Inspirational Coach

Posts tagged “Buddhism

Breaking Through Self Doubt

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

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

Here’s how to find clarity and confidence again…


Diving for Pearls Now Available

Order your advance-publication signed copy NOW!

My new book  Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love

is being published on the 29th September 2017.

There are a limited number of advance-publication signed copies

now available directly from me.

Price (inc post)

UK – £15

Outside UK – £18

Your copy will be posted 1st Class from UK

within 3 days of payment being received.

Buy Now

Buy your copy of Diving for Pearls here

via Paypal (click below)

BUY NOW – UK- £15

BUY NOW – non UK – £18

book-cover

Dive For Your Pearls

This book is part true love story and part how-to guide. In these pages, I take you with me on the spiritual adventure of my life and share how I eventually found what I was longing for – deep trust in my own inner wisdom and a true love, soul mate and life partner that can meet me on all levels. Along with the story, I share the insights and learning that lit the way for me with the hope that this will also help illuminate your path of love and wisdom.

My quest for wisdom began when I was a child, trying to figure out if church had the answers to life’s big questions. Continuing by studying psychology at university, I was profoundly affected by the death of my father and discovered the practice of meditation. For nearly two decades thereafter, I trained for and became an ordained Buddhist.

But wisdom wasn’t enough. Although denying it for many years, deep down I also ached to be properly partnered by a soul mate – a true love that shared every aspect of my life. A series of experiences finally brought me to fulfill that destiny and the ensuing spiritual renaissance resulted in the resigning of my ordination and the founding of Thrivecraft – an inspirational coaching practice providing a universal path of love and wisdom for all.

Echoing my own journey, the first half of Pearls is about inner wisdom. Along with this part of my story, I share tips and teachings on meditation, mindfulness and intuition so that you too can tune in to your own natural inner wisdom.

The second half focuses on finding true love and includes my ‘Get Ready For Love’ step-by-step guide. I also describe how inner wisdom continues to serve a deepening relationship once you’ve met a partner (or, indeed, reveals when it is time to move on).

It is my dear wish that you will be inspired by my story and tips, transported by a special ‘Ask Your Inner Wisdom’ meditation I have created and recapture your natural entitlement to be completely guided and supported in all that you do. Go ahead and find the kind of love and wisdom that you so desire and so deserve. Dive for your pearls – they are right here and they are all yours.

Maggie Kay


Diving for Pearls – new book coming soon

I am delighted to announce that my new book – Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love – will be published on 29th September 2017.

Look out for my special pre-release launch event early in 2017 for an opportunity to buy your own personally signed copies ahead of the official publication date.

And for book signing events in the UK and USA from the autumn – to be announced.

book-cover

Dive For Your Pearls

This book is part true love story and part how-to guide. In these pages, I take you with me on the spiritual adventure of my life and share how I eventually found what I was longing for – deep trust in my own inner wisdom and a true love, soul mate and life partner that can meet me on all levels. Along with the story, I share the insights and learning that lit the way for me with the hope that this will also help illuminate your path of love and wisdom.

My quest for wisdom began when I was a child, trying to figure out if church had the answers to life’s big questions. Continuing by studying psychology at university, I was profoundly affected by the death of my father and discovered the practice of meditation. For nearly two decades thereafter, I trained for and became an ordained Buddhist.

But wisdom wasn’t enough. Although denying it for many years, deep down I also ached to be properly partnered by a soul mate – a true love that shared every aspect of my life. A series of experiences finally brought me to fulfill that destiny and the ensuing spiritual renaissance resulted in the resigning of my ordination and the founding of Thrivecraft – an inspirational coaching practice providing a universal path of love and wisdom for all.

Echoing my own journey, the first half of Pearls is about inner wisdom. Along with this part of my story, I share tips and teachings on meditation, mindfulness and intuition so that you too can tune in to your own natural inner wisdom.

The second half focuses on finding true love and includes my ‘Get Ready For Love’ step-by-step guide. I also describe how inner wisdom continues to serve a deepening relationship once you’ve met a partner (or, indeed, reveals when it is time to move on).

It is my dear wish that you will be inspired by my story and tips, transported by a special ‘Ask Your Inner Wisdom’ meditation I have created and recapture your natural entitlement to be completely guided and supported in all that you do. Go ahead and find the kind of love and wisdom that you so desire and so deserve. Dive for your pearls – they are right here and they are all yours.

Maggie Kay

 

 


Reclaiming Maggie Kay

As I complete writing my forthcoming book – Diving for Pearls: Discovering Inner Wisdom – I am concluding with my account of reclaiming my original name, Maggie Kay, last year.  I’ve been looking at the videos I took at the time to remind myself of the magic of that occasion.  And so, I thought I’d share it with you again and re-post my blog from the summer of 2013…

This summer I changed my name from Srimati to Maggie Kay.

I’ve been known as Srimati for 20 years – a spiritual name given to me when I was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order in 1993.  And although I resigned my ordination 11 years ago and no longer consider myself to be a Buddhist (preferring to embrace all spiritual traditions), I kept my beautiful spiritual name until now.

So why the change?

The idea came out of the blue – well from the heavens to my husband Pat, as it was he who had the sudden insight to make the change after talking with me about some old unconscious beliefs I was letting go of.  But it felt so right!   I knew as soon as Pat suggested it that it was what I would do.

We could see that being called Srimati was keeping me subtly but powerfully linked to aspects of Buddhism that I no longer resonate with.  And it was blocking me from claiming my true spiritual inheritance from my family name, ancestors and magical Scottish homeland.

I gave myself the summer to make the changes.  It has been a profound, rich, intimate inner process (as anyone who has changed their name may tell you) and has also required a bit of practical work including re-branding my business.

In August, Pat and I had a wonderful holiday in Scotland.  On our first night, wanting to honour my ancestors, we visited the birthplace of my Great Grandmother, Mary Kay, whose name has been passed down at least five generations on my mother’s side to me.

Here is a video I took that morning, speaking about my great grandmother, Mary Kay:-

After enjoying a delightful week with my mum on the Isle of Cumbrae, Pat and I spent our last night in Scotland near the Scottish Buddhist retreat centre, Dhanakosa, where I had been ordained and given the name Srimati.

In this video I am standing on the lochside by the retreat centre, reflecting on my ordination as Srimati:-

The following morning, I conducted my own private ceremony to lovingly lay aside my Buddhist name, Srimati, in the very shrine room where I was publicly ordained.

I took the video camera into the shrine room with me to catch this spontaneous but powerful ceremonial moment:-

And so Srimati ‘radiant mind’ has become Maggie Kay ‘pearl fire’.

My friends have been adapting with love and understanding (some of them affectionately calling me Srimaggie for a while to help them with the transition!) and my mum is very happy I’ve chosen to reclaim the beautiful names she gave me at birth.

There have been a few moments when I’ve missed being Srimati and have been feeling strangely ‘naked’ as Maggie Kay, but I know I am embodying more of myself than ever before.

It is good to be back!


Love Your Inner Demons

Who’s in charge here?

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

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

buddha under tree with moon

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

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

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

Love Your Inner Parking Attendant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

shaman woman

Relaxing into the Fragile Mess

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

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

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


Let Yourself LOVE

Back in 1998, I was a young mum and an ordained Buddhist living and working in a exciting, modern spiritual community in London.

‘Not getting attached’ is a big teaching in Buddhism and it took me a while to really understand what this means, especially as a new parent  – and that

IT IS OKAY TO REALLY LET YOURSELF LOVE!

The following is an article I wrote about these exploration for Dharma Life Magazine.  And at the end of the article, a short video I recorded in 2009 with Inspired Entrepreneur, Nick Williams, on the same topic…

An All Embracing Urge

Published in Dharma Life Magazine – Winter 1998, written by Maggie Kay (Srimati)

Motherhood has opened up a new emotional realm for Srimati. But how to love wholeheartedly and continually let go is the ground of her daily practice.

Against the odds and ahead of hard evidence, I instinctively knew I was pregnant. As I lay in the bath there was something magical in the air. I found myself, hand on belly, making a heartfelt pledge in a tender whisper: “If you’re there, you’re welcome and I’ll do my best for you.” This was the beginning of the greatest love of my life. One week into my relationship with this unknown, unexpected being, I was howling with an ancient grief as I bled, and feared it was over. The pain of that love had also made itself felt.

But all was well, and that feeling of love and pain gathered substance during the months of pregnancy. My body surrendered more and more to its task, and love for my unborn became increasingly tangible with the growth of the life in my belly. So did the fears. Dreams of the coming birth were mostly beautiful, but my heart was full of the fragility of human life. I felt I would do anything to protect this life inside me, and yet there was so little I could do to ensure its wellbeing. That was ultimately out of my hands. Even before my child was born, I was learning that maternal love means letting go.

I spent an unforgettable night bringing my son into the world. In the calm and comfortable aftermath of that struggle, I lay stung awake by wonder, gazing at him. The blacks of his eyes shone in the dark, peacefully apprehending his new world as he lay between us, his parents, the very flesh that had created him. A few days earlier I’d dreamt I was begging a Nazi soldier not to shoot me, to give me one more week so I could see the face of my unborn child. Becoming a mother has shown me that the death of a child is the cruelest loss imaginable.

As a practicing Buddhist, (In 2002 I resigned my ordination to embrace all forms of spirituality and no longer consider myself to be ‘just’ a Buddhist) such strong feelings have raised many questions for me. What gives rise to such powerful and self-sacrificing maternal love? To what extent does this love help or hinder us in living a spiritual life?

Dharma Life Cover

Some Buddhists claim parenthood is unhelpful from a spiritual point of view, partly because it opens you up to such incredible attachment. It is generally true that the more emotionally involved you are with someone, the more you are liable to be caught in attachment. At worst this can mean limiting, insecure ways of relating, and unhealthy dependence. Attachment is difficult to recognize and can be easily rationalized as something less selfish. For a Buddhist, however, identifying and uprooting this clinging is the very heart of practice and for a Buddhist parent it is no different.

Nevertheless certain Buddhist traditions take the image of maternal love as a metaphor to describe metta, universal loving-kindness:

As a mother watches o’er her child, Her only child, so long as she doth breathe, So let one practice unto all that live An all-embracing mind.

Parenting, especially early parenting, can seem incomparably unselfish — but is it really? What enables such incredible resources to be unstintingly roused in the service of another human being? Perhaps it is because there is cellular identity with the child, especially in the mother’s case: My child is me. There is quite a leap between this and the empathetic identification of a Bodhisattva, the embodiment of compassion, with all living beings; but it is a powerful analogy.

I have come to value the power and vitality of maternal love and motherhood has given me a depth of experience that enriches my spiritual life. I have contacted a huge reservoir of passionate love for my son such as I have never experienced before. Most parents speak of this kind of love for their children. I prefer to see parental love as a spiritual opportunity. The answer is not to back away from the strength of that love, but to dwell deeply in it; to penetrate its nature and the nature of that which you love.

As a parent you have almost no choice but to love your child passionately, and this demands that you find the same intensity of wisdom. The more your heart is open, the more you can allow any wise reflections to touch you and let them transform you.

The story of Kisa Gotami is probably my favorite from the Buddha’s life. Kisa Gotami comes to the Buddha cradling her dead child. She is distraught, even a little crazed, and cannot accept that her child is dead. She has heard the Buddha is a great man, a great healer, and begs him to provide medicine for her ‘sick’ child. The Buddha replies that he will help her. She must find a mustard seed as medicine, but there is one condition: it must come from a household that has not known death.

Kisa Gotami sets out on her quest, knocking at doors. Those who greet her are happy to give her a mustard seed, but shake their heads when they hear of the condition. The living are few, but the dead are many. Kisa Gotami cannot find a house in which no one has died, and gradually a new perspective dawns. She sees the universality of death and this allows her to acknowledge what has happened. She buries her child, returns to the Buddha, and commits herself to the spiritual life.

Kisa Gotami “wakes up” during her quest. She sees that death and loss are universal, so she can finally grieve and let go of her child. This is a deeper engagement with life and death that sees it in a spiritual perspective. In accepting the death of her child, Kisa Gotami gains insight into the nature of human life. Obviously this is challenging ground. Kisa Gotami had the Buddha’s help. But it is not that she stopped loving, just that her love was placed in a much vaster context.

Tibetan Buddhist texts dwell on the mother-child relationship in many ways to evoke the intensity of love that human beings are capable of. The difficulty lies in transforming exclusive love into one that includes all beings. The prospect of loving every being like one’s only child is awesome, but life offers glimpses of such an experience. For example, when one grieves the death of a loved one, the combination of feelings arising from a personal loss, with an acknowledgment of the universality of death, can open up an intense love for all humanity.

Compassion comes with realizing that all beings will one day share this moment in their own way. Similarly, dying people sometimes reach a serenity where they accept impending death and are imbued with a sublime love for their family and for life itself — as if only this fullness of love is important, more important and powerful than death itself. Over the years I have thought a great deal about the nature of human love, ordinary human affection and intimacy with all its imperfections. It is this middle ground between the lofty climes of metta and the grip of unconscious attachment that I am interested in — that is where many of us stand for much of our lives.

Srimati with Jamie

When I first became involved in Buddhism I latched on to the notion of non-attachment because I was hurt by loss and death. I was 19 and didn’t know myself well. Although fairly bright and positive on the surface, I was unconsciously on the run from painful experiences. My adolescence had ended abruptly with my father’s illness and death, and I had witnessed the agony my mother suffered in losing him. I felt mature beyond my years, and my world of teenage rebellion became meaningless.

So, too, did my relationship with my first love, who had recently held such passion and promise for me. I had thought he was my soul-mate, the man I’d spend my life with. But my need for him melted away and I felt strangely alone. Suddenly, I found myself telling him it was over and telling my mother that I was leaving home.

Within a few months, my inner searching brought me to the Glasgow Buddhist Center, and I instantly recognized I had found the means to understand life and death that had been invisibly beckoning ever since I can remember. Although my response to the Dharma was largely sincere, I misconstrued some of what I learnt. While I rejoiced in my fortune at having come across the Buddhist path so young and unencumbered, I did not realized how much emotional backlog I had to deal with. It was during this initial phase that I developed a sort of defended pseudo-independence and fooled myself that I was free of attachments.

Fortunately meditation and spiritual friendship sorted me out. I threw myself into the spiritual life, and moved to the London Buddhist Center where I could participate in more intensive situations for practice, and be around more experienced Buddhists. Meditating every day, living in community with other Buddhists and working in a Buddhist Right Livelihood business was like being in a hall of mirrors. Everywhere I looked, my being was reflected back. There was no escape. So the pain of what I had been running from caught up with me. It was a journey into the underworld and I came more deeply into relationship with the love and pain that had been stirred by these losses.

By fully grieving, in opening up my heart to what had happened, the psuedo-independence crumbled. I was heartbroken, and from that broken heart a bigger heart was released. I began to see that non-attachment was not about holding back, being self-contained and trying to limit the inevitable emotional damage that comes through being in relationship with people. Ironically, I’ve found that non-attachment is about loving deeply, letting my love flow, admitting how much friends, family and partner matter. It involves being willing to love them, give myself to them, even though we will one day be parted. There’s nothing we can do to stop death, to end separation. Non-attachment means being prepared to take the pain of losing loved ones because the sheer experience of love is worth it.

My attitude to love began to change as I acknowledged the truth of impermanence, and the inevitability of the suffering implicit in loving. From feeling I made myself vulnerable by loving, I began to experience a greater robustness in my love. What did I really have to lose? I started to see love as giving rather than losing myself. Really to love I must be prepared to give everything and let go of everything. I must learn to release my love, love for its own sake, with no desire for a secure pay-off.

More than a decade later, with a partner and a four-year-old son, those ponderings have a new arena. The issues of attachment are different. I cannot choose whether or not to love my son, whether it is ‘safe’ to invest emotional energy in him. It is absolutely what I must and will do. I am only beginning the journey of loving as a mother, and every time I think I have understood what is involved, it changes.

And yet I sense that the lessons of this decade are the same. Only insight into to my son’s true nature, indeed into human nature in general, can free me from attachment. Every so often a tragic news story rips through the day-to-day illusion that this love is forever, never to be disturbed by accident, illness, separation.

I do not want to have to face what Kisa Gotami experienced in order to wake up to the human situation, but I do want to wake up. I want to feel unbounded love that is passionate, full and wise. Living with the tension of loving fully and letting go is not easy: it involves simultaneously holding two apparent opposites.

But hopefully the tension will allow a larger perspective to emerge. In the meantime I feel it is the only option. Love is not about binding another or oneself to a status quo because of insecurity. That is essentially an impossible task: things change, like it or not. It means taking a stand on a deeper, spiritual knowledge. To love fully is to open oneself to the truth of the human condition.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Talking with Inspired Entrepreneur, Nick Williams, about love and non-attachment – video interview  2009.  Click below:


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.