Monday, 31 August 2009

The Law of Abundance

Money - or the lack of it - is a major contributor to moments of anxiety in my life right now.

Just over two years ago, I drew my last salary and received a whopping redundancy pay cheque. I had no debt. I went travelling (which turned my Dad pale for a second time), I came home, I found a place to live that I knew would fit in with my imminently huge salary and then the job hunt began. Well, kind of.

You could say that I lost my self esteem, but looking back, I'm not sure that I ever had it. Even with a five figure bank balance and a stack of shares, because I didn't have an income, my well-worn phrase was "I can't afford it".

And here I am, with a bank balance on the brink of tipping in to the red, a credit card now approaching its limit, and all of my shares cashed and spent. I am starting a trial of my business in 4 weeks time and for that six months (because it is on the New Deal scheme) I will not be able to draw a salary. And if I tell you that my benefits only cover half of my outgoings you can see why I am feeling slightly nauseous.

Over the past few weeks this has led to a feeling of being totally trapped in my situation. Money seems to be flowing uncontrollably through my fingers, and each time I spend, I find myself thinking "I can't afford this".

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Focus your attention on your intention. You attract what you are feeling - reality has very little to do with it.

Over the past two days I have received links to 3 videos all on the subject of attracting abundance. Where money is concerned, there is a pot of abundance set aside for every single one of us. But most of us don't believe that we are worth it, or go through life focusing on our lack. If we keep repeating to ourselves "I can't afford it" or "I'll never have any money" then it isn't so much the words but the feeling that the belief generates. And the Universe says "Okay, I hear you. As you wish"

The final straw was a phone conversation with my teacher this afternoon. Once again, I had been too nervous to look at the state of my bank account. We had a short 15 minute call during which he advised me to do the following things:
- Attend the Community Event and Women's Seminar (£18 + £42)
- Attend the Zohar class between now and Rosh Hashanah (£10 per week)
- Buy not one, but three bricks in the new wall in the basement (£100 each)
- Start to regularly tithe every week.

A year ago I would have been highly suspicious of his motives. Why do they always want money? No matter how much I give they keep asking for more! What about ME?!

So why would my teacher - a full time volunteer at the centre - want my money? He's not getting any of it. He's not on commission. And before anyone starts to question the values of the Kabbalah Centre, or their authenticity, nobody is forcing me to do anything and nobody can take anything without my consent either.

By the end of the conversation, I was laughing at my reaction to his suggestions - I was screwing up my face, wincing at his proposals and a little voice inside was screaming "More? You want more? Which part of 'I HAVE NO MONEY COMING IN' do you not understand?!" At which point he would add another expense to the list and listen to my Ego squirm.

I looked at my bank account after the call (in a sudden "oh f*ck it" moment). And it wasn't as bad as I had feared.

With so many messages coming at once, I have to sit up and listen, and start taking action to change the way that I feel. So what can I do?

Well, for a start, I can start believing that the e-courses I create will generate a large amount of income, enough so that I can end my work trial early and pay off all my debt. Is that possible? Well, yes. I can be open to the way that my business will grow - and even though I don't know how I am going to do anything yet, I'm going to trust that all this will come as long as I keep moving forwards. Money will turn up from unexpected avenues. I'm going to create a 'future bank statement' and start to get excited at the reality of seeing a large sum of money in my account. I'm going to repeat affirmations every day to alter my neural paths. Oh, and yes, I am going to tithe.

For all of you doubting Thomases out there, I am going to continue to blog my financial progress. I wonder what the Internet connection is like from Bora Bora?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Bank Holiday Fun and Frollicks


One of the worst things about being single, living on your own, in the process of starting your own business and fast watching your finances going down the pan is The Bank Holiday Weekend.

When you are single at my ripe old age, many of your friends are grown up and married with kids. And grown up people who are married with kids always have something to do.

When you live on your own and have no neighbours (the house one side is empty, the house the other side contains a married couple with two kids with whom I had parking battles - when I had a car, that is) then it is easy for a Bank Holiday Monday to look like any other day.

When you have been out of work for as long as I have, it is hard enough to spot the weekends, let alone the Bank Holiday Weekends. And there seems to be an insurmountable amount of things to learn and do when you are in the process of starting up your own business. No time for fun and frippery.

And when you are watching your savings slowly drain in to the red and feel a long way off from making any money, it is hard to justify treating yourself to a day out. On your own because your married friends all have family commitments. On the bus because you lost your car over a year ago.

And I have to say - it's starting to get to me a little bit. Just a smidgen. Can you tell?

In particular I have started to really miss the freedom of driving - of not having to look at a timetable or make alternative arrangements when there are strikes. If I had given up my car out of choice and could afford to hire one when I had the need, no doubt I would feel liberated and 'Green'. I know that pining over cars is really not appropriate on a Bank Holiday Weekend - but at least when I was stuck for 2 hours on the approach road to junction 7 of the M11, bursting for a wee and praying for air con, I was on my way somewhere nice and didn't have to check a timetable. And if I needed an overnight bag (which I rarely did because I could simply DRIVE HOME) then it would be stowed in the boot rather than both weighing me down and getting stuck in turnstiles.....

On several occasions in the past I have been tempted to throw in the towel with this whole 'finding my life's purpose'. I look at my belongings and wonder which ones I really want to keep, how much I could get for those I would sell, and how much a night shift in Sainsbury's would pay. Anything has to be better than this 'non life'. This isn't living. This is existing. In fact, it's barely that.

And then I remember - it's always the darkest before the dawn. When life feels this shit I must be getting close.

And so I keep going, in search of the Best Bank Holiday Ever.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Mysteries of Life

No, not the mysteries of the meaning of life - just the mysteries of my life.
  • Like, why do I buy beetroot and broccoli every week, and then forget to eat it?
  • Why don't the flock of birds sitting in the hedge in my back garden not eat the swarm of bees nesting in the roof of next door's house? They look tasty enough.
  • Why do I suffer from short term memory loss every time I diligently paint my nails, smudging them only sixty seconds away from their 'complete drying time'.
  • Why, when I decide to cut my fringe to the way I want it in order to prove my hairdresser wrong, do I end up looking like I have been attacked by a blunt pair of shears?
  • Why, when I look like I have been attacked by a blunt pair of shears, do I not put the scissors down, instead of persistently trimming and tidying until I look like I have been attacked by a lawn mower?
  • Why does the man who comes to read the meter never turn up when I am presentable (in any way, shape or form)?
  • Why, when I believe so much in the Laws of Attraction, has my Soul Mate not yet appeared? (Is it the hair and the nails, do you think? Or the obsessing?)
  • Why do I bother having a To Do List, when there is nothing on the list that I actually want to do?
  • Why is there so much crap on the TV, until the point when I decide to tackle my To Do List (at which point everything looks so unmissable)?
  • Why are these unmissable programs never on a channel that has an iPlayer service?
  • Why did I never get my video recorder fixed?
  • Why haven't I found a working remote for my TiVo?
  • Why do the adverts for cars aimed at women, show cartoon cars and not real ones?
The last question came about when watching "For the Rest of your Life" yesterday and I started to notice the targeted advertising. It was blatantly obvious that the program is aimed at housewives - which was a surprise to me - not students?

No, not a pot noodle advert in sight. Instead, there were several L'Oreal adverts, with Andie McDowell saying 'Because you're worth it' without the tiniest crease on her face (which prompted my rather sulky response of 'Yes, Andie, now try saying that without air-brushing'), there was a lovely little Dell advert with lots of pretty laptops in candy colours being created in what looks like a sweet factory, the car advert for budget cars without any sexy ladies or winding country roads in sight. Oh, and a cream which corrects the natural pH of your vagina. Which proves my point and leads me to my final question.

Why, whenever I am eating in front of the TV, am I faced either with someone vomiting, graphic scenes from an operation or adverts for creams that require dabbing round poorly nether regions?

It's probably the Universe telling me that I need to switch off the TV and tick something off my To Do list...

Monday, 24 August 2009

Oh, the drama...

Bereft of company during the day, I often cave in at lunchtime and switch on the TV. It is a big mistake, of course, because the quality of British Daytime TV has a rather depressing effect. I start 'lunch hour' feeling a little lonely and end it feeling lonely, depressed and at a loss with the state of the UK.

Every day I make a decision not to get dragged down by the lunchtime news. Every day I watch a game show instead and end up feeling worse. If I watch TV just to have another human being 'in my living room' for a short while, then I'm not very good at choosing my company.

Anyhoo, I have added one more bad habit to break to my loooong list of bad habits. And that habit is watching "For the rest of your life" (FTROYL) with Nicky Campbell. It. Is. Dire. And I cannot help but watch it.

It's yet another game show (along with the new 'Golden Balls' hosted by Jasper Carrott, and the old and ever present 'Deal or no Deal' hosted by Noel Edmonds) where the contestant's triumph or failure at winning a large sum of money is based on a teensy bit of strategy, but mainly on total chance. And maybe even then the 'strategy' part is a complete illusion. Pick the right number and the audience of complete strangers goes wild. Pick the wrong number and the audience emit an audible and protracted groan.

In FTROYL, there is the added bonus of blame, because you play the game with your other half. Oo, nasty. The game is simple - the contestants pick one of three envelopes to determine the cash value they are playing with. There is a central play area with lit circles on the floor, next to steel tubes containing either a red light or a white light. In short, white lights: good, red lights: groooaaaaannnnn baaaaaadddddd.

In the first round, one partner picks the number and the other extracts the light from the tube. Every white light they hit gives them a multiplier of their initial cash value, and every red light sends them back down the ladder. Hit all red lights and you are out of the game. Hit the fourth step on the ladder and you go on to play for time. The value you reach at the end of this round is the amount you will receive each month depending on how you fare in round two.

In the second round, one of the partners is sent to an ISOLATION CHAMBER (oooo, recoil in fear) whilst the other makes all of the decisions. The person in the ISOLATION CHAMBER can see all of the statistics, how much they could win and the percentages of hitting a red or a white (but seriously, it's not rocket science). After every white light is pulled, both the person out on the floor and the person in the ISOLATION CHAMBER can choose whether to stick or continue. The amount that they win depends on who sticks first, or whether either of them stick at all (which means that if you stick early and your partner goes on to win 10 more years of payouts, you go home with the lower payout and end up in the doghouse For The Rest Of Your Life).

The maximum length of time that you can receive the monthly payout is 40 years, hence the name of the show. Personally I would like to live longer than 79 and would have them up for a breach of trade description...

I love to see people win a large amount of money, but the process of watching them win it is protracted and torturous (which I guess is the whole point). In addition to the somewhat deluded audience trying to change the colour of the light by chanting "White! White! White! White!" before the light is pulled, Nicky Campbell is an absolute master at making something out of nothing. "Okay, move to number six. Place your hand on the tube....... Are you sure that you are happy with number six? ("yes I am") Okay, now just remember here... you only have two red lights left. If you pull a red light, you lose over a thousand pounds and move back down to 6 months. And then you have to play on. Remember that you cannot stick on a red light. Pick a white light and you move up to 2 years......... You still have 7 white lights left on the board and that will still get you to 15 years. If. You. Pick... the white lights... Still happy with number six? ("Yes I am") Would you like me to cross my fingers again for you? ("Yes please") Okay, then Sandra, please pull out the light for number six"

I guess without Nicky Campbell protracting every single bloody light, the show would last no longer than 10 minutes. But honestly.

And then of course when the game on the floor is finished, the player watches each decision that their partner made whilst in the ISOLATION CHAMBER. In one game last week, a guy won a total of £168,000... but his girlfriend who was stuck in the ISOLATION CHAMBER took fright and stuck at £32,000. I bet the atmosphere on the way home was a tad frosty.

The whole game is completely out of proportion. The contestants are relying on winning a large sum so that their lives may be changed. But what is £420 going to be worth in 40 years time?

So I sit and I watch and I roll my eyes. Not this again. Oh just pull the bloody light. Oh Nicky stop being such a ruddy drama queen - anyone would think that lives were at stake. Who watches this crap?

Well, me, obviously.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Time for Repentance Is Now!

This week, I have been mostly scanning Zo-har..

Oh heck, are we there already? The start of the month of Elul (Virgo) in the Kabbalistic calendar. The time for repentance is now! Repent now and your sins may be forgiven on Yom Kippur - the Day of Judgement!

The Day of Judgement! The day when the Great Celestial Santa evaluates every one of us and decides whether we have been Naughty or Nice ("I've been good! I've been good! Honest, guv!"). And then what? Do we go to Heaven or Hell? Can we be forgiven? Does He really see everything? Like, EVERYTHING?

It all sounds a bit Fire and Brimstone, but actually, it's all in the translation.

For one thing, the word Repentance implies that the power of forgiveness lies with God - that all we have to do is say "I'm sorry" at regular intervals and all of our sins will be forgiven and we will be allowed in to the Kingdom of Heaven. Which leads to the assumption that we can do what we like as long as we are sorry afterwards and the only reason to apologise for our sins on a regular basis is because we don't know when or how we are going to die. It doesn't imply anything about changing our behaviour so that we have less to ask forgiveness for - as long as we feel sorry, maybe He will take pity.

Kabbalistically, it's all about energy. I don't picture the Creator as an old man with a white beard sitting there in judgement, but a force of unconditional love constantly wanting to share. There is no question as to whether this force wants to forgive us - the energy is constantly available - we just need to earn it. The month of Virgo happens to be the time when this Light is the most easily accessible - when correction of our actions brings the greatest reward.

Everything is based on the Laws of Cause and Effect. What you put out there, you get back. The great Jedi Mind Trick of the cosmos is that you never know when you are going to get it back. If you 'plant a negative seed' (e.g. kick the dog, poison your best friend, bitch about somebody behind their back) then this could come back at you instantly (the dog clamps its jaws on to your leg and won't let go), in a few months (a long spell behind bars) or in the next lifetime (not having any friends despite being a really lovely person). It's a great explanation for all of the crappy things that happen in your day to day life which you probably feel are totally undeserved. And also the reason why I have no friends. (And yes, I'm sorry for kicking the dog - I will never kick another dog ever. As for the poisoning, my sinuses were blocked and I couldn't smell that the salmon was off. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it).

The month of Elul is an opportunity to go back in time and 'undo' those negative seeds - to look in to the past and take responsibility for all of the times where you caused upset, where you weren't your best self, where you judged others, reacted in anger or held yourself back. Realise where you went wrong and understand what you could have done differently - and how that might have affected your outcomes. And work out what you can do in the here and now to make things up - whether apologising to the people you hurt, or helping an old lady cross the street when usually you wouldn't have the time. Whatever you normally do for reasons of selfishness or fear, change it. In fact, even altering your smallest 'bad' habits (e.g. the number of sugars in your tea) is a sign of willingness to change.

Crap, my days are going to be unrecognisable. Did I tell you about my constant issue with procrastination? No? I'll probably fill you in tomorrow...

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Kabbalah Dolittle

Ever since I can remember, I have had an affinity with living creatures. No, honest, I have. I have always loved dogs. Cats are cute (if slightly annoying with their superiority complex and the fact that I am highly allergic to them). Gerbils and rats - great pets. Okay, so let's narrow this down a little - anything with fur that is vaguely predictable, that has the capability to sit still and be petted and not bite chunks out of my finger or scratch my arms to ribbons, I love.

Insects? Well, not so much. But that is changing.

I always wondered how Buddhists could be calm enough not to squish wasps. Wasps and I have a history. When I was 2 years old, I was stung by a wasp for absolutely no reason at all. It was enjoying the common wasp pastime of bashing its head against the living room window and I was curious. I don't remember poking it but maybe I did, and it vented its frustration by landing on my face and stinging my cheek. For this reason alone, I had absolutely no issue with my mum's method of dealing with wasps - crushing them against the window with the back of a tablespoon. I can still hear the crunch now.

For the next thirty or so years, wasps and I had a tense relationship. They would seek me out in a crowd and no matter how fast I ran or how hard I flapped, they would stick to me like glue. It was a remarkable way to keep fit. When I was seven years old, the family took a trip to Bear Mountain. What a wonderful view. We sat on the edge of a large, rolling rock to eat our picnic. And then the wasps arrived. Who invited them? How did they find me? I was induced in to such a panic that I kicked most of the picnic off the rock and in to the valley below. And then ate what little was left in a baking hot car with the windows wound up, whilst my family sat outside, wasp-free, trying to convince me that it was safe. Why did the wasps want my sandwiches? Didn't nature give them berries or leaves or ants to eat, or something? (I have no idea what wasps eat).

My sister, by comparison, was always much calmer with wasps. Whilst I was flapping and swatting and darting and dashing, she would sit back calmly and offer helpful advice like, "just stand still, and they will go away" or "don't swat them, you will make them angry". Right - like they weren't already frantic with anger whilst I thwarted their desperate efforts to land on my face.

But this year I have discovered a new sense of calm (hard to believe, but it's there) and the wasps don't appear to be interested. If one comes inside the house, I talk to it as I catch it in a glass and deposit it outside. Not that I want one trapped in my bedroom, or anything, but somehow they appear to have given up their vendetta.

Surely this is symbolic of something? Progress, maybe? But maybe not so symbolic as the Ant.

Everyone (surely?) has a history with ants. There were three large ants nests on the front lawn outside Wasp Attack House, but not happy with staying on the lawn, they often used to venture - enmasse - in to the kitchen and have a bit of a sight-seeing trip round the cupboards. Mum once again dealt with this invasion in her no-nonsense way: ant powder round the entry points and bases of all of the cupboards, and a kettle of boiling water on each of the nests. Every summer, without fail.

The last house I lived in had an ants nest outside and eventually I decided to put down some poison for them to take back to their nests. Seems like a bit of a cruel trick to me and I felt pretty rotten for doing it, but needs must - it was a one bedroom house and there was little room for ten thousand guests.

But this house is different. Six months after I moved in I was visited by an ant. A single, solitary ant. So I named him. Anthony.

Anthony would turn up whenever I was feeling slightly despondent. One minute he wasn't there, and the next he would be crawling over my laptop or whatever paperwork I had scattered on the floor. Just on his own, minding his own business. Maybe he wanted a bit of company (although he wasn't really in to conversation). Every now and again he would crawl up my leg. And then he would just disappear. Usually (psychically) just before I started vacuuming.

After a couple of months of this, with no other ant friends turning up to invade the house, I got curious, so I wiki'd the symbolism of ants. Very interesting:

Since ants live in colonies, they symbolize organization and planning in a group. Ants are also a symbol of strength and energy, and patience and perseverance. As colonies, they symbolizes diligence and industriousness.

As Anthony wasn't in a colony (or rather, wasn't bringing his colony with him), I made the conclusion that he was there for encouragement - to remind me to stay strong, be patient, keep persevering - without the back up of a group. And so every time I saw him, I reminded myself what he stood for, and kept my chin up.

But today has brought new information - the Kabbalistic meaning of Ants! A friend of mine from the centre sent me her notes from the weekly Zohar class and the energy of this week is to have the consciousness of an Ant!
"The ant has the consciousness of the end of the tikkune (correction) process. Why? Because it gathers 51,000 kilos of grain in its 6 months of life and only consumes a tiny, tiny fraction of that amount. It doesn't work for itself and knows that this is his job - to gather for others rather than gather for himself".

The ant is symbolic of having Certainty for why it is here. Perhaps that is what Anthony has been trying to tell me all along...

Sunday, 16 August 2009

A Hole in the Head-ge

There comes a time in every single girl's life when she longs for a man. Not a soul mate or Love of Her Life, but just a man with two arms and two legs and a box full of tools. The last time I felt this pang of need was when I finally reclaimed ownership of my Tivo and the task of wiring it up didn't appeal to me. No one magically appeared and I managed on my own. *sniff*

As summer has progressed my need has grown once more, but this time for a man with two arms, two legs, a step ladder and a hedge trimmer.

The house that I live in is dominated by a hedge. This isn't just any ordinary hedge. This is a super-beefed-up-don't-mess-with-me hedge. It grows so thick and so fast that my living room was losing daylight - seemingly on an hourly rate. And I have tangled with this hedge before and know from experience that blunt shears are no match for it.


There was no reply. None of my friends (male or otherwise) have hedge trimmers. But the living room wasn't getting any lighter, and so, without much choice, I decided to tackle it this morning.

Now, the thing is, this hedge grows so quickly and is 5 foot thick - 2 foot of that is over the window, so I decided to cut it right back to the wood, past the window. Oh, and did I mention that the hedge is 8 foot long and 7 foot high too?

Anyhow, after hacking away for half an hour, half filling the brown wheelie bin and barely making a dent on the hedge, I made the following decision: let's not do all of it in one go.
And so here are the results. It was impossible (with the direction of the sun) to get a picture resembling the enormity of the task (yes, yes, I know, I'm a wimp) and so I took a couple of photos leaning precariously out from my bedroom window.

At the bottom of the first picture you can just see the recently revealed side of the window, blinking in the sunlight.

The second photo merely gives an indication of the size of the hedge, unintentionally capturing

the front of a car to demonstrate that this is a Truly Enormous Hedge.

So I'm done. Or should that be done in.

So if everything is a message, what were my lessons today? I have summarised my findings.
  1. Privet hedge branches are very sharp. This is a lesson that I learned the last time I attacked it with a pair of shears, but foolishly forgot.
  2. You can fit 42 square foot of privet hedge in to a single brown wheelie bin, plus trimmings.
  3. Big privet hedges don't mind when you lean across them to trim the top.
  4. Leaning across the top of a big privet hedge really scratches your arms.
  5. When cutting back a privet hedge, wear long sleeves - no matter how sunny or hot it is.
  6. Leaning 3ft across the top of a 5ft wide shared privet hedge to cut the bits that your neighbour didn't reach does not evoke feelings of unconditional love towards said neighbour. Especially given the volume of guilt that the same neighbour evoked when they cut 'their side' of the privet hedge 2 weeks ago.
  7. Neither do feelings of unconditional love spring forth when, after snipping the last twig and cramming the last branch in the full wheelie bin exposing arms akin to a victim of self-harm, the neighbour over the road starts trimming their hedge.... with a set of electric hedge trimmers.
  8. Getting angry with a privet hedge does more harm than good.
  9. Shouting at a privet hedge has no effect at all.
  10. The cup of tea drunk after clipping a privet hedge is possibly the best tasting cup of tea in the whole world.
The good news is that when I went outside to sweep up the last of the leaves, the neighbour over the road said that I could borrow their hedge trimmer any time I like.

Looks like my prayers were answered after all. Right, now where is the Savlon?

Saturday, 15 August 2009

And when you first meet that man....

Everything is a message. Everything tells us something that we either value in ourselves or that we need to change about ourselves. But sometimes the messages are not easy to understand - sometimes we think that they may mean one thing, when actually, they mean another. And sometimes people come in to your life and you assume it is for one reason, when actually it is for another.

Years ago I went for a Tarot reading, and regarding meeting my 'soul-mate' was given the message "...and when you first meet that man... don't think 'I can't be with him'" What kind of crack-pot statement is that? That could mean anything, couldn't it? I have carried those words with me for years. And it has meant something different with each man I have met.

I have dated men who seemed to be above my level with well paying jobs and houses and very flash cars ("I don't see what he would see in me. Ooo, hang on, don't think 'I can't be with him...'. Let's see how the next date goes"), to complete nutcases with irrational behaviour ("This guy is really scary and I am not sure what he is going to do next. Is he an idiot or a genius with strange eccentricities? Ooo, don't think 'I can't be with him...'. I'll give him a chance"). The question applies to every man I have met - potential date or not ("Could I be with someone like him??") and even to the partners of friends ("Would I consider being with someone like him??")

It's enough to drive a girl crazy. Give a Gemini an Impossi-puzzle, why don't you?! How cruel. Almost as cruel as sticking a fruit gum to a dog's tooth (keeps the dog busy for hours, but it's very mean).

And now a new man has entered the scene, but rather than tie myself up in knots over 'would I, wouldn't I?' before I have even discovered whether he is available, I have come to trust that what will be, will be. This man has the ability to read minds. A few weeks ago he asked how I was, and when I replied "Good, thanks" he looked at me with an expression that said "Pull the other one. Now tell me what you are really thinking". He is softly spoken and caring, and self assured and oh, just about everything I am looking for in a man. But, given that I knew nothing about him or whether he was attached or single, I was willing to just let things take their natural path. I didn't want to get hung up on someone who was not available, and I couldn't imagine him being single. All the same, I had an image - or expectation - in my mind that he would invite me out for a coffee. I could see it clearly. And it was a nice thought.

I bumped in to him again recently. Once again he saw straight through my "I'm fine" (I bore enough people already - I was being polite) and we got talking about my current situation and challenges. And then he said: "I think you and I should go for a coffee and talk more."


"Yes" he continued "Only I can't make it for the next couple of weeks. I'm going to my girlfriend's home. In Norway"

Double. Sucker. Punch.

"Ooookay, nasty blow... don't panic!!" my inner coach yelled "keep the smile, don't lose eye contact, don't let your voice break. Nothing to see here. She's probably not tall and blond anyway. Or maybe she is. But that doesn't mean that she's a nice person... You couldn't have been with him anyway..."

"Oh really" I said, desperately trying to conceal the disappointment in my eyes but realising that somehow I must have failed. This is a man who can see straight through me. Usually I am so adept at masking my feelings and nobody knows how I feel - but not with this guy. "So how long are you going away for?". Nice recovery.

So my Ego recovered, the conversation continued and turned on to what I aim to achieve with my business future. I'm aiming for abundance (and why not?) but with the target of being affluent enough to be able to help the people I want to reach at no cost to them. The more people I can reach, the better.

"What type of business are you setting up?" he asked.
"Personal Development" I replied.
"Really?" he said, and smiled a curious smile. "Oh now we really do need to talk...."

The plot thickens. One question answered, another one asked...

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Fountain of Youth

I haven't been up to an awful lot today which has amounted to anything remotely productive. But at least I am honest.

I did have a meeting with my Business Advisor, though, and caught the bus. Yes, and it was theBig Bus both ways this time. I am blessed. But I think I am now permanently trapped in the judgement of buses and having the words "Oo, it's the Big Bus. I like this bus" or "Oh, it's not the Big Bus. This bus isn't as nice as the Big Bus" unwittingly flashing across my synapses whenever a bus arrives. Hey Ho.

What else did I do today? Oh yes, I spent ten minutes performing the 5 Tibetan Rituals to align the vortexes (energy centres, chakras) in my body. They are basically 5 Yoga styley movements that take only a few minutes to do with the promise of seeing incredible results (such as the return of your natural hair colour - can't test that one - or the disappearance of wrinkles) within the space of 10 weeks. I read the words "make your wrinkles disappear", saw that the product was backed by several personal development gurus, and was hooked.

So I bought it and am going to see whether it works. I will let you know the results. Or at least if there are any signs of improvement. The exercises claim to take decades off your appearance, which in my case, wouldn't really be of help. I mean, would you buy Life Coaching and Personal Development courses from this woman?

Note the very high and slightly wonky fringe - a result of my mother's thriftiness, lack of hair dressing skills and my tendency to fidget....

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Think like a Princess

I met with my teacher at the Kabbalah centre yesterday. We talked about what had been going on in my life - most specifically my current challenges on charging what I am worth. Despite the decisions I have made over the past few days, and the resulting plan of action, he said that, actually, I have changed nothing at all.

I am used to hearing this type of response from my teacher. I go through periods of making tons of effort and taking big steps only for it to be dismissed. And I used to be really offended by it and spend effort and energy during our meeting trying to get him to value what I thought I had achieved. And the more frustrated I got, the less he listened. But always there would be something he said which I needed to hear and now despite still desperately wanting to be 'right' (oh my lovely Leo Moon) I fight the temptation to talk and listen to what he has to say.

My teacher has an unnerving ability to detect my true level of change. I feel as though I am speaking with conviction, but there must be something in my voice which easily relays (to him) that I am trying to convince him as much as I am trying to convince myself. All the same, the advice that my teacher gives and the way in which he gives it is total gold dust. Or diamond dust. Or platinum dust. Or Light dust, shipped direct from the Creator.

He said "You may have taken all of this action over the past few days but nothing has changed. The only change can come from within. When you truly believe what you are worth, you will not even have to ask or justify, because people will just know. Your energy will simply deliver these things to you and they won't question it".

Now, I like the sound of that.

He continued "Every person on the planet is a spark of Light from the Creator. And logically, you know that - you can understand in theory how that could be true. But you don't get it. You don't feel it inside. You don't believe that this is true. Once you start to feel this and know it, you can start really moving forwards with your life and your purpose".

The parable he told was one of a Princess who was raised amongst the peasants and grew to believe that she was a peasant. It is only when she is older that the King finds his daughter and asks her to live at the palace. Logically, she knows that she is the Princess, but she does not feel like a Princess - she doesn't yet believe it. It is only when she truly believes and starts living with the consciousness of a Princess that the people take her seriously. Until then she is nothing but a jumped-up peasant trying to give orders.

Well, that's easy to understand.

Oh, and before anyone starts wondering why any Kabbalah teacher would be encouraging his students to behave like a Princess - the type of Princess that he has in mind is one who exists to serve her people and share, not sit on her throne barking orders and shouting 'Off with their heads!' And of course real Princesses also deserve a real Prince. (Aaahaa...NOW you're talking.....)

My teacher then suggested I keep a Princess diary. Or maybe that should be a Peasant's diary. If I know what it takes to be a Princess, then I need to make note of all of the things I do in a day which come from the peasant consciousness: what am I avoiding? when am I being lazy? what fear am I not confronting? When I got distracted by email for the umpteenth time or decided that now would be a really good time to clean the loo, what responsibility was I hiding from? (because we all know that Princesses do not clean toilets. Which would make me quite a good Princess, now I come to think about it...)

"So," my teacher continued "just find a book and write all of these things down as you go through the day"

Oh my. I'm not sure they make books that big.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Life in the fast lane

I'm going to be shouted at tomorrow. I just know it. I am about to quote a daily rate for my work which will cause shock and anger. Not because I am not worth that rate of pay, but because the person concerned is so tight that he could peel an orange in his pocket. He is expecting me to quote much less, and when I don't, he is expecting to be able to convince me otherwise, which he won't.

And on the one hand, any amount of income is good. But on the other, time spent on this task (which is a one-off job and not truly related to my purpose in life) would be time that could be spent on building up what I really want to do.

Logic is telling me 'drop your price and take whatever he offers!' Fear is telling me that I won't make it to the end of the year without falling in to serious debt. But the Light knows where I am meant to be. The Light does not work on any other logic other than its own laws. If I am meant to do this work, my price will be honoured. And if not then something better is coming my way.

But crap, I'm still scared. And excited.

Overheard on a bus to Harlow a week ago:
"It's not the big bus like last week, is it."
"No, it's not the same bus at all. Not as nice, this one."
"I like the other bus"
"Yes, I don't like this bus at all"
"The other bus is bigger isn't it. And nicer.
"Yes, it is"

I smiled to myself at the simple level of conversation - how dull their lives must be to be commenting on a bus. What scintillating discussions they must have. Oh to be a fly on their wall. When I caught the bus home, it was the bigger bus they had been talking about - all new and shiny, with clean seats and plenty of leg room. It was indeed a very nice bus.

This week I did the same journey again. And the first thought that came in to my head when the bus came round the corner was:
"Oh, it's not the big bus like last week, is it. I like the other's bigger. And nicer."


Best begging comeback from a vagrant at Liverpool Street station after I gave him a generous amount of change: "You couldn't change this for a fiver, could you?"
There but for the grace of God.