Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Here we are on the eve of a new year…

As arbitrary as this is on one level, on another it reminds us that we are always on the verge of becoming new…again and again and again.

We are always in movement, and we are always in a state of potential.

This beautiful piece of nature reminds me of our multi-layered magnificence, the power of potential, and the anticipation of bloom.

My intent for 2014 is joy, adventure and freedom!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Fire in the Heart

They say that chanting (kirtan) burns away the impurities of the heart…

On Saturday, I immersed myself in chanting at a Bhakti Fest in London.


If you have never experienced this, imagine a large hall with high ceilings. On the burnished wooden floor, cast a scattering of rugs and cushions. People appear seated cross-legged, bodies draped in shawls; friends, neighbours, strangers sit close together while children mingle and explore.

A group of musicians occupies the far corner next to a beautifully decorated puja (altar) hung with flowers and illuminated with candles. The harmonium begins to drone, the tabla player "tock tocks" with a hammer to tune his instrument, and the chanting begins…slowly at first in a gentle call and response, then gradually climbing to shimmering crescendos. The sounds soak in from outside and build up from inside; your body beings to relax; your heart finds a new rhythm.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Otter Country

I just finished Miriam Darlington's Otter Country: In Search of the Wild Otter. What a beautifully written book.  It is one of those books that subtly affects your consciousness as you travel with Miriam around the UK in her search for wild otters. In exquisite prose, with her poet-sensibilities, she infiltrates our imagination and lays down a mesh-work of rivers, streams and teeming tributaries. She brings alive the watery world of otters; she exposes our complicity with the annihilation of their habitat while at the same time not losing touch with the magic and possibility of their returning presence.

Miriam, and therefore her readers, travel from a state of curiosity about otters to a more subtle, mature and sensitive awareness of their needs, habits and unique qualities. She moves through the challenges of either startling the otters or not finding them at all to being able to sit quietly for hours and almost become part of their environment. She begins in a camper van, traveling north in search of the wild where she assumes she will find otters, and ends sleeping out among the textures, smells and sensations of her local river life. She conveys this alchemical process with humour and a rueful awareness of the challenges of human/animal interaction. She writes: "As we have expanded and colonised, the wild has become knitted around us, in a living, breathing mesh. The otter is truly among us" (123).

She stirred questions in me:
How do I move in my environment?
What tracks do I leave on all levels?
How often do I still myself in a way that allows me to really notice?

                                                                     © Julia Doggart 2014

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Showers of Gold

Such elegant colours at this time of year - trees in concert with light.  A morning walk in cold, frosted air becomes filled with hope. Transition looks good on nature - suits her. Transition  can suit me too.

This is the beauty of something waning.
This is the leaf about to fall.
This is nature on her way to seeming slumber
A reminder of all she has in store…

What is dying because it needs to leave you?
What has room to breathe?
What is the silent wish that haunts your sleeping?
What is the dream you wake for?

Thursday, 31 October 2013


Where I live, in the immediate vicinity, the storm that swept through a few days ago did not do much overt damage. There are some trees down; there is standing water in places that used to be dry; and there are signs of the wind's journey through flowerbeds and over lawns.
The day after the storm, the air was fresh and the skies were blue. It felt as if we had been purged of something - woken up forcefully. As I walk through familiar woods, I see small signs of tearing. It reminds me that sometimes we need to  break open; we need to be rend out of our old patterns. It needn't be painful.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Someone's Paying Attention

A couple of posts ago, I was musing about my different experiences on two different days. I was asking myself what it was that had me feeling a little disconnected at this very congenial lunch party. As I was holding these questions inside, within a day I stumbled on two beautiful perspectives that offered me some wisdom.

The first bit of wisdom relates to following the crowd versus being ourselves, and also my failure to speak about the things I love.  It was written by Sarah Varcas, an astrologer in the UK. She is speaking of the times we find ourselves in now, and how we create our reality:

"Think of it like a pot of soup. We each add our favourite ingredient to it, but if lots of people have a particular penchant for onions, the soup will taste very oniony, even though other people have added a carrot here or a parsnip there. So when we share the soup it will taste of onions, whatever we’ve put into it. Those who threw in a potato or some cabbage may be thinking ‘Well this isn’t fair. I didn’t sign up for onion soup!’, but what they may fail to grasp is that they didn’t put in enough of their ingredient of choice to make a difference in the face of all those onions! This is how the karmic field is beginning to function now. If we want to draw from it positivity, peace, harmony, healing, honesty, wisdom, then that’s exactly what we need to be putting into it and in big amounts, because there are plenty of people out there putting in all kinds of very strong metaphorical onions with the capacity to over-power our contribution!"

The second bit of wisdom relates to my observation that I had subtly put on a lens of a 'no-one gets me'; this comes from Geoffrey Hoppe channeling Adamus St. Germain during a Q and Q session on The Awakening Zone:

"That energy of 'they don't get me' or 'I'm not seen or understood' is victim energy.  They don't need to get you...you don't need that kind of approval.  They are on their journey and you are on yours. It leads to resentment. Is there a part of you saying 'I still don't understand me?'"

I loved these two bits of wisdom that seemed to directly answer some of my questions. Then yesterday, as I was walking in the woods, I wondered aloud why I was writing a blog that, at present, no one appears to be reading (partly because I have not necessarily announced the fact that I am writing a blog!) I heard a strange noise...like hail. The wind was buffeting the oak trees above me with some urgency.  All around me, little acorns were falling. Beautiful. I had just chosen to put an acorn as my profile picture on this blog.  Thank you. I get the message. Someone is very clearly reading/listening. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A Dragonfly

Yesterday, I found a dragonfly in a raspberry cage. He was beautiful: large green segmented body, stencil wings, bug eyes, shiny. He felt trapped. He flew against the mesh fence and then the ceiling - he bashed against it, hoping each time for a different result.

The door to the cage was now open; he was potentially free. He did not notice. He continued to collide with the mesh. I called to him. I pointed to the door. I sang. I walked near him, trying to steer his path. He got more frantic. I picked up a large spinach leaf, thinking I could guide him towards the door. He took it as a sign of aggression. He flew at me fast, batting his stencil wings, damaging them a little.

I stepped back; he retreated to the corner. I got a stick. I offered it to him.  I thought I could carry him out. He ignored it. Impasse.

I thought I would give up. I closed the door of the cage. What would be would be. I walked past him - me on the outside, he on the inside. I offered the stick again - poked it through the mesh. This time he got on. I pulled it lightly, through one of the quite large mesh holes. He tucked in his beautiful wings and slid through - to freedom.

The door was not the only way; my way was not the only way; we ended up as friends.

What a Difference a Day Makes

I have been paying attention lately to significant differences in the shape and feel of a day based on how I show up for it. This past weekend, I had two interestingly contrasting days. On the surface, they were both days filled with pleasurable activity: friends, good food, relaxation, conversation and so on. Yet in my body, I experienced them quite differently. At the end of Saturday, I felt a little dispirited, tired, alien, disconnected and uneasy. At the end of Sunday, I felt palpably happy, satisfied, rich, excited, inspired, open-hearted, energised and filled with possibility. What was different about those two days? How did I show up for them?

A friend's lunch party. I arrive early to help her set up and prepare. She is beautifully relaxed even though the house is messy, the table not set up,  the cat unfed and some vital bits of equipment, such as enough chairs to sit on, missing. I spring into action; by the time the guests arrive, we are perfectly ready. It is quite satisfying, but my experience is tinged with a subtle anxiety entirely of my own choosing.
Drinks, nibbles and conversation ensue. Somewhere in my belief system is a conviction that in this company my "spiritual" side has to be on mute or turned way down..as if my spiritual side is only one part of me!!!
I step into an energy straightjacket and perform. Someone asks me a question and I mention SoulCollage - a beautiful process of making cards that reflect one's inner and outer aspects. It is a process I love passionately. The person asks why anyone would want to do such a process - what is the point or purpose?  Her husband chimes in: "I know who I am and where I am going. Why would I need this?" My filter of "not understood" and "not seen" is active. I mumble a response which barely does justice to the beautiful process I know in my soul is filled with truth.
Lunch progresses. Everyone is having a great time, yet I feel disconnected. The wine flows. I drink and participate in noisy, pleasant and, for me, insignificant conversation. Familiar ground is trodden and re-trodden. More wine. A brief and wonderful conversation with one of the guests with whom I have a soul connection. More wine and food. My body is dulling. My senses feel sleepy. There is a certain satisfaction - the lunch is going well, people are nice and this is a community of sorts, everyone has good hearts - and yet, and yet...I am not fully there. I am playing a role. I am participating in an experience already knowing the beginning, middle and end.

A new friend comes to visit for the day. There is a pleasing sense of the unknown. I am curious yet without expectation; I have no idea what the day will hold. I am open.
She arrives. We have lunch at our wonderful local pub and talk about our life experiences. The conversation is open and connecting...also vulnerable at times. We have one small drink and plenty of water. We eat well.
After lunch, we go for a walk in the woods with three engaging dogs. We continue our conversation; I listen deeply and reflect before I speak. Then we practice SoulCollage together. We light a candle. We prepare a space. Then we each ask a question,  draw cards and speak from the cards, recording each other's words and reading them back. We have exciting epiphanies; we feel nourished by the connection. We laugh often.  Time passes quickly. We are curious about our similarities as well as differences. We feel familiar to one another. Ideas and inspirations come effortlessly. We agree to support one another in our dreams and make a plan to talk on the phone and meet regularly.

What was different? Me...

Questions I am asking myself as a result of these contrasting experiences:

  • What would have made Saturday more real and enjoyable?
  • What helps me remember that my value is not determined by others' perceptions, or my perception of their perceptions?
  • What is feeling different or disconnected really about?
  • How can I enjoy myself in a variety of settings and not just the ones that are easily comfortable?
  • What are the "state" changers?  Possible contenders: old patterns; too much alcohol; playing a role versus being spontaneous; habit; following the herd; caring too much what others think; feeling I should be a certain way; assuming my differences are liabilities versus assets...

Saturday, 17 August 2013

What Are We Crafting?

I changed the blog name. This name reflects the name of my website, the focus of my intention, the nature of my daily reflections. I am interested in the way that everything we do, say, think, feel, wonder about, observe, have relationship with affects the work-in-progress project that we are! We are literally, on a daily basis, crafting who we are from the raw material at hand.

It is easy to see this in relation to the physical body. For instance, I do a lot of walking and I have begun to pay attention to the habits that my feet have had for all these years. I notice how the way that my feet have touched the earth - the uneasy outward roll that puts pressure on the edges rather than the balls of my feet, the subtle differences between left and right caused by the foot I favour, the uneven hips and sway back habit that plays with gait  - has shaped the feel, appearance, and capacity of my feet today. I have crafted them and continue to do so. It is not the end of the story. As I walk with more awareness - choosing to place my feet more evenly and feel weight distributed on the whole underside, choosing to turn my feet in and then out in order to loosen my hips - these new habits continue to shape my feet in new ways.

Imagine a similar process happening with our thoughts, with our habits of feeling, with our tendencies to believe or expect certain things. We are shaping our consciousness, shaping our subtle energy fields, shaping what is possible...

How have you shaped yourself today? What have you crafted from your essence?

Friday, 2 August 2013

Hearts Connect

After I made my first post, I googled to see if anyone else had the same blog name. Of course they do!  Heart Matters cannot be an original thought!

Some of these blogs are literally about the physical workings of the heart, others are about the bigger heart. I particularly liked this one: http://rebeccaeldridge.blogspot.co.uk
Great photos, behind which are lovely written observations. Check out Dec. 20th - a tribute to her sweetheart.

I love the fact that choosing a blog name would lead me to another blog that I resonate with - makes perfect heart sense!

Today, is my mother's birthday - how will I show up with my heart on a special day like this one?

Wishing you a day where your heart is the main character,

Thursday, 1 August 2013

What is Important?

What is important? 

A friend asked this question not so long ago. Today, the question surfaced again, and I carried it with me throughout my day.

What is important? 

It was a hot day and a quiet one. With just enough work to provide focus but not enough to distract, the question gained muscularity and proved impossible to ignore.  It became an echo to my moments, pointing out absences and gaps as well as the gifts of my full presence.

This was important to me on this day:
  • It was important to start this blog because I promised myself I would
  • It was important to feel sun on my face and the gift of a slight breeze
  • It was important to listen
  • It was important to play with a puppy on the grass
  • It was important to breathe, really breathe
  • It was important to walk among trees and look up 
  • It was important to pick flowers and share them
  • It was important to feel gratitude for a strong body
  • It was important not to take much notice of fears