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/

Journal 23rd July 2016

Felixstowe

 

Life is good. I feel soooo much better. I’m sure it’s partly because I’ve increased my dose of anti-depressants, as well as putting in place good habits such as gratitude, healthy eating and exercise. I’d like to spend more time on my Buddhist practice, meditation and focusing on my intentions. It will come.

I want to say something about my decision to go back on the higher dose of anti-depressants. I talked to my wise friends and one of them reminded me that everything comes down to a choice between love and fear. I felt that the loving thing to do would be to go back on the higher dose of anti-depressants. Once I’ve established healthy habits I can think about reducing the dose again and this time I will taper off slowly and carefully.

Business is still quiet and I am loving the time and space that’s allowing me. I feel very relaxed. I still need to increase my income and I have found a job reading Angel cards for a psychic phone line!

Today I am off to my favourite place – the beach – with my amazing boyfriend. I’m looking forward to swimming in the sea. I love the sea’s energy. Life is good.

Journal 15th July 2016

Gratitude

Well today has been a good day. I must have felt better yesterday to have been motivated to write a blog post and then in turn writing always makes me feel good.

So what has caused me to feel better?

Is it because I have been back on the higher dose of my anti-depressants?

Or is it because I have been writing a gratitude diary since Wednesday?

Or is it something else entirely?

I think on Wednesday I may have hit rock bottom. My good friend Katrina Love, who used to be my life coach, recently agreed to start coaching me again. She called on Wednesday and I wailed down the phone.

“I don’t think there’s any point in me seeing you. You can only help someone that helps themselves and I’m not capable of helping myself at the moment”, I cried. “I’ve got no money. I’m going to have to get a job but I can’t face it. I’m going to have to sell my car. Andy’s going to dump me for being so negative.”

Katrina told me that sometimes when you can’t help yourself, someone reaches out their hand and that’s what she was doing for me. She told me not to do anything rash and we made an appointment for me to see her today. She told me that I was in fear and suggested I start a gratitude diary, “You can’t be in fear and in gratitude at the same time”.

She also told me that when the fear reared its ugly head to put my hand on my tummy and say to myself, “Be still” and to tell myself “I can handle it”.

Today I went to see Katrina and we made a plan as follows:

  • I will keep a journal, which will help my healing process and hopefully help others. As I said in yesterday’s journal, I have more time to do that while business is quiet.
  • While business is quiet it’s also an opportunity to really show myself self-love and self-care, mainly by preparing delicious healthy food for myself, exercising, and developing healthy habits, among other things.
  • Write my affirmations, determinations and intentions and read them first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

I am in the process of writing a series of blog posts about 2015 – my year of transformation, or I was before I started feeling low again. At the beginning of this year I was feeling awesome and I thought I could take on the world, which is why I decided to reduce my anti-depressants. Since I’ve been feeling low, I have felt like a hypocrite and felt adverse to writing about a transformation that suddenly had a hollow ring to it. Now that I’m feeling better I feel this is just the next part of the transformational process.

Last year’s transformation was partly down to the healing I had with Amanda Hart and the habits that we put in place then (to be covered in more detail in my ‘2015 – Year of Transformation’ series). Unfortunately I have let those habits slip and I am determined to start again. One habit that I have kept up is my Buddhist chanting practice, which is another thing that has been highly transformational for me.

I seem to be in a pattern of repeating the same mistakes and lessons. Sometimes I feel like I’m back to square one but dear friends such as my lovely TFT therapist, Val Chater, remind me of how far I have come.

Katrina, Amanda and Val are just three of numerous amazing women that I have attracted into my life who nurture and inspire me. I feel so blessed to have so many amazing friends.

Incidentally, I came back from my appointment with Katrina feeling inspired and I cooked myself a healthy dinner. After dinner I thought I ‘should’ chant but I didn’t feel like it. I immediately felt like a failure and I could feel the negativity creeping in. My next thought was that I could journal about my feelings and share them on my blog and then I felt motivated to chant as I believe that chanting helps me to access my inner wisdom, courage and compassion and reveal my Buddhahood, which is exactly what I need in my writing.

I hope that some of you are finding my ramblings helpful. I am certainly finding it therapeutic. It seems a little self-indulgent. I feel that if my writing just helps one person I have achieved my goal. A few people have told me that they have found my writing helpful and one person told me it has inspired them to start writing about their own journey.

Journal 14th July 2016

Darkest Before The Dawn 2

First of all I want to apologise that my blog posts have been less positive than I would like recently. Having said that, it’s important for me to be authentic and I hope that in doing so I can help others through my experiences. The last couple of weeks I have felt pretty shit. Since my last blog post I have felt very up and down. I am lucky that I have the support of my boyfriend Andy and some dear, wise friends. One of my friends recommended a book entitled ‘A Mind of Your Own’ by Dr Kelly Brogan. Dr Brogan is a psychiatrist who has written a book about natural alternatives to anti-depressants, as well as coming off anti-depressants using natural methods; including diet, exercise, supplements and meditation.  Dr Brogan links depression to thyroid disease, which I have and it’s notoriously hard to treat. She also emphasises that it is difficult to come off the anti-depressants and that it should be done with extreme caution; only once her programme has been in place for a while. Due to this, as well as the fact that I was starting to feel quite desperate, I spoke to my Doctor and decided to go back on the higher dose of anti-depressants.

Last week I felt much better, possibly due to attending a Buddhist course with SGI1. I was still up and down though. This week I have felt awful again, which if I’m completely honest, could be partly due to me getting totally pissed on Saturday. So much so that I spent most of Sunday morning with my head down the toilet. My wonderful flatmate, Lottie, held my hair out of my face. I think Andy found it quite amusing, especially as I keep lecturing him about drinking too much. On the plus side, we did have a lot of fun.

This week I cancelled all my appointments. I’ve only been out of the house to go next door to the Co-op and to go the cinema with Andy on Tuesday evening. I was very quiet, which is unlike me. I called the Dr yesterday and she said that it will probably take about two weeks for the higher dose to kick in, so fingers crossed, I should feel better in the next day or two.

My business has been quiet. In some ways this is good, as it gives me some breathing space. In other ways it causes me to worry about money. I still think it will help if I fulfil my mission to help others, whether through my writing or other means and while the business is quiet I intend to spend more time pursuing that. I also intend to start serialising my autobiography through my blog. So watch this space.

 

1SGI – a socially engaged Buddhist movement.

 

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.

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