Noticing as a path to truly living

When my child says something is beautiful be it a scenery, painting, a person’s face or an experience it goes right to my heart. It is a felt experience for me to hear and know that he’s noticed something that truly touched him. I learn from my son the art of appreciating what is in the moment and banking those moments into a bundle that is a life truly lived.

When we notice, we are present, we are in a felt experience of what is going through us and touching us as a living being energy. The more detail we notice in something or someone the deeper we go into the moment of being present with what is now, what is alive and speaking to us.

To me hearing my son express his delight in what he observes represents a true living rather than a passing energy of existing in a chain of life events, day to day, week to week. It tells me something is always worth noticing, examining, learning no matter how small. It speaks to me of a quality of always wondering what the next day, trip, touch and experience might bring. It is remaining curious and fully in life at all times. It is, to me, is beautiful, and who is better to connect us to that way of being than children, whose light shines through unapologetically and if it’s expression is allowed to be authentic at all times then we benefit from that more so through connecting not just to a real experience of knowing our children, but also re-connecting to our own inner child, which often gets forgotten as we get old.

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Descending into darkness with joy

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The excitement within me rising this Mabon in anticipation of the descent journey that is starting. This part of the year is not going to change for me, I feel, as I adore the darker part of the year and get truly excited about the journey within. I love shorter days and the fact that days do end and we can go to sleep (in more ways than literally) and wake up with new perspectives, tapping into our treasures offered by dreaming and journeying in the dark.

As moaning for the summer is apparent I am happy to put that to rest to move on. There is a clear flowing movement within me that taps into places deeply intuitive, magical, wise and feminine within me. Observation of the decline in nature is beautiful to me, as I am aware of just how much lies within the idea of dying and living, dying and being born again, of the potential that is held safely within nature and all of us. The journey of going within and descending into all the corners, even the darkest ones of our psyche is incredibly exciting and I am fully aligned with the wonder of the gifts that it holds. Only through going down we are able to come up. There is again no light within darkness and that is the nature of things. It is how life is, nature is, weather is, cycles are and embracing the beauty of constant regeneration and transformation will offer a lot of wisdom and insight into how we are in the world, our ways of relating, giving and receiving.

Energy begins to bubble within me at this point in autumn that is nicely contained and deeply nourishing to the soul. My dreams begin to take me places I am yet to visit or had already visited before, reminding me of possibilities of paths one can take spiritually or in the physical reality. Dream world presents richer and fuller with imagery, colours, motifs and themes that tend to repeat themselves. Faces are clear, sensations are felt fully, voices are clear and directional and my steps are steadier and more in line with my purpose than ever. I look forward to going to bed, I notice that more clearly. I like darkness.

I wish you all a blessed descend this quarter and if you never thought about it or felt like attempting it, do it consciously and with no fear. You will not regret what you can potentially discover on the other side and as spring comes again a renewed psyche will propel you into new dimensions and ways of being you never thought possible. It all begins with the darkness and that is why the dark part of the year is so needed and important so when light returns it shines brighter and more conscious than ever in areas that will lead it to the meaningful and purposeful ways of relating, being, thinking and feeling.

Many blessings!

Learning from the Wheel of the Year

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Mabon Blessings to everyone on this beautiful early autumnal morning!

The air today is ever so slightly chilly and I wholeheartedly welcome it. It speaks to me of the time we start  our slow descent into the misty, chilly and dark. Land, weather and personal transformations are beginning. I love the darker part of the year and my functioning is the most optimum between October and April, however, this year things have been different in a way of transforming the last remaining sticking points as far as summer is concerned. I feel I did well and managed to extract a multitude of useful lessons about myself, the world at large, the idea of life-purpose and where and how things fit in.

The Wheel has turned once again and today is Mabon, the time for harvesting, re-evaluating and giving thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this summer. The summer has been hot, prolonged, dry and often trying. It taught me about withstanding hardships and remaining centred on the heart and present in my life more. I was faced with a quality of tolerance within, which had been invaluable. Just as we wait patiently for the seed to germinate, push through and grow towards its most potential, the summer reflected that to me and I was rewarded with early harvest. Planting happened later this year due to snow and frost in early and late spring, yet things caught up and the heat accelerated growth and made me face things sooner rather than later. I didn’t plant much either consciously, as this year for me is about simplifying and focusing on a few things only, clearing the space for emotional, cognitive and spiritual processing. Bounty came in the summer in small quantities and it felt so good. The message of ‘just enough’ re-enforced the work I start doing back in winter. Another aspect of having enough and sharing with those around you in pleasure and gratitude has always been a blessing. The heat burnt my potatoes, however, earlier in the summer and very quickly dry plants disappeared amidst the blanket of thick weeds, so I had to go on a hunt for produce. That taught me about challenges and things often changing very quickly and being ok with what is presented right in front of us. It is ok to just observe and continue with what we have without necessarily spiralling into judgement, regret and giving up. That clear representation of the quality of observation with tolerance and potential hardship taught me ‘to be with’ yet again and be completely grateful for what we do have rather than focusing on what we think we don’t have. Sensation of that I found very pleasant, releasing and freeing.

I suffered with pain in my legs and back from early spring and found it challenging, however, I also knew that in order for new transformations to occur this year I had to have something to work with and this was one of those things where I had to look at living with physical pain. I wrote about it earlier this year. Through the summer pain continued and so did my life and that was the lesson of things continuing, moving on, changing, the Wheel turning no matter what and we can either fight and resist it or accept and move with it. The release of my associations with pain transformed hugely this summer and just as looking at dead and not ‘very healthy’ crops amidst the summer heat and as I begin to dig them out with love and attention I began giving myself the same. I aimed to understand, accept things as they are without judgement and wanting anything to be different.

At the end my harvest was complete pretty much at beginning of August in terms of produce or so I thought… On my return to the plot in September I discovered a few more gems waiting for me and my heart delighted in it. Seeds were hanging ripe on dry stalks representing bounty and potential in the future and underneath dry and covered with weeds stalks there were plump bulbs of goodness. Again, the idea of ‘just enough’ was clearly present and again it felt profoundly satisfying.

I am yet to dig all my small, but perfectly clean and tasty potatoes out of a patch of land covered with all sorts (treasure hunt-like) and I am taking my time with it applying patience and joy when working on the land. I appreciate everything about it and tend to continue nourishing and nurturing it for years to come. It holds immense lessons for me as seasons change and the Wheel turns every time. Things come and go, start and end and start again and so does our life with all its highs and lows and everything in between. I very much look forward to what the season brings.

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On meditation

I have had a reflective Sunday today on the subject of meditation. I felt I just could not let it pass without doing one and it was a good and interesting experience. I am a strong believer in everything coming at the right time and today aligned intuitively with meditation subject, which also turned into some intuitive healing spell work, which I had sensed was on the cards last night. It took me on a long journey through very beautiful chakra colours. I had a meeting with the elements and crystals were pointed out in a way of integrating energies. Flowing, simple, incredibly soothing and perfectly aligned.

People talk about how meditation changes lives, removes fears and blocks, rids us of frustration and anxiety and so on. I wonder how interesting it is that by going within, which is essentially what meditation does, things become better. Why haven’t we always been going within, which would make the most sense to turn inwards for answers. It speaks loudly about our collective avoidance of ourselves, devaluing of our own resources and qualities. If it is a tool to know ourselves better. If that’s the case why doesn’t everyone do it?

External has dominated so many aspects of our lives for so long, concepts made up by men, rules of the society, ideas based on social conformity and abandonment of self, there is no wonder. It is incredible to think that we would turn away from the gold that lies ready and available within ourselves for the things that shine on outside, but have no depth or real value. It makes me very sad to think about it that way.

Meditation is going within, observing and honouring that breath that keeps us alive at all times. It is, indeed, powerful to notice our thoughts and patterns in which they come and go and most importantly where they go. We also notice how most of us don’t breathe, forget to breathe. We hold it, which creates all sorts of restrictions, blocks and anxieties within our bodies. We find sitting still difficult just as we find being alone difficult without external stimulation. Instead we aim to avoid and shut down. It is curious to imagine that it is easier to be without yourself than to be with yourself.

Meditation is a wide term for what your relationship is with yourself, it seems. We all can find our own way of meditating, practicing stillness and awareness. For me, it seems, meditation is just that being with myself as I am and where I am. Just there, present with all there is. Meditation can be done any time anywhere, as we speak, walk, sleep and sit with another. It is not just one way of relating to yourself, it is unique to each. For many years I was unable to meditate, afraid of what I would find within. That’s just it, it is that fear I referred to earlier of being with and avoiding is much more habitual. I suspect it is similar to many. I remember wanting to cry every time I sit in meditation, which was hard, so I would abandon and distract myself with other things rather than paying attention to what was asking me to be present. I also at times had some powerful meditations, which left me in wonder and distress at the same time. There was too much within for my external self, adapted self to hold. Just think about that. We are proficient in being in our adapted selves positions yet our true self is hard to relate to. After years of therapy I am able to meditate and really understand what it means for me and what it does for me. It is once again an inclusion of the whole self just as it is, true and adapted, positive and negative, wounded and healed. As practice develops one becomes more curious, more at ease with experiences, feelings and lessons that come through sitting with oneself and in time it becomes soothing, comforting and full of wisdom. That wisdom that lies within each and every one of us is open and available if only we allow ourselves to go there and become aligned with what we were always meant to be.

Many blessings!

Home land

Earlier this summer I sat with my father looking at the map of Scotland, as I explained to him our travel plans, and suddenly he started going over each area naming it, as if it was a map of Russia, specifically Siberia. He gets it, ‘I thought’, and it meant so much to me. Some deep felt understanding between us, even when often unspoken, always produces a connection, which holds answers and links to what we are together, separate and where we come from. He knows what I mean when I talk about the land. He knows the feeling I speak so much of as if he feels it too and, I think, he does, in his own way, as we both had separated from our land a long time ago yet the yearning had never gone away. Does it ever leave you? Not if it is part of your soul’s tapestry.

Only this morning looking at pictures of Siberian nature it really landed for me that Scotland is as close to my ‘home land’ as I am ever going to get. I feel so at ease and comfortable there. I have called it home on many occasions and there are things that just make sense to me when I am there. Love makes sense, intense grief makes sense and tears of sorrow and joy that come every time I arrive and leave make sense. Within me there had always been a sense of separation from home, although well-hidden, which when young had not been processed and felt and this is what I have been feeling for the last few years. It is not simply a case of loving visiting a place, it is a case of ‘this is where I want to live and die’. There is nowhere else for me. It feels like an obligation to my soul and I now get what many immigrants had felt before me and many still do. I get what I have been doing the last few years in awakening my connection to a home once lost and never to be regained. My deep love for Scotland is my love for home.

Here are some pictures of Siberian nature. Perhaps, you can see what I see. It has always been about lakes and pine forests for me, deer, mountains and rivers, small villages and community living. As I write this, my heart aches. Ever since I came back to my house in the South, I have been in physical and emotional turmoil. It hurts being here and the feeling is so real like a culture shock and a need to acclimatise and fit back into the order of things that is here and not where I belong. I am left once again bereft, confused and heartbroken that gets harder to bare each year.