Dare to Blossom Life Coaching with Mary Lunnen

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.

In this Issue:
Reflections: Beginnings
Unusual gift ideas

Reflections: Beginnings

The theme of 'Beginnings' may seem more suited to a newsletter for January. However, this card has been coming out regularly for me in my daily meditation practice, so I decided to follow that lead and see where it takes me. Before I settled on that I looked through all the past 'December' pieces I have written over the years since I began writing this in 2007. Sometimes I find an article in the 'back issues' that feels very current and relevant and I choose to share it again.

This time my experience has been totally different. How interesting! I felt that I didn't recognise the writer of those words in earlier years, that I had changed so much. I plan to review the past year for myself in detail before I write to you in January. So this is just the beginning of that review process in a way. There have been many endings this year as well as beginnings. Not always a direct correlation, though often there is - the ending of my contract of employment on 31 May meant that from 1 June I was self-employed full time for example.

Lost for Words

Sitting down to write to you this month, I truly do feel lost for words. I do a lot of writing: daily (except Sundays) I write a reflection on my 'card of the day' on the Dare to Blossom Facebook page (link in the box on the left if you would like to take a look); I write emails - often long and detailed for various reasons - to friends, family, people I am coaching; currently I am writing content for my new website. A lot of writing. So, sitting here, I feel lost for words, empty.

Maybe that is a good thing? Maybe - as in a coaching session - silence is to be welcomed, rather than something to be afraid of? Leaving a space to breathe, a blank canvas, room for the new. Now I am doing more painting again I am coming back to that feeling of not knowing, not needing to articulate or frame. Especially with the abstract, intuitive work - learning to just let the colours do what they do, look at the patterns later and see if any adjustments or additions would add to the final result - or if best left alone.

As with this painting - after I had drawn the heart shape with ink, and decided not to worry that it was lop-sided, not 'perfect', I was able to let the wax paint medium flow and make the patterns, with a little help from me. The result I have titled "My lop-sided heart".

My lop-sided heart

The other book is Conscious Writing by Julia McCutchen. I attended a retreat with Julia in May 2014, at which time she was developing this work and the book that has now evolved from that. In a piece on intuition she writes: "Intuition is a distinct sense of direct Knowing that transcends the use of intellectual reasoning."

In my current 'lost for words' state, I don't feel able to use any 'intellectual reasoning' to develop any deep conclusions to offer you from these two examples - so I simply offer them as ideas to explore further if you wish. Maybe a shaft of light will illuminate the way for us?

For you: to explore in your journal or meditations:

- Is there any aspect of your life where you feel 'lost'
- Are you able to hold that lost feeling gently and let it be the way it is?
- Can you somehow be comfortable with 'not knowing', for a while at least?
- If words are not the way to explore these questions, maybe you would like to collage, paint, doodle, draw?

Sun on the sea

Reflections: Gone to Seed

My reflections this month are inspired by reading Goddesses in Older Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen (thank you to Amy Palko for introducing me to her writing). She discusses how the phrase 'gone to seed' can be used in a derogatory way, and also how it can be a positive concept for the third phase of life (and for me, this applies to men and women).

Seedhead Trevone

In the discussion (pages 202/203) Jean comments on how the 'planting the seed' botanical metaphor only goes so far. The wonderful aspect of passing on the seeds of wisdom that have been harvested throughout a life is that:

"In the physical and economic world, if I give you something, then I no longer have it. Wisdom and love behave altogether differently: if I give you my love or wisdom, both of us can have it. And even more remarkable, you may pass it on and not only still retain it, but it will grow with each transaction. The more we give away, the more there is and the more we have. Another remarkable quality is that if I give you my wisdom and it rings true in you, what I gave you was really already in you, and you recognised it as your own. The more we bring our wisdom into the world, the more wisdom there will be, and the easier it will be fore other women to find it in themselves." (p. 203)

Reflecting on this, it helps me find a path through what I might previously have seen as a contradiction, a dilemma. If my role as a coach and through the Rediscovery Cards, workshops and writing is to help you 'rediscover your inner wisdom', who am I to feel that my experience, my learning, my accumulated wisdom - is relevant or valuable?

However, using Jean's words, I can see that if I trust my own inner wisdom and dare to share that, to pass on those seeds to others - then you may "recognise it as your own" This helps me acknowledge my strength, to recognise it as a peaceful, serene, calm inner power and allow that to shine and radiate when I meet people.

For you, to reflect on your meditations or journal. This time these are suggestions for flow writing, visualisation, collage-making or art:

- explore the word, the idea "Wisdom" - what is it? What does it mean to you? What images does it prompt you to picture in your mind's eye?
- where is your Wisdom held? Head, heart, gut? Your ability to listen, or to speak?
- follow your thoughts and intuition where it may take you.