Sunday, May 27, 2007

Scones and The Power of Now

It's nearly three weeks since Claire had the stroke, and I am delighted to report that she is coming on really well. Her speech is improving, she is able to get herself from wheelchair to bed to loo to chair (not necessarily in that order); movement and muscle control is slowly coming back. It is incredible though to watch my vital, energetic friend working so hard on keeping her bottom tucked in and her feet balanced as she slowly stands up. The concentration involved in a movement that we take for granted and just three weeks ago so did she.

It has so brought home to me that notion of being in the present. I was reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now this evening while eating a scone that my Mum had baked this morning. I got half way through eating the scone and realised that I had hardly tasted it, I was so ingrossed in the book. How often, I wonder, do I... do you... eat, walk, talk on autopilot paying no attention to the presence of where we are, what we are putting in our mouths, what we are doing? How often do we truly enjoy the moment we are in, in our haste to get to the next moment?

So I put the book down and ate the rest of the scone in revered silence, giving the scone the attention it deserved, honouring my mother's wonderful baking and the love she pours into it. It tasted so good, light, crumbly, sweet. I became conscious of each mouthful, each roll of the tongue, each grind of the teeth, each muscle in my face involved in the act of eating. I gave that scone the same level of concentration that Claire has to employ to stand up correctly, isolating and controlling each muscle and each movement.

I started to think about when, if ever, I am truly in the 'now'. The closest I think I get to switching off my thoughts and being truly in the present on a regular basis is when I am riding the horses. That's one of the reasons I love it, because I can and do switch off from everything and focus just on Penny or Jester and I, always with the intention of becoming as one entity in each moment; our energies moving and merging together. In this moment, and when we get that sense of true harmony, our energies merging into one, there is only joy - nothing else.

When I focused purely on the eating of the scone and became mindless of anything else, there was only joy. I thought of Tolle's instruction: Wherever you are, be there totally. I was totally with that scone and it was bliss. I think I'll 'be' in the 'now' more often. Now, after all, is all that exists, we might as well enjoy it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Balancing acts

I hate it when I feel out of control, but I frequently do. Why, I ask myself, am I not a wonderfully disciplined person, who runs her life like a military operation with exactly enough time to do everything she needs to do and chill at the end of the day with a glass of Rioja. I think I'll even be late for my own parting - 'Sorry, I can't die yet, I haven't finished what I was doing and I'll still got another half dozen tasks to do!!'. I'll have to live til I'm at least 100 to catch up with myself.

I've done all the values stuff - what is important to me, prioritising the important things, dropping unnecessary balls and trying to delegate to people who are better than me at certain tasks (like book keeping! yuk!). So what is still missing? Why am I not superwoman?

Maybe its about inner balance rather than outer balance. Maybe it's not about balancing tasks, but about balancing my inner core so that the outer tasks become easier. Yes, ok, those of you who have 'got it', probably wonder why its taken me this long. Well it just has. According to my Human Design profile, I learn by trail and error and experience (which is clearly why it takes me so long to work out things that others just 'know').

Mystic Mog (my friend, Meredith) lent me a book last night: Perfect Health, by Deepak Chopra, which talks about Ayurvedic principles and the balancing of the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). I sense some illumination and a light bulb moment. I suspect I am a dominant Kapha, which means I need light, air, and warmth in my life to balance the cool, heaviness of the Kapha traits. Which makes complete sense: I crave light sunny long summer days and am not at my best in winter, cloudy, wet or cold weather. I gain weight easily and so will be looking to try out more light foods in my diet to see how that affects my weight, but also my energy levels. I have been quite uncomfortable in this cottage and am looking forward to moving. Could it be because this cottage has low ceilings, small windows, is north facing, cold and slightly damp, despite its prettiness and the bungalow I am moving to has all the main rooms on the south side, with patio doors in every main room, so it is wonderfully light, airy and warm. Even dull days will seem lighter.

I'm going to dig a bit deeper into Ayurveda. I've always known about it, but not looked into it in depth. Perhaps it's time I did. Now, 12.03, time to whizz off and drop off the marked assignments at college, make some nice lunch for Claire to save her from the hideous sausage cassserole the hospital is about to give her (when will Jamie Oliver tackle NHS food!?) and then do the other umpteen tasks I have planned for this afternoon!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Days in a daze

I started writing this on Friday, and finally found the strength and times to finish it today....

Friday's thoughts
I have spent the last couple of days in a daze, following Claire's stroke. I guess I have been in that 'shock' state that all change initally creates. I'm going to see her tomorrow, finally, but the good news is that she is much brighter today, some feeling has come back in her leg and she is reading the newspaper. So much reiki is flowing her way that I'm sure she can't help but have a full recovery. God, I hope so.

I think back to my postings recently about my feelings when my brother died and how I didn't know how to feel or what to feel, and the sense that I had to be strong for my parents; and I wonder how Claire's kids are feeling right now. Samuel is 11 and Esther 9. It must be so incredibly frightening for them, but you wonder what other thoughts are wandering through their young heads. At least they do have a great father. Claire's hubby may be frustratingly practical and sometimes worryingly attached to taking things apart and not putting them back together again, but he is probably the best father a kid could have.

Tuesday's thoughts
Having seen Claire three times now, I feel so much better and a bit less dazed by the whole thing. She is improving well but still struggles with her speech. Yesterday she was seriously pissed off because she she still hadn't had a wash at 3pm, so Pippa and I washed her to cheer her up. It's the least you can do for your best buddy. Her dad told me she had had a shower and a hairwash this morning and was much brighter for it. It's amazing how those small things we take for granted become so important to your morale when you're in hospital and can't do it for yourself.

I've also been in touch with her cyber-pals The Glitter Sisters - what a fabulous bunch of women. So much love and support is flowing from them, it's wonderful. The sense of community is quite amazing, and it's hugely supporting for me too. Sometimes being the 'supporter' is quite difficult; wanting to be constantly upbeat and positive for Claire's sake and for her friends and family, believing that she will make a full and complete recovery. At the same time being acutely aware of her mortality and the very real risk that she won't make old bones. It doesn't bear thinking about, and so I'm not, but the possibility hangs in the back of my mind like a cobweb dangling from the ceiling, just out of reach of the duster. Most of the time I can ignore it, occasionally it catches my eye and comes sharply into focus. But I also don't want to draw attention to it and give it more energy than it deserves, so I don't talk about my fears, only my positive hopes.

Today she had doppler scans on her carotid arteries to check for any other blood clots. I will feel so much easier when I know there aren't any.

Tea and bed I think... ready for another day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thoughts for my best friend

I had a bit of a shock this evening. My best friend's hubby called to say she was in hospital with a suspected stroke. Claire just turned 43. She lost her speech and lost all feeling in her right side. As I write her speech is returning intermittently and she has indicated that she can feel some tingling. I just hope and pray all returns to normal rapidly. Apparently this is a much more common occurance than we would think and its quite possible that she could be back to normal in 48 hours. It's also quite possible that she might not. I'm focusing my attention and energy on the former.

I guess it's like most things, you know it happens, you don't expect it to happen to your best friend. It shakes you up when it does. It makes you realise that every moment you have together is precious and not to be squandered. You just don't know what is round the corner.

As we are sending positive thoughts to Debs and her Mum, can we also spare a positive thought for Claire and will her a speedy and full recovery.

I introduced Claire to blogging last year and she's been sooo much more prolific than me. You can take a look at her blog here...

I took this pic of the cherry blossom outside my cottage a week or so ago. I thought I'd post it for Claire and Debs and Deb's Mum and everyone else out there who is in need of comfort...

'Damage'; driving us forward or driving us under?

Yesterday I did my regular 'slot' on BBC Radio Leicester with Tony Wadsworth. I love being behind a microphone and doing these radio sessions, but I sometimes feel we only scratch at the surface in the half an hour that I'm on. Our topic of conversation this week was - are we all damaged by life in some way? And what makes some people use it as a stick to beat themselves with, while others seem to find motivation and drive from it?

Yes I think life throws curved balls at us and rare are those people who have had a charmed life and are unaffected by difficult experiences or events. Most of us have had life events which 'damage' us in some way. But I guess it's not what happens to us, but how we respond to it that matters.

Waddo's view was 'shit happens... deal with it... move on'; which I happen to agree with. The critical phrase being the words 'deal with' as opposed to 'bury under a stiff upper lip', because we Brits do have a liking for burying our feelings and pretending that all will be ok. Feelings buried alive never die. They just fester away in the depths of our being until they break out one day, sometimes in a most inappropriate way or inconvenient place. There are many (Louise Hay, Candace Pert and Deepak Chopra to name just three) who believe that our dis-ease manifests itself as disease and is responsible for most of the illnesses we experience, especially the big ones and cancers in particular.

So how do we 'deal' with our feelings? How do we know that there are feelings to deal with - especially if the event that caused them happened years ago, as in the case of my brother dying.

My own rule of thumb these days is if I feel the need to cry and it's not because I am moved by a piece of music or a story, then my soul is telling me a feeling needs to be acknowledged and dealt with. Now that I have done so much energy work with Sally, I'm getting pretty good at letting the feeling come, locating it in my body, noticing its colour and texture, softening it and letting it go. Sometimes I don't even need to know what it is, just that its there. Sometimes it needs a bit of deeper surgery and sometimes it needs a return visit to Sally for some power-blasting.

I certainly recommend energy work, particularly for buried feelings, and particularly if you feel you are talked out but haven't quite got to the bottom of 'it' yet. A couple of my friends who have been down the counselling route reached a point where they felt there was nothing left to say, but still 'stuff' to deal with. Energy therapies really helped them. Check out Sally's website if you'd like to know more:

So why do some people use their life experiences as an excuse and some use it as a driving force? Is it part of our genetic make up? Can we change it?

I'll ponder this one on my next post, and I'll think up my top tips for 'dealing with' our emotional stuff. If you have any thoughts on the matter, feel free to add them.

Tina B x

Monday, May 07, 2007

The power of community and thoughts for Deb's Mum

One of the things I often feel we lack today is the sense of community that our parents enjoyed. I have lived in my village for 6 months now and sometimes barely see a soul, even though I walk around at least twice a day to take care of my horses. But the lack of local community seems to have been overtaken by communities online and I'm pleased that our Diva community is growing in numbers but also in the positive thoughts and support shared among us.

I feel touched that members of our community feel able to ask for our help and support, and our positive thoughts when they need it. Today I had this email from Debs:

Hi Tina,
Just wanted to share with you my Mum has had a serious car accident, she is currently in intensive care on a ventilator. She lost control of her car as she was setting off and hit a motorcyclist who subsequently died, he was only 21. So Mum will have to deal with the guilt and emotional trauma as well as all her physical injuries.
I hope you don't mind me asking but I wondered if perhaps the diva community could send lots of positive thoughts to my Mum please? Her name is Pat Thompson.

Many thanks

Please feel free to post your thoughts and well wishes here on the blog and please hold Debs, Pat and the family of the young man who died, in your hearts as they all pull through this tragedy. If you would also like to ask for support, please feel free to post here too.

Our thoughts are with you Debs.

Tina B x

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Dynamic Weekend!

Talk about buzzing! If anyone reading this has been on the Wealth Dynamics weekend with Roger Hamilton, you will know what I mean. If you haven't then I'll try to give you a sense of it. Imagine 200+ people in a room, talking excitedly, discovering things about themselves which suddenly put whole rafts of their life into perspective. Recognition dawning for the first time for some, for others the final bit of the jigsaw at last.

We've all been there. The great conference from which we'd left hyped up and motivated, thinking we'd found the thing that would make us rich and lead us to the land of milk and honey - MLM, internet marketing, property investments, getting in on the stock market. It all made so much sense didn't it? And we left believing that we'd cracked it. Only somehow, months later, we discovered that we hadn't. Maybe we were just bemused, maybe we were rather poorer than when we started.

So was this Wealth Dynamics stuff just another one of 'those' weekends? I had pondered to myself on the way down to London. For some time I had been thinking that there must be some sort of model of wealth creation, and I'd been starting to develop thoughts of creating my own, when an email landed in my inbox and sent me off to listen to Roger Hamilton. He seemed to have done just what I was thinking of doing. But was it all hype and hyperbole?

Well, no. I can honestly say that it was a life changing experience. Yes I came away motivated, but more than that I came away with absolutely certainty that I had found the very thing that would make me rich - ME. Yes me. Because Roger H's whole philosophy is that it isn't what you do that creates your wealth; it's who you are. And by being who you are, your path to wealth in all its senses (and not just money) finds its flow.

Now of course this philosophy sits very well with me. Being your authentic self and running your life from your true I.D. (Inner Diva) rather than the person you think you should be, is absolutely central to my own philosophy. So to discover that my I.D, in Hamilton's Wealth Profile is a Star, came as no surprise, but it did come as a huge relief. Why? Because when I reflected on the work that I had done well and done naturally and earnt the most money from, and the work that was hard and not very lucrative, I could see clearly when I was in my Star flow and when I was trying to be someone else. Finally I could give myself permission to just be me -in business, as well as in life generally.

The things that I am really great at and love doing are all to do with creating brands and brand attraction, defining and refining identity (mine or others); and I'm most in my flow when I am doing just that. My favourite vehicles being writing and presenting, but I also really enjoy helping others define and refine their own identities and creating or building their brands.

What I am least good at is figures, business plans, the substance behind the brand. The stuff that fits other profiles, not mine. And I can't tell you how utterly liberating it is to feel that I no longer have to beat myself up for not being a great 'businesswoman'. I can redefine myself as a great 'brandwoman'. Now that feels just perfect!

I also rediscovered the importance of 'who you know', rather than 'what you do'. It doesn't matter a jot if I am crap with figures, as long as I have someone in my team who is (phew I have).
Real wealth is in the network you develop and the team around you, not in the money you have.

And over last weekend we all expanded our network, and started to see where our real value is. I'll write more on this over the coming week as I ponder and reflect (and take action). But if you are intrigued, and wondering which profile you might be, I suggest you visit the Wealth dymanics website at

Tina B x