Thursday, 31 March 2011

Confession ...

I have a confession to make;

I feel embarrassed about making this confession because I am afraid that you will see me as weak. However, I am willing to take a chance and break this silence because it is holding me back.

Okay here goes …

What I don't want you to know is that I have been feeling unwell (off and on) for the past 18 months. It's like one step forward, two steps back. In other words, I can't stand up for falling down.

This morning I awoke around 5am feeling like death had entered the room. My body was shaking and my head pounding . Confused and paralysed with fear I sat on the edge of the bed and prayed for guidance...


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Spirit of Adventure

Alice laughed : 'There's no use trying', she said. ' One can't believe in impossible things'. 'I daresay you haven't had much  practice', said the Queen. ' When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many six impossible things before breakfast.'

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

A few weeks ago mighty companion Elloa treated me to a belated birthday surprise. On the morning I packed the  following bits and pieces into a rucksack...
  • A years supply of healthy snacks ( for a constant supply of carbohydrates)
  • Compact digital camera ( for sudden bursts of creativity) 
  • 1 x  empty leather wallet ( for that richer look )
  • A change of underwear ( To be used in emergencies only)
  • Mobile phone ( to call a friend )
  • Household rubber gloves ( for protection against germs)
  • Writing pad and pens ( for moments of pure blog-spiration)

As we journeyed through gorgeous Sussex countryside to the surprise location,  my ego started to conjure up weird and wonderful activities for the day ahead ...

Sheep riding ( which is similar to bike riding only more woolly)

A cupcake tea party with Al Pacino 

Bungee jumping from a local council estate high rise block of flats ( This is a bit like attempting to commit suicide except you don't die ( unless the cord snaps and you fall on your head)

Fire Walking

Pole dancing ( a wonderful opportunity to wear gold hot pants and dance like kylie Minogue in the pop video spinning around)

Basket weaving for health and wellbeing

Bullfighting  in a local farmers field somewhere on the South Downs

Actually, it was none of the above. However, I will add the above to my bucket list of things to do before I die (again).

Eventually after a tranquil journey through the English countryside we pulled into Tulleys farm- DESTINATION UNKNOWN! I was then asked  to sign a waiver form saying that if I was to die whilst on the surprise birthday treat then it would be my fault! This made me feel slightly uneasy afterall I didn't have the foggiest as to what I might actually be doing next.

Moments later I was escorted down a muddy woodland trail and into an open field. I had started to think that maybe Ell was planning on having me bumped off by a country bumpkin with a shot gun. Thankfully, this wasn't the case and instead  it turned out that my belated birthday suprise was ...


We started off just practicing going forward and backwards. (See right for a pic of Ell practicing her quad biking skills.) 10 mins later we were deep in shite on a woodland trail. It was really exciting - like being a kid all over again-getting proper mucked up. At one point I felt so happy I started to cry. ( Here is a brilliant photo of Ell and me on the Quad bikes...)

Just when I thought it was all over I was escorted another activity. Now if someone had said at the beginning of the day that I would be MEDIEVAL AXE THROWING  I would have thought they were barking mad, but that is exactly what we did and for some strange reason it came to me quite naturally- like I had experienced it before in a past life. (I found it really useful visualising my ex-girlfriend's face on the coloured target as this enabled me to hit the bullseye with every throw ( just kidding - I don't have those kind of  thoughts anymore because I am a spiritually enlightened axe throwing being - seriously.) Supposedly, the hardest axe of all to throw is the tomahawk used by the red indians with lightning precision. Well, I can proudly say that I hit the bullseye. (Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the allocated time attempting  to remove the tomahawk from the instructors forehead.)

The final activity was ARCHERY. Robin Hood eat your heart out. I once tried archery as a kid and I was absolutely rubbish at it! However, today was a new day and the chance to change my mind. I decided to hold my little boys hand and gave him full permission to miss the target and guess what ... I hit it - again and again and again.  Ell also discovered that she is maid marian incarnated and we have since decided to set up a small business robbing the rich to pay the poor.

A smashing day was had by all and we left Tulleys Farm exhausted but fullfilled.  This was a day for venturing out of comfort zones and for walking through fear. Together, we embarked on an exciting adventure that embodied the Spirit of Jim, and helped reveal that to live an extra-ordinary life one must first find the courage to think outside the box.

' Whenever you face your fear, you overcome an inner obstacle that has previously held you back. And in surmounting that obstacle, the landscape changes both inside and out and you move into new territory. ' - Annie Lionnet

In Nige and Ells world ... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE :-)

Monday, 21 March 2011

The State of Grace

Ell and me have decided to keep our bedroom free of electronic equipment - so no laptops, no music systems, (and the only sex toys allowed have to be solar powered.) We have a lovely stone Buddha statue which sits in the corner of the room, a water fountain, and a beautiful king sized rubber oak futon frame with a brand spanking new mattress which promotes weightless sleep. We've also put a couple of church candles and some big fluffy cushions in there, and the agreement is that we don't take work, or problems, into that room. This is a revelation in bedroom dynamics; it has become a sanctuary because we have committed to it being one.

Here is a picture of our bedroom...

Only kidding! I'll post a picture of our lovely bedroom sometime soon.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Food For Thought ...

We live on a round planet in space that spins like a top and travels around the sun.


Friday, 11 March 2011

Moving With Mindfulness

Hello people.

The reason I've been away from blogger for a few days is because I have been moving home and my internet connection was temporarily severed. Actually, I've been moving in with my fiance, best pal and mighty companion, Ell.

We have moved to the beautiful, picturesque village of Steyning in West Sussex.

Suddenly, the focus has shifted from connection, simplicity and joining to buying vacuum cleaners, beds and kitchen knives (we still haven't found one). Deciding which colour kettle to buy became a matter of seemingly great importance in the ego's quest to GET the perfect life.

Last night during the vacuum cleaner purchasing trip Ell said she was struggling to be present. I have definitely fallen into this trap a few times in the last week and have found  myself getting distracted with all the things that need do-ing rather than the be-ing that I'm used to.

The Buddhists have a profoundly simple mindfulness practice which involves building beautiful rock gardens only to see them destroyed by monsoons, and each time they are destroyed they go back and build the rock garden again, and again, and again. This is a spiritual discipline which builds right-mindedness; through this practice, the monks are able to be focussed and extremely present with whatever task they are doing.

Thankfully, we didn't bring too much stuff with us into the new flat, which helped create a space for energy to flow freely, thus enabling us to tune in and be guided to choose things for the flat that uplift and inspire.

For example, on the first day we moved, the man in the flat opposite was preparing to move out because his mother had died. I noticed the door ajar and saw antique dolls and some oldy-worldly furniture in the hallway, and I got an intuitive inkling to ask him if he had a writing desk available. He invited me into the flat and showed me a beautiful antique desk, which I purchased for the bargain price of twenty English pounds.

In the middle of this transition where I have sometimes lost my way, I have learned that it is more than possible to move with mindfulness. This is a moment to moment proposition which requires awareness and the willingness to make the radical shift from fear to love. Moving with mindfulness is definately the way forward.

'There is God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God.' - Blaise Pascal

P.S. We must have created a vacuum - because we manifested a fabulous new vacuum cleaner. Here it is ...