Tag Archives: courage

Are You Ready to Make a Leap of Faith?

When I resigned from my career in the Civil Service to set up on my own it was a Leap of Faith. I had no safety net and no fall-back position.

I still don’t.

What I had then and still have today is a clear understanding that this was the ONLY right thing for me to do – this was my Purpose and if I didn’t follow it I would be dooming myself to a life of regrets and unhappiness.

And so, although it hasn’t always been plain sailing and there continue to be difficult times, I remain convinced that my Leap of Faith was unquestionably the right thing for me to have done.

Despite that Leap into the unknown, it didn’t take very long at all for what once seemed new and thrilling to become habitual and a tiny bit dull, and for me then to fall back into some of my old patterns and ways of behaving. That’s why I’ve recently been seeking out other challenges in an attempt to shock me out of my comfort zone.

(This is where I invite you to make a donation to Mind, the Mental Health Charity, by way of sponsoring me for my parachute jump on July 9th, by the way. All you need to do is click on the link over on the right…)

Susanna Liller, the Heroines’ Coach, spotted what I was up to and asked to interview me for her newsletter as she saw me as “an expert Comfort Zone escaper”.

I was honoured to be asked to contribute, and fascinated when I saw that Susanna was setting her readers a “Comfort Zone Challenge”. So fascinated, in fact, that after a short chat we decided to do it together and create “The Transatlantic Comfort Zone Challenge”!

And so, Dear Reader, here is how YOU can make your own Leap of Faith and challenge yourself out of YOUR Comfort Zone:

  • You do the first part, reminding yourself of the times you already left your comfort zone so that you’ll see that you can do this as you’ve done it before!
  • Then, you’ll fill out the second part—3 things you’ll do by April 30 that are out of your comfort zone (and what fears it brings up—might as well just acknowledge them right up front), then you’ll send it to me by March 24th cathy@colourinyourthinking.co.uk (Susanna will be doing this at her end.)
  • We’ll let people know what you’ve signed up to do in our respective April Newletters. Yes, it will be public…a motivator—on both sides of the Atlantic!
  • Next, by April 30 you’ll re-port out on how you did with your challenge via an email to me.
  • We’ll report to everyone in our May newsletters and we’ll celebrate!

Susanna and I are really excited about this joint venture, and we hope that as many of you as possible will be tempted to join in.

You never know what you can do until you try it so go on – take your Leap of Faith and see what you can accomplish…

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I Could Never Do That!!

I’ve been hearing that a lot lately, as you might imagine. Whether it’s taking my clothes off, jumping out of an aeroplane, blogging about my deepest darkest feelings or wearing lots of bright colours all at once, I seem to be doing a lot of things that a lot of people think they could never do.

I had an interesting conversation the other day with someone who wondered what the point was – her view was that each of these things might make a difference to me on the day I do them, but that it wouldn’t really change anything in the long run.

I beg to differ.

The reasons I’m taking on these challenges are as follows:

1. To challenge myself out of constantly thinking “I could never do that!”

I’m as prone to thinking like that as anyone else and the older I get the more frustrating I find it because it gets in the way of my doing all sorts of perfectly reasonable things.

So I figured that, the more REALLY challenging things I’ve done, the less I’ll believe myself when I tell myself “I can’t do that” about apparently simple things like asking for what I want, or challenging something that I’m not happy with.

2. To keep myself alert and interested.

I thrive on intellectual challenges. I am a creature of the mind rather than the body, but there have been some significant occasions when I have learnt really profound things about how my mind works from challenging my body.

So I want to see what more can I learn about myself and how I operate – and it seems to me the way to do that is by challenging myself physically as well as mentally.

3. To give myself choices and opportunities.

The more we stay in our comfort zone, the less choice and opportunity we give ourselves. It’s like choosing to wear blinkers, and only ever changing them for bigger blinkers. We all have comfort zones but for many of us they are misnamed – they’re more like Familiarity Zones – and even though they’ve long ceased to be comfortable we cling to them because familiarity feels safe.

But sometimes we need to take a good hard look at our Familiarity Zone and recognise that actually it’s a wasteland, or a swamp, or a desert and it’s time to leave.

Only when we do that, can we begin to look around and see the amazing choices and opportunities that are available to us.

4. To encourage you to challenge yourself.

I’m no different to anyone else. I have my fears and hangups, my good days and my not so good days. But I see my purpose in life as being to help as many people as possible to get to know what they are really, truly capable of and to experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from doing so.

My hope is that, by seeing me challenging myself, you will feel inspired to challenge yourself to do something that you’ve previously thought “I could never do that!” about.

It doesn’t matter what it is – it could be jumping out of a plane or standing up to a bully or tackling your credit card debt full on or coming out about your sexuality or admitting that you’re finding something really difficult – everyone has their own fears to face and challenges to overcome.  What I want to do is to encourage you to think differently about yourself.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking

“I could never do that” ask yourself

“Why not? What’s the worst that could happen?”

I’d LOVE to know whether you’ve been inspired to set yourself your own challenge – do comment here and let me know!

 

 

Body Issues, what Body Issues?

Last night I went and took all my clothes off in front of a group of total strangers.

And a dog.

For 2 hours I sat completely still (on an electric blanket, surrounded by fan heaters) as 7 people stood at easels and painted/sketched/drew/charcoaled their own versions of me, to a soundtrack of old ska music and the odd surprising interjection of hip-hop (that Biggie Smalls, he was a laugh, eh?!)

Apart from the tutor and one girl who didn’t stay for the entire session, the group was entirely male – including the dog – and two of them appeared to be younger than my son.

It didn’t feel even slightly odd, though. There was no hint that any of this was in any way unusual or unpleasant and apart from the fact that everyone else in the room knew each other and I knew no-one, it was a perfectly ordinary, comfortable evening.

So – it seemed that for me there was no real challenge and no fears to be faced in getting naked.

And then I made the mistake of looking at some of the pictures.

I didn’t know what the etiquette was – does the model express an interest in the work going on around her and chat to the artists, or does she sit in a corner and mind her own business during the tea break?

So I combined the two. I sat in a corner stroking the dog and drinking my tea, and indulged myself with sneaky peaks at the pictures every now and then.

And that’s where the challenge and the fear came in.

Because, notwithstanding the varying degrees of skill of the individual artists, the difficult thing was seeing myself as others see me.

My fist instinct was to recoil at what I saw as ugliness. I’m under no illusions about my shape but I suppose I had expected to see something like this:

Beryl Cooke painting courtesy of the Canterbury Auction Galleries

And instead what I saw looked more like this:

The Venus of Willendorf

But without the hat and with my delicate lady parts far better hidden. Ahem.

Beryl Cooke’s work celebrates the female form, particularly the amply endowed female form, and does it in a way that smooths out the lumps and bumps and shows only curves and smoothness and generosity. Beryl’s work allows perkiness where there would, in reality, have been droop and sag, and satin skin instead of stretch marks and cellulite.

The Venus of Willendorf, in contrast, is much more lifelike, as are the paintings of Rubens which show bodies, male and female, as they really are rather than as we might wish them to be.

So – given that Rubens and that ancient sculptor had it right, what was I actually recoiling from? One of the paintings from last night was clearly made by an artist of real talent – he had captured the musculature under my skin and the fall of light and shade. There was a quote on the wall of the studio that said something about how painting the human body was a combination of architecture and landscape painting – and I think this artist last night had done both.

His work contained no judgement of me – the judgement was entirely in my own head.

And what was my judgement based on?

My external appearance doesn’t make me any less worthy as a human being.

It doesn’t make me any the less capable of doing the work that I love.

It is how it is in part as a result of 2 caesarean sections and breastfeeding 2 babies.

It also is how it is in part because I’ve never exercised regularly and I have a sweet tooth.

It is how it is also in part because of my genetic make-up.

And it is how it is because that’s who I am. If I looked different, I would have had an entirely different life and I wouldn’t be who I am today.

And who I am today is in a really good place, so why would I want to look any different? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life recoiling from The Real Me?

Hell No!

And so I am content. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience last night and I’m told that I made an excellent model because I had no difficulty sitting still. I shall do it again (especially if the dog turns up every time).

And next time I catch sight of a painitng, I will enjoy the artistry that’s gone into creating it and I will celebrate what it shows of the life I’ve lived to become who I am.

I have a couple of questions for you to ask yourself if you feel insecure about your appearance:

  • what POSITIVE impact has your appearance had on creating the person you are today?
  • if you’ve read this blog and thought “I could NEVER do that!” have a conversation with that fear and find out what it is you’re REALLY afraid of – you might be surprised by the answer.

More Fear Needed…

I’ve been ruminating on why The Saboteurs and the Resistance have been so active of late and I realised that some of it’s because I’m bored. Not just bored as in “everything’s in other people’s hands now” bored , but bored as in “where’s my next big challenge?” bored.

I’m doing something that stretches me every day, but the stretches are starting to feel too easy and I can feel myself becoming a bit complacent.

So yesterday I decided to follow up on my naked photo shoot experience from last year. That was a REAL challenge and was amazingly empowering. My relationship with my body and how I feel about myself generally has completely changed since then, and I’ve decided to capitalise on that – so next Tuesday evening I’m going to a local art school to pose – in the nude – as a Life Model.

Today it feels exciting but not quite challenging enough – I’ll let you know next week how it feels on the night!!

So I’ve pondering on what other challenges to give myself – and then I thought I’d ask YOU what challenges YOU’D  like me to undertake and then write about…that’s right, from now on, My Fear is in Your Hands!

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • challenges that will test and stretch me
  • challenges that will allow me to write about my experiences in a way that will be helpful for you to read about
  • challenges that will inspire you to challenge yourself and face some of your fears and gremlins

Here’s what I don’t want:

  • suggestions for things that are going to cost lots of money

Please give me your challenges here – I’ll rate them out of 5 for how much of a challenge they feel to me (where 1 is “I do that sort of thing every day” and 5 is “Holy Shit I could NEVER do THAT!!! Oh…OK then…if I must…”) and then take them one at a time…

Gulp…

I can already feel the adrenaline starting to flow and I haven’t even published this yet – what on EARTH have I let myself in for?!

The Battle for Good and Evil

Me: I say Ego, could we have a little chat

Ego: Tra-la-la-la-la-la holly….fa la la la la la la a la

Me: Ego, I know you can hear me…

Ego: It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid.  At Christ…ooh look, more chocolate!!

Me: Yes, enough thank you, I neither need  nor want any more chocolate, I want to talk to you

Ego: Sorry, far too busy planning our outfit for New Year’s Eve, shall you wear the red velvet or the purple, do you think?

Me: EGO! SIT!!

Ego: Sigh….go on then, what is it?

Me: First of all, I want to say how much I admire your skill and dexterity

Ego: Eh?

Me: Well you’ve managed to pull the wool over my eyes for the best part of a month now and I’ve only just realised it in the last few days

Ego: Don’t know what you’re talking about. Sugared almond? Crystallised ginger?

Me: Thank you, no. And stop changing the subject. You know perfectly well what I’m talking about. You took one look at my decision to stop “doing” and start “being” and you jumped right into the gap, didn’t you?

Ego: Did I?

Me: Yes – you and your pal Mr Can’t B. Arsed.

Mr Can’t B. Arsed: Did someone call? ‘Fraid I can’t do anything at the moment, I’ve just eaten my own body weight in Turkish Delight and I’m feeling a bit sticky. Could you just roll me up in another blanket and put the Poirot Box-Set on again?

Me: Now listen you two. You have been helpful to me, to some extent, and I know that’s really what you want, isn’t it.

Ego/Mr C.B.A: Er…yes, yes of course…

Me: You’ve led me very kindly onto the sofa, you’ve snuggled me up with endless cups of tea and old films, you passed me plates of cakes and you’ve very effectively helped me to withdraw from all that frantic and formless doing that I was getting lost in, so Thank You.

Ego: Welcome, I’m sure

Mr C.B.A: There’s a “but” coming, I can feel it….stuff a biscuit in her mouth, quick…

Me: NO MORE BISCUITS!!! You’re right, there is a “but” coming…Thank You for helping me to step back from all the doing, BUT your real skill has lain in blind-siding me to what the “being” was supposed to be all about, hasn’t it. Just “being” isn’t about vegetating and getting fat and putting everything off till some mythical tomorrow that never comes. It’s not about letting whole days drift by having done absolutely nothing productive. The odd day doing that is glorious, yes – but it’s glorious because it’s a treat. When it becomes the norm it’s not a treat at all, it’s just laziness. And you two, of all people, know that I already see myself as unbelievably lazy so encouraging me to be even lazier is NOT HELPFUL!!!

Ego: Don’t shout dear, it makes your nostrils flair unattractively. And you’ll wake Mr C.B.A up. And we were only trying to help….

Me: Yes, but WHO were you trying to help in letting me give in to my inner slug?

Ego: Well you…obviously…

Me: Really?

Ego:…well, all of us, obviously, I mean we’re all different bits of you aren’t we…

Me: Don’t forget I sussed you out a while back. Think carefully before you answer…

Ego: Oh all right, I was trying to help myself! I want things to stay the way they’ve always been! We’ve managed to get you to the age of 46 without ever really having to put much effort into anything! You never had to try hard to do well at school and when there were subjects you didn’t like or found difficult, you could drop them! We encouraged you to chicken out of going to University because it was scary and seemed like hard work and we’ve managed to help you keep that attitude going to just about everything till pretty recently. If it’s looked like it might be difficult or scary we’ve convinced you that you didn’t want to do it and you could get by just by concentrating on the stuff that didn’t take much of an effort.

Mr Can’t B. Arsed: Yeah, and now you’ve gone and changed all that and you keep wanting to TALK to us and tell us we’re doing the wrong things and we just want things to be the way they always have been!

Me: Yes, I know you do. And I understand, really I do. But they can’t be like they used to be and I don’t WANT them to be like they used to be. There is so much more I can be and so much more I can give, but it takes effort and it means breaking through barriers of fear. I don’t want, any more, to give in when things get a bit challenging.

Ego: But we do, and we’re stronger. There’s more of us than there are of you, and we’ve been doing pretty well over the past couple of months, a bit at a time. We’ve done some pretty nifty sabotaging, if I do say so myself, and fortified as we now are on mince pies and cake, I’m pretty sure it won’t take us long before this little rebellion subsides. Glass of Sherry?

The Universe: Aren’t you forgetting something?

Ego/Mr C.B.A: Oh that’s not fair, who invited you?

Me: I did of course. It may have looked as if I was giving in to your temptations but the Universe and I have been having some quiet chats over the past couple of days. We’ve been making plans…

Ego: Ha! Well they won’t last long, your plans never do! You’ll come up with a different one tomorrow and another one the day after that so that in the end nothing will come of any of them!

Me: Only if I let you in on the planning. Without you there insinuating that there’s always a better idea to be had, or another way of doing things, or that this idea might be not quite right, I can plan and execute that plan really rather well.

Ego: Only trying to help, as I’ve said before, don’t want you making mistakes, do we?

Me: I know that, but there has to come a point at which I take an action and follow it through. Constantly planning and never doing is FAR more of a mistake than making a decision, following up and learning from anything that might not have gone very well so I can make it better next time, can’t you see that?

Ego: Well, but…..but….are you saying I’ve been making you make mistakes? Leading you towards failure?

Me: Yes – and I’ve chosen to let you, time and time again. But now it must stop. Please.

Ego: Oh. Right. I think I need to go away and think about all this. Can we talk about this some more tomorrow?

Me: Yes, of course we can.

The Universe: Atta girl.

 

Finding the Real You

We keep masses of stuff packed away in our heads, some of it useful and some of it crap that we’ve accumulated over the years. Often there’s so much unexamined crap up there that it gets in the way of the useful stuff.

What I do is help you to do a mental declutter.

When I’m talking to a new client I often use the analogy of an attic.

The inside of your head is like an attic where you’ve stuffed everything that might be useful one day. The trouble is that you’re a hoarder, so you’ve stuffed EVERYTHING up there, from useful stuff like the Christmas decorations to the receipt for a sandwich you bought from Tesco back in 1981 and everything in between.

Now you’ve got an attic full of carrier bags full of old receipts and empty shrink-wrap and used tissues and you can’t find the fairy lights. And who knows what real treasures lurk up there, hidden under all that junk?

So what I do is take you up there with a torch and get you to start sifting through the piles of rubbish. We bring everything into the light and have a massive decluttering spree, throwing away the junk and dusting off the fairy lights and baubles.

Some of this may well be difficult for you – most hoarders hang on to stuff because they can’t bear to let it go. There’ll be some stuff that you look at and think “Why on earth have I still got that bit of old tat?” and you’ll fling it away without a second thought.

And there’ll be other stuff that’s just as useless that you’ll have a hard time letting go of. You’ll think

“Oh I must keep that, my parents gave it to me so it must be precious”

or

“I can’t POSSIBLY do without that, everyone has told me I need to hang on to it. Although now I look at it properly it’s actually no use to man nor beast, but still, I can’t throw it away!”

So we’ll examine those bits of junk very carefully. We’ll poke them and prod them and check the fuses and see where they’ve come unglued and where the rats have been at them.

Sometimes you’ll realise they’re worthless and you’ll get rid of them. Sometimes you’ll decide that you were once useful but that now they’re obsolete – there’s no point in keeping a scratched LP if all you have now is an iPod.

(Note to younger readers – if you don’t know what an LP is, ask you grandparents).

However difficult this process is, I’ll hold the torch steady for you and provide fortifying cups of tea, Fairy Dust and tissues (which we’ll throw away when we’ve finished with them…)

As we trawl through your attic, so we’ll also open up all the boxes that you’ve never looked in and find the hidden treasures that were packed away when you were born and while you grew up and that have maybe not seen the light of day since.

Treasures like the confidence to know what you want.

The self-esteem to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.

The knowledge that you are a worthy individual who is here for a purpose.

The belief that you have something to offer.

The courage to go out and live up to your potential.

With every treasure we unpack so you’ll get to know yourself that little bit better, until the point at which we pull the dust sheet off the mirror standing right at the back of the attic and you stand in front of it with all your treasures in place and all the junk gone.

And what’s reflected, finally, is The Real You.

And you feel Right at last.

And then you go off and conquer the world 🙂

The Universe speaks…

Well, the Gremlins have spoken, the Ego has spoken and now, last but very definitely not least, here comes The Universe.

RedHairedHiker asked me the other day to define exactly what I meant by “Universe”. In answering her question, it suddenly became apparent to me that my Ego and its friendly Gremlins had been colluding to get me to hide The Universe’s true nature because they were afraid of how others might react.

As I answered we all suddenly realised that we didn’t need that particular piece of subterfuge any longer, and my Ego stepped smartly aside, shaking its head in a mixture of wonderment and disbelief.

I briefly answered the question, and since then The Universe and I have been chatting quietly together as I’ve gone about making mince pies, visiting the tip, picking my daughter up from Uni and watching Strictly Come Dancing. We had a particularly intense conversation in the shower as well, and the time has now come for me to share my conversation with The Universe, with you. Again, I’m having this particular conversation as I type, so I have no idea where it’s going to go…

Me: Hello Universe

Universe: Hello Cathy, thank you for welcoming me out!

Me: And thank you for being so patient with me.

Universe: Well, I know there’s no point in rushing these things. I’ve always been around and you’ve always been aware of me, but things don’t really change until the time is right. I knew you’d look me in the eye one day.

Me: So, how do we explain you to everyone out there?

Universe: Oh come on, you already know the answer to that, why are you asking me?

Me: Well, let’s talk about what I don’t want to do first, because that will go a long way to explain why my Ego has spent so long doing its best to get me to ignore you or be afraid to acknowledge you.

Universe: Why start with a negative? Isn’t that just your Ego’s way of deflecting you again? Because it’s not really you that doesn’t want stuff is it, it’s your Ego.

Ego: Curses, foiled again. Why if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids….

Me: Good call, Universe! OK, no more deflection. But it might help to explain why I choose to call you Universe, because that’s what caused RedHairedHiker’s confusion. Universe to her meant stars and planets and the Big Bang and physics, and she thought that it expressed something external to me. Whereas I’ve been using the word in a more metaphysical sense, to mean something internal to me but linked with the external. I wanted to avoid using any words that had anything to do with organised religion or that might be misinterpreted or get people’s backs up or cause them to make judgements about me. I guess I was also using it to protect myself and to maybe try to hide what was going on from my Ego.

Universe: What were you hiding from?

Me: Fear – my own and other people’s.

Universe: Fear of what?

Me: Being “other”, being thought odd, thinking of myself as odd…

Universe: Are we back to knitting your own lentils again?

Me: Oh yes, absolutely. My Ego has a very long-standing fear of my turning into someone that everyone else thinks is off with the fairies…

Universe:…despite your already being, shall we say, different in your own way?

Me: Yes – that’s interesting, I wonder why it’s OK for me to be different in the way I am, but not to be different that way?

Universe: Why don’t we ask it? Oi, Ego, what’s the problem?

Ego: Well it’s credibility, isn’t it? People laugh at far-out white middle-class people who suddenly get all mystical and pretend to be Indian yogis. They adopt faux-calm hushed voices and become incredibly intense and can’t tell that they’re really quite ridiculous. And I don’t want us ending up like that.

Me: Ooh blimey, that was painfully honest, wasn’t it? But I don’t want us ending up like that, either.

Universe: Me neither, and if I have anything to do about it we won’t!

Ego: Oh, right, so we’re all on the same side then? Look I’m still not sure who or what you are Universe – all I know is that you make me very uneasy and it feels like you’re trying to usurp my position.

Universe: OK, let me introduce myself. I am Cathy’s Higher Self.

Ego: WOOP WOOP Hippie alert, Hippie alert!!!

Universe: Oh now stop it, calm down, try to get a grip. I’ve already told you we’re on the same side. I promise this doesn’t have to be a threat to you, and it doesn’t mean she’s suddenly going to turn into someone unrecognisable.

Ego: ………hmmmmmmmmm….go on then…………..

Universe: OK. I am Cathy’s Higher Self. The Self that lies at the very heart of her, the part of her that knows and understands and creates Love and Intuition and Innate Wisdom. In some cultures this is called the Soul, in some it is the Essence, in some it is recognised that this is God. Cathy and I have avoided using those words so that we could get to know each other without attracting your attention and so that she could gradually address her fears around coming to know me, isn’t that right Cathy?

Me: Yes. I’ve been looking for something for a long time. I’ve always envied people with a strong religious faith but never found a religion where I could feel completely comfortable with everything that went with it – the “man-made” rules and laws that get in the way of the original teachings if you like. I’ve made tentative steps towards some sense of spirituality over the years and then run away from it, just as I have done with some of the stuff that’s characterised as/included in the whole “Mind, Body, Spirit” category. It’s easy to see that there’s an awful lot of charlatanry included in that category, and the easy and fearful way out is to decide that it’s all rubbish and turn from it, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

Ego: So what changed?

Me: Well, I had an experience – oh sod it, let’s call it what it was – I had an Epiphany – one day on my coaching course and I’ve never been the same since, although I’ve spent a good while trying to pretend that nothing had changed. On one particular day, I became profoundly aware af the power and sense of grace that comes from being completely in the Now. My whole attitude, outlook and mood changed on that day, and that afternoon, during a particularly intense coaching practice, I had a vision of myself as a being made entirely of light. That image and that feeling of Grace and of fully knowing myself have come and gone since then, but each time they’ve come they’ve got nearer and nearer to the surface. And as you know, recently I’ve been shedding skins so my outside and my inside have been getting closer and closer to each other. And now it’s time for me to fully acknowledge what’s happening for me and to me, and the impact that this process is having on my life and my work. And also it’s become less and less scary and more and more important to me to share it with others, and to find a way to express it that doesn’t scare me or anyone else.

Universe: And how do you see yourself doing that?

Me: I keep seeing a vision of a bridge between worlds and I keep thinking of myself as a translator. Maybe at some point my purpose will be to translate my understanding of what it means to live as one with my Higher Self, into a language that people who share my assumptions and pre-conceptions can understand and not feel threatened by?

Universe: Maybe you’re already doing that now?

Me: Maybe I am, I can’t be the judge of that. I do know though, that what I’ve always meant when I’ve talked about helping people to find their Real Self and show their True Colours to the world, has really been about helping them to get in touch with their own Higher Self – I just never consciously realised it before. Or maybe I did, but I was too scared to acknowledge it.

Universe: And now you’re not?

Me: Well, there’s nothing to be afraid of, is there?

Ego: So where do I fit in to all of this?

Universe: Haha! Spoken like a true Ego, smashing!

Ego: You can laugh, but isn’t there a place for me in all this?

Me: I’m sure there is, but it’s not your place to decide what’s right for me any more. You’re not the best arbiter of what’s good for me and although you’ve been very valuable to me in the past I’d like you to start thinking more deeply about what’s right for me – please concentrate on what’s going to nourish me and keep me and my Higher Self in harmony and in focus.

Ego: Right. So you’re telling me to stop fantasising about money and houses and Jimmy Choos as a sign of success and trying to point you that way?

Me: Yes. Remember my new success contract? I’d like you to focus on helping me to give rather than receive. That’s why I’m here, that’s what my life’s about, and as long as I’m warm, well-fed and loved that’s all I need to sustain me.

Universe: And so are you now ready to step off the porch and set out on your Journey?

Me: Yes. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to get going on my True Purpose and I have a feeling this is it. But I won’t be walking.

Universe: No?

Me: No. I’ll be dancing.