Friday, July 28, 2017

Don't defend a point of view, collectively fight the system!


I don’t want to have the conversation any more about whether someone 'should be able to eat their sausages without being made to feel bad about it'. That sentence in itself is a distraction into the rights and wrongs of killing, whose meat it is and if people feel bad it might be their own conscience etc.

But I do not have a bone to pick with these individuals, people fishing on the shore for a fish for tea, small holders, poorer shoppers who have to buy cheap and nasty and little egg-eating households who have chickens 'out the back'. People are all on their life journey, mindful in various ways of their choices and impact.

The problem is when things are scaled up and up and we become removed or anaesthetized to the truth of the food, chemical and farming industries.
 
It is the SYSTEM that must change. The system absorbs the sounds of unspeakable suffering in intolerable conditions. The slavery of millions of lives. And yes they are alive. Each has a face, two eyes, a heart beat, a life force, sensitive skin, bones that can break, hair that falls out with stress, they need the colostrum like our babies too. They need daylight and room to roam. They should be allowed to run for their lives in free and fair combat or take flight, not ushered via metal crushes and electric prods, beaten, gassed and knifed. They don’t need the vaccines, the antibiotics, the separation, the exporting, the abbatoir…they need all those things like a hole in the head.


So do not give that system any unconscious support.  If it is cheap meat or no meat, choose no meat. If it is veal or liver pate or not free range or organic put those things into your equation and stay clear. Veal involves being chained indoors to produce white muscle-free meat. Pate involves force feeding ducks with a large syringe until their livers burst. Juxtapose that to the ducks on the river to whom you would throw the crusts of your bread. Always try and be kind or at least let other lives be. If it is not free-range it means that the animals are kept in warehouses all their lives. Chickens need only access through a vent with 20,000 other birds to a mini outdoor space to be called free range so don’t fall for every label. If meat is organic, it means that the animals have not been fed grain that has been laced with pesticide. They are not grazed on chemically enhanced grass and they have not been given jabs and other pharmaceutical toxins that never break down in the body and become accumulated in yours. Bear in mind, antibiotics will no longer work if they are being used on such a grand scale.



Don’t buy from big companies and don’t kid yourself that beef from happy cows and pork from happy pigs is a true story.  Let yourself look, consider and care. Your internal integrity will grow and with it your wellbeing. They say consumers are the most effective activists. If we don’t buy, they can’t sell it and the system will be finished. Don’t turn your back on appalling treatment of anyone. 



One man has gone up in my esteem when he was already a hero. He was a top footballer back in the day but last night I heard that he was the only one who approached the abusive family man on our corner. We had all heard the yelping and screams from the dog run where several children and animals lived. In those days you said nothing but this man went straight up to the father and said ‘I will clatter if you lay a hand again on your wife, children or any of those animals.’ This is the energy of change, calling things out for what they are, refusing to silently participate.   
As Aristotle said,
‘Happy is the man who passionately defends that which he loves’
Come to notice and love all life.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to think in a way that benefits you ... and everyone else!

Isn’t it funny how difficult people find it to think. Really think. Like, actually apply themselves mentally to their life situations without immediately getting depressed, or at least negative? And thus pretty helpless, in any necessary process of change that might need to happen! What if you could learn to get a perspective instantly and not be stifled by emotions? What if you could maintain this healthy objectivity and still totally support yourself even in challenging times, coming to see everything in life as a gift and opportunity?

Would people really keep running themselves down or blaming others for perceived hurts and disappointments… if they knew how to make this deep personal change in their relationship to themselves?

You can clear all the difficult habits and feelings away then, get the free flow of interest, love and receptivity going. It is a real voyage of discovery and some people say to me, oh you can just do that; trust your intuition, be free, say what you need to say. But that is because I spotted a whole lot of things filtering out what was in my heart long before it could be expressed. I was afraid of so many things and didn’t know what it could be to be a powerful advocate but also a woman at the same time. I thought I was going to have to operate purely in 3D and ignore all our other faculties. A few years ago, I thought dammit, no way. One sweet life, one good chance, must not, must not, must not tie myself up in a corner of low confidence and live with regret. Must participate fully, must give 150%, must make a significant difference for animals and live to see the end of their enslavement. I loved the chinese idea of practicing martial arts until your dying day to extend your health and longevity long enough to reach enlightenment. I love that, there, doctors must reinforce your wellness and not be rewarded for sickness. Dis-ease is considered their failure.

I loved the Buddhist idea of mastery: Tame your thoughts, harm no one.   

I love the channeled insights from beings from other planets, including the structure of a 9 dimensional reality that we interact with and can consciously interact with.

So I learnt how to ask good questions:
What should I do?
When should I do it?
Is this thought in alignment with the impulse of my heart?
Is this pain mine?
Just don't mind the answer even if it is not what you wanted!

I expanded on this system today by designing and executing a massively productive decision-making process! Delighted with the outcome and no need to revisit the things that were decided against. If you try nothing else today, try not to recreate and revisit a problem that you have already solved. Give yourself a break and enjoy your progress and life in this moment.

That is my vision. To really see life as it is, for better or worse. Not hiding from any of it. Not ignoring the suffering. Not denying myself the joy and harmony. Most of all, celebrating the connection to all the other little life forms around – all of whom I speak to and listen to, whether it is a bit of grass burnt by chemical weed killers or the whole great ocean churning around the lighthouse and Bray Head.

We are all connected. We all rise and then pass away. Don’t forget to do the rising bit in style!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Butterfly Effect


He who holds to himself a joy does the winged life destroy.
He who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.

A butterfly just landed on me and stayed for ages to tell me something about how we are all one life…or at least wait for several things to occur to me.

First this verse from the poet Blake, to remind me not to become attached to the people I love.

Secondly, there was time to notice that the butterfly arrived of its own accord and stayed for ages. It didn’t find that I was not a flower and realize its mistake.

As far as I know, a butterfly has only a day or two to play with and it chose to spend nearly an hour of it with me. And even before it landed it hung around and even after it flew off, it stayed close.

At one point, I started to worry that it was not getting what it needed and I brought it carefully over to a flowering shrub but it didn’t take any notice.

It stayed focused on poking around its probiscus on my finger. It was busy exploring and finding everything it needed and could wish for in my energy, on my skin. I realized that I hadn’t even dared hope before that I could be enough for someone. Thank you beautiful butterfly I thought!

I remembered that butterflies are symbolic of transformation. I focused on the fact that I should give my transformation some time, not be in such a hurry. My current changes involve accepting every moment both intimate and polarized of my entire life. Accepting every action, every thought, every motivation, every fear, illusion, effort, luck and perceived hurt completely. I am hoping to significantly improve my actual perception of myself and the world around me. This is bound to take some time and it has already taken quite a lot of drink one night and quite a lot of other treats another.

This fear of being hurt came up again with the butterfly. I knew they don’t sting or bite but it was so intent and busy with its study of me that I kept thinking that it would be bound to hurt eventually.

I also had the idea of shaking it off so that I could ‘get on with my day’ and then I realized that this WAS my day, it was OUR day. I had been singled out as special guest in a butterfly’s short life and so I just stood there stock still to honour the occasion.

As the lactic acid built up in my arm and raised finger, I noticed the paralysis as I tried not to blow it, put it off, scare it off, put it at ease, be a resting place, be an ever-fixed mark and a real appreciator of the connection and understanding.
It stuck around so long, happily balanced even in gusts, with two legs on either side of my finger, that I had time to think about relaxing. First I sat down on the slates and then I rested my arm on my leg, then my hand and after a few more minutes,  I allowed my actual finger to rest and relax.

This sounds unprecedented and actually it is. I am never relaxed with others around or with too much attention or with people relying on me. I remain in over-drive and availability until I have fulfilled my imagined and real obligations.  So I learnt why I was looking forward to him setting off again. I am genuinely ‘beside myself’ in my attempts to join in and make myself useful. And then as a last bit of self-abuse I move swiftly on to blaming myself for the departure or any other possible failure.

So these are a handful of dynamics to be aware of as I move from being (at best) to being with. If I can really change the filters through which I look, the whole of life will get a whole lot more relaxing.

That was one very happy and free butterfly and a tiny fly spent some time on my other arm too. I  nearly flicked him off and then thought why love one and not the other?

I am reminded of a heron and a magpie who flew into Harmony Hall’s garden last week. They were definitely together and landed in the top of a tree by the stream for a break before going on down the valley.

So many mysteries to solve in such a fleeting life.

Because of your love I have lost my sobriety
I am intoxicated by the madness of love
In this fog, I have become a stranger to myself
I am so drunk I have lost the way to my house
In the garden I see only your face
From the trees and blossoms I inhale only your fragrance
Drunk with the ecstasy of love,
I can no longer tell the difference between drunkard and drink, lover and beloved





Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vasa skin 50,000 mink every year - protest 12th August

On Saturday 12th August, we will be protesting 'Vasa Ltd.', Ireland's largest fur farm, in Co. Laois.

Over 50,000 mink are murdered on this farm every year, all for the sake of 'fashion'. These animals are suffering every single day, with no one to speak up for them - will you be their voice?

Please join our campaign to shut down this hell hole once and for all!

WHEN: 11am - 2pm, Sat. 12th August

WHERE: 'Vasa Ltd', Vicarstown, Stradbally, Co. Laois

WHY YOU SHOULD COME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8N77XURIVA (all footage was taken inside Irish fur farms)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Have Mercy and Hold Onto Your Humanity



Malik Slaughterhouse Report-Where they do not stun animals before cutting their throats

Stockport Slaughterhouse Exposure

What I don't understand is how people are okay with farming, fattening, milking, inseminating confined female animals with semen,  transporting them young, injured or healthy to be killed. Isn't it incogruous to put down a healthy animal?

My pigs Becky and Legend cannot reach their intimate regions to keep themselves clean so I sometimes give them a bath and lend some of my make-up remover organic cotton pads to clean any little scrapes or sensitive areas. The bottom of their feet is ticklish to the lightest of touches -seriously and a delicate stroke behind the ears ellicits an equally almost imperceptible squeak of pleasure and gratitude. If I really scratch their backs with a grooming brush, they will literally keel over to surrender to a full body rub down. And then as I have said befor, when I tell Becky I love her, she becomes rooted to the spot and gasps - in both surprise and as if she is coming up for air for the first time and getting a full breath of oxygen. Love is oxygen to them. It is oxygen to us.

So we shouldn't just not think about the animals behind the meat and dairy in the food chain. We shouldn't buy anything that has been tested on animals. Let yourself think of the pain that has been suffered. Being tied down to have soemething poured in your eyes or injected every day. Never seeing daylight Being forced to stand in your own excrement all your life and produce babies that you will not be allowed to feed or care for. It is like Ireland's old laundries and religious orders. It is like the concentration camps, ruthless continual violence. 93 million chickens a year, over 3 million pigs in Ireland alone. That is a lot of men perpetuating a lot of throat cutting. And farmers are not innocent in this either. They live by the use of animals. They are not guardians of our environment, 99% of them use chemicals indiscriminately to control and exploit the land and feed the animals the cheapest food.

But it is you the individual that I want to think. Farmers have a difficult choice and transition to make. We the consumer have only to be mindful and make sure we are not party to any suffering in the supply chains of what we buy. Surely no one would say that it is really okay to chop off the genitals and then wash them down with chemicals and then put in a burger or pie. But that is what we are condoning. In meat factories there are pallet upon pallet of pizzles- the latin word for penis. Could be bulls', could be horses' - let go of the grey areas in your choices and hold on to your humanity.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Inner Sustainability of Your Mind

AT LAST...


Like the keeper who tames the elephant, I have tamed my mind.
For years it was with the abuse of the bull hook, maybe out of fear of its vastness and uncontrollable nosedives and inexhorable motion into darkness and anxiety. But, as Nelson Mandella said, it is probably one's incredible light that scares us more. 



What actually worked?

1. The feeding of beneficial thoughts, the being a trustworthy guide, being a director to the clearest watering holes and out of the most dense jungles and necessarily being at ease, even when deep inside.

Water Purifying Coasters - New Ones ready For Artsweek

This foundation of clarity, love and self trust has been built up over years but the turning point today was

2. A decision made to stay here to actually be the person I have become... hey, what harm can it do?

A master harms nothing and no one  - that is a mantra I have lived by as well for a long time. Now it seems to be the time to reap the mental, emotional, natural and creative harvest.

 
The steps for each person may be different but may include

Transition from Conventional to Organic Farming
Transition from Animal Farming to Horticulture and Orchards
Transition from Omnivore to Herbivore

as it is for this lot!

The team at Noel's transitioning from conventional (chemical) agriculture (animals) to organic arable

Chris spotted this on Noel's water tank on the very edge of the acres we earmarked for nut trees! We're all taking that as a very auspicious sign!

Susi, partner in the coasters crime of making all the tiles for me to scribe...and her amazing treehouse in the weeping willow

 And for me some of the steps to empowerment have included:

Learn how to heal

Start to notice more and more, inside and out

Become mindful of life in all shapes and sizes - animate and inanimate

Realize the power of your choices, how often you're making one and make them consciously.

Practice manifesting

Go exploring - there are so many more dimensions than the 3D

Clarify your intention

Dispassionately look for your inner sabotages and avoidances

Start to see everything in life as a gift

Practice taking nothing personally

Clear old energy from places so there's nothing to fear anymore. 
eg. illnesses, violence, suicide, EMFs...once they don't bother you, they don't need to agitate for recognition any more

Realize how all energy is just agitating for recognition

So...be generous with your time, love and awareness

Build a kind but firm connection with yourself...

or you will end up infirm like everyone else!

Oh yes, and spare yourself the technological overload of electrics, wifi and light at night...if not earlier!

  Dr Emoto's Water Purification Ceremonies

Vimala Rodgers Intentional Hand Writing and Re Wiring Your Brain

Combine the two systems of thought and you have an amazing conscious healing system, hence my coasters range with the following words that I've been working on for about 10 years now. The downside has been that now my writing and consequently my signature is so significantly different, I can no longer get money out of the bank. But embracing the changes is the key and letting life change you. Nature knows what it is doing!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Jacking in Facebook

They say 'Everything is perfect just as it is'
But it is so difficult to feel that when one's thoughts fly to
'What about the homeless children and grown ups?
'What about all the animals, BPAs and pesticides in our food?'

I still get that, in a sense, everything is as it should be. What's more, every time I get that answer, all the hostility and stress goes out of my body. Everyone should try it as a sentence to meditate on. I really know, in those moments at least, that I am part of the solution, posing no resistance to positive change (where my disbelief had probably been blocking it), no resistance to the restoration of peace (where my upset was probably adding to the war of attrition, for starters). I am not saying that our sensitivity is bad or naive or couter productive though. Just to be clear, I believe our sensitivity is one of our core gifts, a part that is still expressing and searching for great love in this superficially defunct world.

What is even more exciting is the experience of liminality. This is the ability to be neither here nor there. I have been practicing presence - really being here for myself and really being there for others! - but this is brand new. It is the ultimate detachment.

As a highly responsive person, I don't know if I would have ever achieved this level of freedom if I hadn't taken this down time, fuelled by creativity. It is as if giving up Facebook even for this week has given me my soulful anchor back. Highly recommend that as well. And bring back letter writing... therein there is real joy and surprise!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Oh the irony of it being Macdonalds' CCTV footage

The Irony of Macdonalds who's business depends on the death of millions of animals by ramming them into a metal pole






Macdonalds CCTV capture Horse Death 


1 million, six hundred and forty thousand. 


               



 Think of them, each one so inquisitive, playful, trusting. I miss Tink, Charlie, 248, 1101 and the cows of Standing Rock, who are probably ghosts too now. I miss them all and I'm so sorry.




Nearly 92 million chicken throats cut, in Ireland per year - people must be at it around the clock



Yes, that's where the laying hens go too, if you were thinking 'sure, I only eat eggs'



Just stop it, please. Pigs are our friends. We are all one life. Who is defending them? Confined their whole lives, testicles, tails, teeth removed without pain relief. Then herded in to be slaughtered. Thie painting is called 'Leave Her Alone, She is With Me'.



Two Million, seven hundred and something thousand sheep killed. Just picture those lambs filing in, fecking terrified and being cut into pieces before they're even cold.



Seven or eight thousand ....but then we know the ACS send them out of Ireland still alive to their body parts factory.


Co-authors of this post: Legend at the back door and Becky asleep in the shade of the picnic table.

BLTs who may show up on someone's conscience







This may be what you see but please please think of their destination. It doesn't have to be that way. Eat Plants
 
Please

Please     

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Radiohead Connection



The reason I get to go and live it up with Radiohead whenever they are around is because, in their own words, ‘none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for (me) bringing in that cassette’. I was working in the then Georgetown Studio in 1991 – headhunted for my good speaking voice to get bookings for the studio but I also got to join in as engineering assistant, a little backing vocals, the domestic work as it was residential, I also lived there, provided the general entertainment and maybe broke a few hearts. (This rap was written for me and sung down the phone after JD Starr was in - I only found that he'd recorded it, twenty years later! So I'l just share that mortification for the day that's in it!! Heatwave featuring JD Starr - Mind Blowing Decisions)

But we go even further back. I was fourteen years old, most of radiohead were a year or two ahead of me at school. Thom Yorke had mentioned how he was much like Pete Murphy of Bauhaus. I had said to myself, furiously; You are no Pete Murphy – who was my absolute hero at the time. Recently, I came across an old diary where I had written: ‘I listened to 13 hours of Bauhaus today’…so always quite a committed soul! Bauhaus -In The Flat Field - Live)


It was with the demos done at the studio then that they got their publishing and record deals, in quick succession with EMI. Such is the power of forgiveness: I knew they would never be Bauhaus but even at 20 I was already big enough to let them be somebody else and concede they had some music worth recording!


Hanging out this week, I remembered what life felt like before I woke up - to all the hardship in the world and all the things that need be done. I never really did rein in my exuberance but I did become a considerate human being and one repercussion of that is that it has slightly stymied my ability to totally go for it! Which is of course what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives. I thought it was funny when a lodger here at Harmony Hall, years ago, said he wouldn’t pat the horse. When I asked him why, he said he didn’t know whether the horse wanted to be patted. Good reason! And actually this is slightly the road I’ve taken too.


But Radiohead, on the other hand are definitely going for it. What a light show. What a lot of great albums. I had forgotten that Kid A was my sound track for several through-the-night roadtrips. I couldn’t believe that the last thing I saw before leaving Harmony Hall was a green plastic watering can and the last song they played started with the same words. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees

Outside the venue there were a couple of people saying Radiohead should boycott Israel because of their treatment of the Palestinians… That could get tricky, I thought, because although their sadism is prolonged and extreme, if we’re going to talk oppressive countries, they shouldn’t really play the US either, or even here any more, or the UK, for that matter. And then they wouldn’t be able to go home and see their families!



I am sustained for another couple of years having seen them and do you know what made me most happy? To hear that Thom Yorke’s vegan. What a bunch of brilliant sound people, remaining totally sound on the great long adventure of life.

New York Times Article on OK Computer album's 20 year Anniversary

So lower the crossbar or raise it whichever you need to do and have a brilliant summer. Thanks a million to Aisling, Gary and Selina for coming along and introducing me to so much more great music in the last few years.
................................................................................................................................................

Rosemarie: What a story!! You karma goes with you xx


Gina: Never heard of them but sounds like it was a fun time
Mary Sue: I always love hearing the story of how you helped them get their first record. I'm so grateful you took me along to see them during their Kid A show. Riding the 'friends and family' bus back to the hotel and then hanging out with Radiohead the rest of the evening was absolutely AMAZING! They were such nice guys!! Philip and I had a nice long chat about Minneapolis

Eilis: Fantastic Story
Mike Ryan: Not just a great story but insightful ... re .... Radiohead not playing almost anywhere because almost all countries are oppressive ... some more than others .... and as to whether the horse wanted to be patted ... brilliant ....

Aisling: Thank YOU for bringing us. Great night xxx
Siobhan: I remember you getting me tickets for gig and when the time came about I was ill ..think Alan may have took my place and as rumour had it he got a little intoxicated at the after party (giggle😂)lovely words. Frances, bet you had an amazing time😁much love my dear 💕

Yvonne: Hi Frances im very impressed with your early years association with this band, I have always thought Thom Yorke to be a bit of a genious, I must utube Bauhaus now cos I never heard of them.

Canice: Its great to hear a real life story from a real life experience .if you let go and do exactly as you want its not always the best way for everybody .my friend jefferson holt managed rem from their formative years right through to not so long ago he alw..

Bob: Fantastic. All of it !!

Penny: Well I never knew that Frances! I too have a few Radiohead diary entries from school, one day, when I write my memoirs...
Tara: Franc, this has to be one of the most enjoyable posts I have read on Facebook... As you know I am Radiohead's number one fan and thanks to you I was able to tell them in person after the gig in the Point Depot at the 'After' after party in the Morrison...
Emma: I remember your Pete Murphy Bauhaus days!x
Dee: Just watching them on Glastonbury now :-)


Rachel: Hope you don't mind me ear wigging your post. So interesting! Just enjoyed Radiohead at Glastonbury on tv in the safety of my own home



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Irish Salsa Congress

 It was a little bit like this but maybe next time!

Dance shoes in hand

It all started with emergency gardening around midnight on Friday – On closer inspection of Becky’s spiky outline, in the straw, I found she had pulled out 8 of the 10 significant branches of my favourite winter scented jasmine and added them to their bed. 
Becky and Wish today with no conscience or memory of the incident

My first reaction was slightly ‘sod you and the horse you rode in on’ but then I said to myself, I hope to God this is the right time of year for taking cuttings to start new shrubs, as I prepared about 200 with the secateurs. Where we differ on approach, Becky and I are similar in determination! I had to dig up soil by moonlight, from a perimeter bank and fill pots, cut each branch to 6 inch lengths, trim leaves to leave only two and then scrape and expose the cambium layer to stimulate root growth!

Working hands? No problem with bright vegan nail varnish to hand

I was to be up at 6am as I’d bought a Day Pass for the infamous Irish Salsa Congress in Kildare. Thankfully, my gardening hands and nails could be rectified by a splash of nail varnish. I did back-to-back classes with international teachers in Cha Cha Footwork, Dominican Bachata, Salsa Partnerwork with Footwork and Styling, Partnerwork with Body Movement (with my favourite couple to watch and learn from, Gil & Shelley), then Salsa Con Rumba and finally International Bachata. I met the Kilkenny gang for a brief but entertaining al fresco lunch halfway through. Was it wrong to bring my own mini pizza and lemon and chocolate dessert? It felt so right and yet cheap and cheerful too!

Lunch with Triona and Catalina

I was just about to jump in my car at 6pm, contented with a great day on all accounts, with no bleak moments, when someone said ‘see you at the party, yeah?’ That was when I found out that my wristband covered me for the social dancing last night too. After causing a slight scene at a local restaurant, where I thought I was going to be sent home after all, a few glasses of wine later and danced again until 3.30am! I didn’t mean to even fade then but I went to the car for refreshments and found myself there a couple of hours later, tucked in for a little music and shut eye! I love the car environment, instantly warm, comfortable, with one’s own CDs and a view of one’s own choice!

Retrieved jasmine debri

Did I mention, dancing is the way forward? If you do it enough, your whole interaction with life changes. Instead of pushing to get ahead or lagging behind, in nearly every instance you find you can follow the subtle cues, of direction and pace. This gives time to notice all the beautiful moments of synergy and coordination as they happen. And lends an un-embarrassed ability to share a good laugh about all the maneuvers that don’t go so well too.

Some jasmine cuttings prepared


A few of the countless cuttings in pots

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Best Dance Studio in Ireland - To be found in Kilkenny City

Vesper Studio Video - just out, with yours truly in tango mode

Salsa

 
Coming Home After Salsa

Bachata



Dancefloor over the stream

 

Ballroom

Full Moon Party

 

Dance Fit 

Beach Ready

Stretch and Flex

How To Live As One

 

Argentine Tango

 

Western Jive

Cowboy Country

 

Hip Hop


 

Competition Choreography

 

Wedding Dance Preparation