It probably ‘doesn’t do’ for a life coach to admit to being judgemental on occasion, but whilst we’re being honest with each other, you and I, who doesn’t sometimes fall prey to judgementalism?
Being judgemental of others is about seeing the differences between things, rather than seeing the unities, and is probably the biggest problem that we as humanity are working on right now. You think I’m kidding? If I didn’t see other people as different than myself, would I condone war in any form? Would I eat to bursting and leave people on the other side of the world hungry? If I didn’t see the earth as being something different to myself would I extract everything I wanted from it and more and give nothing back? Enough said, and I’ll get off the soapbox. This is what happens when I write on a Sunday morning having read highbrow books and relaxed in the garden all of Saturday!
Well anyhow, there I was in Tesco, browsing the reduced shelf to see if any bargains lurked within (yep, life coach/hypnotherapists do that too – see how many myths I’m dispelling!) and there next to me was an old woman on one of those motorised scooter things. The kind of person whose eyes you might hesitate to meet. I mentally took a deep breath and bridged the gap. “Sometimes you get lucky” I commented. “Oh yes” she agreed in a voice that was stronger than I expected. “Oh well nothing here for me” I said, about to walk on. Then I noticed some Sabbath candles and picked them up to see if they were something I could use. They weren’t. “Oh you’re Jewish are you?” she said “I’m Jewish too. But both my mother and I married out. I do go to church on Sundays but I have great respect for the Jewish religion.” Well what a conversation starter that was! We stood there for several minutes talking comparative religion, messiahs and the Mayan calendar (really will have to write about that one of these days). I proposed that everything that existed was ‘of the light’. She said that Richard Dawkins surely wasn’t. I maintained that even he was, as somebody had to hold the opposite pole (I have Gregg Braden to thank for that idea). I was actually in a hurry – though you wouldn’t think it, with me finding the time to talk with strangers, so I had to make my apologies and go. “Everything is good” I called down the aisle as I walked off “sometimes it’s just hard to see it”. “Oh yes” she said again and we laughed as we parted.
Off I went, looking for light bulbs. Don’t you just hate it when the supermarkets move everything around so that you have to cruise all the aisles looking for something that’s been in the same place for the last 10 years! Finally I found an assistant. He came across as quite dopey … you know, a little, well, ‘David Beckham’. He didn’t know where the bulbs were and had to ask somebody. I remember thinking something to the effect that “You really can’t get the staff these days!” Found the light bulbs and several other bits and pieces and made it back to the tills, running even later than before.
There was the Beckham lookalike on the tills. Ok. But he was smiling, and of course we started talking. I like to chat with the people on the tills. It’s a bit of a game for me to see if I can cheer up the glum looking ones, and break up the tedium of the job for them a little. There was no need to cheer him up though, he was on form. “How much do you think this lot will cost?” I asked him. “Forty three pounds” he guessed. “Ok” I said “I’m going to go with fifty”. He tilled up all my shopping, and it came to forty two pounds and eighty eight pence! “Wow!” I exclaimed “You’re good, you beat me!” He leaned over and confided “You know why? Because when I first started to work here I used to play that game – so I got a lot of practice!” I just had to find out whether he played my other favourite supermarket game. “I know its a little un-pc” I asked with all the excitement of a child “but do you ever play this game: do you ever look at all the shopping on the belt, and then compare it to the person buying it and see if they match?” “You mean if they buy loads of fruits and vegetables” he started and then we both said “they look healthy” and I added “but if they’re buying loads of crisps and chocolate …” and he finished “they look overweight!” “Yeah” he said and we both agreed “…and they always match don’t they!” We were both grinning from ear to ear with the mischief of our shared supermarket games as we said goodbye.
As I pushed my shopping back to the car I mused that I had been wrong about him. Far from being dopey, and I guess rather like David Beckham, he was actually very intelligent. Intelligent enough to be amusing himself with mental exercises whilst carrying out the mundane task of checking out people’s shopping all day. “I really must stop judging people” I thought to myself.
I also found myself musing on the idea that you really can tell a person by their daily habits. You can have all the healthy intentions in the world but if all you buy is crisps, you’re going to be unhealthy. If you talk about peace but you keep needling people then you’re going to have arguments, and if you like the idea of being rich but you keep buying the latest gadget and don’t actually go and work to support that habit then you’re going to be skint. Conversely, if you buy and eat well on a regular basis, your body will glow with health, if you keep peaceful people around you and work on staying composed when others attempt to ‘rattle your cage’ you will have a peaceful life, and if you manage to arrange your finances so that you spend much less than you earn, eventually you get rich. Simple. Life is just so simple when you think about it. Life is just one action at a time. And having fun of course.
Which brings me to another game I play at the supermarket … riding the shopping trolleys. I must admit at this point that most life coaches probably DON’T do this. Whilst this may conjure up in your mind an image of some wild woman standing rodeo style aboard her wheeled ‘carriage’, waving a shopping list and yelling “Yee-hah!” I am not as yet that flamboyant! I may reserve that for old age, just to tease people. That and arriving on an elephant and parking him in one of the parking bays, whilst I go in and do my shop. I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe one day. Meanwhile I do like to ride the trolleys whilst I’m shopping – I mean why walk when you can roll! So if I see a clear aisle, and I’m in the mood, I am not above squaring up the trolley so I don’t bash into anything, starting to run a little, leaning my weight on the handle so that my feet leave the ground, and then wheeeeeeeee! It’s so much faster, and less effortful. You think I’m crazy? Come on, loosen up a little and have some fun. Life can be hard work sometimes, so why take yourself so seriously all the time? And if you ever see me flying down one of Tesco’s aisles, with a huge smile on my face, don’t judge me, join me!
Have an irreverent, mischievous and judgement-free week!
I am currently emerging from one heck of a flu. The shakes have gone, my head has pretty much stopped continuously rotating, and I can even more or less hear properly. All that’s left is a really annoying cough and phlegm in pretty 1970’s bathroom suite green … cos you really wanted to know that. Oh yes and my memory’s completely gone. Forgetting people’s names, faces, forgetting which section is which in my new meticulously organised but as yet unlabeled paperwork filing system … argh. I feel like someone’s wiped my hard drive. Thankfully I still remember my children, where the kitchen is and what it’s for, so I guess that covers the important things in life. Onward!
Yesterday morning I stopped the car opposite a park so that I could have a phone conversation. In the summer the place would be buzzing with people, but in the cold of winter only one or two determined dog owners were to be seen, battling the blustering wind and hanging on to their leads for dear life as their pooches took them for a walk. The playground lay empty. I briefly flirted with the idea of having a few goes on the zip wire (yes, I have a bit of a mad streak) as for once I wouldn’t have to stand in line and wait with a bunch of 8 year olds whilst pretending I was just there to help my son, but then decided against it as my car was much warmer.
At this time of year all the trees are naked, and you can see their ‘bones’. I like trees. To me they represent how energy/matter is distributed in this existence. If the trunk represents the whole, then each major branch would be a group of things, say celestial bodies, or all carbon based life, and then the smaller branches would be the divisions of those things, eg; plants, animals. At some point you’d get to all the little twigs, leaves and flowers at the end, and each of those represent each individual instance of something, say a particular star or animal or human. I know the analogy needs a little work, and it would have to be a gigantic tree, but it does really help you grasp the idea of ‘the interconnectedness of all things’. We are all connected, not just every human being, but also every animal, every plant, every mountain, every star and every planet. The connection comes from within – we are connected via our very essence, by the fact that we are all made of the same floaty frozen energetic ‘stuff’, bits of which migrate between us all with regularity, and thereby connected to the same trunk/source. If this paragraph strikes a chord with you, wooohooo, I am not alone. If it doesn’t, sorry, I just had the flu 😉
That wasn’t even what I was thinking about the trees yesterday though. I was looking at their skeletons. In front of me were three types of trees. One type had knotted twisted branches that somehow still made their way outward and skyward, so that when clothed in leaves the tree would still have a classic tree shape. Another type had fine delicate branches that seemed to have grown effortlessly. The outer branches of these trees swayed gently in the wind. The third type of tree reminded me of my old school sports teacher. Even then she looked about 80, yet her back was ramrod straight, and she held herself with pride. The spines of these trees reached to the sky and the further branches seemed almost an afterthought.
‘I want to be the middle type of tree’ I thought to myself. Why fight life and be all knotted and twisted inside? Or why be so obsessed with perfection that you don’t even have time for proper branches? The middle trees were beautiful, elegant and effortless. All the trees were growing in the same soil within meters of each other. They all had the same conditions to work with. Yet each grew differently, according to its nature.
Trees don’t have a choice – they just obey their genes and grow as they are designed to. Animals are the same – granted they have a greater ability to discriminate, but at the end of the day they just obey their ‘programming’. We humans are gifted with something no other animal has. The ability to choose.
Many people just go with the flow, and let their conditions decide their life for them. Many people waste that gift that elevates them from the other animals. After all we have animal bodies and we too are awash in a sea of social conditioning. So you can get through life hardly having to think for yourself at all, and many do. Isn’t that a waste though? We get to choose what we do with the conditions around us. We get to choose what we do with what comes to us. Do you really want to leave that choice to the herd? I don’t. I choose. I choose to be the middle tree for a start, beautiful, relaxed, elegant, graceful. And I choose to keep on choosing. It may be harder work, and I’ll only have myself to blame if something goes wrong, but then on the other hand I’ll be able to take credit too when things go right! And I know that I’ll be the creator of my own life … I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How about you? Do you choose to choose? And if so which tree are you? And which would you be?
I think I may go on that zip line today…
Doesn’t life sometimes feel like one long course in self improvement? I might be a life coach/hypnotherapist (and a jolly good one too- wink, wink) but that doesn’t mean I have all the answers, just that I’m good at finding answers 🙂
This week I’m learning … to stay with myself. Some people are naturally good at this. They always know who they are, what they stand for, what they want. They’re always able to work in their own best interest, or according to their own moral standards. They begin with the premise ‘This is my stance. I may change my mind if I think it’s appropriate, but only if it makes sense to me. Now how can I help you?’
For those who have to work hard to stay with themselves, it can be very easy to forget who you are and your highest priorities and unintentionally fall into someone else’s agenda. You start seeing yourself as the other person sees you, and even being as the other person sees you. It’s a way of losing yourself. Some people are so lost, they always see themselves as other people see them. If they had to look through their own eyes at themselves or better yet feel what it’s like to be themselves from inside, they wouldn’t know where to start.
Do you know who you really are? And once you’ve found yourself, do you know what it means to stay with yourself?
As far as knowing who you are, it helps a great deal to sit down for a little while with pen and paper, think about all the different things you do in your life and ask yourself who you are in each context. So for example one of the things I do is mothering. Who am I as a mother? Who am I as a professional? Etc etc. You might not have done this before, and some of the answers might not come easily – that’s ok, nothing’s set in stone, you can always go back and change it later, just write down what you get. That process gives you who you are in a physical sense. Then if you like, you can do a hypnotic or meditative process to discover who you are in a deeper metaphysical sense. You’ll find that’s harder to capture in words – it’s a more experiential thing, and it’s something everyone should do, as a way of connecting to their source of power. I might run a workshop on this one day – it’s something I frequently do with clients and they find it very transformative.
I think part of life’s lesson is to find that source of power – that inner light if you will – and then learn to stick with it and to bring it through into our everyday living.
So to stay with yourself find your inner light and connect to it. You will feel a sense of peace and coming home. You will feel a sense of empowerment, as though you’re a light bulb and electricity is finally flowing through you, and you can light up and shine out to the world. You will feel a sense of rightness. Then all you have to do is maintain those feelings. Carry on through life, and if those feelings start to lessen, connect again. The tension falls away and you feel at peace again.
The same is true in a physical sense too. If you’re starting to lose yourself, you can remind yourself of who you are and what you stand for in each part of your life.
Why bother to connect back to yourself each time? Because then your every thought and every action will come from a place of integrity. You will be acting on your morals and your principals, and not dancing to someone else’s tune or to the general world hypnosis. I think it’s worth the effort, don’t you?
It’s -Very Important- in this process to have people to support you, people who know who you really are, people who are on the same path themselves. Your circle of support will help you to stay with yourself when you are temporarily weaker. They know who you are, even when you forget. If you lose your way they help you come back to yourself, and you can often do the same for them, in their times of weakness. With them you can be yourself. The more often you are yourself, the stronger yourself becomes. The stronger you get connected to yourself, the less likely you are to lose yourself in the tough times.
Then an interesting thing happens. When you are truly with yourself, and you ain’t budging, people who were working intentionally or unintentionally to draw you into their agenda are often drawn into your agenda instead! You don’t have to misuse this. Your agenda can be to help them regain their self respect or help them see a better path. And you know those people or situations that keep popping up in your life in one guise or another? Being with yourself gives you another perspective. It’s like you suddenly zoom out and you can see the patterns that you keep getting sucked into. Then you have the option to change your approach and do something different.
Most importantly, as I’ve said above, you then get to carry out your life from your own perspective and according to your own standards. You start to get much more of what you want, and you get to create your world as you want it. And you get to be truly, madly and deeply … happy!
This week find yourself and stay with yourself!
How do you explain friendship to someone who doesn’t believe in the soul? Pairing up to procreate makes sense to cold, old fashioned evolution, as does having a working buddy – someone you hunt with. But plain, no strings attached friendship? Where does that need for simple companionship come from and why is it sometimes soothed by some individuals that you ‘just feel a link’ with? You can’t tell me that consciousness is just a state emerging from the complexity of the connections in the human mind, and then try to sell me the idea that that consciousness requires friendship. Sorry, I don’t buy it. I think true friendship is a soul thing.
Right, philosopher’s hat off, life coach’s hat on. Friendship was gifted to us, so let’s allow it to serve us and our friends both, as it should. I think we should be giving and receiving things like this:
Just plain fun
Obviously friends are the people to have fun with – if you Google ‘things to do with your friends’ you get a host of silly and fun activities, just for a laugh. Fun and laughter makes the world a happier lighter place, and it is seriously good for your health (I’m not kidding http://www.squidoo.com/normancousins#module12601876) so are you getting enough Vitamin F, and do you have the right people to share it with? Don’t be too groan up now (the spelling error is intentional) get out there and have some fun!
A sense of connection
We humans, we like to feel that we’re a part of something. We like to feel like it matters that we exist, that we hold a piece of being that no one else can hold. That we’re valued for that. How’s your sense of connection with your group of friends? Do your friends ‘get you’? Do you have that link? Or do you need to find more people that you can feel that connection with? If so, where might you find them?
Loving help and protection
Friends look after each other. They’ll drive out in the pouring rain, dragging their kids with them if necessary, if your car breaks down and there’s no one else to rescue you. They’ll bring you a hot soup if you’re down with the flu, or find a few minutes in their crazy busy day to say hi. And if they are so overwhelmed with life they can’t even call you, they still think about you, and smile. A friend stands up for you when everyone else is against you – even if you’re wrong. Doesn’t mean they agree with you, but they will do their best not to let anyone hurt you, even so. How well do you take care of your friends?
Whilst having a laugh is important, feeling a part of something also worthy, and giving/receiving protection can change a life, I think these last 3 points are not to be underestimated:
An experience of reflection
The closest people to us are in a way our greatest therapists. What do I mean by that? Well what does a therapist do? Part of the job of a good therapist is to reflect back to us or help us to see the way we relate to the world, so that we can change what doesn’t serve us. And if you look at the closest people around you, don’t they do the same thing? Our family and our friends constantly hold up a mirror for us so we can see ourselves. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsGl-XIWM5Y) If you practice anger you will often find angry friends who reveal you to yourself. If you’re a loving caring person don’t you always see that in the friends around you? If you will ‘do anything for anyone’ don’t you have friends who do that for you? What are your friends reflecting back to you these days?
Safe arms in which to have a revelation
Oh those safe arms of friendship! Someone that you can trust never to desert you, never to intentionally hurt you, someone who deeply cares about you … what a safe place to face your deepest pains and find your way to a solution! What a safe place to reveal those little shards and splinters of your truest self as you discover them and piece them together, knowing that your friend will still accept you as you grow and change, and will delight in your discoveries as much as you do. Do you have a friend that could do this for you? If not, are you being this type of friend?
Someone to hold you to account
A real friend … doesn’t let you get away with self destruction. They will love you and support you whatever you do, but if you truly start to lose yourself they are the ones who will smack your face if they have to and help you get back on track. If you tell your true friend you’re seriously dieting they will wrestle the cookie jar from you. If you tell your true friend that you never, ever want to go out with that kind of girl again, and you mean it, they are the one who will get you by the scruff of the neck and drag you out of there so you don’t get yourself in trouble again. Sometimes your true friend won’t rescue you, because the value of the lesson learnt in a losing pattern repeated would help you more. But they also don’t abandon you. When the house of cards eventually falls down they’re there to help you pick up the pieces and start again, and there to help you build a better house this time. They might even bite their tongue and avoid saying “I told you so!” Held anyone to account lately?
When you think deeply about the blessing of friendship don’t you just feel lucky to be given that? Where would we be without our friends? Let’s take a moment of gratitude for friendship now. When you think of everything your friends have given you, it’s hard not to be grateful. Poet’s hat on (I wish!!!) This has been going round and round in my head for the last few days so I had to chuck it onto the keyboard for you…
To friends past:
friends that have come and gone,
friends lost, friends missed,
friends from the old days,
friends who left a hole in our hearts,
friends who taught us something,
friends who were like family,
friends who were brothers and sisters to us,
friends who never let us down,
friends who left a bit of themselves with us always,
and with whom we left a bit of ourselves.
To friends present:
friends we laugh with,
friends who guide us and we guide,
friends we trust with our deepest pains and joys,
friends we learn from and friends we teach.
Friends we have fun with,
friends who are soul mates,
friends who make life a delight,
friends we pledge ourselves to forever.
To friends future:
to the friends we yearn for,
friends not yet met,
friends that would fill the gap,
friends like a piece of soul missing,
friends we would do anything for,
the friends we wait for,
friends we know are already ours,
even though they are not yet there.
The friends we daydream of having
and so draw closer to ourselves.
To all these friends thank you, bless you and much love to you.
May you always bask in pleasant sunshine,
may your path be easy,
may your rewards be plentiful.
May you reach the heights you aspire to,
may you easily recall your life’s desires
and accomplish them with flair.
May love, fulfilment and abundance be your territory,
and may you be happy always.
This blog is for all my friends, past, present and future, and for friends everywhere, with a great deal of gratitude and love.
This week, nurture your friends!
First, on the subject of last week’s blog, crumbs, what a difference a title makes! For those who didn’t read it because it was entitled ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and you are sick of being told about recycling, me too, and it wasn’t actually very much to do with recycling at all, at least not in the physical sense. I might as well have called it ‘Read This and Get The Flu!’ If I put it out again I’d call it “Everything is good”, which is closer to what it’s actually about – so if that title is a little more tempting, then check out last week’s blog! https://rivkadavid.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/reduce-re-use-recycle-why-recycling-might-be-part-of-human-evolution/
Now a couple of weeks ago I went with my colleagues Ronit Gerber http://www.naturalgatewayclinic.com/reflexology_ronit_gerber.html and Cliff White http://www.cliffordwhite.co.uk/ to a talk by David Ault http://www.davidault.com/ (there’s a right bunch of links for you – is this the modern-day name dropping?!) The talk was entitled ‘The Grass Is Greener Here’ and was very spiritually uplifting – in fact over the last few weeks I have felt like we must have received some sort of ‘attunement’ just in being there, because I’ve been seeing things a shade or two differently since then.
Well anyhow there were a couple of things he said that have really stuck with me. One was this. He said that someone once asked him the question: “Why doesn’t happiness last?” and went on to answer “Because you don’t resist it”. Unpacking those two statements reveals the assumptions that ‘happiness doesn’t last’ and that ‘if you resist something, it lasts’. And therefore ‘if you want happiness to last, you have to fight it’. Hmmm. Not what I’d really want to do with happiness. There’s also then the hidden assumption that ‘If you don’t fight happiness, it will pass you by’. Again, hmm.
And yet there’s a certain truth to the notion that ‘what you resist persists’. Think about it. The type of person you find uncomfortable in your life keeps coming back to you in various skins. If you have no money and you fight that, boy does it keep coming back. If your children are rude and cheeky the more you fight it and try to get them to stop the cheekier they get. The more you tidy your house the messier it gets, every time you replace one bulb another one shortly blows, the more you shave the more it grows back and the more weeds you remove the more weeds you get!
Now think about the things you deal with and then release, instead of fighting. If your child is cheeking you and -once you’ve let them know the behaviour is unacceptable and if necessary (lovingly!) provided a consequence for the action- you let the whole thing drop and get on with the rest of life, they often ease off and become agreeable again. If you find a way to create a better relationship with the people you previously had difficulty with, you suddenly find they stop popping up, and if you de-clutter your house for once and for all, you don’t have to battle with mess on a daily basis, and you can have a life instead (I think I’m talking to myself here, but if the cap fits, wear it :-))
So there’s truth to the adage, that ‘what you resist persists’. Where does that leave us with happiness though, or any other good thing for that matter? Do we have to fight everything good in order to keep it? This brings me to the work of another of my favourite people. Younger readers you probably won’t know who he is …. Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Peirce in Mash. Ladies of my generation and older, I’ll give you a minute …………………………….tum tee tum ……………………………. ok now stop day dreaming and come back to me! Alan Alda wrote a book called ‘Never Have Your Dog Stuffed’ in which he told of how as a child, when his dog died he couldn’t let it go, so instead of burying him, he had him stuffed and kept him in the family room at home! But this was a bad idea. Instead of being a lovely comfortable companion, the dog now seemed to look at him accusatorily, so much so that he soon didn’t even feel comfortable walking into the room. It would appear that it isn’t always a good idea to hang on to the good things once their time has passed!
And I think that herein lies the answer. What you resist persists, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. What you don’t fight passes … and here’s the kicker … do you think it could be possible that NOTHING, NOT EVEN HAPPINESS, IS MEANT TO LAST?
“What? Shock, Gasp, Horror! Are you telling me that I’m not entitled to lasting happiness after all????? That if I work hard, and do all the right things and be a good boy/girl that I still won’t suddenly be entitled to lifelong bliss? I’ve been working on the assumption for ages that If I put in a life of hard graft that I will at least get to spend my golden years in a stretch of one long happy time! That’s what I’ve worked for, that’s what I want! What horror is this, you’re telling me I can’t be eternally happy??!! You must be wrong. I insist that you’re wrong. You’re a life coach, you’re supposed to coach me to a life of never ending happiness … aren’t you?”
Well, um, no…… Sorry. But I can coach you towards a life of something much better, if you’re interested.
How about a life of just being? A life of animating all that you really deeply are. A life where you never hold anything in desperate fear of losing it, but instead accept everything that comes. The difficult things you deal with, grow through and release. The enjoyable things you rejoice in to the maximum and those too you release, so that you are ‘open for business’ for the next thing. Always open, always in the moment, always truly living. Always accepting and from that acceptance acting when necessary but never from desperation, always because the action is the most appropriate and most whole thing you could do. And maybe that really is happiness after all. Not ra-ra, whoopee doo happiness, but simple peace and contentment, whatever the weather.
Don’t know about you, but I won’t be stuffing any dogs (at least not intentionally). The path I commit to follow is this one – acceptance, peace and contentment, come what may. I know it isn’t always easy – that’s part of the work we’re here to do, and I think it will be worth it in the end. Bury any dead dogs and come walk with me!
Well this week’s blog is a bit of a challenge. You see every week I write about something I have learned during the week … and this week it just so happens I’m still in the middle of the learning process!!!!
Without going into details, a friend and I recently had a disagreement which left me in a spin. There are the odd few strings still to tie up, so I’m quite wrapped up in it all. I tell you all this because you know ‘life’ happens to everyone, and just because I’m a life coach/hypnotherapist etc it doesn’t make me immune.
Challenges come to everyone the question is, what do you do with them?
So I’ve decided to go find my happy place … I thought you might like to join me, and find your happy place – want to come along for the ride?
You know, right when you’re in the thick of a challenge, and it’s all so murky you feel like you can’t even see straight, I think there’s great value in taking some time to re-align with who you really are, and remind yourself of what really matters to you. In previous blogs we’ve talked about the force of attraction and discovered that ‘what you feel you get’. So if you’re in the middle of a situation where you feel less than fantastic, it’s very important to get an emotional break from that and feel great instead for a bit, so that you can attract the good times again … geddit?
Join me here for a little relaxation – let’s take a little break from our day to day lives for a few minutes, focus on the good things and come back feeling great.
or if that doesn’t work …
And if that doesn’t work … click the youtube button on the bottom right of the you tube video window. For some reason sometimes it plays on the youtube site but not on the wordpress site …
Hope you enjoyed our little relaxation session – I enjoyed recording it for you, and being a part of the experience has certainly made me smile again!
Spend some time with yourself this week and enjoy the process –
Ps: Would love some feedback on the relaxation session – tell me what you think, and share with your friends!
PPs: Please excuse this blog arriving so late in the day … I’ve really enjoyed some technical challenges with the audio today … learned a lot!
I don’t have many vices – I’m pretty clean living – but there is this one thing… chillies. I love chillies and spice … in fact you might say I’m something of a spice girl … when I need a little pepping up, spare me the chocolate, put away your cookies, you can keep your coffee, just hand me the pickle jar and a nice pack of crisps and … you know, leave me alone for a while. I’m such a spice aficionado, that I actually make my own Indian pickle. On what I have lovingly called ‘Pickle Sunday’- any Sunday I choose to make pickle – the smell of spicy pickle wafts down the street and has the less hardy of those who call at our house buckling at the knees.
Well, this time around, I’d made a huge batch of mango pickle, fresh and dried, chilli hot and no chilli – for the kids – and our long-suffering cleaning lady walked in the door, just as I was finishing labelling the jars. “Here, taste this, I just made it!” I enthusiastically offered and handed her a spoonful of the ‘not hot’ variety – just spice. “Mmm!” she said politely, which was quickly followed by coughing, and spluttering. Then, still aflame, she managed to gather up her broken English and say “I like water!” which I quickly produced, to put out the fire. We both laughed, and I quipped “Now you work fast!” Ok, so I’ve got a mischievous streak. I used to dare my school chums to taste green chillies – only to have them running for the taps to wash their tongues … I guess some things never change!
It got me thinking though … what lights a fire under you? It’s different for everybody, and of course there can be more than one thing, depending on the situation. If you can work out what drives and excites you, and make a habit of bringing it into your life, then you have more fun and you get all the energy in the world to make things happen! Just like any plain old food can be woken up with the addition of chillies, if you’re having difficulties getting something done, because it doesn’t inspire you, what could you add to it, to give it that spark?
So here’s a challenge for you: Make a list of things you think you ought to be doing, but aren’t.
Now take a good hard look at the list. Some of those items you aren’t doing because they actually belong on someone else’s list and they just managed to offload them onto you, or guilt you into it. Strike those out – time is short enough without having to do other people chores as well as your own. Now of what’s left, some of those items will be things you really don’t know whether you actually need to do or not, or couldn’t much care about. Personally I’d sideline those too – if they’re not important enough to motivate you at all, why bother. That will leave things that really are important, that you really want to get done, but can’t seem to find the gumption for.
Then you can ask yourself the big question: What could I do to spice this up?
If you find exercising boring but you really want to make it a part of your life, what could make it more enjoyable and fulfilling? Listening to music? A new route to run every day? A variety of different types of exercise to do on different days of the week? What about housework … would blaring music get you going? Or perhaps getting your kids to compete and see who gets their chores finished first? What about getting up early to get a good start on the day – would a nice mug of hot chocolate help? Or allowing yourself a 15 minute stint on Facebook before you do anything else? A pair of cosy slippers? Or perhaps porridge with chillies in it … whatever floats your boat…
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself things that you like, and lots and lots of reasons to do what’s important to you. Judge yourself favourably and give yourself every chance to succeed. You want to get the most out of yourself? Treat yourself well. It’s often said, when dealing with other people that ‘you catch more flies with honey’ – i.e. that you get further with people by being nice to them. Well the adage is just as true with regard to yourself. Figure out what ignites your passion and get more of it – here’s to your success!
Ps: If a spoon of pickle will do the trick, just let me know…
Rest in Peace Steve Jobs. As you must know by now the co-founder of Apple died last Wednesday 5th October, age 56. I’ve just sat here and watched him delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005 (you can find it on YouTube – www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA). The speech is very moving, simple and honest – if you haven’t seen it I’d say it’s worth 15 minutes of your time.
Don’t you ever find yourself wondering “What’s the difference that makes the difference with people like that?” There he is up on stage, just another human being talking frankly about his life, and sharing some things he’s learnt for the benefit of the graduating students present. Now he’s dead, the sentence already passed on every living being. Yet he was different, and in that he lives on. He was different enough to be instrumental in creating the Apple Mac computer, that has revolutionised computing and thereby the world. He mentions in his speech that he started Pixar (who pioneered feature length computer animated films). And most lately of course his company is responsible for the ipod/phone/mac. So a true innovator, and a sad loss for the world.
I think the thing that most struck me about the man, watching that speech, was that he spoke from the heart. It’s always refreshing to see someone who is in the public eye just be themselves with no airs and graces. And perhaps that is where the difference lies. I’m beginning to think that perhaps that’s what sets true geniuses, innovators and trendsetters apart. Perhaps it isn’t the brilliance of their ideas. After all we all have mind-blowing ideas from time to time – how often have you seen some new invention come up and said “Hey I thought of that last year!” Perhaps, just perhaps, it has more to do with the fact that they’re not afraid to be themselves, and to stand up for what they believe in. Everybody has ideas, THEY follow up on their ideas, and have the guts to offer them to the world. Look at the big people in our history – Einstein, Van Gogh, Picasso, Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte , Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi , Princess Diana, Thomas Edison, Mohamed Ali, the Dalai Lama, John Lennon even J.K. Rowling, to name but a disparate few. Every one of them a striking and unique individual. Every one of them bold enough to offer their personal gift to the world, without apology.
Steve Jobs himself touches on this idea during said speech:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
So if you truly want to make your mark on the world and share your gift with humanity, isn’t it time you started to live in accordance with your truest beliefs? Isn’t it time to really be yourself? I say this as much to myself as anyone. I think it’s something most of us really struggle with, because being authentic is a risky business. We risk being ostracised or ridiculed. We risk losing friends. We risk feeling stupid or the odd one out and we risk failure. Scary isn’t it? In times gone by if you were chucked out of your community that meant exposure to the elements and predators and almost certainly an early death, so it’s probably programmed into each and every human being to conform, purely for the sake of safety. It’s actually known that the best ideas usually get laughed out of town before they’re accepted as fact. I guess you have to weigh up the benefit of being safe and boring or living it large, and taking some risks.
Which leads me to one of my favourite quotes:
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, shouting GERONIMO!” Hunter S. Thompson from Hell’s Angels
Wanna be a trend setter? Wanna be the next Steve Jobs or J.K. Rowling? The truth is, you can never be them. You can only be the one and only authentic you. Starting TODAY.
My wish for you (and for myself!) this week is that we take some time out from the tumult around us, and tune in to the quiet yet persistent inner voice within each of us. That we listen well and act on those flashes of inspiration that come to us. The voice gets louder, and the ideas get better the more you listen. Your inspiration deepens, and the power of your creative though becomes more far reaching, the more you invite it into your life and the more you share it. Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy. You’re just tapping in to your own truth, and the deepest wisdom sitting there in the Universe waiting for you, just you, to claim it and proclaim it aloud. Draw down that gift that’s yours to give, and share it with existence – that’s your birthright, and your obligation.
Wishing you a deeply inspired, authentic week –
The sun is shining beautifully, there are just a few little clouds scudding across the sky and my friend and I have taken our kids to a pick-your-own farm. We are in a huge field chequered by big plots of various vegetables, in the middle of a plot of onions so big that it takes a couple of minutes just to walk across it. There I am carrying the baby in the sling, laden with a bag of beautiful, fresh onions in one hand, complete with long spring-oniony type greens and pulling onions out of the ground with the other hand. My son comes up to me and with his typical ‘Mummy is Superwoman’ thinking tries to get me to carry his bag of onions as well!
‘Let’s just put it down here, and you can come back and put more in as you go’ I suggest, leaving the bag on the ground. ‘But Mummy’ he says ‘someone will steal it!’
‘Look around’ I tell him ‘there are a million onions – who’s going to want to steal yours?’
We often think like that don’t we? You can be right in the middle of a field of possibilities and still feel impoverished, like you don’t have enough or that someone is going to steal it all away from you! Feeling ‘poor’ isn’t good for the moral, and it keeps us stuck. When you feel like there isn’t enough, you can’t live large, in case you ‘use it all up’, and quite often you don’t even see the opportunities around you because you ‘know’ that they aren’t there!
How about knowing something different? How about knowing that there IS more than enough? How about knowing that we can have anything we want if we can just be open to receiving it? How about allowing yourself to live with an attitude of ABUNDANCE instead?
Remember Schrodinger’s cat? If you don’t, that’s your physics homework for this week. Basically we influence the world around us just by looking at it. That’s not me being fanciful, you’ll find it in your physics textbook. In a sense we create by looking. So if you want abundance in every sense, you need to look for it, and absolutely expect to find it! We draw to us that which we expect to experience, both positive and negative. So if you want to change your luck, start by changing your expectations.
I close with another story about my son – children truly are our greatest teachers. There we are at a large seaside fairground. I am playing ‘baggage woman’ and have all the coats and bags and babies and drinks, and I’m sitting there watching the world go by, whilst my son and his cousin go from one ride to the next. My attention falls on the nearby games stalls and I can’t help noticing that there’s a little skulduggery going on. There’s this guy, obviously the stooge, carrying a massive fluorescent orange alien teddy bear on his back, and walking up and down the fairground. Every now and then he stops at the ‘knock the cans down to win a prize’ stall, chucks a couple of balls at the cans, has a laugh with the stallholder, and then walks off carrying the gigantic teddy on his back, supposedly having won. I know my boy is going to want one of these, and sure enough, as soon as they come off the rides, he insists on having a go at winning this teddy.
‘But it’s a con!’ I explain to him. ‘Watch the people who are playing, nobody’s winning.’
‘Yes they are’ he says ‘I saw a man with one!’
‘He’s a con too!’ I say ‘he’s pretending he’s won so that people will come and play the game! Look, take the two pounds – you can have it. Put it in your pocket and take it home.’
‘No!’ he says ‘I want to win the teddy!’
You try arguing with a five year old. ‘But you can’t possibly win it’ I say, exasperated, ‘the game is set up so that you can’t win! You’ll lose your money and get nothing. In fact I’ll bet you a week’s earnings that you can’t win that teddy! If you have a go at this, then you can’t go on any of the other games!’ ‘Fine!’ he says and beaten I take them to the stall.
He puts his money on the counter. He’s so little he can barely see over the surface. So the stallholder invites him to sit up on top. ‘As you’re young’ he tells him ‘you can have three tries instead of two’. My son nods, looking ever so serious. All I can think about is the disappointed tantruming I’m going to have to deal with all the way home. He throws one ball and it goes wildly off into the corner of the stall. He throws another and it’s just as wide. Then the stallholder himself takes the last ball and throws it at the cans, just leaving two standing! He picks up the ball and hands it back to my son, who throws it again. And he gives him the ball back again. And again. He keeps giving my son the ball until all the cans are down. ‘Well done!’ he tells him ‘You Won!’ The smile on my boy’s face could light up the pier.
Well that’s how I ended up handing over a week’s earnings to my five year old … word is word. He taught me a lesson though. He taught me that if you want something enough, and you believe in it enough and insist on it in the face of all dissuaders, and actually go for it, then you can get it, no matter what the odds.
So this week know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are surrounded by every opportunity you could possibly need. See the abundance and give yourself permission to receive it. Claim your destiny. There is magic in the eye of the beholder.