I am not my thoughts

I’ve been in a funny space – functional but fuzzy around the edges. (Hey alliteration! It makes me smile to own these words that have just spilled from my fingers: Funny. Functional. Fuzzy).

I know where this state has come from – I’m sitting in a space of unknowing – feeling that I need to just let go of all assumptions right now and just let things unfold. But I’m coming through that now – realising, of course, that I want to be more than just ‘functional’ and floating.


Another ‘f’ word. What’s going on?!

Funny, Functional. Fuzzy and Floating.

Words are interesting things aren’t they? They have the power to liberate, but also to bind us. I’m naming things and calling them my truth but when I see them written out like this, they just look like words with no real meaning.

Last night on my Happiness course a participant said that she was taking care not to use “I am” statements so much. She explained: “I relate to my world like ‘I am lazy’, ‘I am unfit’, ‘I am a terrible cook’ and drag myself down. When I turn that around and say ‘I have moments of laziness’ etc. – it gives me a lot more freedom to move and shift away from my old patterns.”

It’s about separating ourselves away from our thoughts, feelings and body sensations. We are not these things – we are witnesses of these things.

So I see ‘Funny, Functinal, Fuzzy and Floating’ but I am not these things. They do not define me – they are temporary visitors. The trick is not to merge with it all. One way of doing this is to acknowledge that we have many parts – including the witness conciousness. So if I said, “A part of me is feeling Funny/Functional etc.” that would be much closer to my truth.

Take a moment right now and ask yourself,

  • “What are my ‘I am’ statements?”
  • Turn it around: “I have moments of….” or “A part of me feels….”  Feel the space this gives you to move and shift.

Ahhhh. That’s better!



Our utterly unique expression

This quote utterly speaks to me at the moment as, more and more, I find myself exploring this idea of being a channel and getting out of my own way.

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”

– Martha Graham –


Life as a mountain river

I love the analogy of a mountain river for our lives. We talk about the importance of  ‘going with the flow’ but of course life will bring up blockages. It’s the nature of things and part of the fun of living. None of us want our rivers to be straight and featureless and we certainly don’t want them to stagnate. We didn’t come here to get things done, we came for the thrill of the journey.

Where there are rocks and eddies in our rivers the energy of the river picks up and becomes more powerful. The same is true in our lives. There’s that old saying, “what doesn’t kill me will make me strong”. It’s a dramatic way of putting it but true nonetheless.  If we can still fog a mirror then we will have rocks in our river. Some of these will feel jaggedy and huge, some will have become smoothed and rounded over time. If we keep our rivers full of water, (i.e. we attend to ourselves and attempt to live as close to our truth as possible), then a lot of these rocks will simply be submerged and become harmless. If our water levels are down, (because we are overwhelmed by circumstances and negative emotions), then all these rocks will stick up and get in the way of the flow.

It is normal and healthy for us to have rocks in our river – without these our flow would not have an opportunity to pick up energy – just don’t let your water levels go down so far that these rocks hinder the flow to the point that life feels like a trickle!

The #1 Happiness Secret

Yesterday I woke up and gradually watched a cloud lift from above my head. It floated off into the sky leaving me feeling lighter and yes, happier.

Mind you, the cloud didn’t lift until I had given myself a good mental beating-up. How could I have forgotten this most vital of happiness attributes? How could I have forgotten my own bleedin’ advice?!

Crazy isn’t it? We can know something, but go too far down a false trail and all that knowledge just disappears. My false trail was the pursuit of ‘figuring out’ how to have my Future Self Now program reach a much wider audience. The pursuit of this in the last few weeks has led me deeper and deeper down a dark labyrinthe littered with marketing and business development frustration and of course all those expert opinions that more recently did my head in. The further I went into this tunnel, the more I lost sight of what’s really needed here:


I know this and I lost it! In the Future Self Now work I talk about ‘Knowing and Flowing’ – the idea that once we know Who We Really Are, all there is to do is to get out of our own way and let what so naturally wants to come to us, come. As soon as I woke up yesterday and realised that I had simply to approach each day with an intention of being as present as possible to each moment, everything lifted. The relief.

Suddenly I could be with my children – properly, rather than seeing them as kind of to-do lists on legs. Homework? Tick. Fed and watered? Tick. Prepared for the school day? Tick. ‘Now off you go so I can get down to the weighty issues crowding my mind’. Yuck!

I know I’ve mentioned this before but there’s a wonderful mantra that I need to keep uppermost in my mind:


It works wonders. When we sit back, (not inactive but mentally and emotionally spacious), then the Universe is just waiting to help us have our days pan out perfectly for us. This always works for me, its just, as I say, I sometimes forget! Appointments that I really need shifting, get shifted after a call from the other party asking to rebook. A need for a knotty logistical issue to get sorted becomes untangled after an unexpected offer of help, and so on.

NOW. Now. NOW. Now.NOW…….. alll there is is now. Are you experiencing your experience of the NOW or looking so far ahead you don’t see it pass you by?

Could this be the #1 Happiness ‘secret’? I think its a very strong contender. I really hope I don’t forget this again. I may well, of course but I hope I can start to develop a muscle around returning to presence more speedily each time.

Creating new rules for your happiness

I stumbled across this article today (see below) and I think it’s excellent. I urge you to try the suggested exercise – I tried it and realised I had these weird rules for my happiness which included – ‘Guy must be in charge of all the finances’ and ‘the children must fit in with my program’. Yikes! Velly inter-est-ing.

So here are some of my new rules for happiness:

  1. I feel a sense of adventure
  2. My curiosity is piqued
  3. Weird juxtapositions
  4. Smiles and laughter from the children and Guy
  5. I am open to serendipity
  6. I  embrace the magic of the unexpected
  7. I celebrate the success and abundance of others as evidence of the possibility of my own abundance
  8. Gaining by losing
  9. Moving my body
  10. Being punk-girl


Here’s the article:

How to Be Happy at Work

If you’re unhappy at work–or anywhere else, for that matter–it’s because you’ve made yourself unhappy. There’s an easy way to change that.

By Geoffrey James |  @Sales_Source   | Jan 30, 2012


 Let me start off with a little story.

I once knew a saleswoman–young, divorced–who got a diagnosis of breast cancer.  She had to work and raise two kids while fighting the cancer. Even so, she managed to be happy at work, noticeably happier than her co-workers.  In fact, she not only won her battle with cancer but subsequently became one of the top salespeople at Bristol Myers.

She was not, as it happens, naturally cheerful.  Quite the contrary.  When she started full-time work, she was frequently depressed.  But she turned it around, using the techniques I’m going to provide you in this column.

That saleswoman once told me: When you’re unhappy, it’s because you’ve decided to be unhappy.

Maybe it wasn’t a conscious decision; maybe it crept up on you while you weren’t looking–but it was a decision nonetheless.  And that’s good news, because you can decide instead to be happy. You just need to understand how and why you make the decisions.

What Are Your Rules?

Happiness and unhappiness (in work and in life) result entirely from the rules in your head that you use to evaluate events.  Those rules determine what’s worth focusing on, and how you react to what you focus on.

Many people have rules that make it very difficult for them to happy and very easy for them to be miserable.

I once worked with a sales guy who was always angry at the people he worked with. The moment anything didn’t go the way he thought it should go, he’d be screaming in somebody’s face.  He was making everyone around him miserable–but just as importantly, he was making himself miserable, because just about anything set him off.

For this guy, the everyday nonsense that goes on in every workplace was not just important, but crazy-making important.

I once asked him what made him happy.  His answer: “The only thing that makes this !$%$#! job worthwhile is when I win a $1 million account.”  I asked him how often that happened.  His response: “About once a year.”

In other words, this guy had internal rules that guaranteed he’d be miserable on a day-to-day basis, but only happy once a year.

One of the other sales guys at that firm had the exact opposite set of rules.  His philosophy was “every day above ground is a good day.”  When he encountered setbacks, he shrugged them off–because, according to his internal rules, they just weren’t that important.  When I asked him what made him miserable, his answer was: “Not much.”  When I pressed him for a real answer, he said: “When somebody I love dies.”

In other words, the second sales guy had rules that made it easy for him to be happy but difficult to be miserable.

I’d like to be able to write that Mr. Positivity regularly outsold Mr. Negativity, but in fact their sales results were similar.  Even so, I think Mr. Negativity was a loser, because he lived each day in a state of misery.  His colleague was always happy.  He was winning at life.  He was happy at work.

Make Yourself Happier: 3 Steps

The saleswoman who had breast cancer was happy, too, and this is the method she used to make herself happy:

1. Document Your Current Rules

Set aside a half-hour of alone time and, being as honest as you can, write down the answers to these two questions:

  • What has to happen for me to be happy?
  • What has to happen for me to be unhappy?

Now examine those rules.  Have you made it easier to miserable than to be happy?  If so, your plan is probably working.

2. Create a Better Set of Rules

Using your imagination, create and record a new set of rules that would make it easy for you to be happy and difficult to be miserable.  Examples:

  • “I enjoy seeing the people I work with each day.”
  • “I really hate it when natural disasters destroy my home.” 

Don’t worry whether or not these new rules seem “realistic”–that’s not the point.  All internal rules are arbitrary, anyway.  Just write rules that would make you happier if you really believed them.

3. Post the New Rules Where You’ll See Them

When you’ve completed your set of “new” rules, print out them out and post copies in three places: your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, and the side of your computer screen.  Leave them up, even after you’ve memorized them.

Having those new rules visible when you’re doing other things gradually re-programs your mind to believe the new rules.  You will be happy at work.  It’s really that simple.

Oh, and by the way … That saleswoman? She was my mother.


Including it all

Yesterday I took my son Sasha, to the local sports shop for a momentus event. Because his birthday is so close to Christmas he had accumulated a large sum of money which he wanted to invest in a top notch scooter. We went, he made his choice and now, a few inches taller, he took it home and unboxed it.

No matter what we did, it wouldn’t fit together properly.

We called Guy on Skype and showed him what we’d done but he had no more clues than we did. Poor Sasha – what a disappointment after all that build up! I would have to take it back to the shop – a right pain, as it meant adjusting other plans.

Over our Christmas break in Wales, I read an article, (sorry I can’t find it for the life of me to pass it on!), which talked about the importance of  ‘including’ all our experiences. What this means is taking an unexpected event, like a brand new broken scooter, for instance, and, instead of resisting it, allowing it in. It’s not that we have to agree with it, it’s just that we can save ourselves a lot of wasted energy if we don’t bother fighting it, defending ourselves or otherwise railing against it: “It’s here so I will include it”.

I find this very powerful. It feels different to ‘going with the flow’ which can feel passive I think. ‘Including’ something has more of the air of choice about it – of conscious action.

I included Sasha’s scooter into my experience and we now have a replacement one sitting in the hall, having been put through its paces on the driveway. This experience, in a small way, has become part of the tapestry of these past two days instead of the energetic equivalent of a pulled stitch.

I think this ‘including’ thing will stick with me now. It certainly seems to make for a lot smoother ride.

‘Me’ and ‘Everythingness’

Tonight I’m finding myself in a very different place from yesterday. After a lovely day completing Christmas shopping with the children and feeling a wonderful sense of unity with them, I had moved from self-doubt to a conciousness of Flow.

Then came a phone call from Guy.

His father is very ill in hospital at the moment and he is understandably worried. He wants to visit him, but he wants to do it around work commitments. He wants to go on Friday and come back on the night of Christmas Eve.

I’m not at all proud to say that I wasn’t altogether understanding. The part of me that wants our children to have a special Christmas time with us as a family, the part of me that is afraid of what missing their Dad does to our children, the part of me that really misses Guy, balked. And yet, I knew that sounded terrible. Of course his Dad is top priority right now.

And so a dance has begun inside of me – the pull of what my ego wants and what in the grand scheme of things is about an honouring of something very big – the bond of father and son – eternal love nurtured over 57 years. It’s hard to express, but I know that this for Guy IS bigger than our Christmas this year and that it’s important that I let that be.

I have been helped in this realisation by a friend who (probably not-so) serendipitiously sent me this extraordinary video tonight. I urge you to watch it. It explains such a lot to me about these two sides we have inside – the conciousness of something much, much bigger than ourselves and, at the same time, the conciousness of ourselves as separate and unique.

A step further towards my Future Self

So I did my ‘Marshmallow’ talk and it went well. I had a bit of a “crise” (as they say in Paris), on the day before because I realised I was being far too formulaic in my approach. I was in danger of sounding very stiff and un-me. So I threw it all out and decided to ‘lean back into the arms of my angels’ and trust that I knew it enough to just go in there with 5 basic headings. It worked! It flowed, there was great audience participation and I felt natural and totally taken care of by the Universe. Thanks angels!

Phew, what a week this has been! I feel like I’ve been through the wringer – all the confusion around my prep and then dealing with a few past demons. It’s totally worth it though for all the learning I’ve had.

If you don’t mind indulging me I think I’ll write out those learnings here. So:

  • If demons or past hurts show their faces – it’s time to deal with them
  • Being ‘me’ is best. Content must never rule over authentic expression
  • Learn the content then chuck it out and just have loving communication with your audience
  • It’s not about me – it’s about being a channel for whatever wants to be said and whatever wants to be heard
  • I must always remember to get out of my own way!
  • Be really clear about the objective of the talk. Is it just a short piece of entertainment? Is it like a mini seminar? Or is it mainly for promotion of an event or product? Each one demands a different style
  • Those remote clicky things that help you move your slideshow along are *awesome”!

The biggest round of applause I got last night was from this video I used to demonstrate the power of community. They just loved it. Enjoy!



Turning my boat around

It’s late – it’s been a packed day, full of ups and downs but suffice it to say I’ve had a day that is much more about pointing my boat downstream rather than madly trying to work my way against the current!

I’m experiencing myself evolving a new way of looking at myself. Our journey through life is so often about expanding and then catching up with that expansion. Today I think I finally decided to catch-up with the idea of myself as a speaker. I’m on the first rung of that particular ladder but at least I can embrace it and say, “Yes, this is me”.

What helped enormously was going in on myself today and having a chat with that 12 year old girl who had just fallen off the stage. She was stuck there in permanent humilation. I talked to her, soothed her and persuaded her to take my hand and walk away from that moment forever. It is no longer relevant and we determined it will no longer define us.

We’re off to meet our Future Self now!


Busy bee

It’s been a busy day but I’m quite proud that I allowed myself to flow with it. Twice I had to stop to lie down and shut my eyes because of an ungodly start to my day  – (5am – taking Guy to catch a bus). I couldn’t have done it all without those moments of downtime. I had 3 coaching calls, shopping, dentist, cello lesson, a party to drop off and pick up from, phone calls to make, supper, lunch (the kids are on half term break now) and we even managed to stop for coffee with a friend for an hour or so!

Still lots to get done before we go to Cornwall on Friday but I’m committed to letting it unfold as well as today did. I’m sure if I resist the temptation to second guess everything then it will!


I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.

 – The Dalai Lama –