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May 15Liked by Steve Thorp

Wow. What a beautiful piece of writing Susan, thank you for sharing it. I feel that little girl, I am her too. She reminds me of the little boy in the Emperor's new clothes, calling out the truth and drawing our attention to what is, when everyone is so busy seeing what they want to see. She sees through things and calls out what she sees. She has such an important part to play.

Oh and my favourite part: "beauty must count for something, surely". Yes. Yes. Yes!

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Great to connect on Substack Nathalie! It always feels like I'm taking a risk when I write about the importance of beauty, given that so many are struggling with basic survival, but I know how much personal solace and motivation it brings me and it seems I am not alone in this.

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Now we're really beginning to play with language - "beautying" - I love it! Thanks for your encouragement Bertus. I think the dream has some more to teach me .... so I keep listening.

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Well, to me, you have just flung wide and far my dear. What a beautying bit of doing this was....

I wouldn't be surprised if your dream is now ready to move on.

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Apr 8·edited Apr 8Liked by Steve Thorp, Susan Holliday

Thank you, Susan, for this important text. I would love to have a reflective conversation on ideas you express in your text. I am especialy interested in discussion concerning contemporary aesthetics and beauty. Many non-ecological and life breaking ways how people take care of nature, how they tend meadows, gardens, trees, agricultural lands, urban parks and peri-urban forests are refered to beauty creation.

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I love what you say Vitalija. Tending to the living world (clearing the way for it's beauty to bloom) ignites an equivalent blooming in our inner nature. It seems that there is a kind of 'correspondence' in these acts of 'beauty creation'.

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Apr 8Liked by Steve Thorp, Susan Holliday

Thank you so much for this beautiful piece Susan. It really resonated with me and I realise having read it that I really needed to hear these words!

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Happy to hear that my words resonate with you. I'm beginning to realise that 'helplessness' loses much of its power when we speak of it together. So your words of recognition help me too!

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Paying attention to the vital intelligence of our inner worlds re-framed as a 'courageous act of rebellion' - sounds like a game-changer to me. Brilliant.

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Apr 1Liked by Steve Thorp

A beautiful essay. One wonders whether perhaps many of us might have been having that dream - if we had a sufficient level of sensitivity to the 'internal voice', whatever one might call or characterize it as. The experience of the girl appears as a sort of manifestation around what Jung might have called 'collective dreaming' - articulating the concerns that many of us have, in the face of the seemingly unstoppable systemic forces that have a fair amount of inertia; and yet nevertheless must be surmounted, somehow, if we are to emerge a thriving ecological world (which we must). Perhaps following the invitation to turn towards the experience is indeed an incredibly useful, first step -

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Thanks for this insight Goran. Yes 'collective dreaming' feels right to me too. It never ceases to amaze me how insistent the unconscious can be when we really need to pay attention!

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Apr 1Liked by Steve Thorp

Yes, such a good point!. And conversely, we as a civilization seem to have sort of made a 'career' out of neglecting these insistent inner prompts - leading some, like Slavoj Zizek, to assert that we are paradoxically living in an age of ideology, where certain insights are not available to us - while simultaneously celebrating our freedoms of thought and personal expression. It's certainly encouraging and refreshing that we might perhaps be starting to pay attention to the 'inner', now - which might be construed as a courageous act of rebellion, even.

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What a beautiful writing Susan - the shame of being helpless. I have just been listening to an interview of Gabor Mate and Diane Poole Heller about attachment needs and particularly relate to an emotional vulnerabilty about inter dependence after a childhood experience of avoidant attachment. Our cultural mileu mirrors this avoidant attachment - people on phones, only partially present, services not willing to provide what people really need. I deeply long for the natural interrelationship that I know is possible - but the how eludes me because it feels to me that I, just like the culture need to dismantle some beliefs, attend to some unhealed trauma within myself and face towards a different way of contributing. And that is terrifying to see that as a therapist, I have been unwilling to see the lack of authentic interrelationship inherent in that model of healing that is contributing to our overall culture. The shame I have felt in my own vulnerability and brokenness, I have been able to mask by being the "expert" with others. Dr Ingrid Clayton's Youtube and Instagram posts model another way of therapeutic interrelationship that is authentic, accessible and equalising -messed up human to messed up human. Thank you for your consideration that you have shared - I have found the questions it has evoked extremely helpful.

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Yinchi, I love what you say about 'natural interrelationship'. It seems to me that conversations (like this one between you and I) are the true 'medicine' our culture needs to heal all the avoidant attachment, which is as you say so normalised. It reminds me of a beautiful thought from the late great nature writer Barry Lopez, who wrote: "Conversations are ... an elementary form of reciprocity. They are the exercise of our love for each other. They are the enemies of our loneliness, our doubt, our anxiety, our tendencies to abdicate. To continue to be in good conversation over our enormous and terrifying problems is to be calling out to each other in the night. If we attend with imagination and devotion to our conversations, we will find what we need; and someone among us will act—it does not matter whom—and we will survive.". As therapists we know intimately this power of 'conversation' (and that may be our gift). Thankyou for responding to my writing in such an authentic and thoughtful way.

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