1 Comment

The art of surrender: Either the Universe is in charge, or it's not.

I see it time and time again. Hot rockin’ kickass soul sisters (and brothers) doing their thing, on the spiritual and the human planes. Meditating daily then going out and making shiz happen. Except there’s this one thing – could be a specific project, or a whole area of their lives, that just isn’t quite coming off. They’re doing their work, they’re shining their light but for some reason, it just ain’t happening for them.  *Caveat: As with all my posts, talks and teachings I speak from experience. Them, they or you, could easily be switched out for I, me or my.

I see this from the outside looking in: watching my fellow spiritualistas burgeoning careers on stages and social media. I also see it close up with my clients. Nonetheless I see it a lot.

 The Universe is *not* a bootleg aftershave. 

The Universe is *not* a bootleg aftershave. 

So what’s going on? If this spiritual stuff works, why isn’t it, well, working? It’s not because it comes with the Ron Burgundy-esque guarantee that “60% of the time, it works every time” (If I just lost you, Google “Sex Panther”. It’s safe for work I promise!)

It’s more like 60% of the time we trust the Universe every time.

Here’s a humdinger of a truth coming at you FOC from the Spirit Deej: Either the Universe is in charge… Or it’s not.

Either the Universe, God, Source, Spirit, whatever word works for you, is the almighty omnipresent creator of all things, with masterplan in hand. Or it’s not.

It doesn’t make any sense, even to our crazy human ego fuelled logic that the Universe would like totes have a handle on everything… Eeeeeexcept your money. Or your relationships. Or your body. Or whatever area is your spiritual kryptonite.

And this is the rub. If you believe the Universe is in charge, 100%, that means to really vibe high with the powers that be and get totally in the flow of your life, whatever comes your way, you have to surrender 100%.  Be 100% vulnerable, open and trusting. Not 90%, or even 99.99%. One. Hundred. Per. Cent.

Of course, like all top quality, spiritual lessons it flies in the face of everything we’ve been taught, at least in the modern western world.

 Or ever. 

Or ever. 

“Stand up for yourself.” “Take what’s yours.” “Don’t let your guard down.” “Take control.” A common attitude of take and control runs through our mindset and language as standard. So of course, by it’s very nature, being open, vulnerable and trusting feels scary. We’ve been conditioned to believe that these qualities leave us open to attack, laid bare to harm and destruction. It’s 180 degrees away from the vibe of the Universe, which is always receive and let go.

When we’re in that place of surrender we are physically, emotionally and spiritually making room for miracles. We’re handing control back to the Universe and saying “I trust you. You got me and the whole world this far, you may continue to drive this thing.”

Now if at this point you’re saying to yourself ‘But Jo, I’m not a surrendering kinda gal / guy. I’m a go-getter. I take control and make life happen. Sitting back and doing nothing just ain’t gonna float my spiritual boat!” Let me tell you this: Surrendering is the most active thing, and one of the most difficult things you will ever do. There is nothing laid back about surrender. Because we have been conditioned to take control and be in charge, when we decide to surrender we’re opting to undo a lifetime’s worth of conditioning. It feels creaky and weird at best, and downright unthinkable and terrifying at worst. And it won’t happen all in one go. You’ll need to keep checking on that sucker because I’ll bet my bottom dollar that before you know it, little elements of control will start to creep back in. You might switch the controlling from one area of your life to another. You might start controlling in more subtle and manipulative ways that you don’t even realise because the fear of letting go of that grip is so super scary to your sub conscious. And let’s not forget that your ego is smart because you are smart. And it’s not past turning your spiritual practice against you… To this end you might find yourself controlling the surrender! LOLZ! #notevenjoking.

 Another "No shit!" moment brought to you by the Spirit Deej (via the Universe, natch!)

Another "No shit!" moment brought to you by the Spirit Deej (via the Universe, natch!)

But like everything in life, it’s a practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. The more you do it, the more aware you’ll become. The faster you’ll be able to catch that controlling little grip on whatever situation you’re working with and prize its cold stiff proverbial fingers off, while you meditate the shit out of that thing!

Warning: Extreme extended metaphor approaching... If you think of your life as a house, when you begin your conscious spiritual practice it feels wonderful and miraculous and you think that your house is going to get a paint job and a shiny new front door, maybe a cool basement renovation and landscaped garden. What actually happens is the Universe takes one look and says “Nope, the foundations are no good. We need to tear the whole thing down and start again.” Ugh. Well that sounds like a load of hard work! Yup. But it’s totally worth it because you’re going to get this incredible new house (life) with a super strong foundation. Awesome. But when you’re continuing to take control  you’re filling your house up with what you think should be in it. You’re holding on to your ideas and ideals. You’re cluttering the place up with the crust of your history – with old newspapers, sentimental tit tat from past relationships and that dodgy stained sofa you had when you were a student. Except you keep asking the Universe for some new furniture and a fancy coffee machine (ie. Miracles! Y’ know all that stuff you really want – amazing job, loving partner, rockin’ relationship with your bod) and it’s waiting outside with the van! All the miracles are held in trust for you. Buddha, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are on your street with their friggin’ overalls on trying to get the new chaise and sound system through the door but it’s too full of what you thought should be in there. When you surrender and release, you literally open up the space for the miracles to come in. When you hand the reigns over to the Universe, it does a really great job. (No shit!?)

My personal spiritual path A Course in Miracles says “Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you cannot conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without planning.” The Universe / God / Source / Spirit made you. It has the most incredible plans for you, full of love and abundance, that your human brain with its ego and its story and it’s Twitter addiction, cannot even comprehend. So let it do its thing. Trust. Build your faith through practice, and feel the arms of your spiritual connection catch you as you float gently back into them. Commit to the process but detach from the outcome. One foot in front of the other, regardless. Is that not what the whole of life truly is anyway? Continuing on with no real idea, except for our own trivial concocted projections of what it will be?

“Ok, ok”, I hear you cry, “I’m sold on surrender, please no more mile long analogies! Just tell me how to do the damn thing!” It’s my pleasure sweetness… 

Stay open. Meditate. Pray. Talk to Spirit. Ask for help. Let go. Check in. Repeat. 

 

If you want a little more help come and get lovingly schooled in surrender, and so much more at the next #HigherSelfie Salon on Sunday 31st May in London. Get your tickets here. 

 Do it little bunnies of the Universe! xo 

Do it little bunnies of the Universe! xo 


1 Comment

3 Comments

Why we're failing our young women: An epidemic of anxiety + overwhelm.

This morning as I drove my step daughter to school I heard a super profound 15 year old prophecy hidden behind the catchy melody of a Britney hit from way back. (No, I’m not usually a Britney kind of girl these days but my step daughter discovered my stash of old CD’s and no 8 year old can resist the saccharine of Spears!)

We were actually listening to Britters Greatest Hits – released when the star was just 23 years old (telling of our times much?!) – and when we hit track 13, “Lucky” I heard the words that literally gave me shivers…

"She's so lucky, she's a star
But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart, thinking
If there's nothing missing in my life
Then why do these tears come at night?

Lost in an image, in a dream
But there's no one there to wake her up
And the world is spinning, and she keeps on winning
But tell me what happens when it stops?"

Well my lovelies, I can tell you what happens when it stops in 2015.

 Britney suffering a very public emotional breakdown in 2007.

Britney suffering a very public emotional breakdown in 2007.

 Perfectly healthy young women, who, bombarded by choice, and the pressure to be successful and “have it all” before their baby making equipment goes kaput, who just need a bit of guidance, a mentor, someone to talk to and tell them how to slow down and get back to centre, are put on anti depressants - if they’re not already self medicating with food, booze, sex, “recreational” Class A’s etc. - because that’s a cheaper, faster fix than guiding them through the growing pains of an extended youth. Because let’s face it, the definition of “youth” has changed – it’s not unusual to still be living at mum and dad’s at the age of 30 while you save up to get on the housing ladder / figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

 Of course after Lucky was released way back when, Britney herself, victim of child super stardom, too much too young, suffered a very public emotional meltdown, much to the delight of the gossip mags and websites.  Since then we have seen ever increasing numbers of young women in the public eye, many who were once child stars, who lived the dream and amassed enough wealth, fame and royalties to see them into a very comfortable old age before they hit 25, fall from grace. And oh how we love to judge. What’s Lohan been arrested for this time? Did you see what Bynes just tweeted?!  But the sad truth is there are young women acting out similar breakdowns all over the world, the only difference is they don’t have the paps eagerly following their every move and Oprah offering to step in and pay for rehab.

 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we are failing our young women (and men for that matter, but having been one for 28 years I feel more qualified to comment on the plight of the female of the species – see this crazy insightful post by the super smart David Hrostoski for the masculine flipside) by conning them into believing that there is a set formula for “success”, with a detailed list of difficult to obtain requirements and a pressure cooker of a timescale.

 Enough! You may drop the baton, now. 

Enough! You may drop the baton, now. 

And you know the most destructive thing about it? Our bright young things have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. In my spiritual coaching I use the metaphor of a baton of emotional “stuff” being passed from one generation to the next. It’s natural. Those who teach us as children do the best they can with the resources they have, and even the most conscious well meaning parents and guardians inevitably pass on some of their own psychic crap and limiting beliefs. The problem really occurs when we don’t drop the baton, instead we grip onto it, carrying it round for a lifetime, eventually taking full ownership of it.

As a society this is what we’ve done to our young women. We’ve created a massive baton of very difficult to achieve parameters for success, with scary time limits, and passed it on. Through social media and an increasingly frenetic world that doesn’t allow for headspace, time to think, time to heal, time to regroup and recoup, they are holding that baton tight, brandishing proof of it’s existence all over Instagram and Twitter.

Busy has become a badge of honour. Overworked and underpaid just part of the process. Stress and anxiety natural bed fellows of distorted body image, the race to find a mate before fertility goes south, and the clamour for VP (because everyone knows it’s either kids or CEO, right?) And my God do they do a good job of it. We’ve created a whole new tribe of burned out over achieving young women who are especially adept at fighting fires, while spinning plates and wearing many different hats. When they finally get to the point where they’re seeking Spirit Deej help, which could be at 25, 35, 45 or beyond it’s often because they’ve figured out that despite putting in all that work to “have it all” – and so many times succeeding – just like Britney warbled all those years ago they’re wondering why nothing is missing but they still find themselves feeling empty, unfulfilled, alone and soaked in the confused tears of surrender.

In her 2012 TED Talk ,“Listening to Shame”, Brené Brown said “Shame for women is do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat. Shame for women is this web of unattainable conflicting competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be.”

 Tick tock. 

Tick tock. 

 Brown also quoted research by Dr. James R. Mahalik “He asked what do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers [in the US]: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance.” Actual shudders. That list for me paints the picture of a pretty scary 1950’s Stepford Wives kind of existence. Except this research is recent, and rings worryingly true, while the financial pressures of a recovering and uncertain world economy often mean that as a woman you’ll be expected to do and be all of these things to conform as well as work full time to contribute financially, never mind about satisfying your desire to fulfill your professional passions. BUT could you please remember to be nice, modest and save enough time to juice and workout so you stay thin and pretty with flawless skin while you ruthlessly climb the corporate ladder before your ovaries shrivel / you start being prejudiced against for job roles because your lady parts are a maternity leave ticking time bomb?!

And people seriously marvel at the fact that this generation of women is the most stressed, depressed and anxious to have ever lived!

 Let's address this epidemic so the next generation don't have to feel like this.

Let's address this epidemic so the next generation don't have to feel like this.

So what’s the answer? Well, of course I’m biased but I know for sure that a spiritual practice, however that looks for you, helps. It gives perspective, headspace, and strengthens the ability to let go of the baton. Our young women must find a way to follow their hearts and souls, because they will always lead them in the right direction. Maybe that means they’ll end up “having it all”. Maybe they’ll just have some of it. But the most important thing is that whatever they end up with makes them happy, fulfilled and wholehearted people, with slightly less shitty sticks to pass onto the next generation.

Join me for my live Hangout on How To Deal With Anxiety + Overwhelm on Tuesday 17th Feb at 1pm GMT / 8am EST / 5am PST - Please do join the conversation because Spirit Lovers this is serious. We are suffering from an epidemic of anxiety and overwhelm, it's crushing our creative hearts and holding us back from shining our beautiful lights and we need to talk about it. Click the links above to register for free and get all the info for the LIVE Hangout + Q&A and the recording straight to your inbox xoxo  

One final note: If this is you, if you are struggling with the weight of the baton that society has passed to you and you feel like you might never get off the relay track and drop the damn thing, make these lyrics by Baz Lurhman your mantra and meditation, everyday. 

 Love and miracles to you always, you incredible mystical unicorn. You’ve got this xoxo

(Original words to Sunscreen by Mary Schmich in this 1997 column for the Chicago Tribune)

 

3 Comments

Comment

A Man's Struggle: I Am Not Enough.

Guest Post by David Hrostoski

Imagine in front of you is a MAN.

This isn’t the middle-of-the-bell-curve kind of man we’re talking about. Before you is a man, with all capital letters. He is the epitome of manhood. He is a MAN.

He lives life with an open heart. He never runs away from the tough conversations. Instead, he leans into discomfort for the sake of his relationships. His gaze pierces you with love and consciousness. He spends his days serving the world, completely aligned with his purpose. He is driven and focused. He is a MAN.

But his inner being is only one side of the coin.

He’s strong, with firm musculature. He’s tall, and has a face sculpted by the gods. His five-o-clock shadow accentuates the sharp angles of his chin.

He’s everything a woman could ask for.

And, everything a boy hopes to be.

But, at what point along the timeline of life does that young boy transform into an enlightened, warm, and sexy man?

I know I wasn’t born with any of these qualities. And, zoom forward 18 years, we find a man by law, still without many of these “MAN" qualities.

So when does it happen?

At the age of 25? 30? 40? Does this transformation from boy to man ever happen?

Here lies the problem. We have an image of what a man should be, but the transformation from boy to man is a lot more complicated than we think.

Jo asked me to write the other side of the story:

What is it like to be a young man? What pressures do we face?

And, yes. The story is very different. The qualities we’re expected to display - by society, our parents, our partners, and ourselves - are very different.

Women are expected to “have it all” before their reproductive systems hit the ever-impending "expiration date."

And, men are expected to “Man Up,” find their purpose, and be strong - physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But, the underlying message we ALL struggle with is the same: “You are not enough."

It's that deep-seeded belief we all struggle with. It’s the happiness-sapping thought pattern that keeps us looking for more. More growth, more love, more money, more everything!

If you want to understand the struggle of the opposite sex, you must first understand that, in many ways, the struggle is the same.

“I am not enough."

But, let’s dig a bit deeper into the male psyche.

What’s different? What struggles do men face growing up?

Well, despite what you may think, you already largely know the answer to that. Let’s shine some light on it.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Man?”

Everyone’s list is different.

Some think of words like, strong, calm, driven, or focused.

Some think of purpose, holding space, and support.

And, others think of, sports, facial hair, muscles, and suppressed emotion.

Depending on who’s around us in the formative years of our lives, we hear very different expressions of who we should be.

But, whatever it is that we hear, we tend to take those stories on.

We strive to be those who we admire, and to become what they approve of.

I had my father’s view of what it meant to be a man, mixed with my mother’s, my brother’s, my friends’, my teachers’, and the media’s, all creating a conflicting and impossible picture of who I should be.

My parents told me to be a God-fearing Christian.

My brother told me to go to college and get a good job.

My friends told me to drink and have fun.

My teachers told me to pay attention and get good grades.

The media told me to be more like Hugh Jackman.

A man’s struggle is simply living up to the stories about who they should be: the very stories we just listed.

Whatever it is you said to the question above - what you think of when you hear the word “man” - they’re just stories.

It’s okay that we have them. Everyone has stories. Stories are just our brain’s way of finding trends and turning information into useful knowledge. They’re inevitable.

It’s what we do with them that counts.

What happens when a 14-year-old boy gets called weak by his basketball coach?

What happens when a 8-year-old boy gets yelled at by his teacher because he wasn’t listening?

What happens when a 12-year-old boy gets made fun of for holding his books across his chest?

One thing. One script.

“I am not enough."

And, that’s the most painful thing we can possibly believe about ourselves.

We can try to show less emotion and display more strength, but we end up suppressing it all in the process, leading to an inevitable explosion of anger and pain. We can try to life weights and go to the gym, but even the fittest men on the planet have room for improvement. One sharp criticism, and we’re mentally back to the drawing board.

A young boy with the script, “I am not enough,” will do just about anything to be enough.

But, nothing ever seems to work. We can’t uproot that belief by trying harder. Because once we get there, it’s still not enough. Nothing is enough.

We have to uproot the belief all together.

We have to take a step back and ask ourselves why we believe these things in the first place. Where did these stories come from? Are they really true?

And, the honest truth is,

WE ARE ENOUGH.

I am enough. You are enough. We all are enough just the way we are.

The more we believe that, and the more we send that message to those we love, the less struggle there is.

If we want to truly end the struggle, we have to stop "should-ing" all over ourselves and others, and accept that one beautiful truth:

"I Am Enough."

Comment

Comment

Why Romance is a Myth. (Happy Valentines!)

I once heard Marianne Williamson say that eastern cultures kind of got it right with the whole concept of arranged marriage. (Let’s be clear here, I and I think I can safely assume Ms. Williamson, are talking arranged marriage, not forced marriage, which I know is a fine line, a serious subject and a topic bigger than any post I have yet typed).  And do you know what? I kind of agreed with her. A couple of years ago I couldn’t have been further away from such an accepting line of thinking, about such a controversial idea, because I had not yet consciously cultivated my spiritual connection, ergo, I was very disconnected. For a self proclaimed “open minded person”, I was actually very close minded and close hearted. At that time it was as difficult for me to see outside of my own self imposed thought constraints as I was judging others and their belief systems for. The irony, at the time, was sadly lost in the wilderness.

 

Back then I thought I sooo got it when it came to relationships. Despite the fact that I tripped from one coupling to the next, with barely a break in between, starting around the age of 14. Despite the fact that I could mould myself to pretty much anyone and their needs and desires, changing my taste in music, clothes, nights out, humour to fit accordingly, without even really noticing. Despite the fact that even though my list of ex boyfriends is about the moteliest crew you ever did see (due to the wild variety rather than their individual merits) I seemed, in the end, to live out the same patterns with each and every one.

I thought it was a case of finding “the one”. All my other relationships simply hadn’t worked out because after a certain period of time there would be one thing that would stick out like a sore thumb and become the kicker that told me nope, this one isn’t the one. Sigh. (Too nice. Too sarcastic. Doesn’t love me enough. Too clingy. Too ambitious. Not ambitious enough. And on, and on, and on…) It was nothing to do with me, my patterns, my stuff, who I was attracting, how I was acting out, my need to be the person I thought they wanted instead of just being ok with who I was and being ok with whether they liked that or not. Oh no, I knew best.

Fast forward a few years, après spiritual revelation <link>, and here I am listening to MDub (as I affectionately call my fave spiritual teacher) telling me that she kind of gets why the whole arranged marriage thing worked. She was talking during a lecture on romantic relationships and saying that the concept of having an arrangement works because the two people and their families decide that on the basis of the couple-to-be being a good match and fundamentally wanting the same stuff out of life, it would work from the beginning, and they’d all collectively do what it took to support the growth and continuation of love and trust to help make the marriage a happy and successful one.

This kind of “arranged” setup reminds me very starkly of a lesson in A Course in Miracles which says that the thinking of the “outer world” is such that you believe that you will wait to understand a person first, before you decide if they are worthy of love, but the truth is you will never truly understand a person until you love them. Translated: Be open and willing enough to decide to love someone from the start and you will have a much better chance of coming to truly understand them, and of course from there love grows.

Now stay with me here because making the decision to love first isn't as mechanical or as bat shit as it may sound! Let me explain…

I feel like my marriage with my husband has that same vibe of the kind of arranged marriage that Marianne spoke of. (Yes, in my head we’re on first name terms.) You see I “met” my husband online on the 5th January 2014. We met in person on the 20th January. We spent a lot of hardcore quality time talking, hanging out, over a period of a few short weeks. We spoke very openly to each other right away about our experiences, our feelings about our experiences, past relationships, how we’d changed as people, what we were passionate about, what we wanted out of life. He told me after a week of dating he knew he would like to be married and have more children. He was scared it would freak me out but I thought it was a hella smart idea. Because he was right, it might have freaked me out, but better to know now that that wasn’t what I had envisioned for my future, than three years down the line with a joint mortgage, 2 dogs and a holiday to the Seychelles depending on us. By the 26th of January I knew I loved him. A couple of weeks later he asked if I’d like to do something really crazy, like get married towards the end of the year. I said there was only one problem, I’d always seen myself having a summer wedding so we’d have to do it sooner.

So three weeks in, we’d covered what felt like all the essential bases. Something in both of us felt a magnetic pull to make this forever, so we were unofficially engaged by February, officially engaged by April and married in August.

And now I’ve regaled you with the tale of our whirlwind and fairytale courtship, let me tell you, it has not all been rainbows and lollipops. (All the smug marrieds out there chorusing “No shit Sherlock!”) This again is a whole nother blog post, but no one talks about how difficult the first few months, possibly even years, of marriage are. It’s meant to be all honeymoon drenched romance and rabbit like love making. Actually (in my experience anyway, I really hope I’m doing it right?!) it’s more like let’s discuss our joint finances, how can we renegotiate our working hours so we actually get to see each other, should we get an extension on the house and could you please hang up your coat / turn off the lights / bring your breakfast plate downstairs?! There are a lot of emotional, practical and spiritual adjustments to be made when you make a proper formal lifelong commitment to another human being.

 A surprisingly accurate depiction&nbsp;of what hubs&nbsp;experiences when he gets home from work every night.

A surprisingly accurate depiction of what hubs experiences when he gets home from work every night.

There have been times in our relationship when had we not decided to commit to each other in a serious and soulfelt way, we may not have survived the, shall we say, “heated debates” and “miscommunications” that ensued. In fact, had we not made the decision to commit to each other in marriage, such exchanges probably would not have arisen, because there’s something almost alchemical about commitment. It makes shit happen. It accelerates the miracles and the lessons. When you make the declaration to the Universe that you mean business, the Universe responds by putting you on the PhD in love, career, family, self, whatever it is you just made your vows to.

ACIM has whole swathes of its text dedicated to busting the myth of “romantic love” as an ego construct. This is not to say so called romantic gestures are bullshit (every girl loves a surprise red rose / pair of diamond earrings, hint hint!) but instead to say that the vision of perfect romantic Hollywood love, that one person who will come along and be your saviour and salvation, who will rescue you from the misery of loneliness and lack of self worth, and forever pander to your every whim, and of course, do it before you even had to ask, is false.

The point of the spiritual path (whatever yours may be) is the attainment of inner peace that comes with realising your own wholeness, and crucially, not expecting another person to “complete you”. Being able to truly love someone and be the person that could be truly loved is not about the love that the movies and songs on the radio sell us. It’s about releasing expectation, and attachment to the outcome. It’s about knowing that your safety lies in your vulnerability and allowing your walls, your armour, your defences to crumble, so you can be 100% open and honest with another. So that you may be able to love them first before asking them to prove themselves worthy of your love. It’s about letting go every day of the person you so wish to cling on to. And it’s a process. For most of us, this is not how we’ve been taught, so we’re having to re-learn, to remember.

And what I’ve re-learned in my marriage is this: The ego’s romance is nice. Gifts and flowers and steak dinners and love notes and hourly texts are lovely. But they’re form rather than content. They make a relationship look pretty from the outside, like a present neatly tied with a beautiful pink bow. But what’s the point of a beautiful wrapping if what’s inside is rotten or worse, empty? So it’s important not to fall for thinking the ego’s romance is the substance of your relationship. The real content of life and relationships, most of the time, does not come with a perfect pink bow, but when you can fully give yourself over, with vulnerability and soulfelt commitment to what is available to you, you will experience love beyond anything the ego could sell you, beyond even your wildest dreams.

So to all those working on dropping their defences and co-creating a whole lotta whole, alone, or with another, take heart. It’s not always easy, but I can promise you it’s always worth it. xo

 &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Committed love: It's not always easy but it's always worth it xo&nbsp;

                                                        Committed love: It's not always easy but it's always worth it xo 


If you’d like to chat more about love, romance and relationships and get some ACIM guided Spirit Deej advice on all of the above, join me this week for my live Hangout on Wednesday 11th February at 1pm GMT / 8am EST / 5am PST where we'll be talking all things love, romance and relationships. As always there's LIVE Q+A if you can join me in the moment PLUS you'll get the recording afterwards if you can't. Be sure you're signed up to get access. 

Comment

6 Comments

Calling time on bridge job shame.

 Times are tough. Here's Queenie on her trial shift.&nbsp;

Times are tough. Here's Queenie on her trial shift. 

I'm coming out and saying it. I have a bridge job. A big old BJ. (At the time of writing - I started this post waaaay back in September 2014 - I actually had two). It's not easy to tell you this because there's some part of me that judges myself for working in a J.O.B part time. There's some part of me that feels like I admitted defeat when I went for my trial shift. There's some part of me that feels like a fraud, like people wouldn't take me seriously as a spiritual mentor if they knew the truth. 

Then there's the part of me that remembers how many times I've coached my clients through the same fears as they transition from the 9-5 into their true passion, or perhaps make the leap from one business, which they no longer love, to one they're smitten with. That move isn't always smooth, especially financially. Sometimes it requires, for the sake of sanity and credit ratings, a bridge job to make that move. I have preached many times to my clients that there is nothing higher in integrity than demonstrating their commitment to their passion by doing what it takes to do their work, while still paying the bills. And I truly believe all of this, but aren't I meant to be "further along" than this by now? (Said my ego).

I feel like now is a good time to give you some background (relax, it's the potted version.) I've led a pretty privileged life for my circumstances. I was born to a full time housewife / sometime bookkeeper and a coal miner, AKA mum and dad to me. When I was little most of the coal mines in England closed and my dad, all of a sudden was out of what had always previously been a lifelong job. In an unusual twist of fate my parents bought a franchise and ran it together for 15 years. They worked hard and turned our fortunes around. We went from being a working class family at heart and home to a working class family at heart and a lower middle class family on our bottom line. I went to university, pretty comfortably I might add. My sister is an accountant and drives a very shiny white Beemer.  My parents have always been super generous. They have, at various times in my life, supplemented my income, funded my hair brain schemes and plural moves across the country, bailed me out, as well as saved diligently for me throughout my childhood and teen years. Then I set up my own international business in social media marketing and reporting which did me very nicely thank you. So I've never had to get a bridge job. Ever. Until now. 

I'm the oldest, wisest, smartest, most skilled, most experienced and most confident I've ever been, and on Friday nights I pull pints and sell people pork scratchings and chilli nuts weighed out in little paper bags, (again, true at the time of writing, I have since quit the pint pulling!) and during the days I care for a lovely young woman with cerebral palsy. 

So I'm sure you can see my dilemma. In this fast paced world of online obsession and creating a perfectly polished Internet image, having a bridge job or two just doesn't quite cut it. 

But I want to turn that on it's head. Because despite my wobbles, despite my (now less frequent) feelings of fear and fraudulence, it actually feels pretty good. It feels good to grow up and take responsibility for my life and my finances and the impact they have on my family of creation. It feels good to have a motivating factor in my life - I no longer have unlimited hours to while away doing (or not doing) the work of my business. Ergo the productivity/time ratio has just got a rocket up the backside. It feels good to be working with integrity, commitment and focus towards what I truly desire by doing what needs to be done. And you know what else? After years of sitting on my arse behind a screen for many many hours a day, it feels good to get out and do "proper work", interacting with a motley crew of people, no time or need for editing, just banter and at the end of the night that satisfied feeling that I moved my body and I'm tired because I did physical work, not just because I'm pixel-weary. (Never fear though my lovely Spirit Loving Spirit Deej fans, I'm not writing this to let you know that I've found my true vocation in employment. Just emphasising that my current work situ is for now, not forever, and for now I'm cool with it.)

 ...Yet.&nbsp;

...Yet. 

I'm also outing myself because I KNOW how many other people out there, especially in the spiritual / holistic / coachy realm also have bridge jobs that they never talk about. You want to know what the last taboo is? It's this. Not being as "successful" or as "far along" as you'd like to be, or as your social media presence would make out. 

And yes, I get it, you've worked hard to create a brand and your cleaning / waitressing / corporate consulting doesn't fall neatly into the niche you've carved for yourself. (I for one cannot see Spirit Deej blog posts on perfect pint pulling techniques or the merits of restocking at the end of your shift rather than the next morning any time in the near future!) However, as the endlessly brilliant Brené Brown shares in the Power of Vulnerability one of the signifiers of shame, crucially differentiating it from humiliation or embarrassment, is silence. We don't share shame. More precisely we don't share things we're ashamed of. And just like Brené I'm aware that I'm getting into murky waters here by even using the word shame, because it turns people off by its very nature. But I have to bring it up, because it feels like there's a lot of shame in our culture as a whole, and in our micro culture of spiritual folks with side hustles, around bridge jobs.

There's a lot of (perceived) shame around having "not made it" yet. There's shame in not being an overnight success, a six figure business owner, a guru, a mogul, a headliner with a book deal. There's shame in not being at a stage where you're fully supporting yourself financially yet, despite these being some of the most difficult economic circumstances the human race has ever created. (Yes, shock horror, gone are the days when uni was free and you could walk out of your grotty student flat with a degree in one hand and a full time employment contract - in your chosen sector - in the other. Hello living with mum and dad, or at least housemates 'til you're 35!) 

So I'm taking a stand right here, right now, for me and my bridge job, and you and yours. For all my Spirit Lovers who are employed and have a side hustle that's their real passion, and for everyone who is making the transition steadily because being in financial disarray is too much stress to bear and will only crush your creativity and drive for your true passion.

Final thoughts if you have a bridge job: You're not alone, you're not a failure, you're not a fraud, it's for now, not forever. xo 

Join my LIVE Hangout next week for more in depth discussion on the issues of money, debt and bridge job shame. Get your Q's in to me live on the day or in advance by email... Register here for free to take part and get the recording straight to you inbox. 

 Here's to those who hustle xo&nbsp;

Here's to those who hustle xo 







6 Comments

4 Comments

The tyranny of positivity: What recent world events are trying to teach us.

For my whole online career I have shied away from making comment on big topical events for fear of being too controversial and in this world of instant judgment on social media “unliked”. Or worse, not educated enough on the subject to make a broad enough, well crafted enough case for my point. So I haven’t shared graphics, quotes or hashtags relating to world events on my social networks because I’ve really struggled with the spiritual implications of “getting involved”.

Over the last year though, I have felt an ever growing sense of seriousness, about life, about my actions, about my thoughts and my spiritual path. (NB. To all the serious police out there: I mean taking my life seriously, not taking myself too seriously. This haircut tells you everything you need to know about my capacity for fun and frivolity. Nuff said.) 

With that in mind and observing the world right now, I feel I need to take on the serious stuff that we watch on the news every night and offer my interpretation despite the fact that it’s somewhat at odds with the trend of unrelenting (and let’s face it, often edited and polished) positivity that’s so often shared on social media. Starting today I'm speaking openly about what is going on in the world, the good, the bad and the ugly, from my personal spiritual perspective. 

I’m also asking you to consider doing the same, especially if you too are an evolving or established spiritual leader. (If you’re working in the world of self help, personal development, coaching, education, healing or therapy, even if not openly or overtly spiritual I also ask you to claim that title, because in some way that is the work you are doing.) 

It is too easy in the lovely land of woo that I, and perhaps you, live in, to get lost in a serotonin filled haze of gratitude journals, angel cards and positive quote graphics on Pinterest. And yet if this is the main substance of our thoughts, practice and teachings, I’m afraid we have fallen into the slippery realms of the "tyranny of positivity".

That is, a tendency in the self development industry to gloss over wider reality, to dare not talk about the fact that people the world over are starving, dying, living in fear for their lives, being oppressed and controlled, tortured and murdered. That whole sections of our global society are having their human rights violated on a daily basis, while we go about our business rubbing crystals for luck and pretending we’re like so totally not stressed when there’s no wifi.

So this is me addressing my own slippage into the tyranny of positivity. From now on I will make it my business to know about and comment on what is happening to people as a connected collective in the wider world, and do my real work, which is also your real work: To shine light onto darkness.

 Since the tragic events in Paris two weeks ago I’ve been thinking a lot about what it all means. I can’t help but notice that there has been a focus in reporting and discussion firstly on freedom of speech, which for me simply doesn’t go deep enough – more on that later – and secondly on labels for types of people and behaviour that come with implied attached meanings that ultimately keep us disconnected, entangled in fear and darkness. Light has had no place at the table.  

From what I can see, the recent situation in Paris and it’s surrounding vicinity, and so many others like it, is about individuals choosing behaviours and attaching their chosen flag or symbol – but the name of the religion, political party or cause doesn’t matter. This is a human level thing. Words like “extremist”, “fundamentalist” and “radicalized” are thrown around in the popular press and it’s intimated through their usage that certain groups have a monopoly on this kind of behaviour, but again, it’s actually a human level thing.

And so this has shifted the emphasis of discussion to be one of freedom of speech, which is absolutely valid and it needs to be had, but ultimately it’s a surface level conversation that is just one part of a much bigger issue in our global psyche.

This is where we need to take a deeper look at the root causes of the deaths and catastrophes that are happening all too often at the hands of people that identify with labels like “extremist”. The freedom of speech argument, as I said, is very valid and yet with the emotion attached to it, it’s easily turned into a petty exchange of he said, she said, where people are passionately telling you how upset this cartoon made them, or how important it was that it was published in the first place. At such a delicate and volatile time in our human history it can become a very personal and loud exchange between individuals that tends to get us not much farther ahead than having the airwaves filled with more noise, discontent and proclamations of offense.

What I feel we really need to be discussing, as a global society and especially in the consciously spiritual community, is how have we created this very specific environment on Earth, either by active thoughts and actions of hate and fear, or by the tyranny of positivity - not acknowledging or glossing over the bad, the difficult, the controversial in favour of pretending that if we just regurgitate enough spiritual chat about meditation, it will all go away.

As the Spirit Deej, I get asked “If God / Source / Spirit / the Universe exists and all this woo stuff is real, why do children starve and people get cancer and why did Hitler exist and the holocaust happen?”


The answer? God / Source / Spirit / the Universe did not do those things. WE did those things. People did those things. WE allowed multi national corporations with their eyes on profits rather than people to put carcinogens in our food and water supplies. Hitler did not commit all those murders and atrocities personally. He had armies of people doing it on his behalf. WE created a society, either by acting in fear, or turning a blind eye to that which was too difficult to face, in which one man with evil and twisted views could entice or enforce so many others to do his bidding in such grotesque ways.  WE have created a world where it’s apparently okay that by 2016 the wealthiest 1% will own more than 50% of the world’s wealth and around 60% of all adults in the UK and US are overweight or obese, while children all over the world starve and die of curable and preventable diseases.

So the discussion that must be had about the violent tragedy in Paris is not one simply of freedom of speech, but one of actively creating a society where this stuff just would not happen. We ALL need to stand up and speak out, and not just DUI of the tyranny of positivity but with full acknowledgement of the scale of horror that surrounds us.

One of our own favourite leaders of the modern spirituality movement Gabrielle Bernstein identifies as a Spiritual Activist and this is evocative - we all have room to be more spiritually active in the world. It does not begin and end with our yoga mats and green tea.

Well meaning yet superficial displays of solidarity on Twitter are no longer enough. (We can pretty much guess that if you are a moderate citizen of the modern Western world you too “sont Charlie”)

It is our responsibility as a human race, but particularly that of the conscious spiritual community to graduate from our childhood and our blind positivity into our adulthood, a place where we can have serious discussions and take serious actions, meta and physical to make real change in the world, on the mortal plane and on the psychic plane. There are deep wounds that need healing in both.

The first step is to lift the veil of attractive yet damaging unrelenting positivity and throw our own meaningful interpretation and guidance around what is happening in the world into the mix of the content we share. If you have a voice and are already spreading your message deliberately and with purpose, I know you have something more to say about all of this than just “Je Suis Charlie”. The world needs you now, more than ever, to lead with your light and speak your truth, even on the difficult stuff. 

A Course in Miracles teaches us “Only what you are not giving can be lacking in any situation.” If we really want these atrocities to cease, if we really want to live in a safe, free, supportive and accepting world with equal opportunities for anyone who is willing to do their work, we need to start to acting like and being the people that would create that.

So by all means send love and prayers, healing energy and forgiveness to those who are suffering and post about it on Facebook. But it’s time for us to get serious as well.

We need the spiritual community to be doing the real work of facing up to and challenging the darkness in our world. We need your light, all of it, now.

4 Comments

Comment

I'm a massive feminist.

I’m a massive feminist.

There. I said it. And it’s all Hermione’s fault.

 Emma Watson killing it on stage as she launches #heforshe at the UN headquarters in New York.&nbsp;

Emma Watson killing it on stage as she launches #heforshe at the UN headquarters in New York. 

Yes I’m jumping on the Emma Watson kicked ass at the UN bandwagon. But not because I’m trying hard to write a topical and newsworthy blog, I promise. Rather because her short, eloquent and heartfelt speech summed up what I’ve been feeling, but struggling to articulate for some time.

You see I’ve always known in my heart that I’m a feminist. I think that really any civilized, right thinking person with even an ounce of compassion in their old bones is. But, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, it’s been hard for me to align myself with various the misdefinitions and pseudo iterations of the word that have been bandied around. Particularly in recent times as strength in the modern feminism movement grows and resistance against it naturally, if temporarily, bolsters in response.

 Feminist snark. Who ever said women aren't funny?!

Feminist snark. Who ever said women aren't funny?!

I couldn’t align myself with the vision of an angry, man and make up hating harpy. I couldn’t align myself with the idea that feminism would only succeed once we had crushed all those possessed of a penis, banished them from board rooms across the land and chained them to the kitchen sink for all eternity, “just so they know how it feels. “

 What I felt in my heart was nothing to do with putting men down to raise women up, but to do with true equality, and let me explain what I mean by that because I don’t strictly believe that “we are all equal”.

For example, I cannot run as fast as Usain Bolt. I am not as wealthy or as famous as Oprah. I do not have the bone structure or the thigh gap of Karlie Kloss. I can’t write a song like Prince. And none of them can rap Baby Got Back with a hairbrush mic quite like me. (It's ok Usain, your gold medals will console you).  We’re not equal, as in we're not the same. But all living beings, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, education, ability, background, financial situation or anything other factor you might use to define or discriminate against a person with, are equally worthy. That to me is the true definition of equality. To realise that wherever you may land on a scale of wealth or sexuality or gender or fame that you are just as worthy as the next person and deserve, by your very existence, to be treated as such. 

For me, that is what feminism asks of society. It asks for women and girls to be treated as equally worthy as men and boys, and as a byproduct of its request it requires everyone to be treated as equally worthy, including allowing men and their masculine role to be less rigid, less macho, and more sensitive, open and emotive. It asks for mutual love, compassion and respect. And it asks for support from those who have louder, more oft listened to voices.

 Our leader. Psych!&nbsp;

Our leader. Psych! 

 I haven’t done a scientific study on this but I’m going to go for a sweeping generalization anyway, because you know, I can. I’d say most women, on the topic of feminism and gender equality, feel the same way as me. We’re not all plotting a mass uprising of the female of the species led by a mutant 50 foot woman who will lead us to victory over our husbands, fathers and brothers with her lethal Louboutins .

Whether it’s stopping female genital mutilation in Africa, addressing the pay gap the world over, or cutting out the low level sexism we experience every day: wolf whistles from builders, bare bosoms in national newspapers, condescending remarks about “women drivers”, we would just like to be treated like human beings. Go on, try us. We’ve been pushing them out of our vaginas for millions of years. I’ll wager we can take it.  #heforshe

 It was pretty cramped inside Barbie.&nbsp;

It was pretty cramped inside Barbie. 



 

Comment

How To Plan A Wedding 101.

5 Comments

How To Plan A Wedding 101.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In that case I’m going to wager it takes at least a county to plan a wedding…

In the beginning we wanted a festival style wedding. A huge field, live music, teepees, hundreds of folks and all the catering and decorating that goes with that. And then we figured out that when you insert the word “wedding”, the price of everything shoots up by about 500%. The thought of organising the logistics and the scary bill at the end of it was starting to stress me out before we’d even begun. Not to mention that with every extra item we added to the list it felt like we were getting further and further away from what the day is actually about. Y’know, being joined in matrimony in front of our nearest and dearest and celebrating our love and commitment with them. That small matter.

So one final wedding-zilla quote came in and Westy bride finally snapped. I felt sick at thought of spending so much money on one day, at the production of it all. (No judgment here if you want / had a huge wedding, it’s just not for me, see previous post.)

 “We’re getting married at the register office and having a party at home” I declared. And that was that.

How lovely I thought. A small, intimate, low maintenance, low key, low stress wedding. Little did I know that any of the above phrases immediately create an oxymoron (out of me) when placed before the word “wedding”.

Admittedly we pulled it together in just 5 months. And for 2-3 of those 5 months we were pretty chilled, convincing ourselves that doing half hearted gardening, house clearing  and online shopping was our best effort towards wedding planning.

But even if we’d had a year I know we could not have done it without the support of the people around us. My spiritual path teaches that Spirit works through other people. My spiritual path is sooo right.

So many people pulled through for us, some at our request and others completely unsolicited. And we heartily appreciate every single one of them and their mighty efforts.

We had an incredible day, it felt so perfect and exactly as I had imagined it. Intimate, fun, full of love and laughter.  Most importantly it felt very “us”. It felt like a true reflection of our style as individuals and as a couple. And I’ll say it again, we could not have done it without other people. Just another beautiful contradiction I’ve discovered about wedding planning and life. If you want to create a perfect expression of yourself, you’d better call in the troops.

If you’d like some {spiritual} help planning your life, including but not limited to your wedding and all the joy and stress that comes with it, check out my free training series “Create Your Kickass Spiritual Gameplan” starting today.

And now, finally, gratuitous wedding pictures. Thank you for being patient, I needed some time alone with them. #westyandpettitt
 

For the full experience here's the song I walked down the aisle to... 


Dave & Jo 033.jpg

Photography by Rob Smalley at http://www.flyonthewall-photography.co.uk/

5 Comments

2 Comments

Lessons I've Learned Planning a Wedding

For a bit of context: I'm getting married to a v. handsome and wonderful man on 30th August... This year!

This is the first (and I intend for it to be the only!) wedding I've ever planned. When I was seven years old and all the other girls wanted to be nurses and princesses and unicorns, I wanted to shave my head like Sinead O'Connor and be a soldier like Demi Moore in GI Jane. (I still want that bod - shower scene anyone?!) 

  Demi Moore in GI Jane: Who I was pretending to be while all the other girls were busy scrapbooking their future weddings.   

Demi Moore in GI Jane: Who I was pretending to be while all the other girls were busy scrapbooking their future weddings.
 

So you can probably imagine that I've never been one of those girls with a wedding scrapbook dreaming of the day Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet and rescue me. I mean why would I? I had my own semi automatic weapon. Duh. 

I haven't whiled away hours fantasising about my wedding dress. I do not know the names of the flowers I want to hold in my bouquet (err... Black and white ones?!) I've also not attended a lot of weddings in my life - maybe 3 or 4 that I can remember. My friendship circle is vast and diverse and spread over continents. I don't come from the sort of stock that follows the path of meeting their future hubby at university, getting married in their late twenties, kids in their early thirties, every summer weekend spent at someone's hen do / wedding / baby shower / christening. So I haven't even heard my friends talking about this stuff. 

It's no surprise then that all this wedding planning malarky has come as a bit of a shock to me...

As far as I was concerned, we were having a pretty intimate, laid back wedding, with the emphasis on fun rather than formalities, which is totally our style, but, I also believed, meant not hugely stressful on the planning front. 

I was wrong. The devil, as they say, is totally in the detail! The closer we draw to the day the more little details that require my attention keep cropping up. I'm determined (in a lovely happy way, rather than a gritted teeth, war paint kind of way!) to have as carefee a day as possible. That means forward thinking lots of eventualities. Lengthy emails to lengthy lists of people, reminding, ordering and confirming. Making sure everyone knows where they need to be at what time, how to get there and what their job is. 


  Desperately trying to avoid Bridezilla status on the final straight.   

Desperately trying to avoid Bridezilla status on the final straight.
 

It kind of feels like packing for one of my transatlantic trips, but on a waaay bigger scale. Whenever I have international travel planned I get the big stuff sorted first - plane tickets and hotel reservations and I'm like yeah, it's fine, I'm all ready for this trip. And in my mind I'd like to be packed and prepared with a little bit of breathing room before the alarm goes off at 3am and it's time to leave for my flight. 

It never happens like that. I'm always pulling together the finer details at the last minute. The bright ideas I had that will make my trip so much easier / more efficient / comfortable are now keeping me awake until midnight when I had planned to be done and dusted at 5pm and relaxing before an early night. 

With 15 days to go before our wedding I've had to do a reality check and use the tools that I share with my clients all the time to bring the stress under control and gain some much needed perspective. After all, flowers and welcome drinks are lovely, but this is about Dave and I sharing our commitment to one another in front our of nearest and dearest. 

So without further ado, here are the lessons I have (re)learned from planning a wedding: 

1) Ask for help. Shit shock horror, you don't have to do it all by yourself! There are people already in your life that can do it better than you and actually *want* to help you. So ask, and then receive. (Thank you Dave for the invites, Sophie for the flowers, Celia for the cake, Clare for the decorating advice and general moral support and on and on...)

2) Give yourself a break. Why is it that 15 days out from my wedding *everyone* (not even mildly exaggerated by stressed out #weddingbrain) in my network seems to be getting mainstream media recognition - something that I've desired since I put down my AK47 and started fancying being on the telly instead. Now on top of getting meal pre orders fixed up I'm freaking out thinking, wait, shouldn't I be writing press releases or networking with people in the TV industry?! The answer is yes, of course I should. In 16 days time. Opportunity is not going to pass me, or you by in 15 days. Relax and focus on getting to grips with the behemoth in front of you instead of trying every conceivable way to make it bigger and more complicated. Self sabotage much?!

 Give your fine sloth ass a break, will you?! At least I think this is a sloth. Either way, it represents you! You're welcome.&nbsp;

Give your fine sloth ass a break, will you?! At least I think this is a sloth. Either way, it represents you! You're welcome. 

3) Acknowledge what a big deal it is. As our wedding comes hurtling towards me at an alarming rate I'm starting to realise more and more each day what a huge emotional deal this is. (I know, I know, but like I said I haven't been mentally preparing for this my whole life!) I've been so focussed on the practical that the emotional effects have sort of crept up and knocked me sideways. Now I know that connecting with Source and taking the time to really allow what this joyous commitment means to me to soak in fully, is as much part of my wedding preparation as emailing the caterers and writing my vows. So my advice to you is whatever you're working through right now, be sure to take a moment (or three) to take stock and actually acknowledge what you're going through or working up to, physically, practically, emotionally and spiritually. 

I hope that my tales from #weddingbrain have given you some inspiration for your own life and if you'd like some support moving from stress, craziness and feeling disconnected from your inner self I'm inviting you to snap up one of the spots I've opened up for folks who are ready to take the leap from overwhelmed, frustrated, stagnant and stuck, to living their ideal life, fulfilled, reenergised, excited and moving forward in the direction of their dreams. If this is you and you want to know more about my new way of working 
click here to book in for your complimentary Breakthrough session with me. 

 Put the Xanax down babe, the Spirit Deej is here to help! xo&nbsp;

Put the Xanax down babe, the Spirit Deej is here to help! xo 


2 Comments

Comment

Great Value.

Picture this. You walk into a shop and peruse the goods on offer. You choose a few that you like, then you take them to the counter. You tell the cashier you'll take these items, and in a month's time after you've used them and had the benefit from them, you'll send in the payment for them. Maybe. If you remember. If the shop remembers to send you a reminder. If you don't decide after you've used the products that actually they weren't what you wanted after all, despite having tried them and had the opportunity to derive the benefits from them. 

Sounds crazy right? But I can tell you that as a service provider - that is someone who sells services - my knowledges, gifts, skills, call it what you will, as opposed to a physical product - this is so often how we as a society, show our lack of value for what we perceive to be "intangible". 

 Act natural. The payment terms say 30 days.&nbsp;

Act natural. The payment terms say 30 days. 

 Some of the lovely things I used to make back in the day!

Some of the lovely things I used to make back in the day!

Before I go any further I'd like to get one thing straight. This is NOT a "woe me" post about how hard it is to be a service provider and how people just don't respect me and all I have to offer, boo hoo. No. 
1) I have been a designer maker in my lifetime. I know how hard it can also be to sell physical stuff. Great big overheads to start with and no guarantees of a sale. Pouring your heart and soul, hours of time, art degrees and evening pottery classes into something beautiful, only for folks to look it up and down and balk at the price. Trying to convince stores to take your work and settling for sale or return. "But it's hand made!"
2) I have enough experience as a service provider to have my own systems for payment working in my favour. I didn't always. That was and continues to be my responsibility, and I accept it fully. 

So now we've got that cleared up, I'd like to clarify what this IS. It's a post about the differing levels of value and worth we place on things we perceive as tangible, and things we perceive as "intangible". 

Things we perceive as tangible - usually perishable or material goods - we are willing to pay for upfront. Indeed the whole product industry is set up so that we pay upfront, or at least lay down a deposit and sign into a payment plan. It's expected. 

Things we perceive as intangible - mostly services to do with our mental or physical well being, or services that would give us back time, or take away a stress or hassle - we expect to pay for after delivery, often with some kind of a delay built in - 14, 30, 90 days. 

Now of course I'm speaking in broad strokes here. I know not every service is paid for after the fact, I know not all products are paid for in advance. I'm generally speaking in terms of buying products and services at retail (as opposed to wholesale) level. I know not everyone holds this system of value as de rigueur.  

 Shoooooooooeeeeeeessssssssss! Ahem.&nbsp;

Shoooooooooeeeeeeessssssssss! Ahem. 

But honestly this system of value truly baffles me. I have no problem with paying for physical products upfront. I also personally have no problem paying for services upfront either. Maybe that's because I'm used to doing it. Maybe that's because that's the way my business works. Maybe that's because I'll a diligent buyer. I pay the same care and attention when researching a service provider and whether I want to invest with them as I would when purchasing a new pair of shoes. In both cases, I already have an idea of what I want when I go shopping and how much I'd like to pay. I look with focus at the styles I'm interested in. I try a few on. I get a hit about the ones for me, and I look around some more to double check they really are a yes. Then I go back and get them. (Sounds like a lengthy process, but until you've seen me shop you can't know how efficient I am!)

I understand that the choice is mine to make. I do my research. I connect with the service provider (or the shoes!) to get a feel for them. I read the small print. And if I don't like what is delivered, as long as it is within the parameters of what I was expecting and what was laid out in our agreement together, I will either terminate the service, or if that's not an option, I suck it up and understand that it was my decision, that I made, of my own freewill. I took up time and space on this person's schedule and they are giving me me the value they have to offer. So I make the best, play my part and learn from the experience. 

To trivialise the matter and bring it down to a more easy to digest analogy, it's like going to the supermarket and trying out a new pasta sauce. You saw it advertised, it looks great. It has all the flavours you love in it. So probably worth a shot. Then you get it home, cook it up and turns out it's a bit gross. No delish pasta for you, boo hiss. You move on and chalk it up to experience. You won't buy that sauce again. No biggie.

Of course the level of investment you make for a service is generally going to be far more significant that for a jar of pasta sauce, but when we take money out of the equation it really boils down to what in, at least modern western society, we place greater value on. And the fact that we're willing to pay upfront  and take a risk on physical stuff, and expect to pay after delivery, after proof, for "intangible" stuff, for me is symptomatic of how little we value that which is not of material substance.

We place greater value on things we can hold, and touch, wear and drive, and show to our friends. We place less value, and perhaps even hold suspicion about, the things that we perceive as "intangible". Our mental and physical wellbeing. Our enjoyment of our lives and the gift of time given back to us by someone providing a service for us. 

I once asked a friend "If I told you I had the answer, the magical solution to make you happy for the rest of your life - let's just say for the sake of this, it's a dead cert, guaranteed - but it will cost you £10,000, what would you say?" 

She replied "I'd rather be miserable and have £10,000 in the bank." (And then she laughed. I'm not sure whether it was at me or her own answer!)

 Happiness. Totes worth £10,000!&nbsp;

Happiness. Totes worth £10,000! 

I'd be willing to bet that same friend wouldn't hesitate to spend £10,000 on a new car if she had it to hand. 

While we're on the subject of automobiles, a while ago I did a quick survey on Facebook about the amount folks would be willing to spend on their next car - most answers went into the multiple thousands, some into the tens of thousands. 

Firstly - no judgement. Cars don't do it for me personally, but it's ok to like nice stuff an get turned on by torque and bhp and other things I don't understand.
Secondly -  cars are super useful. I have one. It gets me, my fiancee, my step daughter, our three dogs and whole heaps of other crap from A to B and beyond.

But is it worth more than my health and happiness? Is it worth more than the precious gift of time to me? No. If I had the option of either a life altering service or a hunk of metal, I know which I'd choose. And I've seen the opposite in action with potential clients - they have the option of taking a risk on something they perhaps don't quite understand but feels like it might be a great solution for their current not-so-happy state, or buying a car, or going abroad on holiday. Sometimes, sadly, they choose the latter, believing that it will make them happy and be "worth"the money. 

And, this is NOT a lecture on why my values are better than yours. If it's coming across that way please now tune into the sound of my winding my neck in. 

 Totally worth it.&nbsp;

Totally worth it. 

What I'm trying to do is bring home this question of values. When did our society get so twisted in what it holds dear, what it values, that a ton of metal, gears and engine, that will eventually depreciate itself into the ground and become financially worthless, that in the majority of cases adds to the pollution on the planet, is costly to maintain whilst it's in working order - fuel, servicing, MOT's, tax, insurance, repairs - and even more costly to maintain as it starts to deteriorate, more than it values what can be given by the "intangible", by services - time, health and happiness. Perhaps lessons and healing that will change and serve you for a lifetime. Perhaps time given back that will allow memories to be created that will have you smiling into your old age. 

Maybe it comes down to this. Time, health and happiness are about the most tangible real and valuable things we actually have on this Earth. We just haven't figured that out yet. 

 

If you have got that figured out and would like some hep getting more of that good stuff in your life, I can help. Book your complimentary breakthrough session with me here




 

Comment

1 Comment

Are You Open for Business?

Open space.

How do those two words make you feel?

 Are you open for business?&nbsp;

Are you open for business? 

I’ll bet that if you really think about it there’s some level of discomfort . We’re not programmed, at least in modern western society, to be comfortable with open space. Open space in our diaries, open space in our homes, open space in our heads, hearts and minds.

I remember the last home I moved into, I had this radical idea that in my lounge I would have no TV (that one stuck) and at least for a while, no sofa. I loved the idea that I would have this lovely open space just for me, to meditate, practice yoga, stretch, just be. No crap in the way.

My parents were appalled. They offered to buy me a sofa. Like most people they thought I was trying to mask the fact that I couldn’t afford furniture with some kind of puritan wish for open space. But honestly, at that time in my life, I just so desperately needed the physical and psychic space a chronic lack of seating would have given me.

So often we are working to fill up our lives with stuff. Physical stuff, emotional stuff, doing doing doing, filling, filling, filling. As a society we are so uncomfortable with the possibility of open space. Time booked out in our diaries to do sweet FA. Being single. A bare kitchen cupboard. A lounge with no sofa or TV. We’ve been conditioned to think that more is good. More stuff equals a status of riches and sates deeper desires for meaningful connection. More events in our diaries equal popularity and an easy Band-Aid to the modern epidemic of loneliness.

 Blank white pages. One of the scariest things known to humankind.

Blank white pages. One of the scariest things known to humankind.

But what I have discovered through my own experience, and the experience of my clients, is that open space is where opportunity, success and happiness really live. Open space is where creativity thrives. Open space is where stuff has the room to grow and evolve. Open space is where thoughts and emotions have room to work themselves out.

 Often I hear people (myself included) talking about how much clarity and healing has been gained around a situation when there is some space, some perspective, some physical and psychic distance. Imagine if, instead of having to wait and be six months out from a situation before we could see what had really happened, we could enter into situations from and with that clear open space, mentally and emotionally. I’m not saying nothing would go pear shaped ever again but I do know that when we can do this, when we can step into that seemingly scary place of open space and handle whatever comes our way from that place, life gets a lot easier, a lot more fun, and opportunities open up like never before.

So I hope it’s obvious by this point that open space is pretty darn essential if you want to have a thriving business that supports your dreams. Daring to create, allow and then step into that open space really is the key to getting clear, having the physical, mental and emotional energy to take inspired action and the room to manoeuver when a one track plan just won’t cut it. 

But, nevermind leaping gaily into the abyss, what can you do to open up this space in the first place?

1.     Some form of quietness very first thing in the morning. Meditation. Morning silence before 8am. Whatever takes your fancy but make it NOT the TV news, Facebook or your emails.

2.     Clear some space in your diary.

3.     Leave it clear. Dare to see what may or may not happen in a time when nothing is planned. Maybe you’ll start writing that book. Maybe you’ll take a 3 hour soak in the bath. Maybe you’ll lie still, quiet and conscious for the first time you can remember in your waking adult memory and have that brainwave you were so desperately trying to journal out of yourself.

4.     Clear your workspace. Paperwork: filed. Desktop: tidied. Noticeboard: ruthlessly reorganised. General crap: recycled where possible, binned otherwise. Bin: emptied.

5.     Deal with one emotional or financial situation that is hanging over you. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in months. I don’t care who called last. Pay an outstanding bill. I don’t care what a pain in the ass their customer service department is. Say sorry if you need to. Just tick something off your sub conscious list.

Doing any one of these things will open up a significant amount of space for you, but doing all of them on a consistent basis will help to really anchor in the practice and the visceral experience of what it feels like to live in space, instead of living in a cramped in a world of thoughts and things, stress and nonsense.

So now you know how, but the question remains… Are you “Open” for business?

 

 

 

1 Comment

Comment

An epidemic of numbness.

Just to warn you, I’m going to make a bold sweeping statement immediately after this colon: In mainstream Western culture we are suffering from an epidemic of mental and emotional numbness.

I see it manifested everywhere. Not least in the political system in the UK. Many people I speak to from all age groups and backgrounds say they feel so apathetic about all the seemingly pointless tit for tat, politically correct, popularity contest, middle ground politics being practiced in the cabinet that they don’t vote. They feel that it would barely make a difference anyway. Five years of one party undoing anything the previous government had tried to put in place, spending their time telling the world how crap the previous government were and trying through their policy changes to show them up for it. The main three contending parties being somewhere ever so slightly left, right or centre of centre, all muddling for a safe uninspiring middle ground.

 Doesn't matter how close I get, there's still nothing on.&nbsp;

Doesn't matter how close I get, there's still nothing on. 

I see it manifested in the people around me in their everyday lives. “There’s nothing on telly”. Wow. Really? Well then that’s it. Your night is totally fucked. Because there is literally nothing else to do. Damn that gogglebox. How dare it not entertain us permanently.

I hear it manifested too many times to count in one of the most common phrases I hear, in and outside of my work: “I don’t know”. Which usually means you do know, you just don’t want to uncover it, process it, say it.

There’s a dangerous lack of awareness of what’s really happening in the world, and it starts from within.

Yesterday I was in a car accident. Bad enough that the car will probably be written off, bad enough that I’m still feeling the shock in my body the next day, but not bad enough that blue flashing lights needed to attend.

As I was slowing to approach a roundabout, a car approaching from my left (we give way to oncoming traffic from the right at roundabouts in the UK) failed to stop, in fact the driver sped up, not because he was a boy racer trying to pull a sneaky manoeuver, risking it for a biscuit to get over the roundabout before me, but because he was totally oblivious to my presence on the road. I braked and hit the horn hard, but there was nothing I could do to avoid the collision.

I crashed head on into the drivers door, caving it in and giving the driver what looked like the shock of his life. The look on his face spoke of being struck down by a bolt of lightning from the heavens, rather than being inevitably involved in a car crash because he had failed to notice  and give way to oncoming traffic.

Now I can’t say, and won’t proclaim in anyway to know, what was going through the other drivers head. I have no idea what he was thinking. But you would think, that in theory, when you are in control of a ton or so of metal and your own and your nearest and dearest’s lives, just a mile from home (so not a long, tiring journey) you’d be aware enough to notice another ton of metal coming towards you.

However, I know from other smaller accidents I’ve been involved in that were my fault, that when we’re not being conscious, when we’re not actively aware of our thoughts it wouldn’t matter if we were flying a 747, numbness to reality sets in, and the Ego has the opportunity to take hold and take you somewhere away from presence.

I’m certainly not judging the other driver for his lack of awareness. I’ve done it too. I used to live my whole life in that space of going through the physical motions without much conscious awareness of myself, my reality, my thoughts. I was someone who “stuff” just happened to. I was the kind of person who would be hit by oncoming traffic with right of way “out of the blue”.

But ever since last summer, my level of awareness has changed so drastically that I was shocked at how un-shocked I was when the events of yesterday unfolded.

After the impact, I sat, for what must have been 30 seconds but it seems like far longer. I scanned my body for pain, I scanned my mind for shock, I took deep meditation style breaths and decided the traffic piling up behind me could wait. I took a moment to gather my thoughts. Remember all the things you need to do in this situation Westy, take photographs, exchange insurance details, call your recovery service.

So I did all the practical things and as I watched the driver sit in utter shock, unable to move, not only because the collision had pushed most of his door about 2 feet closer to his body, but because he was mentally stunned light a rabbit in headlights, I watched his wife parade around on the roundabout head in hands, screeching at her husband calling him an idiot, apologizing to me and telling anyone who wouldlisten how she felt bad that she couldn’t call Mrs. So-and-so who she was on her way to work for and how they had only just bought this beautiful new car and now it was ruined.

In that moment I was so glad to have the energy and the clarity to gather my thoughts, take care of me, do what needed to be done and even have enough left to comfort the other people involved.

A passing ambulance stopped at the scene to help out and I recall the look of surprise and confusion on the paramedic’s faces as I calmly walked around checking out the damage, taking photos and telling the other folks that is was ok, there was nothing to worry about. In the grand scheme of things we were all fine, despite minor injuries and shock. We all still had our lives, nothing else really mattered.

 Conscious awareness: Difficult when you've got a Jackson Pollock haemorrhaging out of your brain. &nbsp;

Conscious awareness: Difficult when you've got a Jackson Pollock haemorrhaging out of your brain.  

In hindsight I too was more shocked at how un-shocked I felt by it all at the time, than by the actual event.

I’m still trying to make sense of yesterday. I’m wondering what the bigger lessons are for me. Right now it feels like I may have manifested something big enough to slow me down, but small enough to keep me going.

The night before my accident I had been up until 11pm planning, finishing off lots of jobs, multitasking like a boss and filling up my diary for the next couple of months. Then the next morning I woke at 5am and in the cold, dark and drizzle I squeezed in a run before what was set to be a jam packed day.

When it happened I had to wonder was this a divine note to self: stop trying to be wonder woman, there are only so many hours in the day and you’re doing just fine without the military operation act. Or was it my Ego: you’re on a roll so what could possibly stop you in your tracks?  

I tuned it. Honestly right now it feels like it was a warning to slow down, chill out and know that everything that needs to happen will happen in due course and without me working like a crazy and burning out in the meantime.

When I finally got home yesterday after waiting two hours for recovery and I checked over my diary, I saw that all the things that got cancelled, bumped or rescheduled weren’t actually as essential as they’d felt at 11pm the night before anyway. Funny that.

And the truly awesome thing about this ability to hold my conscious awareness throughout a mildly traumatic life event? Whatever the lesson is that comes from it, I know because of my spiritual practice, because of my awareness, because of my choice to be conscious I will be able to move through it in minimal time with maximal effect. I know I won’t spend days, weeks or months heading in the wrong direction, getting burned out, worrying or staying in pain.

 Cats of Britain, put the remote down!&nbsp;

Cats of Britain, put the remote down! 

That’s why I’m super passionate to bring spirituality to the UK in a super easy to understand Brit friendly way. It’s time to end the epidemic of numbness. It’s time to put down the TV remote, the booze, the junk food, the cigarettes, whatever your anesthesia and start getting truly aware, from the inside out.

If you’d like help kickstarting a new habit of conscious awareness I’d love to invite you to join me and Carly Hope for my fist ever live event happening on Saturday 22nd March in Birmingham, England called How To Have An Awesome Life: LIVE – Check out the ticket page right here. We'd love to have you come and join us and be part of this Awesome total spiritual immersion experience xo 

Comment

Comment

Honesty Blog

Ok, engage brain. Think back for me. Have you ever had a 100% honest relationship with another human being? Romantic, business, platonic, familial, or even with yourself?  I promise I won’t be shocked or disappointed is the answer is no.


Because truthfully, I’m not sure I have either, until the last few months of my life as my spiritual study and practice has deepened.


This is something that's been coming up for me lots recently as I create my intentions for 2014 and start to really set in place my focus for the year ahead and once again delve into the world of online dating (at the time of going to press my Match renewal has been cancelled – I’ve found myself quite a catch gals!)

I've had some incredible conversations recently that have really anchored in the dire need for honesty, true honesty, with love, *without* hysteria, to create lasting, healthy happy relationships in all areas of our lives.

Personally there are some areas of my life where I find it easier to bust out the honesty pills. I've experienced a lot of growth over the last year in the area of romantic relationships. Mostly recently I've had some incredible encounters with men that have helped me to grow inexorably in a super short space of time, I believe because I was wide open with truth and honesty. 

When we are on a serious spiritual path the situation is not changed for us, but we are changed for the situation. If I didn't meditate, pray and study those same scenarios would have still played out, but I would have seen them with different eyes. I would have missed the opportunities for learning.

What I've learned about honesty in relationships is that it opens us up for a much deeper experience of life. I've seen for myself in romantic relationships that true defencelessness, open heartedness and frankness about my feelings actually makes time speed up. 

Yes. You read that correctly. It makes time speed up. Instead of spending weeks, months or maybe even years, as I have done in the past, in relationships that were there for a reason or a season, rather than a lifetime, I have been able to move through the assignment, learn the lesson and lovingly release the other person back into the wild, knowing that both of us have grown because of our interaction. Knowing that with every relationship, however fleeting it may seem on the surface, I grow, smooth some of my own rough edges and refine my true desires.

 For clarification this is not a picture of my bf! Lolz.&nbsp;

For clarification this is not a picture of my bf! Lolz. 

After just a week of dating, my current boyfriend stumbled over his words and felt super uncomfortable telling me that he knew he wanted more children. He said he felt it was inappropriate to share these feelings with me so early on. He was worried it would freak me out, that I'd think he was "moving too fast".

I told him I that I actually thought it was a really smart idea. As we are both looking for a serious long term relationship, it would make sense that we are aware of each other's true desires right from the get go. Otherwise, what? We get 6 months, a year down the line, fall truly, madly deeply, meet each other's families, talk about moving in together, and then find out that we don't want the same fundamental things out of life? 

Worse, we have based our relationship so far on the assumption that we do want the same things. We have become attached to a projected future outcome. And as we know all suffering comes from attachment, non more painful than attachment to fantasies that our Egos have created for us. 


*And* he was right. Expressing his true feelings to me so early in our relationship might have freaked me out. It could have spelled the end for us if I didn't feel the same way. But if it did, we would have had an awesome fun week together and been released to find what we really desired in another relationship. The universe is pretty damn smart at self organising that way! 

When we can release judgment and expectation, embarrassment and fear and express our true desires, from a place of love and honesty we find ourselves miraculously and effortlessly magnetising ideal people and situations towards us.

That said, I know there are still areas of my life in which I need to work on the honesty thing, not least in my relationship with myself. I have made a commitment to myself that 2014 will be the year that I fill my own cup first. The year when I learn how to have healthy boundaries, live with impeccability and fulfill myself first and foremost, of course with the intention that I will continue this work for the rest of my life.

2014 is just the year that the work begins in earnest.

Want to get help doing this tricky thing called honesty and openness? Then why not join me and the awesome Carly Hope for a day of totally practical spiritual immersion on Saturday 22nd March in Birmingham UK… Get your tickets for How To Have An Awesome Life Live right here! 

Comment

Comment

Why we're failing our young women.

Just skimming through my bumper issue of Grazia, not half way through and I've already come across these articles ...

"I always feel second best to my sister in everything I do", about a girl who has purposely distanced herself from her elder sister as they are pregnant at the same time and says she will continue to keep her distance when their babies are born because she can't bear what she feels are unfair comparisons between her and her sister... 
 

And "I'm addicted to trolling celebrities", about a girl who was bullied at school and now takes out her unresolved vitriol on random people on Twitter.

photo 1.JPG


A quote from the latter: "I keep telling myself I'll stop when I finally have a life that makes me happy; when I have a boss who respects me and a boyfriend who adores me. I guess then I'll have better stuff to do. Right now, though, I don't - it's the quickest way to transform how I'm feeling."
 


Now I'm loathe to turn this into a sales pitch but honestly, this is why I do the work I do. It breaks my heart to read the psychological pain our young women are going through and the lengths they are going to, to avoid, mask, temporarily cure all the crap that's swirling round in their heads.
 

I'm British so I can, and intend only, to speak for my own culture, but we are just not set up as a nation to know how to handle these kinds of issues.

Reticence, stuff upper lips, keeping calm and carrying on, it's all bullshit because we are creating fucked up young people. And not so young people for that matter, because if you don't solve it at 22, you get the same thing reoccurring at 32, 42, 52....

I'm not saying that spirituality, A Course In Miracles or my Spirit DJ work is the definitive answer. There are many answers. But the work I do is one doorway that is available, and in my experience works on every level of disappointment, disillusionment, dissatisfaction and despair.

If you feel the same way I do, or you are one of these women that could be in next week's Grazia, I've got two things coming up that you might like to know about...

My super special edition, hot to trot, NO BS live all content show on Friday 21st February at 1pm GMT - The Awesome Life Show: How To Have a Spiritual Breakthrough and a Totally Awesome Life in 6 Mega Easy Steps - Register here if you fancy it.

Please spread the word. Happiness is everyone's birthright, and if in any way I can help our amazing women to remember this, I need to do it. xo

Comment

4 Comments

A Very British Brand Of Spirituality

Back when I was the Social Media Deej the first live reporting job I ever did, was, at the tim, by far the best thing I had ever done. I remember, now with a smile, how people would be genuinely shocked that I was more proud of the three days work I did typing stuff on Facebook for a business coach in LA than the three years of work I put in to gain my degree in textile design.

At the end of this particular event, which I had flown half way across the world alone to attend, at the tender age of 24, with only a moment’s notice to my nearest and dearest so as not to give them any time to worry about me, my client said to me

“You know what you did is incredible, right? EVERYONE is talking about it! Thank you!”

To which I replied

“Um, err, yeah, that’s alright”

A very standard British response for no worries, just doing my job and getting mildly uncomfortable while trying to deflect this huge monstrosity of a compliment you’ve just shot my way.

“Soooo British! But don’t worry, you’re young, we can change that!” retorted my client to my frankly lacklustre (read crap) response.

 ... Even if you're miserable.

... Even if you're miserable.

And she was right. I didn’t realise it at the time as I had always thought of myself as being quite a free spirit, unencumbered by any stiff upper lip-ness. But being dropped in LA, a stone’s throw from Venice Beach, in the middle of a personal development focused women’s business seminar, led by a self-confessed ex hippie healer, soon taught me differently!

I was sooo stiff! So British! I was afraid of closing my eyes during any of the exercises that required it… Someone might be looking at me. Looking at my face and how it looks when my eyes are closed. They’ll know how I look when I’m sleeping. They might take a photograph of me and post it online! Eeek!

Just imagine how out of place and discombobulated I felt when the attendees started giving birth to their baby selves then cradling them and re parenting them. Cripes!

{If you're not familiar with the US self development and coaching industry check out this spoof video for a fun 4 minute guide to what it looks and feels like} 

 North vs. South: Northern Stereotype Artwork by the terribly talented Toby Triumph

North vs. South: Northern Stereotype Artwork by the terribly talented Toby Triumph

I was actually a very special brand of stiff: Northern working class. Folks outside the UK tend not to grasp the complexity of our generally unspoken, but nevertheless prevalent class system and the geographical and psychological nuances that go along with it. If you’re one of those folks this part is especially for you.

As a Northern working class Brit, I absolutely did not do compliments, giving or receiving. Especially receiving. Overt or unnecessary positivity was a complete no-no. Everything had a tinge of grim about it. A sleight of sarcasm, a whiff of disdain. As a breed we also don’t like to go on too much. It’s cold up north, (or so we tell the Southerners to keep them out!) and when you’ve done a hard day’s graft down a coal mine (metaphorically speaking for myself of course) you haven’t the time or the inclination to be standing about in the bracing wind and lashing rain having pleasant but pointless chit chat. Straight to the point and in the door for your tea, which is the word used for the third meal of the day when you get past a certain point about half way up England.

Fast forward 2 years and I find myself, having been immersed in US style self development work for this whole time, on the other side of some very un-British experiences.

For example, and this one’s really the pinnacle so far so I advise you to keep reading. I had a spiritual revelation. Yes, I know. But stay with me, it’s worth your time if only for a laugh!

There I was, Northern working class Brit, meat eater, beer drinker, atheist, couldn’t tell my solar plexus from my third eye (still can’t) doing my best to live day to day by all the awesome new stuff my transatlantic sisters were teaching me about mindset, wealth consciousness, energy management, and lots of other snazzy phrases that may or may not make sense to you, but still not going whole hog with all the rebirthing and whatnot. 

Then I got my heart broken. Shattered, in fact.

At the time I was devastated because in my mind I hadn’t just lost my boyfriend, but my whole life as I knew it. Together we had future tripped in a massive way. We had entered into co-dependency, living out the present via a projected future fantasy. And unexpectedly, within moments, it was ripped from under me.

“Our greatest pain comes from attachment to things we never had”, she said wisely with 20/20 hindsight.

And I was in great pain. I was literally on my knees begging for help, from who, God knows (ba-bum, I’m here all week folks). I just needed to get out of it because I was afraid I might not survive it.

Then, as if by a miracle, that was it. The door to my soul had been blown wide open. My British-ness no longer a valid barrier to the most woo of all things to dabble in: Spirituality.

I got the message. Actually I got a message. Again, at the time I had no idea where from but I had asked for help and I wasn’t about to start quizzing the voice in my head for ID at the door. I’d been given the answer to the question I’d been asking. Boom. Just like that. I was on my knees (again, I know, I’ll be getting a reputation. Haha, very funny, mind out of the gutter please) sobbing in my living room, having a bloody spiritual revelation cheers very much.

 A serious spiritual practice: Simpler than drinking tea apparently! (PS. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that it is uncouth to dunk. This is simply not true. Now pass the chocolate hobnobs.)

A serious spiritual practice: Simpler than drinking tea apparently! (PS. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that it is uncouth to dunk. This is simply not true. Now pass the chocolate hobnobs.)

The message I got was that I needed to bring spirituality, meditation, PMA, life coaching, therapy lite, call it whatever you want, to the UK, in a non-religious, down to Earth, Brit friendly way. Which seemed like a jolly good idea, so I followed the guidance and became The Spirit DJ.

It made so much sense to me to do this work because I see so many of my UK sisters suffering the kind of low level, persistent psychological anxiety that I once carried with me and lived my life from, that I now know could be helped enormously, if not eradicated altogether by a simple, practical spiritual practice.

I see inklings of depression, smidgens of trauma, buckets full of unfulfillment, smears of failure and guilt everywhere. And quite frankly this stiff upper lip, stoic, no fuss emotionless jive we’re dancing in the Land of [where has all the] Hope & Glory [gone] isn’t doing us any favours.

However, I'm aware that centuries of tradition, ingrained in a nation’s culture won’t be undone by one Mansfield lass having a funny turn and writing passionately about it on't Internet.

So I know that my job is to be a translator. I’m here to use my Brit given skills for bringing weird and wonderful concepts like spirituality down to a real practical, understandable level, with just the right amount of sarcasm and not taking ourselves too seriously thrown in for good measure.

In fact, that’s my mission. To bring the awesome stuff that I’ve experienced first hand, and now have seen working in my client’s lives, to the womenfolk of the UK, in a super palatable easy to digest way, with minimal reference to religion and all body contact and eye closing optional.

In my terribly humble opinion, Britain is far too great to be left behind in the happiness stakes. It’s time we started to embrace a more positive mental attitude and I think all it might take is for us to start hearing it spoken in our own language.

 "Spirituality with a side of chips love?"

"Spirituality with a side of chips love?"

If you agree and you’d like to come along to an hour long demonstration of spirituality done the British way, I’d love to invite you to my Super Special Edition All Content Live Hangout – The Awesome Life Show happening this Friday, 21st February at 1pm GMT.

Check out all the deets here and get yourself registered ASAP. We’re going to party like it’s 12 degrees and drizzling in June but we’re bloody well barbecuing anyway. Because we’re British, you know.

 

 

 Ladies, don't ever say I don't give you anything.&nbsp;

Ladies, don't ever say I don't give you anything. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments