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emerge, Sacred Feminine, whimsy, Wild Woman

to the edge

October 10, 2010

“I don’t think most people go to the edge of anything.” – Caroline Myss



A little while ago I accidentally went alone to an Enchanted Palace.  When I set off in the morning on a solitary adventure, I had no idea that it would take a fairy tale to wake this sleeping beauty.

I have often been told that my expectations are too high.  When your expectations are too high you are inevitably disappointed when the reality does not live up to them.  Arriving at the palace on this day, however, I had no expectations.  I had made the decision to spend the day following whispers and as I got on the tube at Paddington Station, I noticed the poster for the exhibition at Kensington Palace.  As a notice counts as a whisper, that’s where I decided to go next.

The exhibition was absolutely charming, but all I could think as I wandered through the rooms was that I wanted more.  Bigger, more magical, more whimsical, more intriguing possibilities filled my imagination.  They had given me a fairy tale, but I wanted to add fairy dust.  I wanted to emerge from the other side with twigs in my hair and feet sore from dancing, with a whiff of spices tangled in my clothes and a faraway look in my eye.

Standing in the park afterward I realized that it’s not that my expectations are too high, it’s that my perception of the possibilities is enormous.  There, beside a lake in London, the ‘aha’ hit me: however big my belief in shining possibilities, there is the necessary knowledge of dark ones.  One thrills and the other frightens, so I have spent much of my adult life wishing for one but preparing instead for the other and ending up somewhere in the middle.  I have tried to want less fairy dust, but instead of being happier I ended up with cobwebs.

Blinders slipping, feet planted, hair tangled, I am getting closer and closer to the edge.  I can feel it coming.  Sacred and feminine have been showing themselves to me bit by bit, and I know things are changing.  I am no longer afraid of disappointment because I know that I am a grown up and that the magic is in my control.  I am no longer interested in becoming a princess or living happily ever after: I want more.

(A lot more.)


Book Friends, The Seeker, whimsy

Collect Yourself

August 10, 2010

“I can’t remember the last time I really worried about being appealing… it was a really long time ago.” – Meryl Streep


vision boardingI am in the middle of a life-long love affair with books.  As I type, I am surrounded by a riotous bookshelf, a shorter cubby-hole of precious volumes, and at least three piles of books on the floor of my office that have not yet found permanent homes.  I’m so obsessed that my husband had to intervene a few years ago when the postman started making cracks about us keeping Amazon afloat.

There is one book, however, that I value above all others, and it is one that I have created myself.  In 1995 I read the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  This book inspired me to start keeping an illustrated journal – really a massive, ongoing vision board – and I have kept at it for 15 years.  In some ways it is a lovely reminder of who I have been, but lately it has had a well-needed edit.  While gleefully ripping things out or covering things up that no longer represent who I am or where I want to be, I’ve been engaged in an unusual visualization.  As I tear out the photos of the women I no longer want to imitate and add photos full of colour and juice and vibrancy, I am claiming the woman that I have become, and it feels good.

Colour, bookshelves, teacups, rooms with floorboards instead of carpets, artist studios, rustic kitchens, flowers, quotes, quirks, peace, whimsy, treehouses, laughter, honesty and beauty – that is what my book is full of.  If I were to write a role profile to fill the position of the best me there is, it would look pretty much like the contents of this journal.  I’ve read in at least a dozen places that one of the best ways to know yourself is to collect what you love.  Well, I don’t know much for sure, but I can agree with that prescription.  All you need is an empty book, magazines, scissors and glue and your life will change.

Collect what you love and understanding will follow.  I promise.