Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today


Today is a day for opening all the curtains to let in the sunshine (but leaving the heating on).

Today is a day for brewing a very special cup of tea, accompanied by a couple of squares of dark chocolate and a handful of dried cranberries.

Today is a day for stretching, body and soul.

Today is a day for savouring a sprig of lavender, cut from my Mum's garden, arranged in an espresso cup.

Today is a day for daydreaming about all the fun things my little 'un and I will do when she is older: going to yoga, attending concerts, travelling the world, setting up an Etsy shoppe.

Today is a day for gently parking the To Do list to one side, and maybe even not doing a single thing in preparation for our impending journey.

Today is a day for walking slowly and breathing deeply, occasionally capturing a wisp of daphne in the air.

Today is a day for wearing a superhero necklace and mala beads.

Today is a day for breathing into the possibility that a whole hour to myself offers.

Today is a day for SARK, in any form. But preferably Succulent Wild Woman.

Today is a day for an eyebrow wax, followed by a stomp in the playground, then a soy chai and macarons.

Today is a day for taking a big brand new canvas out of its wrapping and making a whole lot of messy fun marks on it -- assisted by an eager little person -- just to get started.

Today is a day for Regina Spektor, turned up loud.

Today is a day for making lists of snacky treats to take on the plane.

Today is a day for being grateful for all that is gorgeous in this world, and all that is frustrating and frightening... for what it has to teach me.

Today is a day for just being.

Today is a day.

Today is.

Today.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Snippets: a visit to Brighton Beach








{sunday snippets} is a collection of photos from the week (or, in this case, a visit to the beach today).  No need for words: let the pictures tell the story.  Be sure to savour more snippets, or join in, at {tinniegirl}.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Savouring my Saturday



This week, I have been grateful for:

1. The mesmerising little piece of heaven above, courtesy of my sister.

2. Jenn Gibson’s wonderful “new kind of to-do list”. I have printed off several copies of this and pasted it into the travel journal I will be taking with me to Berlin. It’ll be the perfect reminder to pause and reflect... then act.

3. Seeing The Shins and Jack White in the space of three days. Crappy venue, great company, average pre-gig dinner, gorgeous gigs. The late nights nearly killed me but the music and performances were totally worth it.

4.  Melbourne’s guerrilla crafters: so many delicious examples of this in my neighbourhood. They make me smile, every time. 

5. My colleagues stepping up and taking some initiative in my absence with the major review I have been working on.

6. A day at home with my little ‘un, to nip a new cold in the bud. We didn’t get out of our jammies all day. We baked muffins (from a packet), we made spoon bugs from air-drying clay (inspired by Mister Maker), we watched DVDs. We are both such busy creatures, it felt good to just stop, rest and recharge.

7. Putting friends in touch with friends and witnessing such divine goodwill and generosity. For example, the daughter of an old family friend in the UK will shortly be arriving in Australia to undertake some clinical training in a country hospital. She is understandably apprehensive to be so far from Melbourne and all the people she knows, but a quick chat with one of my husband's university friends who grew up in that same country town and voila! Our friend now has an instant support group, and a list of wonderful places to go and things to see (including a shoe shop called Imelda). Love.

8. My favourite cauliflower noodle recipe from Frances Hansen’s gorgeous book. A beautiful Winter warmer and a quick easy way to feed the family.

9. Lisa Mtichell’s heavenly new blog.

10. A party! My husband and I went to the  40th birthday party of one  of his dearest friends. On the way to her apartment, we reflected that the last party we’d been to was at our own house: the new years eve before our little ‘un was born. When we got there, we were greeted with amazing food and great wine and the chance to catch up with some lovely people. But the bit that I treasured the most was the chance to sit back, relax and actually chat to my husband.

11. Fennel, chicory, and pear salad. With a little vincotto. (We added some blue cheese and walnuts, as a special treat.) Savour with a glass of prosecco and you're pretty close to perfection!

12. This brilliant little manifesto from Jenna McGuiggan aka The Word Cellar: I don't need to take my writing more seriously. Yes.

13. My parents having my little ‘un over for a sleep over. And using this precious time and space to make a clearing. I did a total purge of my study/studio, even to the point of vacuuming (only an annual event in our house, let me assure you!). It felt like an honouring of this sacred space and a commitment to starting afresh on my creative projects with clarity and focus.

14. A wonderful reminder from Liz Lamoreux's Adventures in Self-Care series. Just perfect.

15. My little 'un's wild and fabulous aspirations in life, including career plans to be a "workman" ("Because I love digging holes and I love driving trucks!") in the morning and an "ambulance driver girl" in the evening. And her recommendation that we dig a pool next to our house so she can fill it with pets, including crabs, starfish and friendly sharks (that she will feed cereal in the mornings). She is pure sunshine, that girl.


For more sweet sunshine, please be sure to stop by and share your gratefuls with my fabulous friend Maxabella this week!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I wanted to understand where I am...

... and this is what the Osho Zen Tarot replied.

What is repressed:

Yin (passive) aspect:

Yang (active) aspect:

The meditation:

Insight into the body:

Insight into the heart:

Insight into the being:

Consciousness (understanding):

Perfect.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worthiness Wednesday #68 I will survive (a powerful possibility)



I am a huge fan of Jamie Rydler aka @starshyne on twitter. In particular, I love the way she pulls a card from her Osho Zen Tarot deck every day and tweets its gifts for all to receive.

Today, she tweeted:

Osho Zen Card of the Day: Breakthrough. Risk shattering the old patterns and limitations that have kept your energy from flowing.


Then, shortly thereafter:

Inspired by today's Osho card, what possibilities are presenting themselves?

Without thinking too much about it, I found myself tweeting in reply:

The possibility that I can survive strong feelings, mine and others'.

No long after, I received the following reply from the lovely lady herself:

That's a powerful possibility, @kat_anew , truly.

I've been feeling a bit wobbly the last few days. Hormones, likely. Work stress, somewhat. Fatigue, definitely. Fragility from a deep line of therapeutic enquiry, for sure.

That, and I'm in the midst of a real and/or imagined stoush with a member of my family's family. It's just one of those things, a misunderstanding that invariably arises when you are all doing your best to take care of a little person... and you all have differing ideas of the form that should take.

In a few weeks, none of us will probably remember it. Or, more accurately, we won't mention it to each other in public. (Ever the way of family's families, right?)

So it's really nothing remarkable, especially given all the great work I've been doing and the self-care I've been practicing. But, strangely enough, it's thrown me for six. I've been anxious, upset and full of dread for the best part of a week.

And, ironically, the fact that I've been working so hard on the things that are likely to throw me -- and the patterns that enable this -- has made it easier to be hard on myself for feeling this way. Like: Are you kidding? You're going to let this unravel you, after the good place you've been in? This stuff? Again?

Then, today, as I was walking to an appointment, the following thought struck me:

Yes, she is going to say some stuff to me and it is going to make me feel like shit. But, I reckon I will survive.

And then I read Jamie's tweets. And my shoulders came down at least half a metre.

Because here's what I reckon. I have a good idea why this member of my family's family feels the way she does. And I have a sense of why she communicates the way she does. I also know why I hear what she says in a particular way. And I am gaining a clearer picture of the reasons why what I hear touches my soft spots every time.

So I am doing this work and it is working, even though the soft spots are still there (and, let's face it, this person will always be part of my life: I just don't have a choice about that). Over time, this sort of situation will get easier to deal with.

But, at the end of the day, this just is what it is. And that's all it is.

And somehow, just clocking that seemed to be a powerful possibility.

So, this week, I invite you to join me and look that chore you've been avoiding, the conversation that gives you goosebumps, the meeting that makes you anxious, the deadline that fills you with dread and just allow it to be exactly what it is. That is: something that you'd prefer didn't push your buttons but, for your own set of special reasons, just does.

Yes, do the work. Dig deep. Understand what's happening. Develop a toolbox, a strategy, a support network, a warm-up... whatever it is that gently eases you in to that hideously delicious anxious space, then guides you steadily through.

Because there really is no other choice.

So just let it happen. It will pass. And you'll survive.

I promise.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Settle into Mystery


Creativity is a mystery religion. An everyday creative person celebrates, honours, and lives with mystery. The mysteries of the universe can only be participated in, not solved, and when your creativity is pulled from you in the making of a song, an online business, a little sketch, or a large new invention, your response is not, "Well, I guess that settles the mystery of life!". Rather, it's "What a fine interlude that was, spent I-don't-know-where!".


[...]


Most people hate the idea that they've been dropped into an insoluble myestery: they want answers and assurances. They want to know God's plans and how many words make a novel. They want to know which clues should be considered and which clues discarded as they search for the meaning of life. They want to know who is more right: the priest, the scientist, the entrepreneur. 


But not worrying about all of that is the better plan.


The more rewarding path, which leads, not to a final answer, but to a sense of having lived fully, is to create. In the religion of creativity, this is our cosmology myth: that when we create we make interesting worlds and fine use of our innate resources, without, however, solving life's ultimate mysteries.

Eric Maisel
The Creativity Book:
A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Snippets: I look closer








{sunday snippets} is a collection of photos from the week.  No need for words: let the pictures tell the story.  Be sure to savour more snippets, or join in, at {tinniegirl}.


This week, I am also responding to the prompt I look closer as part of the Inner Excavate-along hosted by Liz Lamoreux. There is such deliciousness to be found in courageous self-portraiture! Will you join us in honouring your beautiful flawed unique self?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Savouring my Saturday



This week I have been grateful for...

1. Getting through an awful day at work and at home yesterday. Every hour seemed crammed full of frustration, awkwardness, unwelcome opinions, and a certain kindergarten refuser. It didn't help that I got out of the wrong side of bed that morning. But today is a new day, right?

2. An absolutely hysterical night with my sister at The Flight of the Conchords. Those chaps seriously had us spellbound -- and in stitches -- for two hours. I came away thinking how a night of simple honest quality entertainment can restore your faith in the world.

3. This brilliant post on failure and wisdom. She sure has it sorted, that Pam Boykin (and you gotta love a woman whose domain name is lifeaftertampons.com).

4. The sweet and obliging baristas at my favourite coffee spot, who don't tease or grimace when I ask for a decaf soy flat white.

5. A bit of a "pep talk" from my therapist. If we are going to get serious about wrapping up, then I will need to step up a bit in terms of how I filter and discuss my experience. Hearing this was actually a lot less confronting than it sounds. Feeling a bit grown-up, actually.

6. This brave and tender post by my creative coach Fiona. It was such a beautiful and timely reminder. We had a great conversation about this in relation to the resistance I've been feeling to some of the techniques I'm learning in the Eastern Therapeutic Writing e-course. Much to ponder.

7. This rare footage of Friday Kahlo and Diego Rivera greeting Leon Trotsky, courtesy of the inimitable brainpicker. [Full disclosure: I ordered these to cheer myself up yesterday!]

8. Seeing the Napoleon exhibition after dark with a lovely and fun colleague. I didn't really know what to expect but it was beautifully curated and highly enjoyable. I found myself fascinated by the symbolism he used, particularly the bees... perhaps striking a chord with my Huguenot DNA?

9. My parents returning safely from overseas. Newfound clarity around the way in which I interact with my Mum and Dad, and they way they interact with each other. Glad to see them and grateful for their generous gifts. And looking forward to settling in to our usual routine (particularly in terms of babysitting) until we go on holidays.

10. My new mantra: I have done enough. And I am satisfied. Deep breath. Repeat.

For more sweet satisfaction, please be sure to stop by and share your gratefuls with my fabulous friend Maxabella this week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Worthiness Wednesday #67 Let (sh)it happen


This week, one of my all-time favourite writers recently produced one of my all-time favourite tweets:

I've told you everything I know about writing--butt on chair, bird by bird, do it badly but do it. Yet it will still be hard 4 me tmrrow too.

This week, I also saw with greater clarity my tendency to panic when I get busy. Followed by intense bouts of self-criticism.

Oh no! I have been lurching from one thing to another! I am trying to do a hundred things at once! I am making mistakes! I am exhausted! Why do I always try to do it all? I hate being such a perfectionist! Why am I doing this again?

It's true, I have been quite busy this week, and two even busier weeks are going to follow. Then we are going overseas on holiday, which will come with a whole new set of anxieties and delights. 

Alongside the gargantuan To Do list, I've been setting myself some boundaries in the interests of self-care. For example, nothing extra will go in my diary between now and our return. 

But I am also sinking in to the knowledge that giving myself a hard time for trying to do all and be all isn't exactly helping. 

Sure, I am all for deep analysis (you may have noticed!) and I have spent a long time investigating where this sense of not-enoughness comes from. I have also found it very valuable and reassuring to knowf what triggers this sort of frantic burst of activity.

But other than that, I reckon that Anne Lamott has it nailed.

I could tell you everything I know about perfectionism, about enoughness, about worthiness. But tomorrow, the same issues will come up for me again.

And that's because shit happens. Some times are just busy. These times are also stressful. When stress hits, I respond in a particular way.

This week, I am trying to clock myself every time I start to panic about being a perfectionist and the toll that perfectionism takes on me physically and emotionally. It seems to me a whole lot less exhausting and frightening just to do the perfectionist thing while being as compassionate towards myself as possible... rather than take the whole experience to the next level by making it into a drama, where I am perennially cast as the antihero.

And let's face it: it's highly likely that next time this sort of experience rocks around, I won't have "fixed" myself and I will be just as perfectionist and just as stressed. Even though I'll have had a bit more practice with being gentle with myself and also balancing the craziness with some strategic self-care.

You know me. I am not going to advocate perfectionism to anyone. Or recommend turning a blind eye to the systemic causes.

But this week, I invite you to join me in not giving yourself crap for something that just, well, happens. You know it happens and you know why. And, sure, your life would be a soda if it didn't. But there you are: it's your life and it's that thing you do when certain things push your buttons and it sucks a bit. It's not the sum total of your existence on this planet.

And maybe, just maybe, you don't need to change. And by realising this, maybe you will also see that focusing all your energies on changing is more draining than the actual thing you're doing.

You and me: we can do it anyway.

Let's.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Love (a poem)




Love means to learn to look at yourself 
The way one looks at distant things 
For you are only one thing among many.


And whoever sees that way heals his heart, 
Without knowing it, from various ills. 


A bird and a tree say to him: Friend. 
Then he wants to use himself and things 
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness. 


It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves: 
Who serves best doesn't always understand. 

Czeslaw Milosz 
Translated by Robert Hass
(with thanks to Kaspa  for including this gem in his Eastern Therapeutic Writing e-course)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Snippets: here I stand








{sunday snippets} is a collection of photos from the week.  No need for words: let the pictures tell the story.  Be sure to savour more snippets, or join in, at {tinniegirl}.


This week, I am also responding to the prompt I see me as part of the Inner Excavate-along hosted by Liz Lamoreux. There is exquisite nourishment to be found here! Do join us...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Savouring my Saturday


This week, I am grateful for...

1. My yummy new salt lamp, pictured above! I also got a mini one to plug into my USB port at work. I swear I had greater powers of concentration that day. And my nostrils kinda felt like they'd been washed out my sea spray by the end of the day, although I could've been imagining that!

2. A wonderful tarot reading by my friend Julia. So much affirmation and so much to ponder. Felt good.

3. Turning a sharp corner on the way back to my office from lunch and stopping just short of full-body slamming into a gorgeous young hipster man. We stopped short for a moment, in silence. Then tried to apologise at the same time, erupting into crazy hearty giggles. The life in that moment carried me through the afternoon.

4. Pam Slim's brilliant post on how to ask for help. Damn, she's good.

5. Starting to pin down the details of our forthcoming trip to Germany. Buying a new journal, writing up our itinerary, starting a To Do list. Getting especially excited about Berlin.

6. Chinese rice noodles in clear broth with tofu, mushrooms and leafy greens. Warming, filling and very diet-smart. Bliss...

7. Regina is coming to Melbourne. Squee!!

8. Getting hooked back in to many of my creative projects, and starting some new ones. Feeling a little "under the pump" with one or two, mainly due to chasing self-imposed deadlines, but otherwise loving the process.

9. The support and encouragement of my senior colleagues during a very intense time at work. Knowing that my contribution is quality, and valued.

10. This quote from Aristotle: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

11. Last, but most definitely not least, the gradual return of wellness to me and my little family. Amazing the difference a more energy and a little cheer makes. Spaciousness!

For more habitual excellence, please be sure to stop by and share your gratefuls with my fabulous friend Maxabella this week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

What am I trying to do?


Today, as I went for a walk during my lunch break, I asked myself this very question.

What am I trying to do?

The answers followed me all the way back to my desk, compelling me to commit them to paper... starting with I am trying to


* drive a major review at work
* start on my dream creative project, staying accountable to my coach
* make a gift to thank a lovely person
* crochet a blanket
* lose weight
* cut out dairy from my diet and learn about healthy alternatives
* maintain other work projects, including a rather ambitious balanced scorecard initiative
* get some exercise, cycling as often as possible
* let the water level down and be more vulnerable in key relationships
* make a baby (though not on my own!)
* look after my skin
* look after my family
* look after my parents’ house while they are overseas, and prepare it for their return
* catch up on creative projects I’ve let lapse
* stay open to my spirit and learn more about my spirit guides
* get ready for our overseas trip, happening in three weeks
* keep up with the inner excavate-along
* maintain a gratitude practice
* take photos every day
* run a tidy house
* not let anyone down
* go the extra mile for some
* play with, and be available for, my daughter
* spend quality time with my husband
* work out what to do about the menace who keeps letting our tyres down
* return some faulty items
* buy new suitcases
* be a big sister
* remember to get new memory cards for my cameras
* sign up for the next term of yoga/pilates
* embark on an Eastern Therapeutic Writing course and journal every day
* dress fabulously
* keep track of everything I eat
* notice how little fruit I eat
* keep up with twitter (though why, I don’t exactly know)
* rest, occasionally


After I wrote, I sat and looked ay my scribbled list. It didn't feel like a list of complaint. In fact, most of those things I was grateful to have on my list and in my life.

But it did feel like too much. It occurred to me that one of the zanier habits I have is to try and tackle everything on the list, just because I am tackling one thing.

While the list did help me to put some things in perspective -- this one's not urgent, that one will pass soon, these ones can wait -- I have to say that this list made me feel lucky. And made me realise that I am already living many of my dreams.

Maybe it's all about living the list than trying to tick stuff off it.

What are you trying to do, in this moment?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I gather (Part 2)





As I catch up on my One Little Word journal, I see so clearly the textures of my days.

I see here an exquisite little collection of my dreams, my fears, my play, my hopes, my plans, my humour, my love, my learning, my temptations, my desires.

I gather these fragments and I see me.

Today, I am responding to the prompt I gather as part of the Inner Excavate-along hosted by Liz Lamoreux. There is exquisite nourishment to be found here! Do join us...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Worthiness Wednesday #66 Plant a seed



Over the weekend, I clocked myself. That is to say, I noticed myself doing something that I often say I don't want to do but never seem to be aware that I'm doing it until it's too late.

I was sitting on the couch, fretting. My daughter was unwell. My husband was unwell. I was unwell. My mind was zipping in a zillion different directions. How I could fix things. How I could change things. All the things that needed to be done. All the things we could and should be doing. All the ways I was failing everyone.

Then I stopped for a moment and looked at them, my husband and daughter. Really looked. Yes, they were unwell. My daughter was flaked out in front of the television. My husband was taking it easy, reading the weekend papers. We'd all had a bad night's sleep and a grouchy morning. None of us had eaten all that much.

But here we were. We were doing OK. We'd taken the medication appropriate to be taken. We were resting. And, apart from that, there wasn't really that much else to be done. None of us was feeling all that flash, but there was nothing else for it than to just sit and not feel flash.

And, just like that, I stopped. I stopped fretting.

Periodically today my To Do list threatened to take the wind out of my sails. Every time I stopped and let myself think about what's waiting for me at my day job tomorrow, the e-course I'm behind on, the creative project I've agreed to be accountable on, the writing opportunities that are here now and fleeting, the food intake I am also trying to be accountable for, the washing up, the laundry, how filthy our floors look... I could feel my heart beat in my ears.

But, despite that, I took this afternoon off. I sat down on the couch and watched Hugo on DVD with my little 'un. I can't remember the last time I did that i.e. sat down for two hours and/or watched something not specifically aimed at kids.

Please don't get me wrong. My perfectionistic tendencies have not evaporated overnight. Far from it. In fact, when I log off, there will be another couple of To Do list frenzies, namely my little 'un's dinner-bath-brushing teeth-bed routine and then the get-everything-ready-and-tidied-for-when-my-Mother-in-Law-comes-tomorrow routine. And then I hope to eke out a couple of hours to progress a couple of creative projects that I am struggling to otherwise prioritise.

Then I'll collapse into bed depleted, defensive, distracted and likely unable to sleep for quite a while. Then I'll wake to do it all again tomorrow. This is the way things are.

But a seed has been planted.

Things won't alway be this way.

This week, I invite you to plant a seed. Nothing drastic, nothing huge. Just a tiny idea, with a luscious little pocket of love to protect it and allow it to germinate. Could it be that, right now, there is nothing more to do, nothing more to be? Could it be that sitting down and watching a DVD or reading book is exactly the right thing to do, even though you have a To Do list as long as your arm?

It seems to me that change really is possible, provided you can cultivate some courage and a long-term view along the way.

Because you are worthy of life beyond that fretting, frenetic space. You are worthy of self-care. And self-love.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What am I bored of?


I'm bored of...

* making To Do lists for other people
* comparison and competitiveness
* knocking my pan out just to be able to say that I have "done it all"
* trying to inveigle my way into particular creative/blogging scenes
* unwellness and trying to effing fix it
* bottling it in when politeness is not called for
* being seduced into the idea that I could be a painter (like, for reals)
* over-analysing everything for meaning and significance
* incense
* hours evaporating while my eyeballs are glued to other people's pixels
* being more afraid than I need to be

I'm NOT bored of...

* focusing on my number one dream project right now
* capturing everyday moments with my camera
* talismans
* playing along with creative prompts in my own way, in my own time
* my beautiful sister
* painting for the sheer joy of it
* discovering music that dances through my soul
* crochet
* listening to my body as it shows me what it needs and what it doesn't
* reading about all things creativity
* learning show my vulnerabilities

With thanks to the indomitable Alexandra Franzen for yet another life-changing prompt.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I gather (Part 1)


Who am I?

I am
the moment, in between
the last mouthful
the phone call to be returned
the To Do list
the day dream
the newly framed prints
the looming deadline
the restocked first aid kit
the gallery programme
the scrapbook begging glue
the vitamins consumed
the ironed shirt
the glass of red, breathing
the promise
the reminder:
sit, breathe




Today, I am responding to the prompt I gather as part of the Inner Excavate-along hosted by Liz Lamoreux. There is such deep joy to be found here! Do join us...

PS My newly framed prints are the "You make my heart Rushall the time" (a cute pun on my local train station!) by Able and Game, and "Put on your Brave Girl Boots" by Melody Ross. Yum!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday snippets






{sunday snippets} is a collection of photos from the week (or, in this case, from a little outing today).  No need for words: let the pictures tell the story.  Be sure to savour more snippets, or join in, at {tinniegirl}.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Savouring my Saturday


This week, I have been grateful for...

1) Seeing that fundamental equation in action: courage + vulnerability = true connection.

2) Anne Tyler's exquisite new novel The Beginner's Goodbye. Spare but poignant prose, deliciously flawed characters, simple but engaging narrative. My favourite, on all scores.

3) My sweet sister sharing her experiences of her journey to the UK to attend our Papou's funeral and support our family. In a cafe, during our lunch break at work, she showed me the photos she'd taken so I could see our grandparents' house for the last time. And also so I could finally farewell my Papou when I saw the photos she'd taken of his coffin. My tender tears of sadness were soon followed by tears from hysterical laughter as she imitated various members of our crazy family. I came away feeling a little wrung out, but so very very blessed to have her as a kindred among my kin.

4) I know I've said it before but, really, if you haven't experienced the Dublin Drag Orchestra's description-defying double album a la Frida, then you really haven't lived.

5) The Weight Watchers app. Provided you have sufficient access and can use the database to track the points value of everything you're eating (which, granted, is actually quite expensive... for an app), it's damn educational and exactly what I need right now.

6) My little 'un's current fixation with the letter W. Or M, which is actually an upside down W. Seeing them every everywhere. (I suspect it's the Sesame Street effect!)

7) Deciding to come clean at work and confess that I really don't think I can do it all. Asking for help on a huge and important project. And knowing that the request will be, at the very least, honoured. And most likely fulfilled.

8) A wonderful first conversation with my creative coach Fiona. I really appreciated the way she asked gentle but pointed questions, and found that the act of responding really helped me see my creative blocks in a new light. I came away feeling energised but in a calm, focused and centred way. Looking forward to this coaching journey unfolding... and very much looking forward to learning more about Eastern Therapeutic Writing as well as experiencing a Creativity Intensive in the process.

9) The small things. A haircut. New turquoise nail polish. A bouquet of lettuces. Flashes of red afternoon sky glimpsed from my office window. A tiny silver pendant in the shape of a bee. Chocolate chip muffins, made from a packet. The fleeting but powerful Daphne season. Curiosity about Himalayan crystal salt lamps. Tiny pockets of delight. Witnessing the (extra)ordinary.

10) The space to be sick. It's been sickie-central at chez nous the last week (or three). But we've been holding it together, looking after each other, in the [messiest, uneven, slightly crazy but always loving] way we know how.

For more sweet savouring, please be sure to stop by and say hello to my delicious friend Maxabella this week!

Friday, July 6, 2012

La Vida Callada


The unspoken life
Giver of worlds
What's most important
Is non-expectancy


The morning is born
The red friends
The big blues


Leaves in one's hands
Noisy birds
Fingers in one's hair
Dove's nests
Unlikely understanding
Within the human race
Simplicity in the song of the unreason
Madness in the wind of my heart


They mustn't rhyme girl!


Sweet chocolate
Of ancient Mexico
Storm in the blood
That enters by mouth
Convulsion, omen
Laughter and fine teeth
Pearl needles
As a gift


Of a seventh of July
I wish for it it comes
I sing, I sang
I will sing from today
Of our magic-love


The unspoken life
Giver of worlds
Wounded deer
Great living fruit
Death departs
Lines, shapes, nests
Hidden rhythms


The hands construct
Tehuana robes
The eyes open
Little Mariana
The "Diego-like" senses
Whole tears
Rays, pains, suns
All very clear
Cosmic Truths
That live without din.


Tree of hope
Stand firm!

Words by Frida Kahlo
Music by Clara Sanabras
Recorded by the Dublin Drag Orchestra
and blowing my mind

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scenes from our week








Still no words, though the creative juices are starting to flow once more. (Pro tip: when stuck with how to progress a painting, enlist the help of a three year old. A sure-fire way to banish any preciousness... or hesitation!)