~ moving on ~

Hard times occur.
Difficulties present themselves.
Obstacles appear on our path.

New tough situations are always on the horizon, but old issues cycle around every so often and bring their pain and hurt back into our lives.

They seem to reappear out of nowhere.
They can arrive like phantoms, unwelcome guests at our door.
We feel their intensity, the fresh burn of their bitterness and bite as they push past us with their suitcases of old suffering and settle back into our lives.

After our initial shock, we find a moment to call our friends, our opening line,
‘You’re not going to believe….’
Is quickly followed by a slump of our shoulders and our hearts into
‘Oh…I thought I was done with this?!’

Our patient, loving friends remember all the details – the excruciating breakup, the overbearing employer, the abusive parent, the deep sadness we felt when our dear friend passed. They have sat with us long and deep as we’ve worked our way through the hurt, the endless and sometimes dramatic unpacking and recalling of events, the hours of uncertainty, suffering and pain.

They’ve passed us tissues and given advice, they’ve celebrated our slow healing or danced with us the day we sent eviction notices to the hardship, they’ve smoothed our hair or helped us sweep away the debris in the aftermath.

And then they have rested with us, in the relative calm that followed. Maybe weeks, maybe months or years.

But seasons change, and somehow that old situation has arisen in our heart, mind or life again, and we are left feeling sidelined, smothered by its intensity or made small with a rekindled sense of shame.

There is a desire in all of us to move away from things that are painful and hurt. It is a protective mechanism, a natural reflex.
We can try to ignore or distract ourselves – modern life offers many options for this.
We can become angry, resentful or bitter. We can become self-absorbed, overwhelmed and filled with despair.

We may do or feel all of these in our initial reactions.

But as the first waves of shock pass over us, as we begin to cycle more deeply through the situation, we can reassess and recycle our thoughts and feelings.

Yes, we are being presented again with an old painful situation – but the difference is now, that we are new.

We have learned new ways to respond.
We can see with new eyes, understand with fresh awareness, feel into the situation with the new strength of our wise and open heart.

We can still want to slam the door in the face of old wounds. We can still wish to pull the blinds and block the past from bringing pain into our present.
We can wallow in the perceived hopelessness of never moving on.

Or we can look out with honesty and see that situation or memory standing at the gate. We can fold our arms across our chests, size them up and say to ourselves,
‘Ahh. I know you.’

But instead of rushing into reaction – of running towards it in a rage or running away – we can stand and observe them a little longer.
We can allow ourselves to see them differently, and thinking out loud, may hear our ourselves say…

‘Well, I used to know you.
But let me look more closely, maybe you have changed?’

And inevitably they have.
Because time has passed.
Because, regardless of the situation, we have lived through it, we have survived.

And as a result, we know more than we did back then, we are stronger, we may have more clarity and time has given us the great gift of perspective and distance from it all.

As we stand and look at the situation anew, we can pause and take time to notice it’s subtleties – it’s cracks, it’s weaknesses, it’s old stories, it’s truths or lies.

And when we do, we can see the situation has changed.
And that more importantly, that so have we.

We may not welcome that person or situation back into our lives again, but we don’t have to feel afraid of facing their memory.

Feelings will continue to revisit us.
Painful memories may never fully fade.

But with time, and with gentle, continued practice, we can recognise that we have learned and grown and changed.

And if we choose, we can find great peace in that.

(C) Chandu Bickford

Artist credit Meinrad Craighead

~ gently ~


Life is hard.

Sure, there are joyful times, magical moments and happy, fun, carefree phases to enjoy.

But no amount of new-age positive-thinking can outshine the grit that lies just below the surface.

The grit, the pain, the grief, death, learning and loss that accompany the highlights of love, tenderness and togetherness are all natural, expected and normal.

Our media tries to tell us otherwise.

The ‘happily ever after’ is sold with every home loan, haircut and hamburger. Our fears of loss, pain and death are raised and quickly quelled by insurance promises and their accompanying premiums. Our boredom and dissatisfaction with our own life is fed, fuelled and refocused on ‘reality’ TV shows, incessant info-mercials and addiction to improvement – to buying more, doing more, having more, being more.

The voices around us are harsh and critical.

They tell us we are not enough, that we need to be better, do better. And whether we listen actively or not, their pervasiveness becomes a soundtrack, a consistent inner conversation of constant critiquing and cruel comparison.

Competitiveness arises, then hyper-vigilance, stress, more criticism, more trying, exhaustion and at times, resultant despair.

These are sadly becoming natural by-products of our life.

Especially as we look out at our world and see the destruction of our beautiful planet, the imbalance and insensitivity of our ‘leaders’ and the disparity between those who continue to have and those who have not.

We are bombarded with opinions and reasons not to believe in or listen to ourselves.
We are so easily offended by others that our angry responses continue the chain reaction of retaliation and polarisation.
We forget we have a choice to turn it off, walk away and turn with tenderness, within.

When we reach our limit of outer chaos we also reach the threshold of our inner quiet – the safe and sacred space we all have and hold within our hearts.

We can choose to leave our worldly shoes and coats at the door. We can drop the daily amour and the weapons that we wield and return to the sanctuary of own sweet selves.

We can pause. We can breathe.

We can move with reverence and tenderness towards our hearts.

We can step gently away from the fray and listen for our own wisdom, knowledge and truth.

Our turning away becomes a deep tuning in.

Here we can listen and be lead by our intuition.
Here we can again find inspiration, ideas and the beauty of our imagination.
Here we can find a pace that is true for us and some peace to carry back out into the world to share with others.

We cannot escape life’s hardships and pain, but we can find ways to live with them, to accept them and ourselves.

We can do so, gently….

she touches the wound
becomes friends with the scars
accepts the pain of her past

she learns to forgive herself
for what she didn’t know
for all the things she did
and did not do

she comes home
re-members her heart and soul
her body
are hers
are sacred

(C) Chandu Bickford

Artist credit – Tomasz Alen Kopera

~ the call ~

You know it.

You know you know it.
You have never known anything more fully  in your life.

You know it is real.
That this is really yours – because all your cells are singing.
Your insides are aflame.

Beneath your thundering heart, you are trembling.
A tender, new, hope-full part of you is coming alive, is opening… swells.

You have not fallen under a spell.
You have never felt more clear.
More assured.
In this moment you know that anything is possible.
That these opportunities are perfect, have been created just for you.
You see it, you know – that you are the magic and the magician.
Both the master and the maker of this, your destiny.

And you are sure. So sure.
That this is yours.
That you will make it, take it.
That this is the very thing you have been waiting for – the sign, the opening, the chance.
You are ready.
Willing. Able.
You want it so bad.
And you will do anything to make it happen.

Until you don’t.

Something happens.
An invisible veil falls across your face.
The certainty that you felt only seconds before is slipping away.
It has all become too scary.
It suddenly seems so out of reach.

What was a definite is now an impossible.
Your ideas seem delusional.
Down-right dumb.

Embarrassed by your boldness, your eagerness, and excitement, by your believing this to be true, you step in and start to shame yourself.
Shoulders slump.
Hope slips away.
You tell yourself…
‘It was a dream.
A silly idea.
How could I deserve such a thing?
Who am I to even to dare??’

Doubt overrides.
Dullness and despair descend.
Your hope-fuelled heart falters, fails.
You begin to give up – before you even begin.

Be it a lover, a new project, career move or friend, after the enormous euphoria of our initial ‘YES’, our mind swoops in with evidence stacked for all the reasons it should now be a ‘No’.

Our inner pendulum swings like a wild monkey – from the definitive and defiant, to that of our greatest doubt.
And soon after, a long, slow tug-of-war begins.

We dance between our desire and our doubt.
We baulk at making the courageous choice to turn towards our dreams. We slide into distraction, self-flagellation, procrastination or like a coward, silently, slink away – from our longings, from our deepest desire, from our secret, most treasured truths.

Yet hidden between the drama of our highly reactive yes and no, lies a quiet and tender space – called rest.

Here we find the gentle cusp where the great leap made by our intuitive heart can sit quietly and catch her breath. A space where she can wait patiently for our human head to catch up.

Here, in this sacred in-between space, we can witness the dance of spirit, wisdom and divinity swirl and sort out all the details.

Here, if we are aware, and willing, we can step aside and watch the wonder of our brain, our heart and deep intuitive nature, do battle.

And we can watch all of them win.
For each has their own genius, their own innate intelligence.
They can lead us with their mastery, towards a place of understanding, of courageous choice, decisive action and higher love.

We can rest in this place and allow our great dreams and aspirations to be assimilated, absorbed, attuned.
Here, we can gather that which we already know and also wait for new information to integrate and appear.

Here we can sift, sort and surrender our small ideas to our higher purpose, we can utilise the treasure of deep listening for ourselves, and attune our hearts to the call.

It can be easy to become distracted, to fracture our tender dreams by folding to our initial overwhelming fears.

That first bold ‘Yes’ is often exactly right, but we need time to adjust our vision, our awareness and capabilities to adapt to its huge new size.

Give yourself time to rest, to stretch and grow into a new idea.

Ask for help if you need it – from someone you can trust. From someone who sees your greatness and will reflect it back to you. Someone who knows you can do it. And that you deserve to.

And most of all, trust yourself.

For the call doesn’t come often.
It is a gift.
Listen for it.
Learn to say Yes, with both the big and small parts of your heart.

And be ready.
For in those moments when we surrender – when we say Yes to all that we wish and all that we are – Grace has a way, of making it happen…in ways far greater, and with more ease and more blessing, than we ever could have imagined.

Even if it’s a whisper….say yes.

(C) Chandu Bickford 

~ polarity ~

She is standing.
Deep in thought, still caught in the complexities of the day.
Beneath her clothes, she wears her body armour like an invisible skin.
It is dented and damaged from the blows it’s taken throughout the week, throughout its lifetime of use.
It is not exactly comfortable, but it’s so familiar she often forgets it’s there.
It has become a habit, a companion – slightly restrictive but reassuring. It has also become a tool to protect her from being bombarded at work, a friend to help her bear the harrowing tales of the nightly news. It’s become a buddy to help her battle her way through her endless busy schedule and someone to walk her home at night when she’s tired and her guard is down.

She is standing.
She feels a heaviness inside her body. It is subtle, familiar.
She thinks maybe she’s just tired.
And she is – tired of managing the myriad tasks of money and motherhood. Tired of maintaining a soft and open heart in an often, hard world.

But the heaviness is more than that.
It starts at the top of her head and drips down, slipping over her curves and flowing with gravity towards the ground.
She moves her attention through her body.
There are aches and general weariness, bits of her that hurt. But there are other parts that have no feeling at all – some bits that seem completely numb.
She moves a little, restless, trying to shake awake the blank spaces – the places in her body that have forgotten how to feel.

She remembers times of feeling vibrant, vital, trusting and alive. Was it really that long ago?
She moves to put on some music.
Loosens her hair, her shoulders.
She begins to release the woman within.

She rarely shows herself to others.
And although the world sees her ability, her skills, her deep, heart-felt care, there are some parts of her that are almost never felt, never seen, never shared.

She is standing.
The music begins to slowly penetrate her.
She begins to drop the damage of the day, to feel at ease.
She can now, come out of hiding.
Slowly, as if awakening from sleep, she stretches, and makes a long, deep exhale.


He is standing.
He has been waiting for this.
For her to arrive.
He feels an inner shift in his own awareness. A new alertness rises in him.
Silently he acknowledges,
I am here.

He stands back, observing her.
He knows her heart.
How it is hardened by her daily battles.
He knows the demands of her life and the even higher demands she places upon herself.
He knows she needs time – to reset, to return to herself and reclaim her space and sanity after giving so much.
He knows sometimes she has nothing left give.

So he asks for nothing.
Instead he slips seamlessly between her and her tasks, between her and her thoughts.
As a man, he slides into action, he steps quietly in and around her.
He silently supports.

Unconsciously, she responds, relaxes, receives him and his simple gifts – the dishes done, the children settled, the bright lights of the house now dimmed.

He can see her standing.
Standing still.
How long has she been like that? Holding herself upright, brave, braced?

He knows it is time for her to rest.
To soften. To lean on and into him.
He has already relaxed himself, worked to become present and cleared away his own daily debris.
He is ready to offer her the space and holding she needs.

He wants to invite her to him, but he knows he must be respectful, full of care.
If he expects anything in return, if she senses he wants something from her, she might freeze, harden against him.
He will lose her again. He will lose this chance for deep connection.
They will both become lost.

So he checks his own heart.
He feels his deep love for her, and also, for himself.
He knows between them an ancient dance of polarity is playing out.
That the divine is daring them both to show up, be completely open and true.

The music plays.
He walks slowly towards her.
He stops close enough so she can sense him behind her, but not near enough to touch.
He is letting her know,
I am here.

His proximity offers her a choice.
A choice to turn towards his heart and her own, or to turn away.

He knows that as a woman her choices are sometimes limited, are often made for her.
He knows this makes her feel disempowered, disregarded, and deeply enraged.
He knows she can project these feelings onto him in times of despair. He knows he is sometimes deserving of them.

He is a man.
He understands why she is wary, why she’s so f*cking mad at men right now.
But he is her man.
He’s not perfect but he’s trying. He’s showing up.

He wants to be there for her, as a man, in ways that will restore her faith in him, their relationship and connection. In ways that will restore her faith in the world at large.
He knows together they are stronger, better.
He trusts together, they can make it through.

They are standing.
The tension builds.
He is inches from her.
He holds the space.
Welcoming. Strong.

She is fighting with her inner demons.
Her fatigue. Her rage.
Her deep inner desire to be independent and free.

He meets her with his silence.
Allowing her process.
Knowing she needs more time.
He knows sometimes he is unavailable, aloof, distant.
He wants to change that. Is working to be more present, open, real.

He is unmoving.
He stays.

She is standing.
The music plays.
It softens that silent, sacred place in her.
The place of knowing without a name.
The place that she has known her whole life but has never fully claimed.

It is a place far beyond all her anger, her fear, her wounding.
It lives beyond her lifetimes of endless longing…to be heard, to be held, to fully love, to deeply trust.

An ancient grief arises and lodges in her throat. She fights it for a moment, then remembers to breathe, to stay with it, allow it, let it be.

Then slowly she succumbs to its truth.
Her truth.
Her deep longing. Her intimate feminine truth – to be touched, to be seen, to be treasured and met.
By him.
By him in all his flawed and gracious masculinity.

She has waited for this moment.
One of so many they have shared.
Another sacred surrendering of her heart.
She is scared.
So open, vulnerable.

And so is he.
Rejection lingers, looms.

They stand.
A breath apart.
Hearts throbbing.
And also, ready to flee.

He finds his resolve. Claims his space.

Unspeaking he says,
I am here.

She knows.

She knows she can choose to deny it all. Him.
Or simply dive in.

He has to show her his commitment.
She needs him to.
He steps closer.
So close.
I am here.

His body heat melts through her armour.
It drops and slides to the floor.

She is standing.
Naked now.
Tenderly, he whispers,
I am here.

She knows.
She has always known.

Leaning back into him.
They both come home.



(c)  Chandu Bickford Oct 2018




~ deepen ~

artist credit – Catrin Welz-Stein


~deepen ~ 

in the
shifting of the seasons
we see reflected
our own
changing heart

than the thrust
of latest trends

the bland shallows
sold to us
as solutions

we pause
and sit
with our own enquiry



the gentle weeping
of our inner child

the playful dreaming
of our hidden creatrix

the burning beauty
of our fiery feminine source.

Turn away from
the noise
the distractions
attune your ear
to what you don’t hear

for your
inner knowing

it is safe
but sometimes screaming
for your attention
in your ailments
in your anxieties
in your aimlessness

buried deeper
in this silent space
your own voice
your own wisdom
your own truth

turn away
from the traffic
to your garden

the leaves
softly unfurling
the colours
slowly changing
and know
this too
is you


every moment
every day
in some small way

a series of

endless chances
for living
for love

but evident only
when we


(C) Chandu Bickford 2018

~ take rest ~

on your path to greatness
on the road
of rediscovering your truth.
As you rouse yourself
from the sleep of
conformity and
and fear.
Forget not
there must be times
of rest.

Strive and stretch
into and beyond
the barriers
you have built
the limits
that others
have imposed upon you.

Push forward
when necessary
on all fours
to move beyond
your present place
of pain and lack.

But remember too
that striving
can become
its own bitter state
of struggle.
That the quest for endless improvement
of self-dissatisfaction
and can in turn,
become its own
bottomless bucket.
Remember that
can be yet
another form
of addiction.

Dear One
take time
for yourself.

Go outdoors
get close to ground
burrow down
with your hands if you must.
Gather up the roots
of your
recalcitrant nature.
from this
rebellious soil
your buried treasure
your best intentions
and pull them in
to your breast.

Cradle, coo
rock softly
your self
your intuitive voice
your deep inner knowing.
a warm and sunny spot
and nestle in
lay there
let this old
sweet earth
hold you
your deep

take rest
for just a little while

Lean in
to the larger body of
to the wisdom and love
that lives
all ways
all around
inside you


Allow her
to be
your lover
your mother
your friend
Heed the sound of your
own sweet song
soothing you
lulling your senses
loving you
loving you more

Be bathed
in the brilliance of
your simple breath
of itself
and as you lay


the reason
why you came
very own
true, sweet


(C) Chandu Bickford 2018

Moonshine (renewal)

A full, silver moon is setting.
My house is quiet.
There is a gentle ease in my body, as I lay, still and warm, beneath my blankets.
The peace of pre-dawn enfolds this Sunday scape. Holds me, us, every thing, in its gentle grasp.
Like a newborn, I am cradled, close to the bosom of this night. And warm, beloved and belly-full, I rest softly against the rhythmic heartbeat and potential of a new day.
Silent, suspended here, between heaven and earth, with the moon slipping away and the sun yet to rise, I realise
I am birthing myself.

Over and over.
New versions of me
New levels of understanding, wisdom and truth.
It is, has been, painful and hard.
For with each birth there is a death.
An old idea, an outdated belief, a carcass of what was, to be cleared away

I have been blessed to attend many births.
In my days as a nurse, I supported women and their partners through physical births.
Now, as coach, mentor and guide, I serve and support in similar, yet slightly different ways.

I am there, in those exciting moments when they conceive – their business ideas, their relationship dream, their creative desires.
I sit with them, through the early stages of their pregnancies – the changes, challenges, hopes and fears.
I stay with them, the months or years, they take to grow into new shapes, as they learn to feel safe, as they prepare their world to accommodate the new arrival.
I hold them as they rock and cry.
I return them to their breath, their bodies, their belief in their ability and themselves.
I help them regain their focus and vision, when their thoughts fill them with fright, when their fears threaten to overwhelm.
I smooth the hair away from their faces and rub their backs with words of encouragement as their deep inner opening, brings them closer to birthing time.
I crouch with them and pant as the pressure builds.
And once those final stretches and pushes are passed, I cry and rejoice with them as their new creation crowns and is released into the world.

And then we pause.
And we celebrate together.
And we rest, and relish in the wonder of their dream realised.
And I step back and hold space for them, their creation and their glory.
And when that new life is pink and safely breathing on its own, I care for them still.
Them, and their blessed new creative child.

I am there as they navigate a new world of expansion and change.
I am there as their little one grows, and as they both step up and out into their creative power. I am there as they realise their dreams, their deep desires and their greatness.

We are forever birthing ourselves.
Over and over.
We are mother, babe, breast and womb.
We carry in us, the seeds of our own potential, the gifts of our own greatness.
We intuitively know how to nurture, how to nourish our new creations – be they businesses, babies or beloved, long-buried dreams.

Yet often, we deny our innate knowing.
We default to doubt, disillusionment, and sometimes, despair.

As we stretch into new shapes, discomfort sets in and we swing from suffering and surrender to delight. We can be shaky, scared by the shifts in our ideas, desires and dreams.
Our diets, once known and regular, become erratic. We develop cravings for crazy new things – quiet over loud, sexy over sedate,
truth over any thing.

And we vacillate.
With the determination of a toddler, we dash out of safety’s grasp into the great unknown. Our bravado gives way to desperation when we discover our favourite legs are no longer there to cling to.
With wild monkey arms we swing between the vines of bravery and blatant disbelief, courage and cowering fear, a willingness to conquer it all, and a ‘what the hell was I thinking?!?’

Pregnant with potential we are prone to plan, push forward, feel some pain and then pull back.
A cycle develops.
It becomes a habit, and then….


Years pass by.
We never took the class, accepted the invitation, unpacked the idea.

We are under no obligation to do so.
No pressure to perform.
And there need never be.

But for some of us, many of us, deep inside, a subtle dissatisfaction develops.
And over time it erodes our relationships, our choices and ultimately, our hope.

We all have within us a host of creative children.
They are just waiting to be believed, conceived and received.

And so this blessed morning, as the full moon falls low in the west, and a new dawn graces the day, I am reminded of the richness of renewal, and the great rippling ocean of our deep, inner potential.
It can be dramatic, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes.
But more often, it is mute like the moon, silent like the sun.
It is patiently waiting for us to honour our true nature, to accept the seasons and cycles of change and to allow our earth, to turn.
It is waiting, for us to be willing, even when we are not fully ready.
To be courageous, even when we doubt.

Our potential is greater than both the sun and the moonshine.
It is here so we can rise.
So we can shine.
So we can light up the world.


(c) Chandu Bickford 2018

~ courage ~

~ courage ~

Do something
you are scared to do

think the thought
you have been avoiding

delve into the dream
you’ve silently
stored away

have that conversation
with yourself

the awkwardness

the inner struggle
to say
to admit
your truth

It is there
whether you choose
to acknowledge it

the thought
the dream
the words
the idea

you can
to duck away
from its
its insistence

you can
it doesn’t matter

but you know


your lie.


You know
the energy it takes
to remain

to continue
distracting yourself
disappointing yourself
with its


It doesn’t matter
what your dream is
or what stands in your way.
It doesn’t matter what
the source
of your fear
may be
or how
big it is.

It matters
that today
you see
you have
an opportunity
a chance

the fragile gift
of time
in your hand
the tiniest shred
of hope
in your heart

that you can make a start
a choice
no matter how small.

Take a seat
try it on
new thought or

Like a pair of shoes
on the shelf

Take them down
hold them
slip your feet

they feel

they may be

outrageously expensive

your choice may shock
even yourself

But just
feel into it,
walk around
find your
look in the
for just a few moments

you are safe

there is no pressure
to purchase
no push
to take them home

into the tension
the mere
of trying something new

and trust

your tiny

hope or dream

to have
a small voice
a space
a place
of honour

just for today
be courageous

allow yourself

to dream


(C) Chandu Bickford 2018




~ in honour of us ~

In honour of the woman
that birthed and raised me.

In honour of all women that have taught me well – what to do, and at times, what not to do.

In honour of my role models – my teachers, leaders, peers and contemporaries.

In honour of my ancestors – those I have known, those I have not known and those I will never know.

In honour of those who came long before and those who are yet to come.

In honour of us – we who have shared our stories – the myriad truths of the heartbreak, harassment, healing and hope of being a woman.

In honour of we who share gender and roles – and who also rise, magnificent, in the uniqueness of our diversity, of language, culture, background and beliefs.

In honour of those who identify as women and follow their truth through the trials.

In honour of those who have accompanied me, as sisters – birth or chosen, as cousins, aunts, grandmothers, mentors, coaches, god mothers, daughters and guides.

In honour of my countless beauty-full friends – those who have stayed when all else fell away.

In honour of the writers, the artists, the activists and avatars – those who have pioneered, and with passion, pushed on, despite the adversity, opposition and arrogance of others.

In honour of us all – we who are quietly, making our planet and our children braver, safer, more kind and aware, through the daily actions of parenting and leading others.

In honour of the good men, who have supported, respected and championed these women, we women, and all the good men who continue to do so.

In honour of a day that remembers the efforts we make every day.

In honour of the big journeys we are all still undertaking towards recognition and equality.

In honour of us.




Chandu Bickford IWD (C) 2018