Is There Room For An Abundance of Emotions in Your Life?

GeneralAbundance. Dying. End of Life. Plentifulness. Not words you would normally think of together.

But there’s often an abundance of laughter on my Before I Go group programmes and workshops. There’s plentiful amounts of stories, some amusing, some poignant, others educational.

Then there’s also fear and anxiety and concern, more traditionally words associated with death and dying.

But here’s the thing –

it’s BECAUSE fear, anxiety and concern are welcomed that laughter, stories and even enjoyment are found.

You wouldn’t think it, would you? It’s one of the reasons that Western society (on the whole) has become afraid of death – we have associated this thing, which we rarely see nowadays, with fear.

And things we are afraid of we naturally want to avoid (and in some cases, that’s really sensible!) But avoiding the end of life, especially when one reaches a certain age, is not a great idea really.

With avoidance, resistance, anxiety and fear grow, and all contribute to a state of unhappiness. 

And that applies to anything in your work that you have to let go of – any kind of ending at all, not just the actual death of someone or something.

Ignorance also plays a part, and in itself begets beliefs based on ill-formed knowledge.

Before you know it, myths such as ‘It’s better not to mention the fact someone is dying, otherwise you might prevent a miracle happening’ or ‘Only hospital or hospice can care for your last days properly’, or ‘Better not mention the end of that project, I might hurt her feelings’ are seeded and then take on a life of their own.

These become assumptions, which then become beliefs, and before you know it, everyone is joining in under the same set of assumptions.

The antidote to all this is creating a welcoming stand to ALL emotions.

Just as I wrote in Chapter 27 of Gifted By Grief, it’s important to be open to them all.

Not try to push the ones we don’t like away, and only let in the ones we do like.

That’s not what life is (nor death for that matter).

Thrills for riders of the roller coaster.

Life is full of ALL kinds of emotions and feelings, and that’s what makes it so much of a rollercoaster ride.

How you behave on that rollercoaster is up to you – the ride of life is going to happen anyway, and by welcoming it all (no matter what it is), you’ll be engaging more fully in life, and therefore able to enjoy it more.

And death (or an ending of anything)  is just one of those rollercoaster ups (or downs, depending on what you think about it).

So, what do YOU think?

Is there room for an abundance of emotions in your life?

How much can you embrace both life and death, the death of anything? Reply in the comments below and let me know!

3 Non-Actions To Take When Anxiety, Brexit & Not-Knowing Abound

Uncertainty-100x100Fear gripped me, like a vice around my guts.  I treaded water in the swimming pool in which I had arrived for an early morning dip, before the heat of the day became too much. Brexit had arrived.

My friend had called from the terrace rooftop of the villa in which I was staying in Italy, on holiday.

‘Do you want the good news or the bad?’

I had paused in my leisurely breaststroke, and cocked my head.

‘We’re out,’ she called.

I swam to the side to hold onto the bar. Surely not? I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that the people of the UK might really vote to leave the EU.

Now, nearly two weeks on and the shock waves are still coming, though like the ripples in a still pond when a stone is thrown in, they are lessening from the centre out.

Uncertainty, doubt, confusion, fear, guilt, anger, tears – you may already be very familiar with these emotions.

They all belong to grief.

In one way or another, the citizens of the UK are in mourning; yes, even those who voted to leave. Because when any kind of ending comes, whether you realize it or not, a letting go has to happen, and that involves a mourning of some kind as the old dies away and makes way for the new.

Just as in the death of a person.

And as you will know if you have ever suffered a major ending of any kind in your life, let alone the death of a loved one, the resulting emotions can be very turbulent, with uncertainty and unknowing a common thread through them all.

At times like this, the mind goes into overdrive, trying to sort out how to cope. Trying to find a clear path forward, and bring things back to a sense of order. But the qualities of grief are the exact opposite of that.

Grief includes not knowing, wondering, and anxiety when a major change happens. You’re not supposed to be able to make decisions easily, be organized or able to think clearly.

It helps if you realize this, because then you can catch yourself being self-judgmental or self-critical (which often shows up as judging and criticizing of others, as in mutterings such as ‘the idiot, why did he do that?’ or ‘it’s not fair, I didn’t want that!’ or ‘why didn’t I …. (or why did I….)’.

When you notice yourself thinking these kinds of thoughts, what may appear on the surface as an opportunity for you to be right and others wrong, is in fact an opportunity to go deeper and understand what is really happening.

And what’s really happening is a natural human reaction to loss.

It occurs with all major losses.  But the way that individual humans react to these losses is very variable, and can make the difference between experiencing pain, and prolonging suffering.

Here’s 3 non-actions you can take to help you move through anxiety and grief more easily:

  1. Watch out for statements that keep you separate from others. These are easy to identify as they usually keep you right and the other wrong (e.g. blaming someone for dying in the first place, wishing you had behaved differently, justifying your actions). Breathe and go deeper to find the underlying opening your heart is showing you.
  1. Withstand the emotion-based demands from your mind which likes to control and feel certain. The ability to withstand these usually urgent messages, which nearly always dictate that you take action quickly, are messages that are coming from fear. Fear-based actions will always eventually create trouble. They have that inherent in them. Instead, just wait and see what happens.
  1. Be willing to experience the sea of uncertainty and unknowing. Become familiar with how this ocean feels. Let yourself be tossed about, or even just bob around, in these waters until clarity shows itself.  This is not an easy task, because of points 1 and 2. But if you can do that, you may find yourself surprised at what can then arise to the surface.

The Brexit campaign leaders have been judged as not having prepared properly in the event they won this referendum. There was no clear leader, clear strategy, clear list of instructions of what needed to happen next. Some kind of preparation in advance would have undoubtedly helped UK and EU citizens  to manage this transition more easily.

If you’ve been recently bereaved, then any advance planning that person did before they died will also help you.  That’s what happened for me when my husband died, and I was incredibly grateful he had taken the time to do at least some death prep – it helped me hugely to know I was carrying out his wishes.

Most people instinctively know that, at the minimum, a will is a good idea.

But most also do nothing about it (79% of people in the UK and the USA have been quoted as saying it’s a great idea to be well-prepared for their own death, and only 21% have anything written down).

If you’re one of the 79%, then take my free quiz here to find out how well-prepared you actually are: https://janedr.leadpages.co/big-quiz-webinar/

 

Forget the Reward Mindset: 3 Tips to Release Energy, Rejoice in Your Business, and Relish Your Life More

reward yourself phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of O

When you are working with one foot in a more conscious, spiritual, and aware world, and another in a project or business of some kind, it becomes really vital to your own health, energy and soul to make sure your actions are coming from a place of integrity.

It would be lovely if business in and of itself was conscious, spiritual and aware, but it’s only just beginning to change more towards this, and in the meantime it’s up to you and me to honour ourselves and our businesses or projects and do things differently!

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common ways you may be blocking the natural energy of your own life and business. All of them are about releasing energy; it is quite amazing the extent to which human beings hold energy back, or at least try to. Go through the list, tick off the ones that apply to you and then read on to discover how you can begin to let them go.

Energy Blocks:

  • illness of all kinds, small or big
  • tension
  • not coping with potentially stressful situations
  • being crabby
  • being inappropriately angry
  • going off in a huff
  • sitting on top of something you know needs to be expressed
  • blurting out what you think in inappropriate situations
  • having a strop
  • insisting on being right
  • refusing to listen and hear another person’s point of view
  • being stubborn
  • being consistently disorganized
  • Keeping on going to your own pity party
  • Focusing on what you haven’t got
  • Wishing things were different, without taking any action

And there are no doubt lots more – if you know one of yours that’s not on this list add it in the comments below!

So here’s 3 specifics to help you on a daily basis with these energy blocks:

  1. Forget the reward mindset – do the thing you really want to do first.

When I recommended this at a networking meeting recently, there was horror on almost everyone’s faces. Comments such as

I couldn’t do that! I’d never get anything done, ever!
I’d just spend my time doing what I love and not get to the other things

Oh my goodness! I’d feel much too guilty for that

There was only one lady who had a thoughtful look on her face. ‘Mmm’, she said, ‘that means I’d have to trust that I would eventually do the thing that needed doing, whether I liked it or not.’

And that’s true. This pointer is all about how much you are willing to trust yourself. If you are heavily into the very common belief that says ‘you need to do what you dislike first, get it out the way, and then you can get onto what you love doing’, then you’re in the reward mindset. Which is not surprising as that’s the way most of us have been brought up, reinforced by the educational system in the West, and reiterated by the business culture.

But Wild Wisdom says do your work or business, and your life, differently.

In this case it means being willing to turn the reward system upside down, and give yourself the reward first, thereby releasing huge amounts of energy which you can bring to the thing you didn’t want to do.

Yes, it is risky! Yes, you will have to try it and see what happens! Yes, you might fall at the first fence – but I doubt it. It’s much more likely you will have a go and discover all sorts of things about yourself that you didn’t know.

I first discovered how much this way of living and working suited me when it was snowingSnow one Monday morning, many years ago. I really wanted to go out and play in the snow, not be tied to my computer doing what needed to be done by lunchtime. My mind said – ‘get the work done first, and then reward yourself by going out in the snow.’ My heart said, like a small excited child, ‘Snow! Snow! I want to play out there now!’ – and this time I heard it. So by 9.30 am I was out in the garden playing, and I’d had enough after an hour. Returning to my desk, and the work that needed to get done, felt fine. What’s more, I completed it within plenty of time (even though I had started over an hour ‘late’). So you see – energy is released that often allows the completion of what needs to be done in a much shorter space of time!

  1. Educate yourself about marketing and then throw much of it out the window.

Goodness, is this sacrilege? There are so many ‘gurus’ out there telling you exactly what to do to get your message across, to sell more, to be more successful, to make more money, to get more clients. They often have useful information to share. Plus they often have very tempting programmes or products to sell.

I’ve spent a lot on quite a few of these, studied with some of the biggest names in the online sacred marketing business, like Mark Silver, Bill Baren, Kendall Summerhawk to name but a few.

And I still come down to the bottom line – learn what you need to learn and then adapt it to your own market. But not until you have taken time out, checked in with your heart, and can make a decision that is not based on an emotional state. Because decisions based on emotions may be fine – but they’re often rooted in fear, which is likely to cause havoc further down the line.

So it is important to learn, but it is also important to value what you already know.

Not because you know better; not because what you are being taught doesn’t apply to your particular market; not even because everyone should value what they know.

But because if in the long run you don’t listen to your inherent wisdom, you will be out of integrity with yourself which can cause all kinds of problems.

And remember you can only listen to your wisdom to the extent that you do! You may even make decisions thinking you are being wise, only to discover years later that they weren’t that wise after all! You cannot know for sure – but you can give yourself every opportunity to listen to the still, small voice within, and then to act on its’ instructions.

I know about this, because I learnt a lot about buy to let property and how to invest in it; and then, in a rush to buy in case prices went even higher (this was at the height of the property boom) I got an attack of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and bought 2 properties. I thought I was doing exactly what I had learnt, but I missed a few crucial pieces of information, and the most important was taking the time to really quieten down, release the excitement, and discover what was wanting to be heard.

I’m now paying the price in the form of considerable negative equity and challenges in renting. A hard way to learn this lesson – and all because I obeyed the experts, and forgot that the only person who can be an expert in me, is me.

  1. Move towards feelings you don’t like, rather than away from them.

I used to encourage people to feel their feelings, actively. And you may be someone who doesn’t easily connect to what you are feeling, in which case learning to feel is really important. But it can often be your feelings which get in the way of you creating a life and business of ease and grace. Why? Because the amount of time you spend resisting whatever you feel is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend suffering.

This means that the longer you ignore what is really going on, the more you keep your head in the sand, the further you push away a niggling feeling under the surface, the more likely you are to be having a bad time – simply because you are resisting.

Imagine that a feeling, say fear, comes knocking at your front door. You know it’s fear, you can feel the stirrings of anxiety, you desperately want to keep the door locked, the lid on, to tie the battens down.   The very last thing you want to do is admit there is any fear there at all, let alone let it in.

And yet, this is exactly what needs to happen. An emotion is there because it has a message for you. You don’t need to open the door wide and invite it to stay for ever. It won’t anyway, as the one thing guaranteed about feelings is that once they are felt, they move and change.

However, my suggestion is that you open your front door wide, and open the back door at the same time. The feeling can then come in, be felt, and flow easily through your house and out the back door, having delivered whatever message it has.

I learnt this well in relation to anger, and I learnt it from my late husband, Philip. He was brilliant at approaching me when I was obviously angry. The anger would be coming out in irritation, being a bit spiteful, short-tempered maybe. Instead of retaliating in kind, or ignoring me, he would (literally) walk towards me, asking what was really going on underneath. For my part, I was willing to look under the anger to the message it had, and to admit that. In these moments, the anger would dissolve, the issue would come to the fore, and we would be walking in tandem once more.

Instead of retaliating in kind, or ignoring me, he would (literally) walk towards me, asking what was really going on underneath. For my part, I was willing to look under the anger to the message it had, and to admit that. In these moments, the anger would dissolve, the issue would come to the fore, and we would be walking in tandem once more.

Invitation: On the next Monday morning, if you’re feeling resistant to what needs to be done, do something you would really love to do first instead. Be kind, keep it small and simple, like me going out in the snow. I dare you!

Where does your real strength lie?

When you’re sitting at your desk, head down, despairing about your work because nothing is going right

When you’re in tears because a tragedy has happened in the family

When you feel raw, exposed, naked to the world because something didn’t go quite how you expected it to

This is when you’re vulnerable.

It does feel like you’re open to being easily hurt, doesn’t it?  It’s easy to feel child-like, small and tiny, to want to speak in a very soft voice, if at all.

How on earth can there be any strength in that?

When I started to think about publishing my forthcoming book recently, and realized I was probably going to do a crowdfunding campaign for it, I began to feel a bit queasy. Writing it had been the easy part, apparently!  Now I was going to have to go out there to the world and tell them all about it, and because it’s a very personal story, that made it doubly alarming.

It doesn’t feel like I have an option, though. I’d be letting myself down if I didn’t put it out there as much as I can. So I’ll be doing that in the near future, and I will probably be feeling vulnerable – even more than I already am!

So where is the strength in this?  How can something that makes me feel teeny weeny inside, a bit wobbly sometimes, and even tearful, possibly have any strength in it?

It’s because that’s what’s going on and I’m willing to feel it.

Not push it away. Not bury it. Not pretend I’m anything other than I am.  Rather, I’m willing to feel the fear associated with being exposed, willing to say what I think and have others disagree, and willing to be seen in all my glory. Gulp.

You might know that when people tell you you’re courageous, or brave, mostly you don’t feel courageous or brave, do you? You actually feel terrified, anxious, apprehensive!

And it’s the same with being vulnerable. Others see your authenticity, your lack of guile, your being open.  They like it, generally speaking. Why?

Because we don’t have enough of authenticity and vulnerability in our world today! 

Instead what we have is people pretending. Pretending through their looks to be something they aren’t (how many magazine photos are not photoshopped these days? I’m willing to bet not many).

Pretending to be confident, safe, secure when actually they feel shaky, scared and trembling.  Pretending to have a brilliant business when the truth is there’s lots of debt and the possibility of having to lay people off.

And aren’t you fed up with that?  That’s why it’s great to see others taking risks, saying what they really think (it doesn’t have to be done in a hurtful way) and willing to put themselves out there, warts and all.

This doesn’t mean not dressing up for an interview or a presentation; it doesn’t mean not presenting yourself or your business in the best light possible. It just means you’re willing to say what’s really going on instead of trying to do a cover-up job.

The strength comes because it’s already there when you are being who you really are.

Pretending saps strength. Being vulnerable increases it.

So yes, I’m being vulnerable putting my book out there. And yes, the strength will come from that being a stretch for me, but also from being willing to shine my light more fully, and by doing that, helping others to see more clearly where and who they are too.

Which for someone whose purpose is about inspiring and awakening others is very compelling indeed!

So where are you vulnerable in your life and/or business? Are you comfortable with the kinds of feelings that go along with vulnerability? If not, why not?  Could you change that?  Could you practice being tearful for instance, without judging it as being ‘bad’ or ‘weak’?  I once spent several weeks in my twenties practicing crying in front of sad movies, cos I thought I needed to get better at it! (It worked).

What do you think about strength and vulnerability?  Is there a relationship for you?  Do you like it when you see less pretence and more authenticity?  Let me know by commenting on the blog or hitting reply to this email.

And remember, I can help you find your way again, recover your strength and identify your next steps. Just contact me and ask for a complimentary Wild Wisdom Discovery Session –  just three now available this month, so email me now!

How to easily have an ‘I did it!’ moment

I did it!

Yes!

I did it!

You know how very satisfying it is to accomplish something you’ve felt nervous about, or worried in some way. But then you did it anyway?  That’s what I did just recently.

I was staying alone in the family holiday hut I told you about last week in the South West of Scotland. I’ve never been there alone in winter. In fact, I’ve only been there alone once before, and that was for one night before I met up with various members of Philip’s family to scatter his ashes on the beach.

htNow you might not think that spending a night alone is a big deal, whether winter or summer. But our hut is just that – a beach hut, rather a characterful one with various old-fashioned ‘mod cons’, but nevertheless charmingly basic.

This means the water’s turned off in winter because it might freeze otherwise; there’s no electricity other than that supplied by a solar panel for the lights; the tiny fridge and shower and hot water are supplied by gas bottles. And all these needed to be turned on too.  Again, not a big deal you might think.

But a very big deal if your husband has always done these kinds of things, or you’ve done them together. A big deal if it’s in the middle of winter and freezing cold (it was -1 when I arrived).

But here’s the thing.  I was scared, and I did it all anyway.

I lit the woodburning stove first, always a good idea to be warm. 🙂

I saw the waterheater was leaking, because a tap hadn’t been screwed in. I screwed it tight and mopped up.

I followed instructions to turn on the water at the stopcock and couldn’t get it to work. I temporarily gave up and followed instructions to turn on the gas bottles instead, lit a gas ring on the cooker, and hurray!  Gas was working.

Next the fridge – I’d actually done this before and knew it could be difficult. But –  and I could hardly believe it – it lit first time!

Electricity was easy – switch on the main switch. Try the lights – yes!  So all I had to do now was get the water on, and light the water heater.  I rang my brother in law but he was about to go into a cinema to watch Harry Potter and I didn’t really understand what he said. I tried again. No success though, still just a trickle.

Someone walked by on the beach.

‘Hi there, could you help me a moment please?’

‘Sure,’ and he walked up into our garden.

‘I just need you to twiddle with the stopcock while I look at what the water’s doing, it’s just so much easier with two. I’ve been running backwards and forwards the whole time’. He twiddled the T-bar, and I turned on the tap. Water gushed out.

‘How on earth did you do that?’

‘It only needed the smallest of moves, that’s all’.

‘That’s brilliant, I must have been doing it too much and going out of alignment again. Would you like a cup of coffee?’

‘Love to but would you mind if I just get my wife? We’ve always wanted to see inside this cottage!’

And so I spent a cheerful half hour over coffee with a couple who come here regularly and will probably end up renting the hut. Even though they have a caravan at the nearby caravan site, it’s not right on the beach and doesn’t have the spectacular views our hut has.

There’s one last bit to this story. Mice had been visiting over the winter, I could see evidence. I really dislike mice inside houses. Would I manage to sleep the night through without being disturbed by them?  Perhaps earplugs would work, then if they did visit, I wouldn’t hear them.

7am the next morning. I did it!

I slept really well, no evidence of mice amazingly enough, and woke feeling so very proud of myself for just getting on and doing it!

So the moral of this story is: don’t let the thought of something difficult, or challenging, or nerve-wracking put you off taking action. Do it anyway, trust that you’ll find a way to cope. Look forward to your own ‘I did it!’ moment, and the repercussions of that.

And I have some questions for you: is there something you want to do that you’ve put off doing because of nerves, fear, anxiety, guilt?  Or any other reason?

What are the elements that have contributed to you not taking action?

What small steps need to happen for you to achieve what you want?

It could be taking the next step forward in your business, it could be daring to experience something you’ve never done before, it could even be hiring a coach!  Whatever it is, I invite you to take the next step you’ve identified right now.

And if you want some help with that, then please do apply for one of just 5 spots I have available this month for complimentary Wild Wisdom sessions, where you will be able to identify:

  • what is holding you back from where you want to be,
  • what you need to do about it
  • the next big and small steps that will take your forward
  • encouragement to take action!

Click here for the link to my online scheduler

These spots are open to anyone, whether you have a business or not, and they tend to go fast, so please claim your place now!