Be. Free.

And so we come to the beginning of another year. And for the third year in a row I used Susannah Conway's Find Your Word.  I started the process during a short trip home to spend Christmas with my Mama and Papa.  Like always, timing is everything.

To Be.

To. Be Free.

Free to:

  • Say YES always to the lesson
  • Be present
  • Be courageous
  • Be vulnerable
  • Be joyful
  • Make soul connections
  • Trust

Free from:

  • Judgement
  • Fear
  • Comparison
  • Expectation
  • Assumption

Reminders of Faith

April 2015 ... thoughts from an age ago ... a moment in time ... a reminder of faith ... in one's journey ... in one's words ... in one's heart ... in knowing there is always somewhere important to go ...

April 5 2015 – Thoughts

It seems I have come to a place of ordinariness; of nothingness.  I have no life achievements of note; no room to say, my children are my greatest achievement for it has not been my destiny to be blessed with them. And for the most part I am alright with that.  But I do wonder about it.  What then is my purpose?  Where is my place in the world.  The many corners I feel drawn to, but are in fact too fearful to venture to.  The jobs I feel called to, but for which I have no qualifications.  The feeling of being stuck.  Of being empty and not knowing which step I should take next, in what direction, for what purpose.  Not just not knowing, but really NOT KNOWING.  Of having no idea.  Not one idea.  Of feeling paralysed into indecision because the options seem faint.  Maybe it is an outline I can see.  But I can’t quite be sure.  So I have to stare very hard.  Maybe they are there.  But still I am not sure.  And I need to be sure.  How can I move without being sure? What is left to fall back on?  Who is left to fall back on?  All these questions swirl and coalesce in my head.  I so wish they would find a spot they like and settle and make themselves comfortable.  But no, they continue to swirl.  Making me dizzy and incomplete.  They move in the hope that something may change.  That there will be a transformation into something recongiseable, something of substance which offers a sense of comfort and familiarity, something to reach out to.

So where is it that I go from here?

Creative Radiance

A place of peace, of calm, of solitude which feeds my soul. Turning inward.  

But which through the act of sharing radiates outwards.  

A place where I greet everyone with a smile from the heart.

A place where I am free.

Absolutely free.

A place where I am present.

Absolutely present.

A place where time is still. Yet moves on into infinity.

A place where there is nothing but contentment. Even in the midst of difficulty.  Contentment in what is, right here, right now.

The creative.  The resting place of freedom as I am.  In all my forms. Where that is enough.

The radiance. That which is shared with the world. Bouncing back to fuel the tank again. That which emanates from a place of freedom and wisdom. Unjudged.  Just as it is. As it exists.

That which sends a message to my world. I am enough. You are enough.  We have all we need.

Creative radiance. That place I exist. Sometimes fleetingly. If only for a second. But one which brings great peace. Contentment.  Place. Connection.

My Creative Radiance. That is me.

Goddess Radiance - Really?

It's been some time since I posted an update.  Life just got busy - for very good reason - but still it meant that there were things that I wanted to keep up with but I didn't manage to in the way that I would have liked.  That I wasn't able to honour them in the way I wanted doesn't reflect that they are of lesser importance to me - in fact it emphasised how very important they were: what keeps me grounded; what is the space in which I feel most at peace; and what I really want to work hard to focus on this year - despite how busy I might get.

You might remember 2015 started with a bright new word - Blossom.  In the whitewash of January 2015 I wrote:

Blossom speaks to me of being exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing, and of having trust and faith in that process, even though it may make no sense to me at the time.  It speaks of beauty and the harmony of nature, and gives me a sense of being alive, supported, and connected.  It speaks to me of believing in my own goodness and beauty, and the value I bring

And oh how I blossomed in 2015.  How I sunk into the idea of just being and believing.  Of stepping out in my own way, of having faith in that and knowing it was okay; more than okay, it was me. How I gained courage from that idea! That I could be, just as I was, and in a way which made absolute sense to me. in a way which gave me joy.  How I learned to ask - what if? What if I just did this? If I ignored all those voices who gave me a million and one reasons as to why not? What If? What if I just gave in and believed in me? Believed in my journey? What If?

So in 2016 I again turned to Sussanah Conway and her 'Find Your Word' process.  The exercise was exactly the same. But what a different process I encountered this time around.  Remembering back to 2015, I anticipated an easy time.  Visualise your perfect day and the words will come.  So I started the visualisation.  But all that happened was that I drifted off and really didn't get anything about my ideal day.  What was that about I thought?  After a bit of thinking I realised that I had gone into the exercise with some preconceptions about what I thought my word SHOULD be.  ... that SHOULD word - first clue that this was not going to go as I thought!  I had spent a year with an inward looking word, focusing on what I needed to exist in the world in a way that supported me. Surely 2016 was about going out and grabbing it all! Action-focused -that's what is was about! Living life! Get out and do all these amazing things! Be brave!

But the find my word process told me another story. I couldn't get past the visualisation to my perfect day, because my perfect day was not external; it existed within me.  It was about those things within myself that needed to be nourished and nurtured.  I didn't even get to the second sentence in the visualisation before I had wandered off in my head. And all my journalling was about bringing myself back to my centre; to my creative self; to what I had in the past referred to as my creative radiance.  

So I sat with that.  And in many ways resisted that.  But I still wanted to honour the process, so I continued.  In looking at the list of words Sussanah provided I was drawn to 'Goddess'.  And if you have read some of my earlier entries you will know this is a word which has entered my world before - Mahuika and the sacred flames.  So I did some research and this is what I found:

Goddess energy is our creative flow: unconditional love, pleasure, passion, wisdom. When we claim our goddess energy we live in joyful self acceptance, self respect and listen to our innermost being.

And I thought - that is exactly what I am trying to say in my journalling. And then there was this, a beautiful link to my 2015 word:

There comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud is more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

And this:

When we bring our attention back to discovering who we are on the inside, not who we wish we were, or who we think we should be, we begin the sacred power of transformation toward our innate authentic embodied power.
 

So Goddess Radiance it is for 2016.  

And even as I write that I feel a little twinge.

Am I really worthy to hold such words upon my shoulders?

How will I use those words?

And it is in asking those questions,

feeling that resistance,

wanting to run, 

I know that my words have found me.   

Matariki 2015

To you who asked “is that your mother”?  To you who said “every time I see him, he gets whiter and whiter”.  To you who have enquired “Are you … “.  And to you who proclaimed “you are not really …”. 

To me, instead of replying ‘yes’ and casting downward, I raise and ask.  Where is your mother?  Is she at your side? Does she lay her life in your place?  Do her eyes search only for you?

To me, instead of deafness, I politely ask.  Where were you when the old lady was sick? When she fell?  When the last breath rattled from her weary body?  Were you there? 

To me, instead of being expectant, and acceptant even, I answer without deference.  Of course.

And to me, instead of a gaze unknown, my young self no longer a silent voice.  But what could you possibly mean?

To you.  To me.  My feet sink in the same earth.  It matters not where I am.  It matters not who is speaking.  For.  On-behalf.  Over the top of.  In place of.   It matters not. 

In spite of.  Even better, because of.

I draw the same warm embrace of Papatūānuku, the timeless gaze of Ranginui, and the undying protection of all those scattered between. 

Matariki, mother of six.  The dawn sky.  The dawn promise.  Always.  It matters not.  

The Divine Grace of Epona

Know this star is there for you to turn to for guidance and growth.  It knows of your path and purpose and can help you connect and reconnect as often as you need be.  For it is your star. 

(‘Follow Your Star’, Diana Lancaster, Pony Pondering Inspiration Cards)

My fingers tingle.  Trust they say.  Trust.  Behind me, your might; pounding and stamping. 

Trust.  Stay.  Trust. 

I turn.  You are there.  Waiting.  Inviting.  I open the gate, walk away from you.  Turn, pause, and slowly start back to you.  Attention elsewhere, your eyes focus on the ground.  A small step sideways.  You know I am there.

Read More

Destiny in the desert ...

A tiny grain. Insignificant in isolation.

But delicately caressed by ethereal hands,

They become an ocean of gently ascending crests and sweeping contours of silhouette.

There is no beginning and no end.

A panorama like no other I have ever witnessed.

And in this moment, I cannot think of anything more pure than these tiny grains of sand fulfilling their destiny in the desert.

The Tomb of the Empty 1915-2015

Those who loved duty more than they feared death came from the uttermost ends of the earth to live for evermore in the glory of death.  Empty myths carved upon empty stone.  The great.  The glorious.

In honour of King and Empire, where the enemy of my enemy and the friend of my friend distinguishes little when equality will never be found down the barrel of a native’s gun or around the neck of a coward whose hands are forced to bear the burden of heavy arms.

I was here.  Your biggest fear that no one will see.  But we do.  We remember your blood, ingrained in the soil of foreign lands never before heard of.  We remember claret petals that bloom in the name of all those who struggled, fell and did not rise.  We remember in the name of the mothers, the fathers, the sons, the daughters, the brothers, the sisters, and the lovers for whom the carpet of red is nothing more than a reminder of wandering souls, lost in lands far and near.  We remember the words of the invader to the invaded.  The victor to the loser.  And know the meaning of senseless when you can no longer tell the difference between the two. 

The final post in the darkness a calling to restless ghosts.  Time shall not diminish your sacrifice, and though you may not grow old, it is us who will grow less weary with time.  One hundred years is a long time not to forget.  But it is an even longer time to remember.  Lest we forget, but lest we remember what it is we should never forget.

It was never great. 

It was never glorious.  

Another poetry challenge ...

Ninja poet Maya Stein issued yet another poetry challenge!  With reference to a wonderful poem by Jesse Valentine called Divorce and Astronauts, Maya invited readers to think of two wildly different topics and use writing to unify them.  As with her previous challenge, she would feature a selection on her website.  Not something I had tried before, I was intrigued to see what I could come up with!  You can see my effort on Maya's website, or below.  Like I said to Maya, I am not sure I entirely met her brief, but it was lots of fun to create!

Cephapolods in the Dust

Sold by turban wrapped men manning roadside stalls and imprinted on that very same red desert path we so carelessly drive down now. Where we conveniently forget.  Unlike 500 million years of evolution who, despite being without backbone, do in fact have memory.  And, it’s not even that convenient, since many thousands of miles were crossed to get us to where we are now.  Truth be told (if that’s ever something we did), its anything, but convenient.  And, as for forgetting, we both know that’s not what we are doing.  In the same way we might shame it into being convenient, we can call it many things, but, forgetting cannot be one of them.

Three hearts they say you have. That really seems just a bit unjust given I can only ever have one.  Then again, come to think of it, I have only ever wanted one.  It’s for the camouflage you say.  All the blending and shading.  Cloaking those extra hearts.  From me.  From others.  Mostly from yourself I suspect.  Manipulations of light to attack the unseen and extract the inside out.  Evading in that dark jet cloud pungent with the stench of both fear and power.  The confuser and the confusee, if there are even such words to describe such people.

It’s inevitable though, trying to keep up with those three beats.  You know, but you don’t believe, not really, or it’s not that you don’t believe, you just refuse to see.  An error maybe.  In the meantime we will keep driving to who knows where, doing to each other who knows what.  Until as they say the dust has settled.  Supposedly because in our case nothing settles when the question was never asked, or if it was asked, was returned, most definitely unwanted, and always always unanswered.  So down our desert path we go and before long the red cloud is back.  We point at each other, but as always our fingers are lost in the dust, and I wonder anyway what is it we are trying to know even if we could eavesdrop on each other’s silent words.  Blinded by visions of what could have been, or maybe what should have been.  But we didn’t know that those visions appeared on different days, saying different things, in different ways, to different people.  And all I think is what would 500 million years of evolution make of that?

 

 

April 5 2015 - A Poetry Showdown!

On April 7 I saw a post on Facebook from the wonderful Maya Stein (Ninja Poet, Writing Guide, Creative Adventuress!).  

If National Poetry Month teaches us anything, it's that there isn't anything NOT worth writing about, and that poetry is more of a state of heart than a state of mind ... I throw down a challenge: If you were to write a poem titled "April 5, 2015," what would your poem be? Are you willing to share it - or have me share it for you?

She quoted Greg Kosmicki:

I don’t know why I write poems, nor can I explain why poetry is important to me in any way that doesn’t sound corny or cliched. I don’t understand why anyone would want to write poems when they could learn a useful trade instead, and I don’t understand what people mean by ‘The Writing Process’. Since 1975 I have written what seems like poems so that’s what I call them. Furthermore, I don’t understand why poetry does what it does.

For some reason, this wholly resonated with me, so I sent a piece of my heart to Maya, and it was a great honour for me to have her post it on her website.  

You can check it (and other's contributions) out here, or read it below. 

Passing behind our Earth

For that brief moment, changing all that we know.  All that we expect when gazes turn to the heavens. 

But perfectly aligned, they,

The sun, the moon, the earth

Fulfill their ordinance of blood red.

So too my own veil casts a shadow.  

Today on this day, questioning when that dim light will pass?

And to where might it go?

And what is expected when it passes?

By myself or by others?

Knowing.  

A deep knowing.

When words on a page cry,

Silent screams. 

To be heard.  

To be seen.

To exist.

In Words. Colours. Textures. Moments.

Being.  

The word upon a page. Just as it is. The alignment of My sun. My moon. My earth.

What my 365 is teaching me ...

My prompt for Day 54 of my Capture Your 365 project was looking forward, goals, progressing.  This was my photo for the day, and the narrative which accompanied it.

I was on the road all day today, but took some time to pull over and take this. I guess for me this shot fits the prompt perfectly - taking the time to reflect on what is behind me, while at the same time looking forward.

There are lots of things I have learned so far, but one which is prominent for me today is acceptance and gratitude for what is. Some days my photos do not turn out as I had hoped, or I learn something totally different to what I planned, or I just shoot something ..anything ... so I have a photo for that day, or the gallery photos look so much more amazing than I could ever shoot!

Conversely, some days I get something I am really happy with. Or I am really pleased by a small technical element I learned by persevering and trying something out.

So yes, I am happy with my progress so far because it teaches me to each day honour my 365 commitment, and to accept that each day I may honour that in a different way, but whatever way I do, it is enough.  And in this small creative act, each day I am reminded, that I am enough.

Blossom Beginnings ...

Have you ever heard of having a word for your year? 

Before December 2014, I had never heard of this concept –a word you choose to be your guiding light for the year.  Somehow, and I don’t even recall how, I found myself on Susannah Conway's beautiful page, where she talked about a process of finding our divine words together.  On top of being billed as simple, useful, creative and meaningful, it was short (just five days), and free!  So I signed up!

The first email included a guided visualisation, where I was asked to see my perfect day.  I worried because I didn’t come up with my perfect day, but rather a very brief moment in time where I felt perfection.  Despite worrying that I was not doing it ‘right’, I simply did what the emails asked of me each morning– no more, no less.  And you know what - it was a process I enjoyed immensely.  Being required to have faith.  To trust. There was also a wonderfully supportive facebook group where people talked about, shared, and asked for advice about their word. 

In the end my word actually came relatively easily to me.  Although I do remember at the time being a bit puzzled as to where it actually came from, because it wasn’t on any of my original word lists.  It seemed to have simply emerged for me.  I saw other people sharing their word finds on the facebook page.  And some were adding their own artwork or mandalas.  I made some very rough doodles – marks and colours on a page really.  Delicately, but firmly, putting my own critic to the side, I did this huge thing for me – shared my word and picture with the facebook group.  This is what I wrote:

My word is BLOSSOM.  This year has been one of challenge, change, and letting go.  But within that have also been the seeds of renewal and growth.  For 2015, I felt I needed a word that was active and movement oriented, but also reflected my way of being in the world.  I need to go inward, but also need to be pushing outward as well. For me, the word blossom encompasses most of the other words I had on my list - truth, trust, faith, courage, gentle, joy, creative magic, grateful.  Blossom speaks to me of being exactly where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing, and of having trust and faith in that process, even though it may make no sense to me at the time.  It speaks of beauty and the harmony of nature, and gives me a sense of being alive, supported, and connected.  It speaks to me of believing in my own goodness and beauty, and the value I bring.

And so, 2015 is dedicated to BLOSSOM.  And this website, something which would have been unimaginable to me a mere couple of months ago, is a manifestation of all those words that surround my BLOSSOM.  Trust, faith and courage.  Even though I am not really sure what has drawn me so strongly to create in this realm, at this time, I simply trust, have faith, and be brave.  And for now, that is more than enough for me.

If you want to look at finding your own word (and I would really recommend you do!), it’s not too late.  Get in touch with Susannah and she can get you started.