Jan 23

Dance anyway . . .

WomanDancingOnBeachSometimes things don’t go the way we want. Sometimes we say “yes” and shortly afterwards think “what the hell happened”. Sometimes we do our best with the information we have available… and STILL everything seems to fall apart. Those are the days we have to learn to dance in the rain. When life sends you lemons, find some salt and tequila.

Somewhere there actually IS a plan – there is always something to learn, something to experience, somewhere to grow. The bad times lead us to places we would never have expected to get to, to synchronicities and serendipities that we could never have planned for.

The failure of my business led to me living in a shed (actually, quite a delightful cabin in my friend’s garden, but it’s much funnier if I call it a shed)… but it also led to me taking the time to travel the world. If I’d been successful that time round, then that would never have happened. My divorce led to me being far closer to my children than I would have been. Sometimes, when everything seems to be falling apart – it’s actually falling together. As my Huna teacher challenged us to remember:

“Everything is working out perfectly.”

Sometimes, we need to get to crisis point before we start to realise who we are – before we start to understand the true nature of reality and our place in it. The Persian poet & mystic Hafiz wryly commented:

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favour: to hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.”

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we forget what’s important… we worry about the details and forget the big picture – we forget the laughter and happiness, the exuberant joy that should accompany us throughout this whole glorious experience of being alive… until we remember that we’re here to learn to dance.

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May 02

Outrunning the dark

Fenland sunset (3)A couple of weeks ago I was travelling back from a dance workshop with a friend of mine – racing fast across the Fens. Now the Fens, for those of you who aren’t aware, are a huge area of wide open and totally flat land in the east of England, land reclaimed from marsh and sea. The land is fertile, houses are few and far between. Drainage waterways run straight as a die and cut across massive fields, luring the careless car driver to a watery grave. Wind farms create stark sillhouettes against an infinite sky. The horizon stretches for miles into the distance while roads reach into the endless and unbounded sky.

The evening drew in, and sky blue changed to hues of orange and crimson, cobalt and indigo, etching fire across the canvas of never ending sky. As we travelled down one of the long and featureless roads, white lines reaching forward to draw us ever onward, my friend said to me ‘you know, it’s almost as if from here we could outrun the dark’. And it did feel like that.

Sometimes it does feel as if darkness is creeping up on us on all sides. At a global level we have war, famine and terror stalking the political map, while economic depression is woven into each decision. Bombs tear sport events apart while gun fire rips the hearts out of communities. Closer to home, the economy continues to wreak havoc on lives that were settled and comfortable. Once respected personalities fall from grace. The environment is under threat and the planet is running out of oil and energy.

And greater dangers lie even closer to home. Sometimes it feels as if we are the greatest failures – failing to provide for our families, failing to keep a job, failing to live life right. When we look into our hearts we see darkness and defeat, uncovering anger and lovelessness.

So can we? Can we really outrun the dark? Or is it inevitable that darkness will overtake us and drag is into the night?

In truth, the darkness can only reach us if we let it. Only if we choose it can the darkness wrap its fingers around our hearts. Because at our core, we are light. We are incredible, glorious, wonderful, beautiful. We are hope, and truth, and power. We are magical, capable, incredible, miraculous, strong beyond measure.

Like many of us, I’ve done things that I am not particularly proud of this week. Actions that do not live up to the wonder of who I truly am. Decisions that lacked love. And yet I know that those actions are not who I am. I believe I was made in the image of God – full of light, and love, and kindness, and hope, and truth. Full of tenderness, and passion, and wisdom. We don’t have to find some way to become good people. We don’t have to ‘see the light’ and be transformed. Goodness and love, light and truth are our real nature. We just forget it sometimes. For sure, we make mistakes. We get things wrong. But that doesn’t change who we really are inside.

The darkness can only overtake us if we let it.

darknessAnd yet, that’s not the whole truth. Because in truth, if we choose to face it, darkness has to run from us. If we decide to love instead of hate, to care instead of being thoughtless, to act instead of remaining passive – if we choose to bless rather than curse, to believe rather than lose faith. if we choose action rather than inaction, then darkness has to retreat from us. And it seems that we’re starting to find that. In the last century, it seemed that darkness threatened to consume the world. People had no power and surrendered to the authority of those in charge. Yet now, as the internet connects us in ways unheard of before, people are finding their voice. People are saying ‘enough’. People are turning and facing the dark. and the darkness must lose. Whether it’s making our voices heard when government or global industry get it wrong, or joining together to create hope and love in some famine torn part of the planet, we’re starting to find that we matter – that we can make a difference.

So today, let’s choose to live from love, to live from hope. It might be in the smallest things. It might simply be a smile to the checkout assistant, opening a door for a struggling mother with a pram, a kind word in the right place. It might be a word of encouragement, a small yet thoughtful gift. And yet that simple act could change a life.. and changing a life changes the world.

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Apr 11

Healing Your Life

On the way to Akaka, Hawai'i (not my morning walk)As I was out taking a meditative walk today, my thoughts turned to the incredible power that we have to heal our lives. I’ve spent a lot of time pondering healing over the last few years.. I have been exposed to many different healing modalities from Christian prayer and ‘laying on of hands’ to ‘new age’ crystal therapy and homeopathy. I’ve trained in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Reiki, both using the healing energy of the body – and I have spent some time looking into shamanistic healing, particularly Hawai’ian Huna.

Now, here I am going to talk about one healing process. I need to say, up front, that I am actually a supporter of many of the healing models used – from traditional medicine through chiropractic and osteopathy through to energy healing and the power of prayer. So this is just one technique – but since it’s pretty easy to explain, I thought I would!

While I was in Hawai’i studying with Serge Kahili King, I was introduced to a energy healing practice called DMT or Dynamind Technique. While I’m not keen on the title, I’ve had some good success with the technique. It’s actually a close relative of EFT, as it works on the stored energy in the body.

At some point in the future I might post some thoughts about healing approaches and why they work – and perhaps overturn some of the current conversations about the Law of Attraction and Quantum Physics – but for now, I’ll just introduce DMT so you can try it out.

First of all, though, all healing comes from within. It’s part of the body’s nature to heal itself, whether that’s from physical damage, infection, disease, or whether that’s from emotional trauma and hurt. All DMT does is to create a space in which the body is better aligned to healing itself. DMT allows the release of stored tension in the body, allowing the body and mind to re-align itself. But here’s the thing. You don’t actually have to consciously believe that to use this healing technique (or, in fact, any healing technique).

So here’s the process as I was taught it:

  1. Choose a physical, emotional or mental problem to work on.
  2. Bring both hands together, fingertips touching.
  3. Make the following statement, either aloud or silently “I have a problem and that can change. I want that problem to go away”
  4. With two or three fingers, tap each of these points seven times each – the centre of your chest, the area between the thumb and index finger of both hands, the bone at the base of the back of your neck.
  5. Inhale with your attention focussed on the top of your head, then exhale with your attention on your toes (‘piko piko’ breathing)
  6. Repeat for continued and increased benefit. You may find the symptoms shift location and/or intensity – but just repeat.

You can augment DMT by using visualisation – if you give the problem a shape, or a colour, or a sensation (‘it cuts like a knife’ – ‘it’s like an emptiness inside’) then you can choose to change the image. Imagine draining the colour out of it, or changing the colour to something warmer and more loving, or change the direction of movement, or the image itself. Change the knife to a banana (making it funny is great – laughter heals amazingly well). Imagine the emptiness filling up with something wonderful. In the end, it’s your mind that’s going to create the healing for you.

So try it. It’s amazing how well it works. If you like it, use it. If you don’t, then something else will work – just stay open and it will find you.

You can find more details on DMT at the Aloha International web site:

http://www.alohainternational.org/html/dmteng.html

Have fun!

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