Monday, 23 May 2011

magic and nourishment in yorkshire!

our fire altar

beautiful stream that flows in the garden

we practice yoga here when the weather is kind!

nourishment for our bellies :-)

there is a special space out in the midst of the yorkshire countryside...twice a year i gather there together with a sprinkling of beautiful women for a weekend of soul nurturance, wisdom seeking, body movement, and heart sharing, with laughter, tears, friendship and trust supporting the alchemy of our time together...the practices we unfold for each of our journey's being yoga, dance, meditation, art-making, journaling, tantric dyads and ritual

this summer we come together shortly after the summer solstice..the weekend of fri 8th july to sun 10th july...the theme of our time together is 'tending the fire within'...our inner fire is connected energetically to our solar plexus and the whole belly area.. when we hold our bellies, either in fear, tension, incorrect posture, tight clothing, or, most commonly, not letting the breath reach deep down into our centre, we limit and dampen our own internal fire

so what does this fire do? well on one hand this is the transforming power that helps our digestive system to change the foods we consume into fuel for energy...yet it is so much more...our fire is our inner power...that which 'fuels' our ability to live with the correct drive to put into action the steps needed to make our dreams manifest into real is the connection to the source which feeds us.. think about it... in the womb we were fed through our navel by the 'great mother' who gave us life...just because we are no longer physically attached to our own mothers, doesnt mean that we dont receive nourishment and feeding from the 'GREAT mother' that sustains and supports us...blockages to our centre literally and energetically blocks this sustenance!

we will explore this theme deeper over the weekend and ease gently back into connection and freedom of our bellys power and wisdom

no experience necessary.. all welcome.. please contact me if you would like to know more

blessings and sparks of beauty and grace xxx

Saturday, 21 May 2011

clearing, cleaning and general OCD behaviour!!

the last few days have seen me in a frenzy of neurotic activity without the need to leave the beloved comfort of my beautiful, i havent suddenly won the lottery and thus turned to the delights of the online world of shopping!..i decided to curiously undertake this feng shui 'giveaway' practice... consisting of giving away or throwing away 27 items over 9 consecutive days - i.e. a grand and preposterous total of 243 things!!!

Everything we own carries an energy with it. As we let go of old energies, it clears the space for us to open to greater new energy... so by throwing out that old make-up i still had from my student days, i am assisting the universe in granting the space available for, erm, new makeup to appear!!? ...well, not i am merrily chucking out willy nilly i am also asking the one above for what i would like to manifest more deeply in my life!

so far, i have freed myself from the unneccesary burden of musty old paperwork lurking in folders of varying colours, that i have acquired over the last 10 years...notebooks from my earliest forays into yoga teaching with pages upon pages of lesson plans have found there way to the recycling bin...i am now the proud owner of 6 empty ringbinders!! damn them....anyone need one, or two....?

this clearing out has been easier than i first thought, though an unexpected side effect seems to have occurred...i have spent all of today blitzing the kitchen: floor mopped; behind the oven scrubbed; the cupboard under the sink decluttered and its contents downsized!! dont get me wrong...i do have friends... honest! it happens one drink with some gorgeous girl friends last night turned into a 3:30 in the morning spin on a dancefloor of some random club!! not only have i been frantically cleaning like a woman possessed..but with a hangover too!..hardcore me ;-)

so..tomorrow is day 6...i am eyeing up my old make up bag, and the drawer of greying 'nobodys gonna see them anyways' knickers...ooh..cant wait!

if your appetite has been whetted and your marigolds are itching to adorn your hands, here's what you do...enjoy!

1. Each day for nine days in a row give away or throw away 27 items. Notice what you're hanging on to, not because you love it, but because you're afraid to let it go.

2. Stand in your closet and touch or try on every piece of clothing. Ask yourself whether you want to carry that into your life ahead. If not, give it away or throw it away.

3. Clear out old books that don't have messages that speak to you anymore, vitamins or medicines you no longer need, kitchen items that are cracked or worn-out. (Or how about those half-used shampoo bottles from four years ago?)

4. Fix items that are broken (or get rid of them). Clean items that are dirty. Put your loving attention on everything in your environment to see whether it represents who you are now.

Then notice what happens in your life -- and watch for miracles. As you let go of things that carry old energy, you also strengthen your ability to let go of old ideas of feelings that no longer serve you. Then, you're freer to create a magnificent future.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


nonsense....utter nonsense....for some reason this word has been fascinating me this last week...i think its because for some unfathomable reason i have been feeling in a real 'no nonsense' mood...a rather bemusing place to find oneself and indeed rather alien to this lady who usually takes great delight in a nonsensical rambling or two!...but no, that was replaced by a general feeling that nothing but the absolute truth was to be said, acted upon and declared by one and all!! good god! thought my friends (well i am assuming there might have been some murmerings of this ilk), as i launched into very matter of fact and direct remarks on this that and the other!...scary stuff!!

this state of extreme curiousness has now passed, timed with the arrival of my monthly bleeding, but the idea of no nonsense remains with me...what does it mean? is there a place for nonsense in our lives? and, what might possibly be the opposite??

nonsense seems to suggest that nothing makes any, well, sense....that what we are perceiving doesnt fit into any recognisable box, and that our lil minds strain to find a label of understanding and knowing to attach to whatever it was that has triggered this peturbance!

we take in the world through our senses: touch, taste, smell, hearing, seeing and feeling..some of us have a strong higher and deeper felt sense, yet it is something we all have and this can be cultivated thro awareness and bodywork i believe....then our mind takes over and through a process of sorting and discriminating, we have our sense of the world and that which we are experiencing..phew! we know where we are and whats going on!..or do we really?!

our discriminatory mind judges and acts upon our past impressions and experiences, conjuring up imagined fears and desires, connected with sensing and receiving information that may trigger off distasteful or challenging we judge.. this is good, this is bad..this is right, this is wrong..this is ok, this is not ok.. and so on...and in less than a blink of an eye we have our own unique impression and sense of the world sorted!...yet this is not the truth...isnt it such a headfuck to realise that each one of us senses and perceives the world so differently??!! enough to drive one crazy!

so...maybe nonsense is a good thing.. a refreshing change whereby the order and control of our mind gets a little more challnege then it would comfortably like...surrendering into and indeed welcoming and enjoying a little nonsense in your life may be very helpful indeed..if only to befuddle our already befuddled minds a little more!!

apart from last week tho!!

so..a little nonsense for you..enjoy...

Jabberwocky by lewis carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Monday, 2 May 2011

beltane magic

fireworks...mixed media

the rolling stones song 'play with fire' on my stereo as i write these words...the sun blazing its powerful rays down upon us...welcome to summer!

beltane's magic over the last few days saw me and my darling sister take to the park and finding a secluded place near the lake and honouring the presence of all the elements supporting us, we held a little ritual to this potent time of the year...asking for the sun to energise and relight our heart intentions for ourselves, our family and friends and for the earth.

traditionally, beltane rituals have included jumping over the fire holding our prayers as an offering into the fire, to be transformed into winged fact, any time we feed our intentions and wishes, we strengthen their power to take form, but this is particularly strong right now.

this got me thinking about our inner fire, that which fuels us out into the world, and fuels our spirit to express itself in its highest possible potential...yogis call this inner fire 'tapas', a burning zeal and determination, focus, heat, radiance and devotion to a wave of energy bigger than ones fears, doubts and confusion...mentioned as far back as the vedas, and through texts such as the yoga sutras, and hatha yoga pradipika, tapas is seen as an imperative part of the yogic path...

taken to an extreme tapas can be an austerity, a way to travel far beyond the limits of the ego mind, given example in the way a sadhu might keep his arm raised to the sky for a number of years! this is meant to ignite the rich alchemy in which the body becomes the cauldron for cultivating siddhis, or extraordinary powers...

we do not have to go this far, remember the middle path of balance is often a preferable and kinder way of living (well i certainly think so anyways!)...tapas might be the focus and discilpine needed to continue patiently learning to play the guitar...for me, this is the part that, even when feeling slothful (eek!), makes me find my mat, start my practice, find a canvas, dip my brush and create a fact it is like the striking of a match...the first spark that has the potential to become a flaming roaring fire!

patanjali mentions tapas as one of the niyamas, the 5 practices for devotion to oneself, as part of the 8 limbs of is also part of the trio of practices which makes up kriya yoga: tapas, svadyaya (self study), and isvara pranidhara (surrendering to the divine) fact these are so important as we need to understand why we want to commit in discipline to whatever we are we have the right reasons? is it for our ultimate highest good? or are there other less helpful reasons i.e. needing to prove oneself, or because 'i should' do this...check with your heart, that will help!..also to be able to surrender the fruits of our practice, not getting caught up in the results, though bloody difficult, makes the path flow easier and reminds us of the divine that we are in essence expressing through our determination

so, for me, reflecting on what i will use the gifts of tapas for, reminds me of my commitment to any practice that connects me to the divine: yoga, meditation, painting, writing, dancing...all of these make me feel alive and brings me closer to living in joy..even when i struggle, i will use the spark of tapas to refuel my fire..that which shines within!