Thursday, 31 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 38: gifts from this prayer n practice xxx

as the finishing line is in sight and the final few days unfurl into the big day and the end of this prayer and practice, it is time to let the ripples of wisdom filter through my bones and heart and echo out in black (red??) and white on this page...
what have i learned from going on this journey?
what gifts have been unwrapped for my delight n holding?
what medicine has been stirred into my soul? goes folks...all that i have knowingly received into the pearled shaped gems that i will carry in my pocket, or thread upon a fine silk to wear around my throat
what has surprised me more than anything, is that its what has been revealed underneath all the posts, below the stories shared and visions envisioned, the musings and outpourings, that i have been offered the here goes
'gifts from the prayer and practice of 40daysbefore40''
* that when ready to, without the how, why or where??, just begin, start, and take that first step
* all that i had planned flew like tumbleweed into the distance...all that i had wanted to 'do' was redundant...i had to let let it go in order to keep stepping forwards...into the unknown...into what was awaiting me
* it is a huge responsibility and commitment to turn up each day, whether armed with fruits to share, excited, ready, or whether tired, fed up, fucked off, busy or simply strengthen the intention and turn up with a 'here i am' often opened the doorway to magic and inspiration...who knew?!
* i came up against my self belief woundings, my 'am i enough?', 'is this enough?' mind speak...that painful and contracting old script that squashes my soul, makes me doubt my sweet self, that dampens my fire, dims my light, and leaves me seeking your approval and permission...i hold this place gently, breathing heart love and kindness, and seeking to soften its hold on my path
* i got lost...lost my way, strayed from my original intention...needed to go back, right back, and re connect with that anchor...and that was enough to veer me home again, to see how my expectation filled mind was looking out, checking stats and comments, swayed by 'you' dear reader, when this was for me...and with that knowing i found my way back to 'here i am' again!
* and that yes...goddamit...i  am still ego hooked into seeking approval!...oh's to being human, to being honest, and to not judging myself so harshly
* that it actually doesnt matter what i say, or do, or 'show and tell' your way! that will never 'fill' me...its about softening to receive you, life and let it let it touch me so that i open deeper and deeper into the infinite offerings of the whole wide universe..its all always has been :-)
* i am a sweet much as i wanted to 'shock' you and be 'naughty' and 'wild', actually that is not who i am...this has shown me that my authentic self is not that way...she's softer, with a good heart, a 'nice' gal...i see her, and her shyness, her seriousness, her awkward dance into a beautiful life...i see her mischievous ways, and playful nature, and i bow to my self...and to the mirror that has shown me my face xx
* i have loved writing...enjoyed immensely playing with words...a gift...and i am grateful
* i have been touched by other's words offered back in response...hearing how brave i my words have resonated and inspired...have mirrored truths unspoken and not dared voiced...i receive shyly these gifts and say...'thank you'...from the bottom of my heart xx
* i have had to be 'here', present, awake and alive in order to respond to each day and my engagement with it...i see how by being so wrapped up in my own head's whirl, i miss out on life, on the strange perplexity, beauty and ordinary wonders, that are happening all about me, all the time...if i drop my story and lift my head to the world as it is, i see how that is the relationship, that is the dynamic dance that is possible all the time, if i allow it...if i am truly willing...and i see how sometimes i am not...tired, busy, stressed, over stimulated...sometimes i need to go live inside for a while, until i feel ready to pop my head out again...a all of life's creatures :-)
* without realising it, this practice has felt like a emptying and clearing out day by day...a confessional...a offering of all that i can name and acknowledge...and i have been amazed at how light i have playful...even when struck by the humdrum human blues, or feeling off kilter or sad...underneath has been this blanket of clarity...and for that i kiss the earth in gratitude xx
* i have said 'yes' to opportunities i might not have dared to before...i have stretched myself and found a renewed sense of energy by doing so...i have risked to make connection with others, and although scary, i have felt enlivened and alive, joyful and excited, and i have wanted to do it all again (some of this never made its way on here...well...not this time anyways :-) )

* i have met my need for support; for knowing i am ok as i am; for putting too much expectation on myself; and for seeking perfection and the disappointment that arises as i 'fail' to rise there; for meeting 'am i allowed?' and 'what will they think?'; i have met my fear, and the part of me that grows small and gives her power away...i see them all, as they crinkle and scratch at my insides...and i choose to greet them all with softness and love (well..lets be honest here...when i am willing to shall we say ;-) )

* that it is brave to expose oneself in this way...brave and risky to be so vulnerable...and that, actually, its feels real!

* that i have a rich and wonderful life full of beautiful people...i am loved...i am abundant...and i have learnt (or beginning to) to appreciate and value my life...i am incredibly blessed :-)

* and i realise, that in answer to my oft moaned question of 'are we there yet??' that perhaps, just maybe...that 'there' is really 'here'...and so, yes, we are!...and whatever 'here, there and everywhere' offers, it is a gift in itself

* i also know that there is probably, most likely, just underneath my seeing, much more medicine that will seep through, like blotting paper, to further enrich my life...only time will tell xxx

deepest gratitude and appreciation 


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 37: poemed prayer to 40

a prayer
a prayer for the quest of my 40th decade
my fellowship granted upon request
i ask for my heart to stretch back its petals
to display its underbelly all raw 
caught in the sun's gunfire
shot by the arrows, not only of cupid
but of time taken trembling into bones
bones filled to the marrow with life
a heart that tore its tears from the tree of hurt
and shaped them, origami style
into tears of sweet ness
of ripened red fig seeds
of toffee sticky plump medjool dates
tears that taste of the sweet sweet sweetness of beauty
of the beauty of an opened soul
stretched back, bare, and bearing it all
to all
i ask for the call to adventure, bundle on stick
all fool hardy, ready to jump over the
the edge and beyond
away from the sure shore
anchor awaiting instruction to drop
drop drop deeper into sands new
i ask for the ocean
not to hold in my hand of course
but to lap at my feet
as i lap up the call to listen
to the wisdom, the soft feminine wisdom
of surrender to its siren call 

i ask to follow where my heart points the way
tho others crowd together pointing behind me
i walk among them, through them, touching them
with my fate
as i walk my way, my way, my hearts sway
to land of '?'
to the great unknown
i walk to you
lil step by lil step
taking the only footprints that i can surely call my own 
i ask to let go, let it go, let it go
loss washes through me
cleansing and emptying the heavy load
loss lightens me as i lemon squeeze it out
of classes, of students
of a retreat centre where magic happens and the land smiles back
of a nine year courtship of the busy ness of business
of a home and hearth 
of a cocoon done coating me with confines of my imagination
alchemy shifting into some thing anew
'yes' i say
i am ready 

i ask for
tribal pulse beat beating to dancing feet
airs and graces, costume and laces
arias and operas
soil squelchin 
soul quenching
the colours of the moon to weave her a tapestry to wear
and the waves of breath to hold it all

i ask for my lover
all arms and sweat
eyes seeing
heart knowing
building his way, our way
on a one way road to forever

i ask for brave heart
for dare to deal
for chance taking and making
the most of time's dialling
as fiercely i pull off the petals
of seeking from another
of what if? and how?
of fears stagnant waters
and of alice potions turning me small
i ask for my voice
clear belly centred
ringing echo of truths
my truths
out into the butterfly winged flutter of it all

i ask for it all
and i ask for nothing
i look upon in serious browed contemplation
and i throw my head back, mouth opened in peals of laughters mirth
i nod and shake my skull
and wonder why i need to know

i offer myself to you
arms akimbo to an angel
i am yours
do with me that you will
only leave me a dram to toast at midnight

i ask
and i am ready

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 36: hands up if you're a member of the AA?? xx

when one thinks of the AA (and am sure that cannot be terribly often!), there seem to be only two modes of possibility...the first, a kinda perfunctory, grey slate, get the motor running honey, automobile call out doctor...and the second, that twelve step, climb the ladder outta the well of addiction
well...let me introduce a third, brand spankingly new option...
 ta da!!
welcome to AA, 2013 stylee!
this AA, my dears, is the worn on my fridge with pride, magnet symbol of all who subscribe to the 'Accept and Appreciate' motto...yep...its the way forwards i feel, and certainly two of my words for this year :-)
so, lets see how it works...well, there are no membership fees to pay, and no funky small print...just a willingness to paint the day with those two heart opening words
let me give you an example, as is my want for this 40 day practice, i will use my day as a blueprint:
after astrummin n awarblin til late last night for yesterdays premiere of my 'lil red deer' song (what? you missed it? not to worry, you can catch it here)...i fell into bed at some ridiculous hour of the wee witchy pre dawn time, and so awoke feeling, not so distinctly different, to our undead compratriots, namely, the zombies...yes, i faced the undead staring me back in my bathroom mirror...acceptance? why of course! appreciation? that befell onto the one beauty product that convinces me that god is a woman...blusher ;-)...aaah a human like semblance to fool the world!!

couldnt face the busy city ping pong, so, accepting that i needed to be gentle with my sweet sleepy self, on went the ear phones, ipod switched to shuffle, and lo and behold, immediate transportation to the land of music...another tick for the appreciation box :-)...god! do you ever have those days when you just want to live inside music?? thats me today..even now, writing these words, i am drawn to the pulse of the beat, faithless flavoured...i accepted that i was unable (maybe unwilling? oh well), to be present today...instead i gave in to the lure of my mind's theatre...each song creating a panorama of fancy footwork, and flashdance style moves..yes, i will admit, i have spent a good portion of this grey skied, damp, tuesday, in a wondrous mind whirl of dancing...dancing in ways in reality would disappoint my bones...and i totally and utterly let myself indulge...acceptance and mighty fine appreciation for this is how it is!

walking to work, protected by my barrier of sweet and funky sounds, i became an observer, a ghost to the criss cross stream of faces around me...i smiled at them, marvelling at how bizarre us human creatures are :-)...i wished that there was a way to roll to work, on the ground, earth pressing my limbs...we have bus lanes, and pedestrian about a rolling way?!, carpeted by the freshest warmed soft grass, for those days when walking upright away from gravity, seems like too much hard work ;-)...appreciation for the surrealness on my mind xx

afternoon came, and a visit to a neighbour i hardly know...having found out it was his 50th (is everyone either 40, 50 or 60 this year?? it certainly seems that way)...and what a world i entered! entering his flat, to my utter surprise and delight, was just like walking into aladdin's cave...i cant even describe to you the joy that arose for me!...trinkets wall left uncovered with all sorts of photos, paintings and random images...niknaks everywhere, in cabinets, on tables, shelves...i felt like i had wandered into a treasue trove (and i had to smile at the fact his television was showing some kinda antique dealin daytime show :-) )...sitting in this otherwordly den, i openly voiced my appreciation, and i will never look at this guy in the same way again ;-)

lying on the ground was my practice this afternoon...acceptance that even though i wanted to do some stretching or movement based work, this was how it was...appreciation for the ground, my blanket, and my tired and aching body

another class, another opportunity to practice acceptance...sometimes i feel myself get all 'hard' (no am not being strangely rude!) when faced with students who seem to possess no body awareness at all...ok a lil judgement alert coming up!...these are ususally university students, the very youthful mini adults...i have noted times when i have felt frustrated teaching them, and so, today i had a chance to change this...a choice :-)...and so i did...i let them be...a slight suggestion of an adjustment, a vocal instruction, a tender hand on the back, and i the humanness, that possesses us all (and i so enjoyed teaching them, that i didnt even realise that we were right at the end of the class! the powers on the AA really work!!)

and to my early evening wonder...part of my day's daring...being filmed for a student dance film...just me, white walls, lights, shadows, and a phillip glass tune that makes me cry when i hear it...accepting that, yes i had blagged my way into this guy's project, and having sheepishly admitted that am not a 'real' dancer, that here i was, having chosen to go for it...and i did!...and you know what? was pretty cool..i loved it, even if i was tired and not as well focused as i could be, a beautiful collaberative project has very exciting! and you know what? it was the first time i had seen myself dance on film...and it was ok :-)...appreciation for my self, for my gall, and for the beautiful shapes my body makes when seduced by music

and i am...back feeling held, eyes sore and desiring to close, mouth dry, belly a lil tight...noticing that my heart is not fully open, no space inside as need to sleep and uncurl like the accordion...and i smile into it i am...and i accept and appreciate it all..its all my life in this moment and its all just perfect as it is (even the 'hard' parts of me that close away in fear)

halleluyah! xxx
p.s. fancy your own AA magnet for your fridge? (so you can accept the fact that your reaching in for a piece of that dark chocolate inside, knowing your gonna fully appreciate its taste in your mouth ;-) ), then let me know, and i will send one out to you...with love and a big smile of course!!

40daysbefore40 day 35: imbolc, lil red deer, and a song for you xxx

this weekend brings with it, not just a fountain of frolicking in foreign lands for my big day, but the celtic festival of imbolc :-)
one of the minor festivals on the cyclical calendar but nontheless, very significant to us mortal creatures...imbolc marks the waking up, the stirring and a shaking, of the earth's energies...having been snuggled deep in the earth over the dreamtime of winter, resting and allowing whatever magic and mystery starts the ball rolling all over again, its time for the lil buds to begin to yawn their way, gently, patiently and with the innocence of a new born, up through the melting frost of the soil beneath us

it is truly extraordinary if you stop to think about it, you know, what goes on under the 'no entry mate ya names not on the list!' ground of mama nature...behind that layer, deep within the dark dank dampness, seemingly sound asleep, some kinda alchemy is a happening :-)...maybe god's gardeners and interior decorators are all sat around a toadstool, drinking rose tea (from last years stock), whilst nibbling on a broad bean, discussing the styling details, and whats going to be big this year...its an event everyone is invited to the unveiling!...maybe they are having heated, well probably frozen, discussions about whether to go with that pink and purple theme that delights so many of nature's admirers, or to bling it up with a whole new crop and palette of yellows and oranges ;-) makes me smile just thinking about all that rainbow explosion of possibility...i have said it before, and i will say it again, nature is fucking incredible!! 

the jewish festival, tu bishvat, recently celebrated over the weekend, is the festival of trees...celebrating the 'new' trees that are birthed at this time of the the 17th century it was believed that eating ten specific fruits and drinking four cups of wine in a specific order while reciting the appropriate blessings would bring human beings, and the world, closer to spiritual perfection..(thats soo sweet :-) )

i love how no matter what your religion, philosophy or spiritual bias, most still respect and keep time by the earth's cycles...i guess without her we would be screwed (i wish everyone got that)

my beautiful private yoga student, the orthodox jewish lady, with a devoted heart and a twinkling soul, told me that, just before the trees blossom, they sing songs, well especially the children, asking each tree what it will become, what the great divine spirit has deemed it to bear responsibility, not to mention flower and fruit, for...she also told me recently, as i was admiring a painting of king david, playing the harp, whilst surrounded by deer, that each animal has its own song!...i cant tell you how happy that made me..beat that jungle book ;-) xx


now, not only does imbolc celebrate the awakening earth, and the return of the light, but also this is about starting to follow those dream seeds, and new intentions, that rise, like the lil buds, from deep within...this is a time of moving forth between those worlds, diving deep into the holding, receptivity and female intuition that we have been resting into, as well as starting to fire up that spiral of spirit and shakti energy that illuminates and propels our wings...moving between listening with ear pressed into that gentle humming earth, and taking flight into creating our world as we wish it to be...beautiful no? 

imbolc is also about all fertility and creativity, that potential for new life...and all of the arts are celebrated, as they are seen as magic vehicles for the manifestation of spirit...amongst the most strongly held dear at this time of the year, are poetry and song...calling in and caressing the muse as she whispers her tune in your ear...catch her threads and see what unravels before you :-)
and so...drum roll please...having had my guitar (a present from a beloved, music making, gypsy natured, ex lover) restrung and tuned (hopefully), i shyly present to you a song...this is about little red deer...its her story...her some of you might know, my hebrew, and of recent years, my medicine name, is hinda...given to me at birth and rarely worn, i have been getting to know her slowly over the past few years...she fits well, and as i soften to her warmth, she suits me too...hinda means red deer in hebrew and hindi apparently...i recall looking up the meaning and being rather disappointed i will admit, that it didnt mean something like 'brave strong firey warrior kick ass dragon lion' (or something along that lines ;-)  ), hinda means 'red deer', and her qualities are being noble, kind and gentle...i have to say, that it is only lately, and i am still journeying there, that i have relented, most appreciatively and realised that, yes, i guess thats me...thats her...lil red deer

so here i go...never sung in public before (may never go out in public again after !! ;-) )...enjoy xxx

Sunday, 27 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 34: prayer, ritual of descansos, and letting go

 descansos...symbols that mark a death

am sure you may have seen, on the side of roads, here or in foreign lands, a marking point, perhaps heavily decorated with flowers, photographs, or gold, or as a simple gesture, a plain white cross, or a name painted on a rock...these mark that at that exact point a transformation had occurred, a loss, that a journey has been halted

'descansos' means 'resting places', and usually they are concerning the final resting place, the death, of a loved one...and yet, their potent symbolism can be used to mark the small deaths, 'las muertes chicitas', and the big deaths, 'las muertes granditas' that have been experienced up til this point of our journey through life

i have became fascinated by these beautiful powerful forms, and all that they, in fact, back in 1945, was the day that auschwitz was liberated by soviet troops, known all over the world as 'international holocaust remebrance day' seems quite a strange echo of synchronicity that i unknowingly had woken up this morning with the idea to create my own memorial pointer...not to honor those that died in unfathomable acts of inhuman suffering (and im sure that my family will have been affected somehow), but to honor those dreams, hopes, seeds, and paths never allowed to blossom...i guess in some way, the healing and releasing which i held as prayer, will also ripple down into the echoes of my ancestral line...blessings for my loved ones and for all those that were changed forever more from that horrific time in history

within this ritual, and that is how the last few hours have been held in, the arms of ritual and intention, i was starting to say goodbye, to hold and feel, to let go with an offering, to shed tears for, and to free as much as i was aware of, all that had been lost over the last decade

clarissa pinkola estes, jungian psychologist and author of the wondrous dipping into the female psyche known as 'women who run with the wolves', has this to say about the need for, if you like, emptying what needs to empty, before stepping further on one's path:

''there is a time in our lives, usually mid-life, when a woman has to make a decision, about whether to be bitter or not...women often come to this in their late 30's or early 40' may be the last straw!...their dreams of their 20's may be lying in a crumple. there may be broken hearts, broken marriages, broken promises...if a woman will return to the instinctual nature instead of sinking into bitterness,she will be revivified, reborn...return to wild grow. but first, there has to be a cleansing''

 now bitterness may seem like a harsh word, but perhaps the old hurts never felt, grievances still held on to, endings with lovers unclear...perhaps all of this builds up within us, creating a poison that runs through our subtle being, turning the fruit of our actions, thoughts and words, into the strange taste of bitterness...what is not cleared, or let go of at the time, for whatever reason, has a habit of hiding away within us, sneakingly putting a metaphorical spanner in the smoothly operated works of our life

so i sat, and i called in as much as was ready, all that felt unfinshed, all that had been lost and never wept for, and all the ways i had hurt others and my own precious self...i grieved for, and said goodbye to, with heart and love, songs that had never been sung; wailing that had been denied its cry; all the words that my mouth had never spoken...i cut ties with ex lovers, some of the feelings still present surprised me!...i held more, ahem, mature, endings with those that had never been honored...i said farewell to the old beliefs that had held me in fear, around being supported, allowing love in, of being enough...i said sorry to my body, for abandoning it when cut open for a hernia operation a few years back...and i asked it for forgiveness for only just beginning a friendship with it, after so many years of living, seemingly, estranged...i wept for the sorrow that my womb holds, for not creating life here, for growing a child, and for never giving birth (something i had and still have, a fascination, bordering on awe, about)...and i let go of keeping my feminine power at bay, of not trusting the soft strength that a woman holds as her light

there will be other feelings, stories that my body holds, aches from my heart and words from my mind, and callings from my soul, that i will continue to offer, at the feet of this descansos, as the week unfolds (and lets face it, i will never be empty, never fully cleansed, my body never perfect, my soul incomplete...its all part of the journey called life, and thats fine by me :-)  )

but to face those place that were too tender, too denied for far too long, feels a warrioress step to take...and i take it graciously, for my self, my parents, my ancestors and for the bloodline that runs through me



Saturday, 26 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 33: gnomes, the unknown and travellers tales

 i went for a walk today...ventured outta the cocoon of the city walls and headed to lands all new and unexplored...not such a huge deal for sure...but for me this felt like a lil step into the greater path ahead...why?...well let me tell see i am a fan of the known (not to be mistaken for the gnome! ;-) )...for all my yearnings and dreamings and imaginings of pastures new, i kinda like what feels familiar to, its only recently that i have realised how impacted and compacted this view of my life has been

as mentioned on a previous post, i never used to be so known my younger days jaunts aplenty to obscure parts of the globe and random adventuring were the forte of the day...i am not sure what has happened, but it seems like, over the last decade, some part of me has narrowed so much (and sadly thats not my waist!!), that i am surprised my neck can turn any degrees to the vision has tunnelled somehow and my sense of daring has shrivelled from lack of light, or, you might say, from lack of any attention directed its an uncared for plant...

i have developed a fear of the unknown

i am pretty certain that i am not alone in fact if i asked for a shout out here, we could probably gather an army to tackle together that hitherto unfamiliar path that lies a little to the side, beyond the strainings of a long ago forgotten to move cabeza...why do we fear the unknown, that which we cannot see, reminding us of shadowed spots that haunt the back and hazed out parlours of our dreams?

i was talking to a dear friend yesterday afternoon over coffee and cake (you have to do these things right!)...her and her husband had recently moved house...their new home, in her own words is a 'real house'...their old abode, much loved i might add, had inhabited them both for twenty years...she told me how, standing outside the front door for the last time, she had tears streaming down her face, only the fondest memories vying for her attention, and a great ball of doubt and 'oh what the fuck have we done?!' playing its one line song over and over in her mind...from there they ventured, limbo style, to a tea shop and suddenly she felt exhilarated, free and light beyond soon as they arrived at their new home for the very first evening, she tells me that something miraculous had happened...firstly, she instantly knew she was home...and secondly, she was amazed at how quickly and strongly she had seen her emotions and the stories and labels attached to them changing...essentially, she saw how her old fear based, clinging to, and deeply attached mind to 'this is how it is' had brought her such pain...when she let go of what she had attached to (basically the thought that their old home was the perfect place and she shouldnt have rocked the boat and made such a huge change) she freed herself from the velcro like stickiness that pulled her into misery!...yes of course there was grief, 20 years is a long time to be in relationship to some place, and our home is an intimate extension of who we are...our womb for a while ;-)...but without the story and thus fear, she saw that is was just a house, with lots of memories, but she didnt need to hold on to that...the memories are what she can take and hold, wherever she finds herself! 

oh and she no longer feels stuck..or watches any day time tv...a change is as good as a rest they say, and am guessing they might be right on that one!!

a couple of friends have over the last few months, jokingly pointed out, that it is difficult and unusual for me to leave the city centre radius...i.e. to venture further than i need to as i go about my life...tho i know these comments were made in jest, i felt myself reacting to them, there was a little 'ouch' arising, so i decided to explore this...was it true? have i holed myself up, all rapunzel like, in the tower of town, all corridors leading to no known exit?? of course i do go beyond the city gates, a visiting and working further afield, but something rings, sadly i might add, just a little too true...

you know, one of the ways i have felt my own 'stuckness' over the last few years, is in the desire to move home...whats the problem?...yeh folks jump ship all the time, and last year 3 of my close amigas did that very same thing, and it wobbled me more than a little..why cannot i jump? wheres my ship? why has this all gone a little piratey?? ;-) occurred to me recently the irony of wanting this new home, and the fact that i hardly travel or explore beyong my so called front door...hmmm...wierdly, and this is quite strange, there is a fear here...even though today i got a train for half an hour to a place just slightly further afield, i felt this familiar rising of fear...fear of the unknown, of getting lost, of being in danger...and with these thoughts, a deep sadness...strange hey?!...

something to share with you...about 8 years ago, whilst solo travelling, gung ho stylee, in the far east, i found myself in laos...a relatively new country for foreigners, or falang, as one is known as, to enter and peruse, and a very beautiful place too...nearing the end of a 3 month trip i was staying in a small village in the north, that seemed ever eager to offer the local delicacy, plenty of travellers were ascended on what was essentially a small little rural community

now i was not tempted by the drug of the day...frankly my dabble in opiates was satiated by some surreal and twisted tales from former travels to india...and i had not so long ago been immersed in a ten day vispassana meditation course, and i was enjoying the clarity and strength within me that was arising from my dedication to this gem...however, i was drawn by the beauty of the landscape and planned to stay for a few days...the universe is a bugger sometimes isnt it?! was only the eve before the incident i will share with you, that i was sat having dinner with a sweet and young female traveller, who was sharing her apprehension about travelling on her own...and there i was, spouting all this ramble that its all fine and how i had done this for years no problem!! kinda blase i feel now!...the next day, i decided to visit the nearby caves...

now i do not actually like caves...too damp and claustrophobic for me...and i have seen the movie 'the descent'...and 'the descent 2' ;-)...but i went anyways..its what ya do right?...i had as a guide this young local lad, only 15years of age, who appeared to be the unofficial tour guide for the know, bung him a lil cash at the end..and so we set i am not going to go into what happened, but interestingly it was only when i realised, half way thro a cave, with only this kid and a 90 year old cave attendant as company, a million miles away from home, and with absolutely no one knowing where i was, that fear kicked in..the voice in my head yelling 'what the hell heidi!! are you taking crazy pills??!'...and it was as we started to head back 'home', and even though i had made it clear to this kid that i was married and my husband was waiting for me by the river (always have a husband ladies when travelling abroad solo..or failing that, at least a ring and a good story!), that i was attacked...

i got away...legged it as fast as i could towards where i could just make out the river and people...i had lost my glasses, and my flip flops at this point, but who gives a shit...zooming thro fields, and lost likely i suspect, destroying crops (sorry mister farmer), i only had one target in get to a place of safety! (sorry mom if ya reading this xx)...let me assure you that i was very very lucky...i wasnt harmed or raped...i know that many women have disturbing and abusive occurrences when travelling, and i know that i was blessed and got away...i am also certain that the kid, and jesus he was half my age at the time, but bloody strong, did not necessarily have any really bad intentions towards me, but still...attacking a woman, in any situation, is a no-no

its funny, but its only dawning on me as i write these words, that i wonder if energetically there is still something unresolved in my body?, some trauma held?, some fear that i am naming as that which faces me just stepping into going for a walk in nature in england, half hour down the road...hmmm..its possible i guess...

oh by the way....accompanied by a concerned tourist, we headed to report this incident to the local police...i had a bleeding lip, grazes and was shaken i knew it would be, they were very dismissive, and shruggingly asking what they wanted me to do (because lets face it...wandering off alone with a boy is not appropriate behaviour...its not how they view a respectable woman in their i dont blame them for their couldnt care less attitude)...but i simply said that if he was taking folk around the caves, a similar incident might happen again, and it could get ugly...also...did they really condone this behaviour in one of their townsfolk? i will never know what happened to him, but i learned my lesson, not to be soo blase myself!!

i am totally aware that this has now turned into a mini series for a saturday evening and if you are still reading i hope you have a fine wine to hand ;-) unknown...i realise lately, that i am ready to face the long as i have support...its that support that will keep me safe...and that support comes from inside of me...i have met recently a sadness around not ever having that solid feeling of support when i was young, or a little girl...that rock solid safety, that ability to melt and surrender into, that would have been a blueprint as i grew up, has been missing...i see it cannot be reclaimed for that moment has gone...but i can recreate it for support is in feeling my feet on the ground; feeling my belly and heart; my contact with what is physically around me; and my own inner beloved championing me on and looking out for the scared lil girl in me...

maybe i can let go of that fear...maybe i can let go of the 'parent' hand that i know i still hold onto in a few ways in my life...maybe i can trust that if i fall down i wont disappear or collapse forever; that if i get lost as long as i find myself i will be ok; that maybe, just maybe, by letting go into the unknown, a whole new chapter will be revealed and i will be freed! those lil steps into the unknown..or that giant letting go of clinging to what no longer serves, and to putting myself into the hands of trust and faith...i face the unknown and i feel my energy rising..bring it on!!

thanks for stopping by
night night

Friday, 25 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 32: three lil questions

''in the stress and complexity of our lives, we may forget our deepest intentions. but when people come to the end of their life and look back, the questions that they most often ask are not usually, 'how much is in my bank account?', or 'how many books did i write?' or 'what did i build?' or the like. if you have the priviledge of being with a person who is aware at the time of his or her death, you find the questions such a person asks are very simple:
'did i love well?'
'did i live fully?'
'did i learn to let go?'  ''
('a path with heart'  jack kornfield)
 why wait?

why wait until the moments of life's dew drops are dripping their last nectar into the palm of your hand?

surely, these are the questions we can ask ourselves, perhaps, need to ask ourselves as we lay down to rest at the end of each precious day...

do we not hear so many of those stories, of folk, having faced near death themselves, or affected by someone close moving on into the great unknown, suddenly unleashing a new vitality, as if having consumed some secret elixir that gives the answer to life's everyday concerns and mundanities?

quite frankly we have no fucking idea when our last breath will be...there is a yogic idea that we are all born with a certain number of breaths, and i dont know about you, but i never received my number at the time of birth...a coded message that would speak to that deeper part of our self to wake up, make the most of it all, and live, feel and open our hearts, hands and eyes to this beautiful, mysterious, complex, random, infuriating, disappointing, merciless, merciful and strange creature called life!

when is it time to stop and take stock? note if our journey is noteworthy? glance up and out of our navels at the snow falling sky? turn away from that which numbs us, pulling us to sleep the waking sleep?...a lil like being a zombie perhaps?!

i am currently reading and thoroughly enjoying a zombie book...'warm bodies'...i gifted my sis with a few years back and she has lent it to me to read...sat on my shelf for some time, it was only after noticing that there is now a movie of said name, that i decided to pick up and consume...its a heartfelt book, particularly for its genre, but it is told from the point of view of a zombie boy...and it is quite, astonishingly see he falls for a living girl, restraining from eating her brains, he rescues her and so begins a new awakening for is poignant as, how many of us are sleep walking our way through our days, weeks, and years, drugging ourselves and passing time?...the lead character in this book has a chance to start anew, and his growing into life, and his renewed connection to and desire for living and experiencing these shared moments of beauty, are very tender and surprisingly moving

as i face my last weekend of my thirties these are the questions i wish to sit with and reflect upon over the next few order to know what it is i wish to create and what path to follow in this new decade ahead of me, i need to have looked squarely at my life so see where i have honoured and held the graced moments close to my, thankfully, beating celebrate the times of joy and wonder that have touched me into deep heart bliss also bear in witness to that which is lost, lost dreams and hopes that fade away with the decade gone by...and to surrender, put down, that which no longer serves me, the stones i can remove from my pockets in the wisdom that i need no more carry them over the threshold...

it doesnt matter what i create next...where i place my feet...which direction the finger of knowing turns me does matter that i am there for this trip, and the things that matter most of all to a well lived and richly nourishing blessed life journey with these three lil questions commences this quest from manana...

til then...


Thursday, 24 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 31: i gotta hand it to you ;-) xx

they are a strange set of appendages aren't they?!...many boned, including the only saddle joint in the whole body in the thumb, flexible, pliable, capable of pain and cahoots with each other like a flesh filled waldorf and statler a la the muppets...our hands are a myriad memory holding, life engaging, and lets face it, are pretty goddamn well blessedly important for most of our every day activities

i have been thinking about hands alot recently...fascinated and enthralled by their constant changing, from temperature dropping blue hue, to aglowing post aerobic sweat, and the ever give away of that lil process of aging!

i love my hands...they are like puppeteers of their own device...strangers yet amicable enough..if i listen closely i can hear their words, their whispers and their laments deep into the night...sometimes when my attention is called to their dance, i feel their sadness, their hopes and longings...

i guess i have been called to reflect upon my hands in response to a little niggle that has arisen from this 40 day prayer...entering the final countdown i began to wonder, 'have i done enough?', 'did i do what i set out to do?', and this seed of thought, 'why havent i, an artist, created more, well, art??'

over new year, when giving over all demands for the year ahead to the body, heart, mind and soul (as opposed to the great controller in the mind box, sat in his tight leathers, lips stern and a hundred papers scanned for a perfectly planned execution!!) of the needs that arose for me was to feed my creative soul more struck me that, for whatever reason, in 2012, this need was quite starkly met...some part of me was really thirsty, parched in fact, and was seeking respite from drinking deep from the well of that might strike you as odd...surely, that is how i live no?...and as i recall, i understand that life is art and living life creatively is nothing to do with having to craft the next picasso piece or rossetti ruble!

but something has been amiss...i have indeed created last year, but im not sure how much was for my soul, and how much had a tinge of commercial possibility not suggesting that, like the venn diagram of school days, they cannot overlap, but i just got to wondering...there is so much i yearn to offer into life, through the gifts that i have been blessed with, my imagination and skills graciously received, that i do not, quite frankly, give myself time and space to dive into and explore

this has made me think about this project...have i given myself enough time to dive and explore? was it simply not enough to just begin? i fear that, there may be some medicine in there for me...this is my practice, and do i still give my heart and create space each day just for this unfolding? now i do not necessarily have the answers clear..and let me assure you that i am immensely proud and pleased that 31 days in (31 days!!!) i am still turning up each day to offer myself and my has made me wonder, as to how committed, dedicated, passionate and utterly crazed am i to jump straight in head first and get submerged in this one way stream! much do i dare??

maybe if this project was happening during the mightier firey months of spring and summer i would feel more energised to do and create more? or maybe, what i have offered and shared is just perfect in itself?...hmmm..i acknowledge that part of me, that 'am i enough?' beleif that still has its hold, and i kiss it tenderly and sigh, gratefully, that this is how it is, and this is more than enough...and if i am honest, if i was to, all stepford wife, show up each day proffering a new fancy creation, well, quite honestly, that wouldnt be authentic...this is my truth right now, and thats all that i can lay down at your feet :-)

so today i want to honour my hands...the stories our hands hold is a wonder and a often do we get to let them speak, to share and to be heard?

maybe your hands helped bring your child into the world...or saved a life by their care...maybe your hands stroked the brow of a loved one as they passed from this life...or perhaps they saved your own life on more than one occasion...maybe your hands can beat time on the tabla faster than seems humanly possible...or beat the living shit out of your pillow!...even plant the mirage of magic with a deck of cards...maybe your hands are gifted in the art of massage..or have won you gold medals in the ring...maybe your hands are youthful and just beginning to open to life...or perhaps they are withered, struggling to dance, filled with endless tales of a life fully lived...

sometimes my hands are playful and others they are shy and awkward...they have sifted sand, and brushed against silk...they have played in the muddy earth and peeled a hands help me write these words and for that i am grateful xx

it beleive its time to say thank you for their presence and animated beauty, for being my allies as i often stumble through the tunnel of my life

so here is a lil video, hosted by my hands today (alas my ongoing neolithic media issues still haunt so its a simple affair)

enjoy xxx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

40daysbefore40 day 30: the rules of that ole game called life :-)

well is it?

(i love the fact i spied this image on the ground on the way to work :-) )

what kinda game is your life? i know i have mentioned 'snakes n ladders' before on here..too linear?

how about...'trivial pursuits"? answering life's mundane questions that have no relevance to our hearts or souls...hmmmm...

'scrabble'? get certain pieces to create some meaning out of...if ya lucky you get to use them all and a whole new alphabet of possibility arrives on your plate!

'monopoly'? skill or greed? ploughing forwards ever so driven, buying this, accumulating that, until you end up in prison, without passing go ;-)

what else do we have...'operation'? the game of surgeons??

'twister' for the flexible and intimacy loving junkies?

how about 'jenga'? is it possible to shed and fall away the blocks of your well compacted life without it all to come a tumblin down??

or my favourite, 'poker'...trying to keep a straight face whilst totally blagging your way through the 'seriousness' of the day to day!!

you see i know it has been said before, but in a way life is a game, except, and i hold up my hand (maybe both here), some of us take it way way too seriously...yes it has its challenges and responsibilities; the all too real and anxiety creating wonder at how to make the rent or pay for your kids after school activities; its 'proper' jobs and neck ties to make one seem somehow important; and the never ending bonkers pursuit of eternal youth (or at least a face of plastic fantastic ;-) )

life also has its lighter side...of course it does, but sometimes we get caught up in the 'issues' that swallow up our time, we forget...we simply forget to stop and breathe and play in the puddles, make daisy chains, start a tickling combat (popular in my family what with the chadwick sensitive neck that all 3 of us 'children' seem to possess!), get dressed up and go dance the eve away (this was accomplished at the weekend with a gorgeous dear friend of mine...amidst the crazy dancing, the swirling around pillars and shaking aswaying arms, it dawned on us that noone else was moving really at all...bless them...all these beautiful porcelain faced, pert young things were seemingly too shy or self/image conscious to bust a groove...we however, of a certain age, quite frankly didnt give a damn!...we had such a fun night...playful and soul feeding xx)

if life is a game, then like most games, there are probably some rules...lets's rules hey?...they are probably along the lines of: 
wear shoes in the city;

brush your hair before leaving the house;

make no eye contact with anyone ever when outside (i tried an experiment today, seeing how many folk i could make eye contact with and exchange a you know how many? none!! my god we are a strange species!);

 use a knife and fork when in a communal eating environment;

 say 'fine' in response to the oft used habitually asked query of 'how are you?' even if your house has just burnt down, your wife ran off with the fisherman, and you have an ingrowing toenail (?)...'i'm fine, fine...'

lock yourself away behind a heavily bolted door in a lil box with some windows every evening and dont even concern yourself with the fact that just behind that wall is another human being who, like yourself, might fancy some company, cake, and a game of tiddliwinks ;-);

buy things, all the time, bigger, brighter the better, or else noone will be your friend!;

work 9-5, 5 days a week (right...who the hell came up with that?? and, more worryingly, why is that normal? why has noone turned around and after doing a few mathematical equations on their calculator exclaimed loudely 'BY JOVE...THEY HAD IT UPSIDE DOWN...we are meant to work 2 days a week and have 5 days of play/ creative/ community/ children focused/ nature connected time silly we have all been!!';

dont talk to others on public transport, especially important if you have your head stuck in their armpit or someone's groin right at nose level;

dont burst into spontaneous bouts of joyous revellry without warning (they might lock you up, or tell ya boss);

the most important career you will ever aspire to is either a) a footballer, or b) an actor;

stopping to drink tea with friends or watch the world go around and the day pass by on street corners is wrong behaviour and will result in you being asked to 'move along folks please!' ;

and lets not forget the grandest rule of all,

everyone else (including them who make em rules) knows much better what you need, than your own tickety boo, sweet, spirit connectes body and heart :-)

jeez...ok that was fun and totally makes me want to rebel immediately by running ouside wearing no shoes, in my pyjamas, whilst eating spaghetti with my fingers singing 'there's no business like showbusiness' in the middle of the road!! ;-)

so...lets laugh at life shall we...

and...make up your own rules my lovelies...tear up the rule book if it makes you all grey and cardboard like, if you are forgetting what makes you happy, whats important to you, what makes your heart sing and your eyes smile

its your life

own it!