Inspirational Coach

Posts tagged “love

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. 

To Buy Tickets and for More Info, click

Eventbrite - Say Yes to Abundance 2017


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

logo-one-of-the-144

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.