I want to think my own thoughts! To hear them through some kind of unconditional portal of welcome. I don't want to discount all that I have learned and all that I have been taught through life, but somewhere in a fissure, in the craggy rocks of my life that has been, somewhere among the protective blessing of the repetitive thoughts and how they long to keep me safe, I want to enter the flow of my life essence and find the thread to my cosmic obligation. To find the contract I made with myself that lives through my bones, through brand new and unique thoughts which stem from the world of the 'unknown'. And the 'knowing' that is familiar to me my whole life.

On meeting the shock of my father's pain in childhood I felt a pull, a call, telling me that things are not meant to be this way, that there is choice. I have spent my life wanting to make a difference. I follow that pull now every day and cultivate trust that it connects me to the greater truth of who I am and what I need to be 'up to' in this life.

I am of 'no fixed abode' these days due to the impact of the lockdown on my work. It's a fierce threshold to be standing at, my worldly belongings scattered around Gloucestershire in the loving arms of friends, and in the boot of my car, a threshold stimulating so much bodily held grief and loss. A shock to my nervous system and the placement of my be-longings. And yet there is something 'fresh' in my blood, a part of me that knows this pain and still calls me on with a gentle promise of nourishment through the process and edging ever nearer to being 'myself' fully in this life.

And so, to my own thoughts shared here with you; I was sitting in the life filled garden of a friend in Stroud yesterday. I watched a butterfly go about his/her morning work with vim, joy and freedom on the wing, resting on the grass now and then. During flight she landed in a large cobweb, a spider rushed out to capture her. The process of fight and death was before me. The thought 'it's just natural' (an old thought) doesn't touch the sides of what I experienced witnessing this. So this is what I mean about 'I want to have my own thoughts'. I allowed life to flow and play out for both of these beings, I did not intervene. Earlier I 'rescued' a fly from a cobweb, she flew freely away which was wonderful (for me to see, but in doing so I destroyed a cobweb which was the arduous work of a spider to meet his/her need for food). There was so much shock stimulated in my body as I witnessed the fight (I didn't look on for long as it was too painful for me, but I returned to the spot to see what was happening). By the end there was no trace of the butterfly who was about 3 times the size of the spider. I'm guessing the spider has a place to put what it harvests away for later.

I want to honour the life of that spider who must have spent so many hours and maybe days building its beautiful and intricate web in the hopes of feeding its family. I want to honour the life of the butterfly, her life interrupted, and becoming food for another. Whilst aware of what was happening I opened my heart to her and sent out love as she crossed the threshold from life to death to 'the next'. I wanted to know what was mine and what was hers in terms of the 'feeling' sense and I found I could hold both. I could hold the love and my own personal reactivity.

For me, it went deep. Because I wasn't telling myself to think about what I witnessed through any prepared lens other than witnessing and listening, my broken heart felt my mother's presence. All the times that she was beaten up by my father as I looked on. Wondering if I should intervene. And even as a little girl I did once, pulling my father's jacket. I can still see my hand and the colour of his jacket. Perhaps you can imagine the tears present in me right now. Perhaps you can understand why I am now longing to have my own thoughts about seeing a butterfly be captured and eaten.

drawing by Clare

Here they are: Thank you dear earth for showing me this, thank you for the grief it stimulated, thank you for being alongside me, thank you for holding me, thank you for the healing I experienced by allowing the symbiotic intertwined dance of these events that activated softness and healing in my nervous system and supported me to continue the journey home. When I finished journaling about this event, this journey, I felt such relief in me and so much life, somehow cleansed and made 'ready' for what is coming next towards me in life. This for me is the path of interspecies communication and inter-connectedness.

My hope, in sharing this with you, is that if there are places in you where you are holding sadness, loss and grief, that letting you know about this event might bring hope? That bit by little bit, through unconditional loving presence, our own and that of others, and the presence of all beings in nature, your life force will meet with you and show you the way forward, moment by precious moment.

I want to know what is alive in me, so that I can tend to it with love, so that I can grow understanding for how to care for my reactivity and my nervous system, so that I can play my part in ending the violence in my lineage and so that I can tend to a young and tender garden in me as a portal through which others can find spaciousness and be held also.

Here's a video I made of a busy bee who comforted me on my walk back into the house. Bee, you bless my existence with so much joy and life.

Sending love, Clare

It's early morning and as I sit in the beautiful garden at my friends house, slowing the pace of my thinking and movement down, I willingly invite whatever wants to meet me. There is what I would label as discomfort in my body, a terrible ache in my solar plexus and throat and images flow through me of the trail of loss in my life and a tremendous longing for home. I remain curious and willing to enter into the felt sense of all of it. Resistance is exhausting. It is through this portal, named and unnamed, that the buzzing bee in the linaria comes into my awareness; I see the minuscule spider on my book (hello!) and the butterfly that lands on the grass and opens her wings (do they do that for a reason, was she drinking in the sunlight like me?). I feel the grief flow as I write, and it's not sadness, it's by way of relief and celebration that something in me softens daily so that this witnessing of life in the present moment becomes possible, a state of innocence, not only innocence of a childlike state but I'm wondering could it even be the innocence of what it is to be human when we are in the flow of life energy?

And so I come to what I want to share about the phrase 'BOTH / AND'. These magic words were shared with me when I first met Marshall Rosenberg's work Nonviolent Communication, a process that offers a lens of compassion through our thinking and our language. Today I remembered it, both/and, I remembered that the grief and the celebration of life can dwell together and that I don't need to 'get rid' of one to access the other. As grief puts her cloak around me and invites me into her presence she is laden with gifts that she will share with me when I create the room for her. This morning the gift was this life filled garden which, without her visitation, I would have struggled to absorb, and also the hope of sharing this life onwards to the 'village', whoever that is. Perhaps you are part of my village, and I share this by way of an offering what may arrive to you as nourishment at this time of global change.


We can wait for life events to do it for us, but/and if you have a sense of wanting to burst forth into your life, you can break open the door of your own heart, your own longings and your own calling through the act of choice. I imagine that life is a mixture of both for most of us, by being arrested and broken open by an unexpected rupture and also those times when we instinctively know a change is needed in order to respond to the force of our life energy (aka our essence, our individuality, our calling, our passion, our creativity).

I am living in Hereford at present, and as I sit at the window there is an unpleasant smell. It is the daily clearing out of the local chicken farms. Not free range. I could also write about the beautiful fragrant roses filled with bees at my window, but I choose to be present to the suffering of those other be-ings at present. Something in me can't actually bear it, contain the suffering in my consciousness. I can't believe that raising produce in this way is in any way still possible and I mention it as an example of the disgrace we still are as a human race in some of the strategies we employ to meet our needs, how little progress has been made in terms of the light of compassion and sensitivity to all life, and how much work there is to be done. No rest for the wicked. This smell will be a strong reminder to me of the importance of my work, for as long as these practices continue there will be the need to re-sensitise humans. This reflection of mine in this moment is a small example of tragic events occurring at this time in our evolution.

I sit here with you softened into grief, clinging to the small part I play in cultivating a new consciousness of interconnection of all beings, and yet I will continue. Through the portal of my own held suffering and losses that humble me to the ground and break me open daily, that leave me at times hanging onto a thread of hope and a small glimpse of the magnificence that can grow when we see ourselves as interconnected. This is my path, the path of feeling and sensing and listening and if you would like to join me in my work it is the pathway I can accompany you on too.

I am not who I was before lockdown, are you? ...and neither is the tone of my work. So I am here, re-forming my offers and look forward to sharing them with you.

Walk with me into the skill of brokenheartedness so that violence no longer becomes possible. The only sustainable cure for suffering is the willingness of human beings to approach the threshold of their own reactivity, to divine the precious life held within it and to use this alchemy to heal. For those of you who know something of my background, this is the skill my father did not possess and the suffering through his reactivity was severe and immense and I live with it's legacy in my nervous system. Even pressing 'send' on this offering heightens my nervous system and fills it with fear. And still I want to answer my call. May my own commitment to the healing force of self empathy and compassion be a beacon for others into the glorious diamond waiting to shine on earth through us all. The earth is waiting for us now.