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Silence and Spring

Making food for a silence retreat, joining Jacqueline Evers from kundaliniyogatgooi. A different experience than my earlier events that were also yoga and meditation related. Never before with this silence. It is special to work in silence and just focus on the preparation of the food. A great location, on the first floor on a farm in Schiermonnikoog, overlooking the fields. It brings a certain flow were things become more easy, as if it goes by itself. A one-pointed focus that brings calmness.

It was also special for the partipants. We were eating in silence and people were not really sure about what they were eating:) I was wondering, should I leave a note so they are aware of what it is. It wasn’t necessary. Although many of them were new to raw & vegan food, they were going through the experience of eating with lots of awareness. I could see them discovering something new and could see they were surprised and happy. Food so full of nutritions, colors, real tastes. If you can take the time and focus for it, which is great during a weekend like this, you will feel how well it does you. It was a joy to receive their feedback in the end of the weekend, when we talking again, on how much they enjoyed the food. In other retreats and workshops I do love the opportunity to share my passion for plant based cuisine so that is the limitation in a weekend like this. Though I see that the food tells the story:). And there are lots of other opportunities were people can participate and learn from workshops.

So yeeh, I was happy! And happy I still had a little bit of time to walk over the island, swim in the cold sea, walk back barefoot and enjoy the full moon at night. An intens and fullfilling weekend:) Hard work as well since Schiermonnikoog does not allow cars from the mainland, we were carrying everything on the boat. But is was worth it and we will come back!

The Spring started there a little bit, with that very refreshing jump into the sea. I have been anticipating on the start of Spring. I could tell that my system has been looking for signs of Spring for the last month or so. I often felt cold, in need of sun shine and sometimes I could not warm myself enough. Longing for something from the outside to keep me warm and going. Some days were better, when I manage to heat my inner stove and spirit…..when I can let go of things that I am struggling with, whatever it is. My daily yoga practise and the nutritious food is helping enormously, a base to build on.

The actual second day of Spring I suddenly noticed Spring in the air. The very special light, the feel in the air, the crispness of the new light green leaves, the sun, the trees with their blossoming flowers. It made me so happy, brings hope and new energy, the essence of life. Strangely enough it also brings some type of nostalgia, feeling homesick to other places and times, not really sure what it is. I just let it be and respect that it is also part of how it is at the moment. Anyway, this beginning of Spring is for the me the perfect time to do a cleanse. I have been thinking and preparing myself for that mentally and a couple of days ago it was just the right moment, simply because of the sun light. A break, a reset from the rythme and routine of food, even when that routine is a healthy one. I wish not to be depended on coffee for example. I am fine with drinking coffee but when I feel I am stuck to it, it becomes a dependence that I don’t really enjoy. Same with chocolate, even if it is pure and without sugars. I noticed how stuck I can be in eating things because my system is so used to it, because something is telling me I need it. For what? To fill something…to just keep myself happy. I like to experience freedom, to make my choices from a place of pure freedom. This cleanse is just perfect for that. 14 days of going back to pure simple plant based food and the week in the middle just liquids. I am half way now and feeling light and peaceful. It requires some determination, patience and focus. And a bit of time to allow the process to work for you, to let things come to the surface (discomfort, sadness, doubt, bursts of energy and inspiration, clarity) and be compassionate to yourself. Than it is all fine.

In my next blog I will write some more about the cleansing process and the great and liberating effects it can have. For now, wishing you a beautiful and peaceful start of Spring.

Sumi-e

Sumi-e, a beautiful experience of painting without having the feeling to paint. It is more breath work than painting. On every exhale a particular movement, very Japanese, and a stroke on the paper. I am learning the technique and just trusting on my intuition that I can actually do it. To simply go with the breath and the movement and no further thinking on how it should look like. It works and it feels so liberating. It really brings me to the moment itself. the 3 hours were gone before I noticed. What a wonderful morning.

It is not about the final outcome, the piece of bamboo on a thicker paper, though I am very happy with the result. Brings me back to the bamboo of the garden in Manila and the forests in Asia. For many years I have been convinced that I could not draw or paint. It is just a thought. Ofcourse everybody can paint, it just depends on how important the outcome is.  I am loving these creative activities, like sewing or making food. I notice that it is all the same. It is giving space to let go, to flow, to go with the flow and enjoying that moment. Very small, very simple.

“Every time we are willing to let the story line go, and every time we are willing to let go at the end of the out-breath, that’s fundamentally renunciation: learning how to let go of holding on and holding back.”
― Pema Chodron

 

 

Lightness

Sometimes I don’t find the words to describe something. A state, a feeling, a phase, a situation. It is finding that beautiful balance between not be drown in something and not to detach or be numb. To be able to observe what is happening and see how to move from there. Especially when there are blocks.

When I feel blocked, when I have stomach pain, when things are locked up. My mind can be so stubburn, my emotions strong, my vulnerability coming to the surface. Or other times when I feel a bit detached, for example when work is tiring and I am not able to give it my full awareness and joy.

The practise of yoga & meditation is helping me in finding a way, to let things move again. Not to get stuck in blocks and fight them but to acknowledge what is there and to take it with softness and love. Step by step. With patience and with courage. John O’Donohue wrote something beautiful about courage. ‘When courage comes alive, imprisoning walls become frontiers of new possibility, difficulty becomes invitation and the heart comes into a new rhythm of trust and sureness. There are secret sources of courage inside every human heart; yet courage needs to be awakened in us. Courage is the spark that can become the flame of hope, lighting new and exciting pathways in what seemed to be dead, dark landscapes’. 

When I did my yoga teacher training a couple of years ago, I was studying the sutra’s of Patanjuli. Now slowly slowly, going through the years, I start to understand the meaning more and feel like studying them again. One of them….There is always a way in every block.

Or as Yogi Bhajan explains: ‘When it is said, in every darkness there is a light; in every block there is a way, that only means if you are somewhere very hard hit, just be still. If there are heavy clouds on the sky, just get under the shelter. Clouds will come, rain will come, hail will come. It will go away, and then there will be sunshine and you can walk on your journey. But if you are crazy and you don’t want to stop, you get hurt and get beaten up by the hail. The cold catches you, rain wets your clothes, and you will not be in a position to walk’. ©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

In Kundalini Yoga, there are mantra’s that specifically work to dissolve blocks.  Mantra’s that work on a deeper level, to help you to let go and to connect to the infinite. ‘Aad Such Jugaad Such Hai Bhai Such Nanak Hosee Bhai Such’. Which means: True in the beginning, true throughout the ages, true even now, Nanak, truth shall ever be. I love listening to the CD ‘Lightness of Being’ from Satkirin Kaur Khalsa. It brings ease and lightness into my day.

It will always be spring again. With the small flowers in the garden and with taking moments to unwind and reconnect.

Small and simple

When a day is full, hectic and sometimes overwhelming i try to focus on the small and simple. To keep myself focused on what is really important and not be taken by insecurity. To trust that things will unfold itself, that things happen naturally. The beauty of the frozen white trees that I passed this morning got my attention. I struggle with the cold and I am longing to warm and sunny tropical days but what an amazing beauty.

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

 

 

So happy with my warming winter porridge. Cooked amaranth and millet in a pumpkin seed milk with lots of spices…cinnamon, cardamon, cayenne, ginger, turmeric and some fruits. It is the best way to start my day and keep me warm.

Warming healthy wishes from a cold cold day.

 

Full Moon Sadhana & the start of a new year

 

If you never experienced an early morning Sadhana, you can hardly imagine how great it can be. It sounds tough….waking up at 4am, taking a cold shower and cycle to the other side of town to practise this morning ritual that takes 2 1/2 hours. Yes, the waking up at 4am requires a bit of committment (especially making sure you sleep in time the night before) but for the rest it is quite do able. I did the 40 days of Sadhana (the morning practise 40 days in a row) a couple of months ago. I thought it would be tough but is wasn’t at all. I found out it was just the best way to start the day.

This morning I was leading the morning Sadhana under the beautiful full moon. I did not see the moon as clear as on this picture that I received from the Philippines a couple of months ago….the super moon shining on the sea near Palawan island. Though it was special to see the moon appearing through the clouds this morning when crossing the water with the ferry, in strong and cold wind.

Looking for a set of exercises for this morning, I found a beautiful kriya ‘heart of gold’ on internet. A set of kundalini yoga exercises for Self Focus and Self Love. If you read the text that comes with the set, it maybe sounds like big words, maybe too esoteric.

Based on my experiences and discoveries in the past years and the growth and change it brings, the words make such sense to me. These exercises give me the tools that I was looking for. On how to step into my own light. Yes, how can we merge if we are not whole ourselves? How can we particpate in the group and in the whole and shine our light if we keep ourselves so small and in the dark? If we feel pressured by everything and everybody around us, by living in our minds and so often forgetting about the rest. I believe we do need to get stronger and more convinced that we can all shine our light, the light of our soul.

“Love doesn’t rule you. What rules you is fear, phe­nomenal fear. Through this kriya, love can be invoked and fear can be reduced.”

-Yogi Bhajan

In case you are interested, here the information about the kriya and the exercises: 

We need self-focus and self-love to build and maintain our (1) heart center, (2) identity structure, (3) inner authority, and (4) radiance. The same dynamics are at play when we offer our creative contribution to collective endeavors and when we connect with the Infinite Force. Merging means fitting in perfectly into the whole. First we have to become whole ourselves. Personal authenticity, authority, and integrity are requirements for both participation in the group and for co-creation with the Divine. It is our personal responsibility to shine the light of our soul, which is the energetic foundation for both self-realization and for establishing our Divine connection. It is the light of our soul that integrates into the universal (and global) whole of which we are each a unique and vital part. We don’t get lost. We get found. The kriya Heart of Gold is a great one to cultivate your heart light. Feel the warmth in your spine at the level of your heart and let it become golden. Gold grounds us and keeps us in the body. The hands are an extension of the heart chakra. Feel the connection between your hands and your heart. When you prepare food, touch yourself, others, and things, or use your hands in many other ways, feel that your heart is directing and feeding their movements.

  1. Yoga Mudra: In Lotus (or Easy) Pose, bend over placing forehead on the ground, hands in Venus Lock behind the back, index fingers extended, and raise the arms straight up, pulling the shoulder blades together with long deep breathing for 3 minutes.
  2. In Easy Pose, lean forward to 60°, grasp opposite shoulder blades and pull right arm under left, and hold with long deep breathing for 3 minutes.
  3. Arms stretched straight out in front, parallel to the ground, spread the fingers wide apart, feeling heat at the base of the palms, and hold with long deep breathing for 3 minutes. Then tense hands and relax. Brings energy to the heart in 2 shifts.
  4. Rub hands in a circular motion around the centers of the palms for 3 minutes.
  5. Upper arms at sides, bring left one out to the side away from the body and hold the right one close in, palms facing each other, and meditate on the energy between the hands for 7-15 minutes.
  6. Ego Eradicator: Arms up to the sides at 60°, fingertips on pads and thumbs extended up, breathe long and deep for 1-2 minutes, and then follow with 1-2 minutes of Breath of Fire.
  7. Repeat #4.
  8. Place palms 4-6″ apart at the heart center, palms facing each other, right one above, left below. See a golden ball of light between the hands. Expand the light with each breath for 10-15 minutes.
I would like to invite you to try out these exercises and see what it brings you. Since I resonate with them, I will include them in my daily routine for a while…. also curious to find out how it will manifest itself.

January is a good month to reflect, to see where I am now, to set a vision for this year. A lot has happened over the past year and slowly slowly things are taking shape. Things that help me to get my feet on the ground back here in Amsterdam. Inspired by new activities. The workshops I did, my part-time job as a cook at Yoga Fest that I am enjoying a lot, setting up ‘Buurderij de Ceuvel’ (together with two great girls), joining Jacqueline’s yoga & meditation retreats as a cook and sharing the love for plant based nutrition, participating at Veg Fest. I am very thankful for these experiences and I feel encouraged to build on this the coming year.

Now I am planning more workshops for Feb/March/April. Retreats are coming up in Ameland, the forest near Huizen again and Ibiza. I am looking forward to all this. Very much. To inspire people for healing and nourishing food and spread the light. I feel I can do that and I am so thankful for that, that all my work of small steps is paying off slowly slowly. Sometimes as slow as a turtle. Sometimes with doubt and fear for trusting in the unknown. With diving deep, inspiration comes. It needs a lot of courage, patience and trust. Sometimes more than I think I have. Standing in your own bright light, what a beautiful challenge. What a journey. ‘Der weg is das Ziel’

Wishing you all a beautiful year, with love and light and beautiful projects and dreams to come true.

 

Cooking in the forest

Such a joy to cook for a group of people who gather for the end of the year. A retreat in the forest. Back to basic, sleeping in a sleeping back next to the fire. Time to rest, to go inside, to heat the fire, to open up, to experience, to share, to eat healthy. Jacqueline (friend and yoga teacher) asked me to join her in the retreat to prepare food. Very happy to do that. To spend time in the kitchen and to join the group when time allowed me.

I enjoyed the time on my own in the kitchen with the beautiful view of the forest. It is great to experience this flow where things get almost created by itself.

A real winter experience. I noticed I did not see the winter from this perspective yet. With the frozen leaves and white snowy mist on the fields. We made silent walks on the heather. Breathtakingly beautiful and confrontational in the same time. The silence of walking in a group without speech, the light and cold weather brings you really close to yourself and shows you where you are. No distractions or small talks to keep you from things that show up. Good, not always easy. I resonate with the words of John O’Dononue about solitude.

‘Solitude is one of the most precious things in the human spirit. It is different from loneliness. When you are lonely, you become acutely conscious of your own separation. Solitude can be a homecoming to your own deepest belonging. One of the lovely things about us as individuals is the incommensurable in us. In each person, there is a point of absolute nonconnection with everything else and with everyone. This is fascinating and frightening. It means that we cannot continue to seek outside ourselves for things we need from within. The blessings for which we hunger are not to be found in other places or people. These gifts can only be given to you by yourself. They are at home at the hearth of your soul.’

And ofcourse, how beautiful it is to be able to share this extremely vulnerable and sometimes scary process with other people. To be touched so deeply, to awaken something so precious. Something that exist that you were not aware about, that you were not able to tap into earlier. It is changing your life forever.

I had a ‘dream’, about the light. I had to swim to the bottom of the ocean. There was diving equipment to put on. I could not do it. I am afraid for the deep sea and for diving as well. How can you expect me to do that. Though, I felt supported and decided I should just do it and face my fear. Not sure how I did it. I don’t remember I was wearing the diving equipment, I was just swimming and forgetting about being in the water. On the bottom of the ocean there was an old wreck. It had an a big heavy treasure with a lock on it. It was strange how I knew what was inside the box, before opening the lock. When I opened it the amount of light coming out was amazing. So strong and so overwhelming. It was just passing me and going up with such a speed and power. I felt this is exactly the light I should stand into. But how to do that? How to step in such a powerful stream of light? It filled me with emotions, it was so beautiful. I have known it for so long. I know it was there. Now I could actually see it. So special.

Later I was sailing to an isolated island. It came across as one of these beautiful islands in the Philippines. So lush and green, filled with light. I could see creativity everywhere. I felt so much home. There were eyes looking at me. I was smiling. I ‘told’ the eyes….yes, I had to swim to the bottom of the ocean on my own. It was something I needed to do all by myself, to face my own fear. To find my own strength.

Leaving the forest happy and fullfilled and looking forward to come back.

 

 

 

 

 

Warm wishes for a peaceful Xmas & New Year

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Trying out some new things for the end of the year retreat next week with Kundalini Yoga t Gooi. Savory pumpkin scones with honey butter. Thanks to Elaina for this great recipe. All these wonderful ingredients….almond flour, coconut flour, steamed pumpkin, chia seeds, coconut oil, coconut sugar and some spices. Looking forward to preparing healthy happy food in the forest?? Plant based breakfasts, lunches & dinner dishes. And some nice low glycemic sweet & savory snacks in between. 

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Wishing you peaceful and relaxing days for Xmas and New Year?

Kintsugi, the beauty of a broken bowl

I am fond of hand made pottery and have collected some beautiful pieces over the years. From different places in the world; Egyptian potters, places in Yemen, French markets, a small store in Seoul, celadon bowls from friend and potter in Schellingwoude (near by my house). I simply enjoy eating and drinking from these colorful bowls and it brings back memories of beautiful places I have been. Though they break sometimes. I remember one morning in Manila. My friend’s cat was staying in our house for some time. She managed to jump in the middle of a tray with my breakfast on it and the whole thing was flying in the air and the pottery fell on the floor into many pieces. I was so upset since I was drinking my morning coffee from that same bowl every day, a bowl a friend gave me before I left to Asia. I can tell I can be fussy with it, my children wonder sometimes of they can use a certain bowl since they are not sure how precious it is for me. I am learning not to attach to it too much anymore. Things are there to use and it can break when you use them. Now I found a way to repair them in a even more beautiful way then I did before. I discovered the DIY Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. The art of an an imperfect repair.

Today I am repairing a small chinese bowl that I inherited from my grandmum.

I love the way the Japanese look at this art of repair. To see it as a metaphor on how we can look at our own scars and broken places in our lives. Things get broken, it simply is part of life. It starts very young when we adapt to expectations from the world around us. Building a defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from things that can hit us too deeply. I don’t remember being aware of all this at all. It was just the way I was dealing with the world around me. And slowly slowly the extra layer became part of me. Untill i discovered it didn’t work well anymore. It gave me stomach pain. When that opened up I became aware that I did not want to hide behind my fears and limitations any longer. But what a process. Not as smooth and easy as I thought:) It is hard work to overcome but how beautiful it is….

Looking at scars and broken pieces, I notice I did tend to focus on the challenges of how to overcome pain, whatever pain it is. I would focus on how it stands in my way to go further. By doing this I was experiencing the limitations of myself. I can see how I keep myself small and vulnerable this way. Also how it keeps me locked in a mode of struglle and fighting. A broken bowl that does not believe it can be whole again. It let to panick and extra tension in an already sensitive nervous system.

Slowly slowly I am seeing that there is so much to learn by fully embracing that what is most difficult. Fear, pain, grief, vulnerability, anger. Through surrendering and softnening. This does not mean you have to be taken and drown into it completely. It is a learning process, a gentle process of giving it space, to allow emotions to come up, to let tears come, to let go. To look at it and work through the scars and building trust in overcoming. Like the broken bowl, by adding gold, attention, patience. To find gold in the scars there really is a way to heal, to feel more whole after all. It is what soul work for me is all about. To learn how to trust the answers that come from deep down. It is funny to see how in repairing the bowl this afternoon, it also needs patience and experience, trial and error. This bowl did not become amazingly beautiful. But it is fine enough. By time and experience, trying it many times, they will become more beautiful.

The traumatic car accident I experienced a year ago has been the ultimate invitation to dive into this process. To overcome the ultimate pain and vulnerability. To find strength and trust. It has been a very tough year to deal with what happened. I have talked about it and sometimes not at all. I find it difficult what I can say and what not. There are so many things in the way. And in the same time, it is finding its way. It is asking me to come out of the dark night and find a place in the light. It takes phases but now I feel I should take some time to write it down. I expect to do that in the New Year.

Listening to the breathtakingly beautiful music of L’Arpeggiata. Cantata Sopra il Passacaglio. Diatonica. Music that let me feel the so many layers in life, let me feel that life is so much more than what we perceive. It also brings me to the sense of who we are and who we are becoming. Music tells me what is often difficult to find in words. Enjoying some alone time and eating from my special golden lined bowl. Here a simple but nutritious vegetable curry with lots of home grown sprouts. The beauty of a broken bowl, the healing powers of life force food and magical music:)

 

Color & a break in a full month

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These colors make my so happy. It brings light and life into my day. It tells me food can be a medicine, specially when I need to take care of myself well. In days or weeks when it has been too busy or too overwhelming. When I have experienced too much stress. To simply take time and prepare a dish that does me well. A moment that shows me that all is fine and will be fine. To sit and simply enjoy the beauty of all these colors, of the life force off all these beautiful ingredients.

Carrot salad with plant based mayonaise, lots of home grown sprouts, steamed sweat potatoes with some coconut oil, amino’s and cayenne to bring warmth, raw beet hummus, salad and my favorite red bell pepper dressing, avocado and spirulina from the farm in France. All this goodness on one plate!

Sometimes life can suddenly be so busy that I hardly feel that I am breathing. It tells me I need to take some time to unwind, to take care of myself, to find a quiet moment to reconnect with myself again. It is funny how aware I can be of myself in certain moments, especially when I have a lot of time and feel peaceful, and suddenly experience those other moments that I am completely taken by all the activities and things that I give myself to do. That ‘the world’ is asking me to do. Why is it so hard to find that balance? Slowly, slowly, I learn to read the signs when things get overwhelming and the situation is asking me to take a step back. It all sounds so easy, but how confrontational it can be as well. To experience my own limits…often just a bit more quickly than I would prefer it to be. We all know it, the feeling of running all the time and being overwhelmed and thinking there is nothing you could do.

I am observing that I judge myself and others about being stressed. Why do I do that? What is it that it is forbidden to feel stressed? To be so judgemental about it? It seems that I am so convinced that it is a bad thing to have that I don’t allow it. Slowly slowly I become more aware that it really is part of life. I just have to find a way to deal with it to let it soften and release it out of my system so it does not make me ill.

I am also learning to feel my limits more clearly and act upon it when I need to. Not easy since I prefer to please people and accomodate everything around me, as peaceful as I can. Now I am learning to softly communicate to take a step back to find myself again, to connect to my deeper levels to make sure not to get too overwhelmed. Not to loose myself am be disconnected. It brings vulnerability and strength in the same time. It brings emotions and harmony in the same time. It brings anger, dissappointment, impatience and empathy in the same time.

 

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THE VOICE OF YOUR OWN SOUL

‘When you take the time to draw on your listening-imagination, you will begin to hear this gentle voice at the heart of your life. It is deeper and surer than all the other voices of disappointment, unease, self-criticism and bleakness. All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul. It is always there and the more deeply you learn to listen, the greater surprises and discoveries that will unfold. To enter into the gentleness of your own soul changes the tone and quality of your life. Your life is no longer consumed by hunger for the next event, experience or achievement. You learn to come down from the treadmill and walk on the earth. You gain a new respect for yourself and others and you learn to see how wonderfully precious this one life is. You begin to see through the enchanting veils of illusion that you had taken for reality. You no longer squander yourself on things and situations that deplete your essence. You know now that your true source is not outside you. Your soul is your true source and a new energy and passion awakens in you’.

John O’Donohue
Excerpt from BEAUTY

Kilmalkedar Church / Co. Kerry
Photo: © Ann Cahill

Warming soup & Winter words

Colder days ask for warming soups, to warm our hands, body, to give comfort and nourish ourselves. Winter vegetables are great for nutritious soups. Pumpkin, carrots, together with ginger, vegetables broth, miso and herbs and spices. So easy to make! I never get enough of these simple soups.

For this soup
A bit of coconut or olive oil
4 cups of pumpkin (or mixed pumpkin/ carrots and other vegetables)
soaked lentils (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
1 liter vegetable stock
400 milliliters coconut milk 
Lots of sprouts as topping
soep-in-blauwe-kom2
1) Sautee the pumpkin/ carrots (and other vegetables if you like) in a bit of oil. Add ginger
2) Add stock and let simmer
3) Add coriander and coconut milk and blend
If you like to give it an Asian twist you could add some lemon grass. If you like it less creamy, leave out the coconut milk. Or add some soaked lentils to give it a change. So many different ways.
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These past days I have enjoyed the winter writings of John O’Donohue. Like the warm soup, beautiful warm comforting words.

‘There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us’.

John O’Donohue/ TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US

‘All through your life, the most precious experiences seem to vanish. Transience turns everything to air. You look behind and see no sign even of a yesterday that was so intense. Yet in truth, nothing ever disappears, nothing is lost. Everything that happens to us in the world passes into us. It all becomes part of the inner temple of the soul and it can never be lost. This is the art of the soul: to harvest your deeper life from all the seasons of your experience. This is probably why the soul never surfaces fully. The intimacy and tenderness of its light would blind us. We continue in our days to wander between the shadowing and the brightening, while all the time a more subtle brightness sustains us. If we could but realize the sureness around us, we would be much more courageous in our lives. The frames of anxiety that keep us caged would dissolve. We would live the life we love and in that way, day by day, free our future from the weight of regret’.

John O’Donohue/ Excerpt from BEAUTY (Photo: © Ann Cahill)