It’s the eve of Valentine’s Day and I’m thinking about LOVE…
Love has to be my favourite topic and I have written articles, scoped out books, given talks, recorded videos, led workshops and guided meditations on love many, many times.
So how do you find your ideal partner?
It took me a while to find the true love relationship I always wanted. I was 38 and Pat was 50 before we met and we’d both had our fair share of ups and downs in relationship before finding each other.
Here’s my article from Connect Magazine – Meeting My Match – about how I finally prepared myself for and attracted a really great life partner:
Pat and I at our wedding in 2003 – making offerings to the river
It wasn’t long before I was inspired to run Get Ready for Love workshops as part of my coaching practice. During the course of a weekend, participants dived into the deep and delightful process of preparing themselves for a superb relationship.
This article by the Daily Express, shares some of my top tips on getting ready for love:
In this video, I remind us of the golden rules that enable us to attract what we really want into our lives – including a great partner:
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Please do share your own true love stories with us here in the comments box. It’s a wonderful thing to share…
February 13, 2012 | Categories: Ah meditation, Dragon's Den, Embracing the Beloved, Embracing the Beloved, Finding God Through Sex, Finding True Love, inspirational coaching, law of attraction, manifestation, meditation, Meeting Your Love Match, metaphysics, metta bhavana, Rachel Elnaugh, Raw and Real, relationships, true love | Tags: Ah meditation, love, manifestation, meditation, Rachel Elnaugh | Leave a comment
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.
September 26, 2011 | Categories: Abundance, Abundance, Creating Abundance, inner guidance, inspirational coaching, intuition, law of attraction, manifestation, meditation, metaphysics, Raw and Real, spiritual coaching, spiritual intelligence | Tags: Abundance, Creating abundance, Inner experience, inner wisdom, inspiration, John Randolph-Price, making money, manifestation, money, personal guidance, prosperity, spiritual guidance, spirituality, The Abundance Book, the Abundance Programme, wealth | 2 Comments
My finger was poised above the ‘post’ button when I stopped and decided to sleep on it. I’d just written my latest blog – an appreciation of my wonderful husband, Pat, the Holy Cornishman – but wanted to look it over again in the morning. The topic had come about because I’ve been curious for a while – who ARE the partners in the shadows of all these lime-lit colleagues I know so well? As well as this, I’d been thinking it was high time I celebrated the fantastic man who shares my life.
Coincidentally, fellow coach Cathy Dean (the Colourful Coach) was tweeting about how supportive her husband was. And so, we cooked up a plan to write concurrent blogs honouring our partners. Cathy’s is here, but mine didn’t make it at the time… http://colourfulcoach.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/my-lovely-husband-an-appreciation/
Pat and I had been in Cornwall for a week at our cliff top caravan overlooking the atlantic. We were due to stay for another few days, however, nature intervened – the toothache I’d had for a couple of days showed no sign of waning. Time to get home to Devon and visit the dentist! Only today, two weeks later, have I emerged from a dark tunnel of pain and treatment – the likes of which I rarely suffer – and am blinking in the light, wondering what it’s like out here in the big world.
Reading back over my unposted blog, it seems to belong to another lifetime! Its amazing how an intense experience (like being ill) can bend your perception of time. However, it still merits being published, especially since Pat has been such a total star at looking after me while I’ve not been well. So here it is, updated and revived for today.
Thinking about this topic has slowed up my writing. It made me want to get my nose out of my work for a change and enjoy some time with my lovely husband! And so Pat and I had some great little trips out while we were based in Cornwall – enjoying the annual Boscastle Festival, the amazing countryside and more than one Cornish pasty!
He is right here with me every day – inside this intimate bubble I call ‘my life’ – sharing the same duvet, drinking tea from the same kettle, wiping his feet on the same door mat. Pat and I spend huge amounts of time together (living and working together 24/7 as we mostly do), however, sometimes I forget to appreciate what an incredible partnership we enjoy, let alone what a miracle of creation he is in his own right!
There’s a psychological phenomenon called habituation. What it describes is the tendency to stop noticing what is familiar to you. Usual, everyday things become part of our background wallpaper and are no longer so visible. This applies to our relationships too. And so, like all of us, its easy for me to let my attention drift to more demanding things and take my beloved husband for granted.
I’m also a bit astrologically challenged when it comes to intimate relationships. For those of you in the know, I have five major planets ( yes five!) in Aquarius. An Aquarian trait is to so busy out there ‘saving the world’ that you can seem cool and aloof to your nearest and dearest. I generally experience myself as a warm, loving person, but I can relate to this tendency to overlook those closest to me whilst my attention is out there on the far horizon.
But every now and then I remember what a stunning man I have in my life. You’d think I would never forget because it took me long enough to find him! This treasure of a relationship came at the end of a long and ardous journey in the quest to find the right partner. Our amazing ‘finding true love’ experience inspired a whole strand of work and it wasn’t long before I was running Get Ready for Love workshops to help other people attract their ideal mate.
The other night, I remembered. Pat and I had been at our Cornwall caravan for a few days. We were cuddled up watching a romantic TV programme with a bottle of wine and I suddenly found myself moved to the core. Okay, I admit it, I’m one of those people who gets soppy after a couple of glasses of wine. I go all soft and heart-melty and amorous – no wonder he’s so pleased when I share a bottle of wine with him!
That night, Pat made a throw away comment about one of the TV characters being just like him. Suddenly, I piped up with emphatic passion “But you are so much warmer – a firey Cornishman with attitude!” And as I spoke those words I was sucked away to a vantage point where I could stand back really SEE him afresh – his strength of character, his bright mind, his quirky humour – and all the reasons why I love him so much.
BANG! a massive rush of emotion brought me to tears and I delivered a long, gushing love speech to him. Pat is one of those amazing, demonstrative men who oten tells me how much he loves me and is liberal with his hugs and compliments. And although I feel the same about him, I am more remiss in my expressions of affection. It takes a slug of wine and a good TV romance to wake me out of my complacency!
As I burbled uncontrollably that night, I love everything about him – the way he looks, the way he talks and the way he carries himself – just everything! One of my favourites is that he’s a blokey bloke – energetic and charismatic – yet is completely at home with his feminine side. He has all the other guys at the bar roaring with laughter and at the same time he’s deeply intuitive and more than a little psychic (which can be a bit unnerving at times, but jolly useful on the whole!)
Pat’s 6th sense is quick and penetrating. For example he always spots a dubious motive powering along a fool-hardy decision. It means I don’t get away with fooling myself about anything and I can kick up about that (a foolish ego trip does not like to be found out!) but I’m always grateful in the end. He has got used to making waves with his irrepressible truth detector. He sometimes calls it a curse, but I think it’s an astounding gift.
On the practical level, there’s something astonishing about how compatible we are. We ALWAYS like the same things, be it furnishings, music, books, countries, houses, clothes, cars, animals, you name it. Many’s the time we’ve both wondered towards each other in a shop, excitedly carrying the same item to show the ther. And we share a Zen-minimalist-tidyness (just try coming round and dumping your coat somewhere other than the cloakroom!) which makes living in a small space like a caravan easy for us. There’s a real grace and ease between us – like a wordless, flowing, ballet dance.
But the compatibility doesn’t stop there. We MEET each other on every level – intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically – something I’ve never experienced in one partner package before. Sometimes I say to Pat that I’ve been in love with him my whole life. One of the keenest things I sensed when we met was that we’d been together in previous lives. It’s as though there’s always been a Pat shaped gap in my life until we found each other again in 2002. If you’ve not read it already, here’s a magazine article telling the story of how we met…
Meeting My Match – http://wp.me/ps0N4-9U
However, if I had to pick one thing about Pat that sums up why he is so fantastic to be with it would be this – his PRESENCE. What I mean is that he is switched on, awake, conscious, aware, paying attention. Never pre-occupied with other things (like me!) he is present in every moment – hearing what I say, sensing what I feel, observing what needs to happen next.
He is a man of body and soul as well as heart and mind , alive to his total experience all the time. When I talk to him he gives me his fullest, deepest, loving attention. When he touches me, he touches me with with his whole energetic being, not just his body. Believe me, I know how rare this is! The man is a phenomenon!
Of course we’ve had our intense run-ins over the years (we are quite a match in the adamant department too!), but what is fantastic about us is our mutual commitment to get to the bottom of what’s gone off kilter, what it is our conflict is trying to show us. We accept the principle of taking responsibility for ourself and not blaming the other, even if we can’t always practice it in the heat of the moment. Eventually we get there, even if it takes a day or two. I always say if there’s the ability and willingness to communicate, most relationship problems can be overcome.
A Course in Miracles http://www.amazon.co.uk/Course-Miracles-Foundation-Inner-Peace/dp/1883360269/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287440966&sr=1-1 is a wonderful spiritual workbook that makes an emphatic point about relationships – our partner (or any other person we ever encounter, for that matter) is ALWAYS being a mirror, showing us something about US that we need to see and understand. It is pointless to blame the other person for making us happy or unhappy. We can only look to ourselves – to our own responses to how our partner is behaving – and learn from that. We should never seek to change another. Happiness can only come from within.
One of my favourite books about relationship is Stephen and Ondrea Levine’s Embracing the Beloved: Relationship as a Path of Awakening. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Embracing-Beloved-Relationship-Path-Awakening/dp/0717134334/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287440842&sr=1-2 It’s a beautiful, poetic book that has inspired my desire for meaningful relationship with a life partner for many years.
And then there’s David Deida’s, Finding God Through Sex http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-God-Through-Sex-Awakening/dp/1591792738/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287440649&sr=1-1#noop – a powerful, raw, yet sensitive treatment of what our physical love making is truly all about. Only when I met Pat did I begin to experience and practice what these authors write about so eloquently.
So, perhaps that’s a good note to wind up on. Hmm, but you might be curious to see the man himself? Well, you can. Here’s he is, talking on video in his Love of Spiritual Man series. In this clip he’s talking about what makes our relationship special. After all, he should know!
October 18, 2010 | Categories: A Course in Miracles, Awareness, Embracing the Beloved, Embracing the Beloved, Finding God Through Sex, Finding True Love, holistic, inspirational coaching, intuition, law of attraction, meditation, Meeting Your Love Match, metaphysics, Raw and Real, relationships, spiritual coaching, spiritual intelligence, true love | Tags: appreciation, course in miracles, embracing the beloved, expressing love, finding god through sex, intuition, love, making love, Meeting Your Love Match, metaphysics, relationships, spiritual intelligence | 3 Comments
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:
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).
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.
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…
September 4, 2010 | Categories: inner guidance, inspirational coaching, intuition, meditation, metaphysics, metta bhavana, Nick Williams, Raw and Real, spiritual coaching, spiritual intelligence, Wildmind | Tags: calming emotions, Eckharte Tolle, guided meditation, how to love and let go, Inner experience, inner wisdom, inner world, inspiration, intuition, love, maternal love, meditation, meditation CDs, metaphysics, Nick Williams, Non-attachment, self help, spiritual guidance, spiritual intelligence, spirituality, stopping bad habits, The Power of Now, Wildmind | 2 Comments
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.
August 21, 2010 | Categories: inner guidance, inspirational coaching, metaphysics, Nick Williams, Raw and Real, spiritual intelligence | Tags: Discover the Work You Were Born to Do, entrepreneur, Inner experience, inspiration, inspired entrepreneurs, instinct, intuition, metaphysics, Nick Williams, personal guidance, spiritual guidance, spiritual intelligence, spirituality, spirituality in business | 8 Comments
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?
August 8, 2010 | Categories: Awareness, How to say no, inner guidance, inspirational coaching, manifestation, metaphysics, Raw and Real, spiritual intelligence, stopping bad habits | Tags: calming emotions, dealing with teenagers, Inner experience, inner world, inspiration, meditation, metaphysics, mum looking after herself, Over giving, spiritual intelligence | Leave a comment
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?”
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.
August 3, 2010 | Categories: Awareness, Dealing with teenagers, How to say no, inner guidance, inspirational coaching, intuition, manifestation, meditation, metaphysics, Raw and Real, spiritual coaching, spiritual intelligence, stopping bad habits, telepathic marketing, telepathy | Tags: dealing with teenagers, inner wisdom, meditation, mum looking after herself, saying no, self help, spiritual guidance, spiritual intelligence, spirituality, stopping bad habits, telepathic communication | 4 Comments
Its been sooooo much more challenging than I thought it would. I mean, I knew it would be an adjustment moving from a nine room country cottage to a couple of caravans in a field, but I didn’t expect the personal disorientation to be so strong.
Okay it’s a big downsize and I knew I’d be saying goodbye to a lot of stuff and learning to live in less space and be confronted with emptying toilet tanks in the rain, but I didn’t expect to have the carpet ripped from under my feet. If I’m honest I’ve been feeling horribly unsettled and insecure since we moved a month ago. Where has the happy, inspired, life-loving Srimati gone?
Last night, Pat, my husband, stirred around 1am and I woke up too. I find that if I wake within a short while of going to sleep at night – and there’s something undigested going on emotionally – I’m presented with a shadowey, doom laden ‘oh-oh’ of uncomfortable feelings that won’t go away and won’t let me get back to sleep again. Last night it was dreadful, soul sucking, zero confidence. Everything was wrong. I was wrong. Life was wrong. And some how it was all my fault.
Many is the time I’ve been up in the night battling with such demons. I often wonder, however, how many women can say that they have a husband who is willing to spend all night, if necessary, slaying demons with them? I have one such husband – totally mad in many eyes and utterly sane in mine. A misunderstood Cornish rascal, I’ve been bright enough to recognise I have my very own, flesh and blood, guardian angel sharing my life with me. Pat is one hell of an ally and absolutely the best friend I’ve ever had by a mile.
So there we were in dressing gowns sitting under the moon in camp chairs at two in the morning. I briefly described how I was feeling. “I know”, he said, “I could feel your energy nose-diving all day.” I gazed at the magical moon appearing and disappearing into clouds and listened. His gravelly voiced, meandering stories and irreverant observations soothed me and brought humorous clarity all at the same time. I felt better. I could see what I’d been doing to myself…
Giving it All Away
Sometimes I get so frustrated with my own habitual mess ups – “Arggh! Stop! You’ve done it again! For goodness sake, STOP it Srimati!” Our habits and blind spots can be so entrenched. It seems to me that we all have one big core mucked up tendency that we spend our entire life attempting to break free of. (That’s if we are conscious enough to even try. There are plenty of us who never even realise what’s going on and just spend life being battered around by the painful consequences of our own unknowing over and over again).
With me it’s over-giving. I don’t mean being super generous, I mean giving inappropriately, ‘giving’ to the point that I abuse myself and prevent others from taking responsibility for themselves. Eventually, I get tired and depleted and have a kickback of resentment. The other person remains infantalised and never learns to stand on their own two feet. So in fact it’s not generous at all because nobody gains anything! Giving is only generosity when it is appropriately given and comes from a full cup, not being drunkenly sucked up from the dregs of a spill on the floor.
Over-giving is a classic generosity distortion, especially with mothers (and guess where my tendency shows itself most? Yes, with my 15 year old son Jamie). Not surprisingly, many of my friends, family and clients suffer from a similar thing. Like attracts like and so we draw people to us that carry similar energy and values – including problematic tendencies. The best teacher, however, is someone who is just a little free-er and more conscious than ourselves, so fortunately my clients do benefit from my years of self inflicted agony.
For the last six weeks I’ve been a one woman pack horse and rescue service. First I spent weeks, dawn to dusk, single handedly packing, redistributing or chucking every possession we had from the cottage, then setting up the caravans. I had the where-with-all to organise a man and a van to move some heavy furniture and ask a group of fab friends to help me with the final clean up day, but other than that, I’ve done the entire thing solo.
At the same time my boy, Jamie, has been experiencing his first big relationship breakup. He split up from his girlfriend after a year, and being an intense young thing (just like his mother) he has taken it hard. Late night and early morning phonecalls, mopping up tears, sick and messy rooms, taxi services to friends and work experiences have been a daily feature. And I’d somehow forgotten he’d be off school for the summer let alone need this extra emotional support. I’d had this romantic idea that I’d do the move in a couple of weeks and then spend July and August writing my first best seller. Hmm, had to re-think that one…
Meanwhile, being a highly sensitive person with multiple health issues, Pat’s chronic neck and back problems got a whole lot worse. In my exhausted, martyr-like hysteria (it’s really not very pretty), pushing to finish the cottage clean up in time, I told him to “F off” if he couldn’t help (the resentment kicking in!). So he did. Feeling totally powerless to reach me through my temporary insanity or love me or support me in any way, he withdrew to the caravans feeling terrible and his neck promptly went into acute spasm.
So, despite Pat’s enthusiasm for the caravan way of life, he’s not been able to help with usual domestics let alone the extra carrying and fetching this lifestyle requires. I felt like I’d cursed our last moment together at the cottage. Those ugly words were the last to leave my lips and it seemed like the antithesis of the love and appreciation we’d share there for two and a half years. The next morning, I went back to the cottage to say goodbye properly. All tasks done now, I went from room to room, remembering, weeping, blessing and praying. I asked for forgiveness and to cleanse the stain I’d made the day before.
Being a Mystic Angel
A few months ago, I picked up Doreen Virtue’s book, Realms of the Earth Angels, and experienced a revelation. In her book, Doreen, describes personality traits and life experiences in terms of certain types of earth angels (do read this fantastic wee book to get the whole context). I had such recognition of myself that I began to shake. Her categorisations made so much sense of my life and relationships, my strengths and weaknesses and my purpose and inspiration. So much so that it generated a new title for the biography that I’m writing – More Than Meets the Eye: My Life as a Mystic Angel.
At first I thought I was a Wise One – compassionate and committed to helping the world, a leader and guide, a powerful manifestor with a tendency to be over serious. However, I also recognised myself in the Incarnate Angel category. Here is the over-giving for a start. Along side this is an innocent, loving and trusting nature which can easily be taken advantage of. Incarnate Angels can tend to overweight (check) and drawn into co-dependent relationships (check).
And so it turns out I’m a Mystic Angel – a blend of both a Wise One and a Incarnate Angel. Right now, its my Incarnate Angel vulnerability/ gullibility that is being tested. Talking to Pat last night under the moon, I realise that I just do not realise when people are lying to me or trying to manipulate me or use me. I receive what’s said as the truth (I don’t usually get jokes or teasing because I fail to comprehend that the person is not speaking the absolute, literal truth to me!) I always give people the benefit of the doubt, understand why they feel limited or compromised and may not be acting in their own best interests and respond by doing what I can to rescue them from their suffering.
Of coure my trusting and compassionate nature is also my biggest asset! I do genuinely love and understand people and see their beautiful pure natures deep within them. That’s what helps me be such a good coach. However, our greatest weakness is also our greatest strength and vice versa. The trick is to be aware enough to know when our strength has flipped over to the dark side and is serving our fear and unconsciousness instead of our love and wisdom.
To help me with this, Pat has reminded me of a simple basic practice to correct my over-giving – the practice of saying “No!”. Sometimes its embarressing to have to go back to psychological base camp again, but that’s what I need to do. I need to say “No!” more and suffer the discomfort of the other person not getting what they want or having to dig into themselves to provide the solutions. I need to value myself enough to commit to my own needs first and foremost, to fill my cup, so that I can truly give again.
And so, I’ve invented a simple summer routine for myself starting today. Here I am living in the Wild Field. We are all moved. Jamie is getting over his break up and settling into his summer holidays. Pat’s neck is getting better. I have some time to myself again – time that I could fool myself into giving away to others if I am not vigilant. But I feel I will go mad if I do not now honour what is most precious in my life – my vocation to write and share wisdom.
In my own best interests, I’ve set some boundaries… I will not turn my phone on until midday. I will spend every weekday morning quietly by myself writing and meditating. My weekday mornings are all MINE from now on! And so, here it is, the outpouring of my love and creativity from a full cup – Raw and Real: Intimate Insights from the Wild Field. I hope you join me here often.
July 30, 2010 | Categories: feminine wisdom, holistic, inspirational coaching, manifestation, metaphysics, Raw and Real, spiritual intelligence | Tags: calming emotions, dealing with a crisis, Doreen Virtue, Inner experience, inspiration, manifestation, meditation, Over giving, Realms of Earth Angels, self help | 18 Comments