Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory

One really fun period of my life was working at the late, great Adyar Bookshop under the management of Peter Smith. He was (is) a gentle, adventurous soul and he managed us all with great good humour and indulgence. I well remember a quite mad woman lodging a complaint about me ("I don't like that fat man! He is sarcastic!") on my first day working for him, and he defended me gallantly, thereby assuring my undying loyalty.
He was an inveterate traveller (doing a Mongolia trip while I worked for him) and a committed cyclist, having undergone lunatic feats of physical endurance like cycling around Vietnam at the height of Summer! 
Little did I know that he was also a poet! Peter has just released his first children's book, Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory, illustrated by no less a luminary than Bob Graham, one of the most celebrated and beloved children's book illustrators in the world.




What's even more extraordinary is that the book was written no less than 30 years ago. It was shelved while both men pursued their separate careers but, recognising the growing popularity of cycling as a sport, they dusted off their old manuscript about the Tour de France and have released it to a delighted public.
Of course, some changes had to be made. M. Albert is a little older, but a little sleeker than in the original drawings. He has also dropped a couple of unfortunate habits, notably smoking and drinking. But he remains an unlikely hero, and one that children between 6 and 8 will relate to with great pleasure.
So, congratulations my old friend, and if you are looking for a delightful, inspiring and utterly unique Christmas gift for the children in your llife, look no further than Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory.

Oh, and if you live in Sydney and want an autographed copy, here's a tip - head to Abbey's Bookshop in the City.

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson

Many of you know that this Christmas the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (i.e. the top dog!), the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, will be coming to Sydney to lead a number of services.



The Metropolitan Community Church was founded by the Rev. Troy Perry to minister specifically to the gay and lesbian community, though it has always been open to everyone. Troy and the MCC were fundamental parts of the gay liberation movement in the States in the 1970s and 80s.
Here is Rev. Nancy's biography:



 Rev. Wilson was elected to the position of Moderator of MCC in 2005, following the retirement of the Founder of MCC, Rev. Elder Troy Perry and in July 2010, she was re-elected for a term of six years.  Her office is in Sarasota, Florida.

Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary and is a D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School.

She served as pastor of Church of the Trinity MCC in Sarasota, Florida from 2001 to 2005 and was previously pastor of MCC Los Angeles from 1986 until 2001, the church founded by Troy Perry in 1968.  Rev. Wilson joined MCC as Associate Pastor of MCC Boston in 1972 at 22 years of age.  She served as Pastor of MCC Detroit from 1975 to 1979. She was elected Elder of MCC of 1976 and served as Vice-Moderator from 1993 to 2001.

Rev. Wilson served as Clerk of the Board of Elders for ten years; and became MCC’s first Chief Ecumenical Officer, a post she held for 23 years.  She has been the official delegate of MCC to the World Council of Churches General Assemblies in Canberra, Australia (1991); Harare, Zimbabwe (1998) and Porto Alegre, Brazil (2006).

Rev. Wilson is an Associate Minister with The Fellowship and in 2011 was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Her published works include:  Our Tribe:  Queer Folks, God, Jesus and the Bible (Alamo Press); with Fr. Malcolm Boyd, Amazing Grace; and her prayers and poems are included in Race and Prayer edited by Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton (Morehouse Press).  She is a popular preacher and speaker; has been honored with the first “Lazarus Award” from the Presbyterian Church and was invited to preach at the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion in 2002.





We are so privileged to have Rev. Nancy here over Christmas. She will be leading services at various Metropolitan Community Churches across the city and at the Christmas Eve Service at Sydney Town Hall.










The Modern Pilgrim

Eremos have organised a really fascinating event about pilgrimage for early in 2013.
Do book in early, as I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular afternoon. Details:





The Modern Pilgrim

Join two modern pilgrims as they discuss the growth in popularity of pilgrimage, its meaning and its history. 

Authors Rosamund Burton (Castles, Follies and Four-Leaf Clovers) and Walter Mason (Destination Saigon) talk about the meaning of pilgrimage in an age of mass tourism. 

MC for the afternoon will be writer and psychotherapist Sharon Snir.

Sunday 3 March 2013, 3pm-5pm,
Paddington RSL, 220-232 Oxford St, Paddington. Register via the Eremos website or contact events@eremos.org.au for more information.



Name Dropping the Personal







I might seem to give away a lot in my writing, but in fact I am a shy and private person – even secretive. I was born under the sign of Scorpio, after all.



 Paradoxically, I use my written confessions to control what people know about me.

People are surprised occasionally by just exactly what I tell. For example, a writer friend, once expressed surprise that I did a blog post about the offerings I make to Guan Di, a Chinese deity. “Aren’t you afraid,” she said, “that some people will judge you for it?”

I write about my friends, and I worry constantly about how much of them I should be exposing. Is it even ethical? Being a writer is about betraying everyone around you – your friends, your family. How do we live with ourselves? And I get anxious when other writer friends tell me they are recording our encounters. This year I travelled to Thailand with a writer friend from Cambodia and he was planning to turn the whole journey into a book. This made me increasingly uneasy until I finally asked him: "Please, could you use a pseudonym for me?" An outrageous request, I know, considering how many of my friends end up in my own writing.

Perhaps, also, in our personal writing we are confessing to the parts of ourself that we would like to be more significant. In my writing I am slightly more daring, more dangerous, than I would seem in real life. And the friends I discuss in my writing are always the most outrageous, the most extreme – drunks and criminals being express favourites of mine, a la Jean Genet. My poor dull and respectable acquaintances barely get a look in.

People want to know how they can make their personal writing more interesting, and I’d like to give the following two tips:

1)    Name drop. Secretly we are all snobs- those that deny it are the worst snobs of all. If you have encounters, no matter how limited, with the great and famous, get it all down in writing. People will always be fascinated by this. The same goes for great, historic events. E.F. Benson, one of my favourite name-droppers, did it brilliantly in his memoir of the Victorian era, As We Were. He is constantly alluding to literary celebrities, aristocrats and politicians, even if he only saw them talking to friends at a party. But of course, this kind of gossip is absolutely delicious, and makes the book dazzle.


2)    Write about festivals and holidays that most of your readers share. That way you get your own unique perspective on things across, but also give your reader a way in, something they can compare their own experiences with. My friend Sharon Snir, for example, in her Little Book of Everyday Miracles writes about the way she used to experience Christmas, particularly waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus. Readers can either recognise their own similar experiences and so feel comforted, or they can say, "Oh, my experience of Santa Claus was nothing like that," and so become more involved in Sharon's story that way.


Don't forget that in November I am speaking on a panel on this very subject at the Emerging Writers' Festival one-day Sydney roadshow at the NSW Writers' Centre. More info here.

More Oscar Wilde in As We Were by E.F. Benson

E. F. Benson, a closeted gay man, was quite scathing in his view of Wilde, who he saw as effeminate and unnecessarily flamboyant. In a passage where he is discussing the great convesationalists of the 1890s, Benson writes:





"Oscar Wilde...seldom joined in general conversation because he conducted the most of it himself."

E.F. Benson, As We Were, p. 203

Ouch!
Of course, by the time Benson got around to writing this memoir (in 1932) Wilde was long dead and so he didn't have to worry about the repurcussions of what he was saying.
But for most of us who write memoir the feelings of friends and family are still very much to be considered. How much of ourselves do we give away, and how much of our friends do we expose? Tricky questions indeed.
Next month I am on a panel at the Emerging Writers' Festival one-day roadshow in Sydney at the NSW Writers' Centre discussing exactly these issues. If you are interested in writing memoir (or anything else, for that matter) I think you would find the whole day terrifically interesting and inspiring, so do consider coming along. More details here.

My Instagram Life

It occurs to me that I haven't done an Instagram post in ages. Here is my October thus far, as viewed through the ubiquitous Instagram filters:


I taught at the Eremos retreat which was hosted at the Sisters of Mercy retreat centre in Bathurst.




Eating empanadas at La Paula Chilean bakery in Fairfield.




The Moon Festival in Cabramatta.





Enjoying Ramen Raff's red velvet cupcakes at Home Cafe in the Lower Ground Floor of the Queen Victoria Building



On the train, always on the train...




Spring is here, and I doscovered this gorgeous little collection of flowers in an alleyway in Strathfield.

The Sacred, Science and Sustainability






A  4 week lunchtime dialogue Thursdays 12.30-1.30pm
Oct 11, 18, 25, Nov 1
264 Pitt Street, Sydney

As science is revealing a new understanding of the universe,  we are challenged to look afresh at our understanding of our relationships to all of creation and deepen our sense of the sacredness and Mystery of God in creation. This may challenge old images of God but also offers new ways to  see  how the Spirit of God is moving in an unfolding, evolving universe. It can guide us towards creating a more sustainable future and a more contemplative way of being, one which sees connections, affirms life and can transform the way we live.

In these  introductory  sessions we will use the guidance of theologians including ThomasBerry,  Bruce Sanguin, and  Michael & Connie  Barlow who have brought together understandings from science and religion,  to give a challenging  vision of living in a sacred  interconnected universe.

Facilitated by: Janet O’Sullivan, retreat facilitator with Eremos and Aust. ChristianMeditation Community, Isobel Bishop (Pitt Street UC)

Donation to cover costs.

Author Sharon Snir on Finding Life's Deeper Significance

I first became aware of author Sharon Snir a couple of years ago when I was sent a copy of her book Looking for Lionel to review. This book, a memoir of the way her mother's dementia affected her family's life, was so tender and insightful that I have since bought several copies to give to people living in the same situation. I finally met Sharon last year at a publishing event, and I was so thrilled to hear about her new book, The Little Book of Everyday Miracles, which has just been released this month. I had so many questions to ask Sharon, and I thought it would be wonderful to share her wise and inspiring answers with all of you.
As well as being an author, Sharon is a counsellor, psychotherapist and healer, and you can read more about her and her work at www.sharonsnir.com 
She also hosts a radio show called The Woman Wisdom Show - you can listen to it here.
Here is what Sharon had to share:





Q1. What is the miracle that has had the greatest impact on your life?

I had moved to Israel after the painful break up of my first marriage. I was living in a windowless storeroom under a block of fancy apartments. I made that 6’x 6’ space my little castle, despite the fact that there was no shower in my room.  It was not far from the beach so I would go daily for a swim and then shower and dress in the public change rooms. I remember going swimming once on the holiest day of the week, just before the Sabbath. After coming out of the water and into the change rooms, I realised my watch was gone. I fell into a pitiful heap.  I sobbed so loudly that people came to see what the matter was. I spoke no Hebrew and blubbered in English, I’ve lost my watch.  Understandably, most people told me that wasn’t so bad, which only caused me to sob more passionately.
I imagined all the dreadful things that would now befall me. Irrationally, I believed I would not know when to eat or sleep. I would not be able to leave my room because I would no longer know the bus timetable.  And then the worst thought came to my mind. Being Friday all the shops were about to close, and would not open again until 10 AM on Sunday morning so I couldn’t buy a new one. I know it sounds crazy now, but at the time something cracked open inside me and a tidal wave of fear followed by unstoppable tears overtook me. Clearly, I was having a minor break down.
I had been given the watch as a farewell gift from my mother and although I thought at the time I would never return to Australia, it connected me to home. On walking into my tiny room, I fell onto my bed and hit my forehead on something hard. It was my watch.  I began to speak to myself in a loud firm voice. “Pull yourself together girl. This is ridiculous. Get up, get out and get a life!”
I booked an eight day tour around Israel the next day, had a delicious affair with the bus driver, moved into the most beautiful Kibbutz and over the next year a new world opened up for me. 
A miracle is in the eye of the beholder. What is a miracle to one person may not be a miracle for another however, for me, losing my watch allowed me to release all my fears and pent up misery.

Q2. You talk about how your publisher missed your first ever appointment. Can you explain more about the significance of waiting?

I worked as a counsellor for six year at the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) in the early 90’s. There I worked with many incredible people who were waiting to die. After the initial shock of contracting HIV, some people began planning their death, even preparing their own funerals and, incredibly, they were given a new lease on life. As I spoke to my clients, I heard how the significance of waiting gave them renewed passion for life. They described the experience as waking up and seeing life more clearly. They didn’t have time to waste and many were doing things they had always wanted but had never taken the leap to do.
Then came the arrival of antivirals and for some it was a shock to be given back their life. “What do we do now? We have given up our job, given away our possessions and given up on living a long life. How do we just start living again? 
Paradoxically, the arrival of antivirals was not always seen as a miracle for people living with HIV but surprisingly I heard over and over again that contracting HIV itself created a miracle in their life. Why? Because it turned lives upside down and inside out, and many went from being unaware to becoming conscious and present. Time after time, I heard stories of the miracles that had happened while waiting to die.
I believe that all is perfect in time and space and therefore nothing is wrong. So when someone doesn’t turn up for an appointment, or when I fall and twist my ankle, or when a diagnosis of some kind is handed over, I know there is a purpose, a lesson and a gift in that experience waiting to be discovered.
In other words, rather than focusing on the appearance of the situation, I prefer to understand the significance. The significance of waiting connects us to Universal time. Most of us live our lives as if time is our Master. We even talk about time as if it was a physical object. “Where has all the time gone? I don’t have time. We have run out of time. Do you have any time today?” Substitute the word ‘sugar’ for the word ‘time’ and you’ll get what I mean. Linear time, or the time we humans make up, ignores the greater cycles of time.
The Universe, generous beyond imagination, gave us night and day, summer, autumn, winter, spring, annual and perennial crops and plants, animals that hibernate and birds that migrate to teach us something about cycles. Timeliness is not only up to us. Things happen because it is time for things to happen. In the words of the beautiful, gracious and very present Byron Katie:
"Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do."

Q3. You always write so beautifully about the experience of ageing. Is there any advice you can give to people dealing with the reality of ageing parents?


Accept them as they are right now, in this moment. Try not to yearn for the person they used to be.  Over the past 19 years, my mother has had Alzheimer’s disease and I have learned that when I meet her in her world,  when I sing with her, smile with her, move my body closer when she leans closer, she melts into the grace of being accepted exactly as she is. She becomes a warm, loving person and joy to be with.
Five years ago, when caring for my mother became too much for my 90 year old father, she went to live in a residential home for people living with dementia. She stopped doing many things she had once done, including going to the hairdressers every day! Her hair began to slowly change to grey and I decided I would go grey with my mother. Today I embrace the elder I am becoming. I have a mop of grey hair and often have to laugh when people ask me where I got my hair streaked. I tell them at a place called ‘Old Age’.
We- the older generation, 55 years and over- have a wealth of experience and wisdom to share. Living a long time turns the aged into living historians.
Although I believe we need to eat well and exercise our bodies in moderation, our addiction to youth diminishes our belief in ourselves that we are of great value and benefit to our communities and to society as a whole. We are living longer now and so we need to make some important choices. Do we embrace our elders as beings of great wisdom who have the power to contribute to every level of society or do we continue to try to look, sound and act younger than we really are?
My father is about to turn 95 and every child in our family relishes the opportunity to sit quietly and talk to him. Knowing how to listen, ask good questions and share diverse thoughts is the precious legacy my father will leave behind when it is his time to move on.

Q4. You talk about your own experiences with other worlds as a child. How do we keep ourselves open to receiving miracles?

There are three qualities that open the door to receiving miracles. Gratitude, Forgiveness and Wonder.
Gratitude connects us to our hearts and turns even the most ordinary and mundane experience into a sacred moment. Even the most profound and life changing miracle will lose its brilliance and fade unless it is accompanied by gratitude. I was an unpopular child. I didn’t like running or skipping or playing hide and seek. I loved to read and was considered weird.  Life at home was also often difficult. My mother was both overprotective and at times neglectful. She could be sweet and tender one minute and cruel and dismissive the next. I was severely disciplined, mainly for making up overly creative stories that were seen as lies. So in the face of this I made up games.
 I was about seven years old and I told myself that if I laughed three times in one day I could call it a good day. I would lie in my bed every night and look back through my day and try to find three times where I laughed. It created a very strong relationship between me and gratitude. So the practice of looking back through your day just before you fall asleep and recalling the events in your day for which you are grateful creates within you a magnet that calls more and more moments of grace or everyday miracles into your life. The more we focus our thoughts on something, the more we call it into our life. For example if you focus on rude people, you will probably encounter many rude people in your life. If you focus on your ailments, you will almost certainly experience lots of aches and pains. On the other hand, if you focus on compassion, loving kindness and generosity, the likelihood of you experiencing these in your life is also very high.
Forgiveness is another door to opening miracles. When I met Sandy Macgregor and heard his story I knew then that nothing was unforgivable.
Eighteen years ago, Sandy lost his three teenage daughters and their friend when they were shot dead in their Sydney home. Few people would ever get their life back together again after such an event, but Sandy went much further than that and found a way to forgive. In his book Peace of Mind he describes the technique he used to do this. He also makes it clear that forgiveness is not about condoning an action. Forgiveness is only for yourself.  What the does perpetrator with your forgiveness is up to them. Whatever they do is not your responsibility. You are primarily responsible for yourself only. The miracle that comes out of forgiveness is freedom.
Wonder clears our lenses and allows us to see and hear and touch and taste for the first time, everyday.  Connected to wonder is innocence. That childhood sense of playfulness and purity that heightens everything we do.  As we experience wonder, life simply becomes more wonder-full.

Q5. Can you give 5 brief pieces of advice to someone who wants to take the leap and explore their own creativity?


1.    Be in your element

To be in your element means doing something that you have an aptitude for. According to Sir Ken Robinson, we all have an aptitude for something. Cooking, cleaning, playing guitar, doing mathematics or writing may be things you love and have an aptitude for. But you don’t have to be good at something to be in your element. All you have to do is enjoy and love it and then naturally you will be in your element.

2.    Re-establish a relationship with your imagination

When was the last time you thought it might be a good idea to plan a dress-up party? My daughter just went to a sequin party and I was only sorry I didn’t know the person having it. Do you remember when you were a child, when you were not distracted by technology and would use bits and pieces of nature to create a cubby, or a tea party, or a battle field? Exploring our creativity requires us to regularly turn off the computer, iphone, ipad and go out into nature. Look around you and see the faces in the bark of the trees or the animals in the rocks, or the dragons and angels in the clouds. Exercise your imagination. It is a muscle and like all muscles you have to use it or you might lose it.

3.    Practice Spontaneous Stupidity

Spontaneity is letting go of control. Releasing our rigidity and need to create structure, strategies and order in our life. Stupidity is a lack of knowing, allowing ourselves to not know and to explore freely.  Many of us are absolutely terrified of looking stupid but that is because we have misunderstood the true meaning of the word.  Not knowing something is the only way to learn. I coined the term Spontaneous Stupidity many years ago when I found the only way to cope with five children under seven was to be both at the same time! I love being silly and laughing at the ridiculous. Most of us lose that ability to be silly and are overly concerned with how we appear to others.

In the Middle Ages, the most spontaneously stupid person was the court jester who was also the closest ear to the king. He was able to offer guidance and wisdom by being creatively silly. He would speak in rhyme and riddle but his wisdom lay between his words. In a Danny Kaye movie called ‘The Court Jester’ he speaks these words of warning to the King: “The vessel with the pestle has the pellet with the poison and the chalice in the palace has the brew that is true.”

4.    Play Games

Invite some friends over and instead of an elaborate three course meal, host a game. It could be a writing game, a drawing game or murder mystery game. My kids, all adults, now love games and “What would you rather?” is one of their favourites. So what would you rather do, kiss old aunty Daisy on the lips or clean all the toilets at central station with a tooth brush? It gets worse. The laughter becomes louder and louder and the creative ideas more and more disgusting but laughter lights us up. It literally bring us to enlightenment,  switching on all our creative senses.

5.    Eat, Move and Rest

Confession: I am guilty of not always doing this. I can be sitting at my computer six or even eight hours until I am seconds away from being totally brain dead, without eating or moving all day. We need to eat to keep our minds working. I can literally feel my energy seep away if I leave too long between a snack. Writers' block is a very common phenomenon and the only way I know to shift the energy is to get up and go for a walk. I clear the brain by breathing deeply and reconnect to the spirit within. And finally, not only do I recommend going to bed at a reasonable hour but taking a few minutes to meditate on retiring and rising allows the mind to stop thinking.  After ten or fifteen minutes of breathing and allowing thoughts to rise and dissolve something quite lovely happens and we enter into a place of true communion with our self. This is the source of all creativity.  A sacred space where everything and nothing exists in harmony together. A place where we can align our own spirit to the infinite flow of universal creativity.




Medium Jade-Sky on Living Your Purpose

Australian "Everyday Medium" Jade-Sky, acclaimed intuitive and the author of several books, including Psychic Secrets, was kind enough to send me a few answers to some burning questions I had for her.





Jade-Sky's down-to-earth wisdom and advice is just wonderful, and I am so excited to be able to share this with you:




Q1. I have just finished reading "The No Excuses Guide to Uncovering Your Purpose," the wonderful and very inspiring book you wrote with Stacey De Marco. How long have you felt you were living your purpose, and when did you realise it? 




My purpose is to be a mother but also a connector. I feel like I have been really living my purpose in the past 18 years. I first became a mother 14 years ago and as a connector 19 years ago. I started to connect people with information, and as a psychic medium I connect them with their spirit guides and passed loved ones.
Even though I have been born as a connector and psychic medium I didn’t realise that this was in fact my purpose until around 12 years ago. I knew that I wanted to help people and knew that I had a gift for doing readings for people but I wasn’t sure exactly what my purpose was besides being a Mum and a psychic medium. Being a connector is more than that it is about connecting to all different energies and connecting people to what they need.

Q2. If I could do something this month, or a series of things, to help me realise my life's purpose, what do you think it should be?

The first thing I would suggest you to do is to find out what in life gives you the most joy, what is something you love to do that you lose time doing? I would also get you to do the exercises in our book . One of the most powerful exercises is the sticky note exercise, it may sound simple but it is amazing to see how clear people become after they answer the questions and really look at what it is they do like, what they originally wanted to be or do when they were a child and things that really do make their heart sing.

Q3. Your have written a popular book called "Psychic Secrets" - can you tell us one of those secrets? And if people, like me, don't feel like they are particularly intuitive, what is one thing you could recommend they do to help awaken their psychic intuition?

The biggest secret of all is that you don’t have to have a huge Aladdin moment with a genie jumping out of a bottle telling you that you are psychic. Every person is born with their own intuition, it’s just that some people develop their intuition more or are predisposed to having stronger psychic ability.
To awaken your own intuition you need to start sensing and feeling and exploring the world around you without just using what you see visually. The biggest thing is to ask for signs even if you don’t think you are intuitive or don’t know who your spirit guides are. Ask for signs, signs always come to me in three different ways all with the same message.

Q.4. I know that you believe in past lives. What would you say to someone who was sceptical about the concept? What have you seen/become aware of that has convinced you of the truth of this?

Past lives are a passion of mine, I understand that many people may be sceptical about the concept but there are many universities around the world, and in particular in India, that have been vigorously studying the area of past lives. These universities  have studied children who have memories of their past lives and they have gone on to give great detail of their previous lives without having any access to this information. These children have come from remote villages in India without technology all the way to children from the USA, and the UK.
Recollection of past lives is not limited to any one culture or race but there are some cultures who are more open to the concept and have had it be part of their spiritual practice for thousands of years.
Over the past 20 years in my own practice as a psychic medium I have read many people and have seen their past lives and shared with them particular details that have made complete sense to them and even explained to them why they have such a strong like or dislike to someone or something or an unexplained injury or birthmark that has come through from a past life.
I have experienced many past life recollections myself, as well as witnessed some past life skills in my youngest child, my six year old daughter. My daughter has the same psychic gift as I do but since she was a toddler she has been very drawn to particular things my other children haven’t been. For example my daughter has blonde/light brown hair and brown eyes, she is Caucasian, but ever since she was tiny she has always been drawn to dolls that have very tan or dark skin, dark curly hair and dark eyes. She used always draw pictures of herself with dark skin and very dark hair and would not realise that this is not what she actually looked like.  She is only just realising this now that she is six and has started school. There are many more examples, far too many to write here but I encourage you to look into past lives - they are very interesting.

Q. 5. Can you give some pieces of advice to someone who wants to take the leap and explore their own creativity?

To take the leap and explore your own creativity you first need to free your mind of any preconceived ideas or guilt about what you should be doing. Often creative people feel guilty for taking time out of their so-called normal working hours to do something that they love or to create something.
Your creativity is about opening up to what you are feeling and sensing and just going with the flow. Do not let your mind take over and stop your flow.
Also do not be limited by what other people think you should be doing. Being creative means different things to different people, but I take it as living the life that you want and be able to feel and sense and enjoy your passion. It goes back to doing something that you love!


___________________________________________________

Medium and author Jade-Sky
Jade-Sky is an author and psychic who has appeared on Channel 7's Sunrise and who, over the past 18 years, has fine tuned her natural skills in the areas of Tarot and Oracle card reading, psychometry, mediumship/channeling and past lives.
Jade-Sky's books Psychic Secrets and The No-Excuses Guide to Uncovering Your Purpose (with co-author Stacey De Marco) are published by Rockpool Publishing.

Celtic Spirituality and the Irish Pilgrim Experience - An Evening With Rosamund Burton




Speaker: Rosamund Burton
FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER 2012 at 7.45pm
Swedenborg Centre,
1 Avon Road, North Ryde
Cost: $7; concession $5 (including refreshments)



Discover the value of pilgrimage as journalist and author, Rosamund Burton, talks abut walking Ireland’s ancient highway and pilgrim route, St Declan’s Way.
Hear about the many aspects of Celtic spirituality she encounters, including the sacred wells and springs, evidence of the goddess tradition, the fairy forts, the early Christian churches and monasteries, and the convent where she stayed with a silent order of Cistercian nuns.
In early 1990s Rosamund cycled the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrim route in northern Spain. Nearly twenty years later she sets off from the famous Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary and travels 100km along St Declan’s Way. It takes her through Lismore, with its spectacular castle, where her family used to live, and on to the fishing village of Ardmore, where St Declan founded his monastery in 5th century.
Here, in this stunningly scenic area of Ireland, walking alone over heather-covered mountains, across streams and through woodland valleys, is a totally different but equally rewarding pilgrim experience.
Irish-born, Rosamund Burton, is author of Castles, Follies and Four-Leaf Clovers: Adventures Along Ireland St Declan’s Way.


Talking Writing: Food

The New South Wales Writers' Centre is having another of its wonderful Talking Writing evenings in November, and this one is all about food.
It also features two of my favourite people: the brilliant novelist and essayist Charlotte Wood, and my very own partner, the gorgeous Mr. Noodlies himself, Thang Ngo.


Charlotte Wood



Charlotte will be in discussion with Thang about her non-fiction book (and one of my favourite reads of 2012), Love & Hunger.







Thang Ngo


Who: Charlotte Wood & Thang Ngo
When: Thursday 8 November, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Cost: Full price: $10; Member: FREE
Where: NSW Writers' Centre,  Garry Owen House, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle
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