Saturday, 30 April 2011


theres no escaping what has captured the attention of so much of the western world this weekend so i am not gonna mention it! however it has made me reflect upon that timeless and ridiculously complex notion and state we call 'love'.

what is it? how do we know when we feel it? and are there different types of love? sometimes it seems there should be different words for its flavour, just like the inuits have so many words for snow!

there is a path called bhakti yoga, a practice not so familiar to the throngs of yoga devotees throughout the world, but to some it is their practice. it is the yoga of devotion...usually through chanting, pujas or offering rituals, deity practices... eek i hear you say. devotion? blimey!!

we do not find it easy being with the word devotion. it conjures up images of prostrating monks, or of having to cast away the effects of ones life for another, supposedly realised being, or maybe it makes us think of jesus freaks (no offence to you if you are a jesus devotee and have happened to have stumbled upon these pages!)

swami sivananda defines bhakti yoga as: '..intense devotion and supreme attachment to is pure unselfish divine is love for love's sake..'
for many of us the idea of this kind of way of being seems to require of us a giving up of control, of the power in one's life...almost a blind faith to offer ourselves to something or somebody else.. this can make us twitchy!

yet on the other hand, when we can find a way to offer our self up to something higher, whether we call that god, goddess, divine, jesus, allah, is actually a remembrance that there is a greater force underlying all that we are...that we dont have to do it all ourselves... that there is a larger support for us if only our lil controlling ego could just gently step aside and allow this greater mystery to be felt instead.

for me i constantly struggle with this practice, and yet the times when i have been going through difficult or painful emotions, and decided to offer up how i am feeling with my heart open to something higher, i have immediately felt lighter, held, supported and in a new softer and trusting place.

how does this relate to love at large? well, i am no expert in this field of romantic love (ahem!), but maybe we could learn something about bhakti practice in our relationships...when we keep our hearts open, soften and realise that underneath our diferences, and each others flaws as a human bean, there is this presence of 'god/dess'..can we see and honor that in each other, and more importantly, can we see and honor that in ourselves?...

as john lennon correctly pointed out:
'all we need is love'

Friday, 29 April 2011


geometric mandalas

order and chaos, structure and flow, rigidity and fluidity...the yin and yang of the universe is offered to us with every breath in and out...from the dawning of night into day, and the dusking of light into dark we are constantly reminded of the balance of life.

here are 2 mandalas i painted a few years back when i was really fascinated by sacred geometry and the inate patterns of the universe...the top image is called 'sunwheel' and the bottom image is 'flower'...they are both available now in my etsy shop as prints.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


what is it about expectation that can cause a rut in the smooth road that we glide joyfully along?
i have been watching this aspect within myself for ever such a long time now, and just when i feel i have risen above the stumbling block of desiring how it should be, i fall once again, clinging fingernails deep into some kind of idea of 'this is what it should look like! this is how it should be!'
lately so much has been shifting and turning in my world. so much change, which i believe is apparent for all of us at such an auspicious time in our planetary evolution. and miraculously (for this lil control freak!), i have simply been sitting back watching all unfold, breathing my way through, a bemused and curious witness to the wonders of life.
i realised recently that all the changes that are happening are ones i have asked for, yet, and this is the clincher(!), they are not in the form i expected them to be in!! no, the essence of my desires and intention is there, but in such a different, and quite honestly, rather impressively refreshing form. who knew!
and yet this week i fell once again into the painful place of wanting it to be a certain way, banging my head (so to speak, as literally doing so would only cause a rather sore head me thinks) against the way it is! so once again i have stepped back, taken a breath, and smiled at the futility of believing i know better. and you know what? instantly i feel better, more relaxed, letting go into the mystery of my life unfolding exactly as its meant to be!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

curves and mandalas

angel mandala and lotus mandala

i used to be obsessed with making mandalas...i spent a few years creating paintings of them, some of them , as above, recognisable images, whilst some of my mandalas were intense studies in the geometric patterning of the universe (i will show you some on here at some point)

mandalas are circular forms, arising from noticing that everything in nature is from a circle or spiral, from the tiniest cell to the luminous fireball in the sky!...there are no straight lines in of my favourite artists, hundertwasser, stood by this fact when he created his beautiful paintings, and he even designed buildings which were all curves, some even having gardens on their rooftops...highly ahead of his time he was a true visionary!

when i practice yoga, when i teach, or move in dance, this seems to me to be what we are trying to release our bodies from...the impact of all that rigid lineness (is that a word??!) from city living, desk sitting, routine, clock watching n obeying the linear laws of manmade time itself

the cycles of the year, the shift from day to night, the flow of my monthly bleeding, the in and out of the breath...all of these reminds us of the circular nature of life...can we find our way back to this pleasure, to unwinding back into the smooth curves and soft flowing of the earths shapes..i wish this for you this sunday xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


well lovely ones...a rare daytime post for this lil night owl...with an offering to you with regards my upcoming france 'alchemy of the arts: tending the fire within' retreat...mon 9th may- sat 14th les passeroses, charente, south west france (see flier below and also retreat page for more info)

toying with how to word the words that roll around my mind today...i think wording the words from a place of authenticity and from a human heart is the only appropriate see, about 4 years ago i decided to take a risk...after teaching yoga and creative expression workshops since 2004 i took a deep breath, said a few thank yous, and embarked upon my first retreat at the beautiful 'stod fold barn',near halifax, yorkshire (

what a surprise and what a delight! these weekends offered themselves to be more than an opportunity to share the healing and life enhancing practices of yoga, dance and art-making..they became truly magical events, with wondrous heart opening, laughter, tears, friendship and a sense of returning to an older more ancient time when we would gather around fires and share our stories as nourishment for each other and all the beautiful beings in the world

so i decided to venture further afield..france to be exact!...having found a gorgeous retreat setting, with wonderful hosts all seemed set on a new adventure!...yet the reality is it might not of today there are not enough bookings to run the event...i have learnt so much from stepping in and commiting to this (which i have to admit took its time) and i am incredibly grateful for what i have learned

yet all might not be a closed book just one final action outwards to the world to manifest this dream, i am offering the 5 day retreat at a reduced of now the prices start from 445pounds (this includes all meals, accomodation, yoga sessions and art materials..does not include transport eg flights or train)

so...if you have been drawn to what is offered on an alchemy event or if you might be interested then get in contact

all will be as its meant to be xx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

springtime cleaning

spring cleaning

i have started to sell prints of my artwork on (see side bar for a direct link)...i have not uploaded this image yet but thought i would preview its impending debut here on these pages! its not a new painting, probably about 3 or 4 years old, but it is one of my favourites. painted with acrylics, 4' x 5', the idea came about from my once constant doodling in my beloved art journal.

the woman lies with her cheek pressed against the earth, surrendering to its support, breathing with the pulse of the ground. she weeps, for what we do not know, perhaps for the burden of a life we do not comprehend, perhaps for a great loss, perhaps in sweet defeat offering her tears to the soil. she does just this, and her tears water and irrigate the thirsty earth, travelling deeper and deeper. way below the surface they gather in a pool, her tears transformed into lil skulls, their death signifying the essential transformation and the reminder that that which is shed feeds and provides nourishment for something new to arise. and so it is here, as the flowers, watered and quenched from her offerings, begin to bloom once more.