celebrating the feminine

Late one Saturday evening  a young man, recently paralysed and rendered mute in an accident, is at the wedding reception  of a relative. A young woman, name and details unknown to him, is sitting on his lap. She’s stroking his face; kissing; crying; saying things to which he cannot respond. She’s more than a little […]

celebrating mid life

  This poem by Fleur Adcock is for all the women who, like me, are on the “darker side” of forty. She reminds us that there is more to beauty than flawless skin, and that the more we choose how we want to be in the world and how we want to live our lives, […]

Taking the plunge – Facing the fear.

Do you know that something in your life needs to change, but you either don’t know how to start or where to start , or you are too afraid of where starting may take you? In attempting an answer, I turn to David Whyte. This time from the opening stanza of his poem, Start Close […]

An ordinary life, with extraordinary moments.

What will be your extraordinary moment today? Walking up the steep hill close to my home, I snake-ease the muscles in my neck to relieve the tension that has been building all day. Just ahead of me, trudging up the hill, is a boy who is about nine-years-old. With his fawn-coloured curly hair, big ears […]

Are you tired of the hectic pace of your life?

In his book Stoep Zen,  Antony Osler writes much about the importance of being in the present moment. I love the following words: “If we pay attention and live from our belly – without the habitual veil of thinking that stands between us and our experience – then whatever we see, hear, touch or smell […]

You do not have to be good …

 How’s that for the first line of a poem? Probably not a line you would like to share, out of context, with your children or teenagers. But it’s a radical statement. Mary Oliver, the poet, isn’t exhorting us to be bad. She’s encouraging us to be authentic; to be self-accepting and forgiving; to believe that we […]

Fire up your creativity

Do you feel as though your creativity has dried up and that you will never write another story or poem; never paint or sink your fingers into clay again? There is  good news. Your creativity has not disappeared. You are probably just exhausted from trying to be all things to all people; depleted by the buzyness […]

Surrender or Control?

Knowing how difficult it is for many of us to make significant changes, I have enormous admiration for the easeful way in which other forms of life surrender to changes in their external world. Recently, on a retreat at Solitude, in the Midlands, I watched an autumn leaf falling to the ground . And I thought about how easily she submitted […]