Monday, 21 June 2010

I am...

Lis’s weekly reflections seem to work in unison with my thought processes. Who am I? is a question currently very close to my heart. Some of the statements below I believe, others I am writing to make them true. I have been thinking really intensely about rewriting the stories that form my life, in order to give them more positive,more dynamic endings and thus, the following simple statements are part of this quest:

Who am I?

I am a creative explorer, a magpie collecting sparkling tools for her nest.

I am an observer, noting detail, seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

I am a teacher, infusing others with spirit and knowledge.

I am a warm hearted giver, sharing my heart and soul without limits.

I am a peace seeker, welcoming calm and forgiveness into the fibres of my being.

I am a listener, soaking up stories deep within.

I am an energy discoverer, glowing, singing, dancing with the wind.

I am a questioner, always hungry to learn and understand.

I am a writer, pouring out words to make sense of my world.

I am a truth speaker, unearthing my voice, giving it light.

I am a supporter, I am roots, I am a rock.

I am a nature lover, fiercely protective, a part of an awe inspiring web.

I am a business adventurer, offering a unique service to the world.

I am a nourisher, my ingredients rich and seasoned with love.

I am a labourer, putting every ounce of my being into this lifetime.

I am a work in progress.

I am this life.

The last sentence links in with a piece of art I created at the weekend. I explored what I imagine my inner sage/wise woman would look :

She is confident with a powerful lion's mane, the colour of nature is evident in her wings. The triquetra embellished on her wings is a symbol of wisdom of the stages of life as well as the connection of mind, body and spirit. She has stars in her hair for she knows that she aims for them in everything she does, they also stand for the sparkle of imagination. The moon and sun on her cheeks remind her that she is a valuable part of a greater picture. She wears a heart as love is her core and she has her arms stretched wide to welcome and nurture. I found the quote in Hand Wash Cold by Karen Maezen Miller (, which I strongly recommend reading, as she is one of the wisest women I have come across.

Friday, 11 June 2010


This week Lis asks:
Organic growth - what would that look like for you?

The older I become the more interested I become in nurturing myself. The more I nurture the artist, photographer and writer inside, the longer and more complex the adventures seems to become. I used to simply see an end product that I would plow into full steam ahead, sometimes this would work if I was lucky, but other times I would find myself lacking, the end result feeling forced and certainly not as rich nor as wonderful as I imagined it to be. I expected it all to appear like that magic beanstalk!

When it comes to myself I am by nature an impatient person, always wanting everything done instantly and indeed perfectly. I have such high expectations of myself, that I think I should have all those tools I need to instantly create that amazing piece of artwork, to take the stunning shot that leaves others in awe, to write that book/poem/essay that will be treasured for years to come. I am learning that I am human, that whilst creativity comes naturally to me, I have to take the time to gather the tools I need to express myself. Like a mantra I need to repeat to myself that talents needs time and energy to grow and that this also involves being wholly committed and managing to be mindful in my learning process. I am creating a small vegetable patch for the first time this year, and those tiny seeds that I started with are teaching me exactly this lesson. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, I had to research and construct something which dovetailed with my daily life and my needs. It is a work in progress and I have to keep adding to my knowledge. I make mistakes and not everything is as successful as I would wish, but I am creating something slowly, mindfully, I am nurturing a skill to enrich my life and creating something which deeply reflects a part of myself.

The funny thing is that with others, and certainly with the children I teach, I consider myself in having that ability to nurture; I give them time, patience, safety to grow; I infuse them with the knowledge and skills they need to blossom. I never expect perfection, only to tease out the best the child has within them and to support them wholeheartedly in their adventures into adulthood.

On my creative journey I often compare myself to the amazing work and skills of others. I then sometimes feel unworthy, my own efforts lacking in comparison. That inner critic steps in and whispers that maybe I shouldn’t try at all as it will never be as beautiful/interesting/inspiring as the work of those I admire so greatly. This leads to then asking myself if I am charlatan. I am learning to listen to this voice in a different light. Having taken several creative e courses in the last months I can see a shift in my perspective at times; I am beginning to see that by gathering the work and knowledge of others I can inspire my own, magical creative process. Collecting the beauty and wisdom of others has such an important purpose - to help me find that unique style within myself, for each artist/writer is indeed unique. What I have inside is deep, personal and part of me, what I have to offer is unique. By exploring the work of others I am exploring my own creativity, nurturing it, learning to express myself. This exploration is a long, sometimes frustrating, sometimes heavenly journey. The riches lie in this adventure and not always in the result that I push myself so hard for. I must grasp that intention to nurture, which I apply in my teaching role, to now teach that creative goddess within.

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 6 June 2010


As my grandmother knows of my love for gardening, she recently sent me a rather wonderful piece of poetry with a dandelion as its subject ( it is by Helmut Herberg and called Psalm einer Pusteblume). I am only going to summarize its main points, as the original is in German and I really wanted to finish this post today. I had never considered how many lessons we can learn from this humble yet amazing flower.

The poem begins with a listing of all the characteristics a dandelion doesn’t have: It doesn’t have the delicate scent of the rose, nor does it bear fruit. It isn’t beautiful, therefore it isn’t used in bouquets, isn’t admired and given pride of place in florists, isn’t used as a muse in poetry, isn’t used in a romantic love song. Instead it is classified as a weed, it isn’t protected and indeed is sought out to be removed. However, we should think twice because:

A dandelion is not ashamed of itself and doesn’t feel insignificant just because others cannot see its true beauty straight away.
A dandelion doesn’t let itself be fenced in nor controlled, indeed it is able to live everywhere, as itself, speaking its own truth. It is therefore never short of a real home.
A dandelion is loved and acknowledged by children, they love to blow it seeds on further adventures.
A dandelion searches for closeness, to children and to animals, it never feels lonely and unwanted.
A dandelion is, if you look closely, a tiny sun, full of light, colour and warmth.
A dandelion nourishes freely, giving to all creatures who seek it, it never discriminates.
A dandelion heals, its humble nature holds such medicine inside.
A dandelion has strong roots, it isn’t easily removed for its roots run deep.
A dandelion has such a strong connection to nature, it doesn’t survive in artificial circumstances but thrives on the four elements.
A dandelion welcomes change, it undergoes such awe inspiring transformation. It can let go of the past as well as the present. It doesn't’ resist, instead it welcomes its new life.
A dandelion has patience, it undergoes transformation slowly, guided by the sun, showing such trust.
A dandelion welcomes the wind, even though it is a wind of change and uncertainty. A dandelion therefore has faith in the good.

And so, a dandelion is a symbol of such happiness if we only look closely and take the time to ponder.