Courageous Dreaming

June 17, 2020

Inside the chrysalis

I’m a planner and I like to know what is coming. I’m now having to learn to live without this certainty, making decisions week by week rather than have my whole year scheduled out in front of me. Here in the UK it’s an unsettled time with chaos erupting around us every day. It’s a difficult time for many people with their jobs uncertain, families having to live, work and study in the same house, and our usual methods of escape from the day to day closed of from us. Even if things are OK with our personal circumstances, I believe each of us are being affected unconsciously at some level with what’s going on.

It is an unsettling place to be. Our country now finds itself in a state of limbo. We are collectively in what Charles Eisenstein calls the space in-between stories, as one story falls away and another one is yet to form.

I liken this phase we are in as the pupa stage of the lifecycle of a butterfly.

The story of the caterpillar is clear to see. It eats and eats, grows bigger and bigger until it can no longer eat or grow any more. The story of the butterfly is clear too, as it emerges with wings and flies away in all its beauty, to add grace to the world wherever it chooses to fly. But what happens in the in-between phase between caterpillar and butterfly, inside the chrysalis, in the darkness that is hidden from the eye?

Well, the caterpillar forms the chrysalis right after it has gorged itself, and inside the hard casing it dissolves into a gooey liquid mess. It has no form; the caterpillar is a soup of its former self. This sounds like our current situation doesn’t it? A gooey liquid mess and soup of its former self?

From the outside looking in it might look like that the game is over for the caterpillar. However, what is actually happening inside that chrysalis is an incredible process of transformation taking place. Within this caterpillar liquid there are what are called imaginal cells. These cells have ideas on what can come next, and they inform the other cells around them. Through this process, new cells form in the shape of a butterfly, they move through the goo to where they need to be, and over time eventually something new and far more beautiful is created. It can be a quick process taking a few weeks, and it can be a long process, up to two years in the case of some species.

I like to think of people on the shamanic path as being those imaginal cells. We take our guidance from the non-ordinary and the extraordinary. We listen to the natural flow of the earth and bend our ear to the wind to hear messages from the quiet ones as to where we need to be, just as our distant ancestors would have done. We look up towards the sky and call in the old ones looking down from above, just as our distant ancestors would have done. We recognise that in times of turbulence and change our conscious minds only serve as limiting us to thinking of what is possible. We recognise that we need to stop thinking and start imagining.

Courageously dreaming

When I worked as a sustainability manager within the corporations, we would do a lot of visioning, or dreaming, as part of our business planning. I would give out colouring pens and pencils and A3 pieces of paper and ask the managers to draw what they saw as a sustainable world where we were kind to the earth and each other. I would then ask them to speak out what they had drawn, and we would build a picture in our minds together. It was a great exercise and yet what I have come to realise over recent years is that we were limiting our ideas to what our conscious minds could see.

When we drop into the unconscious we are tuning in with the infinite. Anything is possible. Our way of shifting consciousness in The Way of the Buzzard is through journeying on the drum. The role of the shaman is to go to the other realties and bring back the energies and wisdoms most needed at the time, and we can do this by shifting our consciousness through journeying. This has been carried out for tens of thousands of years by our ancestors. So how can it help us now?

Well we can literally journey to the Otherworlds to dream a new world into being.

Alberto Villoldo speaks all about this in his book Courageous Dreaming, it’s one of my favourite shamanic books. I came upon it early in my spiritual explorations and have read many times. Here is what Villoldo says about courageously dreaming in the first few pages of his book:

“The nature of the cosmos is such that whatever vision you have about yourself and the world will become reality. As soon as you awaken to the power you have, you begin to flex the muscles of your courage.

You can then dream bravely: letting go of your limiting beliefs and pushing past your fear. You can start to come up with a truly original dream that germinates in your soul and bears fruit in your life.”

Through shamanic journeying, when we act out in our lives the advice we receive in the Otherworld, we are those imaginal cells inside the chrysalis.

The view from above

Courageous dreaming is the process of taking the view of an eagle. Although there are birds that can fly higher than the eagle, these are migratory birds who fly up into the jet stream. The eagle is the bird who can fly the highest and look down on the landscape from a high perspective.

From this perspective the eagle can see the big picture. It can scan the horizon, and yet it can also zoom in and see the detail down below. It is a gift to be able to see things from both these viewpoints.

Taking an eagle’s eye view, we can see we are divided as a nation over the Covid-19 pandemic in so many ways, and this has been brought on by poor leadership. I believe it serves our government to have us divided so we point the finger and fight with each other. To counter this, I try to occupy both views around the pandemic. I am of the view that this is a contagious virus which puts the vulnerable at risk, and as I have family members in the vulnerable group as well as a large part of our The Way of the Buzzard community, I will continue to err on the side of caution with actions and decisions I make.

As the government releases lockdown measures, in my opinion ahead of time, I will not change my behaviour around coming into close contact with people. But I sympathise with people who are in a very different situation than me and understand why they may feel differently. Grandparents who have grandchildren they desperately want to see. Parents with children who need to go back to school. Families who are struggling to live in close confinement together. People who own businesses that are on the brink of going into administration.

I also have concerns about the legislation which has been passed quickly which removed our rights to freedom and am worried about the proposed methods of tracking our movements, not necessarily for now but the precedent this might set for the future as our government finds more and more ways of controlling us.

Pause and emergence

With all that said however, my belief is that this prolonged pause is giving us the opportunity to consider that there is something different awaiting us on the other side. I can see hope of this in the actions of other countries, and New Zealand in particular continues to be a source of inspiration for me. In New Zealand they are considering a four-day working week to help stimulate the economy as more time off will mean people will spend more money on leisure. In Spain they are considering a universal basic income, and Netherlands are moving towards what is called an economic doughnut model.

Now I am not too well read up on any of these alternative approaches; I used to be when I had a career in sustainability, but I don’t get involved too much in this now and leave this to the economists. However, I am aware that there are other economic models out there. What is clear is the current one doesn’t work, so it is encouraging to hear that there are other models that are going to be tried by other countries. Our government is hell bent on keeping with the old, as it is a system which serves the few, and has proven to serve the few for a long time. But I wonder if its time has come and we will finally see the old way fall away? I hope so.

During lockdown I have been writing my first book which I started at the beginning of the year. I have been immersed in 19th century Victorian London these past few months and seeing the atrocities a right-wing government inflicted upon the people during the land grabs, when millions flocked to the cities for a life of misery, and where the following six generations have been impacted.

The oppression and control systems which were in operation then are still here now, and we can see it so clearly in how our government is choosing to act through these early months of the pandemic, continually putting the economy before the people, leading us to have the second highest death rate in the world. I was inspired by the president of Ghana when he said, .

“We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life”

Our countries preference of economy over people is having a hard light shone upon it. Last week saw the three-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, and yet still there are thousands of people living in shoddily clad tower blocks exposed to the same risk as those people who paid the ultimate price of landlords not investing in improving accommodation. Putting profits over people is a topic close to my heart as my ancestors suffered terribly because of this exact same rhetoric. And these past few weeks we have seen the eruption of the protests about how coloured people are treated, going right back to the atrocities of the slave trade. It is a difficult time to be alive, watching all of this happening, but it’s throwing it up into the light where it needs to be seen. When it is pushed down it won’t change.

These are going to be continually rocky times and I have noticed how I am being affected. I am going out less even though many of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. I am struggling as I’m missing those things I would normally be doing now to relax: camping and adventurous holidays around the British Isles. Those doors are largely closed off to me now, and it can be tempting to just sit in limbo and wait it out. But what if that is going to be a couple of years, rather than the couple of months that our governments seem to be leading us into thinking? Would we sit in limbo like this if we knew this was going to be our life for the next year or so, perhaps more?

Finding new ways

It has been a strange time not being able to get together in person, and yet what we have found through our work in The Way of the Buzzard community is that lockdown hasn’t meant being locked down. We have stretched our imagination and found new ways of connecting in with each other through the online world, and the results I have found to be extraordinary.

When we meet online together, the connection is in many ways as powerful as being in the same room. My mind forgets that there are many miles between us, in some cases many thousands of miles as we have people joining in from countries all around the world, from Australia and New Zealand to Canada and the United States. We are able to get a sense of community in a way I didn’t think was possible a few years ago.

This reminds me of something the Kogi people said which is captured in the book The Elder Brothers’ Warning. The Kogi people are an ancient tribal community who still exist, largely cut off from the modern world, in South America, in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. They consider themselves the Guardians of the heart of the earth and elder brothers to the non-indigenous outsiders, us, whom they call the younger brothers, and to whom they have said these words: 

“We are now living outside of the laws of nature where nature is now turning against man and becoming the enemy. Climate change is the consequence of the fact that man is operating outside the laws of life and laws of nature, law of the balance of the world. And doing so will destroy the balance.”

They are an extraordinary culture who have extraordinary ways of communicating between each other and with the Otherworlds. They say that telepathy is one of the lowest forms of communication. This tells me that there are many ways to communicate with each other, with physical contact being just one on them. Our mind is an incredibly powerful and clever thing, and what lockdown has taught me is that other ways of connecting in with each other are not only possible, they are powerful.

Something special does happen when we are together online. On paper it doesn’t look like it will, but it does.

We asked our Space to Emerge online community how they felt before and after our Beltane online retreat weekend. Many people who came along said that before the weekend they felt lost, disconnected, down, confused, anxious, emotional, stuck, low and flat. Afterwards they felt lighter, joyful, uplifted, energised, fulfilled, elated, inspired, hopeful, rejuvenated, confident, reconnected, enlightened, focused, whole, balanced, peaceful, restored, stronger, nurtured and exhilarated. This is the power of coming together in adverse times.

I see our government putting out false hopes, opening up the country before it is time. I have read headlines earlier this spring saying we will be death free by the 4th August and that there might be 30 million vaccines for COVID-19 by September. This is what we want to hear, that things are going to go back to normal, and quickly. Today as I write this the shops are being opened back up again and people are queuing for hours to get a slice of what they see as normal back in their lives.

But are we? Are we going back to normal? What if that isn’t possible? And for many, those who are vulnerable, they aren’t able to risk going back to normal. What if this is our new normal for another year? At least through to the other side of winter. How long can we sit in this space of limbo? And what else might there be for us to hope for in the coming six months and beyond? And who was happy with normal anyway? Speaking with people these last few months there are many things that they hope to close the door on for good about our old normal.

Dreaming at the Solstice

So, what would we like our new world to look like? This is where our Summer Solstice online retreat weekend ame in. On the Saturday night at the time when the Solstice sun is setting, we courageously dreamt. Through shamanic journeying together we went to the field the great Sufi poet Rumi wrote about in the 13th century through this poem:

“Out beyond ideas of right and wrongdoing.
I’ll meet you there

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”

The Solstice is the time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. It is a time of heightened energy, of celebration, of reclaiming our power, of drawing on our inner courage.

So, it was a time for us to think big: to occupy the place of those imaginal cells within the pupa and dream a new world into being. To go into our imaginations, into the Otherworld, and bring back a vision for the future. Then to set the intention that we are up for whatever role we are to have in bringing this into reality.

Can it work?

I have experienced this for myself, and so yes it can work. About ten years ago I went into crisis. Working in sustainability in corporations, if a person cares and feels, I think it is impossible not to go into crisis. It was my job to scan the horizon and tell the company I worked for what was in store: to predict where the environmental risks were that were coming up ahead that could affect the business.

I struggled because I could see climate change coming, and yet when I explained this the business wasn’t prepared to respond because the impacts weren’t going to be immediate. It might be ten years, even twenty years or more and there wasn’t the immediacy that they needed in order to respond to climate change straight away. My response to their lack of response was that I went into a panic; I felt the fear as if it were happening right there and then. It sent me into a depression and ultimately after several years to finding my way out of that job and that career.

I, like so many of you reading this, felt that the answers to the predicament humanity finds itself in is out in nature, and in the spiritual realms. In nature everything seems to make sense. I feel much calmer and have a different perspective of what is going on in the world.

I followed the shamanic path, connecting in with nature and deepening into my spirituality. On the other side, after a big shake-up in my life I found myself in a place where I felt a purpose once again and had complete control of my own time and how I chose to spend my days. It was through a process of imagining that I got to this place: imagining what world I wanted to live in and then working to create that world around me. I had direction, even though I didn’t know where the path was leading me exactly, or what was up ahead in the immediate future. I learnt that I just needed to see the next step ahead, and so long as I had trust in the process, in my spiritual connection, and my ability to hear my inner guidance and the messages from my spirit guides, I would get to where my soul wanted me to be.

When I left that professional career and the corporate world it looked from the outside that I was going crazy. It didn’t make any sense in my head, but it felt so right in my body. On paper it was madness, but inside me, in the depths of myself I felt I had no other option but to close that door and step out on ground where I could only see the next step in front of me.

Now, in a topsy-turvy world I have firm ground beneath my feet when the world is looking shaky. If I was still a sustainability manger I would mostly likely be up for redundancy soon. I have seen the pattern before. If I had my own consultancy, I would not be getting any more contracts. But I am neither. I followed my heart, my gut instinct, and the messages from nature and from my spirit guides through shamanic journeying, and I am in an unusual position where I carry on earning an income working from home through an online business Jason and I set up a few years ago. We fall through all the loopholes for government support during this pandemic, and so we are entirely on our own, but it’s working. It blows my mind that all of a sudden, what didn’t seem like a very good idea ten years ago is actually quite a brilliant one today.

Finding the power

The system in the UK is set up to make us believe that we do not have any power. It is a struggle between those with power, the minority, and those who are powerless. But are we powerless? I don’t feel powerless. I feel empowered every day, as long as I am careful how much I listen to the news. I feel empowered as long as I keep my focus on building something new rather than standing in amongst the tower of civilisation crumbling around me.

Now is the time to work at developing ways to feel more connected to the world, the real world. To learn ways to connect with nature, and to connect with the spirit realm. This is where the answers lie, for each and every one of us.

At the beginning of this blog I spoke of being in the space in-between stories. There are two worlds, two stories happening right now. There is the old world that is crumbling away around us, and the new world which is emerging. When I worked in the corporations it was exhausting. I was in the old world, and it was an incredibly difficult place for me to be, working within the old structures.

At the same time, I was starting our shamanic offering in the world with Jason, The Way of the Buzzard, and I seemed to have unlimited energy for this work, the building of the new. I see this now in two different approaches to coping with the pandemic. When I am in the old world, I am concerned for the future, for how we are going to operate as a business, how our lives and the lives of my friends and family are affected. When I am in the new world, I see opportunity and hope, as we have a chance now to build something new. Some might say blind optimism, but it is a place I am very happy to be in. It lifts my spirits through the day no end.

So, our work through The Way of the Buzzard is to offer a place for those imaginal cells to grow in the new world. We are delighted that you are part of this adventure with us.

About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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  1. A drop of the elixir of life. An extended open hand, given with a determined stare. Resounding words which fill my welcoming soul!
    I wasn’t expecting to be wiping tears away. Having just journaled my thoughts prior to reading this blog on the subject of feeling defeated, I will breathe in quiet mystery and turn my thoughts to ‘courage’.
    Much Gratitude,

    1. Hi Nicola, this is a thoughtful and thought provoking article. I needed to read this at this moment, to stand in hope for a better world and planet. I particularly liked the quote from Alberto Vilolldo, in fact I shall copy this into my daily diary and journal.

      Thanks for taking the time to put pen to paper so eloquently and passionately,


  2. Hi Nicola, this is a thoughtful and thought provoking article. I needed to read this at this moment, to stand in hope for a better world and planet. I particularly liked the quote from Alberto Vilolldo, in fact I shall copy this into my daily diary and journal.

    Thanks for taking the time to put pen to paper so eloquently and passionately,


  3. Interesting. What you describe is the way we journey in the old British magic, we call it daydreaming. I know from Australian friends it’s common among the indigenous people there too, and I’ve been doing it all my life. There’s an adage used by many indigenous folk – Energy follows thought. It does too :-). Of course, this can be for bad as well as good, there are billions of unsavoury thoughtforms out there, just think of politics (!), and they all love to grab onto any unwary person. That habit of thoughtforms is what gets us all to believe “perceived wisdom” wherever it comes from … adverts, politics, academia, media, etc.
    Learning to dream consciously really helps one know the difference between thoughtforms and spirit, and so not get entangled in them. They really are vampires :-).

  4. The chrysalis is a fascinating process of transformation taking place within a cocoon where the ‘imaginal cells’ are the spirit of the transmutation form one for to another. Imaginal cells are undifferentiated something like stem cells. Within each and every human being is the spark of our internal soul and universal love. Within the stars the time we are in now has been charted with all the planets. We have a choice right now to go down with fear and obedience or rise to our full potential with bravery. Like the butterfly within our consciousness we have something like these dormant imaginal cells, ready to connect a synapses network to enable fuller potential. This often takes a leap of faith in thy self, because the change is internal and we are all our own key to open up our full potential.

    I like the way you talk of shamanic journeying it rings true also the words of Alberto Villoldo. The way I change my consciousness is by creating artworks, drawing on archetypal energies, prehistoric symbolism and when I do this I listen to Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Sharon Blackie, Thoth, Alan Watts and many more people who inspire me. When they talk of psychological, philosophical and scientific ideas, or sometimes I create in complete silence. I see art as part of the way I meditate, form ideas and journeying. I think art is a shamanic expression that manifests imagery to uplift, challenge and stimulate emotion or a reaction from the viewer. Also gives me the chance to create a pattern that builds synaptic pathways within my mind

    Presently the governments and shadow governments have hijacked this virus to bring in new laws to oppress and effectively end many grass roots small businesses. But when you look at the income of the worlds richest people and organisations they are increasing by billions of pounds.

    Also in January this year new laws for trespass once a civil offence is becoming a criminal offence, new laws to restrain gypsy travel and laying claim to camps, was in the end consultation stages of becoming law or legislation. It is like a foundation to make it easier to arrest and restrain people was being put into place, well before the virus was mentioned in the UK. Which basically means the government were intentionally initiating herd immunity as early as January 2020.

    This means the lock down and all the subsequent new laws were a political decision and not one of safety to the old and vulnerable. I also know people who work in care homes, saying the older people with corona virus 19 were returned to sheltered accommodation to infect staff and other older people, upping the death and infection rate. The level of intentional incompetence by the conservative government is visible, along with their headlines to put many in a state of fear and obedience. Also giving out instructions that lower the immune system of the population with restriction from sunlight, natural surroundings and manufacturing fear.

    To be honest, I would rather get this virus, self isolate to protect others not wishing to get it and become immune. The irrational and over exaggerated fear manufactured by mainstream media and governmental twisted rhetoric regarding this virus is also very visible. For sure I have empathy for those who have died and suffer greatly with this illness, those living in fear and it would be my choice to become naturally immune and not live in constant fear.

    I agree the conservative government is modelled with the old system of control over and economic methods to keep the few very rich and the poor, artificially poor. However this governmental model is dying, because when a governmental virus draws the energy and currency of the host population it can also unintentionally initiate an awakening, as they head towards a cull and extinction of the awakening population. Sadly even now the psychopathic control system is thinking of ways to make future generations pay, and to cull some of the population. Probably with vaccinations as a catalyst to another deadly component later in life and driving many to suicide or deep mental illness with neural linguistic headlines and the programme of fear.

    Nicola your book sounds like it will be fantastic, the land grabs and hostile environment of rich oppressing the poor, and from 19th century Victorian London it was very evident to where control was going. To seek profits over the well being of our ancestors, throughout history is what has conditioned us to be what we are today. There are those who are brave, those who live in fear and those who have no idea of how we are conditioned to follow the politician, the guru or the trickster archetypal energy, rather than to create their own path. But I think today many are healing ancestors wounds, creating their own path and are the Ancestors Awakening within themselves.

    I am also missing travelling around the UK, we were off to Orkney in a few weeks but that will not happen now. However during this lock-down I have renewed skills of film making and editing to help create content for an online herbal course with Edwina and Danielle, increased my creative ability and gone within to examine who I am and who I am becoming. I think the transformation in many started a long while ago but during the lockdown it has sped up and become more focused. After all humans are able to adapt to their environments and capable of creating a path forward into the future, even in the darkest of times. I think what Way of the Buzzard is doing is amazing because this shamanic way of being and community is what I see for the future.

    Personally I think this government offers no hope at all and a lot of the information they give out is contradictory so causes confusion, self policing and more fear. Basically they hijacked a virus to control and further oppress the populations and witness how obedient many are. The government has had longer to adapt as they knew the virus was here in January and consulted Oxford Universities quantum computer. By inputting data of who to sacrifice and the outcome of social restrictions. Hence introducing some new laws beforehand to set the path of their predicted outcomes. The linguistic programming for this time is to call it ‘The New Normal’ and to get people to keep saying it, so they accept the restrictions and new ways of scripted being as normal.

    Basically corona virus have been Around For Centuries, but what differentiates COVID-19 is “These are strains that have undergone recent animal-to-human transition.” This can happen when a virus either mutates directly to humans, or through a second species that then further mutates into a human pathogen’. “This is what we saw with SARS in 2002-2003. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, although developments are said to be underway. One of the main problems with this is that qualified virologists all over the planet say this will take years to develop because the virus mutates. So the logical conclusion is to become naturally immune to the virus, take vitamins such as C and D, eat healthily and those people at risk and very unwell to stay away from them if you think you have the illness’ caused by the virus. Eventually the risk will disappear. But this waiting for a vaccine and living in fear could take years, especially when you realise corona virus has been around a long time and very rich people will get richer from vaccinations whether they work or not.

    This is the first time in my living history of 56 year that I have witnessed so much mass fear and so much bravery. So much so I think if the human spirit raised above governmental indoctrination, we will create the future. I suppose like any real great awakening there is a cost, that is usually to go within, to change our perspective and to grow.

    The summer solstice this year falls on Saturday, June 20 – when the UK For 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. The sun will rise at 4.43am and set at 9.21pm. This will be a good day as the corrona viruse doesn’t do well in sunlight. And it could be a good time for a change of perspective, a day and a time to think of the future we can all create.

    1. Thanks, Pete, I have read your words here with interest. I am also all over building up my immune system – Edwina has been so helpful to me over recent years regarding this. it is great to hear how you have been getting on during these past few months and working on your film and editing side of work 🙂

      1. Thanks Nicola, its been good to rekindle old skills and use them in a way that I am sure has positive impact on the world in some way. This is a great article, it helped me think of some stuff already on my mind and put it into slightly better focus. I think both you and Jason within the banner of Way of the Buzzard are doing some fantastic and necessary guidance onto the path of shamanism. The mind and words are amongst our most powerful magic ability. They can transmute fear to bravery and hatred to love with a change of perspective…

  5. I love this blog. It’s as if you accessed my thoughts and wrote it on my behalf. I joined your circle last Friday evening and can’t wait for this weekend. One of the many positives about this lockdown – apart from seeing a kestrel strike in my back garden- has been the ability to join with your group, something which had not previously been possible due to location and commitments. Thank you for what you’ve created ?????

    1. Thank you Dee, that is really good to hear you have been enjoying joining in with our online events. So looking forward to sharing this weekend with you! I would have loved to see that kestrel strike btw.

  6. Ooh I’m going to have to look into those imaginal cells. I have never come across that before but then I’ve not looked that deeply into butterflies. I’m reminded of how chloroplasts and mitochondria were once free living cells before ending up in the cells of plants. There is so much going on at microscopic level we’re not aware of! I guess that could link to the invisible happenings within our imaginal lives too. I like that metaphor a lot.

    I soooo agree with that quote from the President of Ghana – “We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life”.

    It’s taken me around two months to unhook from the old world and go into pupa state and I’ve also been incubating a new book. There have been a lot of lessons in this for me. I think there is going to be a big divide between those who want to go back to ‘normal’ and those who have seen new possibilities for the future.

    1. “I think there is going to be a big divide between those who want to go back to ‘normal’ and those who have seen new possibilities for the future.”

      I agree with you Lorna. I was saddened to see so many people rushing to retail parks and the big shops on Monday but there does seem to be a groundswell of people wanting a new normal.

    2. I am looking forward to your new book already Lorna. Fascinating to hear this has been incubating during the lockdown. I agree there will be a big divide… my sense it has been happening for some time, only now there are more people joining the other side.

    3. Your last sentence echoes my thought. I will watch and listen for this divide. It feels like a matter of survival, which is a shame as it should be thrive, rather than survive.

  7. Thank you for this heartfelt blog – am so on the same page. There has to be a different way forward and I feel so inspired and hopeful for the weekend of Solstice sharing.
    During lockdown have been unable to work and the Way of the Buzzard online pop ups, Space to Emerge and then joining the Mystery School has given me so much support and many new tools in my already established spiritual journey and I am so thankful and so so grateful to you both.

    1. This is really good to hear you have been enjoying our online gatherings and courses and finding them helpful. Excited about this next weekend with you Helen 🙂

  8. So much of what you say resonates with me Nicola. Once I came through the yucky fear stage of lockdown, I found a new way of being. This new way of being takes me out into the countryside most days to connect with birds, animals, plants and trees, enables me to honour the physical and spiritual aspects of myself and has opened up new channels of creativity. Dare I say it…..I am the happiest I have been for a long time and I certainly don’t want to go back to normal, either on a personal level, a national level or on a global level. Our systems do not work as they only serve the few, they are based on greed and self-interest, and they put power in the hands of people who are spiritually asleep.

    I am, of course, fully aware that many people have suffered terribly during these difficult times but I also see glimmers of hope that we can bring down the old order to make way for a new, compassionate, spiritually aware and fair society. As I am in my mid-60s, I don’t think I will see this transformation being fully achieved in my lifetime but I hope that my son and grandchildren will see it come to fruition during their lifetimes.

    1. “I think there is going to be a big divide between those who want to go back to ‘normal’ and those who have seen new possibilities for the future.”

      I agree with you Lorna. I was saddened to see so many people rushing to retail parks and the big shops on Monday but there does seem to be a groundswell of people wanting a new normal.

    2. I also meant to say that for all that I’ve appreciated the opportunity lockdown has given me to enjoy my life in ways I’ve not experienced before, the biggest downside for me personally has been not being able to see my beautiful family but we have found new ways of communicating and it will be all the more sweeter when I can finally give my son a hug and tell him face to face how much I love him.

    3. I love how you have explained your process here Patricia of coming through the ‘yucky’ phase and through to a happy place. I too see glimmers of hope. I didn’t have so many pre-pandemic. Thank you so much for sharing here 🙂

  9. Thank you for this inspiring peace of writing Nicola, loved reading it!
    I would love to join you this coming weekend, but I’m working Saturday and Sunday, so would miss a lot of it. I’ll try and join you on fb tonight and find out what is happening during the weekend.

  10. Beautifully written and echoing many of the ideas that I have been writing about recently. My last blog is called “Notes from Inside the Chrysalis”! I love your positivity and determination to find a way through the gloop. Inspiring stuff. Looking forward to the weekend.

    1. Thank you Andy, I love the synergy between our minds and blogs. I spotted it too. I might rename this Gloop and Posivitiy 😉
      Really looking forward to sharing the weekend with you and Jo

  11. This is a really interesting, encouraging and thought-provoking article. It must have taken a great deal of introspection and planning and I thank you for it. Xxxxxxx

      1. Sometimes we read something and our mind thoughts all click into place. We see that we aren’t alone, that our separate paths meet and diverge then sometimes meet again. Not just on the physical plane but as we travel by other means. I remember meeting you and Jason a few years ago at Pagancon? It’s good to meet again this way. Too late for your weekend but I would love to connect afterwards. Brightest blessings for your journeying today and tomorrow

        1. Hello Amber, how lovely to read your message here and so good to hear this clicked. We were at pagancon several yeas ago yes 🙂 it will be great to keep in touch – if you aren’t already on our newsletter list you can enter your details into the box at the bottom of our website and we can keep in touch this way.

  12. Wow a very thought provoking article. I agree with so much of your reasoning.
    We’ve seen air pollution reduced, by non air travel , no factories belching out carbon.
    How nature has responded to this by taking back spaces, watreways, etc .
    That we have managed to create other environmental ways to be together.
    I hope we all learn from this pandemic. That consumerism is not the be all to living.
    Thank you for waking up my brain cell.

  13. Thank you for this, yesterday I awoke to feelings of anxiety and did not want to get up and cope with these restrictions anymore , I just felt so down.just thinking about all the stuff you wrote about the feelings and what’s going on with this pandemic .

    Anyway some meditation and a walk in nature (fortunate enough to have water,trees and beautiful swans with their new baby’s uplifted me .

    Last night I cleaned all my house got some sage out .I cant change other people but I can change my thinking from negative to positive .

    I really enjoyed reading this and think I was supposed to see it so thank you .

    1. Really interesting to hear how you shifted your state here June. Nature is amazing at this isn’t it!? And sage for clearing energy in the home.

  14. I read your blog and I can’t help but one hundred percent agree with what you have wrote,
    You are a very wise lady
    Best wishes

  15. I found this a very interesting read. The world order is crumbling away. Many people have seen this coming and there is a general feeling that it will take some years yet. I have discovered an oak grove on my small plot of land. How it came to be cleared of debris so that I could access it has remarkable parallels with what is happening globally. Through a malicious neighbour’s complaint and a connection to the Masonic Lodge, my husband and I had been intimidated for several years. Covid has brought us support and the oak grove has been my solace. Not only that, but more walkers have been passed. The families walking by, and the dog walkers, have infused the land with a fresh, beautiful energy. However, the only reason I can access the oak grove was because of an action that was out of my control. It is strange how topsy-turvy brings peace to some. I, like you, am following a direction that I ‘feel’ rather than see. Inside it feels right. It is only when I concern myself with ‘regular’ worries that I feel lost.
    Keep up the good work. Love x

  16. Hi Nicola, I read this after your blog Know Thyself. I think that in your environmental career you probably have made huge changes. But not as big as you wanted to make, so you feel frustrated that you didn't do the impossible. I do this a lot and it comes from the inner boss, that 200 tasks need to be done and I haven't done enough today! Even though I know it's impossible to do them all in a day, I still feel bad that they're not done, and don't enjoy my relaxation time. I just wanted to point out that you probably have made some changes that have made a difference. xxx

    1. Thanks Julie Julie. I expect you are right. I look back at my corporate days with mixed feelings. I am glad of them, on the whole, but I am glad to be on the other side now 🙂

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