Dare to Blossom Life Coaching with Mary Lunnen

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom Newsletter 

It seems strange not to have written a December newsletter, as you may know I was travelling at the time I would normally have sent that out to you. So here we are looking ahead to 2020, as well as celebrating all that has happened over the last year.


Reflections: Standing in the Doorway
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Events and ways to Dare to Blossom


Reflections: Standing in the Doorway

Welcome to the first missive of 2020, all being well you will be reading this just before New Year. Sitting to reflect over the last few days, it has taken me a while to find a focus for this piece. So much has happened this year. So much has happened since I last wrote to you, before my magical journey to New Zealand began at the end of November. I feel as if I am literally standing in the doorway between the old year and the new, watching the stars wheel overhead as the year turns. Standing in that liminal space in between, taking a moment to pause, to reflect.

I returned from New Zealand on 6th December, having been away from home for less than three weeks, and in that time having travelled thousands of miles around the globe and back. Some of you joined me in the "Aotearoa Quest" group - it was a huge honour to have the company of a big group of travellers in spirit with me, thank you, thank you.

There were so many levels to my experience of journeying: the physical travel, and the excitement of seeing new places and revisiting familiar ones; the joy of being reunited with my sister and all her wonderfully large family of three daughters, their husbands and the seven children. Not to mention a new group of animal friends: cats, dogs, horses.

This picture, taken from the plane as we flew over the Southern Alps as we arrived, is one of my favourites. Each time I see it I am brought again to that place of wonder and anticipation.

Underpinning all those precious aspects, there is a deeper  journey, my own quest of reconnection with the land of New Zealand, of Aotearoa. A land where I have only lived briefly, the longest period being for about nine months, and yet a land for which  I feel a deep, deep love. It is so different in some ways to my home part of the planet, here in Cornwall, and yet we are all connected through the oceans and our sharing of this precious home world. Much more is emerging as I reflect and write, this piece contains just a few snippets about my journey.

This is coming to you a week early this month, and will be the last newsletter until some way into December. I return from my travels on the 6th, so I suspect it may take me a little time to settle back in and write to you here.

Who knows, maybe a missive will come your way before then. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the thoughts shared here.

Time Sensitive: still time to book your 'ticket' to journey with me in spirit
Reflections: The Powerful Voice of the Quiet Ones

Events and ways to Dare to Blossom

Time Sensitive: still time to book your 'ticket' to journey with me in spirit

In case you have yet to see this, I am offering you an opportunity to metaphorically stow away in my suitcase as I travel to New Zealand. Or, at least, a card with your name on will travel with me, to represent you in spirit as I journey around the world. Bookings close on 3 November, then I will take some special time to write your card and place it with all the others who are journeying with me, in a safe pouch in my bag. I will also draw four Rediscovery Cards for you, one for each point of the Compass, and put them in an envelope with your name and address upon it, ready to add your well-travelled card on my return and send them to you through the 'real' mail.

Click on the photo for more details and to book your ticket. For those of you who are happy on Facebook, I will be opening a private group there for everyone who is travelling in spirit with me.

Reflections: Journeys
An invitation: Your Aotearoa Quest
Events and ways to Dare to Blossom

Reflections: Journeys

It is intriguing that this title for my reflections came to me, this month. I am not leaving on my journey to New Zealand until November, so it may have been logical to for this subject to appear for the next newsletter.

However, appear it has, so I will follow where it takes me today. I have made many journeys in my life, literal and metaphorical. One of those was my 'journey' with cancer as many of you know - which began in 1994. My great good fortune was that the surgery removed the cancer and it has not returned. My experience has been one of coping with chronic pain, and that is lessening and changing as the years pass.

A memory pops up of a funny, and very moving talk at a conference for people affected by cancer I attended regularly for many years in Manchester. The speaker queried that metaphor of a 'cancer journey'. As he said, who chooses to set out on that sort of journey? And what type of journey has no known destination, no way of following your route on a map, no stops, no stations or airports along the way, no discernible means of travel. A one-way journey, one from which you may 'return' yet not as the same person whatever the outcome. A journey you have to travel alone, no one can truly be with you, however much family and friends, and professional supporters try to be with you.

My memories of that conference, and all the others, are - and this can be surprising to people who have not experienced this sort of 'journey' - that they were times of so much laughter. Laughter, and tears, and above all hugs. Everyone hugged, with unconditional love for each other (and asking permission first). I remember it being really quite hard not to hug people in the street when we left the sheltered bubble of the university campus. The conference always ended with a song about hugs (sadly I can't find a recording of it just now), which saw 300 people hugging as many people as they could before we all went our separate ways.

Many of us travel through our lives encountering health challenges of one sort or another. They seem to be part of being in a human body on this earth. Other sorts of journeys come to mind: that of growing up, from a child into a teenager and then the various phases of adulthood. One where we often wish we could go back in time and give our younger selves some encouragement. Although, as I read somewhere recently, our younger selves would most likely have ignored the advice from a strange person claiming to be themselves visiting from the future.

Then there are those regular roads we travel that become a habit: to school, to work, to the shops. How often do we fail to notice the sights and sounds along our way? They become so familiar as to be invisible to us. The photo below always make me look twice, even though I took it.... the eye is deceived by the stark blackness of the shadow. Can you see what it is?

West Coast 1Your Aotearoa Quest: Travel in spirit with me around the Compass Rose to New Zealand and back.

On 18th November I will be leaving England to travel to New Zealand. First I will fly East to Singapore. Then South to Christchurch. I leave there on 5th December, first North to Singapore again and then West to England (and further west still from Heathrow Airport to Cornwall).

So, yes, this description of the compass directions is wildly approximate as a means of navigating the surface of the earth – and yet for me it is significant as a metaphor for the journey I will be embarking upon.

So many people have said how much they would love to come with me: “Can I stow away in your suitcase?!” And then: “I’ll be with you in spirit.” – that those comments sparked an idea for a special offering for those of you who love following the metaphor of the Compass Rose. (If you are unfamiliar with my meditation poem, you can read or listen here).

For each person who books their place on the Quest I will scribe your name on a card. That card will represent you, and yes, you will travel in my suitcase around to the opposite side of the world. I do not yet know exactly where my journey within New Zealand will take me, mostly in the South Island around Christchurch where my sister and her family all live.IMG 6054

Definitely over the mountains to the wild West coast. Maybe up the East coast and out to sea on a whale-watching trip. Maybe to Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island where I hope to be speaking at the HerStory conference.

Your card, the representation of you in spirit, will travel with me. You will be present as I write in my journal (a beautiful new one bought especially for the journey). You will share in the things I experience.

**Ticket sales have closed now, thank you for your interest.** 

Reflections: Deep and slow

For the whole of August I have been - I hesitate to say unwell - feeling different to usual. It began with waking one night with an excruciating headache and even when that cleared I felt dizzy or light-headed and with numbness around my lips and face.

You don't need to hear all the details, and as I write to you now I am feeling almost back to my normal self physically. On another level I feel there.have been profound insights.

I wrote these words on 2nd August 

“Yesterday, as I was lying on a hospital bed, about to have a lumbar puncture to double check that I had not had a bleed in the brain, I decided to call on Source, and specifically my connection with the ocean.

I immediately received a wonderful sense of being supported. I heard the sound of the song of the humpback whales, and saw images of them floating in the water between the ocean depths and the surface. So graceful and such huge creatures.
I had my eyes shut and the sun light was streaming through the window so the colour through my eyelids was red/orange. And - I saw a huge whale's eye looking at me with such love and tenderness.”

Interestingly, the day I was at the hospital, there was a humpback whale spotted off the coast of Cornwall, not that far from where I was. This is not uncommon, but rare to get photos and video. Here is a link to the 'Lone Kayaker' blog.

All the tests were negative and I was discharged the same day. Since then I have experienced the side-effects from the lumbar puncture I was warned about, especially terrible headaches (ironic as the doctor said), which are only eased by lying flat. I have been communing with the whales while doing that and received a message: “Deep and slow.”

"Deep and slow" has needed to be my mantra for this month as I have felt the need for lots of rest, and to literally slow down, to do less, to choose carefully. I have done very little writing, although I feel that this experience will be part of my book, a key section in fact. I have been deliberating whether to push ahead and aim for publication in November as I have planned. Or whether to wait a while, take my time, allow the deep and slow process to continue some more.

Deep and slow. Deep and slow. The whales, along with dolphins and porpoises, are often present around our coast here in Cornwall. And yet, they are rarely seen. Knowing the whales are there somewhere in the depths, and knowing how far they travel around the world, is humbling for me. My journey down with the whales has been - and continues to be - a meditation. Another type of magic carpet ride, a visualisation journey. The difference for me in this recent experience has been that the images arose so unexpectedly, from the depths of my subconscious maybe, as I lay there asking for help.

Reflections: Appreciation
Dare to Blossom Art Summer Sale
Events and ways to Dare to Blossom

Reflections: Appreciation

For me, appreciation seems to add even more depth to gratitude. Listing the things I am grateful for is a beautiful practice. When I add exactly why I am grateful for those things, it encourages me to think more deeply. To think about exactly what it is that I appreciate about them.

I appreciate the beauty of these extraordinary flowers. I took the photo at the Eden Project a year or so ago. When I shared it on my Facebook page people told me what they were known as (spider lilies), and some friends have them growing in their gardens in Australia. Knowing these facts and sharing with others, helped me to appreciate them even more deeply.