How you ever read a book and been so inspired, so excited that you just have to tell everyone about it? That the principles written in the book resonate so deeply that you take action?
I have been tinkering around with a couple of blog posts in the last few days because I have read books that have inspired me. Before I stopped, gathered the inspiration and started writing, I had already moved on to the next one, thinking I’ll write it down later or I’d jot down some thoughts and think that should be enough to prompt me to remember. I read really fast but don’t seem to have a photographic memory. Unfortunately that made it really hard for me to put heart into the posts and the information seemed disjointed and flat. So no blog posts were sent out.
Last night I went to a book launch of an author who’s book I read over Christmas. I was enthralled by this book and I love the author, Melissa Ambrosini. I’ve got her meditations, signed up to the Goddess Group sessions (I highly, highly recommend these) and have seen her before promoting more health-centred subjects than heart centred.
I find her authentic and truly someone who can kick my ass into gear. It was after one of her Goddess Group sessions that I truly believed that I could cultivate a morning routine. It has now been two months and not only am I still meditating every morning but I find I can also fit in at least fifteen minutes of yoga and some days even a bit of writing before getting the kids breakfast and ready for school. I’m not getting up any earlier, I am just using my time more productively and truly believe that I can fit it all in.
As I said, I read Mastering Your Mean girl over the Christmas break. I loved it. It combined all the principles she preaches but goes into them in more detail, with more real life examples. Also if you are thinking of buying it buy it in hard copy – it is a beautiful, beautiful book and an example of a publishing house really investing in the aesthetic of a book as well as the content and I find that it keeps me going back to the book because I keep it somewhere visible as a display.
After I finished reading it, it was New Year. I thought I’d get to writing about it but I was on holiday, out of routine and enjoying myself. It was quite easy to forget the principles of the book and move onto the next book for some more inspiration. I kept it out though as I wanted to go back to it and not only write about it but re-gather the feeling of excitement and potential change I could create from it.
Luckily for me Melissa did a book tour and last night I was lucky enough to be in the room with 130 other women for this sold out event. We were given a bliss ball (Peanut butter – so good!!) and a choice of cold-pressed juice.
Melissa entered dancing and asked everyone to stand up and dance. As an introvert (who loves dancing) but was not at all prepared for this, I felt a bit shy and self-conscious and weird. Obviously it was to loosen us up a bit and some people really got into it. Then she talked us through a meditation which felt more in my comfort zone.
The mood now mellowed and everyone was more in tune with each other and Melissa. She then went on to discuss her love over fear principal and talked about how we hold onto things that don’t serve us.
We tell ourselves stories and create realities that are not really realities at all. We take a moment in time, an event that occurred, or something someone said to us and play it over and over again in our heads, believing that because of this it confirms our suspicions that we are not worthy, we are not enough, we are never going to be thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough.
She asked us to write these down, what stands out as pivotal moments in our lives, that we need to let go of. She then asked us to share. A lot of us shrunk down in our chairs, not wishing to share this intimate, life-altering information and the ones who did I found had some lighter stuff on the list that maybe wasn’t so intimate.
For some reason then I felt close to tears. Why did I hold onto this stuff? Why do our thoughts (mean girl) rake over the past looking for areas of hurt and just re-live them over and over again to keep us down? To keep us from moving forward with our greatest selves?
I saw one girl go to the bathroom and thought she might have been crying. These thoughts do not just affect the people in the room with us last night. They affect every single one of us because we believe that not only that we are our thoughts but that they are us. If we think it, it must be true.
The mood got lighter as Melissa dived into her mantra – her love over fear belief. That in any moment we can choose fear. Someone asked what if you felt you couldn’t do things with love like, “Raising your children” for example. Everyone laughed but it is a serious question. How can we choose to get up every morning, take them to school, make lunches, clean up after them, run ourselves into the ground – and still do it with love? Especially as Melissa was saying that we shouldn’t do things we don’t want to do – “If its not a hell yes than its a NO!”.
Because we love our children, because we will love the end result (an educated, well rounded, independent individual) and because we love all those moments in between – we can choose love in any of those situations. We can choose to embrace it or complain about it. We are not taking our children to school because we “should” we are taking them because we want them to learn, we want them to grow, to make friends and lets face it – because we need some “me time”.
My practice of trying to be happy in any situation is a good example of the choice of love or fear. My iPhone got wet the other day. It was not looking good for future communications from it. But instead of feeling guilty, devastated, unhappy, annoyed, angry. I got on with my day, doing everything I could for its recovery. We can get up everyday resenting that we have to take our children somewhere or we can be happy about it. The choice is ours.
Melissa also pointed out that if you are not doing things for yourself then it is easy to feel resentful. The more I make sure I am getting to yoga, practicing meditation, get out for a drink with my girlfriends, go on date nights, get my hair done and do things just for me, the more likely I am to be happy to do things for my children.
The opposite is also true, if you are taking your children to a million activities instead of getting to them yourself, if you are on the PTA and it chews up your free evenings, if you spend your weekends ferrying around kids to birthday parties, instead of having some family time, then you need to start saying No.
It’s a great word and it’s there to be used when you know in your heart that you don’t want to do something. You know that sinking feeling? That’s the one that lets you know to say No I can’t go to that committee meeting, I won’t make it to swimming with the kids this term and I definitely can’t take the kids to three birthday parties on Saturday. No.
Another lady spoke about her elderly parents and all the “shoulds” that come with this territory, but ultimately, like your kids, you are performing these talks with love for your parents. So either say no (you do have a choice and if it came down to it you would probably find yourself choosing yes, even if you think its a no) or choose to do the tasks with love. And choose the ones that mean the most. You don’t have to do everything.
It was a beautiful evening and it was capped off by one of the most eerily poignant group exercises I have ever done. Melissa had us divide into two groups. The first (ours) stood in the middle and closed our eyes. Soft music was played and the other group were asked to whisper things in our ears that they wish they had been told when they were younger.
“You are perfect.” “You are enough.” “Follow your dreams.” “You don’t have to be like everyone else.”
These statements whispered quietly in my ear as I had my eyes closed seemed to sink into my brain like nothing I have ever experienced before.
Quite the grand finale.
It was such a beautiful evening and really worth going to these things to punctuate the importance of words in a book. I wish all great authors ran seminars like these – I got so much out of it.
Now its time for me to re-read the book, follow the meditations that compliment each chapter and take on this book as if I was studying for an exam. It is after all a better life that will be the outcome.