Tag Archives: intention

The crucible of failure


How many crucibles have you been in through your life?

I’ve been in loads, probably more than I can remember!

One of the big ones when I joined the Royal Navy, the UK had a lot of ships then.

I arrived at the new entry training establishment HMS Fisgard, where I started my training to become an artificer. An artificer is someone who can fix anything on a ship; as you may guess that’s a lot of knowledge to know. There were different branches, for weapons, electronics, aircraft, and for me marine engineering. I’m digressing.

We were driven though the main gates to the parade ground, we were all asked to disembark, straight into the crucible, the orders started, get in line, names where called and we put into groups, then the welcome and then off to our mess blocks. My crucible was getting filled with strange orders, new rules, new faces. If they were like me, they were being very brave but scared inside, these thoughts were also added to the crucible. We met our seniors, they had either been in the Navy of a whole 4 or 8 months, they felt so senior, they deserved respect, another thought for the crucible.

After the first scary night sleeping in a room with 30 or 40 others, time for breakfast, I didn’t have a uniform yet and still long hair, ridicule in the dining hall, more for the crucible. Time for a haircut, I liked my long hair, of all the things that changed in those first few weeks, the first haircut was the most shocking, it wasn’t a US Marine cut, it was short but not that short, it was succumbing to someone else’s rules, it felt like an assault on my personality; more for the crucible. Then I had to put a uniform on, more for the crucible.

As you may guess many things were added to my new entry crucible, as with all crucibles the ingredients are heated to extreme temperatures to form something else from the raw ingredients. If it all goes well something uniform will be produced, sometimes it doesn’t work and its discarded. My entry started with 273 young men, after the first year there was only 150 left, the others had decided to leave and pursue another life.

Perhaps another crucible stopped me from quitting, the one that contained the shame and ridicule of failure. I pushed on for 22 years, I was successful in the navy but never felt I really belonged there, that fear of failure crucible just kept me going.

These crucibles that I’m describing are the pivotal points in my life that make me what I am now. If I could revisit them now I guess I would do things differently. In many of these crucibles I did things that I didn’t really want to do, I went with the flow for an easy life so I didn’t get noticed, some never felt right. Unfortunately many need to do things they know are wrong in their societal rules just to survive another day, luckily I have never needed to do anything like that. Hopefully you haven’t either.

I’m now careful what I put in my crucible, in fact I don’t know if I have one at the moment. I guess they just happen without anyone noticing, it’s only on reflection that they can be identified at some pivotal point in your life.

My plan now is to take each moment at a time and be happy to say no if I don’t like or want to do something, be content that I don’t know what is going to happen but have a strong intention to enjoy life, have fun and let the crucible of failure go.

What’s your plan?

 

 

 

 

The power of intention


Someone asked me it if was back on track with my writing, I answered “well, yes and no. I’ll explain later.”

Both yes and no are correct but needed sometime to think.

Yes, I’m back with my writing but no, not the way I used to write, having the need to write for someone else, forcing myself to write. A few months ago you may remember I promised myself to write every day, the promise petered out after a few days, just like New Years resolutions, I set myself an impossible task to achieve with just willpower to be successful, unfortunately willpower will eventually run out of steam.

I was trying too hard to achieve my promise, when trying I lose my authenticity, you may do as well.  Then things don’t feel right, then willpower fades quickly, then followed by the promise.

So what’s different now?

I’ve changed my focus, I write for myself and you are welcomed to read what I write. I’ve eventually started to understand what looking after myself means. It’s being open with myself from a point of safety, observing and reacting to thing in a nonjudgmental way. This point of safety I find myself quiet and content. It’s a point where time and space converge. I know where I am physically and I’m not thinking ahead in time; I’m in the here and now. I’ve mentioned this point of safety in my last two blogs, though I described it in different ways each time.

From my point of safety I can choose to write or not to write, I can choose or not to do anything. That sounds a bit wishy washy, it is; I also need to add some energy to the decision. The energy needs to be authentic and honest, this is the intention I mentioned in my previous blogs. With this intention you can decide to do or not to do but if it’s authentic and honest for that moment it’s the right decision. And you can change your mind if the authenticity or honesty changes. These decision can be as small or as large as you want. Having the intention to travel to work may be a large intention, you choose which road to travel, a smaller intention, but you discover a problem with the road so you pause for a moment and choose another route. Life is a continual list of intentions that continually change thought your life.

Did you ever think years ago you would be doing what you do now?

I didn’t.

I now write because I want to write with the power of intention and I’m happy to pause to allow my thoughts to generate what I write. When I started this blog I only had the intension to write something, I didn’t know what the outcome was and I was content for the content to evolve to what is it is now.

Get writing with freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

The world is your oyster


In my previous blog A dog with a new bone I wrote about the shield I held in front of me, nobody saw it whether I was hold up or thrown it on the floor, my shield was pretty pointless, I know that now but for the past decade or so I thought it was very important to use, it protected me. In reality it stopped me from doing things I wanted, stopped me saying things I wanted to say, stifled my creativity and most important of all it stopped me from being the real me.

Have you ever thought that I could do that but decided not to because:

  • They won’t like what I say
  • It’s too hard for me to do
  • It’s out of my comfort zone
  • They don’t respect me so it’s not worth doing.

I have and now I regret things I haven’t done.

The thing is, these are your thoughts about whatever the topic is, no one else’s, they don’t know what you are thinking as you don’t know what they are thinking. These thoughts have been my shield, they prevent me from moving on.

What I did was experiment with these thoughts and turn the thoughts around by making them positive, for example ‘they will like what I say’ and get on and speak, notice their reaction, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, no bad remarks and thanks for honestly.

I’d got in the way of my own authenticity.

There is a little more to this, I NEEDED TO BE TRUTHFUL TO MYSELF, if I didn’t like what I was saying, it didn’t work; people know authenticity and they know the opposite.

What I’ve learnt and written in previous blogs is that these skills take time and determination to be developed, there is a shortcut, find someone to help you, I found the Alexander Technique and have since trained to teach the technique.

I learnt that the very first thing is to notice negative emotional and physical reactions to activities, once a reaction is noticed then the change can happen, perhaps turn the thought around to ‘they will like what I say’ then notice what happens. To start to notice things you need to know where you are in time and space, if you are too busy worrying about something else or hurting from physical pain then it will be very difficult to start noticing other things, I can help with this, part of the many hours of training over 3 years is to show people how to rediscover their capacity to be here in this very moment and also to enjoy their own space. From this point the world is your oyster.

Happy 10th Birthday


Tonight I thought it would write another blog but Facebook notifications and texts keep pinging. I do a report on Monday evenings so the plan was do the report and then blog.

Those pings just distracted me. I see this all the time, someones phone make a noise and the only thing them can do is to respond to their phone, it doesn’t matter what was going on in the real world next to them the phone is the most important thing in this moment in the world.

It’s scary how we have suddenly changed in only ten year (it’s the smart phones tenth birthday today) to be slaves of our smart phone.

Why is it much more interesting somewhere else than just here and now?

Could we be missing something somewhere?

Do we crave for distraction from the real world?

I don’t know your answer, so one of mine, I think I have a few but this one is tonights. Simple it is procrastination, a way of avoiding things by getting involved with a distraction. I’m good at it, I even blog to procrastinate.

By the way I’ve just had a flurry of pinging and I’m still writing, they’ll have to wait until the end of this blog and I’m chuffed with myself. This is the power of noticing my response to a ping, stopping my habit of going to see who has messaged me but instead deciding that they can wait until I’m free and ready to see what’s going on. Of course I could have decided to go and look who is messaging me, then I have another decision to either respond or not (just been pinged again, oh the temptation).

That comes on to another point, it’s all well and good to notice and decide to do the “good” thing every-time, if you continually do this, life does become evangelical and boring.  I know, I’ve done it. As all things in life, living should be fun if it’s any other way you’re trying to hard, lighten up and have fun. So perhaps go with the temptation but only with a conscious choice.

Happy 10th birthday

Why not click here to discover more

Thinking this, is what freedom feels like.


Do you ever do deep thinking, so deep that you can’t do anything physical?

The garden is ignored

The car needs a wash

Planning goes out the window

The only thing that matters is deep, deep thinking.

Well, I discovered last night I’ve been doing it for the past few years. It was a shock but it answered at least one question that has been lingering with me.

I thought that learning to be an Alexander Technique Teacher was all about thinking, I did a lot of thinking, thinking about being present, thinking about being in the here and now, thinking about where my body is in relation to gravity, thinking about my head neck back relationship, thinking about not doing anything. There’s more but that will do and you have got the idea.

I was thinking about far too much.

My blogs past will probably say as much.

Last night I discovered that there are two parts to Alexanders discoveries,

In reverse order there is an activity plan.

This is how you do something, playing golf, running, singing, brushing your teeth, you name it you have an activity plan. To become professional or just good at something, unless you have natural talent, you will seek out a coach to learn the why’s and wherefores to the activity you want to learn. Have a coach is a fast track to your success, they help you to miss the short falls on the way to being good at your dream. This is the second part and I guess you will be familiar with it

The first part of Alexanders discoveries is

The co-ordination plan

This is how you use your body in your activity plan, this has two basic parts, firstly you need to know how your various joints operate and where they are, not where you think they are but where they physically are. Secondly having thoughts about how you move your body in space freely without any undue stress or strain.

Putting the two plans together, and hay presto your activity is undertaken with a lot less stress and strain.

There is a catch, probably only available to Alexander Trainee Teachers, they turn the second part of the co-ordination plan into their activity plan. Everything eventually crawls to a halt and deep thinking emerges and physical activity stops, a vicious circle. The thoughts of freedom turn themselves into tight muscles as the vicious circle rotates whilst you are using your senses to notice freedom. Tighter and tighter until your stuck in the perfect Alexander Student position, straight back, tight neck. All the time thinking this is what freedom feels like.

I’ve been there and done it. I even got the badge!

The co-ordination plan should be a light touch over the activity plan, they work together not inside each other.

If you want to know more about co-ordination plans you can always sign up to my mailing list and I’ll send you the next blog by email.

Happy planning

Piercing the heart


Yesterday I wrote about that Authentic Happiness Shines however it isn’t a simple trick that you can play on yourself and hopefully others will get sucked into your trick. They may believe in your trick for a while but eventually they will slowly move on and disappear from your company.

I know as it’s happened to me.

The other trick we play on ourselves is that we aren’t worthy of your love and friendship, we hold ourselves back with this belief. Others are waiting, screaming quietly to accept our love and friendship.

I know it’s happened to me.

So playing at it and denying it just don’t bring happiness.

What does?

Just being me. 

My authentic self in this very moment, each moment exists for as long as it needs.

It’s not the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom. i.e a second.

I don’t know how long they are in physical measurement but they are long enough, they end when they need to end. I’ve found that there’s a problem with these moments and it is that I want to stop them because I feel vulnerable, it doesn’t feel right, it’s strange, it’s an out of body experience, I shouldn’t be thinking like this. These thoughts are just things I’ve picked up over my lifetime, people trying with best and worst endeavours to shape me into somebody they want me to be, they are creating my paradigm, my set of rule that I need to comply with. Challenging my paradigm makes me vulnerable, it causes a change to my paradigm.

I see the people trying to mould my paradigm as an ivy climbing a tree and it slowly sucking the life of the tree.

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In the end both suffer, my life is constrained and will wither then the ivy will not be able climb to the height it wants.

So seeking happiness, the first thought is to restart my paradigm, that seems to be a bit a a sledge hammer to crack an egg,

We are what we are,

I am what I am.

We can all change if we want to.

So seeking happiness is just being me in the moment.

Being in the moment is been true to yourself.

  • You need to be grounded
  • You need to be all joined up
    • an authentic flow of energy throughout yourself
    • know where your body is
  • You need to be here
    • in time
    • in space
  • You need to love yourself first
    • content with yourself in the moment
    • and the next moment
    • you need to allow the pain of your pierced heart to diminish.

Amazingly you can do all this, but you may need help to investigate how to change your paradigm. I did and now I’m ready to help.

If you are interested why not join my mailing list, I’ll send you some more ideas.

Authentic Happiness Shines


In a strange and strong place today, it has been a wonderful day so far, walked with my lovely neighbours our dogs came too, the weather is cold, sunny and no wind. I haven’t done much else.

A day for reflection

Over the past few years I’ve been busy, busy, busy; today the weather is kind but cold, ideal for reflection. Autumn is the time that the forests expose their vulnerability after the hubris of spring and summer, a time for the forests to reflect on their glory and rest awhile to regain their strength for the next season of growth. I’m in the mood to reflect today, enjoy the glories of last spring, summer and autumn, so I can move on to the next part of my journey.

So what is the next part of my journey?

Haven’t a clue.

I may not have a clue but I certainly have an intention, My intention is to be happy and pass my secrets of being happy onto others. I’ve discovered that we all have the capacity to be happy but many don’t know where to start to find their authentic happiness. Many play at it and once the play is over they return to being a grump again. Authentic happiness shines through everything, a quality of calmness, groundedness, presence, joyfulness.

We can all play at being happy but playing at it isn’t authentic and others just know and it losses its power and contagiousness. When someone is really happy those around them also start to become happy, I guess some will fight it for a while or just leave. Some people consider for some reason that it is not right and proper for themselves to be happy: life is joyless, a grudge and that’s how it should be.

Not for me, I discovered the secret.

The secret is being all joined up, I have some bad points and I’m happy with them as well as all my good points. I’m me and I’m in the moment, oops, that’s part of the secret.

Being all joined up, I know what I mean, it is a thought I have. It’s when my thoughts converge into one, it’s the point of ease, it’s the point of choice, it’s the point of happiness.

Being all joined up has taken me sometime to discover, in fact years and years, I used to be the person that thought life was joyless and a grudge, you don’t have to with that long, just subscribe to my mailing list and you will start getting regular ideas to try and practice to discover your authentic happiness.

The photo is of Sudeley Ponds in the Forest of Dean, just around the corner from where I live, it was taken today.

 

 

 

 

Walking on Cornflour


You know, sometimes after banging your head against the brick wall it’s sometimes best to stop.

I’ve had a sleepless night trying to work out why something isn’t working, You may get to know what it is later or maybe not. It’s early in the morning, the sun is a few hours away, it’s quite and my solitude is writing this blog. I’m not in my usual buoyant mood, I’m angry, I’m annoyed but surprisingly quite chilled about what’s going on. Perhaps it’s because I’ve made a decision to stop, I just need to tell people now.

I’m at the point before the point of release and celebration, I’m saddened by my decision but can see it is for the best for me.

Have you ever played with corn flour and water, if its squeezed it goes solid and it returns to liquid when you let go. There was a science programme once TV a few years ago, they filled a swimming pool full of corn flour and water. The challenge was to walk from one end to the other without sinking, the presenter was successful, they then demonstrated what happened if the presenter just stood still or moved to slowly, you guessed it, they sank.

I’m the one sinking now and it is time to get out of the pool.

This isn’t a nice place to be, it is uncomfortable, it is strange, it is empowering. My past few years have been preparing for this point, learning how to be present, inhibit, direction, plan a way ahead and apply my intention. I’m doing all that now, of course in a non-doing way. This thinking is a wonderful way to work though difficult times. Sometimes the way ahead isn’t what I’ve expected.

I never expected this.

So it is time to re-plan my  way ahead and apply my intention. I’m in the inhibition stage at the moment, it may last a while but I don’t know how long, so many options, perhaps let life just lead me.

Sorry, you will have to wait for another day to find out what this is about as it isn’t right to let you know before I have a few honest discussions with those it will impact on. Some of you may already know as I’ve discussed it with you and thank you for your guidance and support.

JK got it wrong!


In the Harry Potter books, us mere mortals are named Muggles by the wizards. However in the Alexander world surely we should be called Muddles.

Let me explain, today at the Bristol Alexander School we had an away day at a stables, and we all had a chance to ride a horse. What I discovered is that the rider needs to communicate with the horse, not with heels, spurs, crop and reins but with just a thought.

What a terrible thought getting a horse to move, stop, turn with just a thought. Well, it really works, riders and horses have done it for millennia, I’ve just discovered it today.

When riding, the rider needs to give clear thoughts to the horse so he understands what to do. Any muddled thoughts and the horse will do something else of his choosing. Luckily for me my horse was held whilst he walked around the field, so no mishaps for me.

If horses are so sensitive to our thoughts and need a clear intent to do an activity, why don’t us mere mortal seem to survive with muddled thoughts.

Creatures of habit, leaps out from my mind. Perhaps a good thing if you just want to go with the flow and have a quiet life travelling on the glide slope to obscurity; just muddling on.

Or is there another way?

Stopping, inhibiting, observing the conditions present, deciding a means-whereby then with a clear intention commit to the intended thought; this seems to work for me. I’ve read about this somewhere!

So the wizards got it right for Muggles

Should AT folk start calling others Muddles?