Friday, 23 December 2011

Introspection

Ageless hands
disentangle
age old reason
kindling
hopes flame
scorching
the seasons
of  delusion
transcending
worldly confusion.


Gaping emotions
purposefully
swirl
scattering
life anew
- sublime
Christ-like seeds
of devotion.


A simple moment 
introspection
shatters imperfection.
unheard
- and unseen
mending
threadbare wings
weakening
chaos
from wintry winds
of despair.


'The Thinker' by Nige Atkinson

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Colourwashed

Two souls
tumble
toward
holy light,
a single tear
dissolves
in spirited ocean
- vast.
Colourwashed memories
faded,
broken,
make way
for love's call
freeing
man and boy
in heartfelt devotion.

For Dad



Pablo Picasso - Blind old man and boy - 1903


Thursday, 10 November 2011

The End of Days

Ancient warriors
battle
life's dusty road
- battered senseless
by winds of change
time
and motion.
The end of days
are drawing near
as miracles unveil
a deeper purpose
mending
tatty hearts
resurrecting
the dead
- in a single
silvery strand
we stand
unarmed...

The war against self
is finally over.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Catch a Falling Star ...

Recently, I went to watch a play by the local theatre company. Within seconds of entering the building I had formed a twisted opinion of everybody and everything.  Mr ego always gets in there first and when it does the boney finger is usually pointing away from self.  IT doesn't seem  familiar with good ol' fashioned curiosity preferring to make bold sweeping statements about the decline of am dram . According to IT - being right is being happy  However in my experience there is nothing life affirming about being right at the expense of others. It comes at a hefty price - namely peace of mind.

I am a method actor who takes great pride in bringing my characters to life. I see each moment as a golden opportunity to fuse inner emotion with the character. Unfortunately, I am quick to judge other actors for what I percieve as one dimensional performances. In such moments I become one dimensional, because I have failed to remember the truth about self and other. There is madness in my method!

The good thing about forgetting is that it is the springboard to remembering, presenting us with timeless opportunties to see things differently. Suddenley life's theatre isn't so dreary and becomes a friendlier place. Separate characters fall away to reveal fragile souls who have come to planet earth disguised as a body - in an attempt to work stuff out from previous lifetimes. Every soul who walks this earth has an amazing story to tell, and has the unique potential to shine their light.

Whenever I lay down my arms and just let things be exactly as they are there is method in my madness - that method is love. Self development is not about attacking other people so that I can have a fleeting moment of feeling better about myself. That is self destruction, and leads to pain and suffering.

The decision to Heal involves catching thoughts like falling stars, giving them a shining new purpose and lovingly placing them back into the cosmos so that they can help light the way. We are all teaching and learning. Sometimes I am the teacher and other times the student; such is the beauty of the curriculum.

There is nothing more exquisite than a single grain of truth; when a weary brother takes an unwavering step towards another brother, and separate interests fade away to reveal a love so tender that God himself weeps in gratitude.

Painting by Megan Richards
(Megan recently sold the painting  to a concert pianist who specializes in the works of Chopin)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

On Yer Bike!

 'When I was a small boy, I prayed every night for a new bike.Then I realized that God doesn't work that way,so I stole one and asked Him for forgiveness...'

Me &  Harry on Tour in the dales


 

Friday, 7 October 2011

When I Ride ...


I ride my bike to help clear away the cobwebs of the mind - to let go of  heavy thoughts that keep me stuck.When I ride my bike I forget about the world and reconnect with the simple things - the strong smell of autumn leaves, feeling the wind on my face, the space between the pedal strokes. I am a bird in flight. When I ride my bike a single moment can seem like eternity as I pedal peaceful in the knowingness that all is God. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

'We' Can Heal Our Life


We have decided to write a blog. Together. A blog about being in a relationship, about life as a couple. Who is this 'we' that 'we' speak of? It's Nige and Ell, of course!

We are setting our intention here this evening (Nige just farted - how very timely), and we hope that you will join us as we expose the good, the bad and the innocent of being in relationship.

Right now, 'we' are deciding how 'we' want to express our own, individual voices on this blog. Notice the word 'we'. What we've noticed in the last couple of weeks, is that the word 'we' has become one of the most frequently used words we use in our vocabulary. We don't think we've used the word 'I' more than once or twice. We have decided to add variety and spice to the relationship - we may start using the word 'us' occasionally.

'We' is such an interesting concept: One Individual + One Individual = WE

Two separate bodies, with two separate personalities, decide to live together and two become one. Suddenly, they no longer have separate interests - they eat the same thing, they retire for bed at the same time every night, and they always order the same thing in a coffee shop, because one is always unsure of what to choose so it's easier to just order what the other person is having even if you don't like it. It's a bit like having sex - lie back and think of England, as they say.

We don't think we're doing too badly with all this 'we' stuff. After all, it is a word that spans many languages, age groups, cultures and even technological breakthroughs... read on if you don't believe 'us':


The French use the word we (pronounced oui).

The Scottish also use the word we (pronounced wee).

Little boys often wee in their pants.

Young children are taught about the power of we when on a playground slide .. wheeeeeeee!

Even the Nintendo has jumped on the bandwagon, trying to be the first brand with codependant tendencies selling many variations of Wii.





Neil Diamond even wrote a song about the subject called 'We' (and if anyone in the pop world understands the nature of a loving relationship then it's Neil).



We found this great quote about the song on YouTube...

"The lyric of this song is so wonderful, it expresses exactly my deepest wishes of a ideal relationship. Thank you Neil for helping me to realize what i really want of 'my future-life'"
Even Buddha spoke of 'we':

'We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world.'
(c. 563-483 BC)

He was probably fused with the all-encompassing Oneness, rather than trapped in a codpendent relationship, but nevertheless he too spoke of 'we'. Buddha is definitely the way forward. (That is why we have a Buddha statue in our bedroom.)

It might seem like we're making light of this issue. Making light of it allows us to shine some light on the situation, enabling it - and us - to breathe, paving the way for a happy relationship.

Having noticed that there's a lot of we-ing going on, we've both decided to make a conscious choice to use the word 'I' and to make individual decisions. It's about respecting each other's differences. The one thing we always have available to us is freedom of choice. Every human being who walks this earth has their own frame of reference and preferences, and exercising this needn't be threatening to their partner or relationship. However, if you start to choose something different from the status quo, the ego may kick off, so don't be surprised if the very foundations of your relationship appear to shake and become unsteady beneath your feet! This is only temporary, as you start to learn a new way of thinking and being in your relationship.

Once you've begun to make loving choices for yourself, it becomes easier to enjoy connecting with your partner.

We're not experts, but we are happy together, and it is the seemingly insignificant daily choices that we've made and continue to make which determine who we are in the middle of our relationship: connecting in the morning, giving and receiving acknowledgements, really listening to what the other has to share (and that means being curious and open!), sharing meals, riding our bikes together, saying thank you and giving loving touch - these are some of the ingredients that combine to create a soft place to land. These choices are things we do together in the relationship but they also help us as individuals to be in relationship with ourselves.

There is an invisible line between us, and it is there for a reason. It's like walking alongside each other; our paths are parallel, but not enmeshed. As a woman, Elloa particularly likes the image of her 'life river' running alongside her partner's 'life path' - it reminds her to allow the relationship to flow and unfold in its own unique way. In Nige's words, don't cross the line.

The truth is that for a relationship to become conscious and fully alive, it takes practice and the willingness to choose again... and again... and again. Being in a relationship is a learning process and we're finding that it's best to remember to laugh at the absurdity of it all as we navigate the twists and turns.

Perhaps Neil was wrong.

Perhaps One Individual + One Individual = LOVE

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Forgiveness Project

Ell and I have been pondering... What would happen if you spent 30 days focussing on forgiving everyone who angers or upsets you in any way - and we mean everyone? Whether it's mild irritation, medium road rage or a fully blown fit of hysteria, forgiveness, we've found, is always the antidote that can help us move from fear to love.

What is forgiveness, anyway? Well for starters, it's a letting go of control and a need to be right (ouch!), genuinely putting myself into another person's shoes and truly recognizing that everything that another person seemingly does to me is either an extension of love, or a cry for it (yes, that does include the ignorant van driver who drives within a hair's breadth of me on my bike - yes, even that is a cry for love). Through practicing radical forgiveness, the heart bursts open to a new way of thinking and living, in which innocence becomes the order of the day.

So, for the next 30 days, this is exactly what Ell and I are going to do. Inspired by the amazing 41 day projects Julia has done this year, and reflecting on my 104 day experiment in conscious dying, today seems like the perfect time to begin a forgiveness project.

Love waits on welcome. To the degree that we are judging our fellow human beings is to the degree that we are refusing to let love into our lives. Not content with just coasting along, doing the work of forgiving when it's so intense that we can't carry on our day without doing it, we are, for the next 30 days, committing to forgive all of it.

If we truly take this to heart - and we mean, truly take it to heart, really, really forgiving everyone - and apply it in our everyday lives, then we will be doing our bit for world peace. We're talking about everything here, from the idiot on the road to world leaders, to the friends we secretly judge, to our families, our annoying neighbours, and especially, each other. We will leave no stone unturned. After all, what's the worst that could happen here? We might actually end up liking the arsehole. Woah!

On a serious note, this is about accountability. It's a revolution in how we speak, how we think, how we act, and it starts in the mind. It's about refusing to point the finger, and, when we do, forgiving ourselves anyway and letting it all go.

We would love for you to join us on this epic adventure. Get involved by leaving comments, blogging about it yourself and sending us a link, or going within and doing the work quietly - whatever suits you.

Let the forgiveness revolution begin...

... hand in hand.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Forgotten Song

A solitary 
flower
tinged
by harsh winds 
of time
flourishes
and grows
-nourished
by the scent 
of ancient song.

Tiny wisps
of
windswept
melody
carry
love's message
down
a narrow
pathway
of consciousness.
-inner peace
thrives
-soul
revives
 love remains

- a constant friend.






Monday, 8 August 2011

Emergence

Life's firstborn
emerges
filled up
with
seemingly 
endless
possibilities.
Butterfly
wings
miraculously
carved
fluttering erratically
on 
heaven's breeze -
bleeding 
softly
into
love's sweet
embrace.
Tiny
golden threads
interwoven
with
Christ's
everlasting
warmth -
the unlost face
 of innocence.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Face to Face


I wasn’t born with a mobile phone in my hand. In fact, at that time, they didn’t even exist. Nowadays, it seems that you only have to be six years old before you get given your first mobile phone. It’s almost become an epidemic.


Recently, a friend told Ell about a study that took place about a different aspect of modern technology: two groups of teenagers were sent into separate rooms to play a computer game. One group played a football game, the other a killing game. When the kids were brought into a room to be interviewed afterwards, the interviewer would ‘accidentally’ drop something on the floor. The kids who had been playing the football game invariably helped pick the dropped object up off the floor, or at the very least, ask if the interviewer was alright. However, the kids who had been playing the game in which they murdered people, did nothing. No help. No engagement. No concern. In some cases, it didn’t appear as if they even registered that anything had happened. They were detached, disengaged, disconnected.

Closer to home, a couple of years ago whilst spending Christmas with my family, my nephew had been given a new computer game – one of those games where people kill each other for fun. During the holidays I barely saw him. One day I approached him and said that I would like to connect with him, spend some time with him. I gave him a choice, inviting him to hang out. He said, “I’ll carry on playing the computer game.”

Our kids are becoming disconnected from who they really are, wandering far from home, stuck in an alternate, illusory reality. It’s a sad state of affairs that could have dire consequences for the next generation and the one after that - all in the name of progress.

It’s not their fault though. We are all constantly bombarded with media companies making false claims about how we can achieve freedom and intimacy through technology, often spiritualizing their products.
In some ways, what we’re exposed to is no different to what German people went through in the run up to and duration of World War II. Hitler was a man who knew exactly what he was doing when he used the powerful technique of autosuggestion. He believed fiercely in the superiority of the Aryan race. He was very overt in his message, very charismatic, very persuasive. He bombarded people, induced terror, drove his message home again and again.

Are the media companies’ methods so different from this? (We’re not accusing any individual of being like Hitler here; this is more about the collective behaviour we’re perhaps unconsciously engaging in, the collective hypnotism that we are exposed to. After all, it is seductive; the ego usually is.) We are bombarded with advertisements, sometimes seeing up to 200 in a single day. Products are glamourized, idolized and spiritualized. Hype is created. Frantic buying and consuming ensues. Sure, we’re not imprisoning people in concentration camps, but we are giving the ego permission to run riot in our world and our lives, and in some ways imprisoning ourselves in the process.

Technology isn’t good or bad. The question to ask is, “What is it for?” It’s more about our intention. Are we using it to connect, or to disconnect? Are we using it for loving purposes, or fearful ones? Are we using it in service of Spirit or a higher purpose, or to reinforce the very guilt and shame that we seek to avoid in the first place?

The ego is ruthless in its quest for autonomy, and it will happily rip our lives apart. It is obsessed with separation – separate homes, separate bodies, separate lives. The very ‘advancements’ that are supposed to bring us closer together often leave us feeling further apart. It’s time to realize that freedom doesn’t come through the latest phone, computer game or tablet computer.

Maybe it is time to simplify things – to turn off the phone, become still, and listen. Because underneath all this, we are vulnerable. Maybe it seems easier to disconnect, because we are terrified that we don’t count or matter, or that what we have to say isn’t important. We believe that we have to hide ourselves, that it’s easier to live half dead, to become a ragged champion in a small corner of the dream, rather than step into the magnificence of our lives.

So, let's be still and reconnect with what is truly important: our family and our friends. Let's sit face to face and tell each other what is in our hearts. Bare our souls in the name of love and help build bridges to a better world.

Perhaps when it comes to technology, just a little is enough.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Edge Of Dreams

When a Course in Miracles speaks about having vigilance it is asking us to be alert to mind wandering. Let’s face it, the majority of us are undisciplined when it comes to our thinking and at different times it may seem like our thoughts are choosing us rather than us choosing them. These harsh thoughts when left unattended will often run amok and eventually manifest themselves as an idea of weariness in the world, resulting in fear, despair and the illusory death of love.

Becoming aware of the kind of thoughts we are thinking is a spiritual discipline in itself. I have been a student/ teacher of A Course In Miracles  for many years and in my experience the work is ongoing. Each and every day I am presented with new and exciting opportunities to weed out those troublesome beliefs and to transform them into ones that are peaceful and loving.
However, vigilance does not mean bashing ourselves over the head; rather it requires treating ourselves with kindness.

‘How can you wake children in a more kindly way than by a gentle voice That will not frighten them, but will merely remind them that the night is over and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares that frightened them so badly are not real, because children believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe NOW. Then you train them to recognize the difference between sleeping and waking, so they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. And so when bad dreams come, they will themselves call on the light to dispel them.’ - ACIM


We are standing on the edge of something massive. This inner work we have chosen to undertake is a revolution in the way we think, eat, sleep, act, and is a breathe of hope - it is a revolution of the heart. The world doesn’t need martyrs but teachers - those of us who are willing to step up and teach the ways of the ancient ones.

‘ All shallow roots must be uprooted’ - ACIM

Vigilance has an essential part to play enabling us to open our minds to the love that was always there just waiting to be remembered.



 What kind of thoughts will you think today?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ON TWO WHEELS




The bicycle saves my life everyday.If you've ever experienced a moment of awe or freedom on a bicycle;if you've ever taken flight from sadness to the rhythm of two spinning wheels, or felt the resurgence of hope pedalling to the top of a hill with the dew of effort on your forehead;if you've ever wondered, swooping bird-like down a long hill on a bicycle,if the world was standing still;if you've ever,just once sat on a bicycle with a singing heart and felt like an ordinary human touching the gods,then we share something fundamental.We know it's all about the bike. - Robert Penn

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Love is ...



Love is not an illusion. It is a fact. - ACIM

Tell Me On A Sunday

Recently, I joined a couple of friends for a wonderful evening of outdoor cabaret to help raise money for the Red Cross. Claire had made a big scrumptious picnic for us consisting of cooked meats, salad leaves, new potatoes, chips, strawberries and banana loaf , washed down with a flask of green tea.

My main reason for attending the cabaret was to support my beloved Elloa who would be singing a solo called Tell me on a Sunday. According to Ell the last time she was asked to sing a solo was in secondary school, and she felt so frightened that she was unable to sing a note! So, this was a crucial moment for Ell as she attempted to make the journey from fear to love.

Supporting each other is an essential part of this grand adventure as we make the higgledy journey back to the land of milk and honey. Sunshine or rain - its all the same when you are in the business of love. I especially enjoy walking alongside Elloa because she is a smashing person, and we both have lots in common e.g. meditating, riding bikes and eating cake.

So, I silently blessed her with unconditional love and wrapped her in the warmth of loves embrace, afterall it takes incredible courage to stand up and sing in front of a crowd of people.

When Elloa sang the angels rushed to meet her. Her fragile voice danced in the wind, gently tugging at my heartstrings and I became  tearful. And from a nearby oak tree a blackbird provided harmonies. I witnessed this magnificent woman walk straight out of this world and through another to peace and joy. WOW!

‘Listen - perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered . Not the whole song has stayed with you, but a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember. From just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.’ - ACIM

Monday, 20 June 2011

Fathers Day

Today is Fathers day.

Here is a picture of Dad and me looking really happy .



Sadly, my Dad is no longer with us because he died from cancer and this makes me feel sad.

Todays is Fathers day.

Here is picture of my Dads Dad ...



Sadly, my Dad never got to be happy with his Dad because he stopped being friends with him.

According to Pops, Jim SNR was a womaniser and a bully. He would often disappear for days on end and then show up like nothing had happened. Dad told me that  he was only aged 5 or 6 when the war started between his parents. Dad became so scared that he would leave the house and walk the streets. One time he returned to an empty house. Supposedly, Jim SNR had told a neighbour that they were moving home and emptied the house of all its contents leaving the family with nothing. 

My Dad once told me that he didn't know what a normal loving father/ son relationship was. He was never cuddled or shown affection, and grew up feeling unwanted. Consequently Jim JNR never forgave his father for all his wrongdoings and their relationship fell apart like a tatty old sweater.

For many years, Dad and me didn't see eye to eye either.The road became dark, twisted  and lonely. Then one day the pain became so unbearable that I was forced to my knees. I made the unwavering decision to heal my relationship with my father.  Rather than shrink away from truth I chose to walk towards it - peeling away unresolved layers of  guilt and shame along the way, which I  had unconsciously been carrying for my father and his father before him. This toxic guilt and shame  had become so tightly wrapped around my heart that I had become cut off from my emotions. Eventually, I succumbed and what revealed itself was a hurting child walking wounded - and that child was the embodiment of father and son. I held the child closely and in that moment my relationship with my father was transformed and healed. I had remembered love.

This inner work I have undertaken is radical because it goes against the worldly grain. The butterfly effect states that a butterfly flapping its wings somewhere in the jungles of Asia can eventually start a tornado in Texas. When I changed my mind about my father the wings of love started to flap and  I experienced a miracle. Through having the courage to forgive I was able to give to my father the love I thought that I was denied as a child. We held each other and cried - father and son. And in that moment the tear in the sacred fabric started to reweave itself and the way forward became easier.


 Incidentally, today is the first time I have ever seen a picture of my grandfather. In life he may have had a hard shell but beneath the surface he was  a broken man unable to tell his son that he loved him because he didn't feel loved in his own life.

Today is  Fathers day ...

Only the love remains.


 ' We must be about our Fathers business which means the business of our Source which is love and love only. Anything loving that we do or think contributes to the healing of humanity. Any turning away from love literally holds back the planet . We are perched on the brink of a miraculous transition from the ways of fear to the ways of love.' - Marianne Williamson

Around the time Pops was diagnosed with ’that lung cancer’ a lady contacted the family saying that she was my fathers half sister. She was on a heroines journey attempting to retrace her family roots to regain her sense of self. Sadly, Hazel never got the opportunity to meet her brother before he died. But since then she has been embraced wholeheartedly by our family. I pray that the work I have done with my father allows her to be closer to him,and that her heart is repaired, even though she never met her own Father and half brothers and sisters. Auntie Hazel - I dedicate this post to you.












Sunday, 12 June 2011

Dazzled

 
During the early hours of this morning whilst driving home from a gig I accidentally hit and killed a rabbit.

I immediately stopped Winston and walked back up the desolate road. The rabbit lay quivering in the middle of the road. I crouched down beside it and looked into its eyes, and said to the rabbit, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you. You ran out.” I also said that it was safe to let go, watching tearfully as it took its last breath.

As the rabbit took its final breath I reflected on the fragility of life in a body - how I sometimes fill my life with assorted paraphernalia in a desperate bid to avoid having to face the inevitable - death. In such moments I become like the frightened rabbit, twisting, turning, looking for love in all the wrong places, paralysed by the headlights. This fear keeps me from embracing life.

The rabbit is afraid of committing to moving in a direction that may help it get away from the car - because it’s dazzled by the lights. These are the lights of our lives. We forget that the choice is always within our grasp, no matter how bright the illusory lights may appear to be. The answer is always within; it was waiting there the whole time, just to be remembered. And when we remember, anything is possible.

‘The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.’ Abraham Maslow
 
As I made my way back to the car a new day was dawning; I stood on a bridge overlooking a river. The pre dawn light was absolutely breathtaking - a strange mist was rising above the water, backlit by a golden glow. A barn owl flew across the water and into a nearby tree and bird song filled the morning air. I wept at the simple beauty of it all. I prayed for the release of every rabbit on the planet who has become dazzled by the headlights of this so-called life.


 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Authenticity


' A little bit of real coffee is worth a ton of watered down' - Lee Strasberg

Friday, 20 May 2011

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Shifts Happen!

For the previous 4 months I have been preparing to play 'Rooster' in the musical 'Annie'.

From the outset this production has been like walking uphill backwards wearing a blindfold. Back in January the original director had to step aside due to health complications, leaving the dance choreographer to take on the role of dance choreographer and director. As a result rehearsals have been slow and direction has been minimal. I became so upset that I made the decision to go underground with my preparations.
Slowly but surely 'The Rooster' started to emerge like a crooked butterfly from a crysallis; the wannabe gangster with his slicked back hair, pencil moustache and pin striped suit holding a cigar in his hand. On the one hand supremely confident and on the other a desperately insecure misfit.


As the first show approached I quietly poised myself on the start blocks.

Suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue last Monday during rehearsals, I started to get a sore throat which  gradually progressed into a full blown cold. Then the following day, my back went into spasm and I found myself rooted to the spot, grimacing in pain, crying out for help.


Given that I was down on my knees unable to move, I decided to ask myself the following question:


What is this for?


Tatty, twisted images of  the wounded boy started to bubble to the surface; a misfit; a no good failure!


STOP!

I am not a failure!

Julias Truly Alive blog came to mind.

What if  I stopped thinking there is a right or wrong way.


' Rise, put hat on, jam it on the head, fling it to the ground, pick it up, tear it to pieces, pause briefly ...


What if I don't have to be perfect on show night.


... strike fist hard on furniture, stamp the foot, wheel around ...'


What if simply said YES to what wants to be expressed through me?

I made a decision to drop the bullshit/pleasing/trying to be good and  take care of little Nige; resting , meditating, letting go of the jagged edges, softening into the pain. eating simple healthy food and drinking lots of water. Ell massaged my back with essential oils everyday and constantly reassured me that everything was going to be okay. Meanwhile, Rooster reluctantly looked on. Maybe, if I could bring acceptance to this part of myself  there was just enough time left to help Rooster  realise that he is loved and accepted too.


I returned to band rehearsal feeling weary,aching from head to toe, unable to sing, and during the break I sat  with Ell and and sobbed. This was the turning point which enabled me to bring compassion to the hurting boy trapped inside a mans body. In a single moment I  forgave myself and returned to tech rehearsal holding little Nige's hand reassuring him that I would stand by him no matter what happened. 

From that  moment forward 'The Rooster' has gone from strength to strength. I am learning that trying to be perfect in an imperfect world is like trying to be a potato when you're really a carrot. So, rather than focusing on trying to be perfect I have focused on perfect expression and funnily enough the moment I dropped the bullshit my heart leapt for joy. 

Last night the show opened and 'The Rooster' took to the stage - a little bit mis-shapen and rough at the edges but still 'The Rooster' and guess what; he shone brighter than the top of the Chrysler Building. Thanks Julia for gently reminding me that it's okay to be human.


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Rebirth


'You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.'
-  Friedrich Nietzsche


Monday, 2 May 2011

Say YES to Self-Love

We have a little experiment for you today.

Take a minute to complete each of the following two sentences. Don’t think about your answers; just blurt them out, without any modesty – false or otherwise.

I like myself because...
I don’t like myself because…

Nige and Ell did this over pancakes this morning. This is some of what we said.

Nige: 

I like that I am kind and considerate and fun and creative.

I don’t like myself because I think that I’m not educated enough (the fact that I pissed around in all my exams doesn’t count because my parents are to blame anyway). I don’t like myself because I’m quite controlling (notice the word quite!) and sometimes struggle to share how I’m feeling and withdraw especially in my relationship with Elloa.

Elloa: 

I like myself because I’m passionate and sensitive and I care about nature and people, and I feel things deeply. (Nige is now saying, “What about me? I’m caring, aren’t I?")

I don’t like myself because I am so moody (Nige agrees – that’s something I don’t like about him!), and controlling, and I have big hips and wonky teeth (kind of like a hippopotamus that needs to see an orthodontist.) 

What Nige noticed and articulated - in a very educated way - was just how easy it was for each of us in turn to become animated, passionate, convinced and alive when talking about what we don’t like about ourselves. Naming what we do like about ourselves seemed to lack a bit of colour and depth.  

What did you notice?

A Course In Miracles teaches that Spirit and ego are in same place - the mind; every thought you think either aligns with one or the other, witnessing to what you believe about yourself and eventually creating form on some level – without exception.

With practice it is possible to become as animated, passionate and alive about the things I like about myself
as those that I don’t. The choice always comes down to fear or love, but choose wisely because you can’t live in both places at the same time.


However, you can’t expect to just think thoughts like, ‘I am love’ or ‘I am peace’ and really believe them, when you have been giving so much conviction to the unloving thoughts your whole life.

It’s very important to take things slowly, a step at a time, otherwise you may end up attacking yourself for not quite getting it right or not feeling it. You may just end up wearing a spiritual mask, walking around reciting affirmations when really underneath it all you feel like crap.

So, let us all celebrate our victories along the way, and take things one step at a time. Positive statements of truth are useful when used with acceptance. Acceptance really is the key, as is having the courage to examine these beliefs and let them go. Without acceptance, these are just another thing that can be used to attack ourselves.

This much we know: self-love takes practice. 

This is why we are both choosing to focus on 100 things we like about ourselves. It is a demonstration of self-love which will better equip us to extend love to each other and the world.


We are what we think. With our thoughts, we make our world.
Buddha

This post was written by the handsome and incredibly talented Nige and the fabulous Elloa. We hope you enjoyed it - and tough luck if you didn't, because we plan on writing a lot more together.

Follow Elloa's Explorations at http://explorationsofelloaness.blogspot.com/