To Fret or Not to Fret

Recently, while staying with my mother, I came across some writing by my grandmother, written when I was a child in the 60s, fretting about how her grandchildren would most probably die in war or of starvation and how much she worried for us all as the world seemed to offer nothing but danger.   I had not realised until then what a worrier she was.

One of my strongest memories of my mother was her overriding anxiety and fear for our safety every day – and yet how powerless she was to stop my brother and I from climbing the tallest trees and walking in the long grass barefoot (FULL of vipers!) or hurtling down rough roads on our bikes… the trips to hospital were a regular occurrence.

The other day I was helping out with my grandson who was unwell. It seemed like he was sick so much of the time with one thing or another. I saw how stricken my daughter was with worry, and how I worried, and how – in that moment – we were both seeing him as weak and not supported by life.  Dependent on a protection neither of us knew how to give him.

I realised that this has been passed down through the generations: this tendency to worry and to view our children as incapable, weak or not supported by life: and any capacity they have seen with amazement.   

I remembered my little girl Ruthie aged 6 running after me, her face in so much pain, BEGGING me not to worry about her.  I asked her, Do you feel it when I worry about you?  And her saying Yes, and I hate it!

I started to link all of this up.  How much I have worried about people all my life, just as my mother and grandmother did, and how I somehow felt it was my responsibility to protect them from pain.  And how I was not capable of doing that, because it was not actually my job!  And how, in that attempt to protect, I was not seeing them in their capacity and their strength, and somehow supported them to doubt their capacity – and perhaps even create a weakened dependency on my support.

This served to mask the underlying sense of my own lack of capacity, fostered by my mother and grandmothers’ worry for me, and deep conviction that I didn’t have what it took to thrive in my life. 

I saw how my grandson was in danger of growing up viewing himself as weak, in the reflection offered to him from us.  And I saw and how disempowering that is. 

I hate it when you worry about me.”

Years ago, I saw a wonderful documentary about the animal communicator Anna Breytenbach (I strongly recommend seeing or listening to her if you haven’t already).  What struck me was her saying – when you see an animal in captivity or who is being mistreated… what they need is your love and appreciation, not your pity.  This may be obvious, but it got me noticing how much I was crumpling with pity whenever I would see suffering animals – and how utterly unhelpful that was, both for myself and for them.

I see that to worry and fret about another is similar to having pity; it does not replenish, encourage, or imbue with the redemptive power of love, it diminishes.  It creates an imbalance and a separation.

So when I think of my mother, who is deep in another depression, or my grandchildren when they are not well – or what their future might be; or when I think of those who are ravaged by war or flooding, or those who are being abused, or the animals who are going extinct, I am called.  To drop the worry and the pity.  To breathe it all into my heart and keep breathing out love.  And with that an awareness that each of us has what it takes to meet the realities of our lives even when it doesn’t seem so.  I have needed to meet the parts of myself which are convinced they need rescuing, and those which think they must rescue others.  Meet their distress and anguish, and bring them home. Feel the pain of life without resistance.

This means keeping on coming back to an abiding presence which can and does meet each beleaguered worried part, which can and does reside in the heart and body – which responds creatively rather than acting from old – generations old – habit.

This little comment, I read in a novel today and it inspired me: “At my age you either fret all the time or not at all.  I have chosen the latter.”  I thought, yes, I will go with that.  And I will publish this because I feel like it, without fretting about whether it is good enough for anyone else!

Hide Self View


When you attend a zoom meeting, whether it is with one other person or a group, your own image appears in a box, the same size as the other boxes with all the other people in them.

This is a very unusual situation.  You get to see yourself as if you were not on the inside of yourself.  You get to see the changing expressions on your face as you speak, and all the things you focus on when seeing your own image.  Which, in my experience, is different to when I see others.  When I see others, I see the emotions on their faces.  I see their outer appearance; I see how age has worked its strange magic on them.  But most of all, I notice how much light shines through them, how much love, or ease of being.  I tend to see whether the door is open or closed to themselves.  I may not be invariably accurate in what I perceive, but these are the things I pick up on.  When I see my own image, on the other hand, I tend to be critical.  I see the lines on my face, I see the shape of my concern, I notice whether my hair looks awful or ok; sometimes I think I am looking good and I feel a peculiarly unsatisfying pleasure, but most often, I’m not happy with how I look;  I think I look older than I want to look,  or uglier or less open.  In other words I get caught on the image and don’t see the being which is me, or how much is able to shine through this body.  And I find it very distracting from what actually interests me deeper than my self-consciousness – which is connecting with who I am with.

And what is wonderful, is that there is a little setting, called Hide Self View which means my image disappears from the screen.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do this in life, erase our self image to prevent our fixation with it from monopolising our lives?!?

Douglas Harding had a profound awakening when he realised that he had no head.  That whilst he could see other people’s heads propped on top of their bodies, he had never directly seen his own head.  That where he presumed his head must be, his direct experience was that there was nothing there. Just an empty space which the whole of life flooded into through his senses, through sight, sound, smell, taste.  Everything perceived and felt in the space where this thing called a head should be.  Yes, he could look in the mirror and see a head but that was just a reflection, and bore no relation to his inner experience of a space in which the world appeared.  He devoted his life to sharing this revelation with others as a doorway to their true nature.

We get very, very busy with appearance in our culture.  Absurdly so.  To the point that our image of our bodies appears to be more real and important than our lived experience of how it is to be inside this organism and experience all of life through it.  It is a wondrous, miraculous thing.  Yet I know many, many people who are utterly obsessed by their body’s appearance and their perception of its’ imperfections.  Intelligent, wise and otherwise mature people.  Who despair over how their bodies don’t match up to a culturally conditioned ideas of how bodies should look.  Who have convinced themselves, or been convinced, that the key to being loveable and ok in the world lies in getting thinner or having bigger/smaller breasts, or bigger or smaller penises, or being taller, or shorter or more or less hairy.  And then to top it all they despise themselves for being so shallow as to be obsessed by appearance.

When I do zoom sessions I recommend that people do the hide self view thing.  I find that some people are very reluctant to do this.  It makes them anxious to not be monitoring how they look, checking regularly how they are appearing.

Often I am having to meet people as they struggle to relate to anything beyond their own image on the screen, and “how awful” they look.  The other day I was with someone and she said to me, “Look, will you just let me tell you what I think?”  I agreed, and there it was  – Look at me, I am so pale and wasted looking, and my face is covered in wrinkles.  My chin is not double but triple; the bags under my eyes are disgusting.  How can you bear to look at me?  I feel so ashamed, I don’t want anyone to see me.  Ever. Or certainly not like this!”

I have had conversations like this often enough with people over the years, to realise that trying to convince them that they look way better than they think, is pretty pointless.  (And some of these people have been absolutely stunning – by any standards – which makes it all the more obvious that the ‘disease’ has very little to do with objective reality).  What calls this whole drama to a halt (or at least slows it right down so as to be way less convincing) is when he or she actually lands IN his or her body, starts to feel what is here which often involves allowing emotions which have been held at bay unconsciously.  A core wound we all seem to share is a conviction – either conscious, semi-conscious or unconscious – of being flawed/unloveable/not ok at our core.  This will attach to any aspect of ourselves but in many will particularly focus on outward appearance.  It helps to find out that this lies at the core of our ego structures and is not particularly personal – it was the motor which invoked the need to create a persona which was more acceptable /powerful/impressive or simply more noticeable in the first place…

It’s a funny old business; and such a terrible waste, but what to do?

Perhaps you are someone who is un-concerned about your appearance.  But if you are concerned, and you find yourself zooming in these times, do try hiding self view for the duration.  Otherwise it is like going to a dinner party, a meeting, a dance or a drink and having a large mirror coming along so you can give as much attention to your own reflection as whoever else you are with.

In reverence to the image, we risk foregoing the wonder Douglas Harding – and mystics the world over – pointed to: that you and I are not a thing (to be scrutinized, messed with and improved) but an empty, unlimited space in which everything appears.  A space of being in which all experience is felt, seen, heard, tasted.

The beauty of this, is that everything, even the obsession with self image, can be included by the Allness!


Freedom within Limits

Living in Lockdown times…

I feel myself to be in a very privileged position at the moment as this crisis has forced me to work on-line in a way I have resisted for years.

And here I am, day after day, hour after hour, speaking with people who are locked down in their homes in Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, France, Germany, America, Africa and all over Britain.  Some are stuck in flats in the city without gardens, forbidden from going out at all, some have open spaces; some are allowed to go for walks and are enjoying their walks more than ever before; some have their teenage kids or young children, cooped up all day, and are in family situations which are hugely demanding; some are meeting their aloneness in spades; some are having more precious quality time with their loved ones than ever before; some are hitting crises in their relationships with no escape routes; many are meeting a sense of failure and inadequacy as their work is taken away from them, and they wonder what is left when they cannot do what they were doing.


What all these people have in common, is that they are on a journey of awakening and are reaching out for support to meet reality as it unfolds; they are interested in being here as fully as possible for what is, and giving up the fight against how things are.  They are interested in practicing, in an ongoing way, how it is to come out of their minds and into their bodies; and being willing to not know what will come next.


And this is the privilege: to be called to accompany people who are facing the unknown (as we all are), perhaps more than they ever have done – and are interested to be here for the challenge of that.  None of us know how this is going to unfold of course.  But it makes all the difference in the world, if we are willing and interested in not knowing, rather than lost in a determination to fix it or figure it out, even if that means presuming the worse and driving ourselves crazy with fear about something we cannot control.


Years ago my teacher Adam introduced me to the concept of Freedom Within Limits.  We tend to presume that freedom means freedom from limits, and many of us rail against the limitations which life naturally imposes on us.  But we need to recognise that we will never be free from limits as long as we live in (and as) this body; this body gets sick, and eventually dies.  And we don’t have wings to fly, or lungs which breathe underwater.  And we have to face that we cannot know all that we want to know; we cannot always get the love we want or realise every dream we have.  And that we are limited by the resources we have in any moment, and the conditioning we have, the character and body we were born with and developed, by the limits of the people around us; and by living in a world which is often – if not mostly – not as we would like it to be.  How amazing to take in that we are all up against so many limits – even though some are more limited than others – and yet we could, whatever our limits, be utterly free in the midst of them.


I heard a story 20 years ago which really touched me about Terry Waite who was taken hostage and imprisoned for 4 years in solitary confinement in Lebanon after going out to secure the release of other hostages.  Having thought he was going for a dialogue with the captors he was then captured and imprisoned himself.  He was confined to a tiny space, alone, for years, with no idea if or when he would ever be released.  As the story was told to me – he prayed and prayed.  He prayed for his release and that of the other prisoners, he prayed for the captors to soften, he prayed for deliverance.  It was only at the point when he finally submitted to the reality of his own imprisonment, his powerless, and his utter inability to do anything to better his situation, that he experienced a level of freedom he had never experienced before.  It was a massive awakening for him.


One of the most powerful books I have ever read is by Etty Hillesum, a young woman who died at the age of 29 in Auschwitz.  Her writing is astounding, particularly so in letters she sent out to friends which somehow found their way out of the camps (Westerbork and Auschwitz) in which she lived in for the last year of her life.  What comes through is her absolute devotion to love in the midst of hell.  It comes from a real experience of awakening and as such the realness of what she says pulses through the pages.


“Many feel that their love of mankind languishes at Westerbork because it receives no nourishment – meaning that people here don’t give you much occasion to love them.  ‘The mass is a hideous monster; the individuals are pitiful,’ someone said.  But I keep discovering that there is no causal connection between peoples’ behaviour and the love you feel for them.  Love for ones’ fellow man is like an elemental glow that sustains you.  The fellow man himself has hardly anything to do with it… it’s a little bit bare of love here, and I myself feel so inexpressibly rich; I cannot explain it.”


I do not mean to draw a comparison which makes what we face now seem meaningless compared to these.  And yet for me these extreme examples point to a spiritual reality which is absolutely not dependant on external circumstance.  How free I feel on the inside is not dependent on my life situation.  And it can be that the very restrictions on outer freedom, when surrendered to, can be the doorway to a more profound realisation and a deeper freedom.


I have had an extraordinarily fortunate life.  I have never gone hungry, I have almost always felt loved, I have had shelter, space, freedom, education, friends, lovers, partners, children, good health; I have had the most exquisite spiritual teachings handed to me, and had people come to me for guidance which has allowed me to feel a very fulfilling sense of purpose and fulfilment.  I can only imagine what it must be to live in terror for my life, in extreme pain, without the intellectual, physical and spiritual freedom which I take for granted. And yet I do know that every limit I have had imposed on me has offered me a choice.  These limits could be my own lack of understanding or capacity, my neurotic tendencies, the constraints of imperfect relationships, my economic situation, being a single parent at the end of my tether, simply facing my own powerlessness in the face of the suffering of those I love or the planet I am part of – or the fact that I am ageing, I get sick and one day will die.  Whatever the limits are, if I cannot relate with them, if I cannot accept those limits in myself, others and the situation, I am at war with reality.  And that is suffering.


So I have been sitting in a room, in front of my computer, holding one-off group sessions, single sessions, and four or five day ‘online retreats’.  The intimacy and aliveness and juiciness of being with the groups I used to run ‘in the flesh’, is no longer available.  I loved it.  We would be together, live together as a community for 4-8 days, cooking and eating together, resting, and most importantly, exploring what it is to be alive on the edge of the unknown, with a shared love of getting closer to the truth of who we are beyond our habits, roles and conditioning.  This is an incredible thing.  To live this, breathe it, dance with it, make mistakes, meet the awkwardness of not knowing how to relate healthily with one another, and yet again and again finding new possibilities.  And we could do this in an atmosphere of acceptance and enough safety which meant each one of us could take risks.  Risks which allowed us to know ourselves and each other more deeply and trust our shared humanity more than we did.  This is hard to do justice to if you haven’t experienced it.  And over the years we witness gradual awakenings, integrations and transformations in ourselves and each other.

Now I find myself attempting to do all of this by relating with people through a small computer screen in a room.  This is a very interesting situation for me.  All kinds of technical hitches have happened, the kind of thing which I have found so daunting as to have avoided this kind of outreach for years.  And yet this is what is available.  And I am immensely grateful for it.  I love the people I work with – the bond which opens in this kind of enquiry is beyond price or description.  And here is a way, albeit limited, of keeping the connection alive, of being reminded in our meetings – again and again – of what is most precious, of the power of love, of what it means to surrender our need to be right or to get what we want, and meet reality in the here and now.  Now and now and now.


And to be willing to have no idea of what will unfold as we come out of this time of lock down and face a new world when we emerge, a world where so much has crashed around us; where people may quite possibly move back into their daily lives more afraid than they were; where the world is not what it was and most probably never will be.

Especially for those of us whose livelihood and living spaces are hanging in the balance, this will kick off survival responses in us which tend to make us less than reliable.

In other words, when we are up against it – and what has held us together appears to be at stake – we tend to revert to our most basic instincts and tendencies to fight, seek enemies (which could include ourselves) to attack or blame, escape, distract, deny, collapse, and/or control.  And this happens individually, collectively, and in our political leaders and systems.


I am touched by how often in these relatively short meetings on the screen,

people feel relieved, touched, and connected up again, just with the simple reminders to be where we are as we are, and to hear other people share their struggles, difficulties, realisations and discoveries.  To be reminded that in our aloneness we are not alone;  in our struggles to relate to our loved ones healthily we are not alone, in our longing to live as love and be loved, we are not alone; in our sense of loss and fear, we are not alone; in our imperfections and often-felt clumsiness in navigating the restrictions we face, we are not alone.  Although it is true in an essential sense that we are alone – nobody is likely to ever get us and know us completely or be able to reliably tell us what is the right way to go – and yet we are not alone.  In fact we are intimately connected with everyone and everything. And although we face increasing limits on our freedom, yet we are free within that; and although we can never perfect ourselves, yet we can develop more capacity to meet ourselves and each other.  To be reminded of all of this, and to sense the truth of it in a visceral sense, is most profoundly supportive and connecting.


It seems to me that now more than ever, we need to feel this sense of support and connection to a wider community and – more fundamentally – to life itself, so that we can access our innate resources and not simply fall prey to knee-jerk survival mechanisms.  And in that, all kinds of creative responses emerge in the face of crisis and fast-moving changes.


As tends to be the case when something is lost either temporarily or permanently, we realise more fully how much we value it.   Often I have read that as people are dying their biggest regrets are not that they didn’t achieve enough in the world, but that they didn’t love enough, or value those close to them enough.


I hope this crisis will underline more deeply in us all how deeply we need each other.  We need all of ourselves.  We need to keep realising our freedom within the limits of our lives.  We need connection, a feeling of belonging to a bigger community, and to recognise we cannot do this thing called Life in isolation from each other or anything which arises in our world.





Refections – Spring Equinox 2020

Our People

It’s a beautiful day.  It’s an absolutely stunning day, the first day of uninterrupted sunshine for longer than I can remember, and spring is bursting forth, announcing itself everywhere in an unashamed display of beauty, hope and a joyous celebration of life.  The spring flowers, the birds and the insects which are suddenly appearing out of nowhere, seem unconcerned by the shock waves going through the human race as we face a world which is way more uncertain than it’s ever been in most of our lifetimes.

As I sit writing in the garden this afternoon I feel at peace, content, happy.

This morning after waking, I was overcome with grief for the billions of us facing frightening changes.  What struck me most was – surprisingly – not Covid 19, but the news I saw, a few easily miss-able paragraphs on page 35 of the Guardian; millions in danger as locust scourge reaches 10 countries.  A combination of factors over the past two years precipitated by climate change and amplified by war in Yemen, have created conditions where locusts are multiplying at alarming rapidity and decimating everything growing in their wake.  And the existing numbers could grow 400-fold by June.  Whether they will get the £120 million required to stop the locusts breeding, at a time when practically every country in the world is crippled by the attempts to stem the tide of the virus, is questionable.

I noticed my minds’ attempt to push this news to one side, because it concerned people on another continent to my own. I heard a voice in my head saying, oh well it’s in Africa and the Middle East.  I have heard this voice before and chosen to ignore it, embarrassed to admit even to myself that it was running.  This time I stopped in my tracks.  What is that?

And then I felt it.  I heard myself say, “but these are my people!”, and then the tide opened and I felt an outpouring of grief for my people.  Ravaged by war, famine, and now locusts.  And I understood that all people are my people.   And I saw how much I use difference, on any level, to immunise myself to the pain of what happens to my people.

My mind argues that I am not equipped to deal with feeling everyone as my people, the pain is too big for me.  But I increasingly realise that it is not like that.  If I don’t fixate on worrying about anyone or anything, I get to feel it all in waves.  And in this moment the wave is gentle; there is sadness, and a heaviness in my heart; and there is an openness to the beauty around me, and appreciation for the tingling of my feet as they feel the ground beneath them, and my breath, filling me so simply with a love of life.  Last night I spoke with some of my Italian friends and listened to their stories.  Yesterday the parks were closed – and the postal service too, and people are being arrested for being out on the street.  People are dying from the virus and there cannot be funerals for them, and they are dying alone, for no family is allowed close.  Again, the grief to feel my people in this unfolding.  Feeling the grief with my Italian friends, across the computer screen which has become a life line, has allowed love to open wide, and this wonderfully paradoxical thing, where the pain is making us more available to the love.  The willingness to feel it all is bringing us closer to the mystery.

I rang one of my cousin’s this morning as I wanted to hear her voice.  She told me how distant she has been feeling from her connection to God.  How inaccessible the mystery has been for her.  But when she went to church at the weekend and nobody was there, and she found herself alone in that temple space, she found herself shouting to God, uninhibited in her aloneness.  Filling the church with her voice, calling out loud her prayers for herself and our world, our people.  And in the release of that unplanned devotional outpouring, she was met; she felt an ecstasy of connection, which imbued the rest of her day with a kind of magic.

Our people.

Our people.

Yesterday I held my first large Zoom session.  One by one more and more beloved faces pinged onto my screen until there were at least 26 of them;  People who I have had the privilege to guide and support and share with over the last years, but some of whom I hadn’t seen for some time.  Some because they lived too far away, were too busy, couldn’t afford my retreats, or were not well enough to travel.  Suddenly they were all here, for this 90 minute meeting, sharing in a meditation, coming back to the simplicity of being here, together, alone, now, in heartful connection.  I was amazed at how powerful it was, how simple, how heart-warming, to meet on the screen with so many of us.  It took this crisis for me to even consider such a possibility, and now I realise it is worth it.  We need each other like never before, in so many ways.  And we need to use whatever means are possible that it can happen.

I went for a walk today with my daughter and her partner in the beautiful gardens in Dartington.  We are still allowed to walk in (some of) the parks in England and I felt hugely grateful for the gift of this local resource; magnolias, towering up and flowering – majestic pink and white flowers resplendent against the blue sky.  Grassy banks packed with celandines, cyclamen, fritillaries, anenomies of  different varieties, primroses, forget-me-nots and many others I couldn’t name.  On our walk we met a few friends.  All we can all talk about is the virus and how the whole thing is affecting us.   We are obsessed.   Not surprisingly, as we are all off our maps.  And perhaps this is a good thing.  But how we respond to that maplessness makes all the difference.  How we communicate with each other, as we all grapple to make sense of it all, is key as what we chose to focus on has a profound effect.  Where we put our attention, becomes what we chose to feed in our communications; and it determines what reality looks like.  I have never been more aware of the truth of this.  I am making it my business to be more mindful of how I speak and how much I actually connect with who I am with – whoever they are – rather than just throwing words about.

I am seeing people who are relieved to be stopping and slowing down.  And people who are speeding up on the inside as their nervous systems go into overdrive.  Where talking, talking, talking about it all seems to be the only way to discharge that energy.  It is too easy to attune to who I am with, and respond in kind, but it’s not always a good idea.  And when this is all on social media this can be even more impactful.

The world, as ever, will mirror us.  A friend told me that she went walking with a friend of hers yesterday.  One of them, on that day, was feeling fear and separation and distrust.  And she was seeing evidence of the same all around her.  The other was more settled; and astounded by how many signs of warmth and kindness there were in all her interactions with strangers.  Comparing notes, it emerged that as they walked on the beach, they were in that very moment perceiving the same situation through very different eyes.  One was focussed on the man who looked suspicious and the one who looked angry; whilst her friend hadn’t even noticed those people and was attuned to the sense of openness she was seeing in the people she was observing.  I’m not suggesting that we are imagining everything, but what we attune to will make a huge difference to what we are observing.  And whether we are located in our hearts or in fearful thinking will have a massive effect on how we perceive the world and what is happening in any moment.

I am hearing a lot of talk of conspiracy theories right now; that the virus is a ploy by governments to get rid of the aged population, or that a vaccine will be made mandatory which will keep us somehow enslaved to the lizard-owned system forever and no longer capable of independent thinking or action.   I am not surprised.  There is a lot of fear, and in that atmosphere, we are suspicious and will jump to all kinds of conclusions, many of which are likely to induce more paranoia and distrust.  Another kind of virus! Some of these theories may have grains of truth to them and some may not.   Either way, we need to be very awake in how we relate to these stories, buy none of them wholesale, listen, hold open questions, never presume we know anything for sure, and not spread disinformation just because something makes us nervous and therefore we need to offload it on someone else.   And it’s good to bear in mind that the more frightening the ‘information’, the faster it spreads.

We know that when we feel separate and anxious, our worse fears prey on us, and can seem utterly believable and inevitable.  And we also know that when we feel safe in our own skin, our outlook changes dramatically.  The way we see the world depends vastly on where we are coming from.

We are being called to slow down.  To listen.  To pay attention. To do whatever it takes to bring love and kindness to ourselves and those around us.  And it is not easy.

Yesterday Colin and I decided to switch our phones onto airplane mode for the day, not listen to the news and not check emails.  I was tempted countless times to switch on again, find out what has happened, see who has contacted me.  I managed to refrain 95% of the day with a small slip.  The effect was powerful.  It was only by contrast that I could appreciate how much stress builds up with the sheer volume of communication and information via the web.  I felt soothed, my nervous system eased out, there was a lot of relief.

Today I switched on again and of course there was a lot to deal with suddenly.  And I noticed how much more on edge I felt, even though there were some lovely communications.  I recommend switching off.  Regularly.  I intend to have at least two hours a day, and one day a week off grid for my own sanity.

I feel that more than ever we need to listen to what is beneath the noise we are all making.  Listen to the breath of life which is not actually affected by the movement of our frightened minds, and to the silence which connects us all.  See each other.  Feel each other, feel the earth springing into new fresh life, and keep attuning to what remains while everything in our experience shifts, changes, uproots, unhinges.

This time is precious.  Profoundly challenging, yes.  But precious.

A time of re-evaluation, where nothing is certain.  All bets are off.  Many of us have been expecting sudden, shocking change for a while; and this is, it seems to me, the beginning of a breakdown of systems which have been unsustainable for way too long.  The pretence that everything can continue in the way it has done is now over.  And part of me is celebrating that, even as part of me is grieving and feeling a massive sense of loss.

Where we put our attention now, determines where we are heading next.

Each one of us is affecting that process; we affect it in countless ways, in every encounter we have.

For the sake of our people (which includes all the non-humans) everywhere, my prayer is that we each use this crisis as an opportunity to wake up.

Because, finally, business as usual is over.

Choosing Love over Fear

(Note – this is a second attempt to post this, as the first went out with my rough draft included unintentionally!)

These are stormy times.  So many storms have swept through this country over the last few weeks; full-on wild winds, endless rain and floods.  And as we feel directly the effects of our changing climate, so we are weathering Brexit, Boris, and now the sweeping through of this virus.


I keep seeing how local happenings reflect big world happenings.  I keep sitting with people as they meet their fears.  Huge survival fears; most people I know- including myself – are already directly and powerfully being hit by the effect of this epidemic on their capacity to earn enough to live on now and in the months to come.  Fears of illness, deprivation and death fuelled by an endlessly catastrophizing media machine. Fears which render us incapable of sane interactions and decisions.  Again and again over the past few days I have explored what it is to give space to these fears in a way which feels safe enough and connected enough for small miracles to happen.


I keep watching my own fears and worries for my family – about all kinds of things – give way to a sense of surrender and expansive openness – often through allowing a kind of grief at my own inability to control reality to protect them.  And I have seen how that has brought me into closer contact with them and myself.  And surprisingly, brought me to a deeper sense of trust in life.  It continues to surprise me, even though I see how this happens every time we meet what we have been fearing and avoiding.  When fear gives way to love, the effect is powerful, visceral and palpable not just for whoever makes that shift but for those around them.


A few days ago, I was on skype with a dear friend in Milan.  Quarantined in her house, as everyone is.  Everything has come to a standstill.  Supermarkets empty as people panic-buy.  Schools, churches, bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres locked down.  Only medical emergencies attended to.  Supermarkets are open, but only for one family member at a time and never to get closer than a metre from any other person.  Standstill…


I sat with my friend.  She was terrified.  And in the midst of her fears for her survival physically – being already at risk with a very compromised immune system – and the loss of income for herself and her husband as they cannot work – every other neurosis seemed to be coming to the surface.  Her self-hatred, her loneliness, her sense of separation from the rest of humanity, her sense of being a fraud… We explored together.  We met her resistance to feeling anything deeper than her crazy mind flitting from one catastrophic scenario to another, and slowly slowly she gave up fighting and allowed me to support her to meet a very very young part of herself who was terrified of the world.  As she dropped into this place there was grief, fear, loneliness; but she could also appreciate that she was feeling this whilst simultaneously feeling a deep loving connection with me, and that she was actually, in this moment safe, warm, held.  The combination of meeting these young, buried, intense and apparently overwhelming feelings – whilst feeling supported, loved, held and called to the simplicity of the present moment in body – allowed her to land deeply into her being.  From this place, everything which was happening in the world could be seen from a different perspective; it was ok.  Yes – disconcerting, disorientating, uncertain – but not overwhelming: relatable with.  There was a basis from which all of it could be perceived in a more grounded, mature way.  She told me today that since that happened everything has felt different without anything needing to have changed on the outside; I felt a strength in her, and a capacity to face all kinds of situations, and she seemed to glow.

In the last days I have had similar experiences to this with a number of people.  There is something about the intensity of what is happening on a world level which is bringing to the fore the deepest fears, and – for those who are ready – allowing them to be transformed.


I find myself awed by the power of love.  Of giving space.  Of being willing to not know what to do, but to stay and love and keep realising that we are not separate from each other.  What you are feeling becomes what I am feeling.  And I can recognise that, without becoming identified with your emotional states and meet you there.  And the result of this simple being together and being willing to allow things to reveal themselves when they are ready, is transforming us.


I am beginning to have tastes, increasingly, of what it is to be here, alive, knowing the certainty of my own death and the death of everyone I love – and not be in the grip of a backdrop of fear and a compulsion to try and control reality so as to protect against the inevitable.  I see how we search for anchors of sanity, of peace and calm.  We seek those who can stand in the storm, feel it, be battered by it of course, but not become it.


I remember when my children had tantrums, at times I would join them and have a tantrum too.  I was so overwhelmed that it was easier to shout and scream myself, than stand in the midst of their emotional tsunamis and be that anchor in the storm.


Yesterday morning my daughter and her husband and young child left our home to return to the Canaries where they live.  When I saw her in the morning she looked exhausted after a night of little sleep, assailed by fears.  Isn’t it amazing how our minds do this?  There may be very real fears, and yet – especially at night with nothing to distract us – they can go rampant, and one fear leads to another until we are consumed?  I say we because most people I speak with seem to know this experience well.  As she and I spoke about the night and their travel plans for the next 24 hours, she suddenly remembered what had happened in the night.  Ohhh, she said, something wonderful happened!  I was suddenly afraid that I might have something badly wrong with me, as I often do when I am contracted and in pain – and then I remembered my grandmother saying that the cells of our body hear our thoughts.  So I asked the cells of my body if I was seriously ill, and I was told ‘No, we are really fine… but we are FED UP with having your negative thoughts dumped on us!’ Suddenly her whole body was filled with a sense of well being and she felt safe in her body, really safe and protected.  So she asked about the Corona Virus, and she was told, the virus feeds on fear; step out of the fear and you will be protected.  She told me, her eyes alight, I don’t know if it was just my mind trying to reassure me, but it feels like good guidance anyway – and I had to agree.  This is excellent guidance!  I have her permission to tell you this.


I feel that we need to be mindful in these times.  To not get swept up in an obsession with Corona Virus news, to make sure we are not speaking about it all the time, and that when we do, we keep feeling our hearts, our breath, getting where we are coming from as we speak.  Fear breeds fear, love breeds love; We go under when we are consumed by negative mind, when we cut off, obsess and isolate even as we speak – it literally makes us sick; and I have no doubt whatsoever that our immune systems, and the immune system of the planet itself, thrive on love, connection, warmth and humour.  One of my Italian friends tells me that in her housing estate they have a 6pm appointment to sing a different popular song each day with their doors and windows open… and these people hardly spoke to each other before this!  It is bringing people together in new ways and this needs to be celebrated and spoken about more.


Love and fear are not opposites.  Fear separates when we identify with it, and we lose all perspective; it becomes a breeding ground for all that is not love.  But love can include and embrace fear, it is bigger than it, and is not afraid to include it and transform it.  Fear itself is not a problem, it just needs to be invited in by the heart (which is big enough to embrace everything).  And we need to find ways to come back into our bodies and out of the downward spiral of negative thinking, whatever it takes.  I am thankful for the fact that we can connect up with each other on-line, meet each other’s eyes, even if it becomes harder to meet face to face as things heat up.  I am thankful for the birds and the emerging flowers and spring shows her face despite the relentless rain.  I am thankful for the freshness which can come – and needs to come – when Business As Usual simply cannot continue.  I am curious to see what arises in creative responses to this extraordinary time.


Perhaps I will find more time, space and inclination to start writing this blog again on a regular basis!
















Stepping Out, Extinction Rebellion and Interbeing


As I write many friends of mine, people I respect and admire, are up in London on the streets, in Parliament Square, on Waterloo bridge, in Oxford circus, calling for radical steps in addressing climate change and the extraordinary dangers we are facing as dwellers on this beautiful planet.  This fills me with joy.


What has frightened me even more than the ecological devastation we have been causing on this planet – over the decades I have been conscious of this – has been the degree to which we don’t speak about it, and we all carry on as if it were a given that life will continue pretty much as we have known it; and that we will live and die knowing that our grandchildren and great grandchildren and generations to come will populate the earth, and enjoy the beauty and abundance of this world as we have done.  And yet we all know – whether we want to know it or not – that things are heading for catastrophe (if we are not living in areas which are all too familiar with it already).


I am happy that there is a clarion call to action right now; that the sense of powerlessness many of us have felt has a place to step forward from – and that things can be done as a way of raising awareness, not through bullying or terrorising or shaming, but through a joyous heart-broken up-rising.  Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a remarkable movement.  They have certain principles which are core to its strategy such as NO BLAME – which is radical and much needed in these times; no us and them.  And they have studied history and seen what has made certain grass roots movements successful; what has allowed a sea change in public opinion, what has supported turning point moments in history when it seemed that the existing status quo was so entrenched that there was no hope?  What allowed the Abolition of slavery movement to catch hold, or the suffragette movement?  Or the Indian independence movement?  They have seen that non violent direct action works.  That these movements need to be organized, based on connection and a over-arching principle of love in action.  What I see in the footage I am watching and hearing from friends, is a lot of care, community, out-reach, well organised events, no drugs or alcohol, a lot of integrity and support of the activists.  Large numbers are showing up willing to be arrested – and when these are taken, more step into their shoes so the police are overwhelmed with the numbers; other people are taking on the role of legal witnesses, observing, seeing what happens, taking notes, monitoring arrests.  Others are involved in giving talks, workshops, emotional support, creative inspiration; dances and meditations are being offered, children’s educational offerings, lots of music, the list goes on.


I am not in London, but here in Devon, doing my work with people and it is increasingly obvious to me that this is not separate in any way to what is happening there.  As I sit with someone, or bear witness to them as they speak, move, laugh, cry, recite poetry or sit and gaze with me, I am involved in the same process.  A process of waking up out of denial; of facing aspects of ourselves which we have been hiding from (the light and the dark), of coming out of fixed identities and freeing ourselves up so that we are actually available, mind body and heart, to the unfolding of reality; and the unravelling of who we thought we were and where we thought we were heading – into something way more unknown, more mysterious, more unfathomable and less secure or certain than our minds would have us believe or hope for.  We are again and again facing the unknown, and facing the inevitability of death, whether it is the death of our personal body, an identity we are wedded to, or extinction of the human race and all the species we share this precious planet with.


To some degree it has always been so.  We do not know what is coming.  And we need our resources at hand to meet whatever comes our way with as much integrity, sanity, heart, and presence as we can muster – whether it is the latest frustration with something not working, relationship difficulties, or disaster;  whether it is feeling numb, lost, terrified, confused, alone or disconnected.  We need to realise that it is ok to feel all of this, that we can let go of the shame of our own inadequacies and failings, and actually meet our condition as it is – and through that realise we can meet the world, and find our place in it;  whatever is going down.


When people are under stress, they tend to resort to the lowest common denominator; we tend to respond in knee jerk survival tendencies, and are most likely to kick off, lash out, and create more chaos around us than is already happening.  As one of my teachers once said, our patterns hate other peoples’ patterns.  In other words, if I am triggered into my survival tendencies, I am likely to stimulate your triggered responses, which trigger me further and so things snowball.  The more people involved, the more this can start to kick off.  It is amazing to me when I am running a group and if a couple of people, or even one, gets very emotionally triggered, the whole group starts to feel it and respond in kind – and most often this is not conscious.  The only thing which prevents this snowballing is presence.  If there is a critical mass in the room of awakeness, or rather an interest in each individual to feel what is happening inside them and allow it – without acting it out or pretending it isn’t happening or blaming themselves or each other – then the field stabilizes and any individual who is floundering is held in a bigger field of support.


What we need, more than anything, is an increased capacity for a heart/body/mind presence which can navigate stormy waters; which is willing to not know what to do, and then is available to being moved in any direction by a being force which is capable of intelligent response in any given moment.


I know many people who would love to be joining forces with XR in London right now.  And they cannot.  Either because their health is too precarious, their nervous systems are too frayed, because they need to work, are caring for others, or are simply not moved to join up even though they love what is happening.  And there will be many many more who are untouched by all of that and whose focus is in an entirely different direction.  What is obvious to me is that we all need to stay with what is appropriate for us in any moment and trust the inter-beingness of us all; trust that we all have our place of action, whether it is nurturing our own system (giving this particular cell of the earth which is our body/mind the attention it needs when it is depleted), spreading information, opening in love to who we are with, allowing ourselves to feel our place in the vastness.  And that what is true for me now may not be true tomorrow.


I do feel we are reaching a tipping point in terms of awareness of what is happening.  My sense is that essential conversations are beginning to happen.  I don’t personally believe – short of miracles (and miracles ARE possible) –  there is much hope for humanity in terms of surviving all of this; and I am not sure I would want to survive in a world where most of the other species have become extinct (even if it were possible).  But I do have hope that a critical mass of us can live this crisis with maturity, ingenuity, even wonder – that we can face our dying with grace and use it as an opportunity to wake up to our essential natures AS LOVE.   And that immense, extraordinary healing can happen in the course of that.  Just as for some people the journey of dying through cancer can be a redemptive journey of true awakening where they die happier and more at peace than they were able to live.


I do have hope that we can begin to cherish each moment, each blessed breath, each flower and tree, and gust of wind, each creature and fellow human which we meet along the way.  And that we can begin to embrace the whole complex web of what it is to be human, the wonder and the horror of it, simply because it is real, and only a surrender to reality can bring us to our true home and allow us to step forward with the unique gifts that only we can give, in the time we have here.

Dancing with Shame

A few days ago I danced with a beautiful young woman.  I had never met her before, and probably never will again; it was in a room full of about 80 dancing people.  She looked Indian or of Indian or Pakistani descent; I will probably never know and it is not really important.  What is important to me is that something extraordinary happened in our meeting.  I saw a severity in her look which at first elicited some fear.  But she was right there with me, and I felt a strong connection as our eyes met and our bodies moved to the music.  Our hands were speaking a language which my mind could not interpret, but they seemed to understand each other.  Suddenly as we danced, I felt overcome with shame; it was a shame beyond personalities.  A shame for all that my people have done on this planet, for all that ‘Great’ Britain has perpetrated against the people of the ‘Empire’The shame of being a white, privileged, middle class woman, whose countries’ wealth is only possible because of the plunder of other cultures.  There were no words.  I decided not to hide or cower in my shame, but to feel it, and stay with her; I looked into her eyes and I found myself bowing down to her.  At first just my head bowed, and then I found I was on the ground, my forehead at her feet.  When I came back to my feet, we both had tears pouring down our faces.  And we kept dancing.  I have no idea what happened for her, what called forth her tears, where she had come from or what she thought or felt.  I do know that the connection was real, and our tears were real.  I felt like I was praying for our world, our people, for connection, and love and a healing of old wounds.  And after some time, I found myself filled with with a quiet joy and I smiled, and when she smiled back it was like a balm through my whole body.  We never spoke.


The next day, I was in a ‘Bodynamics’ workshop run by the most extraordinary woman called Ditte Marcher.  This woman has worked in war zones across the world, from Syria and Afganistan to Iraq, Rwanda and Serbia.  She has trained traumatised war veterans to work with other war vets to support them to begin to relate with unbelievable levels of shock and dissociation and find meaningful connection with their own life force and other people again.  She has worked with children, animals, disabled people, old people; peacemakers, gang members, political extremists and therapists across the world, drawn to where she is needed.  Not without fear, but harnessing her emotions and working with and through them.  She has a huge heart, a ballsy style, a big laugh, and an extraordinary knowledge of how humans and animals tick, how they deal with emotions under all kinds of extreme and ordinary circumstances, and what is needed on a very real bodily level for health, sanity and love to prevail.

She was working with us on different emotions and on this morning we worked with shame.  This is a big subject for me, and one I have been working with for a while now.  It took many, many years of self exploration before I even began to be ready to see and feel the deeper levels of my own shame, and realise how much my life was coloured by it.  And I have had a passion in the last few years to help people who work with me to find a more realistic relationship with their own shame.   But here I was getting some more perspectives on it.


At one point Ditte asked us to pair up with someone, so I turned towards the woman next to me who was a gentle looking young woman wearing what I think is called a chador, or a burka where the face is revealed, who I guessed was of Arab descent.  The assignment was to tell them something we were ashamed of, whilst staying in contact with them, without collapsing or disappearing, staying in our dignity.  I could feel the fear arising in me, as I realised I was being given an opportunity to speak my shame  – without cowering.  Extraordinary after what had happened spontaneously for me the night before.  I was afraid to even acknowledge our racial difference, as if it were unmentionable.  I was afraid of her anger.  I was afraid to own how ashamed I felt, and how guilty I felt for my privilege, knowing that she could not have escaped the effects of racism, discrimination and prejudice growing up in ‘my’ country.  Things I have never had to face just because of the colour of my skin.  Initially she tried to convince me not to worry, but then she slowed down, and received my confession of shame beautifully.  She then shared with me how it was recently, to feel unseen and excluded in a group she was part of, in which she was the only non-white woman.  She shared her hurt and anger, but also her shame was visible.


Shame arises not only when we have done something to hurt another, are out of integrity with ourselves,  but also often when we feel different from whatever group we are part of – (this could be how we look or sound, or in our capacities, life style, level of wealth and priviledge etc).    And of course there are all kinds of nuances of shame, including the shame I am speaking of here which is not just personal but ancestral and national.  On the bodynamics course we were being taught about red shame and white shame.   If we cannot allow, feel, communicate our naturally occurring shame simply and honestly, then this will turn into a shame of who we are.  In this, it is not what we (or people we are connected with) did which was wrong/inadequate/hurtful/out of integrity, but who we are.  At this point the shame which was at first red, which might produce heat, and is alive and tingling, becomes white shame.  When our very existence feels shameful, all colour drains out of us (hence it is called white), we want to fall into a hole and disappear.  And this is generally so intolerable that we collapse, cave in and shut down.  Eventually, if we cannot relate this situation, we can become shameless.  This means we cut off from our feeling, and become capable of anything.  Here our shame is projected out and the shaming and blaming of others (not to mention abuse) is the only way to feel some sense of power.  We see the devastating effects of this both personally and collectively wherever we look.


So my new friend I was exploring with that morning, felt shame; I knew it because I could feel her slipping away from the contact which seconds before had been intimate; within seconds there was anger flashing in her eyes.  She said, “you could never understand what it’s like to be so excluded for who you are”.  In that moment it appeared as if we were now in seperate camps.  And it flashed through me that I did know what it was like.  When I was 6 years old my family moved to Italy and I was thrown into an Italian school without any grasp of the language at all; the fear and shame of being so alien, powerless, different and utterly unable to find a sense of belonging in the tribe I had entered, was devastating.  I didn’t say that, I just felt her, and knew that what I had suffered enabled me to be able to understand at least something of her experience.  And suddenly she looked into my eyes and said – “and you’re with me now, and you are hearing me and understanding”.  There were tears in her eyes.    And then I could apologise to her from my heart, on behalf of my race, and for my own, unconscious prejudice.  And there was such a sweet pain in feeling her heart-felt receiving of my apology.


I felt how much shame has been a barrier for me in meeting those who are different to me in different ways, and how my difficulty in feeling that shame has created a sense of fear and ‘otherness’.  As the shame is met, and the charge around it is able to lessen, I can feel how the fear of difference is softening.  I also saw how much in my life I have covered a shame for all my weaknesses and insecurities either with a kind of false bravado (and therefore arrogance and superiority), or by collapsing and behaving as if I were less than whoever I am with.


What I am finding very beautiful, is this sense of being able to feel shame whilst retaining a sense of dignity and self respect.  The two have always seemed to be contradictory and impossible to experience simoultaneously.  And it is clear that only being grounded in a prior abiding presence can allow such dualities to co-exist (rather than one or the other).   In the midst of a recognition of ways I have been out of integrity, I can hold onto myself and face who I am with; both personally and as part of a wider human collective.  And that this acknowledgement can bring both more connection with whoever I am with, and a sense of devotion to our shared precious and imperfect humanity.  And with that, more capacity to step forward in my life (without being incapacitated by shame and fear).  When I, or anyone, allows this natural and healthy shame to become white shame, we lose respect for ourselves and each other which is where relationship starts to break down.


So I guess this is a celebration of healthy shame; that which calls us to account in a heartful way, and allows us to own up to what we are not proud of in a way which – rather than disconnecting and hiding away, shaming and blaming ourselves and each other – connects us up to one another, and allows repair to happen.

In memory of Mary Oliver

I heard a couple of days ago that Mary Oliver has died.

I love that woman, I love how she lays the wonders of this world before us with her delicate, funny, wild words.

I love that when I hear her, I often feel love and despair; longing and hope; laughter and beauty all rise up within me as one event; not separate or opposed to each other, but simultaneous.

She asks questions which need no definitive answers. David Whyte said once (or maybe often), cultivate the art of asking beautiful questions. She does that masterfully. On behalf of us all. No need to figure out anything, like what to do with this one precious life? But to keep gently, urgently, quietly, raucously lifting up my head, or laying my head down, asking, without need of answers but willing to feel for the mystery which each question evokes…

I am immensely grateful to Mary Oliver, and to the thousands of inspiring lovers of life who lead us to drink from the fresh clear waters of their inspiration, and guide us with words and music, with dances and painting and sculpture, deeper into the mystery of things.  We need them.

Here we all are. We’re in a crazily lurching boat together; all of humanity and all the creatures and plants we share this planet with. It is unfathomable, what we are facing. Impossible to comprehend or to prepare for.

But I hear the owls’ call as I write; the night is alight with moonshine. The cells of my body are vibrantly alive, and I remember Mary and all those who, like her, keep loving, keep giving their gifts – come what may – and I feel a quiet joy and a sense of belonging; knowing my place in the family of things.



I am sitting here, finally facing the empty page again, with soft waves of sadness gently lapping through me.

I don’t know why.  My mind could come up with many explanations: that I was touched in hearing from a friend and knowing how much gut wrenching pain she is in right now; the news I heard on the radio about the unfolding horrors in Syria; someone I love very much who is losing her baby right now; reconnecting with the young part of myself who felt (and feels) helpless, alone and lost in a bewildering world…

But right now, I am not interested in following any of these threads or dwelling on them. Life is just sad at times, very sad. Just as it is beautiful and rich. Just as it is complicated and unfathomable. Just as it is infuriating. Just as it is filled with wonder. Just as it is tedious or stuck. Just as it is like this.

Not attempting to find reasons, explanations or solutions to any of it, is relaxing me. Muscle after muscle loosening its grip, lowering me so gently into this ocean of sadness which – in being welcomed – is surprisingly soothing and held in an enfolding peace.

Slowing down

One of the things I like about sitting down to write is that it stops me in my tracks. I just sit here in front of my little computer and wait to see what wants to be written about.

Stopping is always good.

And if nothing comes, I just have to stay in not knowing what to say, without going anywhere. If I am moving too fast, nothing comes. The momentum of busyness (both in action and in my mind) has its hold.

Sometimes Colin has to say to me, SLOW DOWN.

That is when – as is my tendency – I am moving too fast to breathe in the world, let alone my own state.

When I was at university I had an anthropology tutor called David Pocock who wrote in my report, “Fanny’s in danger of becoming one of those ‘Sorry-darling-must-rush-life’s-too-hectic people’”. Although it stung, it was salutary as I I had no idea of how fast I was moving then, and even now I tend to not realize when I have speeded up.

Until I slow down, or, better still, just stop.

I cannot sing the praises of slowing down enough. Especially when in a hurry! Slowing down enough to feel the breath, to taste the food, to feel my feet on the ground, to receive myself and my experience in any moment.

Slowing down is good.

Our world seems to get faster and faster. It has become normal to rush.

When I was still in my twenties I spent a couple of weeks living on a compound in Gambia; I had been invited by my brother Algy who was in a band with some brilliant local musicians. Every day they would play exquisite music in one of the 12 or so concrete rooms – which were mostly living spaces for families – set in a square around the sandy courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard, which was just a large square area of sand in which a small tree grew, was the well we all used for water. There was a bucket on a long chain which people would lower into the well. I thought – barely consciously – ‘quicker to just chuck it in’. So the bucket crashed and tumbled down and I pulled it up full of precious water to wash with. I then watched one of the women who lived on the compound slowly walk to the well, and inch by inch, gently, respectfully, lower the bucket down to the water level. It probably took her two minutes. There was a dignity and a slowness to all her movements which meant she was actually engaged in what she was doing, which struck me profoundly. And I remembered a question one of the men had asked me the day before “why are you white people always in such a rush?”. I felt ashamed. A healthy, appropriate sense of shame in seeing myself in these reflections, and recognizing that I needed to slow down and bring a deeper presence to everything I did.


It is not easy in a society where the whole momentum is about speed and a “time=money” mentality, and where time must not be wasted at any cost. Where rest, digestion, and time out are not valued.  Where silence and doing nothing seem out of the question.  Where we are drawn out by a thousand pulls on our attention. And where to simply survive financially (and bureaucratically) – for most people – requires ridiculous work hours.

It is not easy to go against that current and just stop.

But that does not mean it is not possible, or indeed absolutely necessary, for us to retain any kind of sanity in this fast moving world; to know the wood for the trees and get any kind of perspective, to begin to sense of our part in the unfolding of history, and to be here for the revelation of each precious moment.

Retreats from the speed of daily living are wonderful and transformative. But it is also true that even short moments of slowing down and stopping in our tracks can change everything. Like now. To just pause, take a breath, not fill the space with anything at all. To feel this. And for once, not do a single thing.