We just spent a glorious morning walking along the coast before stopping for a bite at a local cafe. While it felt rather indulgent taking three hours out for breakfast, it also seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. You see this weekend sits between two significant events - the funeral of an uncle in his seventies and the 100th birthday of an aunt. Not surprisingly, the closeness of these two occasions made me somewhat reflective about how I’m choosing to spend my minutes, days, and years.
Pondering what I’d like to remember at the end of my life, I came up with some pretty familiar concepts: immersing myself in nature, connecting with spirit, and loving unconditionally. Basically, spending my time as a human being, not a human doing. So how do I approach that?
Every thought we have creates an energetic imprint. That’s how some people can read jewellery, tell you what happened in a haunted house, or just walk into a room and feel the tension. So I figure the best way I can spend my life is by leaving as many positive imprints as I can.
You create positive imprints when you’re happy. Doing things that put you in flow with the universe, practicing gratitude, being kind to others, all create positive imprints. Whereas giving until you are depleted, doing what you think is expected of you, or losing yourself in technology, conflict, or addictive behaviours will create negative imprints.
For me, treading softly on the planet, cultivating beautiful relationships, nurturing those close to you are all simple ways to generate an abundance of positive energy vibrations. But being able to do those things, often means putting your own health and happiness first. Sometimes this may feel indulgent, even selfish but making sure you’re in the best mood you can be in is often the simplest way to create beautiful, vibrant, low impact energy imprints to share with the planet. And if that means allowing three hours for breakfast, so be it.
What about you? What can you do to put yourself in a place of bliss to energetically give back to the planet?
Having just come off a run of significant birthday parties and finishing with two of my own, I began to brace myself for the comedown unsure of whether I would float or crash. Catching up with so many family and friends and being the centre of attention for two consecutive weekends was lovely, but also put me a bit off balance.
I began to think of Michael Jackson, Prince, and countless other celebrities who shone so brightly yet ended up falling to drugs. I wondered if drugs had become their way of dealing with the come down that reality must have presented for them following each gig or tour.
Sadly it seems that in riding those highs they lost their connection to the physical world and their ability to ground themselves. This is not uncommon, many situations cause us to become ungrounded. Preparing for major events like weddings, work projects, moving house, performing, exams, or even Christmas can require intense mental focus. As the events draw closer they play over in our minds which can easily make us feel off balance or disconnected.
So how do we get grounded? By getting back into the physical. Exercise is a good way to pull you back into your body as your focus moves from mental to physical. Meditation can also work, by breathing in and out through your base chakra and imagining you are growing roots. Both of these techniques rely on you tuning into your physical senses, so why not tune in to as many as possible.
Watching last week’s supermoon provided a perfect opportunity. Sinking my feet into the sand, feeling the wind whipping at my skin, listening to the laughter of the kids super excited to be on the beach after dark, and gazing at that glorious moon as it lit up the clouds and sky engaged almost all my senses, levelling me and connecting me with the elements and my physical being. While this magical moment helped me to appreciate my human nature (great term - think about it), full moons and beaches aren’t always available.
Fortunately more accessible techniques are available and the next morning, savouring the smell, taste and texture of my first mango of the season, I could feel my connection with Mother Earth strengthening.
Grounding is about using your body to remember your connection to the earth. Knowing that you are part of creation, that your natural state is being and living in harmony and balance with the planet. Whatever societal commitments or experiences we undertake, we need to remember that the hairdo and heels is not us, but the ability to walk the earth and be nourished by her bounty is.
So as you head into the silly season here’s a few tips to help you stay grounded:
Grounding is a simple process of getting back to earth. I can’t think of a better place to be!
Becoming your authentic self can be hard work. It’s easy on your own and when around like minded people, the challenge comes when you need to go back to those who knew you before, when you were wearing your mask. Their expectation for you to remain the same can be unrelenting, like teenage peer pressure on steroids.
You know that you’ve come a long way and that you’ve changed, but that’s not of interest to them. Like all of us, their world revolves around them and how things in it affect them.
Becoming conscious and authentic can be isolating as you begin to move forward at a different speed to others. Invitations to events that were once enjoyable now seem empty, nothing more than a rerun, the same old patterns and conversations playing out. Reminders of past behaviour and habits that you want to let go of, complaints and negative talk when you want to be impeccable with your word, bitching about friends or family when you’re trying to be non-judgemental, and attempts to cling to relationships and friendships that sap your energy. You keep trying to steer the conversation in a more positive direction but it’s challenging.
You need to realise it’s more than just what’s being said, you’re actually trying change the terms of the relationship and even if the change in you is fabulous and obvious, some people who knew the old you will be more comfortable sticking with the old familiar patterns.
When you try to make a change from the status quo they don’t get it. They’re not on your journey. All they hear is “no”. You feel guilty for saying no, yet your gut knots at the thought of backing down. Why? Because by standing your ground you’re actually saying “yes”. Yes to your personal code of honour, yes to your own spiritual growth, yes to walking away from what no longer serves you.
There’s no easy way to handle these situations, they still come up for me well over a decade since my major shift. Friends who don’t want to change the pattern, who can’t think outside meeting on the old terms. Sometimes I’m prepared and other times I’m caught off guard, either way my approach is the same - symbolism and honesty.
If you can step back (or up as it feels to me) to review the situation symbolically and become the observer, you can almost see the energy playing out between you. You’re trying to stay centred and grounded while they’re trying to draw you into their drama and lead you back to their comfort zone. As you watch this unfold you realise there is a lesson in this relationship, as there is in all relationships. You now need to have the courage and patience to find out what that lesson is.
Time to ask (in a non-judgemental, meditative state), what is the pattern of this relationship? What are you learning from being in a relationship with this person? What are they learning from you? And then, most importantly, how best can you establish new terms for the relationship?
Next comes time for the honesty. Have you openly and clearly expressed your need to change previously? Really? If the answer is an honest yes then it’s time to be upfront again about your need for change and your reasons behind it.
In some relationships this will still not be enough and you'll find yourself being asked to justify saying no to something that you know will make you miserable, that won’t feed your soul, and that will deplete your personal power. “To do that would not be honouring my spirit” was my most recent (and final) answer. It felt harsh and there was a clear shift in energy but it worked, despite me thinking it shouldn’t have to be that hard.
I’m sure it won’t be the last time but I know it will be a little easier next time. I’ll be readier, more prepared and stronger because I’ve done it before and also because I know in honouring my spirit I have moved another step closer to my authentic self.
Breaking free of old patterns is hard but not difficult. You simply need to meet it head on with honesty, love and acceptance. Look for the lessons in the relationship so you’re both getting what you really need from each other. It’s much more satisfying than just wishing things would change.
Try it. Each time you stand your ground and honour your spirit you strengthen your willpower, building it like a muscle that becomes stronger each time you use it. The more you practice the better you’ll get, and soon you’ll be well on your way to living your authentic life, filled with the things you want to do. No regrets.