Tag Archives: self

Trust

Pissouri Pilgrimage – Day 1

Cyprus

Sunday 4th October – 23.55 (local time)

I’m away as you can see…

greece-565926_1280For some strange reason I had a real feeling of trepidation about my journey and was almost in tears as I left this morning at 8am for my flight to Larnaca from Leeds & Bradford Airport. I had no idea why, I just felt so fearful; a complete feeling of dread was nestling in my chest and I nearly didn’t come. If it wasn’t for the fact that I would regret wasting the money spent and that I’ve had hassle changing bookings and etc. I think I may have chickened out.

But, I’m here now.

10 days…alone with myself abroad.

It’s quite daunting and I think this is what scared me, even though I have travelled alone before.

I did feel a little re-assured and calmed myself on the plane by playing with my angel cards, (I have brought them with me). Whether thy provide comfort or not I believe they do and so that’s all that matters.

Arrival

On the flight I sat next to Carol and her friend Margaret. Both phenomenal in their 70s (looking decades younger) and travelling to meet a friend who is very familiar with the island as she used to live here. They’ve both been before, but never alone and called me ‘brave.’ Hmmm… not sure I was feeling too brave at the time, but hey! I was still gripped by this in explainable fear, but you can’t exactly tell the pilot to turn around or stop the vehicle now can you?

Airport terminal and they were aghast that I had not sorted my onward journey and had no idea how I was going to get from Larnaca to Pissouri. It turned out to be quite simple. A bus from Larnaca to Limassol and then a taxi to Pissouri. The bus was only €9, a bit better than the £74 round trip it was going to cost for transfers when I tried sorting it from sunny Leeds!

buddha-709861_1280So there I am, pleased with myself that I’ve sorted the bus and I won’t have to spend a fortune and dip into an already sparse pocket. I have very little in the way of spending money due to Summer term work drying up sooner than I’d anticipated and I am still catching up with myself. I’m still panicky, so I remember to be grateful and tell myself I’m lucky to be where I am and to be having this experience. I focus on reminding myself that the universe will support me and that things will turn out OK…

I believe it (kind of), but I say it to myself none-the-less.

The girl done good…

superhero-534120_1280Well, just as this girl thought she’d done good, the bus driver says I have to get off at the first stop and get a taxi. Now when I bought the bus ticket the lady made it quite clear (she even circled it on the bus timetable she gave me), that I should get off at the second stop; St. George (a church – I get the impression there are quite a few churches here to say the least!)

Something tells me this is bit of a ‘swizz’ and the bus driver and taxi man are in cahoots, but I have no choice, my driver is going no further.

Pah!

€40…

YES,

€40 later I am at the apartment!

Don’t get me wrong, me and Mr. Taxi man had a lovely chat. It turns out his daughter is studying ‘Biomedical Science’ at Leeds University, Clever girl and a very small world indeed…

He has three children like me and like me has two girls and a boy. His son is just finishing school and will have to do National Service and daughter no. two they are trying to get a position within the navy or something as she tried studying in the UK as a make-up artist, but gave it up. I don’t think he was too impressed.

But, I’m at this point smarting from the realisation I may have been ‘HAD!’ and I’m seriously worried about how I’m going to survive.

This, I think was what my panic was about. I know how to penny pinch at home, but abroad when you need to pay for everything?

And who wants to feel restricted in such beauty? But then I tell myself I am as confined and restricted as I think I am.

Pushing through the fear

fear-617132_1280After orientating myself around the apartment, which is lovely by the way. Modern and very, very cleeeen! My kinda place. The lovely Theodora came up and introduced herself and gave me a bit of a run down. She’s from Eastern Europe, but says she likes the weather here.

A quick shower…

The panic rises again…

That first night out and dinner alone.

I talk myself down and take another couple of angel cards. Pretty Stupendous they are too: ‘Blessings,’ and ‘Archangel Michael.’

So off I pop, telling myself blessings are all around me, that Michael is with me and will take away my fear…

I’ve just returned from dinner (yes alone).

Halloumi, olives, pitta and hummus…delish! I DO love that cheese, and proper goat’s milk too, so no bilious belly and cramping later, but so very rich; I’m going to have to abstain and not indulge every day methinks.

People watching

photo-montage-556811_1280At dinner I people watched and gave thanks for the lovely food and the very handsome cats that hovered like vultures wanting anything that might fall from your table. I had visions of the god almighty bloody scrap that would ensue if all five (or was it six?) of them descended on some morsel I might drop and I was tempted to put it to the test, but declined.

After eating and feeling very satisfied and just whilst I was just taking in my surroundings, a gentleman started to eat the grapes that hung from the roof of the restaurant. I did for a moment think they were real, but there were so many and they seems so perfectly round and plum and juicy, I’d deduced they must be fake.

Xenios offered me some (at least he wasn’t called Costas – That was the taxi driver!) and I have to say they were delicious, though a tad dusty, but what’s a little dust between new acquaintances? We chatted and he seemed to know quite a few people…he is also, it seems rather accomplished as a businessman as he seems to run a lot of different enterprises. Anyway, no doubt I’ll bump into him again as he has a water-sports business on the beach.

Conversation over, I walked back to the apartment in that profound darkness that there always seems to be when you’re on holiday and marvelled at the fact that I could clearly see the constellations and I was so grateful for the lack of light pollution.

Trust

trust-482655_1280I decided to write up my day in a diary, but then realised that perhaps this trip will contain significant learning & insights that I can share, so here goes.

Today has been about trust:

Trusting that the ‘other’ source is there to support me and to support all of us.

Trusting myself and my instincts to get it right

  • I was tested and thrown into strange and unfamiliar situations and with people I did not know…
  • This frightened me.
  • I was tired and not wanting the challenge of having to do this all alone.
  • I had to rely on myself and more importantly, to trust that the universe would create the best outcomes for all concerned.

She did…but the outcome would have been very different I suspect if I’d gotten into panic and continued to have negative thoughts when my fear arose.

Like the boy in the Polar express I kept feeling my way when all I wanted to do was give up or turn around and go back.

  • I stayed in gratitude, trusting that I’d be OK…
  • I now believe I will be just that…OK.
  • I swallowed my fear and ventured out, when I wanted to stay in and hide and give myself the excuse that I’d just arrived and I could go out tomorrow.
  • Instead, I pushed through my panic and fear and…
  • I ate well
  • I made a connection

And the crème de la crème… I found a vegan raw food restaurant on the walk home…

Guess where I’ll be eating from now on?

Kale chips a plenty!

23.24 UK time and 1.24 Pissouri time. Time to sign off

Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

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My Pledge – I am

Happy Tuesday all,

It’s Rather unusual I know for me to be posting today, but I’m feeling triumphant but exhausted. I’ve spent the best part of  4 hours searching google for my disappeared posts and copying, pasting and re-typing them. This process took concentration and patience and in this state I began musing.

You see I have a vision of what I feel my service to the world is and I’ve kind of in a muddled-not-very-clear way expressed it, but today I decided to GET CLEAR.When I got clear I knew I needed to declare it, so that I become accountable, so that you can call me to task and say: “You said you’d do/be X-Y-Z.” So below is my manifesto: My Pledge – ‘I AM’ statement

i-am-429698_1280I am

Loving, open space. I am safety, I am possibility & fearlessness.

I shine.

I am powerful beyond what my conscious mind can conceive. I am amazing; an example to others of human potentiality.

I am JOY!

I see the best of you, in ALL of you and support you so you feel free enough to allow your light to shine and your power to flow.

angel-645591_1280

I am the spark that ignites the potentiality in others, so they can stand; fully immersed in the completeness of the power they know is within and the abundance they know they deserve

I am present & respect the imperfect perfection in us all, reflecting back to you everything you can be, do & have, and in so doing, I propel you into the light of your own being

I am everything & nothing

I am full & complete.

I celebrate all of life, all of my feelings, all my wants and desires, all of my failings and successes.

All are mine & all are perfect because they belong to ME!

I am whole; I am good, I am OK

I am the lilting breeze, the raging storm and the soft milk moon because every part of me is a part of everything.

hands-423794_1280

I am Complete

I am ME

My hope for you

Is that you deeply connect with the meaning in my words and through them begin to connect with your own wonder. I commit to working with you to see your light and to use my skills and talents to support you so you can bring your talents, joys and light into the world, for as Marianne Williamson says:

I vow to lose my personal fear so, help me to help YOU and to DO exactly what my heart tells me I am here for.

22nd August 2015 you are invited here: 

A Space To B…Me

Blissings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

 

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Light & Beauty

Happy Sunday all,

I came to Sunday rather worn out after an afternoon trekking the shops of Leeds City centre yesterday afternoon. So you find me today, still rather weary after chores of washing the week’s laundry, cleaning the kitchen bin, sorting the recycling and cooking a very delicious Vegan meal – Sometimes I outdo myself I swear!

Well, as you gathered the a.m. and afternoon & early evening have been rather leisurely this Sunday, but I am now rejuvenated and ready, so here are my ramblings for this week. I hope you enjoy them, but more importantly I hope you find here insights within it that go some way to improve your life.

The presence of Beauty

roses-66527_1280You probably do not know, but I tend to reflect on my week and then decide what the ‘theme’ has been. If I can then offer any words of wisdom on that theme or idea, I will then take to my laptop and ‘hey presto’ another message is penned and ‘Yes,’ I do get up and write them on Sundays. I don’t queue them up and have the computer automatically send them on a particular date, though it would make life easier for me if I did.

Anyway, back to the purpose of today. The theme that seems to have been prevalent this week is ‘Beauty.’

A Surprise for the year 10 Bandits

You all already know I teach and as such I come into contact with children of all shapes, forms, temperaments, dispositions and character. Earlier this week a female student of mine was surprised when I agreed to an after-school session to help them with some coursework.

Now, just a bit of context. This Year 10 group are small, but notorious in the school. They include four pupils (out of 14) who are constantly in trouble. Two in particular, if they haven’t been excluded are usually on some form of report or other for their behaviour.

This group has gnawed at me, niggled and taunted me. They have insulted me, disrupted lesson after lesson, and taken me to the very ‘end of my tether,’ yet I refused to give up on them.

Ayesha’s Surprise

So Ayesha was surprised, no shocked when I agreed to give them the extra help and said incredulously:baby-216876_1280

“Even me! But you hate me!”

I could have fallen over!

“Ayesha,” I said, “ I have never in my decade of teaching met a child that I didn’t like.”

“Not even me, after everything?” she continued.

Well, that was my cue for another one of my ‘put your pens down and listen,’ leap-onto-my-soapbox moments.

I made to clear to her that of course I challenged her, but it was her behaviour that I resisted, not her. I asked her if she understood that who she is, in her essence, her being, is not the same as how she ‘CHOOSES’ (and it is a choice) to behave.

I think she got it…

Light & Beauty & more beauty

Later in the week, Thursday to be precise, I was talking to a friend and during the conversation I mentioned how much I adore being around the pupils I teach; how they are “So full of light, & beauty but they don’t know it.”

Don’t worry; there is a point to all of this…

jyoti-amgeLast night, I came across an article on Jyoti Amge, (see image left), who according to the Guinness book of records, is the smallest woman in the world. She reminded me of the lovely Muhammed who I taught up until last week.

He, like Jyoti has a form of dwarfism (which appears very similar to hers) and stands about 2ft and a bit in height, yet he’s 12 years old. I wondered what it’s  like to spend your life literally ‘looking up.’ to everyone you meet and staring at thighs and kneecaps when you’re in a crowd.

As I saw him chatting to other pupils on the corridor and shouting ‘hi’ as he delights everyone he meets It occurred to me; he is unusual yes, but beautiful, ordinary, he is Muhammed and he is completely at peace with who he is and that is as it should be. It occurred to me that many of us should do as Muhammad does and just be ourselves.

Accept YOUR beauty…

Completely.

It’s in ALL of us…not just SOME of us

Then today, during another conversation, I happened to say to another friend during an online chat, that:

“The longer I am on this earth the more I more I appreciate the beauty in all of us.”

 Why is it then that like Ayesha we often cannot see the beauty that lies in us all?”

social-media-550766_1280Whether you’re like Jyoti or Muhammed or Erika Ervin, the world’s tallest woman (6ft 8inches), whether you’re Ayesha, a confused teenager, searching for self acceptance, purpose and love or whether you’re just YOU, what I’d like you to see and really understand, that what I have learnt in my time here is:

  1. You are beautiful.

  2. We are ALL beautiful.

  3. We are ALL a true reflection of the life’s beauty and the beauty everywhere on this Earth.

In the same way that I have always seen beauty in my pupils, despite what they feel, despite what they fail to see in themselves, what I hope you really get is that someone somewhere is looking at you with love or admiration or respect or all three!

My challenge to you this week is to see your own light, your own beauty.

Truly see it

See it now

Relish it,

Celebrate it regardless of any external reflection or approval.

When you DO, you will truly start to live free from the need for acceptance.

Realise that your life is yours and you will encounter life in ease or resistance according to what you think about yourself and through the relationship you have with yourself.

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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When things fall apart

Happy Sunday,

Yesterday I broke.

self-doubt-424968_1280I literally fell apart. I was in bits…I crashed to the floor into a million shiny pieces and had no idea how to glue myself back together.

“Things fall apart” is a book by Chinua Achebe and concerns the issues face by a controlling, dominant man who has a strict idea of what it means to be a man. The reality is he has no control over anything save his own words and actions. The lesson I took from that is that in life one has to yield…When we are rigid and insist we know it all life more than often throws you a curve ball just as a reminder.  The only thing you can do in that instance is decide:

‘WHO’ do I choose to be in response to this event/situation, who am I going to be right now?’

I am undone…

mourning-360500_150I had been given some devastating news, news which sent me into a tailspin, news which changed what I knew as truth and turned it upside down. It kicked me HARD in the gut. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t DO anything. I knew this could be the undoing of me and I had no idea how to hold myself together.

I was numb…

I felt if I moved or thought, or anything I would never be able to recover myself and after all the things I’ve had to pick myself up from this was the one that would be the undoing of me.

I did nothing…Literally nothing.

Then the stillness came

bank-340779_150So I was just still…No blinking, I don’t recall any breathing (though there must have been some as I’m still here) I clenched and held on tight. There were no tears, no noise, no emotion, no thought whatsoever and I was terrified. I have never been in a space of absolutely no reaction whatsoever before, but I knew there was nothing else.

My mind and body took over.

For nearly three hours I was like this…fortunately I had received the devastating news at precisely 3.25am (funny how you recall minute detail in a crisis) It’s as if everything becomes heightened and you’re sharper in a weird, floaty, other-worldy kind of way.

At 6.15am my mind kicked in and reminded me from somewhere in my subconscious that I have day two of a fantastic Coaching Training course to attend and I needed to DO SOMETHING!

Autopilot

portrait-317041_640I don’t really recall getting ready, I must have drifted in and out of…not consciousness, but more an awareness of reality as my next memory was walking into the city centre to the hotel where the event was being held. As I walked I heard a voice inside, a voice which obviously had some fight in her… a determined self-preservation saying…

‘Come on! don’t break, Step towards your life…you have a life to live!’

It was like a mantra and propelled me towards the hotel. I was still holding on all the way, the tension was there. Before I knew it I was at the entrance and jolted back into reality. When I saw my new-found friends from the programme a part of me felt as if it had come back to itself. I did the usual exchanging of pleasantries and began to feel a little better.

But I was still holding…

The pressure was building, but if there’s one thing I am good at it’s pushing those feelings down and not letting them control me…I’ve had a lot of practise when it comes to picking myself up and getting on with it! It’s a challenging path…It’s a lonely one, there have been times when I really didn’t think I could make it one more day, times when I  have been spent and had no idea how or where to find the courage and strength to do what I had to…

I have been deep, but usually there’s no-one there and so I learnt to ‘get on with it,’ and break down in private. Little did I know the universe would take me even deeper and expose me. My worst night mare come true.

There was a huge knot in my gut…and a constriction of my throat. I knew It would be impossible for me to eat.

Vesuvius! – Explode…Expose…Exhalevolcanic-eruption-67668_1280

The room was warm.

It got warmer and warmer, the facilitator was explaining the first task. My mind was grateful. Good I get to practise my coaching and get some feedback. And then it happened. The dam broke!

Overwhelm followed. The feelings I had repressed all morning, the control I’d wrestled to keep a hold of weakened…I weakened and the flood commenced.

I held my nose, I gritted my teeth, I clenched my fists and nothing was able to get me back to my equilibrium. I had not choice but to just let it out. I had to leave the room. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I’d let myself down. I’m supposed to be able to deal with anything. I’m the ‘strong one! for god’s sake!’

The wonderful Claire, who was sitting opposite me and who was my partner in the exercise followed me outside and did…

NOTHING!

It was just what I needed her to do…

Surrendersad-girl-236769_150

In that moment I gave in…

I surrendered.

I surrendered to the agony and the pain and the loss and when all I could do was sob and mourn and wail and sob some more and shake and cry, I learnt several lessons in that moment:

  1. My/our feelings are nothing I need to feel ashamed of.
  2. They’re mine/ours and they’re OK
  3. They are there to guide us and they are there to support our spiritual and emotional health. It’s OK to feel… It’s OK to let the flow happen.
  4. When I dive into my feelings…really let myself be immersed in them I come through the other side lighter and wiser and freer. There’s less tension and a greater acceptance.
  5. When things fall apart…wail, cry, scream and then just breathe
  6. I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be…the only person that expects that of me…IS ME!

(What the hell would perfection look like anyway?…We’re always learning always expanding). When has there been a day when we did not learn something new about ourselves or the world in general or about another?

Most importantly, I learnt that we are LOVE. 

In what way can you be love today? Be it…Show it…You may just save someone’s life.

Love is…

beach-193786_150Our instinct is to reach out, to support and to love. I’ve always believed that, yet it can seem today, with all the horrible things occurring in our modern world and how often the needs of others are ignored, that that’s not the case. I have often doubted it myself, chastising myself for being believing this and being so naïve and telling myself to ‘Get real,’ or ‘Grow up.’  

The only time we reject and hurt and decry and break down and slander and try to own others or keep them with us, is when we are afraid within ourselves, it’s out of a desire to maintain OUR comfort. Afraid of how we’ll be seen in comparison or afraid of the unknown because we’ve never navigate this emotional or physical territory before or else afraid we’re getting close to revealing our insecurity or our hidden thoughts about ourselves and we’ll be rejected.

Many of us are prepared to fight to the death to keep up a situation that is miserable because it’s familiar. Even if others who we profess to love, get hurt in the process. If love is showing up in this way, that’s not love.

That’s fear, possession, greed, selfishness, it’s insecurity it’s NEEDINESS

That’s most definitely NOT love.

Love is and will always be a ‘Giving’ emotion. It can take no other form. If it feels any different, then some other desire or need is driving its expression

My newfound friends created a loving space for me to just be.

They did not judge me, they did not question me or quiz me. They simply let me express whatever It was I needed to in that moment. They exhibited pure acceptance and love and in so doing allowed me to love and accept myself that bit more.

The timing was uncanny: And so I had another confirmation of a long-held belief of mine:

Divinity…

  • The universe is divine wisdom.
  • We are a part of that wisdom
  • It works through and for ALL of us

thank-you-140227_640Without the support I received yesterday I truly think I could honestly have been a ‘bit of a basket case!’

The universe knew that when I received my news I would need support and as I live alone it’s rather uncanny isn’t it, that I was on a training programme with exactly the kinds of people I would need to get me through the emotions I experienced.

Synchronicity…Kismet… Co-incidence. Call it what you will. We have all had such incidents in our lives. They’re evidence of the support the universe puts in place when we need it and YES that includes you!

Perhaps it’s a fleeting introduction to or meeting with someone who is doing, being, having a career or lifestyle you have dreams of, perhaps it’s someone who through your interaction creates a feeling of the support, accomplishment, love and happiness you are aching for?

‘When the student is ready the master appears!’

2014-06-22 11.18.54We are given samples, given brief glimpses of what our soul knows is right for us, so that we allow go after it and muster enough courage and self-love to step into what we know in our hearts we truly deserve.

Every moment of our lives we should feel grateful, blessed and In love.

With ourselves, our lives and (if you have a significant other) with our partners and children. If you don’t.

Make the change…

Be vulnerable and brave

Follow your feelings…

Therein lies the source of your happiness.

Blessings and much love

Insightful Angel 

 

 

 

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Being You

Happy Bank Holiday Monday all,

Good morning again from a rather rainy Toronto & a cloudy London. Today I thought I’d consider the challenge of ‘Being you.’

There’s a quotation attributed to Coco Chanel:

‘Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself’

children-364625_150How do we obtain & maintain a sense of self when many of the messages we receive create and   persist in ‘reinforcing the notion that we simply not enough?’ Firstly, let me apologise for the fact that I have been out of range for the last couple of weeks and so unable to write to you all. As I began to write this it was Saturday afternoon and one of those rare moments when I’ve slowed down a bit. You know one of those dull afternoons when you feel listless and want to stay cosy inside. The TV was on for some rare ‘chilling’ time on the sofa with my sis.

In need of a fix

An advertisement comes on, nothing unusual there…but it was an ad for a dating site. The one that followed was for slimming aids, then Febreze, then a baldness cure and as I watched I detached slightly. A thought occurred to me: How can you ever see being you as ok when the overriding message is one of ‘Not enoughness?’ That to be seen, make a difference, achieve in ANY WAY we need to be fixed?

The deficiency paradigmmourning-360500_150

These messages sent to us from the plethora of images we meet daily, hourly both pictorial and written, is one of deficiency. We are perpetually bombarded with the idea that we need fixing, that we’re just not good enough and quite frankly it made me tired!

Too single, too fat, too dirty too bald, too old, not old enough, feet too ugly, not tanned, slim,  tall or rich enough…the list goes on and                                                     I’m sure you catch my drift.

Is it any wonder then that the lens through which feel able to see the world is rather foggy and a somewhat gloomy one?

I guess the strategy works?

ball-393834_150If we’re subdued into a state of perpetual fatigue, constantly using our energies to bat away thoughts of unworthiness, inadequacy and not enoughness, how can we hope to find the mental & physical energy required to strive, become educated, to love to sing, to laugh? To find the path to being you. Fully realised, authentic and content with who you are? I imagine many of you reading this will be feeling listless, lacking enthusiasm for you life and it’s not surprising as this message overload is constant. The best way to counter this is simple. TURN IT OFF!

Take the Challege

Never mind Ice-bucket challenges! I challenge each of you reading this to turn off the Tv, eshew newspapers & magazines and social media… give your mind & spirit a negativity holiday for a week and notice how you feel & how your thoughts change. Ok for you real info junkies try a day or two! Once you shut out the bombardment you may find yourself surprised by how satisfied and grateful you begin to feel. Once you tap into these feelings of gratitude & satisfaction you begin to generate more (much as you did with the feelings, of dissatisfaction). Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean ‘stuff’ won’t happen, but when it does, you’ll find your attitude to the ‘stuff’ shifting. Events will seem less disastrous and insurmountable. The satisfaction you now feel will extend itself to yourself and you’ll realise you’ve more than enough. You’re fine just as you are… right where you are.

Blessings

Insightful Angel

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Love & Fear

Happy Sunday everyone,

Today’s post will start in a somewhat creative mode. I was flicking through one of my many journals – (I am an occasional and inconsistent journal writer) and I came upon this poem or song I guess you’d call it. I named it ‘BREATHE’ball-393834_150

BREATHE

1

What happens when there’s no plan ‘B?’ When life lands a punch, so strong you can’t breathe?

What happens when you’re naked and alone, too scared to stand still, but afraid to walk on?

CHORUS/REFRAIN

When the pieces of the jigsaw fail to fit, when we fail to trust, force the edges in. In that very moment, ego’s fire, kills the Alchemist within.

2

Hold tight to yourself, breathe, don’t let yourself go, trust your life’s right, (just) let your spirit flow

The clouds weep in blue and the Earth’s wind blows cold. I pray SO hard to take my place, feeling tired, feeling old

CHORUS

When the pieces of the jigsaw fail to fit, when we fail to trust, force the edges in. In that very moment, ego’s fire, kills the Alchemist within.

The song appears between entries and notes dated 2002 and 2003 and what struck me about it was that I seemed to have encapsulated a couple of the main things that prevent us as spirit beings from identifying and achieving contentment, standing in our power and enacting our true purpose in this life. IMG_0412Namely FEAR and MISTRUST.

Osho says:

‘Fear is nothing but the absence of love. Do something with love, forget about fear. If you love well, fear disappears.’

Today I’m going to talk a bit about LOVE & FEAR.

sad-72216_150The debilitating result of fear

I have spent much of my life in fear. As a child I quickly learnt to fear my own power and magnificence. All my singing, speaking, opinions, laughter, successes inquisitiveness and loving actions seemed to be criticised. As a result, I spent much of my time feeling ‘wrong’ or ‘too much.’ I’m sure many of you have similar memories of childhood?

As such I learnt very early on to make myself small, to shrink and not upset or embarrass others or myself by being too excited or free. This then became a lifelong practise, perhaps this is the case for you too? Until I found myself, as the song says, unable to ‘breathe.’

Through this lifelong practise of rejecting our joy we become insecure and unsure and so in adulthood we are fearful. We no longer have a clear of what is our authentic self and so conform to what society says we should do/be/say.

Crippled, limping and alone

When we’re in fear our intuitive senses become blocked. When we are blocked it’s as if we are crippled in some way. Our intuition is overtaken by our ego, the voice that is in constant need for external approval, the voice that has complete belief in the world of the material, the world we’re taught is the one that really matters.

beggars-62851_150We’re still walking, you understand, but our gait isn’t straight nor is it sure-footed and every so often we go over on our ankle and the pain is excruciating!

In this world there is fear.

Fear is the absence of love. The absence of love creates Division: ‘Otherness,’  Division and ‘Otherness’ lead to Self-Protection, Self-Protection shuts us off (from ourselves, from others and the world) Shutting out means you’re alone…

Alone = Loneliness – Isolation – Disconnection

A state of feeling no contact with existence.thinking-236770_150

We’re crippled…limping, disconnected, discontented and alone!

The search for love

africa-17344_150Our intuition is the way God/Higher Power/Source/Allah/Jah/Yahweh/Universe speaks to and guides us. You access your intuition by allowing yourself to love.

For most of us to live purposefully we adopt a belief system of some kind, a connection to an external source to anchor us as we navigate through life and find our purpose, for we ALL have a purpose.

What we are really doing is looking for love and rightly so. It is in love that fear is driven out. If you’ve ever been in love, or if you have children, you know that in love, when you give it unconditionally and not in the form of some contract, you do not feel fear.

Love: Then you become fearless!

When you are fearless you neither create fear in others nor allow it to be created in you. You understand that love is of itself beneficial, so there is no need for conditions or contracts so you have no need for a return.

demon-201439_150Just by loving you grow in fearlessness and joy and so come to love just for the joy of it!

In loving you are more open to and more likely to hear the voice of whichever external power you subscribe to and in the listening you come to understand your purpose.

Why am I here?

love-229977_150It is only when we are fulfilling this purpose that we feel peace, feel fulfilled and to feel complete love and acceptance of ourselves and of others.

For many of us the search for that purpose and peace is elusive and we frantically  scrabble around for the answers to our existence; flip-flopping from one job to the next, adrenaline fuelled activities, drugs, alcohol, one relationship to the next vainly seeking, becoming despondent and wondering what the meaning of all this is anyway?

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Have you ever done something, created something, helped someone, come up with an idea for something, answered a question you didn’t think you knew the answer to, overcome a fear, large or small and felt a profound feeling of just ‘completeness.’ A feeling that ‘THIS IS WHO I AM.’ as sense of acceptance and belonging.

As if the sun was shining just on YOU in that moment and  that you can do or be ANYTHING? It’s in those moments, that we are given the clues…the breadcrumbs in the forest that will lead us to our purpose in life.

person-110305_150What we are meant to do is ‘FOLLOW THE FEELING!’

 To create and seek out more situations and opportunities that re-create that feeling until it increases and increases and we are completely enveloped in ‘I AM.’

Increases and increases until we are FEARLESS and stand firmly, magnificently in the centre of the true essence of our being.

However, I’m sure you, like me will recognise what happens then. We can become afraid.

This feels ‘TOO’ good, we feel too powerful, too talented, too special and HOW DARE WE?

This is sacrilege.

Isn’t it?

lady-36446_150Who are we to feel god-like? and so we shrink… We go back to the familiar feelings of fear and mistrust. We’re safe with them. With them we don’t stand out, we don’t rock the boat. With them we are acceptable.

If I can get across ONE thing to you, beautiful readers today, it’s that we are here to be MAGNIFICENT. That every moment of everyday should feel awesome.

We are meant to live ‘Fearlessly’

Take it to heart, act on it.

Love: Yourself & others…

Love: Openly & unconditionally…

Follow those positive feelings to your BLISS and be in love with you…

IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE!

Blessings!

Insightful Angel

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Who do you choose to be?

Happy Sunday All,

The you you choose to be!

person-110305_150There are moments in life when we are must choose who we are, how we want to show up in the world. This week was one of those for me. It’s been a tough one. You know, one of those weeks when a person you thought you knew, who you held dear and considered an ally and friend reveal themselves to be the opposite. As a result you find yourself questioning every exchange, every smile, every pleasantry, re-playing your encounters, becoming increasingly sad as you realise it was all FAKE! It’s been a week of tests, but a week of illuminations. It’s been a week in which the universe decided in its infinite wisdom, that there were a few truths I was ready to see. I thought I’d share them with you.

True Colours

People usually show who they truly are under two types of circumstance.

Stress or Crisis & Change.

colored-pencils-179167_150Well what a nest of vipers my situation of change and the resulting stress revealed!

Both these contexts have played themselves out for me with some surprising revelations, but they’ve been an opportunity too, I realise for growth.

An opportunity for me to decide how I want to show up in this world.

So on this Sunny Sunday I decided to share my insights.

Insight no. 1zen-178992_150

I have to admit, emotionally I am still feeling a little sensitive. It’s dispiriting when those people you trust, respect and love and who you thought felt the same in return, behave differently towards you.

You haven’t changed.

You have the same love for them.

You have the same enthusiasm for their achievements.

You provide the same support

You have the same respect for your friend; your colleague, yet there’s an unease.

You examine yourself, maybe even blame yourself for the feelings of estrangement, but closer inspection reveals that it’s their attitude towards YOU that has changed.

Even closer inspection reveals that they have attempted to poison others towards you, call you out, blame you for things beyond your control. To effectively ‘bring you down.’

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” 
― Maya Angelou

Ms Angelou was so on the money when she penned this quotation and this week I realise how right she was.

Well, the true nature of someone I held dear, someone I thought of as ‘friend’ was revealed to me this week and I for one, intend to believe them.

So Sad

There were moments of deep, deep sadness as I learnt just now much this person, who’s every word had been one of admiration and respect and whose every deed had seemingly been one of support, was in reality resentful and I hate to say it, but perhaps jealousy played a part in there too.sad-girl-236769_150 This revelation came during a crisis; when the pressure was on… Instead of ‘baton-ing down the hatches,’ ‘rolling up their sleeves’ and supporting the wider group, they chose instead to point fingers, blame, complain and create dissent. Fortunately for me, there are others I hold dear who obviously felt this was unacceptable, who work from a stronger moral core and instead of colluding in their venomous behaviour they realised the poison for what it was and rejected it and them. They now find themselves ‘outside the circle of trust.’

zen-178992_150

Insight no. 2

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” 

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.”

― Maya Angelou

Let me get to the point of this post.

After the truth came out (because in my experience ‘the truth will always out’) I realised I had two choices.

As Maya said.

I could be a pain, just like them and respond negatively.

I could have challenged them,

I could have let them know that I know ‘where they live.’

But instead I took a breath…

I opened my heart…

I did nothing…

I tend to do nothing when I don’t know instinctively what action to take. Eventually I get a sense of the right thing to do.

In that breath, in the opening up, It became clear to me that reacting and behaving as they were doing would only prolong MY OWN misery and upset over the situation.

There’d be the examining of the ‘why’s’ and the ‘wherefores,’ there would be denials and accusations that couldn’t be proven.

There would be resentment and upset,

There would be tension and others being drawn in to support this and that person’s point of view.

In the silence, It came to me what I had to do…

I decided it wasn’t worth the pain.

I decided I didn’t have to be a pain because I was in pain.

You see, when we suffer the sharp ‘sting’ of betrayal or any other form of upset at the hands of another we have a choice.

We can choose to wallow, bemoan and wail about the injustice of it all, but surely this is prolonging the agony? OR we can simply be still and let the ‘right’ thing to do, the course of action that will be best for all concerned be revealed to us and make a ‘conscious choice.’

The road less travelledsunlight-166733_150

There’s no denying their actions were wrong, There’s no denying it ‘hurts like hell!’ But before you act out of your ‘pain’ consider if the course of action you’re considering will:

1. Ease your pain or prolong it?

2. Cause pain to others?

3. Make you feel good about who you’re choosing to be?

4. Make you feel proud of your actions and yourself as a result?

If the answer is ‘no’ to any of them, then you know you have no option but to take the ‘road less travelled.’

Yes it’s the more mature option.

Yes it’s a challenge, but in the long run you will know that you have nothing to reproach yourself for.

You will have ‘Peace of mind!’

In every moment we have a choice.

In every moment we create ourselves anew

Who do you choose to be? How do you choose to be remembered?

I’ll leave you today with another of the wonderful Maya’s quotations:

Watch your words

Blessings & Much Love

Insightful Angel

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Friends & Friendship – a Special Love

friendship-63743_150Happy Sunday all

Acquiring friends and developing lasting friendships are perhaps two of the most emotionally satisfying things we create in our lives. As we journey through life, learning and developing, it’s our friends that are the marrow in our bones, feeding us, supporting us, keeping us strong so we become all that we could ever imagine.

Our friends:arm-wrestling-176645_150

  • See the vision for who we could be before we are able to recognise it in ourselves.
  • Drop everything to be by our side at the slightest hint of upset or trouble.
  • Love us through the hard times
  • Are loyal to us
  • Are not afraid to tell us we’re wrong
  • Believe in us
  • Make us laugh
  • Know when to leave us alone
  • Respect us
  • Always want the best for us
  • Celebrate our successes
  • Trust us
  • Our friends Love us

For exactly who we are…

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…

Yet, I’m sure many of you reading this now, have a friend or two maybe, that you’ve let disappear from your lives. I’m sure most of us have at least one friend that we wish we’d kept in touch with? Perhaps your excuse was the distance, or they’ve changed or we no longer have the same things in common.

What ever the excuse, that’s just what it is; an excuse!

The regret, that comes in at number four (on our list of five) when we find ourselves at the point of leaving this earthly plane is:

  • “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends…”

FriendsMy mother always said: “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

Meaning, that your friends are the family YOU create.

They display the behaviours, talents and attitudes you would prefer to see in your life and in the world.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with family.

Are we not here to self-create?

Are we not here to live lives that are an ‘authentic’ expressions of who we ‘choose’ to be?

So, if a family member is making choices and creating a life imbued with attitudes and behaviours that we refute, are we not entitled to keep them at arm’s length, as we would anyone else whose values we do not share?

However I digress. Back to friendship.

love-115878_150Love yourself first

When it comes to friendships, I can say wholeheartedly, I have learnt that they will never be satisfying unless you are friends with YOURSELF first. I’ll give you an example:

Let’s say you’ve something you want to bring into your life. Your friend has been supportive in your attempts to achieve/acquire this quality or gift, they believe in you and think you deserve the best that life has to offer and they tell you this often. Yet somehow you are not able to attain what it is you’re striving for.

Is the inability to feel deserving the issue?

Are you being as good a friend to yourself as your friend is to you and you are to them?

In order to accept the beauty inherent in our friendships, we need to be able to accept the beauty within ourselves. See yourself through your friends eyes.

Those that know me know one of my mottos is:

‘Like attracts like…’

So try to ignore the doubting voice within, the negative tape on a loop that endlessly plays through your list of ‘could be betters.’

Accept that the wonderful qualities you see in your friends are a mirror of the qualities, and the beauty, captured within the soul in YOU.

a-flower-for-you-173549_150Be willing to receive

Practise being a good friend, by being a friend to yourself first.

Be willing to give to yourself.

Be willing to receive.

If you cannot display the qualities of friendship that you appreciate in others in your own reflections of yourself then, regardless of how many friends you have, life will feel lonely and you will always find a reason to justify the non-appearance of whatever it is you’re looking for in life.

girls-344334_150Be the friend you want to see

Being a friend means you swear an oath. An oath to be someone your friend can trust. It means keeping your word and being there when you say you will. The best way to have and keep good friends is to be one.

Keep your promises.

We all know that there are times when things show up, when you have to change a plan, but you need to be dependable. No-one likes a flake! If ‘ducking out’ and ‘letting down’ become regular habits, your friend is unable to depend on you. You are a ‘fair weather friend.’ there when times are good, but noticeably absent when they need you most. Being this way means you are eroding their trust and eventually they’ll stop believing what you say.

pinky-swear-329329_150Be honest

Being honest about how you feel opens up direct lines of communication with your friends and will make them more likely to open up to you. If your friend has upset you in some way, don’t feel too shy to open up to your friend about it.

Being honest is not about being brutal and so blunt that you hurt them. If you think your friend has a problem for example, perhaps drink or any other problem which has the potential to destroy their lives, then you owe it to your friend to start a conversation about it.

But if you think your friend looks kind of weird in her new dress, assess the situation, you know your friend and in this instance you may want to keep your mouth shut. Especially if s/he feels they look amazing.

Why not leave them with that feeling and not shoot them down dampening their spirit?

Be Real 

Connect with the people you value on a deep level if you want to have long-term friendships that you can sustain through life’s ups and downs. Invest in people you can be yourself around. If the way you behave is insincere, your friendships won’t last.

Be Loyalkid-165253_150

If your friend tells you something in confidence, keep it and don’t talk about it with anyone else, just as you’d expect your friend to do for you. Never say anything about your friend that you would not be prepared to say to them face-to-face and be ready to defend them if other friends or people you barely know, gossip about them.

  • Part of being loyal is understanding how important a long-lasting and stable friendship is. Don’t throw all that away just to spend all your time hanging out with your new boyfriend or girlfriend or a cool new person you just met.

Be Selfless

IMG_0098Being selfless is an important part of being a good friend. Though you can’t be selfless all the time accommodating your friend’s wishes when you can, will strengthen you relationship. Reciprocate his or her acts of kindness with caring deeds of your own.

  • Do a favour for your friend just out of the goodness of your heart, not because you want something in return.

I’m sure you’re getting the picture. There are many more things I could say about friendships and how to foster secure heartfelt ones as well as how to maintain them. However, this post would become impossibly long if I continued.

heart-63974_150That rare gift

Suffice to say, that our friendships are our lifeblood, so it’s no surprise that the loss of our friends, especially when we know we could have done more to stay in touch, features high as one of our biggest regrets when we depart.

“Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.”

Anaïs Nin

So, let’s heed the wise words of Anaïs.

Let your friends know how much they mean to you.

Be the best friend you can be 

Stay in touch.

No regrets!

Blessings & Much love

Insightful Angel 

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Feelings & Vulnerability – What are we so afraid of?

Happy Sunday everyone!

Regret number three is a biggie! It’s about feelings. Our ability (or rather inability) to ‘put ourselves OUT THERE’ and be vulnerable.

zen-178992_150Feelings

Yep feelings…that topic that makes you want to squirm and run for the nearest cave, bury your head in your hands, rock backwards and forwards and suck you thumb, whilst crying for your ‘mummy.’ Feelings are connected to our sense of self, the need to control how others see us and to protect us from that major ‘bogieman’ (apologies to the men out there, but you get why I use the term) REJECTION! This Sunday I will take a close look at regret number three:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not one others EXPECTED of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked SO hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I’d been happier

Let’s unpack this one for a minute. Expressing your feelings basically means revealing who we are on a deeper level. It means letting go of control, It means subjecting ourselves to uncertainty and taking a risk. It means connecting…openly and completely. It means accessing our vulnerability.

Vulnerable!

fireman-100720_150

When you take a risk more often than not, you are opting to step into a space that you haven’t experienced before, or you may have met with the situation before, but you know that in this space you are unable to control the outcome. Why the fear? Where does it come from? Why do we have a pathological resistance to opening up to others? What is it about being vulnerable that scares us so? In my examination of why we are reluctant to give free rein to our feelings I will refer to the work of the wonderful Brené Brown who provides us with an insightful analysis of vulnerability in her work;

‘Daring Greatly: How finding the courage and being vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead’

Re-focusing the lens

woman-64146_150Being a teacher I see, on a daily basis, the trends and cultural shifts played out by our young people. In the past, perhaps like you, I was  guilty of accusing them of selfishness and self-obsession of being self-absorbed and lacking empathy or a sense community. On the surface, they seem obsessed with power, material wealth, beauty and being thought of as ‘special.’ I had to refocus my lens and adjust my position as my time in the classroom made it increasingly clear to me that their behaviour, rather than simply being a display of narcissism, is more symptomatic of their fear of being ordinary. It is a fear rooted in, as Brené says:

“the shame based fear of being ordinary…of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed or loved or belong or cultivate a sense of purpose.'(hence constant posting of ‘selfies’).

It’s increasingly challenging for people to believe they are ‘enough.’ Being ordinary is meaningless. You’re nothing unless there is a lens staring down at you. And with reality TV, celebrity culture and social media we’ve created a warped lens through which they look out at the world.

The idea that they’re only as popular as the number of Facebook ‘friends’ they have or the number of  ‘likes’ they get for the latest ‘selfie’ is a pervasive and insidious concept. When we re-focus the lens and look at their behaviour in a different way we realise that these symptoms are a result of a society conditioned to believe in the concept of ‘lack.’ There is, in our culture the overriding feeling of ‘not enough.’

Not enough

Today we’re bombarded with the message that nothing we do, say or be is every enough. old-peoples-home-63615_150We are never thin enough (Photoshop, the diet industry etc.) Perfect enough (plastic surgery, Botox etc.) Powerful enough, Special enough, Smart enough, Safe enough (crises in food, environment, unrest). You get the gist. The result of all this ‘not enoughness,’ is we’re just afraid to do anything. It’s become safer to operate in the virtual world where there is no judgment or criticism or failure. In her book ‘The Soul of Money’ Lynne Twist says: That scarcity is a ‘great lie.’ we’ve been sold

Our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of ‘not enough’ occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done that day…This mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice and our arguments with life…'”

The Scarcity myth

poverty-81827_150When we believe in scarcity we are in a constant state of comparison and assessment. Considering how much we have and don’t have, how much we want, how much everyone else has by comparison, but this constant comparison means we are creating a feeling of under achievement and scrutinising our lives by ‘media perfect’ standards. According to Brown the scarcity paradigm thrives in ‘shame-prone’ cultures, but that we’re also ‘sick of feeling afraid,’ that ‘we all want to be brave’

Vulnerability = Bravery = Strength

How can we meet our desire to be brave if we have a pathological fear of being vulnerable? Being brave or courageous means being seen, it means stepping up and laying ourselves bare and rejecting the idea that being vulnerable means we are displaying weakness. demon-201439_150

In our society we see being vulnerable as shameful, as being associated with shameful memories or being disappointed. But people, I am here to tell you that Brené has confirmed through her social research what my life experiences had already shown me and what I want to share with you here.

If we want to get access to a deeper meaning in our lives, find our purpose, if we want to delve deeper into life and truly plunge the depths of our own possibility, vulnerability is key.

  • Vulnerability is opening up.
  • Vulnerability is taking risks.
  • Vulnerability is exposing yourself to joy and love and empathy.
  • Vulnerability is allowing yourself to be accountable.
  • Vulnerability is being your authentic self!

We mostly feel vulnerable when we are engaging in activities or decisions that place us on the edge. We are reclaiming that ‘feeling’ part of our lives, the part that generates emotions such as ‘exhilaration.’ Yet, we need not fear our feelings… Yes being vulnerable is scary, we could be hurt, have our heart ripped out and trampled on, but what’s the alternative? Protect yourself? Play it safe?

Playing it safe

Playing it safe means living a life in fear. FearIt means a life in which you close yourself off from interaction and scrutiny, but vulnerability is being courageous. Yes! It is the more challenging path; Yes! We’re taking a risk; Yes! We are laying ourselves bare; We’re naked in a room full of people with their clothes on! Yet when we see vulnerability in others we applaud it.

We admire the person who will stand up and do a speech, we call it courageous. So how is it vulnerability is weakness in ourselves, yet courage in others? We applaud it when others have the strength to open up to us and ‘put themselves out there,’ yet we seem to have a pathological fear of doing the same ourselves.

Allowing your vulnerability to show means you’re opening yourself up to:

Possibility…Infinite Potentiality…Limitlessness.

Life’s great dare

flag-107402_150As Brené reminds us; ‘Vulnerability is life’s great dare’ the more we open ourselves up to daring the greater our potential for ‘being seen.’ and living (as I call it) a ‘life less than ordinary.’ Daring to be vulnerable creates the FREEDOM you seek and the CONTENTMENT you crave and the LOVE you deserve.

I’m going to leave you with a quotation:

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 
― Brené Brown

Blessings & much love

Insightful Angel 

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