That lunchtime, as I walked past our Branch Manager's brand new 2017-Reg BMW5 to get to my 2002-Reg Citroen Saxo, I pondered on the question of career success. I could look back on times of success in my retail and sales career, with the company car, good salary and bonuses, yet I'd chosen to leave that pathway. I'd had the outer trappings of success but I'd felt empty inside and had no idea why. I didn't know it then but now I know that career pathway couldn't satisfy my soul.
So how do you determine a person's worth? Some Financial Advisors categorise clients as 'High Net Worth' if they have assets valued at more than £250,000. A company may decide an employee is worth a salary of £26,000 a year. An employment agency could set a person's worth at £8.40 an hour. How does a professional set their hourly client fee? Perhaps someone could be described as 'worth their weight in gold'. Or maybe each individual is actually priceless, and of inestimable value, as the unique creation and image of God. How then do you determine your own worth and value? Well this month I saw this question answered with one client after another, seeing different sides of the same coin so to speak.
So I said "How do you put up with this? Why don't you say something?" The reply was "Oh well, I just want a quiet life I suppose." I shook my head in disbelief and said "But you don't HAVE a quiet life! This is miserable!" The response was "Yeah, I know, but what can I do?" Living in anxiety and resentment, to avoid triggering someone else's emotional drama, is NOT the same as living in real peace. The price you pay for keeping your head down and your mouth shut is incalculable. You only have one life and there is more to it than just making it quietly to the grave.
People come for therapy or personal development out of either desperation or inspiration. Therapy is usually triggered by desperation. A personal development programme is more usually started by inspiration. In the UK, having therapy is still rather un-British, although a trend that is growing rapidly. Mainstream thought still seems to think it's weak to need help, or admit something is going wrong with your life. In my opinion, it takes courage to search for the right help and take that first step of turning up for an initial appointment. Many people now realise the NHS doesn't have all the solutions when it comes to finding root causes of illness and developing a healthy way of life.
Do you ever feel that no matter what you do, you just can't get it right? No matter how much effort you make, it just doesn't get any better? When an area of your life fails to bear fruit, for no obvious reason, it could be time to root out the deeper, unseen causes. I see a lot of people around me who avoid their deeper issues at all costs. Over time, this avoidance and denial costs them more and more. I see people in physical pain who complain because medical tests can't find any cause for their symptoms. I observe their fierce resistance to considering their own responsibility for dealing with their pain. I'm still amazed that so many people make no connection between physical illness and lack of rest. If an individual cannot comprehend so simple a cause, there is little hope of them making the connection between physical symptoms and emotional root causes. I feel very sad when I see people suffering because they refuse to go deeper and release their emotional pain, in order to help clear their physical and material problems. The thing is, their underlying wound probably wasn't their fault. They are carrying the pain and burden of false guilt.
Part 1 in this series was about laying the foundations for fulfilling your destiny. It included: 1. Nurture Your Health and Energy, 2. Establish Your Individuality, 3. Connect With Your Tribes and 4. Bring Out Your Identity. Part 2 went into more advanced concepts for those at intermediate levels of development and change.
5. Revel in Your Bliss, 6. Structure Your Dream Life, 7. Overcome Your Resistance &
8. Live in Your Personal Paradise. Finally, in Part 3, we explore the higher levels of awareness, which probably appeal to those who've been on a journey of spiritual growth for a few years, who may even be group leaders or holistic practitioners by now.
9. Allow Your Soul to Heal - ‘Healing of the Soul’
Once you reach a place in life that has a good degree of your personal Paradise on earth, you may need to give yourself some space. On the way to your destiny you had to overcome those obstacles, inner distractions and even some attacks along the way. Secure in the knowledge that things are going OK, you also have the confidence of looking back to see how much you’ve overcome. You have weathered the storms and can now drop your anchor and take some time out on the shores of peace.
Part 1 in this series was about laying the foundations for fulfilling your destiny. It included: 1. Nurture Your Health and Energy, 2. Establish Your Individuality, 3. Connect With Your Tribes and 4. Bring Out Your Identity. These foundational concepts would be familiar to people in the mainstream of holistic health, personal development and spiritual growth. In Part 2 we go into more advanced concepts, probably more suited to those at intermediate levels of development and change.
This Guide is a summary of the Pathway Balancing Journey, taking you through the higher levels of awareness that can lead you to your destiny and purpose. Every Step has been written down as I’ve worked with hundreds of people and their real life experiences. This material is a powerful source of received spiritual wisdom for your soul’s journey of embodiment and the discovery of who you are designed to be.
As I reached over to switch off the bedside lamp I suddenly felt a wave of pain shoot across the middle of my back. I must have strained something the day before when I was gagging over an in date, but decidedly dodgy, raw egg. So I decided to lie down on the floor in the Alexander Technique posture, to let my back settle and realign the spine and muscles. Oh my goodness! It was like random fireworks of pain and muscle spasms shooting all over the middle of my back! I could barely breathe. No matter how I lay or relaxed or breathed, the pain kept firing. Then I wondered how I'd get up again.
This Christmas season, remember to find balance in your life by dropping into a place of peace. The Winter Solstice, or Midwinter's Day, occurs at 22:23 on Friday 21st December this year. The natural energies of the sun and earth are at their lowest ebb at this point. In Chinese Medicine, this winter period is described by the Water Element and is associated with peace, stillness and storing up energy. Take time to rest now.
The medical definition of shock is not what I expected. I remember discovering this years ago when doing an obligatory First Aid course to comply with the Craniosacral Therapy Association (CSTA) requirements. A paramedic explained it's all about blood loss or a dangerous reduction in blood flow throughout the body. The symptoms include dizziness, coldness, shallow or rapid breathing, fainting and even collapse or death. Physical shock can come from a serious bodily injury, or from an electric shock, which can cause a loss of consciousness. Emotional shock is the result of extreme mental distress following a traumatic experience of any kind.
"There's another little chick hatched..." I used to say, as each Pathway Balancing Kinesiology (PBK) student arrived on the morning of a training day. I picked up the phrase from my older sister many years ago. She used to say it as each of my nephews emerged for breakfast. It exemplified the joy of seeing the face of someone that you were delighted to see, as you started a new day together. Later in the training course the students picked up on this phrase as referring to eagles, as they each grew in stature and power on the way to being qualified to help others towards health and growth, with the tools in Pathway Balancing. Just as eagle chicks start life by hatching from an egg, we too sometimes make a fresh start by coming out of our shell. This month's theme among clients has been just that, with varying degrees of stuckness, frustration, inspiration, courage, freedom and strength to take new steps towards a new life.
Have you ever heard someone being described as needy? Maybe you've even heard the technical term of co-dependency, where you have TWO needy people in a relationship with each other. But what makes a person a needy one, rather than someone with genuine needs? And if we can't depend on anyone else, surely we'll be very vulnerable and isolated? The term co-dependency originally grew out of work with alcoholics, where it was observed that they often had a partner who enabled them to continue drinking. Then, in cases of morbid obesity, it seems that the overweight person often has a 'feeder' that keeps them fat. The most stunning case I've seen is the 'sofa lady' of Atlanta USA, who had sat on the sofa so long that her skin had grown into it and she couldn't be removed. The medics had to take the side off her house and transport her to hospital on the back of a lorry - sofa and all! So how did she get to the kitchen or shop for her food without anyone noticing the state she was in and getting her some help? She had a boyfriend.
So many people in life can look back at times of great success, real breakthrough and times of so much joy and promise but now things are different. For a whole month at Pathway Balancing, every kinesiology client was balanced on the Journey at Level 1 'The Individual', including me in my own session.
Many people in therapy, personal development or spiritual growth circles talk about peeling away the layers of the onion. An onion has a distinct outer thin skin, a tougher outer layer under that and then lots of fresher layers underneath. Having a course of therapy or development work can start with a surface layer, or mask, which hides the tougher problem underneath.
In 2017 I was a participant on a seven month long course called Celebrate Recovery. It was the third year I'd taken the course, which is run by my local church KingsGate Community Church. As the name suggests, it's about celebrating our progress in living our best life today and in the future. It's about moving on and overcoming life's hurts, habits and hang ups, whatever they may be for any individual. The course is based on accepting God's grace to release you from the past, because if you could have cracked your problems in your own strength, you would have done so by now. All sorts of people attend the course: Christians and non-Christians, men and women, youngsters and mature people. All you need is a desire and willingness to change things for the better, then just turn up once a week and follow the course through to it's end. Simple enough but the fact that there are people who will attend such a course - or settle in to a regular series of therapy sessions, or read books on personal development - and people who don't, makes a whole world of difference.
You may have heard phrases like 'This is soul destroying' or 'It's a soulless place' but do you know if you have a hole in your own soul? A group of friends recently asked me "What exactly is this therapy that you do?" At work I was asked "So your therapy - is it massage then?" Sometimes I wish I could just say "Aromatherapy" and everyone would just get what I mean. If I say "Kinesiology" or "Craniosacral Therapy" people usually reply "What??" although occasionally someone has heard of one or other of these. Recently, in reply to my group of friends and my new work colleagues, I've said "It's called Pathway Balancing. The 'Balancing' is your energy level and the 'Pathway' is your best way to live your life". This seemed to be something people could relate to and ask a few more questions to clarify their understanding.
People often embark on a course of therapy or personal development because of a sense of something being broken or something missing. Further along the way, this same problem has now become the best thing that could have happened. The years will pass anyway so we may as well choose to make every day a better one and head for the best personal vision we can come up with.
When I was a part-time administrator at an Estate Agents, the Lettings Manager passed round a little book called 'Who Moved my Cheese?' by Dr Spencer Johnson. It was a hilarious little tale about some mice who lived in a maze where they were fed on cheese everyday. They were all perfectly happy until one day when the cheese suddenly wasn't there anymore.
There are growing numbers of people like me and you who are looking for and finding a better way to live our daily lives. The search could start with a just a relaxation treatment of some sort, or perhaps, like I did, the quest begins simply with a food supplement to help with sleep. Others go all out as spiritual seekers, reading books, scouring the Internet, joining groups, attending courses or exploring modern day churches. As I see Christmas decorations going up earlier every year - November lately - I wonder if more people are simply desperate for some sort of meaning to their lives, something more satisfying than the High Street retailers can offer.