My little fluffy guru…

Two cards drawn this morning – MENTOR and CHILD: NATURE.

The message received – Let nature be your guide.

mentor child_nature

Images from Carolyn Myss archetype cards.

Max sat on my lap during the writing, so I cannot take full credit for this work! :o)

There are times in our lives when we all need our nurturers, teachers and mentors. These don’t always arrive in human or even visible form. We can have spirit teachers, guides, ancestors, teaching angels, nature spirits and others who assist us on our journey. We simply need to ask.

IMG_20140307_101025_472One of my gurus and a great joy in my life is our moodle (maltese x poodle) “Max”.  Although small in stature, Max is big in wisdom and character. Max came into our lives at the start of a long and painful journey. Our friend J owns Ruby, his mum, and the neighbour’s dog, Ralph, is the father.

We went over a few times to visit this wee puppy and loved him from the first moment.  When we arrived, Max took one look at us, said hello and ran off to play!

13-12-07_1129We discussed names and felt drawn to “Max” as he was the larger of the two puppies in the litter and well, it just suited him, it just felt right. When we told J, she laughed, because without us knowing, Max had been the name she’d been calling him since he was born, but she’d left the final naming to us.

On the way over to pick him up the last time, we stopped at a coffee shop in a wee panic. Were we ready to take on such a big commitment? A dog, for us, this was for life.  Fortunately we did and Max has been the best companion.

So here are some of things I’ve learned from Max:

Max is the embodiment of joy! He has a pure loving heart and is full of curiousity, courage and a sense of adventure. He lives in the moment. Max has his own little joyful dance. Up on his back legs and waving his front legs up and down. Whenever someone comes to the door, they are of course there to see him. He does his joyful dance and goes through his excited greeting ritual, which involves loads of bouncing and joyful squeals. He got so excited once, he pee-ed on our friend’s foot, luckily a good friend! Now the first thing I ask when guests arrive, “are you a doggy person?”. He has a particularly special bond with a few of our friends.

IMGP3493Max is naturally a very gentle and kind dog. It took him about 18 months until he met a dog that was aggressive towards him and he was literally taken aback, surprised at the hostility of another being. He used to always roll over and be submissive, but he has learned to stand his ground now.  Regular dog park visits and training has socialised him well.

IMGP0087 Everything in Max’s life is a treat and received with gratitude and joy!

Each day:

  • a bowl of dog food, JOY!,
  • trips in the back of the car, JOY!,
  • hanging his head out the car window, JOY!
  • playing with furry friends at the dog park, JOY!
  • a tummy rub or a bone, JOY!, JOY! JOY!

Max lives life with intensity and focus, he actually has full body thoughts. Just by watching his body language I can see him change his mind, problem solve things and express his feelings. Even if he has been left alone all day or experiences something he doesn’t like, he doesn’t dwell on it, he literally shakes it off and chooses to just be happy again.

New sniffs, new smells, new adventures, the world is an exciting place, full of adventures and discoveries.  Things to be chased and barked at, conversations to be had, and of course at the end of it all big long naps!!  There is nothing better than hanging your head out of the car window, smelling all those new whiffs and feeling the breeze rushing through your coat.

IMGP0075As a poodle, Max is very clever. From a young age he would problem solve situations and change his behaviour according to how he read people and situations. When we go to the dog park, he runs the whole circuit and says hello to every dog and person. Recently we were there and he came bounding up to a pair of small dogs, one was very nervous and started barking aggressively. Max ran away but the next time round he stopped about 2 metres from the same dog and allowed him to approach on his own terms. They became best of mates. He’s a whiz at managing other dogs, he very good at putting young silly puppies in their place, whatever their size.

Max is also very good at reading and managing people. We took him to dog training and he picked it all up immediately. The thing is that he turns his obedience on and off according to his judgement of what he can get away with, so he is a bit of a chancer!! For example, he is the model of a perfect dog when my father in law visits. When he first met our friend, a dog whisperer, you could see in his body language he was so excited that he was noticed, understood and could communicate so clearly.

06-04-08_1607Whenever we go somewhere at night, if it gets too late and max is tired, he’ll go and sit by the door ready to go home. When he’s tired he just takes himself off to bed, content with his predictable and loving home, and his regular routine. I’m sure on those long days, left alone whilst we were at work, the fairies came and tickled his paws to keep him amused!

Then  of course  there’s the help in the garden, which isn’t the most fun, that mower sounds awful, but he gets to hang out with his pack, one of his favourite things.  Max is authentic, honest and completely true to himself. He is also a comfort dog, if you can’t find Max, you can guarantee that he has found most comfortable place in the house. Which in the past has included the pillows on my in-laws bed, this only happened once!

IMGP3618 There’s nothing better than growing your coat long and collecting whatever you can on your long walks. One of the disadvantages of very short legs is that the ground isn’t too far away, which is great for collecting leaves, dirt, sticks, smells etc. Rolling in things, like dead birds, ooh the smell!

Not very keen on getting washed, he avoided water for a long time until he realised the value of water cooling you down on a hot summer day, and afterwards, you can run around to dry like a total lunatic, letting the excitement zap through his body! No one throwing you something to chase?  That’s alright, you can pick up anything in your mouth and lob it across the room – shoes, bones, even dog bed mattresses!!

There are clear rules in the house (no jumping on sofas or bed, no begging for food) but by his very nature, Max is one to take advantage of opportunities (including a pair of very malleable owners!)

IMGP3744So here’s to all the teachers, mentors and joyful companions in your life. May they fill your home with love and laughter. May we be wise enough to observe, listen and learn from them!

Much love

Sarah

PS This also includes cats, turtles, birds, gold fish, guinea pigs, snakes, possums, spiders, or any other living being that graces your home! :o)

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The manic call of passion…

We’ve just come back from a holiday in Melbourne. We started with a family wedding and then spent a week at Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula.  We stayed at the holiday home of friends of the family, such a generous gift.

On the first night, i scoured a guide book to pick out things to do. For me, a good holiday is a fine art, a balancing act between doing nothing but relaxing and doing enough to get inspired and enjoy the adventure. Of course, finding this balance is a completely individual thing.

I have some friends who schedule activity from dawn til bed time, others who plan absolutely nothing. I like to have a list of possible activities and plenty of room for spontaneity and the unexpected! I love to be able to go with my mood, how i’m feeling, rather than expectations. For me, the whole point of a holiday is that it’s “our time” to be scheduled however we choose.

As per our usual holiday experience, food was a bit of a focal point and we loved time driving around the sites and relaxing on the beach. Here’s the pick of my favourites:

The Peninsula Hot Springs near Rye. We spent five hours floating around these springs one cold morning, wiith a break in the middle at their cafe. We loved the corn fritters and buttermilk pancakes with berries. Hot tip, arrive before 9am and it’s half price.

www searoad com auImage from http://www.searoad.com.au

The good coffee with dark chocolate and berry muffins with lemon icing at Via Battista cafe at Mt Martha.  Totally irresistible!!

14 4 muffinsHanging out with one of my best mates Jane, who has just moved to Melbourne. Playing board games including Dr Seuss trivia; eating lots of good food; playing ukulele and our impromptu photo session at the Mt Martha beach boxes.

10320615_10152779404127678_4339151203260370930_nDrinks at a wine bar and seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel at the cinema in Mornington. The ticket seller at the cinema had the best sense of humour! It’s a cracker of a movie! Hysterically funny, fabulous cast and acting, starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by Wes Anderson.

grand budapestAn afternoon at the Arthur’s seat auto museum – inspiring for my partner who has a penchant for vintage minis and morris 1100s.

auto museumInspiration for me? The fabulous Heronswood, the Diggers Club at Dromana. These permaculture gardens use heritage seeds which can be ordered online.

10007251_10152443142390992_2433039613436638751_n IMGP0030 IMGP0055And, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne. Landscaped gardens only using Australian native plants. They won a gold medal at the Chelsea Garden Show last year. (Yeah – that’s there bragging rights I say!)

IMGP0124 IMGP0130 IMGP0137 IMGP0135We also slept, read books, relaxed and did a lot of nothing. After much trial and error, I think we’re finally mastering the art of a good holiday, our style.

On the last night, I expected to have a really good sleep as I had every other night. Instead, I was awake from about 1am to 4am. My mind was alive. I was being shown images of each of the garden beds and nooks in my garden back home, along with ideas for the planting i could do from the gardens at Heronswood and Cranbourne.  I could feel the excitement and motivation building and i was bursting to get home.

This week? I’ve been heeding the manic call of passion. I attended to the “have to do” things, but cleared out my diary, donned overalls and boots, and headed outside.  (Thank you to my lovely friends who have been understanding about me not getting out this week!) I’ve spent each day pottering about digging out weeds, repairing irrigation pipes, potting up tubestock, researching citrus trees, pruning and fertilising etc etc. Here’s the before shot of the citrus orchard.

IMGP0006I’ve also had some beautiful encounters with nature spirits. I had a serious conversation with them about working together for the benefit of us all. Particularly, for all the native plants and animals who call our property home. I talked to them about my plans, asked about what’s important to them, and suggested we could work together. When I go into the stillness and listen, I can hear them more clearly. Here’s tawny frog mouths sleeping in our frangipani tree, one opened his eye as i approached – sprung!

IMGP0006I’m pleased with the progress. It’s a start, there is such a long way to go, but it’s one step at a time.  Being in the moment and working together makes it so much easier.  Here’s the orchard after some work this week.

IMGP0009I hope you find inspiration and listen to the manic call of passion in your life this week.

Much love

Sarah

 

Finding your tribe…

Just recently I had lunch with one of my best friends from University days and it was an amazing experience! We had been really close during our second year, studying Italian, hanging out, organising events for the Italian club and socialising (a lot). There was this beautiful ‘simpatico’ or compatability between us.

companionImage from Carolyn Myss, Archetype cards.

At 21, I left to go overseas for six months and came back changed, reeling from culture shock and transformed by the experience. Unexpectedly we drifted apart. We still can’t explain it. No conflict, no decision to disconnect, our paths just took us in different directions and we had little contact for the next 20 years.

starhotels comImage from http://www.starhotelst.com

In the intervening time, we made interesting life journeys.  Me, working with community arts and youth work in health promotion, services for homelessness, drug use, mental health, abuse and violence, and later teaching and education for future workers. My friend went on to lecture at University in nursing, the arts and community health, delivering health care informed by social justice, culture and community participation. Different paths but common threads!

jmeetzestudiocommonthreads blogspot comImage from http://www.jmeetzestudiocommonthreads.blogspot.com

Enter facebook friend finder and we hooked back up. We’ve caught up a couple of times since and after a rapid life update, we very quickly fell into the comfortable pattern of simpatico. Listening to each other, excited by our stories and journeys, we sparked off each other. You know the kind of conversations where words seem to trip over each other. What fun! Not only were we sharing our experiences and practically finishing each other’s sentences, we lifted and extended each other ideas to new territory and new creative possibilities.

Afterwards, it got me thinking about tribes and what is my tribe? For me, people from your tribe are like a mirror to your best self and your passions. They are where you feel at home and remind you of who you are.  Here are some of my tribes:

My social justice tribe – those with a passion for justice, participation, diversity, inclusion, those who imagine and dream of a more just and peaceful world, where we share our loving humanity and celebrate our diversity.

pinterest comImage from http://www.pinterest.com

My eco-warrior tribe – these folk understand humanity as living in a connected web with all beings who live on this planet, those who fight for sustainability, protect and restore habitats and seek to live lightly on the planet. Those optimists who seek innovative, ethical and creative solutions to the challenges facing humanity.

www habitatadvocate com auImage – Miranda Gibson Styx Valley protest, in http://www.habitatadvocate.com.au

My creative arts fairies and happy travellers tribe – these are my friends who experience their life as a creative expression, this might be through the arts – music, visual arts, dance etc or through the way they explore and create life on their own terms, living with love, compassion and peace with themselves and others

kayeriakweks wordpress comImage from http://www.karyeriakweks.wordpress.com

My spiritual crew – these are my fellow journeyers who experience the multidimensional nature of human existence, they experience the divine and know themselves, as spirit, as a piece of the divine and they see it in others. They play with crystals, fairies, angels, beings of light and they are willing to journey through the shadows for the higher evolution of their souls and the human collective. They are wayshowers, holding the torch, they are catalysts for change as they have the courage to seek to be all that they are.

www domesticdiva caImage from http://www.domesticdiva.ca

When i’m really lucky, the same friend comes from multiple tribes and there is that particular spark!! When i reflect on my tribes, they’re not just thinkers and dreamers, they’re also do-ers. Living from their essence of love, they bring change to the world not only through their creative thoughts, words and actions, but particularly when they are true to who they really are.

communityartscollective orgImage from http://www.communityartscollective.org

My dear friend is moving overseas with her family to pursue her dreams. I am so pleased for her new adventures and glow with the blessing of knowing, that we are from the same tribe and we will always be connected. These kind of heart connections can never be severed.

www wildlifeadventures comImage from http://www.wildlifeadventures.com

Who are your tribes?

I’d love to hear where you feel at home and who reminds you of who you truly are.

Blessings and light for a day of simpatico!

Sarah

Random signs? Perhaps…

Yesterday afternoon was spent on the computer setting up and publishing the first blogs. By dusk, Max, my small dog, jumped up on my lap. He’d been well behaved, quiet for hours and wanted some attention. I took him on his very long lead up the hill to the bushland at the back of our property. Just inside the entrance, in the middle of the path, there lay a beautiful cockatoo feather. Not just any feather, it was huge, about 9 inches long. (that is longer than the black shoe box!)

IMGP0046I got a strong intuitive hit that it was a sign.  A gift from the universe, to say i was on the right path. You might think, it could have been any old random feather just sitting there. Perhaps it was. But it meant something to me. This feather was massive, sitting right in the middle of the path where many walkers come and go. I always seem to come across cockatoo feathers at significant times and I’d never seen one this big. I also get strong body sensations, pins and needles and other energetic signs when something bigger is happening.

I asked for permission to take the feather and waited for a response. Yes it was there for me to find. I picked it up, and as i walked on i pondered – how do i know when i’m on the right path? Is there a right path? If there is, it certainly doesn’t appear linear. Sometimes, i don’t know that i’m actually on the right path, but i always seem to know when i’m off it.

lighting the pathImage from marybeasullivan.com

Being on the path or being in flow, can bring a feeling of quiet knowing, rarely are there the big lightning bolts or significant signs (but sometimes there are), but my intuition or my body always lets me know if i’ve strayed, if something isn’t right for me. Often it screams at me. I’ve become better at listening and trusting this inner voice.

So the evening was uneventful and i went to bed, settling in, then it hit me. A panic attack. A total adrenaline rush, freak out, oh my god, what have i done?? I’ve told the world (or anyone kind enough to listen), that i’ve seen fairies and other spiritual stuff! OMG! OMG! OMG! (oh my god!!)

AP_The_Scream_MoMA-x-wide-community

The scream by Munch from travel.usatoday.com

Now I’ve been blessed during my lifetime to have found many like minded souls, especially in the last few years through my spiritual mentor, Nicole. This is my tribe, other beautiful souls who are spiritual, who work with crystals, spend time with fairies, guides, angels, nature spirits etc. They’re on a spiritual path of discovery, just like me. They are grounded, real, intelligent and creative people. Then there are people I have yet to meet, who might be led to my blog (welcome!). I’m totally cool for these two groups of people to know about me.

But then there are my friends and family from various parts of my world who i haven’t talked to much about my spirituality.  My rational, logical, scientific, atheist, agnostic, religious, professional colleagues, gorgeous friends who i haven’t talked to about this stuff. (Although I’m not sure how many will be suprised by this!)

Well I’ve put it out there haven’t I? Talk about feeling like i’m running (i’d prefer horse riding) naked through the main street. It hit me and I freaked out. I wasn’t going to get any sleep.

I wandered outside, barefoot under the almost full moon. I stood there bathing in moonlight. Drawing down the beautiful light from the moon and visualising my energy connecting and grounding into the earth. All the fear, all the panic, all the negativity draining away. Thank you Gaia! I know this body that i travel around in comes from her and will go back to her, so she always knows how to restore it to calm and balance.  I just need to make contact with her, (physically touching her is stronger), ask her, reach for her calm and thank her. The calm was almost instant.

What came to me, is that It is my obligation to be authentically me and for you being authentically you! The universe needs our authentic wholeness.

I wandered back inside and had a very deep sleep.

drawing down the moonImage from www.sparkpeople.com

May you know your truth and it always be respected!

Much love and blessings

Sarah

PS Back to screaming, which i personally love. I live half way down a valley and we regularly have flocks of wild cockatoos screaming up and down the valley in a joyous celebration of life.  Cockatoos are beautiful, fairly large birds with white and yellow feathers. They are sometimes kept as domestic pets and can be trained to talk and say various words.

watson-andrew-queensland-brisbane-sulphur-crested-cockatoo-australia

Image from www.allposters.com.au

There was a story on the news a few years back, about a domestic cockatoo, who had been taught to swear. It escaped, joined a wild flock and trained them to do the same. Unfortunately they roosted right next to a primary school. Letters were sent home to parents to warn them, so they could take another route home with their children if they wished to avoid them. Crazy old world huh? Must be true, i read it on the news!! :o)

Here’s a fab blog by my shamanic friend Tracy, she describes this process of following the signs from the universe: Do you follow the breadcrumbs?

Spiritual homemaking is…

I’ve coined the term spiritual homemaker. What does that mean to me?

They are not complex dreams or great ambitions, I longed for time in my life to sort through my house, make home cooked meals, grow vegies, dust under the cupboards, completely revive my nest and tend the 2 acres of our land. In the future, to build the art studio and start on all those creative projects in boxes under the house. A simple dream. I was saying ‘no’ to the career driven values of my upbringing. I wanted no career, i wanted a life, a life full of joy, abundance, happiness and peace! Simply to be.

IMGP2870

Childhood painting by my sister.

Spiritual? Why spiritual? Well for me it’s about a life of purpose, meaning and connection. Living in harmony with my expanded self, all beings and the universe. Although raised in the christian religion, i am not a religious person. I am a spiritual person. Whilst there is great wisdom in the mystical experiences of others, i also have my own direct spiritual experiences. As an intuitive channel, i have contact with my guides, angels and other beings of light. I have seen and felt fairies, nature spirits and other magical creatures. I sense and feel energies. I have experienced healing through energies and i often just know things, that i haven’t learned, this wisdom or information just drops in at times. I don’t pretend to know the answers, just remain open to these experiences.

Part of my purpose is to bring lightness to the planet, I do this energetically, i do it in grounded loving ways. Tending my garden, reaching out to my friends, loving my husband, my dog, friends and family, participating meaningfully in community. I’ve had many mystical experiences, but those that i cherish spring from the ordinariness of the every day. It’s also about living in alignment with my core beliefs and values, the interconnection of all beings, where the pain and joys of one are shared by all.

So this is a journey of being present to myself and others, to each moment as it unfolds, creating a nest with my family. Let the journey begin.

For you i wish peace, harmony and connection!

Sarah