Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Feel It, Write It, Don't Think It

I sometimes wonder if people who read my poems think I'm melancholy. Yes I do believe there is a beauty in sadness. A raw beauty that reveals our vulnerability, our soul. When we are at our most vulnerable, when the walls of ego have crumbled we are finally able to truly connect. 
Sadness like joy is an emotion but because we construe it as negative we try our hardest to avoid feeling it. But we cannot avoid it, it does not go away. We merely suppress it for a while until it finds another way to seep out from our psyche, from our unconscious. Frequently it will seep out into our thoughts but because we have not allowed ourselves to feel our sadness when it first arose we now become locked in our thoughts. We think and think about what made us sad and in so doing prolong our suffering. 
What I am learning over the years and it is years because I appear to be either a slow or stubborn learner is that expression does shorten our suffering. If we can allow ourselves to feel our negative emotions at their time of origin we are less likely to become locked into our perpetual thinking/rethinking cycles. For me I have found writing poetry is a way I can engage in a non judgemental way with my feelings. I can express what I feel without analysing it. And because I find negative feelings more difficult to express in physical ways I tend to write more poems about them. "Feel it, write it, don't think it" is becoming my mantra.


I awaken from a deep but unreplenishing sleep,
Within - a stone encased in ivory bone, heavy, slowly sinks,
A thousand oceans wept but yet no solitary tear shed,
And my eyelids leaden; open I will no longer keep. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The importance of being mindful

When things don't go as well as we had hoped and we can put aside our fears of not being good enough we create a rich environment for learning. Today I had a group of teenage mums and toddlers come for a nature play workshop. It was evident at the outset that many of the mums felt out of their comfort zone in the countryside setting. Concerns about getting dirty and a preoccupation with mobile phones prevented mother and child from connecting in the moment. So preoccupied were the mums that they failed to observe how absorbed their child was in something as simple as watching and listening to the rain. 
In the past when I have led an activity where people failed to engaged I have become preoccupied with my own fear of failure. This time however and I don't know why I was able to put my fear aside. I let it go and became an observer. What I learnt was fascinating. I realised that whilst we think we are connecting with our children because we are physically present the truth is we are often anything but present. Our minds are preoccupied with thoughts and fears to such an extent that we are unable to connect in the moment. After the session I started to think about the impact of this behavior on the attachments we form with our children. 
Attachment theory is something I find fascinating as the attachments we form as children follow us into our adult life. How could I rework these workshops to promote a deeper connection between parent and child? How could I encourage parents to be more present? It then hit me - perhaps mindfulness was the way forward. So here I am off to explore the subject of mindful parenting and when reading I'll try and be mindful not to become preoccupied with the thought "What a bad parent I've been".

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Inside of Me

If you looked inside of me
you would find a heart that beats
An ancient rhythm of earth and sky
that governs all things and never dies

If you looked inside of me
you would see a heart that beats
A rhythm that pulsates through my skin
and every cell in harmony sings

If you looked inside of me
you would find a heart with scars
Those harsh words, those minor slights
my heart bears testimony to every fight

If you looked inside of me
you would feel a heart that loves
A love that cannot be constrained
a pure love, raw, untamed