Resurgence

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Last weekend, it was finally time to indulge in the wonderful Resurgence Summer Camp. My excitement had been slowly building over the past few weeks. I have often wanted to attend this camp, but had never managed it, until that is the long awaited Friday, 13th July. Luckily for me, 13th is a number I love and Friday, 13th gives me a great excuse to feel a little smug becuase it holds no attachment to anything other than another day, another opportunity.

So, feeling like an intrepid adventurer, I packed the car with camping gear and drove down to the amazing Green and Away tented conference centre in Bransford, midway between Worcester and Malvern. On arrival, I was greeted by a lovely young woman from Spain with a wheelbarrow. Yes, cars are not allowed on site and all my gear had to be loaded onto the wheelbarrow and wheeled unceremoniously down a rocky footpath which led to the green fields of Green and Away.

The scene which greeted me, confirmed my decision. I had made an excellent choice, as part of my exploring year, hoops festooned in hanging ribbons created a welcoming entrance, a little like a guard of honour for a bride and groom.

Before long Marina and I had erected my tent and just as it was complete, my friends arrived with wheelbarrows full of equipment and the whole process began again. Fuelled by tea and cake from the tea tent, we went back to our tents to prepare for a swim in the river Teme. The heavens opened for the first time in a while and thunder and lightening accompanied us on our search for a safe way to climb down to the water. My intrepid friend Sarah, was determined and was about to slide down a very steep, mud-slide, where a path had once been, when her daughter and I decided that enough was enough and we were not quite as adventurous – or stupid – as we first thought.

However, I am pleased to say that for the rest of the weekend, the sun shone and I was able to partake in not only my first, but also my second every wild swim in the aforementioned river. I think I may already be hooked into the idea of wild swimming and I am now keen to find other sites to visit.

Resurgence has always been about challenging our thinking and education and this year’s Summer Camp was no exception. From Oliver Tickell talking about marine plastic pollution to Julian Abel sharing his story of Frome’s Compassionate Communities project. There was fabulous music and dancing to the very talented threesome that make-up Mobius Loop. From calls to action in the Hemp Redemption song, through to heartfelt harmonisation on Children Learn. The rest of the camp was made up of yoga, workshops, tea, cake, glorious vegetarian food, poetry and lots of lovely sunshine. Did I mention the wild swimming?

On the last day, the very informed Jojo Mehta shared her joint vision with Polly Higgins, together I imagine them to be an unstoppable force, of Mission Life Force – Justice for the Earth. Polly, who gave up her very successful career once said “I have a choice: to protect our Earth or to let it be destroyed. For me it is unconscionable to walk away.” After hearing Jojo talk of their hope of making Ecocide an international crime at the international crime court. I couldn’t wait to come home and sign-up as a Trustee of their new ‘organisation’. Read more and if you are moved to please sign-up and offer your voice and support to this important aim for our planet.

So, home again after a thought provoking, mind expanding, enjoyable, sunny and deeply satisfying long weekend. I am already looking forward to next year!

Who knows, perhaps we may meet up there – fancy joining me for a swim?

 

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Action for Happiness

a805b294b07abb114f631226215ab941--un-international-days-international-day-of-happiness“I will try to create more happiness in the world around me” was a pledge I made when I signed-up to Action for Happiness. You can do this to if you are moved to do so!

It has taken me on an amazing journey and one I am very grateful for. I have really woken up to how each small action, leads on to another and if you are open to the opportunities, they are endless!

In this case, I signed the pledge and joined the movement. I scoured Action for Happiness’ website and devoured all the really helpful materials and information contained within. It wasn’t that I was unhappy, far from it, but it had a draw for me and I don’t really know why. I liked the look of the Exploring What Matters course and wanted to join one in my area. However, there wasn’t one running and there wasn’t anything planned for near me. So, I decided to looking into starting a course up. It took a year before I finally put this message out on Facebook ‘I want to facilitate an Action for Happiness course, does anyone want to do this with me’. I had three offers from friends and people I was connected to. In the end, three of us decided to work together and applied to co-facilitate a course.

We ran the first course in Wolverhampton last year. It runs for 8 weeks and we ran it through the cold early winter months. It was hard work, but it was a challenge that was worth persevering with! So know we are putting ourselves back out there again and running a second course.

So, what is Exploring What Matters?

It is an 8-week course to help people learn, think about and discuss what really matters for a happy and meaningful life. We do this in a safe space, with volunteer facilitators and a group of like-minded people who are on a similar journey. The course involves lots of great ideas and conversations for discussion. The important part of the course, however, is that the participant be willing to do things differently. We all know that saying ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you’ve always had’ right? So, there is a bit of a challenge for participants to take action, if they want to make change for themselves and the world! However, it is a gentle, supportive journey and we can undertake it together.

Each week runs on the same format with a different theme to explore. The themes are:

  • What really matters in life?
  • What actually makes us happy?
  • Can we find peace of mind?
  • How should we treat others?
  • What makes for great relationships?
  • Can we be happier at work?
  • Can we build happier communities?
  • How can we create a happier world?

There is a gentle introduction to the techniques of mindfulness, views from experts delivered via inspirational videos, scientific based facts around the theme, room for discussion with our fellow participants and then an opportunity for you to reflect and take action. Each week, we check in with what action we have all taken to help us be accountable for the change we want to make.

You can just attend each week and interact with the materials and discussions. However, there is a wealth of reading and extra resources recommended, so if you want to go deeper into the subject, there is also the opportunity to really study the topics between the sessions.

Like the idea of joining a course? Well if you are reading this before 5th September 2018 then here is the link to sign-up for the course in Wolverhampton. If you are further away, or reading this at a later date, then click on the link about for Action for Happiness and all the courses are listed there.

Thanks for reading!

Science of Wellbeing

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was signposted to a Science of Wellbeing course run by Yale University online through Coursera.

It has some really helpful research information that backs up much of the things that I was learning or often knew, but chose not to act on!

In the first week I measured my authentic happiness, which was 3.67/5, this is a baseline in order to measure any increase in authentic happiness following the course. It was interesting to take the next survey to look at my character strengths and virtues. The synergy between courses was interesting. Some of the key points that I think are worth sharing follow.

So, it is not enough to learn or know something, we need to put these ideas into action. That may sound simple and obvious enough. However, it often isn’t simple. There are so many distractions and promises of shiny, sparkly things that distract us from what we really want and what will really make us happy and therefore improve our wellbeing.

There is an argument that Governments should do more to nudge us to make decisions in our lives that will lead to happiness and wellbeing. But actually often the opposite is true. Those who really want to live a life full of contentment, have to battle against a myriad of media, consumerism, capitalism, busyism (is that even a word?).

During the course, we looked a nmber of ‘rewirements’. These are things that if we aim to rewire our brains to focus on these goals, rather than more materialistic goals, will, according to the research, make us happier. So if you wanted to try these, you could follow these suggestions.

Savouring.

Try savouring one thing every day for seven days. Stay in the moment whilst doing whatever it is. Share with someone else, take a photo, talk about it, mention it on social media. Every night, write down what it is that you savoured and recall the experience, really try to experience the feeling again. Practice gratitude for the experience. I found this quite hard. I think this exercise is somewhere between mindfulness and gratitude journalling.

Gratitude.

There has been a lot written about practicing gratitude and journalling gratitude. As you may have read in previous posts, I love practicing and journialling gratitude. I write every morning and evening in my journal. The course, recommends a book by Robert Emmons entitled The Power of Gratitude. He puts forward that this practice can heal past hurts and can improve your life. He also says that it is important to acknowledge that other people or forces did this for you. There are different levels, we are all grateful for a present that we have been given. The next level might be that we practice gratitude and it becomes a habit. So this would be keeping a gratitude journal. This level is a good start and helps us to feel happier with a lives. However, being grateful as a way of life really helps us to be deeply happy and contented. Being grateful in all of life’s experiences tends to make the difference and helps people to live more fulfilling lives. This doesn’t mean that we are always grateful, even for the terrible things that happen in life, but that we look for the opportunities for learning or growing out of deeply challenging things that happen. People who live grateful lives, they tend to be more helpful and social, giving to others. Emmons says that people who see life as a gift rather than a burden are those who are living and practicing grateful living.

Mis-wanting.

One of the key concepts discussed in this course was the idea of mis-wanting. The term was introduced by Tim Wilson and Dan Gilbert. As humans, the research suggests, we mis-want lots of things in our lives. Things that we think will make us happy often don’t make us as happy as we perceive they will. Things, such as expensive cars, big houses, a job that pays more and so on. Of course, we are also told often that we want these things and that owning them will make them happy. However, certainly for those of us who live in wealthier countries, there is no correlation between life satisfaction and earning a high income. Once we have our basic needs met, more money does not make us happier. I am sure that we have all thought; ‘If only I had ………… I would be happy’. We think (and popular culture tells us) we need ‘awesome stuff’ to make us happy. Even thinking about wanting ‘stuff’ (materialsim) actually makes us less satisfied with our lives. Research shows that non-materialists tend to be happier. It isn’t only wanting things that leads us to mis-wanting. Research suggests that married people are happier for the first year or so, but after that, there is no difference. If you are in a marraige that isn’t a good one, it definitely doesn’t make you happier. Spending time on your looks, research shows, doesn’t make us happier. In one piece of research, those who lost weitht were unhappier than those who stayed the same or put weight on! Cosmetic surgery – those who want it are generally less happy than the general population and are even more unhappy after they have had the surgery. Getting good results in exams doesn’t make people as happy as they thought it would. Also, we see things that we have or that happen to us in relative terms. Research has looked at olympic medallists to look at their levels of happiness. Those that won a gold medal, as you might imagine were happy. However, those that won a silver medal, were less happy than those who won bronze. The silver medallists were apt to be disappointed in their performance, because they thought that if only they had done that little bit better, they could have won gold. Whereas, those who won bronze were happier because they nearly didn’t make it to the podium at all!

All this leads to the conclusion that our mind plays tricks on us – a lot! So, why do we not know what makes us happier or more contented? According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, we are aiming for the wrong things to make us happy and our minds strongest intuition is often totally wrong. We are genetically programmed in our apptitude for happiness, 50% of our happiness is in our genes and 10% is down to our life circumstances. However, a massive 40% of our happiness comes from our thoughts, attitude and actions. This 40% is under our control.

Our minds are complicated, but the overwhelming message from this learning is that there are a lot of things we can do to help nudge our minds into feeling more content and helping to improve our mental and physical health. It does take commitment, but if really want to be happier, then we can make a habit of positive attitude leading to a more positive life. If the time isn’t right for you now, feel free to pop back when you feel ready!

By the end of the course, I had managed to lift my authentic happiness score to 4/5.

Living my Happiness year

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I mentioned in a previous post about creating a vision board following the Year Compass workshop. Like many, I thought vision boards were all about dreams of owning an expensive car, sticking it on the fridge, look at it every day and eventually your dream would become a reality.

In some ways, the vision board I created begins with the same premise. However, there is of course more science (and possibily a dash of magic) to creating and a vision board and making it a reality. It is about living an intentional year, five years, life. You put down in pictures and words what you want to ensure that you focus on through the year and then because it serves as a reminder every day, of what you want to work towards, it reminds you to take action toward your goals. ‘Thoughts become things’ I hear my mindset mastery coach telling me. I now find that I ‘waste’ less of my precious time.

I am sharing my vision board with you; another way of ensuring that you take action towards what you want in your life is to say it out loud, it makes it real and now you can help to hold me accountable for doing what I said that I would do.

My vision board contained the following elements:

My word for the year was happiness. Then my vision board was broken down into different areas of my life where I wanted to focus and that would help me to feel happier and contented, knowing that I had lived this year intentionally and having achieved everything I wanted to achieve. I realise that this is unfolding now that I look back after five months.

The areas I wanted to focus on were:

My family. I wanted to spend more time having fun together. I put pictures of candles, outdoor fires, camping, a picture of three little girls walking arm in arm (this represented spending more time with my two sisters), I also put a picture of two Border Terriers, I wanted to spend more time focussed on them.

Nature. Pictures of sunsets, walking, cycling, sea and trees. I wanted to spend more time being out in nature. I had noticed that for the past couple of years, I had spent more time indoors than ever before in my life. Time on the internet or watching television or doing housework chores.

Explore and expand my horizons. Along the same theme, my life had become quite small. I worked hard, came home and spent time inside. I wanted to spend more time on the south coast where most of my family are and where I was born and left at the age of 37. I wanted to take part in different activities, travel and be braver. Even walk the South Downs Way.

Moving toward my 5 year plan. To own a yurt again, move house, learn new ideas and skills and undertake research toward a business or different job. Amongst these might be coaching, therapy, happiness, play, nurturing and nature.

Nurturing myself. I found pictures to accompany words such as; Nurture, nourish, minduflness, yoga, water, noursihing food, exercise, mind, body and soul.

Community and Work. These are interchangeable as my work involves Wolverhampton communities. Make:shift, Action for Happiness, Eden Communities, Participatory City and active communities.

Finally, my house. I wrote that I wanted to create a beautiful inside and outside in my home and garden. Hang those pictures of the family that are hidden away. Inject some love and attention into the spaces that we live in and often take for granted and don’t even notice.

I wasn’t sure whether or how any of these things would manifest. But after a few months, I looked back and realised that they were definitely happening! I will share how these have manifested themselves in further posts.

Perhaps you would like to create a vision board to help you manifest and intentional year ahead.

 

Rhythm of the day

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In this weeks blog, I thought I would share how having a rhythm to my day, in particular to my morning, has transformed the way my days unfold and therefore how I live my life.

About six months ago, I began to get up a little earlier every day in order to meditate. I discussed how I created a mindfulness meditation habit in my previous post. The real change to my mornings began about three months ago whilst following a Mindset Mastery programme with the amazing Holly Luton from IGO yoga. In order to follow this new rhythm I get up at about 6am. It is a glorious time to get up, when I first began, I waking up with the birds, as the sang their dawn chorus, and as the sun began to rise. Currently, the birds and the sun are up too early for me at about 4:30am. So lately I have been savouring the warmth of the morning sun shining on my morning yoga routine it is a powerful feeling when practicing sun salutations with the sun warming your body, penetrating to every cell, and being able to actually feel it without having to visualise it!

So, my morning rhythm begins with a glass of water followed by yoga. Sun salutations, beginning slowly to stretch my body after a night in bed. Then a couple of rounds using my breath to guide each separate movement. Then some core strengthening exercises to help one of my weakest areas. Then I sit with my trusted journal, I begin with gratitude, writing down what I am grateful for this moring. Then I write the 5 key things I want to achieve during the day. Then I write down what my goals are for the mid and longer term. I then write a more detailed plan for my day, this helps me to ensure that I achieve what is important to me rather than being sidelined.  I repeat my affirmations and sometimes do a visualisation. Finally, I end my morning session with a mindfulness meditation. I sometimes sit in silence and listen to my heart. As Courtney Carver says in her book ‘Soulful Simplicity’ “listen to your heart, she knows the real you, trust the answers”.

I love the end of the meditation that reminds me to know what you are going to do next and take the intention of the meditation with you, take the feeling with you into your day. It is a little space that you can dip back into during the day to help you. It only takes a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath. That moment can help you respond rather than react or feel calm rather than anxious.

I have a shorter rhythm at the end of my day too. I take to my journal and write about my gratitude for things through the day. I write something that I have ‘won’ at and something that may have been a lesson to help me. I have added some new questions recently. I ask myself what acts of kindness did I undertake today, what new connections did I make, what did I do mindfully and what did I savour. These questions help me to live my life more intentionally. I don’t always have answers!

 

Gratitude

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About a year ago, I began keeping a gratitude journal. When I remembered, I wrote down things that I was grateful for. Usually a few evenings every week. To be begin with, I was just writing and it was a useful way of seeing my life in a positive way.

Since then, I have progressed my gratitude routine. I now write between three and five things that I am grateful for every morning and every evening, but the valuable change has been in my mindset. I am really very grateful for the things that I write down. I feel them again, I stop and realise all the amazing things that I have in my life and the wonderful things, some very small, some immense that I connect with every day. I write down those things.

I do this in my journal (more of this next time). I write in the mornings: ‘This morning I am so happy and grateful that…’ and in the evenings: ‘This evening I am so happy and grateful that…’.

This morning’s entry went like this:

This morning I am so happy and grateful that…

  • I have had such a positive week at work this week, with several new opportunities for areas of growth that will help the people in our city
  • I now have five days where I am not working
  • We are off on an adventure to return to our Gaia Tribe
  • It is raining today, so the trees and plants will be refreshed and it will add to their beauty.

I wanted to include some gratitude for the rain. So often we feel that the rain is a negative thing in our lives, an inconvenience. I imagined what would happen if we didn’t have rain – we wouldn’t be here. What kind of life would we have if it hardly ever rained? What is better becuase it is raining? I am grateful that it is raining.

A short post this week. I am grateful to you for reading it, thank you. I hope you found something of value to you from doing so. I look forward to connecting with you again.

Wishing you love and light.

Namaste

Next week I would like to share with you how embracing a morning rhythm has enhanced my life, share what I include in mine and encourage you to try one too.

Mindfulness

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This week I would like to share my journey into creating a mindfulness habit and how it has helped on my journey to happiness.

I have played with the idea of mindfulness for a few years. Not fully embracing it. I have meditated in yoga classes for a number of years and some of that time, I was definitely being mindful as we focussed on each area of our body using a tense and release method, therefore being present in the moment. However, I had not managed to make mindfulness a habit.

I had taken some great classes with Adam Dacey who is the founder of Mindspace. Adam runs 8-week beginner courses in Mindfulness. They encompass all types of mindfulness, from walking to eating and of course sitting meditation. I also attended a couple of  his advanced courses where we discussed things a little more philosophical. For a while I managed a short-term habit, but when I couldn’t attend any classes for a while, I broke the fragile practice of daily mindfulness meditation. If you are interested in attending a class in the West Midlands, Adam’s introductory classes are very accessible, especially for beginners in their mindfulness journey.

So what helped me to really ‘get’ the mindfulness habit? Well, it came from the ‘Exploring what Matters’ course from Action for Happiness. You may remember from last week that I facilitated a course late last year. The sessions introduced the idea of mindfulness week by week, at the beginning of each class, as a method of tuning in. This was a great introduction for all participants. Even more amazing was the offer of a year’s free subscription to Headspace as a thank you for completing the post course survey!

Soon after the end of the course, I claimed my free subscription and began using the app every day. To begin with, I was using it first thing in the morning. But then I began to use it both morning and night. It is a great app, especially for beginners, or those who find it hard to get into the routine of regular mindfulness meditation. That was how my mindfulness practice became a habit. I have now meditated, using the app, for a total of 45 hours and completed 288 sessions. I have also meditated quite a lot without using the app. If you are thinking, that is a long time, imagine what else you could’ve been usefully engaged in with that amount time. Well, it is less than 20 minutes a day and most of that time would have been previously spent on one of my social media accounts. So I consider mindfulness meditation an infinitely more productive use of my time.

The change that it has made in my life is quite difficult to measure accurately and hard to explain because it has been a gradual change. But perhaps by describing one story I can give you an example. This is probably quite a revelation and I haven’t shared this before; I hope that it helps. At times, I used to feel anxious about the future, I used to worry that if I anything happened to me or my job, that the family would not thrive. My thoughts quite easily went into a downward spiral (known as catasrophising). You may recognise it, it went a bit like this: ‘My day didn’t go well at work, what if I can’t do this job, what if I need to leave, what if I can’t earn enough to keep the family, what if I couldn’t pay for all the extra curriculur activities, that would be the end of their hopes and dreams, what if, what if… My final thought was usually, well at least we could sell the house and move somewhere cheaper and that would help for a while. I don’t really understand where this anxiousness came from as I have had far less in the past. But at its worst, it could affect the way I spoke to my family. When I felt like this, it led me to say things like, ‘If I don’t have this job, then you will have to give up (insert activity). It came from nowhere, but left a lasting hole in our pleasure of enjoying the fact that for timebeing, at least, I did have that job and we could afford to pay for that activity. I feel quite sad that I passed that anxiety on to my children, especially now that I feel very differently and I know that they were only passing thoughts – never the reality.

In using mindfulness to interupt the chain that leads to the feeling that ‘we’re all doomed’ your thoughts can take a different path. In using your breath to stop for a moment, remind yourself they are just thoughts, it is just your mind doing what it likes to do best; chatter away often negatively. But we are not our thoughts, our thoughts come and go endlessly. If we can break the chain by reminding ourselves that all we actually ever have is this moment anyway. What has gone has gone and what is to come is only in our imagination – another thought. This moment, this breath, this body, this time. We can learn to just ‘be’.

Next week, I will be sharing how using Gratitude has been another step in my happiness journey.

Happiness

 

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I am a member of Action for Happiness and have signed their pledge to work to make the world a happier place. If you are interested, you can join the movement by signing-up on their website and making the same pledge. I joined a couple of years ago and at the end of 2017 I facilitated their eight-week course, Exploring what Matters, with two of my dear friends. My focus, therefore, had been very much on happiness over recent months. The course content takes participants from personal happiness, week by week, to actions that will create a happier world. I suppose then when I created my The Year Compass and it was suggested that we use one word for our focus for the year, that ‘Happiness’ seemed an obvious choice. I added the word, using gold lettering, in the centre of my vision board. Everything I added to surround the word were activites that I felt would manifest happiness in my life. I included all areas, my home, work, relationships, spiritual/personal development and health. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t that I was really adding things in a hugely intentional way, but it feels as though they are manifesting naturally, without any real effort on my part. All things happiness kept popping into my world!

A little while later, I bought a happiness journal. Quite by chance I had been given a token for Christmas for Kikk.K, I didn’t know this company, but one day in late January, I browsed their website and found a lovely happiness journal with a bright, sunny yellow cover. It was perfect for turning my Year Compass and Vision Board into planning for taking action. The Happiness Journal introduction says that:

‘Feeling happy and in control of your life is an extraordinary feeling – one that should be celebrated. Happiness is a unique concept, and for each person, happiness will mean something different. Think about the things that make you happy, What makes you smile? What makes you feel good? When you know what makes you happy, you can choose to experience more of it. Just remember to enjoy the journey.’

It arrived in February, I completed all the objectives and so that I could begin at the beginning of a month, it was March by the time I started using it. I have really enjoyed the experience.

Also, in January, I came across the Network of Wellbeing. My first introduction to the network was joining their first free webinar. It was entitled ‘Happier Self, Happier World’ – there it was again – happiness! This webinar was to lead me to adventures that I hadn’t planned at all. The guest speaker on the webinar was Shamash Alidina from The Museum of Happiness. He introduced the term ‘kindfulness’, he describes this on his blog:

“If mindfulness is practiced without lots of kindness, it’s missing something vital. If you’re just more aware of your stress, or anxiety or depression, that alone won’t help. You need to be kind to your emotions. You need to forgiving of your mistakes. Mindfulness tells you what’s going on. Kindfulness heals.”

Shamash has an amazing presence and his bubbling enthusiasm is positively infectious. Following the webinar, I followed-up by finding out more about the amazing Museum of Happiness. Before I knew it, I had put out an invitation on our Wolverhampton Action for Happiness Facebook page that I was going to visit on 17th February inviting others to join me. Six of us journeyed to Camden and had a brilliant fun-filled and happy day out. Perhaps I shouldn’t mention that there are pictures of some of us, doing the rounds, reliving our childhood in the adult ballpool! Before the visit to the Museum of Happiness Experience session, we enjoyed a lovely vegetarian/vegan lunch together in one of my new favourite restaurants called Mildred’s, if you are ever in Camden, I recommend a visit.

Next week I look forward to sharing how I got into the mindfulness habit.

The Year Compass

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I can’t remember how I found myself in Birmingham at the wonderful Impact Hub in Digbeth, Birmingham @impacthubbrum in January 2018. I think it might have been through my friend and colleague Sam Axtell (more about Sam another time). I think she suggested that we went to a session being run by Daniel Blyden @danielyep where he was taking us through an exercise based on the Year Compass.

I will be writing more about this process at the turn of the year when the aforementioned Sam and I will be running our own Year Compass event in Wolverhampton. It was a fun session, connecting with people I hadn’t met before and some that I had. During the session we created a vision board. I had never undertaken this exercise before, I had never wanted to manifest a fast car and I had only connected using a vision board in this way. How wrong I had been! We each got stuck in to cutting out and sticking pictures that helped us to create a pictorial representation of our workbook. I brought my vision board home, completed it and left it near my desk.

A few weeks passed and eventually I decided to stick it above my bed and there it stayed. A month or so went by and I hadn’t really paid it much attention, but when I took a proper look one day toward the end of March, I realised that so much of it had already started to happen. Working through the workbook and creating my vision board had really become a compass for my year and was guiding my decisions and actions without me noticing.

Since waking-up and becoming aware, I see how putting something out into the universe with intention and then, importantly, taking action, had effortlessly moved me to achieve what I set out to achieve. There were other things along the way that also helped me to turn my vision board into reality and I will share these with you in my next blog.

 

Advent

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Would like to have more time to write, but will need to settle for fitting it in where and when I am able to. So here we are in the season of Advent.

I will borrow any of the festivals that I am drawn to. I love this time of year. Indoor trees, candles counting down the days, stars, beautifully wrapped packages, friends, family, warm fires and slow days. I love bringing the outdoors inside our home, branches of holly, fir cones and logs.

As we are in our hibernation phase, cocooned, with more indoor activities, sitting round the log burner, watching familiar television programmes and cooking warming, nourishing winter meals, I am also looking forward to the opportunity to make new beginnings as a new year beckons.

Soltice gives us the opportunity to see a slow journey towards longer daylight hours and eventually Spring. Another opportunity for new beginnings!

Of course every morning we wake up gives us another chance to be grateful for the opportunity to put past mistakes behind us and reinvent ourselves. Give ourselves another opportunity to be better, do the things we didn’t manage to do the days or weeks before.

As I consider my options for this wonderful festive season, I am accutely aware of all those who are in need or alone. For those people this time of year can exacerbate their pain or loneliness.

Perhaps we can all take some actions that will help to share the available resources more equally.

Wishing you peace and blessings.