How do you feel when somebody makes that comment? Do you squirm or smile? Do you feel as if you’ve been criticised or as if you’ve received a compliment?
For the moment let’s not get distracted by the ‘facts’ regarding how upstanding and admirable or how despicable and revolting your parents actually are; instead, pay attention to your response to being tagged with the same brush.
I was never called to summon things with a flick of my wand or straddle a broomstick and take off for the dark side of the moon, but I was certainly interested in magic. Real magic. The kind of magic that transforms ordinary lives as they are lived here on earth.
Then it becomes important to us to win our footy match (score goals!) or the art competition, pass our exams, or take that girl out to the school dance… As adults we want to land the job of our dreams, travel to South America or buy that particular car; we want a life partner, a house, financial abundance…
I don’t know about you but I arrived at the end of last year feeling quite tired and burnt out.
Over Christmas/New Year, I was tackling so much less that I began to deeply relax… and a digestive issue cleared up all by itself…
It occurred to me that it would be a grand idea to not set out to be SuperWoman this year by taking on so very much but to instead be more realistic about how much I am likely to be able to achieve in a day and deliberately only tackle that much; to deliberately 'under-achieve’.
My daughters are listening to one of the Harry Potter books on audio – I can hear Harry crying out ‘Expecto Patronum!’, the spell that summons a protective guardian energy.
Many parents have been as caught up in the magic and mystery of their children’s fantasy books as their children, but how many have considered teaching their kids how to create magic in their own lives? Real magic?
I’ve long been struck by the fact that our children’s choice of fiction is either fantasy, in which characters straddle dragons or broomsticks and possess magical items or supernatural abilities, or ‘faction’, in which characters deal with real-life dilemmas like divorce and drugs and death.
Try my ‘Two-Handed Meditation’ to help you Deal With Festive Season Madness
You might instinctively react to the statement that ‘being negative is good for your health’ with a ‘No way! Being negative causes depression and other destructive states of mind, whereas being positive is a creative, optimistic state that is productive and encouraging and hopeful!’ – but if you are familiar with earthing and ions you’ll know that ‘it ain’t necessarily so…’
We have come through that ‘New Year Resolutions’ time where we innocently (naïvely?) set goals that we fully intend to achieve, tentatively set goals that we hope we’ll achieve or, with a mocking laugh, avoid the whole thing altogether.
Having written a personal-development-styled novel for youth, I have suddenly found myself in the strange, and often uncomfortable, position of being an ‘expert’ on goal-achievement; a bizarre turn of events, given my own journey where goals are concerned. Recently, in the process of teaching goal-setting to others, I was struck by the actual spelling of the word ‘goal’ and its association with the word ‘gaol’. After all, the word ‘goal’ and the word ‘gaol’ are not that far apart. Flip a couple of letters and your innocent dream has landed you in the clink.
I was sitting in a business breakfast yesterday morning listening to the famous Beechworth Baker, Tom O’Toole (who is both very inspiring and very entertaining), when he asked the audience the following question: ‘What is success for you?’ and suddenly I realised that, where business was concerned, I had been defining success as something that was still to come.
Immediately I decided to change that definition so that success no longer has to do with book sales (in the future) or number of Mastery Club programs being run (in the future) or number of Facilitators teaching programs (in the future) or number of my writings published (in the future).
I’ve just started a Qi Gung class and when I was the only one to turn up for one class, the Qi Gung master and I settled into a long conversation about energy and healing. In the midst of it he made a comment about 'watering concrete’. The image was so striking that I cannot now recall why he said it or what came either before or after that comment.
'What a great title for a blog or newsletter,' I was thinking (which is the other reason why I didn’t hear what he said after that comment). 'I’ll write it when I get home…' only to find myself sitting in judgement on the concept of watering concrete. It was clearly a criticism of someone, something, some sort of action, but perhaps there was something useful to extract from the apparently pointless exercise of watering concrete… ?
Last week I blogged about the myths of ‘Talent’, ‘Mastery’, ‘Gurus’ and ‘Ideal Partners’ so I figured it would only be fair to blog about the realities this week. Here’s my take…
Writing powerfully is no mystery. There are simple strategies for overcoming writer’s block that all tackle the core issue: an over-zealous internal editor, often masquerading as a critic. When we trust and accept what we’re writing, our writing flows. That might seem to be an over-simplification, but it’s absolutely true. The proof is in the pudding of application. If you dedicate yourself to practising trust and kindness, your words will flow.
I’m in a myth-busting mood, so here are my thoughts about a few of them…
The ‘Talent’ Myth
We tend to think that some people are naturally more talented than others, but (as I teach in my Writing Mastery course) talent is a very misunderstood word!
Have you ever put other people on a pedestal, discounting your own intuition and following their advice rather than your own feelings?
Have you ever assumed that others know more than you about your own business, family, health, life? It’s easily done, isn’t it? Especially when they come with white coats and clipboards and awards and letters after their names and big numbers in their bank accounts.
- Extract the gold from your pesky inner voices!
You’ve probably had the ‘should’ thought plenty of times – 'I should be more positive/ call my mum/ eat more vegies/ be more patient/ get more exercise/ be nicer to so-and-so', etc. If you’ve been playing in the personal development arena, you know that ‘should’ is a dirty word. You might even have been told, ‘Don’t should on yourself’. Great advice.