Inspiration, issues & comment

Wild thing I think I love you

Once wildLast year, rather than making new year resolutions I would doubtless break, I chose a word to live by.  That word was WILD.  I wanted to see more of my wild self, my wild soul, my true essence.  It was time to break down the barriers, let go of the layers and discover the wilder, freer version of myself that I knew existed somewhere deep inside.

Choosing a word to live by was a powerful process, so much more positive than the age-old tradition of resolutions which are usually forgotten and broken by February anyway, leaving us feeling once again like we have failed in some way.  This last year I would only have to ask “what would my wild self do now” and I would have the answer or direction I was seeking.  I’m sure the whole process was helped by spending most of the year in the wilds of France.  It was a year of letting go and peeling away the layers to see what lay beneath.

So did the wild woman show her face?  Yes, she did!  I felt my wildest truest self when I was walking barefoot, feeling the sun-warmed earth beneath my feet.  When I was chopping wood, swinging the axe and using my strength to provide fuel for the fire.  When I stood looking into the face of a young deer, the split-second before it barked a warning to the herd and sprang off.  When I was standing amongst the trees under an ice-cold shower washing off the sweat and dirt of the day.  When I was writing, taking photos, being creative.

Last year was a year of shedding skins and coming to gentle realisations.  The realisation that less is more.  Less material things, less commitments, less busyness, less interaction.  More nature, more time, more thoughts, more writing, more laughing, more knowing myself.

Was I scared when I set out on this journey of what I might find?  Hell, yes!  But I have realised that being scared is usually the start of something good, great even.  I’ve learned more about myself in these past twelve months than I have in years of distracting myself away from who I truly am.

I have learned that being wild is about letting go of who we think we are and embracing who we truly are.  It’s about trusting ourselves and not caring what anyone else thinks about us or what we are doing.  Refusing to give airtime to the naysayers and harbingers of doom.  They’re not my people.  Why should I care what they say?

It is about the importance of experience over material possessions.

It’s about digging deep and gently visiting the dark places in our minds with compassion and forgiveness.  This was maybe the hardest thing of all this year, but in shedding light on the darkness I have started to see myself differently.  I have stopped judging myself and have started accepting myself.

It’s about learning to see the passing years not as wasted dreams or time that has escaped, but as years of experience and a growing wisdom.  Learning to settle in our skin.

It is about bringing our soul, our personality and our true essence into our work and the way we live our lives. Standing in our power and daring to live the life we want to live, based on our own values and philosophy.

It’s about breaking the rules, breaking free and allowing ourselves to just be ♥

Nature, photography & France

The night owl

Owl in flight
Image courtesy of Pinterest

The owl came to me the other night.  And I don’t mean in a dream.  Literally.  Woken from restless sleep by the sound of talons skittering across wooden floorboards, the owl landed unceremoniously on the bathroom floor after flying through the open window.  It was so hot, the air so close, that I had left the window wide open for ventilation.

Instinct told me it was one of the barn owls.  We have a family living in the unused chimney in the kitchen.  Owl mess drops down into the fireplace every afternoon.  They are regular in their habits, the owls.  Evidence of their nightly feeding appears on the kitchen floor each morning in the form of dead mice and shrews, the chicks obviously still clumsy in their youth.

So two nights ago we jumped out of bed, stumbled to our feet, and in the pitch dark I grasped for the light switch to see which wild guest had chosen to join us this time.  The owl swooped and flew across the landing, its eyes big and startled.  Flew right past us into the bedroom and after scuffling behind the bed, took up residence in the rafters, perched on an ancient beam.  It looked at us a couple of times, blinking slowly, closed its eyes and appeared to nod off contentedly.

We backed out of the room, closing the door gently and wondered what to do. It was two thirty am and we really wanted to get back to bed.  But now we had a wild creature sharing our bedroom.  Running Boy, feeling he had overdosed on a massive shot of adrenaline, held his hand over his wildly pumping heart and suggested sleeping in the spare room.  Let the owl find its own way out through the open window.

I on the other hand, having spent time that afternoon preparing the spare room for a weekend guest was not too happy about this option.  I wasn’t going to let the owl keep me from my own comfy bed.  Armed with a broom I headed back into the bedroom to see if I could gently encourage our unexpected visitor to leave.  Not knowing what to do I stood looking up at the owl.

Barely two feet away I marvelled at the colours in its coat. Gold, grey and dusky pink, it was beautiful with its wide, heart-shaped face and razor-sharp beak.  I wanted to take a photograph but didn’t want to scare it.  It’s not often you get to be so close to such a majestic and beautiful bird of prey.  I wondered what message the owl had brought.

Eventually, by tapping gently on the wooden beam, I managed to rouse the owl who hopped down onto the bedroom floor and paused for a moment before heading towards the window and taking flight back out into the black of night, its gracefulness leaving me in awe.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

My research today tells me that the barn owl is a messenger of change.  How fitting considering my last blog post.  Standing in front of the owl in the early hours, I felt no fear, only protection.  Moving forward this is how I choose to feel.  Protected and fearless.  Thank you for your message Barn Owl.  I am humbled and honoured to have received such an esteemed guest.

These are experiences not easily forgotten ♥

Nature, photography & France

Wild inspiration – the hare

Living in the middle of nowhere I cannot fail to be fascinated by the local wildlife.  Some time ago I wrote about the little bat that found its way into our bedroom one Saturday morning.  Recently I’ve become rather more interested in the hare.

The mystical hare in motion
The mystical hare in motion

The hare appears to live somewhere in the hedgerow down the driveway but is a regular visitor to the garden where it likes to sit munching grass or majestically poised on the large stones that border the lawn.  In winter it would sometimes sit under the lounge window catching the early morning sun or meditating in the stillness of evening.

Standing in the garden with my morning cup of tea, the hare has often teased me by coming close, slowly and nonchalantly and then skipping off at high speed with no chance of me following.  I love the skips, the jumps and the twist and turns as it darts around the garden, and the speed with which it races across the fields.  A mystical and captivating creature, the hare has certainly got me mesmerised.

With its regular appearances I decided to do some research to find out what I could learn from our friend, the hare.  In the teachings of Native Americans animals are greatly respected and very much seen as our guides.  As the ones with their ears so close to the heartbeat of Mother Earth it is said we can learn a lot from them.

So why the hare?  Why do I feel such an affinity towards it?  And what can I learn from it?

  • Well, for one, it is wild (my word for this year) and cannot be tamed.  The ideal animal totem for the free-spirited.
  • With its ability to twist, turn and dart out of the way of obstacles, the hare teaches us to follow our dreams and not let anything get in our way.
  • Solitary and independent, the hare often lives alone and symbolises those in society who proudly follow their own path.
  • Mysterious, magical and often misunderstood, the hare represents those who stand out from the crowd and do things their own way.
  • Seen as a trickster the hare lets us know it’s ok to break the rules sometimes and rebel, great characteristics to bring about change.
  • As well as being connected to the earth, the hare’s 28 gestation period means it is also in tune with the lunar energies of the moon therefore teaching us to honour our natural cycles and rhythms.

So dare to be different, stand out from the crowd, break the rules a little and follow your dreams.  Honour the cycles and rhythms of your body and energy.  Own your inner mystery.  Be wild.  Be free.

Do you have an animal that you really connect with and feel you learn from?  Let me know in the comments ♥

Inspiration, issues & comment

What’s in a word?

A lot, apparently!  Seems like everyone is choosing a word this year instead of thinking up new year resolutions to break.  I’m not a fan of resolutions, never have been on account of my rather stubborn nature.  Just can’t be told what to do, even if I’m the one doing the telling.

So the idea of choosing a word to live by this year appeals to me.  I’ve heard about it before but have never done it myself.  It’s not so easy.  What is the word that I want to bring into my life this year?  Live it, breathe it, sleep it, eat it.  There were many contenders but most of them fell at the first hurdle.  Nah!  They just weren’t meant to be.  But one word has been sneaking up on me, whispering in my ear, appealing to something deep inside, challenging me to let it in and choose it as my 2014 word of the year.Wild

Continue reading “What’s in a word?”