Ending Another Challenge With Success

Today is the ending of my latest Inspired 2 Write challenge on Facebook. The group has been a great place for women to find their writing voice. It’s also been a place for me to do more writing.

Because we were ending I asked everyone to write about their successes. That’s something I’ve found hard to do in the past. Often due to judging myself and feeling like I hadn’t done well enough. I feel it’s a lot harder for women to be comfortable with claiming success. Not just because success is often framed as winning a competition. But often because women prefer to collaborate. So success is shared. Or attributed more easily to others. There is also an inference that women have to be modest too. No blowing of our own trumpets. It’s an old hangover of social,conditioning. But it can be very hard to change.

I have to say it’s taken me a while to be able to write or talk about my successes comfortably. Do I claim too much? Are others thinking I’m a big head? Will they think I’m boasting? Yet why should I be judgemental of my achievements? Ending another writing challenge, having written every day for 28 days in addition to my daily blog, is a great success. It’s my personal success. It’s also true that other participants enjoyed the challenge and felt the group was what they needed. Another success for me in running the group. But also a shared success for everyone who contributed. That’s what I like. Finishing a challenge can be a personal and a collaborative success.

Completing a challenge ending up with collaboration and support is fantastic. Because a challenge can easily descend into a competition.

I have been challenging myself all my life because I feel that challenges are important. It’s what gets me up and moving every day. Challenges have pushed me a long way outside my comfort zone. For that reason alone they are a great success. But they have provided so much more in my life. I have stamina developed with testing myself or being tested. My curiosity to see just what I can do is due to trials I’ve attempted. I’m not afraid to try something new. When faced with a problem I will keep on generating solutions because I’m used to working my way through challenges. And I can motivate myself even when my energy is flat as I want to complete the tasks I’ve set myself.

Alongside this I’ve learned not to compete for success. I enjoy the feeling that a true collaboration brings. Sharing the success means all of us have achieved. Being the only one getting the praise can be a lonely place. Because solo success is never really that. Everyone contributes to the successes of everyone. We offer encouragement, praise, suggestions and practical help to those who are tackling a challenge. And we love to do so. Then hopefully the same is returned when we are working at a challenge. I wish all of the people who joined Inspired 2 Write more successes. I hope that they have found enough curiosity and stamina to kept testing their writing voices. Most of all, with this ending it means I can look forward to a new beginning. Time to think about Inspired 2 Write challenge 4!

Day 518 of my blogging challengeĀ 

The Point: Passing It With Purpose

It’s very easy to say what’s the point. To see what is happening in the world and believe that there is no point to living a good life. Or any kind of meaningful life.

In conversations over the weekend I’ve been conscious of that urge we all have. There has got to be a point. Whatever we do has to have a meaning. I’ve written about this before. The human need for a purpose. Then when life swamps us it can be all to easy to loose the plot, point or purpose. And sink into despair. Looking outward at the world I might find it easy to say that all the good works people do are outweighed by all the bad things people do. Why do people of strong beliefs keep trying to make a difference? Why do I feel like I want to help and support?

That’s the point really. I believe we all want to make a difference in others lives. But I also believe that the first place we have to look is inward. How can I be peaceful to others if I’m not at peace in myself? How will I work as part of a community if I don’t recognise and embrace all the different parts of my inner community? All the different ‘me’s’ who want my attention. Even the shadow parts. Because they are there. That darker side is a part of each of us. Yet we often try to ignore it. A community embraces all opinions and feelings. A peaceful community knows that the point is live and let live. I can agree to differ with myself or my community when I find that centre of peaceful energy.

Isn’t the point that if I can create peace in the centre of my being then I can share that out to the wider world. Taking the energy of peace and using it to deal with external relationships in just the same way as I have balanced my internal reality?

That means I can get past the need for a point. It’s quite a thought. A challenge really. Does my life have to have a meaning? Isn’t it much more important to me to live an authentic life? Then I can respond to the changes of circumstances that wash over me by staying calm, fearless, secure in myself. I find that being calm, really feeling calm, removes any need for a point. That a purpose becomes a mechanism to judge myself by. A reason to be harsh or aggressive with myself when I feel that I’m not doing what I think I’m here to do. If I am unsettled inwardly I take that energy out into the world and it becomes a harsh aggressive place.

For quite a long time I have been learning to forget the point of life. Bringing myself into the moment. Doing what I feel it’s right to do at any given time. Because I find this a calm way to move through my day. Along with many others I was tired of the pressure to achieve. Beginning to use what’s the point as my daily mantra. A path I decided I didnt want to go down any longer. Manifesting calmness has taken a while. I have had to tackle a host of shadow concerns as well as the Ego mind. I still trip up from time to time. But much less often than I once did. This weekend showed me I have passed the tipping point. In a meaningful way my life has become pointless. And full of infinite possibilities for good.

I am a free agent. All I want to focus on is enjoying the calm, embracing the peace and expanding those feelings into my outer world as much as possible. It’s a purpose but not a point šŸ’œ

Day 517 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Erin’s Story: Gladys The Fairy Pays A Visit

Erin liked to play. Every day she ran outside to be in the fresh air, climb trees and find puddles to splash in.

Erin smiled at the sunshine. She smiled at the rain. She chased the wind whichever way it blew. She rolled in the leaves that fell from the trees. Danced in the snow as it reached her knees. Counted the daffodils as they bobbed their heads. And sang with the bees who flew round the flowers. Scratching in the mud she built stone castles. Gathering sticks she made fairy doors. Quietly she watched as the animals moved. She loved her place and all it’s life.

One day a brittle wind blew. People were sad and angry too. The world was suffering a major change. But no-one seemed to want to explain. Why had the bees decided to die? Where were the flowers usually so high? The animals seemed to have stolen away. The trees were weary so Erin was sad. All the wonder seemed to be turning bad. One bleak and frost afternoon Erin noticed the rising moon. She seemed to have tears in her eyes. Erin wondered if the planet was going to die.

Off to one side she saw a flash. Deep green and the green of grass. She looked across and there she stood. A tiny fairy seemingly made of wood.

Who are you Erin asked. The fairy seemed to pause in a task. Though tiny she was certainly strong. She held a garden fork with enormous prongs. I’m Gladys Giddy the fairy said. Just pretend I’m all in your head. I can’t said Erin, that would be a lie. And they’re not good I know for sure. My mum would tell me off , she’s a bit of a doer. Do the right thing she always says. Truth will out no matter what. So I’d rather not cross her. It could get hot. Gladys came closer. I’ll tell you true, the planet is suffering for the likes of you. What do you mean Erin asked. I love my planet, I really do. People don’t care said Gladys, nearly in tears. It’s been one of our biggest fears.

You stopped believing in fairy lore. You banished us from your shore. You took what you wanted. Again and again. Now the planet has acid rain. We’ve done our best to try and warn. But you would rather pretend we’ve never been born. Not me cried Erin. It wasn’t me. I didn’t ask for eye tee. For machines and products all in a row. Not for me. No, no, no. I want the trees, the flowers and grass. I want the bees and birds and ponds and frogs. I want the branches and the logs. How can I help to make it better. Does the Prime Minister need a letter? Gladys smiled. I’m glad to hear it. I saw you every day enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Remind the grown ups, if you can, that one way or another the planet will outgrow man.

Tell your children when they are small that not all fairies want man to fall. We can work together to save the planet. With love and care and kinder times all living things get better lives. Don’t forget me Gladys said, when you get your grown up head. See me in the heart of every flower. Show your grandchildren the fairy bower. Remain true because your planet needs you. In twinkle and sparkle Gladys was gone. Erin ran home to tell her mum. And every year even though now grown Erin plants wildflower seeds to honour the fairies and serve Earth’s needs.

Day 516 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Old, New, Borrowed, Blue?

It’s been a something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue day. Usually that means wedding vows and today today has certainly been about the right promises.

The old saying is about what a bride wears or carries to her wedding. It’s to reminding her of the new life she is entering and how she can be happy. Something old is about the foundations she has built already. Something new is about the hope for a good future. Borrowing something is about the support from others to help through the tough times. And something blue is about fidelity and purity. I often get blue orbs when I’m working with Energy Beings. They always seem to come in when wisdom is required. And a marriage or joining together requires a lot of wisdom to make a relationship work.

I also use this traditional British saying when I’m setting off on a new venture. I remind myself about what I’ve already achieved. And that I will be leaving some of the old stuff behind me because it’s got me to where I need to be now. Of course the new venture is what is drawing me forward. I’m ready to grow some more, expand my horizons, learn some new skills. To make it a success I will have to get the support of others. Perhaps borrow their time, energy or enthusiasm to help me do what I need to. Finally, I will need wisdom. I will have to remember that everything new has it’s ups and downs. That the secret to my success is to keep loving myself enough to let it all happen. And encourage myself that it will all turn out as it should anyway.

As I was talking to people today I found myself listening to so many ‘old, new, borrowed, blue’ statements. A great deal of change is happening. It will all sort itself out exactly as it should if we let it.

That’s what I promised myself today. I am making changes in my work. It’s time to try new things and find fresh energy. But I’m not forgetting the foundations of what I’ve already got in place. So I’m moving some of my other work into the Centre, changing what I teach and offering some services that are brand new. To do this I have borrowed the help of some amazing people. Whether it’s an encouraging word of support to me or the practical help of moving furniture and paperwork about I’ve been saying yes. I had to laugh this afternoon when I finally realised I’d moved my office into a blue room. No wonder the energy felt so good. And my brain was on fire with fresh ideas. I’m making a commitment to my spiritual business.

I am also making a commitment to myself. Showing myself that I believe in me. Placing my trust in the Guides who support me through change. Making a vow once more. To do my best to the best of my ability. Pushing the boundaries of what I do so that I can be of service in the best way I can. It’s no surprise that in the conversations today that was exactly what others were promising too. House moves, business launches, innovative products, fresh starts. All happening for wonderful reasons. Underneath shone the love of adventure and of life in each person. Along with the determination to love themselves enough to take on fresh challenges so they could grow. What a powerful reminder of how much love matters. Exactly like in a marriage or partnership!

Day 515 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Considering Life, Death and Meaning

It’s been a thought provoking day. I’ve been considering life, death and what it all might mean from several angles. Even my visit to the cinema raised issues of life and death.

One of the deepest searches that I feel we ever undertake is to discover the meaning of our lives. There is in all of us, I believe, a psychological urge to know that what we are doing has a purpose. Considering my life I know that I often look for my purpose. My mission matters. But why does it matter? As I sat in my local cinema this evening watching a live broadcast,Ā Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,Ā this theme emerged again. In front of me the actors discussed what their lives represented. They are minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who Tom Stoppard uses in his play to explore life, death and meaning. Do we achieve anything by being alive? What happens if we don’t understand what our life means? And is death all we have to look forward to? Hard questions.

Questions that have been with us for thousands of years. Earlier in the day I was considering a conversation I had just had with a grieving person. The discussion turned around what the departed loved one had or hadn’t done and why. And, of course, the grieving process. As I listened I could sense that grief had brought this person to the ‘what’s the point’ stage. Missing someone very dear to them was hurting. So it was natural for there to be anger sparking lots of difficult questions. Sometimes words won’t do. I sat quietly with this person as they spoke to themselves about the way they were feeling. Letting myself hold the silences and be patient that this was helping the person to find a meaning in all the pain. Although finding meaning is never easy when we have to do inner work.

Considering bother these experiences tonight I am struck by our resilience. Even in the times when meaning seems absent I know I trust that there is a purpose to my life.

So many of us do. We keep going. Trying our best. Like the characters in the play I play my part too. Looking ahead and hoping that it will all be clear later down the line. I find the hope to hope, so to speak. I love that about being human. No matter how small my world shrink to in size I can still hope to expand it once more. I can fight for every moment of life even if it seems that life is drifting away from me. When our sense of purpose disappears that’s when I feel we sit down waiting to die. We surrender. Yet I also appreciate how difficult it can be, in the harshest of times, to hold onto a sense of purpose. Considering that point makes me more certain that I want to help people find their own abilities.

Having the support of my Guides has been a huge factor in keeping going. Even when I lost my hope and purpose. They have continued to remind me that I have skills and abilities. That there is a mission for me to accomplish. Listening when I raged in anger or fear. Soothing when I cried many tears. Energising me when the waves of depression overwhelmed me. They have helped me to find meaning in my life even on the darkest of days. And on the lightest of days they have warmed my heart with the joy of knowing I too have meaning, purpose, a mission. I’m grateful that today was a day for considering why I’m here. It’s been a worthwhile exercise in thinking about how much I matter to me šŸ’œ

Day 514 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Floating On The Breath Of Evening

A line from a hymn has been in my head. “Floating on the breath of evening breathing in the Ā morning prayer, hear we oft the tender voices that once made our world so fair.”

It was written by James R Murray and is a Spiritualist hymn. The four simple verses are a reminder that our loved ones still live on. That we can talk to them. And sense their presence around us. This evening as I sat thinking about my day I laughed to myself. I had an empty diary so to speak. From lunchtime onwards there was nothing planned. Except of course more moving of furniture. Then something interesting happened. My day filled up. I didn’t have time to take a breath before someone else called by to the Centre. It’s what I love. Being able to pause in my plan and spend time with people. Knowing that the room is full of more people than might be imagined.

I know I’m very fortunate. I get to call all my chatting ‘work’. I’m able to stop one thing and move onto another. Because I work for myself. And also because I know that my Guides want me to listen to the people who call by. Not necessarily help. Although we ended up having some really good discussions this afternoon. But to be there in the moment really listening to whatever that person wanted to say. I know from my own experience that being listened to is very important. Mostly because we are a people who have stopped listening to each other. Looking at world events this is more clear than ever. So I do my best to listen.

Being in the moment meant that time floated by. We stepped out of the pressure to be off somewhere else ‘doing’. It was a chance to breath before going back into all the external busyness.

Siting quietly this evening I took my chance to breath once more. To step off the world for a short while. I was listening to my daughter describe her day. She has had a lot of occasions when she has been ignored. So I enjoy letting her talk herself out. In the conversation she also discussed some signs her grandmother had given her to show that the Spirit World was looking after her too. I know I’m looked after by my Mum and my loved ones. So it was really good to know that my daughter knows it too. Tonight I feel my day has been filled with Spirit. The people who called in brought their loved ones with them. And my team were there too.

It’s important to know. Especially when the peace of the Centre is potentially being disrupted. In all of the lovely afternoon events someone sent me an unkind email. There are always negative people around. People who would prefer that my voice was silent. My work unfinished. As I read it I felt my Guide, Wolf Running, place a hand on my shoulder. His voice reminded me to look at all of the washing up I had to do. That could only happen if I was doing my ‘work’. I deleted the email and sent the writer some loving energy. I know that we can all float in the loving kindness of others, Energy Beings included, if we choose to. Now I will go to bed knowing I have done my best today to be there in the right way for the people who called in. And ready to listen once again tomorrow to all the people, physical and non-physical, who wander through my door.

Day 513 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Blossom on Display: Life Awakens

I took a walk around the town today. The blossom on the trees was so beautiful. The warmer weather is stirring the plants to bring out their Spring glory. It made me think about awakening.

My life has been a series of awakenings. Like the seasons I have entered a new phase over and over again. Childhood. Teenage. Adult. Parenthood. Middle age. Each part of my life reflects a time of growth. I have put out my blooms – the fruits of my efforts to grow – and shone as best I could. Then the blossom has faded. I have retreated into a winter of reflection to begin growing again. Sometimes that winter has been harsh. But often it has been a time to rest. Then the change in energy has called me awake again. Reminded me to be ready to bloom once more.

I think of my intuitive development in the same way. A cycle of awakenings. The blossom of one growth period being overtaken by the blossom of the next. When I think about my experiences I see that each cycle of time has taught me new spiritual lessons alongside my growing abilities. I know that these go hand in hand. To shine the best Light possible, to be of use to others, I will keep going through more awakenings. It makes sense. Spirituality, with my intuition, has to be lived. I have to learn to put both into my life. To adjust my life so that both encourage more blossoms when the season is right. I feel this is where people often fall by the wayside. Looking for a quick path, or a magic awakening without understanding that life has to be lived in each moment.

It’s tempting to want a short cut. That’s why we grow things out of season in artificial conditions. We can’t wait for the blossom to arrive naturally.

I know what it feels like to wait impatiently. When I found I was clairsentient most strongly I expect all of my other senses to kick in once I had awakened. Of course it didn’t happen like that. Because I hadn’t used my senses for so long that they took a lot of awakening. So they eventually clicked in one by one. Although I am still waiting for my clairvoyance to catch up even now. I am sure in time it will blossom. That will be another awakening to look forward to. I have also found that new aspects of my life have awakened as I respond to growing spiritually. My writing for instance. And my video pieces. These are new opportunities to awaken others.

For me the purpose of blossoming is to be the best me I can be. Alongside that there is also another strand. To encourage as much growth and blossom in others that I can. I write about my journey in the hope that my challenges and solutions will be food for thought for others. Because we are all awakening. The circumstances are right for everyone to discover their own intuitive abilities. And based on them to apply some deep thought and practice to living a spiritual life. Once a connection has been made to Energy Beings -really made – I believe we never see the world the same again. I know we are not alone. That we have love and support from talented ‘gardeners‘ to help us make the most of our time of blossoming. I’m looking forward to my next awakening.

Day 511 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Reborn Every Day To Start Again

I have been thinking all day about the idea of being reborn. Of the tradition which suggests we have many lives. That we die and then live again. The Easter story brings such possibilities to mind.

OfĀ course it’s not only the Easter story that talks about rebirth. Or resurrection. There are many traditions which say we die and come back. I have been fascinated by Past Lives for forty years. But I also like the idea that I am reborn every day and can start again. There is another tradition in certain stories. That the world disappears every night when I close my eyes to go to sleep. Then pops back into existence when I wake again. I guess I’ve thought about that a lot. Because I’m curious. And I like to know how these things work. So I look for evidence all the time.

Yet I’m not sure I can find evidence for the destruction and reconstruction of my world every time I go to sleep. So instead I prefer to think about the opportunity I’m being given every day to be reborn. I can wake up and choose to be different than yesterday. That me has disappeared. She is gone. Only I choose how much of her I carry forward into today. I find that really refreshing. Also it frees me. I can interpret myself for today in any way I wish. I can start afresh. Will I leave behind my impatience? Or my desire to control? Will I do more random acts of kindness? Or smile at people a whole lot more? It’s exciting. Because what I set my intention to is what will happen, mostly.

Of course old habits take awhile to fade away. But knowing I can be reborn every morning to live my day a different way inspires me to try my best. To begin again with a clean slate. And to aim for the best from myself. Perhaps the world would be very different if we believed in being reborn every day.

Day 510 of my blogging challengeĀ 

Freedom to Think and Speak

One of the things I appreciate every day is my freedom to think and speak. I might not always be able to do exactly what I want. But I can always open my mind and share my words. This is a precious gift. Not everyone can do the same.

When I started to make connections with my Guides I said very little to anyone else. But I was thinking all the time. Even if most of what I was thinking was doubt and disbelief. Over time I talked to other people who were on a similar journey to me. I was finding the freedom to talk about what was inside my head because there were others who would listen. I am grateful that I got the space to say what was in my mind. Both to my Guides and to those people who were willing to help me work it all out. Something I watched on TV last night reminded me that not everyone is so fortunate. Every day children are told what to think and say by the adults around them. Sometimes what they are told is all about hate.

How do I know the world is anything other than what I have been told? Because I have the freedom to think about it. I can use my voice to question and discover more about what I understand. But I also remember how much I had to challenge in my upbringing to decide what I now believe in. Where children are schooled in fear, taught to hate ‘the other’ there is a real danger that they will never question what they have been told. Especially if their access to other information is limited. Or non-existent. That is why I believe that I have to encourage freedom of thought and word as much as possible. Even if I don’t like or share the thoughts and words of someone else.

Like mindedness is lovely. But surrounding myself with too much of the same thinking as me is dangerous. In the end it can narrow my viewpoint so much I become closed to new ideas.

To enjoy my freedom of thinking I have to embrace listening to those who don’t think like me. Even if I find what they say is really objectionable. I have to let them share their voice. So I can think about my response. And check in that my beliefs are still the way I want to move forward. As a child I believed in one religion. As an adult I have explored many religions. And at this point I have no orthadox religion. But out of that thinking has come spirituality. A set of principles I can live by. And the freedom to discuss what I believe in with confidence. I would like all children to be able to have freedom of thought. Really have a choice in theirĀ adult lives. But that seems a long way off.

Children are still being taught to hate and fear from within religions. The emphasis is not on living a good life but in living a life dictated by a set of rules men have designed. Yet the inspiration for those religions is the love we can all share for each other. That is what I would encourage everyone to be thinking about. To be discussing. And to be embracing. I know we can live peaceably with one another. It’s not such a great stretch. If we allow freedom of thought and speech, have the discussions and, if necessary, agree to differ. I believe in love and let love. To do that I feel we need to free our minds and think more deeply. I know we have the freedom to do that if we choose.

Day 509 of my blogging challengeĀ 

War : Not In My Name

I wonder when we first start to make war? I remember as a child playing games that were about war. After all my Nanna still had an air raid shelter in her back yard.

It seemed so innocent when I was little. Organising my brothers and the neighbour’s kids into soldiers on different sides. Running around the yard and back street hiding then charging and yelling at each other. Using the shelter as a place to hide. Or the roof as the place to capture. None of us had any idea what war was really like. We had hear stories. And watched TV. War was a game. A competition. I know that none of us realised that war had consequences. That older people spoke in quiet tones about the men who hadn’t come back. They had seen the bomb craters as the bombers dropped the munitions designed to stop us fighting back. Watched the light show of ack ack guns defending the population of our town. What did I or any other child really understand about those.

My mother understood. She hated our war games. Because she had been there. Sitting in that shelter listening to the planes flying overhead. They were on their way to bomb Manchester and Liverpool. Actually the bombs dropped anywhere in between if the pilots were being chased out of the sky. As a small girl, not really much older than me, she had trailed to school with her gas mask box ready to practice another drill to get in the school air raid shelter. I remember her delight in eating fruit. Especially bananas. Because of rationing she didn’t know there were such things. The first time she tasted a banana she was twelve. The war deprived her and everyone else of so much we now take for granted.

I know what she would think about bombing people. She was very clear that aggression was always the wrong way to bring peace.

Whatever the rights and wrongs she always said that people were given voices to live peaceably together. Not to trade insults. As I began to understand that in war people die and don’t come back I also realised that she was very wise. My mum believed that human beings were intelligent. She felt that we could solve anything if we only put our minds to it. That was her answer. That I should be strong enough to find forgiveness for any actions. So that war wouldn’t grab me inwardly. And I wouldn’t live it outwardly. Over my life I have tried my best to live by this principle. Setting my intention to peace even when I felt provoked beyond measure. Reminding myself that any aggressive act I took would eventually rebound on me.

I know that children are influenced by the adults, and the energy, around them. Perhaps I was fortunate to hear of first hand experiences of war often enough to help me work towards a path of peace. Certainly I have held to the ‘Not in My Name’ principle for a very long time. I hold myself responsible for my choices. And I expect nothing less from anyone who claims to govern a country, state, province or town. If an aggressive action happens then the responsible person is accountable. And should own up to it. They should also be prepared to examin their principles alongside their actions. You cannot say you are a person of peace and then fire a gun. I know that there are lots of differing viewpoints. But I prefer to take the simple view. I know that action should have consequences.

Now we have more aggressive actions. There will be consequences. To a child sitting in a war zone life is a harsh place. And peace is very hard to find.

What is that child learning? Will that child, like my mother learn to absolutely reject aggression? Or will that child learn to make war? What will the adults around that child say? Can a person in fear if their life, caught in the cross fire of my gun is bigger than your gun, really advocate peace? I hope so. Because if not the rule of aggression spreads child by child by child. Is that really what I want for my world? For all of the children? And for the children’s children’s children? I’m not in any of the countries directly involved. At the moment. But I’m setting my intention to peace. Sending out the energy of love. And holding on to the hope that all intelligent people will also say ‘Not in My Name’ to war too.

Day 508 of my blogging challengeĀ