Dreaming my life into being

 Tibetan Monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and me!

Tibetan Monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and me!

Many ancient cultures suggest we are awake when we are dreaming; they see our 'everyday reality waking moments' as being asleep whilst they maintain we are truly awake when we are dreaming! 

    Meet my 'imaginary friend'

    My parents used to call him my imaginary friend, I called him Nanka. 

    He was a young monk in a monastery high up in the Tibetan Himalayas. Although at the time I had no idea he was a monk, or where in the world he existed.  Each time I visited him - or did he visit me - anyway, I distinctly to this day, recall him always wearing a rough red woollen draped clothing around his body. He was continually hoiking one part or another of it back around his shoulders.  The most distinct thing I recall was his face because he was always cheerful and smiling, I couldn't stop myself from feeling happy in his presence. 

    He lived in a tall bleak stone building high up in the mountains. I know that for a fact because we would often hang out through the open slits for windows where he would point out to me the shapes in the snow. At this point, I need to say we were not physically speaking with each other. Rather, I intuitively knew what he was saying. Now how could that occur at that tender age?

    It's probably best I let you know now that I’ve been searching since I was three years old.  You see even at that tender age,  I remembered an existence in Tibet, although I had no idea then, it was Tibet. It was just a place full of snow. 

    I would recall my tales to my parents describing Nanka in the land of snows. They humoured me.  It felt, at the time, I was living a parallel existence.  

    What I did experience every time I met with Nanka was such an inner peace and light-heartedness. I had a soul brother! He understood my frustration. Reflecting now, I see he was here to help me to retain a semblance of balance in my life. 

    You see, my first memory was in my pram (actually it wasn't my first memory, that was my physical birth  but perhaps that can wait for another blog and another time.) No, my memory in my pram was one of frustration. Here I am staring out of the pram unable to see much and feeling trapped. Of course, I was, I was wrapped up in blankets. I wanted to fly, to share my happiness. But as I grew into toddling and walking, began school (at the age of three by the way) I realised not many shared my happiness and joy.  To be fair, it was the late fifties; rationing had just ended, people were grey, tired and frightened. Here was I happy, bouncing, questioning everything, wanting to hug everything and everyone! I must have been a real pain in the ***!

    I always knew I was missing something. Much to my parent’s frustration and two years on into my schooling, at the tender age of 5-ish, I would say to them “There has to be more to life than this!” This longing has been the fire that has burned in my heart all my life. My lifelong passion has been the search to remember what I’d forgotten and to come home.

    I was always asking why?

    You see, to my mind, I wanted to live in a place where I could be free.  You can imagine why Nanka meant so much to me living in the wild in the land of snows where the sun always shone brightly.  For many years I had no idea what freedom meant, all I knew was that the life I was living was grey, serious, judgmental and cold. I wanted to live in a place of colour, light and happiness. 

    Nanka helped me to maintain my passion by showing me the spaces in-between. We began with the sky and the mountains. I learned how to look for shapes, to discern colour in the white mountains, see the pink, grey, silver and mauve slivers of light, watch the shadows morph into shape upon shape. It wasn't until many years later did I put all my observation and learning into practice, to enable me to look for answers, see beneath and beyond what people say and do. I refused to see anything at face value, to question and above all trust the symbols all around me, especially in nature. Finally of course to dream, to use my dream time to obtain answers.

     Nanka 'my Tibetan' taught me humour and joy, to look for the funnier side of life.  A merciful gift to me as life began to take a grey turn, leading to me shutting away from my dream world entering instead a world of criticism, negativity and authority. Needless to say, I rebelled, continued to question, battled authority, as best as I could, given I was a young woman in a middle-class household dominated by stern parents. 

    Dreaming my life into being

    It can take courage to enter into our imagination and activate our dreams because they can seem to be counter-intuitive.  For me, living on the inside, paying attention to my own mind, my own sense of self, was perfectly natural. Consequently forty or so years later I began to remember what I had forgotten.

    I had flashbacks of memories in my dreams and I acted upon them.

    I learned how to remember what I had forgotten about being human through shamanic training, dream work and Reiki. I travelled to many distant countries, studied their culture and spiritual teachings.

    Ancient symbols and texts would jump out to me. I'd find myself going into ecstasy, meditating for days, writing and writing. I experienced myself in, well, a different world.

    You and I live in a world of our own

    Yet this isn't strange really, because we are all in our own little world. Of course, we are!

    For anyone reading this who might be disagreeing, reflect upon if you witnessed a car accident and the traffic police asked you to recall the accident.  Be rest assured your perception will be different from every other person! Our perspective is ours and ours alone.

    Isn't that so beautiful?

    It's wise to continually remind yourself:

    I am the pattern maker and breaker of my own reality
     My potential and my future are dependent upon the choices I make right now.
    How I think and feel directly affects my future. 

    Back to Nanka.  I met him fifty years later!  True! Well not him exactly and yes, I did meet him.  Let me explain.

    I was enjoying an exhibition by the Tashi Lhunpo Monks who travel around the UK USA and Europe demonstrating their culture through dance, debates, mandalas and meditation. I was thumbing through their monks 'handbook' pics and biogs of the hundreds of monks at the monastery and I saw him! Initially, I I just knew I knew him, but I didn't know him - if you understand me!

    A few days later the dreams began. It was Nanka! I remembered my experiences in the snows with the little Tibetan boy.  Of course, now he is a mature monk exiled in the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Karnataka where they settled. 

     A couple of years later I had the opportunity to visit his monastery. 

     Tasche Lhumpo Monastery Christmas 2016

    Tasche Lhumpo Monastery Christmas 2016

    Christmas 2016

    His Holiness The Dalai Lama was giving Teachings for three weeks. I just had to go. Nanka (I won't give his Tibetan name here if you don't mind) was serving His Holiness. Despite that, I managed to give him a message. I asked him to say my name in the presence of His Holiness. Well something must have occurred, because even though there were 30,000 monks in attendance, I managed to sit less than 12 feet away from His Holiness for the duration of his teachings! Not only that but I was invited along with 12 other Westerners to serve His Holiness on the last day. Can you imagine? All I can say is that when I walked through the multitudes toward His Holiness as He sat inbetween two Buddhas all I could see was the sun. A huge yellow radiant orb! We were each holding ancient Tibetan scriptures covered in red silk, these books were hundreds and hundreds of years old. Afterwards Tibetans would want to touch me for good luck having held them. What a day! And not only that ...but as if to prove the connection two American ladies I met during the conference had the honour of meeting Nanka (he is part of the spiritual teachers training the monks) and His Holiness. As you can imagine I asked for a description. They said he was very serious and how everyone respected him very deeply. What a contrast to the happy laughing friend of yesteryear. Yet I felt a pang of identity because for so many years in my 'grey period' I became very serious, taking my duties as a teacher of Reiki, shamanic healing, Bach remedies counselling soberly. I wrote another note wishing him well, thanking him for meeting His Holiness and hoping he can now relax now that the year-long preparations were nearly over. 

     Along with 12 other westerners I had to walk down the aisle carrying these precious books toward The Dalai Lama sitting on the dais amidst the sacred chanting and horns blowing. awesome just awesome!

    Along with 12 other westerners I had to walk down the aisle carrying these precious books toward The Dalai Lama sitting on the dais amidst the sacred chanting and horns blowing. awesome just awesome!

     

    Back to the moment

    Dreams open us up to our imagination which is an inherent skill many of us use too sparingly. It was through my sleeping in my very early years I met Nanka. Many years later my dreams were fulfilled. 

    My life journey has been a quest to go home. I witnessed inner peace and light- heartedness in the Tibetan boy. I wanted that too.  Where people didn’t judge me, where I didn’t have to struggle with expectations from others, with people who did not or would not understand me. A world where people would open their eyes to opportunities, see the positive rather than the negative and go with the flow. I wanted to stop saying to myself that ‘there has to be more to life than this.’ And I wanted to move from living in a world where fighting, money and power seemed to take precedence over peace, harmony and oneness. I wanted a world where free flowing thoughts and mindful action led the way.

    Instead of living outside of myself, where life would happen to me, I’ve learned how to live on the inside, in my own reality in my own Beautiful Mind where life flows and happens for me.

    I had to change my relationship with myself: I’ve learned that the greatest relationship I’ll ever have is with myself,  and how it underpins everything.

    I understand that I, alone, am the pattern maker and breaker of my existence. I have activated the whole of me for the whole of my life. And I live from that answer.

    Would you like to live in your own Beautiful Mind?

    Begin with building in reflection time

    Move your attention from the outside world into your own inner world. 

    It can be easy to zig-zag through life, maybe find ourselves on paths chosen for us by others.  Nevertheless we can prevent this by building in space for reflection.

    Reflection helps us review ‘Where we are now  (where we have been) and   where we are going.’

    Reflection helps us to turn attention back onto our Beautiful Mind, our inner world, where we can remember what we might have forgotten about what makes our heart really sing.

    Here are four reasons why reflection will help you:

    ·      It gives you space to step out of your everyday reality and look at a myriad of choices. After all, you are the pattern maker and breaker of your own destiny.

    ·      Reflection is vital whenever you find yourself at a crossroad or times of change.  

    ·       As you move through the inevitable Gateways of Age 50th, 60th, 70th and so on ask yourself are you in touch with your dreams?

    ·      Whenever you feel unhappy, take yourself off to reflect.

    Imagine how you’ll feel if you listen to your dreams and acted upon them? Where you're in touch with something or someone who helps you to make your heart sing?  

    Begin to look for the spaces inbetween trust in your inner world and learn how to RELEASE REFLECT and REPAIR

     

     

    THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS

    "Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."

    Thanks for engaging with me in this blog, you’re invited to Join My Community and Facebook Page where you'll have access to e-books, share and discuss finer points with like-minded and hearted others, download podcasts and receive my monthly (once a month only promise) email! OH, and p.s. when you join my community as a thank you for sharing your email, you'll receive a guide questionnaire designed to help you see how your own mind approaches  happiness, relationships, wellbeing and working life.

    "We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh

     

    • I

    THREE VITAL KEYS TO UNLOCKING YOUR PERSONAL FREEDOM IN YOUR SIXTIES

     Personal Freedom and Ageing Well - you are the pattern maker and breaker of your own destiny

    Personal Freedom and Ageing Well - you are the pattern maker and breaker of your own destiny

    This blog first appeared on Sixty and Me Website where I am a guest blogger. 

    When you think about freedom and ageing well, what pops into your mind?

    Is this an oxymoron or can you step into an even greater personal power in your sixties and beyond? 

    I’ve noticed a pattern to my work over the years with clients when it comes to unlocking personal freedom and ageing well. Here are the 3 top keys to freedom I have identified:

    1.    Don’t worry

    2.    Be True To Your Dreams

    3.    It is what it is and I am what I am!

    Don’t worry

    Many of us worry how we’ll be when we grow older. Will we act similarly to our parents perhaps? Experience same problems and illnesses? It’s inevitable really, to worry or wonder what might or will happen to us as we enter our sixties and beyond. 

    Of course, most of us are pleasantly surprised because through wisdom and experience we learn a vital freedom-rich secret, which is not to worry. That it is what it is. 

    In fact, take note of this lovely Tibetan saying:

    ·      If you can do something about it, then why worry?

    ·      And if you can’t do anything about it, then why worry?

    Actually, it makes sense, really, after all, it’s impossible to second-guess others. On average, we have 60,000 thoughts going around in our minds in any 24 hours, so how can we know what people are thinking about us? And, as importantly, if you really want to think about it, how many of us can discern every thought that goes around in our very own minds at any given time?

    One of the ways we learn how to move into this freedom from restriction is to discern the difference between expectations to reality.

    A typical one many of us experience over the years is how we juggle the balls of work and home life where we can be restricted by expectations from others as well as our own. Along the way, we worry about ‘fitting in.’ Especially if we’re climbing up the slippery and political career ladder and having time off for children.  As we aim high in our expectations we find ourselves not wanting to ’rock the boat’ after all, juggling work and home life take a particular set of expert skills!

    With work and home life probably different than in our forties and fifties now’s the time to expand your freedom.

    It can begin with taking your personal power back. You no longer need to walk on eggshells, worrying about what people think. In fact, if you have to worry at all, worry about where your own freedom is restricted:

    ·      Begin with asking for what you want. Because you are worth it.

    ·      After all these years it should now be about your own self-worth, living by your own set of values.

    ·      If you are a caring and sensitive soul, let's be very clear, it is a fact: we cannot nurture others from a dry well!

    As we all move through the gateway into our sixth decade, there are vital secrets we need to know and learn to enhance our personal power enabling us to age well. One vital key is how to live in the moment, with the first step being not to worry.

    This is what the Gateway into your Sixth Decade is all about: moving into a greater sense of your own self.

    BE TRUE TO YOUR DREAMS

    Are you following what makes your heart sing? Are you in alignment with the dreams of your earliest years?

    Life has a way of taking us everywhere but where our heart really lies - in that special and sacred space where we can lose ourselves in joy, peace and creativity.

    Two clients of mine recently began a new business together with a combined age (wisdom and experience) of 128 years.

    Their hearts were calling to them and they wanted to revolt against the expectation that when you’re in your sixties or older, the presumption is that   work will cease, let alone the idea of setting up a new business. They told me they could identify with their childhood dreams and in opening up to them, they were experiencing a new surge of energy.  

    We discussed positive role models identifying the rock and film stars from the seventies and eighties, and how many of them are challenging society’s assumption around ageing. 

    I see this pattern again and again: where the working career takes a person into say, law or engineering, yet on the inside they have always been an artist – poetry, painting, writing, some form of self-expression. This is exactly how my clients were looking at their lives right now. They were honouring the artist inside of them.

    When we listen to our hearts and our dreams and act upon them our payback will be more energy and vitality. My clients power of self-determination was giving them their longing for freedom to be in alignment with their childhood dreams.

    It is what it is and I am what I am.

    Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones gave an interview where he said “When I reach an age where I’m unable to look after myself easily don’t assume I’ll want to be taken on outings with others of a similar age. No, I’ll want my independence to the end, marijuana on tap and any carers will need to be young, pretty and with short skirts!”  OK, so we might not all subscribe to Bill Wyman’s vision, but at least his view was a humorous one, where having fun and maintaining independence was high up on his list.  

    Some countries are taking advantage of this, in what I might call a silver-revolution: Japan is experiencing a super-ageing society with over 30% of the population now over sixty years of age.   They are gearing up for this ever-growing people power aware they are performing at a higher level than those of a similar age from the 20th century. Japan may well be leading the way in terms of the freedom and the quality of independence.

    What could all this mean for you and me and our personal power and freedom in our sixties and beyond?

    What pops into your mind when you think of freedom and ageing well? I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Please join the conversation!


     

    THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS

    "Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."

    Thanks for engaging with me in this blog, you’re invited to Join My Community and Facebook Page where you'll have access to e-books, share and discuss finer points with like-minded and hearted others, download podcasts and receive my monthly (once a month only promise) email! OH, and p.s. when you join my community as a thank you for sharing your email, you'll receive a guide questionnaire designed to help you see how your own mind approaches  happiness, relationships, wellbeing and working life.

    "We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh

     

     

    Your freedom to imagine and dream.

    Freedom to Imagine and Dream.jpg

     

     

    Your Gateway into your Sixth Decade and beyond is all about moving into a greater sense of your own self.

    What better way to do this than to open up to your imagination and your dreams?

     
    The shamans from the indigenous cultures say, when asked to cure a member of the community of their ills: “When did you stop dreaming? When was the last time you sang or danced? When did you last hear or tell a story?"
    For they know that when we stop dreaming, singing, dancing, hearing or sharing stories, in other words having fun and being playful and creative.   Well, we’ve stopped truly living. We've restricted our freedom, shut down our heart and mind to anything other than day by day routine. 
    We may be restricted in our actions, even in speech, yet our freedom to think and imagine are integral to being truly human. Both are free and both are accessible to you. 

    Seeing the Spaces In-Between 

    My life - my reality -  my take on the world really has all the answers I need. But this 24/7 world demands my time......but wait, hey, no it doesn't. I have all the time in the world!

    • I have entered the sixth decade. So I can cheerfully say I've entered it with eagerness.
    • I've stepped off the merry-go-round.

    OK so some of us may be pushed or perhaps eagerly jumped into being sixty and beyond.  While others, needed help to make that all important step through the Gateway. 

    When we are moving through the 40th and 50th Gateways we simply cannot see what is going on, because we are so often busy doing, busy juggling, just busy living. 

    It is now, as we move through the Gateway into our Sixties and beyond we have the time and can look for the shapes in-between... 

    And what do we find?

    Time has spaces in between,  a minute can be a long time, an hour can go so quickly.

    There are spaces in between conversations, we call them pauses, so much is said in those pauses.

    The spaces in between waiting for a flight, a train journey, a dental appointment.

    So-called empty spaces.

    Now's the very time to reflect upon dreams from childhood.

    Have you achieved them? Have you listened to them? If you would listen to them and could action upon them what would be different in your life right now? Because you see so many of us don't. 

     You really are the pattern maker and breaker of your own existence you know. Age is just a number. 

     

    Meet your imagination and intuition.

    Listening to your dreams, actioning upon your dreams will mean you will meet the playful and lighthearted parts of you. And they'll reawaken your own innate wisdom for joy, peace and healing.

    For the next week, dedicate 10 minutes, to imagining yourself at your absolute best as a what... a comedian, performer, movie star, singer or writer...?

    • .What will you look like?
    • What will you talk about?
    • How will the audience feel about you?
    • Jot down your thoughts. Enjoy imagining yourself in something you've never imagined or thought about yourself before.  How does it feel? How do you feel? Does it light your fire? Your passion? We need passion it maintains a youthful outlook on life. We experience vitality as well as energy through passion.  

    Meet with your intuitive self: your imagination and your insight, and you'll experience an alignment between your heart and mind. This is your access to your beautiful mind, your inner world, where an unlimited source of happiness, joy and vitality awaits. 


    It's my wellbeing, my energy, my vitality which helps me to age well...

    I can make choices: I can take back my thoughts, my mind, my feelings. I respond rather than react. I go with the flow. I don't react to triggers in the outer world.  First step? Trust in your reality and choose not to be triggered or driven by the outer world: media, culture, systems, people. 

    So what can I do?

    I can trust the shapes in-between.  Trust in being: in giving myself the space and time for reflection.  Understand that reflection inside my own mind guarantees greater clarity, peace and joy.

    You will begin to see the spaces in-between.  In other words you will see the world through your own eyes and begin to trust in your self. 

    What will happen when I do this?

    You'll experience how you can rest, release, repair, reset and recharge at will and 

    ~ UNLIMITED SELF CONFIDENCE, ENERGY AND VITALITY ~

    Now, that's worth having at any age!

     


     

    THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS

    "Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."

    Thanks for engaging with me in this blog, you’re invited to Join My Community and Facebook Page where you'll have access to e-books, share and discuss finer points with like-minded and hearted others, download podcasts and receive my monthly (once a month only promise) email! OH, and p.s. when you join my community as a thank you for sharing your email, you'll receive a guide questionnaire designed to help you see how your own mind approaches  happiness, relationships, wellbeing and working life.

    "We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh

    VITALITY AND ENERGY AND WHY YOU NEED THEM BOTH

     VITALITY WILL ALWAYS SUSTAIN YOU !

    VITALITY WILL ALWAYS SUSTAIN YOU !


    This blog first appeared on Sixty and Me Website where I am a guest blogger. 


    We all want to maintain our health and age well. Whilst energy levels can dip and dive, did you know that vitality will always sustain you?

    I’ve learned that what separates a vitality-person from an energetic-person is that it’s not about dashing here, there and everywhere, rather it’s much more about mindfulness and soulfulness.

    I’d like to share why vitality is so important as we age. I’m 63 now and confident in navigating my energy and vitality but it hasn’t all been plain sailing through those waves!

     At 36 I underwent an early menopause resulting in clinical depression with huge energy dips and dives alongside a breakdown in my immune system. I resolved from then onwards to understand how I manage my energy levels and age well, rejecting the medical practitioners prediction I would be “Old before my time” and my sex life was over.  That was a red rag to a bull let me tell you!

    Through my journey I discovered vitality. But first:

    Are you a lark or an owl?

     I’ve learned that I’m wider-awake with more energy in mid-afternoon into the evening. I’ve always been like that, so in charting my energy dips and dives I began looking for patterns. It turns out our birth time can effect our more productive energy times. So I’m an owl. I was born in the evening and I’m more alive in the evening. If you’re born early in the morning you may well be a lark. Is this you - up with the lark early in the morning?

    Do you have an energy dip between midday and mid-afternoon?

    If you want to even out your energy patterns make yourself take a nap or rest in the afternoon.  I learned this after my operations.  Giving myself ‘time out’ for me reduced my stress intake and increased my ability to relax at will.  It is a vital skill for moving through the ups and downs of life and a step on the way to living on the inside of my ‘Beautiful Mind’ where I could open up to vitality.   

     In fact, why don't we all take a leaf out of kindergarten’s book where everyone had cookies and milk and a rest after midday?  Imagine how different the world might be if everyone had an afternoon nap together?  The world is offline between midday and 2pm everyday!

    Unlocking your door into vitality

    There’s something different about people with vitality.

    • You can’t help but notice when they enter the room. There’s an aura around them, they seem to glow, whatever the time of day or night.
    • Problems? What problems! They’ll take challenges in their stride, moving through life’s gateways including the inevitable ageing threshold with alacrity.
    • They exude an inner strength and an inner peace. There are no dips or dives in vitality, it’s with them all of the time.

    Vitality has nothing to do with age and everything to do with transition.

     People with vitality move through the ups and downs of life, whilst others get stuck, they simply can’t or won’t move on. In my toughest times (so far) I was stuck in the memories, thoughts and experiences and needed to learn a way out of letting go of what hadn’t worked so well for me. I had to do this because my outlook on life and physical wellbeing were suffering. I needed to understand and accept that change is part of life. When we transition well through our personal challenges our payback is vitality.

    We face inevitable change in our sixties and beyond.

    Our roles change, many things shift and I’m not just talking gravity! Of course it can be difficult in accepting that life isn’t like it used to be and “We aren’t like we used to be.”  

    Why is vitality important as we age?

    Choice becomes vital because every choice you make may be crucial to your imminent wellbeing. If you choose therefore, to take even one small step toward moving through any stuck part of your life, your transitions in life will be easier. 

    What’s worked well for me and over 10,000 hours working with clients is creating a timeline to help free up what’s holding us back from having the time of our lives.  I learned how to let go of what has gone before including holding onto past memories that were no longer serving me well. Most importantly I learned how to reflect, release, repair and reset my mind at will. I promise you it’s less painful than remaining stuck, unable to go with the flow! A lighter hearted approach ensues whatever and whenever life throws a curved ball.  Vitality steps in.

    How will you know your vitality is growing? 

    Whilst on the outside the years will continue to show changes in your physical body and energy levels will dip and dive, on the inside, in your ‘Beautiful Mind,’ the soulful and mindful  ‘you’ continually glows because it’s here where vitality exists.

    Are you a lark or an owl? What might be different if the world was offline for two hours midday and we all had a nap?   Can you share your observations about vitality and energy?  Do you know people who have both? What are their ages? I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!

     

    THINK YOURSELF INTO HAPPINESS

    "Everything is possible and nothing is impossible. You are only ever limited by your mind."

    Thanks for engaging with me in this blog, you’re invited to Join My Community and Facebook Page where you'll have access to e-books, share and discuss finer points with like-minded and hearted others, download podcasts and receive my monthly (once a month only promise) email! OH, and p.s. when you join my community as a thank you for sharing your email, you'll receive a guide questionnaire designed to help you see how your own mind approaches  happiness, relationships, wellbeing and working life.

    "We are all made of stars and carry eternity inside." Thich Nhat Hanh