After a long Sabbatical: new beginnings …

Just over a year ago,  I shared with you my intention to take a long sabbatical. We left Sydney and travelled in search of a new place to live. So here’s my news: after a wonderful, life-changing, often challenging and tumultuous  journey, we finally re-settled in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. The photo shows Mt Boogeram, our sage and our sentinel, overlooking our home. Blink and you will miss Main Arm, our one-shop village – a huge change of pace for us!

I’ve loved my break, and my seclusion – and at times I’ve missed my work. Having found home again, I am now re-opening my practice, and receiving clients – gradually, just online for now. Starting afresh, with new perspectives, new visions, a little older … my return feels much like a renewal, a re-shaping, a rebirth. And I look forward to increasing my pace when 2022 arrives.

The whole world seems to be in the throes of a difficult rebirth. Humanity’s most urgent concerns are increasingly global in nature; borderless. Old paradigms are clashing with new ones. Communities and societies are coming undone as traditional structures lose their ascendancy. Death and rebirth: always a crisis.

In these turbulent times, may we all find genuine curiosity about each other; an understanding of the diverse fears and dreams that drive our choices. Less polarisation, more connection. May hugs, group dancing and communal gathering return. May we learn to live in harmony with Nature, rather than in dominion over Her. May you and your loved ones enjoy renewal and warm togetherness as 2021 draws to a close, and who knows, perhaps I will see you in 2022. My best wishes to you.

 

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“Inner Child Journeys” goes to Serbia

So this little book decided to go to Europe. First stop: Serbia. I trust it! There must be a reason why it went there first – why? I’m sure we’ll soon find out. But, thanks to Vlad Madic from Esotheria Press, there it is.

Know anyone in Serbia who would like to get their hands on this translation of my handbook? Here is where they can find it. 

Vidimo se kasnije!
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Inner Child Journeys practitioner training – at Europe time!

   This one is for all of you in Europe and UK,    we have made our online training at a much more favorable time for you. But, hey, if you are a qualified health practitioner and you are keen to join us, then jump in, from anywhere in the world!    

Our international tribe of Inner Child Journey Guides keeps growing, and I look forward to welcoming you in, to learn this wonderful Process together. I am very heartened by the exciting results that are unfolding.     We start in September!

For info and enrollment, here is your link. 

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Free Online Talk for Health Practitioners – Developmental Needs

 

 

This Free Talk is for qualified Health Practitioners, and will include time for Q&A.

You’ll need to calculate the time for your part of the world.

For more info and to register your interest, CLICK HERE. 

I look forward to seeing you there, it’s going to be an interesting discussion!

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The Inner Child in Parenting, Education and Organization – in China!

An idea whose time has come. The Inner Child (triggered body-memory) is in all our relationships. At home, and at work. Without awareness: discord, confusion, blame. With awareness: healing, flow.        I’m deeply honored to be bringing this work to China, in an upcoming 4-part webinar series.

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The Wounded Child behind our ‘politics’

What does Inner Child work have to do with activism and politics? PLENTY!!!

We think we make our political choices rationally. But most of our voting, opinionating and activism springs from a much deeper place. If we don’t awaken to our wounded Inner Child’s voice, we are compelled to repeat history in ever new guises. We reinforce polarization. While ‘fighting’ for the ‘good cause’ we perpetuate conflict.

Listen inward, validate our Inner Child’s voice, and we set both ourselves and the world around us free from endlessly vicious cycles.

That’s what I spoke about with Lisa Reagan from Kindred Media you can listen and watch here. You’re invited to add your comments and thoughts and I hope to hear from you. Enjoy!

 

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The next Inner Child Journeys online practitioner training is up!

Starting in May 2021, this will be our fourth skills-based, evidence-based online training for counsellors, psychologists, health practitioners.

Based on my book of the same title, this dialogical process brings release, forward momentum and healing to our relationship conflicts and challenges. Wonderful for parent coaches and relationship therapists.

I look forward to welcoming you to our growing international community of Inner Child Journey Guides. For enquiries and enrollment, click HERE. 

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The Inner Child Journey goes online in Hong Kong

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New short-film: about the Inner Child

This beautiful new film, made by a world-traveling friend: sublimely photographed, with a timely message. (Or you might say: one particular lens on the message….)

In some ways, it seems synchronistic with a part of my book: “Inner Child Journeys”

You might see my cameo-appearance (Magic Dream #6) in this child-like and dreamy film.

Enjoy!

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ARE BIRDS SINGING US HOME?

(from quarantine, on the 12th floor, somewhere in Auckland)

The road can be such a clarifying teacher. We’re constantly awakening to new and unfamiliar places. Before our eyes open to let in new light, what greets us first is … the soundscape. I had not fully comprehended just how much that would matter. And how the sound of a morning can set the tone for the day.

Last week, it was all traffic. You can feel the rumble of traffic in your back teeth. Buzzy, yet hollow. Allegro … ma non troppo. Like the sadness you get from eating white bread. Sometimes it takes a minute or two to understand the nature of an empty space, as when a familiar, awaited joy has failed to show up. Where are they?

For years, before we left our home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, we had been sung awake each morning by an ever-changing chorus. A pining lament here, a warbling melody there, some cheeky chatter, some raucous revelry. Every new day announced by riotous, avian acapella. A jam in the canopy. Curious thing; how it takes an absence to know you’ve been happy. The kind of happiness you don’t even notice when it’s there.

The music given freely by our flying friends comforts our souls – though we may not know it. I’m sure if we lay there for a few extra breaths, eyes closed, feeling our chest, we would feel how birdsong plays upon our heart-strings. Easy to miss, what with all the important boxes we have to tick in a day.

 

How do these sky-concerts affect our sensitive nervous systems? Humans love to set up serious experiments – to show us the obvious things we refuse to see. To find proof of the things we are afraid to believe in. Like the recent German study of thousands of people across 26 different countries, showing increased happiness among those who live near abundant birdlife.  Apparently, you can predict levels of public happiness by the diversity of bird species in the vicinity (I say: ‘wow!’ to that, but … should it have been obvious?). Studies like this one abound; Green is essential for mental health. Remove us from our ecological roots, and we become sad, anxious, gloomy and sick. But the music of Nature is hardly on Medicine’s and Psychology’s radar, at least not yet. How little we know ourselves.

Enter biologist Dan Carlson from the University of Minnesota. He demonstrated how the sounds of birds singing or crickets chirruping – he calls these “green music” – possess frequencies that boost plant growth and yield. A plant’s stomata – pores on the underside of leaves that absorb water and nutrients and expel oxygen – get wider when exposed to the melodies of Nature. Carlson made his point stick with a Guinness World Record-winning Purple Passion (Gynura aurantiaca), fertilized by birdsong.

There is a quest to know more about how music animates life (tangential musing: was biological life sung into being?). Scientists have called it: ‘plant bioacoustics’: the study of biological transformations triggered by “green music”. Repeatedly they find Nature’s frequencies are beneficial to plant size and yield, healthy leaf formation and the volume of seeds. Plants have an ear for music – “green music” especially has been shown to increase oxygen uptake and polyamine content (key compounds for cell proliferation).

So, if Nature’s music has a vital, chemically recorded impact on plants, how does it affect humans? Does this explain why I am enraptured sometimes, or deeply comforted at other times, when birds serenade from above? Like a plant, I’m made of chemicals and cells. Wouldn’t “green music” play me like a keyboard, and nourish my health just as it does for plants? If these flying balladeers can transform plant chemistry, what do they do for yours and mine?

And here is Side B. Outside Nature’s symphony, we fall out of tune. Dissonance within, discord without. Like I felt waking to those highway sounds: ejected, an alien in my own body. The phenomenon of Nature Deprivation Syndrome is gaining increased attention around the world. Surrounded by concrete, we are fish out of water. Our greatest handicap is our ability to adapt to deprivation until we no longer feel it. We settle into a new normal until we forget to crave what we actually need. Disconnection and anxiety become the baseline; unremarkable and unexamined. Dislocated from our true nature, it’s too easy to be distracted by the easy rush of a purchase, a stimulant, a substance or an ‘entertainment’. Like a starving person who forgot all about food.

In Japan, doctors prescribe ‘forest bathing’. Scottish medics too have begun sending their patients into the wilderness. That makes so much sense to me. I love how quickly the rambunctious cockatoos or the warbling magpies can lift my spirits. Sons and daughters of music, we are instruments and we are meant to be played. The wind strums the canopy like a giant’s harp, and we are lullabied home.

For most of what pains us, we need to come Home. We have overstayed in aircon and concrete, listening to jarring sirens and roaring engines.

If you haven’t done this already, I invite you to try. Next time a bird sings near you, pause everything, even if only for a few seconds. Close your eyes, if you like, and bring your attention to where and how the sounds made by the bird move through your body. Play close attention to your mood-state, notice any shifts. Bring your awareness to sensations, even the most subtle. Notice what happens in and around your heart – it’s a physical thing. Give yourself this time as a gift; the gift of discovering how your body is moved by “Green Music”.

And when you notice the living connection between yourself and the birds you hear, what do you suppose that means about us – about who or what we are, where we begin and end?

Birds are joined by the tunes they make. As the sun sets, how do lorikeets so easily and instantly locate their mates in the bustling cacophony of an over-crowded Norfolk Pine? Can we too find ourselves, through these interconnected webs of sound? Is music what holds the universe together?

We’ve been gone from our place in The Great Orchestral Field for too long. So long that we’ve forgotten why we hurt, why we are sick, why we are angry. But perhaps the birds can help sing us home. If we listen.

I would love to hear about you, what bird songs move you the most? How do they affect you? Do you have a special bird anecdote you’d like to share? What do you understand about birds, and what they teach us? I wonder what we might learn from each other’s bird-tales. I invite you to add your voice, friend and reader, below.

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