LIGHTHOUSE: The making of a teacher

15032126_1850672188499045_220779219918766535_nWhen I first got into the world of Personal Development, it was less a choice and more like being shoved. I had tried everything to feel good and nothing was working – so out of total desperation I resigned myself to go into one of those Self Help sections in the local bookstore, hoping that no one I knew would see me there!

The first book I found was a revelation – and I thought I’d finally “got it” But my journey was just beginning.

When the student is ready

I bought book after book, reading the same kind of books I’m sure you, as someone interested in Mind Body Spirit, have read. Books about changing my thoughts and changing my life, books about loving myself and “being present” – and books about attracting everything I want in three easy steps.

But nothing worked. At first there was hope that this or that latest teaching would be the answer, but soon after I fell back into familiar patterns of anxiety and depression or simply a realisation that nothing much would change. I could slightly change, but my problems would still be there.

And so I studied like a pHD; they say when the student is ready the teacher appears, and teachers were appearing all over the place, up close and personal. Through my career as a journalist, which had manifested in direct response to my new-found-yet-at-the-time-still-limited understanding of how we create our reality , I was able to interview my favourite teachers. I was shown new worlds and new way of seeing things which went way beyond the theory. An adventure was unfolding which would lead to me “getting it” in a profound way.

Becoming a teacher

In my workshop at this year’s Mind Body Spirit Festival, I introduce work direct from my new book Lighthouse: Navigate the emotional storms of life and discover the power within you. This book is predominantly about how to practically deal with the stormier emotions of life like fear, anxiety and even depression. After all, being told to “be positive” is useless when you’re in a good mood and equally useless when you’re in a bad mood, so navigating these storms is vital to clear the way for successfully living your best life.  Using my methods, I’ve seen people with 15 years of anxiety going into consistent peace of mind (and no more anxiety) in several months of my sessions – and then onto success.

Nikki Slade, who is also presenting at this year’s festival, is a pioneer of voice work and kirtan leader who has written a generous foreword to my book.

Two well-known personal development teachers I know both separately referred to me and my approach as a Lighthouse; having known me and worked with me – and I’m not surprised; the author Esther Hicks (Abraham) had told me of my path as an author and teacher years before it unfolded when I used to meet up with her and her late husband Jerry – and validated the unique power of my work to soothe and shift emotion. This seems to be one of my skills, having battled my own demons, found my way out and then helped hundreds of others do the same. And I will share what I know in this workshop.

Getting personal

I remember meeting with the publishers Hay House about a previous book I was writing where, as I was leaving, one of the team commented: “I’ve spent two hours with you and I don’t know who you are – you’re a real enigma”. I smiled to myself as I walked out (who doesn’t like an air of mystery) – but as fascinated as I assumed she was by me, what she said hit home: I had kept my own life out of my writings. Until now, that is. Following her nudge, for the first time I have included my own personal story in this book, which shows how we can find peace no matter what the circumstance –  and paints a picture of how my own challenges have shaped my current life and helped create a book such as this.

The battle of trying to be positive

On my own journey, I got disillusioned with all the positive thinking books, and I couldn’t get to grips with what they said. Reading books that tell you that you ought to simply “be positive not negative” are great in theory, but not so much in real life – and hardly tell us something we don’t know. Books about the Law of Attraction can get you on a never-ending road to “attracting a better life tomorrow”. And that tomorrow never comes. I’ve seen people buy into this stuff, take workshop after workshop, on their way to “manifesting a dream life” only it never quite happens for them. The thing is, I’ve got to know several Great Big Huge proponents of this “three steps to success” formula and guess what… It doesn’t work for them either.

So what does work?

With my background as a current affairs journalist coupled with a natural interest in religion and spirituality, and a fascination with the bigger questions of life, I’ve been on the search for truth. And looking for something that actually worked to improve the quality of mine and other people’s lives. Not empty theory, not gimmicks… I wanted to find solutions: Can we affect our life experience?  Can we heal our bodies? Can we become more confident? Can we manifest our dream lives? How do we enjoy more loving and fulfilling relationships?  Can miracles happen? Can we overcome our thought habits and find peace of mind? And if we can, how do we do it?

So I researched, explored healing methods and meditation and started a study group, finding out what worked and what didn’t. My conscious searching began over fifteen years ago. And now, well over 500 workshops later, I’m confident in my method.

So – I’m going to make a statement of my findings to-date: I have little doubt about the extraordinary power we have within us. I have personally witnessed many powerful, you could say “miraculous” results in all areas of life – including physical healing – in myself and others. I’ve seen people move into their dream lifestyles and careers using the ideas I share. And I’ve seen people really starting to enjoy their lives more and get out of those miserable habits of depression and anxiety, and truly learn how to navigate the emotional storms of life.

This workshop will be a whole new experience for you.

Come and see me on Monday 1 May at 10:45am.

Going beyond patterns to find peace and empowerment within challenging relationships

10446193185_8519af2f43_b-1024x765The “anxious attachment” (known as partner A in this article) type of person I spoke about in my last article, are often leaders, natural counsellors and professional advisors to others. Understandably so, as they have a warm and caring, trustworthy nature and deep wisdom that belies their years.

In a relationship, partner B can sometimes feel like they are being fixed all the time, when all partner A is trying to do is heal their partner, well meaningly.

Partner A is sometimes paid for their advice in a professional capacity – so they feel rejected and shocked when their partner gets irritated with them. They see it as a personal rejection, in fact; another sign that “they’re not good enough”.

Although it’s totally understandable why this “bright light” partner would want to fix their loved one – after all it may be their day job, and they are probably accurate about what their partner needs – this approach doesn’t work. The problem is only the individual themselves can make their changes. This attempt to fix doesn’t work – the partner must make the effort to do their own inner work. Partner A’s carry their partners and it doesn’t work for anyone! It is well intentioned, but it doesn’t work.

Loving not analysing

As much as Partner A-types make great psychoanalysts – this isn’t actually their main purpose. Although they are often great with words and thoughts – their real gift and purpose is beyond words and beyond the intellect; it’s to shine the light; it’s to love, which is beyond vocabulary. This is unconditional love, “loving outwards” no matter what. It is simplicity, almost zen like. It is the opposite of what educational institutions classify as “intelligence”, in fact.

Overthinking is actually what gets the partner A into the most trouble. Their solution and key to their connection is to relax into that loving space, which is beyond thoughts, where the power centre is. You can’t think and love at the same time – as I  said, partner A is more naturally a lover than they are a thinker.

Love is empowerment

Partner A is a lover and a light. That is what we all are in our aligned state. Don’t be tricked by the call of your own mind that the other person, like your partner, “doesn’t deserve it”. You’d be right – they probably don’t – but you do. Being Partner A is who you are, like a lighthouse, and being a lighthouse is therefore your key to happiness and all your dreams coming true. Anything less that that will feel off to you because it is off.

Take the focus off them

Yes, the other person can’t handle emotion and is not doing the work. That’s for them to work out. Stay in your own lane and focus on being you – not trying to manage them. Think of an actual lighthouse: It isn’t so much focused on the individual ships, it just tends to its flame and radiates. This, too, is your focus.

More shining; less talking

Softness is strength. Hardness is weak. Hear that. Feel that. Silence is power, sometimes, too, as lighthouses are known for their eloquent conversation- but can also not know when to stop! They feel bad… And then keep talking. The more their partner withdraws, in fact, the more they want to talk. They go on and on. It’s shining not talking that you want to focus on; more loving, less thinking.

Run your own race

Why would a champion athlete go on a run with an amateur fun runner? The amateur fun runner is not “wrong” – they’ve just got a different intention, a different training schedule. They don’t need to be hated. You don’t need to write angry songs about them… Just run with a champion. Hang out with champions. Stick to your own.

Anyone can be a champion. It’s not like you’re discriminating here.  It’s simple really. Let the slow swimmers swim in the slow lane. Don’t make them wrong for it- just leave them be and swim with the champions.

Your dream life is to be found at an Olympic pace – and nowhere else. Don’t slow – keep on running.

I remember getting a vision where I felt so dragged down by a relationship – that I was underwater fighting to get to the surface and my partner, tied to me, was doing nothing – in fact, I was being pulled down deeper. I got the image of cutting the rope that bound us together – realising the choice was at this point we both sink or I save myself.  The thing is, when we free the other, we are both free. We both have the choice to kick into swimming. And by being bound together, the other has no reason to use their muscles. So whereas for years I found this image bleak, stuck between a rock and a hard place, now I know me focusing on my race is win-win for all. Shining brighter is the only choice.

There is a fear that if partner A states their needs, partner B will reject them. What I would say is, if they are going to reject you, they will anyway. In these new energy relationship dynamics, nothing beats straight communication. Stating clearly who you are is your best option, as is shining brighter no matter what; running your best race.