#30 Grateful for The Practice of Surrender

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When i first read about the act of surrender I couldn’t get my head around it.  Say if I’m having an argument and I surrender, surly I am giving my power away to the other person by saying ‘sure, you go ahead and do or say whatever it is you want to say or do and I’ll just surrender to whatever you want as I have read this to be a healthy thing to do’.

Firstly, I got the analogy totally wrong as I was lost in the meaning. I was still thinking about myself in relation to other people, thinking about my reaction to them and how my behaviour makes others behave. Letting reaction lead rather than personal action, it’s been a common misplacement of power my whole life and when I first began to understand the concept of ‘waking up’ or living life more consciously I realised just how much I have let the opinions of others guide personal steps.

Now surrender means something entirely different. It means to allow, to relax into the moment and not fight rising sensations. This has been one of the most valuable tools for healing. I have spent a very long time fighting myself. Getting frustrated at the present moment as I’d wanted things to be different. Always different. Like the moment was not quite as I’d wanted it to be. Of course, I now see that everything is exactly as it should be, I had manifested my thoughts perfectly as inside I was fighting. Fight within and without gives you more to fight about. It’s plain and simple, think something and you get more of it. Complain and you get more to moan about. Be dissatisfied and satisfaction doesn’t get a look in, no matter what comes your way, dissatisfaction will take centre stage

“Nope, this is not what I wanted!”

“What did you want?”

“I don’t know, but not this!”

It’s a vicious conversation but one that played over in my head like a badly scripted drama. However it’s never just in the head is it? Every thought, every visual, every feeling is a part of our whole self. Therefore, with each conflicting thought I was having a fist fight under the surface and some part of my body was feeling the brunt. Like I was turning my reality into a boxing match with no end to decide on a winner. Bash, here you go kidneys or thump, take that lower back. You catch my drift.

Surrender eases all this. It releases attachment and that is the medicine right there, letting go. Attachment is illusionary. There really is nothing outside of our being that can satisfy us more than all we are within. Even opinions are formed, usually from words spoken by others. Opinions can feel definite but more often than not opinions will change, they will morph over time and what you once thought to be the absolute truth can eventually feel like a lie. Attachments can be made to a new ideas until a ‘better’ one comes along, one that makes more sense in that moment, until another and then another. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions, I know me too well to know I will continue to have opinions, plenty I’m sure. It’s the attachment that causes the conflict, that you’re right and others are wrong. That is what I am looking out for, the certainty and righteousness that attachment can bring.

To me, surrender is like the balm that moistens the skin before attachment buries into my pores. It has allowed me to observe myself in the moment rather than hold onto feelings and continue the story of ‘My entire being is this feeling I am feeling right now’. That was a crappy story and only had crappy endings. If a feeling arises, my best bet is to surrender to it. I don’t need to fight it as I know it won’t last. It doesn’t need a huge amount of energy invested as it is just that, energy – so therefore I’d be fighting my energy with my energy, investing a whole load of me into the destruction of me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a freaking hard practice. One that I am far from mastering but just making the decision to surrender has been soothing. “Oh yummy, I don’t need to fight anymore”.

Surrendering is not a loss of power. We gain as are able to process in a more calm and centred way, without letting conflict drain our life force (and it drains by the gallon!). To witness the process of being human rather than getting swept up in the drama and stories and confusion is precious. Even if I can only manage a few minutes a day, it’s a gift to myself. To remove tensions and limiting beliefs about who I am, this is what I know to be the best healing tonic. Today I feel incredibly grateful that I am able to practice surrender, to be able to let go of thoughts and habits that no longer serve me. I doubt they ever served me well in the first place. I am grateful for the peace surrender brings.

Most of all I am grateful for the journey, as I do feel like each minute is a journey back to me and it never gets boring as there are new discoveries, always.

#22 Grateful for Reiki

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I blamed reiki for the small (epic) breakdown I had last year. Hear me out, I know now it wasn’t the fault of reiki, reiki didn’t do anything other than uncover what was already there but I was angry at how reiki made me feel and I needed something to blame. Kundalini yoga got a thrashing too but that’s for another post.

I took my reiki training over the space of a year or so and I completed the final master course in january 2016. Then… WHACK… I had a breakdown. I haven’t practiced reiki since, not really. I may have participated in a distant healing group but as things got worse for me, I quit the meditations. I stopped doing anything that made me feel… more. I couldn’t cope with much so I thought if I quit all the ‘spiritual’ stuff, things might settle down. They didn’t and I don’t think you can quit being spiritual if that’s who you are (and we’re all spiritual beings, some just tap a little deeper than others). To cut a long story short, I have gotten back to my reiki meditations and it feels GOOD.

After I completed the course and decided to lay off the practice, I thought ‘great, what a fat waste of money’. Oh how wrong I was. It’s NEVER a waste of money to invest in your wellbeing and doing reiki did more for me than, at the time, I could ever have believe. Even when I was at my lowest, I knew I needed to get a whole loada old shit to the surface, to face it, to release it and I guess it was reiki that got the ball rolling.

Now, I realise time is just… well what is time? Time is only as we perceive it and at the time I completed the course, it wasn’t time for me to practice. Who knows, maybe that time is coming soon. All I know is that now I am enjoying the prospect of welcoming reiki back into my life.

I am grateful for the intuitive move to begin the training, even though I didn’t know anything about it. I am grateful that sometimes we don’t need to know at the ‘time’ why we do something as all will be revealed in ‘time’. I am grateful for the faith I have in the process. Now the process is deliciously soothing, as I invite the warm energy of reiki back into my body (not that I think it ever left).

Self care is SO vital. It’s like eating and exercise and all the stuff we do to keep ourselves feeling good. Reiki is now on my self-care regime, a regime I welcome with open arms.

#19 Grateful for (More) Confusions

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I pulled the above card three days ago. I’m pulling a card every three or four days to help me with my buddhist studies from the Tibetan Buddhist meditation deck and boy, is it making me think.

I feel it would be the ‘right’ thing for me to insert here… ‘I feel this so deeply. I wish nothing more than to be able to alleviate suffering. To reach lovingly not just to those we hear about on the news but the hidden cries that many shield from even their families. Those who are abused, mentally, physically and sexually behind closed doors. The depressed who carry on with their 9-5 as they’ve children to support and fear what they’d loose if they put their health first. The artist who hasn’t the confidence to support their creative endeavours and therefor represses expression (and believe themselves mad in the process).’

I feel like my whole heart should be invested in ‘extinguishing the pain of others’ and in the words above however, in total honesty, it isn’t.

This is not because I don’t care. I do care, I feel others pain so much so it can cripple me. I’ve done what I believed would help, like working for a charity, I’ve donated, I’ve given all the clothes I’ve ever owned to charity shops. Although I feel the pain of those around me I also know that there is absolutely nothing I can do to neutralise their suffering. I can only offer a soothing balm but it’s their choice to apply and only their skin can do the healing. I know this from my own experience. I spent many years in pain, secretly, with a smile on my face everyday but tears pouring the evening. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do. Support me, yes but to heal… that must come from the individual.

Also, there are many unintended consequences that can arise from wanting to help another. Our intensions can be drawn from a heartfelt place, yet what we see to be medicine, others may perceive as hell. When I was at my worst with anxiety, I know the actions of those close to me grew from love but often decisions they thought to be best, were in fact not. I knew what was right for me and I think as a society we want to fix others, to steer them in the direction we believe to be their healing path. Yet, each one of us has our own journey, our own speed we travel, our own differing energies to work though.

So how can I extinguish the pain of others? Yes, to be of service is a wonderful and priceless gift but can this extinguish pain, or just lighten the load?

I love this study, as I know questions drive discoveries. Discoveries that lead to new questions… oh how life is a long string of questions and this question I may need to sit with for longer. I know it has struck a cord as I felt the need to write about it. Often when things sit uncomfortably, there is a reason. What this reason is, I shall have to wait to discover.

 

 

 

 

#18 Grateful For 10,000 Words

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I’m reading a book about Buddhist meditation at the moment. I’m not far into the book but so far, what’s resonated with me is that we meditate not to change who we are but to become friends with who we are – Being human is to be chaotic and feelings of discomfort will come but they don’t need to dictate our actions. This is a huge teaching for me.

Last night I read a zen reflection called The Four Horses.

‘The buddha told his followers there are four kinds of horses. The first sees merely the form of the whip and runs. The second reacts when the whip taps its hair. The third is aroused when the whip contracts its flesh. The fourth is animated when the whip touches it’s bone.’

The point explained was the first horse is so well bred he sees the whip and knows exactly what to do, whereas the fourth horse has to feel beaten, to be so close to death before he grasps reality. As humans we want to be the first horse but, well let’s face it, we’re more the forth. However, as much as I know it can be hard as hell, it’s through suffering that we learn. We make life-changing choices mainly when we feel beaten to the bone.

Meditation allows us to see all aspects of ourselves. Often the harder we fall and more painful the whack… well voila, the more we learn. The more we learn the more we can begin to understand how complex and chaotic we are and instead of running, we can make friends with ALL aspects of ourselves. This takes time of course, I am a mere beginner. However I can absolutely relate these teachings to writing my book.

When I started out i wanted to be like the first horse. I wanted to be the writer getting it right straight away, to write an exact amount of words everyday and create a masterpiece that will be fit for publication in only a few months. Yeah right! Truth is, all that planning went to shit. I am the fourth horse. I am the writer who has to feel confusion and disillusionment. I am the writer who has no clue which direction I’m going in, the story just seems to be writing itself at the moment which inevitable means, I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m just writing.

However, I am learning so much! This alone is keeping my spirits high. Some days I’ll write 1,000 words, some days not but the point is, the process is a continuous lesson. High expectations before the process begins is a waste of time, well for me anyway. I have so much to learn and I feel incredibly humble on this journey.

I have now hit 10,000 words and the last few thousand have been a labour of love rather than ‘how many words have I written today??’ I write because I love it and the thought of committing to writing a novel has scared the hell out of me for the past four years (which is why I am only committing now). I needed targets in the beginning, not that I’m saying I still don’t, oh boy I still do, but now I don’t feel the need to be so perfect and that has taken a whole heap of pressure off and I can enjoy, rather than beat myself up about word counts. Pressure is so debilitating and when we load so heavily upon ourselves, the result is never healthy, but then maybe I needed to bash the hell outta myself to get to this point. Like the reflection expresses, pain moves us.

I’m am grateful for being in the place I’m at right now, achieving no more or no less. I am looking to turn the tables from pressure to personal understanding, this seems to motivate me so much more and if times of turmoil lay ahead, I’ll keep the faith that empowering movements arise from suppression, even if my suppression is inflicted by me.

 

#13 Grateful for Melting Hearts

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Morning blessings!

Today I am grateful for human resilience. For the strength we hold in our hearts, our minds, our soul. One day our hearts can feel frozen, the next melting waters feed our growth, our understandings.

There is nothing we are thrown that we cannot withstand, we keep going until we stop yet even then our spirit merges to a place so mysterious it has fed the imagination of a million generations. There is nothing we know for certain yet I truly believe that deep down, we have an understanding for everything.

As the earth rolls from pink skies to darkness, there is no end or beginning, just a continuation of movement and we glide, we soar, we soak in the changing view.

All happens for a reason and I am grateful for faith, trust and universal love as that is what holds us tightly through unchartered territory. Thank you for melting hearts, they are never wasted, only absorbed.

#12 Grateful for Moments of Madness

Moments of madness inject my thoughts with creative overflow. I am grateful for this. I am grateful when chaos settles, condensation moistens the air and all clears so I can notice the view.

Madness is seeing the world in a way that exceeds conservative imaginations, to look beyond the valley towards details of distant unknowns. To smoothly soar into realms thought crazy yet visited by millions before, where ancestors dwell to recognise their awakenings in us.

No human has gone without moments of madness. Yes, some may feel more deeply than others but art and literature and music thrives in minds hosting such diagnoses. We are all tales of mad happenings, we are all the duality of sanity and madness yet these words are only a consequence of human understandings, understandings that cannot begin to comprehend the magnitude of our expansive senses. We cannot hide from corners our ourselves so today I am grateful for knees cradled as I curl within dark spaces of myself. To know myself is not to fear myself. I no longer want to fear who I am.

What if?

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What if there’s no side to take

No thoughts to break

No roads to travel

Or habits to unravel

No dark to face

Or time in space

 

And questions die

Before answers lie

And faker’s mould

Everything

What if all we saw

We’ve seen before

And the world we know

Above and below

Comes only as we see

Individually

No one smells the rose like me

What if we’re only here to feel

We’ve no layers to peel

Feeling weak or strong

Neither lasts for long

Lightening strikes

And sharp tooth bites

They hurt

What if we search too hard

And disregard

The reasons we breathe

As we tightly weave

Stories made up

 

 

Change Happens

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Ok, so I’m making some changes, some serious changes. These intentions to change have not grown overnight, it’s been two years of crying, aching, hibernating, facing a trauma that happened when I was 6, which I’ve not had the courage to face until now. It’s taken a breakdown, or as I like to think of it, a breakthrough for me to reach this point when I can begin to see the shifts happening in my life.

  1. De – Cluttering. I’ve decided to get rid of most of my material shit… and it really was that, useless shit. Again, this has taken time. I live with my folks in London, I am a 34 year old woman who moved back in with her parents when she was 31 and no longer am I ashamed of this fact. I moved back because –  well firstly, I came out of a 4-year relationship and needed a place to live. I was living with him, I worked with him and as a result, the breakup meant I lost pretty much everything, well except for the dog, he came to live with my family, lucky fella. Secondly, I’m broke. London is not a place to live comfortably when you’ve little funds and as a writer, beginning her career, I knew money was going to be tight for the next couple of years. Thirdly, as I mentioned above, I suffered a breakdown, mentally I was incapable of many things, including leaving the house and it’s pretty hard to function when you can’t even step over the Welcome mat without having a panic attack. It was pretty shitty, ok really shitty but honestly, I wouldn’t change one thing… through all the crap something miraculous happened, I changed in ways I’d never thought possible and I saw a strength in me that has blown me out of the water (muddy waters to be precise). So, de-cluttering, old shit had to go, it was time to invite space for new and that is where I’m at, letting go of what no longer serves me.
  2. Letting go of what no longer serves me. I know, that sounds like it’s a part of de-cluttering, especially as I wrote it above but putting a bag in the charity shop of material stuff is so much easier than knowing what mental habits are hurting me rather than assisting growth. Where do you even start with that? So, I know I don’t have the all the answers and everyone’s journey to their truth is different but I knew I had to make a few changes in daily habits. I’ve stopped watching the news – It doesn’t really inform me what’s going on in the world, it gives me a point of view and it’s so flipping negative! The media is so controlled now and I get so angry when I watched it, so I stopped. Big news has a way of filtering into social media anyway so I guess I’m still in the loop of international activity. Diet changes – so listening to my body rather than enforcing a change because I think it might add an extra few years onto my life, that has been key here. I don’t eat meat because I can’t put the flesh of an animal in my mouth. I don’t eat diary because I taste animal and that makes me feel sick. I don’t eat gluten because it makes me constipated and I don’t really drink alcohol as I don’t like the way if makes me feel. Having said that, I will have a glass of wine if I fancy one, I’ll drink a coffee if I want one (even though I recently wrote an article about giving up coffee, what can I say, I gave in) and I’ll eat a packet of salted crisps because I love them. Saying No – If I don’t want to do something, I say no. It sounds simple but it’s not always. I might not want to let people down or I think I should be doing something rather than what it is I want to. Stop using the word ‘should’ – should is a crap word. I should be feeling this or I should be doing that… nope, should makes you feel like you’re not doing enough or you’ve made the wrong choice even though the choice you made was right for you. ‘Should’ has to go.
  3. Trust. This is a big one, a work in progress. Trusting goes much further than lets say trust in a relationship (although that’s important), for me it’s a process of trusting the outcomes of life, of each moment, every event that happens. Knowing the result of a ‘problem’ or crisis will always be for your greater good, even if it feels like the world is falling down around you, it’s right, it’s perfect. Tough, I know.
  4. Facing fears. Massive!… and not done in day. I have grown up as a fearful person. Afraid of the dark, of spiders, of hurting myself and others, of what people might think, of disaster happening if I leave the house… blah blah blah… the list goes on. I respect these fears as some are still part of the story of me (for now) but I know that to feel truly alive, to live the life I want, I have to face them. I do acknowledge them, I accept them as part of my growth (fear can be our greatest teacher) but I will try my very best to no longer allow them to drive every decision I make. To think, is this decision out of fear or out of love. I once heard the quote ‘a life lived in fear is a life half lived’… oh how true that is.
  5. Loving myself, unconditionally. This is beautiful but really bloody hard. It’s only since I’ve been consciously pouring love into myself and my daily habits that I realise how little I loved who I am. I was hating on myself, every single day! This is changing and boy, are the differences noticeable. I am truly starting to believe that all we need to do in life is love ourselves, unconditionally and all the rest seems to fall into place. It’s a beautiful journey, not always easy but who wants easy anyway!
  6. Spiritual practice. It’s about finding one that works for you. At the very beginning of my spiritual adventure about 3 years ago (although we’re all spiritual beings, I guess my adventure started when I got curious) at first it was Law of Attraction, then Kundalini, then meditation, then vinyasa yoga, then Reiki, then Shamanic practices, then Ashtanga yoga… it’s a pretty long list. I’ve honed down since then, now I mainly practice Ashtanga yoga, meditation (I’m learning more about Buddhism) and I love learning about astrology, although more about our energetic make-up (birth charts) than predictions etc. Point it, spiritual practice is a long life affair and it’s been rocky to say the least but to have tools to calm, ground, stir up the shit when it needs to come out, to have ways to bring me closer to me has been invaluable. I feel blessed to have many teachings in my life.
  7. Hmmmm, i think that might be it, for now. There’s always more to discover, more journeys to go on but I really wanted to share the beginnings of what I feel is going to be an epic adventure. We all live such incredible lives, no matter what happens and I want to fill my life with as much love and happiness as I can. I believe we are ALL perfect in our own unique ways, and I going forward on this blog, I plan to share more of my adventures back to self, back to love.

Thank you for reading! From my heart to yours, sending so much love.

Happy Friday.

 

Mission to LOVE

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I’m on a mission to Love. Myself. Completely.

The kind of love that never depletes, love that overspills and never empties, filling density and space.

I’m on a mission to Love because there ain’t no medicine like it and as a woman who’s smashed her toes on the very bottom, Love was the only nectar that tenderly held my bones together for long enough to repair.

I cannot despair at the vicious behaviour of others if I am unable to witness my own destructive actions, the daily whips and slaps and disgraces that riddle my thoughts. What is the difference between my violence and theirs? Attacking internal landscapes only fuels disruption, when I hurt myself I want others to suffer, no soul is exempt from that.

Without Love I’ve dragged my flesh over broken shell and bitten the healing skin only to watch it bleed again. Without loving myself I’ve wanted the love of another to heal what I keep pulling apart, piercing their frailty in the expectation they’ll understand mine.

I don’t want to pick at open wounds anymore, expecting the needle of another to sew me back together. I am no longer a victim begging for another’s arms to save me. I have enough love to know I am already saved. Some days I believe this more than others.

I’m on mission to Love the crap as much as the good, merging the two into a golden thread used to strengthen the bond between pains and perfection.

To embody what’s already within me without fear or trepidation. To Love who I am utterly and completely with every cell of my being, every second of everyday – That is my mission.

 

 

 

I’ve No Earth in my Astro Chart…

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I rarely feel grounded and have spent 85% of my time staring, thinking, pondering, observing, mystified by everyday magic (with little grounding, everything possesses an ethereal quality). I have lived life with my ‘head in the clouds’, a phrase I’ve become familiar with growing up. I’d rarely hear the questions I was supposed to answer during the majority of my education and the worlds I’ve created in my head (and boy, there’s been plenty of those) have felt 100% real.

I’m generally floating and that remaining 15% of me not staring into space has been spent trying to cement myself to ‘reality’ but often not my reality, the reality of another wanting me to fit with their perceptions of life. I’ve mainly dated men with tons of Earth in their astro charts so you can imagine how each relationship ended, pretty much the same way… ‘You’re a dreamer’, ‘come back to reality’.

Reality? Who’s reality? I have no freaking clue and I’m floating on a cloud of I-can’t-give-two-craps right now. Often when I’m fretting to figure shit out I just park everything, whatever I’m doing I stop, I’m still. I used to wait but waiting is anticipating, waiting for something and believing we know what may (or may not) be coming is, most of the time, wrong, as we can never really know. Although saying that, I do believe that deep down we know what’s best for our wellbeing, we just don’t often listen. So maybe ignore this paragraph, or don’t… it gets complicated this trying to fathom our existence when you’re using language that’s been constructed and all constructions have their boundaries.

I’ve been hiding away, spending the past year in hibernation. Everything got way too much and I broke. I didn’t really fit, or feel comfortable anywhere so I guess breaking myself up and scattering small pieces down different avenues felt like the only thing to do. Of course that only lasted so long until there was nothing left to give and my feet were well and truly off this earth and venturing someplace alien. Basically, if I didn’t retrieve those pieces back my body and soul (not that they’re separate but for explanations sake, we’ll count the one as two) was gonna pack up. Spiritually I was zapped and physically I was sick. I had no choice but to retreat from the world and focus entirely on healing.

The more I listened to my own language – less words, more feelings – the more I realised I don’t need to be anything other than who I am. I can’t anyway, it’s impossible. I am who I am. I’m not always bad, I’m not always good, I’m me. This is no easy lesson, somedays I want so much to be anyone other than me yet I realise that on those days I need to love ALL of me the most.

I am a dreamer and I love stories and as my imagination continues to roll, these stories ain’t going anywhere. I may as well write them out, even if no-one reads them, the imagination is always gonna play and everything is better out than in.

I also know I have to consciously anchor myself, I have to bring more weight into my core by feeling everything that’s going on inside, (plenty is going on, 24-7 as I’m sure it is for all!) to recognise and acknowledge, not dismiss or fight as I’d previously done before. Finding a spiritual practice has vital for me, yoga has helped me understand my uniqueness and totality, that no part of me is separate from another. Buddhist teachings are resonating so strongly too, although my understandings are still basic, as I’m only a beginner on this epic journey.

So that’s where I’m at now, still foraging a path that suits me, although what I believe suits me often changes in ways beyond my control. Maybe that’s the next lesson, don’t try and build the path, just follow the sound of the birds.

Who knows… who really knows anything?