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“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”~ Mahatma Gandhi

I believe in love.

The evolutionary spark, the life force.

The heart’s voice, the knowing that comes from beyond thought.

The inspiration, the jolt of energy, my highest excitement.

The whispers of my soul.

I feel the little fox unfurl by the fire of my heart, basking in the light, sleekly out into the dark, wary and vigilant. Why not leap and bound and roll down the muddy banks of life into the silken icy streams? Why not howl?

Each time my vulpine friend peeks out, I urge her to be brave and tear shrieking through the woodland, chase the sunlight, roll and scratch on the rocks, tumble into the rapids. Still she only creeps, two steps forward one step back: now bold, inquisitive, provoking, testing the electricity in the air… now recoiling, lashed and afraid from the storm, now weeping into deep wet fur.  But we are young, and the world is unfolding. The howl is rising in perfect time for spring, winter hibernation seduces her now. The deep dark solitude of the den.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.They are messengers of overwhelming grief…. and unspeakable love. – Washington Irving

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ~ Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum

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“Whenever nobody is talking about power, that is where it unquestionably exists, at once secure and great in its unquestionability. Whenever power is the subject of discussion, that is the start of its decline.” ~ Ulrich Beck – via Adam Kahane, Power and Love

We willingly submit to each other and trust, are of service to each other out of love. We seek to control each other, or be controlled, confusing love with power, seeking the security of power or the safety of powerlessness. We  let go to expand love out into the world, we crush love with control. We  give away our power, and thereby step into our power.

We become empowered, become able to truly love through surrender. Watching the dance between giving up and letting go, between control and flow, between power and love. The power and the love lie in the paradox.

When we find ourselves time and again climbing Sisyphus’ hill. Why not stop and let the boulder roll away, sit down and enjoy the view for a moment, appreciate the hill itself. Trust that if we really need it, we will find another boulder at the top of the hill that doesn’t need pushing up. Don’t give up, just surrender, let go and carry on.

“Giving up means abandoning our effort to cocreate new social realities and so reverting to either aggressive war or submissive peace. Surrendering means acknowledging that we cannot calculate nor control the outcome, and plunging into carving our way forward.”

~ Adam Kahane, Power and Love

“When you begin to let go, it is amazing how enriched your life becomes. False things which you have desperately held on to move away very quickly from you. Then what is real, what you love deeply, and what really belongs to you, comes deeper into you. Now no-one can ever take them away from you.”

~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara

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“Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves

She’s stretching in the fragile morning rays of the sun, her eyes blurry from 5000 years of sleeping. She turns to the blinding light of the business all around. Naked and perplexed, she sighs deeply and readies her soft and yielding heart for battle, gathers her pulsing strength…

The Divine Feminine, stepping up and out and firmly taking the hand of The Conscious Masculine. With love, and commitment to weather all storms. To yield and support, to empower and enrage, to drive forward and let be.

By loving our own divinity and consciousness, our creative potency – unique flavours and a perfect combination- we give birth to the elixir of life, to love. Just being every element of our unique microcosm of the wholeness, loving all that is in us, and by this most joyful and elemental means – loving all that is. Bringing all into balance.

“Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.”

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest…” ~ Pema Chodron

Water and rock can coexist and cooperate beautifully, flexibility and commitment – one sheltering the penetrating flow of the other, one rounding and softening the sharp edges of the other. Bring volatile passions of temperature and they swap forms at the extremes, ice and lava – barely able to draw near without the one hissing off into spirals of steam, the other rapidly returning to dense, closed rigidity.

Extreme environments drive us to our poles, high pressure forces fundamental change – crystallisation, bursting forth new geysers, shifting landscapes. For life to be coaxed from the fertile new rock, the gentle interrelations need to emerge, negotiating balance and synchronicity, adapting to complexity, developing subtlety, and an integral commitment to life itself is the seed and the sap.

“If you want to be successful, be as pliable and yielding as water; so as to stay close to reality. If you want to be powerful, be as focused as water, it can penetrate a rock. This is Dao.” ~ Lao zi

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“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” ~ Mary Oliver

Glancing sideways into your window as I pass on no particular business, a glimpse like a cannonball of the warm hearth within. Not for me this rich tapestried chamber, not for me this flickering firelight, not for me this shelter. I must make my peace with the storm.

This is harder than I thought a hard thing could be. The fire is so enchanting… Do I need to follow this pain to the ends of the earth until it becomes a treasured friend or falls away like old skin?

I’m resting in myself, nestled in the crook of my own heartbeat. Warm home fires burn, cleansing fertile flames.  Keeping safe from dungeons and dragons, making light what has felt so heavy. That’s not the way we ebb and flow, not the way we learn and grow, not the way we are…

The sea finds the shore by being still fluid, allowing the rhythmic sway of the moon to send soft ripples of energy through it, propelled to meet the land in perfect time.  The distance between two waves of the whole never closes until they disintegrate on the shore and return deep to the belly of the ocean to be born anew.

“To love purely is to consent to distance, it is to adore the distance between ourselves and that which we love.” ~ Simone Weil

I love this man sitting before me now, because I do not possess him and he does not possess me. We are free in our mutual surrender. I need to repeat this dozens, hundreds, millions of times, until I finally believe my own words.” ~ Paulo Coehlo, Eleven Minutes

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“This ache, this longing is the thread that guides me back through the labyrinth of compromises I have made, back to my soul’s desires… If we are never consumed by the transforming fire of our desires, we risk falling in love with the sweet ache of longing, the daydream of “what if…” or “someday…” — Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation Plus

Rising like a yell from deep in my belly and setting my whole body vibrating, a sudden eruption of desire consumes everything. To go, to stay, to be, to have, to do… Blacking out into satin soul chambers, gasping for breath and back into blinding light. Childish foot-stamping desire, fierce and violent burning desire, heart- achingly tender desire.

Calling me forward as I fight to look behind, the harder I resist the louder it calls. When I hold it in my belly it agitates and burns, leaves my back weak, my shoulders tense and my head aching from the strain. What else is stuck in there with it? Force to create, will to act, courage to be… When I say YES with my whole being, I spiral up and out like swifts on the wind.

Follow the tiniest of lights, the littlest spark of flame in the forest. Follow it into the darkness and into the morning. Hold it lightly in the palm of my hand and sit quietly with it. Find my way back through the trees to the thread, and follow it home.

“… desire was an entirely free sensation, loose in the air, vibrating, filling life with the will to have something – and that will was enough, that will carried all before it, moved mountains, made her wet…It is an emotion chosen by my soul, and it is so intense that it can infect everything and everyone around me.”

— Paulo Coehlo, Eleven Minutes.

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Heart, be brave. If you cannot be brave, just go. Love’s glory is not a small thing. ~ Rumi

The hurricane season of the heart, tearing through life. Right in the centre I’ll meet you, in the eye of the storm, where the air is still and the colours are brightest. Slow our heart’s beating to a deeper earthy pulse, resonating and reverberating, fingers entwined. Rest and be nourished to stand strong and separate through the raging vortex when it comes. You build your shelter, I’ll find mine. Go to ground and face the demons.

And when it passes, as everything does, we’ll walk on and pick up the pieces of this world that shimmer still from the rubble, gleaming with all that is good and real, and carefully, lovingly build a house of dreams for all.

If only I don’t bend and break

I’ll meet you on the other side

I’ll meet you in the light

If only I don’t suffocate

I’ll meet you in the morning when you wake

~ Keane,  Bend & Break

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“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together” — Pema Chodron

The much ridden and reported Rollercoaster, of life, of love, of evolution. The filthy U-bend and the glorious flow. As we climb higher, there’s further to drop, and the ride goes faster…

Beauty shines out of the integrity of being as we are, life being as it is. A warm dog by the fire sighing deep with satisfaction, a scared soul reaching out for comfort in their grief, the flaming warmth of dying leaves – radiating back to the sun, the deeply rooted sway of trees.

Everything can and does change in a moment. If I can be in this moment, I can change everything, every moment.

“As a warrior you take responsibility for holding the balance between light and dark within you and, by extension,  the world around you, and ultimately when you go deep enough,  the universe.”

— Barefoot Doctor

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A good rest is half the work

“It is not the being, and not even the doing that exhausts. It is the trying. Trying to be present, to be awake, to hold the whole world, to be better, more self-aware, more conscious.”

— Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation Plus

Winter is whispering  at the door and whistling through the windows. Taunting the tireless, provoking the restless.

Come into my cool, dark embrace – rest awhile. Lay down your doing and being, tether up your trying and stable it over the long night I bring you. Let the flames of the hearth consume the sodden off-cuts of Summer until all that remains is smouldering fertile beginnings of Summer to come.

Now is the time for incubation, slow cooking – deep underground where the earth’s molten heart warms through the sacrifice of Spring’s bright optimism and the summer’s lush grass- until it is tender and nourishing for hungry souls come in from the cold.

Longer days will come soon enough and you’d better be fresh and ready to roll!

“I want to quit running from my own tiredness. I want to be willing and able to move only as fast as I am capable of moving while still remaining connected to the impulse to move from deep within, stopping when I have lost that slender thread of desire and having the courage and faith to wait, in stillness, until I find it again.”

—Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation Plus

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If you love the world, it will break your heart. And if you don’t love the world, it will break your heart.— Eric Allen Bell

Every day learning to be love is like learning to walk on hot sand.  This is the core of everything, the root, the causeless cause, and so – fundamentally – everything else I have to offer and reflect on comes down to this. I didn’t know how to begin, so I began at the end of everything. Hoping I can work backwards from here!

If I hadn’t felt overwhelming pain, my heart wouldn’t have the capacity to experience overwhelming  joy and love. It was only after grief softened the ground that love could sear through the permafrost and crack my heart wide open like a river emerging from deep underground, carrying me through the rocky rapids, splendid scenery and deep silent pools of my subsequent experience.

To speak it straight from the heart like a laser, feels hot and dangerous. Why is love so taboo? Why does it get boiled down to Hippies and Clintons and Twilight – all the life oozing out of it and leaving behind an amorphous untextured gloop? A seeping social miasma, another set of standards to measure up to, another norm to swallow whole – sharp square edges and all.

If I speak of love like this does it offend you? Make you squirm and look away?  How about this…? The awesome, magnificence of love in its glory is immaculate and terrible, with manes of ice and flame, and shimmering brutal claws. It’s not all roses.