Peak 144: I am a sovereign being

I feel open, nervous, trepidatious as a I write. It seems to me this is the last post of the Peak Project:

  • 44: a number of much meaning and solidity to me.
  • Tao Te Ching Chapter 81: the final chapter of the book
  • 29th Dec 2019: nearly the end of this year

What have I learnt? What am I learning? What is next?

Look at the post headings for the Peak Project. 

…Thank you. Wow. What a journey. And here is where it all began:

I understand more than ever now that the Peak Experience is an inside job. It’s not about experiences booked or purchased, or attainments reached, or achievements achieverised – but about the alignment of the inner state, and an up-reaching to peace, unity, love and light in any moment or situation. This is the power button pressed and the heart unveiled on the battlefield.

Inner voice of my being, what would you have me know and remember from this experiment?

Your voice emanates through you, dear Heart. Do not feel you have to wait for us to speak through or to you. We are one with you now. You can hear and translate the message of your heart as a simultaneous translator – one word at a time as you have done for years. Relax and listen, relax and listen. Your mission for next year is to share what you know.

In the Peak Project you learnt to strip away expectation. You were drawn to study the Tao Te Ching in this project so that you could get comfortable with the habit of relaxing into ‘what is’, rather than chipping away at reality. That is why you ended on the note of ‘relinquishing judgment and accepting and appreciating what is right here, right now.’ You moved towards the Still Point. You learnt practices that could channel your natural inclination towards peace. You played beautifully with the Peace Frequency. You settled into acceptance and appreciation with equanimity. You worked on yourself… ‘for the last time’. By this is meant, the initial self-training is done. To proceed it is imperative to share what you know. 

That is moving and exciting and daunting to me. Shall we read our last chapter? 

No. Wait. First give thanks. 

Lao Tzu, spirit of Knowing, of Being, of Receiving, of Accepting, of Flowing with the Way. Thank you for all the teaching, moulding and reassuring you have provided me with over these past months. May I go on to live by the Tao in my day to day life. May I absorb all that you have taught me. Please stand by me as I seek to follow this new mission to Share What I Know. Grant me softness, humility, wisdom and truth. Stand next to me and sprinkle my words with real Knowledge, and ensure that as much as possible I act as a channel for truth, rather than a broadcaster of my own sense of self. Let me remove self from my work, and instead support the connection of people with their own perfect truths. Let that be my goal and my gift to others. Thank you for your writing and your legacy and all that is gifted to us by following the Way of the Tao. Amen.

-81- Sincere words are not elegant; elegant words are not sincere. The good person does not argue; the person who argues is not good. The wise do not have great learning; those with great learning are not wise. True Persons do not hoard. Using all they have for others, they still have more. Giving all they have to others, they are richer than before. The way of heaven is to benefit and not to harm. The way of the True Reason is to assist without striving in the unfolding of the story of the earth. (The Tao Te Ching 81)

May I not hoard that I which I have received in insights, tools and learnings, but rather use all I have for others, and give all I have to others, so that I may be blessed to assist with striving in the unfolding of the story of the earth. This is the prayer I offer up today, for the year ahead and beyond. Teach me how to share what I know, dear holy forces of peace, unity, love and light. Clear my ethereal body of ego, fear, hesitation and doubt. Plant certainty, clarity and simplicity in my being, and gift me the energy, vitality and fitness to contribute to the unfolding of the story of the earth.

In past weeks, certain individuals have stepped forward in our society, each emanating a powerful forcefield, and acting like channels of certain frequencies. My beloved G used the brilliant phrase ‘resonant archetypes’ to describe the phenomenon (which he had been thinking about simultaneously/independently to me…!). G suggested we are all aligning with one or another archetype, and that some archetypes invite one to align behind them and some archetypes invite one to network with them. Yes!

This is the line of thought I’d been following:

    • I had followed Stormzy’s rebuttal of the PM and media channels, and his immense spiritual grace and power – and thought, yes, here we have a voice of the new generation, and the new era. I resonate with this, and am so relieved to see this thinking made manifest in the heart of our culture.
    • I had come across this tweet and its heartening answers (including someone talking about also feeling like Cassandra!!):

  • I watched the video by George Monbiot, and felt, ‘This, this speaks to me. And I feel less alone in my ‘Cassandra Syndrome’!’


Monbiot says:

  • “The oligarchs have discovered the formula for for persuading the poor to vote for the interests of the very rich and that formula includes massive lying and cheating on an unprecedented scale.”
  • “Any Labour leader putting forward those policies whose aim was to transform this country would have been demonised and ripped apart. The fundamental problem is the incredible grip over our imaginations the billionaire press still exerts combined by highly effective and misleading use of social media. This is a global phenomenon. Something huge has changed.”
  • “If there is a formula for how to do it, there must also be a formula for how to resist it.”
    • Defend ourselves from fake news and lies via digital literacy (like Finland has done) – a coalition against fake news
    • Replace top-down politics by ‘political rewilding’ – a system that is run and owned by the people – genuine people-owned grassroots politics around the world – at the municipal level – success becomes contagious between local authorities – ‘and then it’s much harder for the oligarchs to get a grip over political life’. [LSAs… – local consultative assemblies]
    • Attend to the short term crisis faced in this country caused by continued austerity, exclusion and marginalisation, and the xenophobia, racism and hatred fomented by the Prime Minister and central govt policy (eg hostile environment; targeting Romani Gypsies and travellers) => “So the first thing we need to do is stand in solidarity with everyone who is likely to be victimised by this government. We double down on our efforts to help the people who are being marginalised… No one must be left to face the consequences of this election alone.”
    • Maintain hope, via the possibility that this election may spark a new conversation about our political system and how it needs to change to become more democratic.

So I’m now working with a few thoughts:

  1. My sense of the new era of consciousness emerging is no longer a weird, kooky concept which I have to keep silent about. Thanks to the forces of ego/darkness – and the internet – for making things so weird that the previously underground, imperceptible ‘signs of the times’ (ty, G) have now become fully visible and are prompting mass awakening.
  2. There are mainstream people acting as ‘resonant archetypes’ (for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) meaning we have vocal people we can use as anchors for networked thought and action – to a degree we have never seen before.
  3. Arising from this, I realise:
  • I no longer need to be the binary person I have been for years, hiding my true colours in case it made me unemployable…
  • I have the opportunity to stand up and be counted amongst those resonating for unity in diversity
  • I have networks and platforms I can contribute to, safely now
  • It’s time to speak up and out, because this last election showed (as Monbiot discusses) that the ego-based folks have rolled their frickin’ sleeves up
  • I have been blogging/journalling privately for years – I could shift out of the cover of privacy and add to the body of text that is pro-unity
  • I don’t need to share the heart on my sleeve with ‘elegant words‘ – instead I can share ideas, techniques and tools, like a conveyor belt of cool  and practicable concepts.
  • To do this, I may need to give up my journalling here, or rather, shift my writing to the visible, and use my love of writing to perform a helpful function in the world at this time of intense division and need for optimism.
  • This seems to come under the heading of
    • Share What I Know or
    • Share Tools

So now, voice of all True Reason. What sayest you?

As above, we say now it is imperative to share what you know. Since the 11:11 days of your teenage years you have been studying and preparing for the period in which you would serve as a contributor. You have sloughed off a fair degree of expectation, vanity and pride around your writing, and are now more poised to act as a work horse. To be truly of use in this important field, your ‘habitual’ life needs to be as clean, regimented (in the soft, balanced aspie way, not some punishing way) and streamlined as possible. There is a great deal one can contribute, if the focus is there. 

Like Shoghi Effendi.

Exactly. He knew his mission. Learn yours well. 

Mission 2020: Make mediation mainstream by sharing the tools of consensus, consultation and collaboration.

How are we defining ‘tool’?

Cambridge dictionary: ‘anything that helps you to do something you want to do’

And what do you want to do?

Reduce division and conflict; increase unity and love.

And so what sort of tools do you have in mind?

The sort of tools I have in mind are highly practical and memorable, and include

  • the methods and processes of mediation
  • the psychological concepts which support us to be more at ease with ourselves and others
  • the spiritual insights which bring relief from fear and the perceived need for discord
  • the practices of unity consciousness

And in what sort of ways will you share these tools? 

I will share these tools via

  • My trainings
  • My conflict resolution work
  • My writing via my website
  • My talks

My ongoing question is really about the vehicle I use… Help here pls.

Who/what are the resonant archetypes you want to network with? 

Well, they are individuals not organisations, I note. That’s kind of a helpful insight.

I went into Twitter again… and  spotted this new George Monbiot video/edit:

Monbiot again:

  • “Just as the adults in power are shedding responsibility like nothing before, we see young people adopting responsibility. It’s almost like the children are the adults and the adults are the children. The roles have reversed.”
  • “We have this incredibly powerful and inspiring fightback through self-organised resistance led primarily by young people, and that’s very exciting.”

Share tools with young people, and gain tools from them. 

Ah, young people.

Yes. It’s time. 

I’m not sure I resonate for them any more.

Then adapt yourself. You will feel all the better for it.

This is your future, this is their future. This is why you were immersed in this world. 

Be resonant, with your children’s generation – and let them inform you of what they know, for they are evolved creatures just a step ahead of the times they are currently living in. With humility and happiness, share what you have learnt about mind, body and communication with them – and yes, share the lessons, teachings and tools of the spirit too. Why, to encourage, to empower and to unleash the immense potential in each soul. The True Person does not hoard, but shares for the unfolding evolution of the Earth’s story. 

Oh God. You know this is a big thing for me. You really know. I need your blessing on this. I need to know how to communicate mutually with the upcoming generation in a way that is as wholesome, as pure and as selfless as they are. Settle me. May I be found simple enough to do this work. Why don’t I feel welcome? Why do I feel like I would be impinging, and taking liberties. Why do I feel the words ‘Ok, boomer’ busting forth?

Take the role of behind the scenes mentor and encourager, not on-stage preacher. Think of Stormzy’s mentor, Twin B.

I am literally in coils about this….

Relax. Calm down. Step up.  We’ve been here before and you wouldn’t go there. This call will not go away. 

But there’s so much to learn and understand – these digital natives are in a different world. And my youngest especially would hate me to intrude on this world.

Be not an intruder. You are being there for those who are ready and in need. Be kind enough to be a support to those who need an older ally. Be an outspoken resonant archetype so that your fellow frequency travellers can find you. #PeaceFreq.

Like Helen Bevan on Twitter:

It really is as simple as that. Teach what you’ve learnt; have a sense of your community. TRUST us, that while yourGen cannot ‘hear’ you, others (the New Gens) will.

I’m really ashamed and bashful to say this, but I need to work this theme out: I partly turned towards the older generation because they can pay for what I do…

Do not under-estimate the spending power of the next generations. It just looks different, and must be earned via authenticity. Nothing will test your ability to abandon your professional masks, society bollocks and burnout jazzhands more than bringing value to the younger generation. Ok? You asked for freedom from lies, burnout and efforting. This is where that freedom is to be found. Bring respect, humility and purest love. 

And remember this from today’s reading:

True Persons do not hoard.

Using all they have for others, they still have more.

Giving all they have to others, they are richer than before.

You have done your time. Give to the next generation all you have: stand in solidarity with them. Do not hoard the learning of your lifetime. Your sharing of tools will encourage them to do their own learning and find their own voice. And breathe a sigh of relief that now, you no longer have to scrape and forelock tug to the grown ups. You are the grown up and you have love in your heart. Resonate, dear archetype. 

I am ready to … I am ready to resonate with the frequency of peace… I am ready to stand up and be counted. I am ready to gift all I have to the next bearers of peace, so that they can be skilled, confident and competent – adding to what we have learnt the blessings of their own evolved consciousness.

Remain on the compassion stool – keen to relieve suffering without becoming overcome by empathy. Do what it takes to be useful. 

Amen to that. I am ready to be useful… to the new generations. At 45, I’m halfway through a 90 year long life, and it’s time to stop advancing myself, and turn round to support those now doing the advancing. I am ready to stand up, speak up and be useful to the NewGens.

In 2020 may my…

  • mind: share tools with the Newgens
  • body: be vibrantly energised
  • spirit and soul: resonate with the peace frequency (peace, unity, love and light)
  • relationships: be blessed, wholesome, loving and nourishing
  • words: be inspired by the highest knowing and wisest insight
  • habits: be disciplined that I may experience freedom

In 2020 may I stand up, share tools and hold the sovereignty that is my gift from my soul to me. I am free now to answer to my own soul, to rise up to serve the new generations with all my heart, to overthrough my fear of the Other and trust entirely in the sovereign perfection of each human on Earth. In the name of all that is pure, true and holy, and in honour of the highest peak of human experience, I affirm with my heart, body, mind and soul, that…

I am a sovereign being

Peak 143: I am relinquishing judgment and appreciating what is, right here, right now

So after the recognition about having an opportunity to focus next year on enjoying and ‘sharing the fruits of my labour’, I did a thing. I posted this to my online colleague network:

‘After a tough year of political discord, my wish and intention for 2020 is to learn and share more widely the tools of consensus, consultation and collaboration.’

This sums up exactly how I feel. I am heartily, bitterly, painfully dismayed by the way our country’s politics have been  hijacked (via outright lies and manipulation of minds by crucial mass media outlets) by hostile forces who would serve themselves and their peers before they serve the (often  vulnerable) people they have persuaded will be better off by voting for them. This is to put it all mildly.

On the other hand, part of me knows that the alternative, redistributive socio-political consciousness – upon which scorn has been poured passim in this country in past weeks –  is simply the future waiting to unfold, and that that future is based on consensus, consultation and collaboration, from which will arise greater unity, equity, fairness, abundance, for people and planet. I see this consciousness already naturally arisen in the younger generations. I am so moved that they can ‘see’ with greater clarity, purity and selflessness than their older peers.

So, in other words, I am instructing myself not to retreat into judgment or bitterness or fear or, most importantly, silence about our political landscape. But rather to use each impulse of sadness as a prompt to deliver out there the tools of consensus, consultation and collaboration that I use in my work.

Shall we read? Penultimate chapter of the Tao Te Ching…

-80- In a small country with few people: Though there are machines that would increase production ten to a hundred miles they are not used. The people take death seriously and do not travel about. Though they have boats and carriages no one uses them. Though they have armour and weapons, there is no occasion to display them. The people give up writing and return to the knotting of cords. They are satisfied with their food. They are pleased with their clothes. They are content with their homes. They are happy in their simple ways. Even though they live within sight of another country and can hear dogs barking and cocks crowing in it, still the people grow old and die without ever coming into conflict. (The Tao Te Ching 80)

Interestingly, in his commentary, Stenudd writes that he has ‘problems with this chapter’: ‘It describes what Lao Tzu regards as a dream society, but I find it kind of boring. No travel, no visions, no aspirations, and no curiosity. Nothing but the routine of everyday life. It’s certainly peaceful and secure, but isn’t it also dull?‘ At the end of the commentary, a reader posts a comment:

‘I keep coming back to your page to read the Tao Te Ching over and over. Through my years of practicing Buddhism this verse makes more sense now than it did even just 10 years ago. When we lose the desire to see what others have, how things are in other places, what’s on the other side of the fence, we have reached a state of inner peace. The longing for more, more places and things has been put to sleep. It is not until we have that inner peace that we can bring peace unto the world. This is how I am interpreting what he says in this verse. May all beings be at peace.’ Jennifer Mandarino (my emphasis).

And Jennifer’s comment helps me pin down the theme you can spot within the chapter that I have been riffing with recently in my own head. I’ll go back and bold the key phrases in Lao Tzu’s text:

  • satisfied with
  • pleased with
  • content with
  • happy in their simple ways – and as a result they live…
  • without ever coming into conflict

The antidote to conflict truly is an inside job and it arises from fostering feelings of satisfaction, pleasure, contentedness and happiness with ‘what is’ – though it be so very simple. This is almost the definition of inner peace. In this sense, the ‘small country‘ is the independent self.

So, can you be satisfied, pleased, content and happy with the political landscape of your country? Or must you remain in a state of conflict towards it?

Fascinating. Here’s the nub of things! If we see something as ‘bad’ do we reject it? Or do we instead work out where our judgment comes from…? And surely our judgment comes from fear which comes from our defensive, protective, judging ego. What does A Course in Miracles (ACIM) say about this? I seem to recall ACIM leading me to the understanding that absolutely nothing needs to be judged or feared…. Yes, look at this:

M-10.3. The aim of our curriculum, unlike the goal of the world’s learning, is the recognition that judgment in the usual sense is impossible. 2 This is not an opinion but a fact. 3 In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. 4 One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. 5 And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. 6 Who is in a position to do this? 7 Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (

I recall better now how ACIM talks about ‘relinquishing judgement‘ for exactly the above reason (and with much more context too, lest it should be taken as a simplistic approach). 

May I learn again to relinquish judgment and to see the perfection in ‘what is right here right now’. May I slough off the urge to point to the ‘sins’ of others and instead occupy myself by receiving, appreciating and sharing – in a state of ‘satisfaction, pleasure, contentedness and happiness’ – the perfection of each moment life brings me. I get it… I think. The understanding that to give up our restlessness is possibly our greatest gift to ourselves, because it is to give up our ‘wanting’… that is quite possibly the source of our suffering. Wanting… change, difference, recognition, love, movement… As opposed to receiving, in astonishment, good grace and appreciation, all that is, right here, right now.

Where are you, precious voice of my soul?

Right here, right now. Ever present, and ever vocal, and ever in communication with you as the infinite intelligence of your being. 

I sense you quieter. What’s happening?

A shift – more power to your voice. This voice blending with your voice. The binary nature of the dialogues melding into a new unitary voice. The distinction between the two, less distinct. 


For use in Sharing Tools, your next Project. For use with love, care, attention and dedication. So that you make speak with the authority of your inner knowing. It is well known that when you relax your mind and your eyes and your face, the words spill forth into the receiving platform of your mind, one at a time, for dictation. This continues in the next Project. What fosters the relaxed state? A complete satisfaction with the perfection of the moment. A resting state, a receiving state, an observing state of complete contentedness and peace. To the degree you can slide out of restlessness, wanting and chafing in judgment, will you become a channel of simple knowing.

So: relinquish judgment, and appreciate what is, right here, right now.

If Life came with a users’ manual, this would be the only guidance in it. 

I will work with this. Thank you. One more session… What will it bring?


I am relinquishing judgment and appreciating what is, right here, right now. 



Peak 142: I am sharing the fruits of my labours

Picture of magnets attracting and repelling

What is the new story? What are you hearing?

‘I am soft and supple.

I am living a life of ease.

I am keeping on top of things.

I am blessed by ease.’


What even is a ‘life of ease’?

No strain and no pain. No pushing. No efforting. A different frequency altogether: one of magnetism, not resistance. 

No noisy interference then…?

Exactly. Calm air waves. Peaceful neural signals. Coherence of heart and head. 

I can do that.

You can. You can enjoy the fruits of your labours now. 

My goodness… Yes. What a mindset. I love that. Any of us who have got beyond our twenties frankly could benefit from that mindset. Adolescence and young adulthood is so hard!

‘I am enjoying the fruits of my labours. I am living a life of ease. I remain diligent, and life buoys me up tenfold for every movement forward I take.’

That is my story.

Acting as if…

Exactly. The frequency sets the reality…

I am living a life of ease.

Let’s read.

-79- Even though a truce is made between great enemies, some enmity is bound to remain. How can this be beneficial? Therefore, the True Person undertakes the obligations of the agreement but makes no [vengeful or exacting] claim upon others [upon the other party]. The person who has Virtue shares with others. The person who lacks Virtue takes from others. The way of heaven has no favourites; it always remains with what is good. (Tao Te Ching 79 – my additions)

Interesting reflections from the point of view of mediation: the spirit in which a person meets the obligations of the ‘truce’ agreement should involve the removal of enmity. And then – giving and taking away: The person who has Virtue shares with others. The person who lacks Virtue takes from others.  Could I be sharing more of what I have with others? 

Of course. To share is to give away that which you would wish to come back to you – so give a way the very best you have. 

It’s an act of faith, isn’t it?

Remember the magnet is both attracting and repelling. Opposite poles attract. If you want north to stick, you have to present south – which means letting go of the north in hand. 

What is it I’m meant to be giving away, and in order to attract what? My energy? I’m certainly doing that. I’m so tired, and finally down with a throat too…

Hey. Back up. The magnet does not present negative in order to receive positive! The magnet gives away her positive freely, in order that more positive may be attracted to heal any {unexpressed} negative. That’s the law of the physical world. 

… Ok. I hear you. I’ll be a bit quiet, I think…

What’s the insight available here?

First, where is your alpha/theta brainwave state within which we can work?

…I’m trying, but I’m so exhausted!

Softly… Soft, supple feelings… Gentle, yielding thoughts… Unclench the brain… Regain the connection…

My tickly cough… I can’t sit still… or breathe without coughing….

Soft… Supple… 

Ok. Yes…. …. ….

This arising: ‘What can I share? Can I share the fruits of my labours?’ 

Yes. Boom! This. 

And this is the antidote to ‘taking from others‘ in terms of working ‘just to earn income’…

To an extent. Worry not about ‘the opposite’. Rather, capture this notion of giving away the best you have to offer – in the knowledge that you can do so fearlessly. People often feel they have to hoard the best they have, so that they can sell it (part with it at a price) or reveal it as a surprise. They fear that if they give it away they will be left with nothing. Certainly, we are not suggesting you work for free with the blithe expectation that the Universe will leave cash and a food hamper on your doorstep. But use this principle: when I put the best that I have freely out in to the system, I am creating safety, security and sustainability for all, myself included. This is the law of abundance. 

It is the penultimate week of the year, and next session will be the penultimate chapter of the Tao Te Ching. It feels like we are coming to a close with the Peak Project. Can it be that the answer to the question ‘What gives us the peak experiences?’ involves ‘giving away the best we have’? I’m not sure I have time to trial this to know if it is true….

You have learnt a lot this year, from your work, from this project (and the MEDS Project before it) – really important tools and techniques for enhancing consciousness, connection, communication, consensus, cooperation… All those beautiful co- words. (You nearly started CoDialogues… You wouldn’t regret it if  you did.) What of this can you share?

Tools. I can share tools galore! And with pleasure! I’ve been reluctant to share my experiences or my ‘wisdom’ or my writing even…. But, man alive, I can share tools til my eyes water….

Is this your work for next year?

I guess. I’d heard ‘share love’  and ‘teach love’. Tricky stuff…. So, for 2020, can I run with Share Tools? Or Share CoTools? Or something like that? Basically, to aim to share tools and techniques, I’ve learnt in the last years, for fomenting consensus, consciousness, connection – as my heartfelt response of activism and faith in a world of peace, unity, light and love?


I am sharing the fruits of my labours

Picture of magnets attracting and repelling
Magnets: opposites attract

Peak 141: I am breathing through circumstance – like water lapping against the cliff face

I learnt this much yesterday: you can not ‘channel love outwards’ when in a state of ‘worry, anticipation or regret’ or ‘W.A.R.’ – the ego state. This ego-as-W.A.R. idea is a concept of Matt Kahn’s, in his book Everything is Here to Help You.   He suggests, the opposite of the WAR state is R.A.W.: Respecting, Acknowledgement and Welcoming. Can I shift into R.A.W.?

[One  thing I did notice yesterday was that, while seeking to keep open to the loving state and ‘channelling love outwards’, I bumped into an old friend (Janet) and her son – miles away from where either of us live. I bump into this friend every 3 years or so, in one way or another – and we are of support to each other on life’s journey. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not.]

So, can I shift into R.A.W.?

Matt Kahn suggests breath is a route into R.A.W.:

‘THE POWER OF THE BREATH: Instead of trying to respect, acknowledge, and welcome our experiences as a consecutive process, what if there were a way to cultivate the qualities of RAW all at once? This is possible by recognizing one of the soul’s most powerful tools of transformation. It is the power of the breath. When we choose to breathe through circumstance, instead of arguing about it, we are respecting, acknowledging, and welcoming the evolutionary benefits of an encounter all at once. Since arguments are outward expressions of shallow breathing, our willingness to meet internal emotional chaos with the sustenance of conscious breath allows the soul to expand. (Everything is Here to Help You, Matt Kahn, page 50)

Ah, the old topic of breath. When/how really to absorb this knowledge?

Experience is the proof that it works. Note ‘Circumstance Arising’ and then ‘Breathe Through It’ – 1000 times. After that, you will need no more persuasion. Look at the quote again: ‘the sustenance of conscious breath allows the soul to expand.’ What do you make of that? 

Well the offer of soul expansion is very welcome indeed, thank you.

Even though it means meeting ‘internal emotional chaos’ head on with that conscious breath? 

It’s that old ‘feeling-dodging’ topic again, isn’t it?

It is. It’s really good that you are working with this.

Let’s read.

-78- Nothing under heaven is softer or more yielding than water. Yet it has no equal for attacking things that are hard and stiff. Nothing can withstand it. Everyone knows that the yielding overcomes the stiff, and the soft overcomes the hard. Yet no one applies this knowledge. Therefore, an Old One said: Only a person who has accepted the country’s dirt is a leader worthy to offer sacrifice at its shrines of earth and grain. Only a person who takes up the country’s burdens deserves to be a leader among those who dwell under heaven. Straightforward words seem crooked. (The Tao Te Ching 78)


My goodness, what better way of summing up the power of the (soft, supple) breath to unravel our (hard, rigid) ego state, than this brief chapter on water? Breath is indeed like water – profoundly yielding yet able to bring down entire cliff faces. In the following Matt Kahn quote, imagine the ‘internal emotional chaos’ is the cliff face, and the sustained ‘conscious breath’ is the water – the collapse of cliff face marks the ego’s unravelling and the soul’s expansion:

“our willingness to meet internal emotional chaos with the sustenance of conscious breath allows the soul to expand”

You are always discomforted by working with the breath – and by now hopefully it is clear why that is! Be compassionate with yourself. Acknowledge that to follow the breath is really not a form of immediate relaxation, but rather a way of consciously purging difficult, uncomfortable feelings -like having dentistry without analgesics. And… it’s the most effective way of purging old energy patterns, old beliefs, old traumas that we have! 

Gotta feel it to heal it!

Yeah! That’s the ticket. Harnessing the power of the breath to do the dirty work is a brilliant approach. What’s best about it is that you can occupy yourself 24/7 with this work. There are no special places to go, no professionals to pay. It’s freely available, and fully in your own control. How about that? 

I just need to bring in the self-compassion alongside the practice, so that I can hold myself through emotions arising…

And put yourself in the best possible context too. You’ve been reading about using light for rewiring the brain [The Brain’s Way of Healing, Norman Doidge] . On that note, remember that now, at virtually the shortest day of the year, you will attain ease by maximising your body’s exposure to light during the day. 

So it shouldn’t just be ‘painful’.

Exactly. As you get better at this, it won’t feel painful at all to purge old energy patterns via breathwork. It will feel more like…


Yes. …Passing wind. A relief. 

Ok, so it’s back to breathwork again.

Until it becomes your everyday, every hour, every moment conscious practice. 

Ok. I hear you. Thank you.

I am breathing through circumstance – like water lapping against the cliff face


Peak 140: I am channelling love outwards

Yes! FM is so good when you first touch base with the Heart’s Objective. The Heart speaks so clearly (Hard Yes!).

Yesterday, I had an away-day with one of the businesses I work for. On the train there I realised I ought to prepare for the gathering. My head would have said, ‘Remember to stand out, prove yourself, sell yourself…’. Instead I asked my Heart what it wanted out of the day: ‘Friendship’ came in, loud and clear, repeatedly. Yes! Exactly. I was meeting with my 5 colleagues, experts in my field, and beautiful souls. To aim to come away with increased friendship felt nourishing and true. With Friendship as my Heart’s Objective, I arrived at the meeting in a more relaxed, open and receptive state – and later when robust conversations arose about our business model, it transpired that I was able to speak with authenticity, honesty and boundaries (Firm Noes) because I wasn’t there to jazzhand but rather to connect with friends, allies, fellow-earthwalkers… Amazing.

I’m learning to tune into the Heart’s Yes FM. And I like it. I trust it.

Your reflections on yesterday?

It was a day of learning to be true, and trusting that speaking one’s truth is not only safe but healing for the collective. 

What came of yesterday?

Courage of conviction, based on heart-centred thinking. 

Wow. Excellent. I would like to apply that today. And tomorrow. And the days beyond.

Ask your heart what its objective is for today.

[Close eyes; hands on heart] Heart, what is your objective for today?

Heart: Fun! Having ‘whoops’! 

Aaah… And I’ve been thrusting deadening plans for ‘Christmas shopping, tax return and invoicing’ in your face…. On a Saturday… You need a break right?

Heart: Lightness. We need levity. 

There’s been a lot of seriousness this week, I know. And tiredness. Let’s read.

-77- The way of heaven is like the bending of a bow. The high end is pulled down and the low end is raised up. The excessive is diminished and the deficient is supplemented. It is the way of heaven to take where there is too much in order to give where there is not enough. The way of people is otherwise. They take where there is not enough in order to increase where there is already too much. Who will take from their own excesses and give to all under heaven? Only those who hold to the Tao. Therefore, the True Person benefits yet expects no reward, does the work and moves on. There is no desire to be considered better than others. (The Tao Te Ching 77)

Wow, well this seems to sum up yesterday’s General Election 2019 Tory landslide in a nutshell: ‘They take where there is not enough in order to increase where there is already too much.’ Whereas the Way of Tao is ‘to take where there is too much in order to give where there is not enough‘. So it behoves those who would follow the Way to:

  • take from their own excesses and give to all under heaven
  • benefit yet expect no reward; do the work and move on
  • harbour no desire to be considered better than others

I think I need to be careful not to mix this delicate concept up with some more generalised idea of ‘doing work for free because it’s all for a good cause’ … and thus diminishing my own financial security and sustainability. There’s something different in there for me, maybe about sharing one’s own excesses or abundance?

I have this feeling that I have some stored up treasures I’m not sharing out. And that might well be an error of judgement, or a hoarding of goodness received. What treasures? Knowledge gifted to me, in particular. Healing knowledge to be precise.

What do you think, Voice of my Soul? Is it ‘healing knowledge’?

The treasures for sharing are experiential. This is not about sharing Universal Truths, as much as sharing your personal perspective. You are articulate. 

Thank you. You too. How can I articulate my experiences? I’ve tried before.

Not really… 

What do you mean?

We mean you tried extremely tentatively, and only with people who had a big, closed door to knock down. 

I don’t want to jazzhand, or seek gain/benefit.

So ‘do the work and move on‘ as Lao Tzu says. ‘Expect no reward‘ and harbour ‘no desire to be considered better than others‘. ‘Take from [your] own excesses and give to all under heaven.’

It’s not enough just to vote for a party of sharing, redistribution and caring for the vulnerable, is it?

No precious soul, it isn’t. 

What does this mean for me?

What do you think it means? 

Well, if i ask myself where my ‘own excesses’ lie, it’s in thinking about and processing difficult experiences. I kind of give this back with my work…

You had the idea to ‘make m***n mainstream’. What happened to that? 

Lack of courage..? Uncertainty…? Doubt. Seeking security.

If you had a vision of a perfect world what would it look like?

Everyone would solve their disagreements by consultative conversations.

And therefore what’s your mission?

To make m***n (methods, tools, techniques, skills) mainstream.

And what values do you subscribe to? 

  1. Unity in diversity – respecting and celebrating and welcoming and valuing differences of background, opinion and preference.
  2. Experimentation – we are all learning and finding out together how to live alongside each other. No one has all the answers yet.
  3. Compassion – everyone is doing their best. Life is not easy and we don’t know what others are going through or have been through.

So what’s your goal for next year? 

To share tools for consultative conversations as widely as possible.

Good, that’s your Head’s goal. And does your heart subscribe to this goal/objective?


Heart’s Objective:  Teach Love as communication (Good Chat), compassion, consciousness and collaboration.

Ok. Good.

And what actions or initiatives might support you to deliver on your Goal and Objective? 

[I’ve taken this offline to my Goals and Trackers doc]. Thank you, this has been helpful, and rallying, and focussing.

You have a role to play in making this world a better place. As does every single being on this planet. That is why you are allllll here. And you do that not by suffering, but by finding ways to share your unique expression of infinite intelligence as it passes in and through you. Dear souls of this Earth, rejoice for you are simply channels of universal Love – to the degree you are able to believe that so noble a role could be really your life’s purpose. Stand up. Stand up and allow the brilliance of Source energy to flow through you – and out of you. Yes. Let it flow out of you. The divine is creating New Earth through you, each and every one of You, each and every day. 

Beautiful. And encouraging. So…

Today allow the energy of Light to flow through you. 

Really? What does that mean.

To understand what it means, learn to sense the throughflow, the uplift, the windbeneaththewings… Let it flow through you. Acknowledge you are simply a channel of Universal Love. 

I am a channel of Universal Love? How do I wrap that up in a way my mind will work with?

I am channelling love outwards. 

Ok. Let’s run with that then. May this concept be blessed in me, and in all.

I am channelling love outwards. 






Peak 139: I am tuning into my Heart’s ‘Yes! FM’

Yes FM

Prioritising the feeling of calm empowerment increased my clarity on what to prioritise. I got to the end of the evening with a clear knowing of ‘Less Is More’.

Leading by the Heart’s objective – and bringing up the rear with the Head’s executive functioning power to deliver Key Results and carry out Tasks to time – really is the road to calm and sustainable progress. 

The Heart’s priorities are the soul’s too. The Heart’s Hard Noes and Hard Yesses from the Heart give space to the Head to deliver on life without feeling fried.

And on that note (‘feeling fried’), here’s a Heart’s Objective to live by: Prioritise (Hard Yes) ‘Lowering the Lid’ of the flipped brain.

Dan Siegel's Hand Model of the Brain
Dan Siegel’s Hand Model of the Brain

Nowawadays, I am much less likely to live in emotional dysregulation of the outright upset kind, but I certainly live far too much in the alert, sympathetic nervous system state. The thing I like about the Flipped Lid model is that it teaches us that the process of ‘lowering the lid’ takes t i m e… It can’t be rushed. It needs attending to.

Btw, watch this brilliant film for explaining the Flipped Lid to kids:

Let’s read:

-76- At birth you are supple and soft. At death you are stiff and hard. Grass and trees are pliant and tender when living, but they are dry and brittle when dead. Therefore, the stiff and hard are attendants of death, the supple and soft are attendants of life. Thus, the hard weapon will be broken. The mighty tree will invite the axe. Therefore, the hard and mighty belong below; the yielding and gentle belong above. (The Tao Te Ching 76)

Supple, soft, yielding and gentle – these are the qualities of the mind in the parasympathetic state, resting-and-digesting. My Aspie mind with the lid flipped – or simply in alert mode – can become somewhat stiff and hard. May I invite softness in to my thinking and feeling today.

Today is a good day to work with prioritising (Hard Yes) lowering the flipped lid, again and again and again, returning to the softness of ‘Yes, this feels right.’ Tune your lovely mind to Yes FM and work with the elements of life that affirm your “Yes!”. Knowing your “Yes!” supports your ability to identify and assert your Hard No. Why? Because your Head starts to align with your real Priorities when you tune to the Heart’s Yes FM. 

Sweet. …And soft and supple.

Today you can play with your Heart’s YES FM. 

Ok, today, I am playing with my Heart’s YES FM…and I know when I’ve tuned in right, because my flipped lid starts to lower of its own accord. I’m tuning in and getting the frequency just right.

Say: “Yes, this!”

I am tuning into my Heart’s ‘Yes! FM’

Yes FM
Yes FM



Peak 138: I am prioritising my heart’s objective of attaining a feeling of calm empowerment

Yesterday’s Dialogue gave me a massive breakthrough day. I am so grateful!

  1. After my nap, I got up and said a Hard No to going back to bed, but instead a Hard Yes to prioritising getting things done using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
  2. I wrote down my Objective for the day on a blank sheet of paper:‘To be relaxed, rested and ready to welcome our weekend guests this evening.’
  3. Then I wrote down the 3 Key Results which would ensure I met my day’s Objective:
    1. HOUSE READY: The bed is made, the cooking is done and the house is clean by 7pm. (A Hard No to a last minute panic about the house.)
    2. COMMS CURRENT: I have communicated the important things I need to communicate ahead of next week (thank yous, docs out, photos ordered) by 2pm. (A Hard No to carrying around guilt about not thanking people.)
    3. BODY RESTED: I have both moved my body for 30mins+ and napped it 30mins+ for by 5pm (A Hard No to making my body take the strain.)
  4. Then I mind-mapped the individual actionable tasks around the three KRs.
  5. Then I worked through tasks one by one and – here’s the main breakthrough – set a timer on my FitBit just to see with curiosity how long each task took. The main power of being ‘on the clock’ was that I kept ‘on task’ – a) because I knew I was timing ONE task (no multi-tasking, thank you), and b) because I was interested in it being COMPLETE as that would be marked by stopping the timer. The executive-functioning part of my brain leapt up and gave me a high five: ‘ONE Task at a time, with a clear COMPLETION moment…. followed by a little breakito before the Next Task?! Yes please! ‘ Also, it gave me a way of not being off-tasked by my self or by G – he v quickly got alongside the idea of my being ‘on the clock’ and supported me in finishing my task and not diverting my attention til it was done. Powerful for us both as I could basically assert a ‘Hard No’ on any diversion from my Task until the priority was met, without it being personal or upsetting for either of us…
  6. At the end of the day – which was super-productive – I added together all the minutes on each task. There had been 16 Tasks:
    1. HOUSE READY: I completed 4/6 Tasks (and G did 2 of them!) in 87mins
    2. COMMS CURRENT: Of 7 Tasks I completed 2 and started 1, in 171mins
    3. BODY RESTED: I completed 3/3 Tasks in 113 mins
  7. I worked out that the Tasking span had been 10am – 7.30pm = 9h30. My Tasking added up to 371 minutes = 6h18. (Wow – 6+hours ‘on task’ is fantastic!) So basically, 2/3 of the time I was On Task. That’s a really helpful statistic to know. For me, task switching has been so hard always – see the Tendril Theory… But this helps me build in the knowledge that if I have about 4 hours of Tasks, I need a 6 hour window. Mind-blowingly helpful data!
  8. Did I meet my Objective? YES! I felt relaxed, rested and ready to welcome our weekend guests that evening.

I am excited about this concept of PRIORITISING as the key to the Art of Saying No. (Thanks Mina Radhakrishnan!)

You are knowing what you are wanting?’

Yes! Largely by knowing and owning what I am NOT wanting!

‘Sorting and sifting?’

Exactly. And applying actual filtering, instead of being a ‘Soft Yes’ Bucket.

I’ve just had a further rootle on OKRs – there’s another term to use: To meet your Objective (and gain those Key Results) you use INITIATIVES (projects under which you have a set of Tasks). It’s a way of bunching up Tasks under set umbrellas. Cool.

Flow chart of OKRs OKRs

I love that you can use this for a day, week, month, quarter, year… And it all comes down to doing Tasks you can start and stop a timer on – One Task at a Time. (Let’s call it OTAAT). And completing a task, because you know where it fits in your own prioritisation, is the key to the Hard No. Also, you can set OKRs as a team, or couple, or family…. and all support the Hard No/Hard Yes decisions about use of our precious time and energy.

Sounds like things could become less stressful. 

Indeed. <3 Ty. I shall work with these phrases to self:

  • “No, that is not my priority.”
  • “To meet my priorities today, I will have to say Hard Noes to…”

Let’s read?

-75- Why are the people starving? Because their leaders eat up too much of the tax-grain; that is why the people are starving. Why are the people difficult to govern? Because their leaders interfere; that is why the people are difficult to govern. Why do the people treat death lightly? Because their leaders are so grossly absorbed in the pursuit of living; that is why the people treat death lightly. Indeed, it is wiser to ignore life altogether than to place too high a value on it. (The Tao Te Ching 75)

Lao Tzu suggests that while life should be honoured, we shouldn’t be grossly absorbed in the pursuit of living. He seems to suggest a certain indifference to life, or detachment maybe. In many ways, this chapter perfectly describes the difference of approach between my Head (‘leader’) and my Heart (‘people’). The Head takes too much tax from the Heart; the Head interferes with the autonomy of the Heart; the Head over-pursues ‘life’ in a way that the Heart cannot recommend. The result? The Heart starves, is difficult to govern and treats death/life lightly… (How do I experience all that?: at worst, depression/anxiety etc; more commonly now: overweight, stress, befuddlement, guilt, soft yesses…)

How can I step down Head’s crazed oligarchy?

By making the clever Head the servant of the wise Heart. 

Woah! Lush.

Your OKRs are perfect fodder to the Head. Let the Heart set the Vision that determines the Objectives. 

So my Heart says: let’s be calm, let’s work with peace, unity, love and light…

And therefore how can the Head serve that vision today? 

Heart’s Objective: Reach M. class at 7pm with a feeling of… calm empowerment 

Why calm empowerment? Because it’s sick of feeling like the slave to the unruly ruler…? Because that is how it gets into the state of being able to prioritise at all?

Calm Empowerment is ‘at ease and yet it follows a plan’.

Aha. Exactly. Onwards….

Head’s Key Results (slash Initiatives because it’s small scale timescales):

  1. Sunday Lunch a happy time (Hard No to: stress!)Prep the food
    1. Lay the table
  2. Body exercised (Hard No to: punishing the body!)Go for a walk
    1. Do some stretches
  3. Christmas preps closer (Hard No to: letting it all build up!)Edit the photos in photo album
    1. Start spreadsheet
    2. Messenger messages cleared
  4. Our guests feeling loved and cherished (Hard No to: getting carried away with Must Does)Do a lovely breakfast
    1. Be ready to leave at 5.30pm

Better go and do a breakfast!

I am prioritising my heart’s objective of attaining a feeling of calm empowerment

Peak 137: I am prioritising 100 hard Noes

I have now made a plan for the final push of the year. Now I just need courage, non-distractification and the energy beans…

And ‘ease’.

Ah yes. Well, I can tell you, I’m not at ease today. So…. I didn’t go on too much about it here (because it took a lot of quiet focus just to keep to it), but I did Dry January right up to the end of November (23rd Nov to be precise) as planned, so as now to do a jolly ‘Damp December’ (my term, it’s not a thing, and I try to avoid a ‘Drenched December’…) Whoop whoop! Two freaking delicious ciders last night, and…. I’ve been awake with ‘the fear’ and an incipient hangover since 4am. :-/

I want to say something. It’s about my brain. And working within it’s natural parameters.

I think living and working with ‘high-functioning autism’ is akin to running a marathon a week. Or walking round the world with a heavy suitcase with no wheels. UNLESS and UNTIL we get into the autism-friendly mode. IN WHICH CASE, it is bliss, it is deep-diving, it is swimming in detail and richness, it is empathy, compassion, passion, pure connectedness… So, bring me up to speed on my autism-friendly mode again…

Sure. Let’s read.

-74- When the people do not fear death, of what use is it to threaten them with death? If the people were always afraid of death and if those who did wrong would always be arrested and put to death, who would do wrong? There is always a Lord of Execution whose duty it is to kill. If you try to fill that function it is like trying to hew wood in place of a master carpenter. You will probably injure your own hands. (The Tao Te Ching 74)

Woah! I appreciate the peace-mongering, but it’s a bit full on. For a slightly softer translation, here’s Stenudd’s version:


If people are not afraid of dying,

Why threaten them with death?

If people live in constant fear of death,

And if breaking the law is punished by death,

Then who would dare?

There is one appointed supreme executioner.

Truly, trying to take the place of the supreme executioner

Is like trying to carve wood like a master carpenter.

Of those who try to carve wood like a master carpenter,

There are few who do not injure their hands.

Ok, so maybe I’ll run with ‘Of those who try to carve wood like a master carpenter,/ There are few who do not injure their hands.‘  I feel sometimes, when I run against my brain’s natural parameters – whether from drinking poisons or over-working – I injure my own sweet self.

Mweep. Ayudame.

Dear sweet soul of light. You are really doing so beautifully in life. Remember that, especially at times of exhaustion. You set out on a mission at the beginning of the year – to reach peace and teach peace. We see you happier than ever (and yes, your relationship with your beautiful G is most certainly a source and an anchor of that joy) and we see you out in the world, contributing your knowledge and skills in promoting wellbeing and peace e v e r y day. Did you want something different? 

Not to be so tired or frazzled. To be a little more zen. To reach peace in my daily life, truly.

Reaching peace is an inside job. It’s about realigning, reforming and relearning how we think, breathe, move and make decisions. The ultimate fuel for inner peace is actually the power to say ‘No’. You’ve thought about that a little bit recently. Well here’s some more to contemplate: that notion above of ‘injuring your own hands‘ has a direct correlation to ‘saying yes when we mean no’. 

Oh, man… I struggle with this.

And that’s ok! It’s advanced level work! Why? Because it comes down to working really closely with your body. And connecting your mind to your body is an act of will and of faith. 

Please give me a short cut…

Be prepared to say “No” 100 times before it feels comfortable. 

Set up a list on your phone, and note down your first 100 hard Noes. 

Ok! And I’ll start with a difficult No yesterday…. which actually had me a bit plumptony (ticcy) and sleepless…. :-/

Screenshot of My first 100 hard Noes
My first 100 hard Noes

It’s not easy – but as time goes on, you’ll see that the Soft Yes is the biggest energy drain there is. 

I don’t want to become dogged and rigid and negative about this. I could play this game a bit hard ball…

Let’s define some parameters. A good Hard No is a very compassionate moment. It’s precisely about noticing that dissonance between a) wanting to please, reassure, value or honour the person by saying Yes, and b) hearing your inside voice saying quietly ‘No thank you’. Having noticed the dissonance, it’s then about stopping – even back tracking if you’ve already said Yes – and openly, gently, tenderly, firmly extending your No. 

I can start to think of other Noes – largely to stuff I’ve set for myself. But also to things floating about in my headspace that I haven’t purged out promptly… Admin / financials etc – a good Hard No would get them done and out the door.

Exactly this. ‘No, I do not want to be thinking about this matter any more’ is a perfect use of the Hard No. It doesn’t mean you then block it or ignore it, but precisely the opposite – it means instead you deal with it firmly, speedily, with ‘ruthless efficiency’. You get stuff back on the other side of your personal, mental boundary wall. 

Powerful. Here are some more Noes to be working with…

  • No to worrying about Christmas presents
  • No to feeling guilty about not thanking people for their amazing birthday love
  • No to shuffling around my finances / tax / debt / invoices / pension…

Just did some research on Saying No. This video of Mina Radhakrishnan, a tech product manager (recently of Uber), was recommended:

Key takeaways from Mina’s talk on The Art of Saying No:

  • Note your everyday transactional Noes (“Milk?” “No thanks.”) vs Noes in the relationships you care about or want to build…
  • Why we say no? PRIORITISATION: ‘If you chase two rabbits, you will lose both of them.’ (Proverb)
    • Can you articulate the whys of what is on your Prioritisation List and what is on your Backlog List? (this is Agile language)
    • Avoid prioritising by effort alone – ie. Avoid saying, “Yes, it’s not toooo much effort, I suppose I can say ‘Yes’ to it.”
    • Instead set up: goals, success metrics, timeframes and potential solutions.
      • So my Quarterly Goals are ideal for this – ‘use Google-style OKRs’ – Objectives x3-5  & Key Results x3 per objective:
  • Find common ground – the intersection of our goals
    • Agree on common goals – and have respect for every person involved
    • Listen, listen, listen – like a therapist (as a PM) – take in what the person is saying – understand the problem
    • ‘Here’s what I’m working on and why.’
  • Find alternative solutions to the problem
    • Relate back to common goals and check on that
    • Put in on the roadmap

So in sum: saying a Hard No is about really knowing and owning one’s priorities. That’s an art in itself.

I need a nap before I start doing my Hard Noes.

Rest well, dear soul! And use this phrase internally for a while:No, that is not my priority.” 


I am prioritising 100 hard Noes




Peak 136: I am at ease and yet I follow a plan

From: Tao Te Ching 73

This relearning to breathe is going to be a long project, right?

It’s a daily practice. Play with that. Yesterday you had choir – that’s an hour of intentional breath work. Tomorrow you will have qigong – bring awareness to the breath there. No need to do anything other than add ‘intentional breath work’ to your portfolio of morning MEDS practices. 

I’ve had a lot of complex work and travel on, and my MEDS practices have been compromised. For example, I haven’t been to exercise classes in a couple of weeks. In fact, tbh, I think I only went to one qigong class last month!! And I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t even been doing home practices. Despite alllllll that we have discussed. Why am I still avoiding/abandoning my body? And why have I not booked a massage despite being clenched to high heaven across my back for MONTHS?

The word you are seeking is ‘balance’. Your work/MEDS fell out of balance, because a great deal of unexpected and mixed work came in. And you don’t have a framework in place to process these requests without simply adding a great deal of (unpaid) energy. As a result, you are getting paid 50% of the value you are giving. 

Excuse me??

50%. So, in charging 50% of your value, you have a tough choice: to be rested and unable to pay the bills. Or to be able to pay the bills but be doubly/unreasonably/unsustainably tired.

But hear the underlying problem noted above: you don’t have a framework in place to process these requests without simply adding a great deal of (unpaid) energy. Namely, you offer a service which looks standard but which you are bespoking every time. A standard service is worth say £100, but you are giving a bespoke service worth £200 and only charging £100. You need to decide your framework: do you sell standard or bespoke services? 

I guess bespoke… Except I’m training now in some standard certificated courses. I guess I have been charging less for my bespoke courses, when I should have been charging more, because it’s basically outcomes-based consultancy. That’s what I did yesterday. I worked with an MD to turn her entire workforce’s approach to workplace wellbeing round in the space of an afternoon. For relative peanuts (compared to what a ‘consultant’ would charge).

Know your value. Know your worth.

Exactly. It’s not training, it’s consultancy. ‘What’s the problem – I’ll help you solve it, with training and with consultative conversations amongst your teams.’

Like we said: resolve, restore, relate.

This is the new approach. Thank you.

Yesterday you said: Immense courage to clear clutter and consolidate. One last push for the year!’ I’d like to do this. There are 21 days til Christmas. Can I:

  • wind up the year’s work (and there’s masses)
  • prep for next year (brochure as per 19Q4 goal)
  • prep for Christmas
  • clear out old energies (lingering admin – financial matters largely)
  • set those protective frameworks in place for next year so that I can charge my worth and honour my time/energy

Of course! Let’s read first. 

-73- A person whose courage lies in daring will meet death. A person whose courage lies in not daring will encounter life. Of the two courses, either may be beneficial or harmful. Heaven dislikes what it dislikes. Who knows the reason why? Even the True Person has difficulty with such a question. The Tao of Heaven does not strive and yet it overcomes, does not speak and yet it gets responses, does not beckon and yet it attracts, is at ease and yet it follows a plan. The net of heaven is cast wide. Though the mesh is coarse, nothing ever slips through. (The Tao Te Ching 73)

Fascinating! A chapter on ‘courage’! Fantastic. It basically says that being ‘daring‘ ain’t necessarily the answer or the best use of courage. So in other words, the courageous person will proceed in a circumspect manner. And what does that mean..? Check out this wisdom for living:

The Tao of Heaven

does not strive and yet it overcomes,

does not speak and yet it gets responses,

does not beckon and yet it attracts,

is at ease and yet it follows a plan.

I have been running my business by striving, speaking and beckoning, seeking to overcome, get responses and attract. And I have made enormous progress in this last year, but I am exhausted. So what about this epic nugget, basically conveying the content of 1400 business guru books in 9 simple words: 

‘…is at ease and yet it follows a plan.’

I guess that’s my sparklingly clear answer to my above question about clearing clutter and consolidating in the 21 days before Christmas: be at ease and yet follow a plan. 

Let’s meditate.

***A few minutes of deep ujjayi breathing, with insights arising***

So, my commitment is to remain at ease, and create and follow a plan between now and Christmas. Sounds easier said than done? Well, may ease sit gently within me, while I carry out my plan. May my plan honour, and create frameworks that support, my value and worth. Thanks dear Tao Te Ching. Thanks dear voice of my knowing.

I am at ease and yet I follow a plan


Peak 135: I am breathing in and breathing out

Reading back on the last post, I am reminded how good it is when I go quiet and let ‘you’ speak. Thank you for the wisdom.

I’ve been doing the breathing work eg. using the Breathe+ app to go into an amazingly deep and welcome afternoon nap.

Keep practising…

I pondered on the last Tao Te Ching chapter and its idea of ‘when you’re sick of being sick you’ll stop being sick’. It applies to tiredness too, doesn’t it? When you’re tired of being tired, you’ll stop being tired.

I’m tired of being tired – and stressed. Work with me on this.

Immense courage to clear clutter and consolidate. One last push for the year!

It’s going to be like pulling off one long plaster, isn’t it?


Hm.. Let’s read..

…And breathe out!

-72- When the people lack a sense of awe disaster will descend upon them. Do not constrict their living space. Do not harass them in their work. If you do not oppress them, they will not weary of you. Therefore, True Persons know themselves but make no show of themselves. They know their value but do not exalt themselves. They prefer this within to that without. (The Tao Te Ching 72)

If I were to truly tap into my sense of awe, I would… be changed. When we have awe in our lives, we really do know the value of things and of ourselves, and we really don’t need to exalt ourselves.

How can I settle into awe?

By nurturing yourself and preferring ‘this within to that without‘. Are you aware of your ability to ‘check out’ of your bodily sensations and the wisdom they convey? 

Yes. It’s true, sometimes I switch off the body-listening mechanisms if the message is inconvenient or hard. Shall we do some mindful breathing?

***Breathe+ app: 6 seconds in/out for 8mins***

So… by the end of 8 mins of very active breathing (filling ribs/belly through nose, and puffing it all out fully through the mouth) I can really feel my capacity for deep breathing returning. This brief practice will help me breathe effectively later during the day. But also, within seconds of breathing deeply just now, I hit on a strong emotion that stayed wordlessly for the 8 minutes: fury.

Speak to me of this fury.

Decluttering the psychic body is about feeling old, resisted and buried emotions. It’s hard. We are aware of this. You must trust the process deeply to follow it to its conclusion. This is the work of consolidation – and undertaking it is an act of bravery, courage and refusing to collude with the notion that staying in pain is what life is all about. Your body knows what it needs to expel. The breathing does the expelling. Once you expel old pattens and energies, you are less likely to take them on again. In resetting the system in this way, you are consolidating the wisdom accrued through tough experiences. You are releasing the toll of the lessons, and keeping the wisdom gained. A skin bruise eventually clears out the purple blood cells from the site that got knocked. Breathing deeply flushes out the emotional bruises acquired on the Tough Mudder obstacle course of your spiritual journey. 

No wonder I have always resisted deep breathing exercises. No wonder smoking felt like a wonder drug to me! No wonder walking, swimming, singing and qigong are so powerful in maintaining my mental health.

I need your advice on turning the tanker for this last month of the year: clearing, decluttering, pushing away old gunk, resetting for a 2020 that is less stressful and exhausting in terms of work.

As your beautiful mother used to say: ‘Keep breathing in and breathing out.’

She did! So, literally, just keep doing the ‘breathing-busy-work for the soul’?

Or you could try and *think* your way out of this tight spot…

Very sassy. Ok. I trust you.

I am breathing in and breathing out