Monday, 27 April 2009

The new paradigm.....

I spent a lot of today looking at the large wall-mounted TV which is in the reception at college. Because of the din of the area my keeping up with events as they unfolded was through the sub-titles which were headed 'breaking news' and gave details of the confirmed case of swine flu in Europe, in this case Spain. In true British stoicism the issue was acknowledged by my colleagues as 'quite worrying' which gave me the platform to proclaim my mantra of staying steady. Yesterday I had an insight that the shift of consciousness is going to result in another kind of perception. I think it will be depth perception, whereby other realms and worlds which have been spoken and written about but are not available to the consciousness as it operates now will become available. The shift that is coming is going to result in greater perception so that things that couldn't be validated or verifed before will now will be. I can't be more specific than that and I have no evidence for this, it is an insight I had and like all of my insights I don't get the how for the way in which they are going to come about.

Today was a really good day in college. I feel that I am no longer drowning in the shorthand quicksand. I know though that this comfort is conditional on me putting in the required hour of work come what may. I see now that it for two chapters where I didn't put in the time is where my knowledge is a bit hazy which reflects when I have to write outlines that involve learning from these chapters. I'm beginning to see that all of shorthand is about how words sound not how they are spelled and if I can keep this distinction in my head and the relevant outlines then that should be my ticket to getting the speed I want to go for a job on either a newspaper or a magazine.

I was thrilled today when I received feedback from the lecturer for the second feature of the six I have to do for the exam portfolio. This was a write-up of the interview I did with the Managing Director of a chilled food manufacturer. I had kind of told myself that it didn't really fit the brief because it was another interview and not so much of an article so I couldn't believe it when on the front page I saw a large 'B' in black pen. This is the first 'B' I have got for an article I have done on this course. It was interesting getting the feedback from the lecturer compared to the feedback the editor of the magazine had given me. The editor had allowed wordy adjectives such as 'effective' 'essential', the college lecturer wanted them out. What I see now is that I can write simply and don't need to use these kind of words which is a huge relief. I can read something and then say 'what is this saying' and then write in my own words simply and clearly.

In spite of the rain sheeting against the window for most of the day today I had a contentment and ease and joy which is just so precious. I don't know what is causing this. I think it is that I am finally in integrity around what I want to do with my life. What will unfold is going to do so slowly because one can't a live a life where the integrity has been out for so many years and expect things to shift overnight, it doesn't happen like this.

I was a bit nervous driving home because I suddenly remembered that two people where I live have been sick with a stomach bug that is going around. The mind is funny, the moment I got in and heard the news that a third person and a friend weren't feeling well, I immediately thought I could feel a rumbling in my stomach. I made some green tea and chatted to one of the people there. We got talking about being held back in life from what we want to do and I spoke again about programmes which are effective in showing where the blind spots are in life. These blind spots hold us back by virtue of the fact that they are blind spots. She has had her work cut back to two days and is now in a position to look at what else might be possible. I invited her to come to hear about the Forum in a couple of weeks; this time I will keep my word and be there.

Even though I am finishing this training in May I will continue to be a stand not for this kind of training necessary although it is what I have found hugely powerful, but a stand for people to stop looking outside for answers that are within. To realize that power and freedom doesn't come from getting more, better and different of what is outside, but of becoming a friend and lover to what is within........

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The importance....of keeping our nerve..

I was quite concerned to learn of the presence of swine flu first in Mexico and now in other countries. Comparisions are being drawn to the recession of 1918 which also brought with it a pandemic that killed millions of people. It is so important in the face of news like this to stay steady. We are in a state of transition and shift, there is no doubt about that. Everything that we considered to be safe and stable is turning out to have been made of shifting sand. What doesn't shift though is our ability to go within and develop an understanding of how the inner life works that is strong enough to withstand all of the shocks that are delivered by the materialistic world. Yesterday I read that the number of billionaires has halved as a result of this recession. These billionaires were probably people who felt they were immune to whatever could happen and now overnight practically what they thought they were worth has been taken away through absolutely no fault of their own. This is a huge shock to the mind and is why it is important to be steady. It is the steadiness of the consciousness that will determine how successful the shift is to the next kingdom that the process of evolution is gearing up for.

The writer JG Ballard died last week and I have been reading some of what he has written. I have been particularly struck by an insight he had which seems particularly apt for what the consciousness is being subjected to today. He said: "People want to save the whale and the seal because they know that sooner or later the human being is probably going to be next on the list." This is what I feel is happening with the speed with which the world as we have known it is breaking down and the bewilderment on the faces and in the conversations of those who are supposed to be leaders in getting us through this, It is so important to be steady and to trust that when everything is finished the consciousness will be raised so high as to bring about a new paradigm. I am not asserting that what I say is the Truth and I am not saying it to bring about fear, in fact, I am speaking out now to prevent widespread fear and panic. It is the steadiness of our own consciousness that is going to determine how well or otherwise we come out of this.

How can steadiness of consciousness be developed? It is really by going within and being aware not so much of events themselves but of our own reactions to them. The learning and value is never in an event but in what our reaction to it tells us about ourselves. Just to notice, not to judge is what is valuable. It is a kind of mindfulness where no thought about anything goes unobserved. Continual practice of mindfulness will in time result in a steady consciousness. I often think of my friend and mystic Manuel Schoch and wonder how he would interpret the speed with which everything is being torn down before being reconstructed. I'm sure he would also see what is happening as ultimately for the good in shifting consciousness even if at present it is somewhat bewildering.....

Saturday, 25 April 2009

When you just know......

Today was an amazing day. After the team meeting we had a workshop on creating a vision board. I have watched 'The Secret' so knew about the concept but actually lying on the floor with pieces of A3 paper and drawing what I would like my dream life to look like was really scary for me. I realised that I couldn't move beyond wanting to make a difference to people. It took the form of 'having my own spiritual magazine which would transform everyone who read it', to realizing the long-held desire of being a Buddhist Boddhissatva. I couldn't seem to move beyond this. I had nothing about home, garden, breeding pigs, chickens like the others. For a long time I just sat and looked at what I had drawn on this piece of paper and wondered again for the umpteenth time why I should have the experiences that are leading me down one particular path and how single-minded this path seems to be. Or is this me, that is creating it to be this single-mindedness and focus and it is not what it is about at all.

I stayed with one of the girls from Team and we stayed up chatting until 2am. I had had more lager than I had planned at the pub and so when we came home I started speaking about channelling and especially about Neale Donald's Walche's book Conversation with God book 1 where it lays out how every experience is a game between THE ONE AND THE NOT-ONE. However the NOT-ONE only appears to be different to play the game. This is why even in the most tragic of circumstances I do not get drawn into the drama. I empathise with the pain it produces because this is compassion and is a necessary requirement for moving the consciousness but I never get involved in judgement or condemnation because I recognise the game that is being played. Speaking about it last night to the others it was so clear and the words to describe it came really easy. I spoke of the game in terms of how the identity functions as part of human personality and how that other part which I call the witness, that which sees and knows functions. After this year of being vigilant and watchful of the identity I have built up a lot of knowledge about how and what it uses to operate.

The next morning I woke up slightly hung-over and a little sheepish. I remembered everything I had said the night before but also realised that it wasn't a conversation that would be usual for the Landmark environment. Over a cup of tea my friend and I were chatting and I ended up telling her about the powerful experience on the meditation retreat in Devon which totally shifted my consciousness and has resulted in me taking on things I would never have done if I hadn't had this experience. Between us we saw that I have made this experience mean that I am in some way superior to others. I never wanted this to happen but I have to be honest and say that this is true. I resist the coaching I am given and instead I go into victim mode about 'why can't I be normal like everyone else'. This is not authentic because I recognise my own power so to go into victim mode because I don't want to be honest and straight and ask not be be coached. I see how cowardly this is. This woman who is also my coach said to me that people feel when they meet me that I know something that they don't and so don't feel connected with me or to me. I found this very interesting.

I don't know if it's finally being in integrity with what I am doing but my self-expression these days is brave and bold. I say what is there for me now without any apology. One girl phoned me up to ask if I would do an exercise with her which would free her up not to panic when someone shouted at her. As I did the exercise I saw that the panic that set in was a result of a threat to her safety when she was a child. As is often the case, the first threat to safety comes in childhood and having had one experience of having safety threatened the consciousness will go to any and all lengths to avoid it. So each time it happens again, panic sets in which stops the experience of having safety threatened but in that panic there is a loss of power. As an adult now there is little threat to safety but when these events are not recreated and completed they hang around and everything else goes on top of them. I don't claim this to be the truth only something I see based on my own insights and observation.

I did a double agreement because a friend is coming down and I will not be travelling to do the agreement and because integrity is so important for me and for living a powerful life I am storing them up so that I don't owe any. I had so many great conversations with graduates and each one is simply amazing in their own way. Everyone I spoke to was up for creating great things in their lives. Agreement over I came back and called my mum who was very happy with the call. I spoke with her about certain events in my life and how they have led me down this not oft-travelled path and she was so encouraging and supportive. I am really grateful to her for her love and acceptance for me. I am an only daughter who is not married or has children and she has never once made me feel that she has missed out on anything.

I'm tired now because it was very late when I got to bed last night and tomorrow has to be a day spent studying for an exam I am having on Wednesday. I had wanted to stay up and be a committed listener on the Power to Create communication course which is happening this weekend because for me, it is the most powerful course in coming and creating from nothing the kind of life I want but on Saturday morning my first thought, or it was more like an instruction was 'go back', and as always and weird as it may seem to anyone reading this, I will never go against these inner instructions.....

Friday, 24 April 2009

I only have a few minutes to scribe this entry before going to my team meeting. What am I going to do at the end of May when this year ends and I'm no longer chasing my tail trying to fit everything in. It's been a relatively quiet day. We had a journalist who writes for the Daily Mail come in to speak to us and it was reassuring to know that even in these lean economic times for journalists that the Mail continues to take on casual staff for paid shifts. It is somewhat ironical that having moved out of London many of the big journalism opportunities are in London. Yesterday I had a thought to write to a local newspaper and see if they would take me on for work experience when I finish this course. Even though the course is an 18 week course for magazines I have really enjoyed the news component of the course and think I would like the buzz of working with a team on a local newspaper.

Some of my comments to other websites are beginning to pay off, at least in terms of getting responses to them. It has been pointed out that this kind of blog is not good for attracting general interest in terms of pitching for articles so yesterday I went into town and got some telephone numbers off cards in shops. I'm going to write an article on meditation but rather than me waxing lyrical about what the benefits are. I'm going to lose my subjectivity and do a kind of comparative analysis piece about the different kinds of meditation. I did some web research and was amazed at how meditation has grown since the days of when I thought that there was only Serenity and Insight meditation. Now there's visualiszation, relaxation, sound, so I think that someone coming to it new might be somewhat confused at how they differ from each other.

My feeling is that the principle and aim of all of them is the same, it is just the technique that is used to get there that is different. Like the different ways people learn, whether that is visual, kinetic and I can't remember what the others are, I suppose it is the same with meditation that it's not a case of one kind fits all and so in that way it will be interesting researching the kinds of people who might benefit from the different techniques.

The big challenge for me is finding the time to do all of this but it excites me and that is all that is neeeded for the required motivation to bubble up from the depths.....

Must go now or will be late and have to restore my integrity which is something I have managed to avoid all of this quarter.....apologies if it reads rushed and not very well edited.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

With integrity.....everything is possible

My first thought when I woke up this morning was 'Oh no, I have a shorthand test today'. My experience of shorthand is that it is like a fungus in that it gradually grows into being familiar. From being vigilant and practicing it regularly I am fairly confident in two out of three parts of the test. When it comes to dictating sentences I have not already drilled then panic sets in and what is logical gets lost in the haze of panic.

I've been such a different person since my euphoria moment about the importance of integrity and being my word which happened on Tuesday. Wednesday inspite of my identity going on a rant about the need to shelve all of my commitments in favour of studying for this shorthand test I ignored it and was rigorous about doing everything I said I would do. To my absolute amazement I managed to do everything and also fit in the study for the shorthand test. Early morning came and for one moment it looked like we were not going to have the test until Monday. I had mixed feelings about this because I am going to London for a team meeting and have an exam on public affairs on Wednesday so didn't want to have the thought of a postponed shorthand exam also on my mind. Luckily one of the girls was vocal in her annoyance which came down to at its most simplest level, the annoyance and uncertainty that occurs when something that is expected doesn't happen. I was my usual philosophic self in that I thought 'I'll go with whatever is meant to be here'. But in truth I was thrilled when the teacher having a sudden attack of what I don't know, suddenly became focussed and intentional and declared 'yes, we were going to have the test'.

This resulted in a flurry of pages being torn out of books, the screech of pens scurrying down pages as margins were hurriedly drawn and then finally this test that brings me face to face with my nerves and panic began. The first two parts were OK because these were outlines we had done once so they were consigned to my memory. The third part was dictating sentences I hadn't practiced before and I immediately felt the well of panic as the correct spelling of the words conflicted with how they sounded and so by the end I needed a home for the bewildered. But I calmed myself down and gave everything over to my intuition. Only time will tell if it has been a friend or foe.

Then came our design class. I had completely forgotten that we had done a mock paper just before Easter to test our sub-editing and ability to write eye catching headlines. I remember coming out of this thinking that I had done so badly on this. I had it that my headline and introduction to the stories was so off beam compared to the headlines I had sneakily glanced at that others had written. To my absolute surprise and amazement when it came to feedback time the lecturer had given me eight out of 10 for my headlines which I was thrilled about. As he went through my work I saw the impact of what happened once my identity had said 'you have made a hash of this'. How I gave up, in terms of making sure that it was the best that it could be. I saw with shame how I had let go basic grammatical and spelling errors that as a writer I am sure that I saw but at that point my attitude would have been sod it (or maybe something stronger!) and I would have done with it what I do with everything that I feel goes wrong....abandon it without any integrity.

Doing much better than I thought I did has really boosted my confidence that I can produce something of quality next time. I've seen that I can add in words to line up columns of words and that I don't need to be afraid of really turning around copy as long as I do not change the meaning of the article. We are having another mock exam next week and I intend to play and take risks that up to now I haven't wanted to because of a fear of not doing it right. But it is this restraint that is putting the block on my creativity all over the place. Restraint and free self-expression cannot live in the same space, being one or the other is a choice.

Feeling much more positive about design and sub-editing than I have during all of this course I returned home so happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to do this course. I stopped off to give my consciousness the treat of merging with the power and magnificance of the sea and as always when I do this, the few thoughts in my mind are reduced to nothing but wonder and awe. I am deputy accountable for ensuring that everyone on team receives a phone call to acknowledge them for what they are creating in the world. It is in the listening that we have for others that they experience their own greatness. For the person who is acknowledging people, those moments when the consciousness is not concerned with 'me and mine' but is concerned with giving a powerful experience to another are shape-shifting.

On Wednesday I called lots of people who hadn't communicated that these calls had been done. I was amazed at how open everyone was to being held to account and their willingness to recommit these calls at another time. From this I understood that holding people to account for them to have the power that comes with being their word is not the policing I thought it was. It is a commitment to them to have a life that works.

My last thought tonight.......was wow.....Integrity rocks

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The link between.....identity and integrity

Firstly I want to say how moved I have been by everyone who has been in contact with me to reassure me about the possible insignificance of this blog having a flag against it. Mind you, there was no flag when I signed into write it now. For me, it is another example of how events in life work to throw the conscious mind from certainty into confusion so that it can expand. My uncertain state of mind reached it's pinnacle on Tuesday night.

I have often wrote about the importance of having integrity for having a life that works. Integrity is as much of a law as is gravity. However, the workings of integrity is more subtle than that of gravity. With the law of gravity, if I go up to the top of a building and jump from its roof, I'm going to go down regardless of whether or not I am a good person. With integrity the effect comes with whether or not I keep my word or not. I was dimly aware of this but up until Tuesday had not linked a way I was feeling directly to not being my word around something. Readers of this blog will know that I have almost completed a one year's team management and leadership programme with Landmark Education. Central to everything is the emphasis on integrity which is not about being right or wrong, just about being your word. I find it similar to Buddhism in that it says, I am not my thoughts, or feelings; I am simply MY WORD. It's funny but as I have just written this I am reminded of the sentence in the bible that says 'in the beginning was the WORD', why have I written this, is there any connection. I don't know I am going to have to sit with that insight for a while. Maybe there will be more explanation in a later blog entry....maybe not.

Anyway, back to me and this blog entry.....This year's programme is all about being my word and every breakdown is put down to a lack of integrity or integrity being out in some area of life. For a long time now I have been aware of a seminar that was starting on Tuesday night. I had said that I would go myself and would enroll people into coming to hear what might be possible for themselves. After all my mission for this life-time is to teach people to fish so that they can elevate consciousness for themselves. For me the access to this is the Forum which is offered by Landmark Education but I am aware that there are lots of other self-development programmes. However what Landmark offers is an opportunity to study and transform how we are made up as human beings and how the identity operates. But this is just how it occurs to me, it's not the truth and not how it may occur to someone else. So I will do what Buddha did which is to say 'check it out, and if you find it's not for you, find something else', what is important though is to find something else.

Tuesday morning dawned and I remembered that I was going to go to this seminar and speak to my college students about it. Then immediately I had a thought about an exam we were to have on Wednesday and I immediately said to myself 'I need the time to study'. The result is that I went into college, spoke half-heartedly about it and then promptly forgot about it. Later on in the morning we heard that the exam we were going to have is put forward a week. Even then I didn't offer the alternative to people of going to this seminar. I finished my day and came home. The people who I live with had arrived home and suddenly for some reason I felt so tired and lonely. I excused myself and went upstairs where I sat on my bed wondering what on earth was wrong with me. I had some conference calls but I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. As for studying....forget it, I couldn't focus on the books never mind torment my mind with deciphering squiggly lines. I chose then to withdraw my consciousness from the world by going to sleep, but no sleep would come. I was tormented by all kinds of dark thoughts.

Then with a flash of insight I knew exactly why I was feeling like I was. I had given my word to go to this seminar and be powerful and bold in sharing what I got from it so that people would have an access to them having a life they lived and I wasn't my word. I know that this can read that I am being hard on myself but this is the only way that insights and shifts occur. The insights I get may not appear to be rational but I know with the force with which they hit me that they are relevant. I experienced enormous relief when I could declare a breakdown in my integrity and really be in the impact of not being my word. I then thought back to other times where my mood was dark and in some way the mood has always been linked to whether or not I am in integrity or not. But up to now, although I have written about it ad nauseum in some places, the kind of direct causal link I experienced on Tuesday night had eluded me. I had the theory, had a vague idea that there was some truth in it but had no direct evidence of the link. On Tuesday night I got that link so forcefully.

After this realization I went off to sleep and woke up early this morning, ready to make up for the time I had lost the night before. I woke up refreshed and determined to do everything I could to clean up on areas where my integrity was out. It started with the people I live with here and continued all through the day. Each time I made a phone call and told the truth about why I hadn't done what I said I would do, I felt lighter and freer. My final restoring of integrity came at the end of the say when I went up to a woman outside a health food shop to ask her about her experiences of meditation. I had promised myself everytime I went into town that I would do this as part of an article I am writing on meditation and the different kinds but always came home again without doing it. Not yesterday.....I strode off down the street and without thinking went up to a girl who has unlocking her bicycle and explained what I was doing and could she give me a couple of minutes to speak about meditation.

It wasn't a great interview because she doesn't meditate but that doesn't matter. Where the power is for me is that I was my word around what I said I would do. The result of all of this was an evening last night where I had so much energy and life. What I see now looking back is how my identity acted to sabotage it so that I wouldn't be my word. But unfortunately the law of integrity is a law as obvious as gravity but much more subtle. I believe that it begins working the minute we commit ourselves to doing something. If we are our word then life works, if we are not then the consequences of violating any law come into effect.

There are many ways to interpret what I have written here. What came back to me yesterday when I shared this with people was 'you're too hard on yourself, where's the freedom and ease'. For me, and I don't write for anyone else, it is this being hard on myself and refusing to accept appearances for the reality but to look for that which is hidden and so transform it is what continues to shift my consciousness. It's not easy to live this kind of an austere life but I do believe that it is necessary to reach the ultimate aim of living life from an enlightened state of consciousness so that others can know it is possible and go for it themselves using whatever means works for them.....

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The illusion....of control

Well, I'm back again! and once again I got the 'objectionable content' flag when I signed into write this. Yesterday I was shocked as no doubt was evident from what I wrote but I had a lovely relaxing massage in the evening and went home and did some meditation to get an intuition as to what I should do. The questions I asked myself were 'has this blog reached the end of the road, have I said everything that I want to say, have I made the difference that I so want to make and what came back to me was a resounding 'NO'. The one thing following a spiritual path demands is courage. Ghandhi once said 'do not approach the spiritual path if you are afraid', and it is this which sees me once more scribing an entry on this blog while awaiting my college tutorial.

Having the massage last night was so relaxing and during the consultation I saw that while I don't have too much physical stress I am quite stressed emotionally and yet paradoxically I am calm and everything continues to work. All of the turbulence is going on in my mind. Afterwards I received a call from a very good friend with the news that a four day week is going to be imposed from May. I was shocked because this person has been employed in the profession for many years and is well established. This news gave me the inspiration for the title of this blog entry. The deepest illusion all of us have as human beings is that we are in control of life and in control of events that happen in life. It is only when that control is taken that the realization dawns of how little control we actually have. As my friend said: 'I would rather have had the opportunity to choose, rather than have it imposed'.

And yet, times of shock like this are also times of great opportunity. When the consciousness is certain there is no growth. Confusion and uncertainty shifts the consciousness more rapidly than anything else. Enlightenment at its most simple level is letting go of the illusion of control together with a willingness to trust the benevolence of the universe. But the identity uses our obsession about control in order not to to allow the consciousness to expand. Having control wrested away and seeing how like pawns we are in a game is very liberating but also very scary and demands the courage to stay steady knowing that we cannot see the bigger picture only a piece of a jigsaw.

I will have to sign off soon because I am soon going to be called into a tutorial. I know the drill by now. We will go through all of the parts of this course, I will be asked how I am getting on, a tick will be put into a box and it will be over for another two weeks....the real world will begin after I finish the course.....

Monday, 20 April 2009

Something very going on....

I'm writing this blog entry during a break in lectures because I have no internet at home and can't get into an internet cafe later to write it. When I first tried to access it I got this flag that said that it had been flagged as having 'objectionable content'. This shocked me because I wasn't aware that any of this blog was objectionable because it is just a conversation about the path of spiritual development. I have declared none of it be true just opinion and points of view. I tried to find out a bit more about the rationale for declaring it be like this but I couldn't. The only thing I could glean is that it is going to be monitored closely for more flags of objection. This is the first time this has happened. But I wonder if it is also linked to all the other blogs I am commenting on and no-one is publishing these comments. It reminds me of that old saying 'just because I'm not paranoid, doesn't mean that everyone isn't out to get me'!

It's the first day back at college after the Easter break and without any internet I didn't know that our shorthand class this morning was cancelled, so I strolled in as usual and only found out when I logged onto my college email. It was great seeing everyone again and they are such a good bunch of people. I had a missed call on my answering machine and it was from the editor where I had done my first work experience saying that the two articles I wrote while I was there on work experience are about to go to the printers for publication. This is really great and shows me that making the move to leave my safe and secure job for what is possible was the right thing for me. What is needed for me is to have a plan for how to be an effective freelancer and this will involve strong and rigorous discipline on my part.

I don't have a lot more to write. When I went home I came across leaflet with alternative therapies that are offered from the college. On a whim I thought I would book a massage for a couple of weeks time when the pressure would be really kicking in, now that I am no longer doing any vortex healing. When I called up the college it turned out that they have had a cancellation for a swedish massage this evening which I was invited to take up if I wanted. I was delighted so 7.30pm tonight will see me stretched out having a swedish massage. After finding that this blog has been flagged as having objectionable is going to be so welcome.

I am going to write this now in that I don't know what part of this blog is objectionable or what steps Google is going to take. My intention is to keep writing it but forces are at work......

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Such freedom, ease and fun this weekend.....

I've just had the most amazing, magical weekend. I returned to London for a classroom on Friday night which was so powerful in terms of showing me just how powerful our individual identities are and how they prevent us playing powerfully as a team. The identity is all about keeping in place the point of view that we are all separate and alone and yet the truth is that we are all connected and united. I attend these evenings and am so fascinated about what I see operating. I don't know whether it is my Buddhist background but now I relate everything to the battle between identity and possibility, or between ego and soul. This is the game that all of us as human beings are engaged with whether we know it or not. To be able to see this gives a certain simplicity to life because I recognise that every tension is that of the identity and is not personal. So when I'm speaking with people I speak about that part of us that wants to keep us small and separate and how it works not to have us be powerful by making sure that we don't keep our word around things, and yet it's not personal. This is where the real liberation comes in, it's not personal, it's not about me, it's about a cosmic battle that is going on at a much deeper and higher level and I am just fodder for the game. To recognise and laugh at the game is to be free.

After the classroom we all went down to the pub. I am amazed at how much freedom and ease I feel around people now. I really understand that all there is in conversation is managing others and my own point of view. If everything is only a point of view then what there is to do is to become interested and fascinated by other's point of view. This genuine interest without having any desire to change or influence it is what is making me be a very good listener and in that listening I am seeing things I have never seen before. A lot of this I also understand has come from my insight into how I had to control everything and giving that up. It is the giving up of the control and going with the flow in any and every situation that is giving me the magical life I am living at the moment. On Friday night I was in the pub with people until almost 1am in the morning. This is unheard of for me. A friend was putting up me and another woman and in the end he drove five women and a chello home! was the most fun and exciting evening.

I woke up on Saturday morning so excited. I was doing a double agreement because I had missed one and being my word means doing all of the agreements that I said I would do. In the afternoon I took the role of leader of the team and I was just amazed at how much freedom and ease there was. So different to when I was accountable and I lost it. Then I lost it because I wanted to control everything. This time, I said what we were playing for and what we wanted to achieve and set up a support structure and then trusted and got on with speaking to my own graduates about the power of communication and what it can provide in their lives. Out of one conversation I got a registration. It is never about the registration but the thrill of knowing that there is another person who is now going to take communication to a much higher level by learning new communication skills. Communication which increases love and affinity between people and reduces the power of the identity to maintain the illusion of separation. It is this that lights me up.

At the end of the agreement my team were so complimentary and I really understood what was said to me once a long time ago. A man once told me 'when you put your ass on the line for something, you become someone' I became someone yesterday and the memory of that experience will never leave me. I'm under no illusion that the identity is there ever ready to attack and I will have more dark times that no doubt I will write about in this blog, but I was not my identity when I was leader yesterday, I was nothing and in that nothing I was everything, if that makes any sense. I was all set to return after my agreement when a friend invited me to a party that was going on and my first thought was 'no I should get back' and then I immediately thought, why not, this is life taking on and doing things which I wouldn't normally do. So in spite of not having any change of clothes I said 'yes'. I ended up going out to this amazing party and then coming home and going to another pub and meeting up with this man who has a conductor in an orchestra. It was the most fascinating conversation and he was so sensitive. He spoke about those moments where the orchestra becomes more than the sum of its parts and I listened completely entranced with everything he was saying. There were two others out with us who also played in an orchestra so the conversation was so interesting.

But it was also the same, in terms of the experience giving a peak mystical experience where the conductor feels no separation between him, the music and the process of conducting. Everything becomes one. This state is often achieved in meditation especially with serenity meditation as opposed to insight meditation. To achieve this state of unity where the boundaries disappear is the aim of every mystic. It is the experiencing of the third stage of the spiritual path - KNOW THE doesn't get any more profound than this.

So this morning found me up early and ready to return which I now have. I'm in an internet cafe writing this because I haven't had any internet at home and as the people I live with are away there is nothing I can do until they return. It's so funny I have never been bussier but then again I have never left so alive either.....

Thursday, 16 April 2009

So much the moment....

I returned to my family for Easter. My point of view which I put in place when I was a young girl about not being included is always so strong when I go home. What I am realising about the point of view is that it attacks. It attacks because it wants to keep me small separate and alone from people. When I am running my story of not being included it then gives me a life where I think that everyone around me is excluding me from everything. It really feels like it is this way, especially when I go back to my family. Yet something was different with my mum this time. I felt connected to her in a way that I never have before. I saw her differently without the fog of not being included. This point of view has been so strong that it resulted in me taking myself away from my family when I was 11 and then this resulted in my brothers being sent away and I know that this is something that they have never understood or forgiven me for. The day I walked out on my family I walked out on a family closeness that I am now never likely to know.

This is the tragedy of the point of view, in that it gives a certain kind of life. I asssert that it is the point of view that gives us our individuality. Take away the point of view and we are all simply free flowing streams of consciousness. But then something happens, and wham, we make it mean something about ourselves and the world and then that becomes the filter through which we operate. We appear to be individual and separate from each other because of the activity of the point of view. Take away the point of view which in practice means to come from nothing and what there is, is joy and discovery.

I feel like I am coming out of some cocoon. For years I played it safe living in a luxury flat with everything I needed around me and reading spiritual books. I had no idea what life is really like. Now I'm totally and completely alone and it is so scary but also very exciting. To say that I'm not scared about the future would be a lie I am, but I also know that life is in essence exciting and all I have to do is what I advise everyone else is to stay steady in the face of amazing upset, seeing it all as the game it is and reminding myself that everything is whole and complete and perfect. Most of the time I am OK but then when I can't get onto the internet or something doesn't work then I allow dark thoughts to get a grip.

I realised yesterday walking along by the sea how little I give permission to myself to do. It was a huge shock to me to realise this. I make lists of things to do and then beat myself up when I haven't done any of them. How different would life be if I gave myself permission not to have to do all of them. To commit to doing them all but if I can't then to let it go. What is weird is that I have written a number of blog entries about keeping your word not being about right or wrong, good or bad and what I have been doing is strongly making myself wrong. All of this has been so hidden from my view until now. So now I am going to give myself permission to be relaxed and happy and that feels so good.

But this also shows that insights cannot come before the consciousness is ready to receive them and this is the nature of the transformational path of development. What is required is the utmost patience and trust that the process dances to its own rhythymn and not one that I might want to dance to. Before getting the insight into not giving myself permission I had been feeling so stuck. This is how the process happens for me. I have days/weeks where I feel incredibly restless, it's like there's this raging inner battle which is going on below the level of awareness. Then the result becomes visible. Me getting that I am so hard on myself may not seem like much to anyone else but it has given me a fresh sense of freedom and ease.

Some time ago I wrote about living life from boxes. I have broken out of the box I was in that limited me by me being so hard on myself. I have the freedom that comes from that liberation but the nature of human being is that we can't operate unless we are in some box, so today, tomorrow, I don't know, my consciousness will operate from another box. I will feel it and just have to be patient until the time is right for that box also to show itself. This is the nature of transformation.

I'm slightly amused as I have been replying to posts on other websites mostly on meditation and spiritual awakening and so far I have yet to see my comment in print which in itself is curious. I have no internet access at home at the moment which is so frustrating and because I am aware that I haven't written this blog for a while I am now in an internet cafe. Before I went home for Easter I was browsing the net and reading lots of stuff from self-declared enlightened people. Suddenly I got really tired and yearned for something simple. I had a thought about Eckhart Tolle who wrote The Power of Now and wondered whether he had any events coming up. I couldn't believe it when I saw that he now has a TV channel. Yet there is something about the humility of the man which never fails to move me. There is no glitz and glamour with Eckhart. It is like he is laughing at a private joke which makes life for him empty and meaningless except to speak about the mind and how the mind goes to all lengths to convince us that it is anything but empty and meaningless. I watched some of his talk and immediately felt calmed and soothed.

This for me is the real deal, to be in the presence of someone or something that can calm the turbulent mind is powerful. He had an experience which he makes a brief reference to in The Power of Now where he speaks about being caught up in a vortex of energy and losing consciousness. This reeks of authenticity and honesty to me and amidst the plethora of self-declared enlightened beings he is the only one I would make any effort to go and see. Is this me being judgemental or just being honest from my point of view as I see it, always aware that it is only just a point of view.

This course is really speeding up. I am doing my hour of shorthand each day but somehow it doesn't seem to be clicking. I am OK once I have done the outlines but then get stuck when it is a new word that doesn't sound like it is spelled. I am so used to spelling everything being a writer that to write words how they sound and not how they are spelled is alien to me.

I'm going to go now as my timer says I have 4 mins left and to lose all of this before getting it onto the that would really send me over the edge....

Thursday, 9 April 2009

The end of my work experience.....

Today was my last day of work experience and it was a strange kind of day. On Wednesday I did my interview with the managing director of a company. I had a brief but when the guy started talking I got all wrapped up in his story of a tough childhood and how he turned adversity into opportunity that I ignored the brief. The interview went well, I was at my most charming thinking that it was the way to get some real nuggets of information. I was struck once again about the power of an intention made when we are a child in terms of creating the future. He was so poor but yet his parents found enough money to send him to private school and there he met other kids whose parents were richer, who lived in nicer houses and quite frankly he said to me 'I wanted that for myself'. I had a fleeting thought that I want to be a Bodhissatva but it isn't happening like that for me, but then I pushed this thought away and replaced it with the thought that my journey is longer, covering many lifetimes.

After the interview he went to find the site manager to give me a tour of the factory. It was then I remembered that I was supposed to have taken some pics of was I going to do now. I was gripped with a blind panic as I had visions of him not coming back but then saw that he had left his book on the table. He returned with the site manager and I immediately garbled something about having meant to ask about taking a pic. He looked understandably annoyed which completely threw me. I am no photographer so I had a nightmare few minutes trying to position him in a way which would look favourable to the camera. I managed to control the shaking in my own hand which is always the result of panic for me, not stress, but panic. I got 2 pics but then gave it up. He left me with the site manager who kitted me out with shoes, coat and hat to go around the factory. It was a fascinating experience. I have never walked around a factory before. I think all food arrives in its plastic covering. To see each stage of the process at work and the finished product at the end was so interesting and I got so involved. At the end I was given a huge bag of all the products the factory produces which I was very moved to get.

Once back at the office I sat in the car and took out the dictaphone and played side 1, everything fine, there, fast forwarded it and turned to side 2...nothing....completely could this have happened, I did press down the recording button when I turned the tape, I honestly did. Throwing aside the dictatphone I searched feverishly in my bag for my mobile phone which I also had going on the other side of him. Anxiously I searched through the recording, praying with everything I had that it had saved. Whew....what a relief, it had recorded and I got all of it. I learned so many lessons from this, firstly that I must make a note of everything it is that I need to do when I interview someone and also never rely on one piece of equipment especially when like me gadgets just seem to love to fail or maybe the truth is that it's down to my operation. It's like no matter what I do that part of my consciousness is not really grounded. I'm always thinking of some spritual truth or putting together the jigsaw pieces of human consciousness. Or is this just a cop-out for me not taking the responsibility for doing a job with integrity, doing it well in the way that it should be done and not the way I want to do it.

I calmed myself down and went into the office. I was so happy that I had everything and explained to the deputy editor some of what I had found out. She seemed pleased and I was happy. I settled down to write up the interview and again I found just how much I love words. I'm stuck for a word and then I just look away from my computer and then a whole sentence which is absolutely perfect comes to me and I am reminded again that no matter what the future is going to hold that I have done the right thing in leaving the kind of work I was doing to pursue writing. I know that I can reach, touch and inspire people with my words, all I am looking for is the right niche.

The editor was away on Wednesday and when I returned into the office on Thursday he asked me specifically to work on the interview so that it would be ready for the May issue of the magazine. I had already worked on it and had almost 1,000 words written. I knew that I only had another 400 words to write so didn't know how long I was expected to work on it. I got going quickly. I had transcribed all the interview from the recording on my mobile phone so I had everything and I quickly set to work. I finished my masterpiece and after reading it through was really pleased. I then told the editor that I had finished. This was met with such shock, horror, by one of the writers. How had I done it so quick?, I must have spent all night working on it on Wednesday night and I suppose that was true in that it did take a long time to transcribe it. I printed off two copies and left one for the editor and one for the deputy editor. I returned to my desk and wondered what it was I should do now.

I had those anxious moments as feedback is waited for. It wasn't long in coming. First came the compliment, it was a good job, then the real point. The magazine was a trade magazine, not a human interest magazine. I had got so enrolled that most of the article was angled about a boy making himself into a man to distance himself from childhood poverty. What the readers of the magazine are interested in is the workings of the factory, turnover, profit, efficiencies, machinery. I looked at her blankly and with a horrible sinking feeling realised that I had ignored the brief which had all of these kinds of questions. I realised also that I didn't ask them because I didn't feel comfortable that I understood the questions. But what was really going on was that I wanted to look good for the interview. I didn't want to rock the boat by asking him awkward questions about his profit line and so I allowed him to ramble off on his own story and got completely enrolled by it which led to an interview which is not at all suitable for the magazine.

It got worse.....then the editor came over and said 'that was quite nice, now for the rough', I thought to myself, I wish the ground would swallow me and then I thought 'this is exactly how I felt where I was last working, and it wasn't a very nice thought. But then I got a grip and thought 'no, get this in perspective, you are a good writer and journalist, you just wanted to look good and didn't follow a brief', this things can be fixed. What matters and is important is that I have integrity around what I do which is to write. I was asked to call back the managing director and make light of the fact that I didn't ask any hard questions and not at all sure that I could ask the right questions picked up the phone. I explained to the receptionist that Ineeded to re-check some information and would he have a few minutes at any point that afternoon. She asked me to 'hold' and then I heard the familiar chime of the managing director. I gathered myself and explained that there were gaps in what I should have asked him and could I ask now. He was very generous and said 'yes'. I tried to be more intentional but he was still utopia like and everything is rosy in the garden and this 2nd interview ended with me having got some more but not alot. I thanked him and for some stupid reason told him that some of what he had told me about his childhood would be in the I sitting on some self-destruct button. I had already been told that it was a trade magazine not a human interest magazine and I was in effect telling him what is going to be in the article when the editor has told me what will be in and out.

I had a feedback sheet which I had given to the editor at the start of my work experience placement and I asked him if he had it completed. With a flourish he waved it and asked me if I would like a few minutes of feedback. It was honestly the last thing I wanted given the kind of day I had but I thought 'no, this what this all about'. We grabbed a coffee and went into one of the meeting rooms. I was asked about the highs and lows of the week. I was honest and said the high was being part of a team of people who were really lovely and it brought home to me again just how much I love to work as a team. In that way doing freelance work is going to be a challenge for me. The low was not knowing how much work to look for and not sure about whether my accuracy was sacrificed for my speed. He agreed that I need to be more accurate especially with grammar which isn't my strong point. Then he pulled out my feedback sheet and my heart sank when I saw 3 for interview. But this is a fair assessment, I didn't followthe brief and I was too concerned with looking good and wanting to be liked than to get the information the magazine needed.

The frustrating thing is that years ago I worked as an editorial assistant for a magazine and I did some work experience on another magazine. Then I went for a job with the magazine as a staff writer, I didn't get it and I asked why. I was told 'you don't follow a brief''. I didn't understand what was meant then but I do now. But will it be enough for the next time for me to do as I am told and not what I want to do. I've lived a life where I have always done exactly what I want to do. It's the one thing my mum will always say to me when I get vulnerable and say that I'm not sure where my life is going. She will always say 'you have always done exactly what you want'. and this seems to be everywhere in my life and there is a real impact in terms of what it puts on everyone else. I know the editor had banked on the interview having everything it needed to be dropped onto the page, now someone else next week has to call the man again next week to get the information I didn't get because I was too concerned with looking good.

But...I can be with this which was great. To take responsibility gives a freedom and power and that is what I have done. I know what there is to do and I am determined to do it. The editor asked me about my plans for when I finish the course and I was honest and said that I wanted a job on a magazine and that I had gone to the HR department earlier in the day but there was no vacancies. He sighed and explained that he had even cut down on the number of freelance writers the magazine commissions but to keep in touch. This was more than I expected because I thought he had written me off as a 'too folksy' for the magazine. I did enjoy working there, the people were really nice and included me in everything for the week. I particularly enjoyed the lunch-time walks.

I collected up everything and took out my mobile phone and saw that I had a message. It was from the bookshop which has given a review to my book telling me that they had only two copies of my book left and could I bring in 10 one door couldn't have come at a better time.

Tomorrow I leave to spend Easter with my family in Ireland. I am tired. This move has been more traumatic than I have allowed myself to accept. I have been alone here in the house for the last three weeks and it's been great. The whole family return at the end of the next week so will be interesting how I cope....once again being confined to one room......

Monday, 6 April 2009

First day of work experience.....and I love it.

Today was my first day of work experience on a trade magazine. I was due to collect a guy from the college who is also doing work experience on another magazine by the same publisher. If I say I will be there at for 8am I am there...but he wasn't. I called the reply. I hung around for a while and then thought, that's the length of time I am waiting, so I set off. It was a lovely drive and it was in the same direction as where I went for my work experience before so my sat nav didn't have to work too hard to re-direct me when I took wrong turns.

I had just arrived when I got a text message from the guy I was meant to collect saying that he was at the meeting point and wondering what had happened.....aagh....this is terrible. There is nothing that I could do I was at my work experience place. I called him and we had 15 minutes of analysis as he tried to tell me that he had been where we had agreed to meet at 8am as agreed. I pushed down the bad feelings I had because I had been there from 7.45am and he wasn't there at 8am. It turned out he had no credit on his phone so all the messages I left for him to say that I was here, and then I was leaving, went to someone else's phone. When he said this I completely turned off and said well, I can't do anything about it now. We arranged to meet again tomorrow so now I'm a bit apprehensive. I realise just how much I do things on my own and so when I have to think about someone else I get more stressed.

I started on my work experience and was given a couple of stories to write from press releases. I experienced one moment of blind panic when I saw it was about some new technology to improve the quality of a food. But this passed and my natural love of and for words came back and I really enjoyed putting a story together. I did it very quickly and told the assistant editor that I had done it and it was 200 words, this was in less than a 1/2 an hour. I never know whether I should take longer or less time to do work. In my experience in the past being too quick even if accurate is not so good, it puts pressure on others.

I realised again how much I love writing and tomorrow I am going to interview the managing director of a company and this includes taking photographs so I'm adding photography to my repertoire of skills and I'm so excited about it. I don't know what the future is going to bring but I am clear that finally being true to myself and doing what I want to do has given me a new love and enthusiasm for life. I talked about this blog and my book yesterday and out of it met a woman who turned out to have gone on similar meditation retreats as me in India and studied and practiced the same method of meditation. I realised how alive I come when I speak about this whole area and what it has given to people. Then I spoke to another person who had a powerful experience when he was younger. But he turned his back on the experience and became an atheist and now he is returning again to the experience and what it means for him and his life now. Yesterday was such an inspiring day.

Then I came home and to my absolute delight saw I had a comment from Harry. It was the perfect end to a perfect day......

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Becoming visible.....nobody is going to do this but me....

Today I have taken on seriously getting myself more known out in the wider world. On Friday when we had the freelance journalism come in to speak to us I told him about my book and my blog and asked him for his advice given the huge numbers of websites that are around spiritual matters, how to get myself known. His advice to me was to pick the big five spiritual websites and begin commenting on their blogs and articles. So...yesterday found me registering onto what is supposed to be the most famous blog in the world, The Huffington Post. I found an article that was talking about TM meditation in the life section and a comment which mentioned the holy grail of Enlightenment. So I wrote a comment on that. I wrote far more than was allowed so had to do a hatchet job on my copy which is good given where I want to go in the future. I immediately received an automated reply saying that like this blog, the comment would be moderated and if deemed acceptable would be put onto the now I wait.

This seems to be what I am doing a lot of these days....but waiting for what. Once again there is a deep restlessness within me but I have no idea why. I am always nervous before going on work experience to a magazine I don't know but could this be solely the cause of the restlessness. I think it has more to do with a frustration of having had a deeply profound and transformative experience and not knowing how to package it in such a way that inspires and others. I have no clear idea of where I am going or how I am going to get there. All I have is a vision that I had very strongly in 19888 when I heard the concept of the Bodhissatva as someone who understands the nature of suffering and won't rest until everyone is free of suffering.

What does it mean to be free of suffering. It means to have a consciousness which is free and not tied to anything of the personality. How is it achieved? By being vigilant and honest with ourselves. I know all of this, like it is second nature to me...the challenge for me is what do I do with it. Yesterday I received the catalogue from the shop where the review of my book was meant to be featured. I rifled through the pages, my eyes searching feverishly for the column which would have a pic of my book and the accompanying glowing review......there was nothing. I started again at the beginning and at the end for the second time saw how every single person in it was well known or had had a number of books. I really saw with open eyes just how full this field is.

Yet all of these authors once started off like me, unknown but wanting to make a difference by knowledge or experiences they had. What did they do? I know that Eckhart Tolle - author of the famous book 'The Power of Now' started by giving talks to small groups of people in his room. Is this what I should begin to do, begin to speak about the energy of Enlightenment that rests at the base of the spine and which when rises shifts the consciousness so that insights and realizations given by saints and gurus through the ages are realized and become second nature.

The truth is that I don't know but I also trust that this is the way of the path I have taken on for myself. The path of doing it alone without a teacher or guru who would be able to see my stage of development and advise accordingly. Is it this that is missing? Is my arrogance on insisting on doing it alone the reason why I struggle so much in getting my story out there as another way to inspire. On Saturday I had an idea that I would begin to attend local spiritual events which go on here, write them up with interviews and then submit them to local papers and magazines. I'm going to sit with this for a while because I get all fired up with brilliant ideas which I then never bring into creation so before promising in this blog that this is what I will do, I want to see whether or not it is do-able given all of the commitment I have to give to getting this qualification and to also finishing my year of team management and leadership programm.

Now....I'm going to read the magazine from the place where I am going out on work experience so I am familiar with the kind of articles that are written.....

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Life is lived within a box.....the identity box....

I have asserted for a long time, that the journey of human being is all about recognising and being able to manage, the lifelong tension between our identity that wants to keep us small and our possibility or Soul that wants us to wake up, and realize that instead of being victim of our lives we are co-creators of our life. I have maintained that the tool the identity uses to keep the consciousness from realizing the Truth of who we are, not who we appear to be, is our point of view. As humans we have points of view/opinions, judgements about everything. This serves the aims of the identity which is to keep the consciousness small, separate alone and feeling disconnected from everyone else. The battle of human existence is the battle for the control of human consciousness.

A couple of days ago I heard the beginning of a radio programme that was interviewing the well known writer Sebastian Faulkes. He spoke about human self-awareness being at the source of the tension experienced as human being. He drew comparisons between animals and the happiness and contentment they experience because they lack this ability to be self-aware. The moment the consciousness became aware of something else, that was the moment of the separation. He likened it to the moment when Adam and Eve in the garden became self-aware. This resonated with me and since then I have been thinking about how the identity with its points of view operates to keep us small and our consciousness blocked from realizing our greatness.

I write in an entry some time ago about the insight I had into a point of view I had formed when I was a young girl. This point of view has been hidden from me for all of my life. The euphoria when I saw this for the first time was immense. For a couple of days I experienced complete freedom. I felt a connection to others and an openness of heart. The world was brighter, sharper. And then last week, all of this had gone and I was back again to feeling small separate and alone. What happened? Why could I not sustain this state of consciousness? What I assert and this is purely from my own observation is that in the moments following the discovery of the insight, my consciousness was freed from the identity which it is normally inextricably bound. It was free and the result of this was joy, bliss and freedom. But the nature of us as human beings is to make everything in life mean something and then to live life from the meaning we have given to it and not the way it really is. Everytime we put meaning onto something that happens in life and then form a view/opinion/judgements we put our consciousness with our identity into a box. Then life is lived from that box. I or more specifically my identity then took something that happened and beneath the level of my awareness imposed a meaning which once again trapped my consciousness.

In my case. I broke out of one box when I saw how my point of view of not being included, gave me a life where I didn't feel included. Being able to see that I was in this box, gave me the access to get out of it and see it from someone standing outside of it. This resulted in the euphoria that comes with the release of consciousness. But then the identity re-asserts itself in its most covert sub-conscious way with something else that happens and wham....the consciousness with the identity is then in another box. This box might be bigger and more powerful. In that in my case it has given me a confidence and self-assuredness but it is still a box. I am in another box and at the moment I am unable to distinguish what that is. There is nothing wrong, maybe a little frustrating but this is the importance of seeing all of this process as a game, something to play with and have fun, given the ultimate reason for the game which is THE ALL playing a game with itself. This is one of the rules of the game, to keep discovering the boxes we are in without getting upset or disheartened.

And I assert that this is the nature of the human condition. From birth to death the consciousness moves through a series of boxes. What there is for each of us to do is to dig deep for and distinguish the box that our consciousness is in at any one time. The box can be identified by looking at what are the points of view I hold, and opinions and judgements I have about things which live for me as the Truth, they are the way that life really is, and not just points of view. Again I come back time and time again to what the Buddha said when he said 'hold fast to nothing at all'. To hold to a point of view or an opinion as being true is to put the consciousness right back into a box and from that moment on life is lived from the rules of the box, not the freedom of an unfettered consciousness.

Enlightenment, or living life from an enlightened state of consciousness is nothing more than being free of all boxes. In another blog entry I wrote about fish my friend has and how I spent some time watching them. There is something still there about that which hasn't left my mind. I was looking at the fish swimming in the water and thought, they are swimming in something that they are totally unaware of i.e. water. Yet if those fish suddenly found themselves on land they might feel the difference. I assert it is the same with the human condition, we are swimming in something that is undistinguished to us and it is only when we can get out of what we are swimming in and look back that we can see what it was. I hope this makes sense. Somehow I know what I want to write in my head but it's not coming out. What I am saying is that what we are swimming in is so taken for granted that no freedom is possible until we can somehow get out.

I start my work experience on a trade magazine tomorrow and I am a bit nervous. Given this blog and how I write I have no idea how I am going to write inspiring articles on pasta! But I am up for giving it my best and who knows maybe I will the first person to put a human interest angle on pasta! I have to go and do some shorthand. This is by far the most stressful part of this course. The only way I am going to achieve the qualification is to keep at it....doing it little and often. It is like this blog....when I actually get down to it, it is a joy and a challenge.....

Friday, 3 April 2009

Free....well in a kind of way....for Easter...

Last night was my last evening of the Vortex healing. I have been trying to assess its benefits. To be able to assess something accurately and fairly demands that I have something to measure it against. I think for any healing like this much of it is about faith and trust. I get drawn to things and then wonder when it is over what the pull was and how I should use what I am being pulled towards. I never get any answers to these ponderings of mine. But it's interesting that I don't feel any urge to continue once the course is over. It's like I have faith that whatever I am supposed to get I will have got it within the time of the course and there is no need to enroll for another. This is strange given the strength of the pull in the first place.

Apart from the first session when I was so incredibly tired I've felt much the same after the following three, so trust that I got what I was supposed to get. In my experience without a teacher this is the way of the spiritual path. Having an intuition to do something, following it and then being willing to let go when it feels right to. Thinking again of this healing, I suppose it's like anything new that we try, the first time is always the most powerful, then the old enemy called familiarity comes in. This takes away the newness and freshness of the first time and we have a kind of attitude that goes 'oh well, I know what this is about now'. I once read a book called 'Zen mind, beginners mind' and it talks about the importance of coming to every conversation and situation with fresh eyes and mind if one is to experience the magic that is only possible when we don't have past ideas or thoughts in our minds.

Last weekend I stayed with my very good friend. He has two goldfish in a tank in his kitchen. On Saturday I got up early and went downstairs to have some breakfast before I went to my agreement. I sat transfixed looking at these two fish who were swimming around and wondered if what I had heard once about fish was true, i.e. that they do not have any memory so for them they are always swimming in unfamiliar waters which might be why fish can appear to be so happy in such a limited and confined space (fish don't speak to me so I can't confirm my last assertion!) As I sat and watched them I pondered on what life would be like if we didn't have memories and could greet each moment with childlike wonder. When I say this I'm not talking about the forgetfulness of Alzheimer's or any medical condition where memory loss is a symptom.

I am speaking about a state of consciousness that in every moment comes from nothing, is new, and fresh. Using myself as an example because this is what this blog is about, what it means for me is that when I speak to someone I would have no memories of past conversations with that person. There would be an ease and a freedom instead of a cautiousness based on a past memory of an experience of saying something which caused hurt and upset. Ironically it is this memory of the way conversations in the past have gone that prevents authentic conversations in the present. It's quite comical when I stop and think about it. Instead of the consciousness being in the moment and absorbed in the beauty of the conversation it is preoccupied with doing everything it can not to repeat a past experience.

Today we had a visiting lecturer who spoke to us about how journalism is changing as a result of the economic climate. This seems to the only conversation that anyone working in this field is talking about at the moment. He spoke about the importance of having passion and enthusiasm for what we write about. I immediately thought of this blog and of how much I love it and how grateful I am to those who read it and are loyal to it. I also felt shame that it is something that I write on such a whim, given everything that I could share by writing. I have written in a past entry about the reaction from some of my colleagues on the course towards this blog and although I have only told a couple of people I am writing it, there is wariness to me which I can only put down to this blog. (It couldn't possibly be that they just don't want to hang around me! ) The impact of this is that I have been restrained when I've wanted to give free self-expression to my feelings and insights around this period of my life. Ironically, this restraint hasn't given me any more acceptance so I have decided in those famous words to 'publish and be dammed'.

I am no fool though and I will be careful. I know enough about libel now to change details for certain people and places. As always though, everything I write is only an opinion or view, it is not the truth only fodder for debate with the intention of being of service and making a difference. This new found resolve has just arisen today. The person who spoke to us is a well known and successful journalist and I had a thought to tell him about my blog and my book. Then immediately another thought came that said 'don't'. Then came a surge of anger and I found myself telling him exactly what I said I wouldn't.

Since then I feel a new found freedom. It was a kind of epiphany moment for me in that I saw with perfect clarity what I need to do to get me and my contribution to spirituality and its myriad of stages more well known. Up to now this blog was this blog, but if I am to make the contribution I want to make but more importantly be the change I want to see in the world I and this blog has to step out of our comfort zone. But as I write this, I hear my critical inner voice going 'yes, but how many epiphany moments have you had and have done nothing about' and this is true. I have the idea but lack the application. This is the reason why I and the blog and my book are so small. I run this story that I am not organised and this is why I am ineffective when it comes to things practical and getting things done and moving.

The only way this is going to change is if I am rigorous with myself and hold myself to account in a new way. This involves me getting up each morning and setting myself a number of actions around getting myself and my model of the three stages of spiritual development more known. Being clear about when I am going to do these actions and then holding myself to account when I don't do them and recommiting myself to doing them. The most important part of all of this is not to make myself or others wrong when they don't happen. Where I go when I don't do something I said I would do is 'I'm bad and wrong' and this robs me of power. Keeping my word has nothing to do with being right or wrong and everything to do with being powerful and living a powerful life.

I saw with perfect clarity that my love and my passion and my experiences are in the area of spiritual development. This is what I want to write and speak about. Up to now I have been doing this alone, lurking like some voyeur on the sidelines instead of getting involved in serious writing and reporting about everything that is evolving in this field. To think that I was considering going for a safe job on a magazine that isn't going to inspire me was once again to go and sell out on myself like I have done in conventional jobs all my life.

This blog entry is long because I am at present sitting in an internet/phone cafe waiting for my phone to complete a complete software re-programme. I haven't been able to to receive text or voice mail messages and so I've had to bite the bullet and get the entire thing re-softwared. What is amazing is that they told me that it would be ready almost an hour ago and when I calmly pointed out that I had been given a time to return to find that the phone is not ready, they offered me the free use of the internet!, this is why this blog entry is so long.

Another trivial thing that happened which warmed my heart was when I was up in London I wandered through Waitrose and saw a particular dish that really appealed. I thought I'll go to Waitrose here and pick it up. I walked in there earlier and rather than spend ages walking around every aisle found an assistant and explained what I was looking for. She shook her head and proferred some explanation about not having it in that branch. Feeling disappointed I headed for the counter to pay for what I already had in the basket. Just before I reached the counter I had a thought to go back to the pasta section. I walked back and then to my amazement, just beside the pasta was the range of food I had been looking for and there was the exact one I wanted......the last one!..

When these small but absolutely thrilling things happen, I know for certain that the only one putting limitations on what I can create and achieve in the me...

Now...I've been waiting an unacceptably long time for my internet or not, so I'm going to go for now.....