This morning as I meditated I asked for guidance about what I should share with you today, what came up was to share with you why I’m in the place I’m in…
You see, I find myself in a place or space in my life I call ‘The Waiting Room.’ I’m unable to work and I have to be still (but… I have so much to DO!)
We all know this place and I’m guessing most of us have been here, perhaps several times. This is a place where, when you’re in it you feel agitated and impatient.
The Waiting Room
The Waiting Room space feels like the expectation you have when you’ve handed in your notice and you’re waiting to go to the next job, but you’ve still got two weeks to go and you’ve pretty much handed over your responsibilities…
You’re treading water, as you see it and nothing much is happening. You’re impatient for the next phase of your career to start and you’re agitated.
It’s a similar feeling to when you’re in the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, your ankles are swollen, you’re tired and you ‘JUST WANT THE THING OUT!’ but that little blissing is still cooking and in fact these last few weeks are THE most important part of the process, for it is here that the little mite packs in the calories and packs on the bulk, so that s/he is strong enough to cope with being born.
Perhaps it’s a big contract and the ink hasn’t yet dried on it yet…you need to know the details, so you can co-ordinate the right team and ‘get stuck in,’ but you can’t get ahead of yourself just yet.
So, it is with The Waiting Room
This is a space of preparation, but most of us fail to recognise this and can react to it with frustration, impatience, upset maybe even anger.
No…No…No… No… No people!
Journeys, waiting & frustrations
Now, I’m pretty certain most of us have been on a journey of some sort. I mean an actual train/bus/sea/plane journey. Journeys are synonymous with waiting, waiting and more waiting and if we’re not waiting we’re queuing. If you recall a time when you’ve been in a waiting room, you may recall some quite distinctive behaviour as you watch the others waiting alongside you.
Some pace backwards and forwards as if this action alone will make the train/bus etc. arrive sooner
Another is cross and mumbling about having to wait and how shoddy the systems are
Another sits focused on the potential for missing the said bus/train and then because they’re so focused on NOT missing it they’re tense and agitated
Another has left it to the last-minute and comes charging in minutes before the train is about to pull out creating a lot of bluster and noise as they do so and bumping into the poor old lady who needs time to get from the platform and mount the steps into the carriage
When our life’s journey places us in The Waiting Room, we could choose to react differently. We could do what the fifth person chooses to and that is… to choose to accept.
This is the person who sits calmly reading or simply daydreaming. They see The Waiting Room as a divine opportunity to catch a hold of themself and appreciate where they’ve been; a valuable transitory time to reflect and be excited about where they’re going.
You see, The Waiting Room is the place where you’re on the verge of something new. It’s a space in which another aspect of you or another chapter of your life is teetering and preparing to emerge. Yes PREPARING.
The Earth is being dug up, the soil tilled and the furrows ploughed. The best possible conditions are being prepared for you so you can sow fresh seeds and for them to take firm root, germinate and grown into a ripe future.
When we allow ourselves to accept that the Waiting Room is where we are and love it as much at the exciting times of change we are on the path to accepting the more challenging times we are sure to meet too (the polishing you up times).
Acceptance is one of the Major Keys to YOUR joy and happiness
When you accept whatever comes you’ll be better more able to deal with wherever you are and whatever comes up for you.
Acceptance means you allow yourself to slow down and take stock, evaluate and get a clearer perspective of who you are, what you want, where you really want to go and how.
The more you practice acceptance of your situation, the more you accept the situations and situations of others.
In this way you come to accept yourself and all that you are too.
You recognise your talents and gifts and become awed by the knowledge that there is only one YOU, only ever will be this version of YOU EVER!
And that is a wondrous thing…
There …my dear friend lays the path to your bliss.
Today I managed to get to the hillside village of Pissouri which is distinct from the Bay.
My day started with a proper introduction to the vibrant Kate in the smoothie shop as I waited for a lift from Catriona, who had generously offered to take me to the village bank as she had some deliveries.
Pissouri Village is located on what can only be told described as a ‘ Severely Steep Hillside.’
Trust me this village is truly ‘HILLSIDE.’
The journey up and I mean ‘UP’ to the village is a challenge even for the sturdiest of vehicles and as we climbed and climbed, I had visions of donkeys in ancient times sweating and panting as they hauled their impatient owners and produce from the village to the bay and back again.
The world’s smallest square
After the bank the walk round the village square took all of 8 minutes!
I received many (I’d like to think they were admiring glances), but mostly they were just curious, but there were many cheeky nudges and gummy grins from wizened and sunburnt old Cypriot gentlemen, who perched outside coffee shops and tavernas leaning on walking sticks.
I decided to wander farther afield.
Farther afield meant my saunter took all of 15 minutes…
Small place Pissouri Village.
Rounding one corner I hear a ‘honk, honk’ and Kate from the smoothie shop appears in her dinky little motor.
“What’re you doing here?’ she enquires. I explain I’m attempting to uncover the village and she assures me there really isn’t anymore to it than the square I already took 8 minutes to explore!
“Fancy a game of bingo tomorrow?” She says and I, who have never played ‘Bingo’ in my life, find myself agreeing to sit with a group of British migrants to the Island in a remote Cypriot village, to engage in one of the UK’s most prosaic working class traditions!
But I’m open…should be fun?
Surreal… but fun.
Questions & Curiosity
Kathy tootles off in her little car and as I round the next corner I and have a lively & brief exchange with several younger Cypriot workers who were obviously curious…
What was my heritage?
Why I was in their little village?
Was I alone – WHY?
Who upset me back home?
What did I do?
Where was I from?
Their questions answered they suggested I teach In Cyprus as teachers ‘do no work here’ they told me gleefully. They even suggested a couple of schools and said I should definitely move here. Nice, to be wanted, eh?
Back in the village square, my stomach decided to remind me it was time for lunch. The lovely Monica serves me a delicious mushroom and Halloumi Omelette at the Platea tavern and I can’t help but feel just a little satisfied with life and extremely grateful for the one I have in that moment.
Maria is from Bulgaria and I marvel at how vibrant and friendly she is as she goes about her work. To be honest, down in the bay the waitresses have been somewhat stoney-faced and cold up until now. I ask her if she loves her work and she’s taken aback a little, but after some thought says, she does and I tell her it clearly shows.
At the table next to me are a family from Barrow-in-Furness. I couldn’t have met lovelier people. Tina & Stewart are visiting their daughter stationed here in the British army. They are rightfully proud of who she is and what she has become.
We have a fabulous exchange and they seem fascinated and truly in awe of my work both as teacher and as an ‘Inspirationalist.’ I came to realise that I have never felt so happy to do or be ‘me’ and that they were reflecting back to me what my contentment and self-acceptance looked and felt like from inside me.
Just do YOU
I began to contemplate how no matter what we do or where we are, if we love who we are that’s all we ever need. Like Monica, who obviously loved who she is and all she does, she infuses her work with love; It’s not external approval, or validation, that makes us feel satisfied with ourselves and with life, it’s the Internal approval that gives us that.
Up in the village, I could have become insecure and paranoid because of the attention I had received, but as I was secure and very, very happy to ‘do’ me with no apology, then that shone out from me and was then reflected back by the nature & quality of the people I interact with.
All we are here to do is be ourselves.
Care for ourselves
We don’t ask the rain why it falls it just does…
Do we question why the sunflower is a sunflower, or chastise it for not being a rose?
We don’t ask mosquitoes why they bite (I damned well wish they wouldn’t); we may not like that they do, but they JUST DO it anyway.
In the same way, you must simply do YOU
We don’t become happy and contented and secure and then this energy is reflected in your outer world. Like Monica we become that energy, emit it it an then this energy is reflected back to us.
I was feeling: contented and happy and in love with life. Secure in my skin and particularly grateful.
By being who and what I naturally felt I should be, I was able to create more of such feelings. The energy created attracts pleasurable exchanges and interactions. These is turn lead to experiencing more of those same feelings. As I/we draw more of them towards us we create even more feelings of gratitude and contentment and so on…
When this energy reaches out and touches the people we interact with, they cannot help but reflect your self-acceptance and self-love back to you and if they don’t, you’re feeling so good it won’t affect you anyway!
When I started writing this blog over a year ago now, my reasons were simple ones to help someone, anyone, even just ONE person who may be at that moment in their life facing a challenge that MY experiences could shed some light on and to write.
I simply wanted my learning from life to support others if it could.
A fortnight ago a friend and I were talking and she said that I needed a ‘core’ idea or message. I hadn’t though about that before and it got me considering what that might be. It took a few days, but I realised that my message is, at its core is one of
My mission, I now realise is to help as many people as possible o find their way to loving themselves.
My message is always:
The theme ‘Love YOU’ then showed up in three distinct ways (you know they say everything comes in threes, well it did) over the last week or so:
The question from my friend
A conversation with a filmmaker
Conversation with a filmmaker:
The message Love YOU continued into last week when I had an online chat with a filmmaker who had produced a film about love. Rather than it being about romantic love and the external expression of love towards someone else, his message is to love YOU as the path to your salvation, redemption and potential. It seemed as he said to me ‘We were on the same page.’
Whilst talking with him I realised that one of the major factors that made me decide to commit my message to paper was because it broke my heart as an educator to see so many young people; people who should be carefree, vibrant and fearless, so consumed with ‘getting things wrong’ afraid to even try, convinced they were no good.
The result of such thinking is of course to compensate for the feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence with bravado and boastfulness with ‘overdoing.’ These shallow and often angry expressions of a fake confidence, this overdoing, mask a deep-seated insecurity and I believe a deep-seated cry for love, attention and affection.
But they won’t find it fighting the world outside!
We’ve all seen them: Young people (and many adults) calling each other names speaking aggressively, putting others down and ridiculing others in a vain attempt to find some feelings of worth, becoming caricatures of wo/manhood.
These caricatures bully and shout or are hyper-sexual or over-made-up. They make vain attempts to feel ‘excitement’ to mask and push down the lack of love for themselves that rears up if they are still for too long. This ‘excitement’ takes the form of violence, drug use, sexual activity and living vicariously in fantasy worlds through the use of technology, anything but face themselves in THISword.
In their attempts to leave childhood and the unworthiness attached to it, in their desire to ‘grow up,’ Their behaviour causes them to turn against each other as they lack the maturity and self-worth to communicate their needs, wants & feelings in a responsible & respectful way. These outbursts are in my mind, clear indications of Feeling unworthy…
Not able to Love (who they are).
A christening & balloon chasing
Little Ava is a powerhouse. She’s lively, intelligent, articulate, vibrant & self-assured and last Sunday it was clear she had a ball. Last Sunday little Ava was christened. As I watched her and the other ‘little children’ (0-6ish) I saw how beautiful it is when you love YOU.
These children don’t care what others think.
They are quite clear what they want and need and are happy to express it. They understand on some cellular level that they are worthy, as worthy as the next and have every right to:
Dance when they want to dance, no matter who’s watching,
Eat when they’re hungry,
Chase balloons when they feel inspired and
Sit in the dirt if that’s what they feel like doing no matter if any one cares or is looking.
They need no-ones approval; their self-worth and value is not decided by others, it comes from within…
Self-love is a given, so automatic it’s not even thought about. It simply is…
As I watched and smiled at how free they are and actually how loving to themselves and others, It confirmed to me:
We are all born in love…
We are born loving ourselves…
You were born to Love YOU
Arrogance & Humility
I know what you’re going to say. I know someone who loves him/herself and they’re pretty arrogant, but arrogance is simply another display of a lack of self-love.
A display of arrogance is always trying to feel superior. In so doing you show that you’re really insecure, as true self-assurance doesn’t need another to push against to feel valued or worthy.
For example, the next time you do create or achieve or do something you’re proud of, instead of playing it down and adopting the false modesty that we’ve been trained to else we come across as arrogant of boastful, congratulate yourself.
By being ‘humble’ and dismissing our achievements are we not unconsciously asking for more recognition as others, then say ’Oh and s/he’s so humble too?’ The focus is still on us. Instead we should have confidence in and love for ourselves enough to graciously say ‘thank you,’ should praise come but still in LOVE with who we are and what we do not needing it regardless.
Be proud of what you’ve achieved after all you put the work in. give yourself and internal pat on the back and allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of achievement As long as your thoughts or celebrations are in no way causing upset or harm to anyone else then why should you be denied them?
At the end of the week, I congratulated a friend on something he’d visualised and had worked hard to achieve and which now it seemed to be coming to fruition. I was so proud of him and the work he’s tirelessly put in to reach his goal. I heard the hesitation in his voice as he said: “Yeah I’m quite proud of myself” and why shouldn’t he be? I was truly happy for him, but my feelings should not matter to him if he is in love with himself.
After years of self-criticism and doubt it is a daunting prospect for so many of us to think we can get back to (I say ‘back to’ because remember the children, we all started in love) a place where inside there is no doubt that you love YOU, but you can.
Baby steps lovelies…
It starts with your thinking, as does anything…
You see love…
Does not belittle
Does not exist if another is made to feel inferior
Does not criticise
Is not painful
Does not need others to be/do/like us to feel worthy
Cannot thrive where there is anger
Cannot survive is there is fear
Is always INCLUSIVE
Always feels good
Uplifts and supports
Starts with the SELF
Journey back to love
It occurred to me then, that we CAN journey back to self-love simply, through one thought at a time. Simply recognising and celebrating our successes, even if out of shyness you just think it for now.
One thought, then another, then another and slowly you begin to change your attitude to yourself. You begin to commit to yourself unconditionally.
You go from:
Criticism to consideration
Being Needy to self-belief
From denial to acceptance of your needs, allowing yourself to feel then and allow them to be satisfied.
Manipulation to motivation
Bullying to bravery enough to say ‘sorry’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘well done.’ Even when someone is attempting to get where you want to go and you’re not quite there yet.
When we celebrate and love ourselves, it doesn’t matter to us what others think or feel about where we want to go or what we want to make, do or be and we automatically understand and accept the right for others to love and respect themselves too.
In Yoga we end each session by bowing and saying ‘Namaste.’ It means:
“The god in me honours the god in You”
You see it tells us that we are all one, from the same core and as such should recognise that love/god is in each of us.
It is only when you begin to recognise the Love in you and love YOU that you can then truly ‘see’ and recognise the Love/god in others and then accept or allow love FROM others.
If you do not love YOU, then you will always (sooner or later) reject and doubt the love, praise, support others want to give you. In your mind’s eye you will decide there is something very wrong with them if they love you because after all aren’t you un-loveable/unworthy?
When you reject your achievements, when you play down your acts of kindness, when you reject support or love, if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and truly love what you see then you are rejecting your essence. Rejecting the GOD in you.
How then can you hope to find peace or love or true happiness?
I doesn’t matter if you call it ‘being independent,’ ‘being modest’ or if you are ‘not wanting/needing charity’ or think you’ll be seen as ‘arrogant or ‘full of yourself’ or you find some other excuse like ‘your aged parents’ or ‘your children’ or ‘distance’ or whatever other excuse you can come up with to reject love or attention or success or praise. If this is what you’re doing it’s because you’re in fear and need to work on loving YOU.
The City of ‘Self-Love’ is the destination for the journey we are all making, and every journey starts with a single step.
Start today so you get there in the shortest time possible.
Take your example from our babies and just enjoy being you.
Think well of YOU allow the goodness and joy and love that comes to you, so it can flow through you and enjoy all that being you involves.
I’m sure we’ve all known those times, times when you want to pursue a goal or particular direction, yet the energies seem to be conspiring to either scupper your efforts or keep you in your current space.
What to do in this situation?
My response is: DO NOTHING
Now when I say do nothing I don’t mean absolutely nothing, but I do mean don’t push against the energy.
You think you’re so sure?
You see, I’ve noticed in life that when we decide to be or do something different or change in some way the universe will challenge you. “Are you sure this is what you want?” she demands “Yes” you reply and again comes the ‘You sure you’re sure?” and sometimes, even when for a second time your conviction holds and you navigate another hurdle she’ll (the universe is always a ‘she’ to me) come in with another…
“I’m not convinced; prove it to me one more time!”
Boy! This universe is a hard woman to convince eh?
But these challenges are not easy choices to make. For example:
You may be thinking of changing your job. You’re not being as stimulated as you once were, you perhaps are not getting the recognition you feel you deserve or whatever the reason.
You decide to leave: YOU SURE?
You investigate and make connections and an opportunity presents itself. It’s with a relatively new company, more responsibility and challenge and a great match for your skills and values; a huge potential for growth, maybe even a stake in the company in the future.
Like a giddy Kipper!
You get fired up about it, you consider it carefully, you’re excited and full of joy a feeling you haven’t felt in some time and like a giddy Kipper you convince your partner that you’ll be so much happier, that it’s a better fit for you and that the future holds the potential for greater promise if you travel this path. It will just take some time to fully realise its potential.
You’re all set to leave: YOU SURE YOU’RE SURE?
And then your current boss invites you into their office and offers you the promotion you’ve been wanting for the last year and a half!
The one you’ve worked for and deserve and had lost hope of achieving. It’s much more rewarding financially than the vibrant new opportunity, but your boss is a challenge and there have been times when you didn’t agree with decisions they made nor how they made them.
It would mean staying within the confines of a large organisation and the structure, rather than the ‘freer’ environment and autonomy of the new opportunity.
You have to think. You agonise for days (your boss gives time), but you know you can’t take too long as they’ll think you’re not enthusiastic and a little ungrateful; after all, you’ve wanted this for many, months.
No…I’m sure, I’m sure
You decide that you’re still going for the opportunity that offers autonomy and expansion and then:
She says: I’M NOT CONVINCED PROVE IT TO ME ONE MORE TIME!
You find out you’re having baby…
Stay…Take the stability, comfort and security, the familiar structure that you know how to navigate, the ‘devil you know.’
Take the risk on an unknown future, with potentially unsteady and unproven variables yet potentially the reward, lifestyle and peace of mind you’ve always dreamed of?
Do you stay true to the YOU you want to be or the you you already know how to be?
This is the space I have been in over the last few weeks and the space I’m sure many of you will find yourself in at some point in your life. This is what I have learnt.
Be still and listen for the Divine Whispers
The push & the pull
In middle school we had a gruff, blustery teacher named Mr Hardy. He was a rugged Geordie and very ‘no-nonsense.’
As well as being my form tutor he ran the gymnastics team of which I was a member. Now, I think we all know the form and shape expected of a gymnast. I on the other, hand have always been more of a Serena Williams body type, boobs and all! In most conventional thinking not the most efficient shape for elevations, lifts, jumps and springs; yet I did very well, but you can imagine I often felt a bit like a sunflower in a garden full peonies as well as a deep-seated insecurity among those sylph like others, who seemed to effortlessly glide through the air like a hot knife through butter.
One day he pulled me aside and asked me a question:
“Pauline,” he said “ have you ever tried pushing a pram on the sand?
“No sir” I answered.
“Well,” he responded, “you push and push and you just churn up more sand and the wheels get even more stuck, your progress is erratic and you get tired. Do you know what you should do?”
Of course I didn’t and told him so. He said…
“Turn around and pull…then you’ll glide over the surface with ease”
There is a point to this…I’m coming
You know I never forgot what he said.
I have remembered this throughout out my life and it has served me well.
To me he was telling me to stop trying so hard…to relax and let my muscles do what I was training them to. The ‘effort’ I was putting in was causing tension and that tension was creating stiffness and not the ‘flow’necessary for transformation.
The very effect I was trying so hard to create I was constraining. I needed to let go and turn around and ‘PULL’ I would find the movements would then unfold and create themselves effortlessly.
So, I’m in the middle of being tested and I remember the story. I remember and chose to stop endlessly ruminating on the topic, do the necessary but not make major decisions and be still…
As soon as I did the ‘whispers started’
I was watching a film and heard “stay the course” twice…
Then I heard the phrase “Be the true you” I knew these phrases were messages to me because you know when you get that churn or wrench in your stomach/solar plexus as if you’re being told to:
Then there were butterflies; not unusual at this time of the year I know, yet I seemed to be followed by them and they were unusually tame around me. I even had one following me in the middle of London!
On looking them up their significance I see:
“Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously. Get ready for a big change, one where and old habit, way of thinking, or lifestyle is going out, and a new beginning is emerging. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been considering. In spite of the challenges you’ll get through this transition, and as always know that ‘this too shall pass.’”
Well blow me down with a feather!
It was clear to me that I indeed WAS being tested. Tested to know completely that what I was choosing was exactly what I REALLY WANTED, being tested and challenged to recognise when I’m being guided and supported and being tested to
`Trust my own inner guidance.’
If we are to ‘stay the course’ when things get tough, we need to have complete conviction.
This conviction comes from pushing through resistance and knowing absolutely that the path we have chosen is the one we truly want. In order to know this we need to have fought for it, to face adversity to win it and so the universe will ‘test.’ You, but will show up to guide you and give you clues too.
‘In gratitude’ to Mr Hardy
At various stages in my life I have recalled `Mr Hardy’s voice telling me this tale. Mostly at times in my life when I was being tested, had decisions to make and I have automatically gotten into worry or anxiety mode. When I’ve been pushing myself for a finite and definite response and ‘stressing.’ Not knowing which direction to take.
Sometimes these dilemmas have been about my life path, or decisions about career and work, sometimes the decisions have been ones about love and partnerships.
When we remember Mr Hardy’s tale it reminds us to:
Be still… listen for the divine whispers
Heed the messages we’re being given and only then should we move…. We’ll find then that we’ll glide over the sand.
Do you need an opportunity to be still and read the ‘whispers?’
Perhaps you’re restless and you know there’s more
Perhaps like me you’re being tested
Perhaps it’s just a niggling feeling…
Perhaps you’ve decided things need to change but simply need support and guidance
On 22nd August take some time and ‘listen.’
I’ve created a space for just 28 people…
An intimate supportive and powerful workshop where you get to focus on YOU
A Space for you to become still and start ‘pulling’ YOUR pram across the sand.
It’s Rather unusual I know for me to be posting today, but I’m feeling triumphant but exhausted. I’ve spent the best part of 4 hours searching google for my disappeared posts and copying, pasting and re-typing them. This process took concentration and patience and in this state I began musing.
You see I have a vision of what I feel my service to the world is and I’ve kind of in a muddled-not-very-clear way expressed it, but today I decided to GET CLEAR.When I got clear I knew I needed to declare it, so that I become accountable, so that you can call me to task and say: “You said you’d do/be X-Y-Z.” So below is my manifesto: My Pledge – ‘I AM’ statement
Loving, open space. I am safety, I am possibility & fearlessness.
I am powerful beyond what my conscious mind can conceive. I am amazing; an example to others of human potentiality.
I am JOY!
I see the best of you, in ALL of you and support you so you feel free enough to allow your light to shine and your power to flow.
I am the spark that ignites the potentiality in others, so they can stand; fully immersed in the completeness of the power they know is within and the abundance they know they deserve
I am present & respect the imperfect perfection in us all, reflecting back to you everything you can be, do & have, and in so doing, I propel you into the light of your own being
I am everything & nothing
I am full & complete.
I celebrate all of life, all of my feelings, all my wants and desires, all of my failings and successes.
All are mine & all are perfect because they belong to ME!
I am whole; I am good, I am OK
I am the lilting breeze, the raging storm and the soft milk moon because every part of me is a part of everything.
I am Complete
I am ME
My hope for you
Is that you deeply connect with the meaning in my words and through them begin to connect with your own wonder. I commit to working with you to see your light and to use my skills and talents to support you so you can bring your talents, joys and light into the world, for as Marianne Williamson says:
I vow to lose my personal fear so, help me to help YOU and to DO exactly what my heart tells me I am here for.
Firstly, thank you for the overwhelming response to last week’s blog post. It’s fairly obvious that this week I am of course going to give some comment on my thoughts of the impact it has when fathers abandon their sons.
As usual my wish is that there is some learning and insight gained from my commentary so that we can help those coming to adulthood behind us with the lessons we’ve learnt and that they can gain insights far earlier than we did.
Perhaps the greatest damage done to our society is when fathers abandon their sons. You see, we daughters have our issues and with them come the problems I outlined last week, but more often than not we still have some form of template that we can learn from, model ourselves on (or reject), in the form of our mothers; But for the abandoned sons more often than not they are left with two, often unsatisfactory choices.
Relating & connecting to the ‘feminine’ essence and
A painful search for some form of male image that they can relate to and model their male image on.
I say painful, because more often they are searching blind. They sense that they think, feel express and work very differently than the women who are the dominant force in their lives, yet have no idea what or how the ‘correct way’ for them to be, think, express and do may be.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again…
Imagine the pain of feeling that you are perpetually ‘wrong.’ This isn’t by design you understand, but their mothers, sisters and Aunts are expressing and relating in ‘female’ ways and contexts. The boy child is expected to comply with this way of communicating and expressing. If he is particularly ‘male’ he could be chastised and criticised for this ‘maleness’ or else, to seek approval, he may well adapt his more natural mannerisms and instincts to express in a more ‘feminine’ way. Confusion and possibly repressed anger are a result of feeling ‘wrong’ or of thinking he has to suppress his natural maleness.
If the dominant carer of an abandoned son is (usually this is the case) his mother and she feels particularly hurt or aggrieved by the actions of the child’s absent father, she may take her frustrations out on the son; especially if this son has mannerisms and traits like his father and ‘whoah betide him’ if he looks just like him!
In this situation the abandoned son can:
Develop Self-Loathing, which he will mask by suppressing it. He will become outwardly compliant, but in reality loathing the feminine. As he grows and encounters other women in a romantic context he can develop into yet another who abandons. Rejecting the feminine essence and with no real idea how to connect to it, he fears yet another rejection and so leaves; perpetuating the cycle (for his own children) and avoiding the pain of his mother’s rejection that he never dealt with. This is the serial procreator Lurching form one woman to another because in reality he craves love and affection, but his fear of being deserted is the primary driver, so he connects, procreates and when the reality and responsibility of being a partner & father kick in he leaves. By the way… his ‘leaving’ can take the form of creating some form of upset in the relationship so he has an ‘excuse’ to leave. After all this is a ‘boy’ who doesn’t like who he is so in his mind it’s ‘YOUR’ fault why he has had to leave.
Become Cruel and Aggressive, as he has no idea how to express or deal with the pain his father’s abandonment created. In his own romantic relationships he may become an abuser. It is my contention that behind every act of anger or aggressions is a deep-seated pain that has not been faced and dealt with, but I understand that finding sympathy and compassion for someone, you’re being battered by your male partner, is nigh on impossible. His aggression is towards the father or indeed towards the mother who he blames for the father’s leaving. If this is the case he is more likely to have an intense dislike of women.
Adopt a more Feminine way of expressing (I don’t mean he becomes an ‘effeminate’ male), but he may become the more passive responder in his adult relations with women, as he has learnt that this is the ‘appropriate’ way to respond. When he responded this way as a child he gained the approval and recognition and so this became his norm. This is fine is he encounters a more naturally ‘male’ responding female partner, but if not, he may find himself alone and rejected many times as women see him as not ‘man’ enough as he fails to be decisive and take the ‘lead’ in relationship dynamics or he may find himself dominated and manipulated by a more ‘male oriented’ female who is afraid of her own femininity, as being female represented some form of threat when she was growing up, so she adopted a more male form of expression.
He will seek a template of ‘maleness’ from the only sources available to him outside of the home. This is invariably with other (abandoned) men who are just a blind and just as lost. For them the model of what it is to be male becomes the imagery created via the media or the ‘Supermales’ that they see in their culture or environment.
These ‘Supermales’ are particularly ‘alpha’ in their expression. They express their masculinity through stereotypical/cartoon ‘male’ activities) drinking & fighting & (often) criminality and like the boys who now mimic them, have gained their idea of what it is to be a man from the media or ‘streetlife.’ It’s only when this way of life causes them severe emotional and often physical pain that these men realise that this isn’t what being a man means and begin to make changes. Others never do and end up abandoned yet again by men (So called ‘friends’ who don’t know how to stay) when this life leads them into serious trouble.
Paternity – The need for ‘My’ Son
One thing I have observed in life is that men NEED to know their children are theirs. There is a pathological need for their offspring to have their genetic code and a burning desire to KNOW that they are reproducing themselves in their own image.
The Step-Father can cause even greater and more deep-seated pain as he initially offers some hope and relief to the abandoned son who needs and wants someone to model himself on, but if this man is resentful of having to raise another man’s children he can become abusive, both physically and emotionally.
Imagine therefore the abuse and rejection that can occur for an abandoned son, who then has a to contend with a Step-Father who again abandons him emotionally and resents him physically.
The Manipulator & the Cuckoo
He manipulates the mother and her need for security (and her own issues with abandonment) through her children. He knows they’re here to stay but his resentment takes the form of taunting and bullying and favouring any children of his own that he may have with the son’s mother. The twice abandoned child feels like the Cuckoo in the nest instead of a part of the unit and this can lead to him again rejecting his male expression, not knowing how to express at all, as he was chastised for simply existing, or indeed deepening his resentment of his mother (for bringing the man into the home in the first place) and later other women.
Like the abandoned son, the twice rejected son will often resort to relating in one of the ways outlined before or may be even more adamant that he will be a ‘perfect’ example of manhood. However the template he was given was a 2-D template, so he clings to an idealised version of what manhood and fatherhood mean (simply an opposite one to the one he knew) and measures himself by unrealistically high ideals. Often he will refuse to ‘abandon’ as he sees it despite his situation being dysfunctional in a desire to prove to himself ‘I’M NOT LIKE THEM!’
Creating sons – in whose image?
For the abandoned and twice rejected sons the path to manhood is excruciatingly painful. If you are a Father or Step-Father or about to become a Father carefully consider the template you are providing for your boy child.
If you abandon your son how does he learn that being a man means not only being a protector and provider, but also being someone who is adult enough to know that if his children are to have successful lives and relationships that he has to model this for them?
Your sons need to see you involved in loving interaction if they are to re-create it in their own romantic relationships. They need to see open and honest discussion and see mutually respectful discussions take place between you and their mother or your female ‘other.’
You need to model for them that both parents deserve to have their needs met and that it is vital for both to be emotionally stable. You need to show them that ‘real’ men are neither bullies, nor martyrs.
You need to show them that real men cry and real men are secure enough to allow others to be themselves too. Real men are sometimes afraid, but real men act despite their fear.
You know those days when you just don’t want to DO anything and you know you just want to be with yourself?
Well Sunday was one of those days.
I have these moments when my ‘spirit’ feels weak and tired and I just want to ‘be’ and not ‘do.
So I chose to honour my needs and I did just that.
Hence my silence till now.
At one point I had a moment of ‘But I’ve got to get my blog out!’ but despite that decided that I need to ‘walk the walk and do what I’m constantly advising you my readers to do, and that is to honour your feelings, wants, needs and desires.
How many times have I insisted that YOU honour yourself, that you respect yourself?
How many time have I insisted that you are worthy and deserving?
Well, I of all people should be able to honour the same for me;
I should be an example to you.
So I did just that and so this evening I am posting later than usual; no guilt, no recrimination, no ‘should haves’ and I know it’s just as it should be…
The Divinity of Silence
Most of Sunday I spent in silence. As I get older, I notice that silence is increasingly welcome in my life.
It’s comforting and in silence I learn, in silence I grow.
In silence I am learning to be with myself.
When I or we spend time with ourselves we begin to understand ourselves better. We learn about the thoughts that surface and hold us back from the reality and the life we really want, we learn to quiet those thoughts and control our thinking…
It’s in the silence that we learn what we truly want in this life, who we choose to become and it is in silence that we find the courage to choose it. The courage to choose happiness and not feel undeserving or guilty about doing so.
I’m still working on the courage bit!
At the start of the week I made a decision. I decided that no matter what happened that week I would stay feeling good feelings and I would insist on having happy thoughts. I decided to really test myself on ‘choosing’ my reality
At the end of last week, Thursday to be exact, a wonderful woman whom I got to know earlier this year and I had a long overdue conversation on Thursday, during which she advised me to watch a film called ‘Marvellous.’
It’s about a man called Neil Baldwin who refused to accept he had any learning difficulties and as a result lived so much in the moment his life became such a wonderful example of how your thoughts create your reality.
The line that really captivated me and re-affirmed my commitment to my challenge from earlier in the week, was his response when asked how he manages being so positive and cheerful all the time. He replied:
“I always wanted to be happy, so I decided to be…when something bad happens I just think about something that makes me feel good.”
What a corker!
It’s so obvious and yet so simple at the same time.
Thursday & Friday were tough and I could feel that there was growing within me the potential for me to slip back in to fearful thinking and if I’m honest a little panic. I decided to really focus on applying The ‘Baldwin Principle’ and concentrates on thinking (and more importantly – FEELING) happy thoughts to the point where I felt happy physically. Light and sunny and positive. I recalled memories and events that had made me feel good in the past and really immersed myself in them once more.
Well didn’t’ it work a treat!
By midday on Friday I received physical confirmation that my good mood was attracting positivity into my life, when I received a very pleasant surprise. An email arrived to say that some work I had done for an agency, some time ago (that I’d actually forgotten about) had been authorised for payment and the money deposited into my bank account. Whoop di do eh?
But guess what the BEST payoff was.
I felt great ALL DAY…EVERY DAY! I was literally buzzing inside.
I had a smile on my face and a skip in my step so remember that we DO choose our thoughts, we CAN change them at will it just takes practise.
So, my advice to you for the rest of this week is collect a few memories and thoughts of events, situations, items, people who make you feel great and relive them.
Blanket yourself in the glow of them and smile, smile, smile your way to bliss.
It was Friday morning 8.50am; the first teaching period of the day. Another one of those sessions where I basically talk about life with the small group of pupils I have recently been assigned. We are fast approaching the end of the summer term. These 15/16 year olds will be on study leave in a week. They’re perched on the edge of a ledge called ‘life’ about to step off into their futures…
College, sixth form studies, work, apprenticeships and I felt, rightly so that there would be among them, some confusion and much trepidation.
For eleven years they have had the surety and comfort that the rules and systems of schooling bring. They’re institutionalised and now were being released into the world expected to know how to navigate life’s seas and steer their own ship. So, I asked told them I would not decide the topic of discussion that day, they would and that they could ask me ANYTHING…If I could answer it I would.
Well, I set myself up didn’t I?
One boy looked at me dolefully and came out with a whopper!
The Question of all Questions
He said:‘What are we supposed to do?
I could see the confusion and underlying fear in his eyes and knew my response to the question needed to assuage his fear, but create enthusiasm at the same time. But most of all I knew I needed honesty in response to the question because they he/ were trusting me to prepare them for what lay beyond those school gates.
How does one respond to: THE QUESTION?
I responded adequately enough I thought.
There is so much more I could have said, but at the time with the need for spontaneity, this was the best I could do:
I told him we are here to learn…
We are here to use our feelings to show us what is right for us in this life; that their life is THEIRS and theirs alone and they know what’s best for them and who they choose to be.
I pleaded with them to respect their own life, their own choices and in so doing understand that as they have the right to choose, so do others. I made it clear that regardless of the desires of those, who honestly DO think they have our best interests at heart, that they are here to decide for themselves. I told him that life is…in every moment a choice. And it is through the choices we make; it is in the way we respond to others, to situations, and events that we decide and discover, define and refine who we are in life.
I told him that they should go out and ‘Grasp Life,’ rush in full on; that there would be times of fear, but fear often meant they are being expanded and to not shy away from the new.
The Diamond – An analogy
I often use this to illustrate what life is when talking to young people. I find messages have more impact if they are
Create a vision
My diamond analogy goes like this:
Have you ever seen a diamond when it has just been extracted from the earth?
Well, it’s cloudy and of course dirty. There’s a lack of uniformity to its shape.
Something like this.
I explained that our expectations of the bright, shiny, faceted stones we have come to expect are as a result of ABRASION… the outcome of being chipped & chiselled, buffed & polished; that this abrasion takes time, but in the end we see the treasure.
I explained that in life, they would experience abrasion, they would be buffed and polished, chipped and chiselled, but that this would be necessary if they are to show the glistening, priceless gem of who they are which lies underneath. They got it! I hope you do too.
The great wrestle
It is those situations which invoke fear, the ones they will have to wrestle with, the ones, which will make them feel they ‘Can’t’ which are the very ones which will ‘smooth them out.’ And they should always remember that they absolutely ‘CAN!’ if they believe it.
I made it quite clear that your ‘soul mate’ is one who challenges you and forces you to grow, to expand in the choices and decisions you are (sometimes forced) to make because they cause you to touch your ‘soul’ and decide who and what you are from a deep, albeit sometimes painful place.
It’s all worth it in the end
I clarified that life wouldn’t necessarily be easy, but if they remembered what I said and applied it, I guaranteed it would be worth it!
Life is a schoolroom.
We came to learn…
We come to make choices and
We come to create both ourselves as beings and the lives we choose.
Challenges, apologies and gifts…oh and a little fun!
I challenged them to take chances and as long as they did not cause pain, injury or upset to others, as long as they could ‘check in’ with themselves and know that what they were doing, in answer to the question and who they were being, was adding something positive to the world they would be doing just fine.
I told them all they need be is themselves, make no apology for who they are and what they need and…
I told them they/we ALL have a gift, a gift to contribute to the world and their duty was to go out and discover what it was, that it may not bring fame or recognition, but it would undoubtedly bring happiness and to…
Bloody well have fun doing it!
I reminded them, that It’s fun and the joy it brings which is the compass that tells us we’re on exactly the right road…heading in exactly the right direction
Was it good for you too?
I could have said much more perhaps…but for now I hope today’s post creates many ‘Ah-ha’ moments.
If this resonates, then could you do me a favour. Why not share it with a young person you know. They are excellent pretenders at age 15-20, but be assured many of them are unsure of their next step. It is our duty to prepare them, to be honest with them, to encourage them and to love them.
If this post articulates what you would like to say to your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, god-child, cousin, friend or neighbour then share it with them. Give them the gift of their own life…
Now usually I’m very sceptical of Disney and the thinly disguised misogyny and sexism that ooze like a caramel centre through many of their fairy-tale offerings; missives that entice & mesmerise children and adults alike.
And who can blame us?
They are pretty irresistible.
I haven’t been infected by “Frozenmania” yet. Perhaps because my children are now grown up, maybe I’ve just become more cynical in my middle years? However, as I caught the tail end of ‘Disney’s greatest songs ever’ It occurred to me that the film is a powerful metaphor.
A metaphor for finding our personal truth and accepting ourselves;
Exactly as we are…
After she accidentally hurts her sister, Elsa is made to believe (by fearful parents and advisors), that she should fear herself:
“Conceal it don’t feel it…don’t let it show.” Is what they say to her.
How many of us have been the recipients of such advice and all too often when we are very young. Told overtly and subtly that we are not OK. Often the very thing that is our essence and our passion is the one thing we are good-naturedly advised to contain or ‘not let show’
It could be we are kind-hearted – we’re told we’re too soft, the world is ‘just not like that!
It could be we are communicators – we are told to be quiet… we talk too much!
It could be that we’re great visionaries – we’re told to be sensible… how can YOU do that…people like us…
I think you get the picture.
The very qualities that make Elsa who she is and are actually her gifts, the authentic face that she should be unafraid to show to the world, the talents she should be able to nurture, express and to lovingly present proudly to the world, she is instead made to fear.
“Fear is your greatest enemy.”
Never a truer word spoken, but all too often, just like poor Elsa it is the fear of others and their potential criticism that we fear. That very fear then causes insecurity and tension and in this state of tension that Elsa accidentally hurts the one person she loves most… her sister.
Her not knowing how to relax into herself and be confident hurts her too. As a result, she believes she has to give up the one person who loves & accepts her unconditionally.
She now thinks she is evil… thinks that what is natural to her is odious to everyone else and decides she has no choice but to hide away.
This fear has now become a belief.
But, it is her fear of herself that creates the problem for our princess. Her fear of ‘letting go,’ and allowing her nature to show itself that Disney shows us is the path to destruction.
The past is the past… Are you still hiding?
Are you one of the many who still hold vivid images or visions of what you are or want for your life yet are still too afraid of ‘opinion.’ Or too used to ‘hiding’ that you are in a constant state of unease…as if the life you’re in doesn’t QUITE fit…like a gift box that’s just a tad small, you know you squeezed yourself into one or two of the corners and there’s just a pinch
In hiding however, Elsa is able to relax. She finds the space to accept herself; she finds the courage to step into her truth.…albeit a space that she believes she has to be alone in (see she is still fearful that she will not be accepted by others especially now she is OWNING her truth), but when she announces…
“I’m never going back, the past is in the past… Let it go, Let it go and I’ll rise like the break of dawn.” –
Boy does she rise…She is transformed.
She emerges beautiful…fully realised strutting her stuff in all her power and all in a cracking Crystal frock too!
This is perhaps the greatest lesson of all: the lesson that whatever happened, whomever we thought we were, whatever actions we took before this very moment live permanently in the past. There is no changing them, so accept them and learn for them so you make choices that are more fitting with the new YOU…
“Where your focus goes grows!”
Those who know me know I say this often. The point is if we are constantly focused on the past we stand still.
The past is retrospective, there is no forward motion when we look behind. You also tend to walk into lampposts if you’re looking behind yourself which leads cuts and bruises!
When we focus on the past we fail over and over again to let go of the very things we say we want to be rid of because guess what? We’re focusing on the very things we don’t want, the very things we should leave exactly where they live – in the past.
Instead of a forward motion our focus is on the things that went wrong, the things that we no longer have, so we are creating a perpetual state of things wedon’t have, things we don’t want.
“Alone…where I can be who I am without hurting anybody.”
So, she’s unapologetic…she’s found her voice and is strutting her stuff. Perhaps you too have found your voice and like Elsa you’ve got your Mojo working, but our princess still has a challenge.
It’s easy to think that once we have discovered who we are that this new you can only survive in a space ‘away’ form all that we knew, that we have to hide or run away to find acceptance of this ‘true self’ and to think that perhaps those who knew us as we were will be unable to accept the NEW us, and reject us.
Courage: Make no apology
My question is: Why should we care?
I mean seriously!
True courage is found the moment you stop apologising.
It’s only when Elsa Fully accepts herself and makes no apology whatsoever for who she is, to ANYONE, when she accepts and embraces her talents regardless of the opinions of others, allows her gifts and the beauty in them into the light and among others, including those who were a part of the world where she learnt to ‘not let it show,’ that she is at her most alluring, her most captivating, her most powerful and receives the most love.
And guess what? Don’t those gifts end up being a wonderful support to the community that she thought would reject her!
Take a leaf…
We would do well to enthusiastically rip a leaf form the book of Elsa and ‘Step up, Step out and Stand tall!’ put on your own Crystal frock and ‘Work it!’
You see when we learn to breathe and truly ‘settle’ into the truth of who are. When we find the courage to accept our path then we ARE transformed and we wonder why we restricted our thinking, our actions and shielded others from our talents in the first place.
When you find the courage to be you… regardless of family, friends, the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘ought tos’ and you allow yourself to be the YOU you came here to be that’s when the magic happens.
When you find yourself allowing it’s as if you’re on a conveyor and all the struggle and stress seems to dissipate as the people and opportunities you need seem to just show up!
Just like a Disney movie, your life too will seem as if it’s rolling itself out to the final thrill of YOUR OWN
One of my greatest moments of sadness is when I stand in front of a class of children and through the conversation I realise they do not love themselves. Like rest of us in society they are already ‘lovesick.’ I say ‘lovesick.’ because they have caught the bug and it’s making them (and us) sick. It’s the thought that they’re not loveable, they’re not ‘good enough’ to be loved for who they/we truly are that is making us ill.
Our relationships and especially our love relationships are opportunities for us to decidewho we are and choosewho we want to be. If we assume (and I know this is true for me), we are here as creators, our relationships are a powerful vehicles which give us the chance to decide, as Neale Donald Walsche says:
“What part of yourself you’d like to see “show up,” not what part of another you can capture and hold.”
You did this…Oh yes you did!
In my experience of life and relationships I have learnt that our dealings with others are a space in which we have an opportunity to choose and to create ourselves in our own vision. However the reality for most of us is very different. The biggest challenge we face is accepting that ‘we,’ yes ‘we’ created our state of ‘lovesickness’ whatever situation we may mind ourselves in.
It’s not deliberate you understand and I for one am not exempt. Most of us look to find that ‘perfect one.’ The one that ‘completes’ us the ‘special one’ who makes us feel whole. This is the ideology that we feed into and which is re-inforced by the messages we receive every day.
Oh My gosh!
They just changed… they’re not the same anymore
How much pressure is that for our significant other? In not wanting to disappoint they/we try to be and do he things we know our partner says they ‘want’ and ‘need’ (both words which come from a place of ‘lack’ by the way!). We see our relationship as a place where we should be what we think the ‘other’ needs. We then spend so much time bending and shaping ourselves like a pretzel into our idea of what we think they want that we end up not knowing which way is up, who we are, or what we think we want to be.
Finally, we get to a point where we can no longer keep up the pretence. It wasn’t deliberate, you understand, but eventually there’s the realisation that who we’re being in this relationship is not the ‘me’ we choose to project, the ‘authentic’ being that is expressing in a way that is acceptable to our soul and so we have no choice but to show our ‘real’ selves.
Our significant ‘other’ then says ‘we’ve changed.’ and I guess what? We have because we are now reclaiming our true selves and acting authentically, finally listening to the whisperings of our soul.
Giving up…giving in
It can take a few of these experiences before we realise that we’re going about it all wrong. When this happens most of us either settle for our lowest expectation or nurse the idea that we are fine with nothing at all. We choose companionship, give up on our highest and grandest vision of ourselves, we settle. The energy and vibrancy of youthful expectation has now diminished, (in most cases disappeared) and our passion, sexual enthusiasm and expression are now merely dying embers. We’re somewhere between our late 30s and our 60s and we’re tired!
Relationships never really fail
This state of being lovesick causes the relationship to end and one or other, or both’s feelings turn to resentment and then comes the anger!
Relationships ‘fail’ only because we stepped into them for the wrong reasons, not because (as is commonly thought), that they didn’t produce what we thought we wanted. In the main, most of us are looking for what we can get out of a relationship when we enter into it, instead of thinking what can we ‘add to’ it.
The only reason to have relationships is to decide who you really are and to choose to express that self through your reactions, thoughts and deeds.
There is no need for A.N. Other to express who you are, however without that ‘other’ we are nothing as we have nothing against whose speech, actions and reactions we can choose to express.
Therein lies the paradox.
What most of us do however is create our dream according to the needs, thoughts and desires (or so we think) of or beloved other instead of the needs, thoughts and desires of our selves. And so we are not a state of love and loving, but of being ‘lovesick.’
We spend our time measuring how well the other lives up to our expectations and how well we live up to theirs, when really we should test our relationships according to how well we live up to our own ideas of ourselves!
Worry only about yourself and how much you can give.
It’s of no consequence what the other is doing, being, having, thinking, planning, saying…what matters is what you are being in relation to that
The most loving person is the most Self-centred.
If you cannot love yourself then you cannot love others. So let’s get well, stop falling into ‘lovesick’-ness, stop seeing ourselves through the love of another. These may sound like familiar thoughts:
‘If I can love them then they will love me;
If I can please others then they will like me;
If I am loving towards others they will think I am loveable.’
We feel there is no-one that loves us. As a result we experience the reverse; Our thoughts become ones of self-hate (lovesick) because:
The truth is you will never truly accept the love of another until you love yourself.
So, for this week (and the weeks to come) make your focus one of loving yourself. Speak gently to yourself, forgive yourself, accept who you are remember we’re simply learning lessons and being given opportunities to decide who and what we choose to be.
We’re her to experience who and what we really are. Who you are is who you choose to show yourself as according to the influence of everything that you experience.