Sometimes (a poem)

Sometimes the bravest thing I can do is to walk down the stairs.

You probably don’t realise that,

as you charge down behind me,

only to be slowed by this healthy-looking woman hugging the handrail as if her life depends on it.

“What was with her?” you might ask

as I reach the ground and hit my stride, taking off across the safe flat land.

You can’t see inside me

You don’t know what’s in my head

Six years ago it happened

A momentary lapse

A sudden change of life

Six years ago

I slipped on the stairs.

I bruised my butt

And I bruised my brain.

They call it post-concussion syndrome

Fancy words for what happens when your brain bounces inside your skull

Officially, I have fully recovered.

I am  healthy and normal

All my readings are fine

(as if I were ‘normal’ before)

When they assess your brain after a concussion there is no benchmark to who you were before… that was never tested. You’re ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ if you fit the medically proven range…

(it doesn’t matter who you were before

you’ll never be that person again anyway)

Six years have passed, and I have apparently healed.

I function well.

You might never guess I’ve been severely concussed

(some scars can’t be seen)

Just

don’t ask me to ceilidh dance, or lie down flat on the floor, or spin around a lot

And

 (please)

don’t ask me to rush down the stairs.

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By the light of the moon

The light of the full moon illuminates the night. We can see more in the dark than at other times. Shadows are illuminated. The unseen becomes visible.

In magic, full moon and the waning moon that follows after it is the time for releasing, for paying attentions to our shadows, for letting go…

This full moon has definitely been a time of release for me.

I don’t find this easy to write about this, so please bear with me.

This full moon, I have been able to look deep into my shadows and see some of the patterns and habits that undermine me.

Fortunately, I have also been able to start letting go.

Let me explain further…

A few weeks ago, in the dark of the moon, I joined Gala Darling‘s online Radical Self Love Coven. I figured this would be an excellent way to fill in the gaps in my magical knowledge, connect with other like-minded people, and boost my spiritual and magical practice. And it’s certainly doing all that!

…of course, the seeds we plant at the new moon often start to grow and bloom by full moon…

The magic work we’ve been doing with the coven has included (perhaps unsurprisingly given the name) work on self-love. I think it is this work that has tipped the balance to make me look deeper into myself.

Anyway, I was talking about patterns and habits that undermine us…

My pattern for too long has been that of excessive personal responsibility.

Now, I’ll happily admit that personal responsibility is a good thing. It is important that we accept responsibility for ourself and our actions and how these can affect the world around us.

But like all good things, it has a shadow side – when taken to excess it can throw things out of balance. One ends up taking personal responsibility for things that aren’t things one is responsible for and then, because of this extra burden, letting the things one IS responsible for slide. This then leads to a nauseating spiral of guilt, shame and sometimes taking up even more responsibility as one desperately tries to fix things using the same methods that created the situation in the first place. And, of course, the attempted fix just deepens the spiral…

Yes, I know this spiral all too well…

Fortunately, it is possible to change.

The first step is identifying the issue. I would gently suggest that if you’re finding yourself buried in guilt, shame with hints of non-productive rebellion, you may be doing this to yourself, too. Or you may have a different spiral. In either case, you may find that taking some time to write down and chase down what is driving those feelings is time well spent. My tip is to look for the ‘thing’ that is the foundation – what lies behind the greatest number of yurk stuff?

That’s the first step. Next, we need to release the ‘thing’. I have found EFT tapping the simplest, quickest and most effective way of doing this. I was initially a complete sceptic, until life got so uncomfortable I thought I’d give it a try – and was almost alarmed by how well it worked! I follow this basic recipe. For most things I find three to four times through works. You may have other release methods. I do recommend something that is simple and quick. Now that you’ve identified the pattern you don’t need it hanging round your life any longer than necessary.

Then we need to fill the gap. Releasing is good, but patterns leave well-worn paths on our soul. If we don’t fill the gap, the old patterns will sneak back in. Ask yourself questions about how you truly want to live. What do you want your life to look like? What health-filled pattern could replace the old unhealthy pattern? This is not a time to introduce something completely unrelated to what you’ve just released. You’re looking for something that will fill that particular space in you. Then try to reduce this to an easily remembered phrase you can use like a mantra. My new phrase is “appropriate responsibility” – and so far it is keeping me nicely on track.

So that’s my learning so far this full moon. I’m curious to see what more I can release as the moon wanes to dark. Then there’s the fun of planting new seeds at new moon❤

If you want to chat about anything in this post, feel free to comment or message me (I can be messaged privately through Facebook and Twitter). Just before Full Moon, I launched my shamanic coaching service, Cordyline. If you think this might be useful for you, please get in touch. I’d be honoured to work with you.

In the meantime, aroha nui!

And I trust the moon’s light will help guide your steps along your life’s journey.

❤❤❤

W. W. D. D.

I’m feeling inspired and challenged this weekend by the ever-fabulous Dita von Teese.

The initials that entitle this post stand for my new mantra: “What would Dita do?”

It’s not that I want to be Dita, but I have long admired her fabulous style and poise, and the depth, integrity and graciousness with which she lives her truth.

I’m currently reading her book: Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour. I spotted it in our local library and thought it might help me with my difficulties with stage make-up. I don’t usually wear make-up, so preparing for dance performances can feel a bit of a trial (and don’t ask about my attempts at false eyelashes – no, really!)

What I’ve gained so far has little to do with make up, and everything to do with how I live.

I have been firmly reminded, in a way I can no longer ignore, that my life is entirely what I make it: my daily decisions and choices today shape my future.

I find this awareness both terrifying and strangely exhilarating – a heady mixture of responsibility and permission.

If we create our own lives by our choices (large or small, deliberate or unconscious) then the implications are enormous.

We have the power to create our future right now.

Let me write that again:

We have the power to create our future right now!

How cool is that?!

It’s like the ultimate in creativity! We each create our own life…

Okay, we may not have the power to employ ourselves in our dream job, or to throw off disease and disability – I will wholeheartedly acknowledge that each of us starts from a   different place.

But!

We do have the power to choose whether we apply for that dream job – or set up our own business and employ ourselves.

We do have the power to choose how we react to our situation: do we bury ourselves in a traumatic past or seek to rise up and look to the future? Do we go along with what everyone else does or find our way? Do we keep doing what we’ve always done or try a different way?

The choices are ours – large and small – every day…

I don’t know about you, but I find that idea incredibly exciting.

… even if it means I have to accept that I’m also shaping my future when I choose biscuits over dance practice… Exciting is not the same as comfortable😉

So, I am feeling inspired and challenged.

How will I choose to live? What do I want my future to look like? What do I want the future me to look like? (It seems that part of the answer to that last question involves more lipstick than ‘past me’ expected!)

I can take small, but deliberate, steps towards answering these questions every day.

And so can you!

What will you choose?

What future will you shape?

W. W. D. D.

What I’m reading: version 8.05.16

I’ve been on a non-fiction kick lately (possibly because of my dedicated consumption earlier this year of much of John Ringo’s “Ring of Fire” series…)

I’m currently most of the way through Stuffocation by James Wallman, which is a fascinating consideration of our consumerist culture: how we got here, and where we might head next. Warning: may cause much thinking…

I have just today started The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Don’t start reading this one unless you’re willing to shift your paradigms! I’m only a few chapters in and have already done some hard thinking and life re-design. And I sense this is only the beginning! (And it’s a new moon this weekend – a traditionally auspicious time for new beginnings😉 )

Other recent reads I’ve valued (there have been a few ‘yeah, nahs’ in there) include:

* Gala Darling Radical Self Love  feels to me to be aimed more at millennial gals than women of my ‘advanced’ years (i.e. I’m over 40), but is still a good read with some great tips.

* Cheryl Richardson The Art of Extreme Self Care is based around interesting and challenging monthly exercises to improve your self-care habits.

* Vint Virga The Soul of All Living Creatures is a beautifully gentle, though at times heart-rending, contemplation of life from the perspective of a vet. I highly recommend it.

* In a similar vein, Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus will increase your appreciation and sense of wonder at the mysteries of the tentacled deeps. I read this awhile back and thoroughly enjoyed it. My new-found appreciation of octopuses remains high several months later.

I’m spotting a definite thread of self-awareness and development here…Which is very much where my head and heart are at right now: I’m wanting to transform my life and grow into myself… Watch this space!

A partial list of things I will do to avoid writing…

  • search for books about writing
  • fold socks
  • re-order my Pinterest boards
  • re-assess all of my 843 Etsy favourites
  • actually do housework
  • make cups of tea
  • sort through my pen collection
  • play Battle Cats on my phone
  • cruise Facebook and Twitter for clickbait
  • mine cobble for 3 hours on Minecraft
  • re-arrange the bookshelves
  • commit random acts of tidying
  • eat chocolate
  • play Solitaire on my phone
  • hunt for more biscuits
  • put away the clean towels
  • read tweets about writing
  • dust stuff
  • attempt to nap
  • play Forest Life on my phone
  • ponder the deep recesses of my soul (AKA gaze into space blankly)
  • take photos of clouds
  • think about taking photos of clouds
  • sort through photos I’ve already taken of clouds (and decide not to delete any)
  • read books because that’s almost the same as writing, isn’t it?
  • write a (partial) list of things I will do to avoid writing

I’m back :)

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After all that, and even more weeks months of releasing and personal transformation…

I AM BACK!!!!

I may be a touch excited about this😉

You may have noticed some subtle changes to the blog appearance…

I’m also changing my approach to content and posting.

I’m planning to post weekly for now – probably Friday/Saturday, but that’s very -ish. We’ll see how the schedule actually unfolds.

I’ll be sharing with you:

  • my creative writing,
  • reviews of books I’ve found satisfying,
  • other things that inspire me,
  • and a range of oddments of my life

(not necessarily in that order)

I’m really looking forward to posting to you again. And I’m really looking forward to some good conversations with you – I love to hear your voice, too❤

Let’s talk more soon:)

 

Please ignore my previous post!

Turns out my new adventure required more releasing first…

Yeah, nah, I’m not really surprised… When was life ever a straight path?!

More soon:)

Thanks for being patient❤

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