171010

Slept well, and through to beyond five for the first time in a while. Yoga nidra with Steve Wolf, which is a good steady 45 minute one.

AM 1 hour

Five minutes in I suddenly realised my car was parked directly outside the entrance, so I decided to go move it right then so that it was not in the way of any early leavers / arouse staff curiosity. Moreover I was embarrassed to have left it there in the moving in excitement. 

Back on the cushion, the timer reset, there was much more of a sense of space than of late. But big awkwardness deep in the shoulders and neck, and in the lower back. Tummy still sharp inside but less so and the upper abdomen pretty tight.

I breathed through the first 15 minutes, 5 in, 11 out, sometimes some moans and groans on exhaling. Second 15 was moving through the body, thoughts scattered here and there, remembering fears then somehow gone for a while.

Third 15 lingering on neck a minute or two, then on that tight upper belly. At some point there was a sudden realisation of how scattered, all over the place I was and immediately it ceased, the jumping around. As if the bag of jumping beans I was sat on was suddenly calm and not propelled about. Then fear was a tangible sensation in the belly and chest. On lingering it felt like nausea, too sickly sweet, a little fuzzy. A wondering: is this all it is, what all the fuss is about, a sensation? Strong and unpleasant as it may be. Such power over the brain, thoughts and decisions, managing it, keeping it at bay and at the same time wanting it gone.

Fear may be a simple thing, complexified.

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171009

Woke at 0430 and listened to iRest yoga nidra for an hour. Strong feelings of fear, a sense of imbalance. Fear of an upcoming presentation at work to forty donors, and an unwinding still from the experiences during the retreat and personal development group sessions. Afterwards a short but restful sleep until 0630. This touches deeply in the early morning, not so much once the day gets going.

AM 1 hour

The fear of earlier had subsided and my attitude was more one of frustration and a background pissed off feeling, which has been there for a long long time. It’s a reaction to being made to do things, stemming I think from secondary school. It was there tangibly in my attitude as I lingered on the back of the pelvis. In staying with a sensation my relationship to that and hence to life in general becomes very apparent. As the seconds passed the frustration turned into a sadness and I wept a little.

Shoulders releasing, and head shaking at times. Tummy less sore than yesterday and in general I’m much more together, appreciating the longer sits and my new space.

Work feature: planned the presentation with Sam, the story of a single video from a YouTube comment all the way back through production, subtitles, digitization, recording, Krishnamurti speaking in the tent, then fast forward back to now and what we’d like to do next and how the donors can help. I’m doing it, with an intro and ending by Nasser. So that of course is on my mind but not too strongly. I think it’s a compelling way to communicate some of what we’re doing/have done/will do.

Evening: sorted books, cleaned old flat, moved very last of my things, got bedside cabinets from the car. Ordered an iMac! 

171008 Mere visitors

Awake in the night for a couple of hours. This has become normal for me now. Back to sleep around five, lapses into thought growing, reactions softening and body relaxing before oblivion returned. 

Yet it wasn’t oblivion for long, dreams sparking up involving a festival I never quite made it to, now forgotten dramas along the way; my life but with the feel of a thousand films. So many films I’ve watched, in which the characters and me the viewer are sucked into a writer’s story, usually not fully resolved. So there they lie, these thousand stories, unresolved, unfinished business, to come out when there’s less for the brain to process day to day. But by now they’ve gotten twisted and a bit weird, mixed with the raw power of my own emotion and experience. 

To bring light into this murky world of the dream. It’s never far away, ready to pull into a daydream, a thought fantasy, a random scenario unrelated to here and now.

AM 1 hour

And so a drifty dreamy hour’s sit, in my new corner the other side of the wall separating my new and old bedroom, facing a new direction: west. I don’t know how significant the way one faces is. I sat kneeling as my back didn’t like cross legged today. Although dreamy, there was a steady coming together of an initially scattered consciousness, bouncing around like tigger, with the fear of piglet. This boinging steadied about half way through.

Now I would like to sleep yet work starts in 30.

Spent much of the day writing out archives projects on our new list of todos for the charity as a whole. Steve and I talked a while about my unsettling experiences during the facilitating a couple of weeks ago. This was helpful. A respect is growing between us.

Lunch in the retreat centre with Steve, Roland who is back for a visit after five years, a hypnotherapist, and Louis who is back to guest help (volunteer). Roland and I had arranged to take a walk after work and we talked about his trauma therapy practice which is going very well and helping a lot of people, and also about our inner lives and explorations. This for an hour as the sun went down. At one point above West Meon the view suddenly opens up and we lingered as a soft mist formed in the valley.


I enjoyed his easy, insightful company.

After a quick supper I unpacked some more, finding a place for everything in the kitchen, then as I got more tired, my clothes, now all neatly in the closet. It was fun for a while to have an actual dressing room but at the same time it was unnecessary and an odd place to be each morning. Again, too many mirrors. I much prefer this place.
Then bath time yes indeed. A gentle self massage all over as muscles unwound, focussing on those curious muscle tingley tickley fizzes as I relaxed. Self massage is so good. I haven’t done it enough, and it’s such a caring thing to do for the body that works so hard for us. 

Earlier as we walked through the darkening wood towards the end of the walk, Roland said our bodies come from the earth, the ground, and ‘we’, our consciousness, just inhabits them a while. Visitors.

171007 New flat

One of the main reasons for moving flats was so that I could have a bath in the evening. And so I did and it was delicious. It’s a bit of an art to get the temperature just so and today it was slightly too hot. But it’s a good day when this is the only thing to complain about. Candlelight.

I spent the day moving from flat five to flat four. Fortuitously workmen put scaffolding up just before the weekend and on waking I suddenly realised I could use it to move my stuff from one window to the other, which are next door to each other on the first floor. This made it so easy. With help, my possessions were passed out of the window onto the scaffolding and then into the new bedroom window. This saved a lot of walking around the building with bag after bag or using the car. The only things to carry round was the mattress and the glass desk top.

I love my new flat! It feels so different to the hotel suite feeling I had next door for nine months. There is a light atmosphere and a very good, still energy to the place. There is more room in the bedroom for yoga instead of having to do it in the living room. The living room has lots of light and two curved wooden shelves made especially for the place. There is plenty of storage and a new kitchen table. The bathroom is smaller with only one mirror instead of the slightly ridiculous three, and of course it has a bath.

After a very relaxing and balancing siesta, I worked on the outside landing, removing an old IKEA shoe cabinet and vacuuming the stairs and entrance. It’s also nice to be next door to my good friend. 

I hope there’s enough room for my meditation cushion once the bed arrives. The final item will be a sofa arriving sometime in November. Meanwhile I have a futon mattress in the living room. I’ve been thinking of getting an iMac for writing, and watching films on from the sofa.

So quite a domestic day, getting this new home in order. It feels so clean and fresh and I can relax here and study and meditate and stretch. The alarm is set for 620 and I aim to sit for one hour each morning then kind of meditate or at least unwind in the bath at the end of the day.

In my life it feels as if everything is fitting together and is in order. This is new to me and something I’ve craved for such a long time.

170916 Counselling level five introductory workshop day

I don’t think I’ve experienced a day quite like this in terms of experiencing and learning. Perhaps during yoga teacher training, perhaps not.

The first day nerves holding every one back and making them seem uninteresting dissipated today and the depth and nature of people in the group started to emerge. We bonded rapidly and shared.

A very funny day, as in much laughter and very good holding of the group by Gerry the tutor. On arrival we did a couple of small meeting exercises with someone nearby, talking about our grandparents. Next we did some grounding exercises, breathing in for five, out with resistance of the lips for 11, and then a walking exercise being aware of each step. These really helped calm me, and the excitable nervous energy in the room. It was great that this sort of practice was included.

Then we introduced ourselves to the group of 35 by talking about how our names were chosen and maybe what it means. My voice was small but not too small and nothing like the beginning of level three. I wish I’d added some nicknames I’ve had, for humour.

Soon we were moving around the room finding others with the same star sign. It wasn’t so much about star signs but about talking about qualities and tendencies. We then had to represent these one group at a time using postures, with Gerry reflecting on what people saw and relating it back to counselling theory and practice. Us Aquariuses sat in a meditative pose back to back, linked but facing away from each other. We had a guest Leo as she was the only Leo, who prowled around protecting the introspective three of us.

We brought a shared lunch and I resisted the crap easily, just sone quiche and vegetable crisps. I also brought my smoothie along. Like last year there was interest in that.

I took a break outside alone after eating, and also took some photos including the stained glass from the early 1900s:


The afternoon was equally varied. We did a kind of speed counselling sort of thing, where we listened to and told a funny story, a worst date and other mini episodes, rotating around a circle. Later we interacted with an empty chair in mime, that chair representing an issue, in a before and after scenario. My chair represented a group or an audience, the before being absolutely terrified and not being able to look, then the after was with support and I lowered my hands from my face and kneeled and breathed in front of the chair without hiding. We did this already be then shared our experiences with someone nearby. I think this is a gestalt exercise.

Next we danced in a diamond formation of four to the Proclaimers, following the leader’s actions. When Gerry rang his bowl, we changed direction and hence leader. At the end of the song I happened to be leading our group so I jumped around like crazy, arms raised. I can only assume they followed from the smiles and puffing.

We finished at 1545 with a checkout and I was able to say what I wanted to, about feeling that I’m in the right place, excited and ready for the course. I added that it feels in the group that we are weeks in, not two days. I put this latter down to the excellent and varied exercises and to the profundity and humour we shared.

170912 University induction day

Induction day at University of Chichester. Like the last induction day at Winchester, it was a bit of a jumble – admin stuff, learning about the library, casually meeting each other (no get to know each other games), a fairly random q&a session in which many seemed obsessed about the end of the course stage and their careers. The personal development section at the end was the most interesting. The final 90 minutes of each week will be in our smaller groups and it sounds as if it will be unstructured, with maybe not even the classic check in and check out. Rather, the tutor will hold space for us to all share what’s going on with us as group members. Engaging with our thoughts and feelings and expressing that. 

I don’t know if I was expecting too much from the others on the course but I thought there would be a more serious depth but so far it has not been the case. First day nerves getting in the way? People did seem tense. Of course it is early days and I have to remember how it was at the beginning of level three. But I met some sound people I’ll be happy to hang out with, and I like our personal development group of eleven. Six less than last year, with  35 in total. 

Good support from friends on going in, when I was a mixture of excited, happy and a but nervous. But not anxious. I was able to participate throughout and enjoyed most of the day. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on Saturday with an experiential day. Let’s see what the course brings. Perhaps not the accelerated learning and integration of level three but more of a consolidation.

I aim to sit twice daily throughout, and it is part of the course to undertake counselling, which I will up from fortnightly to weekly during term time.

Feeling strong and stable, as that PM likes to say. Tomorrow I begin a new yoga class which runs the whole term. First regular class in a couple of years, having given up Iyengar when starting college.

170825 Dorset

I’m kind of falling in love with the county, particularly Pubeck. There’s something delightful in the way the hills roll, and of course the coast is stunning. I could definitely live here. 

Spent a good five hours at Kimmeridge in the bright sun. Two swims. So good to be in the water again or else relaxing on the flat stone beach and exploring rock pools. Found a cool group of fossils set in a metallic piece of slate. Another to our surprise in a prised apart lump.


The cliffs are eroding visibly and audibly. Every few minutes some more scree fell and occasionally bigger rocks. I had to warn two people who decided to sit right under the cliffs. Mid beach there had recently been a proper mudslide. The beach filled up as the tide went out.

Otherwise spending time at the now full campsite, reading and listening to Under the Skin, Russel Brand’s more serious podcast, and meditation in the morning’s filtered sun.

170824 To Dorset 

Sleep 95% which reflects a feeling that I’ve caught up, settled down and can rest more deeply. Also I’m in holiday mode, not getting up till gone 8. 

AM 20 minutes 

The horrible feeling of ricocheting around my own head, the pinballing of reaction and avoidance, has ceased and the movement of thought has lost its compulsion, strong drives and somewhat desperate avoidance. A deep pain powering that has dissipated. 

A shorter sit due to resting longer and it being only a half day at work. Headed for Dorset this afternoon.

Made it:


Lovely spot near Swanage, overlooking the bay with views to the IoW

170823

Sleep 82%

Woke around five and listened to the Swedish yoga nidra by Swami Janakananda. Actually not sure if he’s Swedish but he has an ashram there. It’s a good 45 minute recording that includes chakras and always drops me into deep relaxation and undoing of themes just below the surface. 

Snoozed a little after and got up at 0650 to sit.

Again the contrast between the morning and evening sit. Fresh and rested there’s a natural ease in the mornings, an openness and readiness for the new. A new dawn a new day… 

There’s also lingering sleep and daydreams await to take me back into an upright sleep on the cushion. Yet that’s happening all day, little thought-dream loops we take as normal. By sitting so long I am learning their nature, particularly the stickier more obsessive thoughts usually involving  the women in my life. I realised towards the end those thoughts are coming from the heart where small ‘fissures’ could be felt almost physically and I realised how I skirt around these sensations. Staying nearer in curiosity there was a sudden release of thinking and just being with the heart and how it felt. Profound little stories told as sensations lessened, emotions released.

In this close proximity there is healing and renewal, as long as nothing is pushed. Effort strengthens what is already stuck. Instead, allowing the physical sensation to unattach the psychological hooks. This takes place deeply in strange symbolic form.

Worked from home today as the network guys moved to my office. Lunch outside with Michael and some new mature students, everyone here now for the new term with students arriving next week.

Talking with a Dorset friend much of the evening, about changes of lifestyle, a time of reflection for her, my course and where we are at. Proper open talking. 

So only a 20 minute sit tonight. Sometimes my old mantra pops into my head and immediately there’s a deepening as thought quietens. I rarely repeat it these days but I don’t fight it when it comes. Very occasionally I choose to use it a minute or so. 

170822 Retreat in everyday life

Sleep 85%

A bit more than a week in to a sort of retreat. It’s not really a retreat, I’m working and doing everything I want as usual but it is a retreat in the sense I’m sitting consistently for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. It’s taken this long, a week, for a restlessness to settle, for some agonies to dissipate. The restlessness seemed to be powered by discomfort in the body, the discomfort seemed to stem from locked in tension. 

So as I’ve been sat these eight days I was bouncing off very many sensations, pinballing about in a state of agitation. It’s been a great relief for this to ease day by day, sit by sit until finally this morning I am back to a relative cruise through the hour. Now the tensions are clearer, isolated in definite spots like right thigh, tops of shoulder, back of the neck, and attention is steadier as I linger in those areas. Same in the mind, sticky episodes and locked loops can be felt and in awareness allowed to unravel and fall away, lose their structure and nerve-bound integrity. 

With the regular lengthy sitting my choices are clearer and I can go through the day less muddled about what I want and what needs doing and what’s unnecessary. There’s a steadiness and grounding readily available, accessible in a pause rather than yearning for it and waiting for a calmness at the end of the workday. I find myself in brief moments realising I am free and there is nothing to fear. A taste of possibility.

All of which is exactly what I wanted in this downtime between college and university. I have my place on the level five course, just waiting for the level three certificate from Winchester. 

Lunch, appropriately in the retreat centre, which will soon become regular with one or two slots per week, to have more staff mixing with guests.

Editing work today, which really suits me. I can get stuck in and it’s enjoyable. Although today was noisey with the offices being fitted with upgraded ethernet, with fibre connecting with the school and beyond.

Proper yoga this evening, an hour. Mum rang and we chatted half an hour, updating on her visit next month and how Gran and Grandpa are. They’re still not wanting assistance and grandpa is refusing a walking frame despite his hip, and still doing all the cleaning.

This evening’s sit was harder, as usual for the evening with so much to undo itself, even with these mellow retreat-like days. But I’m doing it, showing up no matter how I’m feeling and staying with it. This is what matters.

170803

Sleep 67%

Late to sleep after the evening out and slept until gone 8. A troubled night due to eating late, lots of wheat and the thought that I’ve upset someone. I find that hard, knowing my decisions have an impact on others’ lives. I am finally getting used to having a positive impact but when the impact is upsetting I fear anger and retribution. Also a concern for S who called during supper sounding not themselves.

AM 20 minutes

Same themes, sticking with deep breathing letting out little mournful sounds on long exhales. Suddenly the caring image of my first tutor came to mind and I was touched by her goodness and faith in me. Short session, getting late for work.

After work hanging out with S who is going through a hard time, hardly eating or sleeping for days now. We talked for a long time and I encouraged him to have a green smoothie. He left in better shape.

PM 20 minutes

A good reset at the end of the day. Towards the end noticing the ever shifting nature of the mind and began just to let it happen, no fight. In doing so a stillness developed behind or beyond all of the movement.

They’re doing a lovely job on the dining room floor at the school:


I feel a good rest coming up…

170802

Sleep 84%

Woke at five and after some time in the early silence, I listened to the long yoga nidra by Maalika Shay Devi Dasi. It’s an hour and twenty minutes lying completely still. I remember when I  first listened to it a couple of years ago only hearing bits of it, often lapsing into unconsciousness or sleep. Slowly, slowly it pieced together and now I pretty much hear the whole thing, although trails of thought lead off here and there.

AM 45 minutes 

After a little rest, some listening to De La Soul and a little browsing, I sat. 0730, feeling alert if a little tired around the eyes. I probably need to stop wearing contacts all day. A fizzy  unsettledness dashing here and there like in nidra, a spark of discomfort setting off thought reaction. Is involuntary thought simply reaction to something, aversion? A general feeling pervades of coming back to myself and letting go of the unnecessary whilst embracing the good within. Jaw realeasing as the head was tilted right back for a short while. Maybe meditation is the brain releasing. My body seems to recognise the opportunity to unwind, and with consistency it feels the brain is also.

Pretty much straight out after work to meet with A & J, two ex Brockwood friends. We ate somewhat dry pizza at Pi Woodfired and talked of working with trauma and those with addictions, changes at Brockwood since they left and our new directions. Interestingly we are all returning to studies, all of us in our 40s. One week has gone, so I will hear back from Chichester within two weeks. 

Back late and so I only sat for ten minutes. No matter how late or what’s going on I want to keep up this minimum.

170801

Sleep quality 77%

Sleepy after yesterday’s bodywork and waking in the slump of a sleep cycle.

Bodywork: It was wonderful and excruciating and rare to be touched so deeply. I was encouraged to allow any sounds to be expressed on each exhale. Most often this was deep moans but sometimes it turned into growls, sobs and even swearing. Somewhere at the base of the thumbs, I let out a “Jesus!” And she said, yes that’s why we call this one the Jesus point. I didn’t know what to do with the pain. Good pain. How can we be carrying this with us?

The session was a combination of deep massage and pressure on what I suppose are acupressure points and even working on the bones. After the intense work it got gentler and when she worked in the heart area I felt great love, for her that moment and for everything. I wept a little more then.

She said it may take some time to return to balance as the body was still be working on healing itself, triggered by the contact with those deep points, and this is no doubt why I feel sleepy and a bit too relaxed to get going this morning.

AM 45 minutes

Sitting and scanning the body often feels to me like a massage, but instead of physical touch it’s a inner feeling of sensations, all and any sensation on all parts of the body. I love this holistic aspect of meditating this way.

I felt great during the day, and found myself instinctive taking breaks as needed instead of ploughing on through getting fizzier as the hours pass. Little resets. 

Lunch under the tree with a man from Lincolnshire, a county I know nothing about. He worked London busses in the 70s and spoke of how you could pause around the corner letting the bus in front take most of the passengers and hence work. Also A&H were there with their new baby along with a visiting girl from Barcelona. On walking I found a natural smile had spread across my face for no particular reason. I then enjoyed beating back the brambles in the cricket pitch wood.

Yoga after work, 15 mins on neck and shoulders with an online video. Not sure if I’ve posted this before but it’s great for getting in there:

She’s pretty good, apart from the tuts.

PM 45 minutes 

A brief resistance to stopping chatting at 21:00 but mostly I wanted to return to the cushion. Deep breathing getting more fluid and smooth during the first 20 mins, then inhabiting the body deeply and closely feeling sensation without struggle to focus. 

Workers are sanding the floor at the school in the dining room and sitting room:

Oxdrove Way, Hampshire (West Section)

In January, on a cold, clear day, I walked the western part of the Oxdrove Way. For one reason or another, I only just round to editing it. The eastern section follows soon.

The Oxdrove Way is a 25-mile looped long distance path in mid-Hampshire. I started in Old Alresford and headed west, above the Itchen Valley to Itchen Wood and the M3, then back over downland via Abbotstone. Much of the walk follows old cattle droves or green lanes.

170713 Criticism in meditation 

Sleep 93%. I was asleep before 2200 and the nightly wake up was, surprisingly and unusually, at around midnight. I slept with my eye mask on and so there was no dawn waking. I felt pretty much fully awake to get up at 0630.

AM 1 hour

I may criticise myself for lapsing into fantasy or thought: 

‘I should be present’ 

I may then criticise myself for criticising myself: 

‘I should return to the present easily, naturally’

I may then criticise for being critical at all: 

‘I should be kind to myself’

All are equal in their quality of ‘should’ and none is simple enough. The fact is that there was fantasy or thought. There is nothing wrong. The fantasy itself has its own quality, its suchness. The waking from this and the sharp or subtle criticism has its own quality. And all reach for the future rather than acknowledging themselves as happening.

And then a quick burst of ‘no, one should be gentle on returning to the present’ based on some instruction given in the past or what’s worked before, forgetting that the very critical element is the reality in that moment.

Then the reverie that criticism isn’t necessary, and that too is the reality the actual going on.

To include it all and seeing that none has higher value. This neutralises the entire goings on to a mere ticking of a mechanism, the mind going round and along, perhaps pretending or under the illusion that it’s getting somewhere.

Include it all.

And then from nowhere, or from the very realisation of all this, another state springs forth, a spacious peace, clarity and openness, coupled with sublime bliss and tingles that can’t be conjured. 

170712

Sleep 88%. Awoke at the end of the Sleep Cycle wake up phase, still in deep dreams, having slept again after a 5am iRest Meditation. I need a morning soon where I can sleep on and on, to catch up on something.

AM 1 hour

So it was a dreamy sit, the first half not so much different to being in bed just before. Perhaps I need to splash more water on my face, get awake. But still, it becomes interesting, the sleepy awareness and the fluid daydreamy thinking and fantasies.

The second half I was a bit more awake, aware of myself as a slightly fizzy vibration, subtly reacting to an agitation hidden just below. This agitation fuelling movement within, like the source of all aversion. And then deep pleasures emanating from the lower body and so the attraction towards them. And sometimes a tremendous presence of just being and immediate release of energy purging through the head and body bringing an overwhelming bliss. 

Ended with loving kindness meditation for five minutes: myself, someone loved, someone not liked, someone neutral,  the community, the country, the continent, the world, myself.

A new yoga class this evening. Not sure I’ll go back as it wasn’t anything I can’t do at home. Still, there’s the social side of it and there was an accomplished balance to the class. I’ll weigh this against the location, very near a main road with traffic noise.

Lunch with Dax, one of my favourite singers who is visiting awhile from London . I haven’t seen him in a couple of years and it was good to catch up. After this he’s cycling to north Devon via Glastonbury in just three days. He will do Glastonbury in one!

Early night needed and achievable.

170711

Sleep 93%

AM 1 hour

The course being over and the international committee meetings finished, a sense of space opened up during yesterday, a feeling of wanting to go within, to return to myself, to let scattered fragments find a place and everything settle down. This was the want, the yearning and it was clear that time in quiet was needed. So I sat for an hour instead of the 20 minutes I’d become used to lately. 20 minutes is enough for a quick reset but not for real integration and to touch upon deeper aches, thoughts and themes.

Within the open space of an hour, the drive of compulsive doing, and wanting to do, has to have an answer, has to quieten or understand itself, since it clearly has no place in doing nothing, sitting quietly in a corner. It can take some time to settle and that can be bumpy. It’s certainly a ride worth riding out, maybe like a bucking bronco. And the rider can’t be stern or controlling as every attempt makes it worse, prolonging the agitation. You have to go with it, lightly.

The bitter taste of some recent events sweetened during the hour. The sadness of leaving my college peers was touched upon again, a feeling that even though I cried at the time, it hadn’t fully released given the activities of the weekend and evening avoidance. Why is emotion scary? What is the resistance to feeling fully? Entering the unknown. I like to be in control and yet that’s an exhausting illusion that I ever can be in control where emotion is concerned. My sadness or fear is no worse than anyone else’s and may even be exactly the same.

A very enjoyable lunch with two old friends here for the work party. Relaxed talk as we caught up and shared where we were at with a few things – study, love life, work. Then after eating, messing around with Jenga bricks, stacking them high in vertical stonehenges. Then siesta as the rain fell beyond the window.

I had my final free session with the crystal healer this evening and like lunch it was very relaxed but in a very different way. An inward unwinding and releasing of past events, feelings of great joy and wellbeing coursing through me. I lingered between awake and asleep and got so relaxed I didn’t realise how long I lay. She finally ‘brought me back’ after over an hour (usual sessions are 40 minutes) saying she was quite happy to let me lie there peacefully while she did paperwork for her professional development. I felt blissful.

Later I started on my assignments for Chichester University entry, allowing me to skip level 4 study. I have two weeks. Meanwhile Portsmouth are looking for the accreditation of my degree year I got when thinking of studying modularly in 1994, which negates the need for the assignments.

PM 20 minutes 

Erect spine with no effort, its natural lift allowing the body to sink down and relax, everything in balance. Waves of bliss again on cessation of thought, revisiting the feeling during the healing (which I sense will return on retiring for the night after some online chats and posting this). A clearing of the mind of the day whilst clarity arose about necessary things to do in the coming days and social life.

A quote from an article I read this morning about the ongoing 6th Mass Extinction Event:

“Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe.”

As a friend said, that’s quite a line.

170712 Counselling Skills Personal Presentation

This week has been a slow comedown and processing of everything that went on during my personal presentation at college.

It went really well! Doing it also touched me in deep places, having been afraid of that killed Be of situation for so very long.

Today in a healing session there was the six year old again, whom I’d also mentioned in the presentation, terrified in front of the class and mocked. Bullied a bit a teased by the older boys. Bowyers, Bowyers! Chasing me round the shed. 

The healer was able to clear up this residue, however she works, and finally I feel integrated after the process. I haven’t quite been myself this week despite the talk being one of the most overwhelmingly positive events in my adult life. No, in my whole life.

To express what I wanted to, and do it clearly, be attended to and even enthrall and give hope was so powerful and new to me. I sat and received feedback after (we weren’t to respond to it) and I felt the love even if I still can’t remember what was said. My voice filled the room, no longer meek, my eyes no longer almost losing vision.

After each presentation we wrote messages to the speaker about the presentation and the course. These are always bound to be encouraging but I wasn’t prepared for how caring and loving mine were. It validated that I am okay, that I’m a valued member of the group, that I’m a good influence. I’m usually hovering awkward on the edge of groups, but not this time. Having avoided situations of feedback and trying not to affect and influence people for a long time, this too was overwhelming. 

Maybe I’ll post my talk at some point. 

I started with a simple chair yoga class which I am more comfortable leading. That went down well too.
During the healing we both felt so many dispersed and divided aspects of myself coming together in a mature(r) adult, a real integration. Hello Duncan! This has been a definite theme during the course, a course which has been so good for me on so many levels. Another theme or direction has been this stepping back into society. I no longer feel like an underachiever or dropout.

I’m now ready to be assessed this weeken, quietly confident.

170612 To the hobbit trail and back again

Woke with the birds and dozed until 0530

Yoga nidra, the long one that goes through the different layers of being, from physical to blissful.

A tangible sense of calming down throughout, accelerated by touching upon true feeling.

Interesting how after a night of rest I can wake stressed, scattered. Sleep is not enough to allow change. I get the sense I’m much the same in sleep as awake. So moments of stillness and connection in awareness become all the more necessary.

Half an hour browsing, reading an extract from Creatures of a Day by Irvin Yalom as recommended by Derren Brown. Facebook can be all right.

Sitting. Head shaking rapidly, jaw realeasing, then when everything is still, that buzz of fear in the lower chest. Why have I spent so much time avoiding this, repelled by it? Where might feeling it fully take me? It is a powerful force but it’s not supreme.

After work, walked along the lane under the copper beeches now liquorice. Turned into the ancient woodland and onto my favourite local path, a singletrack that winds through the trees where it gets too muddy, taking those routes even when dry. Out into the head height ferns, chopping the path clear with a whipping stick. They are still unfurling.


Over the style that’s got no plank into the horse meadow, crows cawing overhead. Why? Then I see. A young ‘un in the long grass, unable to fly. It hops away as best it can. I catch up with it to see if there’s something I could free it from. Twine? Plastic? But there’s nothing so I leave it be. I briefly think of the bird man who once lived over the road and who would rescue needy birds. He had a huge snowy owl that the local owls would come to talk to in the night. The crows still circled, warning me off. I continued towards the Meon lane. A friendly spaniel and a smiling but apologetic wealthy lady. People always apologise for their dogs. Then along the bridleway and following the track downhill, where it becomes hobbity, sunken below complex roots and earth banks. 

Suddenly a view. East towards Meon Hut.


I turned back when I got to the yard with the bad vibes and old cars. There was no sign of the young crow back in the meadow and then there were more ferns to slice.