Friday, 25 May 2012

Dear Wasp

I am terrified of wasps. TERRIFIED. A childhood of summer holidays in Bavaria, where there are wasps a plenty, has left me with too many memories of the excruciatingly painful stings. However, I am a nature lover and hate to kill anything living, and so I told myself in no uncertain terms that I needed to grow up and rescue the wasp that had found itself inside my house last week. Anyone watching me would have been most amused as I talked to it gently, wafting my arms carefully in the direction of the open windows. And I did it! It flew off quite merrily without aggression. And I wasn’t stung. Over the next few days three more wasps visited me in this way ( unless it was one the one wasp, which had become rather fond of me) , this is quite unusual for where I live. I concluded that wasp must be a messenger and began to trust in the research. Oh yes, I needed to hear these lessons:

Wasps stand for order and organisation. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am an organisation freak, my husband often shakes his head in wonder and disbelief in equal measures! When I let go too much of this part of me, things do tend to go in the shape of the pear and I find myself feeling lost and off centre. On the opposite end of the scale, when I have that sense of order, it is like I have the space to spread out, to explore. So dear wasps, thank you for telling me that in finding order there is also the opportunity for growth.

I had never really thought that the aggressive nature of wasps could have anything positive to teach me. But you know what, it has. When the aggression is in a protective capacity i.e. when it is to protect your territory, what you love and what you have worked hard for, then assertiveness is ok. I don’t mean meanness or violence by any means but I take it as a call to stand up for myself, to protect what I cherish and create. There have been a few times recently when I have been in the line of confrontation or unwillingly the centre of attention. Oh how I try to avoid confrontation.Oh how I avoid standing in the spotlight. In some of these situations I shied away, feeling an utter loss of personal power and to be blunt, I felt  rather upset. I find it incredibly difficult to understand how some people are incapable of respect when a difference in opinion occurs. However after the wasps, I gave myself a good talking to for I am an adult, I am able to stand up for what I believe in, in my many roles. And it works, even though it is totally nerve wrecking and a never ending process! 

Finding solutions
Having read all about how wasps make their nests using natural fibre and their own saliva , I am rather in awe of these creatures. Their house isn't a random mess either, it is all geometrically correct so that everyone has their place. Awesome. And so I ask myself, how good am I at constructing what I need physically? I am actually at my most mindful when I am making things, the words disappear and that wordless focus is replenishing and deep. Every time I garden I feel this way. Guaranteed. The nourishing dishes I am cooking these days make me feel the same. I feel this is a summer of making, with both feet planted firmly in my life.
(By the way I found a lot of wasp totem information on

Friday, 18 May 2012

My first ever video post

I have left this totally unedited, so I do apologise for the many erms and my dodgy camera finding skills at times. It is all in the practice I am sure. I feared that if I started editing, then the critical voices, which  live so abundantly in my head, would take over and I would be left with nothing. Also, on a braver note, I wanted to show the whole me, right here, right now :)

P.S. The book I mention is called Poetry Speaks Who I am. The  poem is Good Girl by Molly Peacock.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Time to catch up...

I’m plunging back into blogging after having been a little quiet in the websphere recently. There has been much going on behind the scenes, many blog posts worth I’m sure, but today I want to start by sharing a bit about how I have been working on nourishment recently (this is  a longer post so make sure you have a cup of something delicious ready as you settle down).

I’ve been taking a good hard look at my life, particularly my physical and emotional health. There was a turning point recently when I realised that I needed to take care of myself much more so than ever before and that this involved some serious changes to my lifestyle. To begin with I looked in great detail at the food I consume and how this serves me. A good friend recommended that I look seriously at eating more raw to help heal my body and give me some of the energy I have been seriously lacking. And so I ventured into my local organic supermarket for the first time and fell in love with the possibilities housed there. Opening up my mind to this way of eating meant I bought a spiraliser (what fun) and a blender to create green smoothies. I discovered the benefits of raw pollen, agave nectar and acai berry powder. I found the most amazing raw snack bars too. 

Through this natural goodness I have even lost some of that craving for sugars. Without realising I have found a fresh approach to creating meals and I am recognising inklings of enthusiasm when I am in the kitchen. I have so much to learn but I am honestly enjoying being a beginner on this food journey.

Connected to this quest of energy I have also been going to bed incredibly early. At first this seemed like a waste of hours to me but that is where my mindset changed also. I cannot continue measuring my days by how much I think I should achieve in them. And so each night I lie there, with the curtains still open so I can watch the sky from bed, listening to audio books ( usually cheesy murder mysteries) until I fall asleep. Add to this the purchase of a memory foam pillow, which is making a huge difference to my ability to sleep, and you have a much more peaceful bedtime routine. I am also listening much more to that need to rest in my everyday. There are days when I can hardly move because I have overdone things or because my body is simply exhausted. I used to carry on regardless, continuing to put the pressure on myself and soak in the pressures from others to continue. Slowly but surely this is changing. I will stop, I will say no. I will just lie down and allow my body to be. It isn’t always easy but I am becoming firmer.

Locket by Liz Lameroux

I’ve also been seeking nourishment for my heart and my spirit. After quite a bit of soul searching I am realising that I need to surround myself more with positive thinkers, and therefore I need to put some distance between myself and the more negative minded, stressed people in my life for a while. For I am sensitive to people’s energies, and take an awful lot upon myself in order to make them feel better and sometimes that energy just seeps in and influences the way I behave. This doesn’t mean ending friendships or believing that life is always hunky dory but it does mean not letting so much in. Searching out the positive wayfarers of my world is infectious and life affirming. I am stocking up on the good stuff.

In line with this I have been poeming until my heart’s content. I’ve  put together a whole stack of poetry books to lose myself in and I start each day with a poem, be it from my books or from the wonderful Writer’s Almanac, which sends a poem out daily by email.  Poetry speaks to me in such an intimate way; I had quite forgotten how understood, how empowered I feel when I read. And of course I have now caught the poem writing bug again and am even considering writing a collection of poems.

And to top off the feel good factor I have been spending time with those gorgeous nieces of mine again. My lovely Summer girl is life itself, with her bursting imagination and endless energy. She makes me really open my eyes to the world. And the younger one, Casey, is finally warming up to me, after crying for months when she sees me! Now there are plenty of cheeky grins and sly glances to take me in when she thinks I am not looking. She reminds me that the relationships that matter, take time and that patience is a practice worth the world.

I leave you with my Smudge cat, my feline teacher ( testing out the memory foam cushion).