Inspirational Coach

Raw and Real from the Wild Field Episode One: Giving It All Away

Unsettling Change

Its been sooooo much more challenging than I thought it would. I mean, I knew it would be an adjustment moving from a nine room country cottage to a couple of caravans in a field, but I didn’t expect the personal disorientation to be so strong.

Okay it’s a big downsize and I knew I’d be saying goodbye to a lot of stuff and learning to live in less space and be confronted with emptying toilet tanks in the rain, but I didn’t expect to have the carpet ripped from under my feet. If I’m honest I’ve been feeling horribly unsettled and insecure since we moved a month ago. Where has the happy, inspired, life-loving Srimati gone?

Last night, Pat, my husband, stirred around 1am and I woke up too. I find that if I wake within a short while of going to sleep at night – and there’s something undigested going on emotionally – I’m presented with a shadowey, doom laden ‘oh-oh’ of uncomfortable feelings that won’t go away and won’t let me get back to sleep again. Last night it was dreadful, soul sucking, zero confidence. Everything was wrong. I was wrong. Life was wrong. And some how it was all my fault.

Many is the time I’ve been up in the night battling with such demons. I often wonder, however, how many women can say that they have a husband who is willing to spend all night, if necessary, slaying demons with them? I have one such husband – totally mad in many eyes and utterly sane in mine. A misunderstood Cornish rascal, I’ve been bright enough to recognise I have my very own, flesh and blood, guardian angel sharing my life with me. Pat is one hell of an ally and absolutely the best friend I’ve ever had by a mile.

So there we were in dressing gowns sitting under the moon in camp chairs at two in the morning. I briefly described how I was feeling. “I know”, he said, “I could feel your energy nose-diving all day.” I gazed at the magical moon appearing and disappearing into clouds and listened. His gravelly voiced, meandering stories and irreverant observations soothed me and brought humorous clarity all at the same time. I felt better. I could see what I’d been doing to myself…

Giving it All Away

Sometimes I get so frustrated with my own habitual mess ups – “Arggh! Stop! You’ve done it again! For goodness sake, STOP it Srimati!” Our habits and blind spots can be so entrenched. It seems to me that we all have one big core mucked up tendency that we spend our entire life attempting to break free of. (That’s if we are conscious enough to even try. There are plenty of us who never even realise what’s going on and just spend life being battered around by the painful consequences of our own unknowing over and over again).

With me it’s over-giving. I don’t mean being super generous, I mean giving inappropriately, ‘giving’ to the point that I abuse myself and prevent others from taking responsibility for themselves. Eventually, I get tired and depleted and have a kickback of resentment. The other person remains infantalised and never learns to stand on their own two feet. So in fact it’s not generous at all because nobody gains anything! Giving is only generosity when it is appropriately given and comes from a full cup, not being drunkenly sucked up from the dregs of a spill on the floor.

Over-giving is a classic generosity distortion, especially with mothers (and guess where my tendency shows itself most? Yes, with my 15 year old son Jamie). Not surprisingly, many of my friends, family and clients suffer from a similar thing. Like attracts like and so we draw people to us that carry similar energy and values – including problematic tendencies. The best teacher, however, is someone who is just a little free-er and more conscious than ourselves, so fortunately my clients do benefit from my years of self inflicted agony.

For the last six weeks I’ve been a one woman pack horse and rescue service. First I spent weeks, dawn to dusk, single handedly packing, redistributing or chucking every possession we had from the cottage, then setting up the caravans. I had the where-with-all to organise a man and a van to move some heavy furniture and ask a group of fab friends to help me with the final clean up day, but other than that, I’ve done the entire thing solo.

At the same time my boy, Jamie, has been experiencing his first big relationship breakup. He split up from his girlfriend after a year, and being an intense young thing (just like his mother) he has taken it hard. Late night and early morning phonecalls, mopping up tears, sick and messy rooms, taxi services to friends and work experiences have been a daily feature. And I’d somehow forgotten he’d be off school for the summer let alone need this extra emotional support. I’d had this romantic idea that I’d do the move in a couple of weeks and then spend July and August writing my first best seller. Hmm, had to re-think that one…

Meanwhile, being a highly sensitive person with multiple health issues, Pat’s chronic neck and back problems got a whole lot worse. In my exhausted, martyr-like hysteria (it’s really not very pretty), pushing to finish the cottage clean up in time, I told him to “F off” if he couldn’t help (the resentment kicking in!). So he did. Feeling totally powerless to reach me through my temporary insanity or love me or support me in any way, he withdrew to the caravans feeling terrible and his neck promptly went into acute spasm.

So, despite Pat’s enthusiasm for the caravan way of life, he’s not been able to help with usual domestics let alone the extra carrying and fetching this lifestyle requires. I felt like I’d cursed our last moment together at the cottage. Those ugly words were the last to leave my lips and it seemed like the antithesis of the love and appreciation we’d share there for two and a half years. The next morning, I went back to the cottage to say goodbye properly. All tasks done now, I went from room to room, remembering, weeping, blessing and praying. I asked for forgiveness and to cleanse the stain I’d made the day before.

Being a Mystic Angel

 A few months ago, I picked up Doreen Virtue’s book, Realms of the Earth Angels, and experienced a revelation. In her book, Doreen, describes personality traits and life experiences in terms of certain types of earth angels (do read this fantastic wee book to get the whole context). I had such recognition of myself that I began to shake. Her categorisations made so much sense of my life and relationships, my strengths and weaknesses and my purpose and inspiration. So much so that it generated a new title for the biography that I’m writing – More Than Meets the Eye: My Life as a Mystic Angel.

At first I thought I was a Wise One – compassionate and committed to helping the world, a leader and guide, a powerful manifestor with a tendency to be over serious.  However, I also recognised myself in the Incarnate Angel category. Here is the over-giving for a start. Along side this is an innocent, loving and trusting nature which can easily be taken advantage of. Incarnate Angels can tend to overweight (check) and drawn into co-dependent relationships (check).

And so it turns out I’m a Mystic Angel – a blend of both a Wise One and a Incarnate Angel. Right now, its my Incarnate Angel vulnerability/ gullibility that is being tested. Talking to Pat last night under the moon, I realise that I just do not realise when people are lying to me or trying to manipulate me or use me. I receive what’s said as the truth (I don’t usually get jokes or teasing because I fail to comprehend that the person is not speaking the absolute, literal truth to me!) I always give people the benefit of the doubt, understand why they feel limited or compromised and may not be acting in their own best interests and respond by doing what I can to rescue them from their suffering.

Of coure my trusting and compassionate nature is also my biggest asset! I do genuinely love and understand people and see their beautiful pure natures deep within them. That’s what helps me be such a good coach. However, our greatest weakness is also our greatest strength and vice versa. The trick is to be aware enough to know when our strength has flipped over to the dark side and is serving our fear and unconsciousness instead of our love and wisdom.

To help me with this, Pat has reminded me of a simple basic practice to correct my over-giving – the practice of saying “No!”. Sometimes its embarressing to have to go back to psychological base camp again, but that’s what I need to do. I need to say “No!” more and suffer the discomfort of the other person not getting what they want or having to dig into themselves to provide the solutions. I need to value myself enough to commit to my own needs first and foremost, to fill my cup, so that I can truly give again.

And so, I’ve invented a simple summer routine for myself starting today. Here I am living in the Wild Field. We are all moved. Jamie is getting over his break up and settling into his summer holidays. Pat’s neck is getting better. I have some time to myself again – time that I could fool myself into giving away to others if I am not vigilant. But I feel I will go mad if I do not now honour what is most precious in my life – my vocation to write and share wisdom.

In my own best interests, I’ve set some boundaries… I will not turn my phone on until midday. I will spend every weekday morning quietly by myself writing and meditating. My weekday mornings are all MINE from now on! And so, here it is, the outpouring of my love and creativity from a full cup – Raw and Real: Intimate Insights from the Wild Field. I hope you join me here often.

18 responses

  1. Julia Dolowicz

    What a heart warming piece. I was with you through every word and had my very own aha moment when you wrote about being a mystic angel. I think you’re wonderful in what you’re doing and totally am one with your boundaries for writing. I can relate to that. I do aim to do something similar myself. Enjoy your mornings ~x~x

    July 31, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    • Wow, Julia, what you say means a lot to me. Thank you so much. It did feel like a risk putting out my experience in such a naked form and it is wonderful that its been received like you have. What a wonderful first comment on Raw and Real – so encouraging, thank you. x

      August 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm

  2. Julia Dolowicz

    Taking the risk and putting it out is the hardest thing to do and I have struggled with that too, I think you have a lovely balance there. Look forward to reading more of your stuff x

    August 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    • Yes, its an interesting dilemma, isn’t it? So glad you think I’ve got some good balance. I really want to make it intimate enough to let people see how things play out in my real life, yet not just splurge it all out indiscriminately!

      August 2, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  3. Hi Srimati

    I think your new life sounds idyllic! Well done you for having the courage to create a new way of living

    Rachel

    August 2, 2010 at 9:30 am

    • Thanks Rachel, you have always been such a brilliant supporter of our radical lifestyle experiment. Your caravan book is in pride of place in our retro 70’s caravan where I coach and write for inspiration and your leprechaun keyring hangs above Pat’s head in the main caravan lounge (keeping him company!). Hope you can come and visit us again before long. Perhaps camping with the kids this time? x

      August 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

  4. Srimati your honesty is so refreshing! You write with a natural flow. It’s not easy to share the ups and downs of life publicly but boy! it will help loads of people for sure! I think you have made an amazing transition and with your beloved husband you have created your golden opportunity. Good luck with the writing and keep up the boundaries! I know the feeling well. Thanks for sharing. Kate

    August 2, 2010 at 10:54 am

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Kate, I really appreciate it. It’s so important to know how our work is ‘landing’ with readers and I’m really glad its coming over as refreshingly honest. You’re right, the whole reason I’m doing this is to truly help people by sharing my own real experience and applied wisdom – not just convey some sort of dry expertise that doesn’t really touch the heart. I’ve always admired that style in writers like Elisabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and Doreen Virtue (The Lightworker’s Way) and Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love) and Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation) and always loved true stories. I thought it was a great idea to write juicy real stuff week by week, share it as it happens, and let it become a book!

      August 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

  5. Sabine

    It helps to read your experiences, living seems to require constant adjusting, we take course onto something, move, act, live and at some point some of those wonderful ‘negative’ emotions remind us, that maybe not all is perfect, that living is not meant to happen on a straight, perfect line. So we reflect, remember, learn and probably cry, and finally adjust. Glad to hear you listened to yourself and got supported, how wonderful is that!

    August 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    • Beautifully put, Sabine. Thanks again for your wonderful support and encouragement.

      August 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  6. Thanks for sharing Srimati. Hope your beautiful cup is soon running over again! Much love to you,
    Kimberley ♥

    August 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    • Thank you sweet Kimberley. And much love and healing to you on your latest turn on your journey. xxx

      August 3, 2010 at 10:59 am

  7. Srimati, your insight and wisdom of both your inner and outer worlds are like nectar to my ears….thnku for gently revealing yourself; your truth and your souls intention – ‘witness to being’. Love you dear Angel,
    Iessaiah ❤

    August 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    • Wow, Iessaiah, your words take my breath away. Thank you so much. Angel? Hmm, it takes one to know one!! xxx

      August 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

  8. Padmayogini

    Dear Srimati reading your beautiful, honest and connected words, just reminded me this morning of why I always think of you with a warm heart and a smile. May all blessings be with you, Pat and Jamie.
    Looking forward to hearing more.

    Padmayogini

    August 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

    • That’s so lovely, Padmayogini, and so wonderful to hear from you. I always think of you with a warm heart and a smile too! Lots of love xx

      August 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

  9. kamini

    Thank you for being Raw and Real and sharing it as it is… very inspiring and dare I say comforting. I’ve been struggling with my major move all on my own pretty much and sometimes with envy of people who have partners who ‘do it together’… so reading how you’ve been having to do it pretty much alone too is a reminder that the grass isn’t always greener… you still have to mow the lawn!
    I’ve had to let go and keep letting go of any ideas I have of when I will be ready to get back to my creative work…
    Enjoy your mornings you deserve them! Look forward to connecting with you again soon. xx

    August 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    • So glad being raw and real is comforting – that’s the point really! I’ve always found very revealling, true accounts so companionable and reassuring. It warms my heart to know a few words of mine can reach out and touch another going through a similar thing. Terrific. All the best for a restful and restorative post move recovery and look forward to catching up with you soon. xxx

      August 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

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