The sound of music


Noah Angel Orchard German; Es P'Dal Binissalem; blues;

First born, second gig!

I went out last night, surprise surprise!  And in Bini too!  The reason?  First-born was playing his second gig with his band, currently going by the name of “The Hats” but that just came to them whilst they were playing last night so it could change!  And what a great gig it was too!

The neighbour was there feeling as proud as I was and at one point he got up and sang a song with his son!  I had gone with my other neighbour and her husband and had so much fun collecting votes, as my dad would say when I would canvas the floor in the village, whilst bumping into people.  The pub/pizzeria was packed as it was also tapas night in the village so everyone was out!

And what a talent!  I shall now spend the next few sentences boasting about my first born as is my right as his mother.  He has a beautiful voice and his guitar playing just gets better and better.  His self presence and command of the stage was mind-blowing, he was born to be up there.  He made his audience very comfortable and that was the atmosphere he created.  I was as proud as punch!

The rest of the band members were equally awesome.  Remy on guitar and voice was also comfortable on stage and made us laugh with his playful way.  Joe Woodman aka José was the crac on harmonica, what a talent! And Omar, my favourite vegetarian, was beautifully lost in his drums and seemed to be in his own paradise.  At one point the four of them were playing whilst facing each other and their connection to each other was a sight to behold.  I could feel the connection it was so palpable!

All in all it was a great evening!  There were more than a few sore heads today, not least my neighbours!!  First-born got back in the early hours and I think I had the proudest mother conversation with him ever, or did I dream that?!

Next Thursday, Bar Es Suro in Binissalem for Thursday tapas – see  you there!


Check them out here:



School trip

Serra de Tramuntana, world heritage, sa llavor eco school, sa llavor foundation, mallorca, spain

World Heritage – La Serra de Tramuntana

I dropped second born off yesterday for his end of year school trip!  Whilst lots of kids in Mallorca have been nipping over to the mainland to stay in hotels and enjoy adventure parks, the kids at his school are on an adventure of another sort!

As you may know, second born goes to an independent, alternative school called Sa Llavor.  It’s an eco-school which means that they base their education on the main principals of sustainability within an holistic educational setting, integrating nature and character amongst other fine practises.

Yesterday should have started for him first thing with departure from school up to the UNESCO recognised World Heritage Site of the Serra mountain range of the north west of Mallorca.  Unfortunately he woke up at 6am with stomach ache which turned into vomitting quickly!  Nerves were beginning, after all 4 days without wi-fi was a daunting thought!  He asked for rescue remedy but as first born had needed it for a performance the previous week, I didn’t have any to hand!

I sent him back to sleep knowing he would feel fine later and knowing that he would go on this once-a-year adventure that the school organises for the last year primary kids and the older secondary children.  I was already down for the car pool later in the afternoon to pick up from the excursion and take them back to the hostal so I knew he would be joining them, come hell or high water!

We set off in a hurry when we suddenly got a call bringing the time forward as the rain had been torrential up there and everyone was soaked.  Off we went in a caravan of cars, dad in the van at the end of it.  We arrived with the sun coming back out and a cheer from the kids and two adults when they saw that second born was there.  Happy faces, albeit soaked bodies, were taken up to the refuge that was to be their home for the first and second nights and wow, what luxury!  If you are going to stay there with a school apparently you don’t pay!

At this point the five lucky parents who got to be part of the end of the first day were pointedly shown the door and there we left them!  Their itinerary looks wonderful, we were sorry to leave!  They’ll take in two more days of Puig de Tomir, Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis and on the third day take the boat to the port of Soller to stay their last night in another refuge.  The last day they’ll catch trams and trains home and I’m sure that second born will be more than happy to kick off his walking boots and share his stories of this special school trip with us!

Sa Llavor eco school       

Serra mountain range    

Walking & refuges          


Bigging it up for learning!

adult learning; teaching; education; blogging; writing

When we get home from school!

I have had the most fun weekend in a long time, I did two workshops – one I devised and facilitated and the other I attended.  Both were fun and today I feel fired up and ready to go!  Some of my friends spent the weekend doing some learning too.  At second born’s eco-school Sa Llavor they brought in leading UK Waldorf science educator Graham Kennish for the weekend to host a conference on “Towards a Holistic Science”.  It was well attended and enjoyed by many.  Bumping into one of the parents this morning at school drop off, it was wonderful to see how much she enjoyed it.  “I felt 13 years old again and would readily have gone back to school for more” enthused Petra about the weekend.

So what is it about learning as an adult that is different to learning when we are children?  Firstly, we enjoy learning about something we want to learn, not something that we are being told to learn.  We are independent and self-directing; we are problem solving and therefore discussions make up for a large part of our learning and as importantly, our learning has relevance on our lives and we want to apply it there!

That is what I wanted out of my weekend of further education and so Saturday’s workshop was on “Setting Intentions for a Life Changing 2015 and Beyond”.  Although I was the facilitator, I was also learning and this was enjoyed on many levels.  I managed to set some intentions in different areas of my life – career, health, wealth and creativity and I managed to gain valuable experience leading the workshop.  All in all, it was very enjoyable and I hope the participants thought so too!  Of course the setting where we held the workshop was the tranquil Binissalem Peace Centre and that was a plus.

On Sunday, I enjoyed the day with four other women and our teacher – the blogging and social media queen, Vicki Mcleod of Phoenix Media Mallorca!  It was a recap day to go over any areas we needed help with on blogging and it was the perfect day in so many ways!  Firstly, Vicki wears her crown with confidence and enthusiasm.  She loves what she does and this passion and energy was felt by all.  She is a willing teacher, and by willing I mean that she wants us to learn, she wants us to blog, she wants us to be successful and she will go the extra mile for us.

In just a day, I came out of the class with so much useful knowledge, a wealth of tips as well as enthusiasm that is now being put to good use.  I also met two other women I didn’t know and I caught up with Kay from the Universal Booksh0p who is always so kind and fun to be with.  I met Andreea from Signature Estates and was impressed by her determination to learn.  She is a busy working mother running her own company with her husband and yet she was there on a Sunday looking to brush up her skills and I was impressed that she even had time to bring delicious cup cakes – naughty!  Then there was Julie, the Anglican vicar’s wife and a woman in her own right.  Julie is from an educational background and we enjoyed a long talk on schools and education in general.  It was a pleasure to meet a teacher with such a respect and care for her students, especially knowing that the age she prefers to teach is that of teenagers, not always the easiest group!

All in all, I really enjoyed this past weekend.  I feel I have learned a lot about myself in the process.  I enjoyed being a teacher and being with the teacher.  I appreciated curiosity, enthusiasm, problem solving, sharing, support and above all, I came home happy with my achievements!  The boys came home eventually and second born had been to the cinema with some of his school mates and without the parents – he is learning to be more responsible and grown up!  First born went to bed with the laptop to watch his teacher, youtube, and take in a lesson on jazz, adding to his skills as a musician.

Never stop learning, it keeps us healthy in mind, body and spirit and I for one, want that!


Blogging & social media learning with Vicki Mcleod                     

Sa Llavor – independent, autonomous school integrating sustainable ethical principles in action and experience of sustainability as an integral education.                                             


The attitude is gratitude!

The attitude is gratitude!


I have been adopting a new morning routine which incorporates being grateful.  This has been wonderful waking up every morning and spending 5 minutes taking time to centre myself and then write a list of what makes me grateful.  They range from my beautiful sons and what they may have said or done; the church bells; the birds outside my window – the list goes on.

Yesterday wasn’t the same though.  I was most ungrateful to have been woken by my neighbour and his hobby of knocking up bits of wood just before 7am and I was not impressed.  It’s interesting how one thing that’s out of sync can knock me back.  I groaned and tried to go back to sleep.  I have to say that my bedroom window is still open for another month and that my room gives over the back yard which is penned in by 4 other neighbours so one can hear everything.

Gratitude – how important is it and how easy is it?  It’s simple when I’m doing well and on top of the world but boy oh boy, it’s a hard slog when I am not feeling good about stuff.  So how important is it?  I realised yesterday that I really have to go beyond the sounds of my neighbour doing his woodwork at 7 in the morning and keep myself centred in me and not lose the gratitude thread.  If I depend on silence and sweet sounds of birds to feel grateful, then I am in trouble!

The day did get better.  I was grateful for the social security office to be efficient and give me the paper I needed.  I was grateful for Guillem in the bank to be enthusiastic about his job and love doing new things like my insurance claim.  I was grateful to dry my washing on the line.  I was grateful to be organised and leave supper ready for the boys as I went off to Palma.  And I was extremely grateful to have so much fun and laughter in my improvisation class in the evening.

I learned a valuable lesson in improv yesterday and that was to be present and trust in myself, my partner or situation of the moment.  I shall take that lesson with me today and the rest of the week and apply it to whatever situation I find myself in.  I am grateful above all for the lesson.

Enjoy your week and being grateful is the first step towards a better life!

And remember to smile, be grateful that you can!


Living without Facebook, part II

Going gets tough!

Last week I challenged myself to a week without facebook and I survived!  It was more difficult at the weekend when I am not so busy and I was excited on Saturday thinking that by Sunday morning I would be able to check my facebook again.  It slowly dawned on me during the day that no, Sunday couldn’t and wouldn’t happen as that would not add up to a week!  Maths was never my strong point!  So Sunday I spent anxiously wondering what was happening there in cyberworld of friendship and fun!

Monday morning, I had to do the school drop off but needed to post about the radio show before I left so on I hopped, facebook I was back!  99 notifications, 8 messages and 4 friend requests from people I didn’t know!  Hmmm.  This was not the welcome I had imagined as most of those notifications were unimportant and the messages I would have preferred to have received by email.

So what has it been like and what have and learned?  Well, for one it is easy to live without facebook but in my case I recognise that I need a lot of discipline if I am to go back on it.  I returned Monday, checked through things and then decided I would have another week without it.  Why?  Because I waste a lot of my time on facebook, there you have it – waste!  It’s not bringing me an income, it’s not teaching me anything new (some links can prove to be very interesting but they are not facebook) and if anything, it is taking up a lot of my time just scrolling through other people’s lives.

It is quite a useful tool in some ways especially for my radio show, The Happiness Café.  I always look for interesting events to share in my what’s up section.  I also find a way to get a response if I need to know something for my radio show as I do like to have people’s opinions on whatever subject I’ll be looking at.  From that point of view I do miss it but from the friendship point of view there’s nothing better than an in the flesh meeting of friends!  I have caught up with two wonderful and interesting mums this week, career coach Julie and yoga clothes designer Sue.  I will look forward to taking time out to do that on a regular basis – there are some fascinating parents at the school.  I am also realising that I can use the time I have in a more constructive manner and so I am now getting ready to write 50000 words for a story I want to tell.  This will start on 1st November for 10 weeks.  I was going to do the NaNoWriMo challenge which is to write that amount in 30 days but I am going to set myself a reasonable time frame in which to do it as this is something huge for me – I have a fascinating story to share.  Watch this space!

I am also pleased to have spent time in a one-on-one coaching session with the fun and focussed Happiness Strategist Carl Massy.  I was honoured to have him on my radio show back in August and he promised me this special opportunity.  Yesterday he brought me clarity and focus to quite a few issues so I shall enjoy starting some new projects these coming weeks.  My brother Deuan is also a great support and he has me focussing on some new agreements to make up some new and healthy habits.  He has persuaded me to get a buddy here in Mallorca to help me stick to the new agreements.  Welcome on board to my lovely “bossy” friend Marsha and we both agree that our bossiness will help this next venture!  I am looking forward to new morning routine, gratitude, to do lists and a lot lot more!

So leaving facebook has been a blessing.  I am more energised and more focussed.  I am also being more creative and above all, I am making time to connect to people.  I feel blessed to be living in a magical time right now, creating, connecting and caring!  I do recommend living without facebook – it’s fun!

I’m off then, off to Marsha’s for a cup of tea and an egg sandwich and supporting each other in our new habits!  I like this time!

Carl Massy, Happiness Strategist

Tips for creating new habits        

The Happiness Café radio show

Rebirthing and rewriting “his”story

Conscious breathing

Conscious breathing

I had the most incredible session of rebirthing this week with one of the mums from the school who dedicates her life to accompanying people on this journey.  I must add that about 30 years ago, I spent a weekend in the company of old women at a rebirthing weekend workshop (I was in my early 20s and these women must have been in their 40s and above)!  That turned out to be a life changing event with two beautiful past life experiences.  However, from what this mother was telling me about her rebirthing work, it seemed to be slightly different, but I was open to going along to a session with her and I did just that and am so happy to have done so.

What is rebirthing?  It is a simple and gentle yet powerful conscious breathing technique as well as a powerful healing method which offers one an experience of freedom and mastery in their life.  Well, it opened up some major healing for me and extended to other generations of my family too.  To explain then.

Estrella the rebirther began the session having instructed me not to wear any perfumes or colognes and to dress comfortably.  She warned me to expect to be with her for about 3 hours.  I arrived at her beautiful and welcoming home in Mancor de la Vall with the sun shining through the open window of her studio where she rebirths her clients.  She began the session with a professional and informative introduction as to what she does and I immediately felt secure and safe as well as impressed by her confidence and knowledge.  She talked about the three pillars of rebirthing – conscious breathing, spiritual awakening and connecting to the elements, more or less that as I cannot remember very clearly as the rest of the session blew me out of this world!

I was ready to go and so we began the first part of the session which basically makes up most of the work and that of the conscious breathing.  I lay down for the beginning of this and even though breathing is something we automatically do every moment of every day of our lives, conscious breathing is an altogether different experience.  It was not so much as uncomfortable although there were moments in the beginning which were difficult but it was more liberating when I got into the rhythm of it.  It was a very peaceful feeling as I sunk deeper and deeper into the experience.  I then changed position to a sitting up one – I think I was tending towards deep sleep which is not encouraged – and this is where things started to get intense.

Suddenly I felt myself well up into such an emotion of pain that I couldn’t speak, words were stuck in my throat, they couldn’t escape!  The realisation of a family secret and shame that should never have been were there, trying to get out.  The story here spoke of my paternal grandfather, Arthur Lionel Clewes German, a man I never knew.  A man, born illegitimate, to a wealthy, adulterous couple, for they were married but not to each other at his inception.  Arthur Lionel, angry at his fate, never allowing his birth mother to step over his threshold although my own father’s memories of her had her arriving in her Rolls Royce laden with presents for her six grandchildren.  As I breathed and cried out in pain, I saw clearly my grandfather’s mistake – he was born in love, from love and his birth mother continued to always love him.  He rejected her as surely she had abandonned him to a humble and modest family with no money for education and furthering his career.  His work on the mines fed his anger and he worked tirelessly for justice for the miners and was a loyal and devoted husband and father.  I fed love into my breathing and took in forgiveness and recognition in same breaths.  Arthur Lionel, you did what was best although forgiveness didn’t play a part and you died suddenly at age 59 at work one day.

As surely as the pain gripped me, it subsided and I felt at peace along with incredible love for my parents and siblings, for my nieces and nephews, for my sons, for my aunts and uncles and cousins – in Wales and over in the Caribbean and Americas.  Love raced through my breathing, filling me, expanding within me and it felt good.  Of course, this is a journey and just as I had left behind Arthur Lionel, Stanley Leopold Bell, father of my mother, presented himself.  Tears mixed with laughter accompanied this meeting.  Oh the beautiful irony of the fact that just now, at this stage of my life, I realised I never knew my grandfathers and the one grandfather I knew and grew up with, Ernest John “Monty” Montgomery, had never fathered a child.  He brought me magic throughout my childhood along with adventure and curiosity.  The bittersweet irony wasn’t lost on me as I continued to breathe love and appreciation to all the men in my family who have been exceptional and present fathers to their children.  I forgave myself for my limitations, for my mistakes in love, for my fears of intimacy and I breathed life back into myself and my family.  All was good, everything was settled and realisations made their presence known.

Estrella brought me back to the room, to the present moment, settled me into a cocoon of blankets and love and left me to absorb this new energy, this clean and pure moment for myself.  After ten minutes, she came back to me and together we rejoiced in the complexity and simplicity of life and my rebirthing session came to an end.

And today, a couple of days on from this incredible journey to the past and back, I am settled and confident that I can bring to peace and closure to my past and to the past of my birth family.

Thank you.

Rebirthing with Estrella del Pozo (Spanish)                     

British Rebirth Society                                                              

Living without Facebook


I suddenly had the thought a few days ago to go a week without facebook!  This idea occurred to me in the early, waking hours of Saturday, a day in which I was going to be out of the house for most of it.  I had a renewal of vows ceremony to perform and then I was off to translate a weekend workshop on 5Rhythms.  The thought came out of nowhere, or did it?  My first born is the first to criticise the amount of time I spend on facebook and it’s true, I do spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of the computer especially with my cyber family.  When the thought came to me, it seemed so right and here I am, nearly half way through my week of living without facebook.

Surprisingly, it’s been quite easy!  I set things up on Sunday evening because of course I had to up-date my status and let people know I wasn’t going to be there!  Need I have bothered?  Interestingly, it seems that nobody has missed me!  I informed people as to where they might find me ie telephone numbers and email address but so far, all is quiet.  What did that tell me?  I realised that I had allowed my real relationships to fall by the wayside.  Simply put, I have not been good at maintaining my friendships.  We are so busy, or are we?  I certainly have no excuses!  I am blessed to not be working this year so I don’t have the excuse of a 9 to 5 job!  How is it that I spend most of my time locked away in my home, sat in Binissalem, preferring to communicate with a laptop and connection via WIFI?!

Day one started off well.  I met a couple of the mums at school drop off and had tea.  As I only do the school drop off once a week, this was quite a treat!   The mums at the school are wise women.  Petra is a creative and giving woman whom I have known for years and it is so special to make time to catch up with her.  She is a grounding energy but light at the same time, always ready with a reminder to not sweat the small stuff!  Irene, a new contact for me, is an interesting woman from Argentina and we talked about playfulness, childhood and education – subjects quite dear to all of our hearts especially given that we have chosen to send our children to an “eco” school.  Then I went home and I did what I had promised myself to do and that was to write my blog finding time still to have my weekly catch up phone call with great friend Sylvia!

Mondays is also the day to look forward to improvisation classes and this week was class number two.  I was very nervous this time, more nervous than the first time but once there the nerves settled.  However, the insecurity didn’t!  What is it about playing that can be so difficult for so many of us?  Mind you, this is a journey for me so I am going to keep plugging away until I find what it is I am looking for which is freedom to express myself without fear.  On my way to improvisation (I take the train) I chatted with Alexandra, a Dutch teacher in the Spanish public system and how refreshing to hear her news.  She was at the Education for Life conference recently and inspired by the speakers, she has introduced meditation to her 9 – 11yr olds at school.  The shocking thing she shared with me is the fact that she doesn’t actually have the time to do this within the structure of the school day so hats off to her for making the time.

Tuesday’s deep and meaningful conversations with were Estrella, another mother from the school who introduced me to Ariella, an American woman living in Holland and visiting Mallorca with her daughter.  Estrella will be my new teacher.  Tomorrow I have a rebirthing session with her and I hope to remove some blockages and nonsense that I don’t need in my life anymore – more will be revealed later!  Ariella hopes to come and live in Mallorca and we spoke about midwifery and soul-midwifery amongst other things.  I hope she comes back.

My whatsapp group of the Goddesses always keeps me filled and I hope to catch up in person with them before too long.  An amazing bunch of women from all over the world and currently residing in Mallorca – all the beautiful brainwave of Cloe Collette, a talented artist.  She, Ruth, Emmeline, Anna, Aleid, Daniella, Rita and many more interesting women share events and ideas via this application and next week there is a creative get-together to which I am not sure if I can go yet but thinking about it now, I think I shall make the effort and join them!  It’s time to learn to sew as I keep seeing things that need mending.

Today Wednesday, I come from yoga with Eva and I am so thankful and grateful for these classes – twice weekly and thrice needed!  Eva is a dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher.  Her soft voice encourages me to keep trying and although a lot of the postures are still a goal to reach, I am getting there slowly.

I shall also record my weekly radio show for the Happiness Café and I am delighted that I shall be speaking to a man who is preparing for an interesting weekend conference on energy, economy and ecology!  More about him on the show so don’t forget to tune in next Monday at 10am!

Well, now I am not on facebook I have time for other things like cleaning my house so I shall crack on with that!  Have a great week and talk to someone today!

Improvisation with Gori (Spanish)     

Eco school Sa Llavor                               

Yoga with Eva (bilingual)                      

The Happiness Café                                

Education for Life                                    

Sacred Valley Dialogues conference on Energy, Economy and Ecology 24 – 26th October 2014 Soller contact Christer Soderberg (

5Rhythms Dance – Workshop Mallorca

Jessica Howe, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher

Jessica Howie, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher


What a weekend!  When life does its twists and turns and leads you to places you normally wouldn’t go, be prepared for surprises!  That’s what happened as to how I found myself at the 5Rhythms weekend workshop with Jessica Howie.  My friend Helen Burns saw a post on facebook asking for a translator for the weekend and recommended me – thanks Helen, so appreciate the synchronicity!  Tracy Courtney, organiser of the weekend and a very good one too, arranged it all and even though I was going to be late for joining, show up I did and just in time.

I arrived and immediately felt a deep connection to teacher, mother, instructor, inspiration – Jessica Howie.  What a presence, what a woman and what a connection between us, it was immediate and intense and so began this journey to a place I now wonder why I’ve never been there before!

5Rhythms is a dynamic movement developed by the late, great Gabrielle Roth and is an invitation to anyone, regardless of age, to join in, and if you have a beating heart and a willingness to move, then this is a practise for you.  So what did I expect?  Well, I was nervous about translating as that is not a talent I associate with myself and I busied myself with finding out new vocabulary (apologies for mistakes) and to be honest, I really didn’t give much thought to 5Rhythms itself but I was open and willing to share myself to the experience.

My first impressions were liberating which I believe is the whole experience of 5Rhythms – there are no mistakes, there is no right or wrong and how wonderful is that?  I loved the fact that the floor forms part of the experience of dance as strange as that may sound.  It gave me such freedom to feel that space needn’t be the air around us but what we can touch too.

The five rhythms are flow, stacatto, chaos, lyrical and stillness and during the weekend, participants explored all of them.  Apparently joining them together is a wave (lots to learn still).  The experience is full on participatory and everyone spent the weekend moving, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast, sometimes pausing, sometimes connecting with another.  It was a powerful connection to self and to the tribe.  The music chosen and put together by Jessica touched every cell in me – she has hundreds of songs and sounds so getting a song list from the weekend is not going to be easy!  Each rhythm has it’s choice of sound from dance music, to drums, to piano, to voice and all the sounds uplifted, stirred something, connected, moved – it was a feast of the senses.

Jessica’s presence as maestro during the weekend was central to the experience.  She was soft, caring, present and instilled a sense of security right from the start.  Everyone there was safe to explore, secure in themselves to be, experience, connect, discover and how beautiful was it to witness.  I was the observer and I felt at times a deep longing to join and lose myself in the dance and I was  fortunate to have moments in which to do so, and none so precious as the moment of flying with Jessica inside the sacred circle of the group.

When we ended the day after 13 hours of intensity, the group (22 participants) had moved into a close space together.  They had worked on incredible heart connection over the weekend, especially the second day and by the end were ready to be physically close to each other.  Time to finish meant that Jessica felt that she could share words with the group and as we walked towards them, she and I, I saw a mother walking towards her children to share her appreciation and her love with them – touching, beautiful and so powerful.  And in the sharing at this time, Jessica’s real mother, allowed for the first time to participate on one of her workshops, shared how she felt as a mother, having her daughter be her teacher.  I agree – there is a teacher in all of us and sometimes the teacher remains hidden.  In the case of Jessica Howie, the teacher is very much alive and I know that she is there for this lifetime.  Jessica and to all the participants – Tracy, Lynne, Helen, Debbie, Alice, Ana, Chique, Maria José, Alex, Habiba, David – too many to name or even remember right now – thank you for the connection, the true and sincere connection for our hearts, it was a pleasure to dance the 5rhythms with you.


For more about 5Rhythms with Jessica Howie –

For more about 5Rhythms Dance Mallorca –


Journey to Self



In my weekly radio show “The Happiness Café” I ask listeners for their opinions on the topic of the show and yesterday was no exception.  The topic permeating the show was “self-discovery” and the guest was an inspiring woman who is co-founder of La Akademia, an educational project aimed at 16 to 22yr youngsters and aimed at addressing their emotional education – free by the way!  It seems to me that all too often education forgets to nurture the emotional well-being of our children and youth and we have many damaged adults as a result of these issues being forgotten or put aside.

So what are my thoughts and opinions on self-discovery?  I loved the fact that yesterday’s guest told us how, when she was a child, her parents encouraged her to have an independence in everything she did and moving out of her comfort zone was something she thought all people did as that’s how her parents encouraged her to be.  My first thought therefore is that on the journey towards self-discovery, we are going to be accompanied by those meant to show us things at some point in our lives, preferably when we are young and then periodically when we need it when we are older.

I was blessed to have grandparents and parents who also encouraged independence and I can see how that has shaped me become who I am.  If I think back to childhood, I was very much left to my own devises a lot of the time and I remember a LOT of play always.  Play on my own but most often play with siblings and friends, outdoors for hours on end – free play – paradise!  And there was lots of reading, time to just sit and read and escape into my imagination.  There was a structure in place, very much a feminine one placed there by my mother who was the main organiser of our day-to-day.  That structure not only gave routine and comfort but it was about security in which I had time to be me.

From that safe starting point in life I have been able to continue my journey with highs and lows, successes and failures, gain and loss, adventure and home and throughout it with the belief that I was still learning and above all, becoming me.  At times I needed to fuel up and in comes those moments that remind us we are learning especially the tough ones, in my case divorce 7 years ago.  We are born naked in the sense that all the clothes we choose to wear throughout life are the colours and combinations we use in that moment.  The clothes I was lucky to wear as a child were laid out for me, clean and comfortable thanks to my parents and family – they were love, respect, trust, peace, happiness, joy, wisdom to name a few.  With those placed freely and wholly in my hands, I was able to grow and look for more outfits – university, employment, marriage, children, cultures, communities – and these were the reminders of my choices and where I was going on my map.

Now, I am older, still learning, still on the journey to self and the differences are that I lay my own clothes out every morning – gratitude, faith, trust, contentment, openess – and at the end of my day I look back and see how far I came.

Self-discovery – on-going, accompanied, alone, pain and gain, easy and fun but the map continues to open sending me in directions that are already printed but just hiding under the flap, waiting for me to peal it back.

Enjoy your journey folks – it’s not over even when you get there!


For more information on La Akademia in Mallorca, totally recommended if you have a young person in your life who is curious:

Then and now

Beach days

The photo above shows my mother Patricia (2nd R, checkered swimsuit) and my two older siblings Sian and Bryn at play in Jamaica back in the 50s.  Presumably my father Gerry was taking the photo.  I see glamourous Aunt Joan (back, glasses) and I think that’s Uncle David.  Whenever my father Gerry talked about Jamaica in the 50s, I was envious of that time.  He described a movement of great changes in that land, where the fight for equality and education took over his life.  He talked about his pupils and the kids coming from the bush seeking an education which of course he would give them, gladly taking on all and sundry.  He fought all of his life in the field of education for all children to have access to learning and he spent the last 12 years of his life with CEN (Communities Empowerment Network) fighting to have excluded and expelled children put back in school and full time education.  70hrs a week at 84 years of age was nothing to my dad Gerry!  Time for him was disciplined and filled with commitment, honour and his word.

Looking back on when I was small, time seemed more relaxed then.  Watching the great Anthony Hopkins play C S Lewis in a film yesterday, time even allowed for one to be sick as so witnessed when wife Joy Gresham falls ill with cancer.  The film showed a moment in our history where life seemed slower, more in tune with the surroundings and when Joy passes away I felt a sense of “holding the time” to enable the moment to pass, albeit with grief and suffering, but that too eventually passed for Jack and Douglas.

I have been silent these past few days, on my own, reflecting about life and more especially how it used to be when I was small. I have been experiencing a few days where time hasn’t mattered and I haven’t been led by the clock to determine my next step.

Recent world events are so quick to pass that in a matter of weeks, children and their families are being massacred in a matter of moments.  One minute playing ball, the next moment bloodshed, hysteria, suffering giving way to more in a matter of moments.  No time to stop, remember or grieve.  No time now until the next moment of madness.

When did it come to pass that even in death we decided there should be no time to acknowledge it?

And now?  The world has gone mad, quite simply mad.  The moment of madness has passed into more madness, into hysteria, with more bloodshed, more cocktails sipped over arms deals, more money made hand over fist, more corruption, more injustice, more people asleep to their own hearts and minds, more blindness.  We are all guilty.  Why you ask?  Because we are fighting with our brothers and sisters over whose opinion is right!  The bottom line is people are dying and this is not right.  People are being killed before our eyes.  People are being given no time to live and no time to die.  And whilst this goes on over there, we are fighting over who is right over here.

The time has come to peacefully acknowledge our own hearts and ask for forgiveness for our arguments, for our buying into the hate and the hurt that the puppeteers prefer we get sucked into.  Stand back, observe our own thoughts – are they clean, do they hate the “other side” – and then steer our mind in a postive manner.  More anger and hate will not help the situation there or here.

What can we do?  Pray for peace.  Send positive thoughts to the lost souls who govern our world and pray that they find somewhere in their hearts to start doing the right thing.  Send loveful thoughts to the souls that have passed, all of them, and send them to the light.  It’s hard, I know, which is why I have had to come inside myself these past few days to examine my own heart.  I apologise for my judgement and my righteous opinion.