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  • Writer's picturecharlie kesem

My 30th Birthday Oscar Acceptance Speech

Updated: Jun 28, 2020

So. 30. Hello. 20 seems like a loooong time ago.

Briefly I’ll begin to share what is alive with me now, in my present day and surrounding sphere and a little of what’s on the cards for this year, at least in intention… As well as some learnings of the last 10 years.

And THEN… comes the mega epic THANK YOU’s which have been nothing short of a joy to write!  Feel free to scroll down to find your name as it is LONG! 🙂 If you are not in the thank you’s, feel free to write to me to complain!


Life is very much in flow at the moment, I feel a lot of abundance, gratitude and creativity flowing through me. I feel like the Universe and I are really dancing together at the moment, co-creating. Long may it continue! I’m also feeling tangible vulnerability, which fades the more I let go, and with the support of beautiful souls I’m daring to overcoming fears, step into the unknown and also grow deeper into myself. I’m learning to be brave and allow myself to shine my light, and again and again and again forgive myself.

Coming Up

This year (which already begun in September) I have some clear creative goals – to run more intensive workshops, maybe even a weekend workshop, to record a small story/song EP and to develop my first full-length solo performance (eep!!). Also I will visit England at the end of May for my dear sister Becky’s wedding to her beloved Adam. So hoping to visit Line and Dario, my dear friends that fell in love at storytelling school in England, and now live in Denmark with a little bubba that they were busy cooking up last year! I’m thinking of taking a clowning course with Nose to Nose when I jump to England, something I have wanted to do for yonks (ages).

And meanwhile, I feel very focused on strengthening my roots and the web of connection here in Israel, Tel Aviv, where I am right now (rather than searching for my perfect ecological arts community in the nature next to fresh water and not too isolated 😉 ). I am enjoying learning to be more where I am and stay open to the “music of what happens”. It’s a blessing already to create magic in our wonderful new community house initiative, HaBait (The Home), as well as connect with other communities like Beit Fayot (House of Fairies), Pele (Wonder), CityTree, Empathy Cafe and Bustan Eden (Paradise Orchard).

As ever, I’m continuing to tell stories and I would like to deepen my understanding of and connection to this practice.   It’s been a joy recently to explore story-sound collaborations with other musicians. Oh, and if anyone loves to sing and is interested in being part of a community choir, talk to me!!


Some wisdom that has been imparted to me over the last 10 years… (see thank you’s afterwards, for wisdom-imparting credits)

1. Communication is the key – speaking it out loud, writing it, dancing it, drawing it, sitting in deep dialogue with another, communication from the heart is always always worth it. Feel the feelings and dare to express them, dare to be seen. Also dare to listen and hear others!! Get curious about it… oh, I feel like this Hm, how interesting! 🙂 Investigate, feel and let it pass…

2. Cultivating the wise observer – as someone that loves naturally to jump in with my initial feeling and be spontaneous, I’ve since learned (learning) what mostly works better for me.  An idea presents itself… think about it, take it inside, feel about it, listen to my bodily reactions especially from the gut and heart, and then act from this place of knowing.  My dear teacher Mika tells me that in yoga philosophy this is called the bodhi, the wise one that knows.  Oh, and one of my favourites from Michael, if you come to a fork in the road, and you’re not sure what to do, camp!

3. There is a reason we have a shadow, an unconscious. We are human beings, we are perfectly imperfect. If we try to bring all our shadow to light too quickly it can explode / implode. Take care. Be patient. Take time. Digest experiences before proceeding to the next. Plough the field. Know your boundaries. Be kind and forgiving to oneself and others. Try not to take things too personally!

4. It’s all just a game and a Great performance, remember to lighten up! If there is not joy, then what is the point in anything? Gratitude is grounding and healing and helps the flow of joy, even from the narrow places

5. Follow my heart compass, follow my bliss, do what makes me happy. Yes, there are terrible things in the world, but getting stuck in despair doesn’t help anything. I need to find and create a place of justice within myself in order to truly affect justice in the world

6. The most spiritual thing I can do is to be super grounded!

7. Get comfortable with the un-knowing. As I walk through the forest, the path unfolds before me. Vision is good, yes, but try not to worry about what’s on the horizon

8. Take care of Mother Nature and all Her inhabitants, to the best of my ability

9. Sing

10. Pray

11. Everything is connected

Art by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Thank You’s

Some of you may be surprised to be on here – let me explain to you, I am hopelessly romantic and sentimental and never forget a connection with another soul, no matter how fleeting. You touched and influenced my life. So you deserve a thank you.

My delightful thank you’s, in a semi-chronological order (but also a bit random) go to…

Mika Hadar Borthwick, for countless mentorship, wisdom and giving. I am so grateful for our ever-deepening and blossoming relationship, in the rich shades, colours and creations that it manifests! Thank you for the trust, faith and grounding. I am also so proud of you for your book of poems and honoured to be a part of this evolution!

Eliot Cowan, for bringing Plant Spirit Medicine (PSM) into the world and for kindly and compassionately giving me guidance, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Richard and Katerina Diss for having me to stay and introducing me to PSM.  James Heel for the brief shared time at Clophill and gifting me the magical guitar (which everyone comments on by the way!) and the PSM book!

Dear Carla Leftwich for wonderful PSM healing relationship that we have been and are developing. Thank you for your huge heart and wisdom, I’m so enjoying the growing relationship with you.

Thank you Diane Baker for your love and support and I think of you often, especially in these last months.

Rebekah Shaman, for continued wisdom, grounding and perspective on life, the planets and stars and medicine (this needs to go viral:

Nir Salomon, for bringing your healing medicine of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. I am SO grateful to be healthy again, thank you for the continued support!

Dear Sisters and Brothers without whom my life would have been so different and I can’t even begin to put my gratitude into words for who you are and how you have touched me. Each one I could write an essay on, know that this is how I feel about the depth of our connection. You have watched me grow, supported me, and been there for me no matter what. Thank you. I hope you will be forever in my life and I love you very much!!! – RRR, Becky, Nikki, Brianne, Roxy, Gemma, Anick, Melissa, Miri, Debbie, Verity, Micha, Imraan, Wiggz, Russell, Becca, Laurence, Keef, Dani, Talya, Idan, Om, Reuben, Jamie Gordon, Elinor, Isla, Lima, Elin, Negev, Katy Neale, Bronya, Clara, Sarah Vaadia, Jakob Rozensweig, Elliott, Sadie, Monique, Jo Cohen, Danny Newman, Gal Munk, Hannah Sioned, Daniel Lichman, Michelle Long, Adil Khan

(some of you who also fit go into this section are below for obvious reasons, e.g. art therapy people are together!)

Abi – you deserve your own line. My rock, my sister, my soulmate. I love you so much, our connection is beyond words. (P.S. how do I not have a single picture of us together? I guess you’d better come and visit ASAP to rectify this!!)

Katie, Jens, Aviv – my lovely, adorable housemates!! Thank you for choosing to be and live in this way, for your courage to live together in community and for your patience. Thank you for showing up with your hearts and souls. This is a special and sacred time, may we cherish it! I hope we may continue to grow together in harmony, flow and creativity for a long time! Katie and Aviv, I am so delighted for your love and engagement, biggest congratulations to you beautiful love birds!!

New and newish friends and acquaintances (this is where you know someone just a very little bit), I am so happy you have come into my life!! – Lihi, Lee, Nir, Or Stav, Ofer Tevel, Gemma Morgan, Frannie, Omer, Bluth, Mira, Luna, Linda, Shahar, Shirly, Satya, Polina, Arnie, Ging, Amir, Amichai, Yossi, Eddie, Erez (a.k.a. the Pele crew), Ela Zass, Dafy Horowitz, Lotem, Rotem Labinger, Chen Lavie, Ilush, Sasha, Emma Buggy, Shai Sinar, Clementina, Robin, Nitzan, Rafael Tol, Yoel Ron, Roi Aharon, Danielle Anaya, Ayallah, Tally Tally, Idan Amar, Ido Paz, Ido Shapira, Yifat Ashkenazi, Tal Hafner, Ashley S, Ami, Ananda, Shy Spring, Ellie, Tslil, Inbal, Hed, Noa Dolev, Shelly, Orit Lidgi, Michal Givony, Moran Zamir, Lior Finzi, Morad, Dana…

Nicky Mackay, Pavel and Bonnie – for allowing me to take care of your beautiful daughter who I will always adore, and you! Thank you for the trust and beautiful relationship. Can’t wait to see you soon and see how your life unfolds as a new family!!

Irit, Yaniv and Yoyo – thank you for trusting me into your family, I’m already enjoying so much getting to know you and improving my soccer skills!!

Dina, Avital, Orly, Sara – you taught me Hebrew!!!! Thank you!!! I am super grateful for the boredom and geekiness of grammar tables, prepositions and so on… Thank you for your patience.

Darling Ruth, Maria and the Eroles crew. You may not even realise how much deep healing my time in Spain brought. THANK YOU a million times for creating this space, inviting me in and sheer deep empathy. Paris was more raw as I was in a vulnerable place, but/and I am so grateful for this experience. Ayla for bringing out the big song and playfulness! Lindsay. Rose. Miranda. Angus. Nikki. Lara. Mona. Harriet. Esther. Aaron (for putting up with Doeshka). Robbie. Uri. Izzie. Nina. Sanne. You are all inspirational and each one of you is an epic poem. Hope we meet again in story and creation and change-making! And just being and silliness.

Jules Thorne Recovery Centre, MIND in Camden, Nili, my brief and deeply-empathic art therapist, Lorraine, my longer term and deeply-compassionate art therapist, Pam from the Borough of Camden (thank you for your support and patience, you are a warrior), and all the beautiful souls that gave peer support and guided me through the dark times. Thanks for inciting the courage to unfold and unravel myself and put myself back together.  Thank you for the inspiration and strength to start to create my solo show!  Also to give thanks to Debbie, my first long-term therapist from long, long ago in the early stages of this decade.

Danny and Gilda – you came to my Grandma’s house and played music to me when I was in a crisis, you brought your beautiful daughters and opened me into your house with complete trust. Thank you so much for this deep opening of your arms and for your love. Also Danny, for the tarot reading. Gilda, I feel you are a sister 🙂

Orit and Pablo – how can the heart imagine and contain such awe by the way you gave to me during this period of my life? Thank you so much for the compassion, patience and understanding. For the trust and generosity. You really allowed me this place of healing that I so deeply needed. I really love and respect you. Thank you. Thanks to Daniel Finegold for introducing us and Shira and Daniel for not minding this random person staying in their parents’ house!  Thanks also to Evelyne and Naama, you were both important and special to me at this time and still are.

Etty Navon – the beautiful chavruta we shared was one of the few things in my life at the time that brought me a sense of structure and grounding. Thanks to Rabbi James for creating the content and guidance, and for Project Zug for initiating it! Etty, I will never forget meeting your Mum here in Israel and you telling her that we met on the internet! Haha! Love you, miss you and hope to see you very soon.

Kibbutz Harduf – everyone from Project TEN, Faiz, Yaakov, Debbie, Clifton, Alan, Sam, Becca, Natasha, Abi (again), the lessons and learnings we shared together, from compost toilets, to disagreements, to adventures in the Jeep. Thanks to the staff and residents of Beit Elisha for how much you taught me as well as friends in Kaabiye. Roman, Mor, Hadar, Tidhar and Maya (bless her soul) – I loved being your neighbours and connecting with you. It’s always a delight to spend time with you.

Storytellers!!! – All of you, but first, dear beautiful Line, I love you immensely and will come and visit you and Dario and Sebastian soon, G!d willing!  All the Heart and Craft storytellers, thank you for going through this journey together.  Each and every single one of you. I look back at this time and see myself very much as an innocent child, with all behaviours that may come with that, thank you for accepting me. I hope we may meet again in story and in song. Also, Ianthe, Melody, Heather, Nana, Matthew, Maria, Jonny, thanks for the fun and heart-filled times!

Roi Gal-Or and Abbie Palache (twice, see below), thank you for visiting me in my darkest hour and helping me to regain my voice and strength. You are true healers. Thank you to my dear sister Abi for sending you.

Wonderful artists, story guiders, poets, singers, clowns, dancers, I must try to idolise you less but seriously I am so grateful for the wisdom you have imparted, some of you without even knowing the depth of your impact – Roi Gal Or, Sue Hollingsworth, Abbie Palache, Julie Neale, Naama Pinkerfeld Gal-Or, Bronia Evers, Paul Matthews, Carol Thompson, Hernandez, Adam Taffler. Amie Taylor, Shama Rahman, Deborah Honey-Bee, Emma Siane, Tess Howell, Zoe Simone, Calu, Naomi Goosefeather. Michael Kossew for getting the story-ball rolling with such warmth and unashamed chutzpah, you really inspire me! Marisa Carnesky, you brought out the wild archetypal woman in me and I hope to co-create with you again! Thanks for daring to do what others wouldn’t, and drawing it out of us!

Sue Rickards, I danced with you exclusively for my first year of 5rhythms, even though you may only remember me by face, thank you! Cathy Ryan, I dance with you sporadically but always deeply. Richard Jacobs, Becca Parkinson, Kat P, and all dancers-in-crime, thank you. Thanks to Gabrielle Roth, the creator of this medicine, who brought me to the founding of our magical dancing community house!

Christian de Sousa – thank you for the dance, your teaching and way inspires me more than you can realise! In another reality where I live in London, I am training and dancing with you and the collective! Hope we may meet in the dance here, there and everywhere 🙂 thank you.

Nic Green and Laura Bradshaw and the Trilogy crew – for convincing me (with so much love and empowerment) and 30 (and the next year 300) other women that it was a good idea to take off our clothes and dance on stage to the Pixies at the Barbican in celebration of our bodies and womanhood! Unforgettable!!

Wild Food Café crew – for your passion and juiciness, patience with me, and for the sense of community that you brought me at the time, thank you.

Burning Man 2012 people – Rae Whispering Dubstep, Alex, Zoe, Angie, Craig, Sarah and the whole Fireworks Collective. For bringing the magic and joy of fire into my life and the epic fun this involved! Will never forget the time we sewed fans haha! Rhythm Wave Camp, in particular Tess Howell, an always inspirational sister! Tessa, Eugene, Jennifer, Todd, Nina…

Art therapy peeps – Leigh, Elaine, Rutie, beloved Jake, Phil, Annika and all the tutors, Simon, Tsafi, Sophia, Jane, Graham… undeniably one of the most transformational years of my life. Thank you for seeing me and allowing me to be seen. And for playing together and eating monster munch!!! Really love you from a very special place.

Paula and Dominik and Jane Landes for helping and allowing me to co-work in a Music Therapy group. An inspirational year, thank you.

To Jane, again, for being there for me and Mum in a deep time of need. Thank you for your compassion and ability to “be with”. 

To Sue & Tony Pepperell, for being who you are and always sending love and prayers, thank you, I hope to see you again this year.  To Liz and Laurence Gould, for connecting with me here and over the years, it’s so lovely to continue our relationship and I really appreciate your love and support, thank you.

All community members, founders, co-creators of Moishe House, Grassroots Jews, Limmud, ROI, Climate Ribbon, Kohenet, you are awesome beyond words. All the magnificent people I have met through this. In no particular order, you spectacular people: Joel Sameach, Eden Pearlstein, Shir Yaakov, Yon, Sarah Lamb, Jmo, Nachshon, Anneli, Anja, Matthew Rosen Marsh, Liat, Jason, Rabbi Max, Emily G, Tanya B, Clive, Talia Chain, Trixie, Rae, Lizzie, Henry, Lisa CoolJew, Debs Blausten, Adam Rossano, Daniel Susser, Daniel and Alma Reisel, Gaby P, Naomi Chana, Julia, JWag, Sara Moon, Sara Bensusan and David Bash, Ruth Steinberg, Jude Cohen, Daniel Kirk, Leanne, Brett, Caroline Rothchild, Jude moonchild, Dan Jacobs, Dan and Tali, Yael Tishler, Hannah Sassoon, Verity Alexis, Victoria, Sarah de Mazzio, Ally, James Curis, Karen Ingram, Benji and Leah, Michal, Sam, Sargam, Jim Dratwa, Dan Havardi, Tanya Barth, Andrew moish, Gal, Claire, Ben Reizen, Georgina Bye, Jill Hammer, Shoshana, Zara, Nigel, Eyal Danon, Seth Cohen, Sean Landes, Yoni Gordis, Raquel Merlot, Avivit, Dani Landau, Zoe, Simon, Adina Judith, Noam Roth, Roland, Dalya, Josh Lever, Cara, Sam Klein, Soibs , Warren, Tal, Stephen, Tarryn, Yael Roberts, Harry Marin, Rachel Marcus, Twink, Danny Shine, Ben Crowne, Naomi Minsky and far too many more to name… Rutie Borthwick you also get a second mention for introducing me to the cool Jew scene!!! 🙂

Maryam and Alicia for our super cool I.F. theatre project! Thanks for your patience and inspiration.

Pippa Reid, you wonderful, blessed soul, thank you for your deep kindness and encouragement. Thank you for visiting me at the Cygnet, acknowledging me, telling me stories and singing songs. Del I also feel your support and love, thank you. Thank you both for bringing my dear sister Rachel into the world!!

We met in India, my first travels alone, through the innocence, the learnings, the silliness, the flowing, the edges, thank you – Keval, Yehonatan, Jeen, Elina, Brian, Jilna, Benji Elson, Eyal Shalev, Moran bar-lev, Sarah Hedar, Youri Hermans, Diamond!!!!! Kathy, you taught me the tarot, an unforgettable time with you!!!! Blessings!! 🙂

We met at or through the most awesome and healing drum circle that ever was – Tony Tiger, Esther (you inspired me so deeply with movement and free voice – I started collecting percussion because of you), Davide, Kay Smith, Ailon, Marc, Jerome and Leon. Thank you for the rhythm!

The Essence Foundation – before I did anything personal development-ish aside from a sprinkle of therapy, I received a recommendation for Essence from my Mum’s friend, Sarah. Menis, you are a superstar healer and I am so grateful for your medicine. Sukhy thanks for the space that you held. And everyone brave enough to go on this journey.  Oz, I love that we met through this network and it’s a pleasure to keep re-meeting you over the years. Love you brother! Mon, you are listed in the first group dear sister.

We shared important life time together, know that you are dear to me even if we are not (so much) in connection these days, I care about you and am grateful for the parts of life we have shared together in this last decade (in my eyes, there is always room for re-connection): Ray, Saul, Anna, Jakob, Jacob, Katie Jackson, Katie Fine, Jo Paisner, Jared, Oli, Oren, Ben Revens, Michelle Revens, Devorah Levin, Maxime Guedj, Jonny Hess, Richard Abrahams (unrelentlessly always dear :), Anna-Loes, Paulina, Jemima, Mariana, Gideon, Ming, Cheryl, Colin, Lily Abrahamson, Natasha, Naftali, Nimrod, Shai Agasi, Ariella, Jonathan B, Sophie Klein, Tom, Larena.

Uni friends – dearest Cat Hooper and Hannah Bushell, you are so dear to me from the pockets of life that we shared together, I want you to know I really love you dearly. I recall many memories with deep love and happiness. Hope we’ll get to play life again together!!  Christine, Helen, Kelly, Gemma, Beth, Hannah, a lot of love to you too, thank you for knowing and sharing life with me at this transitional and somewhat turbulent time.

My oldest friends, you will always be dear and special to me, it’s hard to put into words my love for you, which will never fade whether we are in each others’ lives directly or not – Emily B, Caroline, Paloma. And thanks for putting up with me when I was a teenager! 🙂

Delving deeper…

Thank you to my family, who birthed me into this world, without whom all of this would not be possible!!!

Mum – you are truly Divine. Wow, where to continue from there…? 🙂 Your sensitivity is astounding (really) and I could not be luckier to have you as my mother. Your generosity is humbling and our relationship has grown so much over the years, deeper and deeper. Thank you for all the support and love that you give me. I love you so much and there’s so much more I could say. Looking forward to a good old chinwag when you come here next week. Love you!!!

Dad – I am so proud of you. I am so grateful that you are my Dad and I love you so much. I can see you with tears in your eyes now as you read, sensitivity is a great quality I promise you, try to relax into it and let it flow, it is natural and beautiful :). Thanks for inspiring my creativity. I am so excited for you for this next chapter of your life and I want to thank you for understanding me and all that you have given me. Also can’t wait to see you over here and have an adventure together!

James – I really love you so much my brother. Please forgive me for speaking so publicly about my affection for you! I am also so proud of you, your commitment to your passion, goals and hobbies! I so wish you would come to visit and for us to grow closer together. You are an inspiration and it is amazing to have shared these 30 years with you. I miss you and I am so grateful that you are my brother. Sending a huge hug.

My wonderful aunts and uncles, I love you all very much, thank you for allowing me to be who I am, seeing me and loving me…

Simon – special Uncle, you are a rock and a kind, guiding soul, thank you for being there for me

Sophie – I love your uniqueness and the way you express yourself, I really feel that you are unconditionally there for me, thank you

Joanne – our connection was and is always strong for many years and will shine on forever. I hope you know how loved and special you are. I love you and thank you

Paul – I am enjoying so much our growing closeness over the years, I think of you and I smile, I enjoy the playfulness in our relationship. Thanks for your thoughtfulness

Lesley – even though we are far apart we are always close and that is a true blessing, can’t wait to see you again soon! Love you

Adam, Daniel, Arielle and Zach – now I really sound like an old woman when I say how much I’m enjoying watching you grow over the years, from teeny tinies to proper grown-ups! I love that you are my cousins and am proud that we are family, and cousins. It really hit me last year that these are such precious times, when all of our immediate family gets together… soon no doubt the family will expand and so these times will become rare. Let’s savour it, I’ll come to visit soon! And meanwhile keep enjoying the waves of life. Wherever they take you, just remember to be true to who you are, even if it takes time to realise who that is and it’s okay to not know. Very proud of you all and I’m always here for you, you have a second home in Israel.

Danny and Eli – even though we are far apart, I still feel so close to you. There is always a little heartbreak about the distance between us and the deeply special times shared. I so cherish our times together, and you are always in my heart. I am so proud of you both and love you very much

Michael – you are a very special person and have given me so much of your love and time, and what’s more, you take care of my mother! I wish I could spend more time with you but I just want to tell you how grateful I am that you are part of our lives. Thanks for your patience, understanding and compassion. When I think of you I feel the embracing hug of your soul. I love you very much and thank you.

Jeremy and Kilian – my brothers! Such snippets of life we’ve spent together, but brothers none-the-less! I wish that we could spend more time together, to really get to know each other well, but I undoubtedly still feel very connected to you. Jeremy, I’m really proud of your courage and choices. So much love on both of your journeys and looking forward to the next meeting (Italy?? :))

Sarah and Florence – it’s a new connection for us and I am so excited about your new house and journey, good luck with Dad!! 😉 I hope we’ll get to know each other better and enjoy good times together, much love to you both

David, Liane and Louisa – I want to honour you and thank you for being part of my evolving life. It’s hard to understand life’s challenges sometimes and the way through the path when there are obstacles, but hopefully we can keep reminding ourselves that love conquers all. Wishing you all so many blessings for your ever-expanding family, love you and thanks for being a part of making me the person who I am today

My extended family – what a blessing to have extended family! Thanks for being part of my weird and wonderful quirky network of a family tree! You are all included and named in my heart and soul.

Grandma Wendy – again, what a challenge to find the right words to say to such a beloved and important person in my life, my mother’s mother, my grandmother! You are my guardian angel and I love you so dearly. I know it’s hard for you being apart and I miss you deeply too, and I want to tell you how grateful I am for everything that you have given me. I can’t wait to see you in April, laugh with you and share stories! Love you so much Grandma.

Grandma Bette – I so deeply love how our relationship has grown and deepened over these last few years in particular. You are an inspiration and a warrior, I will tell you again and again until 120! I love you so much and miss you and can’t wait to see you this year. Thank you for your patience, compassion and understanding. I feel your huge heart more than ever before 🙂

My Grandpas, Gerald, Dennis and Cyril – we will always miss and cherish you, I feel connected to you in spirit, thanks for being there still 🙂

These lands, who have held me by my feet, belly and heart…

Israel – my current homeland, you touch me with your eclecticism, contrasts, raw-ness, playfulness and Waters. Thanks for growing me. Thanks Tel Aviv for being the backdrop to revealing to me that I can be happy exactly as and where I am.  It took me a bit of time, but we got there. I love your Ocean, sounds, intimacy and colours. I’m excited to know your layers, more and more…

England – my Motherland, you will always have a special place in my heart. Your wet fertile grass and soil and spring cherry blossom, I will always adore. Although my being has taken me to Sunnier climes, I hope we may always enjoy and love each other!  London you crazy thing you, what fun and polarities!  Thank you for raising me. 

Forest Row, you beautiful pocket, Emerson College, the healing lands of Sussex, thank you. Thank you England, for birthing me.

India – thank you for teaching me, harshly and gently. I love your smells, sounds and vivid sense of feeling. Will we meet again? I hope we may find healing in our third meeting.  I carry a part of you in my heart, my Love.

Spain – your Catalunyan Mountains healed me in 3 short weeks, thank you! A brief and intensely beautiful love affair! I am curious to know your lands and language better (and maybe your next door neighbour, Portugal!)

Passport, shmassport, I’m a citizen of the Earth. Thank you, Mother!

Thank you to the stories, the spirits of the stories and all lands from which they came. Please know that it is my intention to tell stories for the purpose of medicine and healing of self, soul, spirit, community and world. Thank you for coming into my life and connecting with me, I really love and treasure you dearly.

The Earth, thank you for being there for me unconditionally, for grounding me, holding me, feeding me, nourishing and nurturing me, reminding me that I know

The Waters – thank you for healing me, for watering me with life and love, flowing through, over, under and in me. You are awe-inspiring-astonishing, thank you

The Wind – the air, the breath of life, the movement, thank you for blowing and keeping me fresh and in motion

The Sun, the Moon, the Stars – your light heals me and your rhythms inspire and move me, I hope to connect even more with you this year and beyond, thank you

The Fire – thank you for your healing heart, trust and guidance, I love to dance next to you, see you, feel you and pray with you. Thank you for your guidance

The animals – the four-leggeds, the winged ones, the finned ones, the creepy crawlies, thank you for your beauty, grace and wonder, your inspiration. It’s hard to know how to thank you with grace when I know we cause such destruction to you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

The trees, thank you for your deep wisdom and I so wish to connect with you deeper, and come into a shared relationship of healing with you. Again, from a humble and small place. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

The plants, the healing plants, I am so grateful for your physical and spiritual presence, so much deep unimaginable healing you give me, and I hope we can continue this relationship far beyond the days that I will walk upon this Earth. Thank you so much, I love you.

All living beings, thank you.

The ancestors, those who have walked before me, guided me, us, in love, beauty and truth, thank you so much.

My angels and guides, I sense you sometimes and I thank you for your presence, I hope to know you better in clarity, humility, gratitude and love. Thank you.

To all those who I may have harmed and hurt, please know that this was not my intention and I ask for your forgiveness.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank myself, for showing up, today, yesterday and tomorrow, which leads me to my Great Thanks of All…

The Great Creator and Mystery of what Was, Is and Will Be, thank you for these 30 blessed years, for believing in me and showing me the way.  Thank you for being there even when I couldn’t see or feel You.  Thank you for my body, heart, soul, senses and health. Thank you for abundance, creativity, empathy and love. Thank you for food to eat, water to drink, a roof over my head, parnasa. Thank you for freedom of choice and speech.  Thank you for giving me the time to work out my relationship with You (in progress 😉 ). Thank you for giving me the courage to speak my Truth and vulnerability openly today.

May all beings have nourishment and love in their hearts to share with all those around them.

May all beings be free from persecution, violence and oppression, both from the inside and outside.

May all beings have happiness and peace.

May the love, compassion, joy and healing that we co-create and share ripple into our hearts, the hearts of others, and into our communities, families, lands, waters and to the furthest stretches of infinity!

Amen v’amen.

Thank you so much.


(Love Charlie. 5th January 2017)


An afterthought – what’s in a name?

Some of you might be curious about this whole name changing shenanigan thing.

Well, firstly, I’m quite comfortable with, enjoying and embracing Charlie these days.  It’s a nickname of Charlotte, that I’ve used for years.  I’ve learned to put myself into the name rather than trying to find an alternative name to fit me. It works!!

Charlotte is more of a family name, and for more general paperwork-type use.  It reminds me a bit too much of the formality of school (especially when said in a strong London accent). However, if you are French or French-speaking, I will be happy for you to call me Charlotte as it is pronounced differently, and I like the drama of it! It is a French name originally, meaning “little woman” 😉

Sophie is my middle name by birth – I tried using this or a variation of it, Sophia, as a first name, but it didn’t quite resonate. I do enjoy though that the Goddess Sophia is said to be the Goddess of Wisdom, a nice name in terms of aspiration and connection to the Divine feminine!

Rachel (רחל) is my Hebrew given name, also given from birth. The story goes that usually one would be given a Hebrew name of someone from their family, who is no longer alive. My great-grandmother’s name (on my Mum’s side) was Ruth, but Mum didn’t like this name (even though Ruth in the Bible was pretty cool), so she chose something else with R! Rachel is one of the four matriarchs, so it’s no wonder I feel I strong resonance with the Mother archetype. Rachel was also a pretty cool woman. (But that’s another story).

So where did Kesem come from, you might wonder?

Well, after years of searching for a first name that resonated with, I realised I was spending all this time waiting to be given one. I had been offered the astonishing names of חוה (Eve) and even Gaia before, but I didn’t feel quite able to take on their magnitude. Eventually I realised that I needed to choose a name that felt right for me; others would always have an opinion about my name (people comment on Charlie a lot, I don’t quite know why).

The word ‘magic’ had been given or offered to be several times in my life, and I liked how it sounds in Hebrew, Kesem (pronounced Kessem, like the ‘ss’ in ‘Yes’!). And so I took it on!  But that too got more comments than indeed I’d intended, and even more importantly I was given some useful guidance by my teacher, Mika. She said that a name like Kesem is a strong energy, archetypally and can exhaust a person to carry a name such as this. Charlie or Rachel is much more grounded, down to Earth, ploughing the field. Some days we might be Kesem or Grace or אור (Light, a common Hebrew name with many variations), but other days we might just need to be sad or frustrated or even camouflaged… we can’t be Magic all the time!  After being cross with Mika for a short time for bursting my Kesem bubble (!), I quickly began to see and feel where she was coming from.

And so Kesem became part of my creative, artist name, Kesem Creativity. In the world of storytelling, we create worlds through our words – worlds are created through speech (“Once upon a time, there was a kingdom…”) – and we do this using our imaginations. In fact, the word ‘image’ comes from ‘mage’, meaning magician – in essence, ‘i-mage or “I-the-Mage / Magician’.  So it made sense for me to work with the name Kesem for my storytelling! 🙂

And what on Earth happened to Kane?  Kane is the surname that my Dad chose years ago, when he decided to delve into the world acting, which my Grandparents and Aunt too decided to adopt instead of our much more Jewish surname, Kravetz. Part of me actually would like to return to and reclaim Kravetz, as I feel it’s connected with our history, but I believe that it’s more of a feeling than something I would actually act upon.

So, Charlie Kane was my given name for some time – there something quite catchy about it that people would cotton on to, so much so that people would actually call me ‘Charlie Kane’ instead of just Charlie. I realised that this was partly what bothered me about my name, and actually had to ask people to just call me Charlie! Aside from that, I can acknowledge and appreciate the name Kane as my Dad’s choice and journey, and not necessarily mine. It still however is formally my surname and will always be a part of me 🙂

Kesem for me is fun, playful, creative and reminds me of the magic of life!

A fun game to play – everyone write down on a piece of paper 4 names of theirs (given names, nicknames, etc.). Mix them all up in a hat, everyone picks 4 again. You need to find your original names but in order to get them back, you need to talk to everyone and tell the story of your name to get it returned to you! Fun and surprising. Enjoy!

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