NEW WEBSITE! From 21st November 2020, I am moving to www.jennifercrokaert.com where you will find free ebooks and a meditation, as well as new offerings and features! Do come and visit, I look forward to welcoming you to my new home very soon :)
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Merry Christmas... And thank you
I fly back to Cork tomorrow evening to spend Christmas with my family. One brother and sister in law are still on honeymoon in Thailand and Dirk is working in London, so off home I go!
And I want to take this opportunity to say a heart-felt thank you for journeying with me over the past six months.
I've had a mixture of feedback on this blog, from 'a waste of time' and 'it makes no sense' to 'insightful' and 'clear'. Whichever way the wind blows, I'm going to continue writing because this blog gives me a sense of freedom, of being completely myself. I feel as though I fly when I contribute to it.... it's odd, but true!... this is a deep expression of who I am.
And I am genuinely amazed when people say they read it: so thank you so much. I love writing this even if no one reads it, but when you do read it... Wow, how tremendous is it to share!!
For Christmas and the New Year I wish you this: that blessings may pave your path for the coming year.
Wishing you every blessing your soul desires...
What I'm reading
A New Light on Ascension by Diana Cooper
I feel as though I'm very blessed in my reading! It seems as though I'm led to each book I read by a magical thread that knows exactly what I need to learn at each moment.
So I thought I'd begin sharing the books I read with you.
I've just read an amazing book, A New Light on Ascension. If you have any interest in the Ascension process, this book is fascinating. It helped me understand a more subtle process that we are involved in as the planet moves through this period of deep cosmic change.
Many of you know I am fascinated by angels and the divine - this book goes into more detail on how we can work with divine beings, including angels and ascended masters. It also explains how we can open up to more of our potential and be of greater service to the planet and humanity.
The chapters include: The Monad, Abundance, Ritual and Ceremony, Reiki and Spiritual Healing and The Power of Your Name.
If this brief overview has piqued your interest, I suggest you check out Diana Cooper's website.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Looking back...from the inside out
The end of the year approaches... I didn't create a vision for this year, so it may be a little challenging to see how I have developed... but I still think it is worthwhile to review my year. Who have I become this year? And how do I feel about 'her'?
And we are on the very cusp of a new decade... which begs the question, who will I become in this next decade? I'll be 50 by the end of this decade - a thought that really shocks me!
But more to the point, who have I become in the past decade? It is fair to say that the millenium shook my life inside out. I have been turned inside out, and then outside in, over the past decade. If I were to meet 1999 Jennifer, she wouldn't recognise me. She seems so meek, so gentle... almost as though she's in hibernation, innocent and well intentioned, open and loving... as I look back back at her.
That does beg yet another question! Who do I think I am now? At the most superficial level, I feel as though I stand in my shoes with greater vision, power and self awareness. I have grown into myself. As I move into my forties this year, I do so with a sense of freedom and confidence that are the exquisite fruit of a lifetime's experience.
And you? If you allow your mind to float back over the past decade, who have you become? See what a transformative decade this has been for us all! Do take time to honour what has passed through your experience... to celebrate who you have become... we are our own works of art.
I believe that our lives are our legacy, so what shall we bequeath the coming decade?
And how can we have the most fun possible doing that!!
Visioning for 2010
As we draw to the end of the year, I hear people around my talking about goals for 2010. To be honest, I'm not inspired by goals. They seems to involve so much motivation, so much pushing, so much effort and will. Ugh!
I am going to experiment with visioning, and maybe even a vision board, for 2010. I read somewhere - how I wish I could remember where, perhaps it was Law of Attraction - that goals involve will and are quite 'push' oriented... We work and strive to achieve them.
Visions, on the other hand, are all about allowing, about grace, about feeling inspired by the attraction, the pull towards something - not through ego but as a soul expression of the fullest experience of who we Are. That sounds like fun to me!
So later on today, I'm going to take some time out to explore, to 'feel into', who I would like to be this time next year, what events I would like to experience, the kind of interactions I would like to shape my day, the gifts I would like to share with others...
And then I'll create a vision board of symbols and colours, music and words, that resonate with that inspiration... with the expanded version of who I am becoming...
And if the idea inspires you too, go for it! See who you'd like become, the fullest expression of who you are...
If we can dream it, we have the ability to create it.
Wishing you every blessing in the coming year and the coming decade... and 12 hugs a day!!
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Living in balance
Starting a business is an interesting challenge. It's a very creative, high-energy process. It's also intensive and demanding.
The challenge for me is, ‘how do I perform all the tasks I need to and yet stay centred, balanced, light and joyful?’ The temptation to go overboard is there. Or should I say, here!
Yesterday I had an insight. What is my priority in my work? Is it to be busy, stressed, efficient… in short, a good 'worker'?
Scandalous though it may seem to some, I answer a resounding 'No'. I am very clear: my number one priority is to maintain a sense of balance, peace and joy. If I focus on that, everything else at work will flow. And here's the funny thing - so far it has!
I am not putting 'getting the jobs done' at the top of my list. I've put 'feeling consistently great' at the top of the list. And every time I feel myself dip, I stop and take time out, either to read something inspiring, to breathe or simply to become still again. Rebalancing myself quickly and easily is getting easier! And the jobs are getting done.
Who we are is far more important than what we do. If our doing flows from our being, it is in deep harmony with us – then it is effortless and graceful. And full of wonderful synchronicities!
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Beyond complexity is simplicity
At its essence, I believe, that God is simplicity itself.
Indeed, life is simple. We create vast, sprawling dramas out of our lives, possibly because living a simple life is so much harder. It's easier to excuse in-action and over-action by reflecting on others and their roles in our lives: it's an easy distraction from taking authorship of our own lives.
And what if the nugget, the simple kernal of all truth, is this:
Keep it simple, sunshine!
Just be yourself.
Seek what brings you joy and delight - that feeling when your soul dances freely.
Be kind to yourselves.
Be kind to others.
Speak kindly - focus on the good, the light, the beauty.
Bless freely - water, food, trees, other motorists, snowstorms, droughts...
And always keep it simple. The essence of us is the essence of God. The simpler, more honest and more authentic we can be, the closer to God we are.
Simple may not be easy, but being simple is an act of quality, of craftmanship, of beauty. Its integrity inspires all around you.
Simple. Simple.. Simple...
Friday, 11 December 2009
This morning I awoke in a lot of pain. I have now learnt enough to know that pain indicates I'm out of alignment; in some way I am not entirely congruent, I'm pushing upstream instead of floating downstream. So I wrote a letter to angels, asking specific questions. Then I set my pen against a clean sheet of paper and waited for the reply...
I'm including some excerpts from the reply because I believe they are true for us all.
We strongly urge you not to feel fear as this dilutes your essence. You are taken care of and we have heard your prayers. Trust that everything is in place - that the present is perfect.
The more you honour this moment, the greater alignment you model on this planet and beyond.
So allow yourself ease. Take your time. Your vibration is the most important tool you have. Resounding as clearly and as strongly as you can will make all the difference.
There is nothing to fear - we are constantly with you and guiding every step of the way. Surrender any difficulties to us, ask that they be resolved for the highest good of all and they will be.
Bless everyone and everything as this multiplies your strength.
You are blessed. There is nothing to fear and everything to rejoice upon. So allow us to flow through you and you will live your Heaven on Earth."
The pain is gone! But the simplicity of the message lives on.
We are perfect. The essence of each one of us is like a note in a symphony. When we do what we love, when we live in peace, joy and integrity, our note becomes clearer, lighter, deeper. The sheer beauty of each individual note, joyfully played, inspires all the other members of the symphony to play their most beautiful note.
It is so simple.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Loving Living Life
Jane wrote to me this morning with the idea for this blog. And it's stunning in it's simplicity... Love living life.
How often do we make life more complicated than it is? We borrow fears from the future because – irrationally – we don't trust that, just as we have survived and thrived in the past, we can continue to do so. We borrow sadness from the past, because... well, does it matter why?
How often are we simply loving life? Looking at the colour of the sky? Thanking the birds for their song? Admiring the teen who gives up their seat on the bus? Thanking the sun for shining, the rain for falling, loving the train arriving on time...
There is so much beauty, joy and wisdom in the smallest moments of life. And it is only ever found in the present; by appreciating this very moment. This moment as I type and reach out to you with a full and open heart to share my joy of life with your joy of life...
Life is simple in its beauty, elegance and grace. Yet we humans have a tendency to walk in the opposite direction of life's natural flow. We fight what is, rather than accepting it, opening to it and allowing the present moment to be; in all its splendour and richness, whether 'good' or 'bad', it is where we are. We cannot be elsewhere. It's that simple.
There's immense power in living in the present, in accepting the present: in loving living life.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Coming full circle
Well, it is a month since I began my Law of Attraction experiment.
I wanted to find out how we shape our lives, how our thoughts affect our realities, how some things arrive in our lives and other things never show up…
So what have I discovered? And what's my proof?
I am utterly convinced that the Law of Attraction is how we create our lives. For most of my life I've been doing this unconsciously. While I have a pretty positive disposition, I haven't actively monitored my thoughts and my feelings.
I now realise that my emotions and thoughts are linked in a manner that is more subtle and more powerful than I ever imagined. As money touches on our sense of self, freedom, inner worth and inner power, it's a great subject to explore.
For example, it's not enough to say, 'I want more money' but to live the thought and feeling of lack, of 'I can't afford that' every day.
Every desire is positively and negatively charged. Money can be 'I want more money and I love having what I have' (positively charged) or 'I want more money, and there's never enough money' (negatively charged). Holding the positively charged thought helps us align with financial abundance… And I’m aligning so I know it’s coming!
Discovering this and becoming aware of these patterns in my own life has been the equivalent of a mental spring clean. I now realise that by focusing on an annoying physical condition I have perpetuated that condition long beyond its 'sell by' date! It may take time, but I now understand that by seeing and feeling myself as a 100% healthy person, I will rebalance that condition.
If I can 'be it', I can 'have it'. We have to start with being, with feeling, before the physical manifestations appear.
In essence, I believe that the Law of Attraction can be summed up like this: Live every moment you are living with pleasure, acceptance and love. Go with the flow of your own life, as it will bring your ever greater opportunities and joy when you start with feeling joy right now.
Even if it's not what you'd choose, accept it as much as you can. Use the moments that you don't like to show you clearly what you would like. And then imagine the joy of living that experience. And in the meantime, between thought and 'reality', keep accepting with an open heart, keep loving with an open heart and keep enjoying with an open heart.
The best is yet to come...
My proof it works
The biggest proof has to be that I am now starting a company with friend. I could have just been a consultant but he wants to make me a full partner. This has me so excited! More about that as soon as we have our website up and running in the next few weeks...
My relationship has improved in all ways. And, as I've said before, that's quite an achievement for newlyweds! Well, it's almost 8 months now - how time flies!
My body is getting better: stronger, leaner, more balanced... and I know that I'm going to resolve the little niggles sooner rather than later.
I had a wonderful episode at home in Cork. As in any family, there are dynamics... I often feel that my brothers (except David!) leave the housework to me. And I resented it - a lot. Having decided to reframe the situation, to accept it as it is, the situation turned on it's head: I chose to do the housework to make things easier for mum, so that gave me pleasure. End of story. What I couldn't have guessed is that my brothers would start helping me the one time I didn't expect or anticipate help!
Nothing I can say can compare with feeling that you are fully alive, engaged and living the life of your dreams. You have to live to really feel it! I’m going to be playing with this for a long time to come. Debbie and I are doing this together and we’re having such fun seeing what unexpected joys and gifts turn up each day! If you fancy joining in the conscious creation game, I’d love to play with you too!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Love through joy
This weekend I was at my brother's wedding. I'm clearly a big softie as I cried through most of it. I wondered what it was about a wedding that has that effect on me - and a few others!
I think it's about love. Although weddings are very romantic occasions, they speak of love that is far deeper, richer and more complex than 'happy ever after' stories. Weddings indicate that two people want to share love at a whole new level; to experience its subtleties, its depths and heights.
It's in the commitment of living daily life together, side by side, that the nuances of love unfold... the masks drop, the reality of life brings a very different pulse and potency to love. It may loose some of its intensity, but the depth of the love increases. If we are lucky. Or, more appropriately, if we are committed to nurturing our relationship.
I read once that when we fall in love, we are not falling in love with the other person; we are falling in love with who we become when we are with them. In those heady first days we are blank canvases, no baggage… we show the very best of who we are, we feel the surge of joy when we experience ourselves as the wonderful person that we always thought we were. We are, in fact, in love with ourselves. Or experiencing the love of the self, through the admiring gaze of our partner.
The implications of this are far reaching. It means that we need never fall out of love. By feeling really good about ourselves, by holding that sense of joy and delight about who we are, we can experience far more of the lighter, more heady, joyful aspect of 'first love'.
When we are truly happy, we see the best in others. And that creates a totally different dynamic in the relationship. It brings in more light, more laughter, more delight...
I speak from experience on this one!
My month long experiment (which ends tomorrow) to actively feel a sense of joy and delight every day has yielded many insights and life changes (tune in tomorrow for the full story!). An infusion of romantic love has definitely been among the gifts I have received - I can't recommend this highly enough...
Taking responsibility for our own happiness releases so much energy, synchronicity, joy and passion that it's amazing any one looks for happiness through another human being. By taking control of our own happiness we free ourselves up to feel happy all the time. And to fall in love: again and again and again...
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Back to the Future
Every morning I make a list of everything that shows me that I'm on the right track in my life. It's like compiling evidence that life is getting better, and I believe that the more I do that, the greater my confidence is that I am positively engaging the Law of Attraction.
And some days, I find it hard to see too much evidence. This morning I thought, "won't it be great how my world will look this time next year! That will be an easy list to create."
So I wrote the list for December 2nd, 2010. And can I just say, I had a terrific day next year! It took ten minutes, but I felt really great afterwards: and that's the whole point!
So may I suggest that you write your Back to the Future diary? What would you love to be living in one year's time?
It's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
The 'I' of the storm
As today progressed it got more and more frantic. I really wanted to ring Debbie because I knew she'd help me find the eye of the storm, that peaceful place of quiet in the middle of chaos. But I didn't have the time!
Luckily, Debbie must have sensed this because she rang me! And I found my centre, the eye of the storm, so to speak! All around me my nearest and dearest are whipped up by various storms at the moment, but I'm committed to finding that calm spot inside myself. I can't change how they feel. I can only (at best) inspire them by example and (at worst!) feel good while others are caught in their dramas.
But it did get me thinking. First, we are never left to cope with the storm alone, there are always others out there who would love to support and help: if only we choose to see them instead of solidering along blindly when a little support would lighten our load easily. Thank you Debbie!
The other thing that it reminded me is that we are never too busy to find peace. As I was running on the 'meet the deadline' treadmill I was consciously thinking, 'this isn't fun, I'm not liking this, how do I make it better... I'll worry that when I'm finished!'
There is great wisdom in the philosophy, 'Do Less, Be More'. When we are do anything half-heartedly (the default outcome of being over-stressed) the result will always disappoint. When we be first, when we are clear on our priorities and when we commit to making feeling good the most important ingredient in our day, we become more effective. Our actions are focused and powerful.
So, the storms may rage around me, but I'm at peace (kinda!) now, my strategy is simple: I'm turning the negatives around... what's the positive this negative is showing me? I can see that what I really want is for my friends to live their lives in harmony with their inner dreams and with their integrity. As soon as I think of them experiencing the freedom that would bring, I automatically feel better. Therefore I'm calm. Therefore I may inspire some calm in them!
Come on into the eye of the storm - it's great in here!
Sunday, 29 November 2009
My Joy List
Since reading Abraham-Hicks I've become acutely aware of my thoughts and feelings. And I can honestly say that in just over two weeks, I feel like a new person. Every aspect of my life is now changing visibly.
My relationship with Dirk is a source of even greater joy (and that's no mean achievement for newly weds!); my work is really starting to take off; and I've developed the confidence to launch myself as a coach/consultant.
And I believe it's going to get EVEN better! The key to it all is keeping that sense of delight, excitement and anticipation alive and bubbling quietly in my veins.
I now find it easier to notice when I feel 'normal' as opposed to when I feel a light 'buzzing' feeling; and the more we stay with that buzzing feeling, where we're feeling energised and alive, the easier it is to attract better experiences.
So to shift myself from 'feeling normal' to feeling 'buzzing'(!) I've developed a list of thoughts that immediately lift me up. I share them below in case they trigger inspirational thoughts that set you on fire!
The feeling I had after swimming with wild dolphins and sting rays
The laughter of a small baby on a baby-milk ad at the moment
My brother Luke's bellylaugh when he was a toddler
The 'high' I got from Inspirational Insight, when I had an idea I knew was a great idea
Laughing after those 12 hugs!
There are others, but I start with those few ideas and build from there...
In another two weeks, who knows what will have happened! I'll let you know because I am so convinced that our thoughts and emotions are the keys to the life of our dreams that I'm determined to prove it's true in order to inspire others to make their dreams come true.
Friday, 27 November 2009
If all else fails...
And if all else fails, I suggest this...
Those full-on, massive, bear hugs that engulf you and the lucky other person.
Twelve in a row.
I heard about this on a radio show almost twenty years ago and decided to try it on my Mum. It did work! Though we didn't always have a great relationship when I was in my teens, we laughed a lot after those 12 hugs.
It's a 'technique' - that doesn't quite seem like the right word! - that I still use and, it's got to be said, few things beat a hug.
Teddybears and pillows are also good to hug when willing volunteers are unavailable!
Hanging in there
It is my deepest belief that each and every person is a star in their own right. The light we shine forth lights up the world of those around us. Even on the days that we are convinced we have no light left.
Over the past six months I have had days (as you may know!) when I felt I couldn't move from the couch. When I felt that nothing in life would change and I was flat and empty: powerless to change anything myself.
I did believe (in an abstract way) that things would get better... but it was a distant thought. Mostly my mind was numb on those days.
On such days, there's not always a lot we can do to change the situation. The only thing we may have any vague control over is how we feel. So I gave up watching the news and I started watching comedies on TV. Laughing helped!
The other thing that helped was thinking of good things when I could muster the energy. Even if only for 5 minutes.
If you’re feeling pummelled by life at the moment, two things jump out at me.
First, this is a moment in time when the energy is shifting massively on the planet. That is creating what feels like emotional whip-lash for many sensitive people. As this process softens and the energy finds its balance, there will be a realignment that will open up new opportunities and greater balance than before.
Second, to make the most of this new opportunity - where conscious creation will be much easier - we are being advised to visualise what we truly want to create in our lives.
Start with anything that resonates with you: an emotion you'd like to feel; a event you'd like to experience; a object you'd like to have... even one thought about something that you choose for yourself starts you on a positive track. It increases your energy and feel-good factor.
Next, think about Why you choose that: ‘what will it give you?’ This process is the equivalent of creating an etheric foundation for your visualisation. It gives it body and shape: it makes it Attractive...
If you can do this even once a day (68 seconds is all it takes), it will begin to change the way you feel. The more you can think of things you would like, the stronger the feel-good effect in the present moment and the stronger the Attraction point is for manifesting your wish.
This is a small example: "I want to have the dinner made for me."
Why? "Because I love the feeling of being cared for that I get when someone looks after me; because it means I can sit here for longer on the sofa watching comedies; because Dirk makes better salads than I do and I love his flavours. And if he made dinner, he may treat me and do the washing up too, and I know I’ll feel really, really cherished then!"
It need only be a small example... finding something, anything at all, that we would like and exploring why it would make us feel good creates a good feeling.
And that may lead to another feel-good thought.
And maybe even another good-feeling thought!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Breathe: the Beautiful Journey
Day in, day out, we breathe...
We give it such little attention, this magical process. Yet breathing is a mysterious process... it is where the intangible becomes tangible, where air fuels our body.
It links our ephemeral spirit and the physicality of our human bodies. With each breath in, we inhale the intangible...
We trust completely that there is an abundance of the air we need. We don't fret or worry about it: this energy is here for us all... to use freely.
With each breath out, we release... we relax... we surrender... we share from the centre of our beings with everyone else. Freely...
And in the moment between the inhalation... and the exhalation... there is a minute pause. A stillness. A moment when intangible and tangible, spirit and body, are one.
We use it passively, never doubting our ability to breathe, but we can also use it actively. It is a powerful tool that is constantly with us. Our breath can calm us… it can release our pent up fears and frustrations.
We can use it to glide us into more peaceful states, to float into balance... to use its waves as a soothing lullaby to our sometimes ragged spirits.
Breathing in peace, breathing out release
Breathing in peace, breathing out release
Breathing in peace, breathing out light
Breathing in peace, breathing out light
Breathing in peace, breathing out joy
Breathing in peace, breathing out joy
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Can I help?
I'm launching my coaching and consultancy service this month.
If you know someone who is looking for coaching or consultancy support, I'd be be very grateful if you would pass my details on to them.
It's hard to know what sort of support we need when we're going through changes - or even not enough change! - that's why I believe it's really important to have a chat first to discover if and how I could support anyone who is interested in coaching or consultancy.
But one thing is sure - it's always easier when you don't feel as though you're paddling on your own.
Mobile: 0781 5955 782
Free paddle for the first 8 callers!
With thanks and love, Jennifer
Monday, 23 November 2009
Falling in love - daily
Ahhh.... falling in love! Can there be a more wonderful feeling in the whole world? Out of no where life takes on a rainbow-tinge: people seem friendlier, the weather is better, chores become delights... Regardless of what is happening in our lives, they can be transformed overnight by simply falling in love.
We see in our beloved all that is most wonderful in life: they embody the best of all characteristics. We feel alive and whole when we are with them. It can even seem as though they bring out the best in us.
When we fall in love with another, we are actually falling in love with ourselves. They see our quirks as cute, our hobbies as interesting, our passions as inspiring ... and our jokes as funny! They give us permission to see ourselves as cute, interesting, inspiring, funny people. Falling in love allows us to reconnect with the best of who we are and it feels wonderful.
When we fall in love we are suddenly reconnected to our Source and our Higher Selves because we are seen as our very best selves in the beginning of a relationship.
As the relationship goes on, instead of looking for the best, our beloved (and we ourselves) no longer focus exclusively on the positive: we begin to see the imperfections, we even start to look for the flaws. This is a crucial turning point because when we move from seeing the best of who we are to focusing on 'flaws' we move from appreciation to criticism, from acceptance to defensiveness.
Have we changed overnight? Have our jokes got worse? Or quirks become more peculiar? No. It is that simple shift from seeing the best in another to looking for the flaws. And that very act disconnects us from our own joy which changes the dyanmic of the relationship and our own sense of well-being.
But it's possible to go beyond that cycle. It's possible to keep that falling-in-love feeling. The secret (or so I’ve read!) is to move from seeking love outside ourselves to finding it inside ourselves. By focusing on thoughts that make us feel good, we recapture that feeling of joy and magic, so we are lighter in ourselves. And we are lighter with our beloved.
I've been experimenting with this principle - focusing on the good that exists, thinking positive thoughts and seeing the best interpretation rather than the worst, for the past two weeks.
And my empirical evidence is this: it does improve relationships! That vibrant, viceral feeling of love makes us stronger yet lighter.
I've seen that when I'm feeling really happy, Dirk's mood lifts to meet me. When he's feeling great, my mood lifts to meet his. Our natural inclination is to feel good so we naturally gravitate to people who help us feel that way (babies are masters at this!). And being able to create that feeling within ourselves – that joyful, easy flow of love – means that we need never be dependent on a ‘once in a lifetime high’, we can choose to live that joyful love every day.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Inspiration is your soul's whisper
Inspiration is our soul’s whisper, reminding us of our own greatness and our – as yet - unexpressed potential. It is a gentle nudge that encourages us by showing us who we can become, the talents and skills that we can step into in order to feel that we are truly alive, soaring with exhilaration rather than simply ‘getting by’.
Its role is to reveal more of who we are to us, at moments when we are open and ready to take the next step.
It's appearance is subtle; in a quiet, delicate manner it whispers in our ear, reminding us of who we can be, if we will but step forth and explore the path it's lighting for us. It's as though a veil falls from before our eyes, offering us just a glimpse… a detail… an idea that we have not been able to discern before suddenly appears and makes complete sense.
It can seem as though Inspiration does not arrive with a manual, but that is not entirely true. Its ‘How To’ guide is as enigmatic as Inspiration itself. Once we step on its path, it gently suggests new ideas, new ways of being, new paths, new connections…
If we take up its invitation, then Inspiration walks alongside us on our journey, bringing us new insights – each one building on the last – with impeccable timing (regardless of what we think of its timing!).
Yet much like a bird in our hands, we cannot grasp too tightly for we will suffocate it, nor can we open our grasp entirely, for we will loose sight of it and it will dissolve. In keeping with its enigmatic nature, it speaks to us at moments when our minds are misted, when we are day-dreaming, meditating… moments when our minds have expanded, loose and supple…
When Inspiration visits, it offers us an invitation… a glimpse of who we can become to magnify and more fully embody who we already are. And if we choose to dance with Inspiration, it will dance with us, gently guiding our steps.
What is your Inspiration whispering to you?
Who could you become if you were to follow your soul’s hunches?
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Finding the Silver Lining
In the eternal flow of life there are inevitably moments that light us up and moments that bring us down. So the challenge is to get from 'down' to ‘up’ (never let it be said that I don’t have a talent for stating the obvious!).
One of the most useful tools I've discovered of late is the process below, again from the Abraham-Hicks stable.
Every moment that brings us down in our lives shows us what we would like, what would lift us up. By turning our thinking from what we don't want to what we do want, we take the first steps towards feeling better. So the first step is to answer these questions:
What does this show me about what I would like?
What do I now realise that I really want?
The next step is to go from the mind to the emotions: Make it real, make it visceral. Two simple questions again:
Why would this ‘better event’ make me feel better?
What would this ‘better event’ give me?
By focusing on how we'd feel in this new, improved version of reality, we begin to feel even better. We now have a real silver lining to that cloud, an experience that makes us feel better and helps us imagine an even more pleasing future moment.
I got to practice this process and saw its transformational effect in less than one week...
Someone very close to me read my blog for the first time and was less than complimentary. As I'm determined to live life with bounce, I immediately started to turn that event around...
It showed me that I'd really love those dearest to me to be enthusiastic and supportive of my writing.
What that would give me is a sense of achievement, of value - that what I write has a wider meaning and resonance than my own life - and of support from my friends and family.
Over the following days, every time I felt bad about the comment, I'd quickly shift to the reality I would like. It was a long-term aspiration as far as I was concerned, but after 4 days the comment had lost its sting, so I was pleased!
And then, to my amazement, as if to prove the process works, after 3 months with 6 followers, I got a 7th follower! And here's the best bit, it was my beloved brother Luke!
Thanks Luke - you've no idea how much you made my day!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
"Bringing the Sparkle to Daily Life " Journal
I've made a decision to keep a journal for a month. It only takes 28 days to learn a new skill, so after a month, I hope I'll be a dab-hand at shifting myself into appreciation and joy, quickly and easily. It's a lofty vision, but there's nothing quite like aiming high!
So here is the journal format I'm using. If it helps you, do let me know as I'd get a real thrill out of knowing I'd helped someone with all of my ramblings!
The journal is very simple: it has two sections.
The first section is Appreciative Noticing (I might need to think of a better term, that doesn't really trip off the lips!). In this section I write down everything that I notice that is getting better. Anything at all, no matter how large or how small; I take every good thing that happens to me as fuel for my 'feeling better'.
I also note down everything that I appreciate, that makes me glad, that brings a smile to my lips or joy to my heart. It may even be things that don't directly touch me, but if they lift my spirits, then I note them down too. I aim to write a list of 10-20 Appreciative Noticings every morning and it takes about 5 minutes.
The principle is that as I recall the good things, I charge my mind with positive thoughts and I start my day with a positive, appreciative outlook.
The outcome that I've noticed is that it has had an immediate impact on the people around me: people around me have become more helpful and cheerful recently. How great is that?!
The second section is called 8 Impossibly Wonderful Things. Here I dream up 8 wonderful events, experiences or things that currently seem 'impossible' for me to be do or have. The reason for 8 is because it's the universal number of abundance (it's an infinity loop on its side!).
The principle is that by freeing our imagination beyond what we consider to be possible, we open up a plethora of new possibilities and opportunities. We sow seeds of delightful wonders that we would like to receive.
The outcome is that I've had a lot of fun creating whacky ways of experiencing wonderful things. I'll let you know when I have concrete proof that this works - because I'm convinced that it will!
Creating Heaven on Earth
Does that sound far-fetched?! Excellent!
As I've been saying for some time now, we have the power to transform our lives by altering how we perceive our day-to-day events. We have good experiences, we feel good. We have bad experiences, we feel bad. This leaves us hostage to our experiences and robs us of control of our own experiences.
The purpose of From Mud To Miracles is to shift the way we perceive the bad experiences, so that we don't feel bad about them but use them as fuel to discover how we can feel even better about our lives. We can find the pearl within the seemingly negative experiences, the seam of gold that runs through their rock-hard exterior.
According to Abraham-Hicks (my current reading 'must have'!), when we feel good we bring ourselves into alignment with a Vortex filled with every joyful desire for improvement that we have ever had.
Feeling 'bad' holds these joyful delights at a distance from us. Because they spring from a part of us that says 'Better please', they vibrate at a rate that is 'better' or higher than the vibration rate of the event/thing that caused us to desire something 'better'. Please!
Our challenge is to increase our vibration rate until we resonate at that ‘higher’ vibration rate. It’s back to the radio wavelength analogy used in the previous posting.
By becoming aware of when we are feeling down, in whatever way, we open the door to feeling better. We can then reach for any thought that makes us feel better. And better isn't necessarily about going from apathy to joy in one jump. That’s too big a stretch. Apathy to anger is already an improvement; anger to revenge is an improvement; revenge to pettiness is an improvement; pettiness to hope and so on...
Once we feel better, we open ourselves up to having better experiences, to having more fun. Believe it or not, someone actually got up and offered me their seat on the Tube the other day! How amazing is that?!
As I'm learning to shift my energy consciously so that I feel better more of the time, I'm noticing how little things are getting better in my life. I’ve also remembered that I’ve created better outcomes for myself by doing this in the past. The key is being able to sustain a more positive outlook.
In order to keep my momentum going, I've developed a journal for myself. If you're interested in playing with that format and using it for yourself, check out my next posting.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Consciously being, consciously creating
As I sat on the Tube yesterday I overheard a teenager complaining to her friend. She didn't like her Blackberry.
"If they'd given me a choice, I would have chosen the black one. I would never have gone for the silver one. But you get what you're given."
The words leapt out at me: You get what you're given.
"No!" I wanted to cry. That's not true at all.
As society has progressed over the millennia, our understanding of the world around us has increased. That is also due to our increased ability to understand more complex and subtle ideas. This is achieved, in part, through the bit-by-bit incremental growth in our understanding and, in part, through our increased consciousness.
As we have progressed, so to has our understanding of physics, of psychology, of consciousness and of Theology, and our understanding of our place and role within the universe has also evolved.
I grew up believing that I was imperfect and highly flawed. My success was hit or miss. It wasn't even dependent on how hard I worked or how smart I was. It was based on the whim of an apparently random God. If I pleased Him, I succeeded. If I didn't, I failed. Over the years, it appeared - judging by my success rate - that I wasn't pleasing Him so much. I felt like a solitary rowing boat being thrown about by a ocean storm.
That is not what I will teach my children. Humanity's understanding of our relationship with God has taken a radical leap over the past 20 years. In Ireland this means that we no longer go to Mass and ask someone else, namely the priest, to talk to God on our behalf. We have a one-to-one relationship with God.
Our relationship with the Divine is evolving from the status of powerless children to co-creative young people. We no longer see ourselves as separate from the Divine, we are part of the Divine, the field of universal consciousness, the Zero-point Field.
We are at the forefront of creation. We stand at the point where thought can become matter: where our observations create our reality. We have always been creating our reality, but we have not had the luxury of consciously creating that reality. Of understanding that what we think creates what we get and being able to channel that into creating lives that are rich and meaningful, societies that are rich and meaningful, even nations that are rich and meaningful.
Understanding that our thoughts are creating our daily lives and loves is a quantum step forward in humanities understanding of All That Is. It is the evolutionary step that brought mammals from the sea to the land; it is the evolutionary step that encourages us to actively choose what we wish to create in our lives by thinking about that and feeling the joy of that creation, even before it is manifest.
For some this feels too big a step, and they may prefer to wait a little longer in the water to see if such an evolutionary step is truly possible. For others, like me, this proposition - that I am an off-shoot of the Divine and, as such, I consciously or unconsciously create my reality - answers the unasked questions that gnawed at the back of my mind. I can never go back. I choose to embrace a vision of a world where I get to live up the challenge of being a spark of the Divine, learn about my ability to consciously create, and go on all the adventures that I attract to myself on this journey.
This is not an abandonment of God. This is an expansion of the concept of Divinity - one that embraces us as a part of the ineffable Divine. The potency and love of this understanding is so vast that our human hearts are not big enough to contain it, human minds fumble to understand it, but the humans' spirit soar to meet it, to embrace it, to live it.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Learning to think
It's getting very exciting now... I realised talking to a friend last night that I am leaving the 'old me' behind. I'm moving into a space where I choose to consciously create my life and I finally have the tools to do it.
I believe that we are all little sparks of the divine; that we are an intrinsic part of the divine and therefore we hold within us the power and the essence of the divine. For me, this means that our birthright, our natural flow, is one of abundance, grace, love and joy. We can constantly use this divine spark to create our lives. Too frequently we end up creating what we don’t want to experience rather than what we do want to experience.
Life and the many 'lessons' we has moulded us into damp versions of who we truly are. We have learnt to think in a way that focuses on problems not solutions; on pain not joy; on effort not serendipity.
We are taught to constrict our natural creative flow rather than to expand our ability to co-create. Consequently, if we focus on problems, we get more problems; if we focus on solutions, we get more solutions. Like attracts like: the Law of Attraction.
So my first challenge is to learn to focus on the positive, on the solutions. I may not know all the solutions, but I do know how I feel when things work out for me.
As I mentioned yesterday, the key is to become aware each time I'm feeling bad that I'm focusing on a problem and closing myself down. Our feelings have been likened to a GPS system – they point out to us when we’re travelling towards our true selves (when we’re vibrant, joyful, happy and loving) and when we’re heading towards our ‘damp’ selves (when we’re feeling fearful and anxious). Our emotions are our internal guidance system that can lead us to the very best of who we are, that expression of ourselves where we feel most alive, most luminous.
The way to turn negative feelings around is to remember that each negative thought is a thought of absence and in a world of opposites, underneath that negative thought is a positive thought: something I would like to have/be/do.
Step 1 Notice that I'm feeling bad
Step 2 Notice the thought of lack that's fuelling that
Step 3 What does this thought tell me about what I do want?
Step 4 Why do I want that? What will it give me?
According to Abraham-Hicks, when we focus on what we want we tap into our positive, creative energy. We begin to engage the Law of Attraction.
When we focus on why we want it, we turbo-charge the Law of Attraction. Be begin attracting it towards us. Everything (that I would like) already exists, so it is simply a question of raising my vibration to the point where I vibrate at the same rate as my desires, then it has to come to me.
The idea itself is elegant and simple. The implementation of it at this stage is like learning to walk - a lot of conscious effort combined with the exhilarating thought of freedom!
Monday, 9 November 2009
One thought at a time
I’m running another little experiment, and you’re welcome to join me if you're interested…
How are you feeling today?
Are your thoughts bringing you up or bringing you down?
Our thoughts create our emotions. Our emotions create our lives: their vibration attracts other people, things and events with a similar vibration.
So if we want better lives, we need better emotions; if we want better emotions, we need better thoughts.
If you're anything like me, the negative thoughts outweigh the positive thoughts, which is why I’m so obsessed with learning how to improve my thinking process! I learnt a simple technique today that helps redress the imbalance... it's called the Pivot Process.
So, if I think about not earning enough, I feel bad. As soon as I catch that thought, I can notice that this thought has a flip side: I would love to earn lots of money. So, each time I think a thought that brings me down, I use it to direct me to a positive thought that inspires me.
This is a thought-by-thought process... It requires me to go slower, not faster in life, if I want to notice my thoughts. It requires me to live in the present, not in my future dreams and past memories.
This could seem like a Herculean task, but if they managed to build the Great Wall of China, then I guess I can become aware of my thoughts, one by one! And then turn them around...
My aim is to saturate my negative thoughts with positive thoughts and positive feelings, so that I become an even more positive person. I have a selfish agenda for this: I really, really do want to master the art of conscious creation. I want to be able to choose amazing experiences and know that I can create them quickly and easily. A grand vision indeed...
And it's achieved only by living in the present moment and using each negative thought to lead me to a positive thought... One brick at a time!
Let’s see how far we’ve got by December 9th…
Thursday, 5 November 2009
The elephant on the unicycle
Have you ever seen an elephant on a unicycle? I don't imagine there are many out there! The elephant is too big and the unicycle is too delicate - it's not really a marriage made in heaven.
So where am I going with this? Excellent question! Glad I asked it!!
The real point of this blog is our emotions... We live life as if we were the unicycle and the elephant is our emotions. Our emotions are huge, powerful creatures, but they squash us simply because we don't know how to work with them. We allow them to drive us, rather than choosing to create with them.
Our emotions are our inner guidance systems. They can lead us to the fullest, most magnificent version of ourselves. When we experience joy, love, appreciation, delight and a host of other positive emotions it is because we are in harmony with our core selves, the deepest expression of who we are. Those are the moments we experience the life we are meant to live.
This in-built SATNAV is constantly pointing us in the direction of our best lives, our deepest dreams… our greatest selves. But we don’t listen to it. Instead, we spend most of our lives living as a unicycle under the weight of disheartening emotions that crush us.
When we feel pain, rejection, apathy, anger, frustration and other negative emotions, it's a sure sign that we are on the wrong track. We are not living from our magnificence but from the mundane. And the mundane is often the projections and desires of others; their needs, their wants, their desire to control and feel safe.
The massive power of the elephant is at our disposal, willing us to charge to the most fun waterholes, the greenest tress and the coolest mud baths, if only we are willing to follow that inner signal.
Every single time we can remember to follow the fun, laughter or happiness, we are running with the elephants, side by side. Every time we forget and we follow our negative emotions (most frequently our responses to others' needs, wants and fears) we become the crushed unicycle, overwhelmed and under-performing.
So, I invite us to seize the little pleasures and joys in life. Consider running with the elephants, not under them! We were never born to be unicycles, to live in pain and suffering. That's an outmoded, out-dated vision of life.
Our challenge is to become pioneers, to create new ways of living that are based on our joys, our strengths and our passions, and to release the old path that no longer serves.
Worry is simply negative imagination - why waste the immense sparkle of imagination on that?! Why not build a store of memories, jokes and inspirations to lift us up when we slip into unicycle mode? Why not challenge ourselves to notice the moments of joy, the laughter, the sense of connection with others, the feelings of satisfaction? Why not imagine living life on immense, spectacular terms?
Now, I’m off to find the muddiest water hole for a fabulous tumble!
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
The Zahir extract
Have you ever come away from someone feeling somehow dirty, 'less than', exhausted and empty? Have you noticed coming away from someone and feeling fully alive, vibrant and joyous? Here's an extract from a book I read on holidays that does give some food for thought...
"'Marie, let's suppose that two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire. Afterwards, when they emerge and go over to a stream, the face of one is all smeared with black, while the other man's face is completely clean. My quetion is this: which of the two will wash his face?'
'That's a silly question. The one with the dirty face of course.'
'No, the one with the dirty face will look at the other man and assume that he looks like him. And, vice versa, the man with the clean face will see his colleague covered in grime and say to himself: I must be dirty too. I'd better have a wash.'
'What are you trying to say?'
'I'm saying that, during the time I spent in hosptial, I came to realise that I was always looking for myself in the women I loved. I looked at their lovely, clean faces and saw myself reflected in them. They, on the other hand, looked at me and saw the dirt on my face and, however intelligent or self-confident they were, they ended up seeing themselves refelcted in me and thinking that they were worse than they were. Please, don't let this happen to you.'"
From The Zahir by Paolo Cohelo
Note Now have a second look at the tee-shirt in the mirror.
The A-Ha is A-Here
Alright, so that's a pretty bad title, I'll grant you that! But what it signifies is tremendous: it wasn't a lightbulb that went on so much as a bolt of lightening that struck me. I think I can now officially hang up my blogging hat as I have found my Nirvana.
As I've said many times, I've been searching for understanding about how we realign with who we really, truly are; how we can manifest the lives we dream of; and why, of why, is it that those dreams always seem so elusive and so unattainable.
Well, clearly all that thinking did attract the answer. I spent yesterday reading the clearest, most succinct description of how to realign with our the greatest version of ourselves, how to manifest everything we would like and then some, and why it hasn't worked up to now.
The book is called Ask and it is Given by Abraham-Hicks.
I cannot recommend it enough: I've read a lot of books on this subject but this is truly the clearest of all the books I have read. It was one lightbulb moment after another for me.
Some of the things I learnt include:
When visioning what I'd like to have in my life, it's important to start with the next step up, not a vision of something that is very far removed from my current reality and hard to attain, and build up from the present reality.
As I suspected, life is about joy. The more joy the better. Follow your bliss is key to having a great life. And manifesting!
17 seconds is all it takes to begin magnetising yourself with the object, experience or feeling you wish to create
Holding that thought for 68 seconds slots begins to transform any thought into your dominant thought pattern... anyone else out there have some dominant thought patterns they could do with changing!?
So, now I just need to do go do it! I'm starting small, having identified what I love in my current life; the freedom to work/rest/play when I want to; the sunlight in our flat; the garden; and the amount of fun we have together... I know there are some experiences that would make our lives even more fun and would help our lives flow even more gracefully: a home of our own, a baby, more work that I love doing...
The trick appears to be hold our emotions with as much joy and appreciation as we can. If I'm feeling down, I'm closing down the channels of attraction (like attracts like). So I know I'm on course if I feel good and I know I need to readjust if I feel less good. That’s a simplified version of what to do… more details to follow!
And… if it tickles you, I invite you to try it for yourself.
Monday, 2 November 2009
We're just back from a weekend away where we did a lot of walking in the forests. As a city dweller, I forget how powerful it is to be out in nature.
As we walked, I could feel my body become lighter... The accumulated stresses and frustrations of city living seemed to melt among the trees and leaves.
There is no doubt that city living is a particular art form. It does require us to dig deeper, to consciously find the best of who we are, otherwise we become numb. We can lose our humanity in the speed, ignorance and anonymity of city life. It can be soul destroying.
I think we take city living for granted and often forget to rebalance ourselves.
Whether it's flowers or a plant, leaves from the ground or acorns… Simple connections to powerful life essences can help us reconnect with our innate sense of light, space and balance…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Delight creates light
Today I decided to change the tempo. The reason is simple: I have a very privilaged life and, just like everyone else, there are areas that I would like to improve. By focusing on just those areas, I lose sight of what adds zing to life - the small things that make us laugh, the things that used to thrill us when we were children.
So I have a challenge - do something that delights you today. It can be anything, it just needs to be simple and free.
So here's what I did - it's gloriously unremarkable but I couldn't stop laughing... I danced to Christmas songs whilst wearing my pink washing up gloves and cleaning the kitchen! And, to share the delight I'm going to post 'I love you' post-its across the front door for Dirk!
We are programmed by society to focus on life's problems and challenges. Stepping outside our normal thinking refreshes and renews us. And the after-glow lasts longer than you think; I'll never look at those gloves in the same way again!
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Waiting for dawn...
I feel as though I’m lost at sea… at night… in a rowing boat. I have no idea where the sun will rise or when. So, in the meantime, I just have to be patient and believe that any moment now, dawn will break…
It's an odd experience, keeping hope alive but having nothing on which to 'hang’ it. It is, quite simply, hope for its own sake.
It's a test of my strength of character: and I'm not sure that I'm passing with flying colours but I'm scrapping my way through. Or at least I hope I am!
There are days and periods that test my ability to persevere and find a silver lining, much less the light of dawn! This is one such moment: work is going through a slump, finding a job seems impossible and, yet another month shows that babies and a home still elude us. And while I may talk about these events (or non-events!) with some degree of humour, the truth is that they do cut deep, not least of all the desire to have a child.
So I have to walk my talk: if I say that I believe that every event is an opportunity if we choose to think of it in that way, I need to find that in myself when my back is against the wall. I believe that my life is created by the stories I tell about my experiences: I can either be the hero or the victim, the villain or the knight. The knack is to find a positive perspective, a deeper wisdom in the seemingly random events of life.
And so I am the knight…! I imagine that this is an opportunity to prove to myself that I believe in the best, even when all the props and crutches are taken away. For me, that builds some degree of authenticity and integrity.
So, every time I feel confused and deflated - about 2-4 times an hour at last count! - I remind myself that, ultimately, this too will change. The dawn is coming... I wonder what new horizons it will bring with it!
Friday, 23 October 2009
Take what nourishes, leave what doesn't
Every moment, every happening, every event carries a richness within it, but we don’t always know what that will be.
Sometimes what we thought was a curse becomes a blessing. And the blessing we thought we had received becomes a curse.
In the infinite mystery of life, it can be hard to discern what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. What is 'true' and what is 'illusion'.
I wonder if it would make life a little easier if we allowed ourselves to gently leave the ‘bad’ behind, as much as is possible, and focus on what nourishes us, what makes us come alive, what brings out the deeper magnificence of who we really are.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
The Wealth Within
I have recently realised part of my purpose - in so far as I can recognise it! Drum roll please, the lady has woken up....!
Like so many others, I have read a lot of spiritual/self help books over the years, but somehow they always left me feeling a little hungry. It's a bit like (I imagine) using drugs to create a high, but being unable to repeat the experience without external stimulants. The books would help me connect to something richer and deeper within, but that feeling was temporary.
Unconsciously, I got fed up of looking outside myself to feel connected to something deeper, something more transcendent... I wanted to create that feeling within myself. I wanted to discover the hidden wealth of my own life: the joys; the insights; the connections; the beauty, harmony and synchronicity that runs through my own life.
That hunger sent me on a search: a search for myself I suppose, but a deeper experience of myself. We're so programmed to hurry, to create stress in our lives, to focus on what isn't working and to value external achievements over internal peace, that we miss the magic in the mundane moments, those transformational moments...
The point of this blog is, in essence, a search for my inner wealth, my inner connection; for my intimate connection to the magic in my own life. The reason it's a blog and not a diary is because I hope that when you touch on this blog, you touch into your wealth within...
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The architect's design
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a man who decided to build a house. He went out and collected wheelbarrows full of stones to make his house. When he had collected all the stone he needed, he started building the house.
This man laboured day and night, but the house was never finished… he changed his plans frequently, walls fell down as soon as they were built, the windows wouldn’t fit, he even forgot to leave enough space for the front door…
The problem was, he had never stopped to imagine what kind of house he would like to create. He had no vision, no design to guide his actions...
I have a tendency to go through life like this builder. I have an impulse and I go with it. I don’t take the time to really create a vision of the metaphorical home I choose to build, of where the windows and doors will go, of where the sunlight can enter most brightly…
I just do. I forget the importance of thinking, or more accurately, of visioning what I would like to create.
How will I ever know I’ve created something if I don’t have any idea what I’m working towards?
How will I ever know what works and what doesn’t work?
Starting with a vision is such a fundamental, self-evident foundation stone that I overlook it frequently. Simple isn’t easy! I’m not talking about a step by step plan, but taking the time to clarify what I choose to create in my life, the experiences I wish to have, the connections I wish to make with others, the depths I wish to reach in my relationship with Dirk.
Plans can be inflexible. But visions, they can adapt and change while still proving a guiding light, drawing us to what we choose to create.
Visions are our thought-anchors: they give us a centre, a focus. They help us make decisions and move towards living the life of our dreams. They inspire us, they raise our thoughts out of murky waters of fear and self-doubt, they guide us towards our dreams. They even provide us food for thought, because we start to daydream about our visions, our life designs… and then, lo and behold, we suddenly get insights into how to create these visions, how to move them on to the next phase.
Without a vision, I simply react to life as it bumps into me. I have no centre, no anchor. With a vision, I find a focus for my thoughts, my decisions, my actions and reactions. I can respond with a sense of knowing, with a deep, vibrant sense of creation and possibility.
Monday, 19 October 2009
Thoughts are our anchors
Alan is a really competent young man; he’s bright, capable, has a lovely personality and huge potential. I’m always impressed when I see him work because he genuinely cares about the work he does.
Recently I happened to hear two more senior colleagues urging him to own his authority, to help his colleagues raise their game to a new level, a level he is already operating at. They wanted him to do it, they believed in him, but… and it’s a big but… he didn’t believe in himself.
The opportunity he was given on a silver tray was rejected because he couldn’t see what they saw.
His thoughts had literally put a cage around him. They had limited what he would do and who he could be. Even though someone else was holding the door open, he was insisting on staying inside in his cage.
How often do we do that? How often do I do it? Answer: toooooo often.
Our thoughts create anchors, for better or for worse. They can liberate us or they can bind us. Alan’s thoughts bound him. They weren’t based one perception of reality; they were based on his past experiences, his accumulated fears. They were not based on the reality of his colleagues. A perception that tired to give him the courage to believe the future can be different from the past, or the faith that others demonstrated they had in him.
While I understand that we are conditioned by our past experience, we focus far too often on the failures, pains and lessons. So we create more failures, pains and lessons, because that’s our unconscious anchor. Well, I say ‘we’ but let me say ME. I know I have those very same limiting beliefs.
I also know there are others who don’t have those limiting beliefs. Their thoughts are not cages. Their thoughts are the scaffolding they use to create amazing experiences in life.
I am blessed: I have huge potential to improve the quality of my thoughts! (Hee hee, that could have been a negative, but there’s a silver lining to everything!) I am lazy in my thinking: there is a lot of opportunity to think more creatively, positively and proactively in my life. There are also hundreds of books out there, many of which I’ve read! and practiced for 5 days, only to fall back into my old patterns.
I think it’s time for me to be more proactive, to retrain my thinking, after all I go to the gym to train my muscles, training my mind would even more powerful.
Friday, 16 October 2009
The limits of fear
I was in the gym this morning when I was literally blind-sided with fear. I suddenly ‘got’ how different my life would be if we were lucky enough to have a child.
It’s so easy to become comfortable and settled in my life; my daily rituals, my preferences, my time… heck, even my sleep! The realisation of what it would be like to lose my grove, to lose everything that is familiar and reassuring, hit me full on: I felt myself panic, as though I were being choked by a black cloud.
Now this is an irony – how can I fear something that I would consider such an honour, that I pray for with such earnestness? It got me thinking about fear.
We assume fear is evoked because we are afraid losing something we value, but we can as easily be afraid of gaining something that we value. The underlying issue is not loss or gain, it is change. As human beings, we appear to be hard-wired to resist change at all costs. Yet this makes very little sense to me rationally because our own experience shows us that change is the only constant factor in our lives. Nothing stays the same; not our waistlines, not our careers, not our families, not our homes, not even our finances. We age, we develop, we make mistakes, we learn, we travel, we dare… our lives are jam-packed with changes. Whether a change is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we never know with any degree of certainty in advance. Change is not aberrational, change is the norm.
Control is another critical factor intimately linked with change and fear. We like to feel a sense of progression in our changes, that we are giving up something we value less for something we value more. But the simple fact remains that if we value something (even if it’s not something that really serves us) we can experience some anxiety at the thought of losing it because the loss will leave a space, a fuzzy area outside of our control. And our ability to deal with loss of control may be even worse than our ability to deal with change!
So how do we deal with this? I’m over this morning’s panic attack – thank goodness! – but here is a basic outline of my thought process.
Step 1 – Freak out
Step 2 – realise I’m freaking out
Step 3 – start prodding the fear with a very long stick to see what’s beneath it
Step 4 – ah ha: “I’m afraid I’ll lose my free time, that I won’t know how to cope with a small being and that I’ll lose my life as I know it”
Step 5 – “Yes, that is scary. And others do this, so it’s doable. I’ve faced challenges before, I’ve come through them and getting through my fear gave me an enormous sense of achievement, made me somehow more myself…. Hmmm….”
I think Step 5 is really about owning that fear and acknowledging it. Some may say that I’m rationalising it, but I think it’s more about building my confidence that I can cope with my own fears.
All the fears I’ve known so far have been markers, defining the edges of my comfort zone. My ego is very happy inside that zone, but my soul likes to push me further, to stretch me; and when I succeed in passing the edge of that zone, whether I succeed or fail (see the Water-skiing blog!) I always have an enormous sense of mySelf, of my ability to create my own world beyond the narrow confines of my comfort zone.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Learning to flow
Perhaps I have mentioned this before, but this has been a particularly hard time for me. I don't want to sound grandiose, just simply to acknowledge an inner struggle that I have been facing, and I'm sure I'm not alone for we all struggle with different areas of our lives.
I returned from honeymoon convinced that life was about to change enormously, it felt as if something was growing, building… Perhaps it's my impatience, but it didn't! In fact, all the things we are trying to achieve appear to be completely blocked, from finding a home to getting pregnant or writing a book... Nothing seems to be working. Given my vast age (hey, 39 is old for making babies!) I have been left with a real sense of failure, of being off in some backwater of life and utterly unable to find the tributary that will bring us back into the flow of life.
I've read that this is a period of rest and dramatic change; so life is, as ever, full of paradoxes! So I went on strike yesterday! I had an insight that I was trying too hard to grasp at what I wanted and this desire was actually closing down opportunities.
I was forcing, not flowing.
So I refused to do anything - I watched romcoms and ate chocolate! But the interesting thing that happened is that as I fell asleep, I had some book ideas and they clarified this morning. I have a sense of purpose. I don't know how long that will last, but if this is a period of dramatic change, then I'm up for it! Perhaps this is a moment when life will grow bigger; I've seen it happen for some of my friends, so why not me?
But the experience does highlight a deeper insight: there is a difference between forcing and flowing (part of yesterday's blog, ironically enough). This is not an overnight process…
I've battled with this for years. I've wanted to write a book for years, not since yesterday. It has taken 100s of pages of writing, sometimes forced, sometimes flowing, but always in the hope that I’m at least taking steps towards my goal, even if I have to ditch all those pages.
I've been down this road before – an idea that burns up in the light of day – but I know that one day it will happen, because I really do feel it in my bones. When we feel something in our bones with such conviction, it really is just a question of time, I believe. They say there are no unreasonable dreams, just unreasonable timeframes!
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
The search to create meaning in life is almost universal. It's why we have philosophers and poets, popstars and fairytales. It is an innate desire to understand what we are experiencing and why we are having that experience.
In my own life, I search for meaning constantly. Like a frustrated gold digger who's just missed the latest gold rush, I pan through my thoughts obsessively in an endless search for understanding, for clarity, for direction. And I'm willing to admit that this compulsion is, quite possibly, not the most productive use of mental energy.
So what exactly am I searching for? I want to understand if we are victims of fate or agents of free will; if life is pre-scripted or we have choice…
To be honest, my question is this: must I push myself relentlessly, day in day out, in order to live the life of my dreams, or if I follow the flow of my intuition (even on the days that intuition says 'Sit down and watch a comedy') I will achieve the same outcome...
Exactly how much are we supposed to struggle? And how much are we supposed to be in the 'flow'?
I simply have no idea - hence the frantic pan-handling! For some, not knowing is ok. For me, not knowing is ok, but not having a philosophy – a story, if you will – that I believe in, is intolerable.
I suspect that the search for knowledge and understanding is really a search for control, for security.
True masters can live surrendering to the present moment, releasing control and trusting that they are safe. I just have the odd moment when I come into the present moment.
Will the achievements I wish to experience by-pass me because, although I have the ideas, I lack the will to act on them in the present moment… Then again, that is just this present moment in which I lack the will to act, to do... In another present moment, I may choose to go all out to create those experiences.
I've rambled on, but that meander through my inner cast of characters, the 'Do-don't-Be OverPerformer' and the 'In-the-now Zen Monk', I feel as though I'm gaining some clarity...
Right now (!) the Zen perspective resonates more deeply. It is about a deeper ability to feel into the rhythm and flow of my own life, to sense which dreams and ideas are creating the pulse that inspires me. And then it is also about action, both doing and being. And these follow a cycle, like the seasons; at some points there is more action, in other moments there is more being. Different dreams will move from the ‘being’ into the doing - into different project – at their own time; they will move through those cycles at their own pace.
Perhaps the story that I draw from this is that life is not about being or doing; it is about sensing the deeper whisper of wisdom that guides us towards the appropriate amount of being and doing at any given moment.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Ugly ducklings just need bigger ponds
It is my belief, and I may be mistaken, that every one of us an inner ugly duckling! A little part of ourselves that doesn't feel as good as everyone else, as capable or as competent as those around us.
I grew up with four brothers. It was a very male house - not that I was aware of that when I was growing up. I just never felt really at ease. It may be a stereotype, but my brothers were much more into fighting each other, cars, soccer, football, rugby, and just about any other sport you care to mention.
The way they spoke was different as well: they were very sharp and often very witty, but the comments sometimes felt like barbed wire. Mistakes were treated with mockery and derision. And they were critical thinkers - I was in my mid-twenties before I felt capable of thinking sharply enough to have an argument with them.
None of this was malicious, it was just a different vibe, more cut and thrust than soft and nurturing.
Indeed, I only recognised what it meant to be a female when I was eighteen and arrived in Italy on an exchange, Lisa. Her house was dominated by women. I remember the first night the extended family had dinner together; I suddenly felt a completely different way of being and understood why I felt I didn't fit in at home!
I finally saw that the reason I felt different, ugly, incapable and out of sync was because I wasn't in my natural environment. My lake wasn't big enough! There was nothing wrong with me, I just had too small a frame of reference!
As my dear friend Roger pointed out, that experience is probably true for us all: the parts of ourselves that seem odd and out of sync may not be character flaws, they are probably parts that thrive beyond the environment we currently inhabit. There are others who will really get our 'Ugly Duck parts' and see how swan-like we really are! So don't give up, it's just a question of finding the right lake where that part of us can thrive.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Swimming with wild dolphins
Now that I've found a photo, I can tell the story!
One of the highlights on our honeymoon was swimming with wild dolphins. We were up at 5am for the 1 hour, 35 minute bus and boat ride to their sleeping grounds. While there were a lot of very subdued people on the bus at that hour, I have greater respect for the dolphins who continue to try to sleep in the same location knowing that boatloads of humans come to play with them early every morning!
We had read before we went on this excursion that we would probably spend an hour in boat chasing 4 or 5 dolphins. That could not have been further from the truth: we found a pod of 40-50 dolphins!
The first time we dived in we didn’t' have much luck. They all swam off in a different direction. We (along with 5 or 6 other boats) duly followed! Although it was 6.30am the water was very warm, so diving in again was a pleasure, even for a cold-blooded Irish woman!
It was then that the most amazing thing happened; the pod changed direction and swam directly towards us. Suddenly the sea was alive with the sound of their clicks. I put my face under the water and, as the sunlight streamed through, I saw four dolphins just in front of us. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realised that there were dolphins all around us. If there is a legal high, that is it…
I can't quite describe how it felt, but I now understand why many people report cures and healings after swimming with dolphins. I experienced a deep feeling of being honoured to be in their presence, as well as a profound sense of joy and humility, combined with awe at simply being alive.
I can only smile when I remember that moment as the joy of the moment floods through me again. Someone once suggested that we create mental scrap books of moments that bring us joy, to lift us up when we are feeling low. This moment goes in my Premium Edition!
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