Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time to Rest

Today is the end of the second week for me in the UK. It has been a busy week with lots of travel, meetings and work. Now it's time to rest a bit and prepare for next week. Rest is an important part of the cycle and I'm definitely feeling the need right now to take it a bit easy after traveling up and down the country by train. This in itself wouldn't be too bad but I carry all my stuff with me as I go. I'm making a mental note to myself: must travel lighter.

This seems to be the story of my travel existence. I love to travel and love to have all my most important things with me; like books, camera, phones, computer and my comfy crocs. It all seems reasonable while I'm packing and considering what I need and what I don't need. Yet, when I'm hauling this stuff up and down the stairs of the train stations and tube stations, it does all seem a bit silly.

Do I really need all these books? Have I taken many pictures lately? Can I live without my computer? Sadly, the answer to all these questions is no, no and no! It is a fact of my life that I don't seem able to let go of my main sources of expression and communication. I love my books for the moments when I need some inspiration or new ideas to consider. The camera is for capturing special moments that I want to remember. The computer, well the computer is my lifeline. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Yet, this time of rest is asking me to forgo all of these and to just be. Let it all go – it's the end of the week and it's time to digest and then release in preparation for another week.

My work as a trainer is quite interesting in that regard as well. I see different people in every programme that I lead. After each course, the delegates rate me on a scale of 1-4 – 1- being excellent and 4 being poor. My ratings are always pretty good – nothing to complain about – but I'm aware that each course I lead is a fresh opportunity for me and the delegates. I don't get to rest on my laurels and say, hey, you should have seen me last week, I was really good – but ah, sorry about this week.

That isn't how it works in my world. In my world, I am creating it newly every time I step into a training room. I'm new and so are the delegates. A fresh opportunity to have a completely different experience and to embrace what life is offering right now.

And right now, it's time to rest.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Time out with Friends in Sheffield

Arrived last night in Sheffield and immediately felt myself relax and move into the energy of the north. The great north south divide lives inside of me; a father from the south and a mother from the north. I sometimes feel the push pull and yet, I always enjoy being in both places and for completely different reasons.

I was working in the London area Thursday and then took the train to Kings Cross St. Pancras for dinner and then the train to Sheffield. The contrast could not be more extreme. Dinner at Carluccio's in St. Pancras station was a lovely treat and the atmosphere was lively and full of people on the go. It is difficult not to completely love London at St. Pancras; the station where Harry Potter goes through the wall to get to the train to get to Hogwart. All magical and fantastic adventures start here.

I felt a little like Harry Potter last night getting on the train for Sheffield and being greeted by my friend at the end of the line. Sheffield is one of the places that defies the stereotype. When you mention Sheffield most people immediately think of either cutlery or 'The Full Monty.' For me, Sheffield is a place where I feel completely at home and totally welcomed.

I think it must be my northern roots (perhaps only British readers can understand this) but the part of me that is a northerner and happy about it, rests very comfortably in the warmth of the embrace.

This weekend my two friends and I will connect through meditation, Reiki and of course a few glasses of wine and a hot tub. We are blessed to have a friend who has the amazing good sense to have a house with an indoor pool, sauna and an outdoor hot tub. It is a home that is just made for relaxing, fun and healing and I feel totally blessed to be here.

Our connection is a real 'soul mate' connection and we often discuss how fortunate we are to have our friendship and also to have these opportunities to meet up and spend this time together. This particular occasion almost didn't happen. I was a bit on the fence until my friend said that her uncle (who is more like a brother) has cancer and she thought it might be good if we could give him a treatment.

For me, that was the sign that I needed to make the trip. It is never a hardship but I am aware that when I am on a bit of a time and money budget, certain decisions need to go through the filter and meet more than one criteria. Our friendship is important but more important is the healing power that the three of us know we have when we focus our energy and our intention.

Soul friends are the most healing friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back in the UK

I landed in the UK this morning and haven't slept much at all. Too buzzy from the trip and the caffeine that I rather foolishly drank when I arrived. It seemed like a good idea but now I just feel very tired and incapable of sleeping.

The funny thing with being back in the UK is that when I arrive, I don't feel like a visitor at all, it all feels so very normal. On the train at Gatwick to East Croydon and following a routine that is so familiar and so comfortable, it's kind of odd. I haven't lived here for 3 ½ years and yet, I feel like I do still live here.

Just had a chat with my friend in Sheffield; planning to see her and another friend this weekend. We saw each other in the summer as well and when we talk, we pick up from where we left off without missing a beat. It is these relationships and my complete confidence and comfort in these friendships that helps me to feel so totally at home here.

I feel very fortunate and truly blessed to be able to make this trip and to continue to do work over here. I love the training work that I do in the UK, it is always a bit of a challenge (which I like) but mostly it is fun and rewarding.

Having time with my son and his new bride is also a particular joy for me. They have moved into their new digs – free of all the bachelor energy that practically oozed out of the previous flat – and the d├ęcor bears the stamp of their combined decision making. No longer a home for wayward young men; it is now the residence of a married couple.

All these changes and events have gone on while I was away having my life in Canada. Now I am here, having my life in the UK; catching up with the news and picking up on where the wind is blowing this time around. For now, the wind is just blowing and the rain is coming down on what is described in the papers as 'the most depressing day of the year.' Well, it may be for some people but not for me.

Today, I arrived back home and I'm happy to be here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Just for today, do not worry

Week 2 of the New Year and funnily enough, it's time to let go already. Let go of last week, let go of last year, let go of how I think life ought to be right now. Thinking of the Reiki Precepts and focused on the first one - Just for Today, Do Not Worry.

Taught my first Reiki Level 1 class in a very long time this past weekend and it was wonderful connecting with the energy of Reiki. Reiki = Universal Life Force Energy. A magical and wonderful energy – well hey, it is 'the' energy that runs through every living being – including the stars, the sun, the moon and every planet in the universe.

On the one hand – such a very simple and basic practice – and yet, it is magic in motion and very hard to define and explain. I spent the weekend trying to both keep it simple and also to express how amazing and profound the energy of Reiki is.

Which leads me to today – creating a new week and opening up to the infinite possibilities of what can be manifest. In order to do this, I need to let go of the past and all the limitations that I have imposed on myself.

Letting go requires a lot of awareness and with all honesty, a lot of courage and guts. I think sometimes, I underestimate how tough it is to do this. Some things are easier said than done; letting go is one of those things.

So what I'm going to do is let go and I'm not going to worry if I'm doing it right or doing it at all. Just for today, I'm going to be accepting and gentle with myself as I let go of the past and let go of all my very imperfect ways of being in the world.

And – just for today, I'm not going to worry.

Friday, January 7, 2011

What are you attracting in 2011?

Week one of the New Year is just finishing up and my question is – what are you attracting? If we think of ourselves as little magnets that go out in the world and bring to ourselves those things that we most desire – then what we have is what we desire, right?

We can only really attract into our life that which we believe with all our hearts that we desire and deserve and if we aren't creating what we want then we are likely creating and attracting what we think we deserve.

Maybe the magnet needs a bit of buffing. Clearing away the debris and the clutter can be a needful thing. The clutter starts in our mind and then moves to other parts of our being where it hits our magnet and starts to make things a bit fuzzy. Without a clear intention that starts in our heart, moves to our head and then rests firmly in our gut, we are unlikely to attract what we desire.

This week has been a week full of useful activity; joyful walks in the snow, meetings with interesting people and having lots of fun. It has also been a great week of moving all my intentions for the year forward. What I have noticed is that it has been very clear for me what my priorities are and therefore what I have made important and focused on.

This weekend I am teaching the first Reiki class for many years. I didn't intentionally stop teaching Reiki; it just never really came up as a priority. I love Reiki and use it on myself and my family all the time. I always consider it a huge honour to teach a class and when they emerge, it is a gift.

For me this is a lovely way to end a week that has been full and exciting. It also happens to be my son's 31st birthday today. How appropriate to be sitting in a Reiki circle with this beautiful energy 31 years after my life was changed for ever by the gift that is my son.

Attracting such gifts is a fine start to 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Soul Speak

The first day back after New Years and things are starting off with a bang. After the solstice lunar eclipse on the full moon two weeks ago; we now have a solar eclipse for the new moon and the New Year. Auspicious, timely and a truly positive kick up the backside to get on with it and make 2011 the best year of your life.

If that is the case, why did I call this particular blog 'Soul Speak?' Good question and the answer is because it is through listening to the quiet voice of our soul that we will receive the direction and guidance that we need to hear in order to best use this cosmic smack.

For most of us, myself included, the voice of the ego is the loudest voice that we listen to in our head. The voice of the ego says 'go on, get out there, make a difference, be big, be bold, be seen and most of all be fearless.' This voice, however, doesn't have a clue about what that might look like and also, how to do it.

It is the little voice of your soul that is the wiser voice; the voice that understands that small steps taken consistently towards a vision is more likely to happen than big steps taken in a random and inconsistent manner.

Slowing down, letting go and becoming still is the key to hearing the quiet voice. This is the voice of your soul; this is the voice that knows what you need to make this year the very best year that it can possibly be. You may be surprised by what it has to say; it may not be 'big, bold and fabulous' it may be all about 'small, curious and patient.'

If we have spent a lifetime ignoring the stillness of a quiet murmur from within we can't expect the voice to have strength or power at the first signal that we are paying attention. The way to coax it out and give it strength is by listening. Listening is emotional oxygen and there is nothing that needs it more than our own soul.

Soul speak – the language of 2011.