29 July 2011

Growing Where You Are Planted

"When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance." - Lee Ann Womack

e can find ourselves in places, or positions, in life that are less than ideal. We are sure that life would be easier if things were different, and they probably would be. We bemoan our lot and feel down hearted and disadvantaged by circumstance.

Which is why I was so inspired when I saw this seed that the birds had dropped, it had begun to sprout in a drainpipe on the outside of our house. It really bought to life the saying grow where you are planted.

There was this little seed having been deposited in the most unlikely and unfortunate place, grabbing hold of life and beginning to grow.

No nice deep bed of fertile soil where it could put down its roots and reach for the sun. But never the less, it was doing its best, living its life... and growing.

I became attached to this little plant. I dribbled water at its roots and when we had really strong winds I tied a bit of twine around the drainpipe to give it support.

I willed it on.

And, though only a fraction of its potential size, it made it. . .

It opened its petals and blossomed!

Surely an inspiration for us! That wherever we are planted, whatever our circumstances, we all have the potential to open our petals, turn our faces to the sun, and bloom!

"Don't let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do."
- John Wooden

20 June 2011

A Brief Interlude . . .

Happy Summer Solstice - Let your Inner Sun - S H I N E


a conduit
. . a temple . .

Gossamer threads
connect me
with light

with stardust
with stories

Twin serpents
coil and weave
around my
sturdy spine

caressing bone
creating sparks

My being is
tangled with
all that is

The exhaling
of the universe
etches me
with its


Image and words by Susannah Bec

10 June 2011

Where shall we focus our lens? . . .

"Appreciation is yeast, lifting ordinary to extraordinary." - Mary-Ann Petro

Every Sunday over at my other blog The Streaming Now I have been posting snapshots of things I noticed during my week. Most weeks these include photos I have taken of my garden, or of the pretty village I live in. These often draw comments saying how beautiful the village is, or how lovely my garden is.

Now this prompted lots of thought. - You see, if any of these people visited my garden (or my village) expecting only to see the beauty that I show, then they may well be disappointed.

Because, with my camera, as with my life, I get to choose what to focus on.

I could choose to take a photo of the broken paving, the overgrown vegetable patch or the manhole covers in my garden. And around my village instead of taking a photo of the pretty thatched cottage with roses around the door, I could take a photo of the dingy house with a black sheet pinned up at the window in place of curtains.

There have been times when I have been overwhelmed by the glorious colours of autumn trees, lit up and glowing like works of art. While others noticed a drinks can thrown by the side of the road and launched into a rant about the state of the area.

I could choose to focus on the wrongs and let them stop me seeing all of the rights - effectively blinding me to all the beauty that is around me.

We are surrounded by beauty and can make a conscious choice of where we focus our lens. It is really worth considering. . . what are you taking pictures of?

"Keep what is worth keeping - and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."
- Dinah Mulock Craik

6 May 2011

Voices . . . Yet Another Tiny Tale

"Your gift will come as soon
as you are ready to receive it."
- Alan Cohen

She had such simple grace, like a blessing bestowed. Tall and thin like a reed, she swayed as she walked and her skirts swished around her ankles like a willow in the wind. She exuded a calm confidence and the aura of one who was grounded and secure in her being and when she spoke, the room quietened, hushed to a whisper as she held them spellbound with her voice. It was pure and clear, and as she sang, the notes were like a bird rising up into a brilliant blue sky.

When she finally fell silent the audience were all of a jitter, sensing they had been witness to something extraordinary. They were already mourning its loss as the reverberations of her voice disappeared into the ether and left them once again alone. These people, who for brief moments had been borne aloft, tranported by the magic that she had bought into the room, were left floundering. Clutching at the feelings that made their mundane world seem lifeless and without colour in comparison.

When she got to her feet to leave, in unison they began a mournfull chant that echoed and rang like a bell. Surging and pounding in its intensity, a dirge that accompanied her to the big wooden doors that marked her exit. One hand on the door, she paused and stood so still it was as though she had been cast in alabaster. Slowly she bought her graceful finger up to her rosebud lips and the ear splitting sound dropped like a stone. The silence was so heavy with expectation it had a palpable weight.

She turned to face them, and stood knee deep in the quiet that had descended. Her shining eyes returned their gaze as she whispered. . . "join with me."

From deep in her throat came a note that split the heavy silence, and energised the air with dancing light. She threw back her head and lifted her arms as the note increased in intensity.

One by one the assembled crowd became a choir, and the room and the people were filled with all they had sensed in her performance earlier, and they were no longer alone.

They were as one and they were magnificent.

She quietly opened the door and slipped away leaving them lost in their rapture, they had no more need of her. They had found their own voices.

For another tiny tale - click here

Images and words by Susannah Bec.

7 January 2011

Shall We Stop Waiting For The Magic?

"It is always your next move." - Napoleon Hill

A few days ago I was returning a visit to someone who left a nice comment on one of my blogs, when I came across the post A New Year's Epiphany and I was amazed at the response it bought up in me. 

As I began reading, I found part of me screaming, "No, no, don't say that, don't shatter my illusions." But by the time I had reached the end, my initial feeling of dismay had dissolved into a feeling of excitement. I then realised what a profound and powerful piece of writing it was.

  I will never win the lottery and be able to quit my job. 
 I will never buy a chocolate bar and find a golden ticket inside.  
There is no knight in shining armor coming to rescue me.  
Prince Charming will not appear at my door, holding a glass slipper.  
Fairy Godmothers and magic wands do not exist.  
I am responsible for my own happily ever after. 
 For years, that used to terrify me. 
 But now, it excites me to no end.
- by VL Sheridan
When I analysed the feelings it had bought up within me, I began to understand that however 'together' I thought I was, that subconsciously some of my energy was still tied up waiting for the magic. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that there are moments of magic scattered throughout our journey if we know how to look for them. And that is good, and that is wonderful, and who knows we may well be one of the ones who does win a lottery, or finds a golden ticket!  
But what is not wonderful, is putting off the full expression of our life because we are waiting for something; because on some level we are hanging on for our lucky break, our prince charming or our fairy godmother. We may not consciously be doing that, I didn't think I was until I reacted to those words! Then I wondered: what if under the surface that hope is still lingering in other people too and using up vital energy like a tv on standby. 
We grew up with childhood tales of magic, fairy tales and happy ever after and part of us still clings to that, as a bright star flickering in the sometimes dark sky of our reality. Perhaps it serves some sort of psychological purpose - but it also disempowers us. While we are still carrying those feelings, those hopes and dreams tucked away under the surface, stashed in some secret pocket of ourself. Then we are functioning below our potential, we are waiting for rescue, for something external to fix things. We are not giving our all to our lives here and now. That is why the end of A New Years Epiphany is so empowering... 
"I am responsible for my own happily ever after."
We don't need fairy godmothers and magic wands. We don't have to wait for someone or something to give us what we need. We can stop stifling our energy and being good girls and boys awaiting Santa Claus. We can stand up, step into our own power and take responsibility right here and right now for creating our own happy ever after. 
 I am up for that! Are you?

"The key to your universe is that you can choose. " - Frederick Frieseke

A New Year's Epiphany it is much appreciated..

20 December 2010

The Wheel Keeps Turning

"It’s only in our minds that we are separate
from the rest of the world." -
Gay Luce

The wheel of the year keeps revolving and things move on as they always do and we return again to one of the natural marker points, Winter Solstice, the longest night.

In this hemisphere the daylight hours are at their shortest and the cold and the darkness are reigning once again over the land. Things appear dead but in reality they are dormant, sleeping and gathering strength for when the light and warmth returns and the cycle begins again.

So it is with us too at this time of the year. It is the time to slow down and think over what has gone, to take the time to reflect and to gather strength. It is a time to decide what we want to bring into our lives. A time to incubate our dreams and identify the things we wish to grow in our life in the next year. Now isn't the time for action, but for planning and dreaming, for getting clear on what 'seeds' we wish to plant for the year ahead.

The time for action will be spring when the whole of nature will be bringing forth new life. We can attune to the natural cycles, live in harmony with them and use the energy to birth our new beginnings too.

"The great lesson from the true mystics
is that the sacred is in the ordinary,
that it is to be found
in one's daily life,
in one's neighbors, friends, and
family, in one's backyard."

- Abraham H. Maslow

Wishing you all peace, love and joy, thank you so much for your visits and for your friendship, they are very much appreciated - Susannah x

Image - Painting by Susannah Bec

4 December 2010

Be As A Cup - Revisited

"Be as a cup and the universe flows into you. Be as an arrow
and the universe retreats from you."
- Zen Proverb

I loved this quote when I first came across it. It seemed to me that it was often so true that chasing after things can send them further away from us. Whereas the attitude of open expectation or 'allowing' lets things flow towards us.

If you have ever watched a horse whisperer you will see the same process at work, if he advances toward the horse, then the animal retreats, but if he retreats then the horse advances.

This is something that I think that most of us would have difficulty with at first, as culturally we are taught to go after the things we want.

We are so used to taking charge of the things in our life, that the thought of 'allowing' feels passive and gives us the feeling of not being in control, not 'doing' anything.

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes,
and the grass grows by itself." - Zen Proverb

From experience I know that it takes practise and a lot of trust to 'attract' rather than 'persue', to stop pushing and allow the situation to unfold and show itself. It seems to go against what we have been taught but the more you experience this at work in your life the easier it is to be able to relax and have faith in the process.

The lesson - Be the magnet that draws things, rather than the pursuer that chases. In our allowing we enable the smooth flow of things toward us.

19 November 2010

Adding and Subtracting - Revisited and Updated

"The years teach much which the days never knew."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was younger, life seemed all about what I could add to it. I worked on gaining more knowledge, more experiences, more things. As I have got older I have noticed the spiral reversing. I am now dropping things, simplifying. I am now editor of my life.

The myriad of things I had gained knowledge about and picked up along the way 'just in case' were cluttering my mind like an overfilled bookcase, it was crammed with so much stuff that I couldn't find the life affirming classics without moving the trashy novels and gossip mags.

So I metaphorically and physically tidied my shelves, dropped what had served its purpose, let go of the sparkly things that I had held onto because they looked good and kept only the things that were dear to my heart. Things in which I had found my reflection.

The subjects whittled down from a swarm of interesting things, to just a few that have stood the test of time. The spotlight beam now narrowed, focused, shining a light on what I need to see. Clear, no distractions, clutter gone.

In my growing, I had breathed all these things in. I have now exhaled and am left with only what it truly valid for me.

"To be authentic is literally to be your own author, to discover your own native energies and desires & your own way of acting on them." - W Bennis

It has been a couple of years now since the first part of this post was written, and that act of exhaling and letting go of the clutter was vital for a magpie like me, who has always amassed and gathered.

I would read everything and filter out the information I needed, I would have piles and piles of books because the titles looked interesting. Every surface in my home was covered with beautiful and interesting things.

I was fascinated by everything. . . and I was swamped.

Not knowing in the end, which of all that stuff was important to me and which just had twinkly lights and promised much. I loved to live in that realm of infinite possibilities.

But, it made me an observer, I stood outside it all, thinking how wonderful and interesting it all was, I couldn't partake of it all, there was too much.

I spread myself too thin
put too many ingredients in the pot
forget to remember that less is more

I get caught up in quantity
when quality shines so much brighter
by nature, I amass rather than discern

A single rose can be studied
seen for its individual perfection
twenty is just a bouquet of flowers

My thoughts say why write one
when ten are flowing from your fingers
but who will listen to ten, when one would do

So that is when the editing began. I truly did exhale. I got rid of so much stuff, both in the real world and the stuff that was cluttering up my mental state. Some of it I found it hard to let go of, but I did it.

In the end I was left only with that that truly had heart for me and suddenly instead of spinning in a hall of mirrors, exhilarated and dazzled by the lights, I could point to the handful of things that I could interact with, go deeper with.

My speciality subjects were distilled from the mountain of trivia.

Time has passed and I am now taking the next in breath. I have made room for me to breathe in, space for new things, new thoughts, new directions. Honouring my role as author, I am constantly adding to, editing and polishing the story that is me.

"What's important is finding out what works for you." - Henry Moore

Poem Less is More by Susannah Bec - For more poetry please visit Out Of My Ocean

7 November 2010

Changing the Steps of The Dance

"When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge." - Tuli Kupferberg

When anything changes at a core level, whether it be a person, a relationship or a country, then too its 'reflection' will change.

The old energetic pattern has been altered and if the things, people, or patterns don't change as well, then they will become incompatible with the new 'frequency'.

It is as though two people are dancing together with well practised steps. If one person begins to try a new dance then the situation becomes uncomfortable as they are no longer in synch with one another, they are literally 'out of step' and for a while chaos may ensue.

People often feel uncomfortable with such changes, as has been well documented in relationship studies when one person evolves, maybe gives up a destructive habit/pattern etc. then the other person in the relationship feels unbalanced by the shift and does their best to drag the partner back into the old behaviour so that the dance can continue. This point is the most crucial time of the 'changeover' period, as people will often fall back into old habits and behaviours just to keep the peace and please the 'dancing partner'.

Sometimes things have to fall by the wayside if they don't match a changing energy, that is the way of evolution. If you have ever been in a destructive dance with someone you will know the relief when you chose to change the steps or simply walked away from the dance.

If a 'dance', which can be any sort of relationship, work, personal, parent/child needs to change. then it takes one of the dancers to take the lead and begin dancing different steps. The original dance can not continue as the other dance partner can not continue the dance alone. So then something will have to change. Hopefully they will learn to follow the new steps and new and improved, the dance can continue.

If not, then you must have the courage to dance your own steps and through dancing you will attract a person or situation that will think your dance beautiful and be able to synchronise and join with you in your dance. Like attracts like and things are mirrored on all levels and whenever the energy changes then a new 'dance' can begin.

Do not let the future be held hostage by the past. - Neal A Maxwell.

29 October 2010

A Story For Saturday

She altered her gait to match his, lengthening her stride as they crossed the steel bridge with clanging footsteps and anticipation. The afternoon was heavy with the scent of blossom and the curious dragonflies that shadowed her were iridescent and shimmered like spun glass as they danced in the air around them.

They stepped on to the winding path and their footfalls were softened by the springy grass underfoot.

She felt her excitement building when she heard the drums in the distance and the soft ethereal sound of the flute blowing on the breeze.

The pale blue sky peeped through the canopy of fresh green leaves, dappled and lit with sunlight, they threw a kaleidoscope of light filled shapes at her feet as she walked.

He was there, strong and silent beside her as always, his silver hair a striking contrast against his cloak of the deepest blue velvet. He had slowed his pace and the flickering sunshine on his face threw his features into sharp relief.

She was so glad that this day had come and that he was there to walk this path with her.

It had taken many years to gain the knowledge, to ripen her understanding so that it may now bear the fruit of the lineage she was born into, and now she was finally ready and felt the joy rise through her body like a thousand white butterflies heading toward the light.

They were getting close and the sounds of the drums seemed to be beating in time with her heartbeat, the rhythmic cadence of the flute echoing her breath. She heard the soft chanting and it pulled her forward through the twisting branches and out into the clearing.

She was finally there...

Silence fell as soon as she appeared and the circle was hushed, ribbons decorating the four quarters lifted and fell in the breeze, it was the only movement in this sacred place.

The trees were draped in garlands and the smell of sweet incense permeated the air.

The faces of those gathered were turned toward her and she saw the expectation in their waiting eyes.

She felt him behind her and heard his soft breathing.

"It is time" . . . his rich voice reverberated around the silent grove.

The women began the gentle chant and heart beat drums joined the wash of sound that swirled around her as she looked down at her white gown and the girdle she had so intricately woven with delicate spring flowers.

She could feel the weight of responsibility hanging in the air.

From the corner of her eye she saw him walk forward to stand by her side, he looked deep in her eyes and slowly nodded his head before reaching out and with a gentle hand gave her an almost imperceptible nudge forward.

She was unable to move, rooted to the spot for what seemed an age.

. . . and then from out of the shadows came the dragonflies, effervescent and joyful as they cut the heavy air with their light, they bought their sparkling energy, their magic and their blessings. It was the sign she was waiting for and her heart leapt and she smiled and stepped forward into the waiting circle and her destiny.

"Once you know who you are - you know what you must do."

"When your inner and outer energies radiate in harmony,
you are blessed and spiritually magnetic." - Terri Guillemets

"Man is never alone. Acknowledged or unacknowledged,
that which dreams through him is always there to support
him from within." - Laurence van der Post

15 October 2010

Good Advice

Keep a good heart. That’s the most important thing in life.
It’s not how much money you make or what you can acquire.
The art of it is to keep a good heart." - Joni Mitchell

Image: Sanctuary - Susannah Bec

8 October 2010

We come with a built-in SatNav as standard

"The struggle to learn to listen to and respect our own intuitive,
inner promptings is the greatest challenge of all." - Herb Goldberg

Recently we had reason to visit a distant town we had never been to before. Unlike a few years ago where we would have pored over the map, plotted the route then asked for directions to the actual street when we reached the town, we just programmed the address into our SatNav and sat back and enjoyed the trip.

We took a leisurely drive absolutely certain that even though we didn't know the route, if we followed the directions to turn here, or go straight ahead, we would be taken to the destination we had programmed in. Even when we took a detour on route, stopping for snacks or following an interesting signpost, we were sure that the SatNav would get us back on track with its 'turn round when you get the chance' voice, and constant and comforting refrain of 'recalculating route'.

We didn't doubt, or once get the map out to double check, we trusted that even though we didn't know the way, if we followed and listened to the voice each step of the way, we would get to exactly where we wanted to be.

"Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer." - Robert Graves

Now this got us talking and we likened it to our journey through life and the address we are programming in, being like a goal, or something we wanted to head towards. Now of course, we could read books, pore over maps and logically work out the route. Or we could trust that we have our own internal SatNav, our intuition, our subconscious, that inbuilt sense that lives beneath and behind our rational mind.

So, if we know for sure where we want to head (very important) and we listen and feel for clues (our instincts/intuition/internal SatNav) and then trust each step as it appears, then maybe our own internal SatNav will guide us to our destination.

It takes guts to trust your inbuilt guidance system like that, to sit back and enjoy the ride when you can't see the whole route. Sometimes you will feel that you are going in a completely unrelated direction to where you want to end up. That is when your logical mind will step in and tell you that you are crazy! ;-) but from my experience you get lead to your 'destination' in the most amazing ways that you would never have envisaged with your logical mind, the detours and back roads are often short cuts. So trust that when a signpost appears you will recognise it and follow its pointers.

"When you let intution have its way with you, you open up new levels of the world. Such opening-up is the most practical of all activities." - Evelyn Underhill

We are not used to giving up control like that and it makes us uneasy, but as with all things the more you do it, the more you trust it. So why not start small and do some experiments with the concept. Recognise which is your internal SatNav voice and follow the directions! Before you know it you may be enjoying the scenery on route and letting your internal SatNav deal with details.

Latest: Hello everyone, well I haven't updated in a while as I have been a bit distracted following my own SatNav! >>> Read More

7 September 2010

Connecting to the Earth

"Nature holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth,
renewal, and transformation in our lives." - Mary Ann Brussat

Today a friend and I were talking about how it is so easy to get disconnected from nature in the midst of modern life - and I remembered the time I took a visitor that lived in the heart of London to a local woodland to walk its trails. She looked around in horror! before exclaiming -

"but there's nothing here but bloody trees!" :-)

I believe we're a part of nature and that it is vital for our wellbeing. Even the simple fact of noticing the breeze on our skin, the sun on our faces acknowledges that connection.

Getting in touch with nature helps us to get in touch with our own 'nature'.

If we become
disconnected and
separated from nature
then we step out of alignment
and we start to entangle ourselves
in the wrappers of the man made world.
We start to believe that that's all there is
the cities, concrete, cars, and the 'things'
(there are always SO many 'things')
and all of the unimportant things
wrap around us...like vines
creeping and covering us
until we can not breathe
until our connection
has been cut.

So we wander alone
through those city streets
and turn on a television to see
what todays weather is going to be
and we forget to look at the sky
and walk on the green grass
springy under our feet.
We begin to believe
that the world
is cold, hard


if we step out
into the wild places,
the forests, the fields,
the mountains, the oceans,
places beating with the pulse,
the heartbeat of life itself, and
we attune again to natures voice
begin to dance those rhythms
then all of the life force
laying subdued
within us...
will come


"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." - John Muir

Words written today
originally posted on Out of My Ocean
until I decided they would be better suited here.
Photo: A moss heart thatgrew on a big rock in our garden. :-)

3 September 2010

Remembering . . .

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”

I wander through the corridors of me
in search of that tiny room
that contains
all I have forgotton

The dark holds such memories
it is taut with unspoken things

Things that lay just below the surface
unseen, but dangerous, even to the sure footed

Those small wrinkles in our bedrock become molehills
that can be magnified into mountains
in those inner cinemas
of the unconscious

I need to find the very darkest corner of me

and there, behind the fears
and the debris

of a life

half lived

I know I will find the spark

That pinprick of startling light. . .
just awaiting the breath of my awareness
to fan it into a fire, that will flood the shadows
illuminating those inner rooms with the brightest light

I reach out with eager hands and pick up that burning torch
I hold it aloft, until all the dark internal places
have seen the light that I carry

Lit up from within

I remember



"Do not fight the darkness,
let the light in and the darkness will disappear."
- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

As you can see I have given the place a bit of a makeover! I hope you like the new look. :-)

Image and Words - Susannah Bec
Picture taken in my garden a couple of days ago
Poem In Search of a Spark taken from my poetry blog Out of My Ocean


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