Thursday, 25 October 2012
I need to smile again. I need to laugh again. I need to be at peace again. I need to sleep soundly again. I need to wake up knowing that I am moving forward.
Escapism doesn't work anymore. Distraction doesn't help.
The books are dwindling. Time is no longer on my side. Creativity has put its coat on and walked out the door. Relaxation is obsolete.
I looked back over a set of tarot cards I've been eyeing up for a while, another when. A small when but still another to add to the pile. I've gone over the images again and again because the artist, Paulina Cassidy inspires me. They make me want to write stories but the words aren't coming out. They'll come back to me perhaps. When.
Of all the cards, I pulled this one off the page of her website because I thought it was beautiful:
It means Despair, Loss, Hardship, Survival, Abandonment, Neglected Health, Poverty, Rediscovering Hope.
That sounds about right.
Thursday, 27 September 2012
|Image from Bookmania.tumblr.com|
To get to the bottom of this and closer to my workshop facilitation project, I went to my Meditate and Create art class last night. With a few sheets of paper, a box of pastels and the warm and friendly teacher, Caroline McCready I was led through a series of exercises to work out what my conscious and my subconscious mind are telling me about myself. Quelle surprise, when instructed to draw myself with my left hand (linking in with the subconscious mind) I drew a book.
I was put in touch with Caroline by a great acquaintance, Dee Appolline who is a teacher, healer and now an author on her subjects. With her I discussed what my next steps would be to unblocking these barriers that the powers of my own mind have created. The Gateway Studio, the space in which Caroline runs her workshops is the perfect place for such a thing. It's light, beautifully decorated, cosy and has a kitchenette for tea and biscuits. After having a chat with Caroline, I came to learn that she also started up her art sessions to heal herself as well as give that opportunity to her students. She is also very happy to work with me and rent the space out for writing workshops. So as soon as I get my confidence/finances/living situation in order, I'll be good to go. The practice, the unlocking and the comfort of being in a room with people who have a similar problem with literary expression can begin.
So far I've got a pilot written up of a 2 hour workshop, but as for my actual writing....well...*cue deflating heart*
To distract myself from thinking that I'm just wasting my hours away, I've been on the hunt to see what's out there to get me and others alike excited. It's all Book Geekery, wordsmithery and general Literature turn-ons. Incidentally, good book/literatue/writing blogs and websites are hard to find but here's what I did stumble upon:
A blog dedicated to handwritten quotes and excerpts of great writers and great works. The team who run the blog all handwrite these themselves and upload them. This doesn't seem particularly genius and the handwriting just adds to the aesthetics of the blog and give the quotes an extra air of poignancy. What I have liked about this is that one will pop up on my homepage that will be very apt and lovely in that particular moment. One of my favourites is:
|Cotton tote bag|
|Poem teatowel - Carol Ann Duffy isn't a favourite poet of mine but I like the idea|
|"Happily Everafter" mug with an excerpt from Much Ado About Nothing - my favourite Shakespeare play|
|Letter pressed cookie cutters - ah yeah!|
|Goldsmith's Row Book Market|
This blog is brilliant and is a total delight to read. It's a unique dictionary of 100% original words that this blogger has created himself that define relatable and rather acutely observed emotions . It's genius and his writing is brilliant. Here's a few of my favourites:
Well, I'm certainly delighted with the visual and mental stimulation that the web has to offer, but there is also the sweet bliss of losing myself in a novel - I'm still thoroughly enjoying The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but right now I've got a brain overload so I'm off to not write some more.
Friday, 21 September 2012
Writing has been tough and I feel masses amounts of guilt for not setting aside time to do it. I know why I have these blocks now and the Universe is waiting for me to get on with it. I've been comforted by the confirmation that it is innate in me, it is in my core, so deep to a cellular level that my life's work will revolve around writing. Smaller projects have been put on pause (especially Write Club) but when I don't manage to write, I read a lot. And as long as I'm doing one or the other, I'm still involved with my world. This month I've been reading:
100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia-Marquez (still chugging through it; it's my literary Everest for the moment)
The Story of O - Pauline Reage (not pictured, but there's no real need, it's a plain black cover; bit of a "meh" sort of book. Glad to have read it though)
Waiting for Autumn - Scott Blum (a Spiritual Quest must read)
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (a classic I should have read a very long time ago - I loved it)
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (a quarter in and I'm dazzled, it's so beautifully imaginative)
Waiting in the queue I've got The Snow Child- Eowyn Ivey and 1Q84 - Haruki Marukami.
And so I've have been constantly inspired and I'm narrating mentally all the time (as per usual) but to get things shifted, I am planning to run a few workshops where I will go on this journey with other people. Let's write, inspire each other, figure out what our own blocks and hang-ups are and progress together!
I'm working on some class ideas, excercises and tools to bring into my 'no rules, no boundaries' writing sessions. When I'm ready to go, with a venue in place, I will post up a blog/meetup/facebook page etc
It's also about bloody time that I started offering therapy services. Again, once a venue is in place (i.e a home) I will be setting up a practice so if anyone is interested in Angelic Reiki, Colour Therapy or Aromatherapy Massage then please let me know...
...no point me having all these skills and qualifications if I can't use them, eh?
As a sidebar, I've attended a couple of classes/workshops and still have a few more to go. I went to my ballet taster class and I bloomin' well loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and what's more, the pain in my feet gave way to the joy of dancing. I was totally fine, even when I was made to skip and trot across the studio. My legs felt alive and it almost felt like they thanked me for waking them up. I got the blood pumping through them and I was incredibly energised. Unfortunately though, the pain in them has been terrible ever since, resulting in me wearing herbal medicine bandages that I was recommended at a Chinese herbal shop. I'm now on the lookout for a foot specialist and shall continue my ongoing saga of healing the nerve damage in my soles. It's certainly not going to stop me from signing up to the full 8 week ballet course beginning in October though.
I've got a Tree Wisdom distance course set up for this weekend and a Healing Art class on Wednesday to keep me going...it's themed around the Root Chakra which is precisely the Chakra I'm working on right now. Starting with some crystal healing, I bought a beautiful piece of Garnet and Fire Agate to keep in my pocket.
I've also been reflecting and drawing cards to make some sense of everything that's been happening. The most resonant cards I drew this week are:
Key points being: Take action, take leadership, harness your power, now's the time to make a move, target your heart's desire, shake off your fear, stop waiting around, write, teach, take charge.
I think that certainly makes it all clear...
Sunday, 26 August 2012
|'pensive' from We Heart It|
You love your own company and you crave to be by yourself quite frequently, but all those other times when you wanted to be with someone, you created little moments with them because you felt the need to make those small but sweet memories, something to use your nostalgia on.You somehow knew on some level that they wouldn't always be there and when they weren't you sat there looking at the wall, at your feet, at your whole life.
Sometimes, you can have that friend that tends to feel very much the same, practices the same rituals that you do with whom you can just be who you always are to yourself. You're not being negative, you're just being honest and this person won't try to show you the 'bright side'. You know when to cheer up, you know when to come down and it's important to have someone around who can allow you to bounce between the two when you want. The both of you may be in completely different circumstances but you've been in the same spot before and there's nothing more to say about it. You might be lucky to get a tear, a sigh, a giggle and some insight all in the same sitting.
But you can take those small but sweet memories and change them into something new, recreate them to give them new meaning: sharing a favourite programme, getting each other cupcakes, walking hours away around the streets of London and sitting on a curb or a set of steps to pause again and let each other look into the distance. You may have been in that very same place before with all those people you miss, but now you're there with someone who you won't have to.
And when that friend isn't around and you're all by yourself again, you can turn to those other things that also allow you to feel what you want.
Your favourite music will soften you in the darkness and some great words on a page might give it all some sense when you're ready to reach for the light.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
On Friday night, the curtains went up and I was sat in the Colliseum Theatre watching Swan Lake. It was my first time watching the ballet but it felt more like a really hazy distant memory. Like a sap, I welled up within in the first few seconds of it starting. The music, the set, the tutus, the sequences and more than anything, the Snow Queen blew me away.
It got me thinking about my own dancing hang-ups. I've always loved dancing, I wanted to go to classes when I was little but never had the opportunity. Instead, I would make up my own choreography in my bedroom and dance everyday to my favourite songs. As I got older, I danced less often and well, life got in the way. I stopped excercising altogether until I took up yoga later on, the only other thing that resonated. My body wants to be flexible, graceful and strong in the legs but that all got hindered when I got these nerve problems in my feet, rendering me unable to even walk barefoot around the house.
For 6 years, they've stopped me from doing what I want to and to avoid stepping on painful flooring, I've forgotten what it's like to feel all that energy in my legs and strength in my movements. After a healing session over a week ago, I was told that it is possible for the nerves to regenerate and with some dedication, my feet can be healed. And so my reaction was to scout for an adult beginners ballet class. I've found just the perfect thing, I've found the perfect shoes and soon I'll take my inner child to a dance class and heal my adult self. My legs seem to know it's coming, they're wanting to stretch and bend more in anticipation.
About 3 years ago, I wrote a poem about a dream I had, and it feels more close to me now than it did at the time:
Thursday, 2 August 2012
I haven't been on this blog for nearly two months now and as predicted, London swallowed me up in a whirlwind of activity.
We began our new venture with the celebration of Summer Solstice in my favourite UK town of Glastonbury...this is a picture I nicked from my friend who managed to capture the Sun coming up at about 4.50am on the 20th June.
We marvelled, drummed and rambled. There were cows and a Devic tree, a group snooze in the car and a picnic in the fields. Unfortunately, our day was cut short when we got a phonecall from home telling us that my cat, my Rocky boy had gone missing. He must have been shut out while we loaded the car at midnight the previous night. I put posters up and wept and walked around the neighbourhood twice a day calling his name. I couldn't imagine starting my new life with Lo without Rocky in the picture. After four days of heartache and dissapointment whenever the phone didn't ring or a neighbour didn't knock on the door with the cuddly Garfield himself, Loic and I decided to hop on a bus to a friend's house. Upon coming back from the shops to top our Oysters, I heard a desperate meow as we walked past a van. I cried out "Rocky?!" and he came out from under it and ran over to me. The joy of reuniting was immense. I couldn't stop embracing him.
So it's been very much like this the whole time we've been back: ups and downs.
We went to see the exhibition about Native Art as promised to my Navajo acquaintance only to find out that he couldn't make it to London due to "passport issues", we went on that Foraging for Herbs walk and that turned out to be just lovely. I collected clippings and took pictures, Natasha, the herbalist taught us how to collect and make a tincture, how to identify Fennel, Lady's Mantle, Lemon Balm and Calendula and how to use them.
Jobhunting was the next frustration, I managed to get a job in Mysteries, a magical shop in Covent Garden that sells crystals, incense, books and buddhas and does psychic readings; a perfect part-timer for me, but unfortunately Loic wasn't as lucky. After hundreds of applications and near-misses, he didn't land himself anything but a job in France for the whole of August as a campsite co-ordinator in the mountains - we decided that he needed to take the opportunity and so he did. He's gone now, until the beginning of September. And although I've got a lot to be getting on with, half of me is missing.
But I'm here at my mum's and sometimes at my sister's, still living out of a suitcase. I wonder when this ridiculous cycle will end...a proper bed would be nice, my own things unpacked and put away or hung up on the walls to make me feel like I've got a home. A home for me, a home for Rocky and a home for Loic. I'm manifesting it like a maniac, being patient and stating to the Universe that's what we need. The Universe obviously seems to think that we need to take a detour.
On the writing front, I've joined Write Club a short story writing excercise club co-ordinated by my fellow writer friend, Joe. Once our stories are up from last week, I'll post up a link to the blog...
And the other fruits of my literary labours are live and online, the website text I wrote for my favourite restaurant in Bali can now be read here: http://www.charming-bali.com/
My dear friend, Cisco created this site with his magical web design powers and gave me the chance to be a part of the project. And if you ever go to Bali, don't leave without eating at CharMing - everything about it is delicious!
I'm sure I'm forgetting a whole load of things that have gone on in the last 6 or 7 weeks but I'd rather get back to writing about things that matter now or inspire me, so seeing as though this was a quick recap of a blog, the next one I promise will be a little more profound and better written.
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
This may very well be my last post in Bali, in fact, I'm sure it is as I've still got the last bits of packing to do and more goodbyes to say. As happy as I am to leave, I will always look back on this island as the monumental point in my life where things got shaken up and rearranged, and so rapidly too.
When I think back, it was only eight months ago (feels like eight years) when I set foot on Indonesian turf and faced some things the Universe clearly wanted me to face: fears, reoccuring patterns, confidence issues, relationship values....you name it. The challenge was on from the minute I left the comforts of the city I know so well and love, the place I was born and the place I lived in as if it were a gate that kept me safe from the big wide world. So Arizona showed me the deeper levels of Spirit and Love, San Francisco gave me the freedom to be who and whatever I wanted, Singapore taught me greater independence and trust in myself, Nepal showed me how to toughen up and be practical and Bali...well Bali put all those things together and offered me a package deal: conquer this and you'll go home a very happy and lucky person.
Here is where I met Loic and that was the beginning of a very beautiful story which continues to amaze me each day and now he's joining me in the Big Smoke; he'll see the other parts of me, the things that shaped me into the individual that he met sitting at the next table having a coffee. My place, my family, my friends. And yet we'll be sad to say goodbye to the friends we've met here, but just like the nearest and dearest we left in England and France, we know they're here and we'll always know what we shared with them. Facebook, email and Skype help to keep the connections going of course.
So new jobs, new home, new start and I've found a lovely path in falling in love with a Frenchy, he loves to travel and I love France. And I won't even have to give up my love of travelling and holidays for too long as a trip to Lyon for a wedding is already on this year's calendar. One day I'll live there too and it's funny, I pictured myself there a long time ago...riding a bicycle down cobbled streets, writing in cafes and being inspired by all the art, history and buildings that France has kept so close to its heart...London was never supposed to be it forever. The other great thing is language, Lo gets to perfect his English and I finally have the chance to be fluent in French, something that should have been on my CV for years but with slight negligence on my behalf, I never quite got there...but I will I'm sure of it.
And I'll keep writing so watch this space...fingers crossed, in a couple of weeks I'll be posting the good news of new jobs for us both and a new flat. I'm giddy at the thought of being able to finally unpack ALL my possessions, including the ones still sitting up in my uncle's attic and put them somewhere I'll call home and that's where they'll stay, until the next chapter of course.
And in the words of Vinnie Jones: "it's been emotional".
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
|Woody, Fran, Hannah & me in temple attire|
|Lo and I chillin in the water|
|Me feeding fishies at Tirtagangga palace|
|Lo putting us to shame at Angel bar|
|Me and Hansy|
|Dinner in Ubud|
* Spending Summer Solstice in Glastonbury - my favourite town in all of England! There'll be drumming, meditating, tree-hugging, love-spreading, rejoicing, garland-wearing and lots of other cool happy hippy stuff.
*Going on a 'Foraging for Herbs' walk - in July we're going on a jaunt around Regent's Park, led by a Herbalist and natural remedies expert who will show us how to, well, forage for herbs in London and will show us how to use these wondeful plants in cooking, cosmetics and healing...the nature geek in me squeals.
*Seeing Swan Lake at the Coliseum - tickets are booked for The English National Ballet production this August! It will be my first live ballet and I'm giddy at the thought...I know I'm gonna love it.
*Going to the Contemporary American Indian Art Exhibition at Highgate Gallery - I made friends with a Navajo artist called Troy Whitethorne when I was in Arizona and when he said he was having an exhibition in London, I promised him I'd go and see it. It's on from 8th-21st June so I'll be landing just in the nick of time. I'll be tired, I'll be jetlagged and crazy busy but a promise is a promise and I'm all about supporting what has become a very precious culture to me.
Aside from these exciting dates in the calendar, not only will I be loving the reunion of me and my city (and hugging and kissing the life out of my friends and family) but I also get to take Loic around as it's been roughly 10 years since he's been to London...the best way to get into the city again is to be a tour guide for someone else so there will be many an outing to museums, galleries, coffee shops, gigs, pubs, parks, theatres etc. There'll also be much gorging on cake, pastries, cheese, wine and all the food that Indonesia isn't really best at...ditching the motorbike for our good old reliable legs again is going to be much needed.
There are so many things that we've missed about Europe that I'm quite sure that we won't be bored for quite some time...but for now, let's enjoy what the rest of this island has to offer before we wave it goodbye.
Saturday, 19 May 2012
We walk into the bedroom in the dark and you stand amongst my wreck. Black hiding an undressed life and you wander into it as if you have seen it before, even though you don’t see it now, my gallery of posed questions and the paper meals that feed my hunger for answers. You make the room jump when you walk past the mirror. A quick stream of colour flashes back recognition of you more than it does me. And yet I still don’t reach for the light as you carry on going; maybe I’m waiting for you to intuite some more, perhaps show me what I’ve never been able to see.
Our conversation from back there out in the world didn’t follow us in and I’m not sure what to do with the silence. Perhaps it is better to contain it here in the dark; no makeshift words to construct in a space that is already too full. No prompted reactions expected, no critique or applause to await. In this obsidian box I could paint whatever you want, some stars perhaps? Or do you prefer just a navy sky and a clear prominent moon?
I hear you turn on your heel and this actress isn’t yet ready for the lights. She hasn’t rehearsed enough; she might wither before an eager face. I know you were pleased by what you saw at the preview, back there out in the world. I recognise the same smile that freed itself from your lips when I looked up from my glass. Only this time it is decorated with midnight and it looks ever the more beautiful.
Now that you don’t see me, what do you see? See with your heart, feel with your eyes. Peer into me while I’m in nothingness, because you have no present comparison for beauty.
I take one step and pause before the next, one foot teetering behind the other like my thoughts do; carefully laying themselves down. I’m nearly ready to expose you to it all, from young womanhood to present day; storyboards that don’t have endings, shards from dropped feelings never cleaned up. I’m close now because I sense you by your warmth and it changes the air between us.
And before I can tape together the words that would fit right here in this space, you find the switch because those lips that part ways for flattering smiles kiss mine suddenly in the light.
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
|Image from We Heart it|
I've done a lot of this 'shadow self' thinking and I've often discussed with friends how we sometimes love to feel odd, different, a little dark (in a Tim Burton way) and sometimes even melancholic. I'm a sucker for putting on a sad song if I already feel sad, I'll wallow I admit - but how else can I describe that emotion if I don't explore it and really feel it?
|Image from the movie Sleepy Hollow|
I'm working on a collection of poems at the moment (amongst a tirade of other projects) and I promised myself I would write it with that voice, delivering the dark and the beautiful that rise up within like a serpent in those silent moments. Each poem will be set in 'darkness' or night time to be more accurate, with all its unsettling connotations as well as its magical ones.
The second thing that had me "ooh" and "ahhh" was Angelin Preljocaj's ballet interpretation of Snow White which showed last week at Saddler's Well Theatre in London. This darker, sexier version is something I really want to see and could be inspiring on so many levels. I'm absolutely gutted that I wasn't home to see it but I'm hoping it'll come back sometime in the not so distant future.
|Snow White Ballet Performance|
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Thursday, 3 May 2012
So forgive me, it hasn't been edited...this is purely spontaneous.
Friday, 27 April 2012
On Saturday night at Antida, Lo and I were blown away by an artist called Nahko Bear and his band Medicine for the People. I haven't been moved like that by a band in years. Their sound and more importantly, their message resonated with every fibre in my being; reverberating after a warm tap on my inner core. And on Wednesday we went to watch Nahko play a solo set after which we had the privilege of chatting with him. Part Native American, Puerto-Rican and Filipino, Nahko now lives in Hawaii and is one of the most interesting artists I have ever come across. His lyrics speak for what I sometimes struggle to say verbally or through my writing...but I don't think I could put it better than this:
My voice is drowning a little where it needs to be heard the most; I need to figure out how to keep it afloat.
This morning I drew this card from my Native American Vision Quest Tarot set:
"This image depicts your strength to be who you truly are. Not who you are supposed to be, should have been or what others make you become. Your self-confidence has been awakened. With it awakens the courage to drop your masks once and for all. This is the only way to return to your own inner centre"
My self-confidence certainly gets tested and I can only shine the light of my true self to those who are open to seeing it. I do not know where this true me - this spiritual, tribal, diminish-all-fear and remove-all-negative-people-from-my-life ME will take me, but I have to see.
I have just entered my next seven-year cycle by turning 28, great change is on the horizon.
And all I can do for now is agree with this song and say to myself: "I believe in the good things coming".
Friday, 20 April 2012
I exist in many worlds, in my head and in person. I am of one that craves to stamp words on air or on paper to make reality out of feeling; I am a writer. I am also one of nostalgia, I constantly seek it as an emotion to remind me of who I am, where I have been, what I was. I am also one of dreams, the relentless movie creating of a hopeful and colourful future; I thrive on future goals and projects to fuel my fire. I am also of one that in fact, denies convention as a life map and instead I embrace the magical, the unknown and the 'other-worldy' and consider it all far more possible than what appears before my very own eyes.
I love words. One of my favourites is 'whimsical':
- Playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way.
- Acting or behaving in a capricious manner.
I am incredibly fanciful and I highly enjoy being so. I have the world perception of a hippy. I have the heart of a healer but guard it with the shield of a knight. I am Earthy and love to craft with my hands...I'm not afraid to graft. All of this makes me happy, but it confuses me too; the need to be all of this and the need to make a living can often repel each other - but not always. I know plenty of like-minded souls who exist through their creativity, it buys them their home and their holidays away.
My thought processes are spatial, not linear and so you see, it becomes a bit of a problem when I need to write in lines (how else?).
I wrote this a few months ago and it stills stands as my ultimate yearn in life:
A Plea to My Dormant Self
I spit my soundless words up at the sky in the hope that clouds will catch them and rain them back down on me, awakening my skin with cold breath.
A fellow friend and writer put it up on her fridge and that's the best response I could ever have hoped to get.
But if only I could wear my words like a ball gown; it would be opulent and dazzling, one with delicate detail and layers that descend the stairs before I do. I'd wear it everyday. It would become me and I it, it would be what I have to show the world.
And so, in my desire to live this world that combines my need for words, for spirituality, for knowledge, for craft, for dreams I've been brainstorming projects and have landed two solid ideas to make my future a rewarded existence. Solid ideas but not solid in practice...but soon to be revealed. And for now, I've been granted the chance here in Bali to put my words to good use: by translating French text and rewriting in English for one person and afterschool tutoring English for the eight-year old son of a friend. That's plenty to be getting on with for now, but it's not quite enough for this fanciful, dancing-in-the-forest dreamer.
I had a hypnotherapy session recently...I wanted to know what my blocks were, what fears I had lurking in dark corners of this forest dreamland that is my mind...what's stopping me from writing fervently, incessantly and throwing it out there like a frisbee for some editor, publisher or agent to catch. I regressed to a past life and worked through the lessons of that brutal Medieval time and was encouraged by the hypnotherapist to heal the root cause. But now I'm bursting at the seams with narrative and there isn't enough time or an adequate tool to manifest it with.
Funny how I was also recommended this novel by the same friend who put my words on her fridge:
I adored it. It made me feel everything I want to feel when I read a piece of literature. It made me see everything I want to see when I am given the opportunity to create a picture. It is also a story that parallels modern day with Medieval times. I devoured it in two days and it has made its way into my top ten favourites of all time. This story speaks so much of me that I am devasted that I didn't write it myself...but it prompts the question: which story is mine?
What I am also gutted about, is that I won't be in London for this:
A night-time event at The Southbank Centre that consists of candlelit readings on the terrace (including Mark Haddon reading his new yet to be published novel), comedy, spoken word, free cocktails and a mass giveaway of 10 titles. I am getting tearful at the laptop just thinking about this amazing event that I can't be at. Seeing as though I'm so fanciful, I'll just hope that I'll astral project myself there for it. Or, someone attend it for me, tell me how great it was and bag me a free book?
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
It's been a stressful few weeks out here in Bali and as you may have noticed from the delayed update of this blog, our internet has been off. Much to our frustration, sorting things out like this in Indonesia isn't as simple as making a quick phonecall to your provider. Nothing is. To me, it feels like the equivalent of searching for The Holy Grail. And so, I stress that this maddening situation that we've been in has not just been about the bloody internet of course. A whole multitude of things (and much more serious, may I add) have gone, shall we say, tits up.
To conlude, our plans have now changed and we are forced to switch the tracks. We are coming home to Europe in June. There are plenty of positives in this decision, believe me. And the most exciting thing about it is that we have so much more to be getting on with. So many other places we want to see, so many things we want to do.
So, during a dinner with a friend, we got onto the subject of a bucket list - a list of things you want to do before you die. After having discussed what we all had done so far, I felt quite proud of my achievments at the age of 27...leaving Bali is just a minor change of plan in the grand scheme of things. Not staying here for a year as previously intended isn't a failure at all but a realisation that this isn't the way it's meant to be. Listening to calls when you get them are more important. That's what it was to me when I decided to go travelling last year, it was a calling. And in following its path, I crossed off a bunch of things from my bucket list in one hit.
Our friend chalked up what she'd love to do before she dies and posted it on Facebook...in response to that, I'm going to tell all of you mine on this blog. It is then archived for me to look back on in time to come when I'm feeling a little stuck or blue. Sometimes we just need to tell ourselves that we've been bouncing along a rainbow of experiences all our lives and when we hit that grey cloud, we need to look back on the bountiful path we've been following. And on the otherside of that cloud, sunlight will eventually break.
So here are the highlights of what I've done so far:
*See the Himalayas
*Bond with an Elephant (I spent a lovely morning making and feeding rice parcels to the beautiful elephant Jampar Kali in Nepal)
*Visit Jim Morrison's grave in Paris
*Spend time on a Native American Reservation
*Do a sweatlodge ceremony
*See the Grand Canyon
*Go dolphin watching
*Sit on the dock of the bay (A tribute to Otis Redding in San Francisco)
*Stroll down "The Walk of Fame"
*See the "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio, Brazil
*Be on TV (The 6 o'clock news with my mum, in the audience of MTV's TRL, in the background of a news report in Nepal and featuring in a main story on a French reality show about loved ones reuniting at airports - with Loic in Lyon)
*Stroke a lion cub
*Learn a craft (there are several I still want to learn, but one of them I actually did was learn how to make candles)
*See the Mona Lisa, Venus di Milo and all that jazz at the Louvre
*Go to a Buddhist temple (been to a couple now)
*Have a Past Life Regression
The Himalayas, photo of Jim Morrison's grave by Cyrilplace on Etsy, The Christ in Rio and The Louvre Museum
Ok...so running out of things I've done...a little shorter than I wanted it to be, but not bad a list. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few!
And now for my up to date Bucket List:
*See Machu Picchu
*Hug a panda
*Ride an elephant (nearly did but had to cut the trip to Nepal short)
*Master a Jimi Hendrix song on electric guitar (I know, I know)
*Bathe in the hotsprings in Iceland
*Go to Japan
*Publish a book (this has always been number one, actually)
*Visit Delphi, the ancient oracle temple in Greece
*Learn more crafts, like: bookmaking, printmaking, sculpture, making stained glass windows, mozaics, dressmaking, soapmaking, woodcarving etc
*Own a Victorian house (this comes very closely behind publishing a book - a lifelong dream)
*Spend a week in a cosy log cabin
*Road trip across Europe
Japan, Mozaic making, hotsprings in Iceland and Machu Picchu
And I'm sure there are many more, but we'll leave it there...achievable? I'd like to think so.
After reading a few articles on Bucket Lists, there are some rather pessimistic people out there who seem to think that these lists are supposed to include things that are out of one's grasp...unrealistic dreams that would never happen. There was one particularly negative article that gave a 'most likely' type of list that is, according to this writer, the blueprint of most of our lives. The list featured things like: 'get a mortgage then fall behind on payments', 'do a degree and then spend life working in an irrelevant field'...I mean really, if this is the case, it's only because you choose it to be. And what sort of hope is there for people who settle for humdrum and never think they can achieve anything exciting? Go and do it, even if it's the smallest of things like 'write a song' or 'ride a horse' - do it!
I'm intrigued by other people's dreams, desires and goals, so what's your bucket list? And better yet, what are your proudest achievements?
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
But we rode and we rode and found pockets of space shaped like us to hide in.
Between fields and tucked away in mountains, our voices rippled on the wet air, no one could hear us sing, no one could see us there - bubbled up in our need to be. Free.
I found myself again when my palms reached out for a tree, a need I sometimes feel. To copy its wholeness and stability - we exchanged a few thoughts before it sent me on my way, for there was more for us to seek.
And up high where you all seem impossible, we calmed the chill - the shakes, and replaced them with liquid stillness and imagined what we could be somewhere out there, up there, down there. But together.
And when we could ride no more, we crept in darkness, hushed and safely hidden, dimmed light called us in. A room made for gentle voices, no others could get in. A cocoon of white softness and heavy eyes but a sigh of peace each, sailed across promising pillows. A hot shower shifted time and space and the swelling of hearts under its deep healing, almost prompted a tear.
We'd found our spot, our nook to exist and dissappear in. And in breaking light after dreams of home, I'd realised that it's not somewhere out there, up there or down there but in us. Just us.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
No, don't worry, this isn't a cry out for help. On Friday I was awarded a certificate in Aromatherapy Massage; another qualification to add to the others. Another tool in my belt to becoming an Holistic Therapist. I enrolled myself on this course because, well, quite frankly, I was craving it. Every now and then (usually every year) I get a desire to learn another therapy, go to a workshop or get involved in a ceremony like the sweat lodge I did in Arizona. I love to learn and I think I'll be a student for the rest of my life. I used to think that I was a "Jack of all trades and a master of none" but quite frankly, I'd much rather know a little bit about everything than be an expert in one particular thing. It's all part of my aim to gel together everything I've learned and qualified in and produce an all-rounded practice. So far I've got my BA in Creative Writing, my diploma in Herbalism, my practitioner's certificate in Colour Therapy and Angelic Reiki and now the Aromatherapy Massage. I'm already thinking about what's next...
I've never set myself up as a therapist before because I never had a space to practice from, didn't have enough money to start up with and was planning to travel first but the time is coming very soon for me to start helping people to balance their bodies, hearts and minds. For me, alternative therapies have done wonders for my own personal healing and growth. The Angelic Reiki atunements I received, working with colour, meditation, drinking herbal teas, using essential oils in candles and burners, doing yoga and going through a year of energy bodywork treatments has made me almost a brand new person - no scratch that, it has cleared out my negative emotions and the stagnant energy in my body that had sat there for years. It brought my mind, body and spirit closer in alignment. So not a brand new person but a stronger and an improved version of myself.
So, I want to facilitate this for others. I've got lots of ideas and projects that I want to get started on and a website is on the cards very soon. I'm open to collaboration projects in terms of running workshops so I'll be pulling in all my resources and getting anyone who's keen to get involved. When I'm back from Bali, I'll be looking to offer poetry workshops, painting mandala sessions, meditation classes, making natural remedies and cosmetics workshops and running Native American influenced groupwork and healings as well as being available for massages, aura cleansings, chakra balancing and reiki treatments so if you fancy any of that, please let me know. It'll be full of warmth, comfort and joy, I promise you!