Posted in Inspiration

Give Yourself the Gift of a Day

What would you do if you had a totally free day to yourself tomorrow?

No commitments, no expectations from others, not a single chore to do. Nobody else to think about, you have no outstanding must-do tasks.

The sun is shining and the day is yours.

Now, plan that day.

Fill it full of your passions.

Fill your heart, your chalice, your soul.

Make it so.

You sooo deserve this day.

And if you don’t think this is in the scope of possible for you, well, maybe not tomorrow, but how about next week?

Do you love yourself enough to give yourself this gift?

Even if you need to call in some favours to make the space and the freedom.

Everyone needs this, from time to time.

You need this.

What would you do?

What would it be for you?

Are you bringing yourself the gifts of silence and peace? Learning and creativity? Energy and nature? Power and presence!

Whether you keep your day entirely to yourself, invite others into it or give it over to service, gratitude and giving… Enjoy!

Let it increase your light and light your fire.

[Image: ‘Sunset Over The Estuary, Cydweli, Sir Gaerfyrddin’ photograph by Amenet Drago]

Posted in divine magic, Shamanism

Sacred Clown

I wrote about the healing power of creativity and play recently and that got me thinking about the shamanic role of the sacred clown.

In certain tribal cultures, there’s a community role for sacred clowns. They are called by different names in different tribes, one commonly known name is heyoka, so I’ll use that term here.

The role of the sacred clown is not so much to make people laugh but to make them think. They do that by absurd and often backwards behaviour; they may be nice to an unpleasant person and mean to a kind person. This would mirror what each needs to learn. The unpleasant person would usually be treated dismissively but rarely receive any kindness. The kind person would expect to be treated pleasantly, so being treated badly for no reason presents a challenge to their ego. The heyoka is very tuned in to what people need and intuitively provides it.

In the West, clowns in circuses throw custard pies, mime slapstick entertainment that may also involve the kind of unexpected ‘backward’ behaviour used by the heyoka. We also have comedians whose words may get us thinking about things in a different way. Neither are seen as spiritual roles like heyoka, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything spiritual going on.

Most tribal societies that are healthy, balanced and not adversely impacted by the Western world, naturally thrive on laughter. Every activity can produce humour and fun, even spiritual ceremonies and sacred events are often light-hearted and full of laughter. Laughter is reverence, whereas to us, being serious and not ‘playing about’ is reverence.

Heyoka act as role models for the community, reminding people to turn things around, what we might term thinking outside the box. They mimic and tease a person to help them see differently and challenge the ego. They use the ridiculous and surreal to jolt people out of a complacent mindset. They are powerful and highly respected members of the community who can break taboos that nobody else would dare.

In Europe, we used to have jesters in medieval times. That’s where the term ‘playing the fool’ came from. Jesters were usually close to the throne and could get away with more than most. They were free to insult and name-call by means of japes. Perhaps they once had a similar role to heyoka.

A special skill of the Celtic druids was a form of poetry called satire. In the past, satire was akin to making a curse, a powerful act intended to cause injury. Once a person was satirised, they were stripped of their legendary Celtic pride and could no longer show their face, they were effectively ostracised and banished afar. Today, satire is a kind of humour but to the Celts, it was a powerful weapon. Satire was executed by a well trained bard who understood how to use the profound magical power of words.

Have you heard about the ancient totem poles discovered at Stonehenge, predating the stones? If so, you may realise there are spiritual artefacts shared between prehistoric British culture and native American tribal societies. Despite being separated geographically and by thousands of years, shamanic societies across the world had common understandings and similar ways of expressing their relationship with the land and each other. And some practices are as relevant today as ever they were, like the sacred clowns.

(Image: “Shamanic Sacred Clown Heyoka” art by Amenet Drago)

Posted in artistic, divine magic, healing, Inspiration

Creativity and Play

When creating, we are co-creating with the Divine Source.

Through creativity, we speak our truth and express our authentic self. This is the path of the soul. And this is healing in action.

Creativity is play and being playful is a spiritual activity.

When we play, we relax. In relaxation, we naturally connect with the divine flow.

When we laugh and have fun, ego naturally falls away. We are living life in conscious presence, we are accepting the flow of life.

The universe is our playground and the soul journey transforms life into play and laughter, if we invite it to and allow it.

Let past and future drop away….it’s time to embrace creativity and play!

Posted in divine magic, healing, inner child, play

Sacred Play is Divine Magic

The energies that have been coming forward recently and lighting up my life are a little unusual for me. For a long while, I’ve been embracing the dark, engaging with shadow work, even befriending death. And this is like coming out into the sunshine.

What’s been coming forward is sacred play. I was shown how we, as children are often not allowed to play. We are stopped from play so often by the fears, judgements and limitations that the adults around us carry. Maybe our play is discouraged because it’s considered inappropriate; “You’re a girl/boy, you shouldn’t be doing that. Why don’t you do this instead?” Or maybe circumstances meant we had to grow up quickly and take on adult responsibilities at a young age.

Whether we got to play freely and without limitations or judgements as a child or not, we usually received this message by the time we reached teenage years and young adulthood; “Playing is for children, grow up!”

Well, I have news for you. Play is for us all at every age. There are no restrictions and play is healthy, healing, loving and necessary for our holistic wellbeing. It works on every level, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Play is freedom to explore, be creative, let go, express ourselves safely, have fun, it feeds us body and soul.

Sacred play is playing consciously, knowing that play isn’t something we do because we are childish, but something we do to fulfil, complete and enrich ourselves in every sense.

Few adults know how to play with gay abandon without the use of alcohol or drugs. Those that do are often judged for it, as if they are being irresponsible. Maybe that’s why some people take alcohol or drugs, to get past the inhibitions and find a place where they can let go.

When we play as adults it may look different to child play. Sacred play is not recognised by the activity, it’s recognised by the sense of joy, merriment, curiosity, engagement, immersion, creativity, pleasure and freedom all coming together within any given situation.

Have you ever entered a room where two little children are playing together? Perhaps they didn’t notice you were there. But you watched and saw how deeply focused on the story they were, how creative with the ideas, words and possibilities they expressed. Whether a bundle of laughs or totally serious, they are so present in their play. Little children know how to play until adults interfere and start telling them what is acceptable and what is not.

We are still children inside, children who want to play. Each moment of our lives is held within our energy. That fearless, feisty little girl or boy you once were, until it was knocked out of you, s/he is still there waiting to come out to play. So let’s reclaim play, sacred play. Adult play doesn’t mean acting like a child, it means channelling the energy of that inner child through our adult filter, without the help of alcohol or drugs. We allow the energy to flow and yet, we are our adult selves. It’s an attitude. It’s trust, trusting ourselves and believing in ourselves. Embracing ourselves. Play is one of the fiercest ways to overcome mental and physical health issues. Sacred play is divine magic. And it’s such fun! It’s self-care and you deserve it.

Posted in Abundance and lack, divine magic, Full Moon, play

Count Your Pleasures

Pleasure.  It’s something we all need and yet, some of us might struggle in embracing this gorgeous, loving energy.  We can tend to deny ourselves pleasure in so many ways.  And when we do embrace it, it’s often in the form of unhealthy behaviours like food (chocolate, pizza, cake) and drink (alcohol).  If you made a list of your favourite pleasures, how many unhealthy behaviours would be on your list and how many healthy ones?  I know it’s not clear-cut, after all, we have to eat.  Biting into a sweet, juicy mango can be as pleasurable as a big slice of chocolate cake, no?  (I hear you over there, saying no)

In sharing some of my pleasures, let me tell you about last night.

Last night, a beautiful soul sister came around to visit, and that’s pleasure number one.  We made an open fire in my fire pit outside just after dark, under the full moon, and sat together sharing stories, sipping spiced rum and burning incense, pleasure number two.

Later, we decided to go indoors and make cranachan together.  Pleasure number three is, for me, making food with someone, because it can be such fun to do together.

Now, you may not know this, but cranachan is a Scottish desert and it’s become a signature dish for me.  I had already made the coulis earlier in the day – loads of raspberries and strawberries with some water and sugar, simmering in a pot for about six minutes on boil.  The trick with this is not to leave the room whilst making it or you may come back to find a sticky, red Niagra falls of juice pouring out of the pan, over the stove, all the way down the counter and onto the floor, as I did.  Oh my!  I could actually hear it splashing down in a continual pour as I came into the room and there was a veritable lake of it on the floor.  Not a pleasure. 

Still, I rescued it, cleaned up and had plenty left.  I set my coulis aside to cool.

When my friend and I set to it, we only had to blitz the coulis, toast some oats and make the thick cream with honey and whisky (spiced rum in my case).  I put some oats under the grill to toast and set about blitzing.  My friend and I were chatting away, when all of a sudden, she screamed and I looked at her face, she was staring with horror at something behind my back and I couldn’t think what was causing her reaction.  I turned around and there were flames inside the oven, the oats had been forgotten and caught fire.  We had talked about the full moon being in fiery Aries, looks like Grandmother Moon was really bringing fire into our lives! 

I rushed to the oven and opened the door.  And you probably already realised what a mistake that was.  A great deal of black smoke billowed out, threatening my smoke alarm that didn’t go off (hmm, troubling) and oxygen fanned the flames.  I quickly slammed the oven door shut again. Did I mention that, as I flung the window open, I knocked over my cactus and got prickles in my hand?

I had slammed the oven door shut on a much bigger fire and we waited and watched after switching the oven off at the wall.  Eventually, there were no more flames and it was safe to take our oaty burnt offering out of the oven.  No oats for the cranachan, then. 

As we calmed down and felt the release of tension, as the situation ended safely, we both started laughing.  And laughing and laughing.  And all of a sudden, what I felt was pleasure, it was like looking in on this moment from outside and seeing the pleasure of sharing something really memorable and hilariously funny with a dear friend. Pleasure number four.

One of the main reasons cranachan is a signature dish for me is that it’s so easy to make (I know, I know!) I’m not one of the world’s intuitive cooks, as you can see. However, I’m not ditching the cranachan on the back of one little mistake, even if it did threaten to burn my house down (not really that bad).

If you fancy giving it a go, you now know all the possible pitfalls. When you’ve safely made your coulis, toasted oats and thick cream with honey and whiskey added, simply fold your oats into the cream and layer the coulis and cream into dishes or glasses. And don’t forget to keep a few raspberries back to go on the top, it looks pretty.

We enjoyed our oatless coulis beside the fire under the moon and stars, although I was making a gluten-free, vegan version with coconut cream and that wasn’t very successful either, the tin contained mostly liquid that wouldn’t thicken and we couldn’t spread the cream layer out properly over the coulis.

Nevertheless, we shared many pleasures last night.  My friend had brought her paintings to show me for the first time and I was blown away by her talent, I loved seeing a new side to her that I didn’t know existed.  And we decided to set up a painting day together.  Painting is one of my most frequent healthy pleasures and sharing a painting day with a good friend, that’s like two pleasures stacked together at once.    

What are your healthy pleasures?  When did you last enjoy them?  What are you going to do to bring more pleasure into your life now? (Try not to burn anything down)  

Posted in Abundance and lack, Personal Story

Friendships & Endings

Life has been beautifully active and full these last two weeks, a real contrast to what I’ve grown used to.  Friends have been staying with me and it’s been such a blessing, reminding me that being with long-time dear ones, those who know me so well, is such a blessing and a gift. 

It’s also been a time for adventures and play, embracing fun and experiencing the joys of life.  Full moon sea swims at dusk, visiting my childhood haunts, sipping spiced rum around an open fire as the rain percussed on a glass canopy, on a dark evening.  Toad hunting, hill walking, cooking together and talking deep into the night.  I have been meeting up with so many friends, some new, some long known.  I salute you all, Emma and Andy, Sara and Daryl, Sandy and Alan, Karen, Rachel, thank you all for enriching my life.  This has been a rich time of connection and sharing.      

I’m painting an oracle deck of cards and every time I start a new card, its energy comes into my life and magic fills my being, seeping through all I do.  I just finished card fifteen and am about to begin a new card called ‘Wild Abandon’ which is all about play, fun, joy and embracing movement and the harmonies of the universal energies. 

Sometimes, we are called to move away from people who are in our lives too.  In this year, I have been called to do this, even leaving my husband whom I will always love, choosing the call of my heart and soul, listening to what was needed when I love myself and embrace my truth. 

When we know our paths are no longer heading in the same direction or that we are no longer resonating with each other, it’s time to be true to ourselves.  It’s difficult to speak up at these times, but we’re acting from our empowered centre when we do, even if we’re not being heard or understood.  We need to speak our truth from a place of love, not from hurt, which means waiting for the right time.  If you feel called to move away from others, be true to yourself, say what needs to be said from your loving heart and then move away.  This is not a time to engage in a two-way conversation, hopefully that’s already happened, if you stay to talk it through as you leave, it’s because you aren’t yet ready to go. 

When relationships are ending, it’s sad but there are no certainties that two people will continue to belong together throughout a lifetime, whether as friends or lovers.  More often, we move into each other’s lives for a purpose and then that purpose is over. Holding on, feeling obliged to stay when the energy has changed is never a good idea for either person, even though one or both may feel bereft or have rejection wounds triggered.  Sometimes, those triggered wounds are a part of our soul path and an opportunity for understanding and healing to take place.

If you have a relationship that feels like it might be ending, it’s okay to accept the energy of ending and new beginnings.  Whether you are the one speaking up and choosing to move away or the one who is being left, it’s okay.  Be honest, open, trust yourself and them, find the right words, speak from a place of love.  Don’t engage if it gets bitter, just walk away. What you are doing is going to free you both.    

Posted in inner child, Inspiration

If It Wisnae Fur Yer Wellies

Today, I’m celebrating…….wellies!  I know, I know, you thought this was a spiritual site.  Who’s to say that wellies aren’t spiritual?  Everything’s spiritual! And this post isn’t just about wellies, it’s about freedom, play, fun and bringing out our inner child.

For those of you who might not know, ‘wellies’ is a British abbreviation for wellington boots, they are rubber boots that are commonly worn in the rain, when mucking out horses or working on farms.  I wear them practically every time I go out walking, whether into the woods or on the beaches.  Wellies are brilliant for splashing about in rivers and puddles, great for wading in the shallows of the sea or navigating rock pools, invaluable in mud and snow, wonderful when you live in a country where rainfall is common. 

And I have a particular fondness, not only for my wellies, but for Billy Connolly who sang about them.  Wellies are well worth singing about and celebrating, they encourage freedom to splash about in all manner of wet and wonderful places and bring out our delightful, playful inner child, something we could all do with from time to time.  What could be better than that?

So, here to celebrate them is me singing The Welly Song.  Be prepared, I can’t sing, really, I can’t, well, if you don’t believe me, you’re about to find out for yourself.  And I’m trying my best with the Scottish accent, which is required for this song, but I do feel the need to apologise to the people of Scotland for my efforts.  I had fun though. Oh yes, and it’s a sing-along song. Enjoy.   

‘The Welly Song’ sang by someone who can’t sing, isn’t Scottish, but is having lots of fun

This post is dedicated to my soul sister, because one day, it will be us, together having fun in our wellies, and when that happens, there will be mayhem, so much splashing, so much laughter, so much love, we have a lot of catching up to do.

Posted in Inspiration

Receiving

Are you receiving the love, light and energy of the universe every day?  Are you refuelling your soul?  Are you stopping to just breathe? 

Look me in the eyes and tell me the truth.  How much unstructured time every day do you spend on your phone, on your computer?  How much in front of the telly?  How often do you turn off the phone and put down the laptop to just be with yourself?  Enough?  Not enough?  Only you will know.

When we do, we are receiving, we are receiving the love and light of the universal energies.  We need to do that for our sanity, for our energy, for our peace.  It is there we will find stillness, balance, grounding, self-love. 

Receive, because it’s a two way thing, the universe is receiving you.  This is the flow.  Let go of any remaining feelings that stop you from caring for your own needs.  Time to nurture yourself, time to hold yourself and accept the restoration that the universe wishes to give you. 

So, now structure some time for you.  Go for a gentle walk, sit under a tree and just close your eyes and breathe.  Know what it’s like to do nothing at all, but to smell, hear, feel, sense the silence.  Stay with it for five, ten, fifteen, thirty minutes, let go of time altogether. 

Get something creative going that fills you with joy, make something, paint something, bake something, decorate something, reorganise a room, anything that fires your creative juices.

Let your body move, dance, sing, play an instrument, write poetry. 

Do something you used to love doing as a child but haven’t done in ages. 

Go find some buddies, borrow a little child or two (legally and responsibly, of course), if you don’t have your own.  They will teach you how to play, laugh, relax, let go.  They will fire your imagination and remind you that magic is real, if you let it be. 

Find your ways of receiving from the universe and then completely let go like you have never let go before.  Breathe out and let go.  Keep pushing the envelope, taking it further into joy.  Feel the universe loving you in these moments.  Feel you loving yourself.  You deserve it. Enjoy.   

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Story

Bringing in Laughter, Joy and Play

When was the last time you laughed so much you cried and got a stitch in your side? Maybe you even went so far that you had a little accident, know what I mean, ladies? Yep, I mean a real full-body laugh.

When did you last play, feeling really joyful, channelling the delight and fun of your inner child? How many people do you have in your life who know how to do these things? Do you know how to do this? How often do we see adults really let go and play, run and skip down the street, splash about in puddles, kick leaves in the air, laugh so loud people turn around?

Oh, how I crave to be this person, to laugh and joke and play. To have fun, beautiful, natural, heart-felt fun. I have realised there is nobody in my life right now who does this, that I can do this with. I realised just how serious the people in my life are. I wonder if they do bring out their cheeky monkey, but not with me. I hope they do, but I wish we could do it together.

It takes more than one person to play this way, you have to have a buddy who gets it too, who gets you. Someone who knows how to live with gay abandon, to completely let go. Can you be that buddy for someone? I used have a buddy like that, we used to have such a scream together. It was freeing, released so much stress and life was much more enjoyable. Let’s bring back the fun, engage in play, embrace our cheeky monkey self and release our inner child’s free and innocent spirit. If we do, we’ll feel so much better for it.

The photo is courtesy of Medical News Today in an article about the ‘feel good’ hormones that are released when we laugh, making us feel great. As I was saying…