Mirror Exercise To Protect Your Energy From Negative People

I get asked a lot about ways of protecting your energy from negative or hostile people and obviously, the absolutely best way is to avoid those people altogether.  However, that's not always possible - and could make it very difficult for you to go about your daily life anyway.

So I wanted to share with you an exercise I give my clients to use, as the best way I know of to protect your energy quickly.

Picture that you are holding a mirror in front of you - a full-length, ornate mirror.  You are holding onto the back of it, so all you can see is the back of the mirror, so you can't see (and therefore feel) the negative energy coming your way.  This also means that the reflective side of the mirror is facing outwards, at the person throwing their negative vibes your way.

When people have negative energy themselves, in order to relieve their situation they try to 'throw' that energy away to other people - and if you accept it, then they feel better while you feel worse.  By using the mirror, they feel the energy come back at them, and can feel that it isn't very nice at all to have that coming at you.  You may find that they look confused, or start getting angry - as you can't see through the back of the mirror, you no longer respond to the energy and so they can see they are not having any impact.  As it is no longer comfortable for them, they move away from you and stop try (eventually).




We Are Perfectly Different



Do I Need A Plan B?

Sometimes having an escape route, a backup plan, a plan B, are subtle signs to the Universe that we don't fully trust that it will work in our favour, so we have a way out. Unfortunately this also means that if we won't give 100%, neither will the Universe, and we are more likely to fail than succeed with our dreams.
But, and rather annoyingly, sometimes not having an escape route, a backup plan, a plan B, are subtle signs to the Universe that you are not trusting its support but expecting everything to come to you in blind faith, without any investment from yourself on getting where you want to be. Knowing that you will be okay, in success or failure, is the key to letting the Universe know that you have surrendered to its wisdom and trust (not blindly) that step by step the path will become clear, even if sometimes we have to double back on ourselves.
No-one said aligning with the Universe was easy, but it is oh so beautiful

Everyone Is Just Doing Their Best

"They are only doing their best."

We hear this a lot, when we are trying to find compassion and empathy for those who have hurt us, or hurt others. And it is true - we have to remember that everyone is just doing the best they can with what they have got at their disposal - their story, their context, their beliefs and their experiences that make them (in fact all of us) act and respond in certain ways.
But - this does not mean that we have to tolerate their best. If someone hurts us, it is okay to acknowledge that they know no better but to also acknowledge your right to take yourself away from that behaviour. Compassion for what makes someone behave in a certain way sits hand in hand with compassion for yourself, and for your right to not be in situations that hurt or harm you.
What if you want to help them make better decisions, better choices? What if you want to help them write a new narrative, reframe their experience to something more meaningful - absolutely we should do that. Where someone reaches out to us in pain, we should help if able, and support. BUT - this help and support needs to be recognised and welcomed - if you try to help someone who does not want to be helped, it has repercussions for both you and them.
So remember the next time somebody hurts or upsets you, that to be a whole hearted person we should recognise that they are doing their best, and help and support them if they want to change their path, but we must do so acknowledging and respecting ourselves in the process.


How Do I Keep Going?

You may find it tiring to keep going some days, when just putting one foot in front of the other feels almost impossible. I think of it like walking through quicksand - you can move but only just. And all the time, as you try to summon up the energy to make the move, your brain is loudly questioning your judgement - is this worth it? What's the point of trying? Why make the effort? Getting yourself to move with all of this resistance both physically and mentally is really difficult and many people wouldn't even try - they would let the mind win, try again tomorrow, I'm not strong enough.
So if you are putting one foot in front of the other, if you are hearing the voices but have faith and hope in your heart that things will get better, if you make the effort when everything tells you not to - you are awesome.

Pick Role Models Carefully ...

It occurred to me that there is something inbuilt in human beings that makes us search out others who have what we have, or are what we want to be. This has clearly saved us as a species - if there wasn't a second caveman who had started a fire, then we would have died out pretty quickly - but it has changed now from a survival instinct to something that helps us define how we feel fulfilled in our lives. We look particularly for role models when we feel something lacking in our own lives, that we haven't got something quite right. The logical part of us thinks that if there is someone else who has what we want, that by emulating them in some way we must end up getting what they have - many coaches out there will tell you exactly that - find it, mirror it, be it. But as human beings we do want to do what is easy, not what is right. So instead of following that logic through and understanding that all behaviour and manifested abundance comes from an internal intuitive led process that shows itself via the external happiness, grace and success that flows through - we short cut it and say, if I act like them, then that should work! And it doesn't - at all. Our starting points are completely different, our beliefs about what can be achieved are completely different and our confidence in success are completely different. but still we look for those who can help us shortcut the process. If this is how we are, then there are ways to use it more effectively and it all around which role models we choose and why. If you are picking a role model because of the things they possess, it is unlikely that you will be able to understand the mental, emotional and psychological processes needed to get those goods. But if you pick a role model who connects with you on that level, and you sense that they conduct themselves in such a way that they produce the results - then you stand a better chance of it sticking for you also (if you're prepared to do any work required in changing your beliefs and opinions). Role models should be chosen based on their internal energy, not external presentation.
Pick a role model with lineage. So for example, one of my role model and "we can be best friends I know we can" inspirations right now is Brene Brown and when you hear her talk, you realise that one of her role models is Oprah Winfrey, and when you hear Oprah talk you hear of her inspirations, such as Maya Angelou and then Maya Angelou was inspired by .... and so on. Each person who inspires us, has been inspired by others and the chances are that those would inspire you as well. Humanity's oral histories and storytelling have been done by those who others will listen to - literally. They were our original role models and so we want to find those in our society with the same genesis and evolution.


How To Let Go of Negative Emotions

Negative thoughts are sticky, they hold on to your energy 'just in case' - just in case there is ever a time when you may experience that pain or hurt or fear again. Our egos tell us that we need to hold onto those emotions just in case' but really, what purpose does it serve? Does hurting now stop hurting later? Of course not. Dealing with and processing the pain eases it off, softens it so that you don't feel it any more.
So if you find yourself constantly 'ready' for pain, hurt, fear or anger, if you feel like you are primed for that all of the time, take a few moments to take some deep breaths, and on each exhale, think "I know this emotion now, I don't need to hold onto it any more," and picture it being blown out of your body on the breath.
Negative emotions will happen, as human beings we will always feel a mixture, a balance of both postive and negative. But don't hold onto those emotions 'just in case' - you don't need to.

Truth From All Angles

A lot of spiritual journeys are seen as a quest for the truth, of the reality of why we are here and what it all means. But, what is truth? Can there be lots of different truths, or is there one huge truth that we all have to buy into? I'm going to start my answer to this by creating a picture - I feel like being creative today. Anyway, picture a man, sitting in his car, on a clear single lane road, on a hot humid day. He has no air con, so the only way he can cool down is by moving - and the bus in front of him has stopped. All he can see is the back end of a big red double decker bus, that is chugging out fumes in his direction and making things even more uncomfortable. He has been there for a while and he starts beeping his horn, trying to get the bus to move. He can't actually see why the bus has stopped; all he knows is that his marriage is going through a bad patch and he needs to get home because he promised his wife that he would be home for dinner and she won't understand if he says he is held up - again. Let's move to the front of the bus. There is an old woman who was trying to cross the road while it was clear, but who fell ill halfway across the road and is having difficulty getting back up. The bus driver has stopped his bus so he could get out and help her, which is why the bus has stopped and why the man behind is stuck. The bus driver realises he is holding up the man in his car, but he is trying to keep her calm so she doesn't get more distressed while they call for an ambulance. The mad tooting on the car horn behind is not helping here. Then there's me (I had to be here somewhere). I'm sitting in the top deck of the bus, looking down. If I go to the front of the bus I can see why we have stopped. If I go to the back of the bus I can see the man getting irate. From my view, I see the whole picture. But from the views of the man, the bus driver and the lady, they only see half of the problem. Their half. The bit that is important to them. Right here, where is the truth? Each person knows their situation and why things are as they are. But they only see part of the truth, really. There are whole other sections that they will miss, unless they join me on the top deck and see everything pieced together. When we talk about truth, we have to make sure initially that we are not talking about this kind of specific truth. If we look at this and work out how to change things, what we will do is make sure that OUR problem is solved - but that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else involved will be better off also. In order to function well with all of humanity, we have to try and see that bigger truth, the bigger picture. This way we know for sure that what we are focussing on is much more likely to encompass what everyone wants as an outcome and not just us. If the man had seen the lady in the road, would he have understood more about why he couldn't get the bus to move? Of course. If the bus driver and the lady had known that the man stood to lose a great deal by being would they have understood why he was getting anxious? Absolutely. If they had met somewhere in the middle and explained their various positions, then they might have worked out a better solution that meant all of them got what they want. This example is what coaches call the Third Position - that birds' eye view that allows you to lose your subjective reaction to a situation and be more objective about what needs to be done. We would take clients here who have trouble seeing another's point of view and try to put them in that place. It usually works quite well, as (if nothing else) they get a clearer picture of why that person feels the way they do. There are huge, gigantic truths out there that each of us need to plug into if we are ever going to work out why we are here, at this time and in this place. And exploring this is amazing and wonderful and awesome (in the true sense of those words). But we also have a reality, a truth of what our life is like right now and we can't lose sight of that. As much as we would love to meditate all day and reach the higher levels of consciousness (believe me, when you get there, its fabulous) we have physical, earthly lives to lead - paying bills, eating, drinking, working, watching repeats on TV. This is a truth that we can't avoid. While it is great to be able to see that bigger picture, we then need to bring it down to our own truth and to a level that works in our lives. In our example, the man in the car, once he knows the bigger situation, might offer to take the lady to the hospital; he might call his wife and explain what has happened. She may see a kinder, more compassionate side to him that she has been missing and it might be that that helps them repair their marriage. So what am I saying in this post? Have I answered the question? I hope so. What it boils down to eventually is that we need to know the whole situation and it might be tempting to stay there. But its real value is when we can then take that back to our own subjective lives and use it to be a better person. The truth is out there - do you know yours?


What Types of Strength Matter?

Strength - both physical and mental - are required when we are asked to do something greater than we have done before. We build strength in order to handle more. Physical strength is tangible, and increasing it feels achievable because there is a formula, a proven system of exercise and nutrition that science has proven works. Mental and emotional strength is intangible, and because of this, it feels more difficult to find and maintain. But, much as you would with physical exercise, repeated practice of strengthening your mind and processing your emotions can make it easier to step up when needed.

Meditation helps in strengthening the mind, as it provides the brain with time to focus on what it needs to deal with and move on from, rather than keep balancing like a spinning plate. Quiet reflection provides insights that you don't get elsewhere, and putting in a reminder that you are strong, that you are capable of dealing with whatever life throws at you, and that you will figure out any problem that comes your way helps that emotional and mental muscle to develop and grow, just as much as the muscles on our bodies.

Strength can also be found in others - in our tribes, the people who are with us and around us and who make us feel bigger and more powerful because they are there for if we fall. We can only support others if we accept support from others - and we collectively strengthen as a whole.

Today, while you exercise your body, exercise your mind to be bigger, better, bolder.

How To Deal With Energetic Vampires

We obviously know of the horror film vampires of folk lore - but did you know one of the definitions is also just: 'one who lives by preying on others'?  When I work with clients on their energy, almost always we identify people in their life who 'feed' on their energy, but that concept can sound really strange, so I want to break it down because it is so important to be able to identify them and protect your energy.

Imagine yourself as a house.  In the house, you have a mains electrical supply, which gives you your energy, and in each room, you have plug outlets that allows that energy to be used.  Different appliances are plugged into the wall, and feed off the energy being provided.

Your spiritual and physical energy is exactly the same - you need methods of energy coming in so that you can do things that use that energy up.  Sounds simple!

To get energy in, you can do two things.  You either find ways of collecting that energy from the Universe - things like walking in nature, physical exercise, meditation, deep breathing, yoga - all ways of taking the infinite energy all around us.  Or you can take it from others, by plugging into them and taking their energy.

In reality, we do both.  There are always times when we lean on others and ask for their help and support and they willingly give you their energy at that time as love and compassion.  This is extremely healthy and vital to being part of the human race, which is all connected.  BUT the key part of that sentence is WILLINGLY.

Some people (whether consciously or not) plug into us and feed off our energy and we haven't given direct permission for them to do so. A simple example of this is a friend who has a problem, who may give you a call and you do want to be there for them, but the call goes on for hours and instead of feeling compassion for them, you start to feel a bit irritated and you really want to get off the phone.  By the time you do, you feel exhausted and your remaining empathy for them is quite low. So low that when you see them ringing you the next time, you hesitate to answer.  Energetically, this is what is happening - your friendship had stored up a certain amount of energy, meaning that you could support each other when needed.  However, the amount of that energy that your friend wanted was more than that store, so they started plugging into energy that you hadn't given them permission to do so.  It can take us a while to realise this, and so instead of feeling that a boundary has been crossed, this drain on our energy starts making us feel tired and irritable.

For the majority of people in your life, this will only ever be a temporary issue.  Eventually, most relationships will build up another store of energy, or the relationship will drift apart, because neither is prepared to give their energy to it any more.  But there will be people who have realised how easy it is to take energy from others, and so rather than the split between universal energy and 'people' energy, they rely solely on the energy of others.  This is who we call energetic vampires.  They survive on other people's energy.

They use a range of ways to create the connection that allows them to feed, and they are usually very sophisticated in those ways, because many have been doing it for a long time.  They may try to evoke sympathy or empathy, they may build up an image of themselves that directly matches your own, mirroring your life so that you feel an empathy with them more easily.  Once the connection is made, those methods will be use now and then to reconfirm the connection to see if you have noticed yet.  If they feel you are pulling away from them, they may try to invoke sympathy again, or even guilt, so that if you pull away you feel that you are doing something wrong.

A less obvious energetic vampire is the 'over-helpful' person - someone who provides help to you when you haven't asked them for it, is overly generous with their time or their money towards you.  It is less obvious because on the face of it they are asking for nothing back - in fact, it can feel quite embarrassing from your perspective because there is so much being given one way that you are not able to reciprocate.  Yet the trade-off here is quite high - in return for their generosity, they are expecting free access to your energy, whenever and wherever they want or need it.  They are the ones most likely to call on you at a moment's notice and if you are unavailable, they will pull in the guilt of "look at what they have given you, and you are not even there for me".

There are ways to spot the energetic vampires in your life.  For example, look through your phone's contact list - are there any people on there who, if they called, you hesitate to answer?  Are there people who make you feel guilty or anxious when you see them, as if you are somehow in 'trouble' with them and you have to keep them 'happy'?  These are not enough on their own to confirm that they are an energetic vampire - but you should definitely take a look and see what you  put into the relationship compared to what you get out of it, and check that the balance works for you.

If you find that you have someone in your life who is an energetic vampire, there are a few things you can do:

- step away from them, slowly.  Take small steps that allow you to manage the time that you spend with them, or restrict how often you see them.  This can be as simple as always having somewhere that you need to go before you see them, or meeting in a public area such as a restaurant where the time you have together is limited, because they want the table back!

- protect your energy.  When you are going to see them or speak with them, imagine a blue light coming from the sky, surrounding you, or visualise a shield in front of you, intentionally put between you and then. I tell my clients to picture a mirror, facing outwards, between them, so as they try to connect it bounces off.

NOTE:  As you try to disconnect from them, however subtle you think you are, because this is an energetic connection, they will feel it.  And, as they sense their 'food supply' being stopped, they may increase their attempts to connect - they may have more dramas, or more significant things happen to them that demands your attention.  Or they may try to make you feel guilty to re-establish the connection.  So if this happens, and there is an increase in them trying to contact you and be with you, take it as a sign that your protection is working!  The clients who work with me get protection put around them by me and every one has confirmed that after they have seen me there is a sometimes dramatic increase in that person trying to contact them.  Protection works, and because of that you have to prepare yourself for a flurry of activity.  But hold out and they eventually give up.

- In some cases, it is not safe or wise to remain in contact with the person.  Remember, to them you are taking away their ability to feed, and not everyone takes that too well!  If the response to you protecting yourself is met with increasing hostility, and it starts to feel uncomfortable then you may have no choice but to sever the connection completely.  There may be a further escalation in their attempts, and with individuals like that, it is often the case they get pretty enraged and incredibly frustrated that you are not allowing them in any more.  I'm not going to lie, this can be quite an intimidating and scary time, so make sure you identify people around you who are able to give you their support and protection, or work with someone like me who can provide energetic help and protection. 

This is not easy work, but it is vital that you makes sure your energy is yours and yours alone, and that you keep your energy for yourself and those around you who will be grateful and love you all the more for it.

*If you would like to know more about the energy work I do, or would like to register interest for my Energy Workshop, please click here to leave your name and email address and I will keep you informed of my work.

How To Let Go of 2017 and Move Into A Better 2018

I think that a lot of people have struggled this year with so much going on and they couldn’t understand why it was happening right now.  For me when I look at 2017, what I see more than anything was a karmic detox - we didn’t have the option to deal with something, we just had to deal with it.  That really started in 2016 - 2016 felt a lot more intense to many people - there was a lot of sudden deaths and unexpected choices made - the Brexit referendum, the US Presidential elections - it just felt like lots of hugely significant things happening.  And where we would normally have time to process just one of those things, they were coming thick and fast.

Now if you read many spiritual sites, they have been predicting a change in the energy of the world since 2012.  2012 was the end of the Mayan calendar and as we didn’t really know what that would mean, many thought it was going to be an ‘Armageddon’, the end of the world in some way.  But I never believed that - I have always thought that if you look at things that happen energetically, it happens very, very slowly, and so it was never going to be this big bang event that everyone was saying, it was going to be slow, steady movement towards something changing.  And what I had been told in my own meditations was that this was a karmic rebalance.  If you think about it, we had the Mayan calendar, where we had all that time to fix things and evolve and find better ways of doing things - forgive, forget, heal, process.  Anything that wasn’t processed at that time we now have to deal with and if you look at the last couple of years in particular, we are really starting to feel the weight of that.  Things like an increase in racism, and increase in intolerance and of disconnection - these were things that have been there all along but we didn’t deal with them, so now they are incredibly visible and we’ve got no choice but to deal with them, and now we get to choose what our future looks like.  And I know a lot of you have children and sometimes it can be really scary to think of what is going on in the world, but I have always been a firm believer that everything that is happening right now - good or bad - is necessary to get us to a better place.  But it’s tough and that is why we have to stick together and find our ways of getting through it.

Ultimately I still think that things are going to turn out better for us all, but we have to be able to see something to be able to deal with it once and for all.  So 2017 - If I look back at my clients and what I felt from friends, family and the environment around me, what I felt was very much that bubbling up - things were no longer allowed to stay as they were.  Relationships ended, people passed, establishments came crashing down and each one impacted us personally and collectively.  One of the main things for me when I look back at 2017 is that we had become far too reactionary - we were reacting to everything instead of controlling it, because when you are in control (when you are really in control, not thinking you are in control) there is a calmness about your actions, whereas a lot of people felt that they had just got a handle on things and then something else knocked them off course.  Over the course of the year they went from feeling like, “ok, I think I know what I’m doing”, to the wheels falling off, and a lot of the people I interacted with felt a sense of “What do I do now?”  We have run out of the avoidance tactics and we just have to deal with it now.  I want to suggest focussing on one thing - that is that everything that has happened was necessary for YOUR greater good and the good of humanity.  So if you had things that happened this year that felt negative or they hurt or created pain, whilst nobody wants other people to suffer, we have to trust that the universe loves us 100% and if it gives us any type of pain it is to make our situation better.  Usually pain, fear, frustration, anger or any of those emotions, come up because our soul knows the right thing for us to do, but our ego/personality is so overpowering, it can overpower that and it uses negative emotions to get you to stop moving in that direction.

So when you find yourself really entrenched in negative emotions, it is a sign that your ego is coming in,  saying “No, we want this other path, we’re not going to go down that way. That way might hurt!”   We have free will, so the Universe cannot guide us through everything and we just follow along.   We have free will and so have to take personal responsibility for the decisions we make, but the Universe stills loves us and wants to keep us safe.  Think about how we are with children - there’s a point where we know they have to have some level of discomfort to keep them safe overall - and although we know it will be difficult for them, we do know what’s best for their overall development and growth.  The Universe works the same way.  It is the ultimate parent -  the mother/father who wants us to be the best version of ourselves possible, and knows what that looks like.  We know what that looks like as well, but it is so hidden underneath the ego, with all the pressure from everywhere else, it can be difficult to tease it out.  So when we are answering the question “what did last year look like and how can I make peace with it?”, the fundamental questions I ask are: “What am I supposed to learn from this? How does going through this make me better person and how does it help me to grow?”  Because it can feel that some of these things happen and you feel like you’re now stuck in cement and you can’t move.  For me that is always the personality.  The personality is always telling you “That’s it, call it quits, give up. We can’t do any more!” because what it knows is that you ARE strong enough and you ARE tough enough to make the next step, but it inevitably includes some level of surrender.  Surrender is not about giving up, surrender is saying:  “You know what?  I’ve done what I can and the only thing I can do now is keep following the breadcrumbs, look for the signs that I am going in the right direction, and looking for the signs where maybe I’m not but ultimately I know that you the Universe is looking after me and I’ll go along with that.”  That’s surrender.  That’s not handing over your power at all - that is saying that you know it isn’t your power in the first place.  It’s saying “Everything that is in my power I’m on top of, but now I can’t stack the deck the way that I want to.”  Nine times out of ten, we have a particular vision of what we want the future to look like, and invariably it is tainted with that ego need to have things that the human world thinks is really important but ultimately really isn’t: money, fame, celebrity, status, possessions.  None of them really matter in the grand scheme of things.  Focussing on the future is about knowing that you’ve done what you can, you’re as prepared as you can be and you know you can cope with whatever comes, and you’re not going to worry too much about what that is going to look like.  Instead you focus on the things that you can control - who you love, who you spend time with, what is important to you.

So here are some examples of things that happen to us and may feel one way and how we can maybe look at it a different way.

End of a Relationship.  
When we have a relationship end, one thing we must immediately acknowledge is that whenever we are talking about the end of anything, we start a grieving process.  We thought the future looked one way, and all of a sudden that future has just been destroyed and we’ve now got to think of a new one.  Again this is why we don’t get too focussed on what our future looks like, because those things come along - we have surprises happen, we have things happen that we may not be prepared to accept initially and then our hand is forced.   When we are talking about the end of relationships, it can be difficult because of that shared future that we saw that now no longer exists.  With any grieving process, there is no quick route; you can’t get through any quicker just because you know it’s there.  The only thing you can do is breathe through it and know that you will respond and react to different situations and circumstances in a certain way because you are processing that sense of loss.  Your brain is just trying to get a handle on what your life will look like going forward and that is the lens through which everything else happens.  You definitely need to give yourself a little bit of space, permission and kindness to say “Yeah, this is going to suck.”  When I am talking to anyone who has had some form of relationship breakup, I can see that usually the couple or friends or business partners have become so entwined, they can’t see themselves away from the other.  Now, while we are supposed to have people who are connected to us, soul mates and twin flames, and those human connections that nurture us - none of that happens if we give ourselves and our identity away to someone else, and that is what normally happens with these relationships.  When people describe themselves like ‘two peas in a pod’ - that’s kind of the problem.  Because you are you - you have your own self identity and power and you have to be able to function as an individual in your own power.  Once you can do that, you get so much more out of the relationship because you are no longer looking to them to give you what you need to feel validated.  You can self manage, self love, give yourself the space to be who you are, and then you find someone who runs alongside you.  This is parallel running, it’s not this idea that you are both merged together.  When we see the end of a relationship there is normally some element of “Who am I away from that connection?” and as you start looking at that you start seeing that maybe you’ve given your power away in that relationship.  The fear, the grief and the pain is because you are literally losing part of yourself by losing that person and that’s never healthy.  Once we know this has happened, then we can heal and work on ourselves.  We make sure that we get that strength back and that inner power back.   

Word of warning though - It doesn’t ever mean that we are working towards never needing anyone.
There are three terms that you need to understand - you’ve got DEPENDENCE, where you are utterly dependent on other people for how you think, feel,  and act.  Then you’ve got INDEPENDENCE which is “I don’t need anyone!”  We are all told that this is what we should need and independence is great - but INTERDEPENDENCE is perfect.  Interdependence is saying - “I can be by myself, I can look after myself but I know I’m stronger when I can connect with other people.”  You can’t get that kind of connection with someone if you are still looking for them to validate you.  Even when something feels painful or raw, it is telling you something about yourself that you need to know.  And something worth pointing out here - you’re never given more than you can handle.  I know that can be really challenging to think that the level of pain or hurt you feel when you lose a relationship just doesn’t feel like you can go on but you can.  Human beings have such a resilience that we don’t even get close to understanding because we perceive ourselves as weak for feeling such intense emotions - we are absolutely not weak!  We don’t fail because we don’t have the strength to go on - we fail because we stop, and stop trying.  There is such a huge potential for resilience in all of us.  I always think back to when I was in labour with my first daughter.  I had this moment when I thought “I’ve had enough of this!” It’s really tough and you’re in this position where you can’t go back and you have no choice but to carry on - the baby is coming out one way or another!  And I remember having this moment where I thought, “millions of women have done this, I can do this, it’s my own head that is telling me that I can’t but I know I can! My biology is the same as everyone else and it was that moment that I took control back.  I was working with the baby, and from a place of fear I remember that, once she born, I felt completely indestructible, because that was something I never thought I could do - and I did.
There is an inner resilience within all human beings and we never get anywhere near close to that potential.  If you’re in pain and hurting, then that is when you use that interdependence, reach out to other people to help you through but they’re not carrying you - they are next to you saying come on, you’ve got this.  

Quite a few of us have had to deal with really significant deaths in the last couple of years.  Grief doesn’t have a calendar - it doesn’t recognise that enough time has passed, it does what it does and does it at the speed you let it.  The more that you try to pull yourself together, the more the grief is being backed  up - you’re not dealing with it, you’re not accepting it.  It can feel incredibly difficult to process a death, and it’s one of human being’s biggest questions - “Why do we live, why do we die, why do have this capacity to love people who are ultimately going to be taken away from us?”  That’s where grief feels so gut wrenching, but I don’t see it like that.  Ultimately we know that we all live forever - the energy that created us is the energy from the Big Bang - it has lived forever.  Even if you want to think of this scientifically and not spiritually, what makes us up came out of the beginning of the Universe and when we die those electrons, atoms, and chemicals will be released again back into the universe to be used as something else.  So in theory we never go anywhere - all we do is change shape and form.  Working with people going through grief I wish I could show them what I can feel and sense, because I get such peace from being able to still sense those energies around us.  Everybody is always here.  Everybody exists in some way.  But I think you have to have the lessons we are given from experiencing a death.  Human beings are not supposed to live forever; they are supposed to be here to learn lessons and to share and invite lessons from other people.  Death is not something experienced by the person dying - it is experienced by those left behind, because of what it means for us.   It reminds us of our own mortality, and it gives us an opportunity to evaluate whether we are living the life we are supposed to be.

I had my treatment for breast cancer last year and I had to face my mortality a few times, but one thing that kept me going was that, even if the physical stopped, I knew that I would still be fine.  My energy would still be here, but it would be more difficult to connect with people maybe, but I would still be around.  The essence of who I am was eternal and that gave me a sense of peace.  When I talk with others who are going through the process of grief, that is what I try to focus on, the fact that this isn’t a story to make them feel better but it is what it is, and we are supposed to experience the pain of being left behind.  What that should do is strengthen our belief that they haven’t gone anywhere, where we can’t access them and that they are still around us.  
I think a lot of people struggle grief because they are not really sure what they are supposed to feel or think.  My advice would always be to do what feels right -  if it feels right to scream and shout, then do it.  Eventually you will reach a point of calm, where a very quiet voice inside will go, “Okay, now we move on”.  You’re not moving on without them, you are just moving on with them in a different state, one that isn’t so easily available but one that you can access. If you’ve had a death from someone who physically lived a long way from you, when they were alive you needed airline tickets, hotel, travelling for hours etc.  Now all you need to do is think of them and they are with you.  No delays.  Eventually, through the end of the grief process you get through.  There is a massive learning opportunity to understand our place in the world.  There is a beginning and there is an end to the human existence but the soul’s existence is infinite and eternal and once we understand that, death doesn’t sound so scary, and it doesn’t feel so scary, and we can keep the pain and hurt that we have from losing our loved ones where it should be  - we experience it, and then we let it go and we maintain the memory and the love within us.

A Promotion
A slightly different example is where something happens that is really positive.  If you’ve been having a rough time, the last thing you want is to have a good surprise and not make the most of it.  While I’m 100% behind that, there is also a lesson to be learned within good things as well.  If it is something that you have truly desired for years that’s taking place now, then there is a cause for celebration and taking it as validation that what you are doing is right and you are going in the right direction.  But equally, we have to bear in mind the strength of the ego and personality which can, in some instances, tell us it is good news when actually, if we think about it on an intuitive level, we probably know it’s not the best thing for us.  Maybe you get a promotion at work, and on the face of it, it’s more money, more status, it looks amazing and you can somehow forget that a month before the promotion you were just about ready to walk out of the door, you were so miserable!  But we get the promotion and suddenly it’s a great thing!  Even when positive stuff happens, we need to be conscious and ask what we can learn from this.  One question is ask may be - Is this really good for us? Or do we think it is good for us and are we just setting ourselves up for the fall later on?  Because if it is not the right direction for us to be going in, we will still eventually fall - it may just take longer.  It is worth bearing in mind when something good happens: is it good because we know it’s in alignment with what we need, or is it good because it distracts us a bit longer from that inner gnawing that you should be doing something else.  Project a year or two ahead and double check.

Consciously say goodbye to 2017
So that’s 2017 - that’s how you look back on a year, maybe even think about it even more consciously, and write out a list of all of the things good or bad that have happened to you this year, and think about what have you learnt from those.  Have you continued to react to things or are you starting to pull them under control?  Because everything that has happened in 2017, good or bad, has been an opportunity for you to become more aligned with who you are supposed to be and what is going to truly make you happy.  Sometimes, even the worse things that happen to us, when we look back we realise that without that happening these other consequences couldn’t have taken place and got us to a better place.  

2018 Onwards
One minute past midnight on January the first is not really any different than any other minute of the year, but we can attach more significance to it, we want to feel like we have a new opportunity to live our lives in a better way.  I’ve spoken before about making peace with 2017; making sure you’ve dealt with everything because karma is rebalancing.  Karma isn’t good and bad, there is not reward or punishment, it just is what it is.  So whatever you did before, there will be an equal and opposite energetic rebalance and it can happen at any time.  It’s doing something to someone that showed them a particular lesson, and somehow you will be shown the same lesson.  If we don’t make peace with 2017, it can roll into 2018 and we have to deal with it then.  
When we go into the new year, and thinking about how can we make it more significant, everyone thinks of resolutions.  I’ve set so many I’ve lost count, and I don’t think I got past the first week!   I think it is because of what we anticipate from the resolutions themselves.  We make resolutions - lose weight, get fit, eat more veg, eat less meat - things that sound quite sensible but there is an expectation that you are going to be tested on them.  If you are doing Dry January, for example, you could be tested - invited for a drink, offered bottles of wine, etc.   There is an expectation that the resolution will be tested almost immediately.  Now however strong you are, however much internal power you have, will power is one of the weakest forces known to man!  Will power is only possible if you keep extremely conscious of whatever it is you are trying to do, and that is impossible.  So if you are creating a resolution that is going to require will power, then you won’t last very long.  We all have to get on with life and we can’t sit in a bubble where our entire focus is on what we eat.  In order to keep that, at a will power level, we have to constantly think about what we are not doing.  I reframed my resolutions and goals a while back and it works better for me.  They keep me more personally responsible and accountable: I ask the question -

What am I not prepared to compromise on?

If you think about resolutions, it’s not the massive things that happen in the year that knock us from our path; it’s the little things we compromise on: the big meal we have because it was someone’s special birthday, and you can’t not eat for that, and then there is another one, and another one and eventually - you’re eating possibly worse than before!  Each time it becomes easier to give in - you think “Well, I’ve already broken the resolution so I might as well keep going!”  That’s how easy it is!  We make these small compromises and we think we’re not being too bad in doing so, but all of a sudden, you realise you’re massively off track and now you get to feel guilty and shameful as well because you have ‘failed’.  so a double win for your ego!   By changing it to saying “What am I not going to compromise on?“, you are embedding it into deeper more meaningful values - you’re calling it out as something very consciously going against what you know to be good for you.  What is important to you becomes the only guide you need.  That might sound more vague, but it gives me more freedom to be able to keep aligned with it.  If someone offers me unhealthy food, I’m not trying to work out if I’m ‘allowed’ it or not, I’m asking myself “Will that keep me healthy?”    If it isn’t, then that is something I’m not prepared to compromise on and so I’m not going to do it.  You don’t have as many resolutions - in fact you may only need the one that you can stick to, because it’s easier to bring it up as needed, rather than trying to keep it constantly in focus.  What tends to happen when we think of compromising, is that it is really difficult to justify going against it because it is more clearly going against yourself.  But it also just keeps it enough in focus that you are owning it - if you want to make a little compromise, you are aware that is what you are doing, you are taking personal responsibility for that and as such are more likely to do the counteracting activities later to get yourself back on track.

Life isn’t about setting ourselves challenges and then when we fail sitting by the sidelines - it’s about understanding that we are not going to get it right every time, but if we understand how to keep ourselves on roughly the right course, we will feel better and get to a greater degree of happiness and peace.

The New Year is such a good time to reset yourself, to forgive yourself for whatever decisions you made that maybe you now realise were not good, and to forgive yourself for reacting to something that will probably turn out okay eventually.  Then you can go into 2018 with more of an idea on how you get back into your power, how you get more strength from within and navigate your life.  That will stop you reacting from everything, and it will make you feel safer and calmer, but in control.  We can’t control everything but we can always control our response to them.