At The Turning Of The Year

"The merry year is born, like the bright berry from the naked thorn."
- Hartley Coleridge

Life is full of marker points - the turning of night to day, of month to month, season to season and year to year. We often make a celebration of special days like our birthday and days like today where we see the end of one calender year and the start of another.

A consciousness of these repeating times can give us a sense of continuity and helps us to understand the ceaseless circling of time that unfailingly bring us back to these marking points. We return to them over and over again, and each time we return to the same place, things are different, we are different, as everything moves on.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
- T.S. Eliot

So at this turning point in our collective year, why not join with me and take some time to feel how this last spiral has made us wiser, appreciate what we achieved and the blessings we received. Then let go of anything that needs to be left in the past, all that we don't wish to carry forward, release it and let it go with the passing year.

Then take a big deep breath and lets throw our wishes and dreams into the next year to line our path and light our way! . . . then we can step boldly into a new year and enjoy the next 365 day trip around the Sun.

A Very Happy New Year To You

May it be full of Joy and Happiness and bring you all you need.
Much love and thank you - Susannah x

Image: Fortunes Wheel by sb.


We Teach People How To Treat Us

We teach people how to treat us.

Now that may seem to be a strong statement - but it is one that I happen to believe is true.

For example, maybe there are times when we dismiss someone's sharp impatient tone when they are talking to us, or we let them take us for granted, or allow them to act disrespectfully and we don't say anything.

Whenever we allow people to not consider us and our feelings. Whenever we stay silent and hope the 'other' will notice how unfair they are being. Whenever we don't say how it makes us feel. Whenever we don't speak out . . .

We are teaching them that whatever they are doing is ok with us.

If you get a new puppy and it starts to chew the table leg, you pull it away and tell it NO! Each time it goes to do it, you repeat - NO!
It soon gets the message and will stop chewing the table leg.

Same with people and with ground rules.

As an example - If the very first time your partner ever spoke to you sharply or disrespectfully, you said, "please don't speak to me like that, I don't like it." They may reply, it was because of this reason, or because of that reason. If you then replied, "no matter what the reason, I don't like to be spoken to like that. Please don't do it."

What would happen?

They would either adjust their behaviour out of respect for your wishes, or you would rethink how you felt about a relationship with someone who didn't take account of your feelings.

People will accept their behaviour as OK
- If we accept their behaviour as OK.

It is our responsibility to make it clear what we will accept and let it be known. Others will mirror the respect we give to ourselves. If we allow others to act in ways that make us unhappy, we owe it to ourselves to quietly and calmly change the ground rules.


A New Chapter

A New Year - A New Start

Thoughts For A New Year

As we make our journey through the landscape of our life, we gather up and collect our memories on the way. The happy moments that we treasure become part of the fabric of our lives.

Those shared family stories that help anchor us and give us a sense of belonging, that let us know that we are a part of something bigger than just our solitary selves.

They strengthen us and our bonds with others.

The sharing of our memories and the retelling
of our stories is an ancient thing.

People gathering around a fire sharing the myths and legends of the tribe, was the way in which knowledge and folklore was passed from generation to generation.

We too have our personal myths and folklore. Made up of the stories we have heard about ourselves. Maybe you heard - "She is such a good girl" or "He is useless at sports, his brother is the sporty one, he has two left feet".
Positive or negative, these become anchors, ways of being. Then over the years we add the ones we tell about ourselves, "Oh no, I am useless at that!!" - "I am so unlucky with men" - "Nothing ever goes right for me".

These beliefs and repeated stories become part of our 'script'.

The truth of the matter is, that as good as memories are for keeping us grounded and for continuity, they are based on the past, on the people we once were, and the situations that once existed. We are constantly growing and evolving and if we are conscious of the negative elements of the story we tell about ourselves, then we can choose to change that too.

"Whatever your past has been, you have a spotless future." - Melanie Gustafson

Life is based on the choices we make every day, the book we are writing of our lives. We can write a comedy or a tragedy. We can write ourselves a part as a hero or heroine, or we can be the poor soul, the victim, the martyr. We can write a tale of drudgery and lack, or one filled with sparkling happy moments.

If you thought about your life so far - what sort of book would it be?
how would you as a character be cast?

It is an interesting exercise to realise that we have a choice in how we want our 'story' to play out, what do we want to write in for our character? What adventures could we put in there for him/her? What hidden qualities could you find in your lead character? What baggage could they drop? What choices does she / he need to make in the coming pages? What is your 'happy ending'?.

All the things you have experienced, have made you who you are right now. The good, the bad, the joy and the pain. But whatever your life has been, right up to this second, you have a choice in where it goes from here. Every moment is a place we have never been before. Every day, a new day, a chance to add happy moments, as the future is lived one day at a time.

The future is still unwritten.
You have a blank canvas, a clean white page.

The new year is a time when lots of us look back over the year just passed and make resolutions for the coming one. This year why not do it a little differently and think of which stories you want to leave behind and which new ones you want to write in. Think of it as the start of a new chapter in the book you are writing about your life.


Sunday Thoughts

Sometimes you need to define what it is for you. What is the purpose of this wild and crazy life, where is your place in the scheme of things.

Will you plod steady down the centre path of your life, or skirt the edges, dancing with shadows, listening to the music that is yours alone to hear.

Will you sparkle and shine and burn with passing passions, reflecting the lights of the peripheral and almost unseen.

Or do you want to sink roots deep into the black earth and remain steady, growing branches, sprouting leaves, reaching for the sky.

Do you run, do you walk, or do you sit and wait for the sparkling moments to blow through your hair.


Giving Thanks - Gratitude

I give great thanks for this life of mine
for this beautiful World and the gift of time
to experience its wonders, and all for free
the sun, the rain, the moon, the sea

to feel all my feelings, to know love and pain
to sleep every evening, to rise once again
to experience the joy bubble up from inside
to trust intuition to act as my guide

The majesty of nature, the evolution of life
The wonders and marvels,the troubles and strife
I am so grateful to participate, to live and to dare
to walk this green planet while remaining aware.

I express untold gratitude for the marvels of Earth
for the twin poles of existence in death and in birth
for the air that surrounds me, the breath that sustains
the heartbeat inside me and the blood in my veins

Everything is moving, working out and resolving
its part in a whole, that is gradually evolving
So, I give great thanks for this life of mine
this beautiful World and the gift of time

Image and Words - © Susannah Bec 2009


Handing Over Our Power and Fitting In.

"Re-examine all you have been told.
Dismiss what insults your Soul."
- Walt Whitman

We arrive in this world as blank slates.

Bright eyed little learning machines, we soon start to understand and be taught what is acceptable and what isn't.

This of course will vary from country to country, culture to culture and even family to family.

Some of the pretty universal things we are taught are vital for our safety. Such as . . .

  • Don't touch that it is hot and will burn you.
  • Don't go too near the edge, you may fall.
  • Be careful with sharp things, they may cut you.

We are also taught basic manners, to say please and thank you. We are taught not to hit our siblings, not to draw on the walls, not to pull the cats tail. We have an inbuilt need to be accepted by those close to us, by our family, our tribe, so we quickly learn to modify our behaviour to fit in with them, to receive their love and to be accepted.

We also start getting taught to
  • Be nice
  • Don't make a fuss
  • Don't be 'difficult'
We are taught that this sometimes means going against our instincts - for example "Give your Uncle a kiss". Maybe you don't want to kiss your uncle, maybe he is a bit creepy. So what do you do?

In the end we swallow our instincts and follow orders. We start shutting our selves and our individuality down in order to be accepted by the 'group'.

We are taught that those 'above us' deserve our respect and we must do as they say. This includes. -
  • Parents and adults in general.
  • Teachers.
  • Doctors.
  • Religion and it's 'staff'.
  • The government.
From an early age we are indoctrinated to 'be nice' and accept orders.

We are taught to suppress our feelings and to accept the fact that those in charge know what is best for us. We learn to follow orders, to accept direction and perhaps no longer to ask questions.

We become good children, good citizens. We learn to respect authority.

"Just because something is tradition doesn't make it right."
- Anthony J. D'Angelo

You then have people who are so divorced from their own shut down guidance systems that they NEED someone to be in charge, to tell them the 'right' thing to do. They are still looking to the 'parent' in the shape of authority/the church/religion/the government to take charge. So they can follow the orders/guidance that they were trained so well from childhood to do.

There is also still the need to be accepted by those close to us, our friends, our family, our tribe. When you have given away your own will to a certain extent, then there is safety in being part of a herd.

The media make sure we are 'imprinted' with the common issues, fashions, concerns, even soap opera's, so that we feel identified with those around us. We get the sense we must be doing the right thing, everyone else is doing it too.

It then reinforces that feeling of belonging, being accepted by the crowd. We have all seen what happens to the child in the playground who doesn't wear the latest fashions or listen to the same music as others.

So as adults a lot of the population has become so indoctrinated with 'being nice' and not standing out from the crowd or making a fuss, that we go along with things that we shouldn't.

"You taught me to be nice - so nice that now I'm so full of niceness,
I have no sense of right and wrong, no outrage, no passion." - Garrison Keillor

Most times people don't realise that this has happened and are quite happy to go along with the status quo. There are women who give their power away to husbands, workers who allow bosses to talk down to them, people who let churches indoctrinate them with fear.

So we don't make a fuss when people disrespect us. We don't make a fuss when our society or our government does something we don't believe is right.

"If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom." - Robert Frost

You hear a lot of talk of "they should do something about it" whatever the particular 'it' may be.

People are divorced from their own power and autonomy, they have been taught to give it away. There are times when it is vital to break out of this mould that society has poured us into.

Perhaps we should realise that WE are the 'they' that should do something about it. There are times for our own self respect when it is good to say 'no' - when it is right to make a fuss. To take back our own power. In fact it is necessary.

Being Authentic in a Holographic Universe

Energetic frequencies, repression, alignment and taking back control.
Beneath the social niceties of good manners and everyday pleasantries we respond to people instinctually on an energetic level.

Our instincts sense things that our eyes don't. Someone can be skilled at mask wearing and have a very effective facade, donning the mask of the character they have chosen to play, usually the one they think will get them the most response, respect, applause or whatever it is the individual is seeking. Sometimes the mask wearer has no idea that they are in disguise, the method of relating has become ingrained.

Sometimes people can be consciously presenting one image, while subconsciously broadcasting a different energetic frequency. If the facade and the underlying energy don't match then other people can feel it, they may not be able to put their finger on why it is uncomfortable but they will register that it is, and often respond with an energy that is a match for the underlying energetic frequency.

As with passive aggressive people, on the surface they may come across as 'nice' people, but underneath the aggression is barely contained and seeps into the surrounding area where it can be felt. Often, due to the underlying tone of their energy being picked up on and responded to unconsciously by the people around them, they can be the victim of their own unacknowledged anger being sensed by and acted out by others.

So even if a personality is talking about things of value, or being sweetness and light on the surface, if it doesn't 'ring true' with the overall tone of them at an energetic level then the signal will be at cross purposes and cause interference and hinder true expression.


Being Authentic

When people are being authentic in their communication, as in being aligned with their authentic self, then that too can be felt by others and in turn triggers an authentic response in those listening.

Communicating from an aligned authentic place has deep nutrition, as it evokes a response from the same place in others. If the mask and the deeper levels or the intellect and 'gut' are not in tune with one another, then it will maybe provoke intelligent communication that feeds the mind, but on a deeper core level it will not be received and in some way you will not register that person as being 'real'.

We are Complicated Creatures
Energy becomes misaligned because it is repressed. We are complicated creatures who have coping mechanisms to cope with feelings, experiences and situations that we don't know how to deal with. We work to protect our vulnerable inner core. After a while if this is too painful or too difficult to deal with, we then separate and cut ourselves off from our subconscious and feeling levels and stay in the relatively safe space of our head and intellect.

The things and feelings that are repressed don't go away just because we no longer consciously acknowledge them. We may externalise our issues and deal with them in the 'outside' world where we can see and safely interact or campaign for an issue that perhaps is also a reflection our own underlying wounds. As an example the one who felt abandonment works to save abandoned children or pets and by doing so is actually healing his own abandonment issues. The things that we are moved to address in the outer world are also part of making ourselves whole.

It also works in that people fight against externalised darknesses and project on to an enemy 'out there' who needs dealing with. This causes wars, one race against another, one country against another, one school playground fighting with the neighbouring school.

An Interconnected Entity
Each of us who can take that inner commitment to honestly explore ourselves and deal with our own issues is contributing to the whole. Existence itself, is one interconnected entity and by healing yourself and achieving your own authenticity you will trigger that in others. You fight it 'out there' and you have no control, the control panel lies within.

Picture a body where every cell is whole, healthy, functioning well and contributing to the whole. Now picture a body where one cell has been damaged so decides to 'convert' all the other cells, it rampages through the body spreading itself, until the body weakens through the spread of this 'cancer'.

So there are the choices, stay disconnected and believe it is 'all out there' and fight it or be a victim to it. Or take back control, deal with your own shit, find your authenticity and let your authenticity trigger the response in others.

Whatever affects one strand of the web of life affects it all, you can not tug at one strand without finding it attached to everything else.

Do we live in a holographic universe where each part contains a reflection of the whole? where the microcosm can influence the macrocosm, where if one 'cell' gets healthy and whole and transmits a pure clear note, then others near by can pick up on a energetic level and attune to it, where authenticity triggers authenticity and wholeness triggers wholeness. Where we take responsibilty and see our very lives as our sacred act. Where the things we include in our energetic mix are also reverberating back through the whole web of life, to influence and affect the whole.

The Clear Stream of Life Itself
Those that see beauty, those that feel compassion, those that feel joy, those that honour their emotions, those that love, those that sound a clear note, those that are brave enough to clear out their basements of all the hoarded hurts, those that let go of programming, preconceptions and judgements, those that allow the clear stream of life itself to flow through them, unimpeded by the internal debris that clutters and clogs our channels, I give you my greatest thanks.

Copyright © 2009 Susannah Bec


Crying is Good For You

For as long as we can remember we have heard the words - Don't Cry. We have probably said it ourselves on numerous occasions, and repeated it to our children, our friends, our siblings.

As if stopping the tears would stop the hurt.

If you are male you have probably internalised an even stronger message. - Dont EVER Cry - big boys don't cry, be a Man, be strong etc. etc.

So, the message is Don't Cry.

- Why on earth not?!?
  • Because crying means you are sad
  • Because crying means you are hurting
  • Because crying means you are in pain
  • Because crying means you are frustrated
  • Because crying makes others uncomfortable
  • Because crying doesn't solve anything
Oh, right, so they are the reasons, I understand now.

But most of those things are part of life itself! - We do get sad - We do hurt - We are sometimes in pain and we are often frustrated.

Yes it is a fact that crying can and does make others uncomfortable. They want it to stop, they don't know how to deal with it. Maybe it triggers their own unshed tears and they don't want that to happen.

And what about the thought - crying doesn't solve anything?
Half hearted, stifled, held back crying, really doesn't solve anything, it only gives you red swollen eyes and a sniffling nose.

But if you move into the feeling and really allow the tears to flow - wail if you need to! and don't stop yourself until the torrent is over. You will be washed clean, healed by the flowing salt water.

"Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it."
- Albert Smith

Tears come easily for some people. Others are shut down by being repeatedly told 'Don't Cry' they are out of touch with their emotions and manage to stay dry-eyed, no matter the depth of pain or sadness. For some, crying means weakness, shame, "being a baby."

When you cry you are healing:

Tears have a purpose in maintaining our equilibrium and wellbeing. As part of our internal weather system they are a vital function - that is why we have the ability and urge to cry.

"The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep."
- Henry Maudsley

  • "Chemicals that build up during emotional stress may be removed in our tears when we cry,'' says William Frey, professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Minnesota. link
  • The renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Karl Menninger, wrote in his book, The Vital Balance, "Weeping is perhaps the most human and most universal of all relief measures." Read more

We would never dream of saying to someone if they needed to drink, eat or sleep - don't do that! We recognise those bodily functions. But the natural urge to cry when needed, is stifled and shut down.

We may not like it when it rains outside if we fancied a sunshine filled day, but we recognise that it is needed. The Earth would become dry and brittle without it, life could not exist.

"Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water." - Antoine Rivarol

All the weather systems of the Earth are necessary - likewise - so are ours.

My Story:
A long time ago, I used to feel uncomfortable around people when they cried. I would squirm and feel ill at ease - I desperately wanted them to stop.

My own tears were an unshed torrent inside me, I hid them - even from myself. I was afraid that if I started to cry, I might never stop. I might drown in the deluge of my tears.

Eventually my body began to show the evidence of this great swell of tears I had carried and not allowed to flow, and the dam broke and I learnt to cry.

"Let your tears come. Let them water your soul."
- Eileen Mayhew

I learnt to cry as a child cries, all consuming, not stifling or holding anything back. I sobbed until I was washed clean, empty of the stress and sorrows I had been carrying.

Others close to me, had only seen people holding back tears, the sort 'that never solve anything' and they had to learn that when 'allowed' and done with your whole self, that crying was good.

It DID solve things, it allowed people to get rid of stress, disappointment, sadness, grief. It healed, refreshed and renewed. They had to learn to stop saying 'don't cry'.

"Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow."
- Rita Schiano

From that time on, I have no fear of emotion. - I feel honoured to be around those healing waters as they flow. If I am in the presence of others when they shed tears, I hold them and rock them, as I urge them - "keep crying until all the tears are gone."

"Invisible tears are the hardest to wipe away. Just let it out, my friend."
- Adabella Radici

Do you find it easy to cry?
Do you feel better afterwards?
Does being around others when they are crying make you feel uncomfortable?
How do you feel about Men crying?


Loving What Is

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest." - William Blake

I have found by experience, that if you start by loving what is - then that is a sure way to attract more of what you want into your life.

We build walls around our desires believing they can only come to us in ways we have been taught or can easily envision.

This rules out letting the magic of the universe do its stuff.

Relax, and start to love and appreciate in your present reality the essence of what you want more of in your desired reality.

- More Freedom: Appreciate the freedom you all ready have, the freedom to sleep late at weekends, the freedom to state your views, the freedom to make your decisions. etc. etc.

- More Love: Appreciate the love from your cat, your parents, your friends etc. Start to see and appreciate all the reasons you are loveable - love yourself! See and love in others what you want to be loved in you - open up the love channel!

- More Money: Keep it flowing, don't hoard it, if you need some tucked away so you don't have your buttons pressed, that's OK but then relax and know that as it is given, it will be recieved. Got bills to pay? great, do it willingly and give thanks that you have the money to pay them. Let it circulate, see it as energy. There is a never ending supply.

Release the thought forms of why you 'can't' - get them out of the way. Drop your resistance and allow the stream to flow to you!

Magic can then happen - watch and be amazed.

"A thousand things went right today." - Ilan Shamir

Image - Abundance - My digital artwork.


Blogs, Awards and Seven Things!

A few days ago I found a really nice message left in my comments from Jen Morrison at Realia where she let me know that she has kindly issued me a Kreativ Blogger award. What a lovely suprise! So my job, is to pass it along:

As I can't pass it back to Jen, I will pass it on to some bloggers that in my opinion deserve to receive a Kreativ Blogger award for their lovely blogs!

So firstly I would like to pass one on to Barbara at Serenity Space where she documents (as she says herself in her tagline) "One woman's journey, backwards and forwards, through domestic bliss and chaos as she seeks some enlightenment and inner peace!" I always enjoy her blog posts and she definitely deserves an award and I am glad I am able to give it to her. :-)

Next in line is Joyce Mason for her blog Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights where her tagline is "Live a Spirited Life - look both ways for signs at the crossroads" Joyce, is a friendly, positive and prolific blogger, who actually gave me my first award early in my blogging days, it was much appreciated, as is Joyce and her sunny attitude.

Then I would like to pass an award on to Tamara, over at her blog, ;)semicolonsmile as she herself says "I notice little things and dream big things." I always enjoy visiting and enjoy her varied and sometimes quirky posts that make me smile ;-).

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to pass on the award to Oriana Green at Green Meditations for her truly beautiful and inspiring blog. Her tagline is "Meditations on nature as a spiritual and creative path" and if you have never visited, then please remedy that immediately! Her wonderful photos and evocative writing will definitely uplift you.

So thank you all for your blogs and enjoy your award, and thanks again to Jen for starting this whole ball rolling! :-)

Now I’m supposed to list seven things I like, not including people:

  1. Nature: A constant source of beauty, wonder and incredible energy. Big beautiful skies and magnificent clouds, raging oceans and tinkling streams, lush green grass and majestic trees (I could go on for EVER!).

  2. Animals: I love them all, from the birds who visit my garden, to the spider who inhabits my bathroom, and of course the three wonderful purring bundles of fur who share my life.

  3. My connection to my inner life: my higher self, my soul, god, the universe, whatever you want to call it! I feel it and I am so grateful for that.

  4. Colours: I love colour, it takes my breath away, I am moved by it, energised by it, I can often be found staring at something obscure as I go about my daily life because of its wonderful colour.

  5. Astrology: Not for its predictions or its sometimes glib exterior but the real deep symbolic language that it is and the understanding it has given me about who I am and my inner, psychological workings.

  6. Blogging: I love being able to sit in my home and be able to have a creative outlet, to be able to connect with people from all over the planet, to share my thoughts and be able to peek into other peoples lives too and to develop friendships with some wonderful people. ;-)

  7. Car boot sales: A peculiarly English thing ;-) where on Sunday mornings people drive to a field with their cars stuffed to the gills with things they no longer want or need and set it out for the swarming hoards of people, who rummage and browse in search of treasure! all at bargain prices (next to nothing). I love to browse, there is always that element of surprise, what will I find today?! Wonderful. . . I am hooked.

So that's my seven and I now pass the baton on to you!

Only if you want to play of course! don't feel obliged.

You can also find these lovely bloggers on twitter!

Barbara - Serenity Space - @aurora111

Joyce - Hot Flashbacks - @joycemason

Tamara - ;) semicolonsmile - @tamarahellgren

Oriana - Green Meditations - @naturespirits

. . . and I am on twitter as @joyfrequencies

(Don't forget to drop in on Jen at Realia where she gives us a good reminder to - "Pay attention – there's a story everywhere you go".)

The Importance of Updating

"As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge." - Henry van Dyke

I was thinking recently of the importance of updating. We feel it natural to update our homes, to redecorate now and then, to freshen it up, or to give it a new look, and usually, despite the upheaval of furniture moving, paint splashes and the inevitable clutter it brings to the surface, we feel better when it is done.

The newly done surroundings are invigorating and stimulating (unless of course you have a really bad colour scheme going on. lol) and it makes a difference to how you feel in the space. As these bouts of transformation are usually accompanied by clearing out old stuff too it can feel like a breath of fresh air to inhabit this familiar space.

The same is true about our personal look and style. Some people update their image regularly, trying out new hairstyles and changing clothes with the trends. Most of us tend to go with what is tried and true and once we get past the teenage experimental stage, never think of moving much out of our comfort zone.

Which brings me back to what I originally meant to write about.

Updating our mindset.
So often, we make up our minds about something and it becomes a 'fixed belief'. In fact we no longer even question it, it just becomes 'the way it is'.

This is the way we as humans work, we can't keep constantly questioning our choices, likes, dislikes etc. or it would use up all of our conscious mind (our RAM - in computer speak) so once we have decided something, it is relegated to our subconscious mind, which then goes about its business quietly beneath the surface, deciding things for us based on previously inputted information.

That's great (most of the time) as it leaves us free to use our consciousness for everyday living. The downside comes through us no longer questioning certain beliefs, preferences etc. We don't even notice that these subconscious decisions are being made, so we miss out on the chance to update our judgements of things that we decided long ago, for whatever reason, we didn't like or were not important.

Everything evolves and changes. Just living and the passage of time updates things, so that things that were once relegated to the 'not interested' pile, may now be interesting, if we gave them a chance, instead of repeating the thing we have repeated for years - I don't like that!

The truth is - just because you didn't like that years ago - how do you know you won't like it now?

I can think of a lot of things that I updated my views on and all involved a questioning of something I thought was a 'fact'.

When I was very small I didn't like tomato's!
I thought they were horrible things and couldn't work out why anyone would want to eat one. So for years and years whenever the subject of tomato's came up my response was "I don't like tomato's".

Flash forward to a 13 year old girl having a sleepover at a friends house, still awake in the early hours of the morning and whispering in bed so as not to wake the rest of the family, we both agreed we were ravenous! My friend decided to tiptoe downstairs and see if she could find something for us to eat.

Five minutes later, she appeared out of the darkness and handed me my feast - three digestive biscuits and a huge home grown ripe tomato.

I was tired, hungry and taken aback. I was just about to go into my - I don't like tomato's routine, when she looked at me straight in the eyes and said "eat it". I saw her take a big bite out of hers and pull a salt cellar out of her dressing gown pocket that she then sprinkled on the exposed flesh, "like this" she said handing me the salt.

On autopilot, I copied what she had done. It was absolutely delicious and I was totally amazed. I was converted! I love tomato's now and just think, I could have spent the rest of my life trotting out the phrase "I don't like tomato's".

I know that was just a small example and I am sure I could have happily gone through the rest of my life without eating tomato's! but that, and other situations like it, make me wonder how many times in life we are missing out on enjoyable, life enhancing things, through decisions we made long, long ago that we don't even think to question and update?

"While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves, it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace discouragement with bits and pieces of confidence and hope." - Elaine N. Aron

I was speaking to a lady quite recently, she was in her early Sixties and had just retired, she asked me about my painting (as I had an exhibition of my paintings at a local library) then said wistfully, I would love to paint but I am not at all creative. I asked her if she had ever tried? "yes, when I was at school but I was useless, the teacher told me that all my proportions were wrong". That was it! 50 years ago and she took one comment and made up her mind she wasn't creative and had been saying it ever since. She loved Art and colour but had never once, even thought of trying again because "she wasn't creative".

This post could go on and on, as I give examples, but I guess by now you have the idea. We are constantly filtering things out of our current experience because of decisions we made years ago that we now accept as 'fact' and no longer question.

I am so glad that some of my 'facts' were challenged, or I would be missing out on some wonderful things.

Would you believe that 10 years ago "I am not partial to Cats and their fur irritates me" used to be a 'fact' for me! I say this with two of my three adorable and much loved cats laying at their spot on the corner of my desk as I type. Thank goodness I updated that belief.

Have you updated any of your beliefs lately?
Can you think of any 'facts' that you could challenge?

I would love to hear your thoughts.


Getting Older

"As we grow older…the beauty steals inward." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
This week I have a birthday. I enter the last year of my 40's - the age that in my youth I considered old.

The fresh unlined face that once stared back from the mirror is replaced by the wrinkles and effects of gravity that time bestows on all that travel through this life. The naive enthusiasm of youth now replaced with a quiet knowing, a comfortable acceptance of who I am and what is important to me. Age has come bearing its gifts.

I have come into alignment with myself, walking in
time to my own rhythm, trusting my own beat.

Scattered pieces now magnetized by my core, return
and slot in to places I didn't even know were empty.

A jigsaw coming together, edges done long ago, the
final bits are slipping easily into the missing spaces.

Fragments I suspected long gone, were not lost, just hidden.

The final piece will reveal the whole picture,
I pick it up and gently put it into place.

As we travel this journey of life we need to keep letting go, evolving, adapting to the moment. We need to be sure that we don't have our hands so full of the past that we can't accept the gifts of the future.

How do you feel about getting older? Do you recognise the gifts?

"Coming into alignment" - taken from Out of My Ocean


A Note To My Soul

Shine from me and fill my world with light.

Let love, compassion and all good things

radiate outward from my core.

Let me seek evolution, whilst trusting

the goodness of universal love.

Let my life be a mirror,

to the beauty of all that is.

Let me transform,

and purify,

and make whole.

Let me be aware,

right here - right now.

Let me align with my highest vision

and join hands with my very soul.

Let me live with love

and the deepest of understanding.


In Times Of Change - Go With The Flow

There are times in life where change is forced upon us.
The break up of a relationship, the loss of a job or having to leave a much loved home. Change comes in all guises, from the small seemingly insignificant ones, to those that seem life threatening and fill us with horror. It can feel as though the rug has been pulled from under our feet.

Even change that is wanted and has been dreamed about and worked toward can still bring up the same feelings. It is as though the safe secure world you know has suddenly been thrust into chaos, nothing feels solid anymore. It awakens our fears, anxieties and insecurities. Our instincts tell us to try and preserve the status quo, to mend the cracks, to hold on even tighter as we feel change snatching away the security of the known.

"Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better".- Richard Hooker

It is like we are plunged into a fast flowing river and we are desperately clinging to the shore, grabbing at rocks to slow the rush of change, to keep still, to stay where we are. We are swimming against the current, trying to fight the direction of the water.

This is the time to let go and go with the flow - allow the energy of the change to carry you.

Don't fight it - don't hold on.

Feel the feelings and let them move through you but don't get stuck in them. Just allow the changes to happen and trust the process.

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan Watts

Change is evolution - it is life. We can't see the whole picture and when in the midst of these things, it sometimes feels like life is over but these are usually the moments when looked at with hindsight, that are the marker points for our life. The transformative times that allow us to become more of who we are, to arrive at destinations that logic perhaps would never have chosen for us.

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights." - Pauline R. Kezer

It takes courage and great trust to allow the river of change to carry us, a relinquishing of control. It involves taking a deep breath and letting go. You have to trust in the process - go with the flow and allow the energy to take you to a new place.

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." - Author Unknown


The Worry Screensaver

"Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose." - Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes we mistake our thoughts for us
Instead of seeing them as clouds floating over the sky of our minds, we become them, we are consumed by them. Like a moving screensaver that pops up when your computer is inactive, thoughts and worries can arise on our internal screens and before we know it, we are watching the screensaver and thinking that that is reality, instead of just a programme running on our machine.

So what can we do about it?
Well firstly we must try to step outside of it. . . detach from it.
If it is inside your head and 'running' you are giving it power and energy by observing it.

Take a pad and pen and as succintly as you are able, write down what is worrying you.
Then assess: Is this real? ie. something concrete happening in my life now.
If it is: Then you must decide - can I do something about it?
If you can, then you must do it, and do it now.
Nothing will dispell worry faster than taking action in dealing with the issue.

"Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow." - Swedish Proverb

If there is nothing you can do about it.
Then realise that worry is only sapping your strength and energy and adding to the issue on an energy level. You will be more able to deal with the actualities if you can remove yourself from the 'worry'.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." - Leo Buscaglia

Are you worrying about something that MIGHT happen?
If something is happening in your mind, in your imagination. . . if you are projecting into a future situation that may, or may not happen, then you are powerless to deal with it and it will cause anxiety and worry, it is destructive.

"Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable."- Theodore N. Vail

Worry doesn't actually help or solve anything.
You need to break out of the loop and reassure yourself that all is well and that if and when anything arises, that you will be able to deal with it.

  • break the pattern and do your best to stay in the moment.
  • Keep dragging your mind back to NOW.
  • Affirm that everything is okay.
  • Keep busy, get engrossed in something.

But what ever you do -

Don't sit and watch the worry screensaver!




I will not step into the cage of my past

defining myself by what has gone

by the marks on my canvas

made in another time and place

for I am an ongoing work in process

each stroke valuable to the whole of the picture

I will not become trapped in the grooves of the past

repeating, like a record needle stuck

but remain fluid, ever evolving,

moving onward, constantly

recreating myself anew.



We always have choices, and one of the most important choices we have, is where our attention is placed and focused. At any moment here on Earth, everything you could possibly think of is taking place.

Every spectrum of experience is being played out and the popular media, newspaper, television, news bulletins and magazines, report this 'news,' they bring to our attention a small part of this spectrum.

Most of what is reported is either negative and fear inducing, or a not so subtle programming of us the general population. This constant reportage of negativity affects the psyche. It is in fact psychic pollution.

If we, as sensitive beings are constantly bombarded by these things that the media deem newsworthy, we are put in the position of passive observers, in the most part unable to do anything about the atrocities shown and it affects us and we begin to shut down .

What good does observing this do? Does it help in any way? Or does it just serve to reinforce pessimism and general malaise?

Do the airbrushed images of mock perfection in magazines help young people develop self worth?

Do the screaming headlines in the trashy but very popular magazines on every supermarket shelf telling us which celebrity has spots or cellulite contribute to our well being?

At every moment, as well as people being hurt or killed, there are people falling in love and new life being born.

As well as war and atrocity there is deep peace and genuine compassion.

For all the talk of lack and depression, there is growth and abundance.

For everything fake and manufactured there are thing of real innate beauty.

It is easy to get caught up in believing that the reported world, the TV world, the things in magazines and shops, are the reality of our life.

What is really going on, is that we, humankind, are one of the species alive right here, right now, on this beautiful planet we call the Earth.

It is spinning in space, warmed by a giant burning star we call the Sun and orbited by our satellite the Moon.

There are glorious forests of green trees, enormous deep oceans ebbing and flowing, magnificent winds blowing around our planet, rain falling and watering the myriad of growing things upon its surface.

There is beauty and life, real life, going on everywhere.
It is what we are, what we are a part of, what modern society has wooed us away from, with its artificial quick fixes that feed the hunger that develops inside a man or woman who has wandered so far away from their true 'nature'.

It is in this 'real' world, the natural world of which we are a part, that strength and inner peace can be found. A connection to nature will connect us to our own nature, to our instincts, to our sense of belonging, to this 'whole' of which we are a part.

We have a choice in every moment where our attention will be placed and focused, and what energy we are adding our weight to on this seesaw of life.

Do we observe and add to the worry, pessimism and despair engendered by the popular media?

Or do we choose to turn it off and look at the beauty that is everywhere?

We have a choice, which will we choose to observe today?

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. - John Lubbock

- Susannah Bec 2009


Simplify - Prioritise - One Step at a Time

It can be so easy to get overwhelmed with modern life. There always seems to be so much to do, so many things to deal with, so much *stuff*. These are some tips to help.
  • Simplify, get rid of the things that are causing clutter, both mental and physical. Weed out the non essentials, they won't be missed and you will feel much clearer.
  • Prioritise what is truly important.
  • Deal with all the absolute *must do's*
  • List all the *want to do* things, in order of priority.
  • Take the thing from the top of your list and do that, immerse yourself in it.
Just focus on the task at hand. Take things one step at a time, deal with the actual moment. By only tackling the thing right in front of you, it will prevent the avalance of *shoulds* from hurtling down the hill of tasks and swamping you beneath them.

Remember - Simplify - Prioritise - One step at a time - Good luck!

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." -Hans Hofmann


Thoughts on 'Virtual' Communication

Online communication - the problems and benefits.
Lately I have been thinking about communication, specifically about how we communicate online.

Here in cyberspace we have to operate without all of the normal visual cues that we are able to pick up on when we speak face to face. If we are to be able to communicate effectively, then a change in our normal communication method may be needed.

It also teaches us more about our 'regular' communication style which is usually a pretty automatic thing. I have realised that in normal face to face communication, humour and smiles go a long way in making up my persona, and as in cyberspace people can't see my facial expressions! I need to allow for that.

"The ability to express an idea is well nigh as important as the idea itself." - Bernard M Baruch

I find that I have to think more carefully about my words, as something said with a grin and a twinkle in the eye seems to automatically change meaning when just words on a page. The words 'literal' meanings seem to jump out at you and it is easier to read subtext into something that was a throwaway comment.

Perhaps that is something to be explored, just how much visuals have to do with communication. I feel it is a different art - this process of learning how to communicate in a written sense without my normal bolster of smiles and delivery.

It is a learning experience (isn't everything!) and it has made something once quite 'unconscious' become more conscious. In a way, it can help communication to be more deliberate and thought about, as you can rewrite, something that isn't possible with speech. Though that also takes away some of the spontanaity and flow.

"Communication is not only the essence of being human, but also a vital property of life." - John A Piece

I think that as more and more communication takes place with an interface between us and others, as in texting, emailing, blogging, twittering etc. it is going to call for an evolution in our thinking about true communication.

So is your online style an accurate representation of your personality? or does the 'mask' that the medium allows, help in communication? Do you find it easy to communicate online? or has it caused you problems? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Honest Communication

Just lately I have been thinking about communication
and how we are all doing the best we can with what we have got and where we are. But perhaps we could strive for more 'soul level' communication and that would be a start in a new way of communicating.

It would involve letting go of some of the masks, barriers and shields and that in turn would opens us up to the risk of being hurt, which is obviously why people don't do it very often.

Humans need the shields and the barriers, as underneath we all still contain the innocent child who got wounded by "life".

So we are on the defensive and we mistake our viewpoints for 'us' and when our views are attacked, then we feel attacked and not understood and at a subconscious level often angry and rejected.

That seems to be the nature of us as humans, we didn't come with an instruction manual, we are all wounded, we are all flawed, we are all dealing with it.

So that brings us back to honest communication.

We can start by examining truly 'where we are coming from' in our exchanges with others, for instance are we trying to 'be right'? are we trying to make others 'wrong'? are we trying to 'point prove'?.

Lets keep in mind that behind the masks of each and every one of us there is a soul, an energy, trying as best they can to get the knack of life, of dealing with their feelings, their thoughts, themselves.

I've thought about it and I am willing to change patterns, I am willing to communicate honestly and remember who is behind the mask.

"We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin."
- André Berthiaume



There is no one objective reality...there are many "realities." Everyones reality is so different, both physically, mentally and emotionally. You can never completely share a "reality" with anyone, because everything we see, observe, hear or experience is filtered through us. And because of this fact, is coloured by our expectation and our total life experience up to that point. Which will always add subtle overtones to our view.

For example, if two people are asked to view and describe the same room, one, if having been bought up in a large house with spacious rooms, will view the room as small, while another having been used to small cosy cottage rooms will view the same room as a large room, who is correct? which is "reality."

One person could hear the sound of a marching band and be reminded of dear old uncle Harold, who played the bass drum in one for thirty years, and all the fun and ice creams a visit to hear him entailed. Whilst another could think of a wartime friend who died tragically, trombone still at his lips, do you get my point?

You could spend 24 hours a day with someone, share your life, a life you had "built" together. But still that person would always be looking at you, while you would always be looking at them, even if you were looking at the same object, you would never be observing it from exactly the same space, at exactly the same time.

Reality is personal, one person loves dogs and has always had one as best friend, another is frightened by dogs, terrified, feeling that they will harm him. They come across a stray dog in the street, what is the reality of the situation? is there one? the men, the dog, or us, as observers will all see the situation differently.

People tend to feel, that if other people do not experience or see things in the same way that they do, that in some way the other person is judging their experience as wrong. Or that if their personal experience of "reality" is correct...then other views of "reality" must be wrong.

So believing in "one reality" can cause disruptions, friction, hurt feelings and frequently causes wars.

For if you believe that there is only one reality...and all your beliefs and life experiences have backed up that you are right. Then obviously it must be very difficult to understand that the other person feels exactly the same as you do, because all of their beliefs and life experiences have led them to their conclusion in exactly the same way.

In each of these "Realities" each person is correct.

The familiar cry is "we can't both be right".

Understand the concept of realities and you will see "yes we can".

Copyright © SB 2004-2009


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