The Saga of the Pink Door

When we bought our first house as a family, our son Theo, then aged three, chose the colour of our front door: pink! I remember feeling really self-conscious about it at the time; I would have gone for a muted green to fit in with all the other mostly green/grey/blue doors on the small street of Georgian terraced houses in leafy south-west London. This year, eight years on, we decide to repaint the door and I (my mind) think, yes, I can have my muted green door at last. I mull over different shades of green, and a friend and painter, Neil, messages to say he can paint the door next week. I just need to confirm the paint colour.  

The following day I invite Jill, my elderly neighbour, who lives opposite, over to see our beloved Ember’s puppies. As she walks through our doorway, she remarks on how lovely and cheery she finds the colour of our pink door. Well, this puts me in a spin. How can I tell her that I’m about to paint it green? Perhaps I shouldn’t. She, after all, living opposite me, sees my door as much as I do, if not more. Who am I to take away her cheer? But my mind has been so set on green. 

I mention this dilemma to my Somatic movement client and Jill’s neighbour, Bev. She finds it hysterical and, after a good, shared giggle, assures me that Jill will cope with muted green (a similar colour to her door). Then our lovely friend and dog walker for many on the street, Marshall, pops round to see the pups and chuckles as I explain my predicament. He likes the pink, he says, but would go a slightly lighter shade. Or light blue. These lighter coloured doors are the ones that bring him most joy on his rounds. Green wouldn’t stand out as much with all the wisteria I have surrounding the door.

Oh goodness, what to do, and the deadline to choose the colour has been and gone. I message Neil, tell him of my conundrum. He finds it amusing and gives me another day. When Theo returns from school, I ask his opinion and he states green is boring, pink is ok, but how about gold or yellow! Wow, that could really brighten up Jill’s day! Gold feels too bold but yellow, perhaps this I should consider. 

This seemingly minor dilemma is weighing heavy on my mind; Neil needs the paint colour to mix, so I must decide. The next morning, I ask my friend, Alice, who lives opposite, two doors down from Jill, if she could help me choose. Alice has a beautiful house and a good eye for colour. I explain my dilemma and she is surprised.

 “But Chloe”, she says, “I’ve always seen your door as red!”

She tells me she had painted her door green. To me it looks blue. We laugh. Have I asked a colour-blind person to help me with this decision? We traipse up and down the street comparing shades of muted green and find one close to what I had been envisaging. She rules out yellow, thinks it won’t go with the cream colour of the house. I’m not sure but happy to let it go. We find a pink we like, the colour the door has faded to, slightly lighter than the original. I ask my husband, Tim, green or pink. He doesn’t mind. We choose pink to keep the most people happy. I’m relieved a decision has been made. 

This door saga has been fun, and made a lot of neighbours laugh, even though my mind wasn’t happy with the play. Then, I look at the name of the colour on the paint chart: Blush. This makes me smile. 

I see now what the Divine, this burgeoning feeling of Grace deep inside, is showing me here. In my life, self-consciousness has always been a huge barrier for me. From being the shy girl at school, the quiet daughter in a rowdy family, the student in muted coloured clothes or the employee reticent to speak out against a strong opinion, I’m not comfortable standing out in a crowd. This undue awareness of self has prevented me from speaking my truth to friends, family, colleagues, boyfriends, even at times my husband. Like a comforting fog I’ve unwittingly surrounded myself in, it’s smothered my inner glow, blinded me from owning my power and hindered me from fully stepping into life. Now is the time to let this go. 

This saga has been such a blessing in reminding me that when I expand my point of view from what my ‘mind’ thinks is right and open up to the Divine in the moment, I create a wider channel for Grace. I imagine opening up to the Divine enough to Be Grace; transcending self-consciousness and other rigid barriers of my mind. Then, in bounteous reciprocation, the Divine would open the door to make this state of Grace my true home. Yay, what a relief it will be to drop this burden, this monkey mind, and let the true me shine through. 

I now love the pink colour of our door and this saga raises a smile and a giggle from all involved. Jill, Alice and my next-door neighbour have all asked my lovely painter friend to do painting for them too. 

To open to Grace in the moment is truly a gift—to be a vessel to channel this sacred flow of love and joy. Baraka Bashad!

Thank you for reading! If this story resonates with you, feel free to share in the comments.

The Magnificent Storm




I am a rolling rumbling thunder cloud,

For eons gathering droplets of fear, pain and regret,

Cumulating towering beads of fleeting joy or despair,

The child unborn, love affair abated, sense of purpose lost.

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Source: Minerva Studios

 

This dark cumulus mass, heavy with gloom and anger,

Deadened by the flat inevitability of outer experiences,

Dampens all I think, say and do,

Yet ignites inside an intense yearning for truth.

 

 

Lightning strikes; a bolt of Love from deep within,

Illuminating misplaced loyalties within each globule,

Worn out concepts of what and how life should be.

And in this revelation lies the beauty of each and every drop.

 

 

A magnificent storm unfolds. Flashes of lightning

Shine truth on the darkness. Grumbles of thunder;

A calling to let go. Still, this weary cloud grips tight,

On to the burdensome form it knows.

 

 

Drab grey puffballs smother my vision, suffocate my being,

Gaining in weight as I billow aimlessly. Until,

 A thunderous crack of discontent marks my stand with Truth,

On the holy battlefield within.

 

 

A gift of surrender; the sweet release of mind’s grip,

 Brings forth an electric torrent of divine revelations,

A tornado of chaos, flash floods of loss and destruction.

A perfect storm; an emptying of all I thought I was.

 

 

I am lighter, brighter, snow white wisps of cirrus cloud.

Golden rays of inner sunshine burn through my dross,

Bringing clarity, understanding and gratitude as each speck evaporates,

Into the clear vast openness of the divine sky within,

 

 

Until nothing remains but Love.

 

 

If this poem resonates with you, feel free to comment…

The Playground Within

There is a bully in this joyless playground,

A tyrant who throws deep belly punches of guilt and shame,

Who slings buckets of mud, sullying me with cruel words,

For not being a better mother, daughter, teacher, friend, lover.

This false friend, who took me under his wing,

Led me on a merry dance of half-truths and false promises,

Dazzled me with dream jobs, exotic travel, fun relationships,

Now shows his rage. And I cower, eyes tight shut, into a ball.





Until, a soft, tender whisper of Love warms my aching heart. 

For I say no to this unending Ferris wheel of outer experience,

The sorrow, pain and despair of these enticing dead-end trails,

The wrath of mind’s tantrum in the face of Truth.





I step aside from the terrorising shadow of my oppressor,

For I am not the hateful coward he would have me be.

I gaze up into the Radiant eyes of my lover within,

Whose warm illuminating rays give me a glimpse of my divinity.





In the scintillating clarity of this graced moment,

All fear, doubt, regret, confusion melt away.

I stand tall, a beacon of Love and truth shining from within,

And with the heart of a lion turn to face my foe.





My tormentor rears his head and puffs his chest,

Then shrinks before me, a mere trompe l’oeil,

His waggy tail, fluffy paws, and doleful eyes,

Beseeching me for love and discipline like an unruly child.





The concrete playground becomes a summer meadow,

Alight and alive with buttercups, poppies, bees and butterflies.

I cartwheel, somersault and tumble with joy, in this Eden within,

The tyrant, a mere puppy dog, nipping playfully at my heels.





If this poem resonated with you, feel free to comment…

In the Eye of the Storm

Rain lashes, wind whips,

Trees uproot, rivers burst their banks,

A torrent of chaos floods our world,

Roads closed, electrics down, homes battered.

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                                                            Source: Mimadeo                                                   

 

I batten down our hatches,

Light the fire in the hearth,

Drink tea, play games with heart aglow,

In appreciation of the refuge of home.

 

In tandem, a deadly virus swarms the globe,

Spreading fear, panic and terror.

A surge of turmoil assaults the senses,

Jobs lost, isolation forced, mortality faced.

 

Within this havoc, I have a choice,

Of where I place my attention.

In the tumult of the tempest,

The everchanging mayhem of the outer.

 

Or in the eye of the storm,

Where fear, apathy, and misplaced loyalties,

Dissolve. All must be let go,

For the sanctity of His refuge within.

.

 

The urgency to support friends, neighbours,

The dread of risking lives, the noise of media,

All rise in a frenzy, an intense inner storm,

Until I soften and open in to Love.

 

The deeper this surrender,

The greater the fire of His Love.

Until it eclipses all,

And my candle becomes His flame.

 

And this mountain of Love within,

Becomes the axis of my being.

All thoughts, words, actions,

A divine co-creation.

 

In the storm’s wake, a trail of blessings unfolds.

Debris shifts, new channels open.

Seeds spread by high winds sprout,

Flood plains become verdant pastures.

 

In the aftermath of the Now,

Exquisite blessings emerge.

For I choose surrender,

The rest is divine alchemy.

 

The sun rises.

Clouds part to reveal a rainbow.

A veil lifts for the whole of humanity,

A new light on an evolving world.

The Master Puzzler

Life is a giant jigsaw,

Thousands of motley shaped pieces;

 Work, family, home, hobbies, relationships,

I try to fit neatly together.

two hands connect the puzzle details, against the sky of the sun.

Image: stock photos

Constantly, I search for the next piece,

A new job, home, dress, diet,

To create a better picture,

Of what life should look like.

 

As I strive harder to find the right one,

To wedge that perfect looking job,

 Into other ever moving parts,

A growing sense of unease arises.

 

For I see that the picture guide,

My mind has been trained to create,

Through parents, school, generations of society,

Is fundamentally flawed.

 

The focus on the piece,

Choosing bright harmonic colours,

Instilled with significant content,

Yet shaped to be compatible,

 

Engenders a striving,

To find perfection in the fragment,

A resistance to viewing the bigger picture,

Where shadows compliment the light.

 

Each branch of the puzzle unending,

The pieces multiply with my attention.

The more I strive, the further and hazier,

The goal seems to be.

 

My attention stays stuck on the outer,

A perpetual desire to change the effect.

What if I change the image?

 Shift my focus to my inner Beloved?

 

Trust that He’s handed me,

 The perfect piece.

And ask for His Love,

 To help me place it.

 

 The one He hands me,

 Is not the easiest to place,

Or the prettiest to look at.

Not what I would have chosen.

 

A dark shadowy fragment.

Sharp edged and oddly angled,

Awkward to handle,

Ugly to the eye.

 

An irksome blast from my past,

 For so long avoided.

A relationship severed,

An attitude entrenched.

 

Through Love’s guiding hand,

These difficult parts of the puzzle,

Transform into the magnificence,

Of realisations hard won.

 

It’s not about the puzzle,

Or the picture it creates,

But seeing that in each conundrum given,

Lies the potential for Grace.

 

For each fragment of karma gifted,

 Becomes sacred when alchemised

By the well of Love within.

Bringing me closer….

 

To mastering the art,

 Of the Master puzzler,

Of becoming the force of Love,

 That guides the way.

 

 To stepping out of the never-ending

Enigma of life,

 And into the ultimate destiny,

Of my own divinity.

Small Talk

My neighbour drones on and on,

Swarming my being,

With his relentless plan of attack,

Against the box tree moth.

                                                                                                                                                                             Shutterstock

A woman releases a torrent of gossip,

Drowning me in needless babble,

About people I barely know.

This small talk is not for me.

 

I want to see the depth in you,

And let that spark the depth in me.

Go oyster diving together,

For that rare pearl of truth.

 

But then I see before I dive,

I first must learn to swim.

To search for precious pebbles in the shallows,

To seek and see the glimmer in the trite.

 

And practice being a mirror, to reflect that glimmer,

Imagine it a glow, and so it becomes.

As when I connect with my inner Beloved,

My flickering candle grows into a roaring flame.

 

And so He shows me that the world is banal,

When it confines one’s point of view.

Its richness only truly vibrant,

 When viewed from the magnitude of His divine lens.

 

Thus I surrender, relinquish all,

Angst, hopes, thoughts and desires,

To my Beloved within.

So He can clear the grime that blocks my view.

 

And through the agony of this cleansing,

My flame burns brighter, my mirror shinier,

To reflect a deeper Love and Truth within,

That shower sparks of effervescent joy.

 

Small talk is now for me,

The ‘talk’ could be a glance, a touch or smile.

For every action, word and thought,

Holds the potential to ignite a deeper sense of being.

An Ode to Autumn

 

I am a Sycamore tree

Branches laden with leaves of woe

Painful memories of past misdeeds

Of grief, anger, fear and greed

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iStock

Broad leaves of undue attachment to mind’s desires

Illusory concepts of how marriage, motherhood, work, health, should be

Spiky leaves of criticism and self-reproach

Heavy leaves of negativity that drink my life force and stifle my being

 

You take my hand and show me their colours

This motley collection that is part of me

Their beautiful autumn hues of deep painful crimson

Burnt hopes of orange, hints of fading joyous green

Slivers of dying angry brown, undue highs of yellow

Tinged with golden reflections

 

And I see the magnificence of their purpose

The divine blessing their pain reveals

How the agony of their revelation

Is only a calling to go home

 

A calling for this yearning soul to open and soften in divine surrender

To let go of these burdens, allowing them to flutter away in the wake of your Grace

To be stripped bare of all that was, to rest in your arms and bask in your love

An empty vessel, yours to endow, with a love so deep to bid only your will

 

Baraka Bashad

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this post, I’d so love it if you left a comment to share what resonated with you (or didn’t) and/ or any experience of your own inspired by this poem. My intention is that this blog becomes an interactive experience. Thank you!

Emergence

The acorn, locked in its hard encasement,

Pushes down roots holding it fast,

To the dark dirt of the earth.

In blind effort it forges strong foundations.

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Image: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH

The caterpillar, ensnared in its chrysalis,

Constrained, contained, yet of its own making.

The guise of outer stillness belies the inner metamorphosis,

A deep surrender to the unknown to come.

 

The chick, locked inside its hard eggshell,

Dark, safe, secure and warm,

Outgrows the comfort of its entrapment.

The strength to break free wells up from within.

 

Urged on by the warm glow of the sun,

A vibrant green shoot pushes up into daylight.

Through resistance it finds its strength,

A journey of becoming a magnificent oak.

 

Stretching its wings against the wet chrysalis,

A startling azure blue butterfly takes flight.

A new lightness and grace to its being,

As it glides and flutters across the spring sky.

 

The soft tap of the chick on its shell,

Becomes more forceful, more pointed,

Until it bursts out of its former refuge,

With the courage to face a brand-new world.

 

Ready to leave the blind comfort of the known,

I learn to spar more playfully with my limitations,

As I challenge the very fabric of my conceptions,

And surrender ever deeper to each resistance.

 

I step out of the carnage of my own making,

And dance and twirl in the fields of creation,

Unfolding inwards to the wisdom, power and love of my Beloved,

I grow my wings and begin to soar.

Today I Walk with the Divine Key in my Pocket

Yesterday I wandered too far,

Striving for something I forgot I already had.

Fog descended, smothering the trail.

Disorientated, I stumbled, twisted my ankle, grazed my knee.

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Lost and alone, bruised and bleeding,

Waiting for the mist to lift.

I sensed the haze close in

Becoming thicker and heavier.

 

In well-thought-out plans of escape,

I became further entrapped.

Until I remembered the key you gave me,

And softened to seek your guidance within.

 

  A spark of clarity burned through the haze.

This impenetrable fog, I now see,

Is of my own creation.

And  you’ve graced me the key to its unmaking.

 

Today I walk with Shabda in my pocket,

A rare pearl charged with our love at dawn.

A love so powerful it sets me alight and radiates out.

Graced to be a vessel, divine purpose refound.

(Shabda: power of divine love in expression)

Be The Ocean

I am a stagnant pond

Entrapped by binding reeds.

Boulders bar my flow,

Whilst thick green algae

Blocks the sunlight and suffocates my essence.

Glistening ocean

                                                                                                                                                 istock

My water is murky, my vision impaired.

Stuck in the putrid stench, I flounder.

Drowning in illusory impressions

Of what and how life should be.

 

You gracefully dip your swan wing on my surface.

A beam of clarity ripples through my being.

I sense in the spaces between the muck and mire,

A burning desire to be something other, to be free.

 

You lift me up and show me your vista.

Verdant pastures and tinkling brooks,

Flowing merrily into rumbling rivers

that tumble effortlessly downstream.

 

You fly on and show me the ocean,

A great sea of love, pure and clear.

Glistening, sparkling, its reflection dazzling,

Its divine radiance igniting a spark in me.

 

Tenderly you whisper ‘You are the ocean’

And I feel a surge of power and love glow inside.

Gently you place me back in my pond

But graced by your vision, now I see.

 

That when I turn my face from the reeds they no longer ensnare me.

When I dwell on You, your rays of love burn the algae away.

When I behold the boulders through your gaze

They soften and erode into nothingness.

 

In truth, I am no pond, no river

But a shining spark of the great ocean Divine.

Your wisdom, power and love become me

For I am the radiant ocean of love within.

 

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this post, I’d so love it if you left a comment to share what resonated with you (or didn’t) and/ or any experience of your own inspired by this poem. My intention is that this blog becomes an interactive experience. Thank you!