Sacred pause



Recently I  spent almost a week in Bristol, in the south west UK – 5 days of Deep Massage Training with David Lauterstein from Austin, Texas , with a travel day each side of the course. The course content was transformational for me – anatomy came alive and made sense in a way that it never did before -muscles began to make total sense and my confidence grew that I could be effective, not just in delivering a relaxing massage experience, but that I could deliver an efficient massage offering pain relief. At another level, the week was a very spiritual experience as we opened each day to a wonderful meditation, as David played his guitar, and discussed breathing, centring, our quality of touch, facilitating the client to release from the inside and take ownership of  their healing experience and so much more.

It has been some years since I landed alone in,  and set out to explore , and  discover , a brand new city and I remembered the power of how we grow through opening ourselves to new experiences, and limit ourselves if we don’t. While I was working at sea in my 20’s I explored so many different ports and cities in the world – I realised it had been a while and was delighted to remind myself how it felt.

One evening I set out and walked for 3 hours, discovering the city, absorbing new sights and choosing where to eat. I realise how often back home I tell myself the story that I don’t have time ,or am too tired to go for long walks and now I know I can – simply put one foot in front of another and discover where my feet take me – the benefits are huge.

As I left the flat where I had been staying with a friend, something prompted me to pause and take a photo of my feet – I had a strong feeling of stepping out in the new, of new beginnings, of wondering who I was now, after this experience, and with this new found knowledge and knowing,  and how will it change me.

The very next day, via a visioning prompt in Sheila Howe’s ( @The Willow’s Raven) #sacredmagic course, I realised that what I photographed was a sacred pause, and fully appreciated the value of stopping , take an inhale, let your breath exhale and then move into the day. ( Thank you Sheila )

I will simply add that the words ‘feel the magic’ literally jumped onto the image of my pause.

Where can you find, and take, a pause in your day today ?






Light yourself up

Do you know what lights you up? Makes you feel sparkly and glow and warm from the inside out? Do you take time to do those things ? Do you follow your yes, your want?

I have thought this week that at times I feel like a lighthouse – at different times, I have guided someone, shone a light , helped steer back to safe water , and I see a reflected glow in their face of how I am feeling – and I realised that to be able to do this, to light others up, I first have to know how to, and take time to, light myself up.


I do this in a number of ways – I do a daily self reiki practice, and lately use the more ‘whooshy’ Seichem energy ,  I get as much sleep as I can, I drink lots of water, I stretch, I move, I love taking time to read or write poetry and recently to draw and sketch how I am feeling first thing in the morning – I have found that showing up to a blank sketch book has moved from being scary to being a really enjoyable practice and taking time to vision feels so important to me too.

One night this week, I came in from work, exhausted , and awfa grumpy – I had stopped to buy crusty bread and stinky cheese on my way home , and sat down to eat while catching up on facebook news of the day. I suddenly noticed how sluggish I felt, I was adding to the grumpy and not addressing it. I recalled my word of the year Vibrant, and knew I was not feeling it, or supporting myself to feel it.

I literally jumped up and went through to the kitchen, chose some pleasant back ground music,  and within minutes made a citrus and ginger juice, and felt the goodness swirling around my body. I then began gathering veg to make soup , and soon the smells and flavours in the kitchen were uplifting me  and bringing me back to Vibrant,


and I knew I had done right to  follow my intuition – the crusty bread and runny cheese were not the best choice that night.

So, sometimes I need to remind myself that I know how to light myself up , before I can pass that energy on to others



How do you light yourself up, fill your own well, top up your tea pot, bring back the extraordinary,  so that you have enough for yourself and for others?










Me Time

How and when do you claim your ‘me ‘ time , and what gets in the way ? Sometimes, it is only ourselves and our old stories that get in the way.

On Friday afternoon, I finished a session with a client around 1 pm, and he enquired what was next in my day- I had no further appointments booked in the afternoon and as I was driving homewards , I noticed that after an extremely wet start to the day, the sky was now blue and the sun was shining. I realised I had that ‘Friday feeling’ and that the day was mine to do with as I chose. What a privelege and what a joy.

My plan had been to go home and do my accounts and paperwork for the week. As I drove past the Riverside Museum in Glasgow and saw the masts of the tall ship Glenlee against the sky – I felt an old familiar urge to go down to the sea .. Continue reading

2016 – Foundation, Whoosh, and Vibrant 

As we moved towards 2016, I was drawn to choosing the word and the intention of Foundation as my guiding word for the year.

I first became aware of a resonance around it during Day 1 of Carrie Hensley’s 30 days of self care during September 2015 . It took me until Day 8 to take time to do day 1 video,  and when I did it lit me up in so many ways and I felt such a difference in my body.

I don’t do yoga regularly and was unfamiliar with the concept of Foundation, and quickly realised that this is where I have to start – creating and developing a strong foundation and building on that to go forwards

“As the foundation is laid, so the walls of the house will rise.”

Foot massage was included , to my surprise, who knew foot massage and foot care was part of yoga?  I did not know this before .  Of course, if I do not look to and look after my feet, which are such a big part of my foundation, my strength and my steadiness, then I will not be in a fit place in a few years time to continue offering massage, which I am passionate about. This was a lighbulb moment – I massage other peoples feet with great love,  care and attention several times a week,why was I not massaging my own regularly? I sometimes did, but this moment set my intentions on creating a practice around it. Why not take a few minutes after my morning shower and again before bed, and give my own feet some love?

I believe that the feet are  like our second heart, they move  the blood back upwards around our body and if mine are not in good health, then my circulation is not all it could be.

Foundation also means other important things to me – it is creating a solid base from which to move forward into my 59th year, into my 60’s and onwards. This is a crucial time in my life where my health seems to matter far more then ever before and I have such an awareness that I cannot take it for granted.

Foundation is having an awareness of how my life has brought me here to this point and of how I can choose my way forwards. I have strong roots from which to fly.

It is about ensuring I have enough rest, when I need it; when I need to recharge my own batteries. When I spotted this gorgeous velvety chaise lounge jewellry box

  I knew it was just what I needed, as when my gaze settles on it, I exhale and check in with my energy levels – do I need to stop and take 3 slow deep breaths ? do I need a nap ? Or I do feel just fine ? Plus it brings me great joy.

Foundation means keeping myself fully hydrated – I fill a beautiful jug full of water and fill it with lemon and lime, or grapefruit, or mint and cucumber – the more I drink the more I seem to crave and become aware of how much my body needs it.

 It is about continuing to create a space to live my life in ,that I am happy in, which is clear and spacious and contains treasured things which are relevant to me now, and letting go of clutter from the past. This process is ongoing and I feel lighter every time I make more space. Space to be me. Space to breathe. Space to create and to flow and to grow. Space to dance and to cook. Space to enjoy my own company and space to enjoy the company of others when I choose to do so.

Foundation is about fully knowing the state of my finances and knowing how much income I need and what I need to do each week and month to assure that, and this takes me back to my feet – if I do not look after my feet and and my body, and ensure their health, and if I am not careful about what I put into my body , and about how  I choose physical activity to move my body , then I will not be healthy and able to earn  my living.

Paying attention to my body and my heart and then taking action. I have been showing up to a blank page each morning and sketching how I feel in that moment , and today, I painted a feather with acrylic paint. Creativity and having fun with it, and the courage to try new art mediums is playing a major part of my life in 2016.

and then the word Whoosh found me … I realised I felt excited about 2016 and I told a friend I wanted to Whoosh into 2016, to live an uncorked life – like a champagne cork popping..

Clearly, if I do not tend to my Foundation, I will be unable to Whoosh..

and then ,on New Year’s Eve, an online meditation around how I want to feel in 2016 brought me to the feeling of Vibrant, and so Vibrant it is – I intend to radiate vibrancy .

( Oh yes, and I am co hosting a Simple Sanctuary Retreat in Tuscany,in May, and this will be another post – Foundation, Whoosh and Vibrant all rolled into one week ❤ )







What would you do if you were given an unexpected hour of time ? ( with no wifi!)

Last Sunday, I arrived to work to find my first client had cancelled . I knew this but hadn’t written it down or kept it in my brain – no one to blame but myself .  I now had 75 minutes until my next client arrived.
I huffed and  puffed to myself for a few  minutes thinking of all I could have done at home if I hadn’t had to leave so soon . I could have finished the ironing , made a meal to come home to tonight , written a letter , heck I could have had a Sunday morning lie in ? ! I felt very grumpy and very cross with myself.

Then I gathered myself together  and thought ok what ‘are ‘ you going to do with the hour ?

It was raining heavily and I was not equipped to go for a walk.

I went over to the cafe and quietly enjoyed the best cup of coffee I’ve had in a long time . As the time approached 11am, I prayed and  kept 2 minutes silence in grateful memory . I thought about my grandfathers and great uncles in the wars and about my grandmothers at home waiting for them . And about the women whose men never came home again.  I thought about the times as a sea cadet where I stood with others on parade at the Cenotaph and first felt the gravity and the gratefulness to those who went before. Lest we forget.
Then I went to my therapy room and lay down on the couch and gave myself reiki for 20 minutes. I  listened to wonderful music . I breathed . I meditated .  I now felt relaxed present and more than ready for my next client . I let go of the ‘ I could have done ‘ , stopped berating myself and made the most of ‘can do’. I had a wonderful hour.

How would you spend an hour of unexpected time away from home ( with no wifi?!)

Inhabiting this day 

 ( Dawna Markova) 

(I  will not die an unlived life..
I am reclaiming purpose and passion

I choose to inhabit my days,to allow my living to open me..) 

I am inhabiting this day. 
Being in it.
I have no need to wander further than a mile along this river bank.
There is all I need. 
Silence,tranquility, swans. 

 The sound of water, of the tide rising and lapping against the stones of the river bank. 
In the far distance – the quiet chatter of fishermen standing thigh deep in the water. 
I sit and watch the ripples on the water and consider the ripples in my life, what is flowing and what is not ? 

What are the obstructions that I must make my way around? 

Where can I float a while ? 

Where do I want to leap like a salmon , to rise ? 

What can I let go of to drift away? 

And how can I ensure I am more often this close to the water ?   


On the threshold of 57.

 “As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O sisters let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters let’s go down
Down in the river to pray “

Alison Krauss

For the second year running, I am fortunate to be staying away at a cottage on the banks of the River Tweed, in the Scottish Borders, in the week preceding my birthday. I have come to the river, to ask, wish, pray and be guided.

I have seen the word ‘threshold’ in various posts over the weekend,  and it occurred to me that I am on the threshold of 57.

Threshold ~ definition ~  the point or level at which something begins or changes: any place or point of entering or beginning.

Next week, I enter my 58th year.

I am choosing to use this time here for several purposes.

The first is to reconnect and spend time with my friend Trudy and catch up with several decades of unfinished and rarely completed conversations, snatched between babies and life rushing onwards, and living hours and many miles apart. We met aged 19 during our training to be Merchant Navy Officers and later travelled together around Australia in 1983/4.

The second is to pause, rest, recharge, reflect , and now,  I realise,to set intentions for my personal new year of becoming 57.

Thirdly, watch every second of sunrise

 and sunset, and notice how the reflections are mirrored in the river and marked by birdsong and the amazing sound and vision of swans in flight as they pass very close by on their way upriver.

Lastly,  on a practical note, I brought my accounts with me , as I intend to take an hour a day getting my financial spreadsheet in some kind of order.

Oh, and I brought a large box of photographs with me and plan to spend some time sorting these and getting some kind of organisation in place ( yes, some of these go back 25plus years! The time is nigh!)

It is a week of many joys, inspired actions, laughter, reminiscing and planning ahead for the future, how to I want to feel at 57, how do I want my life to be and become.

Also, there is cake, good food, some wine, laughter and comfortable company.

I spent several hours on Sunday afternoon driving through the Scottish countryside to arrive here to a hamlet just north of  the town of Coldstream.

I was very clear in myself that I would make my way here via quieter and less busy country roads and stay clear of the busy motorways and highways , and that is exactly what I did.

The journey took longer than it needed to.  I could , had I chosen, have arrived sooner, but I would not have enjoyed the journey as much. And, isn’t this what our life and our journeys are about ? Enjoying the view along the way? Choosing to pause and meander when we need to?

At one point I joined the very busy and fast moving traffic on the Edinburgh city bypass. I lasted a total of about 5 miles maximum before I exited again and sought out a B road. I realised I did not want to have the pace of my journey set by traffic around me, surrounded by speed and noise.   I wanted to set my own pace and make choices to suit myself. I wanted time to stop and smell the roses, to stop and absorb the glorious  Autumn and the unexpected views and vistas around a corner.

Of course, I quickly realised that this is how I am choosing to live my life as I enter my 58th year.

I will choose my speed and my route to suit me.

I will arrive at my destination calm and unfrazzled and delighted having made my choices about how I want to feel on my journey.

And I am already thinking that I want to book ahead to this time next year and secure this cottage and this pause , and the abundant tranquillity, of the surroundings, and the sunrises for which I can find no words, as I approach my 59th year.

And so it is.

Vision pages this morning brought some surprises and a sense of yes, of course. Of course that is what I want.

I am keeping some pages private : and then there was this one.

‘Prioritise your rest. Slow your pace. I realise I needed to make time for me, as well as everyone else.

My job was to find effortless’

Time for me to completely practice what I preach, to top up my own well, and to keep it topped up, to listen to what my body, soul and spirit need, and to act on that, to heed my guiding star. To notice what excites me, what brings me alive and makes me tingle with knowing , and what doesn’t .

To find balance between developing my business, engaging in work which I am passionate about ,and prioritising time for myself to pause and rest.

And so it is.