Tag Archives: Support

Everyday Spirit

Happy Sunday all

Well, hello all. It’s been some time hasn’t it since I posted an insight? I’ve been pretty challenged over the last two months or so, as well as extremely busy. In that time many of my thoughts have been on spirit and the nature of spirit’s guidance in my life at this time. I realise, not for the first time that Spirit, does what spirit is want to do, regardless of what WE think it should be doing.

I have to admit to being a little nervous at the moment.

After so many weeks of not posting I have the self-limiting expectation that every word I write has to be some great illuminating ‘KAPOW’ moment for everyone and that’s been paralysing hence such a long break.

But hey, in life one has to bite the bullet…

This probably isn’t a great ‘KAPOW,’ for most, but who knows maybe it’s a gentle nudge for some?

Update

cropped-manuscript-203465_1280.jpgLife has recently changed beyond all imagining and taken me to a completely different continent. I’m sure you can imagine the logistical operation it has been to uproot one’s life and pad down in a completely different spot.

It’s a change that involves a new home and way of living. There are; new customs, foods, traditions and ways of being, systems and infrastructure. It’s at once thrilling and fearful, exhilarating and frustrating, exciting & tiring.

There have been so many insights popping up that it’s been hard to decide which one to share with you today, but I think I’ll go with what I’ve been learning about Spirit & manifestation.

Now, many of you will have inwardly groaned and gone ‘Urrrgh’ she’s gone all weird and ‘hippyfied’ on us (again) but hear me out…

Everyday Spirit

Whether we acknowledge it or not ‘spirit’ or ‘energy’ or ‘god’ or ‘universe’ or ‘guides’ or ‘ancestors’ are working day and night to support us in our lives here in this physical plane. The evidence is all around us we simply need to choose to see the signs we’re given every day.

2014-07-05 05.59.11We can use this spirit to help us in our lives from finding the energy to get through everyday tasks to asking for spirit’s support when we have more challenging things to deal with. The thing to remember about spirit though, is that you need be precise, get specific bearing  in mind it will bring you what want in a form that you need, not necessarily what you think you want, in the way you think you need it.

Say you’ve been single for a while and (for the purposes of the illustration you’re heterosexual) you wish for a partner of the opposite sex. But let’s say you also have an unresolved issue with self-esteem. Spirit may well send you the partner you want, but perhaps this partner is one who is critical of you…

Why?

So you have another opportunity to practise standing up for yourself and finding your self-love and esteem

You may ask for a tall, dark handsome man (if you’re male or female) and you get just that, but he’s superior and arrogant challenging you to face and deal with your ideas about hierarchy, status and the value you place on others.

Stepping up to life can be fearful...What's next?
Stepping up to life can be fearful…What’s next?

Perhaps you’re having thoughts of I hate this job or I need to ‘get out of here’ and lo and behold you’re made redundant, or fired from your current role with no alternative means of employment organised.

Now I know you meant that you wanted to find another job and step into that or create a business and get it up and running before giving up your current occupation, but did you specifically think about that? No…

Your thoughts were ‘I’ve got to get out of here.’ And guess what? You get your wish you’re fired and now you’re, as you wanted –  ‘out of there!’

‘You gotta get specific!’

yes-238374_150You see Spirit will send you what you ask for, but you’ve got to get specific. It will also add a dash of what you need.

So when you ask, create thoughts that have you stepping into the role you want…see the people around you and the type of interactions you want to have with them, feel how it feels in that meeting with them or discussing new projects; OR imagine your ‘tall, dark handsome man’ being generous and kind, imagine his responses to being around you, your family and friends and the conversations you have together. See his kind acts and generosity being demonstrated in different situations and with different types of people… in this way spirit KNOWS what you want, in precise and exact detail and can get on with the job of bringing it to you.

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friends

Happy Sunday All,

With FriendsIn honour of our friends

I had a fabulous afternoon/early evening today. I spent just over five hours talking, laughing and reminiscing with some people who know me better than most.

These were some people who were a part of my formative years and who are, in many ways, significant contributors partly responsible for me being the person I am today.

The conversation was buoyant and lively and it ‘fizzed.’ It was loving and comfortable.

There was so much laughter…

It was The kind of conversation you can only have with those you respect and trust, those who know you inside out and will be there for you come rain or shine.

At one point I felt, what I can only describe as almost like an ‘out of body experience.’ As I sat around the restaurant table I felt out of the action. In that moment I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

Out of body

fractal spiritI felt blessed

Blessed because I was in the company of some of my friends.

These women were some of my oldest friends…

We all know how important it is to have friends, but do we ignore just how important having friends is in or lives?

We all need a friend at times. They’re vital for our sanity and stability. They help us find our sense of self. We all  needs friends and not just for the everyday, common-sense reasons that you might at first think.

The Pollster

In a 2006 Gallop poll Tom Rath, the organisation’s  director at the time, identified that when you asked many people why their marriages failed; why they became homeless or why the had issues with food and weight, they cited having friendships that were unsatisfying or poor or no friendships at all as being a major contributing factor.

shield-229112_1280The consequences of this were that people felt outcast and unloved when their friendship relationships were less than satisfying, so let’s not underestimate the contribution that having good friends makes to our emotional, physical and yes, spiritual well-being.

Without good friends these people felt outcast and unloved, isolated and discarded.

The Data

The statistics he discovered revealed:

“If your best friend eats healthily, you are five times more likely to have a healthy diet yourself. Married people say friendship is more than five times as important as physical intimacy within marriage. Those who say they have no real friends at work have only a one in 12 chance of feeling engaged in their job. Conversely, if you have a “best friend at work”, you are seven times more likely to feel engaged in your job.”

The family you choose

2014-04-29 18.46.39Friendships are vital for our wellbeing and through them we have a sense of value in our lives. Your friends are the family you choose. With our friends there is mutual development and growth as you experience things together. Friendships serve as a mirror and within our friendships there’s a feeling of acceptance that we don’t perhaps receive anywhere else.

Being accepted unequivocally means we feel ‘Cconnected.’ If our lives are to have meaning then we have a need to feel connected to someone.

The Good friend…The Best friend

Do you recognise yourself here? Many of us say we’re friends and would claim we are ‘good’ or even ‘best’ friends to another, but what does a good/best friend look like?

A good friend is a shoulder to cry on… your fiercest defender and your staunchest supporter.

A good friend sacrifices their time and energy to listen when you are down and cheer you on to even greater victory or success.

  • They believe in you
  • They stand by you
  • They support you

FriendsThey have their own lives and families yes, and there will be times when there is distance between you, but they will always make time at some point to chat or come together to create new memories together as you remember the old ones.

A good friend doesn’t necessarily have to sacrifice to be a good friend or have the answers. They may not necessarily understand what it is you’re going through, but to qualify as a friend they/we should be wiling to be there when our friend needs us.

We may not have the answers or be able to offer advice, mostly (they don’t need us to) but a good friend recognises their friend’s need and is willing to simply listen.

Having someone be there for you in the low points of your life is vital.

Even life-saving

What kind of friend are you?

hand-782688_1280When a friend reaches out to you it is a gift and an honour because they’re showing the trust they have in you and the  respect they have for you. So treat their need for your time or to listen with the respect it deserves or you may later come to regret not being your most supportive.

By not being there for your friend, if you are less than present, you may irreparably damage the beauty that is the friendship. This is especially true if they have been there for you in times of need in the past.

For today and the rest of this week, honour and thank your friends for being such wonderful gifts in your life and consider How do YOU honour your friendships?

How do YOU show your friend(s) their importance to you?

Remember the street called ‘Friendship’ has traffic which runs both ways.

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

 

 

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Aloneness

Happy Sunday all,

Today’s post is an attempt to at least scratch the surface of a situation that many of us are in, a state that we can suddenly be plunged into or a state that can creep up over time, but which none-the-less we can find a challenge to grow accustomed to…

It’s a theme that’s been revealed to me at least three times this week (even this morning as I read a post on LinkedIn) and so I thought it warranted some examination.

The State of ‘Aloneness’

2014-05-05 19.18.48Many, many people are living alone or find they’re spending significant amounts of time, perhaps more than they’d like, in their own company. “Nothing wrong with that!” I hear you shout and indeed there is nothing wrong with that, IF it’s a milieu of choice.

You’re right being alone can wonderfully liberating. It has the potential to be a space in which you really get to understand who you are: Your wants, needs and desires; an opportunity to tap into your deepest fears too and gain a 360’ perspective on yourself. This of course is vital if we are to have healthy, secure and long-lasting friendships and relationships. It’s true, unless you know and love yourself, you cannot hope to truly love another.

But, for some…

Just sometimes…

That aloneness becomes too weighty to carry.

It begins to feel like isolation and disconnection, especially if it is not a state or space person wants or when there is no deeply felt connection.

101 ways to aloneness

mourning-360500_150The state of being alone can manifest for many, many reasons or occur because a myriad of changing circumstances and it’s not just the elderly or middle-aged that can find they are now languishing in extended periods of isolation:

  1. Perhaps your friends’ life stage has changed. They now have responsibilities you don’t or are studying and you’re not, or they’ve moved away for study or work so you’re not able to connect as often.
  2. Perhaps you’re an ‘empty-nester’ and your children have left home and your partner has died or you have suffered a divorce leaving you in aloneness for much of the time once you return from work or whatever it is you do
  3. Perhaps you’re elderly and your spouse or significant other has died and you never had children or your children have moved away, or (as is often the case today) your children are not really bothered about connecting with you.
  4. Perhaps you’re shy and it’s a challenge for you to connect easily. You are respectful and converse as necessary at work or whatever, however socially your opportunities few and others neglect to invite you to events assuming it’s ‘not your thing’ OR ’S/he probably wouldn’t want to come…’
  5. Perhaps the opposite is true, you’re gregarious and lively company, so people assume you’re bound to have an invitation to X, Y, Z event; someone ‘MUST’ have let you know?

But guess what?

They all did what you did and made and assumption, they decided the responsibility wasn’t theirs and simply didn’t check (Obviously I’m not going to list 101 here, but you get my drift).

ginger-650475_1280The spinster and her cats

I know we’re all familiar with the stereotypical image of the spinster and her cats, alone and dead for so long no one discovers her for months. To be honest, though it’s used as a joke it’s far from funny when you think about it.

I mean to think that anyone is so cut-off, so disconnected from another human, so separate that no-one cares to look in on them or is aware that they are not around.

What does that say about the society we’re creating?

The Legacy of Noah

glass-ark-331937_1280Noah built his Ark and led the animals in two by two. I’m sure most of us are familiar with this tale regardless of Faith, but what it’s created is the concept of ‘otherness’ for those who find themselves alone or in a state of aloneness.

If you’re not part of a couple or partnership in some form you’re often penalised and made to feel ‘outside the norm:

  • There are supplements and extra charges if you want to travel alone, book a hotel room for yourself, but are audacious enough to want a double bed!
  • As soon as you meet relatives or friends you’ve not seen for a while the first thing they want to know is if you’re ‘courting’ or ‘dating’ or ‘seeing anyone’ YET – The ‘YET’ hanging in the air like a pregnant pause, taunting you with a gnarly, pointed finger and a ”Hmmm… so what’s wrong with YOU?”
  • Every form of media seems to focus on the pursuit of love (coupling) and or the loss of it (heartbreak) and much like the propaganda around body image & size, there is the equivalent  range and quantity of propaganda around single-dom and being alone

Join a club…

skydiving-658404_1280

       You suggest…

Get yourself out…

Get a hobby…

All possible solutions yes, however they come from an assumption that it’s just getting out that will solve the problem. Hobbies are often expensive, so can club memberships and getting out can mean yes you’re outdoors or at an event, but again you had to call on the courage to do so alone.

Ironically, when you’re out alone you’re less likely to have people want to connect with you.

I’m not going to patronise those who are in this situation by making helpful but actually facile suggestions. You see, the matter isn’t often that those in a state of aloneness are anti-social, often this is far from the case.

Connection

I’m making the distinction between being alone (circumstantial, sometimes active, can be positive, or by choice) and Aloneness (a persistent, perpetual state that seeps back into your every day existence and is often Hand to holdunwanted and or more likely to occur over time if you are often physically alone).

You see, as I often assert, we are here for connection. This is why aloneness can affect even those within a relationship.

*Real connection is: Communication with another in which you feel recognised and heard. You feel that you, your thoughts and dreams, opinions and efforts matter to someone.

When ‘Connection’ takes place, those with whom you connect support you, no matter the distance, no matter the crisis or triumph, Those who ‘connect’ with you don’t do so out of duty or out of a passive aggressive ‘surface’ support or love; (when really they doing little to support you or are actively sabotaging you through comments and actions).

hand-782688_1280When you ‘connect’ your emotional and spiritual energies are nourished and nurtured by the meaningful interactions you have.

If this type of communication is taking place, even just occasionally, then being ‘alone’ is a walk in the park and why you now see that ‘getting out,’ or ‘getting a hobby,’ will not necessarily cure the ‘aloneness’ state of being.

Interaction Vs. Connection

kid-165253_150When we’re involved in social activity, there’s a limit to the ‘depth’ a conversation or interaction will take. So though a person has a hobby, or is active in the community or has joined a club these can actually exacerbate the situation.

When you are out and connecting on a superficial albeit enjoyable level with others and I would not recommend a person does NOT do these things; once you return to the silence and just the gentle pulse of your own breathing it serves to highlight, in stark contrast…

‘Yes’ you Interacted,

but ‘NO’ you didn’t truly Connect!

*(See previous paragraph for my definition.)

globe-304586_150So what’s to do?

My suggestion is make the effort…

We can all recognise a that person who has an air of aloneness about them and if you don’t recognise that about the, but know they live alone (and so there’s the potential for aloneness to be a state they’re in) then instead of stepping away (coz they’re a real ‘saddo’ and you don’t want to be associated with them), step towards them!

Would it really take so much from you to just give someone an hour of your time?

Would it be such a hardship to try truly listening to the next person you speak to, so they come away feeling filled up and included as a member of the human race again?

Would it be such a challenge to open your heart?

So for today and the weeks ahead practise

CONNECTION!

girls-344334_150

Speak with your heart open

Listen with your heart open

Connect with another…

Heart to heart…

You may just be the one thing, the one interaction that shifts their feelings from

‘What’s the point? to ‘I have a purpose’

and in so doing you may just….

love-278579_150

SAVE A LIFE!

A chance to connect…

A chance to support.

Help the Angel Help you.

This is a select and intimate workshop to help you move int he direction you want for your future work or home or career…or just a space to breathe and take stock

Book you Tickets NOW – Only 28 places available

 

 

Blissings & Much love

Insightful Angel

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Being Tested

Happy Sunday everyone,

Over the last couple of weeks I was being tested.

Tested Big time!

I’m sure we’ve all known those times, times when you want to pursue a goal or particular direction, yet the energies seem to be conspiring to either scupper your efforts or keep you in your current space.

What to do in this situation?

My response is: DO NOTHING

Now when I say do nothing I don’t mean absolutely nothing, but I do mean don’t push against the energy.

stickman-310590_150You think you’re so sure?

You see, I’ve noticed in life that when we decide to be or do something different or change in some way the universe will challenge you. “Are you sure this is what you want?” she demands “Yes” you reply and again comes the ‘You sure you’re sure?” and sometimes, even when for a second time your conviction holds and you navigate another hurdle she’ll (the universe is always a ‘she’ to me) come in with another…

“I’m not convinced; prove it to me one more time!”

Boy! This universe is a hard woman to convince eh?

But these challenges are not easy choices to make. For example:

You may be thinking of changing your job. You’re not being as stimulated as you once were, you perhaps are not getting the recognition you feel you deserve or whatever the reason.

You decide to leave: YOU SURE?

You investigate and make connections and an opportunity presents itself. It’s with a relatively new company, more responsibility and challenge and a great match for your skills and values; a huge potential for growth, maybe even a stake in the company in the future.

fitness-332278_150Like a giddy Kipper!

You get fired up about it, you consider it carefully, you’re excited and full of joy a feeling you haven’t felt in some time and like a giddy Kipper you convince your partner that you’ll be so much happier, that it’s a better fit for you and that the future holds the potential for greater promise if you travel this path. It will just take some time to fully realise its potential.

You’re all set to leave: YOU SURE YOU’RE SURE?

And then your current boss invites you into their office and offers you the promotion you’ve been wanting for the last year and a half!

The one you’ve worked for and deserve and had lost hope of achieving. It’s much more rewarding financially than the vibrant new opportunity, but your boss is a challenge and there have been times when you didn’t agree with decisions they made nor how they made them.

It would mean staying within the confines of a large organisation and the structure, rather than the ‘freer’ environment and autonomy of the new opportunity.

You have to think. You agonise for days (your boss gives time), but you know you can’t take too long as they’ll think you’re not enthusiastic and a little ungrateful; after all, you’ve wanted this for many, months.

No…I’m sure, I’m sure

You decide that you’re still going for the opportunity that offers autonomy and expansion and then:

“BLAM!” 

She says: I’M NOT CONVINCED PROVE IT TO ME ONE MORE TIME!

You find out you’re having baby…

Jeez!

Do you:

  1. Stay…Take the stability, comfort and security, the familiar structure that you know how to navigate, the ‘devil you know.’
  2. Take the risk on an unknown future, with potentially unsteady and unproven variables yet potentially the reward, lifestyle and peace of mind you’ve always dreamed of?

Do you stay true to the YOU you want to be or the you you already know how to be?

This is the space I have been in over the last few weeks and the space I’m sure many of you will find yourself in at some point in your life. This is what I have learnt.

Be still…

Be still and listen for the Divine Whispers

arm-wrestling-176645_150The push & the pull

In middle school we had a gruff, blustery teacher named Mr Hardy. He was a rugged Geordie and very ‘no-nonsense.’

As well as being my form tutor he ran the gymnastics team of which I was a member. Now, I think we all know the form and shape expected of a gymnast. I on the other, hand have always been more of a Serena Williams body type, boobs and all! In most conventional thinking not the most efficient shape for elevations, lifts, jumps and springs; yet I did very well, but you can imagine I often felt a bit like a sunflower in a garden full peonies as well as a deep-seated  insecurity among those sylph like others, who seemed to effortlessly glide through the air like a hot knife through butter.

One day he pulled me aside and asked me a question:

“Pauline,” he said “ have you ever tried pushing a pram on the sand?

“No sir” I answered.

“Well,” he responded, “you push and push and you just churn up more sand and the wheels get even more stuck, your progress is erratic and you get tired. Do you know what you should do?”

Of course I didn’t and told him so. He said…

“Turn around and pull…then you’ll glide over the surface with ease”

water-256195_150Flow

There is a point to this…I’m coming

You know I never forgot what he said.

I have remembered this throughout out my life and it has served me well.

To me he was telling me to stop trying so hard…to relax and let my muscles do what I was training them to. The ‘effort’ I was putting in was causing tension and that tension was creating stiffness and not the flow’ necessary for transformation.

The very effect I was trying so hard to create I was constraining. I needed to let go and turn around and ‘PULL’ I would find the movements would then unfold and create themselves effortlessly.

So, I’m in the middle of being tested and I remember the story. I remember and chose to stop endlessly ruminating on the topic, do the necessary but not make major decisions and be still…

whisper-408482_1280Whispers

As soon as I did the ‘whispers started’

  1. I was watching a film and heard “stay the course” twice…
  2. Then I heard the phrase “Be the true you” I knew these phrases were messages to me because you know when you get that churn or wrench in your stomach/solar plexus as if you’re being told to:

‘Pay attention?’

butterfly-108616_150Then there were butterflies; not unusual at this time of the year I know, yet I seemed to be followed by them and they were unusually tame around me. I even had one following me in the middle of London!

On looking them up their significance I see:

“Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously. Get ready for a big change, one where and old habit, way of thinking, or lifestyle is going out, and a new beginning is emerging. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been considering. In spite of the challenges you’ll get through this transition, and as always know that ‘this too shall pass.’”

Well blow me down with a feather!

Clarity

It was clear to me that I indeed WAS being tested. Tested to know completely that what I was choosing was exactly what I REALLY WANTED, being tested and challenged to recognise when I’m being guided and supported and being tested to

`Trust my own inner guidance.’

zen-178992_150If we are to ‘stay the course’ when things get tough, we need to have complete conviction.

This conviction comes from pushing through resistance and knowing absolutely that the path we have chosen is the one we truly want. In order to know this we need to have fought for it, to face adversity to win it and so the universe will ‘test.’ You, but will show up to guide you and give you clues too.

‘In gratitude’ to Mr Hardy

At various stages in my life I have recalled `Mr Hardy’s voice telling me this tale. Mostly at times in my life when I was being tested, had decisions to make and I have automatically gotten into worry or anxiety mode. When I’ve been pushing myself for a finite and definite response and ‘stressing.’ Not knowing which direction to take.

Sometimes these dilemmas have been about my life path, or decisions about career and work, sometimes the decisions have been ones about love and partnerships.

When we remember Mr Hardy’s tale it reminds us to:

  1. Stop…turn around
  2. Be still… listen for the divine whispers
  3. Heed the messages we’re being given and only then should we move….  We’ll find then that we’ll glide over the sand.

2014-04-29 18.35.30Do you need an opportunity to be still and read the ‘whispers?’

Perhaps you’re restless and  you know there’s more

Perhaps like me you’re being tested

Perhaps it’s just a niggling feeling…

Perhaps you’ve decided things need to change but simply need support and guidance

On 22nd August take some time and ‘listen.’

I’ve created a space for just 28 people…

An intimate supportive and powerful workshop where you get to focus on YOU

A Space for you to become still and start ‘pulling’ YOUR  pram across the sand.

https://spacetob.eventbrite.co.uk

Blissings and much love

Insightful Angel

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A Father is…

Happy Sunday ALL,

No-one can escape that today is father’s day in the UK.

So we’re paying tribute to the men the ‘good’ fathers who stoically and more often than not silently, get on with the business of being ‘DAD.’

hands-407388_1280Billy Graham said:

A Good father is one of the most unsung, un-praised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.’

I think, if you’ve been paying attention over the last couple of weeks you’ll know that I agree with him wholeheartedly.

This post is dedicated to the ‘Dads’ who, in the absence of a father in my formative years, have become a model to me in my latter ones of what it is to be a father.

So to:  The Richard Smiths, the Lee Arnolds, Peter Brodericks, Sam Leighes, ‘Christafaris’ – Chris ‘Piano man’ Camerons, Deane Tomlins, Minton Goodisons, Tony Barzeys , Bjorn Foxes, Dan Sherriffes, David Taylors, De-Napoli Clarkes, Derrick Armstrongs, Gary Grants… to any I have not mentioned accept my apologies.

DadWhat is a father…

From those wonderful men mentioned before I have come to learn that a father is:

A champion

A Gladiator who satisfies his innocent offspring’s deepest need for protection.

The fiercest advocate, who fights for his child’s right to be.

Is in love…

With the wonder of his offspring though finding the words to express, may oftentimes be the hardest thing to do.

But it’s there…

A deep gut-wrenching ache of admiration he gets on those increasing rare times that his child acknowledges how much he means to them.

Silent

In his adoration

He is his son’s first hero and teacher the man you look up to no matter that you now tower above him.

father-445096_1280He is his daughter’s guardian and the man from whom she learns how to love and be loved.

He embodies the ideas and the respect she should expect from the man who will replace him.

The perfect example of how she should be cherished nurtured and cared for.

He picks you up when you fall and let’s you know you’re OK

He makes the world safe

The one who’s approval you seek because you know he holds you to standards that are superior, that he wants you to be better than even he.

Is a gift and his greatest gift to you is…

to teach you how to live without him, that way he knows not matter what

You’ll be OK

A Good man

Your DAD.

To those wonderful Dads out there

Blissings & Much love 

Insightful Angel

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Education & Birth

Happy Sunday All,

easter-eggs-519468_1280Re-birth

It would seem that Easter is a time of contemplation, renewal and re-birth for me. It always seems more right for me to make resolutions and changes at this time of the year than at any other.

Easter  for me represents re-birth and new life.

At this time one year ago I launched this blog site and I am proud of myself for committing to it and posting each week for 80% of the year. This year I have something as exciting to share with you and that is the launch of my new business.

A passion for Learning

leave-364178_1280As readers of this blog you will know I am a passionate educator, but now we are experiencing a crisis. A crisis in Education as the ‘scapegoating’ and ‘blaming’ of teachers means there’s a witch-hunt to get rid of those ‘incompetent’ and ‘lazy’ teaching professionals and their Leaders. This hunt, orchestrated by the Press & Politicians and believed by Parents is intensifying. The failure, as I see it is one belonging to our Political & Cultural leaders, as well as society. The problem is we’ve failed to eradicate poverty and the social disadvantages that go with it, yet it is on the teaching professions that we choose to place the blame.

This is the real issue and lies at the heart of educational under achievement and social disadvantage, yet it is we, the educators, who are told that they have failed to adequately support and guide our children.

Poorly…2014-06-22 11.18.54

As a result Education is sick. She’s barely able to support herself let alone the tireless idealists who enter the profession thinking we can contribute to society. We enter the profession bright and idealistic only to have the life and creativity sapped out of us by a Government that wants us to create sausages!

Same length, same thickness, same weight! Uniform drones who’ll continue to be compliant 21st Century minions.

Education is thrashing about furiously trying to meet the demands of Government who increasingly ask for statistics, data and more statistics. It is they who are wringing the curriculum they enforce us to teach dry of creativity, innovation or individuality. It is they who are squeezing the metaphorical life out of philosophical and cultural thought. It is they who are murdering social responsibility and collective thought. It is they who are drowning us in the weight of administration and red tape that we barely have time to think let alone design creative lessons that stimulate and challenge those we teach.

2014-07-06 10.17.40Making a difference

I want to serve in some way.

My vision is to use my skills to offer support to my colleagues, those heroes, yes heroes and heroines who tirelessly continue, like myself to go in every day because of love.

 

  • We love the children we teach.
  • Who go in every day so every one of our students, your children can discover, see and believe in the gifts they bring to the world.
  • Who go in every day and believe
  • Who do this despite criticism, blame, under-payment & under-financing of the institutions in which we work.

We should always A C C T

support-205187_150My service will take the form of supporting my fellow Teaching Leaders and professionals so that they can Lead & Teach through their Authenticity, Courage, Creativity & Trust. It is these qualities that I believe contributed to my success as an Educator and Education Leader and it is these qualities that create excellence in each of us if we give ourselves permission to bring these qualities into our work.

As an Educational professional working with my organisation my intention is for you to gain insight into your core values find the courage to lead and work operating with these fundamentals as your base. You will learn to understand your own gifts and find the courage to Lead and Teach from a place of greater authenticity. When you do this you create deeper connections both with colleagues and pupils. Deeper connections lead to communities based on trust. In such an environment EVERYONE succeeds, EVERYONE thrives.

My new Baby:

rowanoakovallogofinal

At RowanOak Consulting

Our mission is simple. We aim to create and support today’s leaders to lead powerfully, to lead with integrity & to lead authentically.

We will support you as an individual so you have a greater understanding of  and can lead yourselves. In turn you will become more effective, leaders of the groups, communities and organisations you serve and lead. You will be supported so that you can create a set of values that serve the whole and develop a leadership strategy that has been designed in & fosters trust Between you & your team members.

We will support you so you can govern with the good of all concerned as well as ensure that your cultural currency and decision-making are focused on satisfying the needs of the collective and not that of individual self-interest.

Our aim is to give, you, today’s leaders with the tools necessary to lead successfully, lead authentically and to lead for the common good.

We commit to guiding & supporting you, so that you are able to create cultures that are value based; cultures in which there is a shared commitment to supporting the needs of the collective, the needs of the community & the Global need.

Hi-jacked!

angel-645591_1280It is an honour and a privilege to support those Teachers, Education professionals and Teaching Leaders who want to positive value based change, whether it be in your Career, your Department or your school and do so in a way that enables you to bring your truth and talents to your work.

It would seem that I’ve hi-jacked my post today and it’s become and homage to teachers (which was not my intention), however I’m not disappointed. Sometimes things just happen organically and you have to ‘flow’ with them.

If you are a teacher, if you work in Education, if you know of any teachers or teaching Leaders, Please forward today’s post to them so they know that they are appreciated  & loved for the work that they do.

Blissings & Much Love

Have a wonderful Easter Day

Insightful Angel

For a powerful conversation re: how I can best support you please feel free to comment via today’s post and please leave an email address for a reply.

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What it means to be your mother

Happy Sunday all,

What it means to be your mother

roses-66527_1280It’s mothering Sunday in the UK and although I was originally going to talk on another topic today, I guess as the energy of the day is predominantly about appreciation for our mothers. I’ve decided that it would be a good thing and an appropriate thing for me to reflect on this area of my life as it colours every facet of every decision I make, every action I take and every word I speak. All are defined by the fact that I am a mother.

 manuscript-203465_1280A personal note

It occurred to me though that rather than define motherhood universally and discuss it from a distant, third-person perspective, I’d prefer to write a more personal note to my children and tell them what it means to me and has meant to be their mother. If what I have to say here resonates with you feel free to plagarise my words and let your own children know what they and being a mother to them means to you.

Where to start?

As a dear friend of mine always says…

’Indeed!’

Where do I start?

To Ella, Jake & Lily…

Being your mother has been THE most amazing, challenging, frightening, exhausting, exhilarating, hilarious, frustrating, heartbreaking poignant and beautiful journey I have undertaken.

wooden-boat-258953_150From the very beginning, being your mother meant being the best example of the values I hold to be true so that you could emulate them. I have always been determined to ‘walk my walk’ and not just ‘talk the talk.’ It is vital to me that I ‘show you how.’ The thing I strive for the most, is to one day have you three look at me with pride and say ‘That’s my mum…isn’t she amazing?’ You see your approval means the world to me. To know that the people I brought into the world acknowledge that I did all I could and they’re OK is all I wish for.

pregnancy-466129_1280The pleasure and the pain

From the moment each of you made the fluttering inside my womb, creating the feeling of nervousness and butterflies, the feeling that said ‘I’m here and I’ll see you soon’ to the moment you were placed across my breast and in my arms and until I leave this earthly plane you will receive nothing but my undying love and unconditional acceptance.

Being a mother is fraught with contradictions and expectations of what we are and should be. I have had to be strong and gentle, critical yet supportive, friend but at the same time mentor and guide, we’re cast as Madonnas, perfect and untouchable, yet we’re expected to be relate-able and ordinary at the same time.

In the beginningmother-429158_1280

In the beginning what it means to be your mother meant willing myself back from total and complete exhaustion and with you Lily potential death as I shook and trembled after giving birth. My body so truamatised it threatened to go into shock and the midwife and doctor rushing to do what they needed to avoid me fitting and slipping into unconsciousness. I was unable to hold you in your first few minutes of life because being a mother then meant maintaining my own.

What it means to be your mother…

It means becoming a willing vessel from which you get your source of life. It means for at least a year, you used my body so yours could be sustained, maintained and thrive, regardless of energy, or nourishment, or sleep or wellbeing every calorie or vitamin my body possessed became yours…

2014-04-29 18.46.39It means I got to marvel at your fearlessness as each of you fought to ‘get on with life’ and crawl, walk, read, feed yourselves say your first word, hold a pencil, make friends I was grateful to get to see all these firsts. The desire and determination to move forward you showed, despite falling down so so many times taught me perseverance.

From you I learnt to laugh more and be more, iron less and sing more. From you I learnt to give myself permission to be ‘authentically me,’ I had to if I wanted you to learn how to be that for you too.

What it means to be your mother…

It means I got to comfort you when you were sad or the others were mean to you or left you out. I got to remind you how amazing you are and to hug you. It means I cheered from the sidelines (too loudly for you Jake I know!) of Netball and football matches with hot flasks and sandwiches in biting gales and with wet, soggy feet, but nevertheless feel my chest swell with immense pride at your efforts, win or lose.

girls-204323_150It means accepting your right to independence and that you don’t always need me. Making sure you didn’t see how sad I was that you no longer wanted to kiss me before you ran into school, or to have me drop you off, but go it alone on the bus…but at the same time being relieved and proud because it meant you were OK… you were finding your feet and becoming the wonderful you that you are today.

What it means to be your mother…

It means enduring your hatred when I wouldn’t let you do what you wanted to do. It means I had to be resolute, knowing that my duty to you was to do my best for you, do what’s right and that my obligation is to be your guide and that means I can’t always be your best friend.

heart-297313_150It means enduring the humiliation of having to receive a hand out in order to eat and having my heart pierced with Ice and break in to million tiny pieces as you look at me in disgust.

It means surviving… surviving so I could be some kind of a mother, knowing that no matter what you needed a mother, needed ME to be your mother, when it becomes life-threatening to mother you in the same space as you.

It means making choices… choices which mean either outcome is unbearable to contemplate, yet still having to make that choice and making one that you think will benefit your children the most, regardless of the outcome for myself.

What it means to be your mother

It means suffering the anguish of not being able to create holiday memories with you. It means being maligned and criticised and it means swallowing the painful lump of shame as potentially my children and others look at me and think “She’s obviously a bad mother!” without any knowledge of the reality..

There’s so much more I could say, so many examples of what it means to be your mother but I think for the sake of brevity I had best leave it here.

coast-631925_1280What it means to be your mother…

What it means to be your mother is to hold undying and unconditional love in my heart and mind for each of you until the breath leaves my body. It means I will always be your fiercest champion and tireless support.

It means I will advise you and encourage you to always do the right things even though there may be an easier way. It means being the best example of what it means to be human that I can be and to persist in this example for you no matter the consequence. It means being the template from which you fashion your suit, it means being the footsteps that went before and guiding you with a steady firm hand, but knowing when to let you go.

 In closing…

love-544408_1280It means learning to surrender my ego or needs and to learn to trust…both myself and my life’s process and in so doing come to learnt to trust the same thing for you. It means I was fearless when the reality was I was fearful. I means I had to learn to strike a balance between being lax and pleasing you for fear you wouldn’t like me anymore and setting boundaries and limits…firmly and I hope always with love, so that you could develop strong and straight

It means I did this and will continue to do this regardless of whether or not we see each other, whether or not you choose to talk to me, whether to not you think I did my best, whether or not you approve of my life choices, whether or not I’m rich enough, or pretty enough or whatever enough you think you need me to be for your approval.

It means that I love you

 It means I am your Mother

Blissings and much love always

 Ma x

Unity is the Key

Happy Sunday All

cropped-cropped-IMG_0348.jpgOne Family under the Sun

As you’ve come to know me through my writing here in this blog, you’ll have realised that I have a resolute faith in the infinite potential we have as human beings. You know I believe unity is the key to us achieving lives filled with service, support and love for one another and the creatures we live alongside.

You will have gathered that I believe we are powerful, light and deserve abundance and that this is achievable for all. You’ve come to understand that my conviction is firm in the knowledge that we are all deserving of this abundant life, but most of all, you will have learned that through my intuition and through the lessons I have learnt in life, that I have an absolute and unwavering belief that we are ONE human family.

Unity is the Keytrust-450352_1280

Yesterday I was privileged to attend an event which exemplified my long held beliefs.

This event was proudly hosted in my home town of Leeds, England. At this event the power and beauty of unity was perfectly demonstrated. Afrika Bambaataa, the ‘Godfather’ of Hip Hop graced my home town with his presence and as such, Leeds City Museum became a hub of love, acceptance, fun and peace for all.

The event was a powerful reminder that I am on the right path, that WE as a human family can come together for the betterment of us all and that ultimately ‘Love is all you need.’

I saw mothers, fathers, grandparents; aunties, uncles, children and grandchildren; melanin tinted hues of Ebony, Cocoa, Coffee, Toffee,Vanilla, White Chocolate and Cream; Solicitors, musicians, activists, teachers; Djs, Home-makers, B-Boys, B-Girls & Preachers; Photographers, writers, security guards & cleaners come together to pay homage. They came to reminisce, to sing; to laugh, to dance and show love and it was a beautiful, beautiful thing…

To witness this real-life demonstration, the living embodiment, that unity is the key to creating a society and a world that supports, loves & is of benefit to us all.

Old SkoolOld skool trainer

Through the unifying force that is music and in particular Hip Hop, we were schooled yesterday in how this musical genre in particular, brings unity hope, joy and change to individuals and communities.

Those of you in the know will be aware that the ‘old skool’ Hip Hop originated by the ‘Father,’ Kool Herc and the great ‘Godfather’ himself, who created the name ‘Hip Hop,’ Afrika Bamabaataa, saw their music as a force for unity and positive social change.

I remember in my younger days, just before babies, being shocked, moved and galvanised by the call to action in Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power,’ and relating to the feelings of oppression and fatalism expressed in ‘Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s’ The Message. Later on I was empowered by Queen Latifah’s U.N.I.T.Y and amused rightly or wrongly by the overt and cheeky ‘Salt N Pepa.’

Back in the day

I was reminded how much fun this thing called ‘Hip Hop’ is.

It reminded me and the likes of me who, if I’m honest skirted on the fringes of the movement, (in between having babies) why I no longer listen to it.

Today’s expression of Hip Hop, with it’s mysogyny, separatism, negativity, focus on money, violence ‘bling’ and ‘Gangsta’ attitude is so far removed from the original message the Hip Hop originals formulated ‘back in the day.’

The most deeply moving aspect of the day was the dedication to the movement and it’s core message of love and unity that these, now middle aged men and women were still passionately expressing, as well as being surrounded by cross-generational, cross-cultural and religious conversation and laughter. You couldn’t help but be drawn in by the love and acceptance so clearly felt in that auditorium.

Deeply movedSad-Face

We see the influence of Hip Hop everywhere these days and casually take it for granted. From TV advertisements for major retailers like Argos (check out this year’s Christmas advertisement) to the Evian Roller Babies campaign. This has the effect of diluting the message, so we lose the true essence of what the movement was about. Once again the media machine takes a form that was liberating, from the people and of the people to absorb it, transform it and spew it out into a message of commercialism.

A media opiate numbing us to the fact that our freedoms are being eroded and our lives even further constricted.

However, yesterday was an oasis of hope that those of us who believe we are more alike than different, that love unifies; it showed us we are not alone. Showed us that there are like-minded individuals using whatever medium is best suited to their expression of love out there, doing their ‘thang.’ Hip Hop is just one of those forms of expression, seek out the ones that best suit you and keep the message alive.

I was deeply moved by a video by and organisation called ‘Hip Hop4Hope’ who are enriching the lives of poor children in Manilla in the Philippines through the medium of Hip Hop and it’s message of Love and Unity. Take a look and support them and whomever you feel best express truth and love.

Working together

Let’s remind ourselves that we are here to love and support one another.

To work together for the furtherance of peace, love and unity.

I have to say a massive ‘Thank you.’ to Afrika Bambaataa for being the example and tireless advocate of these sentiments for over 40 years; To Zulu ‘King’ Monk for being the driver and organiser of the event, to Emma Walker for her tireless determination to see the project come to fruition and her indomitable spirit and a massive thank you to The Universal Zulu Nation UK and all those who did a wonderful job giving this ‘old gal’ a well needed shot in the arm of community loving, for reminding me just what ‘FUN’ is and re-affirming that whatever medium you choose, whoever you are or wherever you are all we need to remember is that

Unity is the Key!

Peace…

Much love and blessings

Insightful Angel

 

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Self-love

Happy Sunday all,

I don’t know about you, but being able to really feel in love with who I am, to truly cultivate self-love has at times been one of my biggest challenges in life.

2014-07-19 15.00.45From our conversations about ourselves and our actions towards ourselves and others, and when I stop and listen to the language we use about ourselves and others its obvious too that many, many of us find that to love ourselves, to honour the unique gifts we have, to be able to look into the mirror and say out loud, yes, out loud, ‘I love you,’ the most challenging action to do.

As we navigate our way through our experience of life we sometimes and in some cases, often ignore the lessons we receive that are tapping us on the shoulder and reminding us that we are responsible for caring for ourselves first, before all else and that what we just did/said/thought was not an act of self-love.

‘to thine own self be true.’

In order to have successful relationships with others we need to first of all have a successful relationship with ourselves. To really know and understand who you are and what matters to you. However this process takes time. We uncover the pieces of the puzzle one by one and together they then form the complete puzzle and the picture starts to make sense.

Who am I?2014-07-17 18.10.17

Seemingly, this is a simple question, but it is one of the hardest to answer. The answer needs to be one which is true for who you are right here and now. Keep quizzing yourself with this question, take a week, take two. It’s not something you will answer overnight, but if you’re determined to improve your perception of yourself and really step into the space of self-love you need to be honest.

What are the positive wonderful qualities you bring to the world and to your relationships? make a list of at least ten but ideally twenty plus. You’d be surprised how many of my students are unable to create a list of even ten qualities they really like about themselves when I ask them to do this.

You cannot begin to imagine how deeply saddened I am every time I do this. But I do it because it plants a seed and creates a realisation within them… that ‘self-love’ is the path to learning how to love others.

How can I expect to find and accept the love of another if even I can’t allow myself the space within to love ME? 

I have always held an intuitive belief. It’s one which my life experience has since taught me is true for all of us and that is that we all crave connection and ‘to be loved completely for who we are.’ That process starts with ourselves, so we need to look to at the qualities we feel we’d like to improve. However this list is restricted to two or three (for now). You see you need to be in a space where you can accept and love ALL OF YOU not just the bits you think others find pleasing or acceptable?

Can you look at those parts of you that are a ‘work in progress’ and love them too?

But, don’t be too hard on yourself, remember these qualities are often the ones that make us relatable and remind ourselves and others that we are human, we are mortal, we are fallible and that we are on a journey in the same way that they are. Most people find perfectionism really hard to connect with or relate to!

Recipe for Self-Love – (Five steps to steps to acceptance).

  1. flower-22656_150Be humble – Learn that you are not the ‘world’s expert on everything.’ Being humble not only makes it easier for others to relate to you, but you may actually learn something from listening. Setting yourself up as the ‘all-knowing’ oracle sets up a fear of failure and worry that you are responsible for everyone else’s woes. We are on our own path, but sharing the journey nevertheless. Being a ‘know-it-all.’ will not only make you tired, but distances you from relating to others ideas and points of view. Being humble shows you acknowledge that others’ stories, their journey, lessons  and experience are of value and in so doing you acknowledge and respect the importance of your own.
  2. blue-lotus-215460_150 Be honest – Being honest tells the world and yourself you are reliable. Your word is your bond. Being honest isn’t about denigrating or pulling down another in a brutal fashion. It’s about speaking and relating in an open but empathetic way, in a way that shows you are respecting the needs and intelligence of others. Honesty is an everyday practise its ordinary. It’s the act of not taking pens from the work stationery store cupboard ‘because they have loads of them and won’t miss one,’ It’s leaving the right change, it’s knowing even if others are not acting in integrity you are. This allows you to feel good inside and therefore makes it easier to find your way to self-love.margarite-74886_640
  3. Change the record  – Quieten the negative voice in your head by noticing when you tell yourself the self depreciating ‘stuff’ that keeps you locked in a prison of self-doubt. Let me ask you this, if a dear friend came to see you and asked you what you thought of them, what language would you use. Would you say ‘You’re too fat!’ ‘You talk too much!’ ‘You’re stupid?’ So why do you say it to yourself, Should you not be your own ‘best friend?’ notice what you say to yourself, catch yourself and then change the language into language you might use if you were talking to that friend. ‘I’m too fat –   ‘If you create a regular routine and do some light exercise, I’m sure I’ll see improvements in my fitness level.’ OR ‘I’m so stupid – If I re-read my notes then I’m more likely to understand the information presented.’
  4. heart-63974_150Treat yourself – How do you expect to graciously accept the compliments and gifts of your friends and loved ones if you don’t allow you to give to you? Allow yourself to enjoy life. Give yourself permission to simply experience joy and pleasure. Life isn’t about misery and suffering. We are here for a brief moment in time, so make the most of it. Treat yourself to that bubble bath, that concert or a day off on the sofa reading all day and no housework. Go out and let your hair down, eat the food you really like and make it a regular occurrence. How you treat yourself is how you will feel about yourself and ultimately how you allow others to treat you.beach-51956_150
  5. Give yourself a break! – Use the times when you were less than your best self as learning opportunities… Lessons. Experiences that you use to refine your choices and be the better person you are striving to be. There’s no use chastising yourself and making yourself feel worse. If you ‘drop the ball,’ occasionally. Decide if there’s a way to make amends, do so and then try to ‘do’ and ‘be’ better the next time.

Remember those that know better DO better!

Anais Nin once said:  “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. That is a kind of death.”

Allow yourself to change and grow accept that you will change.

We are here on a journey and so loving yourself is a continuous process not an end point or destination.

Bliss-ings 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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