Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The Dance of Life

October 2, 2017

The title of my BLOG, ‘Listening to the Whispers’ is a phrase that came to me 20 years ago, when I was reflecting on and writing about how to come back into balance and wellness both personally and planetarily. It means listening to the quiet, wise voice inside us all that is connected to the source of all things.

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I’ve found that when I silence my mind, ask a question like ‘how can I best deal with this situation?’ and listen deeply I hear a wise, very still voice which seems to have a much larger understanding of my life than I do. I capture this voice, this guidance, both through writing and speaking out loud into a voice recorder.

‘Listening to the Whispers’ means listening with our whole being in a surrendered way, it’s about trusting and acting on the received wisdom…if indeed action is called for.  To listen and act, listen and act or in some cases NOT act.

It feels like entering into a dance, where I am not in the lead, but the surrendered partner to divine spirit.

I wrote the piece below in 1996 after asking for guidance about this.

THE Dance of LIFE

“The dance of life is uncertain. It is open and full. It goes on and on, unceasing in it’s flow.

There is an illusion that keeIMG_9390ps me from seeing it, feeling it, knowing it. Sometimes I think I have to ‘do’ life, that I have to work out what to do. That is the illusion.

I strip back the mask and there I am, there I have been all the time. It is merely a shift in perception.

 

I feel the flow and respond to it, move to it, every moment of my life…or not.

Sometimes I resist, hold on, try to work it out, doubt. I forget to listen and feel the flow. It is a current that moves me ever forward. Forward to where, I do not know. A voice whispers;

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‘Surrender. Flow. Trust. ’

It is when I resist that I struggle and get into trouble.

I feel as if I will drown, I gasp for air and try to grab onto something, anything to control and stop the flow.

‘Don’t fight it. Allow it. Move with it gracefully, like a dancer. Allow your body to feel the current and yield to it. The force is too strong to resist. You will go under if you resist. If you allow, and flow with the current you will be swept along and feel the exhilaration rise, the excitement of movement. Dance and let your partner lead… I know what I am doing.’

Sometimes the flow is strong, the movement is strong and I must make bold moves. Then the music quietens, my partner holds me, tenderly, quietly and I must wait.

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‘Be still. Rest. Do not be eager to fill the space. Listen and wait for the beat.’

 

Then the music begins again and I feel my partner’s hand on my back, guiding me gently. The current carries me forward and I am flowing, flowing.”

 

 

Is life flowing for you right now or are you being asked to be still and wait? How do you experience the dance?

 

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A Bird’s-Eye View

November 27, 2014

 

The last 6 months for me have been a period of change; healing, enlivening and sometimes challenging.

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Recently I went to the local Spa to relax and detoxify. I felt the end of week tension gradually leave and a sense of spaciousness and ease come in. I felt myself rise up above all the detail of my life and get a bird’s-eye view, an eagle’s view and gain a deeper understanding.

When I’m in my day to day life I sometimes feel uncomfortable about what I perceive as uncertainty around my work and income. Taking time out to relax through a long walk or a long soak at the spa helps reconnect me to the bigger picture of my life.

 

At the spa I became aware of the spaciousness of uncertainty and how it leaves room for change, transformation and growth. Gradually my circumstances have been changing and I’ve been changing.

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To my surprise my paid work has continued and evolved and a new part-time home-based sales role was created for me by my existing employer, working half the hours I was before.

As I relaxed in the spa, I felt like I was watching a movie trailer of my life as a synopsis of the last 6 months passed gently through my mind. I’m much more creatively satisfied than I was 6 months ago, having developed IMG_1586creative outlets through writing and photography.

 

I’ve been learning how to relax and switch off my nervous system through daily or twice daily deep rest and relaxation times.

 

I’ve brought more pleasure into my life through weekly Nia dance classes and beach walks with friends.

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At the local Farmers Market I buy my weekly organic vegetables and eggs from happy chooks, and enjoy relaxing in the company of friends and listening to the music. Weekly trips to the Farmers market used to be something to cross off my ‘to do’ list as I raced off to work and it took months to break my task driven habit of rushing.

 

I recently attended a Connecting to Your Pleasure workshop to see what I could learn there and it helped re-ignite my relationship to my senses through stopping and noticing and savouring mindfully what I’m experiencing in each moment of the day.

Having this eagle’s awareness come to me in the spa was a relief as recently anxiety had got a hold of me. As I’ve pared back my work hours I’ve been faced with what’s left. Me. No place to IMG_2045hide.

 

What’s revealed when I stop?

When I resist the urge to fill the space things begin to percolate up from inside and are revealed to me. Inner voices tell me, ‘You should get a more secure job’ and ‘You should be earning more money’. Another chides me, ‘Surely if you have nothing else constructive to do then you should be working on your next blog right now.’ Apparently rest and relaxation are not permitted activities! I dig a bit deeper, what’s under this?

 

I reveal inner voices that whisper I’m unsafe, that life is a struggle, that I can’t be REALLY healthy and on it goes.

 

On occasion I’ve been ‘shoulding’ on myself,  future tripping, ‘what if’ ing and worrying. Unhelpful pastimes. It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling anxiety as I come up against old limiting beliefs.

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Where do these voices come from?

 

Often out of our mouths or into our minds come voices we heard when we were young. It may not even be something a parent or teacher said, but something we told ourselves and came to believe as a truth due to the circumstances we experienced. Levering out these little hidden nuggets and shining light on them I can begin to question how true they are and decide whether I want to believe or follow their directives anymore. They begin losing their power to influence my life.

 

Issues of anxiety and depression have been present through my life, through watching my mother and other family members deal with them and through my own experience of themIMG_2167. My mother suffered from crippling anxiety and depression throughout her life and it was never diagnosed or treated. As a child I didn’t realise she had an illness, I just came to know life through the prism of anxiety.

 

Due to my recent anxious thinking I’d begun to feel my health sliding backwards and with some external help turned that around. Central to my healing journey over the past 14 years has been identifying, releasing and healing old emotional wounds that hijack my health.  It is by no means the only factor and it is an important one. I’ve been blessed to have a skilled facilitator to guide this process utilising Kinesiology at the Byron Bay Wellness Centre.

 

Our mental and emotional states directly affect our physical health through our etheric body and meridian system and not only our current emotional state, but emotional states we’ve experienced in the past that can be triggered by current circumstances. I’ve discovered first hand that our bodies store emotional memories and have habituated ways of responding to certain emotional triggers and they can be re-trained.

 

IMG_0964How can I feel secure in the midst of change and uncertainty?

Connecting to my higher awareness and guidance through listening to the quiet, still voice within provides me with a feeling of security, and that’s what I connected to when I was in the spa. We all have the ability to tap into ‘all that is’, the mystery of life that we are an aspect of. There are resources and wisdom available there which are not available when I am just connected to my small, fearful, anxious ‘I’ self.

I listened to my intuition earlier in the year as I wrote in my journal:

 

“23/4/14 – I am launching myself into the abyss, the fertile void, the place of all possibility once more. A path of uncertainty, of opening and expansion. My soul calls me forwardIMG_3031. A desire to expand and experience more aspects of life, beyond logic. An impulse to free up constraints and express more of my intrinsic nature, to more deeply connect with the source of all things. What’s next? Self care and self kindness, enrichment and release, listening and allowing, opening and trusting. Emerging clarity. “

 

Lao Tsu said, ‘ Do you have the patience to wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself ? ‘. I’ve chosen to listen to my soul, stay in the uncertainty and allow the unravelling. I know that change takes time.

 

I’m seeing that more is drawn forth from you when you create space in your life. Both more soulful expression and sometimes obstacles to tIMG_2692hat expression. Anxious voices from within or others about what you ‘should’ do or be doing may come in and tempt you to fill the space. Wait and see if it feels right. If it doesn’t, don’t. More of you will be revealed and reflected back to you if you can stand the pressure and wait, listen and be and only act when ‘the right action arises by itself’.

 

Mindfulness, having your awareness in this present moment and responding from there, is  an antidote to anxiety. When we are mindful in each moment we are not future or past tripping or worrying about ‘what ifs’. It is an act of self-kindness and is good for our mental health, our emotional health and our physical heath and it’s something I’m cultivating.

I’m finding on my days off, when the ‘sRIMG0283hould’ voices tell me to do something that I now stop, check inside with how I’m feeling and ask myself, ‘what do I need right now?’ and ‘what do I feel drawn to do right now?’. I often find that what I really need or want in that moment is to prepare some food or have a nap!

 

 

For $15 for an hour’s soak and deep relaxation at the local Spa I got more than I was expecting. I gained a bird’s-eye view and a deeper understanding and acceptance of how my life is right now. I rose above my anxious inner voices and I was reminded that life is unfolding and taking care of me and enriching me, one moment at a time.

An Artist’s Date

July 10, 2014

I went to the Tweed Art Gallery last Friday on an ‘artist’s date’. Artist dates are one of the techniques described in the book, The Artist’s Way, to foster your creativity.  I found it very inspiring and enriching which is the point of artist dates. I have started that book twice, gotten as far as chapter seven and am yet to finish it. ! Third time lucky?

There were so many different types of art on display at the gallery, different methods, techniques and subjects. The Border Art prize showed off local artists work (including my friend Dave Hickson who won a prize).

It seems that anything goes. Some pieces I looked at and thought ‘ I could do that!’. Have you ever been in an art gallery and had that thought? The difference between the artists hanging on the walls of the gallery and me, are that they have acted on their creative ideas and shared them with the world.

IMG_1365For many years my vision of my ideal life has included expressing myself creatively through words and art. I have hesitated from lack of clarity about what and how.

During this gestational time between the end of my old job and the birth of the new one, I am spending time being with these creative urges AND the resistance I feel. Things are beginning to shift. It has been my desire to understand and do it ‘right’ that has been getting in the way, I have wanted to do it perfectly! Why?

Partly it is my innate desire to do things well and thoroughly. However below that is the desire to avoid pain, to avoid the pain of criticism, or perceived, even expected criticism. This is old programming that I need to lever out of its crevices, to free myself up. Thank-you to this aspect of myself for keeping me safe when I was little and you are not necessary anymore. All books about writing, and I have a few on my book shelf, talk about the need to separate out the creative voice from the editor. They are two separate functions.

Fear of not writing well has been getting in the way of writing at all, or at least not very much. Similarly I have IMG_0157been feeling intimidated by a blank canvas or page, unsure of the ‘right’ thing to do.

It is liberating to be with that resistance gently, to see it, listen to its concerns and gradually allow the creator inside me to create just for the sheer joy of creating. Because when I take a photo, or write something or draw or paint it feels GOOD. There does not need to be any other reason to do it than that. My focus has been too much on what others might think. Surely the purpose of creating is self expression and joy.

I came home from the gallery and wrote four blog post drafts. It was like a tap had been turned on and the ideas were flowing out so quickly that I resorted to speaking into a recording device as I could not type fast enough. I feel a small opening, a crack appearing in the wall. It is not about what I create or produce that matters, but that I do it often. The more it is given permission and allowed the more it flows. Ahhhhhh. That feels better!

 

To Blog or not to Blog ?

June 28, 2014

For a while I have wanted to set up a blog. Well, not actually wanted to, so much as I have been guided to write a blog on multiple occasions and I have doubted, resisted, been unsure and given up! Until now. My inner dialogue generally goes along the lines of ‘Start a blog’ .  A clear and simple directive from that still, knowing inner voice which I have trained myself to hear and to follow. Eventually. I find this inner voice is often fairly succinct and does not necessarily elaborate on why. So then my ‘not so still’ inner voices get to have a big debate about the said directive, in this case along the lines of , “Yes but what am I supposed to blog ABOUT? What do I have to say that someone else would find interesting? What if others don’t like it and criticise it? What is my subject?  What does the finished product look like? What is the POINT for goodness sake?”. Silence.

So here I am on my third attempt to follow this simple and clear inner directive to “Start a blog”. I don’t know exactly when the guidance began, however it was sometime after 2006 when I recovered from a seven year bout of chronic fatigue syndrome. Since then I have provided support and information occasionally to others who are suffering from a chronic or chronic fatigue type illness,  often referred to me by friends or friends of friends, who were seeking to learn from my experience. I and many others find that these types of illnesses are not the forte of the medical profession and they were mostly unhelpful in my recovery.  I first took action on a blog in March 2010, when I asked a friend to set one up for me in WordPress.  I wrote three posts, was unsure how to continue and stopped.

Then two years later in March 2012 I wrote an entry in my journal: ” Idea to do a blog with my channelled insights and reflections and use my photos to illustrate – from my walks, connecting to nature. Photo of sunlight and cloud – The light is always there, it is sometimes obscured/covered up by cloud.”

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The entry was referring to this photo that I took at South Golden Beach one morning at sunrise. As my journal entry in March 2012 stated … the light is always there, it is sometimes obscured or covered up by cloud…or self doubt.

Another two years later in April this year  as my health became an issue again and I entered a period of change and healing, that same quiet still, patient and persistent inner voice counselled me to ‘”Start a blog”. Okay already. I have found in life when things present again and again that perhaps there may be something in it!  I wanted ‘THE BLOG” to be delivered to me fully formed and clear and ‘perfect’ to avoid the spectre of external criticism. That old chestnut! I have surrendered at last and will allow the evolving blog itself to reveal to me what it wants to say. I am sure I will learn a lot along the way as I listen to that still quiet voice.

Do your voices of fear and doubt sometimes override your inner ‘knowing’ or is it just me?