Sustaining Love




The manuscript I have been alluding to from time to time here on Compassionate Flow has been PUBLISHED … by Custom Book Publications in Hong Kong.  It really is surprising to me. You can check it out below.  The book outlines over a thousand ways to put love into practice. Anybody could have written it really, it just takes discipline. I did write the book in the hope that I could make the world a more loving, kinder and compassionate place.

I’d like to get back to regular blogging. I have been part of ‘Tribe Writers for a couple of years now. Tribe writers is about writing for your tribe and when you sign up for the course, you are in the course for life – I think. See the link here for a proper explanation. My tribe are all those people in the world who take a stand for compassion. ‘Compassionate Flow’ is my anacronym – the C is for Creativity and Compassion, the O is for Openess, the M is for Mindfulness and Meditation, the P is for Photography, Poetry and Psychology, the A is for Art, the S is for Spirituality, the next S is for Social Justice, the I is for Imagination, the N is for Nature and Novels, the next A is still for Art, because you can never have too much ART, the T is for therapy, the E is for emerging – emerging artists, emerging writers! Flow – the F is for Feminism, the L is for LOVE, the O is for Openess again, because to be open is doubly important and the W is for Willingness, because we need to be open and willing don’t we? So I’ve focused on L is for LOVE in my recent publication, sounds a bit … haughty taughty, and I’m now writing the next book on M is for Mindfulness, plus trying to edit a novel.

The cover artwork on the publication was created by artist Maddy Holmes. I love her organic heart, (and her actual heart), and I love the way life is spurting from the aorta.

lots of  love compassion seekers! Please share the love around xxx


The painting above was done by a little boy in primary school. He painted it to represent anti-bullying – it says ‘some people might be different, but just accept them’ – love love love it!

On Emerging Writing


Yesterday I spent the whole day in my pyjamas ensconced in a bubble of imagination. My novella, ‘River Mantra’, first draft written in 2009 has been complete for a few years. Irina Dunn assessed the manuscript some time ago and yesterday I read and re-read the assessment to obey her instructions. One thing Irina wanted was for the male protaganist to swear less so he would be more likeable. So, even though, my experience of young men in general, is that they say the ‘f’ word often, I toned him down – I toned him down a lot. He no longer calls his member a ‘cock’, he may have used the other ‘c’ word just once but only in a descriptive affectionate way. He doesn’t have sex with anyone he shouldn’t, only in his mind ocassionally, and … he gives up alcohol to become a better man. You see, he uses sexual fantasy and alcohol, to escape fear. I’m more in love with him now.

Someone else read the whole manuscript and she said the constant use of ‘I’ pulled her out of the story, so my next task is to go through and take out as many ‘I’s’ as possible and to eliminate as much passive voice as I can.

I changed out of my pj’s to have a spa, wherein I read, for the third time, the novella – ‘The Lover’ by Marguerite Duras. (After the spa I put the same said pj’s back on). Irina noted my novella reminded her of Duras’ work – highly complimentary of her, yet I struggle to see the resemblance. I don’t think I have the fortitude to move from first person to third person in the way ‘The Lover’ does. ‘The Lover’ is indeed a work of art.

So, now ‘Acts of Love’ is out of the way, I’m enjoying being back into the fiction writing. A few more long pyjama days are needed! Here’s a pic of me with the latest publication. I hope I can stand before you with ‘River Mantra’ in my hot little hands some day soon too. Thanks for reading Compassionate Flow! E is for emerging writing and emerging art!





Here’s a link to Amazon for Acts of Love … over a thousand ways to sustain love.



Patience is intentional isn’t it? Usually there is a purpose and intention behind our acts of patience. All power to you for every time you choose patience! Power in our lives can take so many forms.

For all the poets, parents, artists, writers, therapists, musicians, dream seekers, gardeners, new year resolution makers and humans out there – take to heart the truth in the following words I heard on a song by ‘First Aid Kit’ ...

“This much I know, that things can’t grow unless you bless them with your patience.”


Happy New Year !!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Fear – a favourite quote


Apparently Nelson Mandela has been misattributed for this quote. The quote is from Marianne Williamson’s book – A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles, Chapter 7, Section 3 (1992) p.190.

The quote is one to make us all stop and think about how we live our lives. A life lived in fear is indeed a life half lived!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I like how when we shine we give permission for others to shine. A powerful thought when you are raising children.

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Through Rest and Play I open my Creative Channel


While meditating recently, guided by Deepak Chopra – the mantra provided was:  ‘Through Rest and Play I open my Creative Channel’. These words vibrated within me and encouraged me to step more fully into the wisdom of this.

Through Rest and Play I Open My Creative and Channel.

For me, after play and rest I feel so much more engaged with creative endeavours: be it writing, painting, music or collaborating on possibilities and meanings about life. I’ve been reminded about the importance of downing tools and just being playful and relaxing. It can be so invigorating, refreshing and renewing. I love the way meditation can sometimes bring insight exactly when it is needed! So, if you feel the need to open your creative channels – try rest and play.imgp2439

Acceptance – Not


We have just had winter solstice here in Australia. The fullest closest moon lit up the night sky and all the diamond rain drops. Do you ever feel oppressed by wanting more? Do you ever feel guilty for not just accepting what you have and being happy – even when you have read ‘The Happiness Trap’ by Russ Harris. Well treat yourself with compassion and perhaps write yourself a poem. Let poetry, spirituality and creativity dance together, here’s something I wrote ….

The oppression of yearning.

The oppression of wanting.

The longing orbits me like hundreds of moons.

Unable to sink into acceptance like I know I should ….

I shake my head at the stars

Waiting for Virgo rising to answer me

I seek out the clairvoyant, the medical intuit, the chakra opener and the psychic.

I wade into the bitter surf under the closest fullest moon and cleanse the dust from my crystals.

Rinsing the enigma in the salty hope of futures …

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The Transformative Nature of Therapy


Being a therapist is awesome. Words can’t really describe the privilege. Last Friday night I wrote this during our twenty minute writing time at the ‘Bushland Writers’ (at least I think that’s what we call ourselves, although I think we struggle with our identity). We meet fortnightly in Helensburg. Since I have about ten draft posts not completed and unlikely to be anytime soon, I’ll just post this … perhaps I got a bit carried away, but really the process of therapy can be amazing.

Therapy Space

The sacred space unfolds the creativity, the becoming of what you and I have it within us to be.

Discovering, connecting, intimately outpouring ethereal love, holy and true.

Resonance comes from all the uncertainty, all the possibilities and from the courage to allow the mysterious to unravel and be.

It is a moment of crystal truth unable to be held yet it caresses the air like spirituality.

It is the vibrating of knowing something so profound, poignant and often beyond a name.

A journey taken that is so transformative that the before is no longer recognisable – gone forever but not forgotten.

This unnameable knowing is as fragile as a spider web and as strong as a spider web.

Evocative narration of the present time … ticking the session away – tickling discoveries of meaning and imaginings out of what I thought we never could have known.

Star shine, moonshine and sunlight rolled together with wonder and curiosity and placed in a bowl of love to be held.

A bowl of love to drink from, eat from, sleep in and dream a thousand dreams upon.

Inspiring more and more to be poured into all the poetic spaces of intimacy – a powerful attraction of the interaction where the past is in the present and the present was in the past and here we are now in the future which is also the universal present.

Taking from the margins and we find unity in passing through the metaphors to find the original – all shining and bright.

Trusting the unfathomable search within archaeologies of hope.

Life is now different, having arrived nowhere and everywhere all at once – an old story anew.


Copyright Julie-Anne Geddes

How to improve your sex life with mindfulness


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For the last couple of years I’ve been studying mindfulness and engaging in the practice of this. I’ve been consciously bringing my five senses to the front of my mind as I ground myself in the present moment. To ground myself in my body I focus on my bottom on the seat and also on the rise and fall of my tummy. This rise and fall occurs naturally because I’m alive! I don’t have to deliberately breathe in and out, I just put my hand on tummy and take notice. Being aware of each and every present moment helps me to appreciate the moment, savour the moment and be in my own power to make a choice in the here and now. When thoughts pop in, I take note and bring my attention back to my bodily sensations.

What I have learned from mindfulness is that the more connected I am to all the sensations, tastes and tingles in my own body, the more connected I become to others. People who come to consult with me in my psychology practice, often tell me they feel positive energy and warmth when they are with me. I put this partly down to mindful focus on the feelings in my body and the connection this brings to the other person’s energy with my energy. Mindful practice also alerts me to gently check in with people if I feel something is amiss in a conversation. I believe this helps the conversation to be more intimate.

Mindfulness of the present moment, keeps to a minimum worry about the future and regrets about the past. Living moment by moment takes a devoted and intentional practice and is satisfying. I believe that in order to connect with others intimately, we also need to be able to connect with ourselves.

In the same way this connection to my body can improve conversation, connection and general intimacy,  it can also improve sex! Therefore, inviting people to be mindful and focus on the sensations in their bodies when having sex with their partner can lead to a more satisfying sexual experience for them. To improve your sex life you might like to try focusing on certain sensations in your body before you begin having sex and during sex or when you masturbate. Practice mindfulness whenever you touch another human. The practice of mindful meditation will also be helpful.

So no longer do you need to lay back and think of England, or all the ways to trim a hat, or the shopping list, you can actually get connected to your body instead! Unfortunately I know some people do not connect to the sexual experience and just go through the motions to get the sex over and done. I think this is sad! Some people don’t even connect to receiving a hug or kisses on the cheeks.

Being connected to your feeling world and sensations during sex, and bringing your mind back to this place whenever it drifts can prevent a pre-occupation with the focus most people have with erections, lubrication and orgasms.  My experience is people think a lot about hard penises, how they look, how they are performing and are orgasm focused, past sexual experiences, among other unhelpful thoughts. Mindful sex has nothing to do with these things but being present in your own body and connection with your partner’s body. If you are not used to doing this, you may need to let the thoughts drift on by and bring your mind back many times to your special feeling place until this way of having sex flows naturally and feels pleasurable. It will take devoted practice. If you and your partner are on the same page about all this and both letting go of all societal expectations and personal expectations of sex, then this will help with being connected to the sexual moment. I suggest discuss this with your partner and get in there and practice! Focus on the touch sensation in sex and once you feel fine with this, you might like to include bringing to mind all other senses, of sound, sight, smell, and taste.

Breathing deeply before sex and during sex can also help with relaxation and heighten the sexual sensations you will feel in your body. Perhaps spend some time meditating before sex to get you nice and relaxed. I also want to write a blog post on how beginner’s mind may also make sex more fun. So watch this space …

When the mindfulness ‘muscle’ has been exercised in the everyday of life, it does become easier to let thoughts drift on and bring the attention back to the body when you really need it, like during sex. A simple way to practice mindfulness outside of the bedroom is to practice being mindful when doing the washing up, for example:  feel the hardness of the cup, the temperature of the water, the movement of the water against your skin, the smell of the detergent, the view out the window, the hardness of the floor beneath your feet, the sensations of the suds and the sounds of the sloshing of the water. When unwanted or unhelpful thoughts glide into your mind bring your awareness gently back to the sensual experience of washing up. Practice mindful walking in the same way and also mindful eating.

Be compassionate with yourself at all times …

lots of love


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The messiness and splendour of Love! Confluent Acts of Love


The year is getting away from me – here is a quick rave on the messiness of love.

I’ve had my manuscript, Acts of Love – One Thousand and One Ways to Sustain Love over the Lifetime, completed for many months now. Polished and edited, I’m still working out what to do with it! (It’s 50,000 words long). Sometimes I think the work is corny and other times I think the work is a masterpiece. Of course, it lies somewhere in between, hopefully not too far down the corny end of the continuum, although I’m afraid it probably does.  Even though love is a messy complex thing, when push comes to shove at the end of the day – love truly is demonstrated in an action. The manuscript, therefore, may have some value.

How do we think about love, talk about love, write about love and act loving when love can be like Pandora’s box? It can be like trying to hold a moonbeam in your hand.  As a therapist working with couples, this box of complexity, uncertainty and diversity must be explored and understandings, like moonbeams, must be seen. With these understandings comes connection and intimacy which can feed love.

Sometimes, you have to love someone enough to let them go. This takes courageous action. Sometimes you have to break your own heart to move away from a relationship where love is not being reciprocated or is being demonstrated in unhealthy actions towards you. I don’t believe people break their own hearts lightly, if it is easy to let love go you may want to question the depth of love.

Questioning the depth and differing degrees of love is yet another phenomenon – who do you love more, what do you love more? Does this fluctuate between lovers? What does it mean to say ‘I love you’? Can you be in love and not be happy? Looking back over long relationships there are times when one is more in love than other times, so how long should one hang in?

The well used phrase:  ‘I love you’, is a global and loaded expression carrying many different meanings. I’ve met people who will not say the phrase because in their mind it means ‘I commit to you’ and they are not wanting to do this even though they say they do love the person. Sometimes the phrase was never uttered to them by their own parents and it all feels weird and even embarrassing.

I have written about Giddons term confluent love before. Confluent love is contingent love, not necessarily forever after love. Transparency is important for those who err more on the side of confluent love and vital for those who lean towards polyamory.  With willingness, openness, collaboration, negotiation and honesty the complexities of love can be traversed, not necessarily without pain. Often love and sex go together, but not always and not for all people – again … with willingness, openness, collaboration, negotiation and honesty the complexities of this can also be traversed. Love is not always easy, love can be a very messy thing and a very splendid thing.

In couples therapy, I find it challenging when one of the couple says, ‘I’m confused, I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure if I’m in love anymore, but I do love him’. Sometimes they do know what they want but are afraid to articulate this. Perhaps they need to break their own heart and move away. Perhaps they need to water their own grass rather than continue to dream of greener grass elsewhere. Perhaps they are equally in love with another person? Sometimes they want to protect their partner from pain. This is understandable and does demonstrate love and care  (although I find this a bit patronising). Love and honesty end up in a tussle.  What does the one in the couple who knows what he/she wants do with the information provided by the confused one?

You might be thinking, what is this post on about. This is confusing. What’s the point?  The internet is for finding out and providing answers – lol. Love isn’t a narrow pointed thing. Love is expansion, life is expansion and possibility – reductionist thinking obscures everything. Love is past, present and future. Love is full of power, pain and passion … love is compassion … love is justice … love is one big feeling … love is … love is … love is… but the actual practice of love can be shown in action … and like refugees to love we all must come (Leonard Cohen sang about something like this).  Love takes courage because the only certainty we have is uncertainty.



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