Purposeful: Moving Forward With Intent

Am I purposeful? Showing determination or resolve? Is my intention strong enough? These questions popped up for me today as I looked at my To Do list.

It’s the one I shoved on one side yesterday because it was too hot. I’d returned to my desk this morning ready to pick up what I’d left yesterday. But as I checked the list I thought about that sense of being purposeful. I do lots of things in my working ‘week’ but I sometimes forget to ask if what I’m doing has a purpose. And I feel that’s a theme that came out of the mentoring I did with clients today too. Often the people I work with have reached a point where they feel lost. The driving force, or purpose, of what they are doing has disappeared. They have become stuck. And often frustrated in that stuckness.

I know that feeling very well. It seems to me that we human beings survive better when we have a goal, focus or purpose. Not to have one leaves us at the mercy of the flow of life. So we create meaning and movement to our lives by setting intentions. Or you could call it building dreams. I also know that when we get to the point of the dreams coming true we quickly ask ‘what’s next’. This purposeful expecting and achieving pushes me forward. I remember times when I was so determined to make my dreams happen that I overspent my time and effort to make it so. Then I had to rest and find another purpose.

So being purposeful can be helpful yet it can also be my downfall. Pushing myself too hard can end up with me not able to enjoy my newly achieved dream.

It’s all a matter of balance. And also finding pleasure in those times when there is an absence of purpose. Being able to switch between purposeful action and creative imagining. Bringing my focus in to this moment or this day. Finding a purpose in what I am doing right now. The bigger picture will emerge if I let it. I’ve also found that there is a point at which I have to reconsider my activities. I might have started them with a very clear aim. Yet are they still necessary to my dreams.? What am I still doing that no longer fits with where I’m headed? Is it time to stop doing some things? Certainly a good prompt was me looking at that To Do list. Because it shrank as I thought about each item.

That’s a good thing. I was able to focus my attention on what will carry me forward. On those things that will show the Universe I’m serious about the dreams I want to achieve. Too many times I’ve defeated my own wishes by putting my attention onto those things that contradict what I really desire. Getting lost in the things I feel I ought to be doing. Not the things I can do to move forward. Being purposeful about something is the signal for progress. It also shows that I am ready to receive all that I’ve asked for. Because I have accepted that it fits where I’m headed to. Even if I don’t know quite where that is yet. And I’ve also accepted that I deserve my own good fortune.

My life is full of purpose. I would say it’s purposeful. Only it’s not yet possible for me to see the ‘big’ purpose to it all. And that’s ok. I can wait for the bigger picture to emerge. In the meantime I will focus and dream in equal measure. How about you? Can you do that too?

Day 575 of my blogging challenge 

Sharing Knowledge, Sharing Energy, Sharing Love

Sometimes I’m amazed by how much sharing happens in my days. Perhaps I shouldn’t be. But at a time when so much feels uncertain, when there are difficulties about the idea of sharing, it’s inspiring to find out how much people do share.

I’ve been running another one of my workshops. It’s very special to me to be able to speak on behalf of the Energy Beings. They have taught me so much that passing on their knowledge is a real privilege. As is sharing my experiences. Because out of what has happened to me I have learned a great deal of life wisdom. Plus a whole lot more spiritual wisdom. I’ve never been happy with the idea the knowledge is only for the privileged few. Or those who pass all sorts of tests to belong to the ruling clique. Or that knowledge is used as the power to prop up ego. I believe that we all have a right to know.

Questions are important. Without them I feel we have missed an opportunity to understand. That’s what acquiring knowledge should be about. Expanding my understanding. So it’s not something for me to hoard or store away. I feel I have a responsibility to share it when I can. Of course sharing knowledge only works when someone else wants to find it out. Though they may not want to understand. That’s the difference between sharing to promote better outcomes and sharing because of an ego need. Yet I would prefer to share every time that someone asks a question than hold back in case that knowledge is abused.

I think about knowledge as energy too. I know we are all energy beings and what we give out we get back. Sharing knowledge is putting energy into the world for it to be used in a positive and purposeful way.

That’s also another reason to find things out or to explore what we know. The knowledge I had as a child was restricted. I made assumptions about the way the world worked. But some of those turned out to be incorrect. As I learned more about my world I revised what I knew. Even today as I ran my workshop I was learning more with and about the energy of the people who attended. As they were about me. We were sharing and pooling our knowledge so that we could advance to a shared understanding.

Not a right or wrong understanding. It is an understanding based on our current knowledge and energy. The next time we meet we may change that understanding because we have learned something new. Or changed our energy to something different than it was today. Striving for a shared understanding helps me to put more positive energy in place. Disagreements and divisions, entrenched attitudes and resistance to change, mean that I will carry on doing things the same way. The old way. The way that won’t include the idea that some things have changed. If I’m hoping for better I have to bring new information into my mind.

I have to be ready to accept that things have moved on. It’s like personal growth. It doesn’t happen from remaining above what is happening. I have to be engaged in the energy of my life.

Sharing in the ups and downs of living, of being connected to others, brings me more understanding of what gets me through it all. Of how to listen and respond. Or how to process and integrate new knowledge. I can notice what I feel and understand why I feel that way. It’s possible to observe my thoughts and see where I might be restricting myself. And I can also deal much better with the changes that sweep across my life. In fact I can find, through my love of knowledge, the love that is all around me in my life. If I find the flow of loving energy then surely I can also pass that knowledge on to others.

That’s what I love most about sharing knowledge. It’s because it becomes a way to share the love we have for each other. Just as my Guides and Inspirers entrusted me with their knowledge, out of a love for me to have a better life, I am sharing their teachings with others. Even better I am encouraging people to find their own direct connection to Guides so that the knowledge comes from source. From the hearts of those Energy Beings who care that we improve our lives and have better outcomes. There is a loud call going out right now from our Inspirers. The urge for us to start discussing and understanding what we know so that better decisions are taken

That’s the point of knowledge and why it should be shared. I believe we can do so much better as a global community of Spirit if we get into sharing what we know, sharing our energies to make things better and holding close to us a shared love for one another.

Day 565 of my blogging challenge

Personality Cult: A Spiritual Answer

Why did my Past Lives workshop bring up the idea of a personality cult? Sometimes when I’m working my Guides throw in extra ideas. Today they wanted to remind me how deeply rooted some patterns can be.

Helping other people find out the karmic patterns that are currently affecting their lives is really rewardsing. It can explain why someone has a particular aspect of their personality. Or why they might have chosen to experience certain events in their lives. I know that understanding my past lives has helped me to make better choices in this life. Choices to love more. Share more. Be the best me I can be. As I balance off each karmic strand I am preparing myself for improved choices next time round. But there is one question I always run into. What happens if I know the best choices but decide not to make them?

What if, instead of thinking for myself, I get drawn into the cult of personality? Either my own or someone else’s? I have been thinking about this kind of cult all week. Mainly because of the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA and the forthcoming elections here in the UK. In times of fear people look for a strong leader. Someone they think can take control and change things for the better. Their vulnerability leads them to trust in the words of the voice that shouts the loudest. That person believes in themselves so strongly there is no room for arguement. Anyone who disagrees must be bad. Yet a strong leader who goes unchallenged may become autocratic and authoritarian.

There is a lesson for me in this. My personality must always remain open to challenge. Not only by other but by myself too.

Only by remaining self-aware can I deal with the potential to believe myself so totally in the right that I ignore or attack others. Again I am thinking about the example of Donald Trump. His campaign very heavily criticised and vilified Hilary Clinton. It descended into the policitcs of personality. A cult view requiring all the members of his following to demand that ‘crooked Hilary’ be put in jail. Without any trial, reason or evidence. Simply on the say so of this cult leader. I wonder what happened to innocent until proven guilty. People seem blind to the inconsistencies of this. Reacting to ‘do as I say, not as I do’. And also operating with the same closed mind as their leader.

How can I deal with this? This person has the power to affect my life in some ways. What is the spiritual response? My past lives have helped me with this. Because I am aware enough to question the cult of personality. I have learned through my own past life experiences of abuse of power so I notice it in this life. To watch for it in myself. And to look at what people do rather than listen to what they say. I’ve also learned not to be blinded by the hype surrounding leaders. Listening to the polictical discussions in the UK at the moment I’m very aware that the cult of personality is running the show. That’s why Teresa May is the focus of media attention busy portraying herself as a strong leader. Although her policies seem to have no substance. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn is standing in the Hilary Clinton role.

How do I deal with this challenge? What can I do to reach the best spiritual decision about my response to the cult of personality?

I will be living with the consequences of the choices that are made by others. So one thing I can do is to remind people to look at the actions of all of the candidates. I can also encourage debate with my friends and family about personality politics. Sometimes it’s important to remind myself that we all have prototypes in our past. The mistakes we made whilst finding out who we are and what our values are. Also that I am a different person than I was at 20, 35 or 48. Hopefully a better, more experienced, wiser person. What is important is whether I keep my promises and speak my truth. How do these leaders measure up? Then I can make the best choice I can and accept that my choice may not be the one that wins.

There is one more thing I can do. I can talk to my daughter and her friends about the cult of personality. It is a human response to fear and uncertainty. A strong leader can entice people to say and do things they never thought they would. And to very much regret it later. When it’s too late. Actually there  is a lot we can all do. Educating our children and young people so that they can think and act for themselves. Teaching them that they are strong even when life is at it’s worst. Strengthening their sense of self and self-love. Explaining to them that ‘borrowing’ the strength from another for a short while can help. But becoming dependent on someone else to take responsibility for thier life is a trap.

I know that when we all love ourselves enough to care for the vulnerable in society before ourselves the cult of personality will die out. There will be no need for empty words and broken promises. Because we won’t be talking. We will be doing.

Day 544 of my blogging challenge 

Who Do I Follow? Them Or Me?

There was a moment today when I asked myself who do I follow? I was sitting in the sunshine thinking about the last conversation I’d had. Reflecting on the fear factor in our lives.

It’s as if I want to stay on my hamster wheel when all the Guides are reminding me that I have stepped off many times before. Yet fear still seems to pull me back to old patterns. So much has changed about my life over the years. Sitting enjoying a coffee this afternoon I realised that I have been to the lowest point in life and all the way back. So what is that fear about? What pattern do I still follow that makes me want to be uncomfortably stuck? That’s when I wondered about who was directing my life. Is it really me? Or am I doing what I’m told by others?

In times of fear people seek what they see as a strong leader. They trust the words they hear and ignore the actions. I know that the patterns I follow are derived from the ideas and expectation of the people around me. Yet whilst I am doing what they say are they following their own words? Are they taking the action they are suggesting for me? That’s particularly important to think about at the moment. Not least because we are busy picking our leaders. Am I reacting to my fear? Do I place my trust in others to solve my problems? Or do I realise that I am the only one who can change my life?

I also thought about the way I use words to describe my life. Do I speak in a fearful or can’t do way? Do my affirmations follow a positive pattern? Or am I creating a negative wave of energy instead?

My inner world will manifest in the outer world. What are my thoughts like? Do I show the Universe I mean what I say so that anything I am wishing for can manifest? If I say I want to have a better income flow am I doing anything to help that along. Or am I just sitting wishing? Telling myself that it could never happen to me? So I’m actually not bothering to do anything. Wallowing in low vibrational energy and not following on my thoughts with actions. Isn’t it the case that actions speak louder than words? I’ve always believed that. Though I admit to not always letting action follow my words.

There is a new phase coming in. Not long now before we get more energy to blast us forward. But the key is to sort out who I follow. Do I trust myself enough to know that my heart will get my actions right? Or do I blindly follow anyone who seems to have the strongest voice? I’m determined to live my life as fully as possible. I want to follow my dream and make my life have meaning. In the end I really know the answer. Not only do I have to say what I mean to do – I also have to deliver on those words. And I want to be off the hamster wheel for ever.

So I know my answer. I’m going to follow me. Because I am the strongest person in my life. And always have been.

Day 538 of my blogging challenge

Fallen Angels? Soul Essence?

One of the Bible stories that made an impression on me was about Fallen Angels. Those beings who loved God so much they somehow fell out of favour and out of heaven.

I was confused. I had been told that all angels were good. They helped me. I had a Guardian Angel. If I needed anything the angels made it happen. Except that it seemed there were some who were bad. Not just naughty. But very bad because God had thrown them out. He stopped loving them apparently. It was a conundrum my child’s brain couldn’t solve. When I asked I got a lot of stuff about Lucifer, Satan and demons. All fallen out of love with God apparently. In fact it seemed that everything bad in the world was down to the fall of Lucifer and the rise of Satan.

When I began to research other religions the troublesome question about fallen angels kept reappearing. Had humanity made up these dark beings to excuse our own inner nastiness? Certainly being able to blame my dark side on an influence existing outside of me sounded like a good idea. At first. Because there is a lot of stuff about being tempted. But the temptation happens inside when I make my decision. Action only follows some sort of internal choice. No matter how much I would like to push the responsibility onto others. or to say it was a lack of thought. Even to say my feelings got the better of me. In reality I am the one who is in control of my mind and body.

Why then the idea of fallen angels? If I am the decision maker why do I need to absolve myself of what I have done?

Round and round went my inner debate. Every time I worked with someone who chose not to see that their actions had consequences. Every time I excused my bad behaviour by blaming it on others. All the times I fell into ‘the devil made me do it’ moments. For a long time this moral dilemma spun on whilst I got more confused. Then I met my Guides. Who were very keen for me to understand the practical difficulties of being a Spirit in a human overcoat. They helped me by showing me that I had fallen to Earth too. My choice to reincarnate was so that I could experience the absence of love.

And here is the really interesting bit. The angels chose to fall too. They removed themselves from the intimacy of Divine love. Not because of some bad behaviour. Or because they were any less loved. The fallen angels jumped of their own accord. With a very particular aim in mind. To bring the Divine Love as a Light into the world that was just forming. They volunteered to be in the here and now so that humanity would share that Love. Otherwise we would have begun in a total absence of love. And might never have evolved further. What a cold, dismal world it is when there is no inner or outer love. Yet each of us can still access the Love of angels.

The fallen angels fell from their dimension into ours as a gift. I remember that fall. So do quite a few of us.

To get this world started, to get humanity of the blocks so to speak, many Energy Beings came to this dimension. They came with gifts. I am sure that our ‘junk’ DNA contains those gifts. I’m also sure that the essence of these Energy Beings is still with us. I am part of a Soul Group who share the angelic essence. It was the gift to that group. It’s why the angels have always been real to me. It’s also the reason I can work with their energy comfortably. These ‘fallen’ beings continue to help us. They want us to recognise our soul essence and connect with out intuitive gifts. Not to temp us onto some sort of Ego path. But so that we can be more effective in listening to our Spirit within.

Somewhere along the line Ego corrupted our understanding of our connection to fallen angels. Religion became about power and control. I believe that is when our helpers became the Beings we blamed. Like a small child or an angry teenager it was all their fault.  I know it’s time to look again at our belief that evil is inspired by a Being outside of us. Time to take full responsibility for all I have said and done. Because it’s mine. Not the product of temptation. I am learning to love myself enough to own that. And to love other people when they still want to push the responsibility outside of themselves.

We are the fallen. We have fallen out of Love and need to find our way back. When we really grasp that we will be ready to change our world.

Day 498 of my blogging challenge.

Oppression, Suppression, Opinion

There are times when oppression and suppression blur into one another. Especially when more than one opinion is involved. This was one of my thinking points from running my workshop today.

Not because there was any oppression or suppression going on in the group. But because we all needed to be able to share our opinions. There has to be a right to disagree. To hold a different position. And to be free from pressure to change that position. That’s why I love the way my Guides work with me. They allow for the free flow of feelings and thoughts by bringing forward the activities that will get all of us tuned in. It’s a very intuitive way of working. Not exactly structured. Or planned even. But plenty of room to meander off topic. To ask questions and to discover through experience. For me it’s a perfect freedom to offer information in ways that fits the people I am with.

There have been many times in my life when that freedom has been constrained. I grew up in the first blush of feminism. I was part of the novel idea that women were people who mattered too. When I joined the workforce there were constraints on me that have, thankfully, mostly disappeared. That doesn’t mean that the move towards an equal society is over. Far from it. There are still attitudes so deeply entrenched that it will take several more generations for women and men to find a balance within themselves and without. I know that we are only dimly coming to understand the reality of energy. In each of us there is a feminine and a masculine force.

So it still concerns me when oppression is turned into suppression. Especially when it is coming from those who could know better. If they thought about it for a moment.

There is someone locally who makes a protest several days of the week. A very public protest. The issue that is being protested about doesn’t really matter. Except to say that I have no choice about walking past the signs and placards. The protest is to highlight oppression in another country. Something I support because if we stay silent we are effectively condoning the actions taking place. If the images on the placards are not of my choice I suppose I can look away. However, if I engage in any kind of debate about the balance of the other side’s view I am shouted at. And a group will join to shout at me. Because this protester isn’t necessarily on their own.

Trying to discuss oppression in an even handed way ends up in my voice, my view, being suppressed. It’s as if I can’t have the right to hold an opposite view. The suppression has ended up with me being oppressed too. How strange is that? It’s ok for one view to be offered but not another. I can only have a voice if it’s to agree. How do I handle this as a woman? How do I ensure that my view is regarded as a valid statement of what I feel or think? Do I bring along my friends to try a shouting loudest competition? Because in a way this little local issue is a mirror of the much wider equality debate.

It’s time to acknowledge that some of the people creating the oppression are other women. Women who are keen to suppress the views of women who disagree with them.

I know that I’m regularly being told that I need to educate myself about ‘women’s issues’. Not sure how my experiences in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s don’t count as education. Or that I have accepted my social conditioning and need to throw off the shackles. By people who have shackled themselves in other ways. I find it curious that they don’t recognise their own masculine energy coming into play. Or that they are doing exactly what they are accusing the other side of doing to them. Because that’s the danger. We walk a tightrope every time we believe our opinion is the only one that matters, is right or must prevail.

And it’s so easy to fall off. Did I mention that the person doing the protesting is a woman? And that in refusing me a right to an opinion she is being as oppressive as the people she says have behaved outrageously to others? Whether she knows it or not she has placed herself in the camp of her ‘enemies’ and draws them much sympathy instead of disgust. That’s the real issue. When I look at where I end up with it all I’m glad to say I can still recognise that there is more than one side to every story. That each opinion, whether I agree with it or not, has validity. And I respect the right of the person who holds that opposite view to keep on holding it for ever. And I can hold my opinion forever too if I so wish.

Freedom is a precious gift but only if we grant the same freedom to others as we claim for ourselves. That is when we will really know we are all equal.

Day 481 of my blogging challenge.

Is It Survival of the Fittest?

Back in my science days I learned a lot about survival of the fittest. The competition for scarce resources. Of the human drive to stay alive. As I was writing this afternoon a few random snippets clicked together.

I can’t quite remember when but on the radio recently I heard someone talking about the guilt he had felt about his ability to think survival thoughts. He had been in a transport with many other prisoners, all cramped and starving, and he had wished that someone would die so he could have more room. A better chance of survival. Because only the fittest survive. The ones who can grab as much of the resources as possible. That’s the push behind trying to get the most we can. Before anyone else can get it.

After all, what matters most is that I survive. Not the most creative, or the most vulnerable or the one with the most necessary skills. It’s all about me. Somehow this energy has become a deeply entrenched part of the way we live. It’s ok for me to want the best home, car, phone. It’s also ok for me to do whatever it takes to get that. Of course I can dress it up by saying I work for what I have. I can tell myself that I’m providing an income for others who work to provide what I want. Even cutting across someone else’s livelihood or land or status is ok because my needs come first. I excuse myself by saying that my presence on this planet is greater than yours.

It’s why we turn a blind eye to the weak. Not being the fittest is a judgement that is acted on in every moment of the day. Because we think resources are scarce. So only the best at grabbing them deserves them.

There is a crisis in our health care, our education, our global financial system. It’s not that we are running short of resources. It’s that we have let the ‘strongest’ grab the most. I’ve also joined in that game. Panicked about income and material things. Convinced myself that if I don’t have such and such I will die. That my wellbeing will be severely damaged if I stop grabbing for everything. That death will get me. Because that’s the thing that pushes us all. If we don’t survive we die. But we all know we are going to die in the end anyway. It’s just we’d like it not to be yet.

Survivor guilt can be a powerful emotion. It links in with shame. And anger. Having had a thought I can’t take it out of my mind. In the same way that I can’t unsay words. Of course I can try to forget. I can hide the greedy, needy side away from myself. Yet it will still be there. Ready to jump out as soon as I find myself back in a situation where survival of the fittest comes into play. It’s a fundamental part of competition. So I’m likely to run into it all the time. Because we also seem to have turned competition into a virtue too. All day long people try to be better, more beautiful, more productive or more well liked than anyone else.

What am I fittest for? Does my life have to be lived on the edge of a fake drive to survive?

I was writing a piece to be added into my book. It was all about Spirit, Spirituality and Spiritualism. Something that I’ve thought a lot about over the last dozen or so years. A subject I’ve definitely tussled with as I’ve watched people do horrible things to each other in the name of  a Divine Being. Or to grab at more of the resources they need. And I include adulation, flattery, money, power and control in that list of ‘survival’ items too. We have developed a psychological dependence on one upmanship that drives much of the tit for tat behaviour over who has the most of everything.

I’m not sure we are the fittest to survive right now. That doesn’t mean I’m writing the human race off. But I do feel that our survival has to be based on a new insight into our inner nature. There are better choices that could be made by all of us to ensure that everyone had the prospect of surviving most of the ups and downs of life. And I feel that our Guides are doing their best to remind us that the survival we should be interested in is the one where we head to the Afterlife. I can’t move away from the knowledge they have given me of the Spirit World. Why would I need to worry about surviving here when my death is a new beginning? Instead of survival of the fittest now it’s time to acknowledge that we all survive. Always.

Day 477 of my blogging challenge. 

Immune to Feeling Fear? Grief? Anger?

I’ve spent quite a lot of my life acting as if I was immune to all sorts of things. Keeping my feelings below the surface quite a lot. Behaving as if I was resistant to pain, fear, hate, grief.

There is something about keeping going that is almost addictive. Because I feel it’s driven by a tiny little niggle that eats away at my certainty and will power. The thought that if I stop and feel my feelings I’ll never get going again. So pretending to be immune is a good tactic. I’ve used it as a form of protection. And sometimes even thought I was exempt from certain feelings. Like all things in life though I’ve discovered that immunity is a variable state. So I felt the grief of loosing my parents. Raw. Full on. Inescapable.

Also the pain, anger and hopelessness of failed relationships. Times when I’ve been drowning in despair. Or pulled deep into depression. Lost and alone in darkness. Perhaps what I did in response to these feelings was a protective shell. I fooled myself that I was immune so I wouldn’t have to express my feelings to myself. Or the world. I went into hiding from myself. But the reality is that I carried those feelings like a burden. Heavy baggage I was reluctant to put down. I had to wait until I was ready to see the stuckness this brought about. Perhaps even to keep battering my head against the wall I’d built around those feelings. Because that tiny little niggle made me feel weak.

If I am weak then I am vulnerable. Worse things can happen. That’s the logic of that mis-shaped thought. Better to be immune and exempt than infected and in need of help.

Because accepting help can be really hard too. I feel that we are conditioned to be helpers. Not receivers. Being in a state of needing help also sometimes ties in with feeling like I can’t handle things myself. Yet the strange thing is there are plenty of people who want to be able to help me. When I started to think about this idea of immunity from feelings I realised that it’s also a way to deny helpers. It’s easy for me to say I don’t need any support if I believe that I don’t have certain feelings. Yet I know, in the end, feelings exist. They are there first. Long before our cognitive abilities develop we feel.

But that leads to another thought. What feelings did I feel in my early years? What feelings was I allowed to have. Love certainly. Fear aplenty. Definitely anger, sadness and pain. These are all part of my human inheritance. Somewhere in all those feelings I developed a set of rules telling me what I was allowed to feel and express. And some rules about the kind of feelings I needed to be immune from. I say this not as a criticism. Or to blame. I learned how to handle feelings from the adults around me. I also learned to become a giver rather than receiver. These deeply held rules have governed my life. And I didn’t even get to negotiate or agree to them.

It’s time to put away these rules. To release myself from feeling immune to certain feelings.

It’s important for me to love my whole self. I can’t do that when I’m hiding from my feelings. Or refusing to allow myself to experience them. I need to love myself enough to allow my vulnerability to emerge. Learn to take the offers of support and kindness. Make myself a whole human being because I can feel things so deeply. And above all else, reminding myself that learning the opposites to love gives me a choice. I can pick the life experiences that boost the amount of love in and around me. Or I can stay behind the walls with my hidden feelings and await the next catastrophe that life throws at me. My choice is always LOVE.

Day 466 of my blogging challenge.

Children Are Our World

I have a lot of fun with my Grandson, Benny. He is 2 1/2 years old. He has dirty blonde, curly hair and the brightest smile you have ever seen. He’s full of mischief. That’s because I cursed my son to have a child just like him.

My son, Ben, brings Benny to visit for a week about once a month. I wanted Benny to want to come here so I had to think of things for us to do together. Benny is wise beyond his years. I believe he is an old soul. There is nothing this child can’t do.

He loves to climb and play at playgrounds so I suggested we get him a swing set for his birthday. My son and husband built one. Neither one of them are builders and it was comical to watch them.

I bought Benny play-dough. He knows where it is kept, but he’s not allowed to play it by himself. He and I have spent numerous hours playing with play-dough.

I bought Benny a little apron to wear when we bake. I think it’s his favorite thing to do with me. I will pull out the apron and get a big smile and a hug in return. We have made cookies. I measure the ingredients and he puts them in the bowl. At first he didn’t like using his hands to stir it. He doesn’t mind anymore.

I made the mistake of having him help with making pie dough. That’s something you have to be careful of. He was too aggressive with it and I ended up making another batch and letting him play with the first one. He made an appropriate mess.

It is so much fun to play with him. The saying goes “If I had known grandchildren could be so fun, I’d have had them first”. It’s so true!

This is a guest blog by Cathy Cohee who took part in Annie Conboy’s Inspired 2 Write 28 Day Challenge. Well done Cathy.

Taking it Personally? Not me

quote-when-we-really-see-other-people-as-they-are-without-taking-it-personally-we-can-never-miguel-angel-ruiz-59-9-0904Sometimes it’s hard to step out of a situation and look at it from the outside. Whilst angry, harsh, defensive or blame words are flying about the emotional content of what is being said it top of the agenda.

That’s a point my Guides have worked with me to recognise. We all have an agenda. A list of things that we would like to have that make our world how we want it. Or a set of expectations about what we have to do and how others should fall in with them. When the energy of change is round and about it’s much easier to take things personally. Usually because we are off balance from the changes that are happening. It doesn’t matter if the changes are inward or outward. Emotions are on the rise.

I know that much of the difficulty with agendas is that they are in my head. And the head of the other person too. Yet the agendas may be very different. I might want a quiet life – you might want a loud party. If you are my neighbour there is a potential for disagreement if you do hold your party. Perhaps we will both ignore the noise at the first party. What about the next one? Or the one after that? And what if you want to party every night and I want quiet. It could quickly become a personal grievance between us. If we were taking it personally perhaps the word and actions we used would fracture our neighbourliness even more. Before long we could both be entrenched in our positions. Both of us miserable. Both of us fearful.

Of course, there are difficult neighbours. We only have to look at the state of global relationships to see how agendas take rational, reasonable people into sometimes quite extreme positions. How do I make sure that my agenda stays positive and constructive?

One of the techniques I use is to step outside my mind. By that I mean that I recognise that I have both fixed and fluid ideas about what would make my life the way I want it. Fixed ideas are the bits of my agenda I’m not prepared to change easily. The fluid ideas are the ones where I can react from an ‘Am I bothered?’ point of view. So if my neighbour has noisy parties only once in a while I am much less likely to get into a situation of taking it personally. However, if I have very sensitive ears so all noise is an intrusion then I might actually want to stick to my point of view. And it might be impossible to resist getting drawn into some sort of dispute.

Whether the issue challenges my fixed or fluid expectations when I look at it outside of my agenda I find I have other choices too. For instance, like going away for a few days when the party is being held. So the next thing I try to do is step outside of my feelings. I ask myself why I’m feeling this way. Is it because I feel disrespected by my neighbour? Or am I upset because the noise scares my cats? Maybe I lived next door to someone who partied all night, every night, and the occasional party now brings up all the old feelings? Understanding why I’m feeling a particular way, perhaps even recognising that my reaction is a bit extreme, I can help myself not to take the issue personally. I can do that by releasing the feeling in a deliberate way. Often a physical way.

Perhaps I go and bash my pillow for a bit. Or stomp on the empty cardboard boxes to crush them (this is good for the recycling anyway!). Or I go for a run (no, not seriously but it’s an option).

I’m always amazed at the way a good physical effort will release any pent up emotions. Sometime a good yelling session accompanies the physical exercise. Mainly in a field or by the road on a quiet bit of moor. The words can fly out, free to be recycled by the wind into positive energy. It’s important to me that the words do not get aimed at anyone. Words are such strong energy and I know that they can do a lot of harm to someone’s aura if said with enough intent. Especially if that person is wide open in their energy. Learning to protect my own energy has been a great way to step out of the energy of words aimed at me. It’s my final way of not taking things personally.

Of course, it also depends on who is speaking to me. Or about me. Those closest to us find it hard when we change. It means they have to change too. I try my best to align my agenda with theirs but it’s true – I can’t please all of the people all of the time. So I don’t take it personally when they are unhappy with me if I’ve done my best to explain. Not necessarily to fit with their agenda. We may have to agree to disagree about the way the world is. There is one type of agenda I definitely don’t take at all to heart. I don’t even give it any of my time or attention. It’s the one based on gossip.

If someone wants to dream up stuff about me, or knows me so little that they want to spread rumours or just wants to cause an argument they are welcome to get on with it.

Gossip is a source of negativity. If you want to know anything about me all you have to do is ask. Of course there are some things that are private and I won’t open them up for discussion. However, if someone can waste their time and energy manufacturing or magnifying situations it’s their loss. I won’t respond. I don’t take it personally. The people I care about know who I am, what I’m likely to do or say and that certain things are so unlikely that what is being said can’t be true. My focus is on positive things, supportive words, compassion and love. Of course I’m not perfect. No one is. Keeping my attention on my own agenda, being mindful of my thought and feelings I’m far less likely to deal with situations as if they are a personal attack.

I dream that in the near future everyone, every country across the globe, learns the benefit of stepping out of taking it personally and into personal responsibility.

Day 268 of my blogging challenge.