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

Posts tagged “love

Get into Your Meditation Groove

Get Into Your Meditation Groove

A Month of

Step-by-Step Supported Learning

with Maggie Kay

*

Certified home study course

with group coaching and support

1 Feb –  1 Mar 2018

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*

Be

Calm

Happy

Empowered

&

Wise

*

 Maggie Kay is one of the UK’s foremost meditation teachers and guides.

*

Psychology graduate and former ordained Buddhist,

Maggie has been meditating since she was 19

and teaching, guiding and creating meditation for over 20 years.

*

She draws meditations from traditional and modern sources

as well as her own inner and channelled wisdom.

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Upon successful completion, you receive your

IICT accredited

Thrivecraft Meditation Practitioner Certificate

IICT_Approved_Black_and_White

 Maggie Kay is an IICT member and approved training provider.

She is founder of Thrivecraft, a registered modality

www.iict.co.uk

Qualify to continue to Accredited Thrivecraft Meditation Teacher training

Get into Your Meditation Groove is a pre-requisite (the first module) for

Maggie Kay’s meditation teacher training course

Click for details of accredited Meditation Teachers course

*

Course Contents

Calm

Week 1.  Mindfulness

What is meditation, introduction to practitioner course, posture for meditation, what is mindfulness, mindfulness of breathing meditation explained, guided mindfulness of breathing practice.

Happy

Week 2.  Loving Kindness

Q&A on mindfulness, higher consciousness with meditation, loving kindness meditation explained, guided loving kindness practice.

Empowered

Week 3.  Manifestation

Q&A on loving kindness, hinderances to meditation, antidotes to hinderances, principles of manifestation, Ah/Om manifestation meditation explained, guided Ah/Om manifestation practice.

Wise

Week 4.  Inner Wisdom

Q&A on Ah/Om manifestation, what is inner wisdom, Ask Your Inner Wisdom meditation explained, guided Ask Your Inner Wisdom practice, where to go from here.

*

In this video extract from Meditation Practitioners course, below,

Maggie Kay describes the benefits of meditation.

(And also goes on to talk about the inner wisdom meditation)

  …………………………………………………………….

 For more info email Maggie at

maggie@maggiekaywisdom.com

…………………………………………………………….


Diving for Pearls Book Launch Party

book-cover

Maggie Kay invites you to

come and celebrate the

publication of her first book

Diving for Pearls:

The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love 

At

Totnes Natural Health Centre

the Plains, Totnes, Devon

On

Friday 29 September

publication day

From 6pm

 For an evening of

celebration and refreshments

 

Plus

Guided meditation

Reading from Diving for Pearls

Q&A with Maggie

 

 And an opportunity to have

your book personally signed by Maggie Kay


Say Yes to Abundance Workshop

Say Yes to Abundance

Opening the flow of money and prosperity

 Sat 17 / Sun 18  June 2017

roses around door

An inspiring and powerful weekend workshop to

* Discover your unique soul-path to money and prosperity

*  Clear away habitual worries, doubts and feelings of lack

* Fully appreciate your true worth, natural gifts and attractiveness

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

*  Learn and practice potent magnetising and manifestation techniques

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

Click for video testimonials

 This workshop has been specially created to help you

make a shift in consciousness and allow

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

to generate enthusiasm, ideas and plans to take action

with an authentic heart and fulfilled soul!

Magnetise Love.  Boost your prosperity.

Attract good fortune.  Create synchronicity.

Feel free and joyful.


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


Five Steps to Set Your Life Free

For many of us the autumn is a time of fresh starts – time to start a course, get stuck in and create something new, or make a change in our lives.  So the dreams and ideas are there, but are we able to see them through?  What about when we come up against obstacles or lose our motivation?  It is challenging doing it all by ourselves, however, getting the right support can make all the difference between creating a dream and making it a reality.

That’s why at Thrivecraft we have our Set Your Life Free workshop in October.  During the weekend (at our stunning countryside retreat, the Thrivecraft Home Hub, near Saltash in Cornwall), we take a complete life coaching journey to set in motion our dreams and plans supported by tried and tested know-how and inspiration.

front-gardenHere is my quick guide to setting your life free:-

  1. REVIEW

Review your current situation thoroughly.  Identify where you are content and fulfilled and where you need and want to make changes, including scoring each area of your life – work, money, relationships etc – on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 is excellent).

  1. REVISION

Allow yourself to fantasize about a life that is like a dream come true in every respect and describe it in writing.  Don’t worry about whether it is possible, if you deserve it or how to make it happen.  For now, imagine that there is a magic wand that can create that ideal life instantly.   Step inside your ideal life and describe it in entirely positive terms and as though it is happening now (in present tense language).

  1. RELEASE

Often when we allow ourselves to own and declare what we truly desire, our fears and doubts come to the surface.  These doubting inner voices are the very things that keep us small and safe and living life in our comfort zone, even if we are not happy with it.  One way of helping to release these ‘limiting beliefs’ is by writing out positive affirmations and repeating them out loud every day.  For example, if we cannot believe that we will ever meet our ideal partner, write out “I am delighted to have met my ideal partner so quickly and easily.”

  1. RE-COMMIT

Now that we have created our ideal life vision and released some of our inner resistance about moving towards it, we create a practical plan and take action.  Identify one or two things from your ideal life that you would like to make a start with.  Taking them one goal at a time, be as clear as possible about what you would like to achieve and when you would like to achieve it by.  Think of what you can do to support your progress and what help you might need along the way.  Write out the steps you will take and begin to take action, one small step at a time.  It helps a great deal if you can share your plans with an accountability partner – a friend or coach that you report to regularly on your progress.

  1. RE-EMPOWER

Step five is about adding a sprinkle of magic!  At Thrivecraft we specialise in coaching spiritual and metaphysical intelligence – powerful principles and practices that inspire us and allow us to make rapid progress.  Equipped with these tools, we take quantum leaps and create miraculous manifestations with ease.  One of the practices we teach is the Ah Om manifestation meditation.

You can download instructions for the Ah Om meditation and the other life coaching exercises mentioned above at Maggie Kay Wisdom Free Resources

Better still, come along to a Thrivecraft workshop to boost your Set Your Life Free journey, or dive in to a personal coaching programme or retreat with Maggie for exclusive one-to-one attention.  There is also the opportunity to train with Maggie to become an accredited Thrivecraft Coach or Meditation Teacher including business coaching to set up your professional practice and make a great living.

maggie-5

Maggie Kay is an inspirational coach, writer and founder of Thrivecraft Coaching.  Formerly an ordained Buddhist, she specialises in spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.  Maggie trains accredited life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats, workshops and programmes from her countryside home near Saltash in Cornwall where she lives with her soul mate husband, Pat.  Her new book – Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love – is being published in spring 2017.


Ask Maggie About Love

New – Ask Maggie on Source TV

Check out Maggie Kay’s new Source TV show – Ask Maggie – where she answers your love and relationship questions and helps you find and attract your ideal love match.

In the episode below, Maggie explains how she solved her own ‘love paradox’.

ASK MAGGIE – How Maggie Solved Her Own ‘Love Paradox’ from Source.TV

If you have a love or relationship question you’d like to ask, email Maggie at

maggie@maggiekaywisdom.com

Maggie will film your answer and let you know when that episode is being broadcast.

Thank You Source TV

Maggie Kay Nominated UK Leading Evolutionary

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Click – Maggie Kay on Source TV


How I Found My Soulmate

Extract from my new book

Diving for Pearls: The Wise Woman’s Guide to Finding Love.

How did I manage to find my true love and soul mate?

“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 rural south west England 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.

rumi set your life on fire

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 unsettled at school.  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.”

Dharma Life Cover

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 unremmittingly 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 painfully 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.

look

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, at a beautiful ceremony on the banks of the river Dart.

 offerings_edited

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 90 s, this ancient practice brings together the power of the chakras, the voice, and creative visualisation.  We call it the Ah/Om meditation.

 Click Ah/Om meditation videos for full instruction and guidance on this manifestation meditation practice (filmed at one of my workshops).

 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.

Intuition

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

 


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.

rumi set your life on fire

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 unsettled at school.  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.”

Dharma Life Cover

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 unremmittingly 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 painfully 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.

look

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, at a beautiful ceremony on the banks of the river Dart.

 offerings_edited

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 90 s, this ancient practice brings together the power of the chakras, the voice, and creative visualisation.  We call it the Ah/Om meditation.

Click Ah/Om meditation videos for full instruction and guidance on this manifestation meditation practice (filmed at one of my workshops).

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.

Intuition


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.


Wake Up Your Wisdom

July Thrivecraft Workshop

Wake Up Your Wisdom:

Intuition, Manifestation and Channeling

With Srimati

Near Totnes, Devon, UK

Sat 13 / Sun 14 July 2013

Intuition

Develop red-hot INTUITION you can trust

Open the floodgates to CREATIVE ideas

Learn how to make the RIGHT decisions

Apply the SECRETS of mind-to-mind attraction

Activate your very own life-long inner GUIDANCE

During this relaxed workshop you can give your hard-working thinking mind a rest!  Instead, you will learn how to easily tap into your own deep wisdom to find brilliant answers and solutions at every turn.  But don’t be deceived by the retreat-like experience of the day – this stuff is powerful!

With a mixture of interactive practical exercises, talks and guided contemplations, you will be shown how to hone your hunches into reliable intuition you can depend on.  You will learn how to make the secret law of attraction work for you and practice a powerful ‘make it happen’ technique that manifests your hopes into reality.

There will be opportunities to ask questions and give your comments along the way.  And there will be plenty of time to connect with other participants – typically a calibre group of open minded professionals, creatives, innovators and conscious entrepreneurs.

You will leave feeling equipped to employ a whole new dimension of yourself – your own inner wisdom – in your life, love, work and business.  With the constant wise support of your inner guidance and intuition, things will never be the quite the same.  Just see what happens next!

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 - Wake Up Your Wisdom: Intuition, Manifestation and Channeling

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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


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.

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


True Love

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:

http://srimati.com/2010/06/22/meeting-my-match-my-revealing-true-love-story/

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:

http://www.thrivecraft.co.uk/lovecoaching/lovearticles/ready4love/ready4love.html

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…


My Wonderful Husband, The Holy Cornishman

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!

 


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…


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.


Mind Reactive and Mind Creative


Spiritual Intelligence Gives You the Edge

We’ve all heard of emotional intelligence, but what is spiritual intelligence?  Actually, spiritual intelligence is implicit in the art and science of coaching, so if you are a life coach or had some life coaching, you are probably already using it.  Visualising goals, using positive language and releasing limiting beliefs, for example, all have their roots in ancient spiritual wisdom as well as being part of our latest coaching know-how.

Spiritual intelligence is the knowledge and utilisation of the universal spiritual laws and principles at work in our cosmos.  Just as physics charts the behaviour of material things, metaphysics (i.e. the science of spirit) charts the behaviour of ‘unseen’ energy.  We may not be able to test metaphysical principles in a test tube, but we can observe them at work in our psyches.  And, of course, what happens in our psyches expresses itself in every other aspect of our lives.

In recent years, spiritual intelligence has hit the mainstream via the publication of books such as ‘The Power of Now’ and the release of films like ‘The Secret’ and ‘What the Bleep’.  The Law of Attraction, once an esoteric spiritual principle understood only by the initiated, now features in self development forums, popular magazines and chat shows worldwide.  Like most spiritual principles, the law itself is very simple (what you pay attention to attracts more of the same), yet properly understood and applied, has profound implications.

As coaches, we can employ spiritual intelligence to enhance sessions with our clients, boost the running of our business and resource ourselves.  Using our intuition, practising meditation and accessing our inner guidance all serve to give our coaching practice an energetic ‘X-factor’ that is hard to beat.

Seven ways to use spiritual intelligence in your coaching practice

1.    Prepare yourself for your client

Meditate for 10 minutes before every coaching session.  Sit quietly, follow your breath and relax.  Mentally ask for whatever emotional resource or state of mind you require.  Then think of your client and ask that you connect well with your client and are able to give them exactly what they need.  You can then make a few notes on any ideas that came up that when you were meditating on your client.

2.      Prepare your client for their session

Meditate for a further 10 minutes with your client at the beginning of your session.  Encourage them and yourself to follow the breath and relax.  You can also feed in a relevant question to contemplate whilst meditating. (If you are not confident leading meditation, play a short guided meditation CD.)  This will help your client get centred and feel more authentic.  It will also help you tune in to your client more deeply.

3.      Develop Your Intuition

The word intuition means inner tutor or inner guide.  Practise being aware of your intuition by calming your thinking mind (with exercise, meditation or music) and letting yourself drop into a embodied wisdom that speaks from a deeper place inside you.  Test out your intuition with small questions first.  Ask yourself ‘should I do this?’ and see if you get a ‘yes’ (nice, expansive feeling) or ‘no’ (unpleasant, tense feeling) in your body. It’s often felt in the tummy – the reason why we talk about gut instinct.  Follow the answer, then, check later to see if your intuition proved right.

4.      Trust your intuition

Rather than cram your coaching session full of pre-planned ideas, allow some space for spontaneous ideas to bubble up.  Don’t be afraid to sit in silence for a few moments just to listen to your inner guidance.  Check if your intuition is telling you that something would be good for your client, or to change tack if a new direction is emerging.  Likewise, encourage your client to do the same.  A few moments quiet at any point can be very fruitful. Meditation prepares you to be able to do this.

5.      Practice telepathic marketing

We are all much more telepathic than we realise.  Once we are 100% clear and intentional within ourselves, a large chunk of our marketing is done!   Write down what kind of coach you are, what kind of ideal clients you like to work with, and what benefits you are bringing to them (in precise, positive present tense language, of course!).  You will be amazed at what interest starts to come your way even before you’ve placed your adverts.

6.      Learn and practice the Ah meditation

 This powerful manifestation meditation (popularised by Wayne Dyer in the 80’s) can be done in 10 minutes.  It is one of the most effective ways to create and attract what’s best for you into your life, relationships and business.  Teach it to your clients too.  You can download guidance notes to the Ah meditation from the www.thrivecraft.co.uk website resource page.

7.      Connect with your own inner guidance

The most effective way of employing spiritual intelligence is to connect with your own!  Every single one of us has a source of wisdom and guidance within us.  Learn how to quieten your thinking mind and listen to the amazing answers, promptings and directions we have dormant within us.  A special guided meditation to help you do this – Answers: Finding Wisdom from Within – can be found at the on the shop page. 


Integrating spirituality with business – part 2