White Smoke: Why the new Pope is significant…

Pope Francis

Today maybe spare a thought and a prayer for what is happening in Rome as the Cardinals go into conclave for the second day. UPDATE The Conclave is over, but the same thought still applies..

Why, you might well ask . What relevance does the Vatican really have to world?

Well the reality is whether a one is a catholic or not, the Catholic church is one of the largest and most powerful “non-political” voices in the world today.

For years the Vatican has been shackled by infighting, corruption and Machiavellian power games and so what could have been a huge force for good in the world instead became a shady question-mark on the world stage.

There was a moment of hope, Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciani) a genuinely spiritual and graceful man somehow took the conclave by surprise and came in determined to sweep all the corruption aside. He died the night before he was due to announce his reforms.  He was there for just one month and his death, (or murder? read In God’s Name)  ensured that  the status quo remained unchanged.

Irish seer, St Malachy prophesied only one more pope after Benedict:

In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit.Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & judex tremendus judicabit populum suum. Finis.

In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.

The idea of Petrus Romanus is also contained in an ancient prophesy made between 1319-1377 AD, by Blessed Tomasuccio de Foligno, which allegedly details how a future pontiff will heal the Church of schism following a time of turmoil:

“One from beyond the mountains shall become the Vicar Of God. Religious and clerics shall take part in this change. Outside the true path, there will be only disreputable men; I shrug my shoulders when the Bark of Peter is in danger and there is no one to lend it help… The schismatic shall fall into the scorn of the Italian faithful… By about twelve years shall the millennium have passed when the resplendent mantle of legitimate power shall emerge from the shadows where it was being kept by the schism. And beyond harm from the one who is blocking the door of salvation, for his deceitful schism shall have come to an end. And the mass of the faithful shall attach itself to the worthy Shepherd, who shall extricate each one from error and restore to the Church its beauty. He shall renew it.”

Interestingly Benedict XVI announced that his resignation date would be February 28th the feast of St Romanus. What did he mean? Was he telling us that it was time for the schism to end but that he had done all he could and needed to clear the path for a more able shepherd?

There is only one way to remove a whole Curia (Curia = the Vatican Government) and that is for a Pope to die or to resign. If there is a problem of disreputable men who have infiltrated the Vatican Curia, maybe Benedict knew that the only way forward was to resign.

This gives me hope. Imagine a church run by a Dalai Lama type figure, with a genuine spiritual faith and a voice unafraid to speak out on world affairs.

Many think that the church is so lost that no good papal candidates remain. But they do. There are two that come to my mind and I’m sure there are more. If I could wave a magic wand Cardinal Luis Tagle would be Pope and he would choose Cardinal Sean O’Malley as his head of state.

Tagle is one of the most charasmatic and engaging teachers to hit the world in a long time. At just 55 years old he is

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila after becoming a cardinal in November (CNS/Paul Haring)

very young for the Vatican world and that is a good thing. He speaks of the need for “a church that’s humbler, simpler, and with a greater capacity for silence.”

When he speaks there is usually not a dry eye in the house and yet despite his ability to literally rock the room, he is an extremely humble and gentle man.  As John Allen, a Vatican commentator says:  “if Tagle walks out on that balcony the Church has just got a rock star .”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley is an equally lovely man. A Capuchin monk who prefers to wear his brown cassock and not cardinal attire is older than Tagle but also very committed to walking the walk and living a spiritual but humble life.  He is tough also and known for dealing very firmly with clergy accused of sexual abuse and very compassionately with the victims.

If these two for example could get in there and reform the church, suddenly the world would have a very big voice as Tagle is not slow to speak out on the world we are shaping:

“It is sad that those who worship idols sacrifice other people while preserving themselves and their interests. How many factory workers are being denied the right wages for the god of profit? How many women are being sacrificed to the god of domination? How many children are being sacrificed to the god of lust? How many trees, rivers, hills are being sacrificed to the god of ‘progress’? How many poor people are being sacrificed to the god of greed? How many defenseless people are being sacrificed to the god of national security?”

(Cardinal Tagle speaking at  the 49th International Eucharistic Congress; June 15-22, 2008 in Quebec, Canada)

However we won’t know who it is until the white smoke comes and the new pope steps out on the balcony. There is always hope that the corruption can be reversed, and the hope is that this time good will prevail and whoever it is that emerges will be the one to sweep the house clean, start anew and bring a much needed healing voice to the planet.

We need all the help we can get to bring peace to the world. There is change in the air and we can always hope that even if the sea ahead is rough, that the tide is turning for the good…

Update: Pope Francis is the new Pope

Very close to Tagle and O’Malley in philosophy and way of life so change might indeed be on the way.

Read more about him here  and here Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sunday Reflection: Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

If the Earth could speak, maybe she would tell us of her dreams.

Her dreams of peace, of balance and harmony and of souls inspired and aware all is one.

Of unpolluted rivers and seas.

Of forests unbounded

Of clear skies and air.

Of children dancing in the meadows and celebrating the gift of life.

Of people united in love and care.

Of stories woven from age old truths.

Maybe she would sing in the voice of WB Yeats as she dreams of a life imagined:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Or maybe she would just sing …. Earthsong by Michael Jackson

What we think about and imagine we create. Are we treading softly? Or are we storming though, careless to the effects of our actions on the world around us? We are all co-creators. Can we pull together and create a dream? Or will we tumble unthinking towards a nightmare? It is our choice….but only 100% of the time…

Sunday Story – Fathers Day and the lesson of the Wailing Wall

I’m travelling at the moment without my computer so apologies for the lack of posts. When I’m back I’ll post some pics of all the lovely things I’ve seen on this trip..

Today is Father’s Day, (well here and in a lot of places but not in Australia and New Zealand until September apparently!) In our ever fragmenting society the role of the father is one that is often overshadowed by the fact that there are many situations now where children do not have the blessing of growing up with a father.

Is the role of the father different? I believe so. While the mother nurtures, cuddles and coddles, nourishes and protects, the father supports, challenges, encourages drive and ambition, teaches how to deal with new experiences and the tools needed for success in the world.

A little girl I know complained that she didn’t like visits with her father. She was about six years old then and she was very worried as he was not inclined to hold her hand at times that felt unsafe to her, like on narrow paths or near the shoreline or on a riverbank.

I explained to her that Dads are more inclined to let us explore and learn from experience but that as she was unused to being with him (and I suspected that he as a man also brought up without a father was not a very “well-trained” father) she should tell him when she felt unsure and tell him that she needed him to hold her hand at these times. A wise little soul, she took on the advice and now, years later, has a great relationship with her father. Together they have learned how to create a father-daughter relationship from the ashes of divorce and a second generation fatherless household.

She had to learn to experience a different relationship with him and she had to help him find the part of him that could parent and protect. In doing so both are learning new things about love, about each other and also about the different ways in which men and women experience the world.

As it is Father’s day I want to share this story from Yitta Halbertstam and Judith Leventhal’s book, Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life as reminder to us all to treasure our fathers while we have them and like my little friend above to remember that it takes two to develop the bond.  And as this story illustrates, in matters of love and emotional bonds there is no ‘then and now’; there are just moments of connection and sometime magical synchronicity …

This story is about a young Jewish man, Joey Riklis, from Cleveland, Ohio, who goes to visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem after his father had died.

His father had been a survivor of the holocaust and was an ardent practitioner of his Jewish faith. Joey had rebelled against his father’s faith and the two of them had been alienated for some time. He was feeling guilt and remorse over his father’s death and blamed himself for it.

Joey had traveled to India and done his share of guru hopping in hopes of finding an alternative to his Hebrew religious heritage. But nothing truly satisfied or filled his spiritual longing. So he went to Israel to explore the heritage that he had formerly spurned. While there he noticed people scribbling notes on small pieces of paper and inserting them into the crevices of the Wailing Wall.

He asked a young man there what this was about and was told that they were petitionary prayers. People believed the stones were so holy that any requests placed inside of them would be especially blessed.

So Joey decided to write his own petition, addressed to his father. He wrote, “Dear Father, I beg you to forgive me for the pain I caused you. I loved you very much and I will never forget you. And please know that nothing that you taught me was in vain. I will not betray your family’s deaths. I promise.”
Joey searched for an empty crevice in the Wall to place his petition. There were notes crammed and overflowing all over the place. After an hour of trying to find an empty space he finally found a spot and inserted his small note into the crack.

As he did so he “accidentally dislodged another that had been resting there, and it fell to the ground.” He bent down and picked it up and was going to put it back when he was overcome by a powerful impulse to open the note and read it, which he did.

Here is what he read: My Dear Son Joey, If you should ever happen to come to Israel and somehow miraculously find this note, this is what I want you to know: I always loved you even when you hurt me, and I will never stop loving you. You are, and always will be, my beloved son. And Joey, please know that I forgive you for everything, and only hope that you in turn will forgive a foolish old man.” Signed, Adam Riklis, Cleveland, Ohio.


Sunday Story – The Butterfly Story

This is a lovely take on the current world consciousness change by Elisabet Sahtouris, an evolution biologist and future consultant. It reminds me of the caterpillar story from Dance with Life, which I will include at the end of this. Enjoy…


The Butterfly Story

Elisabet Sahtouris | the butterfly story

A caterpillar can eat up to three hundred times its own weight in a day, devastating many plants in the process, continuing to eat until it’s so bloated that it hangs itself up and goes to sleep, its skin hardening into a chrysalis. Then, within the chrysalis, within the body of the dormant caterpillar, a new and very different kind of creature, the butterfly, starts to form. This confused biologists for a long time. How could a different genome plan exist within the caterpillar to form a different creature? They knew that metamorphosis occurs in a number of insect species, but it was not known until quite recently that nature did a lot of mixing and matching of very different genome/protein configurations in early evolutionary times. Cells with the butterfly genome/ proteins were held as aggregates, or ‘discs’ of stem cells that biologists call ‘imaginal cells’, tucked inside pockets of the caterpillar’s skin all its life, remaining undeveloped until the crisis of overeating, fatigue and breakdown allows them to develop.

Such metamorphosis makes a good metaphor for the great changes globalisation, in the sense of world transformation, is bringing about., as Norie Huddle first used it in her children’s book Butterfly. Our bloated old system is rapidly becoming defunct while the vision of a new and very different society, long held by many ‘imaginal cell’ humans who dreamt of a better world, is now emerging like a butterfly, representing our solutions to the crises of predation, overconsumption and breakdown in a new way of living lightly on Earth, and of seeing our human society not in the metaphors and models of mechanism as well-oiled social machinery, but in those of evolving, self-organizing and intelligent living organism.

If you want a butterfly world, don’t step on the caterpillar, but join forces with other imaginal cells to build a better future for all!


I love the idea of imaginal cells. It never ceases to amaze me what we can learn from nature and how many life lessons are right under our noses! Anyway that was Elisabet’s lovely story and now we can zoom in and see it from the viewpoints of the caterpillars!


A Tale of Two Caterpillars

“Once there was a brother caterpillar and a sister caterpillar. The sister spent all her time looking to the sky. She would watch the birds and all the other winged creatures with longing. She said to her brother ‘One day I’ll fly just like them. I really feel that I will.’

Her brother was scornful.

‘Don’t be so stupid,’ he said. ‘What would you even want to fly for. It’s lovely to be able to wiggle along the earth and to find a fat juicy leaf. I watch those silly birds and they’re always just darting about looking useless.’

She listened to him, but didn’t agree.

‘It’s not that I don’t like being a caterpillar and that I don’t enjoy every leaf and patch of earth that we explore, but I just can’t shake off the feeling that there’s something more. Haven’t you ever wondered why there are no old caterpillars? Where does everyone go?’

Her brother looked angry.

‘You are so STUPID,’ he shouted. ‘Why do you think those birds are so fat? That’s where we all end up – in their stomachs. We’re bird food! We just have a pointless reason here. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing ahead except some sharp beak, then darkness. Just accept that and stop going on at me. And stop admiring the very creatures you should hate!’

Her brother was disgusted and wriggled away.

She curled on her little leaf singing happily to herself.

‘Maybe my brother is right, but it’s still lovely to look at all the other creatures,’ she said to herself.

Just then a dragonfly whirred past. He saw her on the leaf and landed to say ‘hello’.

She told him about her argument with her brother. The dragonfly clicked and hummed with laughter.

‘But of course you’ll fly. One day you’ll be a butterfly!’

She was thrilled and excitedly went to tell her brother.

‘And you believed him!’ he scoffed. ‘No one believes that mad fool. Even the very word, “butterfly”, I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous.’

Time passed and the urge came for the caterpillars to start spinning their chrysalises. She was full of hope, sure that this was going to take her towards her dream. Her brother was melancholy.

‘This is just packing you know,’ he said sadly. ‘It’s a cruel trick. They’ve engineered it that we do this to fill their stomachs even more. We’re too thin as we are.’

She tried to argue with him but he wouldn’t listen.

They hung, suspended in their chrysalises, for what seemed like an eternity. Then one day her chrysalis began to move. She felt it slip away. She couldn’t figure out where she was, everything looked red. She shook herself and a trickle of red fluid gathered at her little feet. As she looked down she noticed the most beautiful sight. She had wings of lilac and gold with little green spots for decoration. She flapped her wings and began to fly. It was the most amazing feeling. She landed on a flower and sipped delicately at the nectar. It was exquisite, beyond any taste she could have ever imagined. As she looked down on the earth below she felt extraordinarily privileged.

‘This is even better than being a bird,’ she sang out loud, ‘because they have only ever been birds. But I know how cosy and warm it is to snuggle in the warm earth and to chew the deep green leaves and now I know the joy of flight and the magical taste of nectar. I have been given two lives, two experiences in this one lifetime.’

She heard a grumbling coming from a rich yellow flower. Perched on the flower was a beautiful orange butterfly. It was her brother! She flew excitedly to him.

‘It wasn’t a trick, it was real,’ she cried, fluttering her wings to him in greeting.

He looked bitter.

‘Don’t be so naive!’ he snapped. ‘Look at the colour of us both. You bright gold and me bright orange. They’ll see us for miles. We won’t last a second I tell you!’

‘Oh brother! Why can’t you see how amazing this is? You’re beautiful. And we can fly!’

He grimaced.

‘What sort of awful stuff is this?’ he moaned, indicating to the nectar. ‘My teeth are gone. I can’t get a bite of leaf no matter how I try. And I hate flying. It makes my head spin. I tried to curl nicely on a leaf but these blasted wings keep slipping so I fall down.’

She shook her little head and spiralled upwards, realising that there was nothing that she could do to change his mind. He

was as determined to dislike their new life as she was to embrace it.

‘Perhaps in time he will like it more,’ she thought, as she caught a current of air and swooped and fluttered along it into the blue, blue sky.”

© Dance With Life page 126-129

Sunday Story – Little Drop…

This story is from Dance with Life Chapter VIII. The teacher is explaining the nature of thought and understanding so he tells Mira his version of this classic wisdom story. I hope you enjoy…



Once upon a time there was a little drop. The little drop lived on a very big and solid rock right out in the middle of the vast blue ocean.


Little Drop sat on the rock and said: “This is my world.”
Little Drop sat on the rock and said: “This is my nature.”
Little Drop sat on the rock and said: “I am solid. I am just like the rock. I will endure.”


But Little Drop was not rock, and though it searched and searched it could not find a way to make itself feel hard as rock.  It could not find a way to stay solid instead of crystal clear.  It pushed itself into tiny crevices and waited to see if time would freeze it there.  It lay out flat along the surface, hoping that the rock would soak it in. It asked the shellfish to let it sit near them to learn how it could hang there just like them.  But nothing worked, and Little Drop grew larger from its tears.


Then the ocean lapped towards the rock, and called to the Little Drop to join it.  But Little Drop pulled back and said: “I have no need of you. I am on this solid rock. You are just formless sea. You are not like me!”


Time passed, and Little Drop was not content. Try as it might it could not find a way to make itself become solid like the rock.


And the ocean lapped again.


It said: “Little Drop, can you not see that all the while I chip away at this great rock. It is I who makes the sand. It is I who took the sand and formed it into this giant rock.”


But the Little Drop scoffed: “I do not believe you. You who are so shapeless, how could you shape?”


Time passed and the Little Drop grew anxious. It could feel its strength fading. As it searched for a place in the rock, the sun beat down melting parts of Little Drop away.


And the ocean lapped again.


It said: “Little Drop, come join me now! If you do not, soon the sun will have melted you away, and it will take a long, long time before you become a Little Drop again.”


The Little Drop began to listen. It could see the sun carrying other drops very far away. It could see new drops appear and search for ways to be like the rock.  It could see rocks crumbling into dust.  The Little Drop grew uncertain. It looked out to the ocean, and wished that it could be as big and powerful as that vast sea.


And the ocean lapped again.  And the Little Drop wanted proof that it would feel as solid as the rock if it joined with the ocean. But the ocean shook its head.  It said: “Little Drop, I can give you no such proof. I am not of rock, but nor are you, for you are not rock but sea.”


The Little Drop was doubtful.  It wondered: How could something as little as me have anything at all to do with that vast sea?


All around the Little Drop more and more of the other drops were beginning to disappear and, noticing this, the Little Drop forgot its fear. It trickled from its rock towards the ocean.


The Little Drop was finally in the sea.  It lay quietly for a moment, thinking: Any moment now I’ll fade into the sea. But something strange began to happen. The Little Drop could feel what it was like to be of water. It could feel solidity of a different sort.  It could feel the giant form that is the ocean, and all the while its little self did not disappear.


The Little Drop sparkled with delight. It could feel the sun but did not fear it.  It was part of something magical, which would not disappear. It saw the little rock, and saw the difference between rock and sea.  It rippled out and felt its hugeness.  It asked the ocean: “How could it be I thought I was rock? Why did you let me sit there thinking I was different from the sea?”


The ocean lapped in laughter.  “Why Little Drop I put you on the rock so that you could feel the difference. So that you would search for your own feeling and that one day you would return knowing who you are. So that you could understand, that being part of me does not mean the end of you. So that you would see that one little drop was ocean all along.’’


(Dance with Life p.53-56 print edition)

Dance with Life on amazon.com (print & kindle)

Dance with Life on amazon.co.uk (print & kindle)

A blog award – what an honour!

My special thanks to Julie Hanson of juliehansenintuitive.com for giving me this award!

The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you.

– Share 7 random things about yourself. (My list is at the end of the post)

– Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.

– Inform the bloggers of their nomination.

– Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post.

What a lovely way to pay forward for all the great inspiration, wisdom and pleasure I get from other peoples blogs. I love Julie’s blog so have to include it again in this list but, in addition, here are my other favourite places:

Nominated bloggers….

Thanks to all of you for the lovely and different ways

in which you reflect our beautiful world..

juliehansenintuitive.com – OK Julie nominated me, but have to include her blog because as a fellow healer I love it!

www.soulseeds.com – lovely inspiring posts and anecdotes

www.byronkatie.com – great instruction from an amazing teacher

essitolling.com – beautiful posts on nature and inspiration on what led to the captivating Tilly Greenway book series.

moonlight and hares – just gorgeous art

www.acceptancehealing.com – lovely and inspiring

soniasgoodvibevideos.com – a bubble of joy from a world class alchemist

annedeidre.com  – a visionary intuitive

a robins view – honest and moving from the heart writing

pussycatsandangels – just a lovely blog of life, photos and art from the UK

naturalwealthjournal.com – one woman’s journey towards life change

noeticdigest.com  – on how beliefs, thoughts, and intentions affect the physical world

theresonanceproject.org – cutting edge physics and new thought from Nassim Haramein

folkreveries art inspired by folktales and dreams…

naturalhomes.org  natural and straw/cob homes from around the world

7 Random things about me…

1. My best childhood memories are with my imaginary friend

2. When planting out I just can’t separate the seedling groups as I feel they have formed connections with each other

3. I speak fluent cat, semi fluent dog and fairly passable bird

4. As a healer my greatest talent is with severe grief and trauma and with transition (ie. the death process)

5. My career was in Public Relations and as a healer still do a bit for some clients – it keeps me grounded!

6. I can remember dreams from 20 years ago but not so called real life stuff

7. Despite having blogs, tweets etc myself, I think the online world is a total intrusion into “real” life!

People of the Story

For some people life is a poem, for others it’s a song, and there are those for whom it’s a tragedy, or a black comedy or a giant, epic fantasy! Regardless of what way the story unfolds, the one guarantee is that a story is being written, one breath at a time.

We are ultimately the people of the story.

We have a constant need for stories. We like stories about the world around us (the “News”). As we  grow up our stories evolve from picture books, cartoons and comics to full blown movies, novels and TV soaps.  Such is our appetite for a story we don’t seem to care whether the story is real or not and more and more we give equal weight to stories about celebrities and to Reality TV show stories featuring ordinary people.

If an alien civilization somewhere out there happened upon earth and began to observe us, they would probably say that this is a world of stories. To them, we might appear to be a young species of some kind who sit mesmerized as a giant story telling machine weaves its spell and enthralls us in its neverending supply of stories.

A story is of course a great learning tool, as long as you are aware that it is a story. It’s when we are in the story and forget that it is a story that problems arise. We begin to believe the story that we are being told and that we are telling ourselves. We forget that as creative beings we have the power to co-create the story and to change its direction. Worst of all, we can become so entrenched in a version of a story that we fight anyone who is equally entrenched in another version.  And so we have wars and conspiracies, financial meltdowns and power games.

More importantly, in the forgetting that it is all a story in the first place we can be manipulated by those who control the mass story telling machines. As the media industries of news, film and music become more and more amalgamated into large corporations they have the power to pump out a stories that can influence what we believe.

Right now we have a music industry that has become overwhelmingly mass produced, one dimensional and more like a giant porn and freak show. It is no surprise that the children incessantly being fed this one storyline are becoming confused, unhappy and angry. And the adults fare no better as the mass media is feeding us on a diet of war, fear and insecurity amidst channels full of largely meaningless programming.

But we have choice. We do not have to choose these stories. We can move from our hypnotic trance and see that healing ourselves and the planet can start from little steps. One step is to wise up to the story we are being fed and start creating our own. Parents have a responsibility to watch what stories are being pushed on their children and to steer them to more creative and positive ways of seeing the world.

I feel very strongly about this as I see that the root cause of much of the dis-ease that my clients are now presenting with is stemming from a belief that it’s all hopeless and awful out there because that is the story they are seeing and hearing every day.

Yes we are the people of the story. The story has shaped us since we first started to create pictures on the walls of caves. But in truth there are only two operating systems from which everything springs – love or fear. We must start rewriting the story and co-creating the stories of love. We must give attention to the stories that feed and nourish our souls, to the stories that inspire, teach and help us progress.

The other system, the one of fear has no place in our world. However, as long as we give attention and belief to the story machine of fear then we make it real. We give it power and then bring into reality all the things we absolutely don’t want to experience.

If we just become a little more conscious about where we place our attention, we can wake up from the hypnosis and actively imagine a new way forward. Small steps and little choices can help us and those around us to unhook from the drip fed stories of fear. These are ways we can heal and grow.

 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(Robert Frost from The Road not Taken)