Oh my poor head! It’s been a whole week – 8 days in fact – since I got the flu and I’m still not well. Tomorrow, I return to my day job, as opposed to my entrepreneurial venture (neither of which I’ve been able to tend to), and still don’t really feel up to the challenge of meeting and greeting lots of First Year students embarking on their new career. I also missed last weekends Tai Chi workshop, the first of my second year on the teacher training course, which is so good for me and which I was looking forward to.
Tai Chi, of course, is about energy management, or mastery – packing our bodies full of energy for physical protection and nourishment, and raising our energy levels for emotional peace and spiritual attainment. This is so beneficial, clearing trauma from our bodies and psyches, and removing the blocks which hamper the expression of our unique creativity and purpose.
The week before I ‘came down with flu’ I felt so good practising Tai Chi and Chi Kung with friends. We spoke of how great the energy was and how we were feeling. I remarked that we needed to remember these moments of peace, wellness and fulfillment in those other moments, the ones that don’t feel so good, when we feel down and flattened and self doubt goes on the attack. I had good reason to remember those moments in the past week, when I felt too unwell to do anything and the familiar ‘baddies’ whispered “shoulds” to me, and, “you always”,”you never”, “you’ll never”, “this is typical of you” etc., When clarity left and confusion tried to take over once more. While I did a fair amount of beating myself up, I also reminded myself of my achievements, and that this low level condition would pass, my energy would rise again and soon I’d re-enter the opposite state of feeling good, capable, and would optimistically move forward once more.
Everyone experiences change, both externally and internally. Cycles are a natural phenomena (just look at our global economic boom and bust pattern if you need to see proof), the main thing is to keep focused on what we want and keep chipping away on moving towards what is best for us, knowing we will encounter setbacks along the way. When, during an energy slump during the week, the voice of my internal saboteur asked accusingly “What have you done with the past decade of your life? Huh!” I found myself, after a moment of succumbing to the negative aspects of the accusation, compiling a healthy list of rich experiences, obstacles overcome and a determined campaign towards creating the life I want to live.
ü Helping my husband through cancer.
ü Getting out of bed and going to work everyday after my husband, my best friend, and another very close friend died within months of one another.
ü Discovering that death is merely another transition and deepening my awareness of the Divine.
ü Learning for sure, that we are all supported at all times.
ü Raising two children single handedly.
ü Making a success of the Full Time Photographic Studies course I founded.
ü Helping to transform the lives of others both through the course and my life coaching work.
ü Studying Shamanism, energy healing, EFT, Chi Kung and Tai Chi
ü Achieving First Class honours on a post graduate course in Integrative Psychotherapy studies at UCC followed by a Diploma in Life Coaching.
ü Buying our family home, selling it and buying a better one near a town where I didn’t know anyone.
ü Making several trips abroad alone with the children, including two weeks in Jordan.
ü Attending numerous workshops on various topics, all with a view to running transformational workshops in Ireland and abroad. My dream is to run a transformational centre in Europe, possibly in France, where people seeking the skills to change their lives will pay to mix holidays with learning and self exploration. This in turn will fund people with cancer and their families, or the surviving members of a family affected with cancer to come along for a free, or subsidised holiday, to mix with others in a supportive and fun environment, in order to recover from their trauma and realise that good things can also happen to them.
ü Meeting great people who are bravely committed to discovering and expressing the most authentic aspects of themselves.
Looked at in this light, I’ve achieved a lot over the past decade. My children have another three years at school and I’m now paving the way for the next phase of the plan – the transformational centre abroad. This doesn’t mean I’m immune to those voices which beset us all – I have learned though, to hear them and counter their attack, reminding myself that they don’t speak the truth – that I am the one who decides what is true and possible, and that I have the support of Divine Intelligence and Love on my side. The more I accept that, the more I allow it to help me overcome the dreaded voices of Resistance – in the immortal words of Steven Pressfield:
“RESISTANCE ONLY OPPOSES IN ONE DIRECTION
Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually.
So if you’re in Calcutta working with the Mother Theresa Foundation and you’re thinking of bolting to launch a career in telemarketing…relax. Resistance will give you a free pass.”
“The first duty is to sacrifice to the gods and pray them to grant you the thoughts, words, and deeds likely to render your command most pleasing to the gods and to bring yourself, your friends, and your city the fullest measure of affection and glory and advantage.
- Xenophon, The Cavalry Commander’
Both above excerpts from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Jason Chan, an inspiring spiritual teacher with whom I have the privilege of studying, also counsels on the hazards of the path of Enlightenment; the higher our spiritual aspirations, the more our Ego will seek to deter and detract us from our task. In his experience, the path of commitment to a higher level of spirituality is a revolution rather than an evolution. It must be consciously undertaken and requires great courage. His book The Radiant Warrior is an informative and inspiring guide which offers great support to those seeking liberation.
So, everyone experiences Resistance; whether we want to tone our abs or save the world, as sure as the gravitational pull of the Earth keeps us from floating into space, we will hear those voices attempting to drag us down to prevent us from progressing with our goals. Our best defence is to be on the lookout for these destructive marauders and, once we become aware of them, to relegate them to their proper function of protecting us from stepping out in front of oncoming traffic or over the edge of real, live, as opposed to imaginary, cliffs!