Why Hire a Coach?

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Why Hire a Coach?

There are many reasons to work with a life / health / business / creativity / relationship [delete as applicable] coach. I want to share some of the most impactful ones, from my perspective as a spiritual life coach and a client of coaches for many years now.

First off I get that “hiring a coach” could not be a less British phrase if it tried, not in its vocabulary or it’s intent. Things are definitely changing over here in the UK. Our culture is gently shifting towards seeing the value in a positive outlook on life, a more holistic and healthy lifestyle and continued personal development, whether it’s through a regular yoga practice, meditating with the Headspace app (which has done an awesome job of making meditation acceptable in the mainstream) or keeping a gratitude journal. But it’s not yet the norm to hire a coach. Our stiff upper lip culture stigmatizes self initiated personal development and sees making positive changes for your own wellbeing as, in turn, “soft”, “mad”, “weird”, “flaky” and “pointless” (or whatever the term in your dialect is.)

But, the tide is turning. Our old school entrenched culture does not apply to everyone, particularly in this digital age. With the advent of the Internet we are opened up to a whole new world of ideas, opportunities and ways of life. I guess that’s why almost all personal development coaches that I’m aware of are online based. There’s a new frontier of people, from all generations, who are choosing differently and seeing the value in getting support. Yes we enter the world alone, and we die alone, but that massive bit in the middle that we call life? We spend it with other people. So it only makes sense that we call on the gifts, skills and experience of others to help us along. And as I’ll explain later in this post, there’s something really impactful about hiring one of those human bods who does this work professionally…


One of the most valuable things about hiring a coach is having someone who sees things for you that you cannot see yet. Someone whose faith you can lean on until yours appears, or reappears. Sometimes when your ego is strong, when it's got you stuck in low level discontent and playing small, it can be hard to see the opportunities and possibilities beyond the emotional fog. The double whammy your ego provides when it’s in overdrive is that it also, by it’s very nature, knocks your confidence to the point where your dreams and desires appear in your mind as mere fantasies. From this place you can be driven to either take confused and ineffectual action or resign yourself to giving up on your dreams and desires altogether. Having someone who sees, holds and shares with you the truth of your potential in times like this is truly invaluable.

I know that in my own experience, having a coach who could hold the space of possibility and potential for me when all I could see was fear and self doubt, has gotten me to where I am today. Without that support I don’t doubt that I’d be stuck where I was 5 years ago, feeling frustrated and disempowered about how to move forward in my life.

You might be thinking “but I could just do it myself”… Usually followed by “…if I just got organized / motivated / confident enough”. And that’s exactly the point. If you could do it all by yourself, would you not have done it by now? A coach will help you to firstly, get clear on what it is you actually want, and secondly, help you create a strategy for attaining that goal, encouraging you, guiding you and providing accountability along the way. A caveat to this point: I have coached some of the most incredibly motivated and focussed people who have done a ton for themselves by the time they come to me for support. They also benefit hugely from having a coach. Added support is the secret sauce they add to their already magnificent recipe. If you’re a doer and go-getter, a coach will only help you to turbo boost and refine your efforts. The path of success is not a straight-forward upward curve. There are dips and plateaus along the way. Even the most motivated of people benefit from having a second set of eyes, ears and brain cells on their project during those dips and plateaus that inevitably show up on any authentic journey of progress.

Doubling back to my previous point about accountability, it’s a sad fact (not a scientific one, just one I’ve observed in my own life experience and career as a coach) that most of us tend to start out valuing our commitments to ourselves very little, especially if there’s nothing to anchor that commitment, such as sharing it with another person, or a down payment…


Which brings me to my next point. One of my coaches Heather Dominick, an incredible wise woman, who’s teachings will live with me forever, taught me that money is the energy of commitment. Think about it. You’re much more likely to turn up to your £50 personal training session than you are to turn up to the free yoga class at the community centre. That’s because money is in essence an energetic exchange. It’s a system we’ve devised to simplify value swapping. When we swap £50 for a personal training session we tell ourselves and another person that we value this time and effort and the end result we desire. So that’s why even if you have an incredibly supportive girl gang (or male / mixed gender / non defined equivalent) who totally get you and are with you all the way, it can still be incredibly helpful to for your own mindset to formalize your support strategy by entering into a relationship with a coach.

And my final fave benefit to hiring a coach is that you get all the shortcuts of their experience. Any good coach worth their salt will have done and continue to do their own personal and professional development work, experiencing their own highs, lows and painstaking plateaus. They’ll be a few steps ahead of you on the journey you want to take – whether it’s to business success, relationships heaven or spiritual enlightenment – and so will recognize and understand where you’re at and be able to share their wisdom, advice, support and yes, the best hacks to move forward in the most purposeful and impactful way.

This is especially helpful if what you want to achieve demands emotional / spiritual and practical progress (and I’ve yet to see a goal that doesn’t! Think starting a business, transforming your health…) Because quite frankly, that shit can get hard, man! When the going gets tough emotionally it can be really helpful to have someone on hand who can show you a swift, low resistance way through the practical pieces you’re working on. In my experience working with a coach simply speeds the whole process up – and I’ve yet to meet (or be!) a client who wants to take as long as possible to reach their desired destination!

I’ve used the term coach in this article because I truly believe that the coaching community offers the biggest, broadest scope of support that you might want or need, but I am also a huge advocate of creating a support team around you, as and when required, that includes more niche practitioners, including but not limited to healers, shamans, therapists, counselors, trainers, teachers and mentors. (Terribly un-British of me, I know!)

There are countless benefits to hiring a good coach, but these are some of my absolute favourites. I’d love to know… Have you worked with a coach before? What did you get from the experience? Anything you’d add about the experience of working with a great coach?

Has this post got you fired up and ready to go? If you want more of this good shiz, I want to invite you to join me on my upcoming webinar “Create you Most Inspired and Impactful Year Yet!” where I’ll be sharing why big radical resolutions don’t work, how to leverage yourself out of new year overwhelm before it’s too late and my ultimate top tip for living the life you truly desire.

Here’s the link to register for upcoming webinar Create Your Most Inspired and Impactful Year Yet! : https://app.webinarjam.net/register/33039/f45e83fea9

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In Defence of Stillness

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In Defence of Stillness

I know it’s not just me. Even my most dedicated and steadfast of clients have been feeling it in the last week. Side swiped that is. Totally and utterly taken out. Energetically, physically, emotionally.

2016 has been a motherfucker of a year. Incredible, full of lessons and growth opportunities for those of us willing to show up for them, but a motherfucker nonetheless. And it’s not going down without a fight. Just when you thought it was time to put this trip around the sun to bed, just when you thought it was safe to slip into the festive season, lubricated with your beverage of choice, wrapped in tinsel, swaying to Mariah, it delivers yet another smackdown.

For an action oriented babe like me this is not a comfortable space.  I like to be and do. But I’ve had to surrender. I had to make the conscious decision last week to slow it right down and put all my fancy plans back in their box until I resurface from the side swipe. And again, this does not come naturally to me. Yes, even though I teach it and preach, hell I even wrote a chapter on it in my book.

But I know – like in my gut, heart and soul – that more churn, more busyness, more turns on the hamster wheel are not going to serve me or those fancy ass plans right now. What I need now is time and space. Quietness. Stillness.

Because sometimes the most productive thing you can do is be still.

So I’m being über productive right now. Productive through stillness. I’m percolating, ruminating. Letting the dust settle and the inspiration appear.  And I can already feel it in my bones, 2017 is going to be one hell of a year, so might as well take the rest while I can get it.

I already have big plans for 2017. Things are shifting and transforming here at Spirit Deej HQ and in this time of stillness I’m getting the support I know I’m going to need if I’m going to grow as much as I want to.

If this strikes a chord with you, if you too are sitting in stillness (or have been resisting it!) but you know that 2017 is going to be your time for action and you’re ready to line up the support you know you’ll need I want to invite you to check out the new session of my brand new group programme One Big Thing.

Starting at the end of January One Big Thing is a kickass intimate group coaching programme to get you connected, inspired and motivated to do the one big thing you really desire to manifest in the new year.

There are 4 spaces available for babes who are ready to show up, heart, soul and two feet in, to get vulnerable and break through their blocks, leave upper limits, old stories and settling for ok at the door… And rock out one big thing (or more) in the first quarter of 2017.

Think spiritual and emotional support (the foundational stuff that underpins everything you do) combined with super practical support (the real world actions that makes shit happen). Private coaching. Group Coaching. Community. A whole Santa’s sack full of my best resources. What more could a girl need to power her through to the spring?

The early bird investment is only £850 (only available until 15th January) - and you can secure your spot with a totally do-able £100 deposit and set up a payment plan for the remainder that suits you. Click here to find out all the details and claim your spot.

So yeah, if you’re smart, you can totally have it both ways. You can have your stillness now. You can rest, recuperate, get inspired and percolate. AND you can line up support for the first quarter of 2017 like a badass. Nothing like a loving commitment to yourself and your dreams to put a weary mind to rest.


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Let Your Love Roar

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Let Your Love Roar

There is a difference between being honest and being rude and tactless. 

There is a difference between sharing your opinion in a calm, measured, open way and being confrontational and destructive. 

There is a difference between saying no and holding your boundaries and being obtrusive and self important. 

I call it loving fierceness. 

It’s when you are willing, with love and kindness in your heart and a neutral softness in your body language, to hold firm to your boundary and share your honest feelings and opinions, even if they are contrary to those you are sharing them with. 

It’s when you can be brave and centred enough to hold your ground and speak your truth, regardless of whether the people hearing / reading it will like it or not. 

It’s when you can find a way, with maturity and without insult, to own your feelings and allow others to own theirs. Because you get to choose how you feel and so does everyone else. (So stop trying to care take them before you open your mouth. Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes, above all else, it’s what we need to hear.)

There is a grand misconception that to be loving / spiritual / peaceful / meditative [delete as applicable] means to be passive, weak, quiet and ineffectual. Which is ironic really, when anyone with a serious spiritual practice will tell you that being actively spiritual is inherently about working with creative forces much bigger and more powerful than yourself and about making massive impossible seeming shifts on everything from the personal to the global level: AKA miracles. Nothing passive, weak or ineffectual about that. 

So take heart, decide what feels good and right for you from that most honest place inside you AKA your soul, and lovingly, fiercely, hold your ground, speak your truth and as you do, empower others to do the same.

Sometimes love is a whisper. Sometimes it is a roar. Be willing to let your love roar. 

If you’re ready to speak your truth, own your voice and love fiercely in your life I'd love to speak to you. I have 2 spaces open on my schedule for private coaching – if you’d like to claim your complementary Freedom Session with me to discuss how where you’re at now, where you want to be instead and how I could help you get there just click this link to book your slot with me >>> http://meetme.so/jowestwood

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Women: It's Time to Reclaim Your Power

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Women: It's Time to Reclaim Your Power

Warning: Unabashed feminist essay comin’atcha. I’m talking women, money and power. Buckle up and prepare to get your buttons pushed, because I love you. 

 

Women, not all of us, but many of us have crappy money stories. We’re good at spending money and getting into debt but we’re not good at managing money and saving. Or we’re so good at saving that it turns into scrimping. We’re not good at valuing ourselves and asking for our worth at work. We have terrible boundaries around money and our worth as a whole. We let other people and situations run rough shod over the lines we draw that feel good to us. We work unpaid overtime. We accept CPD instead of a raise, instead of demanding as well as. Instead of energetically positioning ourselves so that the demand is not even required. So that those writing the cheques know what they need to do to ensure we are rightly compensated. We don’t charge enough then we over deliver. And we take those shitty money stories we were given, and like a fucking baton in a relay, we run with them. We take ownership of them and make them our own. And we wonder why Donald Trump and his cabinet of dangerous cronies (as a metaphor for all the old paradigm patriarchal leaderships in the world – at the heads of governments, companies, families…) are the ones in power. 

 

It’s because as women, again, not all of us, but too many of us, we give away our power. We give it away in terms of our boundaries and we give it away with how we manage – or don’t manage – our money. 

 

Here’s a simple truth: Money is power, and women are uncomfortable with power. The feminine way is not to compete, push and force, at the cost of others, but to collaborate, love and nurture. And that feels like it jars with power. It does jar with the patriarchal model of power. So we need to forge a new way. A way where power means collaboration. A way where power means the ability and resources to empower and lift others up. To support groups and causes that are doing important work in the world in a significant way. A way that honours our worth in a way that people like Donald Trump have been incredibly comfortable with for a very long time. It is insane that people like that (I really have no urge to explain or apologise for that judgement) have no qualms about their self worth and yet you sit there reading this – and feel free to ignore me on this if you’ve totally got your money story sorted and your wealth consciousness on point – feeling like you can’t own your boundaries, charge your worth, take the lead in your money story or be a total boss in your own life. Even if it means you could support causes that make you weep, and afford to do pro bono work for the most needy and vulnerable people. Even if it means that you feel totally powerless in the face of something that disturbs and perturbs you. Even if it means that your children are destined to follow in your footsteps of struggle. 

Women: It’s time to reclaim your power. It’s time to own your worth and your value. It’s time to stop being afraid of money and hiding from it. It’s time to sort your financial crap out. We need you, more that ever, empowered, with the resources to do something about it – whatever “it” is for you.  Empowering other women. Supporting environmental causes. Running as a serious political candidate. Or simply being fulfilled, lit up and divinely compensated in your work, which trust me, in and of itself makes positive ripples out into the world in immeasurable ways. 
 
Here is a reading list that I recommend for helping you with your wealth consciousness and self worth story: 

Sacred Success and Overcoming Underearning both by Barbara Stanny
The Abundance Book by John Randolph Price
Worth Every Penny by Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck
Doing Magic, Becoming Magic, Advanced Magic and Becoming Rich all by Genevieve Davis
 
And finally, I recommend getting support. If this post hit home, hard, if you’ve been struggling with your wealth consciousness for a looong time, if you still can’t get a handle on your self worth, it might be time to call in the cavalry. How much longer are you willing to discount your money story and disown your power? How much longer are you willing to stay stuck in not-quite-enough or not-nearly-enough? 

If you’re ready to step up and own your power, I’d love to talk to you. I have 2 spaces open on my schedule for private coaching – if you’d like to claim your complementary Freedom Session with me to discuss how where you’re at now, where you want to be instead and how I could help you get there just click this link to book your slot with me >>> http://meetme.so/jowestwood

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[LIMITLESS LIFE SERIES] CASE STUDY: "HOW TO" DOESN'T WORK - THE REAL WORK DOES

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[LIMITLESS LIFE SERIES] CASE STUDY: "HOW TO" DOESN'T WORK - THE REAL WORK DOES

One of my dearest clients Elizabeth* is one of the most qualified, experienced, talented and smart women I know (and I know some pretty kickass women).

In fact, in a recent coaching session with her I told her "You know more than me." 

She replied "About what?" 

I said "Everything." 

And I have no shame in telling you that I know I have a client who knows more than me.

She's done more training than me, read more books than me and had more life experience than me. 

But because there were some deep historical blocks holding Elizabeth back she didn't realise that. Or perhaps she did. But those old blocks, those old stories, those old patterns wouldn't let her move forward into fully owning her truth and her self worth. 

They kept her stuck, thinking that if she just got some more training, if she just did another course, if she just knew what was in this book or that webinar, then she'd be "enough".

(Caveat: Getting the professional training you require to do your work well is a good thing to do, and continuing your personal and professional development is also a good thing to do, but not if it is a sophisticated avoidance technique to stop you actually doing the work you came here to do.)

Elizabeth is also a really smart and experienced businesswoman, who has not only run a real life (yep, not even an online, but a real life) 7 figure business and now knows everything one human being could ever wish to know about online marketing and sales funnels. 

So she definitely didn't need to know anymore about what I would call "surface level" stuff. She had enough information. But all the "how to", all the "just effin' do it" advice, all the pushy, forceful, masculine, "get over it and get out there" energy in the world wouldn't help her. 

Because owning your self worth and leaning into love cannot be gotten from a webinar about building your list or a "how to" blog post. And I'm going to be controversial here. It can't be gotten from a "how to" Internet marketer masquerading as a coach either. 

Once you've reached a certain level of knowledge in any area of your life, if something is still holding you back from stepping into the greatness that you know, somewhere in your soul, awaits you, I'm going to bet it's not lack of information. It's something MUCH deeper. It's old stuff. It's history. It's the crust that has built up, over years and decades on top of the real you. 

That's why it takes the real work to make those real significant shifts. That's why it takes courage and heart and huge amounts of self love to uncover and undo those ancient blocks. It's no mean feat and it's not for the faint hearted. 

But you're reading this, so my guess is you're not so faint of heart. And that doesn't mean you're necessarily a warrior or prize fighter either. Some of those people are actually the most faint of heart because their aggressive ambition covers up their fear of going deep within. And on the flip side some of the most bold hearted people I know are introverted, sensitive, quiet souls. 

Elizabeth is one of those people too. A loving, gentle, kind, generous soul, who until she dove in and did the real work with me was stuck on the surface level, accumulating a lot of knowledge, expertise and experience but definitely not heading onwards and upwards towards the direction of her dreams, or owning her true full value.

And now her life trajectory has changed. In a miraculous instant, right in the middle of my 40 Days to Limitless programme she became unblocked. Old, old wounds were healed. Newer wounds were looked at and cared for instead of being brushed aside to become yet more old wounds. And just like that, the next level of incredible in her life opened up before her eyes. 

In real life that looks like transitioning quickly from a business she was good at but not in love with, to doing her life's work and feeling confident and excited about talking about it, approaching new potential clients with ease and speed, feeling good about charging her worth and feeling much happier and more fulfilled.

*I have changed my client's name because I value her confidentiality. The real work goes deep so it didn't feel appropriate to identify her personally, though she gave me her permission to. The story and the person are real but her name has been changed. 


I hope you've enjoyed this story and it's inspired you to do the real work that you know you need to do too, to start living your own limitless life. If you want to know more about doing the real work sign up to get my free video training The Three Keys to Unlock Your Limitless Life

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[LIMITLESS LIFE SERIES] How to Go to the Next Level in Life: Lean into Love

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[LIMITLESS LIFE SERIES] How to Go to the Next Level in Life: Lean into Love

The 3 months before I got married were my best ever months in business. I got married in whirlwind after I had opened up to love in a way I never had before. 6 weeks after my 28th birthday and just a year after I had experienced my spiritual revelation (profound meditative experience, struck to my knees in my living room with an undeniable clairaudient message from the Universe about my life purpose etc etc.) I had a thriving business as a spiritual life coach, had married my dream man (I was never the 'marrying' kind - so that part was a nice unexpected bonus!) was living in a lovely home with my new blended family (his daughter and my dogs) and all was well with life. 

Until I upper limited like a muthafucker. 

My husband started a new job right after we got married so we didn't have a honeymoon right away. I did book myself a few days "off" in my iCal though, as I thought I might like to not have to dive right back into work after getting married. A few days to soak it all in, y'know. 

Those few days came and went. The fog did not lift. Getting married had emotionally blindsided me in a way I was not expecting and I hit my upper limit hard. What I experienced was a terrifying mix of inner panic and outer paralysis. I no longer had the words to express my message, so I couldn't talk to my audience any more. I drew a blank whenever I tried to pull together a marketing plan for my business. My inspiration well ran dry and I couldn't so much as scrape a blog post or even a Facebook post, let alone a newsletter or anything more substantial together. 

My business came to a screeching halt - it was so young that I didn't have any passive income streams set up. So I took on a bridge job to keep my mind, body and bank balance ticking over. I had no idea what was happening to me. My only option was to surrender just as hard as I had upper limited. So I officially took a few months "off" from my business. Or rather a few months off from panicking about not knowing what the hell to do in my business.  

In that stillness, in that mental, emotional and spiritual space, I learned a whole new way to love. I'd had a crash course in active love over the last 12 months and now I was getting the slow 'n' low initiation into gentle, surrendered love. 

I released judgment and fear and in time allowed myself to look at the places in myself - and my business as an outpicturing of what was happening inside of me - that I had glossed over, missed out and shied away from. 

In that time and space I learned how to lean into love like never before.

True love requires trust and faith. True love does not require conditions or benchmarks. True love requires gentleness and generosity of the soul. True love does not require a crack of the whip and a hard and fast plan. True love requires openness to flow and connection. It does not require you to be anything other than who you already are. 

And in this time and space I allowed in one of the most incredible creative projects of my life: #HigherSelfie. (It started as the first and only spirituality un-conference sponsored by lululemon athletica and grew into a publishing deal with Hay House, and online curated platform, workshops, online courses, speaking spots at Hay House's Ignite and the MBS Wellbeing Festival and on and on.) 

And after #HigherSelfie and all its moving parts reached a crescendo earlier this year I felt the familiar fog of confusion. But this time I knew what to do. Instead of running scared, I leaned into love. 

So my advice to you if you have stagnated at a certain level in your life - even if it's a pretty awesome level as far as the world is concerned - here's what to do... 

Where you are afraid: lean into love.

Where it feels uncomfortable: lean into love.

Where your heart is closed: lean into love. 

Where you cannot see more for yourself: lean into love. 

The parts of yourself that you hide away and the places where you know you are playing small: lean into love. 

The phrase "playing small" has, in the world of self development, become an overused, clichéd and therefore a slimy and triggering (in a kind of gross rather than a helpful way). But for me it is simply a quicker, and yes, less elegant way of interpreting this teaching from A Course in Miracles:

"It is essential that you accept the fact, and accept it gladly, that there is no form of littleness that can ever content you. You are free to try as many as you wish, but all you will be doing is to delay your homecoming. For you will be content only in magnitude, which is your home."

You will be content only in magnitude. Is that not why you are questioning, seeking, working, discovering? Because you have seen and felt glimmers of magnitude in your life? The flashes of genius and the all encompassing upswell of love that consumes you when you have experienced a miracle?

That place is your home. And all you need do to find your way back is lean into love. 


My complementary video training - The Three Keys to Unlock Your Limitless Life - goes in depth on leaning into love and the other two keys to help you unlock your limitless life of magnitude. Go here to register and receive your link to watch xo  

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Fuck False Modesty

I've got a new hobby: doing FB Live streams! Last week was my first time and even though I was super nervous, I'm hooked! My heart was banging harder than when I put my video out on Youtube and FB announcing that I was becoming The Spirit DJ! (In it I addressed my mum and dad letting them know it was ok, I hadn't joined a cult. They still thought I had! LOL!)

Because I don't tend to do things by halves the subject of the FB Live was "Fuck False Modesty". It was part of a message I received in a massive powerful meditative download that I received that day. (I'll be sharing more of the download in the coming days and weeks and in what feels like it will be a whole new revamped version of my work, but today's slice of the pie is fuck false modesty.)

So here's what I mean by fuck false modesty: As a society (especially Brits and any other culture that is aligned with moaning, self deprecation and snark as a national sport) we have fallen prey to keeping our joy, our success and our positivity locked down, squashed, hidden away. Hiding our light under a bushel, if you will.

And it's bullshit.

When we hide our light, when we don't share our joy, our success, our positivity, unadulterated, we make it harder for others to do the same. And we make it harder for us to enjoy our own light too. Then we slip into an energetic gang mentality where anyone who brings their light out, gets energetically stamped on.

Or we use self deprecating humour and "failure" to justify our success.

Or we look for negative aspects of other people's lives so that we can feel ok about their declarations of success.

"I'm a great mum... But that's ok for me to say because my house is a mess."

"I'm making great money in my business... But that's ok for me to say because I'm always knackered."

"I have a fantastic healthy body that I love... But that's ok for me to say because I work really hard at the gym and spend 2 hours a day juicing."

Fuck. False. Modesty. Leave your but at the door. Bring your genuine, heartfelt, positivity out into the world for all to see. Let it lift others up and pave the way for more success, for you and for them.

(And yes, that is different to being a braggart and grossing everyone including yourself out, but you know where that line is.)

So what?

So lean into love, because only love is real. Dare yourself to share your light, lean away from fear, lean into love, leave your but at the door and fuck false modesty.

Awesome + awesome does not equal less awesome.

Joy + joy does not equal less joy.

Success + success does not equal less success.

Share your light and revel in other's light. Fuck false modesty.

 

If you're ready to fuck false modesty and totally own your light in a massively committed way, like you never have before, my new intensive programme 40 Days to Limitless could be for you.   It's a hardcore, no excuses, love punch of a programme that will change the game for game changers. It's not for the faint hearted and it's not a cheap programme because it's not a cheap  transformation. If you'd like to apply to find out if this programme could be the rocket launcher for your life and career that you've been looking for check out the application here: https://spiritdj.wufoo.com/forms/z19itivf1opyrak/

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Owning It

Last week I spoke on an FB Live about how important it is to really OWN your thing. The thing that you're super awesome at, unashamedly. No holds barred, no grossness, no sell and no need to convince anyone of anything, not least yourself. 

It's important for yourself and your own happiness of course, but it's also really important for the health of the planet and all its inhabitants. 

I believe that we were given the gifts we were given so we could use them in service of the higher good, not so we could be shy about them, hide them, deny them, be scared of them or question them. We were sent here in this physical form to serve, to light up, to give joy, to help and to love, using the resources at our disposal - the physical and the non-physical ones. 

And it's the hardest thing and the most common thing my tribe search me out for help with. They're all struggling to own their magnificence. Sometimes it's the fear of outshining, or the fear of being thought of as an idiot dick swinger for doing and being awesome. Sometimes it's because what they do isn't totally 'mainstream' and they can't explain it to their family, or because they can't even really explain it to themselves. They can't put into words what their magical combination of gifts and talents and skills actually is or does. Whatever it is, it always comes down to fear. It comes down to playing in the ego's domain, rather than Spirit's domain. They're relaxing back into the familiar feeling of fear, instead of leaning into the leading edge of love. 

It's like this: If you were sent here with a calling to do something that's because you were meant to do it. And yeah, you might find yourself bridge jobbing along the way until you can fully OWN your thing, and that's cool, as long as you know that it's a short term stop gap in the pursuit of a life long result. 

This next bit might trigger some of you and that's cool - it would have totally triggered me too once upon a time. The difference between the people who are already "doing it" and "making it" in this world is only about 1% down to talent and skill and who they know and about 99% to do with OWNING IT. You can have 10 years experience on them but if they're owning it and you're not, when you both walk into the same room, their energy will outshine your self-doubt and feed your ego and kick your Spirit in the nuts. 

When we're not owning it, we are in some way limiting ourselves. It can show up as a limit on money, on creativity, on love, on opportunities, and it's always ultimately down to a limit on connection. Connection to Source, Spirit, Big-G, The Universe, Mama Nature, whatever you want to call 'it'. 

And that's what I'm owning: I'm really really good at helping people get connected back to their Spirit. Getting them hooked back up with the hotline to God. Lifting their limits and popping their tops off. A couple of days ago I got my own top popped off and in its place I got a huge love punch of a download about my next level of owning it, and what I need to create and offer to bring that ownership into physical form so it can actually serve other people (as much as I'm sure you'd all love to pay to watch me meditate and get my top popped off! LOL!) 

So here it is. The thing I got guided to make: It's the most intensive kickass programme I've ever created. It will change the game for game changers. It's for you if you are stuck in a holding pattern, if your life is good, even great, but you know there's more. You've seen glimmers of brilliance but struggle to stay there for longer than a day, or a week, or two. It will unlimit your limitations. It's only for you if you're ready to dive into the work, two feet, whole heart, whole soul, no excuses. It's not a cheap programme because it's not a cheap transformation. It's called 40 Days to Limitless. 

If you feel drawn to doing this work with me and you feel like you want to know more, I'd love to talk to you. Here's the link to apply for 40 Days to Limitless: https://spiritdj.wufoo.com/forms/z19itivf1opyrak/

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The Body Does Not Limit The Spirit

The body does not limit the Spirit... A lesson in love that I learned this week when I said goodnight to my canine spiritual guru - my sweet greyhound Presto's body. 

When I first realised that it was time to help him transition I was inconsolable. By the time he went back home to Spirit I was at peace and understood that there was pain to be felt - we were so close and I missed his physical presence - but I couldn't be truly sad as I knew that it was simply time for his ageing body to rest and for the real self to return home. As Marianne Williamson would say - "the body is a suit of clothes" - a disguise we wear over our Spirit while we visit Earth. 

Our Spirit shines through whenever we allow it, and it shines brighter when we connect with it and nurture it. It guides us as long as we let it. It existed before our bodies and it lives on after our bodies are laid to rest. The body is an incredible tool, vehicle and home to be cherished, respected and grateful for, but it cannot and does not limit the Spirit xo


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Holier Than Thou: #EpicSpiritualFail

People thought it was real. I didn't tell them it wasn't. #awks #badspiritdeej.

People thought it was real. I didn't tell them it wasn't. #awks #badspiritdeej.

Newsflash: I’m not enlightened. (“LOLZ! Tell me about it!” Came the roar from everyone who knows me personally!) And I won’t make assumptions about you my dear reader but I think it’s safe to say that despite all the fantabulous, totes spiritually hooked up folks I’ve met along this wild ride of a life, I’ve yet to meet anyone who is. The pic of me on Instagram with the Dalai Lama is in Madame Tussauds. That’s as close as I’ve got so far.

Any one of us on a conscious spiritual journey – and I say 'conscious' because we’re all on a spiritual journey, just some of us have figured it out and are helping the cause with meditation and shiz, and others are still in the figuring out stage – will know that, whatever your enlightening drink of choice, the point of all the soul searching, faith growing and miracle making is the attainment of inner peace, before the death of the human body. We all get there in the end, but some of us would like to get there, or at least experience glimmers of it, before the end. Hence the crystals, journalling, moon gazing and general “woo” on our Timelines.
 
So that said, it’s clear that the only difference between any of us and our spiritual journeys is a relatively small (in relation to the infiniteness of the Universe) amount of time. Even those who never 'get it', all actually get it in the end when the body, the suit of clothes, drops, and all that is left is the Spirit, free of the body and the Ego’s chains.
 
Yet in the so-called spiritual world – perhaps more so here than anywhere else, with a serving of bittersweet irony – an attitude of 'holier than thou' can creep in. It’s sneaky and insidious and totally Ego fuelled.
 
In a difficult, if recovering, financial climate and with a rising tide of hot rockin’ spiritual babes and dudes coming out of the closet, in a world full of apparent overnight successes, book deals, radio shows, glam trips to NYC, Thailand, and spiritual sabbaticals to Ashrams in India it can be easy to turn that which is meant to be your path to inner peace: your personal spiritual practice, into a bargaining chip for your perceived worth.
 
It might seem obvious (duh!) but I think it’s important to say. I’m calling out any 'holier than thou' nonsense because not only is it not cool, it’s not true. It’s not true because anyone who could legit wear the title His / Her Holiness would definitely NOT go around saying it!
 
My personal spiritual path, A Course in Miracles, refers to the Ego as a scavenger dog, always looking for scraps of evidence that would prove we are separate.  Separate from Spirit, from Source, from everything we hold dear, everything that is true and from the rest of the world. It would have us feeling like we're waves separate from the ocean… How terrifying would that be?! Teeny tiny little waves constantly battling and competing with the might of the rest of the whole ocean! #totesscary!

Another mind blowing home made graphic. 9 years of training, studying and working in design was *not* wasted on me.

Another mind blowing home made graphic. 9 years of training, studying and working in design was *not* wasted on me.

And that, my sweet, is the origin of holier than thou' – or as we say over at #HigherSelfie – 'out spiriting' each other. It’s the fear of separation that drives the need to quantify and qualify that which is already innately within every one us, equally. That is to say spirituality, connection to the Big U, intuition and the ability to work and receive miracles.
 
There’s an incredible upswell of consciously switched on bright young things making the move into professional spirituality right now and it can be easy to allow our Egos to take hold and let 'little wave syndrome' ebb in (see what I did there?!), thus encouraging us to mark ourselves against one another with our Earthly plane spiritual credentials…
 
”She’s been qualified way longer than me!”
“He hasn’t even finished the ACIM text yet?!”
“Ugh! She’s already a Reiki Master and I’m only level 2.”
 “I’ve done Ayahuasca… Have you?”
“But can he talk to the animals?”


And don’t get me wrong, all the conscious growth, all the striving for greater depth and connection, all the learning and the practice is only taking us in one amazing, awakened, loving direction. But thinking that in any way our work makes us better, more spiritual or more enlightened than anyone else, at least temporarily, undoes all of it.

So once again I’m on my soapbox and I’m writing this piece as a call to arms. A call to loving, generous, open hearted arms, that sees the true capability in everyone - including ourselves. It’s important to know that an attack on ourselves and our own perceived 'worth' or 'success' is as much an attack on a child of the Universe, as it is if we do it to someone else.
 
If you are one of the 'conscious' ones, remember that ACIM says to teach is to demonstrate. And who is a teacher of God? (Substitute Spirit / Source / Universe here if you need to.) Anyone who wishes to be one. If it’s within you to spread love, faith, forgiveness and warm heartedness, drop the comparison, the measuring, the peacocking and just do it. Just be it.
 
There’s no point preaching. We are all the choir.
 
* Oh… And in case you needed any more convincing / reminding, just bookmark this video and skip to 1:58... Even the Dalai Lama farts. #keepinitreal


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The art of surrender: Either the Universe is in charge, or it's not.

I see it time and time again. Hot rockin’ kickass soul sisters (and brothers) doing their thing, on the spiritual and the human planes. Meditating daily then going out and making shiz happen. Except there’s this one thing – could be a specific project, or a whole area of their lives, that just isn’t quite coming off. They’re doing their work, they’re shining their light but for some reason, it just ain’t happening for them.  *Caveat: As with all my posts, talks and teachings I speak from experience. Them, they or you, could easily be switched out for I, me or my.

I see this from the outside looking in: watching my fellow spiritualistas burgeoning careers on stages and social media. I also see it close up with my clients. Nonetheless I see it a lot.

The Universe is *not* a bootleg aftershave. 

The Universe is *not* a bootleg aftershave. 

So what’s going on? If this spiritual stuff works, why isn’t it, well, working? It’s not because it comes with the Ron Burgundy-esque guarantee that “60% of the time, it works every time” (If I just lost you, Google “Sex Panther”. It’s safe for work I promise!)

It’s more like 60% of the time we trust the Universe every time.

Here’s a humdinger of a truth coming at you FOC from the Spirit Deej: Either the Universe is in charge… Or it’s not.

Either the Universe, God, Source, Spirit, whatever word works for you, is the almighty omnipresent creator of all things, with masterplan in hand. Or it’s not.

It doesn’t make any sense, even to our crazy human ego fuelled logic that the Universe would like totes have a handle on everything… Eeeeeexcept your money. Or your relationships. Or your body. Or whatever area is your spiritual kryptonite.

And this is the rub. If you believe the Universe is in charge, 100%, that means to really vibe high with the powers that be and get totally in the flow of your life, whatever comes your way, you have to surrender 100%.  Be 100% vulnerable, open and trusting. Not 90%, or even 99.99%. One. Hundred. Per. Cent.

Of course, like all top quality, spiritual lessons it flies in the face of everything we’ve been taught, at least in the modern western world.

Or ever. 

Or ever. 

“Stand up for yourself.” “Take what’s yours.” “Don’t let your guard down.” “Take control.” A common attitude of take and control runs through our mindset and language as standard. So of course, by it’s very nature, being open, vulnerable and trusting feels scary. We’ve been conditioned to believe that these qualities leave us open to attack, laid bare to harm and destruction. It’s 180 degrees away from the vibe of the Universe, which is always receive and let go.

When we’re in that place of surrender we are physically, emotionally and spiritually making room for miracles. We’re handing control back to the Universe and saying “I trust you. You got me and the whole world this far, you may continue to drive this thing.”

Now if at this point you’re saying to yourself ‘But Jo, I’m not a surrendering kinda gal / guy. I’m a go-getter. I take control and make life happen. Sitting back and doing nothing just ain’t gonna float my spiritual boat!” Let me tell you this: Surrendering is the most active thing, and one of the most difficult things you will ever do. There is nothing laid back about surrender. Because we have been conditioned to take control and be in charge, when we decide to surrender we’re opting to undo a lifetime’s worth of conditioning. It feels creaky and weird at best, and downright unthinkable and terrifying at worst. And it won’t happen all in one go. You’ll need to keep checking on that sucker because I’ll bet my bottom dollar that before you know it, little elements of control will start to creep back in. You might switch the controlling from one area of your life to another. You might start controlling in more subtle and manipulative ways that you don’t even realise because the fear of letting go of that grip is so super scary to your sub conscious. And let’s not forget that your ego is smart because you are smart. And it’s not past turning your spiritual practice against you… To this end you might find yourself controlling the surrender! LOLZ! #notevenjoking.

Another "No shit!" moment brought to you by the Spirit Deej (via the Universe, natch!)

Another "No shit!" moment brought to you by the Spirit Deej (via the Universe, natch!)

But like everything in life, it’s a practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. The more you do it, the more aware you’ll become. The faster you’ll be able to catch that controlling little grip on whatever situation you’re working with and prize its cold stiff proverbial fingers off, while you meditate the shit out of that thing!

Warning: Extreme extended metaphor approaching... If you think of your life as a house, when you begin your conscious spiritual practice it feels wonderful and miraculous and you think that your house is going to get a paint job and a shiny new front door, maybe a cool basement renovation and landscaped garden. What actually happens is the Universe takes one look and says “Nope, the foundations are no good. We need to tear the whole thing down and start again.” Ugh. Well that sounds like a load of hard work! Yup. But it’s totally worth it because you’re going to get this incredible new house (life) with a super strong foundation. Awesome. But when you’re continuing to take control  you’re filling your house up with what you think should be in it. You’re holding on to your ideas and ideals. You’re cluttering the place up with the crust of your history – with old newspapers, sentimental tit tat from past relationships and that dodgy stained sofa you had when you were a student. Except you keep asking the Universe for some new furniture and a fancy coffee machine (ie. Miracles! Y’ know all that stuff you really want – amazing job, loving partner, rockin’ relationship with your bod) and it’s waiting outside with the van! All the miracles are held in trust for you. Buddha, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are on your street with their friggin’ overalls on trying to get the new chaise and sound system through the door but it’s too full of what you thought should be in there. When you surrender and release, you literally open up the space for the miracles to come in. When you hand the reigns over to the Universe, it does a really great job. (No shit!?)

My personal spiritual path A Course in Miracles says “Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you cannot conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without planning.” The Universe / God / Source / Spirit made you. It has the most incredible plans for you, full of love and abundance, that your human brain with its ego and its story and it’s Twitter addiction, cannot even comprehend. So let it do its thing. Trust. Build your faith through practice, and feel the arms of your spiritual connection catch you as you float gently back into them. Commit to the process but detach from the outcome. One foot in front of the other, regardless. Is that not what the whole of life truly is anyway? Continuing on with no real idea, except for our own trivial concocted projections of what it will be?

“Ok, ok”, I hear you cry, “I’m sold on surrender, please no more mile long analogies! Just tell me how to do the damn thing!” It’s my pleasure sweetness… 

Stay open. Meditate. Pray. Talk to Spirit. Ask for help. Let go. Check in. Repeat. 

 

If you want a little more help come and get lovingly schooled in surrender, and so much more at the next #HigherSelfie Salon on Sunday 31st May in London. Get your tickets here. 

Do it little bunnies of the Universe! xo 

Do it little bunnies of the Universe! xo 


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Why we're failing our young women: An epidemic of anxiety + overwhelm.

This morning as I drove my step daughter to school I heard a super profound 15 year old prophecy hidden behind the catchy melody of a Britney hit from way back. (No, I’m not usually a Britney kind of girl these days but my step daughter discovered my stash of old CD’s and no 8 year old can resist the saccharine of Spears!)

We were actually listening to Britters Greatest Hits – released when the star was just 23 years old (telling of our times much?!) – and when we hit track 13, “Lucky” I heard the words that literally gave me shivers…

"She's so lucky, she's a star
But she cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart, thinking
If there's nothing missing in my life
Then why do these tears come at night?

Lost in an image, in a dream
But there's no one there to wake her up
And the world is spinning, and she keeps on winning
But tell me what happens when it stops?"

Well my lovelies, I can tell you what happens when it stops in 2015.

Britney suffering a very public emotional breakdown in 2007.

Britney suffering a very public emotional breakdown in 2007.

 Perfectly healthy young women, who, bombarded by choice, and the pressure to be successful and “have it all” before their baby making equipment goes kaput, who just need a bit of guidance, a mentor, someone to talk to and tell them how to slow down and get back to centre, are put on anti depressants - if they’re not already self medicating with food, booze, sex, “recreational” Class A’s etc. - because that’s a cheaper, faster fix than guiding them through the growing pains of an extended youth. Because let’s face it, the definition of “youth” has changed – it’s not unusual to still be living at mum and dad’s at the age of 30 while you save up to get on the housing ladder / figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

 Of course after Lucky was released way back when, Britney herself, victim of child super stardom, too much too young, suffered a very public emotional meltdown, much to the delight of the gossip mags and websites.  Since then we have seen ever increasing numbers of young women in the public eye, many who were once child stars, who lived the dream and amassed enough wealth, fame and royalties to see them into a very comfortable old age before they hit 25, fall from grace. And oh how we love to judge. What’s Lohan been arrested for this time? Did you see what Bynes just tweeted?!  But the sad truth is there are young women acting out similar breakdowns all over the world, the only difference is they don’t have the paps eagerly following their every move and Oprah offering to step in and pay for rehab.

 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we are failing our young women (and men for that matter, but having been one for 28 years I feel more qualified to comment on the plight of the female of the species – see this crazy insightful post by the super smart David Hrostoski for the masculine flipside) by conning them into believing that there is a set formula for “success”, with a detailed list of difficult to obtain requirements and a pressure cooker of a timescale.

Enough! You may drop the baton, now. 

Enough! You may drop the baton, now. 

And you know the most destructive thing about it? Our bright young things have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. In my spiritual coaching I use the metaphor of a baton of emotional “stuff” being passed from one generation to the next. It’s natural. Those who teach us as children do the best they can with the resources they have, and even the most conscious well meaning parents and guardians inevitably pass on some of their own psychic crap and limiting beliefs. The problem really occurs when we don’t drop the baton, instead we grip onto it, carrying it round for a lifetime, eventually taking full ownership of it.

As a society this is what we’ve done to our young women. We’ve created a massive baton of very difficult to achieve parameters for success, with scary time limits, and passed it on. Through social media and an increasingly frenetic world that doesn’t allow for headspace, time to think, time to heal, time to regroup and recoup, they are holding that baton tight, brandishing proof of it’s existence all over Instagram and Twitter.

Busy has become a badge of honour. Overworked and underpaid just part of the process. Stress and anxiety natural bed fellows of distorted body image, the race to find a mate before fertility goes south, and the clamour for VP (because everyone knows it’s either kids or CEO, right?) And my God do they do a good job of it. We’ve created a whole new tribe of burned out over achieving young women who are especially adept at fighting fires, while spinning plates and wearing many different hats. When they finally get to the point where they’re seeking Spirit Deej help, which could be at 25, 35, 45 or beyond it’s often because they’ve figured out that despite putting in all that work to “have it all” – and so many times succeeding – just like Britney warbled all those years ago they’re wondering why nothing is missing but they still find themselves feeling empty, unfulfilled, alone and soaked in the confused tears of surrender.

In her 2012 TED Talk ,“Listening to Shame”, Brené Brown said “Shame for women is do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat. Shame for women is this web of unattainable conflicting competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be.”

Tick tock. 

Tick tock. 

 Brown also quoted research by Dr. James R. Mahalik “He asked what do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers [in the US]: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance.” Actual shudders. That list for me paints the picture of a pretty scary 1950’s Stepford Wives kind of existence. Except this research is recent, and rings worryingly true, while the financial pressures of a recovering and uncertain world economy often mean that as a woman you’ll be expected to do and be all of these things to conform as well as work full time to contribute financially, never mind about satisfying your desire to fulfill your professional passions. BUT could you please remember to be nice, modest and save enough time to juice and workout so you stay thin and pretty with flawless skin while you ruthlessly climb the corporate ladder before your ovaries shrivel / you start being prejudiced against for job roles because your lady parts are a maternity leave ticking time bomb?!

And people seriously marvel at the fact that this generation of women is the most stressed, depressed and anxious to have ever lived!

Let's address this epidemic so the next generation don't have to feel like this.

Let's address this epidemic so the next generation don't have to feel like this.

So what’s the answer? Well, of course I’m biased but I know for sure that a spiritual practice, however that looks for you, helps. It gives perspective, headspace, and strengthens the ability to let go of the baton. Our young women must find a way to follow their hearts and souls, because they will always lead them in the right direction. Maybe that means they’ll end up “having it all”. Maybe they’ll just have some of it. But the most important thing is that whatever they end up with makes them happy, fulfilled and wholehearted people, with slightly less shitty sticks to pass onto the next generation.

Join me for my live Hangout on How To Deal With Anxiety + Overwhelm on Tuesday 17th Feb at 1pm GMT / 8am EST / 5am PST - Please do join the conversation because Spirit Lovers this is serious. We are suffering from an epidemic of anxiety and overwhelm, it's crushing our creative hearts and holding us back from shining our beautiful lights and we need to talk about it. Click the links above to register for free and get all the info for the LIVE Hangout + Q&A and the recording straight to your inbox xoxo  

One final note: If this is you, if you are struggling with the weight of the baton that society has passed to you and you feel like you might never get off the relay track and drop the damn thing, make these lyrics by Baz Lurhman your mantra and meditation, everyday. 

 Love and miracles to you always, you incredible mystical unicorn. You’ve got this xoxo

(Original words to Sunscreen by Mary Schmich in this 1997 column for the Chicago Tribune)

 

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A Man's Struggle: I Am Not Enough.

Guest Post by David Hrostoski

Imagine in front of you is a MAN.

This isn’t the middle-of-the-bell-curve kind of man we’re talking about. Before you is a man, with all capital letters. He is the epitome of manhood. He is a MAN.

He lives life with an open heart. He never runs away from the tough conversations. Instead, he leans into discomfort for the sake of his relationships. His gaze pierces you with love and consciousness. He spends his days serving the world, completely aligned with his purpose. He is driven and focused. He is a MAN.

But his inner being is only one side of the coin.

He’s strong, with firm musculature. He’s tall, and has a face sculpted by the gods. His five-o-clock shadow accentuates the sharp angles of his chin.

He’s everything a woman could ask for.

And, everything a boy hopes to be.

But, at what point along the timeline of life does that young boy transform into an enlightened, warm, and sexy man?

I know I wasn’t born with any of these qualities. And, zoom forward 18 years, we find a man by law, still without many of these “MAN" qualities.

So when does it happen?

At the age of 25? 30? 40? Does this transformation from boy to man ever happen?

Here lies the problem. We have an image of what a man should be, but the transformation from boy to man is a lot more complicated than we think.

Jo asked me to write the other side of the story:

What is it like to be a young man? What pressures do we face?

And, yes. The story is very different. The qualities we’re expected to display - by society, our parents, our partners, and ourselves - are very different.

Women are expected to “have it all” before their reproductive systems hit the ever-impending "expiration date."

And, men are expected to “Man Up,” find their purpose, and be strong - physically, mentally, and emotionally.

But, the underlying message we ALL struggle with is the same: “You are not enough."

It's that deep-seeded belief we all struggle with. It’s the happiness-sapping thought pattern that keeps us looking for more. More growth, more love, more money, more everything!

If you want to understand the struggle of the opposite sex, you must first understand that, in many ways, the struggle is the same.

“I am not enough."

But, let’s dig a bit deeper into the male psyche.

What’s different? What struggles do men face growing up?

Well, despite what you may think, you already largely know the answer to that. Let’s shine some light on it.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Man?”

Everyone’s list is different.

Some think of words like, strong, calm, driven, or focused.

Some think of purpose, holding space, and support.

And, others think of, sports, facial hair, muscles, and suppressed emotion.

Depending on who’s around us in the formative years of our lives, we hear very different expressions of who we should be.

But, whatever it is that we hear, we tend to take those stories on.

We strive to be those who we admire, and to become what they approve of.

I had my father’s view of what it meant to be a man, mixed with my mother’s, my brother’s, my friends’, my teachers’, and the media’s, all creating a conflicting and impossible picture of who I should be.

My parents told me to be a God-fearing Christian.

My brother told me to go to college and get a good job.

My friends told me to drink and have fun.

My teachers told me to pay attention and get good grades.

The media told me to be more like Hugh Jackman.

A man’s struggle is simply living up to the stories about who they should be: the very stories we just listed.

Whatever it is you said to the question above - what you think of when you hear the word “man” - they’re just stories.

It’s okay that we have them. Everyone has stories. Stories are just our brain’s way of finding trends and turning information into useful knowledge. They’re inevitable.

It’s what we do with them that counts.

What happens when a 14-year-old boy gets called weak by his basketball coach?

What happens when a 8-year-old boy gets yelled at by his teacher because he wasn’t listening?

What happens when a 12-year-old boy gets made fun of for holding his books across his chest?

One thing. One script.

“I am not enough."

And, that’s the most painful thing we can possibly believe about ourselves.

We can try to show less emotion and display more strength, but we end up suppressing it all in the process, leading to an inevitable explosion of anger and pain. We can try to life weights and go to the gym, but even the fittest men on the planet have room for improvement. One sharp criticism, and we’re mentally back to the drawing board.

A young boy with the script, “I am not enough,” will do just about anything to be enough.

But, nothing ever seems to work. We can’t uproot that belief by trying harder. Because once we get there, it’s still not enough. Nothing is enough.

We have to uproot the belief all together.

We have to take a step back and ask ourselves why we believe these things in the first place. Where did these stories come from? Are they really true?

And, the honest truth is,

WE ARE ENOUGH.

I am enough. You are enough. We all are enough just the way we are.

The more we believe that, and the more we send that message to those we love, the less struggle there is.

If we want to truly end the struggle, we have to stop "should-ing" all over ourselves and others, and accept that one beautiful truth:

"I Am Enough."

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Why Romance is a Myth. (Happy Valentines!)

I once heard Marianne Williamson say that eastern cultures kind of got it right with the whole concept of arranged marriage. (Let’s be clear here, I and I think I can safely assume Ms. Williamson, are talking arranged marriage, not forced marriage, which I know is a fine line, a serious subject and a topic bigger than any post I have yet typed).  And do you know what? I kind of agreed with her. A couple of years ago I couldn’t have been further away from such an accepting line of thinking, about such a controversial idea, because I had not yet consciously cultivated my spiritual connection, ergo, I was very disconnected. For a self proclaimed “open minded person”, I was actually very close minded and close hearted. At that time it was as difficult for me to see outside of my own self imposed thought constraints as I was judging others and their belief systems for. The irony, at the time, was sadly lost in the wilderness.

 

Back then I thought I sooo got it when it came to relationships. Despite the fact that I tripped from one coupling to the next, with barely a break in between, starting around the age of 14. Despite the fact that I could mould myself to pretty much anyone and their needs and desires, changing my taste in music, clothes, nights out, humour to fit accordingly, without even really noticing. Despite the fact that even though my list of ex boyfriends is about the moteliest crew you ever did see (due to the wild variety rather than their individual merits) I seemed, in the end, to live out the same patterns with each and every one.

I thought it was a case of finding “the one”. All my other relationships simply hadn’t worked out because after a certain period of time there would be one thing that would stick out like a sore thumb and become the kicker that told me nope, this one isn’t the one. Sigh. (Too nice. Too sarcastic. Doesn’t love me enough. Too clingy. Too ambitious. Not ambitious enough. And on, and on, and on…) It was nothing to do with me, my patterns, my stuff, who I was attracting, how I was acting out, my need to be the person I thought they wanted instead of just being ok with who I was and being ok with whether they liked that or not. Oh no, I knew best.

Fast forward a few years, après spiritual revelation <link>, and here I am listening to MDub (as I affectionately call my fave spiritual teacher) telling me that she kind of gets why the whole arranged marriage thing worked. She was talking during a lecture on romantic relationships and saying that the concept of having an arrangement works because the two people and their families decide that on the basis of the couple-to-be being a good match and fundamentally wanting the same stuff out of life, it would work from the beginning, and they’d all collectively do what it took to support the growth and continuation of love and trust to help make the marriage a happy and successful one.

This kind of “arranged” setup reminds me very starkly of a lesson in A Course in Miracles which says that the thinking of the “outer world” is such that you believe that you will wait to understand a person first, before you decide if they are worthy of love, but the truth is you will never truly understand a person until you love them. Translated: Be open and willing enough to decide to love someone from the start and you will have a much better chance of coming to truly understand them, and of course from there love grows.

Now stay with me here because making the decision to love first isn't as mechanical or as bat shit as it may sound! Let me explain…

I feel like my marriage with my husband has that same vibe of the kind of arranged marriage that Marianne spoke of. (Yes, in my head we’re on first name terms.) You see I “met” my husband online on the 5th January 2014. We met in person on the 20th January. We spent a lot of hardcore quality time talking, hanging out, over a period of a few short weeks. We spoke very openly to each other right away about our experiences, our feelings about our experiences, past relationships, how we’d changed as people, what we were passionate about, what we wanted out of life. He told me after a week of dating he knew he would like to be married and have more children. He was scared it would freak me out but I thought it was a hella smart idea. Because he was right, it might have freaked me out, but better to know now that that wasn’t what I had envisioned for my future, than three years down the line with a joint mortgage, 2 dogs and a holiday to the Seychelles depending on us. By the 26th of January I knew I loved him. A couple of weeks later he asked if I’d like to do something really crazy, like get married towards the end of the year. I said there was only one problem, I’d always seen myself having a summer wedding so we’d have to do it sooner.

So three weeks in, we’d covered what felt like all the essential bases. Something in both of us felt a magnetic pull to make this forever, so we were unofficially engaged by February, officially engaged by April and married in August.

And now I’ve regaled you with the tale of our whirlwind and fairytale courtship, let me tell you, it has not all been rainbows and lollipops. (All the smug marrieds out there chorusing “No shit Sherlock!”) This again is a whole nother blog post, but no one talks about how difficult the first few months, possibly even years, of marriage are. It’s meant to be all honeymoon drenched romance and rabbit like love making. Actually (in my experience anyway, I really hope I’m doing it right?!) it’s more like let’s discuss our joint finances, how can we renegotiate our working hours so we actually get to see each other, should we get an extension on the house and could you please hang up your coat / turn off the lights / bring your breakfast plate downstairs?! There are a lot of emotional, practical and spiritual adjustments to be made when you make a proper formal lifelong commitment to another human being.

A surprisingly accurate depiction of what hubs experiences when he gets home from work every night.

A surprisingly accurate depiction of what hubs experiences when he gets home from work every night.

There have been times in our relationship when had we not decided to commit to each other in a serious and soulfelt way, we may not have survived the, shall we say, “heated debates” and “miscommunications” that ensued. In fact, had we not made the decision to commit to each other in marriage, such exchanges probably would not have arisen, because there’s something almost alchemical about commitment. It makes shit happen. It accelerates the miracles and the lessons. When you make the declaration to the Universe that you mean business, the Universe responds by putting you on the PhD in love, career, family, self, whatever it is you just made your vows to.

ACIM has whole swathes of its text dedicated to busting the myth of “romantic love” as an ego construct. This is not to say so called romantic gestures are bullshit (every girl loves a surprise red rose / pair of diamond earrings, hint hint!) but instead to say that the vision of perfect romantic Hollywood love, that one person who will come along and be your saviour and salvation, who will rescue you from the misery of loneliness and lack of self worth, and forever pander to your every whim, and of course, do it before you even had to ask, is false.

The point of the spiritual path (whatever yours may be) is the attainment of inner peace that comes with realising your own wholeness, and crucially, not expecting another person to “complete you”. Being able to truly love someone and be the person that could be truly loved is not about the love that the movies and songs on the radio sell us. It’s about releasing expectation, and attachment to the outcome. It’s about knowing that your safety lies in your vulnerability and allowing your walls, your armour, your defences to crumble, so you can be 100% open and honest with another. So that you may be able to love them first before asking them to prove themselves worthy of your love. It’s about letting go every day of the person you so wish to cling on to. And it’s a process. For most of us, this is not how we’ve been taught, so we’re having to re-learn, to remember.

And what I’ve re-learned in my marriage is this: The ego’s romance is nice. Gifts and flowers and steak dinners and love notes and hourly texts are lovely. But they’re form rather than content. They make a relationship look pretty from the outside, like a present neatly tied with a beautiful pink bow. But what’s the point of a beautiful wrapping if what’s inside is rotten or worse, empty? So it’s important not to fall for thinking the ego’s romance is the substance of your relationship. The real content of life and relationships, most of the time, does not come with a perfect pink bow, but when you can fully give yourself over, with vulnerability and soulfelt commitment to what is available to you, you will experience love beyond anything the ego could sell you, beyond even your wildest dreams.

So to all those working on dropping their defences and co-creating a whole lotta whole, alone, or with another, take heart. It’s not always easy, but I can promise you it’s always worth it. xo

                                                        Committed love: It's not always easy but it's always worth it xo 

                                                        Committed love: It's not always easy but it's always worth it xo 


If you’d like to chat more about love, romance and relationships and get some ACIM guided Spirit Deej advice on all of the above, join me this week for my live Hangout on Wednesday 11th February at 1pm GMT / 8am EST / 5am PST where we'll be talking all things love, romance and relationships. As always there's LIVE Q+A if you can join me in the moment PLUS you'll get the recording afterwards if you can't. Be sure you're signed up to get access. 

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Calling time on bridge job shame.

Times are tough. Here's Queenie on her trial shift. 

Times are tough. Here's Queenie on her trial shift. 

I'm coming out and saying it. I have a bridge job. A big old BJ. (At the time of writing - I started this post waaaay back in September 2014 - I actually had two). It's not easy to tell you this because there's some part of me that judges myself for working in a J.O.B part time. There's some part of me that feels like I admitted defeat when I went for my trial shift. There's some part of me that feels like a fraud, like people wouldn't take me seriously as a spiritual mentor if they knew the truth. 

Then there's the part of me that remembers how many times I've coached my clients through the same fears as they transition from the 9-5 into their true passion, or perhaps make the leap from one business, which they no longer love, to one they're smitten with. That move isn't always smooth, especially financially. Sometimes it requires, for the sake of sanity and credit ratings, a bridge job to make that move. I have preached many times to my clients that there is nothing higher in integrity than demonstrating their commitment to their passion by doing what it takes to do their work, while still paying the bills. And I truly believe all of this, but aren't I meant to be "further along" than this by now? (Said my ego).

I feel like now is a good time to give you some background (relax, it's the potted version.) I've led a pretty privileged life for my circumstances. I was born to a full time housewife / sometime bookkeeper and a coal miner, AKA mum and dad to me. When I was little most of the coal mines in England closed and my dad, all of a sudden was out of what had always previously been a lifelong job. In an unusual twist of fate my parents bought a franchise and ran it together for 15 years. They worked hard and turned our fortunes around. We went from being a working class family at heart and home to a working class family at heart and a lower middle class family on our bottom line. I went to university, pretty comfortably I might add. My sister is an accountant and drives a very shiny white Beemer.  My parents have always been super generous. They have, at various times in my life, supplemented my income, funded my hair brain schemes and plural moves across the country, bailed me out, as well as saved diligently for me throughout my childhood and teen years. Then I set up my own international business in social media marketing and reporting which did me very nicely thank you. So I've never had to get a bridge job. Ever. Until now. 

I'm the oldest, wisest, smartest, most skilled, most experienced and most confident I've ever been, and on Friday nights I pull pints and sell people pork scratchings and chilli nuts weighed out in little paper bags, (again, true at the time of writing, I have since quit the pint pulling!) and during the days I care for a lovely young woman with cerebral palsy. 

So I'm sure you can see my dilemma. In this fast paced world of online obsession and creating a perfectly polished Internet image, having a bridge job or two just doesn't quite cut it. 

But I want to turn that on it's head. Because despite my wobbles, despite my (now less frequent) feelings of fear and fraudulence, it actually feels pretty good. It feels good to grow up and take responsibility for my life and my finances and the impact they have on my family of creation. It feels good to have a motivating factor in my life - I no longer have unlimited hours to while away doing (or not doing) the work of my business. Ergo the productivity/time ratio has just got a rocket up the backside. It feels good to be working with integrity, commitment and focus towards what I truly desire by doing what needs to be done. And you know what else? After years of sitting on my arse behind a screen for many many hours a day, it feels good to get out and do "proper work", interacting with a motley crew of people, no time or need for editing, just banter and at the end of the night that satisfied feeling that I moved my body and I'm tired because I did physical work, not just because I'm pixel-weary. (Never fear though my lovely Spirit Loving Spirit Deej fans, I'm not writing this to let you know that I've found my true vocation in employment. Just emphasising that my current work situ is for now, not forever, and for now I'm cool with it.)

...Yet. 

...Yet. 

I'm also outing myself because I KNOW how many other people out there, especially in the spiritual / holistic / coachy realm also have bridge jobs that they never talk about. You want to know what the last taboo is? It's this. Not being as "successful" or as "far along" as you'd like to be, or as your social media presence would make out. 

And yes, I get it, you've worked hard to create a brand and your cleaning / waitressing / corporate consulting doesn't fall neatly into the niche you've carved for yourself. (I for one cannot see Spirit Deej blog posts on perfect pint pulling techniques or the merits of restocking at the end of your shift rather than the next morning any time in the near future!) However, as the endlessly brilliant Brené Brown shares in the Power of Vulnerability one of the signifiers of shame, crucially differentiating it from humiliation or embarrassment, is silence. We don't share shame. More precisely we don't share things we're ashamed of. And just like Brené I'm aware that I'm getting into murky waters here by even using the word shame, because it turns people off by its very nature. But I have to bring it up, because it feels like there's a lot of shame in our culture as a whole, and in our micro culture of spiritual folks with side hustles, around bridge jobs.

There's a lot of (perceived) shame around having "not made it" yet. There's shame in not being an overnight success, a six figure business owner, a guru, a mogul, a headliner with a book deal. There's shame in not being at a stage where you're fully supporting yourself financially yet, despite these being some of the most difficult economic circumstances the human race has ever created. (Yes, shock horror, gone are the days when uni was free and you could walk out of your grotty student flat with a degree in one hand and a full time employment contract - in your chosen sector - in the other. Hello living with mum and dad, or at least housemates 'til you're 35!) 

So I'm taking a stand right here, right now, for me and my bridge job, and you and yours. For all my Spirit Lovers who are employed and have a side hustle that's their real passion, and for everyone who is making the transition steadily because being in financial disarray is too much stress to bear and will only crush your creativity and drive for your true passion.

Final thoughts if you have a bridge job: You're not alone, you're not a failure, you're not a fraud, it's for now, not forever. xo 

Join my LIVE Hangout next week for more in depth discussion on the issues of money, debt and bridge job shame. Get your Q's in to me live on the day or in advance by email... Register here for free to take part and get the recording straight to you inbox. 

Here's to those who hustle xo 

Here's to those who hustle xo 







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