New Create Health blog in progress here – which I hope you will follow please!
SOULutions & a Poem called PSYCHE
PSYCHE (Thanks to Bill Plotkin)
I am more soul than ego –
I exist in the dream of the earth
and it lives in me.
I am more spirit than ego –
I exist in the dream of the cosmos
and it lives in me.
I am hardly human –
I have never been
interested in conforming –
It’s not that I’m a rebel –
I just live by other standards.
I see the vitality of the natural
and am aligned with that.
I feel the bliss of the life force
and am aligned with that.
What people do is incidental –
I make up my own mind what is right.
I am at peace with my truth.
I connect with others who share the urge
to protect, create, and celebrate –
beauty, community, love,
and who live simply, ethically,
not hurting or damaging
or taking anything,
but giving back their gifts
to the world.
All facets of myself are embraced
and made useful,
so I can’t be pigeon-holed.
Although I do sometimes slip
into fractured states,
I am aware of how to re-integrate them.
I hear songs and dance energies
of earth, air, fire, water, and universe.
I see colours, touch, taste subtleties,
and bear witness to the astonishing variety
and perspectives of existence.
I preach harmony and symbiosis
at all levels, and in all directions.
Julia Woodman – www.SOULutions.org.uk
I suddenly started looking up John Lennon quotes on Goodreads the other day – which helped inspire me to write this article. I didn’t know then that it was the anniversary of his tragic death – I only found that out a day later when I started seeing posts on Facebook that made it obvious that a lot of my friends had also been looking him up and replaying his music. I don’t think it was just a co-incidence that I made that connection, I do think that his spirit is still very much with us in our attempts to find better ways of being at peace with ourselves, and living more in harmony with the planet.
As I co-administrate a Facebook open group called ‘Back to The Garden’ some of his quotes were particularly relevant – such as “I’m not really a career person; I’m a gardener, basically.” Also, “The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.” Our group is already named ‘Back to The Garden’ because of the 60s song ‘Woodstock’ which says “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”. Our aim is to share information to help us try to live sustainable lives by creating supportive local communities, and to participate in global meditation link-ups to help influence the collective consciousness towards achieving this. We also share creative inspiration to help express our ideas.
So, back to my original article – which basically shows why I think John Lennon is such a great example to us all – of how to truly be ourselves.
John Lennon was such a thoroughly REAL person. His quotes reflect all sides of human nature, from the sad and withdrawn, to the desperately painful, to the angry, to the loving and celebratory, and from the arrogant to the humble, as well as from the serious to the exuberant humour-filled sheer absolutes of expression. We all have many sides to our nature but we tend to try to pretend that we don’t, mostly because we are afraid to show some of it. Does society make us think that if we remain on a bland even-keel we are more agreeable to others? Surely we are more interesting if we share what we truly feel? It’s perfectly possible to be honest without being horrid. Why can’t we just accept all of it and be this real? Okay, we don’t all need to be huge public characters, but we can be quietly firm about who and how we choose to be.
Another quote of John Lennon’s which is staggeringly beautiful in its stark honesty is “When you’re drowning, you don’t think I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I’m drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream.”
If you are facing a period of ‘depression’, why not allow that to simply be for a while? I generally have 3 days of it every now and again. I learned from a very early age to manage it. You could say it was artistic temperament, but it isn’t just that – we all have natural cycles energetically and physically, which affect us emotionally, and I believe we are better off listening to these than trying to deny them. (Of course, you should look after yourself with good nutrition, exercise, and the right amount of sleep, because imbalance in these areas can exacerbate or oven trigger such periods.) I give myself permission to let it happen and actually explore it – I write or paint myself through it. I don’t do anything I don’t want to – I just live with it. Okay, so I don’t usually publish what I’ve written at such times – but I do learn from it – and I am well aware that I am processing emotion, dealing with it – not trying to suppress it. I know that after the 3 days it will go again because I have given it the space to play through. Often, I make positive changes in my life after these stages – so they are like transition phases. I seem to gather strength and insight from actually allowing them to really work through, and somehow grow from the experience. Perhaps by allowing the darker side its space, I then get recompense by gaining access to more of the light, because sometimes it is straight after one of these periods that I produce my best work. Maybe if we looked at it as if we are like snakes shedding skins so that we have room to grow some more, we could learn to process these phases naturally, we could all deal with them. Maybe they wouldn’t hang around then – we could trust ourselves to get through them – not let them overwhelm us, or leave us stuck half in half out – we could go into them fully and come out the other side. I think it is healthy to allow one’s self to honestly explore all sides of your nature, as that is probably the only way you can truly get to know and trust yourself. I think that is why I love John Lennon so much – he trusted himself to be real – and he told the truth.
Art of any form – music, writing, painting, are the most obvious ones, but there are many more, (and we don’t have to be ‘artistic’ to express ourselves, you could just write letters you may never post, or notes to yourself) – any of this helps us to truly face the world and explore it and the human psyche. We may begin with ambivalence, but we soon become fearless if we explore thoroughly enough. We become powerful in ourselves because we are learning to understand ourselves. We can’t ever really hope to understand everything around us, but we can learn to understand ourselves in relation to anything else. If we know what we stand for and how we feel about things – then that never changes no matter what else changes around you – you become like a rock, yet at the same time feel floatingly free. (Of course if you do learn from new information and experiences or learn to respond differently to situations, your outlook does evolve, but you are still the floating rock that is you growing as part of the conscious universe).
You know we need variety in life to make it interesting. There has to be variety to even enable us to exist as individuals. So you stop blocking it off – you accept your curiosity and begin to explore, and the more you do this, the more you tend to then celebrate and appreciate the variety. You also accept your vulnerability, yet at the same time feel incredibly strong because you have opened fully to life. Life feels magical – even in its madness and confusion – it is staggeringly intoxicating.
So let’s grasp the bull by the horns and dare to be real – you’ll be amazed how great it will feel…. Not to be sucked in any more, not be afraid any more. You will feel powerful, filled with energy, draw yourselves up, and take control of who you want to be.
Neale Donald Walsch said “You are all in the process of defining yourselves. Every act is an act of self definition.“
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
And Shakespeare said “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
John Lennon also said “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
But wait a minute, just as with Lennon (and many others) – those in power don’t want us to be real do they? They want us to go on consuming their goods (with poisons in them), and watching TV (with all the pap they’d like us to believe). They want us to feel powerless so that they can continue to lead us blindly into wars and other money making schemes, and so that we accept their laws and judgements, instead of questioning them or standing up for ourselves and our rights. If we are real then we become a threat to them, and they feel a need to deal with us – exactly, you got it – but now there are too many of us, and things are going to have to change. If we stop listening to them, if we stop using their systems, and simply walk away – that is all that is needed.
Then we will look after each other at community level – ensure we are can access healthy food, work together at projects that sustain us – not them – keep things local – it makes much more sense. Trade our skills, make things that last, that don’t waste raw materials and fuel, things that are truly useful – not junk to make profit out of others. We can take back everything they have been trying to take away from us completely, bit by bit, over centuries, sneakily.
Marianne Williamson said “Do you really not know what to do? Or do you just lack the courage to do it?”
Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Van Morrison said “You can’t stop us on the road to freedom, you can’t keep us ‘cause our eyes can see.”
And John Lennon said “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”
Another thing John Lennon taught us was never to be sucked into trying to fight those trying to exert power over us at their own game. He said “If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.” And “There’s no separation. We’re all one. Give peace a chance, not shoot people for peace. All you need is love. I believe it. It’s damn hard, but I absolutely believe it.”
So don’t allow yourself to be diverted – firstly it infects you with their level of thinking, secondly it takes your power away. Save your power for doing the good stuff, dismiss the rest as insignificant. As long as you remain complete in who you want to be, you will keep your absolute power. The minute you slip into something else – you lose some of it to them. Don’t give it away, keep you power quietly to yourself, and you will always be free, they cannot defeat you. No matter what they do, your power remains yours – they do not get a jot of it. Look at how we remember the great people like John Lennon – that’s because they never lost anything at all. He has become untouchable, and yet we can all touch him and his dreams, and help make them as real as he believed they could be. He said “A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality.” And “Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are…..”
More notes regarding depression.
Cognitive Dissonance might arise when you begin to realise there are things wrong in the world but can’t see the whole picture so your bits don’t fit or make sense, or you might be disappointed by the difference between your expectations and what has happened, or of people. As Lennon said “The more real you get the more unreal the world gets.”
So you need to re-adjust. Surely allowing ourselves the time to do this rather than try to fight it is actually healthy? Look closely at how you are feeling and thinking. Express how you feel through safe means – artistically, or by speaking to a friend, therapist, or to an inanimate object or imaginary person, or by writing letters or notes. Even ask rhetorical questions, or ask for what you want to happen – it helps you clarify things and you might even find answers. Recognise your autonomy – you can seek clarification in your understanding, or you can actually just choose to change the way you want to feel or do things. Medication obviously is useful in that it can give you the break to rest and steady yourself, before beginning to explore what is happening. If you view it as a tool to get back up a few steps, not as an excuse to just lie down at the bottom – then it is a positive and empowering act rather than something you are succumbing to. You should ideally always have a plan with your doctor to ensure that you are helped to withdraw carefully and gradually as you take back your power. You do sometimes need to be firm with your doctor about this, take responsibility for your own best interests, but never try to do it completely on your own.
Khalil Gibran wrote that “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.”
Plug into the umbilical cord of power through meditation and recharge yourself. Connect with the beautiful energy of the planet too. You are a rock between the earth and the reeling stars. Stand there feeling it deeply. Reach out your arms, dance if you want to, swim in the moonlight, sing or shout. Feel the processes in yourself re-adjusting, and renewing – and you will emerge with magic keys – re-enter life in the next stage of growing.
Remember your connection with the harmonics of the universe. You are one aspect of the one life force, manifested as human consciousness – everything else is a distraction. Focus on your relationship with the life force and yourself – who you are being – how you want to be. Other worries often pale into insignificance when you look at the bigger picture. You begin to realise that none of that small stuff can stop you from choosing exactly who you want to be. When you appreciate the astonishing variety of life around you, you tend to just find it easier to allow other things and people to just be as they are. Reasoning doesn’t matter so much anymore, even forgiving doesn’t matter much anymore – because you see that there is no need, you just let go of the small stuff and walk on deep into the wonder of being fully alive.
As John Lennon said: “Limitless undying love – which shines around me like a million suns – it calls me on and on across the universe.”
He left us a great legacy – an example to follow – and the power of his honest to goodness words, actions, and amazing creativity lives with us still.
I wrote this blog for another website this time last year, so I can share it here now. The fact that I wrote it for another site, accounts for the different sort of tone than I normally use, please forgive me for that, try to look at it as a bit of fun, and do please let me know what you think!
Okay, so right from the start I will ask you to bear with me as I am going to be a bit tough here. It’s to get the best out of you – for your own good – IF you really want to be the best you. [Actually it’s not hard work, it’s just the concepts that may be challenging.]
So I want you to promise me that if I say something that really pulls a chord within you, don’t throw your hands up – give yourself a chance – take it as an opportunity to help yourself learn and grow! Delight in your ability to take on something that really matters – your responsibility to yourself – delight in the challenge.
Now, I’m not saying anybody’s ever going to be ‘perfect’ – I’m certainly not! All we can do is be the best we know how to be, and aim to keep moving forward with that as we learn more how we can do that. The concept of ‘perfection’ is misleading in itself because to be perfectly human simply means just to be human – to accept yourself as you are – but from there on in, to strive to be truly, fully, that which you are, more and more completely, so that you can enjoy life in all it’s abundance, utterly.
I doesn’t mean saying “This is me, put up with it!”. It does mean getting to that place where you can say “Yeah, this is me – this is how I feel good in myself – and this is how I can feel happy to go out in the world. This is the me I want to share, with all my skills, caring, strength, unique characteristics, etc.
So take a deep breath, and promise yourself that you are going to reward yourself with this good feeling. You are not going to be puffed up with artificial pride and pretend that you are above others though – you are going to be humbly at peace with yourself. You are going to accept the full flow of joy in your life, which is balanced because it goes both ways – you show yourself to life and to the world, and life and the world show themselves to you – it is all quite natural.
Even if things get tricky, you are not going to give up and be a baby – you are going to take a bit of space for yourself to accept the beautiful life stream deeply into yourself, to renew, boost, strengthen, and calm you. As you breathe, feel it flowing into your heart from everywhere around you, the earth, the universe. It flows in through all parts of your body and lifts you up to a higher frequency.
Allow yourself to rest in this while you take stock – as you start to steady, ask for understanding and inspiration to flow into you along with the energy – and look for what you can learn from the situation, which will then show you how to move ahead again and deal with things.
Now I want you to get yourself past blocks that might be limiting you. You have learned things in your childhood and from your experiences that have coloured your views so that you don’t see the full picture. You have formed judgements and beliefs based on limited teachings and viewpoints. That’s nobody’s fault – it’s just one of those things that happens due to the very nature of our vulnerability – it’s just something we have to realise and grow past. So now I want you to open up to the possibility that things could be different. You aren’t going to let these limitations block you from being who you fully can be – are you?
I want you to realise that this is the same for everybody at some point, but people manage to get beyond it – some more easily than others – but really it is just a matter of not holding on to things that aren’t helping you. Once you recognise what your blocks are, you can release them – because you know they don’t really belong to you and to where your life is going now. Or you can do it the easy way and just decide to be open to all possibilities, decide to just not accept limitations, because you are the best person to know who you really can be if you just let go and allow life to welcome you.
Who wants to be limited by the thoughts of others? So take on your own responsibility for what you believe your reality to be. Do you really believe you should be limited in your journey of discovering who you really can be? NO! Then be true to yourself – find out what you REALLY feel, who you REALLY are.
You aren’t a child anymore – you should not expect to be molly-coddled by others – you should stand up & earn your right to be truly loved – not pandered to because people are afraid you might sulk or get stroppy – but loved for being your honest self. If you were spoilt as a child then don’t let that go on spoiling your life – let go of the belief that everything should go your way, and learn a bit of give and take. If you try to manipulate people then they will treat you with equal disrespect. Grow up – this is me and you here – you’re an adult now – and adults should not be spoilt brats.
Adults go on learning for themselves, instead of depending on others – they learn how to go on growing into themselves – into the people they truly should be.
They expand into the largeness of all the fascinating possibilities that life offers, the opportunities to learn, and to be a magnificently fulfilled human being. When you become yourself, as you gently grow into each moment as more and more of who you can be, then you are opening yourself up completely to love and life in all its forms – beauty, abundance, meaningfulness, balanced relationships….. and so much more.
It is honestly all your choice to either:
- Pretend to be something or someone else, constantly having to pull more tricks out of the box to impress or try to cover up lies, always desperately hoping that your house of cards won’t fall down just yet, but sick inside because deep down you know that it will one day. Then you will probably lose all the meaningless things you have hoarded.
- Not bother with any attempt at becoming yourself, just muddling through by playing all sorts of games, such as blaming others and thus trying to manipulate them through guilt, or acting like some sort of helpless victim and thus trying to force others into helping because they feel sorry for you. You are probably also leaning on some sort of addictions here, to try to hide your fright from even yourself, your feeling of not being able to cope with the realities of life. (There are a whole host of addictions other than just drink & drugs by the way, count in gratuitous sex or violence, excessive food or sleep, gambling of course, high speeds and risk taking, and anything else that gives you a temporary but meaningless thrill, or that just numbs you..)
- Drop the falsehoods and become you. Along with this you will drop all fears of losing control, or of being discovered as a fraud, or as a useless waste of space, so you will go out into the world and find it coming to greet you in such an amazing way. It will provide you with all that you need to show up for yourself and those around you as a valid, useful, reliable, understanding, fair, warm, loveable human being.
It is in your power to be a balanced, happy person – if you are prepared to take on truth. Truly – you have the power to be wonderful. So let’s get together – imagine I am there with you, asking you:
- What’s stopping you?
- Why are you letting it?
- What are you going to do about it?
Deep down you know the answers. Learn to listen to this voice from the heart of your very being, and trust it. This is your best ever guide.
If you used to believe that you had to do things in certain ways to get what you wanted – then let go of that belief now. You feel light as all that complicated weight falls away. All you have to do is find out who the true you is, and be that. You don’t need to manipulate or control anything. You don’t need to be afraid of being found out. Just be yourself, honestly, openly, and the world will respond to you more positively.
Bring the energy of the universe and the earth into your body – tell yourself that it is supporting you – just as it does others who are being true to themselves – and that is the only support you really need. Of course family and friends, and even colleagues, will be supportive too – as they recognise you becoming at last the true you, they will feel more love and generosity towards you, and they may even look to you as an example. They will reflect your inner light and respond to your lightness of being in more natural and open ways. The new you will be greeted by the world in a new way. People’s response to you reflects back to you who you are now.
Greet this new year with an open face and an open heart – you know that you have the power to keep expanding. It’s easy once you have started! Your sense of peace increases as your self-knowledge and self-acceptance increases. Your strength comes from honestly knowing yourself and always aiming to be the best that you can be.
Don’t make empty resolutions about this or that external little thing – make one huge resolution to give yourself to yourself. Then everything else will quite effortlessly fall into place.
Oh – and don’t ever get angry with yourself for past idiocies – laugh them off. Don’t hold onto them or they only harm you – just acknowledge them briefly so that you have learned something from the mistake, then let them go and move beyond. So laugh, thank yourself for noticing the silliness, then surrender all the stuff that you don’t need any more – feel lighter as you let it go. Exactly the same applies to others – don’t blame anyone for anything, just surrender it and move on. Now you are wiser, you can handle things differently. Don’t be arrogant about it though, or believe me, the universe will throw tests at you. Surrender the misleading desires of your ego along with the rest of it – it doesn’t matter what anyone else does or thinks, it is what you do yourself that shows up who you are being in each moment. We all make slip-ups – just forgive, whether it is yourself or others, or both, and journey on towards your next best self.
Clear out things you don’t want, mentally, emotionally, and actual physical clutter. Clear the space for new things to grow, like weeding the garden to provide space for new seeds, and to give the plants you do want to keep the best chance to flourish, blossom, provide food for body, heart, and soul.
Trust your instinct to know the answers to your own questions, and what to do next. Energise your life – unlock your skills and abilities. Step out of the shadows, release binds, and clear blocks – like false beliefs, blame, guilt, anger, self-sabotage, doubt. There is no room for indecision if you are clear about what you want.
Write notes to yourself to help you clarify your aims, and clear your head. Set plans in place to take easy breezy steps towards your goals. Don’t be distracted or allow yourself to get confused or side-tracked. What you do must feel right and true to you. Don’t accept less than what you seek. Make a list of your values and tick them off as you confirm that you are living by them. Love your life – and it helps to keep humour alive.
Live joyfully. Be your own best friend, but be a friend to others too, and don’t be afraid to ask them to be friends for you. Even if you end up being the strong one, helping out, or giving advice when asked – you shouldn’t have to be an island – you deserve to have a happy band of people around to help you too.
You don’t need crutches to lean on once you start this journey properly. You don’t ever need to hide or play games either – you can look the world right in the eye, be honest with yourself as well as with everyone else.
As your patterns clarify into a true representation of who you are – life will recognise this and reflect your abundantly graceful way of BEING right back to you.
It is exhilarating to liberate yourself. You won’t be allowing yourself to be suppressed or limited any more. You won’t feel sapped of energy any more. You will become aligned with whatever holds real meaning for you. You will take care of yourself, not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way, in order to optimise your whole being – good nutrition, exercise, good breathing, positive thinking – because you are all the time learning more about yourself, and how to avoid negative spirals, and things you don’t want in your life.
You are the only one who can limit yourself, so just don’t allow it to happen.
Always expand your being, do what works best for you – breathe – expand your energy. Use the ideas in here for renewing and inspiring yourself (and I can offer you many more ideas if you want to take it further). Stretch yourself.
Don’t wait – start now. Welcome your new life in – stand tall. Open your heart and your eyes – you already have all that it takes – to be really alive. Shine on you crazy diamonds!
We have guides, and life coaching packs available for your own use at –
including how to use consciousness expanding tools such as meditation.
The life coaching packs include all 3 of my Achievable Goal Planning Sections in one bundle –
How to Maximise Success, Help to Decide, and all the FORMS to assist you.
Link to blog on Positive Mind and Body Talk (Intention II)
See my articles – An Holistic approach to Loving our Bodies and our Lives
What a ride it’s gonna be!
What Back to The Garden is about. do come on in and help create a better world – we have an open facebook group as well as this website (which has a link to it) and anyone can join in. We also have global meditation link-ups.
Julia Woodman (also known as Jay or Joules) writes and teaches about many thngs to try to help people and communities locally and globally