I’ve been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize!

dove-2901955_1920Technically it was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), although I played my part…

For a few years now I’ve wanted to donate some of my time to charity and I have volunteered in various roles. In June 2016 I started volunteering for the Soka Gakkai International (SGI). I’ve often wondered if this is a worthy cause and then I remind myself that the purpose of the Soka Gakkai is to achieve Kosen Rufu (world peace) in the world and that’s probably the best cause there is. Continue reading “I’ve been awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize!”

A Crazy Few Months

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I originally wrote this blog a few weeks ago when things had calmed down. Before I had a chance to publish it I was swept up in another few weeks of frenzied activity.

What a crazy few months I had. When I started to feel better and gained some clarity I decided to get off my arse and get a job. I updated my CV and put it online. I wanted a part-time job so that I could focus on building up the business again. Continue reading “A Crazy Few Months”

Silent Retreat

Mermaid Colouring

On Saturday I had my own little silent retreat at home. I switched off the phone at 4 pm and spent the rest of the day and evening reading, meditating, tapping, chanting and colouring. I used to do this regularly but my practice has lapsed and I haven’t done it for the best part of a year or even longer. Spiritual teachers such as Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra recommend doing this regularly.

I have to be honest with you, as the time for me to ‘unplug’ approached I resisted it and I was even a little scared. I knew how much I would benefit from it though and I managed to persevere. I’m glad I did. It was a great way to relax and recharge.

Thank you for reading my blog. I’m grateful to my readers, firstly for reading it and also for the wonderful feedback and encouragement I receive.

I hope you enjoy my blog posts and if you find them helpful, then that’s even better. If you like to subscribe to receive an email when I publish a new post you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/cb5stb.

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Journal 18th August 2016

Focus on what you want

Well I’m still up and down. I’ve been tired still. Last week, one of my Buddhist friends sent me a fantastic article about chanting to be become a man / woman of unlimited self- esteem for two weeks and the profound effects it will have. In the article it said that initially all the negativity will come up to the surface to be cleared and it certainly did.

Over the weekend all my old negative thoughts started going round and round in my head and I ended up in a downward spiral of negativity. I felt desperate to the point where I called 111 because I just wanted the pain to stop. Because I’d been having suicidal thoughts they advised me to go to A&E. I started driving to A&E but I felt that it would be a mistake, so I started chanting through my tears. My boyfriend Andy called me and told me to go to him and I decided to do that instead. I also called my friend Val and she helped. I realised that I hadn’t tapped or chanted (apart from in the car), so I tapped and I felt better within a few minutes. I’m glad I didn’t go to A&E. Conventional medicine is not the answer. I have to find the root of my childhood pain and find a spiritual solution, with the support and love of my boyfriend and friends.

I am a big believer that what you think about and what you focus on is what you get. I know that I’ve been focusing too much on feeling tired and depressed. I know that I’m putting the wrong messages out to the Universe. I need to change my focus.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we won’t have problems, of course we will and having problems is part of our journey and how we grow and become better human beings and ultimately become happy. And when we do have problems, it’s important to acknowledge the negativity, rather than covering it over with positive thoughts. Once acknowledged we can then move to positive thoughts and action. And while it’s important to acknowledge negativity, we want to avoid setting up camp and dwelling there.

At the moment business is quiet and I’ve only been working part-time. It’s good to only work part-time and have time to reflect and rest. It is not so good financially but again I need to focus on what I want financially and stop putting out negative thoughts to the Universe. I’m taking things one day at a time, step by step and trusting that everything will unfold in the right way.

I think part of the reason that I’ve been feeling low is because I’m not fulfilling my mission, which I believe is to help myself and others become happy, through sharing my experiences. I have lots of ideas on how to do this but fear is holding me back. I’m scared that I won’t make enough money from it. Again, I’m focusing on the wrong thing. I downloaded an audio book by Wayne Dyer, ‘10 Secrets to Success and Inner Peace’ this week and synchronistically he talks about that very thing and how to overcome it. I also had a bit of a ‘light bulb’ moment, when I realised that I keep hoping that I will win the lottery or receive a windfall, so that I can finance my mission. I realised that I have it the wrong way round. I need to take steps to fulfil my mission to help others and then the abundance will come.

I hope you enjoy my blog posts and if you find them helpful, then that’s even better. If you like to subscribe to receive an email when I publish a new post you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/cb5stb.

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.

 

Journal 9th August 2016

Breakdowns often precede the greatest breakthroughs.

It’s been a while – I know. Although I’ve been feeling more positive on the whole, I have been up and down and feeling quite tired. I’ve had problems with depression and fatigue since I was a teenager. I recently had a Tapping therapy session with my great friend, Val Chater, and we cleared a lot of pain from my childhood that is causing that. Lots of issues are still coming up to be cleared and Val gave me a Tapping sequence that I can use for myself when issues come to the surface. I am certain that I will emerge from this period of uncertainty stronger than ever and ready to move forward with my mission to help others through my writing and in any other ways that I can.

Being tired has led me into bad habits. I’ve been getting up late, watching TV and then I’ve been running behind schedule. As the business is quiet, I should have plenty of time to work on my mission but a slow start in the morning has led to lethargy and feeling like I’m always catching up.

I’ve also been slack with my chanting; only squeezing in five minutes here and there. I found that I stopped enjoying the chanting and so I was putting it off. I chanted to change that a few days ago and since then I’ve been inspired by other SGI* members to start chanting with vigour again. This morning I woke up early and chanted at 6 am. Although I was half-asleep when I started, by the time I finished I was filled with energy and motivation. I’ve had time to chant, enjoy a healthy breakfast, spend time on my writing and I will start work at around 9 am.

As SGI leader, President Daisaku Ikeda says,

“Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of that determination fades in time. The moment you feel that is when you should make a fresh determination. Tell yourself, “OK! I will start again from now!” If you fall down seven times, get up an eighth. Don’t give up when you feel discouraged—just pick yourself up and renew your determination each time.”

*SGI – a socially engaged Buddhist movement. http://www.sgi.org/

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?