Fiona Sharing...

For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling to start a thread to share some of my journey and explorations. I'm not sure what may unfold, yet it feels good to take a risk and open the space...


Meet my edge and soften
Soften enough to let go and to be
Soften enough so when the time comes
I can take a step forward
To meet a new edge and soften into that place.

Hi there,

Over the past couple of days I've been receiving powerful synchronistic messages from a most unlikely power animal - the snail!

It speaks to me of a number of things
~ Snail carries it's home on it's back and so is at home wherever it is - home is where the heart is.
~ The snail leaves a trail behind him, so too in life how we are and how we move through the world has an impact, sometimes as we are moving forward or the impact is energetic and unseen and we may remain unaware of how we have influenced the whole. This highlights for me the importance of aligning with the flow, expressing authentically and trusting.
~ The snail signifies new beginnings and is one of the first animals to emerge in the Spring. In particular at this time it affirms for me a transition from the shadows into the light.
~ Snail makes slow but steady pace. It may appear to be making little progress, yet can cover much ground. It speaks to me of presence, focus and persistence.
~ The shell also represents the ancient spiral symbol - more growth and new beginnings.

I'm grateful to snail for playing so magically with me these past couple of days :)

Love, Fiona

How awesome! Snails have always felt very elemental/geological to me, and I always feel a deep connection to the earth when I connect with snails.

Thank you for this Fiona :)


I just read soften - and indeed, as Trinity has noted, softening, melting takes place.
What a gift you are.
Thank you.

Yes, softening and letting go and then everything is back to being perfectly divine.

Hi Fiona,

Your reflections on our messenger friends, the snails, resonate strongly with me and are so timely and reassuring as I continue to practice the day-to-day self-realization process, making progress bit by bit. I'm feeling like I'm at a snail's pace these days and that's okay. Thank you! x Catherine

Hi Catherine,

Yep, often feels like snail's pace here too, one step at a time, sometimes even what appears like the occasional step backwards. Though even with the slip back there is something experienced and learned.

I love the idea that the snail leaves a trail behind it and it reminds me that we often have no idea of the impact we have just by being who we are and following our path, the little things that we do that leave a silver thread, like an authentic word or smile may have a magical influence that we remain unaware of.

Love, Fiona

What a lovely reminder, Fiona, about the silver threads we leave behind just like our snail friends. I'm often deeply touched, energized, and encouraged by the smallest acts of kindness and compassion although the givers may not be aware of this. It feels uplifting, indeed, to reflect on how we might magically influence others by the smallest gestures of kindness. (f) x Catherine

Yes, indeed Catherine. And not only is it gestures of kindness that touch, energize and encourage, also other authentic expressions of beingness and times when we stand in our truth and power! Thanks for the returning rose *good*

Love, Fiona

HI Fiona,

Like many people -- and especially women -- I had strong conditioning around "disappearing" to please others. I'm chipping away at this density day by day. Thanks for the reminder that standing in one's truth and power is ultimately an act of great kindness, although it may not always be perceived that way. While walking along the beach yesterday, I came across a basset hound who was standing her ground so perfectly, woofing away, her head held high. It's time to dig my feet more deeply into the sand, I thought, and "woof woof" away. x Catherine

Thanks Catherine!

I'm misquoting Trinity here, but she once shared something like this that touched me very deeply.

"How can I best serve the world? - By being true to me"

I can see the article she wrote in my mind's eye, though wasn't able to locate it on the website just now. Thanks Trin, it has stayed with me!

Much love, Fiona

This morning I danced
I moved my feet, arms and spine, though I am not my body
I felt my sadness, grief and joy, though these are not who I am
I felt my body ache and it's pain, again this is not me
Beneath all this I felt a deep expanse of nothingness
This is who I am and everything "I am" arises from and through this place
Thank you for the dance

Beyond time and space
Beyond location and movement
There is a place
Of everything and nothing
The place from hence I came
And to which I long to return
When I go there
My breathe deepens
My body softens
My head forgets
My heart melts


After posting "Beyond..." above, I realized (again!), that this life is not about escaping to a void, the place beyond. Rather it is about finding ways in which I can integrate, what Openhand might call the 5th dimensional experience, into my everyday life as I engage with the physicality and challenges of this world. I can simultaneously be grounded in the physical yet experiencing the "Beyond" - how divine. 0:)

I am reminded of the following quote
"Peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unkonwn)

With peaceful blessings, Fiona

Fiona, it's wonderful when we catch ourselves - but if we don't express in the first place we won't see those subtle little 'slips'. There is, for me, nothing more attractive and appealing than honesty. It really is the best policy.
Awesome noticing....

Yes! It's so powerful to share as it puts extra weight behind what we think, feel and then express, and often helps things to become clearer or provides new insights.

How often I have shared and expressed only to gain deeper insights afterwards. I think of these as Wham! flashes of illumination, the light shining through the darkness. I love your quote on being calm amidst the storms of life, Fiona, and appreciate your comments about communicating honestly, Cynthia. Very inspiring all around. Thank you, wonderful ladies. xxx Catherine

I agree, Trinity. Fiona's post "Beyond" is truly divine. I've experienced the intellectual "false love and light" bubble where one denies and represses and "fakes" it, which is very different, indeed, from releasing and transcending distortions and going beyond the beyond. One can be in the storm and above and beyond it at the same time! I don't always get there, but I keep practicing day by day. xxx Catherine

Thanks Catherine and Trinity,

Yes, the Beyond is truly divine and it only becomes an escape if we become attached to it and try to grasp for it and then how can we ever get there? I love your line Trinity -
"When we can let go with every cell of your being the whole world falls away and beyond happens."

Indeed Catherine, it is a daily practice, one I certainly haven't mastered yet, though can see how I have progressed somewhat over time.

Much love and gratitude, Fiona

Last night I went to a story telling event for a better nation here in Scotland.

One aspect of a story particularly resonated, when the unlikely hero was waiting for the monster to awaken, it was said that he needed to have the courage to find and maintain his peace within.

This struck me as very powerful as so often in challenging situations we/I become distracted or full of fear when the really courageous thing to do, would be to maintain focus, centredness and peace of mind.

"When the really courageous thing to do, would be to maintain focus, centredness and peace of mind."
A very timely posting - thank you.

After a bit of reflection, I realized that for me it is the heart that suffers and the heart that requires peace. Then I feel focused, centered, deep, strong and free. Of course, I do use the term 'peace of mind', but am thinking I might like to let that saying go....

Hi Fiona and Cynthia,

After I read your comments, I felt to share this with you. I recently completed three sessions of a Body/Mind/Spirit workshop with Garth, my shamanic healer/chiropractor. During the last session, we focused on observing the thoughts and feelings without judgment, just allowing them to come and go. The day prior to the last session, my neck and upper back seized up in pain. During the workshop, I was able to identify the conditioned habit pattern behind the physical symptoms: an unconscious 'fight or flight' posture that I've carried in my upper body from childhood in this lifetime and in many other lifetimes, me thinks. I observed myself as I went into my fear, recalling incidents from my childhood -- recognizing that I needed to feel safe and that this need created my experiences of feeling unsafe. Garth encouraged me to breathe my spirit light body through my neck and upper back contractions and expand the light in all directions. The tension began to unwind as I surrendered and let go. The pain lessened. I relaxed and felt peace in my heart. Then I observed myself wanting to feel more peaceful. I attached to getting THERE and said out loud, "I feel peaceful," to hasten the process. My body wasn't fooled by my 'thoughts create reality' strategy, as Garth pointed out, and it tightened its grip on my 'fight or flight' DNA programming. At that point I observed myself saying in so many words, "I failed." Garth suggested that I wasn't accepting that it might take time to re-wire all that circuitry in my body formed over eons of time. I agreed and felt comforted by this. So I just learned, once again, that feeling peaceful is not always as easy as it might seem. With Garth's encouragement, I left the workshop repeating and feeling, "I know nothing." Because that's what it's going to take to release my conditioning. Unity of Body/Mind/Spirit. Becoming as nothing in it all, the inviolable One, so that I don't need any situations to go away, as Open and Trinity would say. The One needs nothing at all. There is nothing to achieve and no place to get to in Absolute Presence. On to more practice. Hot damn! This is hard. I'm struggling to learn not to struggle. Life, aye!!

xxx Catherine

This is great Catherine - it's a fundamental part of the Openhand Way and how we get into the facilitation approach....

Behind every negative thought, is some subconscious pain. The Facilitators learn to watch for words that 'spike' in the field when a client says them. We then play them back and get people to feel into them. Very quickly you can get people into layers of pain which they're carrying. This is how true healing really happens. We'll be getting into this next week in Path between Worlds.

Till then


Hi Cynthia, Catherine, Open and all,

Interesting what you say about "peace of mind" Cynthia, it is not a phrase I use much these days and so I'm not sure why I used it here. I do recall deliberating before I wrote it. I agree that there is more than peace of mind relevant here and perhaps "peace of being" would be a better phrase. I suggest that our beingness can be at peace even when our mind is restless and our heart is suffering.

Thanks for sharing your inspiring experience Catherine and as you say "There is nothing to achieve and no place to get to in Absolute Presence." and yes it can be hard!!! Thanks Open for the reminder to look deep into the pain. By going deep into the pain, we can find the freedom beyond it. The only way out is through, and yes, I say it again, it can be hard.

With peaceful blessings, Fiona


Yesterday, I had a beautiful reminder of the importance of acceptance in all aspects of life and whatever we are experiencing.

I was working with releasing some attachment and relationship ties that no longer serve me. As I worked with it I could see the ties attached to me, a deep root was going into my chest and heart area. I knew that it wasn't possible to pull it out and cutting it didn't seem like the way to go. Then I remembered the importance of accepting that it was there, as I did this and felt into it, almost immediately the connection and thick root began to dissolve all by itself.

Hurrah for acceptance *good*

That's a great reminder for all of us Fiona - thank you for sharing. It reminds me of a dream I had in which I was being chased. No matter where I hid 'they' found me and the chase got harder every time. By the end they were chasing me with 2 x 4's with huge long nails in them and I realized that there was no place to go. I gave up, stopped and faced them. They dissolved. You've reminded me of that and of the importance of simply being with whatever is.
I'm grateful - thank Fiona - this is very timely for me.

Beautiful sharing Fionna & Catherine.... After reading Fionna's sharing Something in me softened.. and Catherine how wonderful to say " I know nothing" for unwiring the conditioned patterns and be comfortable with it. Thank you for all your beautiful sharings..

That's a great dream Cynthia, thanks for sharing.

Padma, lovely to hear from you, thank you for sharing. Ahhh, the continual process of softening, nice to have you mirror to me.

Go well, Fiona


Thanks for the inspiring reminder that we need to accept our distortions as they are before we can release them. Lovely to read about how you were able to let go of relationship ties.


I'm enjoying reading your shares. I learn so much from everyone here. Thanks for the reminder to soften. I am not always present to this. I'm happy the phrase "I know nothing" resonates with you. It helps me to feel into a space of openness and acceptance of what is and where the flow wants to go. Wishing you well on your journey.

xxx Catherine

I have arrived at another major transition point in my life, where I don't know what's next... I surrender and trust in the flow, excited to watch the possibilities unfold in front of me. I came across this quote that inspired me -

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road
and nothing more;
Wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind one sees the path"
Antonio Machado

Blessings on those who follow their heart and soul one step at a time, particularly here at Openhand, thank you for inspiring me to stay true.

With love and gratitude, Fiona

Perfect landing. Splendid quote to inspire one to stay open to what wants to flow. Thanks, Fiona.

This morning I had a great exploration around my personal boundaries at a 5 rhythms dance class.

At different points during the class we were invited to take partners. The first partner I had came really close to me and it felt very uncomfortable, like she was invading my personal space. When I attempted to move away, it felt like she followed me, initially I wanted to leave the room to get away from the intensity of being so close to a stranger. Then I saw that I could soften and explore the discomfort.

Later I had another dance partner and it felt magical. Initially we danced far away from one another. As we got to know one another and our dance, we were able to move close with ease and had a beautiful connection. It felt very attuned and respectful.

This experience showed me a number of things, firstly the importance for me of having my own personal space (particularly as an empath), secondly the importance of tuning into the energy between other people and respecting where it is at and finally how in order to find the balance with aspects of life sometimes it's okay to go over the edge and into the discomfort in order to explore where our boundaries lie.


With love, Fiona

That's great Fiona! I love how you always see the message through every event in your life =). I have wanted to try a 5 Rhythms class here but haven't found one nearby so I mainly free dance in my house by myself or Kim and I go out and clear the dance floor with our versions of soul dancing hahah.

Thanks for sharing Fiona!!

With love,

Thanks Jen,

It feels like this exploration was a continuation of the previous days conversation with you around balance with eating/drinking. It feels quite similar in some ways.

I love 5 rhythms and have practised it for quite a number of years, at one point in my life about 7 years ago, when I was working in the matrix and out of alignment, it helped me enormously. Now it's mostly for fun, releasing energy and explorations like the one I shared above. It's great to dance the rhythms, particularly for me to shake it all out during Chaos and I love coming to stillness when all is complete :)

Happy dancing, love Fiona

Hey there Fiona =)!

Yes it really does have a similar theme... Perhaps it's often about this...feeling where there is a barrier and working to feel through whilst still honoring our boundaries. This is a common one for me ... To find that sweet spot of challenging and softening into any tightness and not just allowing an "anything goes" way of being. It's definitely a dance and one best engaged with sensitivity. Much love to you, Jen

Thanks Jen,

Your words are perfect. *OK*

This morning I have been contemplating trust. I've had a trust analogy arise around being on the edge of a lake and feeling to get to a boat in the middle of the water. I could skirt around the edge of the lake for some time, which to a point could be useful as it may help me to assess the situation and gain insight as to the best way forward. After a while it's time to move and waiting on the edge no longer serves. Then there's the question of whether to dive straight in or tread in at a slower pace. The answer to this depends on the exact situation and our unique configuration and again there is probably a balance to be gained between the two approaches. Yet too much deliberation and the boat may be gone. As you say Jen, "definitely a dance and one best engaged with sensitivity."

I also get a sense of enjoying the process of discovery as I go. I can sense the thrill of being knee deep in the water and engaging with whatever wants to happen next... Hurrah!

This has given me more to contemplate - thank you!

With love, Fiona

Good morning Fiona! I really like that analogy. To use your imagery I have been feeling invited into the water for a while now... I sensed inside that all preparation is complete and it's time to just take the plunge. In the circumstance I am working with it's not helping to dip in a way actually it may appear I am dipping in slowly but energetically there is full commitment, there is strength behind the action that although the action appears gentle on the surface is propelled by a strong force below the surface that is busting through what feels like a force field around the perimeter of the lake. I have bumped into this force field over and over and backed off because of it. I am coming to see that this field is some stuck energy...for me it's of an emotional nature... Some unmet childhood needs. I am feeling like I can shatter it now that I see what it is... That I can feel it so strongly that it shatters. The image that comes to mind is of a crystal glass and when the note is struck... At just the right frequency it shatters into a million pieces. See you in the boat Fiona! =) thank you for the inspiration! Jen x

Great that you're feeling ready to take the plunge Jen :)

Yes, appearances can be deceptive, sometimes there is great strength and power in doing what appears like very little or even nothing on the surface. Holding and subtly working with the energy can take a lot of courage and commitment. I see you diving in and like the crystal glass, powerfully breaking the surface of the water.

A few posts up you shared
"I love how you always see the message through every event in your life."
I clearly recognise this in you and wanted to mirror it right back at ya!

See you on board, love Fiona

This morning I was feeling the pain of the damage we humans cause to animals and all sentient life. I'm on the beautiful island of Iona, where a fantastic conservation project has been implemented to support the red listed corncrake. In the last twenty years the population on this tiny island has increased from two birds to over 50 pairs. This is really inspiring and it is delightful to hear the male corncrakes that are hiding in the long grass. I'm struck by the contrast of how cruelly chickens are treated and how even organic free range eggs come at the cost of male baby chicks being mercilessly killed shortly after birth.

Another example of this irony happened when a woman I am staying with commented on the bone plated knives saying that she hoped they weren't ivory as she felt sad about the hunting of elephants. Yet for me the use of bone is equally sad as either way an animal needlessly died for use. The beef and dairy is one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of the planet at this time. Yet the majority continue to fuel this industry.

I do not want to judge others, that is not my purpose in sharing. I respect and value conscious choice. However I do feel much sadness at how we treat the majestic creatures with whom we share the planet. I am also aware in the examples above of how there is light and darkness in both and there feels to be a rightness about that.

With gratitude and respect for all sentient life and those who take care of them.


Today , i experienced something magical with the animal kingdom . I was just walking towards a shop and suddenly as my attention is brought towards the tarmac , i see a bumble bee unusually lying down there . I immediately & spontaneously felt to bend down and take her into my hand . I started talking to her in the most kinder way possible as i was starting to walk again . It felt that maybe she was recovering from a heavy duty or being a bit home sick . I felt right to bring her into her home habitat (a park nearby) and carefully dropped her gently next to a brave beautiful tree . There was a sense of deep unity between us and heavenly love .A truly soul stirring experience . It felt magical , all the while people around wouldn't have noticed anything . I wished the bumble bee to recover well and went on with the sense of " Mission accomplished with love and care " . It can't get any better when i truly feel engaged with what the moment asks and allow the Soul to take the pilot seat . This could have looked random for many people while for me it was the most important way of being at that moment . Love it

Hi Jean Michel,

What a lovely, magical experience. Thank you for sharing and for caring. Bees are truly amazing, they speak to me of being :)

With love and blessings, fiona

A couple of years back someone in a group asked me what I meant when I used the term "holding the space". Being asked the question was a real eye opener for me, as it had been something I took for granted, I knew what it meant - or did I? In finding the answer to her question I understood more deeply what "holding the space" means to me. It highlighted the value of questioning everything, particularly things that we take for granted and are part of our common usage :) And so now another valuable question is arising...

What does it mean to "be present"?

This question came when I realized that I could be observing myself though simultaneously not be present. Previously I had equated presence with being the observer. I noticed myself in situations where I was aware and watching, though part of me remained elsewhere, it was like I was present with my own disengagement or absentness! Other times I can be "away" in another reality and also be quite present, sometimes I seem to be present only to find myself a few moments later lost in thought.

And so I have been exploring the spectrum of presentness, how I can be present to varying degrees and how it can have different qualities.

I wrote the paragraphs above and took my question on a blackberry picking expedition. What I realized is that being present involves active engagement with the moment, even if I am sitting still watching my breath I can do so with connected, active attention. It doesn't feel like this exploration is complete, though I thought to share where I am at...

With love, Fiona

I want to add that active engagement by itself is not the full picture regarding being present. I can be actively engaged in something, yet be totally lost in it and unaware.

So how about being engaged in the moment, while maintaining conscious awareness on what is happening or on what my attention is drawn to?

I may be getting closer... :)

Love, Fiona

Interesting explorations Fiona!

It reminds me of when Open talks about Light/Seer getting lost in the darkness to unravel the distortion. Maybe its not a question of not getting lost, but of finding yoruself when you are?

Also how does being 'present' relate to 'emobdiment'? to you?


Hi Fiona,

Your question, "What does it mean to be present?" is one that I have been exploring more deeply, of late. You and I touched base about this recently with regard to your post on Facebook, "If not now, when?"

This morning as I was meditating and transcending to the Light beyond, I was pulled repeatedly back by intrusive thoughts. So as I write this, I am still feeling hugely frustrated as in "Arrrrgggghhhhh!" Intrusive thoughts are what seem to take me out of being present to the moment. My thoughts boil down to, "You're not doing enough. Do more. You're not going fast enough. Go faster!" Then I lose presence, speed up, and get ahead of the flow. I'm feeling that the rage I felt this morning while meditating relates back to OC genetic manipulation and the downgrade of original humans when we lost our natural ability to align with universal flow.

I'm exploring more deeply why I separate myself from alignment with the universal flow and the One Absolute Presence. In the revised 5 Gateways book, I'm reading the part where Open talks about shadow identities. I relate to several of these shadow identities, but I relate in particular, at present, to the controller which Open describes as not fully trusting in the natural flow of the universe and that Right Action will ultimately happen, so there develops a covert, over-energized manifestation of events. Images wash over me at times of past life experiences that led me to lose trust in the natural flow of the Universe. This lack of trust is being mirrored back to me now by others when I am being asked if I have done this or that or whether I have finished this or that. I overreact and tighten up incredibly in these scenarios and feel angry, overburdened, and like I am failing and not doing enough. It feels like a longstanding pattern and very karmic.

So I've been feeling into all of this in reference to your question about what being present means. While meditating this morning, I was aware of being attached to transcending into the Light beyond and I was frustrated about losing that feeling. Whenever I am attached to anything, I'm not being truly present, since I'm trying to manipulate and control outcomes. True presence is free of all attachments and identities. I felt that my meditation was a complete bust because it didn't flow the way I wanted it to flow. Attachment to outcomes and identities and efforting to control the flow separate me from true Presence. At least, that's what I'm aware of, at present!

If we continue to self-realize through whatever we're feeling and experiencing in each and every moment, we will gradually re-align with the universal flow and right action and become who we truly are. If we are contracted and tight in our bodymind and feel frustrated, angry, sad etc., and if we follow the 9 steps that Open outlines in 5 Gateways -- confront, feel into, become as one with, then unleash the soul through it -- we will fall back into the void of the One Absolute Presence.

Ultimately, if we continue to self-realize through all of our experiences, we come home to who we truly are: the One Absolute Presence in all experiences, identified with none of them. As Open says, we're here to self-realize. There's nothing else going on! So I best get back to processing all that anger and frustration I've been feeling.

x Catherine

Thanks Ben, interesting questions. Yes to find myself when lost, then there will be times to explore what happened to cause the lostness and find the distortion to work with.

I'm not clear yet about the relationship between being present and embodiment. I can see how being aware of breath or physical sensations within the body can enhance presence and help me to be more grounded and centred in the present. There is great value in that. Though there may also be times, for example when I explore a karmic memory or expand to feel as one with everything (pure presence?) when my body ceases to matter or be a focus of awareness. It's probably like most things in life, there is no definitive answer, it depends on the situation and what is being invited at that time.

Catherine, thank you for your valuable contribution. I love how you share with such honesty and have great insight into your own process. I really resonated with the following: "Whenever I am attached to anything, I'm not being truly present, since I'm trying to manipulate and control outcomes. True presence is free of all attachments and identities."

It has just occurred to me that being present also involves acceptance, so maybe one could be present with one's attachments and frustrations, noticing how they make you feel, simply being aware of them without getting lost in the drama of them or needing it to be any different?

With love, Fiona

In reply to by Fiona Reilly

Hi Fiona,

I agree that It's a key part of the self-realization process to accept what is being invited at the time, as you say, whether it's about feeling dissatisfied or confused about not feeling fully present for whatever reason, or feeling frustrated about attaching to outcomes and losing the universal flow, or about getting lost in the drama. Or whatever one is feeling! I definitely do get lost in the drama, at times, such as today while meditating when I felt totally fed up and resisted accepting what I was experiencing. I did decide to hold the space for going deeper into my feelings later on. Commenting on your post about what presence means was an important part of the unwinding process for me. When I write, I go deeper into my feelings and unwind. Writing on the forum is often a crucial vehicle for me since I don't have anyone around me that I can talk to about the self-realization process. I feel okay about being angry and frustrated and getting lost in the drama. I accept that's where I'm at. So that's a start to letting go.

I feel more fully embodied, at times, and sometimes disembodied, at times, as you describe. I'm back to regularly doing the breathing techniques that I learned in the Openhand workshops. They really help me to infuse the light of my soul through my bodymind and to relax and unwind, although I do get distracted with intrusive thoughts sometimes during these breathing techniques. OC really knows my weaknesses and how to play me! I know the key is to accept OC and whatever else arises. Onwards.

I appreciate the opportunity to explore this topic with you, Fiona. Thank you!

x Catherine