Feeling happy… being happy… two different things. Happiness has very little to do with what we have, or own. Happiness has much more to do with our outlook on life. I have discovered that the way we do one thing is generally the way we do all things.  

 

If we regularly complain and look for faults we can always find faults. Yet if our general outlook is that life is beautiful our happiness increases exponentially. I have come to learn that life is not about having a half glass full approach instead of a glass half empty – it’s about having gratitude that we have a glass in the first place! If you think your life is beautiful then it is. It is much like the dandelion – some see a wish and others see a weed!

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Their pain
it didn’t belong to her,
yet it did.
She carried it everywhere.
Some days it was heavy
…most days it was not.

and so it was,
that,
when the moon had finally fled,
she had woven their pain
into sunny flowers.

Their pain
it didn’t belong to her,
yet it did.
…it had always been this way.

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Your glass was always full
with all the wrong things.
It seemed you could
only ever live your life that way.
…standing on the edge.

Stay warm now.
I will miss you
as only your sister can.
If you had stayed
perhaps you would be laughing now,
knowing that life is really
just all the things that fall at our feet…

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There is an old Indian saying “He who cannot dance, claims the floor is uneven”.

I guess in some way we all justify our thoughts to make them fit our point of view. Yet I feel that when we do so, our thought patterns can unconsciously condition our perception. Fundamentally it is hard to step out of sticky patterns whether they be out of fear or judgment or pre-conceptions. The fact is, our thoughts colour our actions… they become repetitious. I think it is just what thoughts do, they circle around us like a noose.  When they do the judging mind begins to predominate and permeate everything we do and feel.  Yet if we get the opportunity to step away and examine our thought stream with mindfulness we can hear the familiar inner soundtrack and acknowledge it. I have discovered if I sit with myself and my thoughts and look for moments of stillness I can begin to step outside them. It is important to remember that in reality our energy can contribute or deplete another’s.  

It does not matter where we are, we can always take a deep breath and rest in our own awareness. That is when we begin to see that our thoughts, our worries and our fears are really only a small part of something much larger – something much bigger than us as individuals. Life will always be complicated, yet with practice and commitment we can all find new ways of seeing. Our lives will always be independent – yet interdependent.  The key is to let each situation be what it is and not what we think it should be…

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Once again late night pondering…

what if everything was taken away from us – what would be left? 

Our jobs, our looks, our money and our possessions are society’s way of defining us – yet they are merely a facade that projects a distorted reality. What lies behind and beneath is our true essence.

Our mind, our heart, our spirit, our generosity, our integrity and kindness…our sense of humour, our love… when everything is stripped away these are the things we are left with. These are the things that matter. Quite simply, what is left, is what is inside us and what is inside the people we love. 

The pace of life makes it easy to lose the ability to recognise the things that really matter – the things worth fighting for. Yet at the end of the day and at the end of our lives, these will have been the things that kept our souls warm. 

If we are going to swim against the tide it must be for the right things… Life can toss us some pretty rough seas and it can be easy to sit on the couch of passivity. It takes real commitment, communication and energy to fight hard for those things that matter.

Personally it can sometimes be confronting and painful and I may not always get it right, but I do know that I am giving it my best shot.

In order to live a wholehearted life we must have the willingness to get down and dirty, in knowing our own nakedness and being open to sharing it with the people we love.

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I am not sure you will ever understand how incredibly blessed I feel.

By glowing upon me, you taught me to unconsciously take a chance, be brave and be willing to grow back.

It’s not easy
this willingness to meet myself.
But,
in between loving you
I go there,
to see who I am
to unwrap
those hidden parts of me
that will make us better.

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Like we ingest food, we ingest images…we embed them into our minds. Yet many of us don’t realise that when we embed images into our minds they become energy sources that have the ability to affect our physical world.

Sounds crazy, but if we stand and watch a river – we become more “river like’. Our neurons wire in response to what we focus on – so it seems that what we pay attention to, literally shapes our brain.

So perhaps we should all practice the art of paying more attention. Attention is about taking time to discover and explore what and who is around us – it is not about rushing to judgement or trying to change something. It is about welcoming the detail of the present, it is about fully engaging in the moment.

I have discovered that whatever I pay attention to is what will grow. If we like a flower we pick it, if we love a flower we water it. So give life the kiss of attention as you would a lover.

Attention is patient and attention is kind. Ultimately attention is what connects us in relationships and as a society. Attention is vitality… it keeps us passionate and eager for living and loving.

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Caressing your face
my skin holds your memories.
It feels like sunlight
shooting soft arrows
of warmth through my heart.

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You are here
in my dream.
It is the only place 
I can find you now.
Surrounded by intangible memories
my nakedness grows cold.

Love more than anything 
continues to be my teacher…

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“Going nowhere is the grand adventure that makes sense of everywhere else.” Leonard Cohen.

Speculation, imagination and memories are all created by our minds. It is no wonder many of us become mentally tired…  Yet, we do have the ability to choose one thought over another.

As Hamlet said ‘There is nothing either good or bad…  but thinking makes it so’. Seems old Shakespeare had it figured out way back then! 

Perhaps we all need to intermittently step away – to gain a new perspective, to adjust focus, to see through the mist. After all some days life can get pretty misty… 

It isn’t about separating ourselves from the world – it is sort of visiting the ‘nowhere’ for a while. Take the opportunity to close your eyes and appreciate the moment when stillness speaks. Allow the busy thoughts of the day to take a back seat and let your spirit regenerate.

In this life perhaps it is not just the physical place we occupy but the spirit that we bring to it.

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She wanted the ocean to wash over her.
She wanted it to take her apart,
She wanted it to tear her into tiny pieces,
so that her body 
felt like her heart…
misaligned and frayed.

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Is technology taking us places that we don’t want to go? 

Are we focusing on and driven by notifications, messages and constant communication. 

I wonder…

are we becoming a society that is unable to deal with silence, or solitude?  
Solitude is the space in which we regenerate, it is the space where we can find ourselves and by finding ourselves we learn how to reach out and find others. That is how we make real and intimate human connections. If our children are only accustomed to connection via technology where will they learn how to listen to each other, where will they learn how to talk to one another. 

If we are unable to have conversations  with others, we are also unable to have them with ourselves.  We need to be wary of inadvertently removing our capacity for self-reflection, because self-reflection is what forms the bedrock of healthy relationships. 

Social media, texting, email …lots of short messages are like sips of water… but do they really keep us fully hydrated? As a society, we now have the ability to put our attention wherever we want it to be, so we are never really alone. But how will we grow together as partners, as families, as communities, when technology only provides an illusion of friendship without the demands and authenticity of friendship. 

I agree that whilst technology and social media can enhance our lives, I have discovered that they remain a poor substitute for looking into the eyes of another and actually listening.  It frightens me that on some days, whilst we may feel we are connected there is a touch deficit. 

Technology can bring us together but it can also push us apart – much like life, it is all about balance.  It is okay to embrace  the brilliance of our technological connectivity but we must also remember to take time out in places where there are no edit or delete buttons. 

Sometimes I feel as if technology enables us to connect with people in a disconnected way – not too close, not too far…just the right amount. It allows us to avoid real conversations in real time.
For me, I need to commit to spending real time with others, holding hands, creating sacred spaces, laughing, stumbling, being vulnerable and having real conversations – ultimately that is the only way I can feel whole.  

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Some people
occupy a space –
yet they don’t.

Like empty vessels
they float with
no intention
of ever making
it to shore.

They are never in way too deep.
Standing still –
is what they do.

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I forgave you.

I held your hand,
– you couldn’t find peace.
you gasped…
you clung to your breath,
until we both choked upon it.

When you finally let go
I allowed my suffering to
be your companion.

This memory is a gift
– never again,
will darkness swallow me
from behind.

As death took your hand
It wasn’t right,
but I was the one
who found peace… x

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Why is it, that in our culture we think of success as the way up… and the way down as failure?

Sadly, it seems that learning does not always mean understanding. Is there really a difference between up and down – are they not just a part of the continuum?

Perhaps it is because growing up we are conditioned to view life in a linear way. Yet when we take time to observe life, we find that absolutely everything is cyclical. The warm grows cool, cool things become warm…the moist dries, the parched becomes moist.

Hmmm the circle of life – our unbounded connectedness to the world and each other…
that is what gives me that beautiful feeling of falling but knowing that I am being held.

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Life is a roller coaster, I am finally familiar with that now. I had a day yesterday where once I again I was reminded of the fragility of this life we have been given. Being aware of how brief our life and the lives of those we love, is actually an act of optimism. I am a work in progress, but I do my best to savour my moments and cherish the people I love and are coming to love.

Tonight, I could see a family weaving themselves back together. For me, it was the most incredible gift to see such a beautiful and deserving man in a space where I could literally feel his heart coming home.

I never want to die having left anything unsaid.
So I will say – I am filled with gratitude for this mans happiness and for being invited into his life. He tickles my brain and my heart and brings delicious warmth to my days… I have a suitcase full of blessings!

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