A food note from Rooiels

My first day here in Rooiels, despite steamy eyeballs, I was desperate for fresh Atlantic crayfish and we got word that if we snuck into a tiny out-of-the-way bar down a dirt road we may be able to find Spider and he may have crayfish… we did and more importantly he did .. and home with our live booty to cook, we gobbled delicious crayfish and I was in heaven.. Michael and whoever else is visiting for the day (and there are many visitors) dive into icy False Bay and emerge a couple of hours later with crayfish which I continue to devour…. I have managed to consume my body weight in alcohol and seafood and biltong and rusks… Thankfully I haven’t extended my unbridled appetite to the rest of the wildlife which is also plentiful… troops of baboons trying to ransack the house (primates scare me), fieldmice, a tortoise, a mongoose, franklin families, and even huge pods of dolpins just in front of the house and a whale…. all viewed from the comfort of a soft chair gazing at the ocean, well out of the claws of the howling south-easter, and of course with a red wine in hand and some delicious morsel to nibble…

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

The second line of a heart-stopping poem by Dawn Markova, “I will not”. Someone asked me today what my new year’s resolution will be… I think it will be this… I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire – I feel like I have spent the longest of times avoiding falling or getting too close to a flame… The truth is stepping out of the known means everything is up for renewal, inspection, change and I trying to stay in a feminine process of receiving and of allowing the time to unfold with grace. Somehow the honesty with which I feel I am navigating my time now will be part of the creative process of birthing Curve of the World in 2011. I am off to South Africa tomorrow and will hopefully manage to write my blog weekly… but then there is always the real possibility that my holiday takes over 🙂

Choose Contentment

I got a fabulous book yesterday from a friend of mine “A year of living your yoga”. Today’s statement was Choose Contentment… and 5 weeks on from leaving work that is exactly how I feel – there is something extraordinarily empowering about finding an internal rhythm of strength and ease. In yoga the sutras of Patanjali talk of sthira and sukha, a perfect balance of alertness and strength with relaxation and comfort – and in the briefest of moments when the chatter in my head stills and my body feels easy and open, I find fleeting balance in my yoga practice. And it is at that precise moment that I know at a visceral level why I not only love my yoga but also need it to bring me back to myself and my breath… so with every slug-like step I take as I meander through my days at the moment, content, I am also wondering (or should that read worrying) when this contentment will flower into a passionate way of working… see how fleeting contentment is 🙂

Patience and Patterns

My shingles is here making itself known with sharp pains in the middle of the night… I want it to be gone and finished and it wants me to see certain truths… According to Louise Hay’s “Heal your Body”, the mental cause for shingles is holding the belief of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. The truth is I do this all the time and focus on whatever may go wrong, whatever imminent disaster is waiting in the wings…For the first time in a very long time (perhaps ever) I am imagining that everything in my life is well and that I can exhale and trust the process…and so I am now welcoming the message from my blistered friends and making peace with the patterns that shape my life and the importance of patience in allowing everything to ripen to its full potential and not wishing away even the most uncomfortable of situations… These are all metaphors for our professional life as well and perhaps Curve of the World will be working with the power of the individual and the team and the ability to see the patterns, working with and including the shadow and making the connections that allow for success and growth. Oh and here is my favourite photo from a setting sun over the Living Desert….

More than history repeating itself

15 years ago we came to Broken Hill after I saw a sign in some tiny interior town in New South Wales on an earlier holiday that said Broken Hill 500 kilometres … and thought I want to go there. I love the desert, it probably is my South African roots – many childhood trips into the arid interior with its clean, dry heat and expanse of baking land seemed to soothe me. So Broken Hill 15 years ago was reminiscent of something I once knew and was also a place of unexpected new delight… particularly the Living Desert with its sculpture symposium atop a hill overlooking a lyrical and feminine landscape…. and it was here on an evening when the sun was setting and a full moon was rising low in the sky that I saw the curve of the world and in that moment I imagined that at some point my purpose would be somehow working with people and nourishing their potential. 15 years on we spent every day at the Living Desert... warm dry days following torrential rain that had nourished the elusive Sturt Desert Pea…. this time the statues are more integrated into their environment and were even more beautiful and welcoming than I remembered. At different times in the day the light may be harsh or gentle or inspirational… and unswerving for me was the 360 degree panorama that held the curve of the world. I don’t know what 2011 holds for me but I do know that the premise of Curve of the World 15 years ago was to nourish and nurture the potential and possibility within people professionally and personally … 15 years on it feels stronger and more powerful, like it is waiting to unfold as a journey rather than a destination. Perhaps my feminine is on the rise.

Could this be my corporate shot?

Lots to share about our amazing trip into the desert which I shall be writing about over the coming few days… but I had hoped to get a corporate (or at least seemingly business-like) photo for my blog and my linked-in profile whilst in Broken Hill – what with its significance around the birth of Curve of the World …. this was the best we could do 🙂

I am terrified of small planes

So here we are in Broken Hill … But not before my most terrifying flight yet…. A foul mix of propeller-plane, storm clouds, an interior in the grip of floods and me…. With rescue remedy in hand, I at various times hyperventilated, prayed, cursed or clung onto my seat so tightly that today my left side feels bruised… Actually on the flight were SES volunteers on their way back from assisting the clean-up operations in country NSW.. Fat lot of good they would have been if the noisy flying can had tumbled to the flooded earth… But today we have awoken to a beautiful crisp blue sky in the outback … Love it

Reflections upside down

The metaphor of what happens on your yoga mat is really just a reflection of how you live your life and it was so clearly reflected to me this morning…. I was feeling incredibly grateful that I have this time to imagine a different way of living and working… and was delighted to be in one of my favourite yoga classes and wanting to do everything immediately and perfectly… then suddenly it was tripod headstand… and today i couldn’t get near the posture.. it just was not happening for me and I couldn’t muscle through it.. the fear of falling over, of hurting myself, of not believing I could do such a posture…and then i spent the rest of the class berating myself… after everyone left I went into tripod headstand… wavered a little, felt a bit wobbly and then just stood comfortably in the pose and gazed at my world upside down… no expectations, no fear, no fierceness, no demanding… just a quiet couple of minutes on my head whilst gazing at my world from another vantage point….

Waiting to see what stirs

I have the rare ability to not only drive myself crazy but also my friends as I wrestle relentlessly with decision-making… On the eve of my departure from work, I had managed to work myself into a terror-loop and hoped that I would have an epiphany and everything would fall magically into perfect place ….  in the midst of my “am I doing the right thing” one of these long-suffering friends sent me a poem by Dorothy Walters. On first reading,  I wept – there was something deeply meaningful and resonant for me and just knowing that I needed to be still and to allow what is internal to present itself and not, as I so frequently do, waiting for something or someone outside myself to show me the way in kaleidoscope colour… If you haven’t had the joy of reading her poetry, there are a number of anthologies including “Marrow of Flame” and “A Cloth of Fine Gold”, the latter has the poem I want to share….

A Language You Once Knew

There will be an invitation.

It will not come tied in ribbons

nor a message streaming down

from the sky.

There will be no Roman candles


nor brilliant colors

exploding overhead.

Instead there will be a soft


in your ear,

something in a language

you once knew

and are trying to learn again.

In order to hear it,

you will need to

put down all your packages,

stop everything you are doing

and stand very still

then wait…

until something stirs inside.