Journal 28th June 2016

Lotus Flower

Well I’ve been up and down recently. I’ve been a bit low for the last few weeks. I’m unsure why that is. Maybe it’s due to me reducing my dose of anti-depressants. Part of me thinks that I should increase my dose again. On the other hand, I will feel like a hypocrite if I do.

I know that sometimes you have to take medication for depression and that taking anti-depressants for depression is no different to a diabetic taking insulin for diabetes. I’ve been really happy for the last few months. Although I’m sure my happiness is partly due to the anti-depressants, I believe it is mainly down to my spiritual and Buddhist practices and beliefs. Therefore I am determined to work through whatever issues I have with the support of these practices and keep on reducing the dose of anti-depressants. My goal is to come off them completely within one year. Then I will have another instance of actual proof that my Buddhism and spiritual practices actually work.

Journal 18th June 2016

Sometimes keeping going is the right thing to do and sometimes knowing when to let go is the only option. (1)

Today is the best I have felt for a few weeks now. It’s the first weekend in a while that I have nothing to do. No work, no boxing class, no boyfriend, no running around like a headless chicken. Just chilling.

Incidentally, I haven’t dumped Andy. He’s away at Scout Camp. Much as I love him to bits, it’s nice to have some quality me time.

The last two or three weeks have been pretty intense. Work has been crazy busy. The boxing training was exhausting. I felt pretty overwhelmed with everything. Then I lost three clients and once again I found myself questioning everything and wondering if it should jack it in and get a job.

Yesterday I made the decision to pull out of the charity boxing match I was due to take part in next Saturday. I have absolutely loved the training; I even enjoyed a weight lifting class! I was nervous right from the beginning of the training and I kept telling myself to forget about the match and just focus on one class at a time. For the past few weeks though I’ve been increasingly dreading taking part in the event.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, The Buddhist Boxer, although I find sparring scary, I really enjoy it. The last few times I haven’t enjoyed it though. I haven’t enjoyed it at all. The final straw came on Wednesday when I was in a particularly grueling round. My partner Julie kept asking me if I was okay. I wasn’t but I was determined to carry on. In the end Julie insisted we stop and I ran out of the ring crying and went and threw up in the loo.

On reflection, in some ways I feel as though it was a mistake to sign up in the first place. With my history of chronic fatigue and depression, I should have realised it would be too much. Even more so, as I already had a lot on my plate. I run my own business, I am the new President of BNI Wolsey and I am in a new relationship. On top of this I reduced my dose of anti-depressants in February. So all in all, possibly the wrong thing for me and possibly the wrong time. On the other hand, I have loved the training, I have learned a lot and I have made some good friends, particularly Julie Ann Warne, my partner and a very inspiring lady.

Over the last two or three weeks I started thinking about pulling out. I kept thinking to myself that I had to do it because everyone would think I was an idiot if I pulled out. Then I kept reminding that I have to stop worrying about what other people think. Everyone kept telling me that I should do it and finally I stopped listening to everyone else and listened to my intuition. Yes, I asked a lot of people for advice and I listened and finally I made up my own mind.

I was also worried about letting people down, especially as I have a history of committing to things and then backing out or not completing. I have a habit of committing to things without stopping to think if I can follow through. This is something I’m working on.

In regard to my business, I thought about jacking it in recently. Something I have thought about before when the going gets tough. The good news is that I have decided to persevere. As I mentioned in another previous post, Journal 13th June 2016, I have realised that I’m straying too far from my life purpose and that I need to get back on track. When I’m feeling out of sorts that is often one of the reasons. I have also realised that I’ve been getting off track with my plans for the business. In both cases, I have been focused too much on the money and too little on being in service.

So as I said earlier, today is the best I have felt for a while. I slept really well and I woke up feeling as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I am determined to get back on track with my plans to be in service. An extra blessing is that I have received my first donation for my blog. I think that’s a sign I’m on the right track.

I had a choice with the boxing and a choice with my business. I could give up or I could persevere. As Napoleon Hill said “Don’t quit right before the miracle happens”. Sometimes keeping going is the right thing to do and sometimes knowing when to let go is the only option.

Journal 13th June 2016

I’ve been feeling low again the last week or so. I am tired and I’ve been having headaches. I feel overwhelmed with work. I am nervous about the boxing match and wondering why I decided to sign up.

I think this is partly a message from the Universe that I am straying too far from my life purpose, or at least not spending enough time on it. I also think that because I’m Lilacing1; it’s bringing everything up to the surface.

I don’t know how I can spend more time on my life purpose. I suppose it’s baby steps. At the lilac enrolment ceremony I set myself a determination2 to spend 15 minutes per day on my personal writing and or journaling, in an effort to serve humanity and shakubuku 3 through my writing.

On the plus side Andy has been amazing. He’s so supportive. Over the last few days I feel as though I love him more and more every day and then yesterday morning he said exactly that to me. When we were playing poker at Kirby Street on Friday, I looked at him and I thought “God, I love you so much”.

I had a great TFT4 session with my dear friend Val Chater on Friday and I released a lot of fears, especially around boxing, including the fear of fear itself. I am probably still releasing stuff now.

I also know that everything always works out for the best and that every challenging situation has a solution. Through my Buddhist practice I can overcome any problems that may otherwise seem insurmountable. I can ‘make the impossible possible’ in the words of SGI leader President Daisaku Ikeda.

Well – what do you know? I feel better already. J

1Lilacing – to be a dedicated volunteer for two years within SGI – a socially engaged Buddhist movement.

2Determination – similar to an intention. I will cover this in more detail in a later post.

3Shakubuku – the way I understand shakubuku is that it’s about teaching people to reveal their Buddhahood, improve their lives and by doing so make a contribution towards world peace. http://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhism-in-daily-life/shakubuku-reveal-true-potential.html

4TFT – Thought Field Therapy, aka Tapping, releases energetic blocks helping to overcome negativity, fear, limiting beliefs etc and can be used to overcome virtually any problem and help you achieve pretty much anything you want. www.tftval.co.uk

The Buddhist Boxer

me boxing

As some of you know, I am currently training for a boxing match. People often ask me how boxing fits in with my Buddhist beliefs and someone once commented that ‘boxing isn’t very spiritual’.

Until two years ago I was totally anti-boxing. I would never watch any boxing on TV. I had never even watched Rocky. I consider myself to be anti-violence and I thought boxing was pretty violent.

I think the first thing that piqued my interest in boxing was when I met Sara Thomas at CoastalNet, a local networking group. Sara was in training for her first fight and she seemed like a ‘nice’ lady, with a successful business. Around the same time I met Matt Brennan, owner of Suffolk Punch Boxing Club, at BNI, another networking event. Shortly after that Matt put a notice on Facebook that he was looking for people that had never boxed before to take part in a charity boxing match. Just before that I had asked the Universe for a way to help to get motivated to eat healthily and to exercise and it had been the focus of my Buddhist chanting practice. So when I saw Matt’s post, I felt it was meant to be.

I was unsure about whether it was right for me and after much deliberation and consultation with my Angel cards and who I considered to be my wise friends, I decided to start training and because I was unsure, I asked the Universe to bless it or block it.

I absolutely loved the training. Rob Hodgins is a fantastic coach. I have always been rubbish at sports. At school I hated PE and PE hated me. I am slow and I lumber around like a baby elephant. I am always falling over and bumping into things in my day to day life. I think I am physically dyslexic! During the training, I found myself constantly pushing my boundaries and breaking through my pain barrier. The other members of the club were also a great support and they cheered me on when I was struggling. Unfortunately although the training helped me to get motivated to exercise and eat healthily, I often found myself making excuses to avoid training and I was constantly at loggerheads with Matt and Rob.

I had no idea what to expect and my first sparring session was a shock. I was so scared. All my training and technique went completely out of my head and I stood rooted to the spot like a bunny in headlights, getting punched in the face over and over again. When the two minute round, which felt like forever, was over, I went to follow my opponent out of the ring and then realised I had to do another two minute round with someone else. I think the worst thing was using my gum shield. I felt like I was gagging and couldn’t breathe. Everyone from the gym was crowding around the ring to watch. As soon as the second round was over, I ripped off my gloves and pulled the gum shield from my mouth. I had forgotten how much saliva builds up inside the gum shield and as I pulled it out, saliva went flying around, in the style of Hooch the dog from the film Turner and Hooch. I then burst into tears and ran into the car park behind the boxing club, gulping in mouthfuls of fresh air.

I’m unsure why I was crying. I think it was the adrenalin and the shock. I did feel a massive sense of achievement though and once I calmed down I felt pretty high.

I did another sparring session about a week later, which went much better. In spite of that, I was scared and I started repeating negative affirmations in my head; ‘I can’t do it, ‘I haven’t got what it takes’. If you’ve read my other blogs you’ll know that what you focus on is what you get and I became more and more negative. I started thinking the same negative affirmations about my business. Shortly after that, I fractured my ankle and I had to pull out of the match. It certainly seemed as though the Universe was blocking me from taking part.

When I visited my friend Val for my regular TFT session, she looked up my injury in her book: Messages From The Body (their psychological meaning) by Michael Lincoln and my exact injury, which I can’t remember as it was quite unusual – something like a hairline fracture to the fibula, was linked to affirmations such as ‘I can’t do it’ and ‘I haven’t got what it takes’. Amazing!

Anyway, to be honest, I was relieved to pull out. After a while though, I started to think about having another go and I had a perverse desire to have another go at sparring. Although sparring is scary, it is a fantastic adrenaline rush.

It took me over a year to pluck up the courage to go back to the club. I was a bit ashamed and I was worried that people might be unfriendly. I was totally wrong of course. Everyone was lovely and made me feel very welcome.

I started classes again in January 2016 and I attended the boxing show in March. The show was great and I knew I had to have another go, so I did the boxing trial and I’m currently training for the next show on June 25th.

The first time I sparred during this training I went into the ring and I was pretty scared. I got punched in the face a fair bit but I was on a similar level to my opponent and I felt as though I held my own. When I first got out of the ring though, my initial thoughts were, ‘Oh crap. I forgot how scary this is. What I have done?’ I knew I had to pull myself together as I had to go in again. So I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and connected to the Angels. I started chanting my Buddhist chant – Nam Myoho Renge Kyo in my head and I used a breathing technique that Amanda Hart had taught me to ground and centre myself. I gave myself a little pep talk. I reminded myself to slow down in the ring, to stop and think about technique and most importantly to keep my guard up. I sparred twice more that evening and the other times I felt much better.

Since then I have sparred quite a few times and I still get the mixed feelings of nerves, excitement and adrenalin. I am getting better all the time. I am getting used to being punched in the face. Now I come out of the ring smiling and laughing, rather than crying.

So is boxing ‘spiritual’? Probably not. It is not ‘unspiritual’ either though. Boxing is not about violence and anger. I’m sure that you do get boxers that have violent and angry tendencies but I have never witnessed that at the club or at any of the boxing shows.

Boxing is an art, a martial art, a discipline. One of my biggest weaknesses is my lack of discipline and the training has really helped me with that.

It is also great for boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. There are a couple of women at the club who have been victims of domestic abuse. What a great way to overcome something like that.

Once again I have asked the Universe to bless it or block it. So will I fight in the upcoming match? At the moment there are three girls in training and only two of us can fight, so we will see. I have committed to selling 25 tickets, so if you’d like to come and watch please contact me. All tickets are refundable if I’m unable to fight for any reason. It is a charity match and I am raising money for Suffolk User Forum, which is a mental health charity and a cause close to my heart.

Click here to sponsor me

Click here for event info

This blog was post was originally published on https://happinessclubuk.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Using Spirituality to Overcome Depression

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I’ve had problems with depression since I was a child. People say that your childhood should be the happiest time of your life. For me it was the unhappiest time and I’m often surprised when I occasionally remember something happy. My earliest memories are of my Mum and Dad fighting. I think my Mum had her own emotional problems. Her moods were erratic. She would fly off the handle at any minute and either go into a rage or floods of angry tears. We all felt we had to tread on eggshells around her. My Mum and Dad split up when I was very young, due to my Mum having an affair. My dad was my rock, my buffer between Mum and me. I loved him so much and I was devastated when he left. I still saw my Dad after he left and we continued to have a close relationship, until he met my step-mum and suddenly I was playing second fiddle to her and my new step-sister. I was often caught in the middle of my parents’ power games.

The other thing that was difficult was being brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, especially when I was kicked out of the religion and cut off from my family. I left home and I went from living in a strict environment, with lots of rules and regulations, to suddenly being able to do exactly what I wanted. I went completely off the rails and started drinking a lot, taking drugs, shoplifting and sleeping around. I also developed an eating disorder and got heavily into debt. I experienced mood swings. Sometimes I would be manically happy and the next I’d be in the depths of despair.

I read “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay 19 years ago, when I was 21 and that was really my first step on the path to recovery.  From then on I had a fascination with helping myself to get better through positive thinking and spiritual practices and now I’m passionate about helping others to do the same.

In the past, I have been suicidal and tried to take my own life on a number of occasions. I didn’t actually want to die. I just wanted attention. It was a cry for help. I just wanted someone to take care of me. I’ve heard people say, “If someone wants to kill themselves, they would do it properly. They just want attention” and I think “If someone needs attention that badly, they must really need it. Isn’t it better to give them that attention? Show compassion rather than judgement?

I have made huge progress and I attribute this to my spiritual practices, reading various self-help books and taking part in workshops and retreats. I do still get depressed. Luckily it only happens occasionally now and when it does I come out of it again quite quickly, using the various tools I have been blessed with over the years. I am lucky that I’m now in a position where I am fulfilling my dream of having my own business and working as a writer. I would never have been able to do that before. I’m also writing an autobiographical novel.

I was delighted when I met Elizabeth from the Suffolk User Forum and discovered that there was a local charity that was supporting people with mental health problems, who were committed to helping end the stigma and I was determined to get involved. I was even more delighted when I later discovered that the Suffolk User Forum believe in using spirituality to help users overcome mental health problems. I’ve since become a trustee on the board of Directors and I’m excited about what we can do to help others that have mental health problems here in Suffolk.

This article was originally published on https://happinessclubuk.wordpress.com/.

It all comes down to a choice between love and fear

It all comes down to a choice between love and fear

It is 14th November 2015 and yesterday evening terrorists tragically killed a number of civilians in gun and bomb attacks and held others hostage in Paris. At the time of writing the death toll stands at 127. This comes just a week after a Russian plane was taken down in Sinai, Egypt, killing everyone on board.

Although there are a few people blaming Muslims and refugees, it makes a pleasant change to see so many social media posts focusing on love and empathy rather than blame.

In previous posts I’ve talked about the coming of the Golden Age. I believe the world is changing. People are changing. We are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Change has to start with us. In the words of Ghandi, we have to ‘be the change’.

The light is shining on to the world and our collective light is getting stronger. The darkness will not go without a fight however and I believe what is happening is caused by the dark fighting back. I would like to say that love always conquers hate, unfortunately I don’t think it’s as simple as that. In previous posts I’ve talked about the law of attraction and that what we focus on is what we get. This is amplified by the collective consciousness. As a collective consciousness, we have the choice whether to focus on love or fear. I believe the Golden Age IS coming. The question is will we make it easy or difficult? Will it take more of these disasters or even Armageddon before we will accept it? Or will it be easy? We have the choice. We can focus on love or we can focus on fear. What will you focus on?

Off With the Faeries

Elven beautiful woman with flute

Anyone that knows me well will tell you that I’m regularly absent minded, also known as ‘off with the faeries’. This causes me to be forgetful, clumsy and ungrounded. A bit like Phoebe from Friends or Bridget Jones. The first person to notice it was my fourth driving instructor, who said it was a challenge teaching me how to drive and that he had to teach me to drive on auto-pilot. Anyone that’s been driven by me can relate to that.

I had a funny incident earlier this week. I went for a lovely walk through the woods and by the River Orwell in order to combat my fatigue and lethargy. It was approaching sunset and I was the only one there. It was quite magical and I imagined the faeries and elementals playing amongst the grass and the bushes.

Suddenly I heard some beautiful faery music that conjured up images of a faery sitting on a toadstool and playing a flute. I looked around. There was no-one to be seen. It was baffling. Could it really be faeries? The sound seemed to be coming from the undergrowth close to the river, behind a ridge. I tiptoed closer and peered over the edge, but there was nothing to be seen. Curiouser and curiouser.

I suddenly realised that I had inadvertently set off iTunes on my phone and that’s where the music was coming from.

New Moon Abundance Cheque – this actually works!

Law of Abundance Cheque

In June 2015, my friend Ali Basil sent me a picture of a cheque. This was similar to one I’d previously downloaded from ‘The Secret’ website and my first thought was “I’ve got one of those and it hasn’t worked”. As I looked closer though, I could see this was different. Ali instructed me to write my own and put it in my money corner at new moon. Although I didn’t really think it would work, I followed Ali’s instructions and to my amazement I received £1200 into my bank account the very next day. This month I have done the same. Remember abundance isn’t always about money. You can be abundant in many ways. Whatever the Universe blesses you with, remember to be grateful and say thank you. May you be blessed with wealth and abundance. And so it is. Exercise On the next new moon write your own abundance cheque and put it in your money corner. Write ‘Thank you’ on the back. Click here to find out when the next new moon is. Click here to find out where your money corner is. Watch out for abundance coming into your life, make a note of it, be grateful and say thank you. If you enjoy reading my blog posts and feel guided to do so, please share them with others and or make a donation by clicking here.

Love Is All There Is

I was recently lucky enough to have a business meeting with the Managing Director and Marketing Director of Junari Ltd, a successful company that weaves love and consciousness into the fabric of everything they do. At the meeting they gave me a book that they give away on their 21st Century Alchemy courses, entitled ‘Love Is All There Is’.

I loved the book, written by Source, and I found it to be in the same vein as ‘The Course of Miracles’. My favourite bit was the chapter on prayer. In this chapter, Source, also known as Love, advises that whatever problems we have, love is always the answer and therefore love is what we pray for. When we have a problem we can say the following prayer:

“Love I hand this situation over to you. I ask that you help me to see the love in this situation and in every moment. Let Love’s will be done.”

Since then whenever I have a problem I’ve been saying this prayer and letting go. When someone pisses me off I send them love. In my head I say “I love you” and I picture pink energy emanating from my heart to theirs. I remember that we are all connected and that everyone has the spark of the Divine inside them. Everyone has Buddha nature. Sometimes it is really well hidden but it is there.

Exercise

Whatever is bothering you in your life today hand it over to Love using the aforementioned prayer and let it go. Do the same when someone is pissing you off and send them love.

If you enjoy reading my blog posts and feel guided to do so, please share them with others and or make a donation by clicking here.