In search of silence

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Edwardian houses line up clean streets with flower baskets hanging symmetrically on doors, as if keeping things in order. It has classic and elegant look to things. Every time I go somewhere I am taken back by just how different each place feels. It evokes particular feelings in me. This place has always drawn me in with its sophistication and class running through the theme of its buildings, streets and the overall posture of the place. It is all standing tall and proud and I find it very reassuring somehow. I am here for two reasons, to see if the feeling I get is still intact and positive, and I am also on a trip in search of silence away from the noises of planes and roads, which lately has been overwhelming me. I find myself struggling with the constant buzzing noise in the air wherever I go.

As I step into the woodland I am full of hope and anticipation of finding a new space where, may be, just may be the buzzing stops. I find none for quite some time going on a path and off at regular intervals trying out different spots in hope of it taking me away from the noise. Eventually I stop and a tinge of disappointment comes over me. There is no silence here, it is nowhere to be found and instantly I begin to crave places in the Highlands where air stands still and silence is ear-piercing. I become nostalgic and sad with an instinctual reaction of wanting to run away. I recognise it well, as we all want to escape sometimes, but the question remains and comes forward strongly, how can we find silence amidst all the noise of life without having to run to the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. I stand still and tune into myself and focus on maintaining the stillness as much as I can and then slowly continue on a path holding on to a sense of ‘don’t give up’. Forest always has the answer in my experience. That I never doubt and today it is no different. I become mindful and finely aware of the details surrounding me, forest floor, most on tree trunks, crow’s calls overhead and scattering of squirrels in the fallen leaves. I touch the ground under my feet, I hold on to a tree and I smell its bark. I close my eyes and here it is – silence!

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Silence is at the heart of the earth, inside and around things within the system that is the natural world. Silence is in going off the beaten path. It is inside a tree, on the ground. Nature doesn’t rush or despair, it is as always simply being and in that it holds on to its own silence and peace, in knowing itself inside out. On contact with it all I find silence amidst the buzzing noise overhead.

I also notice often while in a forest that there’s a lot to be said for staying on the path when it feels safe and knowing. Going off the path can also serve well when the familiar is in chaos and direction is lost. Then getting lost can bring you back to what life is like and what feelings one need to acknowledge to find yourself. Nature reflects that perfectly to us wherever we are in that moment in life. It can always find a way of answering questions we carry if we are still enough and willing enough to explore and listen.

I also get an answer to why this area draws me in now and again with its elegant and classic presentation. I get to see that it is a shape of a square, which is curious, and what comes to me is the feeling of complete containment. It is orderly, strong and holding, which I deeply resonate with and often need reminding of.

And at the end of it all, of course, comes gratitude, which is the last word and a paint stroke on everything that I work on. Gratitude has an ability to transmute everything into its natural form and state. It is like the Earth that always leads to the truth of things. It always brings things back into focus and centre within.

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A trip that freed me

Here are some pictures from my trip to Perthshire, Scottish Highlands this past October just before Samhain. This was a long anticipated trip, not because it haven’t been before, I have, but because I made it there on my own after talking and planning for years. I finally did it and something in me changed forever now, solidified in knowing this is it. This is the place I first came years ago and where my love affair and deep spiritual connection with the land began. The trip that I took was a journey down memory lane and my love is just as strong, if not stronger. It was an absolutely perfect end to a wonderful year where all the through I have been committed to doing things differently  and have succeeded. Enjoy Scotland pics in Autumn.

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‘Noticing’ as a path to true 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.

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.

 

My paradise

I am back in paradise and there is no despair, turmoil or overwhelm this time…

This year I only feel joy, pleasure and gratitude for being here. I am being very vocal in expressing my appreciation of the land. I admire a very full in red heavy berries rowan by the side of a lake and revel in beauty of purple flowers. Simple yet so exquisite in its perfection against the very green that is everywhere. Everything seems so much riper, bigger and more beautiful in comparison to other places. It reminds me of my birth place in many respects where nature had also been very rich in its presentation and a way of being. I look at the mountains and I feel still and content rather than torn and in deep yearning, which I could never explain. The smell of the land, that particular scent I can always summon wherever I am, is still here, it hasn’t changed and I am glad of that. I take pleasure in observing every little house, weed, animal, tree and wonder how people live here with curiosity. I do feel jealousy quite sharply this time for the life that I imagine goes on here in this place of beauty and such peace and quiet. Stillness of the land is intoxicating and, I believe, it is exactly this energy that I align with the most, this is what I crave. Peace, quiet, beauty and isolation.

Walking through a Celtic rainforest earlier today I can feel myself melting into its freshness and moulding into its trees’ bark, inhaling the air of the forest, breathing with it as one. Rain gently washing my face and hair brushed back I feel free. Assured, grounded and humbled, very grateful for being able to feel the way that I do when I am here in this land and in touch with all the elements. It is a true blessing in my life here on Earth.

As another day comes to an end here in paradise I am content, calm, pleasantly tired and completely in love with everything this land is and everything that is in and around me today.

Announcement – Nature Spirit Walks Tarot

I am happy to announce the release of the latest project in collaboration with Cortney Cameron, whose wonderful idea and beautifully designed images materialised in this invaluable resource. It has been my absolute pleasure contributing to this project. Enjoy!

ORDER HERE

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‘Parent within’ time

lessons for children

When the earth is pregnant and blooming and preparing for the birth of what is earthly bounty to come, my parent within begins to speak. Eleven years ago during this time I was myself in a place of blooming and preparing, scared of the unknown and excited by possibilities. What my parent speaks of today is lessons for our children. This is what I have learnt so far on my journey of growth alongside my child’s life.

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Teach children to seek balance within themselves and see it in the world around them. Teach them integration and acceptance of what is at any given moment and that’s all valid and ok. Teach them while going after pleasure and enjoyment is humanly natural, but not to ignore or by-pass the pain and disappointment that life often brings. Teach them the sacredness of the body and spirit. Show them that emotions are rich and ever-present and not to be made an enemy of but to read them as navigators towards better understanding of yourself and the world.

Teach them the balance between hard work, relaxation and active rest. Show them that when things happen one doesn’t have to fall apart but to be with what is real and present. Show them graceful and integrated survival and reparation when things get touch. Be with them unconditionally. Show them that personal intimate connections heal, relationships based on love and respect transform. There is nothing that can’t be resolved and/or changed or looked upon with a new perspective in one way or another. Teach them that what is meant to be for them specifically will come about and if our desires do not match to outcomes then that is ok to change a course of action and re-evaluate. It is ok to go with the flow and flex with life as it goes.

For me an instant cure for constant disappointment came about through my mother’s teaching, who said to me one day in my early twenties ‘if something wasn’t for you, it is best it didn’t happen. It also might mean there is something better out there waiting to manifest’. It took me a few years to really understand the meaning of it, but subsequently my life became a lot easier having integrated that perspective into my way of living. I will forever be grateful for that to my mother.

What my son and I often say, which, perhaps, is another side of the same coin is ‘it is not the end of the world’. It is not to say that we shrug everything off and remain unaffected, no, what it means that we feel what we need to feel, accept it within ourselves, give ourselves whatever we need and move on with the knowledge that this is just one roadblock amidst many others that will come throughout life, but there is nothing to fear essentially and there is no reason to think things won’t change or we won’t recover or survive.

Teach them to differentiate and sort through what is essential vs non-essential. This will apply to all aspects of their developing lives and the way they see the world. Talk to them about what they find the most enjoyable and what hurts them the most. Listen. Get to know them as a whole. Teach them that the world is full of pain and suffering, but it is also filled with such beauty and divinity that no words would never be enough to describe it. Teach them to feel like through the heart, not just the head. Teach them that being kind to yourself and others can be a way of living and that giving and receiving are equally important. Teach them connections to themselves and others and that emotional bonds can last a life-time.

Teach them that magic is real and that magic is within them. There is nothing they can’t do and the inner power and divinity is just as vital and alive within them as their thinking mind and emotions. Teach them to see themselves and other as a whole, unique, beautiful and worthy of all the wonderful things world has to offer. Teach them sacredness of nature and its powerful lessons. Show them that relating to plants, animals and nature cycles strengthens compassion and helps navigate everyday.

Most importantly show them they are loved and valued just the way they are. Show them there is nothing and could never be anything wrong with them and that choices are there for them to take for as long as they remain open in their heart and curious in their mind.

Much love and many blessings!