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A few years ago I decided to start a new career as a performer. I used to be a biology teacher but couldn't face walking around in a white coat all day teaching children who didn't want to learn. Actually it wasn't so much the children as the system cause I think all children want to learn - they just don't all want to learn in schools. Anyway I now work as a Life and Executive coach. Work is perhaps not the right word because it never feels like work. I just love to see people grow and change. I love it when they peel of the layers of limiting beliefs and find their true self. And I make some great frends in the process. I've re-discovered my writing and have published two poetry books and now working on 2 CDs, a novel, a book of short stories and talking to someone about a collaoration on a film script. That should keep me busy for a whild. Oh and I do bellydance.
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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Blog has moved

I've now integrated my blog into my website at http://www.predencia.co.uk/ moving closer to an integrated me. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Lesson 51 - Review 1

Beginning with today we will have a series of review periods. Each will cover five of the ideas already presented, starting with the first and ending with the fiftieth. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the related comments. Do this as often as possible during the day. Try to do the exercises whereever you are, even if it's not quiet. The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you, and to heal distress and turmoil. This is not done by avoiding them and seeking a haven of isolation for yourself.

Today's review covers the following ideas

1. Nothing I see means anything

2. I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me

3. I do not understand anything I see

4. These thoughts do not mean anything

5. I am never upset for the reason I think

Hard to believe that 50 days have gone by already, and that these ideas were so challenging at the beginning. I've not really been practicing these today, other than beginning and end of day. What's been with me constantly is an idea from lesson 42

'Nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant.' It is my contant reminder that life is exactly as it should be for what I need to learn.

I haven't written much today, mainly because I didn't go to bed till 4 am today, was writing till after 3 and then needed to wind down a bit. Wrote nearly 6000 words and took the wordcount to just under 60000. It's looking very possible that the other 30000 could be written by the end of the month - but would need another few long nights.

Forgot to add my friend's link to her book last night

http://www.amazon.co./dp/B007B2EBA0 'Daddy's Girl' by Lucie Riley

More pics for grey days. (Enterprise Beach - Barbados)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Lesson 50 - Sustained by God

'I am sustained by the love of God.'

Here is the answer to every problem that will confont you, today and tomorrow and thoughout time. In this world you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, 'protective' clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the 'right' people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers.

Only the love of God will protect you in all circumstances. It will lift you out of every trial, and raise you high above all the perceived dangers of this world into a climate of perfect peace and safety.

For ten minutes, twice today, morning and evening, let the idea for today seep deep into your consciousness. Repeat it, think about it, let related thoughts come to help you recognise it's truth, and allow peace to flow over you like a blanket of protection and surety.

What an amazing lesson, what an amazing day. I handled every situation in the knowledge that I am sustained by the Love of God. The dentist actully commented on how calm I was as he poked, prodded and wedged guey stuff into my mouth to take impressions of my teeth. I jumped the queue at the bank as someone showed me how to use the new machine that allows you to deposit cash and cheques and get a reciept. Tenant issues that could have been difficult were sorted very quickly, carpet cleaning was rebooked quickly and easily, and joy of all joys I wrote over twenty pages tonight, nearly 6000 words. It was just flowing like a tap. Completing the 90,000 words by the end of the month is looking tantalisingly possible.

Mind you, as well as doing these exercises, I'm also doing an hour of mainly ascension based meditation each day.

My friend Camella published her novel today on Amazon. Congratulations. Thought a lot about Barbados today, hence the bright flowers, as it was a pretty grey day here.
Sunday, 19 February 2012

Lesson 49 - Hearing voices

'God's voice speaks to me all through the day.'

It is quite possible to listen to God's Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way. The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganised and highly uncertain. The part that is listening to the Voice of God is calm, always at rest, and wholly certain.

We will need at least four 5-minute practice sessions today, and more if possible. We will try actually to hear God's voice reminding you of Him and of your Self. Listen in deep silence, be very still and open your mind. Go past the raucous shrieks and and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your external links with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. You do not live there .

Repeat today's idea frequently, with eyes closed when you can, realising that you are inviting God's Voice to speak to you.

I was exhausted after all day at the theatre yesterday, but, as my body was crying out for exercise I went to the gym before going to the city centre to meet a client for a coaching session. Today's lesson wasn't particularly challenging for me, as I feel I already engage in practices that have been opening up the channel to hearing God's voice more clearly, i.e. meditation, deep breathing, prayer, and recently I've given up alcohol. I am working on being as clear a channel as possible. Today's lesson was a great opportunity to remain focused on listening. Coaching is such a wonderful occupation, because it forces you to listen to your clients, and, as they are also expressions of God, creates the opportunity to hear the voice of God directly.

While I waited for our meeting I did some people watching in the Bull Ring, particularly the children on the trampoline. Had planned to go to the storytelling cafe at the Ikon Gallery but was too tired. Listening to the body.

Novel a little slow today, but moving.
Saturday, 18 February 2012

Lesson 48 - Nothing to fear

'There is nothing to fear.'

The idea for today simply states a fact. It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. In truth there is nothing to fear. It is very easy to recognise this. But it is very difficult to recognise it for those that want illusions to be true.

Today's practice periods will be very short, very simple and very frequent. Merely repeat the idea as often as possible. You can use it with your eyes open at any time and in any situation. It is strongly recommended, however, that you take a minute or so whenever possible to close your eyes and repeat the idea slowly to yourself several times. It is particularly important that you use the idea immediately, should anything disturb your peace of mind.

The presence of fear shows that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear show that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognise as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.

It was great to have such an easy lesson I thought this morning as I read it, especially as today was the performances of Romance is Dying. The run throughs and tech runs were nail bitingly close to the matinee performance, which played to an audience of approx forty. The evening show played to a packed house (the theatre actually oversold tickets and some people had to be turned away) All the actors really raised their game and put on a good show.

My peace was disturbed by a tenant not giving the correct notice, but not for long as I repeated today's lesson. My peace was disturbed when I found a parking ticket on my car when I went back a few minutes late to put more money on it. I repeated today's lesson. One person who'd booked to come to the show pulled out, I repeated today's lesson. I am realising that fewer and fewer things are disturbing my peace. I was also repeating yesterday's lesson, 'God is the strength in which I trust,' and the lesson from the day before, 'God is the Love in which I forgive.' Together they are a powerful set of affirmations, totally grounding and liberating.
Friday, 17 February 2012

Lesson 47 - God is strength

'God is the strength in which I trust.'

If you are trusting in your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?

Of yourself you can do none of these things. To believe that you can is to put your trust where trust is unwarranted, and to justify fear, anxiety, depression, anger and sorrow. Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe? Yet who can put his trust in strength and feel weak?

Today we will try to reach past your own weakness to the Source of real strength. Four 5-minute practice periods are necessary today. As usual, repeat the idea, then spend a minute or two searching for situations in your life which you have invested with fear, dismissing each one by telling yourself:

'God is the strength in which I trust.'

Now try and slip past all concerns related to your own sense of inadequacy. In the latter phase of the practice period, try to reach down into your mind to a place of real safety. You will recognise that you have reached it if you feel a sense of deep peace, however briefly. There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.

These lessons are so very timely. There was much in my life today that could have thrown me off balance and make me feel inadequate. In addition to the four practice periods, I was constantly reminding myself that God is the strength in which I trust. Its amazing what an anchor it was.

I had a deep massage today, with some reflexology. I think from now on I'm going to include at least 15 minutes of reflexology in my treatment regime. It was very balancing, and much needed as I haven't had an acupuncture treatment in a while.

Ideas for the novel came flooding in, particularly where to end this first one and where to begin the sequel. Although I only wrote 2,500 words today, I spent some time working out the new structure. The words are flowing, and, had I not gone to the dress and technical rehearsal for Romance is Dying, I would have written more. Tomorrow I'm all day at the theatre, offering support and advice.

I watched the video recording of the Valentine day reading from Dare to Love, and for the first time could see the benefit of an audio book. In the meantime I'll record extracts for publicity purposes, especially as I spoke to Camella today and she said the articles in The Nation in Barbados are very tastefully done. She's been keeping the papers for me. So much to do. So much guidance needed. Now more than ever I need to put my trust in God.
Thursday, 16 February 2012

Lesson 46 - God is Love

'God is the Love in which I forgive'
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Those who forgive are therefore releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness, are binding themselves to them. As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.
Yet although God does not forgive, His love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness. Fear condemns and love forgives.
Today's exercise is similar to yesterday's, three 5-minute practice periods. Repeat the idea with eyes closed, spend a minute or two searching your mind for those whom you have not forgiven. It does not matter 'how much' you have not forgiven them. You have forgiven entirely or not at all. It is safe to say that anyone you do not like is a suitable subject. Mention each one by name and say:
'God is the Love in which I forgive you (Name)
After you've applied the idea to all those that come to mind, tell yourself
'God is the Love in which I forgive myself'
Use the idea in any situation you feel you need to during the day.
I am overwhelmed by the power of this lesson. I was working with forgiveness with a client today, a major issue in her life, an exercise which we begun last week and is beginning to bear fruit in terms of finding some inner peace. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself when I searched my mind and could find no-one that I really disliked. However, by the end of the evening I was personally challenged with one person, not from a point of dislike, but from a point of irritation. I'm putting it down to the fact that I was tired, which raises the question, can we only be loving when we are fresh and free from fatigue?
Physically and emotionally drained today, looking forward to my massage tomorrow. No brain space to write the novel tonight.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lesson 45 - God is the Mind

'God is the mind with which I think.'

Today's idea holds the key to what your real thoughts are. They are nothing that you think you think, just as nothing that you think you see is related to vision in any way. There is no relationship between what is real and what you think is real. Nothing that you think are your real thoughts resemble your real thoughts in any respect. Nothing that you think you see bears any resemblance tho what vision will show you.

You think with the Mind of God. Therefore you share your thoughts with Him, as he shares His with you. They are the same thoughts , because they are thought by the same Mind. Where, then, are your real thoughts? Today we will attempt to reach them.

The three 5 minute practice periods will take the same general form as yesterday's idea. We will attempt to leave the unreal and seek for the real. We will deny the world in favour of truth. And we will also try to remember that we cannot fail in doing what He would have us do. Begin the exercise by repeating the idea to yourself with closed eyes. Then spend a fairly short period thinking a few relevant thoughts of your own, keeping the idea in mind. After you've added 4 or 5 thoughts of your own idea repeat it again and tell yourself gently

'My real thoughts are in my mind. I would like to find them.'

Take a minute or two to repeat the idea throughout the day.

When I read today's lesson (and this is only a small fraction of it) I really felt I needed a degree in gobbledygook, but I kept reminding myself that I didn't have to understand it, I just had to do the exercises. Interestingly, as the day went on, and I had to remind myself on a number of occasions that God is the Mind with which I think, I found myself questioning whether God would be bothered with some of the thoughts I was thinking. Would he let petty irritations go or would he give them valuable time? Would he let thoughts about insecurities occupy valuable space in His mind. Gradually I became more and more aware of when I was thinking ungodly thoughts, and let them slide on out of my mind. Two things happened as a result. 1) I let things go that I couldn't do anything about, and 2) I took action on things I'd been putting off for a while. There is still so much rubbish getting in the way of me being a pure channel. I hope today's exercise helped to clear some of it away.

Other things that happened today. I reached the 200 page mark in the new novel, 50,000 words. I'm really enjoying it now.

Discovered Dare to Love in being featured in The Nation newspaper in Barbados over the next three weeks. Hope my friends have saved me a copy of the papers.

I went to see a friend tonight who was watching a programme on childbirth while dressing her Maltipoo dog Luka in his Christmas hoodie and booties. I think she's ready for a baby
Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lesson 44 - God is my light

'God is the light in which I see.'

Today we are continuing the idea from yesterday, adding another dimension to it. You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. In order to see, you must recognise that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.

Today we are going to attempt to reach that light with three 3-5 minute practice periods, similar to that used yesterday. Begin by repeating the idea with your eyes open, then close them and repeat the idea several times. Then try to sink into your mind letting go of every interference and intrusion by quietly sinking past them. Try to observe your passing thoughts without involvement, and slip quietly by them. If you are doing the exercise correctly you should experience some sense of relaxation, and even a feeling that you are approaching, if not actually entering into light.

The lessons are getting longer and more abstract, they are the beginnings of meditation and our connection to the light source. I've been doing ascension meditations alongside ACIM and feeling the benefits. I was more calm today (in fact someone at rehearsal tonight told Roger he thought I had a very calming influence on the group), even though there was plenty I could have been upset about. However, I focused on the things I can be grateful for. A great session with Lord Leon today, he showed me his estate documents and his change of name by deed poll, now that he's been accepted into Lorddom. His dad rang to ask me what it felt like being the son of a Lord. I laughed for a full minute. We did the new Usain Bolt Fass Class which nearly wiped me out!

Read from Dare to Love at the WWB Valentine evening at The Coffee Lounge. Sold the five books I took with me - could have sold more if I had brought more. It's the first public reading I've done from it. (See pic) It was very well received. The whole evening was absolutely splendid (ate a few more chocs than I should have done, but it is Valentine after all. No card this year. Not even e ones. I reflected on how, once upon a dark time ago, this would have upset me. In the light, none of this matters. Nice if it happens, OK if it doesn't.

Rehearsal went really well - everyone has stepped up their game. I'm feeling more confident now, as is Roger.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Lesson 43 - God is my Source

'God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.'

Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge. Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind. With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it. Therefore, that is its function in truth.

Three 5 minute practice periods are required today, morning, night and somewhere in between that feels right. Repeat the idea, first with things 'God is my Source. I cannot see this desk apart from him' etc. Then with closed eyes allow thoughts of the idea to occur.

I read the first part of this lesson three times and it still didn't make any sense. Reading further in didn't help my understanding either. It was one of those lessons mentioned at the beginning of the text where you are encouraged to carry out the actions, even if the words don't make sense. Gradually, as I repeated the main idea throughout the day, I began to get a sense that, if I am part of God, I cannot see apart from Him. It began to make sense. I can't be separated from my Source, I cannot see apart from Him. It became less and less of a brain teaser.

I had an interesting discussion with my personal trainer this morning - in between the punishing arms and upper body work I was doing - about eating the right food for the part of the world you were born in. Apparently we are genetically predisposed to survive on the food grown locally. For instance, wheat is not a native food of Jamaica but corn is, as is yam, bananas etc. He's into eating seasonally, steering clear of processed foods, and eating for fuel and well being. All this because I sent him a food diary in which I was honest about the amount of coffee cake I was eating (it was just that one week - honest)

I could have had a much better photo shoot without the coffee cake. But all told, it wasn't too bad. (See pic above)

Writing slow so far, only a few hundred word today, but by the time I finished at 3 am last night I was up to just over 44,000 words. Aiming to get past 46,000 before hitting the pillow tonight.
Sunday, 12 February 2012

Lesson 42 - God is my strength

'God is my strength. Vision is his gift'

The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.

God is indeed your strength, and what he gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, where ever you are, and in whatever circumstances you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God, Such are his gifts.

he idea for the day is a beginning step to bringing thoughts together, and teaching you that you are studying a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant.

Two practice periods today, morning and night. Look about you and slowly repeat the idea, then close your eyes and allow thoughts relating to the idea to surface, don't force them, and if your mind wanders open your eyes again and begin again. Five minutes as close to waking and five minutes just before going to sleep should suffice, as well as frequent repetition of the idea throughout the day.

I've written a lot of text for today's lesson because it contains two very powerful statements for me. One that I had grasped from the first time (the lack of randomness) and one that hit me between the eyes today, (nothing is lacking) because, although I understood it on an intellectual level, today it went in on an intuitive level.

You see, I've been griping about the things I don't have, a publicist, a manager, enough time, enough money etc, and about the things that I was having to deal with instead of being able to devote more time to writing. Nothing is lacking that is needed. I have everything I need, and if I don't have it, its because I don't need it at this point. Nothing in my life is contradictory or irrelevant. Nothing. It's all necessary, all of it, for my growth. Everything I saw today, every conversation I had, everything I did I applied this idea to. Boy, oh boy, did it give me a different perspective on things. I had a much more peaceful day than I otherwise could have had, even when my son, for whom I'd cooked a birthday meal, was the only one who didn't show up!!

Writing went well today, just passed 43,000 words, 170 pages. Just over 100 more pages to go.
Saturday, 11 February 2012

Lesson 41 - God my travelling companion

'God goes with me wherever I go.'

Today's idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience. Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss.

Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. You can never be alone because the Source of all life goes with you wherever you go. Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.

Only one practice period in the morning. Five minutes to repeat the idea slowly, then make no effort to think of anything. Just sit and let your mind go blank. After five minutes repeat the idea, and frequently throughout the day.

Most of my day was taken up with a photo shoot at the IKON STUDIO in Birmingham. Got some great pictures. In all that hustle and bustle and total attention on me it was great to be reminded that God is with me constantly.

I had to phone a friend as soon as I saw the highlighted line above, because last night, in the wee hours of the morning, we'd been discussion how lonely this spiritual journey can be. I had to tell her that we were forgetting that loneliness is a belief in our Source deserting us. I will never, ever, again talk about being lonely. I am who I am meant to be with, and when no other physical being is present, I am exclusively with God. How can I possible miss anyone when I have that kind of presence with me?
Friday, 10 February 2012

Lesson 40 - I am blessed

'I am blessed as a Son of God'

Today we will begin to assert some of the happy things to which you are entitled, being what you are. No long practice periods are required today but very frequent short ones are necessary, the exercises take little time and no effort. Repeat the idea every ten minutes, and then add several of the attributes you associate with being the Son of God, applying them to yourself. E.G

'I am blessed as a Son of God. I am happy, peaceful, loving, contended, calm, quiet, assured, confident etc, etc. If you're pressed for time just telling yourself you are blessed as a Son of God will do.

This is the essence of living in the attitude of gratitude. Such frequent reminders of the fact that I am blessed, and having to find ways in which I'm blessed reminded me, almost on a minute by minute basis, what an amazing life I have, and what an amazing person I am. It reminded me that I am so much more than what I have. Although there was a strong pull at times to describe myself by what I have, I stayed with the 'I am' statements. It is a subtle but very powerful difference. I found myself repeating the soul mantra - I am the soul, I am the light Divine, I am love, I am will, I am fixed design. Also the violet flame decree, I AM a being of violet fire, I AM the purity God desires. I AM statements are so powerful, can take you to great heights when said in the positive and can bring you right down when said in the negative.

Life was not without its challenges today, but my I AM gratitude statements helped me meet each one with a smile. This lesson was a welcomed one, such a gift.

On another note. I wrote for nearly six hours last night, forcing myself to leave the keyboard at 3 a.m, as I knew I had a busy day today. Tonight I watched a Caroline Myss lecture on YOUTUBE in which she asked the question 'if you could achieve amazing things by being invisible, or could have vast material wealth by being visible, which would you choose.' The answer will indicate whether one is being driven by the ego or the soul.
Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lesson 39 - Giving what you've got

'My holiness is my salvation'

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?

We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world. What about your own salvation? You cannot give what you do not have. A saviour must be saved, how else can he teach salvation. Today's exercises will apply to you, recognising that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.

Another four periods of 5 minutes today. Begin by repeating today's idea to yourself with your eyes closed. Then search your mind for unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear, uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on. Apply the idea for today to each unloving thought you find.

'My unloving thoughts about....are keeping me in hell. My holiness is my salvation.'

At the end repeat the idea in its original form.

'If guilt is hell, what is its opposite.'

This is the lesson that first introduced me to the idea that you cannot give what you haven't got. As a result of understanding this, I stopped telling people I loved them until I could feel that love for myself. It's also the lesson that first brought home to me that all I ever need do is work on myself, because as I heal, the world heals too.

I spent most of today working on my websites. Each week it becomes a little less stressful. That could either be because I'm becoming more familiar with what I'm doing, or I'm thinking fewer unloving thoughts about myself, like how useless I am at technology.

During the practice periods I could not find many attack thoughts about myself or others. Could this be the beginnings of the return of the peace I felt on the first completion of the course? Maybe its a bit like muscle memory, when its done it once, it knows how to do it quicker next time.

I've been in full creative (writing) flow today. Can't move my fingers quickly enough on the keyboard. The story has taken a surprising turn.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Lesson 38 - I can do anything

'There is nothing my holiness cannot do.'

Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator.

The purpose of today's exercises is to begin to instill in you a sense that you have dominion over all things because of what you are.

Four 5 minute practice sessions. With eyes closed repeat the idea for today. Search your mind for any sense of loss or unhappiness. Identify the situation specifically, and also the name of the person concerned. Apply the idea like this:

In the situation involving.....in which I see myself, there is nothing that my holiness cannot do.

In the situation involving.....in which ....sees himself, there is nothing in my holiness cannot do.

This lesson completely blew me away today. When I first did the course I read the first sentence as 'reverses all natural laws' today I understood that it reverses all laws, natural and man made. It's all part of cutting through illusion, the illusion of Legalese, the fact that laws are not about truth, but about who can create the greatest illusion of truth. I was on a high all day thinking about this.

I went happily off to my first ever visit to a Japanese restaurant. The Merchant L'aise in Nottingham, a Groupon Christmas gift. The deal included a cocktail each, and was the greatest test so far of my tee totalling 3 months. I opted for the mango breezer without the alcohol, which just tasted like mango juice. Andrew had the lychee pulp and vodka one, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. I restrained myself from even asking for a taste. I ordered salmon and onion rolls and was fully expecting something wrapped in pastry a la Chinese spring rolls. What a surprise and delight to have the tiny rolled salmon and rice rolls with a sauce in which to dip them. The inside out chicken wings were also beautifully crispy - where did the meat go? I'm all for exposed bones, but leave a bit of meat on.

My main sizzling vegetables were very Chinese style but the sauce wasn't poured on till it came to the table and was delicious, Andrew's chicken was a little bland. Service was great though. Main down side was the temperature of the restaurant. Even the young girls on a night out with large glasses of wine were wearing their coats.

Amazingly, when we got back to the car, we had a parking ticket. Another illusion?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Lesson 37 - My glove is blessed

'My holiness blesses the world.'
This idea contains the first glimmerings of your true function in the world, or why you are here. Your purpose is to see the world through your own holiness. Thus are you and the world blessed together. No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. There is no other way in which the idea of sacrifice can be removed from the world's thinking.

Four 5 minute practice sessions with alternating open and closed eyes, as for the previous lesson. Open eyes apply to things, closed eyes apply to people.

'My holiness blesses this chair.'

'My holiness blesses this glove.'

'My holiness blesses this handbag.'

Closed eyes

'My holiness blesses John.'

'My holiness blesses, Jane.' etc

Throughout the day, repeat the idea as often as you can. It is particularly helpful to apply it silently to anyone you meet, using his/her name as you do so. It is essential to use the idea if anyone seems to cause an adverse reaction in you.

The last part of this idea was the most helpful today. It was quite easy to bless inanimate object, my friends and family, and people who wronged me in the past. It was much more challenging to do it instantly, in the moment, though it was made slightly easier because of the constant repetition throughout the day. One friend came up almost hourly. He is most truly blessed today - no hard feelings.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Lesson 36 - Envelopes

'My holiness envelopes everything I see.'

Today's idea extends the idea for yesterday from the perciever to the perceived. You are holy because your mind is part of God's. And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well.
Four 3-5 minute practice periods are required. With closed eyes repeat the idea, then open eyes, look around and apply the idea specifically to what you see. Alternate open and closed eyes. Conclude with 'my holiness envelopes everything I see.'
I had an intensely high vibration day today, which began with my hour long meditation, and increased with each practice period. Today, everything seemed possible. The play is taking shape nicely, as is my novel. Clients have had massive breakthroughs and I ate a chocolate bar without any feelings of guilt.
I was wrapped in a holy blanket all day. Another day like today please.
Sunday, 5 February 2012

Lesson 35 - I am very holy

'My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.'

Today's idea does not describe the way you see yourself now. It does, however, describe what vision will show you. It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself. Yet the reason he thinks he is in this world is because he does not believe it. Today's idea presents a very different view of yourself. By establishing your Source it establishes your Identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth. We will use a somewhat different kind of application for today's idea because the emphasis is on the perceiver, rather than what he perceives.

This lesson's full of mind confusing phrases and images. I had to read it twice to even get the general gist in order to do the first practice five minutes, which required me to search my mind, with closed eyes, for any descriptive terms I use about myself, both positive and negative. Then say, having thought of a situation that identifies the term, 'I see myself as..helpful, impatient, undisciplined, charitable, etc. followed by 'But my mind is part of God's. I am very holy.'

I was again surprised at how many negative thoughts I still have about myself (I see why the lady in the reading last week said I needed to work on self-esteem), but happily the -ve was outweighed by the positives. In the end though, none of them really matter because holy is what I am. That was particularly reassuring.

I move the novel on another couple of thousands of words today - still two thousand short of my target for this week. Will have to put in more time next week.

The snow is melting, I sat and watched for inside. Alas tomorrow I will have to get out there.
Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lesson 34 - A point of view

'I could see peace instead of this.'

The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

Three 5 minute practice sessions are required to look at your inner world, with eyes closed, to find any fear thoughts, or anxiety provoking situations, people or events. You can tell yourself specifically,
'I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry (about this situation, person etc) with peace.

Today the temperature was well below freezing before the snow began. As the wind howled around my ears and the tips felt like they'd been bathed in hydrochloric acid I whispered 'I replace by feelings of resentment with peace.' After three goes, I felt surprisingly calm and was able to relax my body instead of hunching it against the cold. Call it mind over matter if you will, but I felt warmer.
Friday, 3 February 2012

Lesson 33 - Look at it another way

'There is another way of looking at the world'

Today's idea is an attempt to recognise that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. Devote five minutes to the morning and evening applications. Repeat the idea as often as feels comfortable, though unhurried applications are essential. Alternate between surveying your inner and outer perception, but without an abrupt sense of shifting.

I do most of my morning practices in my bedroom, so essentially I'm looking at pretty much the same things, and, I sometimes look out of the window, when ,unless there is some activity taking place, the scene is very often the same. YET, each lesson I do I see something different in the same things around me.

I used this approach to a situation I had with a friend who was not responding to my emails, texts, etc. I sat and thought, 'There is another way of looking at this.' Within seconds the idea came to me that there may be a problem with my friend's Internet, and to send the email again. I did, and by the time I got home there was a reply.

I had a brilliant session with a client where we used the lesson to uncover a deep seated fear that's been causing him some anxiety for a while. He was then able to devise a strategy based on real evidence not on fear (False Evidence Appearing Real)

The pages of the new novel are rolling slowly on. Chapter 9 page 110. Sales of Dare to Love ebook now stands at 14.

Pic is of illuminated fish at Oistins - Barbados
Thursday, 2 February 2012

Lesson 32 - We're all inventors

'I have invented the world I see.'

Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect. you are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want it, it will not be there for you to see.

The practice format is the same as it was yesterday, 3-5 minutes of outer and inner survey, plus immediate application to any situation that causes distress, i.e 'I have invented this situation I see.'

I watched a friend today in the middle of a massive emotional tornado, and really wished I could have help her see that the tornado was of her own making. If she were only able to change the way she saw the situation it would not have been as distressing. Inner tornado = outer tornado. This cause and effect thing is really quite sobering. It is the ultimate in responsibility. It means that if I accept this fully, that I can never EVER EVER blame my lack of peace on anything on anyone outside of me. I really had to remind myself of this as I rushed to get to my hair appointment, anxious that I may not get there in time, and would therefore not have enough time. Inner invention of scarcity is reflected as outer scarcity. This requires constant vigilance.

I am inventing an abundant world, full of adventure, warmth and love.
Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Lesson 31 - I'm not a victim

'I am not a victim of the world I see.'

'Today's idea is the introduction to your declaration of release. Again the idea is applied to the world you see within and the world you see without.
Two longer periods of practice with the idea for today are needed, one in the morning and one at night. Three to five minutes are recommended. Look about you slowly while repeating the idea, then close your eyes and apply the idea to your inner world. In addition, repeat today's idea as often as possible during the day. Remind yourself that you are making a declaration of independence in the name of your own freedom. And in your freedom lies the freedom of the world.

So ironic that I began to read 'Freedom is not just a seven letter word' last night. It reminded me that taking control is the way to squash 'victim mentality.'

When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lesson 30 - God is in the mind

'God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.'

The idea for today is the springboard for vision. Today we are trying to use a new kind of 'projection.' We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by seeing it outside. Instead we are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognise is there. Thus we are trying to join with what we see, rather than keeping it apart from us. That is the fundamental difference between vision and the way you see.
This idea is to be practiced as often as possible today, either with eyes open while looking around or with eyes closed looking within for subjects that come to mind.

Today was my IT training day. There were plenty of times when only the thought that God was in the web screens I was trying to grapple with, stopped me swearing and thumping the computer. I'm a life purpose four, and I'm trying to use the step by step approach to learning the things that I can no longer avoid. I was rewarded by a cream tea in Dovedale, almost made it worthwhile (would have much preferred having the cream tea without the IT). Thanks Andrew. I'm hoping that by the end of next week I will be able to manage my websites. I have been picturing it in my mind. Ease and flow!

On the subject of vision. I was introduced to Veronica Chapman's book, Freedom is more that just a 7-letter word. It is based on ridding ourselves of the illusions of money, legalese and religion. A fascinating read so far. Already I'm feeling it will be one of those books that creates a paradigm shift for me.
Monday, 30 January 2012

Lesson 29 - God is in everything I see

'God is in everything I see.'

The idea for today explains why you can see purpose in everything. It explains why nothing is separate, by itself or in itself. And it explains why nothing you see means anything. In fact, it explains every idea we have used so far, and all subsequent ones as well. Today's idea is the whole basis for vision.

In the six two minute practice periods, begin by repeating the idea, then apply it to randomly chosen objects.

Today was another easy day, because I've already accepted the idea, but I was seeing it through new eyes. It was a massive reminder that God is in lampposts, in candles, in door handles, handbags, clocks, and cars, as well as in trees, flowers, cats, dogs, vagrants, politicians and bankers.

God is very evident in Romance is Dying, Roger's play, which I've agreed to advise on (I think co-direct sounds a little grand for what I do). I went to rehearsal tonight. It was great to see something that began as a sketch develop into a fully fledged play, with a cast of ten. It will be premiered on Saturday 18th February at the Old Stock Theatre in the City Centre. It was really fun to be in that whole make believe world of the theatre. Speaking of make believe - I hit the hundred page mark today with the new novel, just over 25,000 words. YEAH!!! Again, the characters are taking it down a surprising path.

Pic is of Roger (director) in full flow.
Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lesson 28 - A different view

'Above all else I want to see things differently.'

Today's lesson gives specific application to the idea for yesterday. In the practice periods specific things are named, e.g. 'above all I want to see this table differently.' By saying that you are making a commitment to withdraw any preconceived ideas about the table, and open your mind to what it is and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts.

'Above all I want to see this.....differently.

Today's lesson was amazing. So many things I was open to seeing differently. Had a massive lesson in seeing people differently, and not through my own preconceived lens. Thanks Geoff for the lesson.

Went to a psychic fair today. Had palm, tarot and aura readings. All consistent with each other, have now moved into the white aura area. Need to meditate more (at least an hour a day), eat more spinach, and get out in nature more. Dreams are becoming more significant, but my big lesson is unconditional love. If I get it this time round I may not have to come back. It begins with me, you can't give what you don't have.

Above all I want to see Predencia differently.

Pic is of Geoff
Saturday, 28 January 2012

Lesson 27 - I want to see

'Above all Else I want to see.'

Today's idea expresses something stronger than mere determination. it gives vision priority among your desires. The idea for today needs many repetitions for maximum benefit. It should be used at least every half hour, and more if possible. It is recommended that you set a definite time interval for using the idea. It will not be difficult, the real question is, how often will you remember?

This was an easy on for me today because I'm used to working with affirmations and there was no resistance to to the idea itself that 'above all else I want to see.' I did fifteen minute intervals up to 1 p.m. but forgot while I was on a two and a half hour phone call. After that it was very intermittent, but when I remembered I did extra repetitions. It was a great day. My spirits were high, I wrote the 4000+ words on the novel that I set out to do, despite a surprise visit from my son and his new girlfriend, and having to shop and cook when I hadn't planned to. I'm now nearing the end of chapter seven, which is where I'd originally planned chapter to be. The characters thought different.
Friday, 27 January 2012

Lesson 26 - Watering the flowers

'My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.'

It is surely obvious that if you can be attacked you are not invulnerable. Because your attack thoughts will be projected, you will fear attack. And if you fear attack, you must believe you are not invulnerable. Attack thoughts therefore make you vulnerable in your own mind..Attack thoughts and invulnerability cannot be accepted together. They contradict each other.

6 practice periods of 2 minutes each today. Repeat the idea for today, review any unresolved issues which are causing concern with closed eyes. First name the situation:

'I am concerned about...............

Then go over every possible outcome that has occurred to you

'I am afraid......will happen'

Repeat the following

'That thought is an attack upon myself'

Having to focus on the things that are unresolved and causing me concern made the day feel very negative. It brought up fears I wasn't even aware I had, and outcomes I wasn't even aware I was thinking about. It made me realize how insidiously fears seep into the subconscious, can bypass the positive stuff you're working on, and rest, unnoticed in some crevice, eating away at one's self-confidence and self-esteem.

There were times during one of the practice periods when I felt sick from the realization of what I've been giving living space to in my thoughts. These horrible self limiting thoughts are like the weeds I talked about earlier, the minute you take your attention off them they grow new roots. Tony Quinn talks about needing to be a good gardener who water the flowers and pull up the weeds. I've been focusing on watering the flowers in the hope that they would flourish and leave no space for the weed. I think there may have been some roots left behind though. I have some serious weeding to do, to allow the flowers to bloom to their full potential.

A powerful lesson.
Thursday, 26 January 2012

Lesson 25 - What the hell do I know?

'I do not know what anything is for.'

Purpose is meaning. Today's idea explains why nothing you see means anything. You do not know what its for, therefore it is meaningless. Everything is for your own best interest......It is in the recognising of this that your goals become unified....When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.

It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything.

This lesson really messed with my head today, almost sent me dizzy with confusion as I looked around me and said, as my eyes rested on any object,

'I do not know what this bed is for.'

'I do not know what this jogger is for.'

'I do not know what this money is for.'

'I do not know what this person is for.' and so on and so on within the 6 practice sessions recommended. The thing is, I found myself doing it all day. The more I did it the more confused I got. I've set a long list of goals for this year, does it mean my goals are meaningless, if everything is for my own best interest does that mean I have to welcome everything into my life, however unpleasant and uncomfortable it may be?

By the end of the day, and especially after a chat with a friend about it, I began to see that my goals were not at odds with what is best for me, so long as I accept that whatever comes my way is a way of preparing me for carrying out my purpose. Therefore, adverse situations will sometimes occur to help me grow in the direction of my purpose. This way, everything is about unifying my goals. It's not inconsistent with my morning prayer...'make me who you would have me be, that I might do as you would have me do.'

I found a little light relief at the Apples and Snakes poetry night 'Hit the Ode,' at which Sue Brown was performing. Also headlining was Spain's Dani Orviz and Luke Wright. Three very different and very thought stimulating poets. There were also a number of open mic slots. With a five pound door charge, I might be persuaded to perform, as performers get free entry.

Pics are of Sue and Luke.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Lesson 24 - Whose interest?

' I do not perceive my own best interests'

In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore, you have no guide to appropriate action, and no way of judging the result. In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in it's resolution.
In this situation involving.., I would like... to happen, and ...to happen.

Then say, 'I do not perceive my own best interest in this situation.'

If these exercise are done properly, you will quickly recognise that you are making a large number of demands of the situation that have nothing to do with it.

I found today's lesson the most challenging to date. I thought of my situations, looked at the outcomes I was expecting and only on one occasion did I feel that I was a little over expectant on the hoped for goals. I seemed to be getting through the day fine, till I did the practice sessions, which, frankly, left me feeling worse than before I started.

Instead of focusing on all the great things happening in my life (like writing nearly 4000 of my novel) I found myself focusing on all the negative unresolved issues. Like tonight being the last night of my regular belly dance class, (see pic above) and the hassle of having to find another class miles away, like issues with tenants, with my children. These are things that I would normally take in my stride, now, being asked to focus on them, and telling myself that I don't know what's good for me really messed with my head today. Hope tomorrow is better!!!
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lesson 23 - Escape from attack

'I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.'

The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. Nothing else will ever work; everything else is meaningless. But this way cannot fail. Every thought you have makes up a segment of the world you see.
As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching our mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you, As each on crosses you mind say.
'I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about.......'

I had underlined the words 'Every thought you have makes up a segment of the world you see.' in the text of this lesson first time round. Then, I guess I was a little incredulous that I was totally responsible for my world, the world I see. It's a concept I'm more signed up to now. However, I was stunned to find that there are still aspects of my life that I am not happy with...and having to accept that is all up to me. During the practice sessions today I found thoughts of rejection, of inadequacy and of lack. When, I want to know, did all these things sneak back into my life to become part of the world I see. When I did the course the first time it felt like the hard drive of my computer got wiped of all the currupting programmes and was replaced with a load of positive ones. Over the years some of those currupting ones must have sneaked back in. Seems I have some more work to do before I can truly fly.
Monday, 23 January 2012

Lesson 22 - Forms of vengence

'What I see is a form of vengeance.'

Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self defence. this becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees.

Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. Say to yourself.
I see only the perishable; I see nothing that will last; What I see is not real; What I see is a form of vengeance. Is this the world I want to see?

I practiced this lesson in several different places today. On the High Street I was confronted with the perishable in the amount of shops that have closed and been boarded up. Obviously they did not last. Other things like the green grocer and the butcher, whose goods are by nature perishable, made sense. As I queued in the bank I wondered how much longer that system will last, will money be replace by gold again, will we have come full circle? Or will it be replaced by something else. Already we are returning in small ways to bartering, trading skills for goods, or skills for skills; plumbers fixing boilers for mechanics who fix their cars.

When I went to the art gallery this afternoon on my way to a Writers Without Borders meeting, I was instantly calmed by the soft energy in the ceramic gallery. The beautiful green wrought iron on the wide staircases and balcony always brings me a great deal of pleasure, and I'd like to think it would always be there. I couldn't think how it was a form of vengeance. In fact I didn't quite understand that part of the lesson. How were these things a form of vengeance? I'm accepting that at this stage I don't understand everything. Will I ever?
Sunday, 22 January 2012

Lesson 21

'I am determined to see things differently'

In the practice periods, begin by repeating the idea to yourself. Then close your eyes and search your mind carefully for situations past, present, or anticipated that arouse anger in you. The anger may take the form of any reaction ranging from mild irritation to rage.The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.

Hold each angry thought in mind while telling yourself,
I am determined to see......(person or specific situation) differently

I began the day with meditation and prayer, and my usual plea to God to 'make me who you would have me be that I might do as you would have me do.' My first task of the day was to write for an hour. My aim today was to get to 10,000 words, by using every available opportunity to write. Happy that at the end of the day my work count is 11,116.

I bought a calendar today, another step in my process of becoming more organised, more systematise, more routinised. The calendar has a different stunning tropical beach to each month. I am sending a clear message to the universe. The year planner will come tomorrow.

My other main task consisted of working with a client who seemed, at one point, willing to choose death over a step-by-step process, but has now returned from that point.

My lesson was not very challenging today, as I could not find many annoying or angry thoughts. It's been a great day!
Saturday, 21 January 2012

Lesson 20 - Determined to see

'I am determined to see.'

The exercises for today consists in reminding yourself throughout the day that you want to see. Today's idea also tacitly implies the recognition that you do not see now. Therefore, as you repeat the idea, you are stating that you are determined to change your present state for a better one, and one you really want.

I was sent sufficient challenges today to really practice this lesson, from the lateness of the Zumba teacher this morning to the landlord who I believe bullies her tenants to hide the fact she may be acting illegally. I say may because I will have to seek legal advise on Monday the matter to be absolutely certain.

Whenever I encountered bullying, or lying, or aggressive behaviour today, I found it enormously helpful to repeat the lesson 'I am determined to see,' and what I saw was naked fear, to which I tried to send love. Wasn't always as loving a I could have been. On a scale of 1-10, perhaps 7. But then, I am work in progress.

This picture, taken in Aberdeen about ten years ago ,reminds me of the illusionary nature of what we see. How easy would it be, if we didn't know different, to believe the lights were in the water, and not simply a reflection.

Wrote another couple thousands of words on the novel today, nearing completion of chapter 4.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Lesson 19 - Still connected

'I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts'

Today we again emphasize the fact that minds are joined. This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, since it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an 'invasion of privacy' Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts.

Today I closed my eyes and searched my thoughts and repeated,
'I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about......TV, news, friends, trainers, designer specs, spinning classes, writing....and many more.
For some of them it was reassuring to know that I was not on my own, for others I'd hate to think someone was sharing exactly the same experience...yet I've read the Intention Experiment by Lynn Tagget (author also of The Field) and know that thought transcend time and space. That's why prayer works. So it stands to reason that someone, somewhere, was experiencing the effects of my thoughts.

I spoke to a friend this evening who said 'I was just thinking about you.' How many times has that happened to you?
Thursday, 19 January 2012

Lesson 18 - We're all joined

'I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing'

The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined.

I spent a few practice sessions looking around my home and saying
'I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see walls, mirrors, laptops, paintings incense sticks etc.

I didn't experience any real discomfort with these statements maybe because a) I already believe our minds are joined and b) I was home all day writing. I've finished the first two chapters of my new novel, so to some extent I was living in a world of my own creation. Pretty much what we do in 'real life' I guess.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Lesson 17 - Nothing is neutral

'I see no neutral things.'

This idea is another step in identifying cause and effect as it really operates in the world. You see no neutral things because you have no neutral thoughts. It is always the thought that comes first, despite the temptation to think it is the other way round. This is not the way the world thinks, but you must learn that it is the way you think. Today's exercise: anything you look at say

'I do not see a neutral.....,because my thoughts about.....are not neutral'

I spent the day looking at things that I have taken for granted, not given a second thought to, not realizing how much value judgement I'd imbued everything with. For example, on the drive back on the M42, I recognised that the signs I'd hitherto thought I felt nothing about suddenly had meaning. I realized I made associations with the places to which the signs directed us, the cameras, the warning messages, all had meaning. I begun to wonder if others in their cars saw what I saw, and were they even aware that on some level they were giving meaning to the bare trees they passed, the green grass, each other's cars, the lorries.

I looked at the walls in my house and saw that they meant more than I had ever appreciated, as did the doors, the windows, the floor. In the world I see around me nothing is neutral, and I have given them whatever meaning they have.

When our belly dance teacher announced tonight that she was ceasing teaching I felt bereft, as though the rug had been pulled out from under me. I looked around and saw that others shared my interpretation of her leaving. I guess those who would not miss her had already voted with their feet and left. Those of us who turned up week after week would now have a hole in our lives that she filled each week on a Wednesday night. I tried to see it as an opportunity to try something or someone new, but my thought were very firmly rooted in my loss. My thoughts are showing me cause to grieve instead of cause to explore. I feel very sad tonight.

Photo: Belly dance class performance

Because you're worth it?

I've just returned from a beauty treatment afternoon, bought for me as a birthday present back in September. The thing about buying Groupon vouchers as presents is that, unless you know the establishment for which you buying, it can be very hit and miss. The beauty lounge was just that, the front lounge of what used to be (and actually looks like its used as) some one's house. The proprietor, an entrepreneurial 27 year old, managed to ingeniously cram 5 couches into a room about 20 ft x 18 ft. The room also included the reception desk, another therapist, and six very pink high backed waiting chairs. This was in keeping with the pink and black theme. Each couch was separated by black curtains, which, when closed, wrapped themselves like cling film around the therapist. Pink towels provided splashes of colour on the black coverings.

I was having a back massage, a facial and a foot soak. It was originally to be a fish pedicure till the bottom dropped out of the Garra Ruffa market, following the infection scare a couple of weeks ago. The far end of the room is used for customers who are likely to be there for a while, leaving the couches nearer the door for those popping in for hair removal; chin, upper lip, and eyebrows. There was a constant stream of them, mostly older Asian women, but also a few English women, most of whom joked that they would benefit from having a few pounds removed also.

The back massage was pleasant, but would not have shifted any stubborn knots if there had been any. My face was the main event. I was cleansed, exfoliated, steamed (not so easy to breathe with jets of steam blowing up your nose, but somehow I managed to drift off to sleep, only to be woken by the eye patches falling into my ears) and cleansed again. Then came the surprise.

My young therapist, who couldn't have been more than 22, with flawless skin, said she was going to remove the black heads from my nose. 'It may be a little painful,' she lilted in an almost seductive Asian accent, before applying her instrument of torture. She slid something along my nose from bridge to rim, with the precision of a surgeon slicing through skin, without the benefit of an anesthetic. I nearly leapt off the couch. My eyes instantly sprang a leak and my body went into rigour mortis from the pain.

She tried to reassure me that they were coming out beautifully, and wanted to know what kind of mask I wanted. MASK! Was she about to disfigure me? No what kind of facial mask did I want? I told her I couldn't think. 'That's half way done,' she stood back looking pleased, 'now I do the the other side.' 'More?' I asked weakly? 'You will like it,' she said emphatically and dug in. Not since the birth of my first child have I experienced such pain, and said so. 'Yes, but is worth the pain,' she insisted. I got the impression she thought I was a bit of a wimp, but was oh so sweet about it.

Then she repeated the choices she'd been giving me during the torture which I could not comprehend then. Normal mask or whitening mask. 'Whitening mask?' 'To make your skin whiter. It's nice. We offer the Asian ladies. They like it. It's good for your skin.' She seemed genuinely surprised that I opted for the normal mask, and checked three times to make sure I didn't want to change my mind. Now, I have heard about the amount of skin whitening that goes on in the Asian community, and I know it happens in mine too, but to be offered so blatantly, and so insistently.....I was shocked.

My feet were softened in a bubble bath, exfoliated and moisturised while I let the normal mask tighten my previously opened pores. More cleansing and moisturising and I was ready to go. 'You should do this more often,' they told me. You deserve it. Mmmmm....I'm not sure!

Photo: Keisha Diamond
Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Lesson 16 - You are what you think

'I have no neutral thoughts'

The idea for today is a beginning step in dispelling the belief that your thoughts have no effects. Everything you see is a result of your thoughts. There is no exceptions to this fact. Thoughts are not big or little; powerful or weak.They are merely true or false.

As I drove down the M42 this morning in the bright sunshine which was bringing little heat to the frosted grass,and glistening icy roads, I longed for the Beach in Barbados, and wondered what thought brought me here instead of there. The truth is that I'm here and must find pleasure in the winter or wish my life away.

I spent most of the day creating a new website for Writers Without Borders on Wordpress. I say I, but it was mostly Andrew with me assisting with content. A virtual world that we created from out thoughts? What makes that one different to the one I face every day? The exercise for the day was -

'This thought about....is not a neutral thought.'

I found it hard to stay positive today, a result of scrutinising every thought and knowing that I was creating whatever I was unhappy with. Still, I'm very happy with the results of the new site.
Monday, 16 January 2012

Lesson 15 Did the sun really shine?

'My thoughts are images that I have made'

Today's lesson is really about the fact that we project our thoughts as images into the world, so we are not really seeing something 'out there' we are seeing our thoughts. I guess it's why ten people can see the same incident and describe it differently, because they are projecting their own thoughts on what they observe.

So, today I had to look around me, select something to focus on and say, 'This... is an image that I have made' It was easy enough to do for physical things like the TV, the bed, the vacuum cleaner, but I struggled a bit with the grass, the trees, the sky. I guess with the former I can easily imagine the objects being the product of some one's thoughts, but the sky and trees and grass were made by God.

I went to the High St and wondered if all the people there were my projections, like a director makes a film and then sits and watches it. It appears real, but he could go in and change anything in the film and when it's projected it will look different. If I am projecting the world around me then I need to picture more beautiful things, a brighter High St, less stressed looking people, more smiles, less frowns, warmer temperatures, more leaves on trees, bluer skies, (although the sky was splendidly blue and the sun shone bright today) Did everyone see it? Or was it only seen by those of us who made the image of sun in blue sky?

Such are my questions.
Sunday, 15 January 2012

Lesson 14 - Is it really not real?

'God did not create a meaningless world'

The idea for today is, of course, the reason why a meaningless world is impossible. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.

This was a challenging one today, as my brother told me about the ship that sank killing so many people and so many still missing. Was that not real? Those physical bodies are no longer here, they will no longer be interacting with their loved ones. Is it of my own making that those people no longer walk on this earth? If that wasn't real, neither was the great time I had at my friend's 50th birthday party. Or was that meaningful because God created fun. Is fun love and shipwrecks fear? Is death nothing but fear and therefore meaningless?

That's not what so many families will be feeling tonight.
Saturday, 14 January 2012

Lesson 13

'A meaningless world engenders fear'

'I am looking at a meaningless world'

'A meaningless world engenders fear because I think I am in competition with God'

I am living in a world where fear is so prevalent that today I dealt with three situations based in fear. One suicide attempt, one person who thinks he's been cursed by evil spirits, and one person who has never spoken to anyone about the child he's killed. Even my my standards, it's been a heavy day. A change in thinking was essential in each case for them to find peace. That's what ACIM define as a miracle - a change of thought! There were three miracles today. I am, however, exhausted; no head space to write tonight; having an early night.

Photo: Keisha Diamond

Friday, 13 January 2012

Lesson 12

'I am upset because I see a meaningless world'

The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself.

Today's practice was less of struggle than yesterday; mainly because I was not sharing as many people's pain. I had another intense session with my personal trainer who explained the submission of ending moves on your knees, and the comfort of the child's pose when you are absolutely exhausted. The latter he encourages as a way to gather your strength, the former he discourages because it gives you permission to give up.

I saw different meanings to things that I had never taken the trouble to even think about - thus reinforcing the lesson that the world has only the meaning that I give it. I spent some time after my training talking to another member of the gym who is desperate to give a different meaning to his life/to his world.

Photo: Keisha Diamond
Thursday, 12 January 2012

Lesson 11- A Course in Miracles

I've decided to do A Course in Miracles (ACIM)again. When I completed it the first time in 2005, I couldn't understand why anyone would want, or need, to do it again. Surely, I thought, if one followed all the lessons as prescribed, and had all the learning, there should be no need to do it again. How naive I was then, as I often am about things spiritual. How grossly I underestimated the the egos ability to find any and every available opportunity to re-establish itself in little pockets of fear, feeding and growing larger.

I am now in my tenth year of active spiritual development; prior to that I didn't even believe in a spirit. ACIM helped me to understand, in ways that speak to me directly, that only love is real, and anything that isn't love is fear. But when my resistance is low, and the ego speaks more loudly than usual, I forget, and I believe fear to be real. This year will be my treat to myself. My time to re-establish myself in the energy of love on a daily basis. I am currently at the undoing of old beliefs stage. My lesson today is:

'My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.'

'This is the first idea that is related to a major phase of the correction process; the reversal of the thinking of the world. It seems as if the world determines what you perceive. Today's idea introduces the concept that your thoughts determine the world you see.'
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Book 2

The year is whizzing by. January 10th already. The dearth of blogging is because I've started writing my second novel. Using a different approach. Have done all the characters and plot before beginning to write. It will still be organic, but more of a 'structured' organic. I want to see if this speeds up the process, as I also have a book on parenting to write this year.

My detox is going well, and it may not be entirely mind over matter but I have way more energy and ideas. I'm going to the gym 3-4 times a week and started with a personal trainer on Saturday. Did yoga tonight cause I couldn't get to my Tai Chi class and really enjoyed it, may stick with it for a while to increase my flexibility and help build my strength.

My word for this year is DISCIPLINE - its the only way I'm going to achieve my long list of goals this year, and much as I've been resisting it, routine will be essential. Two books this year? Can I do it? YES I CAN!

On another note. I had a query about Butlers in the Buff this week. I met them when I did the Trinny and Suzanna show back in 2008. Nice aprons.
Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

Started the year in Just the Tonic in Nottingham with three excellent comedians - including one of my favourites, Matt Brigstock, and about three hundred other people. After the tables were cleared away to make way for the dancing, we found ourselves by one set of speakers. Common senses had obviously absented itself because we stayed there for nearly fours hours, and consequently could not hear properly till at least four o'clock this afternoon. It was a great night though. See me enjoying my last drink before a three month detox!! It will be a challenge but I'm sure I can do it.