Dare to Blossom Life Coaching with Mary Lunnen

In this Issue:

Reflections: Midsummer Magic
Dare to Blossom Events
Inspirational links

Reflections: Midsummer Magic

It is almost nine o'clock in the evening, and here in Cornwall, at the end of May, still three weeks until the longest day - it is still light. Today has been a perfect early summer day, warm with a cool breeze. As the sun sets there is sea mist in the air, creeping in from the coast just a few miles from here.

The garden is producing well, and we are surrounded by luxuriant greenery and flowers. The bird feeders are visited by small birds such as chaffinches, blue tits, sparrows and great tits, as well as the dramatically coloured great spotted woodpeckers.

Writing now on 31 May..... tomorrow I will be celebrating a full twelve months running Dare to Blossom full time. After setting up the business in 2003, I had always worked within organisations, at first with a local college part-time, that contract ended and the post was made redundant. Then I found work with a new business start-up support programme and worked there for nearly six years - coaching and training dozens of people. That again ended when the funding disappeared and all the staff made redundant.

In this Issue:
Reflections: Going with the Flow
Forthcoming events in Cornwall, Glastonbury, and online
Inspirational links: Books and talks
Reflections: Going with the flow
'Going with the flow' - has been emerging as a repeating theme just recently. On reflection I recall that years ago someone suggested this image to me: often I cling on to the banks, to overhanging trees, rocks - anything; breaking my fingernails, bruising my fingers; clinging on desperately to where I am, where I think I should be. So, what if I just let go, let the flow take me down the river? Not struggling, certainly not drowning, just being carried along with no effort. At that time I was in one of those 'hamster wheel' situations where I thought I could not possibly stop clinging on - a lot has changed since then. And yet...... the image arising now is equally powerful.
Where am I going? Am I going with the flow?  And if I am, what does that mean? Is it giving in, or is it just letting life carry me along for a while? Will I pause to consult the wisdom of the ancient trees along the banks? (Such as the one in the photo above, taken on the River Fowey near Respryn Bridge a year or so ago).Do you know, I thought I would be writing a long piece about this, but I now find I have no words today. I feel I need to allow myself to be with the flow instead of trying to 'do' it.  
And I will leave you to do the same with a few prompts for your journal or meditation as usual:
- Are you clinging on too tightly to the banks of your river?

Reflections: Daring

Choosing the title of 'Daring' for these reflections, has grown out of a piece I wrote on 26th March in one of my daily Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Card posts on my business Facebook page.Beginnings Self-care Daring

That was prompted by two cards: 'Beginnings' and 'Self-love'. Here is that piece for those of you who may not have seen it:

"Beginnings, with the deep green, is of course perfect for the spring here in the northern hemisphere, and for Easter with the themes of death and rebirth. Re-emergence after the winter, new buds, green shoots.

Self-love, soft purple colour. Today, this relates closely for me to reflections prompted by the book I have just finished reading: 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. Like many of you, I have watched some of her TED talks, but this is the first book of hers I have read.

The sub-title is "How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead." In the book Brene describes her research and shares interview stories, with her own experiences included. I found myself nodding and recognising so much of what she writes about. The way many of us are subjected (and subject ourselves) to shame when all we need to recognise is guilt. She defines the difference as shame being 'I am bad.'; guilt being 'I did something bad.' (substitute any word - wrong, stupid, etc.....) The first is about you as a person, the second about one particular action, which may have been a mistake but can be learned from.

Reflections: Coming Home

Sitting in the garden on a rare (for this winter) sunny day, wondering what the theme will be for my reflections this month. Smiling at myself - wrapped up in layers of warm clothes - and a sun hat. There is a chill wind blowing in the trees around me. It feels like a March wind even though it is still February as I write. Crows cawing; small birds singing; two young cats (no longer really kittens) playing rough and tumble nearby.

I can also hear hammering from work on the conversion of old farm buildings, saving them from decline and ruin and giving them a useful purpose once more. Observing, observing not only the sights and sounds around me - ooh, the flutter of a sparrow's wings almost ruffles my hair as it shoots past low over my head. Observing also my chain of thoughts - that take me next to remembering that despite the conversion of the buildings, we have seen barn owls again recently. And what a glorious full moon has been shining the last few nights.

Not random thoughts, even if the chain that links them seems tenuous or even disconnected. They are, in reality, very much connected. Linked to this place, this physical place, my home for almost forty years now. And connected with my internal home, myself. This past year, in fact the past several years - have been a process of coming home to myself.

Only very recently, as I continue to focus on refreshing and renewing my coaching work under Dare to Blossom, has this seemed to open out into new potential. Into the rediscovery, not only of myself, but of my power within, my sovereignty (to use one of my words for this year).

This has been about recognising and reclaiming many lost or overlooked parts of myself - and about reintegrating them into my life. I was going to say 'my working life', but my intention is to create a life. A life that includes work and that also has a good balance of all the other things that are important to me. Now, for me, (unlike in the past) I feel there is no separation between these essential aspects of me, and my business.morning glory

Art, creativity, health, spirituality, family, friends, walking, nature, reading - all these things are part of me - part of the 'myself' I am coming home to at last. Including the work I love to do. I have begun to realise that all my past experience is becoming integrated - many of those experiences have been uncomfortable, even painful at the time. I don't believe that bad experiences are necessary, but they are the way most of us learn what we need to know - in coping, in finding strength within we had no idea we possessed, in coming through.

The more I allow myself to live a life I love, to allow it flow with ease and grace (my other two words for this year) - then the more I have to offer to others.

For you, to reflect in your journal or meditations:

In this Issue

Reflections: Grace and Ease

Archive piece: Compassion and Change

News and Events - including an offer to exchange coaching for assistance at an event
Inspirational links

Reflections: Grace and Ease

For 2016 my 'words of the year' are Grace, Ease, and Sovereignty. I will write more about the last of these in a future piece, today I am reflecting on grace and ease. After many years of working, and running my business, and writing, and doing things around my home .... etc,etc., like many people, I often used to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I am working full time on 'Dare to Blossom' activities of various sorts at the moment - including art and creativity, plus time to read, meditate, walk - and of course - play with our two kittens, who are rapidly growing up.

So, I am still working hard; still experience anxiety about finances and paying the bills; still have challenges of various sorts. And, as 2015 ended and 2016 dawned, I have begun to feel a softening, a yielding, of my commitment to worry and stress. I was surprised, as you may be, to find I was using that word 'commitment' - but it feels true. Now I feel that I was almost determined that I 'should' feel that way. Not all the time, over recent years I have been feeling less and less lke that, but it was there all the same.

Since those words popped up in my mind for this year and I have relaxed into them, I have found things beginning to flow. Many coaches and writers talk of feeling the emotion you want first and then reality will follow. In my experience this is true, though not always easy to achieve. With my adoption of 'grace and ease' almost as a mantra to live by for this year, it seems that I can slip into those states quite readily, and then circumstances do seem to shift around me so that things work out, gracefully and easily.

This month we have a guest writer, Cate, who has been a regular reader of this newsletter/blog for a number of years. Many thanks to her for offering this contribution. If anyone else would like to see their words featured here, feel free to contact me.

In this Issue:

Reflections: Delving Deep
Guest Article: Geraniums and Life by Cate
Workshops and Events: Magic Carpet Ride Workshops and On-line Group
Coaching one-to-one intensives: special offer on 'Rediscover your Spark'

Reflections: Delving Deep

This time of year feels to me like a time to go within, to withdraw. The sun has passed the shortest day - the longest night - here in Cornwall, but the nights (and often the days too) seem dark. A time of rest, of hibernation even. A fallow time when most plants are resting too - even in the exceptionally mild weather here when some are flowering early.

The feeling of going within is also associated with the ending of 2015 and beginning of a new year - wherever you are in the world, whatever season you are in, this may still ring true for you. In the rush and bustle of festivities, of gatherings and celebrations with family and friends - it can be easy to let this opportunity slip past. The opportunity to pause and review; to reflect and look forward.