Soul Poet

Secret Garden of The Soul

For me, Poetry is a means of expressing our inner thoughts and feelings, our inspirations, insights and intimate experiences.

Life is poetry and poetry occurs all around us, in us and through, us all the time.


Poetry can be harsh and demanding, soft and yielding, delicate and dreamlike – and filled with stark realism. It doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone other than the poet, and it can blissfully, willfully ignore the rules of grammar and presentation.

And – poetry can be prose, images, short, long, scribbled on the back of an envelope or inscribed in elaborate hand on expensive paper. In essence, poetry is essence, yours, mine, ours, and it is personal yet universal, even cosmic, at the same time.

These poems are an invitation to journey through the Secret Garden of a Soul, a soul in the process of re-membering its essence and reconnecting to its authentic, joyful self.

My intention is that in reading the poems, you will find a meaning unique to your life, and that you, too, may be led to a place of inner peace and joy, a private place where your soul can dwell unfettered by mundane concerns.

Christine Miller

What people say:

“I have just read your poems; they are very beautiful and soulful. Those poems would touch the minds and hearts of many people. You truly have the ability through your writing to touch people’s souls, Christine, and your voice is so needed in the world right now, your inner wisdom is bursting to come forth.”
Molly Harvey, The Soul Woman, Author/International Speaker, Former President and Fellow of the Professional Speakers Association

“Just received your poetry book. Reading through last night, it felt like a very privileged entry into your private world. The poem that particularly speaks to me this morning is ‘Blessings for Everyone’ – I love it.”   Judy Apps Author, Voice of Influence,

“I was so pleased to receive your wonderful book.  It is book of ideas, feelings, and remembrances.  It is the kind of book that you can have next to your bed or on a coffee table and revisit it a week later, a month later, or a year later.” Somers H. White, CPAE, FIMC, Marketing, Management, Coaching and Financial Consultants

“Lovely to receive your beautiful book.  Your poems indeed do touch the soul and give one lots to ponder about” Glennyce Eckersley, International Writer, Broadcaster and Speaker

Christine Miller has already established herself as a “Poetic Writer” through her many articles and through her excellent Resource Magazine. Christine now, with the publication of Secret Garden of the Soul, has turned her own poetic soul to a new volume of poetry that establishes her as a Poet of Her Time. The book is beautifully produced, and as you would expect if Christine were involved, is a feast for both the minds’ eye and the body’s eye. Beautiful metaphors lace the poetry, and beautiful photographic and illustrative images immaculately accompany each poem, giving it added meaning.

The cover, like the poet, is magical. In “In A Secret Location, Very Close to Paradise” Christine writes:

“Gazing into a box of mysteries

You will discover

Pearls of preciousness…..”

It is so, with Secret Garden of the Soul.

Tony Buzan , Multi-million selling author, poet & inventor of Mind Maps

Secret Garden of the Soul Available Now

This moving collection of poetry reflects an awakening of consciousness, and the liberation of a voice which has for many years been reluctant to publicly express its inner wisdom.

The poems are an invitation to journey through the Secret Garden of a Soul; a soul in the process of re-membering its essence and reconnecting to its authentic, joyful self.

The intention is that through reading the poems, you will find a meaning unique to your life, so that you, too, may be led to a place of inner peace and joy, a private place where your soul can dwell unfettered by mundane concerns.


 


 

In a Secret Location

A poem taken from Secret Garden of the Soul


Poetry

What Do You Want to Write About……………?

Sharpen Your Writing Tools

 

I’ve had a lot of messages from people telling me they haven’t written anything for many years, or that they dry up when they pick up a pen, or that the blank paper/screen stares back at them like a mean teacher as if to say ‘who do you think you are, writing poetry, writing prose – writing anything!’

If you’ve ever had that feeling, here are a couple of  ideas for getting started. Remember that writing words can easily be about play and enjoy yourself.

NUMBER ONE:

Pick a topic – any topic, the first thing that comes into your mind, everything is a possibility …..simply say to yourself “I want to write about…(in the instance of writing a Valentine’s verse, then Love rather naturally springs to mind) and start. It’s the same with most things in life – just begin. Getting started is (I know it sounds ridiculously simplistic) the key. Don’t edit your thoughts or words, let them spill out – you can come back and refine them later….

NUMBER TWO:

Pick some random words: for example, I’ve got a piece of paper near me which says ‘Identity Card’ and the words that catch my eye on the computer screen are ‘Save Draft’…. What could I do with those?

Here goes:

My identity as occasional  bard
Is sending you a Valentine’s card.
I thought of you and sweetly drafted,
So cherish and save  these words I crafted.

It doesn’t have to be a  rhyme, it can be anything – just get started. You could  say something like:

What do I think about identity Cards? Will they really make us more secure, and save us from possible terrorists attacks, stop illegal immigrants, will they help prevent extremist cells from drafting in new, impressionable recruits?

See if this gets your creative juices flowing – look at what’s around you and start writing about it  – you may be surprised how easy it can be to get into the flow!

FOR YOUR FREE GUIDE TO WRITING SHORT POEMS, LEAVE A MESSAGE HERE 

 

Nick Inman’s Guide to Mystical France

Nick Inman’s beautiful book about ‘Mystical France – Secrets, Mysteries, Ancient Sites’, published by Findhorn Press, £14.99, is an exciting and useful addition to any travel library. And it is a volume particularly pleasing to me given our recent purchase of a lovely 17th Century Manoir in South West France, a house and land which are also steeped in secrets and mystery to be unravelled.

A well-known and accomplished travel writer who lives in France with his family, Nick has explored the country with a keen eye and intellect, evidenced by the comprehensive coverage of many sites – and sights – not on the regular tourist route. He offers historical fact, well-researched details of little-known places and their significance, and 240 lavish photographs to illustrate them.

This is an excellent guide to a subtle and rewarding France beyond wine, sunshine, food and fashion, with secrets many visitors don’t know about, and if you are planning a visit or even just passing through, you will discover a wealth of fascinating places of interest. The book is versatile and lends itself both to planning an itinerary of sites that intrigue you, and to dipping in and learning about a wide range of fascinating topics from labyrinths and stained glass, angels and fairies, King Arthur in France, pilgrimage routes, little known caves and their paintings, the Tarot and the Templars and much more – some 60 individual features and 14 standalone chapters.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the hidden beauty of this vast and enticing country. And – as I mentioned to Nick when his book arrived, it’s a multi-sensory experience too, not only rich in colour with heavyweight paper, but it has that delicious (to me) smell of a good covering of ink!
Get a copy whether you plan to visit France or not – there’s much to learn here. 

Available from:

Inner Traditions

Amazon

Christine Miller 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Education Work

Christine Miller 

This post is inspired, or maybe provoked, by the recent press coverage of a new UK report called ‘Making Education Work’ which is calling for ‘A-Levels to be axed in favour of a new ‘Baccalaureate’ (Telegraph), and as the BBC declares: Education ‘fails to deliver skills for global success’.  

The report has been put together by an independent 14-strong expert group including Sir Roy Anderson, former rector of Imperial College London, Sir Michael Rake, Chair of BT and head of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and Sir David Bell from Reading University. It was commissioned by Educational Publishers, Pearson, and is recommending a broadening of the curriculum and that so-called ‘soft skills’ like emotional intelligence, empathy, team working and other interpersonal skills are given more prominence in equipping young people effectively for the workplace.

I haven’t yet read the full report, and this piece expresses my immediate response as a provocation and encouragement to further thought and comment.

Whilst education reform might be necessary and desirable in some instances, to equip our workforce for employer’s needs and boost economic recovery, I wouldn’t like to see a system which only wants people who are fit or skilled for a limited purpose to be determined solely by business interests. To me that would be stultifying the potential breadth and depth of human beings, would inhibit the true engagement of young people, and create mind and body prisons which ultimately would not serve the values, morale and flourishing of individuals, families, communities, and nations.

Education – that political hot potato that gets thrown from party to party, government to government, a vote-winner because it’s fundamental to the values and aspirations of all of us. Education has always been one of my key concerns and I believe we miss the mark and fail to serve our young people in many ways, and that it is a subject we all need to be aware of and interested in.

But although universal,  it’s not a one size fits all situation. And it’s not meant to be simply a mechanism for churning out bodies and minds with just enough skills and knowledge to supply business with willing and able fodder – ‘human capital’ – to produce its wares and do its bidding. Nor should policies change to win votes, there needs to be a consistent approach where what works is what is important regardless of which party is in power.

It’s an old and somewhat wizened chestnut, but ‘Education’ (‘educere’ in Latin) is really meant to be a process of ‘drawing out’ and fostering the individual skills and talents of each person in order that they may live a fulfilled life and be of service to their community. Given that we are all different and have a variety of abilities, natural and otherwise, which can be developed, honed and practised, any education system needs to encourage independent thinking, recognise differences and offer a range of experiences which cater to academic, practical, emotional, physical and spiritual needs and preferences. We have more opportunity to deliver a quality, varied and relevant curriculum today with the advent of technology and increased knowledge sharing than ever before.

christine-millerBut let’s face facts – some people just don’t want to and are not suited to the intensity of academic study. They don’t want to pore over text books, immerse themselves in literature, conduct scientific experiments and learn periodic tables or historical dates, grid references, or biological processes. It’s still important that they should have literacy and numeracy in order to thrive, but the basic failure in these skills, if it occurs, happens much earlier in the system than at ‘A’ level, and needs to be addressed in a timely manner with understanding and specific interventions.

The more practical type of person might want a big picture overview, a general knowledge, of the way all these disciplines work in order to better understand their place in the world, but they would rather build something, create something, get their hands dirty, than read about it. They have ‘doing’ skills which are critical to our world, and need to be nurtured, encouraged, and valued, equally.

I know I have always marvelled at the spatial visioning abilities of people who build things to work out how the pieces all fit together. I have watched in awe as carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers and other talented tradespeople read and interpret plans or listen to instructions,  and turn them into real structures and objects before my eyes.

And I know, also, that others watch with awe as academics, researchers and people like myself write reports, novels, articles, poems and weave arguments, conclusions, revelations and patterns of words together in a way that seems to defy possibility to those who are not inclined in the direction of word-smith, analyst or poet.

Some people are deeply engaged and interested in studying the theoretical complexities of how the world works, relish academic study and excel in that world. They need a different kind of nurturing, an education which allows their intellect to blossom and expand, to bring forth solutions and inventions, and their requirements demand a different style of teaching, a stimulating environment which values their skills and abilities as seekers of ideas and creative inspiration.

We need to remember that no one particular style, inclination or talent is superior to another, although in the past, practical skills have been undervalued. We are all, with our biases and complexities, essential components of a world which is constantly changing. Our human needs for love, caring, connection and relationship do not change, though. Whatever form of education we experience, we cannot do it in a vacuum – we do need those skills of listening, understanding, respecting, trusting and sharing as a team which bring personal and professional success and fulfilment.

So in equipping our young people for their lives and for the workplace – (and who knows exactly what the workplace may look like in the future) – we need to cater for the diversity of the whole person in the ways we do the following:

      • Respect and celebrate difference
      • Value individual skills and learning styles
      • Foster existing aptitudes and preferences, while encouraging new ones
      • Recognise the unconventional, the disrupters and change makers
      • Create safe spaces with loving, listening and caring teachers for experimentation and mutual cooperation

Then and only then can we say we are advancing education and serving our young people adequately and effectively,
equipping them for life and not merely a living.

 

Christine Miller

© January 2014 All Rights Reserved

More thoughts on Education & Young People:
How to Fail Your Way to Success
Teens, Troubles, Treasures