The Lioness’s Whisper


Halfway between
And emptiness
Sat the Moon
That afternoon
That we began to
Each other

Feeling into our feline-ness
Was the invitation
Whilst Love’s centrifugal force
Curled it’s way
Around us
And through us
Leaning on,
Leaning into
The other
Until Other
Became One

In flesh, in heart,
In bone
Softening, yeilding
As we do
As we can

Tears falling into
This calling
Two dozen, maybe more,
Statuesque Women
In Spirit and the Unknown
Our prayer to
Each other
In this
Magnificent caress
Of deep

Thank you All

As the tenderness of this
Heart Full
Image: Iva Troj



The Gentle Heart of a Sorrow-Full Soul


There are some moments in life that are rare.

Rare and full of gold.

Some happen upon us. Others from seeking and searching. And there are gems that occur when generous souls, with their love and compassion, hold space and enable us to dive deeper into the crevices of our being.

Grow the Grown Ups 2017. One moonlight night. One stone circle. Two listening ears. One beating heart. One dancing desire, shared with my youngest, to sleep right here. Hello.


This journey of navigating my inner-landscape isn’t new. And I am realising isn’t just of this lifetime.

This journey of tuning into the whispers of my ancestors has long too played a steady, burgeoning role within my curiosity and enquiry. I am unsure whether it played one for my mother and grandmother however, my suspicion is both they and my aunts as well carried the secrets that have been begging to be heard.


One balmy Tuesday afternoon. One large group of men and women, handsome in spirit and courage. One one helluva rockin facilitator and a pathway into our calling. Us all, I do believe.

Joanna Watters, we meet again. It’s been two years since my family and I first attended the programme. Two years since we landed back in London trying to reintegrate into the incessant beat of the incessant city. Now two years on, myself and son and daughter, here again with your glorious team to indulge in love’s incessant request for us to be ourselves. In magic, in beauty and in wonder.


Love kissed her sweet lips on mine throughout the week. Reminded me of my ability, my prowess, my humility. I love YOU, she told me and, these days, thankfully I’m learning how to not shy away.

Kindness also, gentle and sweet, found her way, as I lay on the somehow maddening sloping floor of Centre Fire, whilst Joanna’s lilting voice guided each brave soul in it’s spacious walls into tender relaxation.

What feels like a lifetime ago in young-ness. What feels like innocent inquisition of 30-year-old child self. I used to try with all my might to crack open this dark nook inside.

I felt it in my earthing and, boy, did it make me feel cross. Tap. Tap. Tap. Bang. Bang. Bang.

I know you’re in there, craving to see light. I know there’s something. Rotten and raging. Blocking my way…..

Bang. Bang. Bang.

I’m not surprised now my fiery determination didn’t work. Such attack in my perseverance.

What the heck are you talking my friend?, you ask.

Well. Let me begin.

As I lay there that Tuesday afternoon, feeling into my rhythms and bones and meeting the gnarly rooting that runs upwards to the left of my spine, I asked myself this;

Who is wanting to be seen?

And with Joanna’s soft purr reminding us to allow love to illuminate the way, the twisted contorted root started to emerge into form. Yes. Really.

And here I bore witness, as form emerged into dimension, a woman. Old. Hunched. Heavy hearted. Wizened.

From somewhere I spoke, Hello and welcomed her into my presence.

Hello, Witch. I realised. Now I see who you have been. At last.

It was wonderful not to run. Not to hide her back from whence she came. To give her space, breathing space to simply be in my eyes.

And as time, which felt like days but most probably well a minute or just seconds, I realised that beneath her cloak of sadness, for she seemed so heavily sorrowful, there was something divine within.

Yes! Beneath where she had been cast. The mad one. The crazy and wild one. Insane and not of this world. Was in fact one wondrous beatific sensuous heart.


Her sorrow, I learned, was from this casting. Castigated because of her dance with the stars. Her prayer to the earth. Her knowing of the power within the bowels of love and the magic within the guts of the universe. And the scorn, mistrust and fear she was met with threw shadow and doubt within her own pulsing chambers. She ran from her wisdom and hid in the rain. Waiting. Wanting. And stirring the deepest grief and bewilderment she had ever known.

Whilst I hold space for this sacred being whom I have carried for so long, I see how my mother and grandmother had carried her too. I expect those before along my maternal line also knew her shape and voice and, somewhere, her persistent request to be seen.

I don’t know if my wide-eyed darling girl will inherit this lineage too but I do know this. Now I need no longer cower from her presence. This frightened old witch I will give instead the space to play, make merry and be seen in joy, in warmth and in love.

And, I think instead, she may in fact become our friend.


We will, Witch, Daughter and All, sleep in the stones once more.

I promise.

Image: Anne-Julie Aubry

In the Waterscapes of Becoming



What happens when you touch the edges of the universe once again?


What happens when you meet the start of creation once more?


What happens when your love affair with a majestic teacher is rekindled and all the old hurts re-surface?


No edges. No beginning. Love ever eternal.


Ah yes, Water. Hello.


10 days. 10 days with 12 strangers. 12 strangers who came together around an old dining table trying to make one helluva comprehensive shopping list for the week ahead, between a morning’s float and an afternoon’s return to wet cossies. Stressed. Finding our feet. Communing in ways not quite yet known how they would unfold.


10 days. 12 strangers. One old house of old stories. One pool.


A pool of many tales.


A request for builders tea. Another for peppermint. More requests, a pinch of earth and a night full of laughter, glorious and sublime, bursting. Film footage of all the misdemeanours and merriment, capturing the child, the wise one and the fool within us all.


Sleep? It didn’t really happen.




Conversations. Many. Rich meaty discussions on the intangible nature of being. Where is it? What is it? Like hungry wolves, chewing, spitting. Munching on blood. If only we could. Trying to make goddam sense of that which flies away the very instant we ask it to swing by.


I loved them all.


I loved the feasts, night after night. Mightier and mightier, in taste, love and care they grew. Each from the heart. Beating it’s way into mouth watering delights.


Day 2, whilst trying to rest, I felt the surge of other’s movements through my body.


Day 3, 8am over breakfast, tears starting to roll down my cheeks, as two wonderful women told of the loss of too, too young souls.


It had begun.


Connecting. Feeling. Tapping into each other beneath the skin.


My tears didn’t stop. Describing ourselves through found garden treasures, in delicacy of words, my heart trembled with each whisper shared.


We watched wild fire and pain and fragility of our humanness float to the surface and not once did we run. Brave, courageous Water Warriors.


In the shades of our rainbow, in our shades deep within, we rose to meet each of those tumbling. Unfailingly we stood.


In landscapes of luminosity, I faltered and fell into the depths of my roaring.


And I fell. Boy did I fall.


How can it be to touch into the expansiveness of spirit and land without attachment? This I do not know. But I am learning.


I started to thread together pieces on this rambling path. And in doing, days into our communing, I hurt those around. This I did not mean to do. I am sorry. This has been a long journey coming.


I talked to God and the Underworld. And found my reflection; she who bears unconditional acceptance.


And I talked and I talked and I talked.


This, a very long-time waiting.


And the words, This is perfect. Everything is perfect, from another, as old shock ran through systems, as more tears began to fall whilst tender hearts collided, are the words I will take home.


Thank you. For within the mud, shit and rawness, truly everything just is.


I have landed back, here, still swimming. My sleep is long and deep. I am still amongst the stars and floating. But communication with another has caused a shadow. Again I’m sorry if you felt betrayed.


12 strangers. 10 days.


Poems of every expression. And of mine you may think I am mad.


But I thank you again for this sharing.


A privilege it was to have gone diving with each of you side by side in the waterscapes of this becoming.


Image: The End of Land

An Orphan’s Call


Sat halfway up the stairs, people moving up and down past, suddenly it happens. There was no going back. No turning around and saying, No thank you. I don’t want this. Instead I just spent the rest of that night and those that followed and the days, months and years after, wondering, Why? And later, How?

As if a spring snapping, there it was, the spring had completely un-sprung. Disconnected. From belly to mouth, no more. First the lead was broken, which was shock enough but then, even more confusing and challenging, I found no way to re-establish it’s re-connect. From navel to tongue, no more.

And so, that evening, as five us clambered into some parents car, pissed and fairly disheleved for a group of 14 year olds, I travelled back to our friend’s perplexed. I lay, sleeping bag next to sleeping bag, mystified, wanting to talk, to join in and cavort but refusal hit hard. I couldn’t. I couldn’t relate to my gut and speak, utter, joke. Somewhere a state of frozen had emerged. Somewhere distance had stepped in and everything seemed, felt alien. Wholly alien, as if I knew no one or no thing and, should I open my mouth, I would be lying and fabricating a truth.

Voice, I cried inside my heart, Where are you?

Then, stood in the playground on the first day back at school last week, waiting to pick up two gurling bowls of beauty who know not of such experiences, I smiled and said hello to two mothers I know and am fond of. And Boom! There it was again. As they spoke, chatted and laughed, there was the immobility. The words I muttered were laden with a self-consciousness that was heavier and denser than the content they were trying to convey. Where am I? Who I am? Am I slipping away?

Familiar patterns fuelled with muddy, tender brain chemistry, transformed a simple greeting into blackboard finger scrapping edge of panic and lost-ness. The kind of lost-ness that 30 odd years ago I knew only how to dig myself deeper into. Like stepping into the jungle with no torch.

With two kids in the back of the car homeward and still a taste of old stories combined with fresh faces, I try to gently piece my way through this shitty territory that rose too familiarly in the playground that afternoon.

Soph, my love, I tried to come in. Soph, I see you’re freaking out. But the volume of running in fright and jumping ship was still too loud in vibration to get through to what was beneath. Until, however, I twigged.

Soph, your uncle is dying. Your friend is unwell and your relationship has been at it’s rawest for years. You landscape is shifting and changing again. It is too soon and the pain you feel and the fear you feel is very, very real. You have not long moved from one city to another and you are still finding your feet, which I know in many ways it feels like you are doing so well at but don’t be fooled. The ground is still moving and this will take a while. Years.

Soph, you are hurting, my darling. You are feeling lost. And confused. You are still making sense of decisions you made regarding your family, which came by necessity but are still fucking fuck-some and horrible-some and there is still great loss, alongside the deaths of your mother and grandmother, to bare witness to.

And, as I listened in to this wisdom, old pages from old chapters of my life appeared as if I had just stepped through the doors of liquid time. Here I saw my 14 year old self, deeply confused and ashamed of the disconnect she experienced that night on the stairs desperately trying to piece together in the years after where it all went wrong but, strangely, never looking behind her into the widths of her life to see what had triggered such a strong and difficult reaction.

I still don’t know what had caused it that night and perhaps I never shall. All I know was that it was bone-rattling painful and, after a simple moment last week with two friendly souls and feeling my jaw joints disengaged and efforts at conversation feel as though I was wading through gunk, I realised something big.

The ground that is shifting in my life these last few months has knocked me to my core and it feels far, far too soon after so many, too many changes these past few years. My beloved uncle is one of two family members I still have a relationship with. His death will leave my aunt, who has lost three siblings, two siblings-in-law and her estranged mother in just over a decade, completely bereft. My aunt is my lifeline back to the blood whence I came. All other ties are no longer. Inside, in the caverns of my heart and the veins bulging beneath my skin is a crappy pulsing fear of orphanage and abandonment.

Where am I? Who am I?

It’s a tricky one to hold. Longing to belong and belonging to have family fierce on severing connections and love. Heart has never fully learned how to carry this load. It’s unbearable most of the time. And of course self-blame jumps in and at times, self-pity too.

But I realise, this is what I was holding at 14 years old when Voice disappeared. I hadn’t the appreciation back then nor the understanding but, with no one to reach out to all the anger that I felt turned inward and my sense of disconnection grew more and more. Whatever it was that instigated the spring from gut to jaw to snap, I realise my world was feeling as shaky and vulnerable then as it is now but I just had no lamp or map at the time to navigate my way through. I realise now Voice disappears when my world appears to turn upside down and each time it happens it brings me back to the first time I experienced abandonment. This my cells and marrow know was way before 14 years of age; the stairs that night were simply a first glimmer into a journey of conscious enquiry.

And now I look back to time after time, feeling overwhelm of not quite being present with folk around, feeling numbness and tightness in my throat, feeling a half smile in my confusion that tries to fill in the gaps and hopes no one will cotton on. I see underneath the tapestry of two brown eyes, an earnest face and tangled sea of dark and greying hairs, a delicate web of a very young beating heart that has swum for many years in uncertainty and loss. It’s time now not to run when Voice wanders but instead start acknowledging, with all the fear and discomfort it brings, the weight of what it’s roaming is telling me.

This hurt is primal. This edge is one that was not earthed in early years but instead scorched with trauma and terror. I am beginning to recognise it no longer has to hide no more. I will honour to no longer make it unspeakable. I will act as midwife, however hard it is and however old habits spurn disassociation, to enable Voice to be born anew.

Validation is key.

Tears and silence it seems are the first port of call.

If you see me here, I will try not hide.

Image: Graham McArthur

Dreaming our boy back home


So entwined in the attendance

In the tender dawning of motherhood,

The seeming urgency of physical necessity



I abandoned the power of my creation

I lost sight of my ability

A highfaluting, bone-rocking, gut-gurgling ability

To Dream

To live in, exist in Other

Imbue life to Other and imagine the unseen

The space since youth that had arrived me deeply in, on, above and beyond

The wild corners, edifices and gullies of my being

Bearing within, without, effortlessly in a crazy gift to realise


Then this calling in wonder to nurture,

Of and from heart to breast to arm,

To ensconce immeasurably in love,

As this darling, daring child’s mind climbed throughout the universe, one song

A child hinged on insistence

A child unfamiliar in dwelling in forgetting


And in this usurping

I forgot to forget.


And rather hunted feverishly high and low

In instinct, in memory, in books, in conversations

In Hope

To bring our sweet boy

With whom, wired into his tapestry of becoming

An anxiety, a burning, a twisting

Thrusting a constant edge of unease

To just simply Be

Yes in hope, in earnest

To bring our sweet child,

Back into connection

Back into Home


Seriousness ’twas my bedfellow,

In waking and in rest

Seriousness and worry

Wove themselves into this intentful, unrelenting

Determined heart-full



Almost eight long years

Of walking in the unknowing

In exhaustion

In times, howling despair

Of lostness

And yearning

In cycles of remembering to remember

I finally remembered whom I have forgotten


Dreamer, hello. Forgive me

Dreamer, please help envision me some majesty again

Help me fill valleys with possibility and anticipation

To fall and make merry

That which needs not a name

To help seed and grow dreams of our son’s


Back to the bosom

Of our earth’s melodious rumblings

Her caresses and whisperings

Her glorious medicine

The gentle hum of her longings

Her desires and her song


I remembered well

How to mother

How to care, guide and protect

Through sleepless nights

And tantrums of wanting

And moments of disconnection

But forgot,

So sorrowfully forgot,

My power to Dream

This child, within and without,


Into the Beloved’s arms

In the unfolding beauty of skin, flesh and bone

Back into the depths

Of home


Image: Source unknown

In Joy


Watching the chapters of my life fall away.

This was the sense that started to dawn within as I watched over the months the old skin of our new home being stripped away. As blood, sweat and tears over the weeks revealed flesh, bones and guts of lives passed. As age-old dreams carried deep in the heart began to pulse into life. Our life. Our new life. Within four secure, history rich, walls.

But last night I realised these chapters, I need to feel them first.

Last night, as I pulled the door closed quickly behind me, jolted from what I believed I had just witnessed.

Oh? You don’t want me then? Oh. I’m not included? Oh!

These were the words that I heard, that took me so abruptly by surprise. These were the words that I heard as I watched my neighbour invite another neighbour in. These were the words that shuddered through me as I stood in the cold outside.

Swiftly followed by,

Well, you’re just not good enough. There’s something wrong with you. She gets all the accolades. They’ll think you’re fucking strange even asking….

Tiredness is not my favourite bedfellow. Exhaustion skewers my mind. I watch, when weariness fills my being, how thoughts turn inward, how paranoia feeds on anxiety like a vulture. How severely I become truly not my own best friend.

Last night, BOOM! Tiredness hit. It screamed out loud inside of me as triggers of isolation ricocheted between my synapses with the immediacy and malevolence of wildfire, loosing myself in the bowels of fatigue and long~forgotten sorrow. What did I do? I ran. Bolted. As the hurt soared from the interaction with my neighbours, who were casually  exchanging beside our house, I ran away as far as I could. From this big, hefty old pain. Shame swept her gnarly cloying arms around me and pushed all my tenderness away. Anger and blame quickly took their charge.

I started to see from the outside. Imagining our neighbour would imagine me a fool for stepping outside our front door to see if her cat had returned. Imagining she thought I was being nosy, wanting, annoying. And, with a bellyful of disregard, sided with my imagined story of her story of me.

Coming back into the warm, the shock of my response still fresh through my system. So suddenly did these feelings arise, I hadn’t quite caught up with acknowledging they were mine. So strongly they roared, I didn’t even realise this deep sadness was coming from within. I went into disassociation. I started to explain these feelings in third person to myself. I started to talk to myself as if the experience had really happened to you, an imagined other. It was too uncomfortable to be mine.

Without knowing, I abandoned myself. Just as I’d learned to all those lifetime of moons ago.

You see. How tiredness really doesn’t become me.

I promise you. It really, 100% doesn’t.

However, I had had a little conversation with myself the other day that helped shift the outcome over the hours that followed. One that helped me less bury these ‘childish’ feelings down until they were to next try find a window to say, I’m HERE!

I’d been ruminating on joy. I’d been ruminating on stress. I’d been ruminating on how stress seems to dominate my life these days far more than joy and I made an agreement with myself. I decided to, when able, even just once or twice a day, observe moments, however seemingly miniscule, in which I experience joy. It’s taste. It’s sense. It’s smell. I decided, somewhere between Christmas and New Year, somewhere in between defiantly refuting the need for New Year intentions and claiming you, me, him and her are all perfectly enough just as we come, I decided to, IN JOY, reclaim this bountiful asset in our lives.

So, after jumping outside of my skin and beating my flesh up for feeling so friggin alone and needy, I retreated to where feeds me often best. The Bath.

It took time to uncover what lay beneath. It took time for me to accept how hurt I’d felt seeing my dear neighbour’s innocent interactions. It took time for me to welcome rather than push away my desire to want to be part of something.

And then, BOOM, there she was. This darling yearning that inhabits us all. The desire to belong. And with it, all the choirs of years passed sang out, of child and adulthood alike, of wanting to connect with those around and feel part of this life. And feel wanted. Hello, I said and, Welcome.

Tenderly, I navigated the shock of the past hour, the shame, the guilt and weighty barrage of storylines of old, tattooed through my nervous system, that were, are, untrue. And as I sank further into this familiar territory, as I soaked achy limbs in silky warm water laced with Espom salt crystals, and greeted all the tension and fear I felt, I noticed underneath each layer was a ginormous, diner-greeting sign that hailed me to my vulnerability and with it to this magnificent wonder we call life. With each small urgent panic that cursed through me as worn thoughts tried to push everything down, I felt the tightness and rejection attempting to drown my vulnerability and my opportunity to inhale the raw beauty that is living.

Will I? Can I? Can I come back to life? Can I remember all these glorious invitations that beckon me to remember, to reintegrate this pulse? Am I brave enough to IN JOY my vulnerability and connection to all? Am I courageous enough to experience heaven on this earth?

Tenderly, as years entwined with great stories big and small fall by, I promise I will try.

Image: Artist unknown

The Loneliness of an Overwhelmed Project Manager


Learn me, implored Tess to Justin in The Constant Gardener.

It was her request to a love struck Justin as he tumbled head over heels.

The phrase struck me and it has been my pursuit since to those who I have the good fortune to cross paths and spend time with.

It has been my pursuit with my children. To learn them. Individually for who they are. Let them shine, as I watch them take shape, beyond measurement.

I will be their mirror, if they permit.

I spoke the term to my bereavement counsellor after my mother and grandmother died and in the weeks before I finished my sessions with her, she said the phrase had struck her too and she endeavoured to learn me. To be in receipt of this, 18 months on, still brings tears to my eyes.

It is my dream. We learn each other. For it is a beautiful thing.

And too to learn our selves as best we can.

And so sat in bed, tea in hand, laptop on lap, writing with tears flowing, I feel overwhelmed. Four months into renovating our new home and I’m brain-deep exhausted. I’m doing it the only way I know how. Full steam. Heart and soul. And there have been unreliable tradespeople who have let me down last minute. I’ve had others who left our front door wide open at the end of the working day with no one else in the house. And I’ve had a flood from the bathroom that saturated part of the new kitchen.

I say I’ve had the Nightmare Team and the Dream Team and the latter have been wonderful and I’ve loved watching them weave their magic in rooms throughout the house, revealing the flesh, guts and bones of a near century old property.

But the flood floored me and I have very little stamina left to give life over the next month and birth our new home. Just before Christmas, just before our daughter’s birthday, just before my husband’s… Whilst knowing I have to re-pack our belongings all over again, having packed up shop less than twelve months ago.

Right now it feels too much. I was shattered before I began. Exhaustion bit me on the bum big time when we landed in Devon after four insane months of relocating us here. Five months of house hunting and house buying didn’t leave much time for reprive. And now I’m cooked. Fried. And all the magical juice of my self-learning and self-loving is struggling to surface.

Adrenalin, the force of its charge, is surging through my aching system and I feel betwixt two worlds. A need of rest and a need to do. And there’s so friggin much still to do.

This is when I feel powerless. This is when an over-busy, extremely knackered mind starts travelling down negative avenues of thought. This is when I rise up and out of myself and, as if a child again, yearn for ‘Someone. Please HELP!’.

And this right now is my biggest learning. How can I tend to my exhausted self, kindly, lovingly, whilst knowing what lies ahead over the next month. How can I step back into my power again.

For my tendency to go whole hog and put every pumping cell of my body into a project and not burn out on the other side. Learn me. Learn the gap in between that historically neglects and abandons myself in pursuit of dreams, visions and hopes. Learn to love into here and rekindle self-worth in this personal blip of a momentary black hole. Learn to fall into the deep well of wholeness rather than skirt perpetually around it’s edges.

Paralysis here is never a helpful bedfellow but strengthening my bridge, me, between BIGness and SMALLness will carry me far.

Today, as I want to run up to the house and think and mull and fret and panic, I choose instead to be still. Today, rather than run up to our new home, I will stay in the one we are presently in and home in on me.



An image arose,  shortly after writing this, whilst lying in bed trying to rest, trying to sleep. Wrestling inside, tears starting to fall, Help me! I cried out to my husband in my dream. His radio silence these last weeks I have found difficult and suddenly I saw myself drowning in an ocean of invoices, coordinating deadlines, not being able to manage those I am employing. I saw him, sitting safe and dry in an inflatable, disengaged to my angst. 

I then drifted into sleep and woke shortly after with the same image but not of he and I. Instead there was me in the boat and me in the sea. And the same scenario. Me tuning out to me. And for a while I wondered, how can I help? How can me in the boat help me in the sea? How can I integrate thee? But no answers came and still there was me sinking in overwhelm and the other me, warm and dry.

And then it came to me. I just need to let these two sides of myself be. The seeming giver and the seeming more selfish side. My job for now, is just to recognise each of these parts, without reprise, criticism or a need to make either part do something different; save, rescue or even fall in love. My job now is simply to observe, trust and accept both aspects and know each are doing their best, in each of their ways, to look after me. 


Image: Inga Moore, A House in the Woods

An Untold Story of Being a Daddy’s Girl



Between one mighty harvest moon and an autumn equinox, between elation and the depths of gurgling sadness, between the bones on the right side of my ribcage and those on my left, the past week has been an indescribably insightful one. With the belly of luminescent fullness weaving it’s magic through the dark of night and since, some kind of readiness started to awake within, as often it does when time is ripe, to speak about a lifetime of oppression. To be precise, my internalised oppression born from trying to win the love and affection of my father.


There is much more to write than I feel able to today but I want to start cracking this open so for now I offer two bookends. They are posts I wrote on Parenting by Connection page, one from Monday, the other today, as this fearless dawning started to unfold.


I saw for many years my father’s desperate need to be loved. I saw all that he would weald in his power to make this happen. I saw all that he would abandon should he not receive what he needed to survive. Today I recognised his yearning was less of love, though I’m sure deep beneath a small young child within was calling and calling for this, but instead I saw how far he would reach in his power to be idolised. To be seen God-like. All powerful. All commanding. And this power would often involve either his wallet, his fists or his neglect.


Alone, none of these are savourable. Together they are completely unpalatable. Yet, tragically, challenging upon any of these would only fuel his power-play and I learned as a child to swallow this toxic conditioning; to be a good girl for daddy or to be a bad, bad one upon who’s shoulder sits all the blame. And of course, sadly, too sadly, this internalised positing continued throughout most of my adulthood and has remained until now a shameful secret that I buried so deeply for, being a true-to-form daddy’s girl, I knew he literally couldn’t bare my truth.


So here’s how I started to unpick some of the beast that has been this self-oppression:


Monday 19th September ~

Today has been bloody challenging. I’ve been exhausted, tearful and my son struck me in my chest in anger and frustration at school pick up. The pain hurt for hours after and I found it very hard ground to work from emotionally to reconnect with him and bring him back home whilst maintaining my boundary, it’s OK to be angry but not OK to hit, whilst still trying to bring myself back home from the shock at the same time.

It felt especially tough as many realisations dawned on me last week in relation to the domestic violence I experienced as a child. And then, that magic thing started to happen when a great many connections started to unfold. Some from a few years back from my fear of my mother’s verbal violence as well as her desire for me to mother her and then how myself, siblings and mother all steered around my dad and his volatility and how so much was unspoken and through fear permitted, to how in the school playground my immediate response was to go find an adult to help me when my son hurt me to sort it out, like an uncertain and fearful child myself to hearing my son’s aching and internalised frustration from school that no one cares for him when his friends left him out from a game and my realisation that he was in his keenest place of hurting, of abandonment and feeling unheard and unrecognised at school until he saw me and felt safe enough to let it out but so disconnected it came from the hardest place of all. And I recalled him in the incubator as a newborn and pictured his desperate yearning and calling for our touch as we sat beside him and I didn’t know now what I could have said to him to speak to our little bundled that I just birthed days beforehand. All I wanted to do was have him in my arms. And OH!

I almost started a downward tiredness spiral of critical thinking. I struggled to reconnect with him still at bedtime. I fretted about how he hit me, his strength, my pain and how I felt immobilised to be firm in my boundary assertion. And then I saw the same pattern, a similar weakness of voice, that for long I believed it his disconnecting and then saw, Whoah!, this is the same disempowered voice I tried to use with my parents when I tried to say no to their abuse of power.

Excuse my outpouring dear folk, but I started out by wanting to write a bright spot, that despite a very turbulent day I didn’t venture down a self-critical pathway but instead commended myself for how much I did succeed in today in deepening my understanding and marvelled at this journey in peaceful conscious parenting over the last four years that despite the incredible revelations that unfold, chinking away at what’s mine, my parents, our children’s, finding more and more clean-ness in my relating I still feel each time I’m just at the tip of the iceberg and the crazy amazing beauty about this is – I love find myself here each time knowing there is so much more excavating to come!


Saturday 24th September ~

The beauty of this whole malarky is realising a) when kids are upset, kicking off, beating their drum telling the world to F** right off, we know that beneath all of their explosions are a bagful, or possibly several, of big, big feelings that for them in those moments feel too big, big, big and overwhelming to hold and it is our privilege as their care-givers to help them learn to sit with the gnarly gnarlyness so when the angst hits again there will be a little seed within, slowly germinating over time, that says internally, It’s OK kiddo, I got this.

And the second big lovely dawning numero b) is that when we ourselves kick off, F***ing and blinding and trying to push the whole world away or simply Shut.It.Out, we too are in that irksome I really don’t want to sit here space, just the same as our kiddos but with a few more years of should’s swallowed down to make the whole thing just a bit more difficult to unfold. That is until we starting working with our inner-loving parent….

And so after an immensely giddy week of revelations, post my post from earlier in the week. Of seeing how I posited myself in relation to my son’s outbursts so similarly to how I did with my dad in his volatile states when I was a child; namely in fear and anxiety and how, from last year when I experienced an inner-hand shoot directly out from my heart to say Dad, NO MORE! to swimming this week with a deeper energetic shift of a simple yet resoundingly loud NO; No more malevolent oppression. No more back-handed manipulation. No more will I allow myself to see myself in your shadow. No. This effortless NO came with majestic spirals of insight and loving, into past chasms of hurt and pain and acceptance.

Yes, this week I was mighty, mighty giddy and HELLUVA productive with my magical inner alignment and release.

And then this morning I yelled. At our son who was in the midst of tidying his room which went on for seemingly hours as he placed one tiny Lego brick in the box followed by 15 minutes of playing with the rest. The pattern continued and I ignited. And spoke to him from a wretched, firing place from which, at once, I felt overwhelmed with guilt. And then, a smoother background gear shifted to more peace.

Soph, this guilt if just another layer, just another distraction to the overwhelm you feel in your heart right now. Do not run away from this. Tend to it. Attend to it. Lest you spend the rest of the day at odds with yourself and your beloveds around.

This isn’t time to dig, my inner-kindness spoke, This is time to rev up your self-love. Love in to the sadness and the grief from your childhood that have been arising. Love-in to that pain. And remember, you are exhausted my darling girl, from your mania of this week and a lifetime of internalised oppression. Rest now so you can continue to tread well.

And so to now. I’ve relished in the connections that have been overspilling in my mind this week and the monkey-crazy energy that they have spurned but now it’s time to be still, and just as I would with our son or daughter when they are in that too unbearable to hold space, I need your help Mama, this morning I will do the same for me.

Amen to the wisdom hidden in the beasts that we know as triggers. Amen to learning to love what is.


My mother’s rage took the spotlight for many years. She carried an eternal fury that I always shuddered from, climbing deep inside myself to hide from. It was loud and terrifying and devoured her energy. She was never free from her hate, it consumed her being and us as a family and she took it with her to her grave. And was forever, I believe, a useful tool for my father. His darkness, with a different density and corruption of integrity, could go unobserved as my mother screamed in the foreground, her pain visceral, taking up all the attention, whilst he quietly held tight his reigns, his fists, his purse.


She was the one I was most scared of. But I realise now, my father’s pain and his abuse of power in order not to feel any of it, sits more deeply in my blood than I had ever realised before. His terror was less overt. More discreet. The kind you don’t low you’re in until it’s too hard to find your way out.


Repression. Oppression. Expression. It is indeed time for the latter. Finally.


Image: Ludwig Knaus 

Nat Mur & A Tale of Salt Water



Last week, with a full moon at play, I felt a foreboding sense of sadness bubbling in the background. Unsure from where, whence it came.


With an almost numbing persistence, I felt an urge to cry yet it sat in that sticky place of stuckness. The urge but no tears falling. So all at sea emotionally still something holding my salt-water back.


Tiredness possibly.


Bone-deep exhaustion. Yes.


Overwhelm. Yes.


Disappointment from hopes in my heart. I think so.


So, with an ache for release, last night, before bed, I decided to take some Nat Mur.


Nat Mur. Natrum muriaticum. Table salt. Sodium Cchloride.


A homeopathic remedy that helps gently nudge the tears out.


And now 5 O’clock in the morning they come and my inner-howling begins to speak.


No pool.


No pool!


No pool to swim in for the next six months!


Boom. Now I see my sadness in it’s shape. My mourning. This seemingly unbearable knowing for the next six months, without driving for miles upon miles, without paying one hundred pounds a month, I am bereft of a place for my soul to go pray. Bereft of a place for my soul to be listened to unlike no other way. Bereft of a place for the depths of my being to be kissed whilst I play submerged 3 metres or so under.


This is where I feel human. This is where I come alive. THIS is my home.


It is where I speak my fullest and where, in silence, I am heard.


And whilst still finding our feet in our new surrounds, I yearn for this food, this nourishment.


With the outdoor facility closing yesterday, where I have found my medicine this last summer, I realised at 5am why I feel so cast adrift and imprisoned all at once.


I need, in this life, footsteps from my front door, to a pool.


I need to deposit myself within it, one, two, three times a week. To sink down and connect in.


In suspension, as I sink beneath the surface, I find weight to my form and all the rivers that meander within me. Here, sorrow and pain, wonder and joy flow freely, like land does not allow. Here, dialogues with forgotten buried stories can stir and be released with ease, acceptance and a greater power than I holding all the confusion. It’s a mirror in akin to no other and has me hooked to the connectivity it bestows.


My heart is longing. And dreaming. And fretting.


But a tiny pastille on my tongue helped the tears that have been longing to come tell me why I am feeling so all alone. A gift from the sea, at home.


May more gifts prevail over these winter months to meet my aching for this deepest and most beloved communion.


Image: Eight Months 




Sowing Seeds of Change



And so the conversation goes,


YES! I told you on Monday. We are meeting them this Saturday.


To which my husband replies,


But you said next weekend!


And I say,


No! I told you in the car. Remember? I told you after we go to library, we’re going to meet them in the park. I said it really clearly.


And so it goes on and I get more and more irritated. WHY does he not listen to me? WHY, when I’m so explicit, does he not hear?! WHY, when I put all this energy in, does he ignore me…..???


And so to a friend I go, ARGGGGGHHHH! And she says, My partner does the same. He just doesn’t listen.


And so to another. And she says the same. And then tells me, It’s just the way men are.


And then I get really, really pissed off.




It seems so freakin unfair. I adore communication. I adore clarity. I adore navigating the nuances. And I fucking love talking from my heart. As hard and as difficult as it is at times. This I adore.




I want to be listened to. I want the energy I expend to be heard. Met. Responded to.


ESPECIALLY when it comes to the ins and outs of family planning. No! Not the avoidance of getting pregnant. I mean the shifting, forming, ever evolving landscape of a mother, father, son and daughter learning how to cohabit harmoniously together in equanimity.


AND. I know when knees fall to ground as we surrender to one another, tune and listen in, how beautiful our orchestra can be.




I curl up inside in refute at the thought I must accept, THIS is HOW men are.


When I hear this I think, Fuck! I’m not ready to passionately express my thoughts, feelings and beliefs to the world for them to only be half-heard. Nor too my plans, intentions or dreams.


But too, I don’t believe This is how men are. No! In my bones, it just doesn’t sit right. I know there is more to it than that and I know, somewhere along the line, I’m implicit within this mis-taking, mis-forging and mis-shaping within this illusion of ‘them’ and ‘us’.


And I think to an enlightening concept in an article I read a few weeks back. It went along the lines of:


Boys are taught it’s OK to interrupt a conversation whereas girls are taught to step down and listen to what others have to say.


It cited mostly examples in the workplace however it got me thinking ~


What am I teaching our son? And, significantly, Shit. I’m guilty of doing this with him!


I have continued, over the years, to allow our son to interrupt me. Initially when he was wee it was something that I willingly accepted. Having learned myself as child to quash my voice (note: trigger point in example with husband above), I used to believe, Jeez, I’m not going to do the same with him. If he’s got something he wants to say, I’m going to encourage and celebrate his voice. Not try shut him up.


But then, as his sister grew, I noticed how my expectation of her receptivity and engagement to my communication was greater than his. Despite her being almost three years younger, if I were to ask something of her, I put a higher level of trust in her ability to respond. And, with him, regrettably, I gave a longer leash to not do, as my expectation was lower.


For a good few years I had two analogies of their seeming distinct characteristics. Our son seemed a new soul to this life with an energy as if a puppy dog, eager, keen, desperately curious to endlessly sniff out every inch and crevice, his mind jumping and firing from one corner of the universe to another. Our daughter, on the other hand, appeared an old soul. Astute. Knowing her self well. Even as a baby. Feline. Contained. Bound. And effortlessly centred.


Unknowingly, I posited them in the margins of my thinking, on two opposing ends of the scale. Demarcating them and treating them, unfairly, accordingly.


Then, two years ago, my welcoming of puppy-dog, never-ending questions and interruptions began to tire.


Mama? Our son put to me, again, in the car, When did people start going into space? My mind racing, whilst driving, I tried to answer him. Questions like this, I have found over the years quite delicious as, over time, I realised there were many ‘facts’ I believed I knew but when asked, I realised my knowledge was pretty sparse. And then there were others, more philosophical in nature, that I would love to eschew for a while before responding, pondering on how I could convey concepts of a weighty subject matters to a four, five, six year old.


And so, when my answer came, First it was a Russian dog, he suddenly burst in with,


Mama, how many weeks is it to Christmas?


WTF! I thought. How the monkeys am I meant to know whilst we’re still only in mid-August?


Resentment bit. Possibly because I was concentrating on driving, but possibly coz I had just had enough of perpetual requests for information and not being listened to (recognising the trigger point yet?) and, it was at this point, I started carving a plan in my mind how to turn this dynamic around.


I would love to be writing to now to share wisdom and insight into how I have mastered this with our dear insatiable child but alas it is still very much a work in progress. I realised soon in that in all my efforts to attend, so attentively, to this marvellous, gorgeous little boy that we bore, I had magnificently been neglecting my own voice (yep, trigger there again!). In all my celebrating of our little chap starting to express himself in the world, I too was laying down a pattern of giving more value to his thoughts, ideas and questioning than to my own. A pattern, despite my intentions to honour him, that I would have learned as a child, though in the same familiar shoes of shutting myself down in favour for and of others.


And so to last night. Lying beside him for a goodnight snuggle, his mind climbing all over the ceiling with seemingly random notions, I endeavoured to explain what was planned for today.


I began, So! Tomorrow morning we will be….




A questioned came in, as did my exasperation. And I saw his thoughts running all over the place in his eyes, I saw his brain flickering, so, this time, I asked him to stop.


I am talking, I said. I would like you to….


Listen, is what I hoped to have said but already his mind had bounded in on a new track.


And so, intently, quietly, slowly, I endeavoured to bring him back and, as I took responsibility for my own self-listening and held space for my respond-ability toward both him and I in that brief moment, I saw and realised something wonderful.


In my disputing of the suggestion when men don’t seem to listen, This is just how they are, I saw a new shape forming. This is how we have learned to treat them and, in doing so, we haven’t enabled them to change. This is how I have understood to treat our boy and so I haven’t enabled him to be any different.


In my gradual dawning of my own value over this last while, in my daily practice of inviting this into each moment, in my intention to peel myself away from distraction, this literally age old trigger passed down my maternal line is beginning to find new ground within my voice. And within the seeds of this slow and beautiful unfolding, in how I learn to honour my expression, for a magical moment last night, I saw an opportunity to unlearn not only how I view and be in communication with our son but teach his fervent and often preoccupied mind how to respectfully listen to others. Not only for himself as a growing boy but also, possibly more significantly, as a man. For I truly hope I may never find myself saying to any women he may partner, befriend or work with, Oh, you just have to ignore him not listening to you. It’s coz he’s a man, for whilst I’m discovering my value, I am also learning our vital power and potential together.


His and mine.


Image: Josef Israel








Tender-Hearted Boy



Oh tender-hearted,

Dear child

You, with those big green eyes,

Dark locks,

Golden olive skin

Thank you, for showing me

When you’re broken

I will not judge

This, I hope you know

Thank YOU, for telling me

No-one’s thinking about you

Under a moonlit, August sky

As tears streamed

From those beautiful

Green pools

Down your beautiful

Golden olive-ness

Thank you, for allowing me

To see inside

Your soft unfolding

Thank you, for allowing me

To hold you here

My boy,

The one who is imagined

To be hard,



And all that rubbish

Oh! How I love

Watching you place you arm

Around your sister

Your hand on her back

As she wakes

Or is sad

Your head into my chest

Oh! How I love

Hearing your voice

In its soft purring

In your telling

and sharing

Your thoughts, ideas

And dreams

Someone said,

The other day,

How strange she thought it was,

How unusual, it was,

That you cried

Brave Heart

Tender Heart

Boy of light

Child of hope

I am in awe

Of your gentle, growing


The Blessing of a Dream



Two weeks tomorrow our beautiful, magnificently wilful daughter starts school. The last two weeks passed, I have been dutifully running through supermarkets and high street chains in the search of navy blue leggings, shoes that fit H-plus width, dresses that don’t itch….


I see ahead of me two full and hectic weeks before D-day. We are away the week before they start, returning home the night before, and the pressure I have experienced to get everything prepared for the day of dread, I have found utterly overwhelming. This afternoon I begrudgingly ironed labels onto her and our son’s new uniforms, whilst a bevy of thoughts and dawnings, prompted from a dream I had had last night, ran through my sleepy mind.


The dream went thus;


It was first day. I was trying to get the kids ready. We were in our new house that, in my dream, overlooked the school. Our son was already dressed, our daughter still in her pyjamas. I was frantically searching for the new uniform. I found one bag with some items in that were all soaking wet. The other bag, which I knew had the bits we needed in, I couldn’t find. The clock struck passed 9 O’clock. I could see all the other kids going inside. I started to panic, we were late and I still couldn’t locate her clothes.


When I woke I realised the school I saw beside our house wasn’t the school where our son goes and our daughter will soon be attending. It was in fact my old primary school. Ah ha, I thought to myself and, with this seemingly stunning revelation, today I have been observing a whole world of worry arise;


I remember, in my first year of school, lining up in the playground, waiting to go into class and literally dragging my shoes across the tarmac as we were summoned in.


I remember my mother and teacher discussing this.


I remember the unease and self-consciousness I felt knowing my dread was being spoken about.


I remember feeling powerless.


I remember longing for my dad, who had not long gone off to work in the Middle East.


I remember trying to be brave. Trying to put on a face that didn’t equate to how I was feeling inside.




Then arose memories of three years ago when our son started school. Within that week my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Within two months my sister-in-law died. Within six months I felt painfully disconnected to our son as, with inherent problems in the school and his class in particular, his first year in reception was a very rough one. Within nine months I felt fear as my mother’s cancer was diagnosed as terminal. Within twelve months both my mother and grandmother were dead. Within two years, my father-in-law too.


The memories kept stirring as I ironed these bloody labels on.


Literally it is only within the last six months or so that I’m finding a little more space within to actually meet the whirlwind of these past three years. Literally between our son starting and now our daughter, I only just feel I’m beginning to come up for air. And with this glorious air, I am now beginning to touch base with my own feelings of when I started school myself. Possibly a window of a bevy of fear and loss had arisen with our son when he began his journey. I don’t know. If it did, I missed it, or at least was distracted. But now I recognise an opportunity, whilst our daughter begins hers, which I’m anticipating will be bumpy, to sit and listen inwardly to a whole bag of unheard feelings that I had at the ripe young age of four.


So, whilst dear souls warn me it’ll be hard when your ‘baby’ starts school and I internally poo-poo it thinking, I’ve met our sweet girl well these last four and a half years, I have no regrets, we’re both in our ways ready, this blessing of a dream shines forth and reminds me that the story I tell myself is possibly not the whole picture. And as I lie in the bath, I feel hands from my belly calling our daughter back into my womb, and I realise how I’m really not quite as ready as I would like to have imagined.


There are no answers but I know this;


Between now and two weeks tomorrow I shall love-in to my old hurts and sorrows. Our daughter may still scream she doesn’t want to go and kick and push and possibly hide her uniform, telling me in her way she’s not ready either, but if she does I will be able to meet her with a compassion that will come with a freshness of now and less of me tangled of long ago as I untwine these age old fears.


And, you never know, maybe I’ll start celebrating a navy blue school uniform!


Image: Source unknown ~ frustratingly, as I love it and feels very much like our daughter staring piercingly at me.