A joyful collapse

Yes, I know, I know, dear hearts. I’ve been away for 3 months. I never forgot you. I never intended to be away for so long. But one thing I am absolutely certain about is that I must never do anything that doesn’t feel instinctively right. And for some reason this blog just suddenly ceased whispering to me. I obeyed.

Today, however, I’m back – answering the call of this sacred space. I find it odd that the blogging went quiet like that but I certainly wasn’t going to impose on you words that weren’t coming from a place of natural outflow for me.

Something that I find fascinating is that this radio silence lasted for as long as I was running my 3 different workshops – on The Artist’s Way & my Future Self Now program. Perhaps teaching  creates a entirely different energy? Not ‘wrong’ by any stretch of the imagination, just different.

It feels delicious to be in this new place. Much as I am passionate about teaching – I truly am – I must live my own life too. I must explore my own new frontiers and break down my own walls. Nikos Kazantzakis said this:

“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”

So this new energy – one totally aligned to this blog and to any fresh vistas that want to come my way now – is perhaps part-and-parcel of a state of joyful collapse. And I would only add that it’s not only about my students learning to create their own new pathways – it’s also about me being willing to become a beginner again. Before building a new bridge, I must wade out into my river and re-familiarise myself with its banks, it’s eddies and flows, it’s twists and turns.

 

 

Rampages of Appreciation

It’s impossible to be grateful and upset at the same time. In the moment of appreciation – even if it is just a fleeting moment – we are free. When it comes to raising our energy, this is what makes gratitudes, in my opinion, even more powerful than meditation. Gratitude allows us to connect with abundance, wonder, love, generosity, joy. Meditation is quieter – more about stillness, contemplation and awareness – all extremely beneficial of course, but not as effective at having us climb what I call the energy ladder.

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A reader of this blog  – www.iamlivinginthemoment.wordpress.com – recently asked me after reading my post about the importance of putting our loved ones on a pedestal how that’s done. The short answer is with lots of appreciations! Abraham-Hicks call this practice of super-appreciating, a ‘rampage of appreciation’. This is where you just start on a subject and find every which way to be grateful for it. Here’s an example of a ‘rampage’:

The thing is that once you get going and become really conscious of what it is you’re appreciating, you find you come up with more and more to be grateful for – it kind of spirals and spirals, grows and grows. You’ve just got to get the ball rolling and when you do everything else seems to shut off as you just bathe in this delicious and abundant energy.

What can you rampage in gratitude about today?

 

 

How conscious do I dare to be?

So, it’s now Year Two of this Happiness blog and, as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve taken on the fresh challenge (hence my new tagline) of daring to be more conscious. This is why….

Reality – the ‘what’s-so’ of things has always appeared to me as a bit of an inconvenience – something to be tolerated whilst I get on with the more serious business of dreaming my life into existence. I’ve shied away from anything that smacks of that ghastly word ‘discipline’ because I have a rebellious-child’s resistance to it. Why should I do anything that feels like a ‘should’  – surely I’m the one in charge of my own life?

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Julia Cameron’s work ‘The Artist’s Way(and in fact I run workshops on it). Well now she has a new book out called ‘The Prosperous Heart‘ and in it she asks you to count evey penny you spend and receive in a little book. “What? No way! I don’t want to be wading around in the mud of my finances. And surely that’s all rather anal and sad?” I’ve also thought that in Law of Attraction terms this kind of attention to the minutae of things is misdirected – keeping your life small.

I’m realising now that I may have been missing a trick or two.

  • My weight and health have always been best when I’ve been counting what I eat and how I exercise.
  • I am very disciplined around organising my children’s school life, feeding the family, running my workshops, working with my clients etc. – it’s just I dont see it as discipline.

Abraham-Hicks talk about the importance of “loving what-is whilst reaching for more”. I’ve always read this as being OK with things not going the way I want whilst dreaming big. Not quite. I see now it’s about really meeting my reality honestly – i.e. not avoiding it – interacting with it, whilst maintaining a full expectation of growing into my desired future.

By avoiding the tricky subject of money and body weight in the name of attracting better things I was in fact only keeping resistance in place.

So now I am resolved to spend a year exploring this new concept of consciousness – being with what-is – even though I sometimes want to fight it in the name of positive thinking.

The name of the game is to ENJOY being with how things really are. I’m not embarking on this exercise of counting everything I eat and every penny I spend as a way of wallowing in lack and self-loathing – on the contrary I’m doing it to say: “This is worth paying attention to. This matters to me and I value my relationship with it.”

My very wise friend and coach Karen Hood-Caddy said to me this week: “It’s all about understanding how things work and then working inside of that.”

Yes! I think I’m starting to get it. Money, body weight etc. operate in a certain way. When I pay attention to that and work inside the parameters of that I, paradoxically, experience much greater control and therefore greater freedom.

I’m reminded of Stephen Fry’s great descripton of poetry. It is not, he argues, a restrictive form. When you write a novel you have so much choice about how you structure and shape it, it can be utterly overwhelming to begin; but with a poem the rules (mostly) are laid out and, now that you don’t have to worry about the structure of it, you can enjoy the freedom of playing with it as you will.

So constriction, discipline – whatever you want to call it – can be freeing. Yet more evidence of the Universe’s love of Paradox – (my favourite being: in order to have something you have to let it go). Paradox is everywhere and that makes being a human being so fascinating and wondrous.

I embark on this year’s challenge with excitement!

Happy travels

So today feels like a momentus one as I’ve just waved Julia (aged 13) off at Heathrow airport. She is flying solo for the first time – off to see her Uncle John and Aunt Berenice in Toulouse, France.

I’m so proud of my (no longer so) little girl. In so many ways I feel like I’m jogging besides her express train, trying to keep up. She is maturing fast and it’s important for me to honour that whilst at the same time making sure she has everything she needs to be safe and informed.

I love this installation I just spotted in Heathrow’s terminal 5 – a timely reminder of what Julia is doing and the whole new vistas opening up for all our family.

Sporting Love

It’s been a busy couple of days getting ready to go on a school trip with my son, Sasha. It’s a big occasion. Every year all the children from Class 5s around the UK’s Steiner schools (and some from abroad) gather at Michael Hall school in East Sussex to re-enact the ancient Greek Olympics. Of course it’s extra special this year with the London Olympics starting very soon too.

The children spend 3 days preparing for the big day which will be this Saturday. Then all the parents arrive and witness what I can only describe as a truly ‘goosebump’ moment. To the beat of an enormous drum hundreds of 11/12 year olds enter the arena in white togas led by teachers bearing huge flames. The atmosphere is electric. Silence reigns. For every one of us in that field at that moment it feels like a historic moment – cetainly it will be one that we will never forget.

I know all this in advance because I was there two years ago when it was my elder daughter’s turn. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

It got me thinking tonight of all the amazing moments that sport has produced. Heroic times. Magical times. Miraculous times. Think English football in 1966. Think Jesse Owens. Think hundreds of moments like this happening every day around the world:

 

And here’s my favourite sporting heart-warmer of all time. The extraordinary story of a young man with autism – the team waterboy – being given a chance to play in the last match of the season.

 

It’s moments like these – highlighted so wonderfully by sport – that makes you realise we humans are, at heart, loving, generous and in this together.

 

 

 

 

OK, I admit it, I’m happy!

I’ve said it before, but isn’t it funny that it often feels very difficult to admit that we’re genuinely happy? Especially in front of anyone we might perceive as having a hard time at the moment. There’s a compulsion, I notice, to temper any statement of happiness with at least one thing that’s ‘up’. It seems there’s far more kudos in struggle (and the overcoming of it) than in just ticking along contentedly. Borrr-inggggg!

But this, is what this blog is all about, of course – my journey to having the courage to see and admit just how happy I am!

In the US they talk about Pollyanna-ism – after a children’s book character who was persistently and blindly optimistic. In the UK in particular, I think, we have a deep mistrust of happy people. They must be hiding something. And while it is true in my experience that excessively cheerful people are often using a chipper demeanour to cover up internal hurt, it IS also possible for someone to be deeply and genuinely content and sane at the same time. The difference between the former and the latter is that the deeply content ones don’t feel the need to have their happiness dial on loud.

Happiness isn’t a popularity contest, it’s a question of “do I feel aligned with my truth?” That makes it a very personal thing – not something we can really explain. And nor should we. (Yes, I do see the irony!). If you are truly content it will radiate from you – communicating energetically.

Anyway, I’m saying all this because, I admit it, I am very happy right now and have been for quite a few weeks now.

“What? Weeks?”

“Yes, weeks!”

Now my internal voices are saying – “Oh god, they’re going to think I’m smug, in denial or plain batty!” Wow – those voices really are an automatic reflex!

Oh well. It’s fine. I’m loving it. Quite apart from anything else I notice I’m expending far less energy because I’m not in any state of resistance. And the advantage, I know, is that when my energy is ‘clean’ like this I’m far more open to and concious of all the riches the Universe wants to send my way.

Long may it last. But let’s hope my posts don’t lose any of their ‘juiciness’ because of it. (Whoops, was that my internal voice again?!)