Adventures in Spirituality

tea lights

Similarly to many others bought up in England, I had an upbringing on the edges of The Church of England. As a family, we didn’t attend church and I wasn’t christened. However, schools in England and Wales are asked to hold a daily assembly with a Christian basis and this together with the Brownies was a grounding in the Anglican tradition. My grandfather was a Methodist and his funeral was a moment for me when I understood his deep faith in nature and human beings.

During my twenties and thirties, I joined a Buddhist lay community and enjoyed mediation and rituals. This attendance and daily practice fell away and I stopped enjoying the communication of the Buddhists around me. I found myself deep in Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a moment to moment spiritual practise. Returning to meditation now as I walk in nature or as I pause and check in with my feelings and needs. I have attended Quaker meetings and really enjoyed the regularity the pause, once a week. I could really sense why and how a weekly check in with oneself was beneficial psychologically and spiritual.  Poetry and some music can transport me to touch something larger than myself.

In addition, and incredibly nourishing for me, are the moments of heart connection in an empathic dialogue. Usually in a 1 to 1 session and  also in groups that I facilitate. People become to me ‘as one’ there is no giver or receiver no fixer or healer and no wounded person. Time stands still and I touch something beyond myself.

I’m enjoying reading this blog by Jules Evans, I sense some overlap in our journeys and in fact he is inspiring me to step up and name my spiritual yearnings, leanings and adventures. I agree with him it’s not so easy to do in our culture without being accused of being ‘deep’. Also I want my spiritual life remain mine and I don’t want to impose my beliefs on others. Especially as an NVC trainer.

So I’m dipping my toe into Christianity again. With some nudging from an NVC trainer colleague and a talk she directed me to on reform in the Church of England and  I found Jules’  blog a reference to Rupert Sheldrake’s initiative about where to find Choral Evensong.

This is a totally new idea for me … but I’ve put my postcode into the search and found out where I can go and when. Here is Rupert Sheldrake talking about Choral Evensong, its history and why this website might be useful.


I’ve got no idea if it will ‘work’ for me, I’m not even sure what that means. But I do have a thought that re-occurs that something is not in balance within me and I’m wondering if I am neglecting my spiritual life? What are the ways you explore your spiritual needs?

Celebrating Entanglement

couple on upturned tree roots

Listening to a talk given by Bayo Akomolafe earlier this month on overcoming our whiteness I enjoyed his use of the word entanglement and was reminded of the research about trees and their ability to communicate and connect via their roots. The forests show an interconnectedness which shows how much the system relies on support and interspecies support at that.

And what if being entangled with one another is our natural way of being? Boyo talks about a piece of paper… it’s a cloud, it holds the rain and the soil of the tree which made the paper and the people worked and made the paper and the paper came to you. We are entangled with each other and with our planet. This is not a new idea for me. I give thanks for the water as it comes out of my tap- to my ancestors who built this city and the water pipes and the people who keep things working and then marvel that it pours out. I live with gratitude. And Boyo’s talk made me think again… Can I let myself fall into even more entanglements with others… let myself open further to love from my partner, get even more open to love from others? Can I let go and allow the natural entanglement the earth is calling for? Can I feel the trees as they are being cut down? The cry of the earth as pipelines are built? Feel the pain of the child miner or the mother putting her children onto a refugee boat?

My online dictionary has entanglement offered with three definitions, only the definition quantum entanglement* has a positive slant, the other two definitions are negative- caught up, ensnared, difficult, awkward to sort out. And this is where modern psychology seems to have taken us. We shouldn’t be entangled, enmeshed with one another- we should be separate and relationships which are entanglements are ones to get out of. And yet we are entangled. I want to see it and live it and make choices from there. Sure I’ve been in relationships where I was entangled- but I couldn’t see it. That’s what made it messy and unhealthy for me- not the entanglement itself. That I couldn’t see it. So now I work from the starting place that we ARE all entangled- work out how and where and find myself and my needs from that place. Rather than trying to avoid entanglement I want to see it as part of being human. The trees, plants, animals other humans including you, we are all part of a messy whole. I’d like to celebrate this and walk towards it rather than try and avoid it. In THIS place I hope to find deeper connections and a place to live more fully human.

Another piece of research let me to this article- exploring the entanglements we have with things– that’s maybe a post for another day…

“We often manage to live relatively unaware of the full complexity of what and who provides for us, but we are nevertheless deeply entangled in the vitality of things and the assemblages of their relations “- Ian Hodder

*Quantum Entanglement  is beyond my little brain today…but it sounds like the secret of the universe- particles spatially apart act in correlation… seems like teleportation is possible… well that’s what I learned.