Wonder Woman I aint

Last week I got unusually busy with 8 extra one-on-one coaching calls and write ups to do on top of my normal workload, two workshops, a couple of parents evenings and sick children at home. At first I was super-proud of myself: Look at me, I can do this easy-peasy. See, people, what a mega-efficient person I am! (Yes, I actually boasted to my friends along these lines. Embarrasing).

Ahem….

Well it took about 4 days to discover what rocky ground I was on. This blithe disregard for what I needed to keep on top of my energy came back to bite me and I was reminded (once again) that I am a mere mortal!

So I’ve been on the road to ‘filling my well’ again. First of all lots of rest. Then delicious snatched moments with my book (Cloud Atlas – loving it). Movie-nights at home with the children and Guy. Then going on a day-trip to Gloucester on Saturday (these family moments always feed me). Then today I did a lot of collaging which I love. Tomorrow I will take myself off for a solo date (a walk, cafe and writing probably). I wouldn’t have to do so much normally but I’m in catch-up mode!

Making sure you fill your well is vital. Neglecting yourself is like trying to drive your car on empty. What lovely thing have you done for yourself today? Make sure you do at least one thing to treat yourself – give yourself some space (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to spend quality time with you and you. It’s worth its weight in gold and ensures you won’t crash in the way I did this week.

 

 

 

What horses can teach us

I went on a fabulous course called ‘The Way of the Horse’ yesterday at the Red Horse Foundation, near Stroud. We learnt about the intimate relationship Man has had with horse since the Scythians in about 700BC first started domesticating them. We have since abused this relationship of course, not least through the slaughter of millions of horses during wartime. Even though we don’t abuse horses on that scale any more we still have a long way to go before we truly appreciate what the horse can give us if we work in true partnership with them.

Places like Red Horse Foundation who honour the power of the horse and work with them to heal badly damaged people are starting to open our eyes to the incredible spirit of the horse. Their work is based on the EGALA model which you can learn more about in the video below.

Suffice to say, this blogger, who since she was thrown off a horse at the age of 12 and has never trusted one since, now has a completely new respect for this wondrous animal.

 

 

We are one – scientific proof!

I’m doing some research around my program Future Self Now at the moment in order to contextualise it and attempt to  explain why the experience is so powerful. I’ll keep you posted as I go along but I wanted to share this fascinating research into ‘Mirror Neurons’ – neurons in the brain that help us empathise, copy and learn. The extraordinary thing about them is that brain scans show that even when we are NOT actually performing an action – like watching as opposed to playing a sport – we can actually experience it (and light up the same parts of the brain) as if we were doing that action.

Mirror Neurons are what make visualisation so powerful. This was illustrated in a test conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago. He split basketball players into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make.

After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour.

The second group just visualized themselves making free throws.

The third group did nothing.

After 30 days, he tested them again.

The first group improved by 24%.

The second group improved by 23% without touching a basketball!

The third group did not improve which was expected.

Now, to really blow your mind, watch this video about the power of mirror neurons. It seems science is starting to catch up to the ancient philosophies that teach that we are all one.

So this is where much of the power of Future Self Now lies – when doing the visualisation of our Future Selves we are creating a bridge between who we are being now and who we really are – ourselves at our most powerful. Mirror neurons are helping us ‘be’ our Future Selves, now.

I’m starting a new 5 week Future Self Now course at Hawkwood College in Stroud next week. There are a couple of spaces left if you are interested. To find out more visit www.futureselfnow.com

Blessings!

 

 

 

Turn your Face to the Sun

A poem by Maithri Goonetilleke:

Beloved,

There are days when nothing seems right. When every shell you pick up on the winding shore is broken. When the silken treasure slips through your fingers too quickly. When comforts are empty. And the world is noise.

On those jagged edged days, when the wind is screaming for a reason only she understands. And you find yourself all alone.

Turn your face to the sun.

There is goodness in the world, that even the river of tears cannot erase.

There is love in the world, that the numbed armies of fear can not destroy.

Sometimes that goodness is everywhere apparent. It pours from the heart of every moment. From the light of every smile.

On those soft days, love hides in the eaves to drop like sweet honey on your forehead and sings her lilting lullabies in the arms of the winds.

But on some days, Beloved. On days like today….

We need to look, to see.

So turn your face to the sun.

Even when she is nowhere to be seen.

Go inside yourself. Find a speck, a splinter of beauty to be grateful for.

‘Yes’, the day has worn you. And ‘Yes’ our mistakes have been so many.

But say ‘Thank you’ anyway.

Take account of all that is in your possession.

A mind. A heart. A body.

A life that breathes, even if for just one more day.

Now count the eyes that have smiled
at you on your wild journey,

the hands that have held you tenderly,

the ears that have listened,

the prayers that have been made on your behalf.

And whisper your ‘Thank you’ again.

Count the sky that has watched you grow
with His painted eyes,

The heaving waves that find their echo
in the tides of your breathing,

The little birds that have sung
you their songs,

The stars which have been a lamp
to your path,
and are your
rightful inheritance.

Count unexpected laughter,

Count undeserved grace,

Count Passion and Love making and Dreams yet to be born,

And bow your head and say ‘thank you’,

Now count the lives who still need your light,

The hungry, the sick, the helpless,

Count the children who will die today

and imagine if with the breath of your body
you could help just
one.

Turn your face to the sun,
And know yourself as a child of the light.

You are the Goodness that cannot be extinguished,

The love that burns through the darkest night.

And perhaps,
In turning
You will see what i have seen,
that this day where everything seemed wrong,
was not your curse,

It was your gift,

Your chance…

To find inside yourself a forgotten ‘thank you’,

To smile in the face of the grim suppressors,

To stand in the heart of the glowering darkness
and turn your face to the sun.

‘Droughts are a necessity’

Dearest reader – I’m back! Thanks for waiting. It’s been nearly 3 months since my last posting (crikey!) and I’ve had to ask myself “have I simply gone off the boil – forever? Maybe the blogging mojo has just evaporated (inexplicably) and I need to move on?” But something inside of me said ‘No – this is temporary – stick with it.’ I know to listen to my instincts but I have to say it was a weird feeling, suddenly switching from weekly posting to nothing, zero, zilch. What was with that?

To be frank, I don’t have clue why I dried up. I was busy but that’s not been a problem before. All I can do is shrug my shoulders and believe that this was meant to be.

We’ve all heard of the metaphor of a field that needs to lie fallow for a growing season in order to replenish itself. Maybe that was what was going on?

My friend Nancy told me today that she saw these times as a gift – an opportunity for silence and to go deep within ourselves.

Julia Cameron (she of  The Artist’s Way) talks about it in terms of a drought. “Droughts are a necessity,” she says. “The time in the desert brings us clarity and charity.’ She adds:

… as painful as they are, they deepen us. When we feel we have “nothing to say” as artists, we are grappling with what it is we do want to say. In struggling to find our sources of inspiration, we find ourselves.

Another thing: drought doesn’t disqualify you as an artist. Rather, it is a rite of passage, an initiation period that while it pains us also makes us better…  we experience a deepened gratitude for those times when art comes to us more easily.

In other words, droughts make us appreciate times of flow. As much as anything else, droughts teach us compassion for ourselves and others. Can this be anything but a blessing?

It’s true – I do feel renewed. Renewed inside of the ‘Why?’ of this blog and what the writing of it gifts me with – conciousness, connection, curiousity and celebration.

I’ll leave you with a couple of snowy pictures from the Stroud Valleys taken today. Just because… !

Edge in the Snow 1 Randwick Woods2

The power of vulnerability

This Thursday evening I’m giving a talk at Hawkwood College in Stroud entitled “Loving What is Whilst Reaching for More – The Law of Attraction explained”. I’m looking forward to it and at the same time it feels quite a vulnerable things to do. What if I’ve pitched it wrong? What if it doesn’t make sense? What if I freeze?!

Many thanks then, to fellow blogger Beyourdreamself for putting me on to this great talk by Brene Brown who talks about the power of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. She discovered in her research that successful people are not only willing to be vulnerable but also they strongly believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. Great stuff.

This is just a 5 minute clip but it’s well worth watching the longer versions of this talk too.

Starfish wisdom

For many years now I’ve adopted the starfish as my personal emblem. My friends know this, and over the years Ive been gifted with some spectacular starfish things like this silver necklace from my great friend, Kelly in Canada:

starfish necklace

and recently Rachel, a very good friend and wonderful potter in Bristol made me this:

starfish mug

It all started about 13 years ago when I heard this story:

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,
“Well, I made a difference to that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
-Adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley-

 

As a life coach, the significance of making a difference one ‘starfish’ at a time was not lost on me. But latterly the starfish has come to mean more. As you know I’m passionate about what it takes to live an ecstatic, fully expressed life. Look at this image:

011

Same pose as a starfish. OK, well, nearly! (That was my intention anyway).

There is also the analogy of roots and wings – i.e. that it’s the job of us parents – to give our children stability and freedom. For me this pose represents both roots and wings: strong legs akimbo (grounded) arms aloft, ecstatic and welcoming of spirit, joy, abundance.

Finally there is the sister image of a tree which reaches up to the skies but is, at the same time, grounded deeply in its roots.

 

Last November I gave a talk at Hawkwood College that I’m hoping to repeat at this year’s Quest Festival in Devon called ‘Loving What Is whilst Reaching For More‘. I realised today that, here again, is the image of my upright starfish – grounded in the now whilst reaching for the skies.

In some ways it sounds like a paradox but look at nature and it’s everywhere. We are meant to savour our Now whilst relishing the delicious anticipation of life’s rich experiences yet to come.

 

 

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?