time it is heartfelt and full of gratitude - to  Julia for putting together such an extraordinary experience; to everyone there for each being a special part of the whole (and that includes all the staff at Abbey House); and to you - for reading this and for being with me in my continuing journey.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What is emerging for you?
- You could journal, flow-write, paint or collage to explore...
- Are you being gentle with yourself and giving time to the process?
- Do you want to plan some actions, some small steps, to take you forward?
News: What Next?

If you have any ideas about what you would like a 'what next?' to be, please do share them with me, either by replying to this email or on the blog or Facebook pages.

My plans at present are for "Dare to Blossom at Home" events - where you host a three hour workshop in your home in return for a free place for yourself. At present these will be in Cornwall, if you would like to know more, just get in touch.

Would you like the weekly blog about the cards to continue? Now I have finished writing about a different one each week, I have returned to the 'normal' way of using them, shuffling well and drawing out a card each day. This is currently part of my morning practice. Would it be interesting if I wrote and shared a little about this?

Today's card is 'Surrender': I am surrendering to not knowing, to living the questions, to being with uncertainty and feeling comfortable with that feeling of future possibilities not yet being clear.

Thank you - for being my companion, for your support and comments, for sharing your suggestions and thoughts. 

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 sharing time with me here.

Until next time,

with love,

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

Thursday, 15 May 2014


13 May 2014

This is card number fifty - the last one in the pack. It may seem that I have chosen to keep this word for the last one, but in reality it 'chose' itself. Last year, a few weeks after starting this journey to share my experience of reflecting on each card, I decided I should check that I was using a complete pack. The reason for this goes back to when I first designed the cards. At the beginning, in 2012, they were purely to use during a mew series of workshops.

During the workshops we drew a card, and used the words and colours as prompts for some flow-writing and creative activities. My idea at the time was that people could, if they wished, take 'their' card away with them. Most people did this, so of course I ended up with some incomplete packs. Many people asked me if the cards were on sale so they could purchase their own set, so the following year I began offering them as a means to access your inner wisdom.

So - hence the need to check the pack I was using, and I eventually established that there was one card missing even when I combined all the loose cards I had, and that was 'Celebration'. So that was it, I felt that was meant to be the final card.

I do feel a sense of celebration and achievement at having stuck with it and kept up the practice of writing regularly about a card, and, even more significantly, of sending it out to you. Sending even when it felt raw and vulnerable to be exposing my inner thoughts. Inner thoughts that were not polished and edited, simply shared with you as an offering to perhaps be a companion to you. As I have mentioned here before, it has proved to be just when I felt most vulnerable that the words I shared were the most significant for some of you reading them.

I have started writing this on Monday in preparation for sending it to you on Wednesday or Thursday. And today, Monday 12 May, is another day that I am able to celebrate, as I do my best to remember to do every fresh day. 12 May 1994, twenty years ago today, was the day that I received a diagnosis of cancer. So, I can celebrate today twenty years of life that I may not have had; and the beginning of my journey home, of rediscovery of my self, and of my wisdom within. Maybe I could say the journey begins with birth and ends with death, and I would also say, for me, that the last twenty years have been precious due to my awareness of how easily I could not have had this time.
Joining you again today, Thursday to complete this to send to you, I am smiling at the challenges I have felt this week. Despite my best intentions, at times I have felt tired and grumpy, anything but happy and able to celebrate. And that is human and normal. Maybe I am feeling a slight sense of anti-climax: having completed this challenge - what next?

I have yet to decide if I will continue the practice of a weekly blog/newsletter. You may remember that I have booked a place on the "Conscious Writing Retreat" over the May Bank Holiday weekend with Julia McCutchen. That came up with perfect timing and will be an opportunity to review how far I have come and renew my vision and inspiration for "what next?". All I can say right now is - watch this space.

Returning to my celebrations: the colour of this card is a rich crimson red, perhaps a 'Christmas' colour, and well-suited to rejoicing and marking a big event. It also prompts me to think about celebrating small everyday wonders: waking up to a fresh new day; eating a simple breakfast of muesli and yogurt; going out into my garden and enjoying the flowers.

The month of May here in Cornwall is so special, everything in nature is fresh and new. Here is a photo of a rhododendron I have in a container outside my garden office. This year it has more flowers than ever and they begin dark orange in the bud then open up into glorious shades of yellow.

For me, the exuberant burst of colour is a perfect illustration for 'Celebration'.

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 so much dear friends for sharing my musings.along this journey.

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.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


7 May 2014

This card seemed to validate my decision to have a 'week off' sending the monthly newsletter last week. Allowing myself to be flexible.

Sitting here writing to you I smile as I am feeling almost the opposite of flexible. Having spent most of the Bank Holiday weekend in the gardening 'jungle-bashing', clearing and tidying - I feel stiff and sore. However, there is also a lot of satisfaction in seeing how much better things look.

I also took some time out for a walk in the bluebell woods at Lanhydrock. It is my intention to do this every year, but sometimes I miss the short season. This time the timing was just right. The walk goes along the River Fowey from Respryn Bridge - here is a photo of the light on the river as it flows to the sea.


I spent a while here just watching, and listening to, the river. The light was mesmerising - ever-changing as the water flowed. The ultimate expression of 'flexibility', literally going with the flow. At the same time the water seemed to have a strength and ancient power. The natural cycle of water from raindrops in the clouds, to streams flowing into rivers, down to the sea and then evaporating again up into the sky. Many people experienced all too strongly the power of water in all it's forms this winter in England with floods and storm damage, as have many people around the world.

The ancient tree on the opposite bank fascinated me. Trees adapt and change all the time, but seem solid and fixed. Many have longer lives than human beings. I loved the shape of the branches against the sky, reaching outwards and upwards.

After reflecting on all this and simply enjoying the peace of the moment I continued along the path until it crosses a footbridge and then walked up into the beech woods. The scene immediately changed to being surrounded by towering trunks with the bluebells starting to appear in the distance between them The contrast between the brilliant green of the new leaves and the purple-blue of the blossoms never fails to take my breath away.

As you can imagine, I couldn't resist taking many photographs, here is another of my favourites.

This weekend has been a time of variable weather meaning plenty of flexibility has also been needed in plans and arrangements - as is the way in any place with our sort of climate. 'Going with the flow' like the river has seemed the best way to be in this time.

Sometimes it is necessary to be more like an immovable object, more like a boulder in the stream (though the boulder will eventually be worn away by the action of the water - but that is another meditation altogether.) And there may be a certain point beyond which even the branches of the tree cannot move in the wind: when the breeze becomes a gale and the gale becomes a storm - sometimes the tree cannot withstand the pressure and will fall. There were a number of recently fallen  trees along the way as I walked through the woods. Some seemed to have been old and rotten and thus less able to remain flexible.

This piece of flow-writing has itself felt like watching the stream: I have been watching my thoughts and writing them here to share with you. Sometimes they have stalled as the water does coming to a boulder; at others they have felt confused and jumbled - with rather mixed metaphors perhaps - as the water looked as it swirls around on it's way downstream. At the same time I have not felt any particular attachment to those thoughts, or any need to make sense of them or make them 'fit' any particular story. They are just as they are, just a meditation of passing images.

I have yet to mention the colour of the card - strangely, on my screen it appears just like the blue of the bluebells in my photos, even though the card itself on my desk is a slightly more pink shade of purple-blue. Either way, to me it feels a reflection and calm colour, an aide to a meditation.

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,

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