Vulnerable.

Many of the best and most important things in my life, the things that I really love, enjoy and satisfy me the most, the days that I remember, burnt into my mind, and all the stuff that’s really helped me grow and changed things in me, my life, my journey… they were all preceded and accompanied by a hearty dose of self-doubt, anxiety or fear. And what felt and often still feels like the real potential for landing on my face, or ass.  Or both.

Going to college. Performing a solo recital. Not going home. Leading the music in a church. Answering telephones for a living. Overseas travels. Changing careers with nothing but a burning desire to do so. Moving around the UK. Clambering up, jumping off and sliding down mountains. Diving deep underwater. Skating too fast. Cycling across countries. Leaving my job, giving away most of my possessions and setting off to become a travelling yoga teacher. ‘Public speaking in my underwear’. Living in a different country. Proposing marriage on ‘day 18’. Becoming a voice-actor. Writing my thoughts and feelings online. Embracing nerve-wracking opportunities and ideas. And saying ‘yes’ to the most valuable friendships, relationships and shared human experiences.

All of it demanded varying degrees of vulnerability.
Letting go.  Being open.  Showing up.  And diving in.

Without that vulnerability, much of it wouldn’t have happened.
And the stuff that did happen wouldn’t have been so fulfilling, so involving, so complete.

So I’ll carry on trying to face my fears and letting my defences down.
And moving my feet in the direction of every dream I have.

on the big stage in my underwear.

On the big stage. In my underwear.

 

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Peace. Here and now.

You don’t find peace by getting away from where you are.
You find peace by accepting where you are, who you are, what you are, and what you’re feeling.

And by accepting it all completely.
In this moment. This breath.

Sink into the feelings you’re experiencing.
Go into them.  Through them.  Beneath and beyond them.
Dive deep. Rest in them. Let them be.
Be careful not to push against or judge them harshly.

For example, if you’re feeling anxiety, you’re feeling anxiety.
Don’t start from a place of labelling that knotted nervous centre as ‘wrong’ or ‘less’ or ‘unspiritual’. Do that, and you’ll amplify your discomfort.

Instead, just let it be there.
Knowing that all is valid and true in this moment.
All is part of all that is.
And all is good. To be embraced. Held. Allowed.

You don’t need to ‘fix’ anything.
Instead, dare to love yourself completely.
As you are.

And from there you may begin to discover that much of what you thought was ‘the problem’ was simply your response to the perceived ‘problem’ in the first place.

Never Mind The Weather.

When it rains it rains.
When it’s sunny it’s sunny.
When it’s hot or cold it’s hot or cold.
When it’s ‘just right’ it’s simply just that.

You can’t change the weather. It would be foolish to think you could.
So why do you rail against the way you feel?

The storms rise and fall within you.
Some days feel blustery, while others feel calm.
The sun shines. Or the grey cloud just blankets your being.

Minute by minute your moods shift and change like the winds.
You can’t change the way you feel in this moment by force of will.
So accept this moment. This feeling. The ‘good’ the ‘bad’ and the ‘indifferent’.

When the storms rage maybe just take cover.
The cover of your acceptance with awareness of breath as your anchor.

Al things change. They can’t not.
The dance of impermanence is played out in your body, heart and mind, with each passing blip of time.

So for now, if the darkness cloaks you, the rains lash, or the sun burns your skin, you could maybe just take cover – take rest – and watch, watch, watch and wait as the atmosphere changes, naturally, in its own sweet time. Your nose pressed against the window with patience, acceptance, and a strong intent to not write stories to match the way you feel.

And everything will change.
Maybe sooner. Maybe later. Maybe today. Maybe not.

Let it be.

And then when the air feels fresh and clear again, and the light shines kindly on you, then take the opportunity to begin the process of gratitude once more.

Use the times you feel good to create, with positive expectation, thankfulness and a heart full of wonder.

Use the times you feel down, anxious, angry or any of the less palatable sensations to practice accepting things, just as they are.

There is enormous power in your acceptance of what is.

You can’t change the weather.
But you can change your mind.