Weekend Approaching. Time To Relax?

weekendWhen I worked for an organisation I used to love getting to Friday night. The weekend was next. I knew I would get two days to myself when I could choose exactly what I wanted to do. Now I run my own spiritual business. And things have changed.

Of course anyone running their own business soon learns that you have to work when your customers are free to visit you. But I guess I didn’t really think about that when I moved into my mediumship. I think I had an idea that my work would be mainly in churches and centres. Those were the places I expected people to go for messages. So mostly nights of work, I thought. Until I started to be asked to do private readings. Then I found that most people were only really available at the weekend. If I wanted to do their readings for them I would have to shift my expectations of my own weekend.

Actually it was something that seemed to fit quite naturally for a lot of reasons. Especially since the weekend was the time I had the most childcare available to me. At the least cost because my family could do it. Getting any kind of business venture off the ground costs quite a bit in the early stages so not paying childcare was a big consideration. I also had to adjust my week. It was rather easy to find I had worked straight through seven or ten days because I wasn’t used to taking time off during the week. Eventually I started to carve out a space in the week that was a regular weekend. But I had to fight hard to keep the time free too.

Eventually I settled into a more fluid pattern. I work some weekends and not others. And I work Monday to Friday some weeks and not others. I identify enough days to be filled with work. And I look forward to the weekend I have built in for myself. Finally, on my days off I make sure I relax. Doing all of the stuff I normally would on my weekends. After all, I know a life-work balance is important for my wellbeing. And my work!

Day 834 of my blogging challenge

Listing Progress: A Passion Planning Hour

ListingI can be a great one for listing things. Especially when my head is full and I have lots to juggle. That’s why I took the opportunity this afternoon to review my Passion Planner and check my progress.

In my corporate days I used to be involved in a lot of projects. I loved planning, checking and progress chasing the elements of a project so that we came in on time and one budget. If we were very organised and fortunate. Part of that process was listing all the things that needed to happen before I could pull a plan together. Later in life I realised what a gift my project (and programme) management skills had become. Every time I needed to make changes, or set off in pursuit of the next dream, ourt would come my paper and pen. I would get busy listing all I could think of to make sure I got where I wanted to go. Especially when I started to run my own business. Then my lists became a vital part of my everyday work. They helped me to stay on track.

Even the items on the list that I didn’t complete. Listing things down showed me what was important – because those things got done – and what wasn’t. At the end of my projects I looked back at my lists and thought about what hadn’t happened. To see if those things were as important as I’d originally thought. So that, if necessary, I could build them into my next plan. I love using my Passion Planner now to help me do that same process. Because I feel I need more than a diary. I need a place to go to that helps me see the bigger picture. And my planner keeps everything in one place. Both the daily and weekly pictures and, most importantly, monthly and six-monthly too. But even more, when I look at my planner I can also see a list of my achievements.

Every tick against a task that got done encourages me to keep listing more items. The success of the completed work carries me forward to the next list.

That’s why, on my train journey today, I buried my nose in my planner to think about my November successes. Going through what I had listed brought me fresh ideas. There were gaps I needed to fill. Other actions that followed on from my completed list. And a timescale started to emerge. Considering where I wanted to aim for in 2018 I identified some key changes I still want to make. Listing them as the headline points I got a chance on my journey back to start to break each one down into more steps. That’s a form of progress too. I’ve learned from my Guides to go with the flow in very many ways.

I know that my plans might not happen the way I expect. That other things get to the top of my list in unexpected and surprising ways. So I understand that nothing is concrete. And I make room for the times I have to head off in a different direction. Having a series of steps acts like a baseline. If I have to change anything I can go back to the baseline and refocus. It’s great for helping me to stay positive about where I’m heading. And it also means that I don’t loose sight of my achievements. Something very easy to do if things get muddled up. At then end of my journey I had a great list of my successes over the past couple of months. With some great steps about how to move forward into 2018.

I also had some goals listed too. The key things I want to achieve by the end of 2018. Even some of the steps I will need to take. I’m going to keep listing those steps, reviewing my progress and celebrating my achievements. All with the help of my Passion Planner!

Day 753 of my blogging challenge

Curl Up With A Good Book? A Life Habit

curl upI love to curl up with a good book. I’ve blogged before about my love for books and my passion for the written word. It’s my favourite form of escapism!

This week I’ve had a chance to curl up with several books. As I moved from one to the next I though about my lifelong habit of reading. It’s something I learned at my mother’s knee. Literally. She read to me and my siblings all the time. Or at least for as long as we could sit still. In primary school I used to love the end of the day. Especially when the nights were drawing in and the classroom became a cosy oasis of light against the dark outside the window. Before we went home the teacher would always read a story. I remember all of us sitting around her in a circle whilst the latest book was performed for us. I could drift away to another world and forget about the walk home in the dark.

There were fantastical stories, tales of adventure and warm, heartfelt plots about ordinary lives. As I grew older I found that I also enjoyed curling up in the library with factual books. Biographies, how to’s and why books. History, travel and instruction books. I discovered that there was an amazing amount of information between the covers of even the most ordinary titles. By the time I was in college I had discovered books about subjects I was learning. Books that were there to teach, enlighten, open my mind to some aspect of my world. I enjoyed curling ups with textbooks and lightening their impact with the odd funny or fiction book.

Then I discovered that many successful people also like to curl up with a good book. It isn’t always a work of fiction but reading books definitely features in their top ten habits.

What a great reason to read. Spending time finding out new stuff, indulging my imagination and relaxing can all help me be successful. Actually I have to say it’s also true. When I began to experience contact from the Spirit World the first thing I did was threw myself into a reading frenzy. I took every opportunity to curl up with books about the history of the Spiritualist Movement. Biographies and autobiographies of mediums, some well known, some not. Plenty of how to books. Even more that seemed to be how not to books. And a very wide ranging selection of books about the evidence for or against mediumship. I loved it. Because I know it is my preferred way of exploring anything new.

However, as with anything that requires action, I ended up putting the books down. Whilst I love reading it can’t replace actual experience. It’s exactly the same with the internet. Virtual worlds are fab (or not so fab if you’re running away from living your life) but they don’t pay the bills (unless you have sold them to others). So at some point what all successful people do is put their knowledge into practice. They go and have experiences. The live their lives. I knew that I couldn’t just curl up with a book about mediumship and have the sort of experiences I wanted. After all, I was hoping to feel, sense, see or hear Spirit people for myself. I feel I have been very successful with doing that. It’s become my passion.

Finally, I believe that books open our minds. I like to encourage people to curl up with a book. Let it inspire, teach or entertain you whilst you work out how to apply your abilities to being successful in what you do. So, what are you going to read next?

Day 704 of my blogging challenge

Busy, Busy, Busy: Loving My Work

BusyI’m almost at the end of a busy week and looking forward to a few days off. In fact, the week has gone by so fast I’ve had to remind myself quite a few times today that I’ve got to Friday.

I have a few appointments tomorrow and then I’m retreating to Scotland again. I hope to have time to do some writing for my next book. As well as plenty of relaxing and resting. That’s what I love about my life right now. I can be as busy as I like because I’ve taken the option of working for myself. That also means that I am able to do the work I love. When I stop feeling passionate about something I can also stop doing it. And make room for something new. Of course, I’ve been working for myself for a long time. Nearly twenty years. I almost can’t remember the time when I worked a five day, nine to five, week. But I do know that I nearly burnt myself out doing so. The recovery from that was long and painful. And left it’s mark.

That’s not to say I haven’t gone back to working for other people. But those experiments didn’t last long. Instead I’ve been fortunate enough to grab the opportunities presented to me so that I can be busy when I want to be. And busy at the things that are my strengths. I enjoy the uncertainty of my week too. Whatever is in the diary I know it’s likely to change. For all the right reasons. It’s wonderful how things get organised in a perfect order to suit the needs of me and my clients. I’m also grateful for the way the work flows in. There is always more when I want it. And less when I need time for me. Or for the practicalities of life. Working for myself was a big act of trust. But I know it has paid off.

That’s what I really love about being busy. It reminds me that the Universe is on my side. It’s ready to give me all that I require or desire. So long as I am passionate about what I’m doing there will always be more to do. And always room for whoever needs my energy at that moment.

Day 697 of my blogging challenge 

Resisting The Impulse: Feeling Like I Have To Fill A Day

Resisting rest?Some days I find myself resisting the impulse to fill my time with activity. Part of it is about running my own business. Part of it is that Spirit people often drop by unannounced. Asking me to do something for them.

A common challenge with working for myself is to ensure I take enough time for myself. The flow of work is unpredictable. I can be very busy then on what seems like a go slow. So it’s tempting to say yes to everything I’m asked to do in case a quiet spell is on it’s way. But that isn’t good for me. It’s too easy for me to become exhausted by chasing all the work. Or feeling like I have to be there for people at all times. Since I am also someone who enjoys being busy it can be very seductive to follow that impulse to work as much as possible. But I have been resisting both of these drives for some time now. Because I know I’m not effective if I’m tired.

In the same way, my impulse when I get Spirit visitors is to give them my time and attention. It’s a natural reaction as I want to help anyone I can. Yet, again, I’ve had to understand that resisting the impulse to pass on messages at inappropriate times is important to my wellbeing. I know that in the beginning I was frightened that if I told the Spirit people to go away they would never come back. But I now know they always do. Because not too many of us are prepared to communicate with them. And they really want to get their messages through to us. Over time I have become much better at setting ‘working hours’ for the Energy Beings.

So it has been a strange experience to find that I couldn’t sleep last night. At all. Not because my mind was active. Or that there was work to do. But because I was resisting letting myself relax.

I realise I needed a little lesson. A reminder that work of any kind isn’t the be all and end of my life. There has to be down time. I have to give myself a break. Of course I ended up doing something during my wide away night. I read a novel. Finally stopping myself resisting my wide awareness. Using it instead. But understanding that I must take it very easy on myself during today. Which I have done. And I have had chance to consider where this busy, busy, busy side of me comes from. Because it is part of my personality to enjoy being active. But it’s also become over exaggerated by my desire to achieve.

Ambition is a great energy to use to get things done. However, we live in a world where ambition has become a major driver in people pushing themselves past their limits. I have done that in my work in the past. Trying to achieve what I thought would be good for me. Resisting the signals of my body and mind that ambition and achievement had pushed me passed my limits. I was clearly rejecting those signals because my balance was off. I had no ambition to relax properly. Over the years since I have become much better at being busy doing nothing. Yet there must be a little bit of push left. And my sleepless night gave me plenty of time to recognise it.

Resisting a balanced life is an experience many of us share. The energy waves of the moment are asking me and you to notice where we reject rest and relaxation. To understand how our mind tries to keep us busy and active. With no time for contemplation  or relaxation. I’ve enjoyed a day without ambition or achievement. Tonight I can sleep.

Day 643 of my blogging challenge 

Getting Away From It All: Time to Create

Away in OrkneyOne of the things I’m grateful for is that I can get away from my work whenever I feel the need. It’s a blessing that has come because I work for myself.

As I’ve got older I’ve recognised that need for time and space away from my everyday routine. When I worked in a full time, 9-5 job my holidays were dictated by the needs of the company, my colleagues and the amount of days I was granted. Stepping into self-employment has taken away the pressure of colleagues and holiday entitlements. But added in the responsibility of working as many hours as my business needs. Another difficult balancing act. I want to be available when people need me. But I also want to have time for me. There is also the recognition that too much time away may begin to affect my ‘bottom line’ of how much I earn.

So I have tended to get away only when I really feel like I need a break. However, I have been away much more this year. That’s because I have also learned to honour my need for the space to create. Being able to step out of my everyday world has made it easier to have time to reflect, space for new ideas to emerge and the opportunity to write or paint. I have also been able to look at my business from a distance. Especially to check if I am still enjoying all that I do. Enjoying work is very important to me. It’s a big part of why I work for myself. Checking in with myself every now and then has helped me be more creative with the direction I have taken. There is room when I am away to see things more clearly too.

Have you guessed yet? Yes. I’m going away again. Taking my paints this time. Occupying my time in a way I enjoy. And bringing a fresh perspective to my work. Is it time for you to take a break too?

Day 641 of my blogging challenge 

Value For Money: How I Value Myself

Pendulum valueI’ve certainly had an interesting week. And today a conversation about value for money really rounded off my thought processing. I heard myself sharing a lightbulb moment that I had forgotten.

Of course when I get under the influence of heavy energy it can get me spinning around in all directions. Like a pendulum that is struggling to give a clear yes/no answer I can’t seem to get a grip. Underneath all of the reviewing Saturn has had me doing there has been a thread about value. My worth. Or importance. Even the way people think of me. Connected with how I value myself. And what I feel I am worth as a person, with my abilities and what I contribute. Sometimes I’ve been told I’m valuing myself too highly. Other times I have told myself I’m not worth anything. The reality is somewhere between the two.

But there is another aspect to this. I charge for some of my work. I live in a material world and bills have to be paid. However I also choose, on some occasions, not to charge my full rate or to do work for free. The value I place on my work, reflected through my charges, relates to how I feel about my worth. Interestingly not everyone recognises this. They are looking for a bargain. The lowest possible price. The cheapest option. Or as much free as possible. And if you have done it once at a lower rate then the expectation is that you will continue to do so forever more. But what I’ve noticed is that the cheaper the price the less they value what I have given them.

It’s an interesting facet of human nature. A kind of perverse value system. The assumption that higher the price the better the service. But wanting to be the one who gets that excellent service at a rock bottom price.

I have to admit at this point that I love a bargain. I sometimes spend time seeking them out. Often not thinking of the cost that has gone into the item I’m after. Or the loss that someone takes from supplying something under it’s true value. Until I’m faced with someone who expects me to provide something at low cost to them. Who hasn’t considered the value to themseleves of what they want to receive. After all, if I keep telling myself that I can only spend a minimum amount on myself I’m really saying I’m not worth investing my money in. I’m reinforcing a belief that I have no value. As I’m not prepared to pay the going rate for myself. Then I go out and spend a fortune on others.

It’s also something that comes up when I’m asked to do a set piece of work. I’m given the numbers involved so I work out my cost and price on that basis. Then that work is cancelled. Often at short notice. Or I get there and find only half the people have turned up. I am expected to take the loss of trade. It’s something that I know happens a lot to small businesses and self employed people. As if our time or effort has no value either. This is one reason why I do very few events away from my Centre. At least I have other work I can be doing if I get a ‘no show’. Meaning I value my time too.

But I want to come back to this idea of the value I place on myself. We are often encouraged to give much more to others than we give to ourselves. Often in the form of money.

Money is a flow of energy. It can feel positive or it can feel negative. Because it is a flow it can feel like there is very little. Or plenty. More than enough. What it can’t be is stuck. Yet when I look for my bargains am I telling myself to hold on the the energy of money? Having an inner voice reminding me that I dont know when I will get the next wave of abundance? Is my sense of low worth fuelled by a misunderstanding about the nature of money. And am I considering that I am restricting the flow of money by only passing on a minimum amount to the person who is supplying me a service? So that I am not valuing them either?

Today as I talked about this issue of value and worth I recognised that I have to hold my boundaries. I have to give to myself in the same amount as I give to others. That way I have those things that show me I value myself. A haircut, massage or new trousers. Nourishing food, an exercise session with a personal trainer, a book I want to read. That means charging for my services at a rate that will allow someone to value what I give them. And to let them show themeselves that they matter just as much as everyone else.

It’s time for me to take a look at those boundaries again. I want to show myself that I value myself. And that I can also value others appropriately too.

Day 618 of my blogging challenge 

Choppy Waters to Safe Harbour: Overnight Dreams

It’s always wonderful to go away. But also fab to come home. Last night I sailed through choppy waters to get back to my home base. A storm at sea. It was another test.

Sometimes I need a break. I have a bit of a habit of forgetting to take time off. Then when I’m tired things pile up and it seems like I’ve sailed into choppy emotional waters. Over work can do that to all of us. Issues that are really no big deal can seem as if they have overwhelmed me. So being away has been a great chance to reconsider several things. Not least what dreams I have sent out into the world. And the way in which I am asking the Universe to manifest them. When I’m wobbly I sometimes feel like I’ve ended up with nightmares instead. That’s not the case. However I can convince myself that it is in the way I focus on minor details.

That’s what I was reminded of overnight. The sea was rather rough. I’m not a good sailor at the best of times. But even the realatively small swell last night had me feeling sick. It was much too choppy for me. In fact it reminded me of the times when my emotions made me feel like I was drowning. Or sick to my stomach. And I thought how much I now long for a safe harbour. For peace and ease. Even eventually a calm crossing to somewhere new. Drifting in and out of a restless sleep my dreams were full of what I desired. Yet crossed with what I do to block myself. How I must change what I feel about myself to get me where I really want to go.

On a physical level I was being asked to endure or even relish the journey. And it’s the same emotionally and mentally. To fulfill my dreams I have to sail calmly on through the choppy water of change. I have to let the course adjust to the conditions. Then I will find myself in a safe harbour once more.

Day 605 of my blogging challenge 

Is This A Normal Day At the Office?

I’ve been in my Centre today. It’s the place I have my office. Plus my healing room and a large meeting/teaching room. I love spending time there. When people drop in it feels perfect to meet them in this space.

Sitting having my lunch today I thought about my corporate life. A long time ago I worked in a large organisation. My office was one of many with teams of workers grouped all around in big floors in tall buildings. I guess we were in a hive of activity. All producing something, planning the next thing or reviewing that last thing we had done. I can’t say that there were many relaxing spaces in that building. It was designed for function not for productivity. In fact I always found it rather regimented. Even the ‘break out’ areas struggled to look inviting. And as for that name … it says it all. I couldn’t wait to break out.

When I decided that I was going to make the move and work outside of my home I looked around for an office. That would surely keep me focused on what I was there to do. I found a very good place with a desk, phone, wifi etc. But I found I couldn’t focus. The office setting wasn’t working for me. So I got a sofa. Then I got some cushions. I hoped they would make it ‘softer’. What I meant was less business looking. Less corporate. Also less clininical. I wonder that we create spaces, where we spend lots of time, as impersonal, functional areas. Is it supposed to keep us heads down at our work? That must be it. Because they certainly aren’t friendly and relaxed.

Offices the world over look just like what they are. Boxes designed to give us work-stations to keep us churning out widgets of some sort.

Except that my Centre doesn’t look like that at all. Because when I moved into the building I thought about what I would like to have around me as I worked. I also thought about the work I was going to be doing. How could my office layout support my spiritual principles? To me that’s something equally as important as making a profit. I would like people to feel relaxed and welcomed. There should be an easy flow between each part of my business. And my desk, computer and other paperwork etc could be left outside the view of visitors as much as possible. I felt today that I had finally achieved what I wanted.

I have an office behind a closed doorand go there to focus on the ‘backroom’ stuff of my business. In my main room there are couches and chairs grouped around tables to create several natural sitting areas. Space for groups or one person. There is a help yourself tea point – a much pre-loved cabinet and side table. Cushions and throws are arranged to provide extra comfort. There is a subtle invitation being made to take your shoes off and relax. If there is healing required the final room is the place. Easy chairs, a little table, my therapy bed and plants in abundance create an intimate space. If I sound like an estate agent’s catalogue it’s because I love my space.

How does all this support my spiritual principles? When I visit an office I’d like to feel that I was in a personal space. Not a production line. No matter how modern or soothing the decor.

I know that I work better in a place that has good energy. Good energy generated by that comfortable, at home feeling. I also know that people open up and talk more in a relaxed atmosphere. More progress can be made because there is a degree more honesty when someone feels at ease. To me it seems only right that we achieve more honest and compassionate communication. That way I can work in ways that support and empower people. Instead of viewing them as a way to generate income. Sharing with someone on my ‘home turf’ when that space is safe for them means positive energy flows between us.

It also means that any stuck energy can be encouraged to come to the surface too. And be released. I’m delighted when someone leaves my ‘office’ feeling lighter and brighter. The way the space is peovided has made that easier for them to do. And yes, I do think about my profit. Or rather I want to ensure that my bills are paid and I take a living wage. But I also want to provide support that doesn’t have to cost in financial terms. That’s why the kettle is always ready should someone drop by for a chat or to sit in the main room and gather their breath. We all need to step off the world at times. A warm, welcoming space to do that is what I hope to provide.

So it has been another normal day at the office for me. An ‘office’ full of comfort and relaxation. I feel I’ve worked as much or more than I might have done in that corporate style building. And my business is running exactly the way I want it to. From the heart of my spirituality.

Day 585 of my blogging challenge 

Feeling All Full Moon Jittery!

The moon is approaching full. I’m feeling jittery. The surge of energy to help me manifest my dreams is stirring up the things that need to be released too.

That jittery feeling started some time this morning. I was busy sorting out the things I want to keep in my Centre. Having a big physical clear out in other words. Looking at some of the items I found it hard to put them on the ‘leaving me’ pile. I was tempted to hang on. Later in the day as I juggled furniture around I thought about how much I seem to need. How many chairs can I sit on at once? Or cups to drink tea from? Why do I keep papers from years ago? Especially as I never look at them. Or the box of bits and pieces from my desk drawer. Too many pens, pencils, drawing pins and paper clips.

I think that’s when I first noticed the jittery feeling. Located somewhere at the top of my stomach. A kind of ‘I don’t like this’ feeling. The thought with it was ‘keep it as you might need it’. As if all this physical stuff could somehow connect me to myself. Of course what we surround ourselves with is an expression of our taste. And what appeals to us. Or is pleasing. Even comfortable. The feeling seemed to be about making myself more solid if I surrounded my self with these things. I wondered for a moment if I’d been making myself invisible again. Had I slipped out of this world into another time and space? Or was a scared that I would if I stopped holdiing onto physical possessions? Could that be it?

Full moon is always a time of noticing for me. I wanted to understand what the jittery feeling was stirring up.

I went to sit down in my healing room. Quietly searching my thoughts and feelings. Tracking back through my morning to see where the feeling first started. I had been trying to catch up with myself in my Passion Planner. There is a section to review each month but I haven’t even thought about April yet. Nearly a week of May has gone already. Looking at the Planner I remember thinking ‘but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing yet’. How could I ask for all sorts of abundance if I had no idea what I wanted. After that I walked away and started sorting things out. That’s when the jittery feeling got my attention.

I love using new moon energy to ask for what I require and desire. Then I use the full moon  as the turning point to switch into releasing what is no longer useful. Here I was getting rid in a manifesting phase. It seemed a bit like putting the cart before the horse[. I was scared that I was scrambling my energy requests. Once I got to that point I realised that I could let that jittery feeling go. I’m well on with manifesting everything I’ve asked for. The fact that there is nothing I require right now is a positive. I’m sure there will be more that I desire but it’s good to feel content with where I’m at right now. Especially after all the turbulence of the last year.

This evening I watched the sun go down and the moon come up. I was up on the moor near my home. It was so very peaceful. As the moon beamed her light down on me I felt grafteful for my jitters. They reminded me how much I have available to me right now. 💜

Day 529 of my blogging challenge