Thursday, 30 June 2016

July 2016 - the balance of black and white

In this Issue: 

Reflections: the balance of dark and light
New writing: a collaboration and a prose poem
Forthcoming Events: autumn 2016 Dare to Blossom workshops
Inspiration: featured blog

Reflections: the balance of dark and light

Everywhere in life there are opposites: hot/cold, night/day, summer/winter, sweet/sour, wet/dry, up/down, north/south, east/west, and black (or dark) and light. Some of these are observable, many are subjective: one person's 'hot' is another's 'cold' (or cool at least).

As human beings trying to make sense of our lives the tendency is to make judgements based on past experience. This can mean that what is happening to me now, in this instant, the only moment that is actually 'real' - this instant is seen through a filter of assumptions. These may, or may not serve me well. Some have been acquired through my own physical experiences, and others learned from those around me. If all those people who influenced me as I was growing up as a young child believed that a certain thing was 'good' and another thing 'bad' - it can be very hard for me to un-learn those prejudices - in the sense of 'pre-judgements. (I find it interesting that I have to explain that - am I 'prejudiced' against the word 'prejudice'? And, I feel I need to say, I am very purposefully writing in the first person today to do my best not to assume that anyone else makes the same 'pre-judgements' as I do). 

What I can be doing is making assumptions that one thing is 'right' and therefore the other, the opposite, must be 'wrong'. I come to see more clearly now that usually I benefit from some of each quality. This is necessary to enjoy the temperate maritime climate here in Cornwall  - I love the sunshine, and I know that rain is needed to enable the land to remain as green and fertile as it is, so I wouldn't say rain is 'bad'.

So, when it comes to black and white or dark and light, as in the title of these reflections today, there are so many centuries of culture, tradition, superstition, story-telling behind me, that it is an interesting exercise to tease out some of what I feel about those terms. The picture shows our 'yin yang' garden just after it was freshly laid last year.

This definition, found on Google, illustrates the point I am trying to make:

"In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, 陰陽 yīnyáng "dark—bright") describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another."

Coming back to complete these reflections after a gap of twenty-four hours, I have had the phrase 'from black and white to colour' running through my mind. It is the title of a book by Richard Wilkins (he is very active on Facebook, and his website is here.) I met Richard sometime in the 1990s, and he was, and has been ever since, a great inspiration. This little book is a collection of his poems and sayings drawn from his own experience of getting to rock bottom and finding the only way was up.

I think the thought I am stumbling towards is this: life truly is never black and white. There many shades of grey between those extremes. And, if I am able to choose to see life this way, there is an infinite variety of glorious colours too. Science shows many more that my human eyes cannot detect.

As often happens for me, sharing my flow writing, my personal process, with you is beginning to feel exposed and a little scary. I have lost the thread of the point I was making here, starting off to talk about black and white. Or is it necessary to have a 'point' at all? To answer myself, yes, sometimes, absolutely - if I need to convince someone or explain something clearly. And also, no - not here, not today. I feel no need to be 'right'; no impulse to show that someone else may be 'wrong'.

Those "contrary forces" that "are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent" contain gifts in their interdependence. Maybe venturing into the dark, the shadow, within me will allow me to see things that the sunshine of the light obscures in dazzling brightness?

Another break. A walk on the cliffs this morning. Some extraordinary insights - which will need me to spend some time with in meditation before I write anything I feel able to share about them. The images I saw were about going deep within - inside the earth, or inside myself - into the dark. Emerging changed by the dark, and by treasures - the jewels, the crystals - of light I found there.

For you, for your journal or meditation practice:
- if any phrase or word resonates with you from this piece, choose to flow write or meditate on those words
- what emerges for you?
- what gifts can you find within?
- do you wish to paint, draw, collage - express this visually in some way?

If you would like to comment or share (either in the on-line blog forum, on Facebook or privately) please feel free.

New writing: a collaboration and a prose poem

Collaboration: "365 Moments of Grace"
This book is a collaboration of 250 writers, all brought together by Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck. I have posted a special piece on my website blog to tie in with the 'blog tour' for the publication. You may have already read that if not, you can find it here.

For UK readers, there is a link here - which I hope will take you to my author page (I have found it technically challenging setting it all up), and if not, simply search for my name or the book title. If you are outside the UK,
this will take you to my affiliate page with Jodi where you can see details of all her and Dan's offerings.

Just been interrupted to sign for the delivery of my copy of the book, what great timing. No one around to take a 'good' photo for me, so here is a selfie with me looking rather astounded.

Prose poem: Coming Home
At my recent Midsummer Magic Carpet Ride workshop, with the title 'Rediscovering your Inner Wisdom', I decided to read a piece I had written myself, amongst the words of other writers that I also share. This felt a big step for me, and my inner critic popped up very loudly proclaiming the usual 'stuff' - 'Who do you think you are?!' etc. In the words of Marianne Williamson (and I always read the whole piece during workshops) 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' (
read the rest here) 

The piece below has not been edited since it was written during my meditation/visualisation practice, some time in June - and I had not even read it through before sharing it at the workshop. I am sure it could be polished and honed, at present it is a raw, unpolished flow of feeling from the heart.

Coming Home
Breath In, breath out
Breathe in, breathe out.
Connect with my body, feel, settle
Connect with the earth...
...fertile, strong, mud, rock.

Connect with nature:
   Seeds waiting, germinating
   - green shoots becoming strong
   - green shoots becoming trunks, branches
   Buds forming, slowly breaking
   - flowers blossoming
   - flowers fruiting
   Fruit falls, fruit scatters
   Seeds waiting

Connect with the air, all it signifies:
   Breath of life, winds that blow the seeds.
   The Universe around me
   The world of the unseen, unknown,
   - alongside
   - guiding me if I listen.

Breath in, breath out
Breathe in, breathe out.
   I am home

Abundance embodied

Coming home.

Forthcoming Events: autumn 2016 Dare to Blossom workshops

With the busy time of summer arriving here in Cornwall, my next workshops are planned for the autumn and full details will be available on the website soon, and to you here n a future newsletter. I am currently working on ideas. I am finding that participating, as well as facilitating, the current 'Global On-line Midsummer Magic Carpet Ride to Rediscover your Inner Wisdom' is proving very fruitful for me in that. It is making sure I take my own time out, to meditate and write, away from the computer, to share with the group, and some interesting insights have been arising.

I think the title of 'Magic Carpet Ride' will stay - people connect with that as it awakens a child-like playfulness. Do let me know if you have any feelings on this: do you like that idea? Does it not not a chord for you? Even when thinking about what we may feel 'should' be serious subjects such as business or career, this approach can yield unexpected gifts. As to the next seasonal theme - watch this space.

The dates in Cornwall at present are:
- Saturday 10 September, at The Clease Hall, Camelford
- Saturday 24 September, at the Heliodor Wellbeing Centre, Hayle
- Saturday 19 November, at the Heliodor Wellbeing Centre, Hayle

Each workshop will run from 10 am - 1pm, there will be Early Bird and 'frequent flyer' or (magic carpet rider :-) ) rates once the price per person has been set. (I will keep them to £25 for Early Bird bookings if I possibly can). If the first event in Camelford is a success I may well choose that as a regular location as I have been looking for somewhere in north Cornwall for some time.

Dare to Blossom at Home workshops can be booked at any time: if you are in Cornwall or west Devon and are interested in exploring the option to host a group of friends in your own home, have a look at the website here and contact me so we can arrange a chat to discuss what you would like.

Inspiration: featured blog

I have so many friends writing amazing inspirational blogs that I have decided to feature one of them here each month:

Here is Diana Frajman with The Crone's Apprentice.

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

If you would like to own a set of Dare to Blossom Rediscovery 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,

Find 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook, @daretoblossom on Twitter