Goodbye

I’m sat on the shoreline, watching the sun go down.

Planet Earth doesn’t stop revolving despite pandemics and planetary crisis. Earth may be coming undone but nature continues as ever, the surf rolling in, the sun sinking low.

I was about to write a post about sea swimming, something I’ve just started to do. But then I realised I didn’t need to share it with the world to make it important or meaningful. I didn’t need to read into the importance of this activity or share with others in case they might be interested in what it could bring them.

I was happy in my lane. Just doing my thing and sharing it with a few friends.

You may have seen if you’ve been following this blog for the six or so years it’s been going that the number of posts I’ve been writing has decreased of late.

Once a integral part of my being, a weekly commitment, this site has nursed me and brought me through some dark times.

Before I was able to share the very depths of my sorrow with somebody flesh, face-to-face, this blog site was a place where I could be truly me and express my joy, sorrow, anger, frustration, depression, anxiety.

All of me.

It was a place I could remove the mask of who I was in company and be truly me.

It followed me through my growth – into becoming a coach, a mother and a leader. Into being more comfortable with who I am and what I might become.

And although I know this isn’t the end of my development, I also feel like this is the time to put a pause to the public ponderings of my life.

Maybe it’s because I now feel more comfortable reaching out for help. Learning to be vulnerable with people in the flesh. Sharing more with those I know.

So here’s a simple ‘goodbye’ if only for now.

Who knows, I might be back one day, but at the moment I’m hanging up my blogging hat.

And it feels good.

Reminders of my path

I love stationary – yes, I’m that sort of person. If it’s something I’m going to use a lot for work and personal pondering, I’m not averse to spending £20+ on a lovely, pleasing book to write into.

It’s an especially joyful day when I have only a few more pages left and can go in search of a new one to have close at hand when my old one is full.

And yesterday afternoon, I was at the stage of needing to start a new one – happy days.

This morning, in a moment with nothing to do, I decided to spend a moment going through my old notebook, now battered and bruised, well thumbed-through and scribbled on – to transfer anything of use to the new one.

I’m so glad that I did this.

Because inside the cover page were notes I had written to myself about six months ago about the core values I want to have integral to my life and, based on Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, I’d also written reminders of the behaviours I exhibit when I’m not living in my core values.

They are:

Faithfulness

When I live in faith, I can be seen:

  1. Choosing courage over comfort
  2. Leaning into conflict – disagreements, asserting my views – with curiosity
  3. Knowing it’s not my job to make others comfortable or to be liked

I was reminded that I know I’m not living in these values when I take decisions based on feeling like I’m too much (making myself small) or not enough (trying to get people to like me by what I do, not accepting myself for who I am) and unkind self-talk.

Growth

When I focus on growing, I keep an eye on:

  1. Healthy striving – not wanting to be ‘the best’ but to be ‘my best’
  2. Taking my own pace and direction with the areas I’m growing in
  3. Leaning into my growing edge – doing what scares me

I know I’m not living in growth when I don’t speak up or stay curious for fear of being rejected, when I’m focusing on ‘being right’ not ‘getting it right’ and when I avoid the discomfort of not knowing or having the right answer.

I’ve got to say, things are quite tough at the moment – I’m in the middle of lots of things – work and home – which alone would be doable but together make me feel like I’m in a bit of a slog.

Sometimes feeling over my head, often feeling on the edge, ready to snap.

But revisiting these values reminds me that I’m on the right path – I’m choosing courage over comfort. I’m spotting the unkind self-talk I can get into when I’m not feeling safe. I’m leaning into a heck of a lot that scares me and I’m learning to say ‘help! I don’t know how to do this’ more than ever before.

I’m also cheered on by these words, tugged onto the right path in reading how I want to stay curious in conflict – how might I do this? I’m reminded that I don’t have to worry about being liked or belonging by giving people what I think they want – I hear a still small voice say ‘I’m enough as I am’.

Power

I had a dream last night that I’m sharing with you partly so I’ll remember it but also because it may speak to you as it did to me.

I’ve always considered dreams to just be something our mind does to process our experience or a time where we can access our imagination and the treasures of our mind. However, some books I’ve been reading recently have intrigued me in the power of dreams to not just access our unconscious but to also tap into something deeper than that…this is why I’ve been paying particular attention to them of late and perhaps why I’ve noticed more of them recently.

The dream last night was almost marvel or DC Comic-like in its plot. Where several people were waging against a tyrant with the intent for destruction and domination. His hunger was for control, for all to surrender to his power and to be under his influence and doing his bidding.

His cronies were destroying someone – perhaps it was even me (or part of me?) – who was daring to speak up and stand up to him.

And then I saw the master himself, smooth-tongued and hell-bent on destruction. He had gathered some people to him who could take a stand against him.

He was telling them the contracts they had taken with him – the deals to keep safe, but keep small. He was promising them their safety if only they bent to his will.

And then one of the people in that line said ‘but this contract isn’t signed in my true name’.

It wasn’t a trick that the person had played upon this tyrant, signing with a fake name to deceive and render the contract null and void.

It was deeper than that – the realisation that the role we step into of worker, carer, well-behaved, rebel – is not the true nature of who we are and the power we give away doesn’t have to be our path in life.

For we have different names – that speak to our soul’s calling and the irrevocable belonging that is our right.

It reminds me of the final main scene in the Labyrinth when the female lead, Sarah, breaks the spell of the Goblin King, realising that the only power he has over her is the power she gives away to him.

And it also reminds me of this beautiful poem by David Whyte from RIVER FLOW: NEW & SELECTED POEMS:

I can’t say I know my ‘name’ yet – and I’m not fully acquainted with my wild mouth and my song – and perhaps it’s naive to think that I will get ‘there’ in a swift, decisive moment or that it’s a fixed thing.

But I do know that the roles I’ve complied with in life – the carer, the ‘well behaved’, follower of rules, striver of excellence – are not ‘it’ and I feel the call within – the possibility of what it might be to step into my power.

Holiday reflections

I’ve spent a glorious week away on holiday in Wales and want to take a few minutes with you to reflect on what I’ve experienced during my time here.

I’d felt a bit apprehensive about this trip, having felt stretched beyond measure on previous visits here in the early years of motherhood and in need of a proper rest after the past four months of lockdown.

But despite having planned in time alone, I didn’t need to take any space by myself. I truly enjoyed everything that we did as a group – swimming, hiking, chilling, cooking – so much so that I felt out of sorts last night….a feeling I discovered to be a sadness of leaving this bliss, this reprieve from ‘normal’ life.

So here are my thoughts from this week.

Grounded

I can see and feel how much I’ve changed over the past year.

Part of the joy this week was thanks to the company – people who had no expectations of me – and the love and care that they showed Jenson, my son, which gave me a bit more time alone.

However, a big part of the peace was down to me being ok just doing my thing. Not worrying about what others think, not taking on responsibility for the happiness of the people who were here with us, being ok stating what I wanted to do and not worrying about the opinions or needs of others.

I can see that I’ve grown to be ok in my skin. I’m grounded in myself.

And it feels good.

Moving

I also can see how my relationship with my body and exercise has changed too.

I went on two gorgeous long runs in my time away and went hiking with the group in Snowdonia.

But unlike before, what I loved about this exercise was the feeling of my muscles straining, my heart beating, my body feeling alive with the effort of movement.

Instead of running to be able to eat more or to offset over eating, I ran and hiked for the love of it.

Watching my thinking

I also witnessed my thinking a lot on this holiday. I was able to step back and inquire into unhelpful thoughts.

The few times that I worried about whether it was ok to be spending my time reading or going to bed at 10pm when everyone else was up until 2am, I was able to step back and ask myself what was going on. Why I was worrying about this.

Usually it was from fear of not fitting in, worry of what others were thinking about me, feeling tired and so more critical of myself.

And being able to witness my thoughts, I was able to not be swept up in these thoughts. I was able to challenge them and be more choiceful in my response.


So there are my thoughts from this perfect week away. I wish I had another week to go but will have to wait until next year…I wonder what will have changed in me by then.

This tree and me

I’m out today on a walk in nature by myself. A few months ago I would never imagine myself feeling safe in nature, alone as a female within woodland, but I’ve come to recognise the call to connect with nature is greater than the fear of harm coming to me by somebody lurking within its depths.

And on my entry into the wilds of the woods today I came upon a tree that spoke to me. I want to share with you what I learnt from it. Or at least what I learnt from what was mirrored in its shape and form about my path.

I saw some roots, exposed and forming almost a chicken foot shape as this tree, perched on the banks of the hill, has found security and balance in itself.

I recognise in its form and history my Vero own journey. How I’ve often stepped onto the precipice of life, unsure of my worth or my place in life, and yet have still clung on and remained on this earth. I’ve remained stronger for the roots that I have created to adapt to this world.

And on these roots, moss has grown. Like a beautiful yoke of cloth, draped over these roots, twining and twirling up through the tree.

My pain and hurt has likewise shaped me into something beautiful.

And just behind the tree, I see a small sapling who has found shelter in the broad trunk of my tree.

I see the young tree is plentiful and beautiful, although parts of it have been cut off by human hand.

The two trees mirror something of myself. My hope of providing a shelter for my loved ones from the storm of life. A place where they may find respite and reprieve.

And yet I note, as the larger tree shows me, it’s not my job or within my gift to protect those I love from all harm. It’s a reminder of the limitations and perhaps the boundary of my role.

I can not prevent harm falling on those I love – and, even though it pains me to say it, neither is that my task.

But I can provide a safe space in which others might find shelter.

And on the tree trunk itself, I find small shoots coming forth. I see areas of new growth within the solid base of the tree.

And I see myself reflected in this new growth of the tree. I too am experiencing areas of new growth in areas which have felt long fixed solid. But now these parts of me are starting to move and grow. From them, new shoots are bursting out.

I find hope in this course of nature. It mirrors the course of myself. The growth in and of myself.

And I finish my reflections with the branches that are reaching out from this tree into the heavens.

The expansiveness I feel are reflected in the sun-dappled boughs and I find myself stretching out metaphorically into this wilder space.

I find myself being both my individual self and part of a wider ecosystem.

I feel a sense of wonder and oneness in being both very human and also finding an extension of myself within this tree and an extension of this tree within myself.

And so the ripple continue as I find myself within this forest and this forest within myself.

Myself within the very arms of nature herself and nature extending into me.

Get back up

My mum sent me a really helpful image the other day about what we’re currently living through with coronavirus:

It was such a relief to find in this image a reflection of my experience of late – feeling slightly crotchety, not as resourceful or kind to myself as usual and sometimes just in a funk, despite the gorgeous weather outside.

I’ve just finished co-hosting some sessions on resilience at work, supporting people who are feeling less than their best selves. Some may be living in social isolation, trying to juggle work alongside childcare, knowing someone who is seriously ill or feeling anxiety as lockdown eases.

I really benefitted from being reminded about some basics of resilience from putting on these sessions, so thought you might benefit from them too:

Physical resilience:

If we don’t have good physical resilience, we will find it incredibly challenging – if not impossible – to be socially and psychologically resilient.

If you take nothing else from this bit of my writing, it would be this – you need to take care of your physical self.

This isn’t anything fancy, it’s all the boring things we know we should do to take care of ourselves, like:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having down time
  • Exercising
  • Eating nourishing food
  • Drinking enough water
  • Limiting screen time (staring fixedly at something can trigger nxiety as it mimics how we’d freeze when faced with a threat, like a wild animal)

I repeat again – without physical resilience, we will snap easier, we will be angrier, we will be buffeted around more by the fear and uncertainty of what’s going on.

So take care of yourself!

For me, I’ve realised that I’m not having enough down time and solitude. I’ve not been taking lunch breaks, I’ve gone from drop off at nursery with my son straight to work and then back to parenting and finally an hour with my husband before we topple into bed to repeat the same thing.

And my son has been waking at around 5am this past week, so it’s been exhausting.

So for the past week, I’ve taken a lunch break, gone outside for some fresh air for some exercise. And when it’s been my husband’s turn to pick up our son from nursery, I’ve taken a nap.

It’s so nice to then have energy to enjoy the evening and stay up past 9pm!

Please continue to hold me to this if you are reading this as a close friend or member of my family.

It’s done the world of good to me and I’ve felt more on an even keel and able to deal with the stresses and strains of this current life due to the small steps I’ve taken to increase my physical resilience.

Social resilience

We humans are pack animals – we can be grounded by those around us (problematic if we have no one physically around us!) and look to others to check that we’re ok. And so when we’re going through a situation and people are panicking en masse, the opposite can also be true – our resilience can be reduced if those we are in contact with are freaking out.

It sounds simple – and it is – but it’s good to remember and think about who you are spending your time with (whether that’s physically who is at home and how they’re dealing with things or who you’re in contact with on social media).

The answer?

Maybe choose who you are in contact with! Or balance it out a bit with calmer people.

And look at how you can protect yourself from those whose anxiety or anger or sadness (or whatever) is so big that they’re unable to step away from it.

A good thing you might be able to try is speaking to what they’re going through “I can tell you’re feeling anxious, what might help?” instead of getting drawn into it their feelings yourself or getting a wave of anxiety thrown onto you that you then have to deal with.

And boundaries!

You have the right to protect yourself and ask for what you need in a relationship.

This might be something like “I can tell this is a big deal for you, but I’d value if we could talk about other things that are happening besides covid-19. So can we talk about this for five minutes and then draw a line there? I promise I’ll be all ears to hear you during this time”

I can’t say, as someone who can find it challenging to put a new boundary in place, that I’d be super at ease saying something like this. But I know that this might need to happen if I was with someone who was amplifying their anxiety on me.

And I’m reminded of the trite but very true saying that ‘those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind’.

It’s helpful to remember that we feel group anxiety and it can seep into us even if we’re not feeling anxious about anything. So it’s even more important to take care of your physical resilience and, if you’re thinking ‘why aren’t I coping so well?’ remember to be kind to yourself. The ‘not coping’ might be down to the anxiety of others.


Another HUGE factor in resilience is our psychological resilience and I have so much to share with you. But I know that I don’t currently have the right mental bandwidth to write about it now. I’m tired and ready for a pre-lunch nap!

So it’ll have to wait for a follow-up post.

I hope this has been a helpful share, whether it’s a reminder about resilience or new information to you about how you might increase your resilience right now.

Finding joy

I’ve found such a sense of joy during these lockdown months as I’ve spent more time with my immediate family. Weekends are made of rambling walks, barbecues if the weather is right and movie afternoons with us all snug on the sofa.

Don’t get me wrong, the time hasn’t been perfect with a strong-willed two year old with a penchant for 5am wake-ups and it’s uncomfortable to be finding such happiness when others are struggling so much, but I’ve realised that if I had to spend the rest of my life in isolation, I’d be happy with this company to keep me happy and sane.

I want this to be my life predominantly when we get out of lockdown – life is better lived at a slower, gentler pace.

But I have fears too.

What will happen to friendships that maybe need to be gently let go of to keep this space? Is this just going to tumble around me one day, leaving me with no friends and regrets for those I let overtake me in their faster life?

But this feels right for me and so I’m going to keep unfurling in the gentle joy of being a family of three.

Work, if I’m honest, has been less joyful.

Don’t get me wrong – this is not to say that my life at work is not full of satisfaction. But I’m realising that there’s something about how I’m approaching work and the distance between people which is starting to rub a bit.

And so here are my thoughts about how I can bring more joy to my working life over the coming weeks and months.

Connecting

Connecting with peers and people who inspire me on a 1:1 basis is so important for me. After a good conversation – talking through challenges, connecting with others on a very human level – my heart feels bigger, my spirit feels lighter.

I feel joy.

But the connections I’d usually have over lunchtime walks and meetings have been fewer and further between.

And conversations with people in the organisation who inspire and spark something in my have been fewer and more focused on the immediate than the spacious time they were in pre-covid times.

I’m learning that these are conditions are important for me to thrive and so they should be one of the priorities that I take forward – thinking who I need to connect with and looking at how I can be intentional about this in the weeks ahead.

Finding fun

One of the permission slips I’ve written for myself at work is ‘the permission to have fun’. I notice how uncomfortable this feels to share with you, dear friend, because having fun isn’t ‘serious’.

It might be seen as wasting time or not being productive.

So let me clarify, this isn’t having fun in the sense of playing video games or fooling around instead of get things done. It’s a mindset, and an important one for creativity, reimagining what’s possible, stepping into new roles at work.

For me, fun is setting myself a hard task and being intentional about the areas where I can gain enjoyment from it.

Fun is looking at other people and organisations to see what I can learn from them.

Fun is trying out new things, knowing that the point is to try – not get things perfect.

Fun is working with people who are as open and imaginative as I am.

And I haven’t really allowed myself to have much fun recently. I haven’t prioritised it.

So I’m going to bring this back.

Distance

Until now, I’d said that I’d be happy to work from home for the rest of my life.

I like not having to leave the house by 6:45am to catch the right train to work. I like being able to eat lunch with my husband. I like spending the time I used to spend commuting running along the seashore and through the fields near my house. I like sometimes working from my sofa, in my garden, at different times of the day.

But I recognise now that it’s a bit lonely.

There are limited spaces for interaction outside of the meetings I’m part of and the online presence means that these meetings have less chat at the strt are are more focused on a particular purpose.

And meetings set up for connection are in big groups, which I don’t enjoy or feel nourished from.

There are no conversations in hallways that lead onto something.

There’s less laughter, less spontaneity, less connection.

So, while I like the better balance of working from home, I can see the importance of finding a way of being together in a group and recognising the impact of online connections on my joy.

So what does this mean?

There are some easy things I will be doing over the coming weeks – it feels good to have ordered my thoughts with you to look at what’s going on and what I need:

  • Considering who I want to connect in with over the next few weeks and months
  • Finding a sense of joy through looking at the road ahead and where I want to be intentional in bringing some fun and lightness
  • Acknowledging that it’s hard to connect online, reminding myself that this will pass

Kindness

When I got married, my mum gave me a card with some advice to me as a newly wed.

She said the most important thing in a successful marriage is kindness. I couldn’t agree more with her – it’s been one of the most vital things for my relationship to stand the test of time – we’ve been together for close to ten years now!

And as I spent a day off work last week, completely exhausted from the ups and downs of covid life and lack of sleep (thanks for the 5am wake ups, Jenson!), I was reminded of the importance of kindness not just towards my husband but towards myself.

I spent the morning having a wonderful run to the seaside and into some countryside – time in blue and green space was just what the doctor ordered, but after that, I started to feel really antsy and uncomfortable. The day that had started so well was no longer going so well – I was doubting myself and feeling like the day was going to be one big disaster.

And then I remembered that what I really needed was a huge dollop of kindness.

I started to ask myself ‘what would be the kindest thing to do for myself?’.

And here’s what I was guided to:

  • Get back into your PJ bottoms to stay cosy
  • Listen to the sound of rain on an app you’ve got as you spend a bit of time just chilling
  • Have lunch in bed, watching a feel good film
  • Enjoy the nice full feeling you’ve got from having eaten slightly too much chocolate
  • Have a nap
  • Take it slow

It’s such a different approach to a child-free and work-free day of the past where I’d try to cram in so much – needing to feel like I’d achieved something from the day instead of asking what I needed from the day itself (rest, fun, reflection…).

Instead of telling myself that I need to be productive or do something with my time, it was such a relief to just be. 

To allow myself to unwind from the pace of life for a moment. To sink even deeper – if that’s possible – into the potential of a life designed around taking care of myself with loving kindness.

And I’ve really appreciated a tip I took from a resilience webinar I attended on Wednesday (shown in the photo below) – in every choice we make throughout a day, we have a range of options – from something that’s the best possibility, to the worst possibility.

Our days are made up of these possibilities, stacked one after another in each decision we make. They can make us ascend or descend – the image shows how you can make the least kind decision but then bound up and ‘recover ground’ by making the most kind decision next.

Yet I rarely lived like this before. In the past, if I made one unkind choice towards myself (usually around eating my feelings away instead of acknowledging what I was feeling) I’d immediately discount the day and would spiral into some form of hell – beating myself up, eating even more, feeling crap about myself…it’d usually continue in that way for some days after until I managed to jolt myself out of the cycle.

But what I see now, what the model shared in the webinar showed, is that after that initial ‘worst’ choice, there is always another opportunity, another decision, another path to take which can lift us up – whether that’s the choice to:

  • stop eating and acknowledge what is going on to us instead
  • take a step back and assess our options
  • start speaking to ourselves with kindness
  • take the higher ground

It can turn around a day that has started to spiral

It’ reminded me that it’s never too late for kindness.

So what are you going to do with your day? How are you going to show yourself kindness today, friend?

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Merry go round

In the past, I’ve had so many conversations with people about how overstretched I feel. I can’t count the amount of times over the year that I’ve said “I wish this merry-go-round would stop”; talking about my life and how I wish I could just get off it for a moment to catch my breath.

I think I’ve even written it here on this blog.

Life pre-covid-19 was so busy – family time was demanding with a young child, work was stretching (in a good way) and my social life kept me busy with plans stretching months ahead.

But the other day I was speaking to someone on the phone, asking each other how we were doing and I realised that with the current lockdown we’re living through, I’ve slowly unfolded into a new slower pace of life.

The merry-go-round has stopped.

And I’ve loved it.

Sure, there have been challenges – I’ve written about them on this blog – but the overwhelming feeling I’ve had in my life is relief for the time and space I now have in my life. 

Relief of having weekends filled with nothing but family togetherness; the highlight being a pizza night or a cycle down to the seafront and time throwing stones into the sea.

Relief at having time to properly care for myself – running through parks instead of commuting to work, reading in my newly set up ‘cosy corner’ in the afternoon sun, finding moments of kindness and connection as I wave to people on the walk up my road. 

Relief to find myself suddenly in a pace of life where I don’t expect myself to do anything or be anything.

I just am.

And part of me feels awful for feeling thankful in this time that is so deeply challenging for others – people pushed to the brink of breaking point psychologically, emotionally, financially, physically.

Is it right to flourish and have gratitude for the sudden break in life when people are losing their lives to this pandemic? 

But as I find myself whirling into a tailspin, wondering if I can even share these words with you, dear friend, I’m reminded of a podcast I listened to recently on comparative suffering, knowing that my lack of suffering at this moment doesn’t take away from what others are going through.

There’s room in this world for all our experiences. 

And I recognise that I was suffering before this pandemic slowed me down. 

Suffering from lack of space, a life that was unsustainable, an unhelpful pattern of constantly saying ‘yes’ to things that didn’t serve me, FOMO, not listening to myself and what I needed. 

And part of me is scared about what will happen when this lockdown ends – when I am back in a life that has more hard edges to it – with commuting, for example – and more soft edges too, with the possibility of socialising. 

I feel like a freak for loving the additional time alone, for not wanting to be with lots of people, for having a life that is full enough as it is. 

And yet, this is my truth. 

  • I love time alone. 
  • I only need a few close friends to feel like the richest person in the world. 
  • I’m happy living a simple life, with the company of my family and time out in nature. 
  • I like living somewhere with neighbours who look out for each other. 

I love this world where the merry-go-round has stopped – not for the suffering it has caused others but for the simplicity it has brought to my life. 

I hope I find a way to not get back on the merry-go-round – or to find a way to regularly get off it – when it starts to turn again. 

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I’m not alone

I’ve been coming to terms for a while now with the fact that I’m not somebody who enjoys small talk.

It’s made me feel shame that I’m not enough – that I can’t easily fit into the world of people who enjoy nothing more than being in a group with others, laughing and joking, sharing the every day occurrences of the world.

I’ve got a few good friends with whom I share a different type of relationship. It’s not a bond borne through years of knowing each other – it’s a bond of letting ourselves be fully seen.

We may not know what we’ve done on a day to day basis, but we know what makes each others heart stop with wonder or fear or anger. We know what stops us from stepping into our true calling. We share our highest dreams and our lowest moments.

We share from our depths of our souls. 

But that’s only with a handful of people and I’ve felt quite alone for much of life with how I’ve felt, not sure how I could both honour myself and find my path through a world built on a different type of interaction.

It feels like I’m speaking a foreign language – stilted, awkward, unsure.

It’s hard to share this as I feel like writing my truth – how I love deep conversation – discounts or belittles the pleasure and the fulfilment that other people get from chitchat, banter, sharing what’s going on in the day-to-day. And it’s not that I think it’s wrong to enjoy this way of living – it’s just not right for me.

And I’m finding myself feeling more and more uncomfortable living at this level.

Feeling this way and being unsure what to do about it has felt really lonely.

I felt unsure what to do or where to turn until I read a section from the book I’ve been reading recently called Soulcraft.

Reading these passages felt like a coming home to myself and I wanted to share them in case you feel similarly alone in seeking deeper soul connections:

We spend much of our time talking about trivial matters and practical ones – the weather, plans for the day, routine office events, frivolous gossip, the new movie, canned jokes, the latest shopping acquisition, the next technological miracle, stock-market shifts. Chitchat, the every day wins and losses. So little of our conversation addresses our passions, loves, emotions, dreams, or our creative insights and soul stirrings.

An effective strategy for tuning our awareness to the frequency of soul is to minimise every day conversation that separates us from the here and now and from what is truly meaningful. This can be a rather challenging discipline. Sometimes it seems almost everything in our culture conspires to distance us from the heart and soul. So many messages are ads, trying to tell us something of questionable usefulness while ruthlessly pandering to our vanity, insecurity, or happiness – new toys, fashion, entertainment, or insurance against the inevitabilities of life.

Few people ask the bigger questions. For the Wanderer, however, nothing is more important: she seeks the hidden treasure, the spring bubbling in the desert, the song of the world.

Constant superficial conversation keeps us from noticing what’s going on with us emotionally or spiritually or in our bodies. Small talk alienates us from ourselves – perhaps a purpose as well as a result. 

Sacred speech is conversation that deepens. It deepens relationship and enhances the fulness of our presence wherever we are and whomever we are with. It is dialogue centred in what exists here and now between us. We speak from the heart and address what truly matters – our feelings, imagery, dreams, life purpose, our relationships, soul stories, our discoveries of how we project aspects of self onto others or learn to withdraw those projections and our meetings with remarkable humans, animals, plants and places. There is no requirement that such conversation be solemn or hushed. The sacred is often funny as well. We laugh at our oh-so-human foibles and the jokes that life plays on us everyday. The more real our conversations become, the more alive we become, the more we want to scream or shout or cry. 

What a relief to hear that my experience is one shared by others. 

What joy to feel fully understood and to know I’m not alone. 

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