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!

Why An Assumption Is Your Biggest Trip Up

“The greatest difficulty is the mental resistance to things that arise, and the underlying assumption that they should not.”

Eckhart Tolle

Reading this quote right now, I understand why an assumption I had made was my biggest trip up.

Basically, I had had such a difficult time accepting the fact my husband had died. Even given that we knew it was going to happen, and that I was there with him when he died.

Even knowing that he would be better off dead (his body was riddled with cancer), for months afterwards I did the opposite of this quote – fell into a pothole in the road of life that said ‘No! It shouldn’t have happened! It’s not fair!’

And of course kept myself stuck in the hole for even longer.

Let’s just look at this phrase of Eckhart’s.

 

“Mental resistance to things that arise”

 

That’s these kind of thoughts:

I don’t believe it!

Surely not, that can’t be true?

No. I won’t accept that, I’m going to do something about it.

Why? That’s not okay

 

Or even just grumbling, muttering and feeling anything other than neutral about the situation.

We have mental resistance when we don’t like what it is that is happening. We don’t exactly resist things we like, do we? In fact, we welcome them with open arms.
So the real challenge is the judgments and assumptions we have made around whatever it is that is happening.

 

warning sign protects from falling into a sewerage hole

 

As an example, let’s look at what occurred when Philip died. I went in and out of the pothole called ‘it shouldn’t have happened. He should have looked after himself better. This wasn’t the plan for my life. It’s not fair. Why did it have to happen?’

All of which kept me stuck in the hole, because with something as final as death, I was never going to be doing anything other than go round and round in the bottom of the pothole forever. When someone has died, you cannot fix it or make it better.

Fortunately I did have some insight into what was really going on, and very quickly had moments when I would arise out of the depths of the hole, and see the world more clearly for a while.

But you don’t have to fall into a hole in the first place.

 

This was highlighted for me when I met someone whose husband had died and who hadn’t fallen into the hole, or at least hardly at all. Her choice of thoughts was ‘Game over. Bonus life’.

These 4 magical words allowed her to see any potholes there might be, skirt round them, averting her eyes from looking down, and instead looking ahead into the distance, to a different kind of life.

Focusing on the idea that this could be a bonus life, with hope, surprises, and possibility allowed her to honour the life she had had with her husband, and at the same time, move forward, step by step, into what she called a bonus life.

She did not wander towards the crumbling edge of the pothole, which assumes that the death should not have happened. She avoided that entirely, by not assuming it in the first place.

Which brings me to the work I do now.

When you are brushed by death (whether your own end of life, a family member or friend’s, or just by becoming older) it is a lot easier to notice the potholes if you have come to terms with death itself; if you have faced up to the fact that you will die one day. That your parents, your friends and your family members will all die sometime.

While the thought may feel challenging to think, looking at death in the face will mean you are much less likely to fall into a pothole of resistance when a death actually happens.

So I invite you to start having a conversation (with yourself initially) about how you feel about dying, death and grief. How you feel about loss in all it’s forms.

Here’s 3 questions to start you off:

 

  • How do you react to the word death?
  • What happens when you let in the idea that you will one day no longer be here?
  • Complete this sentence: What the word ‘death’ means to me is…..

Post your answers in the comments box and I’ll contribute mine too.

And now, the pertinent question if you are self-employed or have a business:

What is arising in your work that you are resisting?

What one thing (let’s just start with one!) are you thinking ‘shouldn’t’ be happening?

Come face to face with that, just like with death, and see what gift it might have for you instead.

And feel free to post about this in the comments too 🙂

 

 

 

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!

Why feeling vulnerable is great for your business

VulnerabilityThis is the current picture I have pinned up on my wardrobe door:

It’s there to remind me that when I’m feeling vulnerable, (which, let’s face it, often means anxiety, worry, wobbliness, exposed, naked, afraid, uncertain, unsafe and so on) actually this is where my strength is.

And who better to talk about this than Dr Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly. Below is a wonderful TED talk she gave about vulnerability. It’s really worth a watch. (And the book is pretty good too!)

How Grief is Transforming Wild Wisdom

I unwittingly jumped on a rollercoaster ride when I came back from holiday a few weeks ago.Roller Coaster 1

I was plunged into a tsunami of rage towards my dead husband of 3 years.

It’s been a very long time since I felt like this, and it was a bit shocking to be taken over so much by these intense feelings. It only lasted a couple of days, but I criticised myself for not being able to work; I berated myself for not being further forward in my life; and I felt stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. Swirling around in the tears and the anger and the pain that it all brought, old habitual limiting thoughts rising to the fore.

It came to a head when I noticed how furious I was with the newly-retired man living next door. What for? Because he was retired and he and his wife could do whatever they liked on his pension. And I had no man, who had left me with a very precarious financial situation.

That stopped me. I had to laugh, it was so outrageous! He had done nothing at all, and yet he provoked my fury. Obviously, I needed help!

I got help in the form of good colleagues helping me get my mind straight, after the floods of tears which were the aftermath of the tsunami. But the washing through of this, and a willingness to trust the process (which I had been resisting) emerged again and I spent the next two days doing what I really wanted to do – have a good clear out of my flat.

Normally, I spend most of my time doing what I want to do. So this whole episode was unusual to say the least. But I’m sharing it here because it was the precursor of another event – and looking back, I can see it was the darkness before the light.

At the same time, I was working with Julia Stege, The Magical Marketer (This is the woman I mentioned to you last week – our call together has been moved from Monday 11th to Tuesday 19th May, details following in a separate email).

The result of this has been far-reaching. I am celebrating another change for Wild Wisdom, woo hoo, bring it on!  I seem to thrive on change, once I get used to the idea it is happening 🙂

Julia and I came up together with a statement that encompasses how my work with Wild Wisdom and my forthcoming book Gifted By Grief combine together:

“I help spiritual women business owners who have been stopped by grief to awaken to the gifts and wild wisdom in their situation, so they can step fully into their new life and make the contribution they were born to make.”

It was so obvious! I even remembered that my business coach had mentioned this connection to me a few months ago – but obviously I wasn’t ready to hear it, let alone act on it.

I was resistant because I thought it meant a very narrow niche – how many spiritual solo professionals and small business owners had been stopped by grief, like I was?  Well, on reflection, when I realised everyone has had grief of some kind in their lives, quite a lot!

Grief is all part of the human tapestry of emotion. It comes with being alive in a body. What’s important about grief is how it is pushed away, tolerated, or welcomed in. When either of the former two happen, it will make its presence felt (eventually) in no uncertain terms.

It is well-documented that when grief is not processed fully it can have a detrimental effect on the body, let alone on any other aspect of life. And even when it is welcomed, it can still cause problems.

So how does grief show up in life?  Here’s a list with a few ways:

  • Death of a loved one (person or pet)
  • A loved one has illness/diagnosis
  • Kids leaving home (empty nest)
  • Forced to move
  • Losing a business partner
  • Career change causing confusion
  • Loss of health
  • Divorce
  • Failure
  • Loss of innocence (eg if raped)
  • Loss of hope (eg infertility)
  • A dream not realised

So I will be focusing my website and my marketing to this end. I’ll be posting about the myriad ways that life ‘interferes’ with your plans, and causes you to stop, both at an inner level and an outer, more practical level. And of course, what to do about it, even if it is just being comfortable with stopping.

My heart really sings when I facilitate and witness an inner transformation, a light bulb going off in someone’s head as they see/hear/feel things differently, and which impacts their behaviour. Then I’m in heaven, grateful for the opportunity to serve, and delighted that this is my work and I get paid for it!

My Spirit in Business 5 Steps to Success programme begins with the element of discovering exactly who you are, and what you offer to the world, so that will stay the same. Likewise, there is still a place for the Radical Income Welcome Toolkit, which is full of gems that are useful in all walks of life, not just when you’ve been stopped by grief.

So the website will be changing in the next few weeks as I get my head around what my heart wants to move forward with.

 I invite you to come on the journey with me.

And if you would like to explore the situation you find yourself in at work or in your life, please contact me for a free 30 minute exploratory session, where I can listen to you, hear what’s being said in between the words, and help you get clear about your next steps forward.