Hi, welcome to my website. I write stuff, I direct and produce stuff. I lead drama workshops and I now teach Mindfulness.
I love stories and myths, especially those that catch us out, make us laugh, ask us questions, help us to see truths about ourselves and others.
I’m interested in faith, justice and the arts. I’m interested in creative education and our mental health. I still want to change the world. I have a very loud laugh.
Possibly my greatest passion is for radical inclusion and how to use drama, mindfulness and the arts to bring that goal closer.
There are however problems with radical inclusion… Here’s a story someone told me. ‘There was once a loving, kind woman who set up an inclusive open community. People came. They had to pay but they came, inspired by her message. The community grew and blossomed. However, there was one man who became increasingly irritating. He was sullen, opinionated and critical of what the others did but never seemed to raise a finger to help. He was always suffering from some illness or other and having to ‘rest’. The others in the community became frustrated, angry and fed up. They started to bite back and argue with him. It was like swatting at a wasp. He got angrier and nastier. Finally, furious and embittered, he left. Cue, huge sigh of relief. But then, a week later he was back, unpleasant as ever. The members of the community were beside themselves. They called a meeting with the head of the community and complained to her. Why had she let the man back in again? She sat quietly for a few moments, looking at her hands. Then she said to them: “I didn’t ‘let him’ back in again… I went to find him and I asked him to return”. Shrieks from the room! Silence. She resumed. “He didn’t want to come back. Said he didn’t want to put up with our rudeness”. The woman pauses, “So I offered to pay him.” The people in the room are speechless. Simply speechless. Finally one says, “We pay to live here and you’re telling us that you are paying this lazy son of a bitch to come back? Do you think any of us is going to put with this? We’ll leave. Your community will be finished. Kaput. Or you can pay us to come back.”
The woman looked at the people in the room, warmly, lovingly and replied, “Don’t you see? We need him. As long as we wish to be rid of him, we’ve failed in our aim of being inclusive. He’s showing up our weaknesses. We should be grateful to him for this chance to grow.”
I think of that story often….
Since discovering mindfulness I found this poem by Rumi which says the same thing:
THE GUEST HOUSE – by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.