Using all my bits to be immense

There is an incredible world out there, in the unseen, the unknown, the ether.  My imagination boggles at what it might be like, the realms where our super-conscious roams, where we are all connected, where there is no space or time, just (just?) an infinity of possibility and connection.

This is where my intuition goes to learn, or maybe it’s where my intuition exists, hanging out having tea with my higher self, idly thrusting little clues through the veil that separates the known from the unknown, a symbol, a moment of inspiration, a feeling to guide me.  I imagine a little sigh, or a chuckle as my higher self raises it’s infinity version of eyebrows at all the other higher selves it’s hanging out with before dunking an infinity version of a custard cream in an infinity version of a cuppa and going back to knowing everything and nothing in a very disconcerting way (I had a feeling I might go a little Terry Pratchett with this one).  Maybe they all raise their infinity version of eyebrows, all the connected souls of the universe having an ‘aw, bless’ moment at my cluelessness.

I love living life in this body of mine, experiencing the world in physical form, existing within those limitations of time and space that make rather wonderful things available to me.  Things like making love, smelling newly mown grass, eating cheesecake, cuddling children, sailing, getting a massage (note to self: get a massage)…(higher priority note to self, get a lover).  If all I did with this body was to enjoy one tender moment looking into my beloved’s eyes, receiving the touch of his fingers on my cheek, the gentlest of kisses connecting us, I feel it would be worth it as far as sensory experiences go.  Multiple daily experiences of touch, smell, taste, sight, sound and thought really up the ante.

The fact that my physical experience of life comes with the endless possibilities of the creative realm, that mad place where my infinitely-connected, etheric self is having tea and biscuits, just makes life rather fantastic.

All the possibilities of the unknown, the insights of intuition, the infinite potential of our creative genius and the limitless perspective of love are there for us to draw into our physical experience of life.  A resource that is always available, but which is nothing without a body through which we can bring our creativity and resourcefulness into the world in their physical form.  Our bodies can enjoy our sensory life, but to reach our full, creative potential we must overcome the separation that is a requirement of existence, and reach through that veil for input from our connected, infinite self.  Sure, that might involve our higher self raising its eyebrows in a slightly condescending way, but like a God, it knows it has no way to express itself without our physicality and will always play ball.

We are separate and connected, in bits and whole, body and spirit, and when we bring all of our self into play, we are immense.

Swimming My Sub-Conscious Mind

Today starts as a strange day.  I feel heavy, slow, reflective and sleepy.  I am inclined to chase this mood off with action, or worry about coming down with something.  Then I remember that I know this state, and I know what I need here.  I have slipped into a deep place of gentle receptivity.  I am in the creative zone of my feminine aspect, and something is coming.

It feels like I am sitting at the bottom of a deep, dark body of water.  The light is green and obscure, becoming denser dark in the distance.  The weight of the water around me is heavy, soft, holding.

There are shadows in the dark.  Large, threatening creatures with strong jaws and all seeing eyes.  Maybe one is swimming towards me now, muscles bunched for attack, movements sinewy and sure.  But this creature is my creation.  I know it well.  It has served me throughout my life, keeping me on the path of my understood version of what is, of who I believe I am.  Because I know it and see it, it now has no power, just a shadow in the dark that dissolves in my gaze, dropping the pearls it has been obscuring into my lap.

This is the realm of my sub-conscious mind, the home of my creations, and my connection to all creativity.  The work is done and the job now is not to dash in and find what I need, to thrash and splash my way forwards, stirring up silt, obscuring the creation that was just within grasp and sending me off to chase more shadows.  That’s the man within me, still trying to do it right, to act in the familiar ways that I believe get things done, to forge results in the hot fires of my yang energy.  To do well and receive the boost of recognition and validation that comes with compliance and busyness.  I have made things happen using that aspect of me, but I could never hold them together, and I ended up exhausted and sad.  I need him still, he is part of me too, but not today, today belongs to a quieter side of my creativity.

Something is coming to me, something I have, in my patience, created.  I don’t know what it is, but I know it will serve.  I don’t need to know why it is coming, my heart has called it to me.  I don’t need to know when it will arrive, it will be soon and I am ready.  I don’t need to know how, because we never do.  So now I wield the strength and power of my ability to exist in the unknown, where the magic happens, and in softness to receive that which is coming to me out of the dark.

In Praise of Rumpled Sexuality

Making a stand for sex and sailing is fun and simple, there’s a splash to it that my dramatic little heart rather loves.  There is rich complexity here too, however.  Depth and promise that go beyond the act of sex.  Beyond even lusting after Johnny Depp and George Clooney, although I’m very happy to keep them in the picture.

It’s all about definitions.  What is sexy?  I realised recently how much my perception of sexy has broadened, so when I say I want to make the world a sexier place it isn’t (just) about the loving act.  I have realised that people who live a life of conviction, from a place of truth and strength from within, have an appeal that goes beyond appearance.

Sir Ken Robinson, for example, is a sexy man.  Sir Ken is a very British educationist and inspiring author who now lives in the US. He is a man who sports more the air of a rumpled academic than your classic, sculpted Adonis.  Sir Ken is no silver-screen hero, his attractiveness comes from a deeper place within him, which is all to do with what he stands for rather than simply relying on how he looks.

Watching Ken’s fantastic TED Talk challenging the education system to embrace rather than kill creativity in our children, what you see is a normal, nice-looking man, with a hint of soft corduroy about him.  What you hear is a passionate and persuasive advocate for massive, mind-boggling change in education.  This is a man with a mission, someone who has uncovered the difference he wants to see in the world, and is stepping out to be that difference.  This is the essence of his sex appeal.  He almost crackles with the energy of his conviction. It is exciting and admirable, manly and reassuring, and then he laughs at himself about his need to focus when he’s frying an egg, and my knees buckle.  I no longer see corduroy and ‘nice’ I see leadership, I see courage, I see conviction and through those things, I see the essence of the man within.  This is a man who has no doubt had to take himself on in order to take on the world, and who, just for that, is worthy of a decent snog, although his wife might have a thing or two to say about that.

In recent years I have worked with many men who share the qualities Ken Robinson is living.  Not all of them are, as yet, riding the wave of success that living from truth and conviction so often creates.  Many have got as far as rolling up their trousers to paddle in the unfamiliar waters of their true nature and purpose.  Increasingly they are looking further out to sea, preparing to dive deeper, knowing they may feel out of their depth, but compelled to live a life of conviction whatever that takes.  Without exception, every man I have watched take to the water, has gained in stature, in solidity and in sex appeal as a result of their choice to bring the core of their essence and their purpose into the world.  Maybe it is the self-mastery that is required to still the voices of doubt within, or the growing confidence that comes with getting results from taking action and attracting increasing recognition and support.  Whatever it is, the men around me are getting sexier and I love it.

The world is in dire need of more sexiness.  I’m not talking about the vacuous and, god help us all, waxed sex appeal delivered though TV ads.  We need more of the solid, purposeful bone-melting sexiness of real, rumpled, men who have reached within to find the courage of their convictions and the confidence to make a stand for the truth that is within them.  When these men make that stand, as their friend, colleague or lover I have a part to play.  This is to leave them in no doubt that I admire and appreciate them, and that their sex appeal is on the up.  Think about it, if men started catching on that living their true purpose was sexy, wouldn’t the world rapidly start to be a better place?

Life’s Precious Pearls

Pearls are a bit of an intuitive theme right now; the pirate girl, dreaming of treasure. Pearls of wisdom, pearls of wealth, the grain within pearls; seeds of ideas that grow and shine as you sit with them and let them agitate within you until they become unique and beautiful.

My current challenge from a mythical collaborator is to share my pearls as they come, short, sweet, uncensored.

What jumped out today is how often the gems of life come from its simplicity; from little, living moments in time. We never know what of our own experience will inspire but usually I find it is the simple stuff that shines most brightly, lighting up your own day, or illuminating another person’s thinking. These little thoughts, based on real living, nestle within, gleaming and bright, showing us how amazing life is simply because its deepest lessons can come in any moment, any interaction, any view, any minute of reflection or experience.

The other day I took some time to sit outside a pub, enjoying a naughty pre-sun-over-yard-arm pint, mulling over my new business plans and absorbing Brighton revelling in the delayed spring. Nothing was significantly different, the worries I have been experiencing remained in the background, but nothing could diminish the lustrous gift of being where and who I was, of the choice of being that I had made. All the joy of life seemed to condense into that half hour, a gift and an inspiration that has stayed with me all week. Very quickly, rather than stick with business thinking, I found myself writing a quick letter to my Dad to let him know I’ve been thinking of him. Another simple and precious pearl.

Such moments can easily get hidden in the messy straw of busy lives, in the scurry and scratchiness of making ends meet, of our obligations and duties, our worries and concerns. But it’s simple if we let it be. When we indulge in small moments of pleasure, when we fully live in the enjoyment of every day things, we are sharing in the treasure of life and nourishing the seeds of new pearls within us.

The Freedom of Wind and Tide

My maritime adventure is once again alive and kicking as I write from my funny squidged up bunk on a lovely old schooner, Soteria. I am jammed in with suitcases, sails and the horror that is ‘the locker under bunk one’ right in the bow of the boat (pointy end). If anyone needs anything that’s likely to be in there, they generally only find the courage to tackle the piled up layers of sails and other paraphernalia, with a strong cuppa and lots of gentle encouragement, followed by a counselling session on their emergence. One of the delights of life on board a working boat.

My crew mates are around the boat, washing up, sorting out bilge pump problems (I’ve cannily stayed away from that one, knowing that boys like to meet the challenge of this sort of thing and I shouldn’t dilute their fun), humming while sorting and tidying gear. Outside, St. Peter Port in Guernsey, where we are docked, is shaded in a deep, damp sea mist punctured only by the soul cry of a foghorn.

This voyage has been an adventurous sailing experience, from La Coruña in North West Spain, across the Bay of Biscay and over to the Channel Islands en route to Weymouth. We have been carried here on this wonderful, old, wooden two-master whose name means ‘salvation’, or, in its shortened form of Soté, ‘to be made free’. We are embracing traditional sailing in honour of the age and nature of the boat, and a slight lack of engine power due to a gear box failure. It has given the journey an elemental simplicity – if it doesn’t work with the wind and tide, we can’t do it. It has also given me the odd moment of idly wondering whether we might end up needing more salvation than is entirely healthy.

Zooming towards the coast on our way (theoretically) in to port at Roscoff I uttered the fatal words “I think we’re all going to get a full night’s sleep in the marina,” which was of course the cue for the wind to relax to a whisper. My watch started at 6am, with us in almost exactly the same spot as when I had gone to sleep. And then, bless it, the wind woke up again all rested and feisty and ready to give its all to blowing in completely the wrong direction for us. Suddenly it was all hands on deck and all macs on backs, to tack and tack into wind and rain to try and make the entrance while avoiding the dark, pointy rocks lining our route in.

Three hours later we were finally almost within touching distance of the marina only to be met by a puzzled Harbour Master asking if we were lost. It turns out we were.  The actual harbour entrance he pointed out (built after the charts were created) was absolutely inaccessible to a boat without engine power with the wind we had. Our only option was to turn around and whoosh out of the bay that had held us captive over long hours, and follow the wind to the Channel Islands. You’ve got to laugh innit?

It had been a hard, but exhilarating morning and very, very good for toning my incipient (or possibly actual) bingo wings. It also resulted in one of the most glorious afternoons of sailing that I have ever experienced; bright sun on a white-capped, surging and profoundly deep blue sea. The waves rolled through from behind us, as did the wind, urging us speedily on to Guernsey, a very interesting, slightly lucky, engineless docking experience and a few gratefully received days of still land, pubs and watch-free nights.

It seemed to take forever for this voyage to come into being for me. I had spent such a long time feeling landlocked and blocked in following my desire to live life on the water. I am experimenting in following the energy of what pulls me towards my end results, rather than pushing and forcing things. The way this comes up for me is to really listen for warm and resonant invitations and see where they take me. This one took a while to come and it was so hard not to push, to strive and force something to happen. It was worth waiting for.
Having done some crewing with just myself and the owner/skipper, I really felt I wanted the broader support of being part of a bigger crew. Suddenly there was a wonderfully warm email from Vicky (Soteria’s owner), desperate for crew to get her back to the UK for engine repairs. Before I knew it, with some fantastic support from friends and family, I was suddenly in Spain – a country I love and have missed – and joining a new crew for an exciting experience on a classic and classy boat.

Four solid days of sailing put me right into the heart of what I love doing. It can be tough, getting up for night watch, dealing with the weather and getting to know people under demanding circumstances. But after a while the watches flow, the days and the nights segue into each other, strangers become crew mates who know how you like your tea, sleep comes easily and food tastes wondrous. Always and endlessly there is the sea and the sky, joined by a delightful vessel that responds to your needs and to your attention, and surges through the waves with elegance and determination.

A friend recently reminded me of Joseph Campbell who said that if the path ahead of you is clear, it probably isn’t your path. I don’t know where my journey with the sea will take me, and the level of my cluelessness in this indicates that this is definitely my very own obscure and adventurous pathway. I continue on it in the confidence that so far it has only taken me to wonderful places where I wanted to be, and the freedom of Soteria certainly counts as one of them.