which side are you on?

We place fences everywhere.

Fences between our houses. Fences delineating our gardens. Fences alongside railway lines. Fences around yards, car parks and compounds. Fences to keep the animals in, fences to keep them out. Fences around parks and ponds. Fences marking out the route the country pathway takes. Fences shaping fields and grazing land. High fences around prisons. Low fences around vegetable plots. Fences between thrusting motorway carriageways and their speeding contents. Fences on bridges. Fences at the stadium. Fences at the racetrack. Fences at the top, or bottom, of the stairs. 

Some keep us out, some keep us in. Some are to indicate the way. Some to stop us meandering off the way. Some show possession.   Some deny access. Some deny exit. Some are aesthetic, some very functional.

Which side are you on?

And what about the fences of your mind?

The fences that determine choice. The fences that set out appropriate or inappropriate behaviour. The fences that inform us we can’t or we shouldn’t. The fences that motivate and drive action or tell us inappropriate or unachievable action. The internal fences that keep us safe. The internal fences that restrict our growth and learning. The fences that allow us to see potential, the fences that blind us to reality.

Invisible fences, but often just as effective.

Which side are you on?

inside out sensory bounty

We’ve been sitting in the garden all day today. Under a parasol, around a garden table. Family. Breakfast, lunch and (soon) tea will have been consumed al fresco.

Wildlife has shared the experience with us. Goldfinches sipping water from a water butt. Various unidentified bugs crawling across hands and legs, occasionally swatted away. Bees buzzing around the nearby passion fruit climber. A wood pigeon interrupting the silence with its clapping wings as it launches into a tree from the lawn. The gentle rustle of trees whispering in the breeze.

Human noise has broken our silence too. There is a local festival on a couple of miles away and we can hear live music. Earlier, a succession of light aircraft came over – maybe fifteen in total – each headed in a similar direction, presumably off to a fair, or returning from one?  Neighbours are starting up a barbecue and the noise of their preparations is joined by the drifting aroma of the smokey food.

All day the climate has been still.  Light gentle wind, warming sunshine. It seems today we have lived inside out, and it has been good.

Being in the outdoors with all its sensory bounty.

our eyes face the wrong way…

Our eyes face the wrong way.

Oh sure, looking outwards has its uses – fewer lampposts walked into, glorious sunsets to admire, great novels to read, smiles to warm our hearts, choosing your next Krispy Kreme donut (that may just be me)

The problem is that so much of our truth, our success, our learning, our qualities, our gifts, our struggle, our reason for being, our beauty, our essence, our soul … lies inside us.

And we can’t see it.

Yet it drives our behaviour, our choices, our joy, our sadness, our fulfillment, our happiness.

The world outside can be beautiful, but take a moment to look inside.

That can be beautiful too.

what if people could hear your thoughts?

Inside me
What if the world was inside out?

Mostly our world is three dimensional.
An outside. A visible shape. An unseen interior.

I watched a young tree the other day blowing in the wind. I could see the sinewy branches dancing to the wind’s tune, waving in a frenetic chorus of communication. I could hear the wind rustling its leaves in an excited chatter. I could observe the trunk bending; flexing to ensure its very survival.

Yet I can’t see inside the tree. The stresses at a cellular level. Damage that might emerge later in life, with a fallen branch or twisted growth. I can’t see the break and heal process as leaves are stolen away by the wind.

Human beings are like this too.

What if the world were inside out?

What if I didn’t see the face you presented; the smile that cloaked the pain? Didn’t hear the words you spoke; the “I’m fine” you mask yourself with? Didn’t notice your visible actions, gestures and behaviours that consciously communicate a message, to unconsciously hide what you really need to say?

If the world were inside out, I might hear your thoughts rather than the words you say, feel your emotions rather than hear your label for them, experience your doubt, marvel in your strength, be transfixed by your beauty, know your vulnerability?

What if I could hear, see and feel your inner truth?

How would it be different?
How would I be different?
How would you be different?

Coming to the world as yourself, as an authentic version of you, requires huge courage and vulnerability. It demands you show a little more of your inside on the outside.

Image of body art by: Pastel-AI