What Love Told Me book

 

 

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Thursday
Mar082018

A letter of apology to the Men (On International Women’s Day)

I woke up to the Facebook posts about International Women’s Day and felt a mixture of confusion, mild sadness  and a huge SHAME knot in my stomach. The confusion is that I am one (a woman) and I LOVE the support all over social media towards women in our lives now and from history who have changed the way we get to live.  But I also hate it.  I am irritated by it.  And I feel protective of the men today.  Not ALL men, but the Good Ones.

Ok I know today is the one day it’s supposed to be about solely The Women and perhaps this blog is bad timing, but bear with me - Hear me out on this one.

There’s been so much bad press towards (some) Men recently where they are portrayed at worst as misogynistic abusers and at best pointless wimps with no backbone.  But that basically they are The Bad Guys.  Literally. So today, with the focus on ONLY women, I just feel this huge gulf of separation between us getting bigger and I actually feel this deep need to protect them too, to apologise for tarring them all with the same brush.  And actually give credit to the amazing men who love and support us everyday. And include them in the celebration of us.

And yet at the same time I am not trying to dismiss how incredible the Women’s Movement is.  I am terrified of publishing this blog for fear of being misunderstood by OTHER women- I feel so inadequate to be able to express myself properly- hence the confusion on this whole subject - I am nervous about coming across like I am somehow dismissing feminism and the women who have suffered in the past for me to be able to have the privileges I have as a woman now.  That this blog will come across as me thinking the #Metoo campaign is NOT a positive, powerful thing. That I am NOT supporting all the women working towards equal pay and equal rights. Because that is not  true and certainly not my intention here. I am excited about those things.  I celebrate women, ALL women but I also want us women to celebrate men and treat each other as equal HUMANS.  And stop with the ‘Them and us’ bullshit.

So I’m sorry to my Sisters, but this blog can’t wait - I feel TOO guilty for my part in this separation - hence the shame.  And I want to own it.  So as I write this I will try and make this personal to me and not speak for any of you. 

Because I don’t feel good about the way I have treated men.  I have deemed them as spineless, shallow, pathetic, weak.  I have fuelled the divide by lumping them all together with a dismissive ‘They’re all the same’.  I have been the abuser and the bully and the manipulator and I have absolutely no idea of what the equivalent term for ‘Mysogynist’ is in relation to men, but I have been that too.

So here is my apology. 

I am sorry.

For thinking you were all the same.

For continuing the belief that ‘you can’t rely on a man, so I might as well do it myself’ from generations that weren’t even mine.

For trying to match you pint for pint, talking about shagging, swearing, the banter, taking the piss- trying to fit in with some of you and pretending that was fun for me.

For showing you the tough exterior and hiding my emotions - for lying about who I am

For hating the Porn Industry but still acting like the Porn Star and pretending that was ok.

For the blame I carried towards YOU from MY ancestors towards your ancestors - not YOU.

For bitching about you to the Collective Sisterhood and contributing to the separation

For thinking we were superior because we cope with periods and have babies and don’t get ‘Man Flu’

For the time I dismissed your offer of help, with a derogatory ‘I’m fine’, when I struggled with my suitcase down the steps to The Tube. Then took great significance that I could do it myself. That I was just as strong as you.

For always taking the bin out myself and getting pissed off that ‘I have to do everything around here’ but not actually letting you take the bin out when you offered.  

For making you doubt whether to open a door for me, because you’d been barked at, or beaten to it with a ‘I got it’ so many times

For expecting you to be a mind reader, and punishing you when you weren’t, because I hadn’t learned how to state my needs

For not communicating properly, for answering ‘Fine’ then kicking into Ice Queen mode and giving you the Silent Treatment

For rolling my eyes when you couldn’t do something and saying ‘For Gods sake - I’ll do it’ rather than encouraging and empowering you.

For nagging and trying to get you to change who you are.

For Mothering you. For Smothering you.

For not looking up to you or acknowledging the things you do for me.

For all the times I judged you for letting me down, when I let myself down.

I especially cringe about the times when I wouldn’t back down when you DID show up. When I didn’t trust Your Glorious Masculine.   When you did dare to show it, I belittled it, I laughed it off, I refused to surrender -I met yours with mine and I tried to out-do you. Two masculines at loggerheads with each other - and remember, I was carrying the generational Warrior Women on my back who had to fight so hard, who WERE left alone to DO EVERYTHING- so of course you didn’t stand a chance.  You were always going to lose and give in first. ‘Anything for a quiet life’. Back down. And leave me smug that I’d won. But you failed the test.  And I am deeply sorry that I set the trap for you.  You backing down meant I got to continue The Story that ALL Men are untrustworthy. “See?, I have to be the Man AND the woman in this relationship”

So finally, and this is the hardest one to say - for all the times I screamed at you to ‘Man up’, when I couldn’t ‘Man down’ myself. I didn’t know how to.  I was never taught.  But I know now and I promise to do that, as often as I can catch myself. And when you remind me.

And for everything else that has passed between us where you have felt less-than, punished, hurt, confused and disrespected. I am deeply sorry. I chose Significicance over Love so I wouldn’t get hurt. Again. Protecting myself. Not letting you in. Allowing you into my body but never my heart.

But my core is feminine and yours in masculine. I want to relax into that Feminine as much as possible, now. I am tired of being Masculine around you. And herein lies the confusion. The Contradiction. The huge Grey areas. I need my Masculine to get stuff done, to face challenges, to do my work. I need my feminine to be in flow, to be creative, to trust, to recieve. As you do - as we have both parts within us. So we ARE the same yet at the same time, we are TOTALLY different.  But I commit to somehow celebrating our differences between us as beautiful, sacred, mysterious rather than as something to punish each other for and to further fuel the Great Divide- which only brings hurt, pain and more separation. 

I want Connection and Oneness.  We have to do this together. To use our polarity to return to our core. I want my Divine Feminine to continue emerging and at the same time empower your confidence that you are safe to return to your Divine Masculine.

Thank you for everything you are.  I see you. I love you. I’m sorry I hurt you too.

 

 

Sunday
Mar042018

Gonna have to face it, you're addicted to Love/Booze/Creme Eggs/Crumpets etc

Big Announcement: I have given up alcohol.  For a year. Possibly for ever.  Last night was my first Big Test:  Going alone to a fortieth birthday party where I only knew 4 people (all of whom are fairly new friendships) in a group where everybody else was drinking and in quite a big way.  I was clearly nervous as on arrival I immediately knocked over someone’s beer.  I didn’t know this person so was absolutely mortified and insisted on getting him a new bottle.  He promised to get me the next one which is when I told him I wasn’t drinking. Once he established that I wasn’t driving he tried to convince me to have a beer. I explained that I had given up for the year. He gave me a shocked look and then like that scene out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where the mother is horrified to hear her daughter is marrying a vegetarian and declares ‘That’s ok - I make lamb’ - offered to buy me a shot of Sambuca instead!!

But I noticed that it wasn’t just the other people that were freaked by it - I was also feeling uncomfortable- like I had to justify it.  When the barman shook his head when I ordered a water, I heard myself making a joke saying ‘Don’t judge me - I can be fun without alcohol’ and as other people asked why I wasn’t drinking , I heard myself talking about this Big Experiment I had embarked on for the year to see how it would be to not drink. There was only one person I actually told the truth to, which was ‘I don’t like myself when I drink’ which gave her the green light to confide that she was the same and whenever she drank with her fella it always ended in a big row.  This was early in the night and she told me she was already monitoring how many beers he was having and was feeling a sense of dread about how the evening would end. So much for ‘Drink and be Merry’... rather ‘Drink and bring out all your insecurities, cause a fight and say mean shit’!

I totally recognised this situation.  The expression ‘Demon Drink’ is defined as ‘Alcohol and its unpleasant side effects’ !! The word ‘Unpleasant’ seems a bit too tame to describe the many behaviours associated with me drinking in the past.  During my single days at best, I would end up DCGIT (Drunk Crying Girl In The Toilets), wailing about how no one would ever love me.  At worst, I was reckless, putting myself in ridiculously stupid situations with men I hardly knew to get the crumbs of feeling ‘loved’ through One Night stands. But even all happy and loved-up in my current relationship, during a moment of drunken rage and frustration towards my partner, after a night out - I somehow embodied the Demon of the Drink and smashed a chair into pieces. 

And I was never even a big drinker really. I would regularly go through phases of NOT drinking and was used to getting reactions from others ranging from mild bewilderment to actual aggressive demands for me to ‘stop being so boring’.  But then other nights out I would also ‘get on it’ with everyone else.  Why ? To fit in? To escape? To feel more extrovert? To be funnier? To get on the dancefloor? To feel confident? To lose inhibitions? To justify doing things I would never do sober? To numb my real feelings of sadness/fear/doubt etc?  All of those things.

So back in the day, before arriving alone at a boozy 40th, I would have necked a cheeky wine, but last night I had no crutch and went through range of different emotions during the night. I was nervous and awkward at first. Then I relaxed and enjoyed meeting the new people and had a laugh. Then I got up and danced and felt Significance that I could dance without booze. Like a superior smugness. Then when it became clear that Everyone Else was pissed I felt sad at the inevitable disconnect. I felt a bit lonely. I felt judgemental towards the drunk ones who kept repeating themselves or who smelt of stale ale. I felt judgey towards myself ‘Why aren’t you normal? Why are you doing this - you are alienating yourself ?’ Then I felt compassion when some people started to show insecurities and then finally amusement once the declarations of love towards me started and I decided to leave. 

On the way home I stopped to buy ‘treats’ in the form of Crisps, Cookies and Bread Products which I planned to gorge on when I got home as a reward for not drinking. I realised the irony of this - that I had simply replaced one addiction with another - albeit one that wouldn’t bring me the ‘what-the-hell-did-I-do-last-night Memory Loss! But it’s still the same thing.

We all have our insecurities and we all have our ‘Go To’ Avoidance Activities which society has labelled on a scale of acceptable ‘harmless’ behaviours (things like caning it at the gym, bitching about others, tv, sex, binge eating etc) to the unacceptable, ‘harmful’ things which are seen as obvious addictions (hardcore drugs, alcoholism etc) but what is the difference really ? There’s always something to block the Feelings. Plus, there’s also NEW numbing tactics to try - Lip Fillers seem to be the latest one. I know stunning 17 year old girls who are spending £100s on them each month trying to adhere to the new definition of what is ‘sexy’now. So we’re ALL doing it - we all have our Guilty Pleasures and ‘weaknesses’ whether its Class A’s or Buying Expensive Shoes.

But we’re not looking at the root of the problem. We’re not questioning WHY we choose a certain behaviour to try and avoid the pain.  So we shove a plaster on the gaping wound in the form of our Drug Of Choice and put on a brave face and ignore it.

So is there ANOTHER WAY ? Deep down, I think we secretly know that the only other option is to learn to love and accept ALL parts of ourselves...

And let’s be honest - that is surely IMPOSSIBLE!  - because I don’t know about you, but I AM fucking annoying and judgey and mean and when I’m angry I throw stuff (Greek heritage) and I’m sad and oversensitive and negative and insecure and bossy and so many other horrible adjectives....which I can’t stand in other people, let alone in myself ? so how the FUCK can I love all of that in ME?

But like MOST addiction treatments, surely the first step is to admit we have a problem. And rather than thinking the problem is Tequila or Emergency Twixes, we have to look at what’s REALLY going on. And we have to talk to each other.

Admit that we are struggling.  That we think there’s something ‘wrong’ with us.  That we feel unlovable and not enough. Say it out loud. And honestly admit that sometimes we ALSO feel like that..  So we don’t feel so alone. Like Group Therapy.

And me? Well, I doubt I will risk being seen as even MORE of a Party Pooper, by replying truthfully  if I’m asked again why I’m not drinking - ‘Because I don’t like myself...’ and actually leave the ‘when I drink’ part out of that answer. Might need a bit of Dutch Courage for that.

So perhaps  my Experiment is pointless and I’ll get bored of being the Sober One at parties and return to  the ‘If you can’t beat em, join em logic’. And anyway, perhaps the answer DOES lie at the bottom of the barrel since it’s definitely much easier getting Shit FACED than actually FACING your shit...? 

Thursday
Dec142017

Move yer Feet.

There’s a new shame tactic on the block that is robbing me of my joy.  It is the thought that I’m not playing it BIG enough. Or more accurately, that I’m not playing it BIG at all. I don’t even know what the expression means to ‘Play it Big’ but it definitely has some sporty connotations.  Like it’s a footy match or a game that needs playing.  And I was always shit at sports.  So what is happening is that on the days when I don’t even manage to leave the dressing room, let alone get on the pitch, I am feeling so bad about myself that I end up dismissing the fact I at least put my kit on. I’m too busy feeling jealous about the one who got Man-of-the-Match, and beating myself up for it not being me!

It is actually hilarious that I am using all of these Sporty analogies since my family have a catchphrase for me which is ‘Move Yer Feet’.  This evolved from me applying my own special tactic to play badminton/tennis whereby I would refuse to move off one spot on the court and just stretch my freakishly long arms to try and REACH for the shot, such was my laziness, because god forbid, I would attempt to actually RUN for it.

So you get it, I’m not a natural sporty person and perhaps I can blame that on the fact that I cringe every time I hear the phrase ‘Play it Big’. Which in Spiritual Land is ALL. THE. TIME. All of the people I admire are telling me to Step Up.  Shine Our Light. Do one thing every day that scares us.  Find Our Purpose.  A couple of days ago I watched a TED-ex talk called ‘How to stop screwing yourself over’ where the incredibly charismatic Mel Robbins told me that the chance of ME being born (taking into account all the natural disasters, disease, the chance of my parents meeting etc) is one in Four Hundred Trillion and we should therefore make our life count. My first thought was ‘Wow I didn’t have any idea that a ‘Trillion’ was an actual recognised mathematical number’; I thought it was a number that kids made up, usually followed by ‘Zillion’ (don’t tell me that’s real too?) .  My second thought was ‘Shit - I am WASTING MY LIFE’....So I jumped to it. And I thought ‘right, today - I’m gonna get my ass in gear! I’m gonna make my miraculous life count’ so I recorded a video for Facebook about an idea I’d had. I took action! Except when I couldn’t upload the bastard thing and had to admit defeat after several hours, I ended up in tears, feeling massively disappointed that I had wasted my entire day...aka ENTIRE LIFE! Wow. Dramatic! But yes it was THAT serious.  Even when I TRIED to Play it Big - I fucked up. Massive Shame fest. And I’m sure lovely Mel didn’t intend on her talk having the opposite effect and making me actually feel bad about myself, when she got on that stage. So what happened?

This is something that has been bubbling away in the background for a while.  I’ve had conversations with friends about this, where we have admitted that we see our peers ‘Playing it Big’ and we use it to make ourselves feel shit.  The Comparison. The ‘Why are you not stepping up if so-and-so on Facebook is actually doing it?’ The Not Enough thoughts again.  

But what does it even mean to Play It Big? The initial answer for me would be - making shed loads of money. Having back-to-back clients every day.  Writing a book which sells millions (published by Hayhouse, obviously)?  A massive home by the sea? Thousands of followers on Facebook? Doing my OWN TED talk one day?

Really ? Is that truly what I want for myself? All that Busy-ness? All that travel? Fame?

Um... no actually. So why on earth am I defining ‘Playing It Big’ via all of those unobtainable things?  Perhaps that’s the wrong word.  Perhaps ‘Unwantable’ would be more relevant? (yes I realise that isn’t ACTUALLY a word).  So why on earth am I putting myself under pressure to do ANY of those things in order to feel like I have done something worthwhile with my precious life? Or rather, using the fact that I HAVEN’T achieved those things to make myself feel crap and dismissing the ‘smaller’ things I HAVE done?

Rather horrifyingly, I have somehow managed to attach my entire happiness and even worse, my own self-worth on me playing someone else’s version of BIG. But I’m not Mel. Or Brené. Or Liz. Or Gabby. Or Tony. Or Mastin. I’m me. Kate. I have my little business (ironically telling people to be gentle with themselves), I have amazing friends, I live in a terraced house in North Manchester with my Man and his son and I’ve never been happier.  If I would let myself. But I’m dismissing it all as ‘too small’. And actually THAT’S how I’ve been screwing myself over - by trying to change the present and thinking I should be living a different life where I am appearing on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday every..er...Sunday. But that isn’t what I want. That’s not actually my life. And it isn’t my purpose. Surely a purpose is something you ARE rather than you DO? Cos what happens if you lose your job ? Or your book flops? Or your business goes under? Surely all of those external things don’t just define who you are as a person? What about Kindness and Compassion and Loving and Connection and Belonging? Surely finding those things is our purpose?

In her talk, Mel talks about how she hates the word ‘Fine’ because, you know - we’re a Miracle and we deserve much more than FINE (I’m paraphrasing!!).  As he was leaving for work, My fella, after mopping up my tears about me being a ‘failure’ last night and patiently listening to all of my self-doubt, just said “Its all going to be fine” then ‘corrected’ himself and said. “No it’s not - it’s all going to be amazing!”

And I heard myself replying back “Fine is ok”.  And it’s true.  Maybe sometimes it IS fine. And maybe some days it is also AMAZING. And maybe some days it is really fucking shit.

So feeling bad about the ‘small’ days and trying to change ‘what IS’ into something BIGGER is a complete waste of energy. And that is how I’m wasting my life. By thinking it should be different.  That I should be different. And trying to change the reality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m going to stop working on myself and my business and am committed to  taking Courageous Actions every day, because unless we’re growing we’re pretty much dead, right? But just that I’m going to try not to beat myself up and try and enjoy the ‘Fine’.  Because maybe some days all you can do to ‘’Play it Big - is to just get up. And get out of bed.  And then perhaps, to quote the Roberts’ Family- ‘Move yer feet’. And take a teeny tiny step forward. And be you. And be kind to little You. And sometimes surely that’s enough - because BEING YOU (whatever version of you), when you think about it, is pretty MASSIVE.

 

Monday
Nov062017

You are now leaving The Friend Zone...

I got de-friended on Facebook today. But rather than mull over it, get upset or angry I remembered being friend-dumped in person by a Dutch girl 8 years ago.

A friend of mine at the time, Willemien texted me out of the blue to arrange an ‘Appointment to discuss our friendship’ whilst I was living in Amsterdam.  We met in a coffee bar where we regularly used to meet for cake (not THAT kind of cake, before you get any ideas..) and a catch up.  And she basically explained that she felt very insecure in our friendship as she would share a lot with me around her problems and receive a lot of support from me but that I wouldn’t share much back. She told me she thought the friendship wasn’t equal or balanced and felt that I didn’t trust her somehow.  I shared that there was only a couple of my best friends in the UK who I would truly talk to if I had shit going on and that it was unlikely to change as I liked to keep my stuff inwards most of the time.  What then happened is something that has stuck with me ever since.  She said ‘Well I’m very sorry as I want more from our friendship and since that is not possible I think it is best that we leave it here’ and with that she hugged me with tears in her eyes, said thank you for our friendship, wished me good luck and left me in the bar. 

I sat there a little stunned - I’d known her for about a year and we used to work together and hang out a couple of times a week, going for walks or coffee etc.  And I was trying to work out what had just happened.  I felt so weird to have been ‘dumped’ by a friend. I remember thinking ‘That would NEVER happen in England’! And I was angry and upset but at the same time I totally respected her for wanting more from the friendship and for her vulnerability in speaking out her needs.

Throughout my life I’ve probably had more friendships break up than actual relationships !! The first was the most painful -My best friend from Primary School, Helen Jones, during one Geography class simply stopped talking to me because from then on, Louise Rummens was going to be her best friend! And Louise didn’t even like BROS (she was a rival A-Ha fan FFS!!?) But I was devastated. Ok I was probably about 14 but it genuinely really affected me and I was so hurt... Girls are MEAN ! I don’t think I’ve ever had my heart broken as much by a man, as I have with friends.  When it turned out that my Uni best mate was sleeping with my boyfriend I was more gutted about losing HER than him !!

So as a result I think I have tried to keep a wide range of friends (Safety in numbers!) but have perhaps hung onto some of those past their expiry date.  Some have vanished in my own annual Facebook cull.  Then there’s the foreign friends who I KNOW I will never EVER see again in places far flung like Oz or Hawaii. But never have my friend clear-outs been as clean and honest as Willemien’s de-friending of me in person.

I guess that reflects the spineless nature of our society these days - when I was dating, sometimes men who I’d been really close to would go AWOL for days/weeks/months without word.  And I would sit in that uncertainty questioning myself, what happened and what I did wrong. But I’ve been in situations myself where someone has really upset me and yet I wouldn’t mention it to them directly but would speak about them behind their back.  Or do that annoying passive aggressive thing where I wouldn’t call THEM for days to try and hint that they’d pissed me off. We all have our tactics to avoid conflict.

So I understand that it was easier for them to just click a button.  UN-FRIEND.  Probably the mouse hovered over my name for a moment and then with a simple click 15 years of friendship was all over!

But since according to Jim Rohn “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I realised that they were no longer My People. They weren’t even Top 10 any more. In the past it would have been true but recently it had seemed a bit forced since we did want different things in life and didn’t really have much in common.  I guess, like a relationship we simply ‘fell out of love and grew apart’ and if there is no longer any inspiration or growth possible then the right thing to do IS call it quits. I realised I was actually happy our friendship was officially no more (according to Facebook at least!)

So when this happened today I immediately thought of Willemien and the beauty of her instigating the end of our time together with a meeting in person.  And ok, I didn’t actually go as far as actually CALLING my newly EX-friends, but I WAS inspired to send a message just to say thank you.  I told them that I was so appreciative for their friendship and the part we had played in each others life and wished them luck.  And rather beautifully I received (mostly) messages back which were clean, respectful and full of love actually. 

And that felt honest.  So there is no need for a grieving period.  No beating myself up for upsetting them, wracking my head with guilt about if I could have done more.  No anger or sadness. Just gratitude. And that feels so free.

I encourage you all to be inspired by the Direct Dutchies and speak out your truth, your needs, your desires in ALL of your relationships.  As terrifying as it is. And if it doesn’t work and your friendships/relationships don’t  fulfil and inspire you anymore, then perhaps it IS time to end it too. ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ and all that - I know Gwyneth and Chris got a slating by our cynical Press but there is a lot to be said for it. It gives closure and it honours what you had together.

And so to my beautiful ex-friends I thank you for it all with love... ("I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you")

And now of course there's space - for the New People to come in.

So Facebook, it seems that there are some new vacancies to join my Tribe so please enquire within !! That’s if you survive MY annual culling, that is.... 

 

Tuesday
Oct172017

21/09/17. Blog: One rule for you, one rule for me.

 

I met a lady this week who had just lost her business. Her restaurant had ‘gone under’ and judging by the tears in her eyes, had taken her with it. I put a gentle hand on her arm and heard myself saying ‘Just go easy on yourself - you’re in a huge uncertainty and you need to grieve’. Then the quiet voice in my head said ‘Just like me’... It shocked me how quick I was to dismiss it with a HUGE list of reasons why her situation was TOTALLY different to mine.

Then yesterday I met a glorious New Friend who is about to leave her job after 7 years to start a new one and again, I heard myself also start harping on about her ‘taking time to transition between jobs’. But this time she held a beautiful mirror up by saying “You too, you’ve also ended your job AND you’ve moved house as well. It’s all NEW for you too”...

I was about to start with the ‘YEH, BUTs..’ to again highlight how ‘different’ it was for me as I’ve been half living here for the last 3 months, I have a bloke who is supporting me during my change, I was ONLY working part-time and it was ONLY 2 years..yadda yadda...blah blah...

But basically this is a tactic I use when part of me refuses to feel my feelings. There are no differences between my New Friend and I, (if anything there’s more uncertainty for me as I don’t yet HAVE a new job to go to) and yet I can acknowledge HER feelings about the end of HER chapter, but dismiss my own. We are both feeling nervous, excited, scared and insecure alongside a sadness about missing our colleagues who felt, at times like Family and there was me basically saying ‘you carry on love, you have EVERY right to feel all of that, but me, ooh no, it’s different for me’. And I ‘fessed up and we both laughed about how ridiculous it was that, in my head, it was ok for her but not for me. And I realised that I’ve always had this ‘One rule for you, one rule for me’...er..Rule.

Please do not feel that feeling that you feel right now. No ball games allowed. Please don’t walk on the grass...

But I think we all have it. I see it all the time with my reiki clients -It’s a classic: They’ll be talking and there’ll be a shift where they start to well up and the tears come. The minute they begin to feel an emotion where The Shame swoops in they will do one of two things - they will laugh/smile and say ‘oh God I hardly know you and I’m already snotting everywhere’ or they will become hard as nails, shut down and say ‘Anyway I don’t know what I’m crying for’. Often followed by my favourite Spiritual Bullshit Line: ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’ - What the Fuck does that even mean ??? It usually is an indicator that the conversation is about to be abruptly ended. Like it’s used in place of a full stop. And is sometimes followed by “ Anyway, enough about me, how are you?”....But it’s just another cop-out that allows us to shoot the feelings down and swiftly change the subject to not get fully heard.

Except when you’re in any kind of healing or therapy session it would be weird and completely inappropriate for the person facilitating to use this as a cue to start talking about their own stuff, so each time I will bring the client back to the feeling, let them say hello to it, allow it to be there, give it some love, then they let the massive, proper bawling out and go on their merry way. And it IS ‘merry’ because it’s ALWAYS a relief to actually feel and admit whatever the hell is real in you - especially to a person who can hold space for it. yet when It's me doing the crying - it's a different story. I kick into 'Pull Yourself together Mode'.

So why the hell are we so determined to try and avoid these feelings and will employ any tactic to do so? One of my favourite Go-to’s is ‘The BUSY-ness. (Which is ALLEGEDLY a by-product of my fear that people will think I’m LAZY, but which my heart knows is just another stunt.) Ever since I left my job last week and moved into my Bloke’s house, I’ve been running around like a tit. Said Boyfriend called me during my first official day of Unemployment and asked what I was up to. It was 9am. I replied that I had done some cleaning, sent out some networking emails and that later on I had two ‘meetings’ (sounded better than a cuppa and a chat) about potential work when he replied “Oh, I was hoping you were going to say you were putting your feet up”. (Swoon! Who IS this man?!). And yeh, if it was anyone else but me, I would also be suggesting that they relax for a couple of days to recover from all the changes and emotions of the last few weeks. But no not me, I have SO MUCH TO DO - I haven’t possibly got time to stop and feel. And on top of all that housework and job-seeking, I’m also far too busy scrolling mindlessly through Facebook, comparing myself to all of the other Employed people who are actually doing something with their lives, whilst working my way through yet another hunk of the carrot cake from my leaving Party.

But we all have our favourite Numbing Activities: Work, Booze, Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll, Bread Products. Or a less destructive option like Exercise (- I basically managed to run an entire marathon by channelling my anger about certain events of the last 12 months! ). Or us Smug Spirituals can also do a bit of Yoga or chanting as a quick fix to help the feeling disappear and deem it as a ‘healthier way of expressing our emotions’. I beg to differ - there aint technically any expressing going on. It may be a temporary release but the feeling is still stuck inside you after you’ve rolled up yer mat and drank your Green Juice.

Last night, I had a row with my fella and was feeling a whole barrage of things, so much so that I had no idea of what any of those things were. Unconscious Overwhelm. So at the time, when he’d gone into the other room to calm down, I’d opted for The ‘Spritual’ Stuffing-Down Technique (rather than my usual ‘Eat sugar’ routine) and did an Ego Eradicator exercise with Breath Of Fire for 3 mins, smoked my negative energy away by burning some sage around my Aura and said a prayer asking ‘God’ to help bring us peace since we were ‘currently lost in the darkness of conflict and separation’!! And yet still I woke up with a knot in my stomach, jelly legs and that feeling where you think you’re going to poo yourself!

But something had happened before I had even opened my eyes this morning. There’d been a word softly drifting into my consciousness, whispering to me. PERMISSION. I heard it a few times, then promptly ignored it and got up. But as I’m writing this - I remember it again.

That well known Spiritual Guru, Winnie The Pooh (!) wisely said 'Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.'

And sometimes that's all we need to do to allow everything that exists within us to come to the surface. To Just stop. So we can change our ‘To Do’ list to a ‘To Feel’ list instead.

So today I shall give myself that Permission. Permission to rest. Permission to listen. Permission to Feel it all. The Tenderness. The Sadness. The Grief. And just go along. Doing Nothing.

Once I’ve put the washing out that is...