Thursday, 28 July 2011


by Luis Jorge Borges

If I were able to live my life again,
next time I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect. I would be more relaxed.
I would be much more foolish than I have been. In fact,
I would take very few things seriously.
I would be much less sanitary.
I would run more risks. I would take more trips,
I would contemplate more sunsets,
I would climb more mountains,
I would swim more rivers.
I would go to more places I have never visited.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems, fewer imaginary ones.
I was one of these people who lived prudently
and prolifically every moment of his life.
Certainly I had moments of great happiness:
Don’t let the present slip away.
I was one of those who never went anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,
an umbrella, and a parachute.
If I could live over again,
I would go barefoot, beginning
in early spring
and would continue so until the end of autumn.
I would take more turns on the merry-go-round.
I would watch more dawns
And play with more children,
if I once again had a life ahead of me.
But, you see, I am eighty-five
and I know that I am dying.

Me having a moment. Photography by Nige.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Twenty Seven

Hello folks!

Guess what? I have impishly called this post "twenty seven", but really, I am now twenty eight years old! Whoopee! I am excited! This feels good. (By the way, I started writing this on 15th July, the day after my birthday, and it's now 24th July. I got distracted. But I still want to post this.)

Before delving headfirst into my twenty-ninth year on the planet (which, I happily announce, I have already started to do in the last two ten days), I wanted to share a few things about being 27 and what I have learned in the last 12 months of my life.

In no particular order... here are my Life Lessons from a 27 Year Old
  • It's always good to try something new. Life is full of opportunities to try something new and live. In the 12 months gone by, I went to my first hen weekend, my first wedding of a childhood friend, tried road cycling for the first time, went camping for the first time in England, got made redundant for the first time ever (on that holiday), went on my first ever holiday with my biological father and half-brother and sister, then went on my second ever holiday with him and met my paternal grandfather, got a group of people to sing the Sun Song at a workshop, learned all about tax and finance, became a CEO, got engaged (although I have been asked before if I would marry someone, but they were drunk. And a stranger. So I don't think that counts.) I moved in with my fiance - my first time of living with a man! I stepped up in Clearmind and did Level 2 assistant's training. I got my first paid writing job. Had my first ever colonic. Was in a pantomime for the first time ever, and sang a solo for the first time since being a child. I was in a musical as a principal role. First time having my car break down and die on me. First time trying archery and axe throwing. First time interviewing an applicant for a job I was recruiting for. First time going self-employed. I took singing lessons. And I attended a friend's birth, the first one I've ever been at since my own! I also didn't do a lot of stuff, but far better I think to celebrate rather than regret.
  • Every day is a precious opportunity to teach love and remember that only the love is real in any situation. But it takes practice. Lots of practice. A mighty companion to help point me in the right direction is also very helpful.
  • Starting the day with some quiet time is the best way for me to reconnect on a daily basis with my true purpose and function. The resistance I feel - towards meditating, towards being still and quiet, towards pretty much any practice that requires discipline - will pass, and when practiced regularly, not meditating or saying prayers in the morning will feel abnormal. Quiet time rocks!
  • Facing my demons helps dissolve them. Doing one thing every day that scares me is a sure fire recipe for freedom. Picasso said that "If there is a voice inside you which says, 'You cannot paint', then make sure you paint and that voice will be silenced." I have sung, acted, drawn, written poetry, made love, cycled up - and down - big hills, gardened, done scary things that seemed way out of my comfort zone, and somehow, have always survived. I'm now willing to believe that I can sing, write poems, be free and expressive when I make love, dig deep and get to the top of the hill, and then let go and get down it. Oh, and I can garden amongst the spiders, feel the fear and keep going, brave girl that I am.
  • Love is really the only thing that matters. I can trust that if I'm following the path of love, all my needs are taken care of. This lesson is one I've learned just recently. Day after day of not knowing where August's rent money was coming from. Assurance and reassurance from friends, coach, universe. Layer after layer of fear swelling up from deep inside me. And then suddenly, opportunity after opportunity to earn, to be part of something.
  • Relationships. Friendship. Sisterhood. Connection. These are so much more than just words. Nurturing the relationships in my life is one of the most beautiful responsibilities I've been given.
And now I'm here, in today. And there are conversations to be had, bike rides to go on, quietness to sink into. So much is happening in my one human life, and so much more in the world. It's almost overwhelming. How do I keep in touch with all my friends, be present in my beautiful relationship, work, create, and still have quiet time for myself? How do I respond to the cries for love in my family, my friends, the world? A step at a time, I guess. A moment at a time. A loving thought at a time.

I wonder what will happen in my life today.
Do you wonder what will happen in yours?

Friday, 8 July 2011


What I have to say isn't complete. It isn't polished, honed and mined for its wisdom and lessons. I am in the middle of something right now, and perhaps I need to write this just to help sift it, in the same way you pan for gold.

Last week, I spent a few days up in London with my friend, L, who went into what could only be described as a sacred process -- labour. I spent a few days with her, and in that time I marvelled at the miracle of conception, pregnancy and birth. Being in the waiting room on the delivery ward, with women all around me going through contractions, was an eye-opener to say the least. How, as a woman, had I not been exposed to this part of life before? I know that this is what my body was 'designed' for, of course, but somehow being there last week was like a puzzle piece clicking into place.

Women are incredible.

At a certain point in time, we make love. Or, we just 'have sex', or engage in an act of union, or are violated. Perhaps we disconnect. Perhaps it shakes the earth. Perhaps we don't even remember the day it took place, but inside our bodies, a merging occurs. We do not choose to make it happen. Sometimes we try for years and it still doesn't happen. Other times, it's the last thing on earth that we want to happen, and it just does. We are the conduit, the channel, not the director. As the days and weeks go by, a being begins to grow inside of us.

A being begins to grow inside of us!

It grows from the tiniest pinprick into a baby, weighing 6 lbs 7 oz, or 8 lbs 2 oz, or 5 lbs 5 oz, with arms and heart and perfect little toenails, ears and eyelids and a spine, ligaments, nerves, lungs and diaphragm. How could I have not comprehended what a miracle this is? We, the ones who walk the earth, are all miracles!

Me, a miracle: 5 days old
Whether born at home, in a birthing pool, on a hospital bed, in a taxi, or by C-section, the closing chapter of the sacred process of pregnancy provides the opening chapter to this amazing journey called life. I think it's such a shame that we don't remember those first days on planet earth, when we're not bound by the clock. We are, in that delicate time, governed by our own divine timing. One of the midwives last week referred to baby as 'The Boss'; she is, she is! She sleeps, regardless of whether it's 4.13am, 2.56pm or six o'clock at night. She eats when she wants to, totally unaware of the three meals a day norm. She lives in tune with her own needs, her own body. She hasn't been conditioned to see the world in a certain way. She has no self-limiting beliefs. She is just pure innocence.

She just is. She doesn't have to try to be. She just is.

I was so taken with my friend's process last week that I couldn't even write about it. Thankfully, I managed to speak about it with Alia in our one-to-one session. Alia, if you're reading this, I haven't yet been able to put into words how deeply thankful I am for that session and for you and your intuition. I am standing on the edge of something incredible right now.

That this experience took place right towards the end of my own process of Careers Coaching is no accident. I had hoped that by the end of the process, I would know exactly what I'm 'meant' to be doing with my life. Being at the birth was without doubt an essential ingredient in this process, but after a huge breakdown earlier this week, in which I descended into a pit of confusion, despair and desperation, I feel most comforted simply reassuring myself of this: my work in this world is simply to love. I am here to love, forgive and connect. It's that simple. I am here to peel back the layers of unforgiveness that have built up over years of lack of vigilance. If I can help others to do that too, that would be a dream come true. If I can help women give birth to themselves, with as much reverence and sacredness as when they give birth to their babe, that would be incredible beyond words. But one person I can definitely give birth to is... myself. With some pushing, some resting, some growing pains, some patience, I am emerging, learning to see the world anew and return to a state of love and peace.

And for that I am truly grateful.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


This week I was with my beautiful friend as she entered the final stage of her pregnancy, and the first stage of her baby's life on earth - her labour process.

It started on Sunday at midnight (2.00pm for her, when her waters broke), and she eventually welcomed her babe into the world on Tuesday at 11.00pm.

We walked, rocked, moved, breathed, danced, connected, listened, spoke, shared, hoped, waited, worried. It wasn't straightforward. It was utterly beautiful. It was one of the biggest honours I have ever had to be with her.

I am now a Godmother.

And a precious, perfect, innocent new life is with us. Welcome, beautiful babe! Welcome to the world. I promise to always remember the Truth about who you are, and to be here to support you and love you and be the angel who stands over you and whispers, "grow, grow."

This life is so precious, isn't it friends?