I've rediscovered twitter and found myself getting quite worked up about what's been going wrong in the world, inaccuracies, political spin and generally descending into grumpiness. And then I got this email from Edward Vilga, author and yoga teacher .....
"It was during the innocent summer of 2015 that, after seeing some downtown theater, I walked for a bit in the balmy June night before hailing a cab.
My crusty driver began our ride barking, “Can you pay in cash?”
(For those not in NYC, all cab drivers are required by law to take credit cards.)
The driver then launched into an extended, spicy monologue about corruption and the credit card companies and the 1%-ers and various conspiracy theories, about well…everything.
He went on about how he’d been driving for 30 years “in this hellhole that gets worse every year.”
In contrast, I was thinking that NYC had never looked more beautiful than on this June night and tried to interject something positive.
He countered by insisting that even the street lights had become dimmer.
I replied, “Really?” gazing out on 9th Street and 6th Avenue and thinking about how delightfully romantic and bright everythinglooked.
He asked me how long I’d been in NYC.
I answered, “Since college.”
“And you haven’t noticed that the streets are much darker than they were years ago?”
I said, “To be honest…not really.”
And then I added something like, “Well, 30 years is a long time to be driving” or something equally bland to which he replied, “Listen, you’re playing Devil’s Advocate. I think this conversation is degenerating so it’s over.”
And then he was silent for the 15 minutes it took to drive me home, his interesting jazz fusion mix playing from the front seat.
But here’s the thing: in the back of the cab, I googled “streetlights dimmer NYC” and learned the opposite is true.
NYC was and is actually getting brighter…much brighter.
( I also realize I'm sending this on the day after the Summer Solstice, the brightest day of the year.)
Anyway, five years ago, in 2015, we were in the beginning of the world’s largest city-wide light replacement project with brighter, clearer LED bulbs everywhere.
Now there are even complaints about how the street lights are TOO BRIGHT.
My cabbie’s worldview was so committed to the darkness increasing that he was blind to the fact that things are truly getting dramatically brighter.
Why am I thinking of this now, in the chaotic mess that 2020 seems to be?
It’s because I’d like to think this is also what’s happening right now.
After all, the light’s job is to expose the darkness––
and there’s definitely a lot of darkness that needs to be exposed––
But perhaps, it’s also an inevitable part of moving us forward.
In some ways, it’s the same as when you decide to upgrade something in your home (say a chair in your living room)…
And then realize that the rug underneath is frayed should probably be replaced…
And then once that’s done, the sofa suddenly looks shabby and then….
Well, before you know it, you’ve completely redecorated.
Maybe that’s what’s happening now.
Things aren’t getting darker…they’re getting brighter.
And that reveals many beautiful things, and simultaneously, how much cleaning up we still have to do." Edward Vilga
...... So I've decided to give Twitter a side-swerve (that echo chamber is really too seductive), focus on how I can make a positive change in my life now (which is all we really have) and be grateful for the image of the redecoration metaphore, I found it really helped put things in perspective for me. I hope you do too.
Prior to lockdown I'd just completed a Life Purpose Coaching qualification and I've taken advantage of the spare time to develop an online programme.
How purposeful is your life? I've put together a wee quiz to help you determine how close your current life is to fulfilling your life purpose. Just click on the link above for your Life Purpose Assessment.
Now I know at the moment many people will be worried about their jobs and will be in survival mode, while others will be working even harder than usual and trying to adapt to working from home. So my timing may not be great!
But I do think that life as we know it has changed (at least for the next few years) and what better time to consider life purpose than when life itself seems under threat. For the people who now feel trapped in a job they don't much like, looking at life purpose can give them a way to make the most of a less than ideal situation by finding more meaning in the life they have. For the people who are having to re-think their career path because their industry has been decimated by the pandemic, looking at life purpose before they embark on a new career direction could mean the difference between a life of drudgery and a life of authenticity and meaning.
Discovering your life purpose doesn't mean you have to re-arrange your life instantly to fit your purpose - you can choose how and when to bring more purpose into your life. But if you haven't worked out your life purpose you rob yourself of that choice.
Help Please ...
Because it's a new part of my business, I wonder if I could ask you to help me out by liking my Facebook Page. And if you know anyone who might be searching for their life purpose, please point them in my direction. I can offer online 1-1 support (via Zoom or Skype) and I've also created an online the Life Purpose Programme course for download.
And I'm ideally placed to be coaching life purpose, because I've been there, done that and got the T-shirt! My late 30's saw a radical change of career and lifestyle and now my early 60's is seeing another transition - if I'm running in 30 year cycles, I wonder what my 90's will bring?
My advice most certainly is not to wait too long before you begin to wonder what you're actually here to do - it's never too soon to start revealing your life purpose.
Pregnancy is a time of massive physical, hormonal and psychological change as you and your baby develop and prepare for birth. It's a time that sees a move towards changing relationships as couples adjust to becoming parents or growing their family.
The focus during pregnancy is on the pregnant couple who are given support, love and care by friends and family. Mums go to yoga classes, pay attention to nutrition and generally do anything they can to improve their health and wellbeing. Then the baby is born and everything changes: focus is diverted to the baby - naturally so.
But whether you are first time parents or already have children, the demands of a baby can be exhausting and overwhelming.
As a mum your body may take a while to return to normal. Labour can be traumatic, hormones are out of balance - from birth to breast milk flow, oestrogen and progesterone levels plummet to the levels of a menopausal women. It can take months for hormones to normalise, causing mood swings and extreme highs and lows.
As a dad you have to support as best you can, and with mum and baby so connected, you may feel a bit of an outsider.
After birth, the brain changes - in both parents - activity increases in the regions of the brain that control empathy, social interaction and anxiety. So the stress response is heightened in new parents which means that the smallest thing can cause stress in the body. And naturally, the focus is on the baby - so the health and wellbeing of the parents can take a back seat. But parents need and deserve care in those first few months after the birth. And baby deserves healthy relaxed parents.
4th Trimester Reflexology is a way of giving self-care and recovery post-birth. Home visits are available and because Reflexology works on the feet, it's possible to feed during a treatment. Hold your baby while receiving Reflexology and see that relaxation transmit to your baby. For the best possible outcome, book a double appointment so that Mum and Dad can benefit.
Thinking about something different for baby showers - 4th Trimester Reflexology vouchers are available: contact Doris on 07724 197627.
Isn't it strange how things just happen? I've set as part of my goals for this year the twin aspects of clarity and focus (because I get so easily distracted - thank you facebook!). And co-incidentally, as I was scouring google I came across Donna Eden's 31 day eye challenge! Perhaps the Universe is giving me a signal.
I do spend a lot of time on the computer, I can feel that my eyes are not as flexible as they used to be and as I've been wearing glasses for the past 30 years, I thought this challenge might be good and it certainly wouldn't do any harm.
So on 1st January I started the challenge. (Almost) each day of the January I went onto YouTube and spend between 4 and 10 minutes doing the challenge along with some of Donna Eden's students. And I really do feel it's made a positive difference!
Now I can't say that my eyesight has improved (I'll need to wait for my next eye test to know if that's the case), but my eyes do feel more relaxed and lighter and brighter.
I would recommend this routine to anyone who uses a computer or phone for any length of time (which is probably 95% of the people reading this). And I've enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to record a session to share with you. It's easy to do; the sequence is easy to remember; and it can be done in about 4 minutes flat. So, have a watch of my video and next time you're about to jump into the car, or at some point during your working day, take 4 minutes out to do your eye exercises.
I find that the best results happen when you do the eye exercises regularly - it's like any exrcise really - so add it to your daily routine for the best results.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul and my Neuro-Linguistic Programming training suggests that the position of your eyes indicates which part of the brain you're accessing, so the eye exercises might also help to clear negative thoughts and feelings - if you keep it up (as do the Emotional Detox sessions that I offer).
Here's the link if you want to have a go:
Comment below if you've tried it and let me know how you got on.