Friday, July 31, 2015


It is in the silence,
the space between movement—
the moment before
the drop releases.
Remnants of the rain
that battered the soul.

This is where fear meets trust
the moment of choice,
the moment of letting go.

I witness this, at times, in my healing work, moments when I breathe down, far into my roots, deep within the earth. It is here I hold centre. Although a place of stability and rest it can bring trepidation, even fear, in those unfamiliar. A client may start talking or shift their legs as they lay on my massage table. The stillness frightensa lack of movement suggesting vulnerability.

But what some do not know, I know I was one, is that stillness is where our power lies. It is there we have choice. In stillness we make the decision whether to move towards centre, where Self resides, or step beyond, perhaps many steps, away from who we are.

It is not an easy choice. It wasn’t for me. I took my time, the fear so great.

The other day I was holding stillness with a horse, a rescue horse, with a difficult past. Although the mare now lives in a safe and nurturing environment she is still unsure of whether to come or to go. I stood with her while she pawed the ground and shifted her shoulders. There was little trust in me. Three times, however, in my short stay and grounded state, I saw the fear ease in her eyes. Three times, if only for a moment, she let go of her defences and found relief. It was beautiful to witness: a moment in which she trusted herself enough to listen deeply, a skill lost through the carelessness of others, to quiet her defences and know I was safe.

Self trust is the gift we were given at birth. We knew to cry when we were hungry, to let others know when we were wet or scared. We trusted our feelings; we trusted our bodies. Too many of us lose touch with that gift. Life experiences teaches us to run or to hide, to cower or to bully. We forgot who we are in just learning to survive.

The thing to remember is that the gift of stillness—of deep listening; of self trust—is indelible, it cannot be truly lost. It only waits to be awakened by coming into relationship with who we are. It only waits to be nurtured by coming home.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lava Ball

A woman came up to my till. She was balancing, not quite gracefully, several bags, her wallet and a ballfrom all appearances, a beaten-up concrete ball. I asked, as she maneuvered her load from one hand to the other, if she always carried it with her. Oh, she laughed nervously, I am going to meditation… it’s a lava ball. Her fluster grew until she finally decided to lay the ball on the counter. I have several rocks and stones, she added, including labradorite, they help me centre.

Ahhh, I said.

It comes from Hawaii… I bought it in a store in Colorado.

Oh, I replied.

I picked up the ball. It was heavy and roughly cratered, somewhat akin to Fred Flintstone's bowling ball, albeit a 5-pin one. I judiciously refrained from telling her this and waited quietly while she got her money out. Coins spilled onto the counter and bags slipped from her shoulder as she emptied out her wallet and laid out four twenties. A moment of silence; then panic:

There should be five there, she said, agitation growing, the bank machine ripped me off! I should have counted the money, I always do, but this time I didn’t. I was about to suggest she call the bank when she took a breath. Then another. No, she said, I should have eaten. My lunch is in the car. I spent that fifth twenty on lunch. Much calmer she paid her bill and took her leave.

A not so subtle reminder that we don’t need special tools or apparatus to help us centre. All we need is to practice good self care: to slow down, take a breath and nurture our body and soul. Bet it cost less than a lava ball, too.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

O Ancient Being

O Ancient Being, you who towers above, tell me your name. I have long ago lost it, years before I was born. We call you Yellow Cedar and name you, Cupressus nootkatensis, but these are not yours.

Does your soul ring with pleasure when you hear me say it aloud or do you only remember the years gone by of pain and sorrow. Did you feel a shudder when Columbus landed on the eastern shores or was it only when Galiano explored your own, some 300 years later, that you knew what was to come. Did the pain come fast and sharp or did it build into a crescendo that haunts these slopes when night comes to fall.

In silence I touch your skin;
I listen deeply. I want to know your name.

I feel an abundance, a depth, a full and limitless knowing. 1000 years of knowing. You know who I am. You know my name. You know my deeds.

I cannot hide from you. In your presence, I cannot hide from myself.

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