Wednesday, 29 May 2013

'Enoughly' as you garden....

Nice bit of balanced fork going on here....although it doesn't have to be over the
 shoulder - just your arm by your side is good, too....

Today I gardened - or rather, set to with the wheeled strimmer to clear more untamed land of docks and tussocky 'elephant grass'. (A wheeled strimmer is like a rotary mower but with cord that spins at the front rather than a rotating blade underneath. It has big wheels to make it easier to traverse rough ground - my land tests this notion strongly!!!)

I also used garden tools: fork, spade, rake etc, that I carried from shed to land and back again - and also the wheel-barrow.

It often dawns on me how much I am blessed to gain from my knowledge as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and maybe this is obvious to you, but in case not, I share it with you now. When these tools are carried around the garden/land, I could 'Lift Them', 'Carry Them', or I can just take them with me as I go. (Capitals there intended to indicate Effort - lower case to indicate ease.) The former method includes lifting the shoulders, bending at the elbows, probably leaning backwards from the waist to attempt (unwisely) to counterbalance the weight of the tools, and finds these tools to be twice the weight they need be. Instead, 'the taking of them with me' means I find the centre of gravity of each tool - not necessarily half-way down the handle, but it'll be somewhere. Then I simply wrap my fingers loosely around the handle at that point, and walk. And it comes with me. No need to risk lifting the shoulders, tightening in the arms, or having my balance interrupted by an out-of-balance spade or rake.

No, this is 'Lifting and Pushing The Barrow'....note bent elbows...
The same goes for the wheelbarrow - I can Lift It Up And Push, or I can 'enoughly' have my hands around the handles, let my arms be long, and walk. And again the barrow will go before me just because it has to, not because I Push It. And this way more than goes for the heavy strimmer  as well, Encouraging it to do its stuff amongst the holes, boulders, and mole-hilled rough grass could be 'shove', 'push', 'heave'....well, it is a bit of that, in honesty; this is pretty rough stuff, but the effort is nothing like it could be, because I can free my body of that struggle, remain as tall as I can as I move myself through the grass, and the strimmer just goes before me doing its stuff. I just have to up my intention for my movement over the land to happen, and up it even more when I get to a tussock.
Yes, this is walking and it comes too....

So, new word of the day is "Enoughly' - sort of 'loosely', 'gently', and 'appropriately' all rolled in to one.

Enjoy your enoughly gardening through the use of balanced garden tools, and the having of more energy at the end of it! Time for a nice cup of tea!

Sunday, 26 May 2013


What were the times you felt discouraged? Who were the people who shrank you? How did they suggest that? What happened inside when this happened? What happened to your dreams?

What were the times you felt encouraged? Who were those people who helped your inner you expand and swell with possibility? How did they stimulate that? What happened inside when this happened? What happened to your dreams?

I know I've written 'what' were the times and not 'when', but I mean that; the 'what' making the times an encapsulated bubble of memory - ones we think we have forgotten, tucked away where it doesn't matter, or even bubbles that have long popped. But is that true? If you ever find yourself feeling small, discouraged, not-good-enough, I suggest they're still there.

We can pore over the old stories, we can run the tapes in our heads again and again, trying to heal memory with the very mind that holds them tight - toxic story-telling. Or we can shift them through a myriad of different ways. But the most important thing? To see that 80% of the first paragraph came from within. Yes, we may have heard and received stimuli that created that 'shrinking' inside, but it was we who agreed to reiterate those things to ourselves over and over after the initial hearing - even if we never heard it again from the outside! The good news? If we are the ones telling ourselves these unkind things, we can change the words to kind ones. It's up to us - our choice, and nothing to do with the unchangeable outside words; they're only 20% (if that) anyway. Can you actually remember the last time someone said, straight out to your face, that you aren't any good at being 'you'? Or that you are wrong through and though? (If you can it's time for some big changes - no one ever has the right to tell you you aren't good enough, or can't do something.) And yet can you be honest with yourself and remember how recently it was that you said those things to yourself from the inside? If you are saying anything to yourself other than "I like you, thank you for doing your best - different every day, but still your best - thank you for your caring heart and willingness to wake each day and live, to hope, to serve, to inspire, and dream. I love you, even in your wonderfully messy human-ness, which still includes all those things I've just said...", how can you expect anyone else to say it to you? Or rather, to hear it when they do? Our ears are full of what we want and expect to hear - yet there is no judgement here, just a box of Q Tips and a heap of loving friendship as we go about cleaning those ears out so you may hear the opposite messages!

The method? To focus on, pore over, study, clarify, embody, allow the second paragraph to seep into your very cells.... To remember the times you felt encouraged - and not in those times you 'succeeded' (which is far too much like stressed-out-and-tried-to-be-More-than-More-could-ever-be!) but when you Just Were; maybe even having landed on your bottom with mud on your face. 

Can you think of what encouraged you? That smile of empathy, of unconditional love, of trust. A few words of encouragement; what were they? Think! Remember! Write them down and read them often and decide to believe them! The only thing that makes anything 'true' is our decision to make it so.

Who were the people who said or did the thing that encouraged you? Did they encourage you to 'do' the thing you wanted? Or did they just Encourage You To Be You? I hope it's the latter you are remembering?

What was it they did? Or said? Their tone of voice? The look in their eyes and/or on their face? The feel of any touch? The energy in them, around them, that you felt? Was it perhaps that in that moment you actually had the gift of knowing you could 'fail' and yet be as loved as you were before? Permission to let go for a moment and breathe? To be supported as you 'took stock and re-grouped yourself'? So much so that you then felt you could move forwards again?

Take a moment to remember what that encouragement felt like. Where in your body did you feel it? How? Sense it again. Deeply. The opposite of shrinking - the growing, expanding, opening - knowing you were a 'possibilitarian' again. What could you do then? Remember the feeling, not just the event.

For me? The first moment of true encouragement I remember - I am about 6, at a children's party feeling sick (as I always did at parties). But instead of my mother being called to collect me, the granny (?) took me by the hand and walked me around the garden. I can still feel that hand and see the plants at my feet, and whether she said or I sensed it, I can still remember the 'You're ok. You're fine as you are. You can be whatever you like - sick, sad, happy, ok, here, or back in the party; I will stay with you and accept you just as you are right now; I have no need to make you feel something else for my sake. I know you can handle this; I believe in you." Parties changed for me after this.

My tip? To go find those people, or people like that, once again. To begin to watch carefully who you are surrounding yourself with, and to allow those 'shrinking people' to go shrink someone else. To not just decide to live in the energy of encouragement, but to allow those who remind you how to speak encouragement to yourself to reveal the stark comparison between your inner shrinker, your judge, and their outer genuine encouragement. This enables you to at last catch that judge, inwardly smile about having seen it, and then let the judge go on a l-o-n-g holiday! Gradually, as you allow outer encouragement in, and inner encouragement to exist, more outer encouragement will come to you, and the inner encouragement will grow stronger....and on and on in that circular growth... And you will indirectly find people loving the encouragement they feel around you as it seeps out of every pore in your body. 

Truth. You are an amazing, beautiful, and powerful being. Thank you for all you are. Thank you for your dreams. Thank you for your trust and belief in being alive, and for being '________' (Insert your name here) This is the only thing asked of you; to just be the glorious '________' that you are. Go on, encourage yourself to be that; it is your birth-right.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Please may I share something very important to me...?

I have a real desire for people to feel more comfortable, and the strength of feeling I have tonight had me think that I would further share how I felt before I came to the Alexander Technique back in 1980. This is my story shared with love in order to assist others. It dawned on me today that, having been in this work for over 30 years now, no one I know now has any idea how much it helped me. One of the main reasons anyone takes a look at anything in life is because they see a friend enjoy, gain from, change, feel better - they see the comparisons and how well something worked, and yet there is no comparison in me as this is how I have been for so long. Many think this is just how I have always been, and maybe that is why they are in pain and I am not, and that's just not right.

I imagine that if I - and I sincerely hope I won't - were to show up tomorrow as I was in early 1980, people might get a real shock! The comparison would reveal a great deal.  I had woken up one morning after a dance class and found my body had 'gone wrong', seemingly overnight. My head was on one side - my right ear considerably nearer my right shoulder than the left side - and my face screwed up to the right, looking every inch the pain I felt in my head. My jaw was moved over to the left and my teeth didn't meet - I had malocclusion of the jaw. I had no idea that my body and I were connected; I thought my body had done this all on its own and the only way out was through medical intervention. Added to the 'acute' symptoms was my chronic posture - my hips were slung forwards - my pelvis being carried before me as if I was still pregnant. This over-arched my lower back and when I lay down on the floor with my knees bent up, I could put my whole hand, thumb upwards and little finger down, right under my lower back with inches to spare. (A happy back touches the floor when we lie in this 'semi-supine' position.) My feet were flat, my knees sore and braced back, my shoulders had screamed with a constant burning pain for a couple of years, and my neck was always nothing short of agony up the right-hand-side. The pain shot into my head and yet the 8 paracetamol a day  didn't do much, and the endless visits to an osteopath only gave a few days' relief each time. But almost worst than all this was the sense of 'spaciness'... It was as if I was living in a bag of bits that didn't connect in any way. I couldn't think straight. I felt hugely vulnerable - after all, the basic instinct of 'flight or fight' was severely compromised; I could barely walk so it felt as if I was going to suffer badly at the hands of a bear or lion when I needed to react quickly.... My head was full of fog, and yet my anxiety levels were sky-high. I would frequently feel nauseous and 'get the shakes' as, I imagine, my body just released the excess tension off the top before I 'exploded'. And yet I felt depressed as my body was so depressed and shortened - I had no energy and great pain so that felt pretty depressing. I couldn't sleep well with the pain, and was 'tired all the time'. I have - somewhere as yet to be unearthed - my passport of that time, and I know you can see my face (all lop-sided), but no neck at all; it having drooped down on my chest like baby-food sliding down a plastic bib. This rendered my spine completely unable to rotate as I turned my head - or couldn't turn my head any more. And the compression in the vertebrae from this 'position', from this now familiar habitual way of holding my head, was creating merry-hell in there. The rest of my body was doing its best to compensate, but by using parts of it that are designed for other purposes, so the result didn't help at all, in fact, made things worse day by day. My head weighing around 12-14lbs (like everyone's) had become about 4 times heavier on my spine due to where I was 'carrying it', way off the top where it had no support from the torso beneath - no wonder my shoulders screamed with pain. Basically, despite the sense of acute tension, I had 'fallen apart'. This 'dis-integration' was leading to the scary sense of vulnerability and fogginess; the body just knew it was in a bad way and was almost closing down to protect both itself and me. (I know we are one, body and mind, but in this instance, that is what it felt like.)

When I went for lessons in the Alexander Technique, my teacher used gentle but wise hands to invite my body to still, to cease the inner panic. She gently guided my body into balance, re-stimulating the postural reflexes so the body could begin to 'come together again', so begin to support itself as it is designed to do. As I let go, it could 'take up', and as I let go some more, it took on its mantle of happy work even more. Its natural lightness restored, I felt a new person! Alongside all this was the verbal tuition from my teacher - lots of eye-opening guidance as to the twisted way I was doing everything and what I could allow instead...and the experiencing of freedom as she moved me around, maintaining the flow with her hands. It was the small 'unhelpful' movements I was doing in each moment - just one of these was taking my mouth to the fork instead of the fork to my mouth - go on, watch people eat! Little things over and over that wreck your neck which in turn upsets the whole body. It was obvious when it was pointed out, and so easy with her hands guiding me, but feeling so different, it felt a bit 'wrong' and I wouldn't have done it on my own. But a strangely 'right wrong'; one that worked! I had no pain! And gradually my old way of moving gave way (literally) to the new one. No, I couldn't have done this from a book, I had to have the teacher to give me the actual experience, and I am so glad I did. Within 6 lessons, I knew everything was going to be ok, and my life changed immeasurably.

Now days I am seen as someone who 'holds themselves well' - and I smile even as I say thank you (if it's not the place to explain), because of course that is exactly what I am not doing any more! Many people say I have 'such a straight back' and it is dawning on me that they think I am 'just a good girl', and have no idea that all I learned, and all I received at the gentle-but-wise hands of my Alexander teachers, is what has me simply sitting, easy and comfortable, balanced with all the parts of my body 'stacked' as they are designed to be in any body, especially the head at the top. I am not trying at all, I am not 'holding', I am not 'doing good posture, I am not 'sitting up properly' - I am simply Here, or There. depending on where I'm being seen from. It's the same when I stand - feeling sad when I stand amongst people who say, "Oooh, I can't stand for long", and yet they just don't 'get' that things can be different for them, as they were for me back in 1980 when I began my lessons.

So I thought I would share with you how although this is me you see, it isn't the me that you would have seen 30 years ago. 30 years ago you would have been saying the same things to me as you say to many of your friends and loved ones.... "Oh, poor you, isn't there anything they can do for you?" "What does the doctor say?" "You need to see an x, y, or z, and be healed, or learn how to save your back - we're meant to be on all fours, you know..." (Which is rubbish I might add!) And then, when I went for my lessons and began to look so much better, then positively happy, then slimmer, I began to get the "Have you had a holiday or something?" questions. Lots of those! (I hadn't, but I looked as if I had.) Then I was playing sport again, dancing again, not taking pain-killers and tranquillisers any more... And people said, "Wow! What is this thing called the Alexander Technique!?" And I trained as a teacher of same, and have taught for 30 years now. And I feel sad that people haven't had the chance to see the difference it has made to me in order to see it as something to consider for themselves and others. Maybe looking at me simply suggests that 'I do posture'. Maybe not hearing me talk of pain or restriction suggests I'm 'just lucky' and never had any problems. (Actually I sometimes do; I am human and get 'tweaks' - we all do - but with the knowledge this work gives me, it's not the problem it might be otherwise.) Maybe people think I am working incredibly hard at 'looking right' and they have no intention of working that hard, 'nice as it looks and much as they know they should'. Maybe they think it's all about holding positions - and surely that would hurt and be exhausting? 'I've tried copying and I can't hold it'.... 

Oh, if I could share with you how much I understand those thoughts, I really do; I do remember 30 years ago very well. But more than anything I wish I could share with you how those things above are not what's happening at all, so that you might really want to experience it for your self - just a moment of what it feels like to be light, balanced, easy, the 'it just feels so right' of balance and integration during a lesson. And to help you see that it's called 'a lesson' because we Alexander teachers don't want to 'heal you in some mysterious fashion, having you dependent on us' - we'd be 'therapists' if we wanted that. No, we teach because we want you to understand the process, the 'technique', and how to live it in your life so that you might know how to have it assist you in every moment of every day - if you so choose. I love to have long-standing students, but at best I am teaching myself out of a job as I teach you into conscious, appropriate use of your body, your whole self. Having experienced the benefits, believe me, you begin to want to play with it, use it, be curious about it. Like toothpaste, once you start living with clean teeth, you want to keep using it! The real question is, do you really want to live without your pain, or stiffness, or anxiety, or fatigue? If you do, please take a look at the possibilities this work offers you; it is For You. Not for me; I already have it, and I teach because I want to share it with as many people as I can. I want to see more people happy in their body and fewer in such a place of restriction and unhappiness. Plus, if there was another teacher working near me, I would have a lesson myself as often as possible; it feels so wonderful and, like anything, a brush-up always does us the power of good. I am still learning too - we all go on learning from cradle to grave, if we're wise. 

Thank you for 'listening'. As I said at the beginning, this is my story shared with love in order to assist others. Please go share this blog with anyone you know who is in pain? If you love them it's worth a go for them, isn't it? They can always say no, but you might be giving them the best tip they will have ever had in their 'pain world'. This work is still too widely unknown and misunderstood, despite all the scientific and medical endorsements, and I want to be part of changing that. I cannot tell you how glad I am that my aunt told me about the Alexander Technique back in 1980; I would have had the operation to fuse my spine, and through my habitual way of holding myself getting worse and worse, be in goodness only knows what state by now - one of those millions who think that pain is all there is, the only option to 'getting older' or being human, and living a life of pain-killers, but it simply doesn't have to be true. Take a look; you've nothing to lose and everything to gain.  

There are taster courses coming up, one day workshops, five day intensives, and the regular individual lessons.... - diary page.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Which flower are you really?

You know how we often say 'motivational' things about tough, bold, brave plants that come up through concrete or, like this thrift on the cliff face, grow in really tough places? Had me thinking today though, lovely as they are, it's a bit tough on many of us to do all this 'go for it' stuff; we're all beautiful 'flowers', but if you're not a thrift, you're not a thrift! A rose is absolutely stunning but wouldn't fare well on this cliff face! As is an orchid, but wouldn't last a second here. Would we suggest it 'wasn't trying hard enough' if we saw it struggling up there? No, we'd take it to where it could be the best rose or orchid it could be. Let's do that with ourselves and for each other? What flower do you think you are? And which flower are you really? And where do you best flourish? Do those match? Which flower will you let yourself be as the very best flower you are?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

When self-damning comes for tea...

So, what happens when every tip is forgotten, every truth we know is questioned, every principle resisted, and our sense of self denied...? The opposite of everything they offer seems to turn up - and the day goes pear-shaped and we feel horrible?  

The mind, 'The Awesome Power of the Mind' as George Zaluki's training series called it back in the 90's. I know what he meant, that we need to use it constructively, but I have also never forgotten his words at those times when the mind 'goes off on one'....running out of control like a bolting horse dragging me - as it does us all at times - through low-slung branches of pessimism, across gorges full of snapping 'what ifs', and rivers of turbulent dramas. Yes, the mind is disappointingly powerful then, and the day goes rapidly downhill.

So, how to get it back under control, or as I prefer, back as our friend again? Well, wrestling anything only serves to create a lot of noise and bluster. There might be a winner but also a loser, and at best there'll be bloodied noses and scraped knees for sure. "What we resist persists", so what else can we do? Surrender. 

Surrender? Surely not? Give in? Wont we drown and everything go wrong? 'We get what we think' and all that manifesting stuff..... But no, we're thinking it anyway, resistance or not. It's there isn't it, all the gloom and doom? Resistance can't exist against nothing. That's why we're looking for something positive to 'snap into'; if we want to 'snap out of it' I guess we are snapping into somewhere else. No, for me this is a time for observation - deep observation of what is going on. Especially if it is a familiar cast of feelings on the  stage - a time to learn much and heal another layer.

So, what are the tips, truths, and principles? And where is the denied self? 
Tip #1 - "I'm having a human moment" seems too simple, but strangely effective; the first place to get is off one's own back - it's hard to move with all that weight on our selves! Having got off, let's look at The Four Agreements....

1. "Be impeccable with the word - especially to one's self": Hmm, well, do you hear all those whispers in the wings as you give your bold and positive soliloquy on stage? "I am powerful, I am strong and beautiful, I see everything going well, I am one with everything, all will be well, this is meant....." You know your script, I know mine....only now I don't bother with that and begin to hear to those unimpeccable wing-hissers as soon as I can.... "There you are, told you you were no good". "If only you had/hadn't done...." "Anyone could see that wasn't going to work." "You've always got it wrong." You'll never get this right; everything you do always goes wrong." Nah, nah, nah-de-nah... On and on and on - all the things we have ever heard said to us in our lives, and while we're at it, let's add in the best we've heard said to others too. Oh, and if we feel really bad, let's add in a few tasty exagerations and self-damning expletives as well. But, through my agreeing to listen to them I have the light shining on them, I can see them, and already they are shrinking in the light. And in the seeing of them, often something will 'come up' from the past - some long-buried memory that has me 'feel' it at a deep level beyond the mind's drama, and I 'see' it as if for the first time. In that seeing, something bursts - like bubble-wrap - because I can now not only see, but feel that it isn't so, very likely never was, and certainly isn't now. And then I can begin to be truly impeccable with my word to myself - "Hey girl, hang in there; you're worth it, you know your truth, you know you're worth being able to live without these thoughts and ghostly beliefs. That was their story, not yours. Something's just come up to be sorted out. Now, what can we do about this Now situation - what's next?"

2. "Don't take anything personally": unless I choose to do so! Which, if I am being unimpeccable with my word to my self, and beating myself 'senseless' (perfect word - think about it!), I will be doing. But who wouldn't feel like taking it personally if someone said, "I don't believe you can"? There is however, in truth, never any need to believe this because the words will be coming from the other's take on life, from their own story and not yours, but if you are the speaker to yourself, yes, it's close up and very personal!! So, it's back to #1 again.

3. "Don't make assumptions": Ah yes, well, there it is - I can now see many of those assumptions which were hidden in the mayhem. "It's impossible, I can't do it" - a big, generic assumption - often taken personally in the years before. But put impeccably it looks like this, "It is possible, but right now I feel it isn't, and I can't see how it could be." That leads me straight out of the loneliness with it and into, "Who can I ask for support and/or advice?" Sometimes there will be someone obvious, and always there the voice of my Higher Power, or my soul, and to who's wisdom I am now open.

4. "Always do your best - bearing in mind that your best will vary day to day, moment to moment": And in this moment of 'things not good', your best might not feel very best at all. And that's ok, that's where the surrender lies. Surrender to purpose, surrender to the moment, gently bringing your presence to all the feelings it contains; the feelings are here to tell you something. However, sometimes before we can do this, there is a part of us that actually wants to enjoy the drama. Call it ego, call it habit, call it just the part of us that sees the light in life through sometimes acknowledging the dark - and we can't do dark cheerfully or it isn't real dark! So sometimes we could even call it soul wisdom - we have to really Get In There to make a new discovery. But then it's back to to self-kindness and the moving through and out. There's another thing to consider though - why has it become such a sin to occasionally say when asked how we are, "Well, you know, today is just crappy - nothing I can put my finger on, but I just feel bleugh." Then everyone tries to pull us out of it as if we're wrong (again) in being other than happy. How lovely it is to find (or be) someone who just looks at us from their heart, says nothing, and maybe offers a non-healing-hug; one that just Let's Us Be, just as we are in that moment, the best we can be right now - that's unconditional love and it changes everything. But first we need to consider that as a possibility for our selves.

So, a tip, four principles - or new agreements - the truth re-vealed, uncovered again from where it always was, the truth being that we are wonderful beings of light having a human experience. Gorgeously messy and delightfully willing. When we forget this and imagine ourselves to be only gorgeous when winning, when in dinner suit and ball-gown, when smiling and dancing, it all gets very hard. It's as if we are knitting with ships' ropes - extremely cumbersome! So, let's remember our beauty is always there - sometimes in a very soggy and cross way, sometimes in moments of complete confusion, sometimes in blank grey nothingness, but like the clouds, these days will blow away. And let's consider some small gratitude for the 'crappy days'? These are the days of change, growth and progress, the days where we create our true glory.

Monday, 13 May 2013

On commitment....

Commitment...., there’s a word and a half! And one that’s been on my mind each day as I see the little note on the worktop, or in my diary - moving around, never being thrown away, never getting lost - that says, “Write a piece on commitment for Patricia”. As in, the piece is for Patricia, not commitment for Patricia. Or is it? Of course it is; my commitment to and for Patricia in doing what I said I would do when she asked me to write on this for her newsletter. It is me doing the thing I said I would do, long (!) after the mood/time I said it in had left me. 

Shall I say that again? “Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do, long after the mood you said it in has left you.” 

I heard it over 20 years ago from a great man in America, George Zaluki. His work is all about each of us living the life of the champions we are - no matter in what arena, even if it’s working in the store. And George’s other powerful statement that has never left me is this, “The only thing mankind has is their word. And how cheaply they use it.”

Those words silenced an audience of 5,000 people into pin-drop silence. And why would they not? Everything we see, use, play with, work with, go to, desire and dream about is made up of words.... Words are our paint in life. So we need to wake up and make sure we paint pictures worth painting with them. Yes, how cheaply we use them, especially when we say we’ll do something but we don’t. This is how we often paint with the word commitment: “I’ll do it until....” “I know I said I would but....” “I’ll do it as long as...” Yet commitment, like love, doesn’t function under conditions, because commitment is love - love for the other and love for yourself, both automatically including respect.

If we want our world to run smoothly, maybe it would be good to look at this word ‘commitment’. We spend so much of our lives bemoaning how things haven’t turned out as we hoped, people haven’t kept their word - often even saying or thinking, “Probably wont happen; usually doesn’t...”.  If you look at it, when we are even just a little upset about something, it’s to do with something in life that isn’t turning out the way it ‘should’.... And what is this ‘should’? It’s often to do with something promised by someone else.... “I’ll be there on Tuesday.” And then, “Oh, you know I said I could help on Tuesday....? Well, sorry, something’s come up and I can’t.” (I am going to hazard a guess that, with scrutiny, this sounds familiar from both sides.) So another gram of trust dies - not because of disappointment, but because we innately know their, or our own, word has not been kept. 

As we move through life, from fairy story to religion as children, through science and literature in school, from TV, media, and conversations later in life, what we’re promised is all too rarely what happens. And the most painful is from those who are meant to care about us. As a child we might rant and rail, cry and stamp our feet until we ‘learn to grow up’ (aka, suppress the lot) when we meet with that heart crushing disappointment that we know is an excuse, but what do we do with it as adults? I suggest we become slightly cynical, closed down, heavy with resignation, pessimistic, and lose our trust in what people say - even if some of us head for spirituality and the healing world to handle or heal the wounds from these times.

So, what are these disappointments? Are they truly about the things that con’t happen because they are out of our control? I say not. “Huh?” you might be saying. Commitment could be put another way - Commitment is the automatic result of people keeping their word. It’s in fact a circular event; I say I will (my word), and I do. Or I do, so I have kept my word. If people keep their word, no matter their mood change, disappointment becomes far less of an issue.

Of course there are things in life that occur to change plans - the weather being a major one! Illness. Family needs. And even a change of mood! But, big but, if we use these as excuses when they are not true, we are not being relieved of our commitment; we are lying. And because we know we do it, we think that it is likely the other is doing it to us. So we lose trust in them because we have no trust in ourselves. If something has truly ‘come up’ for us, we can tell the other honestly by using the power of our word to convey this fact to them. Then, with the growth of commitment and honesty, trust grows and a great deal of unnecessary disappointment shrinks, especially the ‘heart-crushing disappointment’ that has far more to do with being lied to, of not seeming important enough, than the missing out on something looked forward to. Our hearts are wise and sensitive, and we just know when we are being spun a yarn, because we know when we are doing it, and we re-cognise it.... 

So, as my aunt, Esme Crampton, wrote in her book ‘Good Words Well Spoken’ many years ago, “To thine own self be true’ because (a) you haven’t time for anything else, and (b) your own integrity is the longest running thread of your communicating life.”

If you are true to yourself, if you are impeccable with your word, if you hold everyone in your heart as your co-aspect of divinity, commitment will simply be there in your life in spades. We don’t ‘do’ commitment, we don’t need to learn commitment, we don’t have to put it on like a heavy coat, we are commitment; our very essence is commitment, unless we choose to forget that.

So, even if you are healed from past disappointments and it doesn’t hurt any more, change the old habits to be the change we need to see; do what you say. Remember ‘Ah, but I didn’t promise’ is the biggest let down to, and of, your self that you will ever allow. Use the mirror as your conscience and watch the world change with your growth in commitment.... And even if it takes far too long to write the piece you promised, write it!