Inspirational Coach

How to feel better

Breaking Through Self Doubt

Going well then suddenly stopped in your tracks by an attack of self doubt?  You are not alone!

And it could well be a sign that you are on the point of breaking through to a new level.

Here’s how to find clarity and confidence again…


Say Yes to Abundance

Say Yes to Abundance

Attracting Love and Prosperity with Ease

Sat 13 / Sun 14 June 2015

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Thrivecraft Workshop

with Maggie Kay

At the Totnes Natural Health Centre

Totnes, Devon

An inspiring and powerful weekend workshop to:

 * Discover your unique soul-path to love and prosperity

 *  Clear away habitual worries, doubts and feelings of lack

 * Fully appreciate your true worth, natural gifts and attractiveness

 * Create inspiring, soulful ideas and plans and easy-going action

 *  Learn and practice potent magnetising and manifestation techniques

 * Share wisdom & support with the soul-centered Thrivecraft tribe

This workshop has been specially created to help you

make a shift in consciousness and allow

an abundance of love and prosperity to flow into your life,

to generate enthusiasm, ideas and plans to take action

with an authentic heart and fulfilled soul!

Magnetise Love.  Boost your prosperity.

Attract good fortune.  Create synchronicity.

Feel free and joyful. 

 For more info and to book click here

Eventbrite - Say Yes to Abundance 2015

***

Kate Harris, juice detox expert, has found ‘her people’

and feels ecstatic

www.sandwellfarmhouse.co.uk

  Caroline travels from Switzerland to attend

and explains why it is well worth the trip! 

www.palmyhealing.com

Maggie Kay, ‘The Inner Wisdom Coach’, is a life, business and spiritual coach and meditation teacher.

She is founder of Maggie Kay Wisdom and Thrivecraft.


Wake Up Your Wisdom – in 5 Days!

5 Day Discovery Programme

I am delighted to announce the launch of my brand new home study programme to discover and make great use of your own, reliable inner wisdom.

Equipped with this magical personal resource, you will be able to find answers to questions, solve problems and make decisions from the deeper, wiser part of yourself that knows best.

trust wisdom of soul

This easy, uplifting and powerful programme enables you to find, activate and consult with your own ever-ready, trustworthy inner wisdom.

Simply relax each day with a short guided meditation, video lesson and bonus resource to take you on your transformational journey (approx 30 minutes a day at your convenience).

Waking up your wisdom is a life changer!

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The benefits to you

The Wake Up Your Wisdom discovery programme equips you to:

                      – Easily connect with your own powerful source of inner wisdom

                      – Relax into a simple, fast and effective meditation practice

                       – Answer questions, solve problems and make wise decisions

                       – Develop intuition and discover when to trust your hunches

                       – Feel calm, clear, positive and confident in everyday life

Huge thanks to the amazing team at Source TV who have supported me to launch this exciting new programme.

Wake Up Your Wisdom – 5 Day Discovery Programme

For more details

and to download the programme

Click – Wake Up Your Wisdom


Love Your Inner Demons

Who’s in charge here?

I woke up the other morning dreaming that a busy, uncommunicative parking attendant gave me a £416 fine (very specifically, £416!). In protest, I went marching through endless council offices, speaking to person after person, explaining that there had been a mistake – I’d only been there for a moment and was away buying my ticket and hadn’t done anything wrong! But no-one was listening. They just kept repeating their silly rules and insisting that I’d better pay £416 or they’d double the fine. It was so unfair and so frustrating!

Now, its said that all the characters in your dreams represent an aspect of yourself. Hmmn – so I have an inner officious, busy, uncommunicative, petty minded beauracrat, do I?…  Oh yes! I recognise her well!

buddha under tree with moon

Years ago, when I was part of a Buddhist right livelihood team running an ethical gift shop (a job I loved, but that’s another story) I found my inner officious, busy, uncommunicative, petty minded beauracrat alright. I called her Helga. She was a big, loud, tank-like, German bossy boots who liked everything exactly her own way and for no one to get in it. (Excuse the national type-casting. I do actually relish characteristically German directness and two of my very best friends are German.)

Helga would march around her territory – the throws and cushion department – making sure not a fold was out of place. God forbid someone would talk to her, or worse still, ask her to do something else whilst her mind was on the task!  Nowadays, Helga is only usually in evidence at Christmas time when I’m cooking for my guests . “Can I help with ….” “NO!” Helga barks before my poor sister-in-law can finish her sentence. “I’m better on my own!”

Bless her, my mum is similarly self-determining. Her kitchen is her domain and its best to stay clear whilst she’s busy preparing a meal. Like my mum, I love to express my love by providing meals for friends and family and want the kitchen to be all mine as I’m doing so.  Also like my mum, I generally think I know best and want to do things MY way, even if it means exhausting myself because I’m incapable of delegating. You can see how this connects with ‘over-giving’ and it not occurring to me to say no, traits I also share with my remarkably generous and extremely dynamic mother.

Love Your Inner Parking Attendant

So the moral of this tale is that it pays to love your inner parking attendant, or any other het-up inner character who pipes up and misbehaves when you are under duress. Making friends with them (or even giving them a pet name like Helga) is the best way to make sure that you remain in overall command of how you behave, not them. If these guys remain unrecognised and un-named they have a habit of taking over automatically and wreaking havoc with your life.

The tricky time is when you are not even aware that we have a Helga or whoever in operation. Some unconscious part of you has been activated by a situation and off it goes pontificating or whining or bashing other people and your bigger self is powerless to do anything about it. It’s like you are possessed. Eventually, rant over, you come around to yourself again and wonder what happened. But by then it’s too late…

However, spotting your particular tendency to flip out (and the situations that trigger them) is really helpful. Even better, giving this aspect of your personality a pet name allows you to have a humourous, affectionate relationship with it. You can then give this protesting character some recognition, validation and attention without letting it take over inappropriately. It’s exactly like handling a naughty child.

And so I’ve also come to understand the good that Helga stands for.  She has very high standards and is prepared to work hard to achieve excellence. Actually, she is quite talented and makes an exceptionally good job of things. She is proactive and strong and determined. (Part of my previous Buddhist name, Srimati, reflects this positive aspect. Mati can mean determination or strong mindedness).

The down side of Helga is that she is superior and up herself. She doesn’t rate anyone else or trust that they can do anything useful to help.  Superiority is, in fact, a state of defensive fear – you compare yourself with others and set yourself apart in a misguided attempt to protect yourself.  You don’t like what you think you see in someone else (some form of weakness or vulnerability) and don’t want to have anything to do with it because you can’t admit to your own weaknesses.  However, in cutting yourself off from others (and any experience of vulnerability) you also sever your connection with your true nature which is total and absolute BLISS.

To allow yourself to be connected and intimate with others means allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable. It means admitting that you suffer sometimes, that you are fallible, mortal and fragile. It means being HONEST about your human experience and condition – that failure, loss, and pain are an intrinsic part of being alive.

Oh , Jeez, if we could only just surrender to our true feelings and honour the fragility and impermanence of all things, then we would experience incredible tenderness and joy – that we are utterly linked with one another, that there is indescribable, breath-taking beauty in every moment, that we can totally let go and float on an infinite sea of divine care.

shaman woman

Relaxing into the Fragile Mess

In the modern, developed world we live in a culture where fragility, unpleasantness, suffering, illness, pain and death are kept as far out of consciousness as possible. We create great armies of thought-police and institutions and industries to uphold our collective denial. We work and spend ourselves senseless and never pause long enough to breathe properly, never mind smell the coffee! And then when we get to the top of our ambition mountain – the successful husband and kids, the million dollars in our bank account, the huge house overlooking the sea – we wonder why life feels hollow, that we are not truly happy.

Have you ever wondered why ordinary people in poor parts of the undeveloped world seem so happy? Have you noticed the sparkle in their eyes, the bright colours that they wear, the connection they have with one another despite being surrounded by abject suffering? Well, I don’t know for sure, but it’s my guess that these simple people are living in a way which actually allows them to stay in touch with their true humanity in a way that eludes us in the developed world. And I wonder if the key to that humanity is to allow our natural experience of vulnerability and suffering to be a full part of our experience without fear.

Poor old Helga! What a lot she’s missing out on. If she could only realise that it’s okay to get it ‘wrong’, that the world won’t fall apart if a cushion is out of place or a Christmas dinner is late. If only she could relax and laugh and enjoy the great, chaotic play of people and events around her, muddling along, making mistakes, supporting each other, getting there somehow. She might notice that her shoulders are aching or that she’s really hungry, but there would be something so sweet about admitting that she, too, is a delicate human being. She would feel at home in this great fragile mess of perfect imperfection and finally realise that the point of life is not to strive to keep it all in order, but to let go and enjoy it just as it is.


Relaxing into Writing My Book

I guess you could call it irony…

Today started with big guns.  It is THE day when I’d written and circled the word WRITING in my diary.  A week or so before, with a genuine, happy, loud fanfare of celebration, I’d already announced the great news that I’d won a writing scholarship and was about to embark on writing my first book.

I woke early after nearly three weeks of Easter holiday lie-ins and prepared to drive my son Jamie into college.  Making the packed lunch and all went smoothly and I even had time to write my ‘morning pages’ (a new practice to support my book writing) before Jamie requested that I iron his trousers.

Jamie seemed to be in ‘up and at it’ spirit too and asked that we get to college early for a change.  We set off ahead of schedule and had one of the quickest journeys in we’ve ever had.  Not a single vehicle crossed us as we travelled through the country lanes to the main road, and certainly no sign of the horses, tractors and school traffic that we usually have to negotiate.  The sun was shining and the spring scenery breathtaking.  We duly arrived 15 minutes early – a first.

And so by 9.15am I was back home again.   This was IT!  I took my place in the conservatory, laptop at the ready, and communed with my inner guidance.  Quite plausibly, my guidance suggested that I listen to my inner wisdom meditation and write from there.  Sounded like a lovely idea.  Why not?

Strangely, my meditation was a bit stifled.  I didn’t really receive a clear message, just something mumbly about inner treasure.  Fair enough, I created a file on my laptop called Book on Inner Treasure and started to write in a new document titled Why I Want to Write this Book.

A hundred and fifty mediocre words squeezed out of me.  (I didn’t like them.  I didn’t connect with them.)  And then I dried up completely…

I noticed that my mouth was dry, energy dropping, heart sinking, and stomach knotting.  There was an increasing pressure on my head and it was beginning to ache.  I couldn’t think straight.  I had no ‘juice’, no inspiration.  Why DID I want to write this book?  I couldn’t remember.  “Oh my God I have a whole book to write and I don’t know what to say!  I can’t recall what I want to write about, how, why, who for – anything!”

Memories of how I used to feel the day before exams played out in my mind.  I was a keen student and always did well, but the day before exams, I often had a meltdown, doubting myself, going to my mum in tears telling her I was going to fail.  She would reassure me that it didn’t matter, and knowing she loved me anyway gave me permission to fail.  Having gained that permission,  I felt free to do well or not to do well, and that meant I relaxed and did very well indeed.

So today, it seemed like I was experiencing that old performance anxiety again.  I have been approaching this great occasion – the writing of my book – for about seven years.  During that time there have been three or four near misses when I’ve got very close to getting on with the writing.  But it never actually happened – all for plausible enough reasons, but  sometimes I taunt myself about it.  Can I really do it?  Can I really actually write a book?

Today, all that self-doubt and all that uncertainty was back – right there in the pit of my stomach, right there sitting on my head like a ton weight.  The feelings got so strong that I had an overwhelming urge to go and lie down.  It was a desire to go unconsious, not to face the feelings, to pull the duvet over my head.  In the end there was nothing to do but seccumb to sleep and I went to bed and slumbered for a short while.

So, from one point of view, my grand start to writing this book has been rather unpleasant.  Fortunately, a bigger, wiser part of myself was looking on compassionately.

That wiser part of me understood what was happening and was curious, tender and patient.  “Well, that’s intriguing”, she said.  “I suppose it is not surprising that your shadow side will present itself just when you are on the threshold of breaking through into something so big.  You are at your point of power, and this is what happens.”  “It is good to remember that often the real creative juice and inspiration is to be found in the very shadow that you are resisting, the feelings that you don’t want to feel.  There will be some gold in this…”

A very brief nap was enough to break the empasse and ease the tension a little, but I still felt flat and foggy.  I made myself some lunch, then confided my troubles to my best friend and husband.  Hugely wise and supportive, he also understood why I was feeling the way I was, and encouraged me to relax and do what felt right for the rest of the day.   A hug and a few tears released me from my paralysis and allowed me to at least make some decisions for the day.  I opted to go ahead and collect my new meditation CDs from the printer and pop in on a relative in hospital nearby on the way back as planned.  And so that’s what I did.

Driving through more beautiful country lanes in the spring sunshine, my mind cleared.  I reflected that two years ago I was embarking on the creation of my meditation CD and that the much anticipated first session at the recording studio was really slow and difficult.

The Jeep had overheated on the journey there and I had to arrange recovery to take me home after my session in the studio.  I was late, flustered, pre-occupied and definitely not in the zone.  After several hours, all we had managed to achieve was setting up the recording equipment and balancing the sound.

It took two more days in the studio to complete the recording – one day to record 38 minutes of live meditation and another day to make editing decisions together.  There there were many further hours of painstaking tweaking back at home and many more for my sound engineer to mix in the music and master the tracks just perfectly.  It took six months altogther before I was holding the finished product in my hand.

And yet, there I was today, collecting the second edition of my meditation CD, knowing that dozens of friends, family, clients and colleagues were eagerly awaiting them, and that many, many more could benefit from them.  I have the experience of knowing how satisfying it is to complete a work like this and am delighted with the finished product.

Recalling the process of the CD production, I was reminded that sometimes when we set out to create something, there can be a difficult beginning.  There can be some inertia to overcome before the positive momentum gets underway.  So I took heart at this – after all,  I am just at the beginning of my book creation journey.  My spirits were also lifted by the poetic synchronicity that my CDs were ready on the very day that I started to write my book.

The day had turned around.  On the way back home, I had a pleasant visit with my relative who is recovering well and was in the most amazing, peaceful cottage hospital overlooking the Teign estuary – the view from her bed alone is deeply therapeutic.

By the time I got home, I felt encouraged to go for my evening run, something that had felt impossible to contemplate in my shut-down, energy-less state earlier in the day.  Running is a new practice for me – something I have taken up in parallel with book writing – so I have faced similar challenges whilst getting under way.

On the first day, my running was slow, short and laboured.  I felt like I was dragging around a big heavy sack of a body.  The second day was similar, though I managed to run twice as far.  Likewise on the third.  On the fourth day, now running four times as far as the first, my stride felt light – I actually enjoyed it!  However, on the fifth day, for some inexplicable reason I dropped back to running only as far as on the third day, and the whole thing was a bit of an ordeal.

Today, the sixth day, I ran as far as the fourth day again.   So, it really has been a case of four steps forward, two steps back, and one step forward again.  “But hey”, I thought to enourage myself along, “look at the upside.  That’s 400% better than a week ago!  And I’m feeling the benefits, even if I’m only staggering half way around the village.  I am sure that getting out every day and moving my body has added to quite an uplift in my happiness, energy and general well being.”

And the irony is, that having done all that – got myself on the ‘must write my book’ hook and taken myself off back off again – that when I came in from my run, all I wanted to do was get onto the laptop and write!!

My big, wise self was right – the juicy creativity is right there within the shadow that I was resisting – and THAT is what I want to write about.  The reason I want to write the book is to share tips and experience on how to put wisdom and inspiration into practice.  I don’t want to just spout theory, or tell stories to illustrate my points, but to describe in real-time, nitty gritty, intimate detail what it is like to apply that wisdom and inspiration and move through the ups and downs joyfully and easily.

The biggest irony of today is that the previous blog I posted on my website is called Trusting the Tides of Inspiration.  It is all about how to trust your intuition to do or not do things, to be natural and not to push.  So how do I square that all away with ‘pushing’ through my inertia, confusion, self doubt and resistance today?

Well, the thing is, I didn’t push.  I didn’t force.  When I did ‘try’ too hard earlier this morning, I ended up with pressure in my head and and irresistable desire to sleep.

Things turned around when I wisely and compassionately acknowledged what was going on, confided in a loved one, let myself receive reassurance, and gave myself permission to trust that I knew best and could follow what was really good for me to do.

Instead of pushing, I softened and opened.  Yes, I kept my intention and purpose in mind, but I wasn’t harsh and insisting about how to go forward.  Instead I became curious about what was resisting and invited that part of me into the equation.  I teach exactly the same principle in meditation practice.  We set our intention – the focus of the meditation – and if we get side tracked, we lovingly acknowledge what is wanting to take our attention away, and include it in the meditation.

That is why I begin guiding meditation by including all the things we can hear, smell, taste and touch.  And then the same with anything we are feeling or thinking.  Rather than resisting or denying or resenting any ‘distractions’ from our focus, we welcome them all into our awareness.  It is like getting all the passengers on the bus before it sets off.

On the run today, I gently LEANED IN to the experience of feeling tired and wanting to stop rather than PUSHING THROUGH.  This gave me a soft, flexible strength – made pliable by understanding, tenderness and warmth.  Just like the tree is made stronger by the sap running through the trunk, allowing it to bend and yield in the wind, likewise a compassionate curiousity and inclusion allows us to flex rather than break.

And when we bounce back – like the tree trunk finding it’s natural upright position after being bent in the storm – the energy comes naturally and effortlessly.  In my case, after my run, an incessant stream of two thousand or so words flowed easily through my fingers into the laptop in the course of an hour.

And I’ve learned one very important practical lesson today – when I write and circle the word WRITING into my diary, it denotes a day to do whatever feels right to get myself into a natural, relaxed, inspired state of heart and soul, body and mind.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will write actual words.  The words will come if I clarify my intention and then relax.  Just like with meditation, if I lovingly include whatever is attempting to estrange me from my natural flow, the book will write itself.

Will these words make it into my book?  Well maybe they will, but it really doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I feel whole and free and satisfied, and just a little bit clearer on why I want to write a book in the first place!


Trusting the Tides of Inspiration

Recently I was looking for a piece of writing to submit as part of my application for a book writing scholarship and came across this blog I wrote four years ago.  It was written during a wonderful ‘raw and real’ six months when we were living in two caravans in a ‘wild field’ between moving house.

The fantastic news is that I won first place on the scholarship and have embarked upon writing my book with the amazing Julia McCutchen of the International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers.  Meditating on my subject today, I realised how appropriate this submitted piece of writing is, as it really captures an essence of my forthcoming book.

So here it is again, encouraging you to flow with your natural rhythms and trust the tides of your inspiration…

Do you trust your own rhythms?  Do you allow yourself to do nothing and stare into space just because you feel like it?  If a rush of creative ideas wakes you up at night, do you get up and start scribbling or smother it down because ‘you must get your sleep’?  When all your energy has vanished, do you force yourself to get on with some work or allow yourself to rest?…

Observing the ebb and flow of my creative energy here at the wild field has prompted me think about this.  When we first moved, it was easy to see why I wasn’t dreaming up any new workshops or enthusiastically promoting my latest inner wisdom product – I was exhausted!  Then the weeks went on and I settled deeply into my inner world – wanting to do little more than meditate and write.

After a while, I started to get a bit concerned. What if all that creative juice has gone?   Should I try to drum something up?  But no matter how I looked at it, I just did not feel like it.  I know from hard experience that it’s counter-productive to exhaust myself trying to swim against the tide, but it’s not always easy to keep the faith.  None-the-less, this time I managed to wait and trust that the change would come naturally.

Then, a week or two ago, it happened – a huge uprush of creativity and inspiration came bursting through.  Ideas, excitement, enthusiasm and energy aplenty – fully formed and in such abundance – and my new workshop was conceived.  A couple of phone calls were made and the people and resources I wanted fell into place beautifully.  There was a quality of effortless co-operation with a power so much greater and wiser than myself.  My job was to be switched on enough to notice the turning tide, fit enough to get on the surf board and keep my balance, and from there-on-in simply have a wonderful ride!

To me, one of the greatest gifts of my self-determining lifestyle is the delicious opportunity to follow my natural rhythms more truly.  Sometimes its an emotional rhythm – feeling slow and sad or fast and excited; sometimes its intellectual – clear as a bell or dull as dish water.  Then there are physical rhythms prompted by hormonal changes or meal, exercise and sleep patterns.  And of course there’s the environment – the light, the dark, the sun the moon, the seasons, the weather, the surroundings…

Our bodies and psyches are fantastically engineered sensing machines.  Should you pay attention – simply pay attention! – you get all the bio/psychic feedback you need in a nano second and you will KNOW what’s right for you at every turn.  However, if you override this awareness by getting too busy and out of touch with yourself (or giving too much of your power and freedom away to an over-demanding person or job), you lose one of your most precious abilities – to regulate a happy, balanced lifestyle for yourself.  What’s more, regulating yourself like this is your primary responsibility in life.  No one else can do this for you or be blamed if you do not do it for yourself.

I’m quite impressed with Paul McKenna’s work with regard to this.  Paul McKenna www.paulmckenna.com is a British hypnotherapist who has written many excellent self-help books including I Can Make You Thin.  The core principle of this book is that to eat appropriately (and therefore lose excess weight) you simply need to tune into this self-regulating ability.  By slowing down and paying deep attention to what food your body really wants, you naturally find your optimum weight.

However, there’s another whole dimension of rhythm in our lives – the ebb and flow of INSPIRATION – our spiritual rhythm.  When you are inspired you feel a creative energy rising up within you, giving you the ideas, direction and impetus to make something new happen.  It seems to bubble up from inside you even if its triggered by an external source like a stimulating talk or a sublime piece of music.  Sometimes it just seems to come from no-where.

The Buddha taught that inspiration can only be experienced when you have prepared yourself to receive it.  When you first start to meditate, it can take a while to draw all your disparate energies into some sort of coherence.  That’s what meditation does for you first of all – it helps you feel less scattered and more focussed and more whole and complete. This is the initial stage of INTEGRATION (bringing together).

Only then – when you have a sense of being in possession of your whole self – can inspiration start to come through into an adequate container.  This second stage, not surprisingly, is called INSPIRATION.  Having pulled yourself into some sort of shape, your natural creative energy has a place to arise and a vehicle through which to express itself.  It feels like you have a well-spring within you, constantly bubbling up from your deep inner source.

I explain these two aspects of meditation in this video – Meditation for Integration and Insight

As a coach, I have always preferred to work with inspiration rather than motivation.  As well as being a carrot rather than stick approach, it is a much more empowering and graceful way to work.  Helping people ignite their own natural joyful impetus is more independently sustainable for the client than trying to push them up a mountain they’d rather not climb.

Sometimes I think we’ve got it all wrong – that we think we have to ‘make’ ourselves do stuff because it’s ‘good for us’.  No, no!  Spend the time to develop the self-love and find the thing you really want to be doing because you were meant to be doing it!  Then its just a matter of lighting the touch-paper and standing back while an inspired new lifestyle takes off!

Inspiration is a massive force for the good.  When you are inspired you are in touch with who you truly are and feel moved by love and joy rather than fear and dread.  One of my favourite tips is the one that tells us how to know when you are making the right decision.  By asking yourself , ‘Am I making this choice from love or fear?’ you can discern whether you are doing things for the best (the best way is ALWAYS the one that is inspired by love rather than avoiding fear).  If you are making a choice based on love, you feel expanded and free.  If you are making the choice from fear, you feel contracted and strained.  You can feel that expansion or contraction in your body – often in your tummy area.  There’s a reason why we use the term ‘gut instinct’.

I go into the art of following the right inner promptings in this video – ‘Which Voice in Your Head Do You Trust?

So please do keep the faith, dear people – you do know what’s best for you.  Your only responsibility is to cultivate sensitivity to your rhythms and allow inspiration to flow.  Of course many of us have busy lives with many demands, but even within that, it’s possible to invest a little time developing awareness.  Meditation is a brilliant way to do this.  Just ten minutes a day – sitting quietly, feeling your breath move through your body – is a wonderful start.

Listen here to a two minute meditation to help you drop into that awareness.  If you wish, you can then sit on for a while, enjoying your inner space…

Click here – 2 minute meditation

 

 

 

 


What Helps When You are Feeling Down?

Having just navigated my way through a few days of (rare for me) ‘down time’, its got me thinking…

What really helps when you are feeling down?

Well, the starting point is simply this:

1. Accept how you are feeling.

The energy we put into resisting our feelings when difficult emotions are bubbling under the surface is incredible.   Instead, we keep ourselves zombie-like – plodding along in a low-grade  half-life – not happy, but not engaging with what’s going on either.

Our habit of blaming ourselves can mean that we’d rather remain in a state of brittle denial.  We can’t admit to ourselves that we feel this way as we would judge ourselves for being so.  It is better to pretend that we are okay.

But if we can just surrender for a few moments – really allow ourselves to feel how we feel – yes we feel the pain more fully, but we also begin to let in a little love and tenderness.  Much like we would if we were giving attention to a friend who was having a hard time.

Rather than being lost in this no-man/woman’s-land, it is better if we can NAME what we are feeling.  Naming it means that we are no longer subsumed by it.  Part of us is now standing outside and looking in, and we can feel some compassion for ourselves.

And having accepted how we are, we have the option of turning towards something more positive.

2. Take ONE tiny step.

When we are feeling down, everything can feel overwhelming.  We don’t WANT to do anything to help ourselves.  It’s all too much.

So my suggestion is this – choose ONE thing from the list below.  Just one.  One thing that appeals a little bit…

*  have a bath

*  go for a walk

*  make a fresh juice or a wholesome soup

*  listen to a guided meditation

*  get closer to nature / go outside

*  confide in a good friend

*  clean and tidy up

*  read something inspiring

*  count your blessings

*  have a nap

*  hang out with positive people

*  enjoy some exercise

*  listen to uplifting music

*  pray to receive support

*  do something to help someone else

*  channel inner guidance

*  reflect on your good qualities

*  make love or have a cuddle

*  look for beauty in everything

*  find the hidden gem/lesson /meaning in your issue

3. Take another step

What you will probably find is that once you’ve taken one step, you feel inclined to take another.  And some positive momentum builds from there.

For example, this morning, still feeling a wee bit under par, I decided to do one thing nice thing for myself – have a bath.

That prompted me to read some inspiring words from a book while the bath was running.  After my bath I did a little light housework and made a fresh juice for breakfast.

It is a bright day and I could hear the church bells ringing, so I went for a walk, pausing at the church door to listen to the congregation singing a hymn.

On the way home I popped in at our caravan in a nearby field and told it out loud how wonderful it is and how much I love it.

During my walk, all these ‘how to lift yourself up’ ideas came to me, culminating in the inspiration to write this blog.  My hope is it might support you too if you are feeling less than wonderful today.

4. Find the hidden gem

There’s always a nugget of gold buried in our difficult emotions.  Our feelings are trying to tell us something, bring our attention to something that will open understanding and meaning to a situation or experience.

I reckon the hidden gem in my ‘down time’ these last few days has been a) the need to rest and restore at the end of a very busy, productive year b) the opportunity to release some grief  from the past (see below) and  c) the prompt to write this blog and share something that might be supportive to others going through a bit of ‘down-time’.

This is my Facebook post about my hidden gems:-

“Emerging out of 5 day inner journey. Started with feeling of ‘flatness’, low energy, tinge of unhappiness, lack of customary inspiration/creativity, desire for more sleep, not wanting to do anything or communicate much…

Felt curious – was this just me being tired at the end of many months of huge activity and productivity? A bit weary after 10 days of tending to son Jamie being acutely unwell?  Raw after an emotional sort-out with my husband Pat (the resolution of which was postponed around Jamie’s illness). Was astrology / weather getting me down?

Counted my blessings that there wasn’t much in the diary and I could potter on with undemanding filing and accounts. Then yesterday, it dawned on me – memories of Decembers caring for ill, dying and bereaved loved ones in years gone past, and not being too well myself.

So it seems I was just releasing a bit of seasonal grief and heartbreak, perhaps triggered by Jamie being ill again. Felt better as soon as I realised this. Better to feel the raw grief rather than the depressive blanket of nothing that holds it out of awareness.

Reminded that its healthy to feel these things, lovingly acknowledge buried feelings, that we only feel these things when we are ready to, that I must be experiencing a deeper healing around these issues than ever before.

Thinking of going along the Movement Medicine dance class this evening – a beautiful way to honour, heal and release any anguish still stored in the body. That and I think I’ll put up the Christmas tree now – to remind myself of all the many, many loving, celebratory, happy memories that Decembers have given me too…”

5. Love is the answer

Giving a little attention where it is due is a profoundly loving act.  That’s all we are doing when we honestly accept  how we are feeling – truly loving ourselves just the way we are.

It gives us the momentum to take a positive step, and maybe even another, and another…

And opens up the possibility of gaining some wisdom and insight from our experience, some meaning, some letting go.

And so I’ll leave you with this song sung by Aloe Blacc, Love is the Answer.

This was shared by my Facebook friend today, the very lovely Mark Bajerski.  (Check out his wonderful biography, Diary of an Accidental Psychic.)

Love is the answer, that’s for sure, and we need only begin with one tiny step to let it back in to our life.