The Power of a True Companion

To be in a close and sustained relationship with another that provides a clear mirror and crucible for burning through all that you are not is one of the greatest blessings of this temporary dream we call life. There is not a moment in life that I am not cognisant of this gift that life brought me in the form of Martyn, my husband. We have been together for 19 years and there's not a day that goes by that I am not filled to the brim with gratitude for him and for our relationship. Life in many other ways has brought great aloneness, challenges and heartbreak in my life. Life lessons that required me again and again to chart my own way, to walk through the darkness towards my own light. It has not been easy. It is still not easy. To have no path, to have no-one else to rely on in that sense. My life again and again goes through cycles of birth, death and re-birth, sometimes faster than a breath that causes such whiplash. Sometimes years upon years in the making that it feels never-ending. Much of it goes unseen to the world, except to those…

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Healthy Boundaries

When others insist on trying to instilling their judgements and opinions and ideas of how things should or shouldn’t be done it takes a certain amount of courage and fire to hold your boundaries, to not abandon yourself but instead to hold and trust yourself while still staying open hearted and compassionate towards them. To stay true to your own direct experience and to trust that even while staying open to hearing what they're saying or pointing to. It’s all too easy to close the heart as a way of protection but for me this is where relative boundaries of the physical and psychological variety play a beautiful and powerful role. Learning to have good and healthy relative boundaries allows one to fall further into the open spiritual heart, the boundless and all encompassing heart of love beyond even ideas and concepts of love. Love as the subject or description/fragrance of the Self, not as an object or action undertaken fleetingly. This kind of love holds room for even very strong boundaries to push against each other. This kind of love holds room for, but is not eclipsed by even strong conditioning and coercive projections that may be headed your…

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Integrating Your Shadow | Seeker to Seeker Podcast

An interview with Simeon for the Seeker to Seeker Podcast where we speak at length about the shadow and the journey of embracing it. We talk about the nature of awakening and also about the role of relationships, intimate and otherwise, on the spiritual journey... among other things ;)

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The Shifting Ground of Relationships

I was reflecting the other day on the fact that I had a massive shift in 2015, a shift that the consequences of which continue to unfold and deepen still today, so much so that I’m unrecognisable in so many ways. That change required those closest to me, those that interacted and related with me intimately to change in those relationships too. It’s not something that could be avoided, and it wasn’t their choice if this change occurred or not. But it also wasn’t my choice too. Life changed the game and asked me to step up to something different, and that different was unfamiliar and out of any sense of comfort zone, for me and for them. The game changed and with it we all had to learn what that meant. In some ways I want to say sorry, sorry that it’s been unexpected and often difficult. I’ve required of them more than most. To radically shift with me, with life. It wasn’t something I asked for, but it’s something that happened. I know they didn’t ask for it, I know they didn’t maybe want it at times, and I bow with the acknowledgment of that. I bow to…

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To Be Held

Sometimes you just want someone to hear you, to see you, without needing to fix you or explain away your pain and confusion. To hold the space, the pregnant silence, the love for all that you're going through. To not project into the void of uncomfortableness and fill it with solutions, comparisons and stories. To be okay with just having the space be about you and only you. To create a refuge and safety for you to go through what you're going through. To compassionately be there for you, to listen to you and not make it in any way about them. To give you space without any needs or any conditions or any time limits. Sometime you really WANT this. Sometimes you really NEED this. We all do. And that's okay, that's not bad or wrong. Let it sink in... WE ALL NEED TO BE HEARD AND HELD SOMETIMES. When you do receive this gift of space freely and wholly given, it lights up your heart, it lights up your world. The healing that comes from this act of being held, this act compassion and tender love is immense. But it's not always easy to find it in those…

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The Vast Patience of the Heart

Patience is not just a practice to be kept. Patience is not just an effort to be continuously made. True patience comes naturally and spontaneously when you are impregnated fully with love. That love which fills every corner of your heart. That love that knows no bounds, no time limits, no conditions, no end. That love is where the vast and infinite patience for it all is found. Patience for the journey as it slowly walks its path. Patience for the moment it takes to find those right words. Patience for the emotion that takes its time to pass. Patience for the highs and lows of life to cycle through at their own pace. Patience for the stories and dramas that get played out again and again. Patience for the body as it takes its needed rest, its needed pause. Patience for the constant learning and the seeming wrong turns. Patience for the endless opening and heartbreak that life inevitably brings. Patience for the childlike discovery and excitement of every new moment. Patience for the depth of human messiness that is yet to unfold. Patience for even the impatient need to move onto the next and the next. Patience isn't…

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The Gift of Love

To meet others we first have to be willing to meet ourselves. To meet ourselves doesn’t just mean to meet the bits we like or are proud of and ignoring those aspects that we wish weren’t there. To meet ourselves means to meet it all, embrace it all, learn to love and accept it all. How can we expect to be met and to meet others if we’re not even willing to go there ourselves. It not an easy journey, learning to meet all parts of ourselves but the process lightens the load and brings peace and freedom into the heart. We're then no longer in a cage of avoidance and denial, we're no longer afraid of what lurks in our shadows because we bring light to it all, we bring love to it all. We bring space so there’s room for it all. For some the idea of bringing all of ourselves, even our shameful dirty hidden parts out into the light of awareness all at once will feel like too much of a task, too big, too soon. Maybe thoughts will come like “It's too overwhelming. I don't know where to start. I don't even know where to…

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When You Find a Friend

When you find a friend where there is no pretence, no mask, no holding back. A friend that you can laugh and cry and shout and be with no matter what flavour of you is shining through. A friend who can see you at your messiest but still see your beauty and your love. A friend who is a safe haven of fierce loyalty and kindness when it feels like the whole world is against you. A friend who inspires you to grow and stretch into the best version of yourself, but doesn't scold you for being at your worst too. A friend that you have no fear of judgement or rejection with. A friend that tells you straight when you're drifting off course but never judges you for it. A friend that holds space for you even when you can't hold space for yourself. When you find that friend ... cherish and nurture them, don't take them for granted. For true friends who love you for exactly who you are are hard to come by and a blessed gift of life. -- To all those friends who have walked this earth with me for however long or short... thank…

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Scary Beautiful Love

In relationships we have to trust and we have to communicate. It's a constant leap of faith to say the things that we think they won't want to hear and we won't want to hear the answer to, to constantly face the fear of rejection and hurt. But if you do take that leap of faith and trust, then it's my experience that life constantly surprises you. It's such a beautiful thing, but it's scary, terrifying in fact. I've been with Martyn for 15 years and it's STILL scary. I still have to take a breath at first sometimes before I say something that is tender and edgy for me, something that I'm not sure of his response to. This feeling of fear doesn't disappear over time, you just get used to it. You learn to know it, you even learn to love it because it tells you where your edge of comfort is. It never fully feels safe to share those things that you don't want to share, because it's NOT safe. It never feels safe because when you reach an edge of yourself it's ALWAYS scary. It's not about the other person, it's about you. It feels scary…

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The Difficulty of Pretending with Others

I was asked the other day how I deal with being around others, particularly when there's a level of pretending or not speaking your truth that seems to be required of you. --- I too know all too well this feeling of suffocation in the company of others. The subtle unsaid permissions of what you can say, which topics you can touch on and how deep that can go. The unsaid permissions that someone can't give for fear of threatening their own sense of Self, views and place in the world that they hold so tightly so as to keep the facade of security and knowingness intact. I think this is why the idea of Sanghas can be so enticing, a place to commune with others who were of like mind and place in their journey of unfoldment, of seeing. A place when you can find common ground and openness, common experience and views. Alas it's not as easy as it sounds to find the 'right' sangha! You are lucky if you can find this in a partner or in a close friend or two - this is what I have with Martyn and this is what I am eternally…

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Compassion of The Heart

Again and again life has recently been showing up with this question of what is compassion? What is love? Compassion can look like a lot of different things, but for the moment I wanted to talk about compassion for those around you that act in ways that you don’t understand, don’t like and don’t find their behaviour to be acceptable at all – maybe they’re behaving like a complete asshole.

The most compassionate thing you can do is not write them off. Bring them into your heart. Their asshole-ness is covering up a non-acceptance of Self in themselves. When you accept your whole Self, when you accept all that you are and all that you experience, all the ‘world’, then you aren’t rejecting anything. You aren’t creating a sense of separation – all is you. So pull into your heart that someone, see that (more…)

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The Attachment of Relationships

The image of relationships and enlightenment don't normally go hand in hand. The stereotyped image of the 'enlightened monk', shunning the material householder life is something that’s been around in spiritual traditions for a long time. So out of this there comes the common misconception that you can't be in a relationship and be successful on the 'spiritual path'. But being in a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that awakening can’t be there too. The relationship doesn’t have to go, only the attachment to the relationship has to go. Don't get me wrong, the result of that dropped attachment may actually be that the relationship ends. Ultimately that’s what was meant to happen, and all attachments do eventually fall away - what's left is what’s left, maybe the relationship will be there, maybe not. My own relationship has taught me that relationships in themselves aren't some obstructive thing that stops you from realizing your own nature. Having said that, I lived through the often painful dropping of the attachment to my relationship with my husband Martyn. We found ourselves at an impasse after he had a spiritual awakening that in the wake of he felt he could no longer be at the ashram where we were…

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Being Present for Others

I was talking to a dear friend the other day about how to be present for others. Everyone’s had the experience of sitting with someone but not really being present to what they are saying. You are physically there but there’s a sort of ‘half listening’ that’s going on. There’s also the commentary or stream of thoughts going on in your mind.

What’s at the heart of it is to deal with your own stuff. Through the acceptance of what is arising in you there is space created that allows you to be completely present to them. It’s like when your cup is full, there is no space; but if your cup is empty there is space for them. Your emptiness comes from your ability to abide in the present moment and allow what is arising in you to arise. To not be met with any resistance, or to indulging and encouraging whatever is arising. (more…)

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