The best Christmas present you can buy yourself in 2020…

If you have the cash, there is only one thing I would recommend that you buy yourself this Christmas. And if you don’t have money to spare – find it, beg, borrow or steal. Treat yourself to a spiritual mentor for 2021 and your life will change forever.

Or course, you won’t know it at the time. Your mentor will no doubt irritate you and you’ll think that you’ve wasted your money on a crock of New Age shite. And if you are anything like me, you’ll unearth some uncomfortable emotions and wonder why you forked out hard earned cash to feel worse than you did before.

That’s what happened when my husband bought me a spiritual mentor for the whole of 2019. It took until October that year, before it dawned on me that it had actually been a good thing.

I’ve been doing some PR for a well known wellness brand and talking about the success stories of members, has reminded me to look at how far I’ve come. It’s like gradual weight loss, or the growth of your children; you don’t notice it until one day your trousers don’t fit or the kids tower over you.

I am not the person I was before I embarked on a spiritual journey with Marion Young in January 2019. I am much more myself. I’m less angry, better a setting boundaries, more confident and most importantly, I see the magic in life. A bird or a leaf can stop me in my tracks. I also marvel at how my heart keeps on beating with no effort whatsoever on my part and I’ve learned that I am the creator of my own reality. There is nobody else to blame. The buck stops with me. If I want a better life, I have to think it into existence.

My phone was switched off for most of yesterday as I did an online silent retreat with Marion. As part of it, she asked us to write any realisations into our journals. I used the same book she gave me at the start of my journey in 2019 and leafed back to the beginning of our time together and saw that I had written: I don’t believe in any of this, it’s nonsense, it’s too hard, I can’t do it, I think I might quit.

I had forgotten how frustrated I was. I was expecting instant Zen. I’m not a delayed gratification kind of person. It was a slow and often painful process.

No part of the spiritual journey is good or bad though. It is a process and once you set the intention to connect with whatever you like to call that force of energy that flows through everything, you start to change, second by second. You cannot help it. You have asked the universe to show itself and it will, immediately, but you will only notice when you are ready.

I have not sprouted a halo. I still get caught up in my own ego and allow old patterns to overwhelm me. I find myself falling back into old patterns – wanting to please people, worrying about what they think of me, doubting my abilities and manufacturing as much stress as I can single handedly ladle into my life. It doesn’t matter, because I know that even when I am not feeling the boundless love that is at the heart of everything (which I discovered during a 4 day silent retreat), I know it is there and that I can connect to it whenever I wish. All I have to do is take a deep breath, let go and ask it to find me.

It enveloped me yesterday during the day-long silent retreat. I had expected the whole exercise to go horribly wrong on account of the fact that there are five of us in the house and we’re all noisy. I realised that I am the instigator of the noise. You couldn’t hear a pin drop on Friday.

Because I had given myself permission to step off the hamster wheel, my stress fell away instantly. By lunchtime, I felt calm and clear, yet warm and fuzzy at the same time. It’s a bit like having an alcoholic drink, only it leaves you feeling more clear-headed, creative and focused than ever. It’s something I will never, ever tire of and trust me, it is better than sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll or whatever it is you choose to anaesthetise yourself with. In my case, sugar.

The great thing is, this journey NEVER ends. There is always something new to discover about myself and the world around me. Magic is everywhere and once you’ve connected with your soft, golden centre – think of it like one of those Locket cough sweets. It is hard on the outside, but once you’ve sucked it enough, the walls crumble to reveal a sweet and oozing golden core. I’m not really sure about this as a metaphor, but bear with me…when you have touched the liquid gold inside, you see it in everything and everyone. Even the really angry people who spend their days venting on Facebook (I still get drawn into these spats occasionally).

If hiring a spiritual mentor for a year sounds too risky or expensive, at least dip your toe in the water and try something. There are plenty of free meditations online, along with courses, webinars and blogs. There are lots of great books to choose from too. I love a bit of Eckhart Tolle or Genevieve Davis. Don’t just take my word for it, find someone or something that really speaks to you. And if you are at a loss as to where to turn or what to do/read, just ask the universe. It has a habit of giving you exactly what you need at the the right time.

Here’s to a wonderful Christmas and healthy 2021. Apologies for my lack of blogging. The energy just wasn’t there, as Marion would say. However, I do have TWO books going into Waterstones in February next year. They are called Retreat and Holistic Healing and are published by Summersdale publishing. I wrote them in lockdown and can’t quite believe it happened, although I don’t know why I say this because at the start of 2020 I asked the universe to help me write books on wellbeing and within days, somebody asked me to do just that.

Here’s to a magical 2021!

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