Showing posts from 2013

On Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity {Melody Beattie}
Gratitude means to be thankful that your eyes open each day, that you have health, food, water, shelter and the love of friends and family. It means acknowledging everything that you receive. Gratitude shifts your focus from lack to abundance, and turns what we have into not just enough, but with excess to share with others.

This week I am reminded of how much I had to feel grateful for; first and foremost for life. And this morning I received the sad news that my good friend Ian, who had been a constant and committed champion of my work with young people, had died. Although inevitable, and in Ian's case expected, death is still shocking and chastening. It is also a time to celebrate a life well lived. Blogpost recounts the discovery tha…

Challenging Choices

I am prompted to post about ‘choices’ today because of a friend who is faced with a ‘do’ or ‘die’ situation, metaphorically speaking of course.  But it does feel like a choice between a kind of ‘death in life’ existence, or experiencing the turbulent but fullness of life with its attendant highs and lows, joy and sadness.
I have to remind him that even birth itself is a struggle. The alternative is to remain in that womb~like place, to be stillborn, to never experience the fullness of being and living.However one looks at it, to live is to take personal responsibility for one’s health and wellbeing – emotional, psychological and physical –and also for the consequences of one’s action.
Some of us may be faced with an intolerable situation such as the daily management of suffering and distress, whether that pain is emotional and psychological, or coping with the indignities and infirmities that comes with a physical illness and/or old age. In the face of suffering the unspeakable indignit…

Working with Archetypes:Q&A

"Leaving home” means stepping out of your comfort zone and following a long held dream such as starting your own business or community enterprise. Alternatively, like me, you may simply wish to spend time in the desert, talking to scorpions with Lench Archuleta, wise sage of the Yaqi Nation. Would you be surprised to know that four key archetypes play a significant role in our ability and willingness to make that journey?
                               ARCHETYPES AND SELF KNOWLEDGE This one-day seminar is the next step in discovering more about your true self. It will take your understanding of how you operate in the world, to a deeper level. You will:
•Uncover more about how your specific patterns of behaviour influence, inspire and yes, even dictate your life. •Gain greater insight into your responses to yourself, others and in the world
What exactly is an archetype? This is a typical or habitual pattern of behaviour that is replicated and …

The Symbolic Language of Dreams

Following my ‘caring for Margaret Thatcher’ dream, and a friend recounting her ‘one~eyed cat’ dream, I find myself returning to the world of dreams, ‘the highway to the soul’ according to Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Dreams speak healing or guiding truths through universal (or archetypal) images.
A dream is that extraordinary place where two worlds meet – conscious and unconscious; where all that is in us but unknown to us is revealed. Desirous of intimate relationship, the soul comes calling overflowing with love and healing and our dreams, perfect in their integrity, invite us to engage with its mysteries.
Like Rorschach (inkblots) tests, our dreams invite us to associate the images presented – animal, vegetable, mineral – to what we are currently thinking about, feeling and doing; and in relationship to those with whom we are currently interacting –physically, mentally and emotionally.
One of the two hemispheres of the brain is always dominant. The right brain is responsible for t…

Masculine and Feminine Power

After venturing on to the battlement of eagles and bears, bulldogs and roosters (see post Eagle and the Bear 14 Sept) and weapons of mass destruction – illustrative of aggressive ‘masculine power’, it’s time to return to a place where I feel more at home, the engagement with 'feminine or soul power’.
Just in case I want to dwell in that world too long, a world where we are bent on “controlling” outcomes, a dream alerts me to the fact that I have gone off track. I dreamt I had become a carer for Mrs Thatcher who had apparently awakened from the dead; I am sorely irritated by this! Apart from anything else, it tells me that it’s time to move away from a situation where I am engaging with and hanging out in a place that is about controlling outcomes. I have left that world far behind and to resurrect that part of me is not in my best interest.
‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ power in the sense that I am using it here is less descriptive of gender~based behaviour and more concerned with a pa…

Eagle and the Bear

Can you imagine that those two old Cold War adversaries Eagle (or is it hawk) and Bear (recently morphed into a dove) are sitting down together right now to talk about peace in our time. What the hell is going on?
Thank goodness for Wallace, representing the Bulldogs; had it not been for his intervention, much of Damascus would have been reduced to rubble by now. Who is Wallace did you say? If you don’t know, then you’ll just have to use your powers of deduction and observation to work it out. Here’s a clue.

If Wallace's bruv, the boy David, had been in the hot seat and bolstered by his mate Tone, you can be sure we would be watching the fallout from this stage in the march towards achieving Tone’s stated intent to ‘remake the Middle East’. Thank god he was seen off the premises.
And what a ripple effect Wallace's stance has had. It will go down in history as his finest hour, even if the outcome was an unintended consequence. Even the leader of the Greens commented on the impac…

Archetypes and Self~Knowledge

In a couple of weeks I am embarking on a series of 2~hour ‘taster’ workshops hosted by Jasmine Street Creative Lab at The Granary, Ice House Quarter, Abbey Road, Barking.[1] As I put my mind to the content of the workshops I find myself alert for and responding to the rhythms of these ingrained patterns of behaviour as they communicate via people’s vocal chords.

A voice on the telephone speaks of the saboteur inherent in each of us. This person is on the verge of venturing out from a comfort zone into the big wide world to confront the unknown. She speaks of it in terms of ‘facing her fear’ ~ the saboteur. Most of us know this feeling, it creeps up in the context of daily activity – going for a job interview, the first date with someone new, your first public speaking experience. Anxiety and a level of fear grip the pit of your stomach.
I once asked someone how he felt at the point of standing up in the House of Lords for the first time to make his ‘maiden’ speech. A polished public spe…

What is the Imaginal Realm

Yesterday I watched an amazing movie called The House of Cards – not the BBC’s political box set trilogy, reengineered by Kevin Spacey for an American audience. This is an old (1993) movie starring Kathleen Turner and Tommy Lee Jones.  It brought me back to the theme of mental health and the differently abled.  It underlined how we tend to be in the world, afraid of what we do not understand.

In the movie the father of a young child dies and she is told that he has gone to the moon. This sends the child into trauma, which forces her into the imaginal realm where her consciousness expands and she can do extraordinary things. It also means that she is not in an ‘attachment’ relationship with the physical world. But that makes her differently abled or autistic as she is labelled by a psychiatrist who then tries to extricate her from the family home, in order to 'normalize' her. 

Why is it so difficult to co~exist with those who are differently abled and who, in many cases, are more…

Stopped on "Sus"

Technicians with a Polish theatre group putting on a show at a local London venue were working late into the evening one day last week, getting the performance space prepared when someone inadvertently set off the burglar alarm.

This of course triggered an alert at the local police station and a cop duly turned up to see what was going on. The Curator for the performance noted that the response of one of the Poles was quite telling; the appearance of a policeman seemed to invoke distress and a little fear. That probably says something about his memory of Polish history. 
I have no doubt that there are at least one or two in the Police ‘Service’ (not ‘Force’) in this country who would probably enjoy being feared. But if the police are really there to ‘protect and serve’, and need ‘intelligence’ to do this effectively, then being ‘feared’ does not really work.
Even as a woman, albeit a black one, I have so many horror stories of growing up with the Police ‘Force’ in South London during th…

What is Community?

Having led a very solitary life – by necessity, design and preference – over the last nearly 6~years, I found myself venturing into full on and in my face “community” over the last three weeks.

First I had a holiday~in~the~community in rural Devon, Southern England, where the central attraction of daily life was the pub, especially on quiz night and accessed after dark by torch light. The Tesco, or is it Sainsbury’s, van will bring your shopping to the end of the lane and you can just back~up the car boot. Fresh farm produce is up the road. Everybody knows everyone else’s business intimately, and can give you chapter and verse. The annual highlight is the village fete.

Living in the hamlets of Devon I was ‘in’ the community ~ which seemed welcoming and is probably 'tolerant' ~ but was not ‘part’ of it. The moors provided respite from both 'community' and the usual touristy attractions.
By contrast, over the last six days I have been observing and participating ‘in commun…