How do you name an on-line course?
I had real trouble trying to articulate the essence of what I'll be teaching on my brand new on-line course. I thought this might be helpful to express an idea of what it's all about...
The practices, tools and techniques you will learn on the course are for everyday life… for the moments when you get “triggered” by something or someone. For the everyday challenges of life — which are usually mostly to do with your relationships — past and present. But also your relationship with yourself, and your life. Not necessarily daily, although some of the practices work best when you do make them daily micro-habits or awarenesses, but we’ll cover all of that.
The inner realms are often mysterious, overlooked or frankly quite bewildering. If you feel as if you are always at the mercy of your emotions and negative thinking loops and take the things others say and do, right to your heart, then discovering and familiarising yourself with your inner landscape can be truly empowering. When you know the “coding” in your “inner tech”, you know what’s glitching and what needs to be upgraded. We are always impacted by the external world, but understanding more about your inner world helps you to navigate through the challenges and opportunities and “learn how to dance on a moving carpet.”
These practices are so potent, they will feel like superpowers when you use them regularly in your life. They interweave with each other and become exponentially powerful. For example, the more you are able to maintain your equanimity and inner presence, the more you are able to make room for enquiring into the old coding that’s still glitching up your life. The more you are able to gain clarity around your inner world, the more authentically and powerfully you can show up in your outer world. The more you are able to let go of your grievances and pain from past relationships, the more deeply and intimately you can connect with your current loved ones.
These practices, tools and techniques are like a “first aid kit” or “toolbox for life”. Most of us are taught very little about our inner life:
about the difference between our thoughts and feelings.
the difference between our beliefs and what’s actually true about us.
the truth of who we really are and how you can access that information and live from there.
how to discover your true purpose in life
how to manage difficulties in relationships
how to let go and move on (especially when you don’t want to)
how to discern the difference between setting clear boundaries, letting go, forgiveness, and whether or not you reconcile with someone who’s hurt you
To me these are “essential” for us to learn — not just for ourselves, but for those around us, who will benefit from our mental and emotional health and our being less reactive and trigger able. As one of my teachers used to say, “You do your work not just to relieve yourself from the impact of your ego, but to relieve the others in your life from the impact of your ego.” When you practice them, they will have transformational effects in your life.
Like with anything else we might practice — tennis, yoga, piano, languages, lifting weights, we get better and better the more we practice. You’d never say you’ve “done” yoga, and mean that that you’ve finished with yoga for the rest of your life. It’s a practice. It’s ongoing. These inner practices are simple, repeatable techniques you can use in your everyday life, just like you continue to take your bins out and do your recycling, whenever the rubbish/garbage piles up — so your heart and your mind need the same service. You change your oil in your car from time to time, you go to the hygienist from time to time, you might do a deep spring-clean of messy cupboards now and then. These practices are like that for your inner world — for your mind and your heart. Untangling the mind and untangling the heart.
These are practices that once you’ve learned them, you can continue to use them on your own, with trusted support partners, or in ongoing groups — like my Forgiveness Field monthly masterclasses — where we come together to do a simple 90 minute forgiveness practice as I guide the whole group through my 7-step Forgiveness Made Easy practice.
I have used these practices:
with friends who are in trouble -
like a friend who discovered her partner had cheated on her,
like when another friend had relationship challenges with her step-mother,
with my son when he was broken-hearted,
with thousands of clients on so many different, stuck patterns, experiences of neglect, abuse, confusion, betrayal, bullying, hurt etc.,
and that I have been supported to use myself, like when I was in labour and things went wrong.
We talk a lot about “mental health” and “mindfulness” as if our minds were separate from our emotions and our bodies. It’s really important to be able to discern the difference between the information and experiences in all of these realms. Untangling the mind is related to untangling the heart, but they’re not exactly the same. Our bodies are affected by our thinking and our emotions. Cortisol (the stress hormone) is real. But the conditions that create the stress (and the cortisol in our bloodstream) are not always external, they’re often to do with the meaning we’ve made out of a situation, and our reaction to it. If you know what you can do about that, it automatically makes you feel more confident and capable that you have something you can do to support your mental health.
Sometimes we can feel completely overwhelmed by our emotional response to others and to life. We often say “you make me feel…” which is incredibly disempowering. That leaves us being the victims of life — of what others think and say, rather than being able to be autonomous and as a friend of mine used to say “being richly connected to others whilst remaining resolutely true to yourself.”
Of course we are affected by others, but we can maintain more equanimity and clarity even when challenging things happen, if you know the right tools or practices to use.
Even if you don’t practice a particular tradition or identify as “spiritual but not religious”, I believe many of us have a longing to understand and experience the deepest dimensions of life. We’re moved by the special moments that happen — by beauty, by evoking music, a spectacular starry night’s sky, by compassionate acts and the kindness of others, by nature, by art, by moments of emotional intensity, the miracle of birth, the joy of celebrations, the reverence of solemn rituals, by the pain and grief of death. This is the richness of life — meeting and appreciating all of it.
When we ask ourselves the biggest questions, like:
“Why am I here?”,
“What’s my purpose?”,
“What’s my true potential?”, “
“What’s the fulfilment of the gifts and qualities that I have been given?”, “
“What is my greatest contribution to life?”
“What matters most to me?”
“What are the values that govern my life?”,
we are in the spiritual realm. The transpersonal realm. This is where we see our lives as a journey of self-discovery, of evolution, that we are always developing — we are a “masterpiece in process” and we can be proactive in how we do that.
If you don’t like the idea of anything spiritual — these “Everyday Essentials” are also master secular ethics practices. You don’t need to believe in anything to benefit from doing your inner work. I don’t teach a dogma but I hold the greatest respect for the essence of all the major traditions and the common truths and values that they uphold.
This is our ultimate goal. If we want to be well on every level, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, collectively, ecologically, culturally, politically, it all starts from the inside out.
As I often say “peace in the world happens one heart at a time, starting with yours.”
Here is your opportunity to learn some life-changing skills, practices and tools that will help you for the rest of your life.
The course starts Thursday 26th October 2023 @ 7:30-9:30pm UK time for SIX consecutive weeks ending 30th November. Places are limited. If you want to transform your inner life, please do join me!