I nearly got my family killed today. Only last night I was remarking to my husband that we should be grateful to be alive. And roughly forty minutes ago I very nearly wasn’t. I would have taken two kids with me and left my husband a lonesome widower. Yes, my gratitude just got amped up a few storeys.
I feel quite the village idiot telling this tale. And I am sure that somewhere on social media, or in someone’s workplace this morning my name is mud. Perhaps the other party in question is receiving tea and sympathy from colleagues about her near miss - as well she might, I hope they bring her chocolate cake. Whereas I’m using valuable child free time to process what the heck just happened. And to open a dialogue about gratitude.
Basically it goes like this. In the car. Not tired, kids not screaming, not distracted. I was actually paying very close attention to the road. So much so that I was fixated on a tractor opposite me at a crossroads. I was overly concerned on whether he was going to pull out at the same time as me. I was so consumed by this that when I pulled out onto the speedy A road, I didn’t see a silver bullet hurtling towards my back end. When I heard the beep, I naturally assumed I’d made a wrong call and the tractor was being pissy. At that point a silver car overtook me close and fast.
It took me a second and then I realised, shit, she nearly went into me. And it’s my fault. And that would have been bad, really really bad. Other than feeling silly. I felt grateful. Thankful she had swift reactions. Thankful that there was nothing coming towards us, so that she was able to manoeuvre around me at the last second. Thankful that we carried on our journey, my daughters blissfully unaware what had happened. Oh goddess yes, that, my daughters blissfully unaware, safe, alive, breathing.
I wish I could thank the woman driving the silver bullet that nearly took us out. What an angel she was this morning. Not only did she avoid the death or serious injury of four people, but she has made me feel just so grateful, so alive.
Often in life gratitude is something we say we have, but actually until aspects of our life is threatened we don’t really indulge it in the way we think we do. As I said, just last night I was spouting platitudes about being grateful to be alive. But it feels very different to live that scenario, even if just for a second on a rainy Friday morning. Digging deeper into that pit of gratitude is a powerful thing. It takes on a multitude of aspects when we are forced to actually confront it.
I’d really love to take this opportunity to start a chat about what you are grateful for? But not in a generic, ‘I love my dog’ kinda way. I want to talk about why you are grateful for the things that you have, or the near misses and curves that have brought you to this moment, unharmed, breathing, comfortable. Let’s amp up our gratitude… Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
New age spiritual language has become a bog of well meaning terms that in effect mean whatever you need or want them to need, or, in fact, nothing. As much as we all want to be the light, find our truth and let it all go, whilst mantra-ing our ass down to the local yoga dojo, it's sometimes not that simple. Sometimes spiritual advice becomes such a hotbed of cliche it loses its common sense. As a spiritual writer I am more than guilty of trotting cliches out like a recipe for happiness that can be either effective or nonsense given the mood of the recipient. So I decided to challenge myself to writing ten cliche free spiritual tips. It's all just words after all. And as a writer, it's fun to play, to get to grips with the subject without falling back on overused phrases. This has helped me pinpoint a little more realistically how some ancient concepts might be enacted in the everyday. In fact I became so averse to cliche in writing this that I really stripped back to the basics, more so than I expected. But perfect for anyone who likes their spirit as a side dish to a main life. So here is my cliche free tips for getting a bit more spiritual with your self.
1) Have a word. That thing you are vexing over or that fear you are entertaining. Is it really real or the product of an overactive imagination? Let's talk humanity. Are you letting your honest to goodness humanity cause you fractions and frictions and general unhappiness? If so, then have a word. Listen to your own head, step back and then tell yourself about yourself. Don't tie yourself in knots about this. Simply disregard all and anything making you less than content and decide to think differently for a minute, a day, a week. And that difference can be as simple as refusing to think things which make you sad or stress you and swapping that for thinking about what you are doing at any given moment, or perhaps allowing creative, artistic, inspiring thoughts and plans to take the forefront. Plan adventures. Expect the most wonderful.
2) Put the phone down. Leave the camera at home. Stop trying to capture moments and live them instead. Yeah something cute might happen or you might be rocking an on point manicure that needs insta-expression. But shit kiddo. Enjoy it in real time and not through a lens.
3) Don't be a dick. Be really nice to people. And mean it. If people ain't so nice to you, then wish them well and head off. Being a dick is harmful in the end to you. It's easy to enjoy, even revel, in a bitching session. It seemingly raises your energy as you diss other people. But it's not cool, it's not kind and in the end diminishes you. By being so critical of others you are likely deflecting from some unseemly parts of you. Instead of focusing on others, have a think what could be better about you, and then make loving attempts to change yourself. Get over yourself. And as for everyone else. Forget them. Be cool, be kind, see what happens.
4) Sit still somewhere. People watch. Have a nice cup of fully caffeinated black tea and watch the world go by. Allow your mind to gently observe the world around you. Get excited about squirrels or the mating rituals of your local pigeons. Let you mind take you on fabulous journeys as you imagine the lives of the people who pass. Just watch all of that like it's your favourite show. Notice how it makes you feel. Don't worry about your stuff. Let your thoughts be provoked by what is around you. Become a spectator without any say so or influence.
5) Go to the beach. Go to the local park. Go to the lake. Go to the mountains. Go out in the rain / cold / sun. No instructions for what you do when you get there. I'll leave that up to you. Just make sure you go.
6) Eat something you love and really enjoy it. One of the funniest things I heard recently came from stand up comedian and Vicar Maggy Whitehouse, who quipped that, she tried to be spiritual but she didn't have the food intolerances. What you eat matters. Course it does. And we can get ever so hung up on being righteous and ethical and moral and empowered by food. But in the first instance it's important to remember that food is delicious and we have been given senses for a reason. And the least we can do is just really enjoy a delicious meal. So just do it. Whatever other mores you wish to entertain as a gorgeous glorious hippy can come later. First up. Eat. Same goes for all other delightful human experiences. Indulge. Get stuck into being human. Tantalise those senses and feel no guilt. Guilt is for losers.
7) Take a break. Have a holiday. It doesn't matter where you go or how you do it. It doesn't need to be anything other than a rest from your every day life and the person you act when within it. Go to Butlins and laugh with your kids. Go to Benidorm and befriend an old couple of expats who are tatooed and crude and awesome. Go to Bali and forget to appreciate the culture, get wasted and miss the trip to the temple. Make your break about leaving not only your routine, but your masks at home. However that pans out for you, take it home, keep it.
8) Include someone. The world can be a pretty exclusive place. From the playground to the works break room it's easier to keep to our own. Never quite opening up the channels of communication with people we see as different or part of another tribe. Have a little water cooler chat with someone. Talk about the weather. It's no big thing. Reach out, smile, say something innocuous, who knows what might happen.
9) Get over it. I'm not gonna use the fabulous f word (forgive). Whatever happened and whomever did it, find a way to place it in your history books and don't revisit. Holding onto things that wind you up is only damaging yourself. Put yourself first and in doing that you let all the other stuff fizzle away as you focus on little things that make you smile.
10) Whatever you are doing right now, pay attention to that. I'm so close to cliche-ing out at this point. But I'm gonna lay this down as best I can without any overused spiritual extensions. Look at your toes and your fingers and feel a smile creep on your face. This is it. This feeling right now. Whatever comes at any other time is myth or history. Whatever anyone else thinks or does is their business. Whomever you were ten minutes ago is so over. Who you will be in ten minutes is science fiction, futuristic, hopeful thinking. Hold your breath (as opposed to taking a deep one) feel the burn. That's the life draining out of you. Don't die. Spend the next every second resolutely and purposefully not dying. It's fun.
Spiritual living is essentially just living. So do that. I also recommend driving, travelling by train, car, plane or boat whilst gazing into the distance and long showers whilst navel gazing. Those recommendations come courtesy of my bank of random things that give me spiritual thoughts. Feel free to mediate that out on your yoga mat or chow it down over a large fries and chocolate milkshake. Nobody has got the spiritual seniority over you because we are all just lost souls flapping about the place seeking connection and expression and understanding. Cliche or otherwise the more you explore whatever spirit is to you, the better. It's your thing baby, your birthright and your being. Believe that and the rest is just words. Make them your own.
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I'm giving up my problems to the goddess. Usually I might abandon them to the universe but right now I feel the divine mother is the best holder of my shit. As you may know I'm currently pregnant and it's never been straightforward. Not at all. It's been one medical thing after another, and one potential problem followed by the next.
Each situation has had one thing in common, it has all been based on, 'if, buts and maybes'. I've had lists of potential problems presented to me but we actually know very little until baby is born. Some, none or all of the information we've received could be relevant. And of course I've allowed some of it to irk me and cause anxiety. Of course I have.
Each time this happens I find my way back to postivity. Today I reclaim my happy spirit and my pregnancy, I throw all the worry to the winds, I'm regaining the magic. I release any and all intention and simply ask that any or all divine goddess steps in. I trust that what will be is perfect and that my thoughts or fear plays no part in making that happen.
After making that decision I met a woman who was 13 weeks pregnant with her first child. Her crazy ass joy was infectious, it reminded me of me, first time round. I want a piece of that. So that's where I'm taking my thoughts. Down happy baby lane. I'm Allowing the chaotic aspects to be dealt with elsewhere. I suggest you all join me. Throw your problems to the goddess and invest yourself in the possibility of magic and wonder.
#spiritual #bringbackthegoddess #goddesses #birth #pregnancy #spiritualpregnancy #rebirth #instaquote #pregnant
The past has a horrible and tumultuous pull doesn't it? We try to escape and yet it pulls us swirling and insane back into it. Things we laid to rest many moons ago can raise their heads and capture our heart and before we know it we are existing 'five years ago and three thousand miles away' (thanks Elbow).
This card asks you to bring an awareness to this backwards thinking. There is no profit in it. It simply lowers us to a lesser time, a time before we learned and grew from the experience. And we all know nothing can be changed or altered as we survey those past troubles. Energy spent on those times is a waste and disconnects us from what we have become. Realign with who you are now. Who you have become. Your hopes and desires as they are in this moment. Count your blessings but know that your blessings stem from the hard times and so really those difficult times were blessings too. In their own weird way. Make peace with your pain and concentrate hard on what you have right now. Refuse to lose yourself to a lesser time.
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