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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Notes on Loving Yourself

From now on, I aim to write more frequent and shorter blogs.  

It is part of stepping into my magnificence.  Below is a link to the first blog introducing this idea of stepping into my magnificence - 

https://antoniarollsartistextraordinaire.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/stepping-into-magnificence-in-new-year.html 

And here is the last blog with a magnificence progress report -

https://antoniarollsartistextraordinaire.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/the-journey-to-magnificence-starts-with.html

I cannot do magnificence if I don't let it out, and you all, who read this, are stepping into your magnificences too.  It is harder to be magnificent alone, in splendid isolation.  We need each other, and part of the magnificence that we embrace is the courage to do and be it outside of our sitting rooms.  To tell ourselves and each other that that is what we are doing.  

As an emerging magnificent, here are some examples of the ways in which we may find ourselves greeting each other.

"Good morning!  I haven't seen you for a while!  How are you?  What are you doing these days?"

  • Answer 1 - "Morning.  I've been, you know, hiding.  I've had a cold, and, well, not been doing much.  Put on loads of weight but have just bought shares in Cadbury's.  Ha ha just got a crate of cream eggs as a thank you. Work's tough, kids are always complaining, though I don't know why, they've all got new iphones.  Doing OK, you know, just getting through." 

  • Answer 2 - "Oh hello!  Yes, I have been soooo busy, too busy, gosh, feet not touched the ground!  Can't imagine how I even got myself dressed this morning, meetings, projects, oh just a whirl of activity!  Ha ha ha, can you imagine, I haven't seen the children for a fortnight, and my boss wants me to go to Timbuktu AND I have to give four different conferences just this afternoon on four different topics! In America!  Must go!" 

  • Answer 3 - "Nice to see you again!  How are you?  I am stepping into my magnificence, it's an ongoing thing and so far, today, I have been quite magnificent.  You look great, what's going on in your life?"  

Which of the above, as an emerging magnificent, is you?  It takes concentration, and dedication, to remember what you are doing.  It is easy to fall into our usual patterns of  defence, denial and discouragement, our first encounter of the day may challenge us to feel inadequate, scruffy, ugly and awkward.  It may not, but if it does, this is the first test of channelling our magnificence.

Briefly, what is our magnificence?

Our magnificence, your magnificence, is the decision to love yourself.  Listen to Bob Marley here.  The You he talks about, for the purposes of this blog, is Yourself.  This is a love song you must sing to yourself.   Play it now and dedicate it from you, to you.





Notes on Loving Yourself

We know we must do this.  But what does it look like?  It is a lifelong commitment to getting to know yourself, warts and all, without judgement.  Without judgement.  Try this idea

meet yourself where you are, not where you would like to be.  

In our world, we understand that we must strive to be somewhere, be someone, look good, be successful, not get weary (we can be tired because that may indicate we are overworking and overworking is good), have all the answers, never be wrong, be a version of ourselves we just cannot seem to grasp.  To meet yourself where you are, is a powerful, gentle, coming home to yourself, if you do it without judgement.  After all, what is the point of judging yourself?  It keeps that smoke screen of perceived failure up so that you can feel despair without having to actually come back into yourself as you truly are, right now, right here, in all your vulnerability, and stand in your own space. 

Meeting someone where they are is what you may do to a friend with a problem that feels insurmountable.  Or your child who is lost in self doubt and fear about something you as a parent can see is getting out of perspective fast.  You see how you can apply it to yourself?

Meet yourself where you are, play Bob Marley again above, and take a deep breath.  That is where you are.  It is what it is, and it is fine.  Where you want to be, is a whole different thing, and though it is good to have an idea of where this place is, the judgement that we are hoping to step away from, will fire up that smokescreen of despair and fear again.  So just focus on the meeting yourself where you are for now.  It takes courage and you need to be affirmed for doing it.  We can't get to the top of the stairs until we acknowledge we are at the bottom of them.  Standing at the bottom of the stairs and feeling a failure, will not get you to the top.  You have to notice you are at the bottom, see how to move forward, and then begin the climb.

Perhaps the idea of your magnificence is too much for you.  But what if it is possible?  Remember again that if energy follows thought, and you decide to think that you are magnificent with a small m, perhaps that is a good start.  In the same way, if energy follows thought and you think you are rubbish, fat, can't make money, then can you see, that is what you will be?  

Play Bob Marley again, take a plunge, meet yourself where you are, give yourself a break, smile and tell yourself it is good to meet yourself again, and simply let that be enough.

Where you would like to be can happen later, once you have acknowledged that who and where you are right now, is good enough.  In fact, possibly, magnificent. 





Events coming up to which you are most welcome

Loss Conversations will include accompanying the dying, grief, bereavement, love life and hope.





Coming Home Workshops, coming back to ourselves.  In which we explore how we have become disconnected and homesick for ourselves. A short two minute description follows here




Two next workshops are - 

Sunday 8 April at My Sisters' House Arun and Chichester Women's Centre in Bognor Regis

Sunday 6 May at The Waltham House Studios in Bognor Regis

For details, descriptions, booking information follow the link below

http://www.antoniarolls.co.uk/events






 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Stepping into Magnificence - a progress report (love, life and a reality check)


"The journey to Magnificence starts with a single step"

and 


"My feet hurt"



We are all so very human. (Bring me some more Cheddars)


The journey into Magnificence isn't all plain sailing. What doesn't happen after having made the decision to step into my magnificence in my last blog -

  http://antoniarollsartistextraordinaire.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/stepping-into-magnificence-in-new-year.html

- is that suddenly, I am utterly magnificent.

Magnificence is a state of mind.  Everything is a state of mind.  I think this because having stated that this was my way forward, I fell ill, got spotty and became fat.  Before trying for magnificence, I imagined that it would make me look  different, I would glow, or walk a few centimetres from the ground;  I would emanate it.  It was a given that I would be different, and better, and everyone would wonder what was my secret.  Despite knowing that it doesn't really work like that, a large part of me just hoped that it would.  What happened was, I became ill before Christmas, stayed that way over New Year, and carried on until February.  Along with the health problems came bad skin, and because of the need to feel better, I ate fifteen good meals a day and decided to wear my pyjamas from now on as none of my clothes fit me any more.  This, I said to myself many times over, does not feel magnificent.

But it was.  It is. The magnificence I am stepping into is a deeper, more evolving state.  It would be wonderful if I morphed into Angelina Jolie, because we tend to think that is how magnificence works; it looks good, it feels good, it does good.  We like the idea of being the all round golden package, where in order to be it, we look it and then we can do it.  It is a bit like perfection.  In order to be magnificent, I must look magnificent, and then I can do magnificent.  Perfectionism is a bit like that, impossible to achieve, and always frustrating and disabling.

Here I am then, on my journey to magnificence.  I have stepped into it, as planned, on January 1 2018, only to find that my confidence was tested at once.

Question - How can I be magnificent if I am fat, spotty, and sitting on my sofa all day?

Answer - Because you just are. 

We are all just human, wonderfully human.  This is how it is.  We are not always, if ever, sleek and shiny, we do not have all the answers, we are not always right, and we make mistakes.  We cannot predict the future, we already have enough, we are vulnerable and we want to be loved.  Our bodies do the best they can for us, we are still alive and with that comes the possibility of making good choices along with the bad.  The fact that we are still here, still thinking, still breathing, is always a starting point for progress.  The fact that we are still here is a miracle.

Magnificence, stepping into magnificence is so much more about wisdom and love than it is about looking the part.  It is about understanding yourself, looking deeply at who you are and who you say you are.  Remember energy following thought?  That give us a responsibility to think well, of ourselves first and foremost, then of everyone else.  It is a huge and ongoing job, to become aware of just what we are thinking.  What we are thinking creates our reality, think about that.  Really, think about it and notice what those thoughts are.

Love and wisdom.  The gathering of a life's worth of experience and looking for ways to forgive, to love and to let go.  And often that life has experienced great pain, huge loss and deep sadness.  It has experienced rejection, illness, shame, injustice.  The way to magnificence is through all this, acknowledging it all, learning to practice love and acceptance, and finding humour, companionship and belonging wherever possible.  It is the courage to speak our truth, and for the purposes of magnificence, that truth is based, as best as we can, in love.  It is a journey of grace, and it does not happen over night.


Magnificence does not happen over night


Which brings me back to my sofa.  Sitting, sulking because having announced I was stepping into my magnificence, the halo I thought I would get had not happened.  My body was hurting, my skin felt bad, and even my hair didn't work.  And none of my clothes fit.  Damn. Even worse, I was less inclined than ever to love my neighbour as myself, everything was all wrong and I needed even more deep fried cheesy chips to cheer me up.  I had made a mistake.  Bring me another packet of Cheddars.  I need to think.

It isn't a mistake.  Magnificence comes from experience.  All experience is transient, and when this bit of experience is over, what I make of it is another step into, or out of, magnificence.  It may be the best thing for me to be longing to go forth and shine, only to be forced to experience sitting down and not shining.  It is about authenticity.  I was being asked - what is your magnificence all about?  Can you handle it?  It isn't all about being wonderful and having people think you are special.  It's about your vulnerability, your acceptance, your patience.

Fast forward to today, the beginning of March and my body doesn't hurt any more; I feel much better.  I have my energy back, I am grateful and I have a greater respect for my poor wonderful body that does it's utmost to do what it can for me.  I'm still a bit spotty, but that's OK.  In fact, it's neither here not there.  When I see my grandsons, they don't say my, Grandma, look at that spotty chin.  They throw their little arms around me and are simply delighted I'm there.


My own sweet spotty Grandma, says George

So this stepping into magnificence lark.  I am still learning, still a beginner.  But I am on the road! Intention is all, they say, and I have made my intention.  I am stepping into my magnificence, because whether I am fat or thin, spotty or not spotty, well or not well, life is just such a miracle, and all our experiences give us such wisdom, such grace, and such hope.  (Still wish I looked just a bit like Angelina Jolie)

I run two workshops into which I channel insights into magnificence - they are explained below, and they are open to all.  There is such a need for gentle, kind talking and creating together.



Coming Home Workshops




Next workshop Sunday 6 May 2018
Waltham House Studios, Town Cross Avenue, Bognor Regis PO21 2DS
9.30am to 4.00pm, eight places available per workshop.

How is that we wander so far from ourselves?  We find ourselves feeling lost, disconnected, on the outside looking in.  There is so much more to us than this, we feel, but we do not know how to find it.  How do we give our power away, and how do we learn to avoid that? The morning is spent exploring ways we have got lost, become homesick for ourselves, and how to come back home.  The afternoon is spent in playful creativity with Life Boards, and absolutely no creative experience is required.

Click on the link below the next workshop for all the details.




Quiet Spaces, Living and Dying




The next workshop is on Friday 16 March 2018
Waltham House Studios, Town Cross Avenue, Bognor Regis PO21 2DS
From 2pm to 4pm.  

In between our living and dying are the quiet spaces.  In this workshop we talk together about what it means to live and what it means to die.  What we fear in death, we fear in life too - and what we think of our lives has an influence on the way we die.  A good way to begin to think things through is to talk together about them.


Click here for details and booking information for both workshops.  I hope you will join us.

http://www.antoniarolls.co.uk/events



Afterword -


Feeling an awful lot better and happy to let magnificence take its time.