Archive for the ‘Experience’ Category
This month’s dreamboard has been made in the shape of the letter S. That’s because I read on Jamie Ridler’s (she who shows us how!) site that this is the Piscean Sturgeon full moon for asking ourselves the question ‘How Can I Shine’? I’ve chosen images which help me recognise and understand what shining means to me.
That’s the wonderful thing about dream boards, they are highly individual and are likely to only have specific meaning to the maker.
My July dream board was R for Receiving – in that time I’ve been so blessed with help, support, encouragement and more from friends, acquaintances, Twitter buddies, FB mates – it truly has been a remarkable month. I can say without doubt that Dreamboards are worth their weight in gold.
I’ve launched a new website now which focuses very clearly on the work I do – if you have a chance take a peek –
There’s a saying which goes ‘be careful what you wish for as you may get it’. It’s true! In Hawaii, the shamanic way of life called Huna has one of my favourite phrases, and I’m sure I’ve quoted it here before –
Where your attention goes, energy flows
That’s why when you keep focussing on what you don’t want, you get it. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. The word ‘not’ is ignored by the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is the driver behind everything that arrives in your life … not your conscious mind, and not always your actions. Although obviously we need to take action it should be towards what we want as opposed to away from what we don’t. There are learning stages, and we soon get used to it, though can be forgetful at times!
I’m just reminding myself at the moment to be open to receiving what I’m looking for. I started a practice at the beginning of the year with Jamie Ridler’s Full Moon Dreamboards after I heard my good friend Amy Palko wax lyrically about them. I find the creative side of them a bit tricky, but today (which is full moon day) I was directed to Mosaic Maker where I downloaded a wonderful tool which helped me through the process. If I’d had more time, I’m sure I could have played with the pictures a bit, cropping and creating on Picnik to make it even more meaningful, but for my first attempt I’m really pleased.
It’s in the shape of an ‘R’ to denote Receiving. I wanted a reminder to myself to open my arms, my heart and keep my focus on what I want from and in life. The images mean things to me, and may not mean the same to you – that’s why images work so well – they bypass the conscious thought and create and store meaning and feeling which helps create what you are looking for.
Although you can’t see them I know for example that these are also in the collage somewhere hidden by some of the other photos –
Look at the way water just falls with no fear, it just keeps flowing. How that great big bear can give such wonderful warm hugs. How those dancers perform with such grace and dedication. The love from the angel is inspiring me to give more. Two big splashes have got to be better than one! A shoe made of money … reminds me of cobblers’ children and I must look after me and mine first. And lastly, who could deny the sunshine the positive glowing golden effects it gives us, nurturing and nourishing our very existence. Butterflies, remind us how transient it all is and why we must make hay while the sun shines 😉
I’m open to receiving what I’ve asked for and am aiming for with open arms, expecting magic sparkles to be created and jump from my own hands! Nunca Mas is Spanish for never again and that’s a sharp stick which I popped in there just in case!!
As I lay in bed last night listening to the wind in the trees, the leaves doing a frenzied dance with epic stamina (they’d been at it for a few days), I stopped thinking. I stop thinking regularly, some folk call it meditation. I used to believe that meditation had to have a purpose and that it was difficult to do because I’m not great at relaxing, but the more I’ve stopped thinking, the easier it gets to define what works for me. If it’s meditation, great, if it’s just no thought, great!
I need that time just to let go, to stop things becoming overwhelming. It doesn’t of course mean that the situation changes while I’m not thinking about it, or does it?
Situations are just that, they aren’t the things which create the stress and fear in our lives. It’s our feelings, our thoughts, our emotions which are all tied up in what we understand the situation to be saying to us. The experience we then have is our story around the problem.
While I lie in a place of ‘no thought’, I’m suspended. Time too is suspended. The situation is still going on, but it doesn’t bother me in a place of ‘no thought’.
One day I got to realising after clocking up so many no-thought airmiles, that actually I didn’t need to go there in order to be there. I could just be there all the time.
If I can suspend time and a situation by not thinking about it when I chose to deliberately, then that was also an option while I went about the rest of my daily chores and life. Imagine how wonderful that is!
Now this could get irresponsible because although you can suspend time and problems from your thoughts, there are things which you might have to change to accommodate the issue and that there are things for which you are responsible and you must take action.
You need to know what it is you want to achieve, what outcome you are looking at. You need a focus and a goal – one which you know is determined by you and is not reliant on others. This might even be as simple as ‘I want to feel happy, or at peace’. So the difference lies by taking stock of what you can do, and doing it.
When you know that you’ve taken the steps required by you, and some of them might be massive pieces of action, you have done what you can. The action required isn’t always done in one fell swoop, but starting doing one thing at a time will make a difference.
Continually ruminating and cogitating over what has happened, where you are and how unfair it all is will hold you stuck. The no-thought helps to stop that process and gives you the added oomph to start taking the steps which will pull you through.
Having someone to help you move beyond what appears to be the problem and help you get to no-thought is the first step you might consider.
Without clients my life just isn’t complete. I shine when I see people move on from their fears, their pain, their acceptance of letting go. I feel them changing at the other end of the telephone line. Their voices lower, their shoulders relax.
Sometimes all it takes is one or two words, sometimes it takes longer. More often than not, just being at the end of the phone for encouragement, support and validation of a client’s feelings is the first step to them being able to move on with the rest of their life.
I want to share this email, and I have permission from the writer to do so. I’ve been moved to tears by her words. Please enjoy them and understand my work too.
Last week, a situation between me, and let’s say “significant other” whom I had been involved in a “relationship” of kinds with in my life reached breaking point. Our relationship terminated forever. Neither one of us can go back to where we were.
For three days I had not been able to stem the tears, the hurt and pain weeping out of every pore, the mind going over every conversation, every event, over and over like a mad person just possessed by the pain, reliving every beautiful moment but unable to comprehend why or how it suddenly, and literally overnight, turned into the ugliest and most painful experience.
I don’t reach out on personal matters. Its something my hard exterior will not allow. If I let someone inside the brick wall that surrounds me, they will hurt me…..past experience tells me this…and now I have learnt that when you allow people inside, where you heart is raw and hurting, there is quite simply the capacity for someone to wound it further.
I am an armadillo. What the world sees is the tough shell.
If there was a chance of making the relationship better I would have leapt in a heart beat to it. Like the word fatal after a car crash, this relationship had ended fatally too. In my heart I knew the separation was ultimately the absolute best thing in many many ways, the pain was still crippling. I could not see a way forward, and despite my life being almost hideously fortuitous in every other way, this person absence from my life was soul destroying.
Through these days, one person was popping in and out of my conscious mind. My twitter contact Jackie Walker. Her location “at the end of the phone” was propelling me to call her. I was not sure why.
The universe I guess was at play. We meet people after all, for a reason, season or lifetime…..and there is no such thing as a chance meeting.
From the moment the phone rang, and I started to talk, the tears started to spill, I was almost hyperventilating as I cried, unable to breathe, the hurt inside as I spoke, tearing me apart and just hearing someone’s calm and rational voice, that cared, someone who just let me talk, who understood the pain, who asked the right questions, who gently probed was enough….….until an hour and a half later not only could I actually breathe again but the heavy black cloud that has engulfed me for the past 72 hours had started to part allowing rays of sunshine to pour into my heart and start to just melt the ice that had surrounded my insides and stopped my lungs from functioning. As Jackie probed and questioned the answers that I was searching for, that perhaps I knew already deep inside, started to talk to my logical brain. As I rubbished the way I felt, embarrassed to say the words “I loved this person, I care, and I feel hurt and angry” Jackie gave me utter permission to not only feel this way, but to almost celebrate allowing the emotion to come out.
It was an exhausting call, I had totally purged my emotion in a way that society tells me is simply not appropriate to do. My instant trust in jackie reassured me it was OK. Jackie left me with some amazing meditations to cut the emotional ties that were holding me down and to just cut myself and focus on all the wonderful things that remain in my life, which are actually the most wondrous and precious things of all.
The next few hours and days became easier to cope with the feelings, and several days later I can now reflect on this call.
Jackie is a mediator. Her passion and dedication is to mediate Ugly situations. I could not ask for mediation as my situation was long past that but, I know with Jackie’s help, my situation would not have ended the way it had if we had tried to resolve it with her help. I’ve never really understood the role of a mediator to facilitate improving a relationship, but I realize now, with no uncertainty at all, that someone with the gifts that Jackie has, can truly truly help.
I didn’t really know Jackie until that call. However the person at “the end of the phone” allowed me to share how I feel, she gently guided me through all the hurt probing me for answers and solutions and ways forward….and it was so natural it was like talking to my best friend, it wasn’t embarrassing or awkward and in such a relatively short time I could see the answers and solutions needed to actually move forward. My life had literally been suspended in mid air for 3 days, I would still be there now if it was not for the support from Jackie.
I absolutely would not hesitate in recommending Jackie to help others, especially people struggling within a relationship and preferably before its too late. I think perhaps we all hold onto so much pain inside, that if left trapped not only does in not allow you to move forward but the ugliness of the situation will always stay within you locked in the “here and now”. Jackie is someone you can open up to who will guide you through and out the other side.
I was reading through loads of the other 215800 blogs and while doing so, burned my oven chips – I know, I don’t usually eat them, but the cupboard is bare today and so’s my tummy after burning the chips! As I sat eating my chicken, salad and remaining chips, it came to me. There’d been a man in my room last night. He came through the window.
Oh and before I go any further – the update to the fitness side of this blog that I also promised to keep up – I’ve kept up my gym attendance as promised – 3 times last week, and today I was there again. The cardio stuff is getting easier and the wee lights on the cross trainer don’t scream ‘Heart attack ready to happen’ until I’m well ready to get off, and not before any more! I see that as progress and am feeling very proud that I’m even still going. I’m not yet enjoying it, but I’m becoming better, maybe that’ll lead to enjoyment!
Consistency is the word that I was given today and I can honestly say that consistency is proving to be so worthwhile – it’s giving me some time off this week too – what a great task master!
But now I want to explore this man. I do my savasana in bed, maybe I shouldn’t but last thing at night, I don’t want to fall asleep on the floor and wake up hours later to climb into bed, so I combine the two!
At some point in the middle of the night I remember a man coming through my curtains and sitting on my bed. I remember being pleased to see him. He was well dressed, good looking, dark hair, well spoken and it seemed perfectly normal that he came through the window unannounced. We spent ages chatting, I’ve no idea about what. Then he left, the way he’d come in.
I don’t even remember wondering who he was, he just was, who he was.
Some time later he came back, wearing different clothes as I recall. This time I wasn’t in bed, but I was in the room, it wasn’t me now, but me then, and that’s not past it’s to come. It wasn’t my room as it is now, it’s as it will be. Again, I have no idea what we talked about but I know he helped me with some advice and then he was gone. He was a busy guy and made a deliberate effort to come and spend time with me. I felt very cherished.
Patently I needed a lot of help last night, he was back for a third visit! This time it was a very different meeting. Much more intimate, much more affection, closeness and there was a depth and meaning to our relationship. He was laughing as he came back through the window. Light hearted, warm, funny and very welcome. I noticed the change and I remember asking him about it, he reassured me. I raised my eyebrows and felt myself relax and be at ease. All was well – he said so.
How could I have forgotten this wonderful presence until now? I think I might have to have an early night 😉
I loved Status Quo but I don’t think I very often thought about the words I was singing along to. Often we don’t, especially if it’s an upbeat tune … we’re more likely to listen and remember words to love songs, or sad songs as we’re drawn to them to help find meaning in our own worlds. When we’re happy and upbeat we tend not to look inside, or even outside, for meaning but just accept the feelings of fun, peace, happiness – however you like to feel.
This last week, at the start of the 215800 challenge, I began to have old issues come up to the surface – was this the yoga, the meditation or was it just a repeat pattern? A seven year old pattern I thought I’d dealt with and put to bed to be precise. Or was this the time to go even deeper?
None of the changes and doors which I’ve shut this year have been about my family life. To date they’ve addressed – career, self belief, finances, training, knowledge, health, friends and trust – all needing a depth charger. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that family would be added into the mix at some point.
After 4 days of handling the first issue, insult was added to injury – or perhaps more likely, because I didn’t handle the first blip well, I was given an even bigger issue on top of the first in the same context. It was only when this happened that I began to realise that it wasn’t a repeat pattern, it was a depth charged door shutting exercise.
How did it go so wrong? After all, I’m an experienced and able therapist and tend to my own needs on a very regular basis. I’m also a human being with human failings, human needs and human learnings. I say this often in my blogs. Anyone who believes they are above and beyond the realms of being tested or willing to work on themselves and able to go deeper will stop evolving and learning.
I found myself angry, very angry. I thought I was being dis-respected, controlled, belittled, judged and excluded. That’s quite a list! I was in conflict with myself too. I knew I knew better than to react and after doing some work around this, found that I was responding calmly and rationally. I was actually very proud of how I was handling the situation.
That was until the second one came along and really took the wind out of my sails! Ok, I thought, this is now a bit bigger and requires a different approach. I reached out to a friend for some help and asked what I was missing. I knew it was me that needed to change my approach, but what I couldn’t see was the lesson and without the lesson, I couldn’t change. Is that just me, or do others find that the lesson has to be learned first?
I started to ask myself ‘What’s the worst that could happen’? and then ‘What’s the best that could happen’? When you truly can’t answer the first question, you know you’ve got the result you need, or you haven’t really got a problem!
I began with, ‘I’ll be treated like this for the rest of my life, or at least for the next 4 years’. When I realised we’d already made it through 7 years, 4 years was quite easy!
I then asked if that was actually true. Had it been 7 years of this, or just specific times in the 7 years? Was it really so awful? Was I making some of it up? Was I perpetuating my myth?
That meant I could then start to concentrate on how I could make a difference to helping the best to come to fruition.
Did it really matter what I thought about this person’s attitude? Could I create more flexibility? Could I look at this as their reaction to something and not take it personally? How could I disengage and let go while continuing to care and be available? How easy would it be for me to feel at peace and for what reason was I not letting it happen?
I made the choice to disengage and be at peace within myself. To test I’d made the right choice, I was presented with a phone call yesterday with a friend who isn’t into self development and there’s always a good chance that my way is not his!
It sure wasn’t and as I found myself listening to his solutions to my problem – fight fight fight. I could feel myself shaking my head, my stomach was giving little cramping signs, and I was silently saying ‘No, no. That doesn’t fit with me and my way’. After then being criticised for being a therapist and not handling my problems, I knew for sure that the chosen solution for my peace was absolutely the right one. I smiled and said thank you. I reminded myself that as a mediator I had just been given yet another wonderful lesson to use and practice.
All conflict is internal. Whether we are facing world, community, work, school, or relationship conflict – we must first look at the conflict we have within. When we are able to find what we really want instead of conflict, we are then able to work towards that.
I’m blessed to be able to mediate with my own inner conflicts, this one took very little time once I realised what I was dealing with. Bang, another door is shut!
Obviously I won’t be doing them simultaneously, or will I? My guess is that it’s quite likely … although not physically writing you understand, more like allowing the ideas and content to flow in.
Today my great friend Amy Palko highlighted a new writing project to get involved in. It’s being organised by a lady called Bindu Wiles who seems to have had one of those extraordinary lives, challenging might be an understatement, and she’s found her way through. This project has a twist, and I love twists!
For 21 days, we’ll be doing 5 days of yoga a week and 800 words of writing per day.
This has come at just the right time because at the weekend I didn’t do any exercise. Hence this is Days 3-5 all wrapped up in one blog!! Against my better judgement, God gave me rain, and more rain and yet more rain. My intended bike ride in the Borders was a wash out and so I let go of the notion and decided that the weekend could be rest days, unless it was sunny and I wanted to get out.
It’s a strange thing isn’t it when you commit to something and you start making excuses like – it rained, this is meant to be pleasure, I need a break occasionally. I pondered those and wondered if I was repeating an old pattern. But … what I learned was that I’d let go of the need to wear a hair shirt, to beat myself up for not doing something and I knew that I’d be back to the gym. And as if by magic, here now is a chance to add even more variety to the act of getting fit – and it keeps me attending my blog at the same time …. what a stroke of brilliant luck!
This afternoon, I’ve been back and done my full workout. It was a bit of a techno challenge on some of those machines knowing which handle to pull and where to put it. I worked out that if it felt awkward it was in the wrong place. The only time that wasn’t the case was for the ‘Abductor’ …. I tell you, it’s nearly as evil as it’s name suggests and exercises those bits that Heineken can’t reach on your inner thighs.
For the days when folk are feeling a bit burned out, or in my case, done enough exercise for one day, Bindu kindly includes something called Savasana (the corpse pose)! This is a resting posture done at the end of yoga practice in a prone position on the floor for 20-40 minutes listening to relaxing music. That sounds just perfect for days like today when a bit of peace and stillness is needed instead of more stretching and exercising.
For the writing part of the project, in addition to keeping these blogs going, I’m using this as the perfect opportunity to enter the Guildford Book Festival Short Story Competition which is being sponsored by the lovely Tom Evans, The Bookwright. This short story is just about ready to burst forth into reality and when it’s complete, it’ll be available from our site Ugli Mediation – there are a few twists and turns in it which make Ugli the ideal platform for it given that the work we do involves transforming ugly situations.