Thrivecraft ™ inspirational training, mentoring and business alchemy for coaches and meditation teachers

inner guidance

Art of Love Relationship Workshop

The Art of Love

Creating & Deepening Fulfilling Relationships

For singles, couples and all

 

Thrivecraft Weekend Workshop

with Srimati

Near Totnes, Devon, UK

  Sat 15 / Sun 16 June 2013

blue buddha face

An inspiring, powerful and warm-hearted workshop to

   * Get ready for and manifest your ideal new relationship

   * Re-invigorate and deepen connection with your partner

   * Let go of the past and deal with relationship issues

   * Communicate better with family, friends and colleagues

   * Boost confidence, self worth, fulfillment and happiness

   * Share wisdom and support with other friendly Thrivecrafters

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Understand.  Trust.  Enjoy.

Find clarity.  Be inspired.  Create your dreams.

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At Glazebrook Country House Hotel

Near Totnes, Devon, UK

Click here for Glazebrook Country House Hotel website

 £149

 includes lunches and refreshments

For more info and to book, click orange button below:

Eventbrite - The Art of Love: Create & Deepen Fulfilling Relationships


Saying Yes to Abundance Workshop

“What can I expect to get from your workshop?” asks Karen Davies of http://www.mywellbeinguk.co.uk

Here’s my answer!

 


Relax Into Your Inspiration

Here is my latest tip for you – relax!!

In this brand new video, I explain why relaxing into your natural rhythm fosters inspiration and allows you to create and make things happen joyfully and with ease…

 

 

 

 


Finding wisdom from within

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My new guided meditation – out now!

click sample below to preview meditation

sample

“Your meditation is beautiful and very powerful.

I love the dreamy music and your treacly voice – heaven!

As part of my journey to find answers, I will listen to this every morning.

Thanks for helping me to find my true self.

You have a really special gift.”

– Charlotte Turner, artist.

I am so delighted to be launching my new guided meditation, Ask Your Inner Wisdom.

 This meditation has been specially created by me to take you deep into your own inner wisdom to find answers to personal questions.

Allow my voice and specially composed music to lead you on an effortless journey to find solutions and resolve dilemmas in your life, love and business.

During the course of 20 minutes, you will find yourself relaxing into a deep source of nourishment and wisdom and finding an answer to an everyday or pressing problem.

Suitable for experienced meditators and novices alike, this meditation is an easy, enjoyable meditation that will delight you with its beauty and power.

Return as often as you like to plumb the depths of your own inner wisdom – a source of direction beyond our usual ‘thinking mind’ that is wise, trustworthy and leads to the very best outcomes.

Just find a comfortable place to sit where you will be undisturbed for a while, close your eyes, and away you go…

Ask Your Inner Wisdom

New guided meditation by Maggie Kay

Mp3 Download (20 mins)

£5

Buy Now – instant download

Buy Now

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In this video, Maggie Kay explains how this meditation helps you to find your intuitive wisdom…

 


Stop for a moment…

Stop for a moment.  Just a moment.  It’s okay.  It’s really good for you.  Take a deep breath.  Breathe out.  And another.  Breathe out.

Is there somewhere you can sit down for a few minutes?   Or a quieter place to stand?  Decide to take a few more minutes to yourself.   Breathe freely.  Stretch, shake out, then settle again. Let the tension sigh away as you breath out.  Be at ease.

Where are you?  Look around.  See the colours and shapes around you.  Then close your eyes if you can.  Breathe in the air.  What can you smell?  Taste?  What can you hear?  Near?  Far?  Notice what you are touching.  What’s touching you.  The textures.  The temperatures.  Your feet on the ground. The air on your face. The way your clothes wrap your body.  Breathe in and out through your senses.

Breathing into your whole body.  Let your weight drop down.  Down into the ground.   Let your breath move through you.  Soften your muscles.  Shoulders drop.  Tummy round.  Jaw loose.  Tongue free.  Feel the breath reaching your toes.  Running along your spine.  Arriving at your finger tips. Tingling your scalp.

Breathing swimming through you.  Let go of thinking for a while.  Give yourself a delicious time out.  Nothing to figure out for now.  Let your eyes be soft and dewy.  The mask of your face melt.  Brain slack.  Thoughts gently floating to the ground.  Like dust particles falling through a sunny room.

Feel how good it is to breathe.  To just be breathing.  There’s nothing else you need do right now.  Just breathing.  Sensing.  Being.

Feel your chest rise and fall.  What’s it like in there?  Tight?  Expansive?  Allow it to open a little more.  Breathe into the area around your heart.  Does it feel good?  Uncomfortable?  Numb?  Just breathe.  However it is or isn’t.

Feel your upset.  That’s okay.  Feel your good feelings.  That’s okay.  Feel your blankness.  That’s okay.  Whatever you feel or don’t feel.  That’s okay.

Breathe into the whole of yourself.  Every molecule.  Every vibration.  Your body.  Your mind.  Your heart.  Let yourself drop deep.  Let yourself spread wide.  Let the breath be everywhere.

Notice the space inside you.  The warmth.  The places that feel good.  Breathe.  Allow them to expand.  Feel the freedom within you.  Let it grow.  Know that everything is going to be okay.  Feel the vastness within and around you.

All that you think.  All that you feel.  All that you sense.  All that you know.

Being with all that you are.

Now.  What’s bothering you?  What’s on your mind?

A decision?  A problem?  A question?

What is it?  What’s troubling you?  Choose one thing you’d like to resolve.

Breathe with all that you are.  Make it clear in your mind what this one issue is.

Feel the energy of it in your body.  Feel the emotion of it in your heart.  In your breath.

Now imagine yourself picking up your issue and rolling into a pebble in your hands.  There is a beautiful, deep, clear pool of water before you.  After a moment, make a wish to resolve your issue and drop your pebble into the pool.  Let the pebble sink down, down, down to the bottom of the pool.

Just being for a while.   Enjoying the ripples.

Then….  you notice.  There seem to be some messages coming from the ripples.   What whispers do you hear?  What images appear?  What ideas occur to you?

It may not make sense.  It may not be what you expect.  It doesn’t matter.  Just notice.  Whatever happens or doesn’t happen is perfect.

Take a few more moments to be.  Breathe.

Now, with the next few breaths, waking back up.  Take a deep breath and stretch.   Open your eyes.   Feeling whole and fresh.  Wake up.

Remind yourself what just happened by the pool.  What was your issue?  What messages did you receive about it?

Whether  you received any messages or not.  Whether you understand them or not.  Let it be.  You may not know how yet.  Restate your wish to have your issue resolved.  Carry on with your day.

Now and over the next few days, open yourself to whatever help or ideas come your way.

Revelation – finding wisdom from within

New guided meditation

Want some help with the process?

Download my brand new guided meditation – Revelation: finding wisdom from within – specially created to drop you deep into your own source of inner wisdom.

Click here for details – maggiekaywisdom.com/meditation-shop


Secret of Successful Manifestation / Ah Meditation

You know about the Law of Attraction and have long been practising positive thinking and affirmations.

Whether you were switched on in the 60s when you learned to meditate, during the 80s reading Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ or relatively recently watching the DVD of  ‘The Secret’, you are familiar with the universal principle that we “create our own reality”.

But have you REALLY got the hang of it?  Are you seeing all the positive developments you would like in your life?

There’s a subtle principle at the heart of manifestation practises that makes all the difference.  It’s something that took me a while to grasp, and I’ve been studying and practising these arts for over 30 years!

The key is to be truly RECEPTIVE as well as positively focussed.  As well as ‘asking’ for what we desire to come into our life, it is important to allow ourselves to really ‘receive’ it.

If we are too narrow, tense or controlling, about the details of how or when our dreams will come to fruition, we risk repelling what we desire.  We must be relaxed and open for it to truly ‘land’.

There’s a formula (more of a metaphor, really) that I like to use which is

100% intention + 100% surrender = manifestation

In other words, as well as being clear, committed and focussed on your desired outcome (100% intention), it is equally important to let go of any attachment to what may or may not happen (100% surrender).

Letting go of attachment releases tension.  YOU don’t have to figure out how or when it’s going to happen.  YOU don’t have to control or manipulate events to make it happen.  Instead, you surrender to a higher intelligence in the universe (God, karma, nature, destiny, law of attraction – however you experience it) and simply put your trust in the process.

It may seem like a paradox – to be 100% intentional and 100% surrendered at the same time – but it’s not.  An attitude of bright hope, eagerness and positivity combined with relaxation, faith and receptivity is completely magnetic!

The true power of manifestation lies in our ability to lift our energy, our spirit, our vibration to the level of what we desire.  Once we do that, people, events and opportunities match that energy and mirror it right back to us.

If it’s a promotion you seek – imagine yourself happy in your new job.  If it’s a soul mate – feel what it’s like to be fulfilled in love.  If it’s a more prosperous way of living – visualise living in that bigger house, driving that new car.

Once you inhabit what you seek in your imagination (as though it’s already happening) with consistent energy and focus  – and at the same time let go of tension and control – you create the optimum environment for it to show up in your life.

Rachel Elnaugh (Dragons’ Den) discusses the art of manifestation with Srimati

The ‘art of manifestation’ penny finally dropped with me listening to the fabulous Abraham-Hicks teachings.  (One of my all time favourite spiritual teachings)

http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/index.php

Abraham-Hicks explain that it is not really a matter of ‘manifesting’ in the sense of creating things out there and moving towards them.  Rather, we simply create the energetic magnetic field within ourselves, keep a relaxed focus and allow those things (that have already been created simply by our wishing them) to move towards us – something they will inevitably do.

It is a question of ALLOWING – not earning, not winning, not acquiring – simply resonating with and then ALLOWING.

Another of my favourite teachings comes via Wayne Dyer in the form of the Ah Meditation.  Like the Abraham-Hicks teachings, this practice has long been integrated into my coaching and workshops.

The Ah meditation is a perfect way to develop 100% intention and 100% surrender.

It is a simple, short and powerful manifestation technique that will catapult your efforts into hyperdrive!

In the following videos I am teaching the Ah meditation at the Entrepreneurs Find Inner Wisdom event (attended by Rachel above) a couple of years ago, followed by a guided practice.

Please be my guest and let me know how you get on with it…

 

 


Can we use intuition in our everyday lives?

In this video clip from our informal cafe chat, Judy Piatkus (founder of Piatkus Books) is asking me about how to use inner wisdom in our everyday lives.  Is it something anyone can access?  And how do we do it?

 

 


Follow Your Bliss

Three little words – famously coined by Joseph Campbell – hold the key to a truly happy, fulfilled life.

Follow. Your. Bliss.

To follow you need to find the trail.  Maybe you can’t exactly see what your final destination is, but you get a bit of the picture, a feeling, a general sense of direction.

And it is okay to take one step at a time and trust that the next step will be revealed.  All you need do is ensure that you are still on the path of bliss, that each step feels good – even if you don’t know where it is ulitmately leading.

It is your bliss we are talking about.  Not anyone else’s!  And not what other people think should be yours.  What sets you alight, turns you on, fills you with happiness?

And you don’t have to understand why you feel that way, justify your passion to yourself or anyone else, or know how your dreams will be achieved.

You came into the world with your own unique talents, interests and potential.  Just stick to what you really love, trust what feels good and eventually it will all take shape.

And what is bliss?  It is something deeper than just immediate gratification.  It is an expansive feeling of rightness, truth, freedom, unfolding, fulfilment.  It bubbles up from deep within.

Sometimes we choose what we think we want, but it does not really satisfy us.  It feels hollow, like it hasn’t really hit the spot

If that’s the case, we are probably not truly following our inner guidance, but are compromising in some way (usually to please others, or because we think there’s no other option).

Bliss arises when you are attuned to your inner wisdom and are being guided by love rather than fear.

You are making choices that are satisfying and sustainable and that lead to more happiness and good choices – a positive spiral.

I explain more about how to step into this positive spiral in the following video clip – Which Voice In My Head Do I Trust? (My most watched video!)

So if you have a decision to make, take a few breaths and check in with yourself.

Make sure that you are feeling expansive, inspired and loving before you make your choice.  That way you can be confident that you are on the right path to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Follow your bliss!


Tap Into Your Intuition

Are you Intuitive?  Yes you are.

Everyone is intuitive.  It is part of you.  It is just a matter of waking it up, excercising the ‘muscles’ and learning what signals to trust.

Think about it for a moment.  Think about all those times you’ve had a hunch, a gut feeling or a sensation deep down that you just KNOW what’s right.  That’s your intuition speaking to you.

Do you listen though?  How often do you follow your inner promptings and let your intuition guide your decisions?  Do you realise how much of a smoother ride you would have in life if you did?

The trouble is that we are not very schooled in how to find and use our intuition.  These days, the emphasis is on our quick thinking rather than our deep knowing.  This means that most of us are missing out on a fantastic natural method of getting the best from life.

How do you tap into your intuition?

Intuition Pictures, Images and Photos

Pause and take a few deep breaths.

Ask yourself what’s best.

Receive your answer.

It’s as simple as that!

Inner guidance, answers and solutions are literally a few breaths away.

The first trick is to REMEMBER to pause and ask at the outset.

Take 10

The best way to remember to pause and ask in the heat of your busy everyday life is to practise a little when things are quieter.

Just 10 quiet minutes a day will really help.  Spend 10 minutes of every day sitting quietly by yourself – no TV, radio, phone, computer or interruptions – just you sitting down, relaxing, feeling your breath moving through your body.

If you are not accustomed to ‘taking 10’ like this, you will be amazed how refreshing it is and how good it makes you feel for the rest of the day.

It is good to find a regular spot in the day that works for you – like after your morning cuppa, on the train to work (providing you have earphones!), or sitting in the car when the kids are dropped off at school – and to incorporate it into your everyday routine.

Watch to find out how life gets better when we use our intuition…

Try my guided audio to tap into your inner wisdom…

Simply listen, relax and find your own answers.

Click http://www.srimati.com/shop to download


A Message of Freedom

Last week I was in London attending the book launch of Barefoot Doctor’s – The Message.  It was a fantastic event hosted by my dear colleagues Imago People TV – a brand new TV based marketing portal for transformational teachers, evolutionaries and heart-centered thought leaders.

Transformational Goddesses @RachelElnaugh @eros_and_psyche @k... on Twitpic

Jude Levy, Rachel Elnaugh and Katharine Dever (Imago founders)

www.imagopeople.tv

I loved it!  The theatre was full of sparkling, inspired, genuine friends and collaborators, gathered for this special occasion – the launch of Imago’s first book publication having recently signed Barefoot as Imago’s first ‘star’.

After his talk, Barefoot signed books and then we were transported to a Soho nightclub by a fleet of people-carriers where we had a trance-dance after party.  The cocktails were flowing and Barefoot and his DJ friend led a pumping set.  A brilliant way to end the night!

I began reading my copy of The Message this morning.  Having heard Barefoot speak just a few days ago, the pages are alive with his voice and presence.  I was taken right back to watching him on stage – yes with bare feet – talking from the heart without notes and SO eloquently.

And it’s juicy stuff – captivating and satisfying at such a deep level.  It reminded me of when I first heard Buddhism taught so excellently by the funky, fresh, bright young guys at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre in the 1980s.

At the tender age of 19, I was awestruck at the meaning and magic being revealed to me.  I was being given the ways and means to live a very blessed life – and although I no longer consider myself to be a Buddhist (prefering to be open to all forms of spiritual wisdom) – those early teachings have nourished me for decades.

And The Message – deeply infused with the Taoist wisdom that Barefoot draws from – describes the same universal principles of freedom, self-mastery and interconnectedness that is the essence of all untainted spiritual teaching.

Hot off the Press - @ImagoPeopleTV  's first book '... on Twitpic

This morning I am sitting in my conservatory back home in the beautiful Devon countryside, listening to the birds and the sound of our village church bells, watching the trees and shrubs bounce in the gentle wind.  It is so peaceful after the hurly-burly of London…

Even although I lived in London for 16 formative years, I rarely strayed beyond the ‘urban village’ created by the Buddhist community I belonged to.  And these days, I am very much a country bumpkin – an innocent – unused to the wiley ways of London living.

So when I realised that I’d got lost walking from my city hotel to the Barefoot event at Sadlers Wells Theatre, I had an attack of anxiety.  I was lost and alone in the backstreets of Shoreditch, the opposite direction to where I should have been going ( must have been a homing instinct as I used to live in the east end).

Asking directions at a film studio, I was advised to retrace my steps all the way to the main road and catch a cab.  It was going to take ages and I was already late!  Arghh!  Panic!  But the bigger, wiser part of me was cool.  “Don’t worry”, she said, “it’ll be okay.  Just put out a prayer.”

“Please I’d like a taxi to show up for me now”, I thought , and sure enough, a black cab immediately appeared from around the corner to drop someone off right in front of me.  I told the cabbie he was my angel and gave him a big tip.  We made it to the theatre in time.

It was the second ‘kind assistance from strangers’ experience of my London trip.  The first had come in the form of two incredibly sweet receptionists at the hotel who couldn’t do enough to help when I requested a change  to a quieter room.

I had considered just putting up with the roaring traffic, but then thought, “Well why not just ask?”  In the end my room was much nicer and twice the size of the first – and very quiet.  “Hmmm, it’s good practice to simply ask for better things”, I reflected.

The next experience of the kindliness of strangers came a few hours later at the book launch.  I pulled out my purse to pay for drinks and my payment cards were nowhere to be seen.  For a few moments, panic swept through me “They’ve been stolen!  How had that happened?  How was I going to pay for my hotel? What do I need to do to cancel them and stop them being used?”

But somehow, even in the swirl of panic, part of me was chilled, loving, peaceful.  Time slowed down.  Although the bar was busy, the bar tender was patient and smiled sympathetically.  A complete stranger standing next to me offered to pay my bill.  In a few moments, all was well when I discovered my cards had simply fallen out of my purse into my bag. Phew!  But how nice to have been held in my moment of anxiety by the care of others I didn’t even know.

However, the biggest ‘angelic intervention’ via strangers happened the following day when I was on my way to a client’s home for a day of coaching.  In the night, I had knocked a glass of water over my Blackberry (Instant manifestation there too.  In my half-sleep I thought, “Wouldn’t it be awful if I knocked my water on my Blackberry”, and it promptly happened!  Be careful what you think about Srimati!).  In the morning, my Blackberry wouldn’t work.

The dreadful realisation that I didn’t actually have my client’s full address or phone number written down anywhere soon overwhelmed me.  I was relying on my Blackberry for all that information!  Once again, complete panic!  And then, once again, the bigger part of me was reassuring, amused, loving, and enjoying the adventure of it all.  Something would work out.  “Just be open to having some help, as with the taxi”, my inner wisdom said.

I set off.  At least I knew the name and whereabouts of the apartment block.  Maybe there would only be a few flats to choose from and I’d find her.  But when I arrived at the address, I was gazing up at a huge tower block – with at least a hundred apartments!  How was I going to track her down?

I asked a few residents but no-one seemed to know my client.  I chatted with a friendly cleaner who was mopping the floor.  He was sorry but he didn’t know her either.  With me still feeling strangely peaceful despite the impasse, he melted into the moment with me and suddenly remembered that there was a concierge office for the estate just a short walk away.  Maybe they could help.

They did and I was on time for my client.  More importantly, with the backing of my calm, loving bigger self, I had navigated the problem without getting flustered and was still in great nick to conduct my coaching day.

To me these events are such a striking example of our ability to respond creatively even when something challenging is happening to us.  If we are aware enough of that bigger, calmer, wiser loving self (even when another part of us is panicking) there is always a positive choice to make – even if its just to be open to the help of strangers when we are feeling alone and vulnerable.

I read somewhere recently, “Nothing happens by accident.  It merely has a purpose that is not yet understood.”.  I like that.  I like the idea that whatever happens is for a purpose, even if it’s not what we want, and even if we are not consciously aware of it’s deeper purpose yet.

On reflection, I recognised that I had unconsciously created these circumstances during my London trip for a purpose.  The purpose was to graphically demonstrate to myself that I deserve help, support and the best of things; that I am not alone and don’t have to struggle the hard way and that if I am stuck, even random strangers will help me if I only ask.  That’s good stuff for an independent person like me to realise.

In this video, I am talking about the freedom of choice that comes from being able to tune in to our inner wisdom – our bigger, wiser self.  Being awake to this allows us to calm down, take our time, make the right decisions, be open to the positive options available to us.

Its just as Barefoot describes in The Message –

“Because as soon as you can see all aspects of the manifest world – this world of people and machines, this world of nature, this world of planets, stars and galaxies, this world of infinite space, and this world of you – as an expression of the ineffable background presence, as the Tao throwing shapes on the dance floor of the universe, you are no longer fooled or perturbed by appearances.”

“So that no matter how thrilling or scary your circumstances in any given moment, no matter how scintillating or distracting the current configuration of details, you remain centered, referenced to and identified with the prime cause informing it all and are thus able to maintain equilibrium and perspective at all times.  You are able to receive and process the endless incoming stream of information as an expression of absolute love, life and consciousness, as an expression of God or the Tao talking to you.”

So thank you Barefoot Doctor for inspiring me to write this blog this morning.  It was a pleasure to meet you and to participate in your beautiful transmission of The Message.


Find Your Inner Wisdom – Free Audio Give-away

If I have one mission in life it is to alert you to the immense wealth you already have at your diposal – your inner wisdom!

We all have the capacity to dip in to this pot of gold to find answers, solutions and direction at every step.  But some of you have yet to find out how to visit this inner world – or know what to do once you get there!

Actually, it’s very simple.  You can soon learn how to pause and tune in to your ‘inner wisdom frequency’.  And how to tell it apart from the fretful noise in your head which can lead you astray!

In recent years, I have created a guided audio experience (okay, yes, meditation if you like!) that shortcuts you to your inner wisdom.

I’ve discovered that even those of you who are ‘not the meditating type’ find it easy and enjoyable.  So give it a try!

And many of you seasoned meditators have reported how refreshing and useful it is to be guided straight to wise answers with this unique audio journey.

As a festive season give-away, I am making the MP3 download of my guided audio available to you absolutely free!

As an added bonus, you can also download the recording of my recent webinar on Inner Wisdom hosted by mother-entrepreneur magazine, Tunza Spirit.  www.tunzaspirit.com

In the webinar I describe how just 10 minutes of quiet time a day can prepare you to ‘hear’ your inner wisdom – and how to create this precious you-time in your day so that it becomes second nature.

To whet your inner wisdom appetite, check out this short video where I’m talking about inner wisdom, my guided meditation and forthcoming book.

The gold within you awaits!

Just click the link below for FREE access to the MP3 download of Answers: Finding Wisdom from Within.

Plus bonus access to my recent Tunza Spirit magazine webinar packed with tips and insights on finding and using Inner Widom.

https://srimati.sharefile.com/d/s8fb11b5427a41d48

Remember, this free give-away ends on the 7th January 2012.  Get your downloads now!

Seasons greetings everyone!

8TH JAN UPDATE – THIS OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED.

However, you can still download the guided audio for £6.99.

Click here http://www.srimati.com/shop


Happiness, Life Balance and Feminine Wisdom

Everyone seems to be talking about it – that the time is upon us to make radical changes – to find kinder, more balanced ways to prosper in life and business.

As the ‘old ways’ of greed and exploitation continue to falter and fall, we are digging deeper than ever to find alternatives.  How can we create fair societies, healthy economies and sustainable lifestyles?

Even the government has commissioned a study on how to foster happiness, finally acknowledging how important this personal level of well being is.

I am relieved to say I have heard on a reliable grapevine that the government are genuinely taking heed of the findings.

And thank goodness some attention is being placed where it is due.  After all, when we are happy we are healthier, more productive and cause less trouble!  All governments should take heed!

Here’s the link to newly launched Action for Happiness whose work I follow and admire – www.actionforhappiness.org

Being a true Aquarian, I’ve been ahead of the curve on this theme.  A couple of years ago, I spoke at a conference about our experience of setting up a community run shop in our village.

One of the things I mentioned was that giving and contributing to other people (in this case by volunteering in the community shop) was creating increased happiness and that Gross National Happiness was as important as Gross National Product.

But perhaps it’s true that charity begins even closer – at home i.e. within ourselves.  Are we happy, in balance and being kind to ourselves?

When I spoke to former TV Dragon, Rachel Elnaugh, about this she admitted that she felt she had to get ‘tough’ in her early days of business.  This left her out of balance and in need of reclaiming her feminine side.

Nowadays Rachel is actively engaged in supporting a new era of feminine wisdom in business.  She is in the process of setting up her new project Source TV – a cutting edge platform, specialising in video, dedicated to supporting and promoting ‘heart-centred thought leaders’.

It is so inspiring to witness the growing strength of this wave of conscious and creative entrepreneurs and mentors.  I had a very enjoyable couple of days supporting Rachel at the Business Start Up Show in London recently.

Thank you to all you amazing people who I met at Rachel’s stand.  The bounce in your step and the sparkle in your eyes is the only proof I need that a time of  happiness, life balance and feminine wisdom is nearly here!


How do you form and launch a new business idea?

Its funny how one thing leads to another…  And it means I have lots of links to share with you today…

I was just scrolling through my Facebook page when an article by Happiness author and coach, Robert Holden, caught my eye.

www.robertholden.org

Robert’s work has always intrigued me and I’ve heard great things about him from colleagues and friends.  Reading his article, I remembered that Robert is a good friend of Nick Williams – another warm and inspiring UK coach who I connected with a couple of years ago.

www.inspired-entrepreneur.com

And so, that led me onto reviewing the video chats Nick and I had recorded together.  Up popped this one – Nick asking me what steps I advise people to take if they are starting out with a new business idea.

It’s called Tips for Inspired Entrepreneurs and I give three or four really good practical steps that are helpful if you are formulating or wanting to develop a new business – however big or small.

One of the points we discuss is how PERSONAL it is running your own business and how business success goes hand in hand with our own development as a person.

After all, our business is our creation and an expression of who we are. So to make the best of our business, we need to understand and manage how our personal strengths and weaknesses play out in our work .

And it works the other way too – running a business is one of the most character building endeavours we may ever find ourselves involved in.  It can be enormously challenging and by the same token, enormously growthful.

So how does it all begin?  How do you formulate and launch a new business idea?  Have a look…

As it happens, starting new business is a topical for me as I’m planning to attend the Business Start Up Show in London next month.

www.bstartup.com

My friend and colleague Rachel Elnaugh (former dragon from BBC TV Dragons’ Den) will be there to speak on ‘Metaphysical Marketing’ and ‘The Future is Feminine’ – two topics that are close to both our hearts.

www.RachelElnaugh.com

Rachel will also be there ‘womaning’ her stall in support of her exciting new TV channel – Imago People TV.  If you want to know more about it, have a look at Imago’s new website:-

www.imagopeople.tv

But to give you a taste, here are Rachel and I having a video chat about telepathic marketing.

And you are welcome to track down our other videos including our discussion on the emerging Feminine Wisdom in business on my You Tube channel, Thrivecraft.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Thrivecraft?feature=mhee

So, I hope some of these links are of interest to you and I wish you all the best with your new business idea!


Manifestation, Wayne Dyer and the Ah Meditation

In the last few days I’ve been reading a book by spiritual teacher Dr Wayne W Dyer called There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.  It’s great – so relevant, uplifting and re-assuring – and is awakening many creative thoughts within me.

Wayne first became a source of inspiration for me after my husband Pat introduced his work to me eight or nine years ago.  During the 1990s, Wayne taught the Ah meditation – a manifestation practice that he’d learned from one of his Indian Gurus – and Pat and I have been passing it on to friends, colleagues and clients ever since our Thrivecraft days.

Last year, I explored the practice in depth at my Entrepreneurs Find Inner Wisdom event, held here in Totnes, Devon.  This was filmed, but apart from posting the videos on my blog soon afterwards, I have not really made a point of publishing them.  Despite this, I have noticed that often people find the videos searching for information on the Ah meditation, so perhaps it’s about time that I made them more available…

Having plucked Wayne’s book off my bookshelf recently (and realised it was gifted to me by my special guest at Entrepreneurs Find Inner Wisdom – former BBC TV Dragon and business mentor, Rachel Elnaugh) I took this as a sign that it was time to run the Ah meditation video series here on my blog.

So here you are, a series of six short videos on the Ah meditation to dip into.  Do let me know what you think – and what results you get!  Enjoy!

1. Manfestation – You are a magician!

2. Introducing the Ah Meditation – Background and How to

3. Questions on the Ah Meditation – Do You Have to Believe for it to Work?

4. Preparing to do the Ah Meditation – Guided Relaxation / Opening the Chakras

5. Practising the Ah Meditation – Guided Practice

6. Concluding the Ah Meditation – Guided Om Chanting


Maybe Money DOES Grow on Trees

We are all so clever.  Me too – what a clever clogs!  Whirrrr goes my mind – working it all out, coming up with all the plans and solutions…  But now and then I hit a brick wall.  My intellect can take me no further.  In fact it has sometimes gotten me into quite a lot of trouble – taken me down wrong roads, round in circles or smack into the bricks.

Like most of us I have a very strong work ethic – if only I work harder, put in more effort, I will EARN my right to have or be this or that.  Except that pure mental exhertion is not the whole story and it is not sustainable. Sooner or later it becomes counter-productive.  By narrowing down our focus to a solitary slog of the intellect we shut out the natural supply of support and energy all around us in other dimensions.  It’s like a plant squeezing closed its roots and refusing the sustenance of the soil.

A year ago, whilst living in the Wild Field, I was contemplating my relationship to money, wealth and prosperity.  Despite months of thinking, planning and action around making a better living, something was compromising the flow of abundance into my life.  I decided to undertake a 40 day spiritual programme – The Abundance Programme by John Randolph-Price – to explore what unconscious attitudes might be holding me back.

Soon into the programme, I uncovered my main ‘vanity’ – an attachment to the idea that I was soley responsible for coming up with all the answers.  My pride meant that I was shutting off receptivity to support from elsewhere and it was only when I finally admitted that I’d run out of ideas that any of that was available to me.

Almost as soon as I saw this, things began to change (and indeed, a year on, are very different)…

Here are a couple of videos I recorded at the time – very much in the spirit of Raw and Real in the Wild Field (a no frills spontaneous video diary).  I knew one day I’d be brave enough to show some of them to you!

This first one is my basic ‘Aha’ moment about where I’d been going wrong….

And a few days later into the Abundance Programme, this is my video report on how I had already started to attract money from surprising places.

 


Finding our Inner Wisdom – talking with Nick Williams

I made this video with Nick Williams a few years ago when we first met.  We are talking about inner wisdom and intuition – how to find it and how to trust it – and how it makes life so much easier!

Nick is a lovely guy and we found we had very resonant interests and approaches to spirituality, work and inner life.  He is author of several books including his signature work – Discover the Work You Were Born to Do and runs www.inspired-entrepreneur.com – a vibrant community of heart and soul centered entrepreneurs.

You can download Nick’s free guide to discovering the work you were born to do on his website and find out about all the activities and resources on offer.

Here is our video chat where Nick is asking me about inner wisdom and how I use it in my coaching work to shortcut to the real ‘gold’ within us.  (Note that Nick introduces me as Srimati, as I was named in those days!)


TV Dragon Rachel Elnaugh Mentors Srimati – The Inner Wisdom Coach

I’ve just returned from London where I was attending my friend Rachel Elnaugh’s live mentoring filming event – Business Magic.

As an award winning entrepreneur (for her multi-million first business, Red Letter Days); former Dragon from BBC TV Dragons’ Den; and author of Business Nightmares and forthcoming Business Magic, Rachel is a formidable business mentor.

From the autumn, however, Rachel is winding up her mentoring programme to make way for an exciting new project – see ‘message from Rachel’ on her website www.rachelelnaugh.com   Before she does this, she wanted to capture some business mentoring on film in order to create a DVD programme.

And so, at the atmospheric Magic Circle (and on the night of a full moon and lunar eclipse!) we all gathered to hear Rachel reveal her business magic live on stage.

Fantastic!  So inspiring!

Coming home, I remembered that I was fortunate to have some live mentoring from Rachel myself last year.  And that we filmed it!  And that I’ve not shared it with you yet!

So here it is – Rachel digging in to my inner story to help me define my name, brand and the title of a book I was writing.

 


Getting My Own House in Order

Pat and I moved in February. Caravan dwelling came to a sudden end when problems staying on the field all year round prompted a rethink. The result was a move into this dinky modern house on the edge of the village with my 16 year old son Jamie. We are familiar with the house because its where Jamie has been living with his dad, Colin, and its been our support base whilst living in the wildfield. So Colin moved out and we moved in – taking over the main parenting role again and allowing Jamie to remain in situ in the big bedroom!

Weekdays have a different rhythm now – up at 6.45am with a quiet mug of earl grey in time to wake Jamie for school. Then its sandwich making, reminders about what’s needed for the day, making sure he catches the bus… By 8am I am out in the conservatory – the nearest thing to a caravan in the house – and getting on with my work. Evenings generally involve collecting Jamie from various after school activities, preparing a meal, a bit of TV – often with a foot massage from my guardian angel husband – and flaking out by 11.

I have to admit that I am relishing being a full-time mum again – and its much needed and long overdue. That’s probably why it feels so right. Colin and I have always lived near each other and co-parented amicably since we separated, but its the first time Jamie has been living in one home with me in all those years. The demands of Colin’s work has changed and its been hard for him to support Jamie on his own. With Pat and I sharing the home parent role and my work enjoying the flexibility of self employment, this is a much better arrangement for Jamie’s last few years of school.

The idea came out of the blue and fell into place immediately. None of us had been thinking along those lines at all. However, even Pat – a reclusive wild man and caravan-life adorer – was convinced of the plan’s merits as soon as it arose. He’s having the toughest time adapting back to ‘normal’ domestic life, but he’s doing his best for the greater good.

Part of the idea is that we keep the caravans and use them during the camping season. This means that any of us can escape back to the wildfield when we need to – just a stone’s throw away but a whole different world. And look out for a new retreat package I’ll be offering soon including accomodation in the wildfield – a perfect place to get away from it all.

Caravans in the Wildfield

So, only 7 months after the biggest downsizing move of my life, it’s been time to upscale again! Having given away all our furniture and household belongings, we needed to start over. However, the abundant universe soon showerered us with gifts and blessings. Within 10 days of moving our new home was all ready and we were celebrating a house-warming with our generous friends and family. Another plus is that after spending a severe, snowy winter in a 25 foot caravan, this modest 2up/2down feels like a palace of comfort and modern conveniences!

 Living room to conservatory in new house

The move back into householder life marks the conclusion of an unusually introverted few months over the winter. By the end of October last year (the date of my last blog entry!) I was starting to put the breaks on ever expanding business plans and activities to concentrate on things closer to home. After more than a decade of being full on and ‘out there’ with my vocation, finances and family needed my full attention for a while. It was time to get my own house in order!

Initially, I simply wanted to be around my mum in Scotland as much as possible. She’s been going through extensive medical treatment and I could think of nothing better than to drop everything and be with her. In the event, Pat and I spent most of December up there. Mum lives in a lovely villa on a tiny island off the west coast of the mainland. We spent much of the UK’s ‘big freeze’ up there – helping with driving and hospital visits, enjoying family communion and filling our souls with the stunning beauty of the place.

View out to sea from mum’s upstairs window

Scotland was a tonic after spending November with my nose in account books. As well as doing my current end of year accounts, it was time to face some financial music about a business that hadn’t been doing so well and needed winding up. It was painful and confronting, demanding ruthless soul searching as well as loads of practical work. Every assumption, motive, decision, choice and step that Pat and I had made in recent years had to be examined. With no stone unturned on any level, it was excruciatingly personal and challenging to our self-esteem – and SO hard to forgive mistakes and let go!

As my colleague Rachel Elnaugh will tell you in her brilliant book, Business Nightmares, most entrepreneurs go through extreme financial challenges. Yet there’s a lot of shame and secrecy surrounding it – especially in the UK – and therefore its rarely discussed. But without sharing this crucial business experience how can we learn how to handle it from each other?

Business Nightmares is such an encouraging, inspiring and informative read. By revealling the inside stories of how even well known and successful entrepreneurs struggle, Rachel makes you realise you are not alone. And far from being shameful, knowing what the entrepreneur has been through makes you respect them even more. Do get yourself a copy if you haven’t already. It’s so well written by the wise, warm and witty former TV Dragon, Rachel Elnaugh.   Click here to find out more www.rachelelnaugh.com

Telling the Coaching Connect conference about Rachel’s book

www.coachingconnect.co.uk

During November’s process of intense self-examination, it also dawned on me that I’d become a little bedazzled by a kind of ‘ambitious glitz’. I’d spent the previous 18 months vigourously developing my expert platform (as its called!) – glamming up my public image, publishing blogs and videos, courting book and media deals, launching new workshops, speaking at conferences, cultivating exciting new colleagues and establishing an international network via social media.

All that had been so much fun that I didn’t realise I’d got a bit carried away, taken flight and lost touch with my home ground, or that a certain pushy “must have big success” had crept into me. I knew something wasn’t right because things stopped coming to fruition and I was feeling increasingly strained. Eventually I consulted my inner guidance about it and the message came through loud and clear – “Just STOP, Srimati!” And so I decided to drop everything and take some time out.

It was scary letting go and not knowing what was going to happen, but my courage was rewarded. Having followed my soulful beckonings through the dark of winter, I did find myself back on firm ground and free from the burden of grasping after future success.

There’s a new ease and relaxation in my approach to my vocation and I feel deeply contented and quietly confident that the right work will come to me at the right time. Of course the universe has received my telepathic energetic transmission instantly and a graceful wave of wonderful new work is now gently cascading into my well balanced life. It sure beats chasing the big time!

So I’ll leave you with a video of a conversation Rachel and I had last year. We are talking about telepathic marketing – the art of attracting business opportunities by paying attention to our inner life. It draws on the universal principle that life simply delivers to you whatever you energetically expect will come – whether good or bad – and whether you are conscious of it or not. To find out more about this phenomenon, see the book Ask and it is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

The trick is to be aware of your beliefs about life and the signals you are therefore putting out. With a little inner work, you can make sure that they are genuinely aligned with your best interests – and so the universe delivers what’s in your best interests. And as I can testify, there’s nothing better than graceful waves of wonderful things cascading into your life because you’ve put your own house in order!

Rachel Elnaugh and I discuss telepathic marketing


Raw & Real in the Wild Field Episode 7: Trusting the Tides of 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 knackered!  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!

And so I can announce to you with enormous enthusiasm and excitement that I’m taking my new workshop to Glasgow in Scotland next month.  Wake Up Your Wisdom – a day retreat for entrepreneurs and professionals ready to develop red-hot intuition and learn the secrets of mind-to-mind marketing.  My fabulous colleague, Rachel Elnaugh (former Dragon on  BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den), has agreed to give a presentation on her experience of using inner wisdom for business success.  I can’t wait to give my first ever workshop in my home city! More details here – www.srimati.com/events

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.  I used this method myself last year and effortlessly shed 20 lbs in so many weeks. (I seem to be in a ‘putting it back on’ phase at the moment – but that’s another story!).

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’ve 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.  For superb meditation guidance, try www.wildmind.org

 


Raw and Real in the Wild Field Episode 6: Just a Little Tenderness

Well, my lovelies, it seems I’ve had a bit of blog writer’s block! I have continued to write a daily journal and have recorded a few videos for future consumption, but it’s been hard to know what to share with you for this episode of Raw and Real.  I’m guessing that this is because I’ve been deep within an inner process that’s hard to write about whilst inside it. It’s still in happening, but it’s now two weeks since my last post, so I thought I’d at least let you know what’s been going on.

I’m writing this from the wild cliffs of Cornwall instead of the wild field in Devon. Pat and I have been here at our caravan on the atlantic coast for a few days – suddenly hungry to be here after a four month block in Devon. We were partly influenced by the change in the weather – beautifully sunny and fine again after an intense spell of rain. It is incredibly beautiful here. The views over the ocean are just awesome and the psychic quietness of the atmosphere totally liberating. It feels like there’s space for your inner world to expand out and fly-dance in the sky.

About three weeks ago I embarked on a 40 day spiritual programme. It’s a simple thing really – daily reading, reflecting and writing on the themes – but the effects have been profound. I’m no stranger to this sort of thing (I spent my twenties engaged in full time study, meditation, right livelihood practice and retreats on the lead up to becoming an ordained Buddhist) but its been a while since I’ve taken up a such a purposeful, purely spiritual, exercise.

Recently, things have been very settled at the wild field. We’ve been there for a couple of months and all the pandemonium is over. Pat’s bad neck is much better, Jamie has been enjoying a renewed social life after his relationship break up and I’ve re-established my coaching, meditation and writing practice. I’ve been waking up every day, looking out over the peaceful meadows, feeling my wonderful family close by and counting my blessings. What a fantastic, beautiful, quiet, retreat-like haven of a life-style!  Almost without realising it, I’ve been dropping deeper and deeper into the richness of my inner world.

And so its not surprising that the spiritual programme is biting.  I recognise the pattern.  At first there’s excitement and inspiration at the juicy wisdom being studied.  Then times of uncomfortableness and resistance because an unenlightened part of me feels threatened (usually hanging on to some ingrained and unconscious way of being that’s really not necessary or useful any more).

After feeling tense and unhappy for a while (can be hours or days) it becomes clearer what’s being challenged and what needs to let go.  It helps to allow myself to feel my upset emotions (have a rant or a cry or whatever) and talk to someone who understands the process or write it all down in a journal without judgement. Eventually the realisations come and I end up feeling cleansed, renewed and aligned with a more peaceful, happy way of living than ever before.

I’m now 25 days into the programme and having my third wave of uncomfortableness. (I’ve been really happy and carefree in between, honest!) I’m reminded that at times like this the best thing we can do is simply accept ourselves just as we are – and without the need to analyse why we are feeling out of sorts. A great exercise when you feel like this is to write a long list of “I love me when….(and finish the sentence)”. Write about loving yourself – good or bad – until you have a feeling of accepting every last part of yourself unconditionally. For example “I love me when I’m inspired”, “I love me when I’m depressed”, “I love me when I know what I’m doing and why”, “I love me when I’m lost and confused”.

Unconditional acceptance of oneself is always the beginning of the end of unhappiness. It’s so simple. Even when you are feeling utterly wretched it is possible to step outside and look back upon yourself compassionately (just as you would look upon a crying child who has broken a beloved toy). The trick is to remember to do so! Once, when I was upset about something and unable to feel compassion for myself, Pat fetched a mirror and tenderly held it up in front of me. Looking at the poor crying face in there made me feel rather sorry for the girl and my heart melted.

I think Eckhart Tolle’s masterful book, The Power of Now, captures the simplicity of this acceptance process beautifully. I always say that the Power of Now is one of my ‘desert island books’. I have read scores and scores of spiritual and personal development books over the years, but this one captures an essence of them all. If I was stuck on a desert island with only a few books, I’d want this to be one of them. I thoroughly recommend it. Here’s his website:

www.eckharttolle.com

There’s also a brilliant loving kindness meditation that I learned many years ago and still practice and teach with relish. It’s a Buddhist meditation called the Metta Bhavana, or cultivation of loving kindness. (Not surprisingly, it seems to me that most spiritual traditions have similar contemplations or prayers.) The meditation begins by fostering love for oneself, then a friend, then a stranger, then an enemy, then the whole world. In my experience it is deeply transformational as well as gently nourishing, no matter what state you are in when you begin.  You can find a led Metta Bhavana meditation on CD and MP3 on the amazing Buddhist meditation and resource website, Wildmind. (One day I’ll record one myself, but I haven’t so far).

www.wildmind.org

Wildmind was founded by a lovely colleague of mine, Bodhipaksa, a fellow Scot who I first met at the Glasgow Buddhist Centre 25 years ago when we were both rookies.  He now lives in the USA with his young family and writes and teaches in addition to running Wildmind.  His latest book – Living As A River – is being launched next month.  Recently I’ve been guest blogging for Wildmind (so you’ll find a few of my videos and articles on the blog page) and Bodhipaksa has been so kind and helpful in supporting my move towards publishing my books and CDs.

I have written about love (one way or another) a lot. I suppose really understanding what love is all about is the core of my practice and inspiration.  Afterall, I have it on good authority that love is a pretty important thing.  Once, when Jamie was sitting in his highchair as a baby, I said to him jokingly, “Oh Jamie, what is the meaning of life?”  Hardly able to talk at that age, he answered clearly and emphatically, “Love.”  – A baby Buddha!

One of my first articles ever published was for the Buddhist magazine, Dharma Life. It’s my story and thoughts on maternal love – having not long become a mother to said baby Buddha.  I’d noticed how spiritually minded people were mixed up about what non-attachment means (still one of my favourite topics) and I was extolling us to embrace our love even if it means we also experience loss. Wildmind still carries this article on their blog page, so here’s the link.

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/on-practice/all-embracing-urge-motherhood-and-practice

And here’s me talking to Nick Williams of www.inspired-entrepreneur.com again (see last week’s blog).  This time, he is asking me about the principle of non-attachment and I explain what I think it really means.  I quote William Blake’s poem. For me it captures the spirit of non-attachment and unconditional love:  “He who binds himself to a joy doth the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.”

Well, writing about all this compassionate and love stuff has cheered me up no end! I guess “I love me when I’m deep in challenging process”, “I love me when I have writer’s block” and “I love me when I’m writing inspiring stuff about love”  Just a little tenderness does the trick…


Raw and Real from the Wild Field Episode 5: To Reveal or Not to Reveal?

That is the question!  At least, it’s the question that was asked of me this week:  Should I be revealing so much personal experience in my Raw and Real blog?  Is it okay for someone in my position – a self-development professional  – to display vulnerability?  My answer: You betcha!

That’s what I believe anyway.  I recognise that it’s not everyone’s approach to coaching and teaching, however, it is totally and absolutely mine.  Sharing myself with you like this feels like the ‘signature dish’ of my delightful vocation.  I’m just not the aloof, out of reach, theorist type.  I’m interested in the applied stuff – the real stuff that makes a difference, that moves us to the core, the stuff that I know from the inside out.  As far as I can make out, sharing my own trials and tribulations and the wisdom that I learn from them, helps and inspires you far more than mere academic ideas.

Just the other day, a coaching client said to me “I find it so helpful to know that you struggle too.  It gives me hope.  If it seemed you were all sorted and I wasn’t, I’d just feel like I was a lost cause.  Knowing that you go through it too – and come out the other end – shows me that I can do it too.”  And I’m delighted to say that I’ve had such a surge of appreciative and supportive comments and clicks onto my website that I just know that my ‘brave, honest accounts’ are hitting the mark.

I’ve always looked up to others in my field who tell their revealing true stories.  Their vulnerability and authenticity inspires me.  I can relate to them, to the challenges they face, to how they feel.  I can follow in their footsteps as they traverse the wilderness, climb up and down mountains and run for joy through meadows.  Their story is not just a dry, dusty road map.  The colour and texture of their account becomes a 3D virtual reality experience that I can breathe and pant and sigh within.  More importantly, in the process I become equipped to go on in my own life’s journey.

One of my inspirations is Oriah Mountain Dreamer who wrote The Invitation.  This little poem, published in 1995,  rocked the world with its piercing depth and quickly developed into a best-selling book.  You can read the poem and find out about Oriah’s amazing work at www.oriah.org , however the poem begins…

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.  I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.  I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it…

Reading the book had a profound effect on me back in 2001.   I’d just moved to Devon from London and it gave me some crucial inspiration that led to meeting my (now) husband, Pat.  I wrote about this incredible experience in an article called Meeting My Match. (Here’s the link: http://wp.me/ps0N4-9U )   Recently, Oriah herself thanked me for sharing this article on her Facebook page.  I was thrilled to be personally acknowledged by such an awesome role model!

Ironically, I’ve actually been holding myself back from splurging all to you this week.  It’s been very quiet and settled here in the wild field, and I’ve been absolutely loving the retreat-like lifestyle.  For the last 10 days or so, I’ve been working on a personal spiritual development programme.  However, this programme requires me to “haud ma wheesht”, which is old Scots (“hold my quiet”) for keeping my mouth shut!  Now, I have to admit that this is a bit challenging for my personality.  When I’m excited about something, I find it hard to contain.  But contain it I must as it is vital for the process to work properly.

It’s a case of practising what I preach.  As I often advise clients, there are times when we must keep things to ourselves in order to thoroughly internalise a change and contain the energy of our endeavours.  Should we share our stories too soon, we risk dissipating our focus, or worse still, invite the shaking heads and wagging fingers of the nay sayers.  There’s nothing worse than a negative Nelly to undermine our tender new attempts at positive change.

Anyway, to satisfy the part of me that wants to document my inspiration and teach it to others, I’ve been quietly journaling and filming my progress with this exciting new programme.  (I’m also already getting juicy ideas for presenting fabulous future workshops with this material, but I know I need to be patient!)  One day, all will be revealed in the ‘Raw and Real’, but not until the time is right!

So, to reveal or not to reveal?  Well, with the exception noted above, I say reveal.   It is my experience that I am being spiritually guided to be personally revealing in the way I write and speak in order to fulfil my vocation.  And I’m not the only one.  I am so enjoying meeting and collaborating with a growing network of like-minded authentic colleagues worldwide.  One of the kings of authenticity, in my opinion, is the lovely Nick Williams, author of Discover of the Work You Were Born to Do, collaborator in The International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers www.iaccw.com  and founder of www.inspired-entrepreneur.com

So, I will leave you with some inspiration – a couple of short videos of Nick and I talking about the role of authenticity in our coaching work. 

Part 1

Part 2


Raw and Real from the Wild Field Episode 3: Be Careful What You Wish For

As it turns out, I’ve not only had weekday mornings to myself, but the entire weekend too!  I’m sort of pinching myself. One minute I was tired, depleted and overrun with domestic demands, and the next – acres and acres of time and space and inspiration to write. The family’s happy, the sun’s shining and  the retro caravan work space is all set up. Wow!

Well, I did ask for it.  It just shows you what the power of intention can do.  The suddeness and scale of the change can be startling, though.  It strikes you how powerful you really are – that you can make anything happen just by wishing it!   Of course there’s a little more to it than that.  There is an art to using intention to bring about what you desire.

I made this video about it last summer called Attracting and Creating the Life that You Want.  Not surprisingly, it’s my most viewed film!  Take a look if you like…

More recently, at the Entrepreneurs Find Inner Wisdom event I ran this Spring, I also recorded a series of  films about the art of manifestation.  I taught an ancient practice, called the Ah meditation, that powers up our ability to bring into being that which we truly wish for in life.  The whole series is on recent pages of this blog that you can have a look at, but here’s a shortcut to the video of me teaching the practice itself.

Achieving the results that I’d ‘put out for’ so easily was a little scary.  So much so that I caught myself trying to subtely sabotage them talking to my 15 year old son yesterday – “Are you sure you want to stay out another night with friends, Jamie?  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to come home, have a good meal, a decent bed, a shower?  I can always take you out again tomorrow….”

However, mostly I’ve been doing quite well with my saying “no!” practise (to curb my habit of over-giving).   Jamie did call me midweek (when he’s usually with his dad) to ask if he and his friends could come and stay at the wild field for the night.  It was exactly the same request I’d fallen down the hole with last Sunday when I failed to say no.  This time I noticed.  I saw the hole coming and I didn’t even fall into it!  “No, sorry, Jamie.  Your friends can come and stay at the weekend but not in the week when I’m working” – See? Easy.

And so it seems I’m bearing the fruit of my efforts.  It’s been the most glorious, peaceful, lovely few days.  It’s allowed me to realise that I’m in love with the huge skies here at the wild field. Day and night it is ever-changing and beautiful – the light, the clouds, the moon.  I keep wanting to photograph the sky, capture the unique beauty moment by moment, but its impossible.  The best thing is to simply go out and gawp, especially at night when the vast canopy of stars above is simply breath-taking.

This is why we are here.  Somehow, living like this in caravans in the big outdoors connects me so strongly with my rightful place in nature.  As a coaching client described it this week, it allows me to feel “in my skin”. I’m getting fit and brown and can feel the grass between my toes and the breeze on my face.  I can breath deeply and enjoy every mouthful I take and every movement I make.

In the first week here, sleepless and sobbing with exhaustion, my husband, Pat, could not console me.  Instead he called me outside and took my hand beneath the sparkling night sky.  “Look”, he said, pointing up.  Gazing into the vastness was a perfect, wordless reminder of what I truly am – an infinite spiritual being tasting a moment of human form in an endless universe of ever-changing miraculous beauty.  What could possibly be wrong?


Raw and Real from the Wild Field Episode Two: Falling Down the Hole Again

It didn’t take long to try out my saying “No!” practice (my new device to help me overcome habitual over-giving).  Last night, my 15 year old son, Jamie, was out in town. At first he said he’d probably stay over with friends, but at nearly bedtime, he phoned and asked if I could collect him and two friends (and his friend’s bike!) to stay with us at the wild field for the night instead.

Fetching the boys would involve a 40 minute round trip, converting Jamie’s caravan lounge (also my daytime writing space) into a sleeping area, rustling up food for three hungry teenagers, putting up with their noise and carry on until they fell asleep and then doing it all in reverse in the morning.

The night before I’d hosted a BBQ and was relishing not having to cook today.  When Jamie phoned, I’d just shut the gate to the field, sat down with the last plate of party left-overs and opened a can of lager.  The caravans and field were finally tidied up and all was peaceful.  I was looking forward to a quiet night with Pat, my husband, watching TV and mending a silly tiff we’d had earlier in the day.

So what did I say to Jamie when he asked me if his friends could stay?… “Oh, I thought you were staying in town! Hmm, well, okay then. It’s a bit of a hassle, but okay. Where shall I collect you?”

Duh!

I’d habitually fallen straight in the hole again.  It hadn’t even entered my head that I could say no for a change, let alone recognise that I didn’t have to justify it.  There was no demand for my knee-jerk analysis of everyone’s needs (putting mine at the bottom of the pile, of course) before coming up with the best course of valiant servitude.

 A few minutes passed and it suddenly dawned on me.

“My God, I could have said no then!”, I exclaimed to Pat.  “Oh well, at least I’ll set some other boundaries. They can convert their own sleeping area. I’ll stick a bunch of rolls and peanut butter in the caravan and they can feed themselves.”

“Yes!” said Pat enthusiastically. “And you’ve spotted it. That’s a good start.”

And he was right.  I often relay this analogy to demonstrate how we can break unwanted habits simply be being aware:-

The man walks down the road. He doesn’t see the hole. He falls into the hole.

The man walks down the road. He sees the hole, but not quite in time, so he still falls into it.

The man walks down the road. He sees the hole and manages to avoid falling into it.

The man walks down the road. There is no hole any more.

Spotting a habit, even in retrospect, is the beginning of being able to change it.  The trick is to cultivate a sense of slowing down and really noticing our responses to the things.  Then we can choose whether to respond this way or that way, rather than just reacting automatically.  Meditation creates this inner choice gap beautifully – it feels like it slows down time and surrounds you with amazing, switched on, bright peacefulness. Then you can truly choose what happens next.

Check out this wee video for more on this phenomenon (me teaching at a recent workshop) – it’s a life changer!  Creating Choice with Inner Wisdom

 

Peanut butter in hand in preparation for the teenage onslaught, Jamie contacted me again, at first with a text saying “Thank you very much mum x sorry about it all x”

“Cor, it makes a change to be appreciated!” I said. “Of course, it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t had your realisation about saying no”, added Pat. “Jamie got your new energetic message telepathically”.

We’ve noticed this before. A few months ago we were having a challenging time with Jamie and we didn’t know what to do with him.  Then we realised that there was nothing we could ‘do with him’, we had to change our attitude, not his.  We sat and talked for hours about it while he was out, realising what we had invested in things being this way or that.  When Jamie came home some time later the first thing he did was ask for a hug.  It was as though someone had flipped a switch in his psyche – all his anger and tension had gone and he was completely different!

Pat and I recorded our talks that afternoon on the Flip video camera.  We’ve kept them private until now, however, we’ve just agreed to make the first one publically available in the spirit of Raw and Real.  Do have a look if you are interested in how we started to work through our issues to handle our challenging teenager.

Parenting our troubled teenager part 1 – Power games, control and the teenage ego.

And as though to prove how positive changes of attitude do transmit instantly and telepathically, last night there was more.  A few minutes after his text, Jamie phoned to say “You know what, mum, its okay, I’ll stay with my friend in town.  I want to save you the trouble.”

And so I retrieved the peanut butter from Jamie’s caravan and settled down to the rest of my own meal in peace.  It didn’t take long for Pat and I to let go of our silly tiff, enjoy a film together and go to sleep in each other’s arms.

Result!


Meeting My Match – my inspiring true love story

Totnes is full of single mothers and hardly any single men – my new friends in Devon were quite adamant.  “I hope you’re not expecting to find a partner down here!”  But I wasn’t moving to Totnes to find a partner, not yet anyway.

After 16 years living in a Buddhist community in London, it was time to move on, and my longing for a rural lifestyle could no longer be ignored.  But most importantly of all, my seven-year-old son, Jamie, deserved a more gentle upbringing than a city could afford.

Despite the good reasons, however, there was also an element of strange magnetism I couldn’t put my finger on.  In many ways I was leaving a great situation and jumping into the unknown,  but there was a compelling force drawing me on – and I had a daring, inexplicable knowledge that this was absolutely the right move.

So, one sunny September morning in 2001, I packed my little grey Peugot to bursting, strapped Jamie in the front beside me, and set off for our new life in the country.

At 37, I was a free agent for the first time pretty much since my teens.  I’d split amicably from Jamie’s dad two years ago.  It was the most civilised split I’ve ever heard of, but even so, the impact of separating the family was utterly devastating.

My escape came in the form of a smouldering Spanish guy from my 5 Rhythms dance class.  However it wasn’t long before I became emotionally trashed by this crazy sex fest of a so called relationship.  I was so fragile that I clung on for far too long.  Moving to Devon would make sure it was over for good.  For the first time in all those years, I was single, and I felt it.  I was F – R – E – E  !

My heart was soaring when we got out to stretch our legs at Stonehenge.  What an incredible monument to mark the half way point to Devon.  The sky was blue and the ancient stones seemed to be humming with affirmation that we were doing the right thing.  We weren’t in dirty, frantic, complicated London now.  Here was the gateway to a whole new magical realm.

Our first base was a caravan in a charming farm campsite not far from Totnes.  We were leaving behind a lovely, secure and affordable home in London.  It was part of a triangle of Victorian maisonettes with gardens backing on to each other so the kids were safe to roam around with each other.

I was glad that Jamie still had some of that now – access to an indoor swimming pool and an adventure playground and a few other families who were temporarily living at the campsite during the offseason just like us.

There was a lot to do – a home to find, school for Jamie, money to earn, new friends to make.  I was fully occupied and completely excited by the experience of making this beautiful place our home.

Originally a spa town, Totnes is known as the ‘alternative capital of the UK’ and has attracted all sorts of interesting people and progressive projects into it’s midst over the decades.  And driving through the stunning countryside brought me out in mild bliss every day – very different from the tension that inevitably comes with ‘cheeky driving’ through London traffic.

But by night I was lonely and reeling from all the changes.  Jamie was having a tough time too and was playing up appallingly.  He was understandably disturbed and angry about being ripped away from all he knew, and I was feeling the strain and guilt.  (What possessed me to think he’d settle at the fairy-like Steiner School after his formative years in inner city mainstream education?)

Sometimes the grief and disorientation were almost unbearable.  It would have been so comforting to have someone intimate to share all this with – a manly chest to snuggle into…

So, in night time lonely autopilot, I reached out half heartedly for a liaison.  Computer dating was a pleasant distraction, safe in the knowledge that everyone was at a reassuring cyber distance.  The few dates I met up with soon dissolved any cosy illusions of romance I’d entertained myself with.

There were also a few ‘real’ single men I ran into (despite what my friends had said, Totnes seemed to have plenty of them).  I spent a month with Martin no.1, and another with Martin no.2, and hung out with an attractive new friend while he was between girlfriends.  But none of it was right and nothing got off the ground.

I knew that this was because I still had some healing to do, and at last I decided to co-operate with the process.  I needed to do what usually has to be done when recovering from one relationship and preparing for another – to stay in the gap for as long as it takes and be with myself for a while.

I was overdue to complete some unfinished emotional business – to understand what had happened and why; to let go of hurts and fears; to re-asses who I am now; and establish what kind of relationship would be good for me next.

As a meditator I already had an invaluable tool at my disposal.  Meditation gives emotional space and opens up a bigger perspective that allows us to face challenges positively.   Along with regular chats with insightful friends and family, my meditation practise gave me the resources to navigate my way through the stormy emotional waters.

So did my practice of 5 Rhythms Dance.  At my weekly class, and in the privacy of my own home, this wonderful form of dance free expression accessed and gave full voice to the stories and emotions stuck in my body.  I danced and roared and stamped and cried (a lot!) and laughed and gave thanks and laid the ghosts to rest.  Over the weeks I became clearer, free-er and more peaceful.

In early February I attended a sweat lodge held by a lovely local shaman down by the River Dart.   In the dark, eerie beauty of a winter forest, we ceremonially heated huge stones in a roaring wooden pyre.  Once ready, the hot stones were brought into the lodge one by one and sprinkled with sage water.

We sat in a circle inside the lodge, naked and in total darkness, sweating and singing and praying.  It was like being inside a womb of pure spirit.  We spoke aloud one at a time, each prayer seeming to come from infinite consciousness and be sent out into the entire universe.  My prayer was spontaneous and ardent – “Please help me let go of the past and allow me the time and space I need before I get involved in another relationship.”

During one of my more contented evenings, and inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s book, ‘The Invitation’, I did some reflective writing.  In a deep, prayerful way, I wrote about what I longed for – the kind of loving partner that would be ideal for me.

It was almost sacreligious to be so damn honest about what would be utterly wonderful for me.  I’d never given myself permission to state these things before.  But once it was down on paper I found I was moved by the quality of person I was describing in those two dozen short paragraphs.  And somehow, having committed my vision to paper, this man began to take on a tangible existence.  It was spooky.  It was as though I had begun to create a reality, or at least, call a reality towards me.

Having read widely about metaphysical principles since then, I know that this is exactly what is occurring when we make things conscious and decide to move towards them.  As my old Buddhist teacher used to say, ‘It’s not so much that man wills, but that will man’s’.  In other words our will manifests into form not the other way around.  We become what we wish for.  We create our reality from our thoughts and feelings and expectations.

Now, in my work as a coach, writing about ideals is an exercise that my clients use with unremittingly powerful results.  But back then, I somewhat innocently placed my writings on my meditation shrine, and forgot about them.  Little did I know that I’d planted a seed that would invisibly grow into a garden of opportunity, or that I’d soon be looking upon the face of the man who would become my husband.

At first I didn’t realise I’d met him. As far as I was concerned, this ‘Pat’ guy was just a housemate of a childminder friend I’d gotten to know at Jamie’s school.

Ann and I used to hang out at each other’s houses while our boys played together.  So my first few meetings with Pat were incidental – brief interactions during a flurry of noisy, stampeding boys needing after school snacks.  I was in ‘mum mode’ and, anyway, I had a background distraction still rolling with one man or another I was half involved with.  I wasn’t paying attention where it was due.  It took me a further couple of months to wake up.  And what a wake up call it was.

Towards the end of April, my much loved, dear, wise, loving gran was dying in Scotland.  My sister was giving me bulletins every day, and I was waiting for news of her final passing.  Life was sharp.  My heart was so open.

Contrastingly, I was experiencing impossibly crossed wires with Martin no.2 and decided to finish it. The very night I broke it off he fell off his steep garden terrace and was hospitalised with a broken back.  I was shocked into further acute awakeness.

That same week (intuitively picking up on what was about to happen, I’m sure) I had my Spanish ex-lover from London on the phone asking for one last chance.  For the first and last time, I said ‘No’ properly.  It was after the sweat lodge prayer and I was crystal clear.  Now I was truly free from any involvment whatsoever.  I was free to pay attention where it was due.

On the Tuesday I arrived for a session of Holographic Repatterning with my friend Christina.  I had booked the session a week ago to help with my relationship with Jamie, but there was something else on the menu.

It soon emerged that the key theme I was ready to explore was meeting the right partner.  In the session, Christina revealled to me that I held the unconsious belief that ‘I could never meet a partner that could meet me on all levels’.  This was a core reason I had been compromising myself in other relationships.  She worked with me over 2 hours to shift this belief, and, three days later…

Pat was covering his childminder housemate’s shift for the day and we were looking after the boys together in the school yard.  (Actually, Ann had been trying to set us up for a while as Pat had already eyeballed me with great interest, but I hadn’t noticed).  It was the first chance Pat and I had to really talk.

I told him about Martin no.2 and the broken back.  Knowing a little about me he commented that it’s very difficult to have a relationship with someone who isn’t spiritual if you are yourself.  I liked him.  I liked the way he sat on a rock in the playground and looked like a cowboy from the wild west.

Although I didn’t know why, I agreed that I might meet him for a drink that night.  I was feeling incredibly sensitive and anti-social (and a pub is the last place I’d go at the best of times) but something led me into the Sea Trout Inn.

The Sea Trout was Pat’s regular drinking hole, just a stone’s throw from the cottage Christina had found for us to move into after our stay in the caravan.  I laid aside my puritanical Buddhist prejudices and was pleasantly surprised by the level of meaningful communication happening amongst the public bar locals.

Pat was typically animated and in full flood “You’ve gotta get outta yar head and intta yar heart” he was insisting.  He sounded like a cowboy too, or maybe one of those charismatic American preachers.

“A bit full on”  I thought to myself, but I was intrigued.  And then, suddenly, in the middle of all the passionate discussion, Pat and I gazed intently upon each other.  ‘I see you’, he said, slowly and knowingly.  ‘I see you too’, I replied with equal gravitas.

In that moment, we did indeed truly see one another.  It was like a lightening flash had struck and lit up the entire vast landscape of who we are.  The moment returned to darkness, but the flash revealed something forever.  In that moment I realised that I recognised Pat, that I knew him, and with that knowledge came the deepest trust and truest love.

We parted in the car park with us both feeling somewhat stunned.  “I lo…lo…lo…” Pat stammered.  He seemed to be saying something and stuffing it back into his mouth at the same time.  He looked as perplexed as I felt.  Was he trying to resist saying that he LOVES me?  Nah.  Surely not.

I went back to the cottage and received the news that my gran had just passed away.  Dear Gran.  Dear kind, loving, strong, simple, generous, understanding, fiesty, affectionate gran.  My spirit couldn’t help but elevate to commune with her and God and the afterlife and all of that other indecribable stuff that these words just don’t do justice to.  Her love and essence were filling the Devon skies and I just had to fly with her for a while.

As if in a dream, I found myself popping into the pub at Sunday lunchtime to find Pat.  It was completely unplanned.  All of a sudden I was there inviting him to take a walk on Dartmoor with me.

We talked about Gran and meditation.  Sitting by a rock pool, he told me he would have loved to study psychology if he’d ever been able to.  I told him that psychology had been my main subject at University.

Without thinking about it, I took his hand as we walked back to the car.  It was as though a greater force was acting through me.  I certainly didn’t have the where-with-all to acknowledge what was going on, or make any judgements with my head.  I was in the spontanieous and innocent world of my heart alright.

We shared our first kiss in the Sea Trout car park the next night.  I was preparing to go to Gran’s funeral later that week.  “Come… Back… To… Me…”  Pat said gently and plainly.  I’d already explained that I had a few romantic loose ends to tie up and couldn’t promise anything.  “Take whatever time you need”, he replied.

The day before I flew to Scotland, he appeared in the school playground at pick up time.  Pressing a rose quartz into my hand, he wished me well on my trip.  Keen interest and support, understanding and freedom.  This was a recipe for love.  I recognised these qualities from my ideal man list.

It took me another couple of weeks to fully absorb the significance of what was occurring, but in the aftermath of my gran’s funeral, it was a simple and inevitable fact that we would love each other and be together.  “Shall we love each other, then?” Pat had asked after an evening of endless, sublime kissing.  “Yes, let’s” I replied, but it didn’t really need an answer.

I’d never experienced anything like it.  There was no posturing or trying to impress each other and no attempts to hide our less favourable attributes – we were just relaxed and unselfconscious with each other from the very beginning.  And there was no question about whether or not we’d be together – no push-pull fear of rejection or of being overwhelmed, no insecurity whatsoever.

Likewise, there was no great destabilising intoxication – the feelings were immediate and profound, but our heads were clear and our feet were on the ground.  It was so straight forward – complete harmony, complete certainty – and left nothing to negotiate.

Sixteen months later, we were married.

As I was to discover, Pat had also prepared well for the arrival of what he called a ‘divine relationship’ in his life.

A long time meditator like me, Pat had worked through all the issues raised by previous relationships.  He particularly practised forgiveness (including himself) and was unusually clear, more so than me, of the sort of relationship backlog that we often carry into future relationships (and mess up by referring back to ghosts instead of the person with us now).

He had also used a specific manifestation meditation to call his vision of a relationship into being.  Popularised and taught by Dr Wayne Dyer in the 80s, this ancient practise brings together the power of the chakras, the voice, and creative visualisation.  We call it the Ah/Om meditation.

Most importantly of all, perhaps, Pat adopted an attitude that he referred to as ‘100% intention with 100% surrender’.  Although he was very clear about the partner he sought and would not compromise with less, he was also prepared for it not to happen and would be perfectly happy to stay alone should he not find his match.

This is the fine and paradoxical art of being open to one’s aspirations and creative possibilities while at the same time being fluid with our expectations.  Many people either don’t let themselves dream through fear of not suceeding or strangle their dreams by having too much at stake and therefore too desparate for them to come true.

Often we don’t let ourselves aspire by assuming we won’t succeed (‘Can’t have’), or corrupt our aspirations into egotistical ambitions by having too much self-worth at stake if they flounder (‘Must have’).

Either way, it betrays a lack of self-knowledge and self-belief.  When we see ourselves clearly and believe in ourselves, we don’t need to push things away or grab things towards us to shore up a hollow sense of ourselves.  We can allow things to be what they are, free from what we have invested in them.  In this freedom we can experience the natural flow of coming and going, and somewhat magically, all our true needs are satisfied (‘Having-ness’).

I didn’t believe that I could find someone who could meet me on all levels, so how could I HAVE that sort of relationship.  Pat certainly can meet me on all levels.

This relationship is easily the most satisfying and stimulating either of us has ever known on the domestic, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels.  It is grounded and it is sacred.  We are plumming depths and scaling heights together that would have been hard to access alone.

Of course it is also intense and challenging.  We share so much.  As well as living together and joining our families, we co-created our first coaching practice, Thrivecraft.

One day last year, I came across the description of the ideal partner I wrote all that time ago.  As Pat and I re-read it together, I was filled with a strange, joyful realisation.  The man who those words described was now nuzzling my neck, sharing my life and my deepest aspirations.

It’s amazing what we can magnetise into our lives with clear intention and positivity.  Now I understand a little more about those compelling forces that brought me to Devon.