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Intention

Yesterday I sat in the company of my 19 month old grand-daughter as she spent most of the morning fixated on exploring water in a cup. In her water bottle, my cup and her sippy cup it was all water; but somehow the water in my cup held the most appeal. The appeal was so great she offered me the exchange: held out her water bottle to me and reached for my cup. The end result was a lot of water everywhere when we took the exchange outside and I gave her space to play. She wanted the best cup for herself perhaps.

Hanging with her; chatting, commentating her actions and contributing water to the moment; gave me an opportunity to consider again the messiness of self-discovery. I could have stopped her but where would the understanding come from for her. She needed to experiment and experience the consequences of her decision to pour and not pour. Right down to the feel of the water in the cup, she played with it all. At one stage she deconstructed the lidded cups and tried to put them together in different ways.

I could have told her about it all but a lack of shared language skills and life understandings precluded a cohesive meaning being understood. Granny has a few more words than grand-girl. Granny knows that the straw from the water bottle lid won’t work with the sippy cup but it didn’t matter. She was imaging it was possible and showing me she understood that water came up through the straw to the mouth piece. This fact and that wearing the water on a cold day was just fun. I never did get my cup back.

The big life lesson. We all need to explore and find what we know when it is our time to know it. It is okay to experiment, find similarities and explore differences but the knowing soul is different in all of us. In the same way that it was unhelpful to want to short cut grand-girl’s experiment with my knowledge so it is unhelpful to hold others back who are down the road from us. Sameness may not be helpful when it comes to the gaining of wisdom, particularly self-wisdom.

Growing in wisdom is messy and sometimes uncontrolled. It’s the intention of growing through an experience rather than growing into someone else’s idea of what it should or could be; that makes all the difference. Wisdom that serves us is the wisdom that has been experienced and in a sense proven to us by ourselves. (Having said that, others do know tings we don’t and it is Ok to listen to them but never to intentionally turn out personal knowledge and responsibility over to them)

This week there is emotion on the streets and in the airwaves. The emotion has a voice that can sound like judgement to some, call to arms to other and still others hear painful lament. It is evidence that something is happening and ides of belonging and respect are being explored. As members of ‘tribes’ or culture groups some of our birth and some of our choosing there is a sense of being asked to decide what is absolutely correct from polar opposite views.

In the street the other day I was asked to justify the view points and actions of people who are protesting by a blustering man who was all puffed up with fear and anger (my assumption from the signs available to me, he might not agree). He didn’t seem satisfied with my answer that every human regardless of ‘tribe’ or ‘belief’ deserved to live respected, safe and well. If that was happening thoughtlessly or intentionally, then it was a problem which required a solution, not violence of heart or hand.

Skin colour makes it obvious that prejudicial actions happen. Even more obvious when it is shared in pictures across all the media sources available. I don’t know what that story feels like because it has not been my experience: to be treated badly because my skin is the wrong colour. I can not tell that story from a person perspective but I can see it from the metaphor of a small child playing with cups.

Dreams, hopes, human hearts exist in billions of forms. All of those human hearts want to be alive because their body is still breathing and blood is still circulating in it. If humans were merely animals as breathing implies then they would do what animals do without thought for the consequences of their actions on others. There are many who say we are no better than that anyway, look at the media. Maybe they are right, but maybe it isn’t that simple.

Belonging and the impact of that for each human is linked to health and well-being. Just because the form that holds that need is different doesn’t change the heart’s desire to be fully human in a connected and welcoming society. Joshua Greene in Moral Tribes spends a long time explaining and asking questions about what is possible for all members of all tribes to agree on so we could be a morally unified mass of humans on the planet. He came to no satisfying answer except to say that everyone is looking for the same thing in the end.

Potentially that may be the key. Intention! Intention to try and find a way. intention to listen and try to understand. Intention to hear what is being said from the speaker’s point of view not an attack on one’s own and find a shared understanding. Intention to see if parts that have never before been tried together can work or be adapted. Intention to respect with loving concern….. Intention for good to come out of what is loud, painful and at times scary to behold.

Possibility can allow that adults could be as innocently intent as a 19 month old trying to reshape the best way to drink water.

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‘Towards’ is here and ready for sale

It’s taken several years of journaling in the morning at my favourite coffee places. An activity which I enjoyed as for a little while before work I got to remember that every minute not working is a holiday. In that holiday time I wrote and drew mostly quietly. Sometimes there were conversations that what I was doing triggered and sometimes they grew simply from ‘hi’ or a comment about the day.

The title ‘Towards,’ happened a long time after I had thought about life or nothing at all, and drawn pictures which made me happy. It came from a folder on my computer in which I had dozens of first chapters for books. All those good ideas, that are always best when the idea is fresh and never seemed to lead to a complete project. Towards something. I wrestled with whether this was so but in the end just left it as one word.

Towards is about the part of being in which we realise we know something but don’t know or understand everything yet. I am unsure if we ever really arrive anywhere or each experience is simply adding towards the big picture we would like to master.

As I played with ideas and eventually talked with an editor to help me conceptualise what this would be in book form, the notion of an illustrated shared space came to mind. I had loved the blank pages in ‘When Women Were Birds,’ and how they allowed me to write into the story in my mind without the author dictating what I would find in her words. The gift of silence in a book.

Silence was the gift of writing and drawing over coffee. Hush from the impending day of responsibility. that is one of the reasons I wanted to put space into the pages. There are questions and leading statements too. I don’t tend to think in questions until after an idea arrives. Questions are included because not everything is certain.

So here it is: Towards. I have published it to share it and allow any good that can come from its existence to do so.

I hope you make a choice to bless yourself with time spent inside this book. When you do there is a Facebook page waiting for your posts of the choices you are allowing yourself to make for you. Blessings and peace.

Sandy.

Want to know more about the book? Then simply click on the link. Towards

Sometimes reading a book or looking at a picture might spur you to want to create something different in your life. When this happens for you and you want someone like me to help you explore the life yet to be lived, life coaching could be the choice you make for yourself. Coaching

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Traveller

Traveller. The image at the top of the page, appeared on a weekend of painting retreat with a group of like minded ladies and a gifted artist who was teaching us. She appeared largely because I had been writing her story for a few months.

Her name is Traveller because in the words of the story that was who she became as she followed the impulse to walk out through the gate and keep going. She heralded the actual allowing of my life becoming different to what it had been. It was necessary. my inner being knew it but my stubborn mind had taken some convincing. It needed to almost break apart before my body and heart could get my attention.

Traveller’s words came in purple…not black on white. Purple was needed as Black linked me to the mode of work. Work was where I learned to type and type reports was how my hands linked to my brain. It’s different now. I am different now. Finding out what allowing life rather than finding life means for me.

Allowing has always been easy in a creative context. If people ask me about where my inspiration comes from I don’t have an easy answer because it is this subconscious reaction to holding a pencil or having paint in my hand. The inner voice that didn’t require words to express and idea or struggle with an image until….. Until is the important word there. Until defines when it is finished. I’m not even sure Traveller’s story is finished I just started writing until I ran out of words. I think I am close to that point.

She felt soft and wise to write. The best parts of myself and my wisdom written down in Purple.

I think there are times for everyone when we reach the point of ‘until’ and then we allow an end or a beginning or a corner to signal a change. Change isn’t actually hard. We do it all the time but there are seminal life moments that we move towards. In the same way the Earth and the Sun slide through space following a path that seems to dictate that they do, there are times in our lives when we do a similar thing. We keep moving toward the thing we need to find.

The Colours of You

A gather of local ladies came together on Sunday to re-visit or visit for the first time, the peaceful, mental quiet of colouring in for themselves. It has been about 5 years since I ran a colouring group. It was back when scientists were talking about the benefits of it for mental and emotional well-being. It’s still all true by the way.

The ladies reported enjoying the experience, unaware time flew past as they simply coloured and chatted as they wanted to. That is the other nice thing about coming together in a group to do it: people forget to be self-conscious with the people around them.

I am always astounded by the tranquility that arrives and how everyone settles into long periods of quiet and focus without even trying. Meditative calm and internal peaceful feelings can be that easy to find.

‘Aha’ moments occurred as ladies realised that lines only looked coloured over when they were by themselves. When the page was coloured around it, the ‘transgressions’ were simply part of the whole and somehow belonged. Ladies chose images that somehow matched where they found themselves right now. We found out at the end when I described what the feeling and idea that happened when I was drawing each of the images.

It really can be that simple.

My Aha for the day was to deal with the look of myself in the videos the coordinator took and shared. It is what it is.

Thanks go to Taylor of the Women of Woodford and surrounds for organising the event and sharing it among her group. Such a wonderful way to spend a rainy Spring morning in Woodford.

Visit my webpage. Maybe life coaching is for you or even just buy a book. If you live outside Australia please access my books via online booksellers. inside Australia I am able to handle your order.

Happy Day

Sandy

What to do with a vision…..

Vision Board made 01.08.2020

I have been completing a research project for a Life Coaching certification program I am doing. I chose to look at arts based supports for the coaching process or if an arts/creative process could be a self coaching tool. I didn’t come away with a clear answer but the thing I know for myself that diving in without thinking but with clear intention causes images to appear. Understanding them can come later, sometimes much later.

The thing is what do you do with a vision board? Most people I have encountered over a number of years who advocate them tell you to put it in a prominent place and look at it frequently and ….. I can mostly understand the and but for many people it is a mystery around how the vision board becomes reality in their world. In the same way that many folk respond when they are asked to journal. So frequently the response I hear is: ‘I don’t know what to write.’ (that can be another blog, as you may have figured out I am prone to using lots of words)

My understanding of a vision board is that it is like a download of what it is the maker wants to see, feel and have in their life. A set of goals in their most rudimentary form. The thing is that goals, actions and values can get really mixed up on a board. Especially one like mine that was very responsive simply to what I found in the magazines that appealed to me and I randomly glued on. Well it would be easy to think that, it is visually cluttered with lots of colours, lines and layers.

Let me tell you what I see this week. The tree is my metaphor for living so I am the tree all adorned in flowers with the curious addition of the book. The rocks were pleasing to me to hold the tree up but a good foundation in life: family, caring relationships, work, resources…… are all those things. The earth holds and feeds the tree so they stand for the things which do that in my life that keep me upright. Some of my values will fall in there.

the corner of my vision board spoke loudly
page from my journal

The moth on the thistle surprised me when I found it in a random magazine. It reminded me of the day I recount in my book, Towards (p106) when I tell of falling in the mud on a track outside Melrose in Scotland and looking up to the ground in front of me, I saw a tiny butterfly on an equally tiny thistle flower. It’s beauty existed whether I saw it or not. It didn’t exist for me, this moment in creation was just the natural order of things, but that day it touched me very deeply and the lesson of flourishing as self rose within. I included it as a reminder that lessons of the past are always present. I especially included it as anything I create within my life needs to include me, and is the natural for me. If it doesn’t feel like that I need to think carefully.

The thing is there are so many of those moments in this board. It’s nice as a blessing point but it can be the source of reasons to find the dream and write the story (in my journal). I was given at the afternoon I went to, a book that I could record my thinking in, so I decided this should be the place where I continued to create and write the story of the board and desires it contained.

In the journal I am writing about what comes up but I have reached the place about what comes next. What I wish and dream of. The heart’s desires that have not been lived yet. I can clinically make a list, which I might or I can write them as a story to myself about what it could look, feel and be like. That is what we do in a visualisation process it is just using all of the senses to do it.

So what will you do with your vision board? Would you like help to turn what you hope for and envision for your purpose of your board to get turned into real life. You have recorded intention and decide what you really are saying to yourself in the images you have chosen. Then ….. there is the option to turn that knowledge into goals with scaffolding around them so you can take action to turn your intention into something real.

Towards life is the only direction

Sandy

Consider a tree

Dreaming through the Tree of Life….
Sometimes the things around us give us clues to ways to look into life and see more than we thought could be there. Recently I did a live video on my FaceBook page: Towards about how I use the lessons of a tree to allow thoughts and images to what I want or need to find. Here it is for you to watch. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Towards-100284768329442

Sometimes it is hard looking for the right words and we go round in circles in our thoughts…. thinking things that sound the same no matter how many ways we look at them. A tree on the other hand may or may not have thought but one thing we know for certain a tree is just what its DNA calls for it to be. So many parts of living have to happen for it to grow from year to year and yet it does. It never remains exactly the same as it was or it will be. I’m not sure why we think we have to be never changing when every moment of living asks us to be in it and respond to it.

So a tree is my thing. If I am a little lost or feel something I need to understand and don’t know where to start, I draw a tree. If I want to dream a dream about my life I begin with a tree and see what becomes among its branches and where it is placed. Images make it easier for me to access that information. Perhaps it is the same for you. The knowing I have arrived at is that being in flow allows me to open the options of creative pathways and so often what I know simply floats to the surface and can be seen easily.

Understanding what I see may take longer but once it is seen an inner truth will be understood. It is like an alchemy of time and events but the right people and situations arise to shine a light on that image and give it a voice.

If you’d like to know more about what has come out of the pencil and time spent in flow for me please check out my books. They have space for you to explore what you think too.

This is the tree which arrived while I was working through the life chat video ideas. Accepting and allowing the processes of life and becoming a creation that is rather lovely in the end. That’s a fair life goal without delving any further. But there is always more.

Happy Day, Sandy

A New Life or……

The time is coming when life is going to be different to how it has been. The current coronavirus shut-in is aside, a blip in history that will be a gift for some and something else for others. The question potentially isn’t how will we survive months of being home. (That sounds like my life most weeks anyway) it should be what will we discover about ourselves and what really matters as time passes and we get used to how we are being asked to live.

Lots of people are hoping for an awakening of self and a growing mindset of care will develop out of this time. For some it will. BUT every day is an opportunity for new to occur and awakening to kindness to happen, with or without a virus. It is really a choice of how we pay attention in our lives.

I was at the local post office the other day to send off a wad of paper for some assessment pieces in a course I have been doing. We were keeping our respectful distance with people wearing plastic gloves and surgical face masks to mail letters and collect parcels. In this socially distant world it occurred to me people are doing what they have been asked to do. To consider the implication of their actions on other people.

This mindful moment of consideration that is happening now is nice. I ask will it continue. Will everyday people on everyday continue to consider the implication of their actions on others when no one is telling them to. It’s what would be kind and loving of us to do. Many of us were raised to think that way…. some weren’t. Some choose not to. BUT.

If we are to spend months in distanced spaces from other people, what is the greater good that will come from it? In my life? In your Life? Who do I choose to be today?

New Moon

The new moon shows itself once a month. It is the same side that we see when the moon is full. We’d have to be space traveller to actually see the other side of the rock that doesn’t spin in space just hanging in Earth’s gravity. it has been attributed with all kinds of magic and mystery through centuries of wondering. The one I like the best is that it is the time for setting intentions.

Most people talk about the moon in their days when it is full and bright and seemingly encourages all kinds of wild and weird behaviour. Often it is the time when folk who believe so write lists of things they want to remove from their life and burn it in the night. It’s a good thing to know what no longer serves a good purpose in our lives but removing it is only part of the process for change. Those things had roles in our lives, they fulfilled patterns of behaviour or thought that we relied on. To change is a good thing, it is the purpose of living, to adapt and cause evolution of our beings in response to a world that always changes.

Like New Year’s resolution that trigger change for a day, a week or a month and then are forgotten, if only forgotten. Resolutions which are lamented are the breaking of which is mourned as failure. The don’t work because there is no intention of new behaviour in the place of the things we want to put down. The natural flow of water and life on this planet is for the void to become full.

New Moon is this time, when we know it is in the sky but we can’t see it without sunlight. The time for setting intentions and building from where we are. As gravity bound bodies it is perfectly sensible to build from where we stand rather than try and fill a void that might encompass us. Dark Moon is about hope and gratitude for what has been and what might be. The passing through ritual to allow ‘next’ to appear.

Ritual should allow us to consider what has been and where we are most positively. It is from where we are that we can build or move. If we are aiming for the void/unknown we still need the ability to know how to get there. Stating intention is only the beginning but it is the permission we need to allow ‘next’ or ‘other’ to begin to ‘become’ in our lives.

Dark Moon: The new moon of intention.

In reality it doesn’t matter what day you choose to make a resolution for something to be different in your life. Remember though if there is something you want to leave behind replace it with a new behaviour or thought to fill the void it will leave. Be prepared for the conscious effort it might take to make your intended goal to become a reality in your world. Choose your moment of New Moon in the dark of its presence and walk toward beginning with gratitude.

Happy Day

Sandy

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