Anyone who knows me well, is aware that I am currently working on crafting a selection of retellings of fairy tales. Adult tales with an erotic flavour. At some point (though I am so blessedly aware of how long it takes me to do anything, my uber slow wondrous pace! ;-)), I hope to publish them as a book. I’ll keep you posted upon said progress. (Though head over here if you’d like to read one of my tales my love :-))
‘Beauty and the Beast’ has been sitting with me lately, both sides whispering in my ears, pulling my arms this way and that. Asking me to choose between them. As if i ever could.
For is not this time of the year the liminal time, not quite deep winter’s cave, and yet not entirely the fire lit action lands that we have enjoyed over the summer? The bridge between light and dark, creation and destruction, life and death. In response to my last foray into the realm of intimate romantic love are not all relationships, including the ones with our own selves, an ever flowing dance with these pairings? And is not the perennial and seasonal cycles of our creativity and sexuality a continuous merry go round of perpetual change and movement up and down, round and round, and forever in ebb and flow?
Do we dare to offer our ‘ugly’ to the world, our shame and unworthiness? Can we have the courage to drop the censorship and bow to the fullness of every part of what we say, in whatever language we desire to sculpt it in? Are we able to dig deeper, deeper than a pleasing aesthetic, in search of bones and grit, blood and guts, heartache and fear, and offer all of these as a prayer to the divine?
Can we say yes to both ‘Beauty and the Beast’? To hold both in the palms of our hands, allowing them to beat with wings of blood and magic, neither one ‘better than’ the other? Both a part of the fullness of everything we may hold dear.
Neither one nor the other. Not summer nor winter. In the land of enchantment, and the liminal.
Liminal spaces. Such a delicious word. It means threshold my darling :-)
Transition times. One foot in one place and the other in another. Not quite having stepped over. Holding the space for all to be, to be, to be. No rush. No rush. No rush.
The balance between worlds. The ‘upper worlds’, all day to day, routine and ‘Father Time’, work and schedules, the to-do list and all of the myriad moments of a full life; and the ‘lower worlds’, the pull and draw inwards and downwards, dreaming time, rest, shadowlands and Persephone’s seduction, essentially the call to the sovereignty of the soul.
How do we keep them both fed and nourished? How can we find the possibility of holding both in our hearts? How do we acknowledge and respect and honour both for their need for nourishment, attention, care and tending?
I know in myself I can have a tendency to separate aspects of my life. To compartmentalise if you like. To put into boxes. This can work, up to a point, but unless we have very little of these boxes, with very minimal content, then my guessing is at some point, everything starts to spill out and become chaotic and, well, untameable!
The untameable. The wild. The chaos.
Aaaah! Here we are, back in the realm of creativity! ;-) Of life. Of Love. Of everything.
If we ignore one aspect, one ‘box’, turning away in frustration, in judgement, in a restlessness, we take away its energy, so that it begins to dry out, atrophy, and become a muted grey slab in our vivid technicolour life! We become ‘wonky’ and unbalanced, either living in high fantasy, unreal and ungrounded, avoiding alone and its gifts, and all doing doing doing and full of sugary coated, if unconscious, denial; or we walk through our days in the thunder, deep intensity, a devilish realm with an absence of joy and other. For soul work is solitary my love. It always will be. As we are both human and divine, we need both.
Why do we have this propensity to turn towards what we perceive as the ‘Beauty’ in our life, and dismiss with disdain the ‘Beast’? For surely, life is about coming to realise that there is a darkness to this beauty that we so long to hold on to, and conversely, there is sweet exquisite heart and wonder if we dare to stay a while with the beast. In life, in love, in art, and in our own dear dear self. We are all of this, and more.
Now, we are, in our essential pure nature, vaster, larger and infinite, in our capacity. Read that again my love. You, dear one, have the ability to stretch far and wide, to bear all of what life demands and beckons off you. It’s just the way of our true nature. The key, I believe, is not in necessarily wondering, organising, nor controlling, all of these parts of ourselves. I mean, hell that bloody well doesn’t work out terribly well does it my fellow recovering control freaks?! But in shifting one’s attention instead, on to the thread that binds all of these parts of one’s life together.
The thread? Being in devotion to, in service to, in prayer to, the sacred.
You see, the sacred threads through everything. Nothing in our lives cannot be held by and in the sacred. If it’s a part of our living and our experience, then it’s a part of everything. And nothing that’s in everything, can be separate from us. You may want to read that line again.
When we resist, panic, and try to control, then we are essentially reacting from a place of fear. We all do this. It’s part of our human nature. We want to feel like we have a grip on whatever the lunatic hell is going on!! My advice? Loosen the grip, fall into the madness, surrender into the chaos. But, not blindly dear one, not without sight. But instead, by using our night goggles of seeing through the eyes of the Holy. The whole. Holiness and wholeness. And then even our fear is holy, and part of our wholeness.
Endings and beginnings. Is there ever such a thing truly? Sure, on the surface level, in the ‘upper’ world thinking. And this can cause us pain and heartbreak (I’ve been there recently). But in the ‘lower’ world thinking, we can ripen the soul, season it, weather and wizen it with whatever wisdom we can bear to taste and swallow. And then there’s the sacred thread that binds both upper and lower worlds, bigger than all, simply holding, with love, clear, solid and still.
Hold all those unanswered questions, that your year may have offered to you as gifts, and that the mind might be feeling like it’s running out of time and gotta sort and figure it out by Dec 31st!! Hold these loose and unfinished questions as prayers, as soul poetics. Offer them now to Hades, to Soul, to the shadowlands, to the soil and worms and dead things.
Hold all of life’s uncertainties, tipping points and transition times, as a way to grow towards and into the unknown, the winter, because it’s coming and ready or not it will ask its own demands of us. It takes strength. And resilience. And a steady stance to weather the storms and to let the leaves of us fall, and to sway and blow this way and that way, and yet still feel rooted in trust as our skeleton is revealed, as we dare to risk becoming exposed. Because we have no choice. Not if we are artists of our lives. Not if we are open to life. Not if we desire to live in full and fierce truth and grace. Not if we know that we know nothing and that to control is ultimately futile (though we give it a damn good go! ;-)). Not if we are willing to take life as our lover. For it will strip us down over and over again. It will rip open our hearts over and over again. It will pour medicine thick and thorough, over and thro us over and over again. And it will blast us open to beauty and truth and wonder and miracles and magic over and over again. If we are willing, life lived in this way will always take us straight back to God. But it’s a warriors’ path. And a bloody one. And we will be scared.
And I like how the word ‘scared’ is an anagram for ‘sacred’! ;-)
Are you scared yet? Good!
Rattle your bones beauties. Shake rattle and roll. Soul roll that is. As you may know I’m bowing to and daring to commit deeper and deeper to this way of living. Some days I forget. Some days I fall down. Some days I am driven by the scared and not the sacred. So this my loves, this is also a reminder for me too :-) xx
As Shirley Valentine says ‘Are we living such a little and calling it a life?’
Liminal lingerings and lushest longing love to you all xx
Thank you for reading xx
D is for disappointment.
I woke up today and disappointment was my guest. A sadness, an ache, an ouch at my heart. So I invited it to stay for a while, made us both some strong black coffee, and leaned in. I am learning how to lean in more, how to stay with what arises, to become more intimate with those places within me that are a part of the tender layers, like the finest filo pastry, of the realm of vulnerability.
Full disclosure folks. My ‘guest’ arose as a reaction to having to cancel my workshop today. Yep. There weren’t enough bookings to run the day, and in the name of truth and transparency, there was actually only one dear woman who had claimed a place. This happens sometimes. And the thing is, no one really talks about it. The times when ‘it’ doesn’t work.
A part of social media’s shiny sing song is that it can be a beacon of fabulousness, of exotic and tempting events and ripe and flourishing activities to choose from. This is true. We really are living in extraordinary times of so much choice. I applaud this and partake in such platters on a regular basis. I am also aware of how extremely blessed we are, lucky, graced in fact, to even have the freedom to play out at all and dare to feed deeper parts of ourselves.
We, us solo creative geniuses, living on a wing and a prayer, and a deep, deep, internal compass of truth, freedom and beauty, take a risk each and every time we put something that we have created out into the world. It doesn’t matter what that may be: a poem, a song, a pot, a painting, a story, a workshop etc. It was given to us as a seedling of spirit’s spittle, and we turned it and churned it, into art, into an offering to others. This takes courage. This takes guts and sweat and often, quite often, a lil shake and the odd roll of a tear!
It’s terrifying putting ourselves out there, but, and for those of you who understand where I’m coming from, there is no choice. We have no choice. Something bigger than us, something that has a greater force, a stronger urgency, moves us into inspiration and action, and all that we can do is to bow to this and do its bidding. The holy moly dance between human and divine!
Yes, life is a dance, a constant shuffle this way and that, the occasional stumble, the surprising moments of winged feet, and the important moments when we stand still silent for the next gust of fancy footwork to move through us.
Sometimes I feel that life is a two steps forwards, one step back kinda foxtrot, a little like the tide when I think about it, rolling in to crash with might upon the shore here I am here I am, and then the same force dragging the waters with fierceness back, back, back, under, down, away, until the whole wave begins again. Which it does, because it has to. It’s its nature.
It’s our nature too.
Now I’m not saying I feel like I’m being dragged backwards with lungs full of water gasping and in frenzied chaos. Not today anyways thank god!! ;-) What I’m saying is that as artists, as creators, as those who dare to live at the edge called ‘make it up and improvise!’ each time we dare to offer we do so with the knowing that not all will reach the shore. Some will be pulled by spirit’s invisible current long before the force gains momentum. And this can leave us, if we care, if we have put our love into said offering, open to the wondrous and tender place of vulnerability. Open, not knowing, here, engaged, and alive. It’s this tenderness that gets touched upon occasion when we are disappointed. When something hasn’t lived up to what we wanted it to be, what we had dreams of it becoming, what we had expected to happen.
Now there’s nothing wrong with expectation. We hang so many of our finest, furry and fancy dreamings on to the hooks of expectation don’t we? It’s human. We hope and dream and want and desire and place this on to something outside of ourselves. A lover. A project. A promotion. A holiday. The weather. A day off. To be honest we bloody well sprinkle this shit on to everything!! Bless us!
Because at some level, at some place, we still have a small nudge of thinking that we are the ones in control! Isn’t that the fuckin’ truth??!! I’m smiling as I write this my loves. We all want to have control. We all want to place the pieces like a giant game of dominoes, oh so artfully and carefully, and watch with pride and relief as the pieces fall in exactly the way we had set them up to.
Spoiler alert. Life don’t be ahappening quite like that!!
You see, we can place our pieces wherever we want to. We can spend time and energy and focus on preparing and learning and creating and crafting, forming the moulds for life to move within and around us. This is important. We are the co-creators and God needs us to roll up our sleeves and do the work too. And hopefully this ‘work’ is fun, is what we are passionate about, believe in, trust, love, are turned on by, is our gift to the world, and is part of our living in service, in love.
But then. But then we have to let it go. We have to let go of the outcome. We do our best and show up, and then we have to give it up to spirit, to the mystery, and as prayer. At that point we empty our hands, we empty our hearts of expectation (tis tricky! ;-)), and we continue on, responding and living and loving life and each other.
As my teacher says, ‘It’s nothing to do with us. What happens is none of our business’. And you know what? There is so much freedom and space and breath and life in that knowing.
It takes practice though. My disappointment today is a gift. I’m disappointed for several reasons. I have let someone down. I was taking a chance to offer something new, something I believe passionately in, a new direction I intend to, and would love to travel with, more deeply (that of storytelling and performance and fairy tales! :-)). And again, in absolute full truth, I was hoping, wanting, to make some money towards heading to Spain again to go on retreat. I’m just being honest. I had, I realised, a few balls of expectation that I had been juggling with behind the wizard’s curtain! Does that make my disappointment Toto?!!
And all of this is ok. My guest has moved on now, and I have swallowed down some of its tender medicine, grateful, as always, to do so. I took a risk, like so many of us do that put out our events and then are not able to run them. No one talks of this. I wanted to speak of this today.
Sometimes we fail and sometimes we fall. Sometimes we stumble and we dance seemingly backwards. Sometimes there’s a spanner thrown in to the works of our unintended, unconscious control box. And sometimes we forget, we forget, that spirit knows best. Spirit knows best.
I trust in spirit and in the beautiful dance of my life and its glorious and, these days for sure, more unknown unravelling. I trust in the timing of all things. I trust in the medicine of disappointment’s gift. I trust in the fact that if I’m completely honest I was feeling rather full from a fabulous week and maybe, just maybe, my foot wasn’t fully on the ‘Yes, Go!’ pedal for today. I trust in the beauty of other’s understanding. I trust in the ridiculousness of our human endeavouring, and in all the absolute incredulous and moving beauty that we offer and pour out enriching everything. And I trust in the continuous urge, force, impulse, god given sap, that always, always, shows up, again and again, whispering excitedly in our ears, at our heart, with the words, ‘Ooooh, I’ve got a great idea!' ;-) :-).
Keep on keeping on folks. And thank you for reading thus far. Forever towards truth and freedom. Aho xxx
Hey lovely creative genius, let me know if you resonate with any part of this musing :-) And if you would like a lil assistance with shaking up your creative juju, then head over here to receive your FREE pdf book “10 ways to awaken your creative genius”. In gratitude, grace and freedom, HH
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.