Feeling upset about something. Nothing in particular and everything at the same time. Unable to articulate, communicate or even know why.
I decide to meditate. Sit with the feeling. Then I start to speak, hesitantly, as though telling a loved one what’s wrong.
The tears flow. And then I hear the underlying mantra: “Not good enough.”
So I tap on this revelation: Not good enough. (Emotional Freedom Technique – tapping on acupressure points around the body while voicing what I’m feeling, thereby unblocking and releasing.)
Good enough to be an acupuncturist, a teacher, blogger, girlfriend. But not good enough to be a successful entrepreneur, bestselling author, an international speaker, a wife, mother, or even a live-in partner.
I understand that there’s more to these sweeping statements. I am holding myself back. I’m not prepared to put in the effort if it’s not going to lead to anything. I worry that I’ve nothing unique to offer. Yet I’m still judging myself for not working harder.
On the other hand, one thing I have worked unceasingly upon is my own personal development. I have to congratulate myself for that.
And I know that I’m “The One” in one amazing person’s eyes. We love each other and have a wonderful relationship. However, the circumstances are not conducive for us to live together and neither one of us is sure about marriage or kids. Plus, it’s healthy to have our own lives. Despite getting the logic, I’m still left feeling undervalued and not wanted enough. Again with the mantra: “Not enough.”
I realise that I’m looking to external factors for validation – other people, labels, milestones, money. What I’m really suffering from is what I’m thinking about myself.
In a flash of inspiration, I see that I need to become my very own superstar. I need to place value on my time, gifts, heart and spirit. I need to celebrate myself and see myself through loving eyes.
I will listen to my intuition, be kind to myself, and love and accept myself more. I must cheerlead further advancement, breakthroughs and prosperity.
I shall become my own captive audience, first-rate life coach, dream-granting fairy godmother and adoring life partner. And I have to be willing and open to LET LIFE LOVE ME.
I get up from my meditation cushion, walk to the mirror, gaze into my eyes and replace the once unconscious mantra of “Not good enough” with a very conscious affirmation: “Life loves me”.
I repeat this statement through self-judgment, cynicism, sadness and fear until a flicker of belief lights a flame of hope within. Let the miracles begin…
Posted in Love, Modern Society, Personal development, Positive Thinking, Spirituality
Tagged add more ing to your life, affirmations, belief, blogger, books, business, carl jung, children, choice, communication, courage, dreams, emotion, emotional freedom technique, enterpreneur, faith, fear, finances, freedom, future, gabby bernstein, gabrielle bernstein, guides, happiness, hope, inspiration, intuition, learning, life, life coach, listening, louise hay, love, mantras, marriage, meditation, meditation cushion, miracles, mirror work, money, openness, past, personal development, personal growth, present, rejection, relationships, resources, robert holden, sadness, self-esteem, self-judgment, self-love, self-worth, shoulds, spiritual practices, spirituality, superstar, tapping, the tapping solution, trust, willing
I pick up a little book called Tuesdays with Morrie while on holidays in Spain. I saw it years ago but avoided it because the blurb on the back made me worry that it’d be a depressing read. It is about a dying professor (Morrie Schwartz) and his younger student (Mitch Albom). This time, I am ready. I devour it in two sittings. And I cry and cry and cry.
It isn’t that it’s unbearably sad. It’s just so touching, it moves me like nothing else has for a long time. I can feel Morrie’s energy with me as I finish the memoir. I love him. I can honestly say that he (and the endearingly honest Mitch) has changed my life. The gradual shift in Mitch’s attitude inspires me almost as much as Morrie’s wisdom.
Morrie allowed himself to let go, to be vulnerable, and to ask for help. He observed that, when you’re an infant, you need help from others and, when you grow old, you require their assistance also. However, what we fail to acknowledge is that we need other people in between times too.
Morrie told the tale of the little wave that witnessed other waves crashing against the shore. The wave wailed, fearfully: “Oh no, look! This is the fate that awaits us. How horrible!” Another wave reassured him: “Don’t fret, little one, for you are not a wave, you are part of the ocean.” As Rumi wrote: “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.”
Morrie’s message has made me realise how closed off I’d become. I’d tell myself that “I like my own space”. I’d go home while co-workers would sit and have tea, a chat and a laugh. I’d stay alone in the flat watching episode after episode of The Good Wife. I’d spend weekends preparing classes instead of exploring the countryside with loved ones. I’d retire early rather than spend time with friends.
I still believe that there should be a balance between rest, work and play and between stillness, silence and moments of noise and interaction. But Morrie’s story has shown me that the most important thing in life is to love. To share what you have with others. To give another human being the gift of your time. Morrie said that he was always 100 per cent present with whomever he was speaking. When he was talking with Mitch, he thought only of Mitch. This resonates with me as I am often in the company of others when I’m not really there. I’m thinking of what needs to be done, or how I shouldn’t have eaten that or I might even be putting a photo through Instagram while somebody attempts to converse with me.
Morrie’s big, brave, generous heart has made me resolve to really live life, to connect with people, to appreciate nature, to question the values we’ve been brainwashed into adopting, to understand that love and peace are what’s true and priceless compared with ever-changing, unreliable material and physical possessions. One of my new goals is to do something that makes me feel alive every single day. I also promise to be present with people, as if each encounter were our last, and to ask, in the words of Robert Holden in his book Loveability: “How can I love you more?”
I have a couple of hours before I have to head for the airport. I could go for a last swim at what the locals call the “healing beach”. But it’s a bit of a walk, I mentally argue. And it’d mean packing a wet bikini. Then, I remember that I’m living life. So I set off in my flip-flops, carrying a pink towel. A line of ants and a yellow butterfly cross my path. A lone purple wildflower on this dry dirt track reduces me to tears. I offer an Hola and a smile to an old man sitting alone. He returns my smile, its corners clipped with surprise. An elderly couple stroll ahead, hand-in-hand. Yet again, my eyes mist. I beam as I spot a set of keys a stranger has carefully balanced atop a bollard.
My breasts bob and sway as my feet flap upon the sand. I feel like an ancient elephant striding across the desert. I inhale the scent of my sweat that has collected in cracks and creases. A homeless man sits on a wall behind the beach. I abandon my beach bag and strip. I don’t suck in my stomach. Not today. I duck my head into the ocean even though my hair was freshly washed this morning. I am alive.
Mitch and Morrie used to say, “We’re Tuesday people” because they usually met on Tuesdays. And I am writing this piece on a Tuesday, watching the waves surge and retreat, with tears in my eyes and a heart that’s breaking… wide open.
Image: Author’s own
Posted in Spirituality
Tagged appreciation, attitude, beauty, brainwashing, communication, compassion, death, drop, energy, family, friends, future, generosity, gift, gratitude, grief, heart, heartbreak, help, holidays, human beings, humanity, impermanence, inspiration, instagram, letting go, life, living, love, loveability, loved ones, material, mitch albom, morrie schwartz, nature, ocean, past, peace, people, photos, physical, present, robert holden, rumi, sadness, sharing, shift, silence, smartphone, society, spain, spiritual, spirituality, stillness, tears, thinking, thoughts, time, togetherness, truth, tuesdays with morrie, understanding, universe, values, vulnerability, waves, whole
Last night, I went to a Post War Years and Everything Everything gig in Whelans. The performances were fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. Afterwards, because a couple of the girls work in Music PR, we went backstage. Having politely declined a pint of Guinness from a cute drummer, I settled onto a couch between two other gig-goers. Although they were lovely people and we had great conversation and laughs, I was clearly in my comfort zone.
I’ve never been the type to camp outside the hotels musicians are staying in and I’ve never even asked anyone for their autograph. I know it’s better not to swoon over somebody just because they’re famous but it’s healthy to be able to make eye contact with a celebrity. Famous people are still people after all. I’m sure they value being treated like normal human beings every once in a while.
Last year, I attended the I Can Do It! Scotland conference. During the lunch break, my friends got their books signed by some of the speakers. I went for a walk. While at the time I was glad of the fresh air and exercise, looking back it would have been good to have met Wayne Dyer, Robert Holden and Louise L. Hay in person.
I probably thought I was cool not to go gaga over the stars but there was something deeper at play. I obviously thought I was less than them in some way. I didn’t hold myself in high enough esteem. I’d always found it difficult to be myself around celebrities, attractive guys and even certain teachers. So I ignored or avoided them and became tongue-tied when I found myself in their company. I was closing myself off to a sizeable chunk of the population.
A couple of weeks ago, dating coach Matthew Hussey was interviewed on the Ray D’Arcy Show. Matthew advises people to engage with the human race by chatting up service staff and striking up conversations with customers in the coffee queue or at the gym. He advocates giving compliments and completing random acts of kindness. He tells people to make eye contact and smile. While Matthew is speaking about getting dates, I feel this can be done by everyone. Since I listened to that interview, I’ve been making an effort to follow these tips. And it’s made my days brighter, lighter and much more interesting. Also, once you’re more confident and used to chatting to lots of people, it will come more naturally when you’re faced with someone you fancy or admire.
As we were leaving the back stage area, I remembered Matthew’s words. One of the bands had started messing about on stage. I made a comment and a bit of banter ensued. When we jumped off stage, the band members shook my hand, asked for my name and I told them how great they were. They were just nice, normal, humble guys who delighted in the positive feedback and seemed surprised when we weren’t staying for another drink. It was that easy!
Today I pulled a card from one of Louise L. Hay’s decks. It read: “I am neither too little nor too much, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone.” How very apt.
Here’s one of the tunes Everything Everything rocked last night. Imagine a whole venue singing along to these lyrics… You wouldn’t want to be taking yourself too seriously. And from now on, I won’t.
Posted in Modern Society
Tagged attraction, backstage, band, celebrities, celebrity, communication, concert, confidence, dating, dating coach, everything everything, famous, fans, fear, gig, glasgow!, human race, humanity, i can do it, louise l. hay, love, matthew hussey, music, partner, people, post war years, ray d'arcy show, robert holden, romance, self-esteem, suffragette suffragette, today fm, wayne dyer, whelans
There is no better spiritual practice than doing the things that make you happy. Happiness is your meditation, your mantra, your prayer. Laughter is your therapy, your medicine, your exercise. Self-love is the only diet you need, the best relationship you can have, and the greatest education you can undertake.
You don’t need rules, regulations and hardship to achieve happiness. Do what you love. Live your joy, your enthusiasm, your inspiration. Anita Moorjani tells us to be ourselves, recognise our magnificence, and live our lives fearlessly. There is no better message. It is so simple. If we understood this on a deep level and really believed it, we would never need another self-help book.
Robert Holden said: “You will never become happy. You can only be happy.” Stop striving for happiness. Be it. Don’t wait until you’re on holiday or in a relationship or earning enough money before you’ll allow yourself to feel happy. As the old adage goes, “There’s no time like the present.” I say, There’s no time but the present. So give yourself the gift of happiness right now.
Life doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it out to be. If your raw food diet is making you miserable, the thought of meditating for an hour is bringing you out in a sweat, your stack of still-to-read self-help books is putting you under pressure, and the gym is about as alluring as a garlic-smothered crucifix would be to a vampire, give yourself a break.
Wander around the library and treat yourself to that novel everyone’s been raving about. Bake carrot cake muffins. Dance. Sing. Paint. Swim in the river and feast your eyes on the ocean. Travel to foreign cities and sample their culture, their language, their cafés. Give someone a hug. A real hug. Spend time with friends and be present with them. Laugh. Cry. Play with your children. Light a fire and watch a wonderful movie with a sweet mug of tea. Go hiking in the mountains. This is your life. Be yourself and do it your way. Love it. Live it. Do it now.
Posted in Spirituality, Uncategorized
Tagged anita moorjani, being present, diet, family, friends, fun, happiness, hardship, health, laughter, life, love, meditation, robert holden, self-help, self-love, spirituality