In fact, I watched the new year London fireworks on TV with the first few chapters in one hand and my wonderful husband Pat’s hand in the other, buzzing because I had just managed to finish writing my first good draft that evening. I had been aiming to complete my book by the end of the year, but had given myself some licence to go over that if necessary. When I realised I was nearly there on the morning of the 31st, however, I went all out to get it done in time for the dawn of 2015, forgoing meals and typing with happy fervour.
At Pat’s suggestion, we read out a chapter to each other before bed in the wee hours. I hadn’t shared my book with anyone before so was thrilled that he absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read it all. I feel so supported by Pat who has been nudging me to get on with book writing for years. And now I’ve finally done it!
Things took an interesting turn on New Year’s day when our Jeep broke down while food shopping in the neighboring village. Yet, even that was somewhat charmed because a lovely young farmer man with typical practical confidence and know-how spent an hour trying to start it – a bearded angel in oily jeans and a pick-up truck. I had actually put out a prayer for a mechanical angel to show up, and he did!
Despite his good-willed attempts, this angel didn’t manage to get the Jeep going, bless him, but my sister Katy, who lives in the village, kept me company at her house and supplied me with tea while we waited for my vehicle recovery service. (She also bought the helpful young man some bottles of beer as a thank you which he appreciated). As I was there, I helped Katy get some boxes into her attic and she passed on to me some lovely clothes that she no longer needed.
The recovery guy got the Jeep started first time with the help of some injector fuel (or something – I don’t quite understand) and an enormous set of jump leads, and I was able to drive home. Pat was waiting to help me unpack the shopping, having been tipped off by Katy by phone that all was well.
So, although it was dark and raining by the time I got back and things hadn’t at all gone according to plan that day, I was left feeling totally blessed, supported and loved by beautiful caring people – whether strangers or family.
I actually kind of enjoyed the whole adventure, and am reminded that if we meet ‘adversity’ with that spirit of love and acceptance, we can have fun and encounter much goodwill and human kindness along the way.
As I have just been explaining in my new book, Diving for Pearls, I nearly always find the silver lining in any clouds that come my way these days. I put this down to the clarity and positivity that my experience of meditation brings into my heart, mind and soul. The awareness – or mindfulness as it is often called – generated by meditation gives you the opportunity to respond creatively to things that happen to you and draw good fortune to you. This means that you can truly be master of your own universe and encourage things to turn out for the best.
If you are thinking about learning to meditate or having some support with an existing practice, I have a wonderful homestudy online meditation course available which results in a qualification as an accredited Thrivecraft Meditation Practitioner.
This easy-going four week course gives you tips and support as well as a thorough introduction to four fantastic meditation techniques that foster mindfulness, positivity, manifestation power and inner wisdom. Simply watch the videos, listen to the audios and try out the guidelines I am laying out for you.
As a special encouragement to help you establish your new meditation rhythm early in the new year, I have decided to offer this course at 25% off until the 31st January 2015.
To claim your 25% discount, click on ‘enter promotional code’ on the Eventbrite booking page, and enter the code newyearoffer – this will reduce the quoted course price by 25%.
So what are you waiting for? Click right here to find out more and have a sparkling start to 2015.
Happy New Year!
With Maggie Kay
Online home study course – 4 wk
Thorough, enjoyable, relaxed and friendly
instruction and practice in meditation
Thrivecraft Practitioner Certificate
Principles * Technique * Preparation * Practice
Suitable for experienced and new meditators alike
Four meditation techniques taught and guided
Talks on related topics
Home practice instruction
Participant experiences, comments and Q&As
Two hours of video per week/ meditation (approx)
Links to bonus videos
Written materials (e-documents)
Meditation Practices Covered:
Mindfulness of Breathing
Development of Loving Kindness
Ah / Om Manifestation
Ask Your Inner Wisdom
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.
Week 2. Loving Kindness
Q&A on mindfulness, higher consciousness with meditation, loving kindness meditation explained, guided loving kindness practice.
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.
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.
The Thrivecraft Practitioner Certificate is a prerequisite
for the Thrivecraft Meditation Teacher Certificate
Thrivecraft is an Approved Training Provider
Accredited by the IICT
For more information and to book the
home study online audio/video course
click orange button below:
to claim your 25% discount
enter the promotional code newyearoffer
In this video extract from meditation practitioner course, below, Maggie Kay describes the benefits of meditation.
Having just navigated my way through a few days of (rare for me) ‘down time’, its got me thinking…
What really helps when you are feeling down?
Well, the starting point is simply this:
1. Accept how you are feeling.
The energy we put into resisting our feelings when difficult emotions are bubbling under the surface is incredible. Instead, we keep ourselves zombie-like – plodding along in a low-grade half-life – not happy, but not engaging with what’s going on either.
Our habit of blaming ourselves can mean that we’d rather remain in a state of brittle denial. We can’t admit to ourselves that we feel this way as we would judge ourselves for being so. It is better to pretend that we are okay.
But if we can just surrender for a few moments – really allow ourselves to feel how we feel – yes we feel the pain more fully, but we also begin to let in a little love and tenderness. Much like we would if we were giving attention to a friend who was having a hard time.
Rather than being lost in this no-man/woman’s-land, it is better if we can NAME what we are feeling. Naming it means that we are no longer subsumed by it. Part of us is now standing outside and looking in, and we can feel some compassion for ourselves.
And having accepted how we are, we have the option of turning towards something more positive.
2. Take ONE tiny step.
When we are feeling down, everything can feel overwhelming. We don’t WANT to do anything to help ourselves. It’s all too much.
So my suggestion is this – choose ONE thing from the list below. Just one. One thing that appeals a little bit…
* have a bath
* go for a walk
* make a fresh juice or a wholesome soup
* listen to a guided meditation
* get closer to nature / go outside
* confide in a good friend
* clean and tidy up
* read something inspiring
* count your blessings
* have a nap
* hang out with positive people
* enjoy some exercise
* listen to uplifting music
* pray to receive support
* do something to help someone else
* channel inner guidance
* reflect on your good qualities
* make love or have a cuddle
* look for beauty in everything
* find the hidden gem/lesson /meaning in your issue
3. Take another step
What you will probably find is that once you’ve taken one step, you feel inclined to take another. And some positive momentum builds from there.
For example, this morning, still feeling a wee bit under par, I decided to do one thing nice thing for myself – have a bath.
That prompted me to read some inspiring words from a book while the bath was running. After my bath I did a little light housework and made a fresh juice for breakfast.
It is a bright day and I could hear the church bells ringing, so I went for a walk, pausing at the church door to listen to the congregation singing a hymn.
On the way home I popped in at our caravan in a nearby field and told it out loud how wonderful it is and how much I love it.
During my walk, all these ‘how to lift yourself up’ ideas came to me, culminating in the inspiration to write this blog. My hope is it might support you too if you are feeling less than wonderful today.
4. Find the hidden gem
There’s always a nugget of gold buried in our difficult emotions. Our feelings are trying to tell us something, bring our attention to something that will open understanding and meaning to a situation or experience.
I reckon the hidden gem in my ‘down time’ these last few days has been a) the need to rest and restore at the end of a very busy, productive year b) the opportunity to release some grief from the past (see below) and c) the prompt to write this blog and share something that might be supportive to others going through a bit of ‘down-time’.
This is my Facebook post about my hidden gems:-
“Emerging out of 5 day inner journey. Started with feeling of ‘flatness’, low energy, tinge of unhappiness, lack of customary inspiration/creativity, desire for more sleep, not wanting to do anything or communicate much…
Felt curious – was this just me being tired at the end of many months of huge activity and productivity? A bit weary after 10 days of tending to son Jamie being acutely unwell? Raw after an emotional sort-out with my husband Pat (the resolution of which was postponed around Jamie’s illness). Was astrology / weather getting me down?
Counted my blessings that there wasn’t much in the diary and I could potter on with undemanding filing and accounts. Then yesterday, it dawned on me – memories of Decembers caring for ill, dying and bereaved loved ones in years gone past, and not being too well myself.
So it seems I was just releasing a bit of seasonal grief and heartbreak, perhaps triggered by Jamie being ill again. Felt better as soon as I realised this. Better to feel the raw grief rather than the depressive blanket of nothing that holds it out of awareness.
Reminded that its healthy to feel these things, lovingly acknowledge buried feelings, that we only feel these things when we are ready to, that I must be experiencing a deeper healing around these issues than ever before.
Thinking of going along the Movement Medicine dance class this evening – a beautiful way to honour, heal and release any anguish still stored in the body. That and I think I’ll put up the Christmas tree now – to remind myself of all the many, many loving, celebratory, happy memories that Decembers have given me too…”
5. Love is the answer
Giving a little attention where it is due is a profoundly loving act. That’s all we are doing when we honestly accept how we are feeling – truly loving ourselves just the way we are.
It gives us the momentum to take a positive step, and maybe even another, and another…
And opens up the possibility of gaining some wisdom and insight from our experience, some meaning, some letting go.
And so I’ll leave you with this song sung by Aloe Blacc, Love is the Answer.