After seven years…

It’s is almost seven years since I published my first post on this blog. August 23, 2009. A cellular lifetime ago…

Seven years and 383 posts later, I have realised it is time to end this chapter of my life.

Yes, you did read that correctly. I have decided it is time to officially end this blog. Other projects and endeavours await my time and energy. The blog will remain online, but without new posts. I trust the archives can still offer some inspiration.

I want to thank you for reading and commenting and joining me in my journey.

My journey continues, but in different forms.

And I’m not disappearing from the interwebs entirely:

  • If you’d like to keep in touch about my creative endeavours, come on over to my Verdant Facebook page. There will be links and posts about creativity, belly dance, and goodness knows what else!
  • If you’re interested in adding spiritual and creative depth to your life, I am now offering one-to-one coaching (in person, over the phone or via online miracleness). Come over to the Cordyline Coaching Facebook page for more information and inspiration, or check out my website (with all new blog!)
  • And if you tweet, I’m there sporadically and chaotically, too – expect randomness!

Thank you for your company over these past years. I have enjoyed sharing with you. I hope the turn of the years brings you much joy and love.

 

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An interesting week

The past week of my life can perhaps best be described by that wondrously multi-faceted word: “interesting”.

Things have happened – good things, even – but not in any way, shape or form I predicted as I boldly set out into Monday (aka ‘dragged myself out of bed and off to work’).

Between kids with viruses, and the subsequent working-from-home, astrological discoveries, costume show’n’tell night at my dance class, getting to know my new tarot deck (the Wild Unknown – it’s gorgeous), and playing Scrabble with my beloved (it was us against the letters!), the week has been full of twists, turns, and the life equivalent of interesting shops that may not be in the same place the next day (thank you for the imagery, Sir Terry).

I am hugely grateful for Monique of the beautiful Etsy shops Nekeuomanteion and HipnotiqueTribal for the insights and wisdom of her tarot readings and astrological reports. Monique’s Underworld Astrology report was my first time delving into the world of astrology (with a lifetime of scepticism behind me) and it has been incredibly revealing, while also creating plenty of inner work to do! I regard that as a win 🙂

Flowing on from that – because everything is flowing and nothing stands on its own at the moment – I have been doing plenty of reflection and inner work, as well as more de-cluttering/releasing/clearance (yes, more!)

I have been particularly inspired by a single sentence in the latest post on the Lucky Bitch blog:

“Declutter everything that’s not what you want to manifest.”

That’s pretty clear guidance!

As a result, I’ve cleared through the surface layers of my half of the bedroom and my studio (my two personal spaces). They now feel much clearer and more focused to me (and I’m not actually too bothered anymore about what anyone else thinks!) This week will see me dig beneath the surface more… so there may be more ‘interesting’ times ahead?!

I’ve found it useful to think about what belongs to past selves, and what belongs to me now and to the future me I want to become. I really don’t need to fill my life up with the detritus of past selves (though there are some mementos that still bear meaning). I need room to live now and into the future. It has been interesting seeing what resonates and what doesn’t – there have been some surprises…

I am already beginning to see the fruits of all this inner and outer work – and I’ve really only just started! (Well, this phase, anyway…)

So, I am very curious as we head into a new week (with healthy-again kids, and a wealth of personal information to work through) to see just what happens next…

When the flu makes you pause…

I have had the flu – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the flu has had me…

I am now recovered, although it has taken more days than I was intending – viruses are careless with our intentions…

And, after the first frail futile days of burying myself in novels and tissues, it has been an opportunity to pause…

To reflect…

To re-assess and re-align…

I have been disturbed by how easy it is to drift from my ‘true north’ and to not notice that drifting in the minutiae of day-to-day…

… how easy it is to take the easy well-trod route instead of navigating by my own stars…

Time for a course correction!

Thanks to this pause, I have been able to recognise what I have doing to my dreams and goals (simple answer: not as much as I need to!) through fear, through habit, through erosion by daily grind.

And I can, and have, trimmed my sails and reset my course.

I recommend taking a pause now and again (though I also recommend leaving viruses out of yours, if you can!)

Stop, breathe, check where you are heading.

Is it truly where you want to go?

It is very easy to drift with life’s currents – even a small shift can lead to being dramatically off course over time. Best to take that moment to pause and adjust…

Big waves on the New Plymouth waterfront

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.

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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Social media – release or embrace?!

Much has been written on the ills and/or necessity of social media in this internet age.

Depending on who you read, social media can be a contributor to social dislocation or an essential part of your personal brand. Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle (as it usually does).

Social media is, in my view, neither the devil incarnate nor the answer to your everything. It is a tool which can support, and even enhance, our lives, but it also contains hazards. Not just the obvious noisy trolls, but quieter dangers like discontent, jealousy and time-wasting.

I don’t worry so much about avoiding trolls: they will trample wherever they will, and there ain’t much anyone can do about that except wait for them to move on.

I have found a way to managing the quieter dangers. It is simple, but effective:

consciously choose what goes into your feeds

I’m a Tweep, a Facebooker and a Pinner. All these media have feeds.

Over recent weeks, I’ve been making conscious decisions about what I do and don’t want in my feeds, and who I want to hear from: I’ve cleaned out my Twitter follows and started work on my Facebook newsfeed. Pinterest is yet to come.

More important to me than clearing out is choosing what to embrace in my feeds. I want to be encouraged and inspired, so I can spread that joy wider.

Interestingly, I’ve found that I enjoy Twitter more than I do Facebook. I think it’s partly because there is no requirement to be friends with people to share their wisdom and humour. And the character limit makes for quicker scrolling and less ranting. Facebook does help me stay connected to people I care about, but Twitter leaves me smiling!

Anyway, here’s a couple of tips for releasing and embracing your social media feeds:

  1. Think about what you actually want to see:  what do you want to be feeding your soul? If you do this right at the beginning, it will make choosing who to release and who to keep around much easier.
    • My Twitter feed had ended up full of cynical political commentary which was dragging me down. Cynical is one thing I really don’t need encouragement for – I can do it quite well by myself! So, I’ve deliberately chosen to follow people whose tweets encourage me and make me smile (especially if they feature cat pics).
  2. It is okay to release people from your feeds. Chances are they’ll never know…
    • I find Twitter is less emotionally charged than Facebook for this – but I have discovered you can unfollow individual Facebook friends without having to take that fraught step of unfriending. This takes them out of your newsfeed, but leaves the friendship in place. Pinterest is dead easy – just unfollow boards you don’t enjoy any more.
  3. Build a feed that feeds you
    • It really doesn’t take much effort to fill your feed with images and words that feed your soul. Just search for what you actually like and want to see (see #1) – and do remember it is okay to release and unfollow what no longer works for you.

We are allowed to grow and change, and we are allowed to take our social media with us as we do!

How do you manage your social media? Do you have any tips for de-cluttering this part of life? Please share 🙂