Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The journey to my true self ..

Life is getting interesting, for sure. I feel that the things that have happened for me this year - making lots of new connections, attending great events, taking up yoga - have been some sort of preparation for diving deeper into more of the crap that has held me back from living fully.

What I'm starting to realise .. which will likely come to the fore more and more .. is that, whatever issue is coming to the surface, the place to start is LOVE. Loving all the parts of you. And loving the beautiful being that you truly are. Everything really does start with you. Whatever your external situation, whatever your relationship status or bank balance - there is always the possibility of going within. And knowing that, at this moment, YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Note - this does not negate the necessity to face trauma if you are going to truly heal. However many times you affirm 'I am enough', this won't resolve trauma on its own. But also, keeping yourself down with negative affirmations and self-hate isn't a good idea.

There will be situations that come up to teach you about yourself, your behaviour and how you react. I have had one come up this week. What it's showed me is that I have some way to go in terms of how I react when I get triggered, but also that I need to speak when something happens that I feel is not acceptable. Spirituality is not about being a fluffy bunny or a doormat - but the ultimate journey is towards being peaceful within yourself so that, whatever others think or say about you, you will not react with misplaced anger.

Every time you get triggered, it reveals a part of YOU - and regardless of whether someone else's actions are right or wrong, the most important thing from your perspective is how YOU deal with it. And it is likely that, if you allow it, these triggers will teach you something.

I'm not perfect. I have had a shit load of shit to deal with. Whatever I say either in my writing, or live videos, doesn't mean I have my shit sorted. Far from it. It's an ongoing journey. Which will no doubt bring some interesting twists and turns in the coming months.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

This Law of Attraction stuff .. what you focus on grows

The Law of Attraction has got a bad rap in recent years. In some ways, quite justifiably. How The Secret ever became so popular, I am not quite sure (although I will say that the follow up to that, The Power, is good). The problem with a lot of the teachings is that they were over simplified and glossed over the fact that, to get the Law of Attraction to work for you, you need to deal with your own crap first - even one of the contributors to The Secret alluded to this. It isn't just a case of 'change your thoughts, change your life'. If it was as simple as some people make it sound, there would be a lot more millionaires now 😂

However, there is some truth in the Law of Attraction, as far as I am concerned. One thing I do believe is that your predominant focus will largely become your reality. Whether you're focusing on what you want or what you don't want, the thing you're focusing on is what will show up in your life. And the majority of people are more focused on what they don't want. Let's take an obvious example - relationships. Often, if you ask someone what they want in a partner, they'll say something they don't want them to be. I once had someone tell me they wanted someone who 'isn't dodgy' (or something similar). Do you think that they're likely to attract a good partner? Me neither. Because the focus is on 'dodgy' (due probably to past relationships and expectations) this person won't attract a fulfilling relationship until they change their thinking.

However - if your experience is anything like mine, changing your thoughts isn't a cakewalk. In fact, it's one of the most difficult things to do. Our subconscious beliefs are greatly influenced by our childhood, and most people - in the UK at least - are conditioned to NOT like themselves. Many people, perhaps most people, perhaps all people - end up with deep seated thought patterns that keep them stuck. And The Law of Attraction seems to work on the level of our subconscious beliefs; the ones that run our lives even if we're not aware of them.

Perhaps the core belief that people pick up in childhood is 'I'm not enough'. This results in a sense of lack which can reflect outwardly in so many ways - particularly in love and money. Also, some people might try to compensate for a deep feeling of lack by working extremely hard and maybe being very 'successful' and earning plenty of money - but still feeling deeply unhappy in the process. Even if we do have this sense of lack, there is likely to be at least SOMETHING that we feel confident with - for me it's writing and doing live videos - and for some, it might be their work.

What I'm coming to realise is that the antidote to practically any issue is loving yourself and coming to a sense of greater peace within yourself. This does not necessarily mean that your thoughts will automatically change overnight and that you won't have any struggles. Indeed, when we resolve to changing our lives, the universe often shows you the places where you are not in alignment with yourself.

I know that my focus is often automatically still on the things I don't have, and the things I struggle with. And I do believe that this reflects in my outer circumstances. The solution for this is not to try and get rid of it or to think that you're doing something wrong. These feelings and emotions are like children that want your attention, and if we stay still enough, we might be able to notice what messages these 'unwanted' things have for us.

The Law of Attraction isn't a simple believe that you'll have lots of money and it will come. It's more about a big shift in mindset and, of course, taking action when necessary.

Just my two cents.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The gap between the mind and the higher self

One of my concerns within the spiritual and self-help fields is that the process of re-training our thoughts and beliefs can be made to sound a bit more simple than it actually is.

You know what I mean - the 'change your thoughts, change your life' mentality. Now, it's actually true that if we change our thoughts, our life does change - however, sometimes our human tendencies and experiences can get in the way of us living from the higher aspect of ourselves.

Let's take a principle that I have heard a lot recently .. and maybe life is trying to tell me something.
'Act as if you already have it (that thing you desire).' This is something I find very difficult, as I have lived in a semi-permanent state of NOT having enough since childhood .. money, love, friendship. And this sense of lack is something that visits me frequently. My outer circumstances sometimes scream at me too, especially when I spend a lot of time on my own. I sometimes wonder how I can shift my frequency to believing I already have something, or indeed if I can actually do it at all.

And, of course, it can make you feel bad if you are not in a positive state of mind - because part of you knows that your beliefs are keeping you stuck to an extent. You might feel that you're not doing that well on the spiritual journey.

Sometimes there seems a bit of a gap .. actually a big gap .. between our human side and subconscious beliefs; and the higher self which is unconditional love. I have heard so many different theories on how to live life, and sometimes it can feel like we have tried almost everything and still end up defaulting back to our old set of beliefs that are often rooted in trauma and pain.

So, I don't have any totally concrete answers for this predicament, but here is what I know so far.
1) Sometimes we don't have all the answers for a particular situation, and that is okay. We might not know how to shift certain beliefs at this very moment.
2) The 'gap' that I speak about might be facing pain that we need to face in order to begin to function from our higher self. Generally, there aren't many significant changes without challenges.
3) We are not separate from any part of ourselves. We all have a human side, and a spirit side (the higher self).
4) It might take time and effort to really shift our beliefs. Again, this is okay.
5) Allow your inner child to express him/herself. Often, we shut this child down.
6) Know that other people face the same or similar things. It's easy to think that others have their shit sorted, but this is often not the case.
7) Be willing to go deep and be willing to change your perception of yourself ..

Because ultimately, this journey is all about yourself. Forget putting everyone else first and neglecting your own needs, this is just another ploy of the ego and is rooted in low self worth and the desire to look good. You are the central theme of your life journey, and the relationship you have with yourself is the most important.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

2018 has been a year of huge change and growth

I don't write too many blog posts nowadays. Reasons being: I kind of feel that blogging is going a little bit out of fashion. This may be just my perception as I don't read blogs as much as I used to - but, at this moment, live Facebook videos are my preferred form of communication. Plus I write enough stuff on Facebook and am working on some other stuff.

However, it's good to visit this slightly neglected blog, once in a while - regardless of how many people read it. So today I want to talk about the shift in myself that has been taking place - and I know many others have been in the same boat.

I have been on the 'spiritual' journey for a few years now, but it's only really this year that I've started to break out of extensive thought patterns, resistance and blocks that were rooted in much pain and trauma. I was living from my head for a long time; there were issues deep down that I was not ready to deal with. And I don't feel we can judge people for being closed down - we really don't know what someone has been through, what their childhood experiences were, or how badly hurt they've been. It can take a heck of a long time for someone to open up, depending on various factors. But what is essential is that someone has at least a degree of willingness to face their demons and open their heart, even if they have a lot of resistance. Which, fortunately, I always had.

What I mean by resistance is basically saying 'no' to opening your heart or, in more simple terms, saying 'no' to the present moment or thinking that what is happening right now should be different; thinking that you 'should' have had something by now; resistance is fighting against a particular situation in your life. And, as I know well by now, you cannot get rid of a situation by fighting against it. Our minds will always try and go to work against an unwanted or painful emotion by trying to fight it and/or get rid of it. This will never work - if we don't deal with something, it might temporarily get pushed to the background, but will come back to bite you at some point.

I went to some retreats last year which helped me to open my heart and had a very profound healing from an incredible guy named Sam Dossa (I would highly recommend him to anyone) who was able to hold space for me in a way not many people could have. However, it has been this year that I've really started to shift my consciousness. The two things that have made the biggest difference are (a) establishing a regular yoga practice and (b) changing my friendship circles.
I have meditated on and off over the years, and I still do. But meditation has never had quite the impact on me that yoga has. Fortunately, I have had a brilliant yoga teacher, Sharon Calvert (if you're anywhere near Manchester, do yourself a favour and check out her social enterprise called Heaven on Earth), and I have videos I can use to do yoga every day (except when I forget to bring my yoga mat when going away .. oops). There's no doubt that yoga has helped me become more grounded and helped me to open my heart. Once you really find the benefits of yoga for yourself .. you become hooked. It's more than moving your body.
Changing my friendship circles was vital. If you want to really evolve on the spiritual path, your primary friendships must be with people that are on the same path. That's not to say that you can't keep old friendships, but it's fairly likely that some or most old friendships will fall away or not be the same as what they were, as you grow. There is a massive spiritual community in Manchester and so much going on there, and I have tried to connect with different groups and people - including going to Heaven on Earth (mentioned in the above paragraph). You can't put a price on connecting with like minded people. I feel like I have found my tribe in Manchester, and for now, I need to be near enough to there. I am still in Huddersfield for now, which isn't always ideal but it's okay.

The biggest life lesson for me was and is becoming happier within myself. For years and years, I have struggled with 'needing' a relationship but also having fears of intimacy. This has not been an easy thing to face, at all. I was badly rejected as a child and was/am very sensitive, so I felt unlovable and was too scared to initiate contact with women due to fear of rejection. I had a lot of energy blocks in this area and certainly didn't love myself. We all have an inner child and most of us have wounds and issues that stem from childhood. It is so important to listen to what this inner child has to say to us, and we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. And - even though it seems a bit of a cliche to say 'allow your emotions and pain to be felt' .. it's actually true. It is the only way to unlock the blockages that prevent us from living our best life. The pain and fears we have can seem absolutely terrifying .. to the extent that we feel that we might die if we feel them to their fullest .. which is why we tend to push pain away. But the fears will not annihilate us. It will probably be necessary to get support or therapy to face certain things - and you have to trust yourself to make the right decision on this.

Anyway, I know that there will be many more changes on the horizon. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

'Divine timing'

This phrase is - without doubt - something of a cliche in spiritual circles. And to be honest, I am still slightly inconclusive as to whether things are 'as they are meant to be' (in terms of what lessons we are meant to learn in life) or whether this divine timing thing could be construed as a load of bollocks. But I am more inclined towards the first point of view.

One thing I do know - is that if I try and force things to happen or even if I try and force myself to change my thinking, it just doesn't work. Maybe some people are different, but I know that I have to be patient with myself sometimes. Very patient.

Another thing I know is that the life journey I am on is primarily an inner journey. Life has presented and continues to present a set of outward circumstances and challenges - some of which can indeed be very frustrating at times, not to mention emotionally draining. And when there are desires that are unfulfilled - which practically everyone has - it can be a huge lesson in patience.

When you have waited SO long for a change in fortunes, for your way of thinking to shift - and wonder how you can possibly have any more patience left - the only practical solution - at least for me - is to live in the present as much as you can, and have some sort of practice or ritual that really helps to keep you grounded. For me it is yoga. I know I bang on about yoga all the time, but the difference it has made to my life is absolutely mahoooooosive.

And if you are an advocate of this divine timing thing, then trust is so important. Even if you think divine timing is nonsense, trusting the process of life is certainly a good idea. We all come with our unique set of experiences, trauma, ancestral patterns, (possibly) past lives and whatever else. Not everyone is on the same footing - some people do have harder stuff to overcome than others - anyone who thinks otherwise probably hasn't had serious shit happen to them. But the crux of the matter - no matter how difficult your 'stuff' may be - is that you have to be willing to face it. ALL of it. Not all straight away - that would be too much - but when you sign up to the spiritual journey, it will leave no stone unturned in making you deal with your crap.

And trusting divine timing, to me, is little more than doing the best you can - whether that means taking massive action or laying low for a little while. The inner state - the subconscious mind and beliefs that run our lives - are really the central point of our lives. It is so easy to focus on what our lives are like externally - ie our bank account, our job, our relationship status, our relationship with our families - and perhaps even easier to blame something outside of ourselves (heaven knows I've done this a lot) - and that's not to say that everything in life is our fault (as some of the law of attraction teachings sometimes seem to imply) - but it is important that we face however we feel about what happens to us - otherwise we stay stuck.

Also, there is a large part of us that wants to stay in control of things - and trusting that things are in 'divine timing' is going to require a realisation that sometimes, things really don't always happen in the time we want, or even in the way we want. Maybe, just maybe, divine timing is about trusting life, and trusting ourselves. And taking the best action we can to draw in the things we want.

Courtesy of The time is always NOW.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Dealing with the negative mind stuff

There are different schools of thought as to how to deal with the times where Negative Nelly is running the show. The immediately obvious ones are:

1) Stay positive, stay strong, take action
2) Allow and embrace the difficult parts
3) Pretend that you're okay when you're not
4) Wallow in self pity

My opinion is that the right balance - for me at least - is somewhere between the first two. But, also, it's important to remember that what works for one might not work for another. Possibly the most common 'method' used - in a society which falls pitifully short in knowing how to deal with emotional health - is number 3. Trying to be positive when you feel like shit just doesn't work, at least not in the long run, and really it's an escape method from pain. I have never really understood how depressed and anxious people are able to conceal their pain from the world, and it is admirable to an extent, but ultimately it's a temporary reprieve at best. If you don't face the difficult stuff head on, it will come back to bite you at some point. How many of us come up against the same situation(s) again and again?

Number 4 isn't helpful either, although it's very tempting at times. When feelings get really strong, they can take us over if we let them, and we can be sucked in to the extremely negative, 'woe is me' story.

The first two are more helpful. By 'staying positive', I don't mean fight against negative feelings. Life is a mixture of yin and yang, both positive and negative emotions come and go. It's more a case of having an open heart and being in the present moment. Allowing and embracing the 'negative' stuff - there is a fine line between this and getting into self pity mode. We all have stories and pain that have run our lives - and if we get too much into our heads, these stories will go round like a loop. Our minds are incessantly trying to solve problems and keep us safe, but ultimately they perpetuate these problems and keep us small and in our comfort zones. We need to get out of our heads and into a place where we become the 'observer' of our thoughts, without trying to change them or identify ourselves in them. Managing our minds is definitely not easy, as they never seem to stop!

Conversely, ignoring the stuff that we haven't yet fully faced doesn't necessarily work either. We all have subconscious beliefs and triggers that have built up inside us as a result of past trauma - and sorry, but 'living in the present moment' isn't going to resolve this on its own. It takes courage and self-awareness to face these things, and it isn't an overnight journey.

We all have different points of pain and different struggles and we are all at different points in our journey. True self mastery is - to me - a state of contentment and peace independent of circumstances. I do believe that as the consciousness of humanity continues to shift, that many more people will get to that place - although it's not actually a place to 'get to'. Right now, the important thing for me personally is to live more from my heart and to do more inner work. There was undoubtedly some deep trauma that got embedded into my psyche, and it's not been easy to face my demons. But it IS possible.

One love <3

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Finding my purpose - Part 2 - money

Along with love, my other big external struggle has been money. And it's something we need to talk about more. Why it is such a taboo subject, I am not entirely sure.

In a perfect world, we certainly wouldn't have the monetary system of today, and the greedy oilgarchs have a lot to answer for. And the poverty in the world is unacceptable. This cannot really be argued.

However, in the UK - which is still, really, one of the richest countries in the world - we have some very strange attitudes towards money. Many people do the lottery in the hope that this will be their rescue ticket from a life of working in a job that they don't enjoy (and, of course, many lottery winners lose their money) - and yet, there is a lot of resentment towards people who are rich. And don't even get me started on people sounding like they pay for everything and everybody with their taxes .. I have never understood why people get so het up about taxpayers money.

It is hardly surprising that many people are struggling financially, when you also add on the increased cost of living, people having kids when they are not particularly financially well off, more people having lost jobs over the last ten years and the general attitude of 'that's just how life is'.

Well, fuck 'that's just how life is'. I don't want that. There has to be more than the mundane existence that many people settle for.

However, I don't believe that if you're struggling financially, that you're doing anything wrong. Sometimes, part of our life experience may involve financial challenges - which can build character as well as help you to spend your money more wisely. It may not be part of everyone's life purpose to make lots of money. The real issue can be our mindset around money.

Before I expand on this further, I want to talk briefly about my own life experiences around money. A sense of lack internally has basically been reflected in my money experiences. There have been times when things have been a bit hairy .. and it has felt like an issue that is difficult to shift. Whether it's a past life issue or something in my karma .. who knows. There has been like an internal split where part of me knows there's something more but part of me does not know how to get out of the situation I have been in. I have had low paid jobs for a number of years.

I don't feel like money issues can be resolved overnight. And you have to start from where you are, not where you wish you were. It can seem overwhelming to try and get out of your situation.

One step at a time, keep going, is my motto. I have had some financial blessings along the way which have been a bit of a breakthrough. I have also invested money in my own personal development and therapy. It's so easy to say 'I can't afford it' which often is another way of saying 'It's not one of my priorities' - but this perpetuates the feeling of lack. Many of us have a bad relationship with money and our conditioning has not helped. Phrases like 'money doesn't grow on trees' are commonly repeated to us as children.

Many parents want their children to have a job which pays good money, a 'prestigious' job if you like - and get angry if their offspring follow their passions. I haven't quite mastered the 'follow your passions' thing yet, but that is okay right now. With me, I was never going to be successful in the corporate world - but I have for some time now been in a gap between 'reality' and where I want to be.

The first thing to master, though, is myself. And this is the fulcrum of my journey.

Photo courtesy of This Is Money

The journey to my true self ..

Life is getting interesting, for sure. I feel that the things that have happened for me this year - making lots of new connections, attendin...