Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Promise of Freedom

And yet..... this is a card few of us welcome. Rather than face the uncertainty of change we stay small and safe. We build towers to protect ourselves - both prisons and sanctuaries.

We imprison some parts of ourselves because they are perceived as too dangerous and disruptive to be allowed out into our everyday lives. 

Some parts have been hidden away for protection, because they are felt to be too vulnerable, too fragile to withstand the outer world.

Some parts have fled to the tower in fear and overwhelm and grief. They are locked away to protect them from further hurt and to protect us from being overwhelmed by their feelings.

Whatever is in the tower has been taken out of the flow of everyday life. Often it takes something unexpected to get through our defenses. The lightning - a symbol of dramatic change - electric, dynamic, precise, shocking, instant.

This is, I think, what we fear most about The Tower - the suddenness of the change - the impossibility of ever going back to that small, defended place - the free fall as some part of our lives is turned upside down. 

We need to tolerate this period of vulnerability until we can turn free-fall into flight. To speak words of courage to ourselves, to be kind and self-compassionate as we move through uncertainty

These unexpected lightning bolts may come from the external world, but they may also be internal - the sudden flash of lightning intuition, a moment of shame or joy or released rage that forever alters how we see ourselves and our life. Our perspective has shifted and we are opened to a more expansive way of operating in the world.

The Star follows The Tower - and this is the promise of the journey. That if we will see it through we will come to a place of serenity. A place where we are more truly ourselves, a place where we can pour out healing waters for those who are thirsty.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Discover your Soul's Purpose through Tarot

Today I'm going to take you through the process of discovering your soul's purpose through choosing 3 tarot cards. This sounds simple but there are a number of tips I can give you that will help to make this a more enjoyable and meaningful experience. You might also find it helpful to read last weeks post: What is a Soul Purpose?

Firstly it really helps to be in a calm and peaceful place inside yourself. This is not something to be doing when feeling overwhelmed with life's challenges, or in deep grief or despair or any agitated state. Why? Because in order to connect to your guidance, to your intuition or divine team you need to be in a high vibration state - one that is receptive to the higher vibration of Spirit.

In a busy mind state or an emotionally activated state, we are far more likely to be connecting to our fears and the defenses or compulsions of our egos.

Some easy ways to raise your vibrational state are:

1) Ten minutes of slow deep breathing - breathing right down into your belly - put your hand on your belly so you can feel it moving outwards - breathe in slowly and deeply - pause - then purse your lips as if you were breathing out through a straw - and breathe out as slowly as you can. Repeat until you are feeling completely chilled out.

2) Take a walk in nature, preferably by yourself, or, if with another person then not talking. Instead notice the details of the natural world around you, the colours and textures, the sounds and smells, the movement of small creatures, allow yourself to sink into the vibration of nature.

3) Another of my favourites is to use a Binaural Beats meditation. I always do this before I read the cards for others in my Tarot for Your Soul readings - I find it quietens any anxiety or doubt or interference from my own life and allows me to clearly hear the guidance coming through for my client. This meditation is an audio download and I've written more about it here.

4) Do something that you know makes you feel calm and tunes you to your internal world. Perhaps gardening or going for a bike ride or something creative. I've recently begun to create portraits of friends using coloured pencil. It is a slow process of layering and I've found that just 30 minutes of colouring takes me to a very peaceful place - neuroscientists have discovered that doing something creative like this actually dampens down the critical, judgemental, negative self-talk part of the brain. 

Create a Ritual and Set your Intention

You certainly don't have to do this, but it can help to slow everything down, create a sense of inner spaciousness and honour that this is not an everyday event, but a special occasion. It could be as simple as lighting a candle or putting a flower in a vase in front of you or playing soothing background music.

Rituals help us to transition from our everyday lives to a sense of sacredness, of awe, of connecting to something bigger than ourselves - a universal divine love - whatever name we may choose to call this by.

Some form of request, a statement of our intention or a prayer helps to direct our focus and opens the way for guidance to be given. It could be simply:

I ask for the Grace of clear guidance and high vibration loving assistance as I choose three tarot cards to help me understand my soul's purpose for this life-time. 

Shuffle your Cards

Firstly, make sure you are using a deck that resonates very strongly for you. My own preference is the Universal Waite tarot deck. I like this one for several reasons. It is rich in symbolic detail which is very clearly shown on the cards. There is a clear distinction between the four suits. The images on the cards tend to be neutral and don't express either a positive or negative bias.

Personally I don't use reversed cards - it tends to induce panic and with 78 cards I feel there is enough nuance of meaning available. So my suggestion for this reading at least is to make sure all the cards are upright.

Next shuffle your cards. For a big reading like this I use the seven hand shuffle. Deal the cards out into seven piles in a random fashion. 

Straighten the cards up and put the piles together using your intuition for the order.

Cut the deck into three piles. Take the top card of each pile. These are the three cards that convey something of the essence of your Soul Purpose.

Working with your Soul Purpose cards

You won't get all the information about your soul's purpose in one sitting. It is something you feel your way into over time with flashes of insight and understanding. Knowing which are your cards helps you to link certain life experiences and choices to your soul purpose.

You might like to work deeply with each card, one at a time, or dip a toe in the water of all three to get the bigger picture and see how they connect, perhaps coming back to work separately on them at a later time.  

Work with the cards you get - even if they are not the ones you hoped you would be given - even if you previously had negative associations to those cards. 

Spend some time just examining your card, notice the details; the attitude and posture of the character; the colours. What stands out most strongly to you? If you let your eyes go soft and slide them over the card where are they drawn to?

What feelings does the card bring up in you? 

Write down some words that come into your mind as you contemplate the card.

Is there anything in your current life that springs to mind as you look at your card? 

Is there anything from your past?

Close your eyes and imagine you are the character in the card, find yourself in that landscape or setting. How do you feel? What do you do? Allow this to develop into a little story - a kind of deliberate daydream. 

How does that connect to your current life? 

Notice the number, the suit or the court role of the card - what information does this give you? If you are new to the tarot you can always research this later.

Put your hand on your heart, take a breath, and ask for one phrase or one image or one sensation that sums up the essence of your soul's purpose for each card.  

My Soul Purpose cards

The High Priestess: To be a student and a teacher of the mysteries of the inner world. (This was the easiest card to understand as I had already been doing my own inner work and working with clients for many years. And this is still unfolding - if I get this card when I've had an inspiration about doing something new it gives me the green-light to go ahead.)

King of Wands: To gain mastery over the sphere of action. (This has been the most difficult card for me to grasp - perhaps because action does not come easily. Not surprisingly the Page of Wands is my guiding light - action, courage, confidence, going out into the world - this is all something I am learning - and my soul purpose is to persist in this study until I master this sphere.)

The Star: To be authentically myself with no disguise or pretense, to find peace in being my true self and shining with my gifts to inspire others. (This is a great card that guides me to live from the inside out, to let go of any concerns around what others are thinking or doing and instead to trust my own path. )

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What is a Soul Purpose?

Our spirits are adventurous, courageous and curious - at least this is what I've seen over and over again in my past life regression work with clients. After we've explored the past life and gone through to the other side of death there is a part in the session where the life is being reviewed in Spirit. One of the questions we ask is: What was your soul's purpose for that life? 

The answers are often surprising and it becomes clear that each life is a part of a much bigger picture, like a jigsaw piece. So one life is only a small contribution to a soul's purpose that may take any number of lives to fully complete. 

If I look at my regression notes from sessions with clients this year I find the following soul purposes recorded:

To learn to let go of expectations, that you can't plan or control what is going to happen.

To grow in strength and confidence in who I want to be - to learn that if I don't love myself I can't love anyone else.

To experience the feeling of being alone even when surrounded by other people.

Selflessness - to sacrifice oneself to save another without thinking about it.

Responsibility - to take responsibility for one's choices and actions and the effect they have on others.

To experience separation from loved ones, the grief of being unable to protect ones family (this one was a contrast or karmic balance to the many lives spent as a soldier invading other places)

To learn to reach out for help when in need.

To learn to move through a mother's harsh judgement and not shut down in anger and bitterness, but to connect with the life spark within and find self-worth and self-love. 


Being a pioneer to explore new land and find routes for others to follow.

To overcome extreme difficulties and fears to free myself from slavery and then go back and free others.

Marrying for wealth and position - the experience of pretending to love and the inner emptiness that results.

To learn death is not an ending and not to be afraid of it, that death is simply a revolving door where we come and go and cannot lose anyone, they are always there.
So we see that soul purposes are often quite different from ego ambitions which are focused on our culture's definition of success. At the moment, success is often defined as being very rich, very famous, or very powerful. 

Though I've guided hundreds of past life regressions, not one of those worldly ambitions has shown up as a soul purpose. The character in that life may be - or want to be - rich or beautiful, famous or powerful - but it seems that is just the structure for that life and the soul purpose is something deeper within those outer circumstances.

It is often the daily experience of life and our response to those experiences that is at the heart of our soul's purpose. We are growing the character of our soul and though we may be called on occasion to some heroic task, though there may be a time of crisis where we are tested, it is more often the small daily choices and actions that create the life and where we face the opportunities to fulfill our soul's purpose.

If I look at the themes of my own past lives (and I've explored over forty of them now) then I can identify the following soul challenges - all of which come up on a weekly if not daily basis:

To make my own choices and not let others control my decisions or actions.

To develop patience and keep going, to keep taking one step after another - even when I feel like I'm not getting anywhere.

To strengthen inner resolve by dealing with difficulties and obstacles and not give up too soon.

To move through difficult emotions and moods and not allow myself to be derailed by them - especially to channel anger into useful action.

To trust my intuition and my divine team - to connect more to my heart for guidance than my will.

Next week I'll look at how we can use the tarot to explore our Soul Purposes more deeply. For now though, why not take a few moments to consider your daily life and the things that come up over and over. See if you can re-frame these challenges as skills that your soul is immersed in learning.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Binaural Beats - Connect to your Inner Guidance

My favourite tool that helps me connect to my guidance is an inexpensive audio download called Binaural Beats.

The benefits of using Binaural Beats regularly is that it awakens your creativity, stimulates your imagination and releases stress. But what it also does is raise your vibration and tunes you to your internal world. So this alpha brain wave state is ideal for connecting to your inner guidance. I listen to the Binaural Beats audio as I am writing up my astrology or tarot reports as it gives me a particularly clear connection and channel to my guides.

Also if you want to do a Past Life Regression session, but are anxious that you won't receive any images or information then practicing with Binaural Beats to connect to your Higher Self and inner guidance can be a good way to open that channel of trust.

Though I've never found it easy to meditate in the classic way of emptying my mind, I do love stories and day dream very easily. The Binaural Beats sound meditation encourages this natural ability to flow into a lucid dreaming experience - connecting to one's guidance in the form of a visual story. 

You can read about one of my experiences, The Knight and the Wise Woman, later in this post. But first:

 What are Binaural Beats?
Binaural Beats is simply a rhythm of beats that takes the listener into that peaceful Alpha brainwave state necessary for meditation and for receiving guidance. Normally we are in a Beta brainwave state which is the busy mind - active - and often agitated. Some people use the Binaural Beats audio simply to relax, to relieve stress and get to sleep more easily.

The Binaural Beats audio I use is high quality and has relaxing water sounds over the top of the beats which are a pleasure to listen to. You do need to listen with working stereo headphones as the beats are different for each ear - it is this difference that has the effect of taking us into the Alpha state.

Many people find their connection to Spirit occurs naturally when they use the Binaural Beats audio. You can also deliberately choose to connect to your guides by setting the intention beforehand, asking your guides to come in and help you with a particular challenge. As you start to listen you can deliberately create a sanctuary, imagining a garden or an island in the sea, or a temple. 

Sometimes I ask my divine team for a high vibration experience for my highest good and allow the images or the messages to rise up and unfold. Other times I ask for help with a challenging situation. Or I simply bring to mind the various parts of my life and get updated guidance on how things are going and any tweaks or changes I need to make.

Where can I find the Binaural Beats Audio?

If you'd like to try Binauaral Beats for yourself here is the link to the 30 minute audio meditation that I use. The link will take you to The Unexplainable Store ESP/Psychic page. The Binaural Beats audio costs $14 for instant download and there is a money back guarantee if you find it doesn't suit you.

Below is an example of one of the visual and spoken guidance stories that I experienced. Just as everyone has a different style of dreaming so we all receive guidance differently - your style may be quite different from mine. Our imaginations are like a port, with both incoming and outgoing data. If your imagination has been neglected, it may take time to get it fully functioning again and for you to be able to receive a rich and clear amount of information.

The  Knight and the Wise Woman

As the music and the sound of waves wash over me from the audio an image comes into my mind. I see my inner female on a small boat standing up. She is dressed in a flowing dark blue cloak and there is a soft energy about her.

She turns to look behind her and in the boat there is a small red and blue imp type figure. His face is twisted and angry and he is wielding a small fork. He jumps up and down and sometimes he stabs her in the back with the fork and twists it.

The inner female turns to look in front of her and sees a beautiful small boy, he is perfect - innocent and gentle - he is however a golden statue.

I realise these two aspects are two extremes within me and need to come together to create something in the middle. At this thought the golden boy moves around to the back. The demon manages in his anger to stab himself in the foot and the fork is stuck there. He howls in pain. The Golden Boy puts his arms around the demon and begins to comfort him. He tries to pull out the fork, but the demon howls louder.

At this a woman appears, she is dressed a bit like a medieval nun with only her face showing - but her face is full of kindness and wisdom - there is something of the Mother Mary energy about her. She explains to the dwarf that if the fork is left where it is things will just get worse and worse and more painful. But if he will consent to letting it be pulled out - it might hurt worse for a bit - but then it will get better and he will be much happier. Between the three of them they pull the fork out. The Golden Boy holds the demon lovingly and they merge.

What they turn into as they merge is a young man who stands on the opposite side of the boat to the inner female. He has the pointed chin and tiny beard reminiscent of the dwarf, but the dark golden hair and smooth skin of the golden boy. 

As they merge the demon's fork is tossed into the air. The wise mother woman catches it and runs her fingers down it turning it into a silver sword which she gives to the young man. 

She then begins to talk to the young man about his role and his path - this goes on for some time and keeps repeating as if he is not very good at taking her words to heart.

In this part we move to a landscape of rolling hills where we can see a path going off into the distance. The young man asks where is his horse - surely he should have one if he is to be a knight for his lady?

The woman replies that there is one waiting for him up ahead and it is a very good horse. She shows us a large white horse that has a golden heart that shines from it's breast. She also shows us a couple of scenes of the horse guiding the knight away from a bad decision - one of which was where he wanted to go and bang on a castle door and confront someone - and the horse shows him it is better to go round the back quietly and get in that way and change things from within surreptitiously.

The young man asks why he could not have the horse now, he feels silly walking along the path on foot. The woman replies he can only have the horse when he has learned not to rush. That if he had the horse now he would go charging off like the Knight of Swords or the Knight of Wands in the Tarot instead of being like the Knight of Cups which he is meant to be.

If he had the horse now he would not be able to resist trying to go at speed to get to the goal and he would miss all the important things along the way - things he needs to learn. These are:

Self-Belief - not needing to prove himself all the time
Trusting the inner rhythms

Valuing the inner female
Learning how to be in service to her creative visions
Learning to check in on how he is doing - to reaffirm his direction.

Learning not to give up when things don't work out, but to persist and find another route.

The wise mother figure keeps showing him how he has this anxious impulse to rush off to the goal and when he does this all he is aware of along the way is empty fields - but she shows him that when he slows down and lets go of the need to get ahead - then suddenly all around him fills up with a deep richness of experience.

She shows him that though his role is to assist the inner female to bring her creative children into the world, his own personal quest is to be found in all the experiences, adventures, obstacles and challenges he will meet along the path to doing this and the learning and maturing that results.

She tells him to look at the writing on his sword. When he does he sees the writing is in the form of a question: What am I learning right now?

The wise mother figure repeats he needs to slow down and learn patience and only when he feels no need to rush will the horse appear - and then he can go at speed according to the inner rhythms and not because of inner weakness or wounds. She says that asking the question on the sword will help him to slow down and open to the richness and depth that is always there in any moment.

The young man repeats the question over and over until he can feel how this works and until he feels he will be able to remember it.

When I awoke from the meditation I wrote the story down in my journal and added:  This must be important guidance because the same message is coming to me repeatedly, though this was the most detailed version - and I often complain that I am moving at snails pace and my goals seem to get no closer.

I think I had better write down the question: What am I learning right now?  and stick it around the house, because it took a lot of repetition for him to get hold of it and it would be very easy to forget to use it. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rest and Renewal - Balancing your Brain

The Four of Swords as a four is part of the Emperor family. Yet in the picture we see something mysterious going on. The swords are divided into three hanging on the wall and one beneath the knight. The three swords along with the female figure and child in the stained glass window clearly bring in the energy of  The Empress.

So why is this card, which is essentially an expression of Emperor energy, so closely connected to the Empress?

Weirdly enough the answer lies in the structure of our brains - and in particular the difference between the right and left brain and the way they perceive the world.

The Emperor is concerned with civilisation - the structure and organisation of life - he creates rules, justice, punishments and hierarchies - the city state which must be protected and expanded. This is in contrast to The Empress who brings new life into the world encouraging it to unfold naturally and organically. Symbolically the Emperor is connected to the city and the Empress to the Forest and natural world.

So what has this got to do with our brains? Well the Emperor does not know when to stop expanding his empire - there is no rest here - there is never enough power or territory. Even if you are at the top of a hierarchy, if you are the best, the highest paid, the most famous, the one in control, there is always the fear that someone coming up behind you will be better and will tip you off your pinnacle of success. 

This is why we see him suited up in sharp, shiny armour in his rigid stone chair looking defensively to see who might be sneaking up on him. The Emperor is immersed in his material world - see how much red surrounds him - and does not realise that without the Empress and her desire to be in relationship, her connection to the unconscious springs of creative and spiritual renewal, his world becomes increasingly sterile and barren until, eventually, it crumbles away.

Neuroscientist Iain Gilchrist explains that the left side of our brain is also concerned with manipulating the world to our use, with controlling resources. It is very logical and linear and tends to rigidity and narrow focus. The left brain is concerned with quantity - getting more and more - and has no ability to appreciate quality. When it dominates the left brain tries to run our lives as if we were a machine. 

It is our right brain that has an appreciation for the particular experiences of life, for art, beauty, relationship, community, the unique, the individual, the spiritual. It is the right brain that is concerned with the meaning of life, with feelings and dreams and it is this part that can empathize with another and feel compassion. (The left side of our brain is also connected to feeling, but the feeling it is mostly connected to is anger.)

Civilisations in history where right brain values have led the way have flourished and quality of life has been full and rich. Civilisations where the left brain has been in control have dwindled or fallen apart and the quality of life for most of its citizens have been impoverished and miserable.

Now according to Iain Gilchrist the interesting thing about the two sides of our brain is that although the right brain knows it needs the left brain and values those left brain skills - the left brain thinks it can go it alone. The left brain does not understand or value the right brain and believes it is unnecessary - a bit like the Daleks on Doctor Who, living machines who, when faced with heart connected responses to the world, can only say: Does not compute - Does not compute!

So when the Four of Swords appears in a spread what it is saying is that we have become lost in fighting the battles of the Emperor. Remembering that swords is all about the mind, our thoughts, our communications - we could say that our thoughts have become too dominated with Emperor values, and we are in danger of pouring all of our precious life force into attaining or defending something that has no heart connection for us - something which brings us no joy. We are treating ourselves as if we were a machine with attention only on the material world of things and power games and contests of will.

The Four of Swords tells us it is time to retreat, time to find a sanctuary - a place of peace where we can lay down our weapons and reconnect to what brings joy into our lives - it is time for renewal, to find a new purpose, a new attitude, a new guiding light for our lives. Both the child in the window and the single sword under the knight speak of new beginnings. The child is the symbol of the new born, of hope, of play and light-heartedness.

To get to that new life we have to go through the Three of Swords that are pointing down at the knight - piercing through our defences to find what is truly in our hearts - to feel both the grief at what we have done and what we have lost, to get to the heart of who we truly are and what we truly care for. 

So where do the sea turtles come into this? Well this was my rest and renewal, my Empress experience. For a short time I lived like a wild child in a wooden hut called a Fale on the coast on a Pacific island called Savaii. I swam in turquoise sea, snorkelled with fishes, went about bare foot in the sunshine and had no contact with my ordinary world. No internet, no responsibilities, no chores or duties, no goals. My mind refused even to think of such things. 

Wild sea turtles came over the reef on the incoming tide and if you were lucky one of them would allow you to snorkel alongside as it peacefully grazed on sea grass and came up now and then for air. I saw several on this holiday, beautiful, peaceful giants. On the last morning I swam with one for fifteen minutes, close enough to see the wrinkles on its neck and to see the depths of that wonderful large dark eye as it turned to look up at me.  

The joy of that experience, the wonder and inner spaciousness it created are still with me even though I have returned to my everyday life. My values have been re-sorted and some of those Emperor compulsions released. I am allowing myself to slow down, to be spacious and to spend much more time doing what I love.

(If you are interested in finding out more of Iain Gilchrist's work I recommend watching one of his talks on YouTube or reading the very accessible 30 page essay: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning  available from amazon on kindle.)  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nine of Swords - Awakening

Nine of Swords
Many of us have a favourite card in the tarot deck, one we greet like a friend when it shows up. I wonder how many would see the Nine of Swords as a friendly card? And yet .... and yet ...

I've been musing upon this card and going beneath the seemingly doom laden image. When it turned up in a spread I found myself contemplating the image, making space for what it was trying to tell me. My eyes were drawn to the quilt and suddenly the beauty of the colours popped out at me. 

I found myself wanting to say to the character - just take your hands away from your face, look at what is right in front of you. See the beauty of your life. And I remembered that the Nine of Swords is, by number and family, connected to The Hermit - the one who shines the light - the one who has climbed the mountain and can see the bigger picture.

So we can focus on all those swords stacked over our heads - we can struggle with difficult thoughts, creating a prison for ourselves - or - we can take our hands away from our face and look at our lives from an entirely different perspective. We can choose to remember that we are Spirit having a human adventure - and our life is a rich quilt of experiences.

Think of a book or a film. Would you be interested in a story where everything goes smoothly for the hero/ine, where there is only sunshine and easy achievement? Sounds boring doesn't it! Our favourite heroes and heroines find themselves facing both inner and outer challenges. Sometimes their quest is to find a way to win through difficult odds, to turn around seemingly impossible situations. Think about your favourite books or films - what are you most drawn to about those stories?

If we can see our own life as a story we are both living and creating it can help to give us that bigger perspective. From there we can appreciate the richness of our story. Something in us is freed up. We realise our story, our life, can go in many different directions. The choice is ours.

So what kind of story are you creating? And what genre have you chosen? Are you living a comedy, a sitcom or soap opera? Or are you creating a drama, a heroic epic, a thriller or an action story? Do you want to change your story - or change the genre? The possibilities are infinite.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

How to Manage Stress by Wasting Time

Sounds crazy right? You're stressed out, overwhelmed with all the things on your to-do list, never mind the things that never got on the list and the other distractions, crises and demands that come out of nowhere. And lets not even mention those things that still haven't been done from to-do lists that are several years old.

I was having one of those weeks where even the things I was getting to were blowing up in my face - either taking way longer and being far more fiddly than I anticipated or being derailed by technology refusing to work with me. I found myself in such an internal state of disarray that I couldn't make simple decisions - my inner judgement and ability to move forward had just jammed - like a computer freezing up and crashing when asked to do too many different things.

So yesterday as I was doing my morning tarot shuffle, I asked for the best way to meet and move through the day - the most loving way to flow through the day. Hoping or expecting a card that would give me that nudge into efficiency and productivity.

Instead I found myself staring at the 4 of Swords. Now the 4 belongs to the Emperor's realm of action, of taking charge and organising. But the 4 of swords with its knight lying down in repose is clearly saying time to take a break from the battle, time for rest and renewal. 

The stained glass window indicates that the battle weary knight is needing to get his renewal from a connection to the female nurturing aspect and the child, to bring joy and colour back into his life. 

The swords divided into 1 and 3 suggest that he needs to take time out with the Empress to process that 3 of swords heart-wound and then begin again from a new perspective.

The idea of stopping - of not doing - as a way to deal with having too much to do and feeling frustrated at my slow progress was not easy to get my head around. 

Luckily I have built into my routine a daily walk where I do my morning meditation and connect into my divine team. This calmed me enough to acknowledge that this was very clear guidance and it might be worth giving it a go. It was still somewhat in that spirit of frustration that I said, dammit, right then, enough of trying to get things done, I'm going to deliberately waste time.

So I did and it was wonderful. I made myself a hot chocolate and spent time looking at Deborah Dewit Marchant's beautiful, spacious, richly coloured paintings from her Painting Cats book. I lit a fire in the woodburner making the house cosy and warm and sat with my own cat reading a kindle essay I'd wanted to read for ages - I had a relaxed Skype with my partner, who is overseas teaching at the moment, and then I played with my new coloured pencils making a chart of colours.

I felt peaceful, I felt calm, I had reconnected with some of the joys in my life. From that place I could let go of things or time schedules that didn't work for me - and from that place several mountains shrank back into molehills. Decisions I had jammed over seemed to make themselves. And today I am much less tense and far more optimistic about the tasks ahead - and far more accepting that I might not achieve all I intend to and that is okay - because the joy, the heart, the nourishment of my life is not to be found in achieving tasks, but in that slow, easeful connection with the things I love.