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.


 


 

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 

 

Portraying Life – Manet, Bellows & Unexpected Joy


Lunch on the Grass

Manet, Bellows and the surprising pleasure of the unknown

We were thrilled to attend a ‘friends and family’ private showing event at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last week.  It’s a superb building, Burlington House, close to Piccadilly Circus and Green Park, and the RA brings together some wonderful exhibitions.

Manet (1832–1883)

Somewhere along the line, many people will have heard of and seen French artist Édouard Manet’s famous painting ‘Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe’, or Luncheon on the Grass, even if you’re not an art afficionado. It’s a large oil painting which resides in a museum in Paris, with a smaller version in the Courtauld gallery in London, currently on show at the RA. It created a scandal when it was first aired in 1862, largely because of the female nude and the scantily clad bather, alongside two fully clad gentlemen, and a subtext which implied all kinds of (at the time) illegal, immoral and impossible things going on, but also because of Manet’s style of painting which led to him being described as ‘The Man Who Invented Modern Art’.

Manet,_Edouard_-_Le_Déjeuner_sur_l'Herbe_(The_Picnic)_(1)

The Luncheon on the Grass 1862-63

Manet once said, he ‘felt like a man who knows his surest plan to learn to swim safely is, dangerous as it may seem, to throw himself into the water’.

Berthe Morisot With a Bouquet of Violets 1872

Berthe Morisot With a Bouquet of Violets 1872

It was fascinating to see these famous and important works on display, to get up close and examine the way the paint had been applied, the ‘unfinished’ look of some, with evident brushstrokes,  the colours, the talent and flair, and also the expression of Manet’s life unfolding through his paintings. Because Manet often painted his friends and family, not only models and sitters, and he included contemporary figures such as novelist Emile Zola, poets Baudelaire and Mallarmé, Antonin Proust, and fellow artist Berthe Morisot, whose face is perhaps one of the most well-known amongst his many portraits, so there is a relevance, involvement and intimacy which is charming.

Manet’s artistic development straddled the time between the formal painted portrait as the main form of rendering one’s likeness in a lasting form, and the rapidly developing age of photography and daguerreotypes and their more immediate and realistic representation.

My sense of Manet’s work is that he brought an informality and naturalness to his portraits of people and their lives, and their interweaving with his own life, with a casualness that was daring for its time, yet retained startling realism and depiction of his subjects.

The Railway 1873

The Railway 1873

Some of the perspectives and uses of light and shade, and of so many hues of black, especially those I observed in ‘The Railway’, are stunning, and Manet rightly deserves his accolades as an inventor, if not The Inventor of Modern Art.

Some have said these paintings are not the best of his work, and there may be some gems missing from this exhibit; however for me it demonstrates his acute observations and his sympathetic and daring statements capturing life through his eyes and hands.

George Bellows (1882 – 1925)

In contrast, I had not previously encountered artist George Bellows. My loss, as I found his work most engaging and exciting. Bellows was a gifted artist who found success and fame early in life. He has been described as “one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his time”.  In 1913, at the age of 30, he became the youngest ever artist to be elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design.

His exhibit depicts Modern American Life, and as his career coincided with the industrialisation of the USA, he witnessed the rapid growth of New York, which became a frequent subject for his work.

George Bellows, Stag at Sharkey's, 1909

George Bellows, Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909
Photograph: George Bellows/The Cleveland Museum of Art, Hinman B Hurlbut Collection

His early work concentrates on boxing matches, some very gritty and earthy scenes which exude a raw power and the almost animalistic movements and postures of the boxers are visceral, you can almost smell them.

There is a vigour and life in his work which captures early 20th century America with great precision and power, the scenes of New York very much reminding me of films about gang life, and there are also many touching works illustrating the poverty and grim hardships encountered by immigrants and the underprivileged.

Bellows’ war paintings are also powerful, showing scenes from the First World War in varying forms from huge oil paintings to lithographs. They are quite disturbing in their violence and stark reality. As Bellows did not witness WWI at first hand, they were interpreted from The Bryce Report which had recounted eye witness accounts of atrocities perpetrated by the German army on Belgian citizens.

In contrast, in terms of subjects, his later works have many vibrant and invigorating cityscapes, seascapes and landscapes and scenes of winter revelry and snow which are exquisite. I was very taken with ‘Easter Snow’ and also ‘Love of Winter’, so full of life and exuberance and colour.

George Bellows, Love of Winter, 1914 Photograph: George Bellows/The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection

George Bellows, Love of Winter, 1914
Photograph: George Bellows/The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection

George Bellows, Easter Snow, 1915

George Bellows, Easter Snow, 1915
Photograph: Private Collection

Together with the numerous portraits of women, many of his wife, Emma, and his family, which are very tender and beautifully rendered, there is a wide scope and huge talent on display, and it was an unexpected, unanticipated joy to discover George Bellows and his thought-provoking work.

Highly recommended ****

The Manet Exhibit continues until 14th April, George Bellows until 9th June 2013.

Discover more at  Royal Academy of Arts

 

Work as Play

Work as Play – The Heart and Spirit of Business

work as play christine miller It seems that increasing numbers of us are looking for different ways to live in a more balanced and fulfilling way, so that we feel connected with our work.

At the heart of this is the growing desire to have a sense of purpose and a yearning for meaning in how we spend our time and make our living. We want to feel the spirit of what we do – to be inspired.


People who have been working in organisations for many years are now being asked to re-apply for their jobs, unable to take them for granted any more and having to market themselves as the best candidates. This means they are in effect becoming more entrepreneurial in their approach to their positions. And those entering or rejoining the job market need to be very clear and precise about what they offer and how they fit with prospective employers, both for their own sake in finding satisfying work, and in order to attract a suitable opportunity. (See:
The ReSourceful Candidate)

Entrepreneurs, the self-employed, creatives and small business owners already know the importance of  this, but sometimes, running a business or being a freelance feels more like a job that ties you down than an uplifting experience of creativity, wealth and fulfillment. And the dream you started out with becomes a drudgery that leaves you working longer and longer hours just to stand still.
 
I had my most recent experience as an employee in the corporate world over 11 years ago now, and friends and colleagues who’ve known me for years (and even some who haven’t known me for long!) comment on the way I’ve crafted what is essentially the perfect job for me – meeting people and asking them about their current thinking and passions, guiding, coaching and mentoring executives, leaders and business people into the best options for them so that they LOVE what they do, writing, being creative, being playful – and having lots of fun.
 
Most of the time, I can’t distinguish whether I’m working or playing, so that my work becomes play for me…that’s a great joy. It didn’t happen by accident – I did actually deliberately create and craft the ‘playground’ (otherwise known as workspaces!)  in which I operate, and it is a highly productive space. And it evolves all the time, as I develop and learn and share with clients in workshops and individual sessions.
 
Find out more about loving work at www.loveworks.co 

Four principles of living spiritually


A friend sent me this today, and its simplicity resonated with me deeply – no new revelations, just reaffirmation of important things we can easily forget. 

 

Four Principles of Spiritual Living


The First Principle states:

“Whomsoever you encounter is the right one”

This means that no one comes into our life by chance. Everyone who is around us, anyone with whom we interact, represents something, whether to teach us something or to help us improve a current situation.

 The Second Principle states:

“Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened”

Nothing, absolutely nothing of that which we experienced could have been any other way. Not even in the least important detail. There is no “If only I had done that differently…, then it would have been different…”. No. What happened is the only thing that could have taken place and must have taken place for us to learn our lesson in order to move forward. Every single situation in life which we encounter is absolutely perfect, even when it defies our understanding and our ego.

 The Third Principle states:

“Each moment in which something begins is the right moment.”

Everything begins at exactly the right moment, neither earlier nor later. When we are ready for it, for that something new in our life, it is there, ready to begin.

 The Fourth Principle states:

“What is over, is over.”

It is that simple. When something in our life ends, it helps our evolution. That is why, enriched by the recent experience, it is better to let go and move on.

Think it is no coincidence that you’re here reading this.

If these words strike a chord, it’s because you meet the requirements and understand that not one single snowflake falls accidentally in the wrong place!

Be good to yourself.

Love with your whole being.

Keep your heart aflame…