I spent time with one of my nieces last weekend when I went down to visit my family in Kent. She’d recently finished reading my book, “Finding the River”, and expressed astonishment at the amount of different self-help techniques, visualisations, exercises and meditations etc., contained in it. “How on earth did you come to learn all that?” she asked. I gave her a wry smile and said I’d been working on myself for an awful long time!!!!
This got me musing upon the journey of unfolding that comes to all seekers who
travel the way to personal and spiritual development. Each path is unique to
every individual. And I got to thinking about the key things that have been
instrumental in my quest along this road…. .
Life is a growing process and everything you encounter can teach you something – even the difficult things! I’ve learnt that if you always look to see what you
can learn from every situation, then challenges can change from being obstacles
into new opportunities for growing and strengthening on an inner level. I’ve
found that if you make the effort to look beneath the surface, you can always
find something positive in the negative. This can be a life-saver in all kinds
of situations and help you to see the way forward. It also helps you to feel
lighter, freer and better about yourself!
Throughout my journey, I’ve been blessed with finding some amazing teachers – some of whom took me on as a student and others whose writings have been a revelation and whose words I continue to dip into time after time whenever I am in need. I’m always grateful, too, for the lessons that Nature gives. I could never have managed without my spiritual teachers. They’re an inspiration! It always amazes me how one can continue to find deeper and deeper levels of understanding in even the most basic concepts. I believe this has allowed my inner guidance to build up over the years, and sharpen my intuition.
Gaining the ability to “press the pause button” (as one of my teachers always says) and slip into a meditative practice is and always has been invaluable to me for calming the incessant chatter of the mind, understanding things in a less linear fashion and finding inner space and calm. I find taking time for stillness on a regular basis is incredibly grounding and centreing.
Acceptance and openness is something I believe you can never overdo!!! Learning to accept comes from openness and openness leads to acceptance. And it’s not just about being open and accepting others. It’s also very much to do with being open and accepting of yourself! Learning to accept, move with and grow through change is something I can keep working on for the rest of my life!
I also know how vital healing and relaxation are as a fundamental practices to adhere to at every step along the way. I’ve learnt to my cost that if I don’t take time out to heal and relax and give myself permission to take care of myself, it’s much harder to stay the course and easy to run the risk of overwhelm and/or burn-out!
I’ve learnt to be grateful to myself – appreciating not only all my efforts but all my mistakes as well (!!!) for these are the areas where we can learn most. If there’s ever a feeling of disappointment about life, it’s good to counter it by remembering all the things you HAVE achieved. In fact, developing an attitude of gratitude towards everything I have and experience has been one of the single most important things I’ve done for myself and it’s literally changed my life!
If you’ve ever spent any time watching your thoughts and observing how much criticism arises in you on a regular basis, you’ll see what a huge lesson it is. For me, it was a revelation to see how judgemental I could be the first time I tried this! Self awareness isn’t just being aware of your thinking processes but also looking at your belief systems and any negative writings on your walls.
And finally, the more I practice staying in the here and now, the calmer and more grounded I can be. The past is gone. The future hasn’t happened. Right now is all there is. And it’s a gift – which is why it’s called “The Present! ”
Buy “Finding the River” through the publishers at www.dragonrising.com/store or directly from me at the discounted price of £10. + £1.20 p&p. Please email me for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
RHYTHMIC EIGHTS – a Fun Way to Give Your Energy a Good Boost
- Stand, feet apart with your arms hanging loose by your sides and start shifting your weight from one foot to another. (It’s good to do this in time to some music if you want!)
- Start letting your arms sway with your body. Notice there’s a natural figure-eight movement that your arms make as they swing from side to side with the sway of your body.
- Now amplify this movement and, stretching your arms in front of you, begin to trace really big figure-eight patterns in the air with your hands and arms, twisting at the waist in the direction towards where you’re reaching. Keep moving in this pattern till you feel you want to stop. It becomes more like a dance than a tightly patterned exercise and is very freeing for your body, releases built-up tension in the arms, shoulders and back, and gets the left and right brain hemispheres into better communication with each other. Enjoy!