Peak 14: I am ready

‘Taking the Softer Option’ feels like:

  • Getting things in order ahead of time, not at the last minute
  • Saying no, though it feels hard to, when doing so creates more time for recuperation
  • Choosing the gentler route and therefore…
  • Having more margins for ‘resonance’ as a result
  • Getting into the Zen way, and out of one’s own way
  • ‘Sitting soft’
  • Little and often
  • Being kind to ourselves
  • Self-compassion
  • “Response-ability” (G’s concept)
  • Floating
  • Preparing in advance
  • Preparing in advance in the spirit of faith

‘Preparing in advance in the spirit of faith’ is like downloading the instruction manual ahead of time and following it. It looks like magic powers. You can tap into this ability to prepare, to arrive ready, whenever you like, dear friend. It’s not magic though it feels like it to you.

This is about overcoming doubt and fear I guess.

Low serotonin chemically reduces our sensation of status and pride in ourself, and thus it reduces our confidence. Being ahead of the game in terms of preparing in advance is a really helpful way of sidestepping this serotonin matter. It works.

So being super-organised…

…Gives us a sense of joy-pride-awe. The trick is to shout out to yourself (and others where appropriate) ‘I am ready!’ sooner rather than later. Own it. Claim it. State it. Loudly, mentally or verbally. Again. And again. And again. Each day. Affirm and confirm this truth: “I AM ready.” Because you are. Recognising and stating this fact again and again reassures the subconscious mind, and teaches it that ‘readiness’ is you easily reachable state.

I am ready for today…

I am ready for this workshop…

I am ready to complete my to do list…

I am ready to be happy…

I am ready

Peak 13: I am unhooking from hardness and taking the softer option: the heart’s reasoning

Taking a heart-centred approach to life is like learning a new language – you feel like a novice, you can’t always find the means to expression, you have to dig deep, it takes practice. And when you get little breakthroughs of communication, you feel elated.

I gave a speech at a conference and centred in my heart before I spoke. It made a difference in my ability to speak my truth and to connect with individuals in the audience (John-Speaking-InFront would have been proud). Singing in a pub gig last night and reaching into a heartfelt place immediately took me out of self-consciousness and into connectedness with the music… and with flow and ease.

Heart-centred = Connected

Connected = Feeling alive

Feeling alive = Peak experience

There’s something mysterious and valuable to be mined and extracted in this heart-centred business.

You might even say it’s a new step worth taking. Or that you are ready to make this a centre-stage state. What is meant by this is that it’s perhaps time to play more fully, and more regularly, in the heart-centred state, simply to get more of the richness of life and see how life can be intertwined with glee, joy, grinning and whispering with the universe. 

What is ‘whispering with the universe’?

Truly listening to what is happening in the moment. For us to see past the so-called travails of life is the ultimate goal. To be alive and alert to the sheer beauty of living is the goal of this ‘peak experience’ existence you talk about. Knowing that round each corner is either {terror} or {joy} according to one’s inner state, is perhaps the most significant insight a human being can have. 

It takes practice to harness one’s consciousness and inner state together, right?

Only if one is fixed to an old paradigm way of living. The child is free and easy when it comes to anticipating goodness, fun and delight. She shrugs off disappointment with a hearty wail, and moves on. 

Over time, however, she gets more animated and hijacked by that previously-fleeting sense of disappointment, and then it can become the default response?

This is where emotional resilience needs to be taught and then practised like a muscle. Emotional resilience can here be defined as ‘not looking over one’s shoulder as a default way to understand or preempt one’s future’. In other words, emotional resilience is about ‘bouncing forward from adversity’, as an art form. 

I guess it’s an art form worth learning if you’re going to be a human being. What’s the purpose of this life that has adversity at it’s centre?

Precisely to learn that ‘nothing is as it seems‘.


Because faith in our inner creativity teaches us that ‘everything is as we make it‘. 

Do I have faith in my inner creativity? I suppose I am learning it. What more can I do to develop this aspect of my awareness?

You can listen more profoundly to the ‘voice of reasons’ inside. Reasons… for living, for thriving, for giving, for choosing well. 

Ah, interesting. Is this intellectual or emotional reasoning then? Reason includes (Merriam Webster):

(1)the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways INTELLIGENCE
(2)proper exercise of the mind
bthe sum of the intellectual powers

Here we are talking about the heart’s reasoning. 

Does it work on a different framework to the mind’s reasoning?

Yes, it is more connected to that which is universal (as opposed to individualistic, egoic, defensive, fear-based). 

The heart’s reasoning is universal and therefore…?

The heart’s reasoning is universal in that its language is that of oneness, unity, connectedness, trust, care, love, knowing, abundance, creativity, intuition and clairsentience. It is plugged into the good grid. 

The good grid?

The network of knowing, of love, of divine intelligence. 

I want to be plugged into the good grid…!

Then get soft. ‘The moment for softness has come.’ Only a soft, open, focussed, held, poised, soft, fresh, upward-pointing state resonates on the good grid. Hardness, defensiveness, I-ness, whirlwind, head-over-heels tumbling, crashing is a frequency which simply pings itself out of the good grid. 

{Some people might call all this talk ‘word soup’…}

You can hold on to the old if you so choose. Or you can be prepared to enter the new which is non-linear… hence appearing to be ‘soup’-like.

Ok. Heard. Ty. This heart’s reasoning, then. This softness. This good grid. What’s the key phrase for me here to explore these concepts in coming days?

It’s about taking the softer option. It’s about being aware of when we are coming from trust/abundance/knowing, and when we are coming from fear/density/defence. It’s about having the distance from the coal-face of our human experience to see the choice on the horizon, and then the awareness to take the softer option when the moment of choosing presents itself.

Ok. I can feel the stirring of my fear of my own apathy/laziness/stopping/melting/giving up… It’s like those people I teach mindfulness to who say “I need stress to do my best work.” Can I unhook from hardness and the hard option? Let’s give it a go. Thank you for this dialogue.

You’re welcome. 

I am unhooking from hardness and taking the softer option: the heart’s reasoning

Peak 12: I am taking a heart-centred approach to life

“I am knowing what I am knowing and what I know is…”

This is a great internal sentence starter, because the next bit is always an insight, nay revelation. Man, the truth our inside voice will tell us…! AND, most of what that voice has to say is really, really good: affirming, complementary, celebratory – and occasionally, it is guiding or advisory. Like you, dear inner/higher/heart-centred me.

Yesterday, G and I went on an epic and idyllic 8 mile walk in Wiltshire, from All Cannings, along the grassy canal path to Honeystreet Mill Cafe, up and along Milk Hill past the Alton Barnes White Horse (also site of the massive Milk Hill Galaxy Crop Circle, among other crop circles, we learnt from the cafe exhibition). The day was warm and sunny, and from the ridge of Milk Hill (the highest hill in Wiltshire) there were views of 20 miles and more. With such expansiveness, one can really think, and not-think-but-be. In that space, the inner voice becomes even clearer.

And what is that inner voice saying? 

It’s reassuring me, I think. And encouraging me.

And how will you act upon the voice you hear?

With this concept of ‘kindfulness’ I think…

How are you defining ‘kindfulness’? 

I guess it’s about maintaining a mindset of compassionate awareness, towards self and others. To me that also means not following the mental avenues of worry and concern, where possible, because I know they are just dark cul-de-sacs. It’s about being future-focussed in a solution-orientated way. It’s about consciously creating the thought patterns that make me feel good, and that energise me for action.

What action is that?

Getting stuff done. Being creative.

How will you be creative today?

Um, this… Getting my bike out for the first time in years… I don’t know. It’s another rest/activity day. I want to unfurl, unwind, gather steam, build up my batteries. I dunno, mate. What are you saying?

Sometimes the most creative thing you can do is to teach what you know. 

To whom? I know that people in our own circles to not want to be ‘taught’!!

No, we all are taught by and learn from the ones we are next due to have teach us. 

How do we identify our next teacher?

Eventually, we find it in the next student.

Ah, we learn from the act of sharing what we know. Yes. This is true. And the eternal quest for our own next teacher is maybe an exercise in actually avoiding sharing what we have learnt. I’m so grateful to my teachers along the way, who shared what they know…

Which teachers in particular are you grateful to? 

Marianne Williamson, Pema Chodron, Abraham-Hicks, Elizabeth Gilbert, Chogyam Trunga Rinpoche, Matt Kahn, my qigong teacher Jeremy Colledge, Abdu’l-Baha, Heidi Sawyer, Lisa T Brown, Tiara Kumara, Vadim Zeland, Wayne Dyer, Louise L Hay, my TRE teacher Deborah Maddison, my swimming teacher June Heath, my children, G, my family, A Course in Miracles…

It is good when people share what they know. It is an act of generosity, and civic responsibility even, to be open with what we have learnt.

What have I learnt??

You have learnt about self-management. 

I have! That is true. I am glad and grateful of that. I think I am sharing some of that learning here albeit to myself.

Sharing our learning is an art.

So true. No one, like no one, wants to be lectured at.

That is what art is for. 

Art can be a little more playful than ‘instruction’, right? It’s a way of saying, this is how I see that I see.

Exactly and your heart sees so much. You are willing yourself to say what you see all the time. 

What would my heart say?

Your heart would say: It’s all ok, you know? We are all here to love each other. That is all. Nothing else matters. Personal ambitions are mirages of the mind. We are but one mind in many bodies. We are invited to unite. 

And then why doesn’t it say that good stuff out loud to the whole world?!

The mind’s reticence. 

How do I step out of this bifurcation situation (heart and mind at odds), once and for all? Reality Transurfing (the huge book I read in 2018/19) was all about having a united heart and mind, in order to realise our intentions. My heart and mind are like the overtiming creatives and the rule-driven trade union reps, constantly slapping down each others’ best efforts. May my heart and mind become united in their purpose, mission and zeal. This is my intention, my request, my aim.

A united heart and mind, you say? What sits between the heart and mind? Hm? (Think of chakra points, if you like.)

Ha, the throat. The voice.

Ah. Ok. The voice. So this is what unites the heart and mind. Our words are spokespeople to our heart/mind, but also the mediators of the heart and mind, no? 

In other words, can you mediate between heart and mind, and find, not compromise but win-win? Can you support them to find an agreement which meets both their ‘needs’ (vs one of their ‘positions’). 

Yes. Sure! I think. I need to be able to hear both so clearly though, and understand what their positions/needs are.

Let’s experiment. That course you are thinking of teaching. [Good Chat] What does Heart have to say, and what does Mind have to say?

Heart: This course is literally the way to channel what we have learnt, and to connect to souls, and to support those who are willing to step forward and develop their communication skills in a way that they are longing to do, and which society has never supported them to do. 

Mind: This course is a distraction from client work. As the course approaches, you will be overcome by distress about not selling out all the tickets (“rejected!”) and by anxiety about performing and giving people their money’s worth. It’s simply not worth the strain, stress and uncertainty. 

Heart: Maybe that’s a rather selfish stance to take. Maybe it’s up to just a few people to come forward if they would like. You don’t know who’s out there. 

Mind: It’s really not about who’s out there, it’s about knowing our Person. She’s a bag of nerves when it comes to going out in public solo. 

Heart: Could she do it with someone else then? Share the strain and pain? Get confidence? 

Mind: Sure, if she wants to give away the money yet again… 

Ok guys. I hear you. Let it go for now. I see there is a disagreement in perspective here. It’s helpful to me to see this so clearly articulated. No wonder it’s hard to get things moving on the going-out-solo front. Quiero encontrar a mi gente….

Aha. Excellent. There’s the key! “I want to find my people”. Yes! According to Tim Ferris’s book you were reading earlier, Dita von Teese used to work in strip clubs where, unlike her bare-all Brazilian-waxed colleagues stripping completely for one-dollar tips from 50 guys, she would come out in full attire and undress only to her underwear. 49 men would brush her over, and one dude would tip her 50 dollars.

Where’s your niche? Donde estan, tu gente?

[Ok. I just signed us up to IG to find out.]

I find I am so darn serious. Where IS that playful artistry?

It’s in your Heart side. The Mind is the serious, risk-averse, alert-focussed bodyguard, pooping the party of creativity. 

Ok. That’s it. Enough of the Mind’s dominance. I’m going to tune into my Heart’s knowing for a few days. See what I learn. See what it says. See how/when/if I dodge its knowing. See how my Mind counters my Heart. See when/where I can speak from the Heart. This is all about the heart-centred approach to life, which so many teachers speak of. I’m going to take a heart-centred approach to life, as an experiment, and see what happens.

Expect the unexpected, and be prepared to rolllllllllllll with that. Hold fast to the balustrade of the ship, but don’t go below deck. Enjoy the view. Embrace the creativity that flows out of the heart-centred approach to life!

Ty. Wish me luck…

I am taking a heart-centred approach to life




Peak 11: I am knowing what I am knowing

I have taken a couple of days of Blessing-Spotting, and I learnt this:

  • Yes, you need to get quiet and use your inner ‘binoculars’ to look out, even if only for a few seconds, to grant yourself the requisite pause to be able to say, ‘Oh goodness, this moment is a blessing.’ Snap – it’s spotted and logged.
  • Rushing headlong all day sure makes it hard to spot blessings – I become the proverbial disappointed forest-stomping bird twitcher in that scenario.
  • Anchoring my Blessing-Spotting moments (eg with a pinch of the fingers) highlights and embeds the awareness of the moment.
  • CounterI could ‘see’ my Blessings clocking up, as if via some kind of Blessing Counter. It became playful to imagine the numbers flicking round – according not to the conditions around me, but crucially, according to my state of present moment awareness. I could also sense when I was jamming the counter by locking into awareness of ‘problems’ or ‘complaints’ or ‘judgments’…

All this said, this morning I woke at 5am with an anxiety attack… about… you know, emails to write and people to call and plans to settle and I don’t know what else… I am at the rough end of my cycle and (thankfully) aware that I am in my PMDD phase. So. What of the blessing spotting? How does it fit with this anxiety?

Playfulness is your next step! You worked on ‘peace of mind’ as a route to Blessing-Spotting. Now work on ‘playfulness’ to circumnavigate the old taut state. 

Playfulness. Yes! I’ve been gamifying my 9 Morning Offices (‘duties or rites’ of self-care and business admin) using 9 cards which I challenge myself to complete (and turn over) by the end of the morning, or even the day.

And what are those 9 Morning Offices?

At the moment the 9 Morning Offices are – in any order:

  1. Kitchen  (tidy up and make coffee)
  2. QT (Quiet Time – and this writing)
  3. Exercise (Walk/Qigong/Singing)
  4. Yesterbox (Admin/inbox/finances)
  5. Breakfast/brunch
  6. Shower & Dress
  7. Planning / Social Media Marketing
  8. Publishing – blog for my work website
  9. Pages – new/updated website pages

Where is the bit where you communicate with others? 

Um… I don’t, apart from with G. It’s like a bubble where I get stuff done and clear the decks and complete the tasks I’d otherwise dodge. Don’t make me change it………….

Nothing is obligatory. It’s just notable that you are here in ‘broadcast’ mode. 

Yes – so that I can be in receptive and exchange mode in the afternoon – that’s when I open the ‘shop’. What are you saying?

We’re saying you are not alone, you know. 

I know! I’m awash with people! That’s why I woke up anxious today.

We know you know. 

I know I know. And yet, I engage in so much solitary pushing… But I need to keep the plates spinning and the ball rolling… I’ve crashed before and it rendered me insolvent in a matter of months.

You are not alone. It’s like… We want to give you an imaginary image of you with a bee in your hair. We want to say, please stop trying to get it out yourself. Sit down still and let us do it. Can you still down still, safe in the knowledge that the bee will be freed..?

By an unseen hand?

By an unseen hand. 

You know that you know – you just don’t live your life by that knowledge. As if you don’t trust your capacity to know, or you think that that’s not how the game of life should be played – that somehow using your inherent knowing is cheating. Like you have to take the analogue route instead of the digital. 

Like you have to make like a muggle…

Like you have to walk instead of take the car…

Like you have to open the tin with your teeth instead of the can-opener…

Like you have to play Russian roulette instead of Solitaire…

Ooh, yikes! Like you have to dance the can-can instead of the slow waltz…

So, dear friend. Do you feel prepared to use your Knowing instead of your Thinking? Will you engage your Knowing instead of your Hoping or Efforting or Plate-Spinning? 


Tuning in, in the same way you do for Blessing-Spotting, peacefully and playfully, as the quiet observer. 

What if I get swept up in trying to be prescient, or somehow psychic…?

You already know the difference between the wishful thinking/stab in the dark guesses, and the firm hunch/inner intuition. Remember your so-named Cassandra Syndrome frustrations, and how you lamented at people not listening to your predictions which always turned out to be right? This was claircognisence that you didn’t spot for what it was – a gift to be used with care and wisdom. A gift to benefit you as much as anyone else. So let’s aim for less Cassandra-slash-Mystic-Meg, and a spot more Using The Gift God Gave You For Good. This requires groundedness, confidence and finding/using your voice firmly, clearly and without undue staticky emotion. More than anything, it requires speaking your truth, even if you sense it to be unwelcome. 

<<<Aaaarrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh! Not speaking my trutttthhhhhh!>>>

Just kidding. Yeah, ok. I hear you. Big project this.

No it’s not. Little project that will unleash something big, and pleasing, and releasing, and fun, and playful. Keep it playful. 

So this is like Blessing-Spotting, but focussed on ‘knowings’… Get quiet and still and tune into what you see/sense/hear.

Just like we do here. And act on it. 

Risky for me, in terms of my Aspieness… I am best to err on the side of caution in my social communications and actions… Due diligence…

What’s this muggle speak?! (<3) You be you! You do you! 

Oh lordy… Ok, well I’m prepared to play with this ‘knowing’ business – just grant me protection, wisdom and… kindfulness to myself and to others. (I made that word up and I like it.)

It’s a deal. 

“I am knowing what I am knowing.”





Peak 10: I am a blessing-spotter

Bird watcher in a hide ScopeUout NZ

Yesterday was absolutely full of ‘peak experience’ moments:

  • all the family together for dinner around the kitchen table. Such a gift and a privilege to hear the raucous laughter at shared jokes and ‘Black Books’ impressions… Our beautiful kids surrounded by their four parents… Seeing that G and I have created a home that can bring our loved ones together.
  • giving my younger daughter her first driving lesson on the open road – her chuffedy-kins smile at pulling to a gentle stop having made it to second gear for the first time. Seeing that she is a natural on the road – like her great grandfather…
  • hearing my eldest’s update on her sparkling career and knowing she is doing so well, on her own brilliant terms, and way ahead for her age. Feeling that parental relief, alongside awe and pride.
  • going hunter-gathering at the supermarket and producing a feast huge enough to feed double the people coming!
  • the moment G unjammed the shed door with the most extraordinary hooking contraption on a pole poked through the tiny gap in the window – the genius of Man+Tool revealed
  • late night chat with youngest on the topic of mental health and wellbeing and society and family…

How to hardwire the happiness of all that? Really, I guess, by recollecting it, replaying it, rewatching it mentally, accepting it all as the blessings of life. It’s partly about Appreciation & Gratitude, and the practice of. But it’s also something else, I intuit. It’s about recognising that those moments are ‘IT‘! They are what life is all, all about!

Let me put it like this: if there had been a ‘frequency’ barometer on the wall at dinner last night, we would have seen it rising higher and higher with every hug, every word exchanged, every laugh, every listening nod, every eye contact, every hand outreached to touch another… If we could have seen the angels gathered over us… If we could have seen each other’s auras glowing… If we could really know when and to what degree we were skirting around the edges of heaven on earth… then, I think we would all change how we arrange our days and lives!

How can we learn better to perceive our blessings? How can we learn how to recognise when we are in a high-frequency moment? How can we remember that love is the reason we are all here?! How can we arrange our lives to put love, relationships and the heaven-on-earthness of unity at the centre of all we do?

Peace of mind is the key. 

Start by fomenting peace of mind, and thus the static noise decreases, and thus perception of your perfect reality becomes clearer. 

In other words, there is no need to ‘create’ heaven-on-earthness, as if it were a kit car for assembly in the back garden at the weekends. It’s about calming the mind so that your perception is clearer. A clear, settled, peaceful mind knows that all-is-well. A peaceful mind sees that the car was in the front drive, perfectly assembled, all along. 

Or to use another analogy, the busy mind is playing X-Box and battling the seemingly onrushing missiles and threats. While the peaceful mind has simply turned off the screen, and the ‘player’ can simply see her face reflected back at her in the darkened screen. The peaceful mind knows the missiles were only a figment of play. She sees that she was the player all along. 

In the peaceful state of mind, it is easier to intuit the heaven-on-earthness inherent here, and here, and there, and here… 

Bird watcher in a hide ScopeUout NZLike a bird-spotter maybe? The frantic bird-spotter, desperate to ,<{See A Bird}>, stomps through the forest covering ground at pace… and is surprised not to see a single bird across the whole forest! Whereas, the bird-spotter who is confident enough to set up a hide and sit tight, is rewarded with a display of nature’s finest.

Nicely put. Yes, a bird-spotter in the hide is worth two on the path. 

I would like to be a peaceful bird-spotter of blessings. A very still, patient, trusting, time-rich, observant Blessing Twitcher.

Lovely. Play that game. 

I am a blessing-spotter


Peak 9: I am hardwiring happiness

In this stillness as sacrament practise, it seems, we are learning to play with idleness as a route to clarity; we are letting our attention rest, rest, rest on the apparently inconsequential so that some other state (the parasympathetic, presumably) can emerge; we are learning to direct our focussed attention on the ephemeral long enough for the brain state to shift gear into ‘awareness’. Awareness is where the good stuff is, isn’t it?

And what is ‘awareness’ to you?

I guess I mean meta-awareness, really. Somehow, getting from the worm’s eye view to the bird’s eye view of our reality, and being released from the grip of the mind’s concerns.

Does the bird have no concerns? 

Man, not compared to the worm! What am I saying? I’m saying, the bird at height has greater perspective, which confers upon her greater scope for freedom to choose.

And the worm has less freedom to choose?

Yes! Because life (or the bird!) comes at the worm so quickly. The worm is at the mercy of the laws of gravity and physicality… It can’t respond with agility in the way the bird can.

So the bird has greater agility when it comes to responding? 

Yes, I think that is it. When I am well, happy and balanced, I can choose my responses to my life well. I am AWARE that I am choosing. I am AWARE that I am a player in a scene, and that I can direct the storyline of my own scene. I become the protagonist of my experiences, rather than the object / victim / expendable ‘extra’.

Can the worm not achieve that level of awareness? 

I guess it can. As long as mortality is not considered failure…


Excuse me?

Mortality as failure.

know that not to be the case! I revel in the gift of mortality! But also… I guess… I am learning to value life.

Yes. You. Are. It’s beautiful. 

I was pretty shoulder-shruggy about life for a while, especially once my precious girls were grown up and independent, and I’d lost that exquisite sense of their presence and, if I’m honest, their dependence upon my care… Oh my heart. Kids growing up. Will that ever be a topic that doesn’t bring tears to my eyes..?

So, dear soul. This death-dodging you’re now engaged in. Tell us about that.

Ha! You’re so funny. Well, I guess that over the last couple of years I’ve seen this clear sense of how fun, warm, nourishing, fulfilling, dynamic, creative, expressive life-on-this-physical-plane can be. I guess I’ve combusted off a bit of life karma in the past two decades, so there’s the sense of relief in that… but also now I’m just a bit wiser and more skilled at handling not just life but my self, this complicated, over-horse-powered vehicle which came with no darn instructions or care manual.

I can see how fun life can be.

And what is your definition of fun?

My wonderful Mum used to say “It’s got to be fun!” when making decisions like moving to a new house… I think for me, fun is carefree, marvel-ous, smile-inducing. But also, I really am finding the fun in deliciousness of working playfully yet diligently with the laws of this creative cosmos.

The law of attraction? 

All the laws pertaining to ‘thought makes thing’. I’m not talking about manifesting myself a sports car. I am talking about learning to discipline my thinking in to {thinking the thoughts that create a joyful reality for me}. Whether that is ‘law of attraction’ or personal DBT, I don’t know. I’m just relieved to be freed from the oppressive thinking that previously created some rather oppressive conditions in my life!!

You sure it’s not just fate or destiny that things are on the up for you? 

It could well be. Maybe I did elect to embark on a life of {fast-track crunchy learning followed by the bliss of a ‘normal’ life}. Or maybe, just maybe, I elected to learn the lessons of … conscious thought? I want to use the word ‘manipulation’ although it’s a word that comes with mixed vibes… I really feel that I’m learning to use more-conscious thought to manipulate my reality – and that learning this was the point of my life.

Beautiful. Well articulated. Well said. Well owned. 

Thank you. What next? What of it?

Learning to use that conscious thought for Good. 

I’ve wanted to!! I’ve wanted to do good for… ages. It seems I had to learn to be ‘happy’ before I could be ‘useful’.

Bingo #2.

Haha. Ok! Yes… That’s nice, I agree:

‘It seems I had to learn to be ‘happy’ before I could be ‘useful’.’

I’m happier than ever before. Shall we talk about that ‘usefulness’ contract?

Useful. Great word. To whom / what? 

Well, I reckon we’re talking about STO (service to others), or contributing to a cosmic/divine plan, or participating in the evolution of a happier world. Or maybe it’s just a case of being useful to those around us in our immediate sphere… I get the feeling that the great plan for all of us in about learning. And healing.

As the Starseed books said, there are essentially two jobs at hand: teaching and healing. 

Yes. I know. Big stuff… Let’s keep it simple today. How can I get into the ‘useful’ state or place?

Keep on finding ways to be happy and to channel happiness and to hardwire happiness…

Ha. Ok! Well there we go. Onwards and upwards, and tumbling forwards. Hardwiring happiness: I guess that’s making use of our neuroplasticity to reroute neural pathways down the seratonin-dopamine-endorphin highway. Why not? What fun! F. U. N. FUN.

I love an alliteration. We’re going to have to go with…

I am hardwiring happiness


Peak 8: I am practising stillness as sacrament 

Mercedes Benz Atlanta Stadium aperture roof

Assuming the support of others‘ for these last few days has unwound me substantially. I saunter to my inbox; I arrive at meetings in happy anticipation of good conversation; I am less hesitant and non-committal about decisions and communications; I am readier to speak my truth and ask for what I need, or believe to be fair; I have more confidence that any social ‘reading errors’ on my part will be met with compassion and understanding; I arrive at human interactions with less guardedness; I am able to expand outwards in a spirit of love and encouragement with greater authenticity… It’s lovely. I’m very happy. I’ve been in good spirits and high heart.

What next, dear voice of my inner being? What next would we work on and learn?

How is your heart space? 

Excuse me…? My heart space… is slightly impacted, turned in… I guess. Since you ask.

You have been singing to open up your chest, and vibrate your chest. What effect has that had on your heart space?

I simply haven’t been conscious of it in that way. But I do note I have been very happy and free. Keep singing?

Keep resonating in the heart space. 

Tell me more…

The heart space is the place of growth, and the unwinding of the internal helix within. This is the last bastion of ‘openness’. 

Openness to what?

To love, to peace, to wellbeing, to light, to unity. Think of the open heart  space as an unfurled lily, or a massive stargazing observatory with its roof wide open.

It needs softness and stillness to allow the heart space to relax into unfurling, right? This morning my beloved G (who I can hear scrubbing the bathroom next door before breakfast…) brought this profound concept of his into our conversation: “stillness as sacrament“. Beautiful. Let me remind myself of the definition of sacrament: ‘a religious ceremony… or a rite of passage that infers some blessing or grace on people who receive it.’ (Ref

Stillness as a sacrament, or ceremony or rite that infers blessing or grace. Yes.

Can stillness open my heart space?

Try it…


Mercedes Benz Atlanta Stadium aperture roofYes… When I go into that stillness, I get a strong image of that heart space opening up like an astronomical observatory roof with a lens/aperture type roof. In terms of images, the closest I can find is this amazing football stadium roof… but the underlying sense for me is of a telescope, an observing device, being revealed when the roof retracts back. Is this to say that I get a clearer view on reality when my heart space is open? Is the heart an outward-observing telescope in some way?

The heart seeks to see beyond the hurly-burly of the mind’s immediate ‘concerns’. In fact, truthfully, the heart does not believe in ‘concerns’. The heart has a much broader, all-encompassing view of things than the mind. If the heart is a telescope out to broader horizons, the mind is a magnifying glass, blowing motes of dust up into monstrous distortions. 

Teide ObservatoryHere is an observatory, without an aperture roof, in Tenerife…

Note how the sturdy frame acts to protect the precious telescope inside, and to create a revelatory action. Our point is that you can open the roof of the heart, to make use of its telescope, at any time. 

Explain how this relates to peak experiences.

Milkway over the telescope in TenerifeWhen the astronomer opens the roof to look at the night sky, she is astonished by what she sees. It takes her away from herself, and reminds her that the universe is enormous and majestic.

And yet, in that same moment she can potentially become dolefully aware of her own insignificance. However conversely, with a microscope in hand, the biologist (or some such other microscope-wielder) realises how masterful and magnificent she is next to the tiny flea under her inspection.

In this metaphor, the astronomer longs to be uplifted by the transcendence of majesty around her. Whereas the biologist you describe would inflate herself by comparing herself to a flea (and finding the flea wanting at the same time). 

I get it, that it’s something to do with being able to perceive majesty and beauty…

Including perceiving the majesty and beauty in the flea! If the flea under the microscope can give you as much a sense of wonder as the night sky through a telescope gives you, then you’re away. The notion at hand here is that the heart-centred state seeks to bear witness to beauty, which is abundant and eternal. The mind-centred state seeks to bear witness to self, which is time-bound and a construct of the mind itself – a very useful construct in human society and for paying the bills and attending to one’s responsibilities, it might be added! But it is the everyday. The more we learn to cross back and forth, seamlessly from the everyday to the eternal, the more access we have to peak experiences. 

And stillness gets us into the heart-centred state. Stillness is enough to allow the protective aperture of the heart space to unfurl and to let the powerful, witnessing observing eye to rove about.

And this telescopic eye can focus on the eternal, on beauty.

We’ve spoken about this plenty now. This exercise is for practising: 

How much, in coming hours and days, can you enter stillness as sacrament long enough to allow the heart space to open up, and the heart to gaze out? 

I am practising stillness as sacrament (to let the heart space open up and the heart gaze out)

With my thanks to G for the beautiful phrase ‘stillness as sacrament’





Peak 7: I am assuming the support of others (“How lucky I am!”)

John Dawson

I got up on my feet, and I did work with that ‘towards’ vision of tidying up and tying up the loose ends of the busy last few weeks. It was very satisfying: not only did I get a lot done, but by being specifically ‘up on my feet’, I processed a lot of stress out of my body. I had a sense of flow and of moving the energies, my own and those in my space.

This morning I’ve been reading about Maslow’s concept of ‘peak experiences’, in Colin Wilson’s foreword to his book Super Consciousness: The Quest for Peak Experience (2009) (SC). Maslow originally contacted Colin Wilson in the mid-1960’s to discuss Wilson’s earlier book , The Age of Defeat (1959) which is about the strong ‘defeat-bias’ in literature of the 20th century (eg Sartre, ‘It is meaningless that we live and meaningless that we die.’). Colin Wilson writes:

Maslow told me he … also had a deep conviction that human nature had been ‘sold short’ by modern psychology – Freud in particular – and that we ought to take account of what he, Maslow, called ‘higher ceilings of human nature‘. What fascinated me was Maslow’s concept of the ‘peak experience‘ (he called them PE’s) – the experience of sudden overwhelming happiness, the feeling that life is wonderful: this, Maslow discovered, seems to to happen to healthy people on a regular basis.

Here is a typical PE. A young mother was sitting watching her husband and children eating breakfast, when she was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of how much she loved them and how lucky she was: she went into the ‘peak experience’. But note this: she was lucky before she went into the peak experience. The peak experience simply involved becoming aware of how lucky she was.” (SC p3)

Wilson notes how the Romantic poets (and other ‘outsiders’) would have fleeting, profound, blissful access to this ‘other mode of consciousness’ in which one can perceive the transcendence of life, and then, to their despair watch it ebb away. (In my last entry I wrote about the cranky, humdrum everyday; versus the alternative state of awareness, bliss, mirth, and being held in the moment.) Wilson questions the Romantics’ and Maslow’s assertion that these moments of entry to ‘the other mode’, the PE, are outside our control and that we have to wait for them. So do I. The book Super Consciousness apparently outlines what Wilson learnt in his quest to discover how to provoke the Peak Experience. As does this writing. Awesome. There is so much to discover and play with.

I do believe we are in a new era when, thanks to advances in psychology, consciousness and simply the ease of modern life, we have so much more access to choice around our thinking. How could we have had this choice before we understood the amygdala, the autonomic nervous system… Oh, unless we had taken a Buddhist approach… but the West perhaps had to arrive at the notion of peak experience from another angle. Just as Buddhist cultures have had to come at materialism from another angle.

And we can indeed foster the good thought that edges us into Peak Experience. I love this: Maslow talked to his students about peak experiences and got them to recall their own. ‘What was so interesting was that, as the students talked to one another every day about their peak experiences, they began having peak experiences all the time.’ (Wilson, SC, p4) There’s something around the notion of priming our brain for the good-feeling thought. I think that’s where the gratitude practice comes in. It’s about finding ways to keep the plates of ‘awareness of good fortune’ spinning nicely – and to let those plates (or simply even, the activity of spinning those plates) settle at the forefront of our attention. Where our attention goes, energy flows.

So what is my learning here and my practice next in this field of PE’s?

That ‘young mother’ becoming aware of how lucky she was. What is your equivalent? 

I guess to look around at my beautiful new home, and the extraordinarily beautiful people in my life, and consider how I am really thriving, particularly in light of my career change of a few years ago…

And what about the quality of your relationships?

Ha! Sometimes, I add an edginess of ‘concern’ with regards to my relationships. I know where you’re going. I often doubt the quality of my relationships – I suspect that people are frustrated, disappointed, worried, angered by my actions or behaviours. And that gives me plumptons. And stress.

Would it be possible to bring that sense of wonder, joy and awe – that awareness of ‘how lucky I am’ – to your perception of your human relationships – all of them?

I see a glimpse of what you mean. On the one hand I can look around my life and confidently say, ‘Wow, beautiful! I am so blessed. Everything is unfolding wonderfully’, but on the other, I tend to bring a certain concern and doubt to my human relationships. Probably a clear byproduct of my Aspergers, and some bruising human experiences. Could I overcome that, I wonder..? I’m not sure.

It is apparent to those of us who love you that you are perplexed by relationships, and that you pour a great deal of energy into keeping them on track. But also we might note that you don’t actually need to assume you are ‘in the the red’ with everyone. It would not be hubris or folly to assume the support of the people in your life. 

John Dawson Ah, like the brilliant public-speaking teacher, John Dawson (Speaking Infront) says: ‘assume support‘. Assume the support of your audience, and enter into a state of relational presence with them.

This is so different to the way I perceive people I might be working for, or selling to, or in friendship with even. I assume their inner rage boiling up at me. I anticipate their disgusted judgment of my failure to meet their expectations. Etc etc… I am incessantly in a spin of ‘vectoring off’ the disappoint of others.

What would it look like to assume that others support you, for you and as you? 

I feel this sense of relief, and possibility, and potential creativity…

So, let’s assume that we are lucky enough (nb: awareness of good fortune is the door to peak experience) to have the support of all the wonderful people in our lives. And all the non-wonderful people too!  😉

Well, that scenario turns everything on its head. It up-ends my day! It means that my inbox is not menacing me with an angered tut-tut-tut. It could mean that my inbox becomes a clustered corral of friends, supporters, helpers and allies. Wow…

How lucky! How very lucky you are indeed, to have so many friends, supporters, helpers and allies in your life. 

But what about all that guilt? How will I get up and out up bed in my days, if not through the pinching sting of guilt and fear?!

Good question. Well, maybe the warm, attractive pull of all that great friendship and support would be enough to stir you from your bed…?

Imagine if all those people in my inbox were friends…

Important distinction here: not all of them need to be friends. Let them be supporters too. ‘Friends’ says ‘two-way energy’…

‘Everyone is my friend and everyone likes me’ is a complex statement.

‘People are generally willing to be supportive’ is much less complex.

Sometimes we need to let people support us, without our diligently ‘supporting them back’. For example, you really don’t need to spend 10 minutes writing a great review of the call-handler who helped solve your bill problem. It is ok to receive support as given, without needing to pay the balance on some imagined karmic debt to that person. You can pay it forward to the next person instead. Assume support. Receive support. That’s ok. Fill up the batteries. You are not draining another by accepting their support. For many, giving support to you fills their batteries. So relax and receive the support with joy, grace and a keen awareness that this is, dear friend, a supportive, abundant, benevolent universe, and it’s got your back. 

Lovely. Thank you. <3

I am assuming the support of others (“How lucky I am!”)



Peak 6: I am getting up on my feet

Kiki Dee

I have loved spending a couple of days working on ’embodiment’ as a route to ‘coming back to my sense of beauty’. Yesterday I spent a whole day at a brilliant singing workshop – the long physical, breathing and vocal warm up exercises were such a great practice of mindful embodiment, with the wordless notes resonating through the entire physical system. And then the song I’d chosen to sing was ‘I’ve got the music in me’ by Kiki Dee – such a rollicking, pumping, life-affirming song. My intention was to have fun with it, and I did – I was, to a good degree, able to relax myself and let the song sing through me. I love these lyrics:

Kiki DeeFeel funky
Feel good
Gonna tell ya
I’m in the neighbourhood
Gonna fly like a bird on the wing
Hold on to your hat honey,
Sing, sing, sing, sing

Singing as a route to an embodied sense of beauty?

Singing as a route to an embodied sense of beauty, indeed. Letting the song sing through you is a gift and a joy, no? You know that something greater than the ‘everyday’ is rolling through your system, no? What is that ‘everyday’ feeling, and how do you sidestep it most effectively, and for the good of ‘development’ as opposed to ‘escapology’?

The ‘everyday’ feeling is a little blurred, a little laden with duty, compulsion, obligation, rote learning. It feels to me like being bundled along by circumstance – as opposed to being held in the moment by something magical and awakening.

So this magical and awakening feeling. What is this? 

It’s a zinging feeling of glee, delight, wonder, mirth… It’s being held by the moment, but also knowing you’re holding the moment. You’re creating something, or participating in something, which is more than ‘humdrum’.

What is ‘humdrum’?

Oh, it’s the boring, tedious stuff that we do because we have to…

Sounds cranky. 

Yes! It is cranky.

So, sidestepping the crankiness of the humdrum, compulsory everyday. What does that mean to you today? 

It means having a ‘towards’ vision and using my body and mind and intention to create it!

What is your towards vision today? 

It is simply to tie up loose ends, to have the house and my desk and my duties in balance, not threatening me menacingly.

So that you’re in charge? So you’re holding the balance of order?

Yes! I will use the energy of my body (embodiment) to create a sense of beauty and order. I’d better get on my feet. The words for the day?

I am getting up on my feet!

I am getting up on my feet



Peak 5: I am coming back to my sense of beauty

So I met the future king, at his reception at Clarence House in recognition of social prescription.

After my last post, and upon adopting a ‘calm interiorised mind’ (CIM), I finally decided just to wear an outfit I’d worn for a wedding last year and thus not spend the doing last minute clothes morning shopping, and thus have a good nap before heading to London.

Despite my CIM and a good nap,  I still had to pull over for a good cry as I walked, awash with anxiety, through London. I went in to an empty-looking art gallery near Clarence House and asked the person at the desk if I could look around, but also use their loo to get changed. I mentioned I was going to meet Prince Charles and was feeling a bit overwhelmed… and promptly burst into tears. The kind woman pulled out a chair for me to sit on, and then had the good idea of offering me the cleaning cupboard under the stairs for better privacy. It was perfect. I had a fulsome cry, and also got changed in tranquil peace and quiet.

Arriving at the gates of Clarence House, again I nearly keeled over, and had a good cry in the care of one of the other guests. All the emotion passed through me and then I was fine and ready to go in. In we all went to the beautiful house, relinquishing phones as we entered. We were guided to take position in groups dotted around one of the elegant downstairs reception rooms. The Secretary of State for Health came by to meet us all, and was interested to hear about my mental health recovery story. However, my group of people was the last to be met by the Prince. It was late and I didn’t expect him to linger, but bless him, he did, speaking to each of us in turn with focus and interest. Hearing I was ‘a patient’, he took my hand warmly and asked all about my journey, and how social prescribing had played a role in my wellbeing. He was terribly gentle, soft-spoken and attentive, leaving me, and all of us I should think, feeling enormously witnessed and heard.

Next we all gathered in the long corridor to hear speeches, given from the staircase, by our convening professor followed by the head of NHS England, the Sec of State for Health, and HRH. While the first three speakers touched on the benefits of social prescribing and achievements of its proponents (many of which unsung heroes were present), Prince Charles’s speech was something else. He spoke compellingly and passionately about the therapeutic effect of ‘beauty’, and its impact on ‘mind, body and spirit’. The line I remember perfectly was this: ‘And the good news is, beauty can be prescribed.’ Yes! Beauty can be prescribed. ‘Prescription’ is a complex word, sounding like ordering/commanding, but the wonder of ‘social prescription’ is that, with a good facilitator (aka link worker), the person finds their own form of beauty, or uplift, or connectedness, or wonder (whatever ‘beauty’ is for them)… and makes practical arrangements to get lined up with it. This is often about reconnecting with the simplest, most available things – nature, our singing voices, our communities, our creativity… Getting back to ‘beauty’ is not about paying our way into an expensive gallery to see art on the wall. It’s about revealing, and reconnecting with, the inside part of us which resonates with joy, wonder and awe.

My reflections this morning, a couple of days later, are that connecting with beauty is, for me, about reconnecting with my senses. I am prone to getting too much in to my head / thinking, which is to say too far from my body and my senses. My senses are my beauty receptors and resonators, I guess. How can I come back to my senses more fully? 

Embodiment is a useful word. 

Thanks. I looked it up – ‘tangible or visible’ is helpful:

Embodiment definition

And The Embodiment Channel – Mark Walsh applies the principles of yoga to daily life and coaching. He talks of embodiment as ‘the way we are’.

Help me to settle so I can hear you, sense you, interpret you, in my body, dear inner being.

Your sense of beauty is finely interpreted through your body. You are sometimes prone to shutting off your feeling body, and letting your thinking mind ride rough-shod over the subtler impulses and messages of your body. It is good to learn to tune in to the body daily, as this practice enables you to switch channels – from body to mind, and vice versa – at will, to access different fonts of wisdom. 

If I were to tune into my body now, what would it tell me?

Body says: Unwind! Unwind!

Am I wound up?

Hugely wound up! Can’t you see or feel that?

I guess I can. I’ve just become so accustomed to it, it feels normal.

Unwind from your very core. Shake it out. Reset. Quickly please! 

Oh golly, I’ve heard this before, haven’t I?

Yes! Unwind by hook or by crook, or you will roll on forward like a steam train without a driver, just moving down the signals in front of you. Slow down! Hear your inner self! Take the steering wheel and apply the brakes. You have normalised speeding recklessly. It is not just that this is bad for your health, but also that it causes you only to make very short term decisions. You fend off the fast-incoming missiles, as if you were playing space invaders. You have no sense of a planning horizon. Those ideals of setting up strategies are senseless when you are constantly rolling at breakneck speed. 

Hey! I’m doing my best!

Slow down, and you will do better. Unwind. Unwind. Get into the body, and harness its energy. Work with your meridians. Stretch your muscles out. Breathe into the corners of your being. Not just to ‘relax’, or ‘lose weight’… but to stop being ‘out of your mind’ with speed and the wound-up-spring state. ‘Slow down, you move too fast…’ 

You want to know the inherent benefit to slowing down and getting back in to the body, and having access to the senses again? A return to a sense of beauty. The driverless steam train has no sense of beauty. It can’t because there is no observing mind, there is no control, there are only frightened passengers being dragged along for the ride.

The body is the route to being able to sense beauty?

The body is the route back to a sense of beauty. Come back to the senses to come back to a sense of beauty. 

Thank you. I like that.

I am coming back to a sense of beauty (via embodiment)

PS. Bless qigong… That moment when thinking subsides, and one is in the flow of qigong. That is beauty. I feel beauty and I feel beautiful when I am practising qigong in a body/sense-orientated state, with thoughts gently decommissioned for a while… Qigong is the embodiment of beauty for me. It’s a reminder, a resetter of frequency.

PPS. I am enjoying the ThinkVitality youtube channel, with Jeff Chand, for qigong practice.

‘My senses are my beauty receptors and resonators, I guess.

How can I come back to my senses more fully? ‘