GLADvent Day 8

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Welcome to GLADvent day eight! Yesterday we had the word Music.

I’m incredibly blessed to sing in a local choir called Glorious Chorus (http://gloriouschorus.co.uk/), and we had an amazing gig recently at Exeter Catherdral, supporting a fabulous female folk duo – Sound of The Sirens 🙂 An incredible experience.

Us… singing an original song called Family, written by our phenomenally talented choir leader, Helen Yeomans.

Them:-) We sang this song with them (we did the backing) at the end of the evening.

And so, to the eighth stocking…but where…?

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Ready to turn over? …

day-8-animals

ANIMALS: “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though

– that’s the problem.

– A.A. Milne

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Animals have shown up in your life recently. What kind of animal(s)? Wild or pets? If you spoke to them, did they answer back?

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Eight stockings turned😉 Hope to see you tomorrow for number 9.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

GLADvent Day 7

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Welcome to GLADvent day seven! Yesterday we had the word Creativity.

Creativity is my best, most treasured friend – and yet, I wonder sometimes if I give as much to the relationship as Creativity does. See Creativity is so brave, and kind, and light, and loving…but she’s an invisible friend. She needs me. She can only be seen if I listen, and let her use my hands, heart, head, soul. And sometimes when I listen I don’t completely understand, or she sends me something sooooo big and beautiful, I’m scared to try to make it visible because it’s so hard to express that using the tools of this world, which Creativity doesn’t live in, so she doesn’t know that…but maybe that’s the point. Because sometimes, just sometimes, she does know best…and it turns out to be possible after all🙂

And so, to the seventh stocking…but where…?

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Aha, now let’s turn it over!

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MUSIC: “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words, and that which cannot remain silent. 

– Victor Hugo

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Music has shown up in your life recently. What have you been listening to lately? Or singing/playing/composing? Why do you choose the Music you do, at different times, and how does it make you feel?

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Seven stockings turned – and we’re tuning in nicely😉 Hope to see you tomorrow for number 8.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

GLADvent Day 6

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Welcome to GLADvent day six! Yesterday we had the word Warmth. I think of the beautiful red woolen coat my sister bought me a couple of Christmases ago, which I wear so much right now. Bright, warm, cosy, comforting. I think of the hat my mother knitted for me that still gets comments from strangers as a I walk down the street. Colourful, creative, unique….(the hat!)

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I think of the mushroom risotto my Dad cooked a couple of months back, after he and I had been out hunting for chanterelle mushrooms. And I think of laughter, and song, and the smiles that do the mind by-pass thing, and go straight to the heart. Reflecting on this word has choked me up a bit, more than the others so far, and that surprises me. I think there’s something about its primal nature, and its simplicity. There simply is no life without warmth…

And now, seek the sixth stocking! (Try saying that five times fast after a little medicinal warming mulled wine!)

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Got it? Great:-) Let’s turn it over and see what we’ve got…

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CREATIVITY: “To be creative means to be in love with life. 

– Osho

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Creativity has shown up in your life recently; and be creative with that question😉 To be creative doesn’t just mean drawing, writing, singing, sculpting etc  As Osho says, to be creative is to be in love with life. How have you shown life that you love it?

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Six stockings turned – we’re warming up nicely😉 Hope to see you tomorrow for number 7.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

Poetry on Demand – for real!

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I wanted to share with you a couple of the poems I wrote on Saturday – my first public outing writing poetry on demand!

It was a great success, and so much fun, with warm smiles a plenty, as well as a few teary eyes to show I’d done my job well!

Below are a couple of examples, written in just three minutes! Enjoy:-)

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This customer wanted a poem about unrequited love, and new opportunities:

My eyes shine

and give rise

to seedlings that

grow up

out, deep below

into the crevices

the cracks 

that have opened up

inside me

with the shock

of powerful feelings sent back

not received

but returned with interest and refusal

unintentionally destructive

life-givingly opening

for new roots

have found the cracks

the tears have watered freedom

and I see a new direction opening

one of flow

and the unknown

far from here

far from you

something new

This customer wanted a poem about the joys of grandchildren:

What a joy
watching the next generation
grow and thrive
play and dance
to the natural joy
of the music they can still hear
in hearts unblemished
souls pure
minds open and curious
‘Why?’ they ask
‘Play with me!’ they say
and you’re away
in worlds they conjure
with words and songs and dance
worlds they see
beyond mundane reality
and they go there so easily
until life knocks them back
as at times it will
and they crawl into your lap
for a hug and a snuggle
to be soothed and stroked
and allowed to cry
 
Oh precious ones
who brighten my day
don’t let that magic
fade away

GLADvent Day 5

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Welcome to GLADvent day five! Yesterday we had the word Learning, so I’ll share this acrostic from a while back:

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And now, can you find the fifth stocking?

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So, let’s turn it over and see what we’ve got:

 

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WARMTH: “I enjoy it when the world smiles; the more smiles, the warmer I am. 

– Dejan Stojanovic

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Warmth has shown up in your life recently; whether inner or outer, given or received. And as by a fire, other qualities, feelings gather close when warmth is near. What else was present?

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Five stockings turned! Hope to see you tomorrow for number 6.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

GLADvent Day 4

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Welcome to GLADvent day four! Yesterday we had the word Peace, which reminded me of this piece I wrote a while back:

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And now, can you find the fourth stocking?

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So let’s turn it over and see what we’ve got:

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LEARNING: “The more you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places that you’ll go”

– (the inimitable, the fantabulousest…) Dr Seuss

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Learning has shown up in your life recently; what did you learn (or teach)? Was it a conscious choice, or did life just throw you a lesson you were ready and willing to catch? Where will this learning take you?!

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Four stockings turned! Hope to see you tomorrow for number 5.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish.

And do check out these friends who are coming along for the ride…why not join us?

https://promptlings.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/gladvent-day-3-peace/

https://spiritualdragonfly.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/gladvent-day-2/

GLADvent Day 3

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Welcome to GLADvent day three! Yesterday we had the word Sharing, and I had the pleasure of holding a writing workshop, the experience of which inspired this poem:

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Now, can you find the third stocking?

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Great! Let’s turn it over and see what we’ve got…

 

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PEACE: “For every minute you remain angry,

you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how Peace has shown up in your life recently; how did it come about? How did it feel?

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Three stockings turned! Hope to see you tomorrow for number 4.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

GLADvent Day 2

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Welcome, one and all, to GLADvent Day two! We began yesterday, with the quality of kindness, as played with in this acrostic poem:

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And now, can you find the second stocking?

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Great, let’s turn it over and see what we’ve got…

 

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SHARING:  “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”

Ruth Reichl

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how sharing has shown up in your life recently; what has been shared and why? How did that add to or change the situation?

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Two stockings turned! Hope to see you tomorrow for number 3.

Do continue to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below as you wish…

GLADvent Day 1

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Ladies and Gents it’s my great pleasure on this December 1st 2016 to welcome you, one and all, to GLADvent! Just the familiar recognition of the passing of the days leading up to Christmas, but with an extra twist of Joy and Gratitude thrown in.

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To mark the passage of time, and offer daily invitations to reflect and give thanks, I’ve created a GLADvent calendar, which I’d love for you to ‘open’ with me each day, from now until December 24th.

This is not to deny that there are many and real problems we face right now, both individually and as a collective. It is to remind me, and anyone else who needs a nudge, that there is still much of beauty and blessing in this world. That remembering is a source of strength that can be used to face those challenges with courage and compassion.

The numbered stockings each have a specific word and related quote written on the back. The quote is a bonus, for it’s the word that is intended to be an invitation to give thanks for the presence of that thing or quality in our lives. Can you find number 1?

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OK friends, let me turn it over for you and let’s see what we’ve got…

 

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KINDNESS: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.Plato

Now take a moment to pause and reflect upon how kindness has shown up in your life recently; kindness given, kindness received or both.

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And we’re off! The GLADvent journey has begun. Hope to see you tomorrow for stocking number 2.

Feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section below,

and welcome to GLADvent!

Mist, sacred, fire

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image credit:http://www.scenesofmilford.com/walnut-beach/

Below is a poem I wrote in three minutes (I haven’t edited!) in response to the three word prompt in the title of this post. I’ve written five three minute poems to warm up for a more public offering this Saturday, but I’d love more practice! If you’d like me to write you one, want to read the others, or just for more background to this challenge, please check out my previous post.

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/poetic-practice/

The fire in the belly
of mother earth
rises water ways into
a mist that fills the air
and cloaks the dawn
to meet the sacred sunrise
for each day birthed
anew is welcomed
with equal beauty, splendor
the moon bows out
to the sun
the birds sing
the new day in
and old and new
rise again refreshed
by the turn, turn, turn
that keeps life moving
always moving
and the elements
rising, falling, rising, falling
as one who remembers
walks on the beach
away from walls and noise
and feels for herself
the sacred start
of a new day