Monday, 30 December 2013

Escape from Unhappiness

It's that time of year again when thoughts turn to new year's resolutions and people begin to wonder what they want to happen next year.  What do they want to change?  How do they want that to happen?  How quickly will they forget that they made a resolution and when will it dawn on them that another year has passed and nothing much has changed?  Probably about the same time you're realising that once again you've almost left it too late to post the Christmas cards.

I'm not a believer in new year resolutions, or indeed any resolution.  I am a believer in total, permanent change beginning from within.

For me a lot of things such as giving up smoking, losing weight, cutting down on alcohol, not buying things you don't need, etc., are symptomatic of an unsettled inner world.  If you started smoking as a dare who were you trying to please?  If you were rebelling why was that, and why are you still rebelling?  Do you drink to dull the pain of the day or life?  Do you shop to fill gaps in your life and clothes and stuff give you a temporary respite from the grinding reality of your every day life?  If you're in the wrong job or career, what were the decisions that got you to this uncomfortable point in your life, and are you in fact making better decisions nowadays?

These are the sort of questions I ask and why I prefer to begin the process of change a step beneath the surface of everyday life, in the truth.  Everyone has a truth and many people are aware that the real them doesn't see daylight.

Do you find yourself playing imaginary conversations in your head where you answer back, or make that killer point in the argument rather than standing their dumbstruck and agreeing with everything you disagree with?  Do you find yourself looking at the people in your life thinking "if only you knew the real me?" but never standing up and introducing them to that person?  Do you sit at work knowing that you were meant for better things than this, and then go out and job hunt for something exactly the same because it's part of your skill set?

The point is that if you really want to bring about meaningful change in your life that is real, permanent and effective you will need to find your inner truth and start living it and you can only do that by being it.

This means that you never again from this moment say yes when you mean no, agree with something you disagree with, or believe that the life you're living is the sum total of everything you're capable of.  Expunge the word 'deserve' from your life and don't deal with it.  There is no deserve (I sound like Yoda), there is only a life to be lived in the best way possible.

There is no rule that you have to be as unhappy as you can as often as possible, that good luck belongs to some people and not others, that success belongs to those born into money (try telling Richard Branson and Alan Sugar that!), or that fortune favours the brave.  Fortune favours the truthful, the determined, and those who don't quit!

So yes, please protect your health by stopping smoking and eating well, get another job if that's really the answer rather than a continuation of the same rut, cut down on comfort shopping, do whatever it takes to make the surface calmer.  But if you really want to live the life of your dreams then you must acknowledge what those dreams are and let the real you out into the daylight, and you can only do that be being fearlessly, determindly, truthfully yourself.

And never limit your power to daydream.  Happy thoughts are the quickest way to bring about deep internal change for the better.

Wishing you happy days, peaceful nights, and real change for the better

Deb Hawken
Author of "Who am I, Where am I, What is this Place?"
Out Spring 2014, email me to put your name on the pre-order notification list

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Existence of Negativity as Sometimes Misrepresented in Yin Versus Yang

I have one of those plasticised cards that describes Yin and Yang thus:

"The dualistic world of Yin/Yang is not seen as good versus bad.  Yang, represented by the white represents the creative principle, While Yin, represented by black, represents dissolution and return (to creation).  The forces are believed to be cyclical, moving and evolving into each other, represented by the white dot in black and the black dot in the white.  Yin and Yang can transform into one another just as night turns into day, thus symbolising the transition of opposites.  It is a Taoist symbol of the interplay of forces in the Universe."

Before we really get into it, some things, such as a death, are very hard to deal with and the how of it happening can be horrific as we all know.  Although I could try to apply some logic here I'm not going to because death is something we just have to cope with as best we can and it defies all logic and common sense.  All I can say is that if you're struggling at this time my heart goes out to you and I send you love and support to deal with it.  I just wanted to make it very clear that I'm not going there and death isn't part of this conversation.

This description really surprised me because when I was first introduced to Yin/Yang I was told that Yin was female and negative and Yang was male and positive, a sexist description that this modern world of ours really needs.

The other misunderstanding around Yin and Yang is that it represents negative and positive, and of course the translation in western society of negative and positive is often 'right' and 'wrong'.

We are lovingly scolded in positive thinking books for negative thinking, something that must be expunged, we not-so-lovingly tell each other off for negative thinking which drags other people down and definitely gets in the way of cosmic ordering and all that is good.  "Well what do they expect, they are such a negative thinker, it's not a wonder that everything goes wrong for them."

I wanted to look at negativity because we need to get it into perspective, especially in human thinking and relationships.  Firstly, by thinking about what negativity actually is.

For a start it's a word that we have given meaning and that meaning has an element of 'attraction' about it. You will often hear people say that we attract the negative, that it's down to our attitude that negative things happen.  It can sound and feel like a real blame game, which is of course a losers game.

 If you apply the word to a magnet it means that there are two poles and one without the other would not work.  However, that is not a bad thing,  It just is.  As the positive pole of the magnet just is.  Neither good nor bad, just the way a magnet works.  If you look at it in these terms positivity and negativity is a team situation that creates something useful.  If, however, you apply it to life you need to be very careful - for the sake of your sanity and coping skills.

So, I want to get you thinking about deciding for yourself what the word negative means and where you will choose to apply it, because being in a negative situation can feel like a punishment, especially if you have a period when everything seems to go wrong at once and you're wondering what the heck you did to deserve all this and why the Universe has it in for you.  This feeling can create such distress and unhappiness in you that you find it hard to see the good when it returns, as it normally does, and may accidentally trap yourself in a loop where you yourself create more unhappiness.  Seeing the light when it returns is critical to healing.

Do you feel that when a person is unkind to you that this is negative and you have attracted it?  Or would it be better to think of this in terms of extremely bad behaviour by a person who is not choosing to handle things in the best possible way with as much courtesy as possible?  We all have a choice how we handle difficult situations and if someone chooses to come to you in a way that is rude and disrespectful that is a choice.

Is a car accident a force of negativity, or is it a moment's inattention or misjudging of speed, distance or width, that everyone could have done without?  Or maybe an angry and aggressive person in charge of a car?

Is having horrible people in your life such as bosses, people who call themselves friends, and a proportion of social networking engagees a negative situation or a simple case of you staying put when things are not working?  The same goes for a job/career that you dislike.  Have you stumbled into negativity or inactivity?

I could go on, but just get into the habit of when something happens defining for yourself whether it is this ephemeral creation of the human psyche called negativity or whether it is a life event that can be dealt with.


Partly because I am questioning the idea that certain forms of what are known as negativity (unkindness, violence, war, aggression, gossip, spite, etcetera)  have to exist.  Do they really?  Is there a rule that says there must be negativity?  Is it true that we cannot appreciate the good without the bad, happiness without unhappiness and so on?  I can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt that I would have had no trouble appreciating happiness, abundance and joy if negativity did not exist.  Okay, I might not have known that I was happy but most certainly I would have been happy.

AND because your attitude is everything and the more positive your attitude the better your life will be, therefore the less you think about negativity and the more you think about solving difficulties the less negativity there will be in your psyche and therefore your life.  Rudeness will be rudeness, that's one negative gone, accidents will be accidents, there goes another, and so on.

If we wish to evolve as a race and bring about peace, harmony and abundance for all, the belief that there has to be bad in the world needs to diminish so that in turn we diminish the bad.

Let's Yin that negativity!


Thursday, 5 December 2013

How Long Has it Been?

It's a long, long time since I visited this blog and added anything to it, but that's for good reason, I am actually writing my book and I have a publisher interested in it.

Although it isn't great that I haven't blogged, what has been fantastic is that this is clearly the right time for the book, the structure is there, the words are there, and the love of writing is there.

I wanted to share this because for many years I've pushed myself to do things that I believe I should do, worrying why I don't, pondering whether the time is right, freaking out and wondering whether the time would EVER be right, and feeling a complete failure.  Yet when the time was right I was right there raring and ready to go!

I wanted to share this because I know that a lot of people have a dream yet find ways to avoid achieving that dream, and then worry themselves silly that they will procrastinate forever and never achieve anything.

I want to say to you if you are one of these people, stop worrying now!  The only thing you need to be scared of is if you let go of the dream, as long as you think about it, visualise it and believe in it, that dream will come in and you will achieve whatever it is you're dreaming of.

All you really need to ask yourself is - do I really want it?  As long as the answer is a resounding, doubtless, YES then you have nothing to worry about and just need to keep working towards manifesting the dream with plenty of happy daydreaming and regular visualisation.

One thing with this book was I never gave up on the dream and the dream never gave up on me, and if something is meant to happen then the dream will be a part of your very existence and you will do whatever it is when the time is right, the people to help are there, and the ducks are all in a row (and facing the same direction).

Dream on (and don't quit)

Deb Hawken
Doing after all the dreaming!
And author of "Who am I, Where am I, What is this Place?"
Email to pre order the book, out Spring 2014