Personal Spiritual Transformation and Development
St Stephens Practice, 21a St Stephens Road
Norwich Norfolk NR1 3SP
Contact:
+44 (0) 7901 655655

The True Captain of Your Ship

Picture this. It’s a fine summer’s day. Out to sea, you’re enjoying your sailboat. With a gentle, comfortable breeze all is well. But suddenly, you notice fast approaching rolling dark clouds. What do you do? Do you turn back? Turn into the wind? Immediate action needs to happen. A decision to be made.

While knowledge and experience will make your decision easier, what if you don’t know what you are doing? What if you never paid attention to learning? Liked to wing it, ad-hock? Didn’t think it necessary? Preferring to learn through doing. How will this affect what happens?

The outcome of your next effort has a lot to do with what you feel important in life. For it is our values that will adjust those sails.

What are values?

Values are a major part of our belief system. As our guiding principle, they give a strong sense of identity. In this instance, perhaps one person values safety. So, without hesitation, they turn back. But for another, it may be courage. Up for a challenge they turn into the oncoming winds. Ultimately, along with experience, decisions are made based on what matters to us.

Where do these guiding principles come from?

Stemming from the conditioning of early childhood they reflect teachings and experiences of upbringing. A parent will teach their child what they know. What they hold in value. But, as we age, they can change. Values refine.

Going back to our sailboat, maybe your Dad showed you how to sail. Taught you the ‘ropes’. But what if he took chances that you now question? How do you progress? How does his experience reflect in your decision-making? As we become more of who we are, the natural process of self-evolution begins. Changing, a new guiding system is developed. One which reflects up-to-date values reflecting our unique self.

But there is more. We’ve talked about the sails, but what about the rudder?

Our core values. These do not change. For they reflect ethics. Rules of conduct that are based on a moral code. So, while we can hone our skills through greater awareness of what makes us – us. Evolve, embrace, and refine new values that better suit. Always it is the rudder of core values that we respect way too much to change. Why would we? For ultimately, it is the rudder that steers the ship.

       

Battery Recharge

Last week I struggled. With a few physical ailments, external stresses, and of course – lockdown, my battery went flat. When it came time to prepare for my radio show I felt sorely tempted to cancel. Yes. I felt like I couldn’t get from here to there. 

Can anyone else relate? Feeling low? Lacking motivation? Suffering from a lack of spark?

It’s bound to happen. As social animals, we feed off each other’s energy. When we meet another we spark off one another. Batteries charge whether through, a brief chat, a good belly laugh, in-depth conversation. But now with the need for social distance energy feeds are few and far between. 

How does this affect well-being?

Imagine deep inside of us is a vast sea. With a lack of external activity, we lose footing and start to fall into ourselves. Thinking about what we are thinking about. Then feeling what we are thinking about…feeling some more. Before we know we start to sink. The further down, the further away from the world around us. We end up lost in the world within.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

For me, the change happened with a decision. I could have decided as I can’t be bothered, didn’t feel I had anything to offer, not do a live show. Choose a replay. Or I could choose to do the show regardless. I chose the latter. Knowing that any change, big or small will create a shift. Giving me energy and lifting my mood and mindset. 

For it is in the action taking the spark ignites. Why? Because we are choosing to change our state of mind. Energy follows in the wake of the arrow. By doing the show I felt my energy boost. Which inspired me to take further action, charging my battery in the process. What we focus on we get more of.

There is a reason why we need one another. Yes, it ignites but as well, it stop us from drowning deep inside. An exchange of sparks lifting us up and out of the darkness of the self.

I am glad I pushed myself to take action. Why wouldn’t I? A flat car battery affects the whole car, making it of no use. While sourcing a pair of jump leads from another car soon puts you back in the drivers seat.

 

Windows of Yourself

The other day I had rude awakening. Looking up from his desk my husband asked “I thought the window cleaner came today? He did a lousy job. They’re still dirty!” Hmm.. The window cleaner had  just finished. And as always, doing a grand job cleaning the outside of the windows… What is the lesson of the Window?

Windows serve a few functions –

  1. They let light in.
  2. We can see out.
  3. Outside can see in.

But what happens when the inside remains dirty? It filters the light.

What does this teach us about ourselves?

By focusing only on outward appearance, neglecting inner house-work (personal growth) we see the world through the fog of ourself.

Those who wear glasses know how they require constant cleaning. It is always a bit of a shock when we hold them to the light. See how filthy they really are. But as well, that lovely sensation of putting on recently cleaned glasses. Wow! Such clarity. Now imagine, just cleaning the outside not the inside. One side polished. The other filmed with greasy fingerprints.

How would this effect your vision?

Hugely. It will impair it.

What if we never take the time and effort to get to know ourselves better? Do a bit of internal housekeeping? Let go of out-dated conditionings? Grow, refine and polish us?

We can spend all kinds of money rejigging what we look like. Change the nose, pull up the jowls, dye the hair, filter social media photos.  As we focus on appearance we think others will see us shine. But remember that filter of self-neglect? We’ll  just continue to view life through a dirty fog. As well, affecting how people see us. Or not see us – clearly. Remember windows works both ways. 

We are not just an image of who we are. We are so much more. By neglecting self-awareness, no matter what actions we employ to make the outer-self presentable, it will never quite work. Why?  Because we remain mismatched. What shines on the outside is dull on the inside. The good thing about inner work is once you start, you end up excited about positive change. Just like washing windows. You’re motivated to do more.

PS – I am off to clean my windows.. Much like personal growth it’s not difficult to do. I guess I just needed a reminder. Paying a window cleaner to only do the outside is an illusion.