Life Laundry

Taking a break from writing my book to stick my head and see what is going on in the world.

Masai Mara National Reserve, KenyaEarth Hour was the best yet and I think we should all be grateful to the WWF for all their efforts.  These type of events are important especially as world leaders can get quite wrapped up in their own nation’s concerns.  Earth Hour reminds us that we all part of a global village and therefore we share responsibilities for ourselves as well as future generations.  Thank you so much to all of you for getting involved and sending a vital message.  Let us now hope that it has been heard.

It is that time of year when I feel the need to purge a few things.  I have a nasty habit of over-complicating life but as I get older I am getting better at spotting it earlier and doing something about it.  One of the focal points of my purge this year has been deeply personal and it involves friendships.  I like to think that I value all my friends and, if I am truly honest, I like to think I am valued back as I work hard at my friendships.  Buddhism and I tend to part company just a little bit when it comes to their beliefs on attachment as I have lots of very valuable attachments.  That said, I felt it was time to look at my friends and, more importantly, my communication with them.  I have a relatively high involvement with facebook and, in the main, this services my work commitments.  I had already noticed that I had stopped posting so much on my personal page and my ideal would have been to maintain my professional pages but delete my personal page.  That was not possible but I got round that by limiting my privacy settings on my personal page so that only I can see it in any detail.  I can not tell you how good that felt.

If I see one more person hiding behind a pretty photo with sentimental words I was going to explode.  From time to time I post one that I think has a strong resonance with where I am but some people post them all the time and they are getting more and more sentimental.  The problem I have is they are not real.  They are not based in reality and they are far too aspirational.  I prefer to be grounded in the moment while allowing my actions to speak my language.  I am over insincerity in a big way now and this is where I was with some of my friends.  I have and always will base my interpretations of people on what they say (or don’t say) and how they behave.  Facebook takes us away from that and you get this whole pretence thing going on when people are spending all their time trying to convince others of what a good person they are.  I suspect they are trying to convince themselves as well.  I am not always a good person.  Sometimes I let myself down but what I am is ‘real. ‘

wild challenge 2 007So, it was with some significant pleasure that I made the long overdue changes to facebook and I already feel cleansed.  For those friends who have let me and themselves down lately I need not spend anymore time on.  This is where Buddhism and I come together again.  If we have done all we can for someone and they continue to behave poorly towards us we should set them in a little boat and let them drift away.  I have done that today and drawn a very important line.  It is now time to move forward.  I have a very dear friend who has deleted his facebook account entirely and he called it life laundry.  Love that.

So with a more cleansed mind I managed a fairly long meditation today using a blue colour wash to rid my mind of pockets of negativity that had been building up.  I have been studying colour therapy for many years and I am completely convinced if its merit.  As a discipline it moves into areas that I am less sure about but the essence is, I feel, spot on.  Colour places a massive role in our lives and we make intuitive decisions based on the influence of colour.

colour therapyI have always been drawn to violet or purple and it defines me well as someone who is in touch with their spirituality and also slightly obsessed with self respect and high standards of behaviour.  When I behave badly no one needs to nudge me to apologise and put it right.  I can feel it deep in my soul and therefore have to act and quickly.  In recent years I have been very drawn to turquoise which is on the blue spectrum and I think this has developed as a result of years of meditation where we use blue to help us seek clarity.  As I approach 50 I do feel a much stronger sense of clarity and I think my spring cleansings are getting deeper as a result.

At the back end of last week I was thrilled to have a serious breakthrough in the planning of what was an emerging portfolio of e-courses.  Let’s just say it had been emerging for some time….  However, it has emerged and I now have the full portfolio available via my e-courses page and I am quietly satisfied with the outcomes.  Having recently finished studying journal therapy I have combined that with art journaling and the physical journal to offer both a taster e-workshop and a full e-course in Intuitive Journaling.  This brings together so much of the past 20 years into one place.  Intuitive journaling is a critical life skill as it aids the pursuit of clarity and contentment in life.  It is a skill that can be learnt and  I also think it lends itself particularly well to e-courses.  I am going to offer the taster e-workshop free so that people can give it a try and see what they think.  I will be scheduling that soon and then repeating it as often as possible.

eyesSome years ago I worked in a university teaching performing arts with a personal background in dance and choreography.  We invented the physical journal as a term that the teaching team understood and felt able to pass to their students.  I find myself in a position of revisiting this work as part of my Intuitive Journaling courses.  But it also reminded of a joint programme I taught called Place, Space and  Identity.  After some rooting under my bed I found the original document and found it easy to translate  it from a performing arts genre into a writing and meditating domain.  I actually think its suits its new domain better and I am incredibly excited about offering this particular course.

Place, space and identity focuses on how place and space affect and help shape identity.  It considers the place of identity in knowing and understanding who we are and our unique contribution to the world.  It deals with memoir and legacy but also mapping skills into the future.  I have decided that the best way to deliver this course is intensively so it is  built round two intensive retreat weekends in our own spaces.  Removing ourselves from others and the outside world for two weekends (separated by four weeks) gives us the chance to tackle this quite challenging issue.  People with some experience in meditation and/or personal writing will be well placed to take this course and I have every confidence that some new and very solid thinking will emerge.  I am always very happy to chat over suitability of courses do get in touch if you would like a chat.

With the cornerstones of my portfolio locked down now I feel I am truly offering a unique portfolio of courses that I believe to be life -affirming and, quite possibly, life changing.  The current students on my Meditation through Writing course have all made incredibly positive starts and I am learning to appreciate the joy of e-delivery as an effective way for people to make sense of their studies in their own way while also feeling supported.  This balance is vital. 

800px-Sweet-pea-flowerIn June I get to deliver my brand new e-course ‘Flowers would like a word please’ which is so liberating.  I have grown and worked with flowers all my adult life and  they are my first love beyond my family and dear friends.  I would be lost without flowers and this is my chance to share an intimate and truly inspirational journey with flowers.  Then, come October, I get to release my ‘alternative Christmas’ and I will be bubbling over with excitement.  Christmas has begun to disappoint me as it has drifted so far from what I believe to be its essence.  As a Buddhist I can not peg it onto a religious occasion but it is, nevertheless, a time for family and friends and a time for mid winter peace and calm.  I studied two courses last year that both touched on different Christmas traditions and have used those to release all my growing feelings of discontentment with the holiday and replace this thinking with alternative and humbling activities that remind us about the potential of this seasonal holiday.  If either of these courses appeal do get in touch.

rewilding challenge 9 033

Drawing down the balance offered by the Spring Equinox and the understanding that came with Earth Hour I am truly refreshed and in better shape than ever.   I think of the season and the year as a symphony of experiences that speak to us in clearly defined and uplifting ways. Let the music begin. 

If you are interested in any of my courses bookings are now open – please complete the form and I will get back to you asap.  Many thanks

Speak very soon. xx



2 thoughts on “Life Laundry

  1. I agree with you about facebook and social networking sites. I wrote a blog post a few months back about extending mindfulness throughout your day and the internet was one of the key areas I identified as not always fostering mindfulness. We increasingly live in a society where you can construct an image of yourself and choose how you present yourself to people. I worry that this is resulting in a serious breakdown in our ability to relate to people.

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