After wonderings and wanderings Dublin has called me back, or I have wanted to be called back. The city feels alive with character, potential and an undercurrent of creative energy. On good days I can feel that pulse tromping through the streets, moving in and out of the crowds, through the trees which are preparing to come into bud again and in the snippets of conversation I snatch from passer-bys.
Circumstance and grace have conspired to land me right back in the bam of it all, living now in the heart of Dublin’s city centre. I’ve found a lovely home to live in with open fires, high ceilings, beautiful artwork, not to mention wonderful housemates. I’m grateful for it all and enjoying tending to my new nest. (The quote above was on a card given to me by my new housemate when I moved in… it felt apt!)
Not having a base when I first got back to Ireland threw me a bit. I wondered what I had done and I partly regretted moving out of my last home. I was also was missing Greece, the landscape, the animals and the wild openness. So for a few days I was feeling very wobbly and was feeling both lost and that I had lost it. But I realise that the path was just a bit unclear for a while and step by step I navigated with trust, putting feelers out and fairly quickly finding my new abode. My home now and Dublin again feels much like both a base and a springboard. It is still mid-January but I have a sense of spring coming and Imbolg soon (the new season in the Celtic calendar) and soon after the trees in leaf. Home has taken on new dimensions.
So, I have moved into 2014 with a sense of newness. In reflecting upon a word I would choose for my year ahead, I mulled much and have reverted to a word that I chose a few years back, one which had a transformative effect that year. I carried it with me in all encounters, guiding me into myself and into life in a deeper, more engaged way.
There are many words 2014 could have rested upon, but EMBRACE loomed large again, calling me back into venture. This time however a few additional words were circling around it and, after more mulling, have stuck. They are discernment, support, challenge and maybe most importantly, love.
As I write this selection of words, I am reminded of way markers; those gentle signpost along a journey to help keep track and signal an onwards motion. So, once again I have embrace tacked large and now the posse of discernment, support, challenge and love following suit, like little ducklings in a row, resolute in their movement. They feel like fortification and nourishment for the months ahead. (I am grateful to Susannah Conway and her ‘Unravelling the Year Ahead’ workbook which was, once again, a useful reflecting and planning tool).
Embrace has already got to work. As a home has materialised so too has a new instrument. Grace and circumstance have also brought a cello, and cello lessons into my life, and to put them into direct use I have also joined a community orchestra, starting to learn music from scratch.
I’m embracing having a beginners mind which I realise is a wonderful, if somewhat challenging, thing (I did ask for challenge after all). I have no expectations of being perfect and I realise that making mistakes is all part of the process. With enough mistakes I may actually improve!
What I certainly do realise is that I am on a course of practice, and much like my yoga path, my music one is about showing up to the learning and the act of engaging in the process. In doing so new parts of my brain are coming alive and a whole other aspect of myself is being set to work. It feels liberating and enlivening.
The orchestra, The Offbeat Ensemble, is a community based group set up by my Trailblazing colleague Ciara Cavanagh and her husband Nathan. Both musicians and teachers they wanted to give adults who have not had access to music the chance to learn. It makes for a wonderful mix of people, about 80 of us, who are all learning a string instrument, many for the first time. My first concert is in May at a local festival. I better get practicing!
So, aside from nesting and music my head is aswirl with ideas and plans. January has been about planting and rooting, laying the ground for new growth. As I re-launch lots of my on going activities and business ventures – photography, yoga teaching and retreats- I also move into a new phase with The Trailblazery. We can’t announce anything yet but there are plans a hatching- so watch this space.
Speaking of relaunching, I have decided to revamp my photography site and have created a new website and platform to showcase my imagery. I’ve spent the last few days immersed in the last few years of my visual work- sorting through thousands and thousands of images to curate the site.
Sifting through the images I am completely struck by the opportunities my camera has opened up for me. It has brought me into incredible encounters, in some incredible places, and has helped me to see things more clearly. When I feel ungrounded, my camera helps to ground me. When I feel lost, it helps me to find my way again. Wherever I am, no matter the circumstance, my camera points me back to the light again. I know our adventures are not over yet.
So the unfolding continues to unfold. I’m inviting grace and bravery into the mix too and calling my posse of 2014 words along with me too. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead. Until soon all, Happy January-ing.