Personal Growth In Furlough

I’ve had an odd month. Trying to write a book about the human experience of Coronavirus, lockdown and the pandemic, while simultaneously educating myself on the history, formation, hopefully, future abolishment, of systemic racism. The continuation of my furlough has left me feeling slightly adrift. I have tasks and projects that I feel passionate about, and I am grateful because I am getting paid to write my book. I am getting paid to knit my blankets and blog. I am getting paid to campaign for equal rights for all. But I find it challenging to adhere to my deadlines – they seem invisible and unreal to me. Has anyone else experienced this? I would love to hear about your experiences. 

The book is coming along swimmingly – I have seven personal interest stories so far about people’s experiences on the run-up to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The idea of the book is to be an ark of stories and experiences. I want to explore the nature of how we develop a sense of hope and an inner resilient core so that we can thrive no matter what the external world is doing. I have included the learning that I have been through during my spiritual journey to self-love, confidence and authenticity. Some chapters include techniques, habits and exercises to help the reader to find their true selves and their real dreams and values. And also to rediscover a sense of hope. I am still looking for more stories, so if you would like to get involved, please send me an email at lucyloizou@angelillumination.com. I will send you the interview questions, and you will have the option to remain anonymous. The deadline for all entries is 31st July 2020.

During the process of writing the book, I have learned a great deal more about these habits and techniques and my writing style. I have begun each new section by writing the heading and then dedicated a few hours to reading about the topic and looking through the research papers. 

Did you know that the widespread belief that it takes 21 days to form a new habit is not true? It came from a plastic surgeon called Maxwell Maltz in 1960 who found that it took at least 21 days for his patients to become accustomed to their new image. (Think It Takes 21 Days to Make a Resolution a Habit? Triple That, 2020). 

The newest scientific research suggests that it takes eighteen to two hundred and fifty-four days to form a new habit (Lally, P 2020). I was surprised at this as I had been touting the Maltz formula for months!

I’ve also been experimenting with the way I try and raise awareness about Black Lives Matter. Even though the public discussion and the media have quietened down somewhat, they still do matter. I have switched from frequently posting on social media to drawing within and studying myself for unconscious biases. I have been listening to resources written by black people to educate myself about being an ally. I am doing this so that I can speak up in a clear, informed and competent way when I need to. I have realised that living in a state of anger, righteous as it may be, is not what I stand for. I want to be a channel for peace and love – that is where my strength lies. So I am acknowledging my anger, and then continuing with my meditation and learning. I am being patient with people who don’t understand what we mean by saying things like “Black Lives Matter”, “Systemic Racism” and “White Privilege”. Please have a look at my previous blog post, Let’s Learn Together, Let’s Care Together for a definition for each off these statements.

I am continuing to write to MP’s and sign petitions to try and create a world of equality and freedom for all. 

I’ve been trying to educate myself on the history of systemic racism in the UK. I’ve been doing this by listening to Reni Edo-Lodge’s book, WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE (Eddo-Lodge, n.d.) on Audible. It’s very descriptive – I thoroughly recommend it if you want to arm yourself with real examples of historical and recent systemic racism. It’s one that I will have to listen to again so that the dates and stories sink in. It’s uncomfortable to hear but necessary. I have started a private Facebook group for campaigners for Black Lives Matter so that we can provide emotional support and share educational resources. If this is something that you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will add you to the group. We do have some rules.

1 – Be kind or be quiet.

2 – Everything is confidential – do not discuss group sharing outside of the group. It is a safe space in which to explore and learn.

Wishing you peace, love and blessings,

Stay safe,

Lucy Loizou

Resources:

Clear, J., 2020. 5 Common Mistakes That Cause New Year’s Resolutions To Fail. [online] James Clear. Available at: <https://jamesclear.com/habits-fail&gt; [Accessed 1 July 2020].

Lally, P., 2020. How Are Habits Formed: Modelling Habit Formation In The Real World. [online] online library.wiley.com. Available at: <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejsp.674&gt; [Accessed 25 June 2020].

Eddo-Lodge, R., n.d. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.

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Let’s Learn Together. Let’s Care Together.

Well, the last two weeks have been emotional and intense for me. I was at first saddened by the brutal murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had already been subdued, by a white police officer, while his colleagues stood by and watched. He repeated again and again that he couldn’t breathe and nobody would listen. He went limp. The people revolted. They responded with righteous anger, with protests, at first in a peaceful way, and they were ridiculed. Then they got more aggressive, and rightly so, because it was, and is, a life and death situation for black people every day, and nobody would listen. The problem isn’t just one bad policeman, the problem is systemic racism in every country, even Great Britain. Looking deeper I saw that it was just history repeating itself.

I feel saddened and heartbroken that even friends of mine deny there is a problem. All lives matter they say. Well of course they do, but how can you say all lives matter when history – ancient and modern alike, shows that black lives, and those of ethnic minorities, clearly don’t.  All lives matter they say, it’s not a problem over here they say, slavery was abolished centuries ago they say, it doesn’t affect me, I’m not racist they say, I prefer not to get involved they say, white privilege doesn’t exist anymore they say.

Well, that is wrong and incorrect. Totally. But I get it – I do. It’s hard to recognize what is so embedded in the culturescape that we can’t always see it. There is a popular meme that is doing the rounds on social media that I feel says it all with regards to the all lives matter response:

“If my wife comes to me in obvious pain and asks “do you love me?”, an answer of “I love everyone” would be truthful, but also hurtful and cruel in the moment. If a co – worker comes to me upset and says “My father just died,” a response of “Everybody’s parents die,” would be truthful, but hurtful and cruel in the moment. So when a friend speaks up in a time of obvious pain and hurt and says “Black Lives Matter,” a response of “All lives matter” is truthful. But it’s hurtful and cruel in the moment.” (Doug Williford).

I didn’t understand it at first. I didn’t understand how the world is so cruel to our black and minority ethnicities.  But I love humanity, all of it, and I’ve dedicated myself to learning more, with humility. To ask my black friends what they need me to do and how to truly be an ally. I am learning to listen.

Racism, white superiority, systemic racism, and cultural bias affect all of us. We are less then human if we don’t stand up for those who are suffering because of the color of their skin.

As a spiritual person, it is not enough just to pray and meditate. Those actions are to help set ourselves up in order to get in contact with our hearts, with our intuition and Divine knowledge. We all have different abilities, skills, and roles to play. Your heart and soul will tell you how you are supposed to help. When we know what our souls have whispered to us, it is time to take action. This is all a call to action! But we should all dedicate ourselves to learning about the history and experiences of the oppressed, and actions we might unknowingly take on a daily basis that serves to keep them oppressed. Feel uncomfortable? Good – uncomfortable means we are learning and growing.

We are spirit having a human experience. We are soldiers for truth and justice. Won’t you rise up with me and fight the good fight? Let us educate. Let us support it. Let us grow.

To start with, here are some definitions, as I feel like the BLM movement has been misunderstood by some. It is not about condemning white people, it is not stating that only black lives matter. The issue runs deeper than any one of us individually. It is systemic and in future posts, I will explain how. I will share as I learn.

Ally:

“Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways.

Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in the oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.”

SOURCE:

  1. OpenSource Leadership Strategies, “The Dynamic System of Power, Privilege and Oppressions.”
  2. Center for Assessment and Policy Development.

Black Lives Matter:

“A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

SOURCE:

Black Lives Matter, “Herstory

Institutional Racism:

“Institutional racism refers specifically to the ways in which institutional policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The institutional policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create advantages for whites and oppression and disadvantage for people from groups classified as people of color.

Examples:

  • Government policies that explicitly restricted the ability of people to get loans to buy or improve their homes in neighborhoods with high concentrations of African Americans (also known as “red-lining”).
  • City sanitation department policies that concentrate trash transfer stations and other environmental hazards disproportionately in communities of color.”

SOURCE:

Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building. Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens and Barbara Major. 2005.

Structural Racism:

“The normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of White domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society including its history, culture, politics, economics and entire social fabric. Structural racism is more difficult to locate in a particular institution because it involves the reinforcing effects of multiple institutions and cultural norms, past and present, continually reproducing old and producing new forms of racism. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism – all other forms of racism emerge from structural racism.

For example, we can see structural racism in the many institutional, cultural and structural factors that contribute to lower life expectancy for African American and Native American men, compared to white men. These include higher exposure to environmental toxins, dangerous jobs and unhealthy housing stock, higher exposure to and more lethal consequences for reacting to violence, stress and racism, lower rates of health care coverage, access and quality of care and systematic refusal by the nation to fix these things. ”

SOURCE:

  1. Structural Racism for the Race and Public Policy Conference, Keith Lawrence, Aspen Institute on Community Change and Terry Keleher, Applied Research Center.
  2. Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building. Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens and Barbara Major. 2005.

White Privilege:

“Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits, and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally, white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.

Structural White Privilege: A system of white domination that creates and maintains belief systems that make current racial advantages and disadvantages seem normal. The system includes powerful incentives for maintaining white privilege and its consequences and powerful negative consequences for trying to interrupt white privilege or reduce its consequences in meaningful ways. The system includes internal and external manifestations at the individual, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels.

  • The accumulated and interrelated advantages and disadvantages of white privilege are reflected in racial/ethnic inequities in life expectancy and other health outcomes, income and wealth and other outcomes, in part through different access to opportunities and resources. These differences are maintained in part by denying that these advantages and disadvantages exist at the structural, institutional, cultural, interpersonal, and individual levels and by refusing to redress them or eliminate the systems, policies, practices, cultural norms, and other behaviors and assumptions that maintain them.
  • Interpersonal White Privilege: Behavior between people that consciously or unconsciously reflects white superiority or entitlement.
  • Cultural White Privilege: A set of dominant cultural assumptions about what is good, normal or appropriate that reflects Western European white world views and dismisses or demonizes other world views.
  • Institutional White Privilege: Policies, practices and behaviors of institutions — such as schools, banks, non-profits or the Supreme Court — that have the effect of maintaining or increasing accumulated advantages for those groups currently defined as white, and maintaining or increasing disadvantages for those racial or ethnic groups not defined as white. The ability of institutions to survive and thrive even when their policies, practices, and behaviors maintain, expand or fail to redress accumulated disadvantages and/or inequitable outcomes for people of color.”

SOURCE:

  1. White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women Studies. Peggy McIntosh. 1988.
  2. Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity, CAPD, MP Associates, World Trust Educational Services, 2012.

White Supremacy

“The idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. While most people associate white supremacy with extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, white supremacy is ever-present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worth less), immoral, bad, and inhuman and “undeserving.” Drawing from critical race theory, the term “white supremacy” also refers to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.”

SOURCE:

Dismantling   Racism   Works   web   workbook

I hope that starts to make things a little clearer for us all. Using the correct language can help us to discuss the issues of race and discrimination more efficiently and with love, and may help to reduce defensiveness in those we are discussing the issues. It certainly helped in my defensiveness. I’m still learning. Won’t you learn with me? Won’t you stand up with me and with all of those precious black lives?

Make yourself a cuppa, and let’s go!

Much love, and many blessings,

Lucy L XX

Photo Credit: Iamaneducator.com

Sources:

Racialequitytools.org. 2020. Glossary • Racial Equity Tools. [online] Available at: <https://www.racialequitytools.org/glossary#white-supremacy&gt; [Accessed 11 June 2020].

Williford, D., 2020. M.J. Love. [online] Facebook.com. Available at: <https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10222713907704588&set=a.2039420233395&type=3&theater&gt; [Accessed 11 June 2020].

 

Your Assistance, Please!

0*AbwXyeoH4EFWez2VI’ve spent the last four days in a writing frenzy. I can’t really think about anything else at the moment. A few weeks ago I had an idea for a book I was going to write but I didn’t know where I was going with it. I kind of stopped writing for a while. I would clean or do anything rather than write. Then I was texting a friend that I hadn’t spoken to in a while on a completely unrelated matter and out of the blue, she asked if I was writing a book! I told her that I started to write one and then stopped and she gave me a message that she channeled that I should continue to write and for inspiration, I should spend time outdoors with no shoes or socks on to ground myself in mother nature. So I did just that! I sat outside in my garden to write what I had started and to meditate, and go for walks in the woods – I love my walks in the woods with the bluebells and my favorite meditation tree. It’s literally a tree whose trunk has naturally grown into a chair shape with the boughs surrounding me on all sides. Now for weeks, I had been praying that I would get a sign if I was on the right path, and a really obvious nudge if there was some service work or life purpose that I was supposed to do but that I was avoiding. Do you ever just get that niggling feeling that you are supposed to be doing something? Well – I soon got my answer, didn’t I? Once I knew I was supposed to be writing a book I added to my prayer which is usually:

“How may I serve?” and “Thank you for this, thank you for that” with a good dose of affirmation type prayers too.

I changed it to:

“What do people need to read? What shall I write that will help the most people?”

Slowly but surely the book idea took form. I could literally feel manifesting in my mind out of thin air.

I am actually trying to say two things today:

1 – The power of prayer is very real. My entire life has been an experiment in the power of prayer. My prayers have changed form over the years and I’ve noticed my prayers becoming more powerful and as I got to know myself more authentically and got wise to the fact that you need to leave space for the Creator to work in his own way.

“This Lord, or something better that I couldn’t even have dreamed of.”

A Course In Miracles states that there is no order in the difficulty of miracles. Jesus said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move, and it will obey. If we are part of the Divine, and individual spark of the Divine, then we can perform miracles too. We just need to remember who we are and align with that power. To become one with it.

2 – I need your help! I’m working on a book about human experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. I would love to hear your stories, please. In particular, I am interested in:
-Your experiences on the run-up to the start of lockdown. What were you doing – what were your thoughts and emotions.
-What Random Acts of Kindness did you experience during this trying time?
-I would love to read about the experiences of our frontline workers and what practises they developed in order to stay mentally healthy and get through this time or what would have helped you on a personal level.
-Responses from the universe as a result of meditation and/or prayer.
– What realizations have you had through this experience? How has it changed your perspective on life and your world view? Has it changed?
If you have a story you would like to share feel free to go to my CONTACT ME page and email your stories to me by June 30th and let me know also if you would like it to be named. I would also need written consent to publish it.


Wishing you love, light, and many blessings, 

Stay safe,


Lucy L

Photo Credit: medium.com

The Point Of Power

 

Personal power

I’m writing this blog post after having been awake since the wee hours of the morning. I have my incense lit and a hot black coffee on my nightstand. In my favorite sheets on my bed with the morning light streaming through the window. It’s about week 6 of lockdown for everyone. Week 7 for me as I got symptoms a week before the lockdown was instigated and had to self isolate. I believe it was just a cough but those are the rules. It’s been a rather strange experience for me. As I’m sure it has for everyone else. There have been several sides to me. The hopeful side. The motivated side. The apathetic side. The fearful side. I’ve visited every one of these states.

It is a very sad and uncertain time for all of us – so many deaths. So much isolation.So much financial worry. And then there’s the thought of “what if life is never the same again? What new normal are we heading towards?”

Now I love to have time to myself – it’s one of my most powerful ways to regenerate my energy. I have really enjoyed the freedom of using my time the way I like. There seems to be a recurring theme on social media and I’ve noticed it in my personal life too. A dichotomy between two expectations. A – this is an amazing opportunity for those who are well to use the newfound time to create the lifestyle that they always dreamed of. To make changes. To build something new. B – we are going through a traumatic experience and shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves. We need to give ourselves permission to feel unmotivated and do nothing if we need to.

Might I suggest that we can do both? Perhaps self-care is about knowing ourselves enough to listen to what we need and respond from there? It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. A day of Netflix bingeing can be very healthy for a person who feels unsure and needs to process their feelings. Sometimes the healing, the inspiration, and the plan happen in the background while getting lost in the stories and drama of a really good movie or series. Other days, one might feel inspired to get lost in some creative past time – like painting or knitting. Or in a computer game. Those who know me well know that I am a huge fan of the sims!

What I am saying is that our service to humanity, the fulfillment of our life purpose, and the knowing that we have not come to the end of our lives with our music unplayed, comes from strengthening the relationship with ourselves. With our very own soul.

This means choosing how you spend your time and ensuring that’s authentically what you want to do at the moment. What makes you come alive? What activity gets you in a state where you are totally engrossed and time flies by without you realizing? What makes your soul sing? This may change from moment to moment. One hour it may be cleaning out a draw or organizing your home. The next it may be getting lost in a good book or going for a walk in nature. When you fill your own cup, you have the resources to serve humanity by leading the way to authenticity and shining your light brightly.

Basically, you do you, boo!

And know this – life may never be the same. We are all missing our families and people are suffering and the big scary and the fear feel very real and there probably is a genuine risk. Life is a cycle and suffering comes and goes. Wars happen, famine, natural disasters. This is not always in our control. But things always change. If they can change for the worse, they will certainly change for the better.

What is in our control? The way we live our lives and the difference we make in our own sphere of influence. My source of strength? The Divine Creator. The ultimate energy source that is benevolent and awaits your invitation to guide you in your highest good. How do you develop your relationship with yourself? Follow through with your promises to yourself. Pray. Meditate. Dance. Walk. Listen. Take action.

“The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life, hold on, for the promise from the wild nature is this: After winter, Spring always comes!”

Women Who Run With Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Stay safe.

Love and blessings to you all,

Lucy Loizou

Image Credit:

Copyright: choreograph/123RF

Sow Seeds, Make Changes!

I am a fully trained Person Centred Counsellor, Certified Angel Card Reader™, mother of two, and I have been on my own spiritual journey of self – discovery, and awakening. I believe this journey never ends – there is always a deeper level of understanding to be reached and I am still learning. I believe that we all have the capacity to grow, live and love to our fullest potential, especially when we experience unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathy from the people around us, and of course, from our own selves.

I also believe that so many of us right now have woken up to the possibility of living our dreams – in all aspects of our lives. We yearn to be our true selves. I believe our dreams are put in our hearts and minds for a reason and by following them we fulfill part of our life’s mission here on Earth, we fulfill part of our life’s purpose. Furthermore, by reaching for our dreams, we inspire others, we bring joy and light into the world. This is because joy, peace, love, and passion are infectious. Whatever we feel permeates into the atmosphere around us. Notice when you see somebody walking along the street with a beaming smile on his or her face. Do you not feel compelled to smile back – is it not catching? It is not selfish to reach for our dreams – it is absolutely necessary!

This last year has been amazing for me. I have manifested so many of my dreams! This last year alone I have taken up dancing lessons (this has always been a dream of mine that I could never see happening – everything and everyone else always seemed more important), a fantastic relationship with a man who fills my soul and nourishes me with so much love and affection it’s unreal, a two stone weight loss, and a part-time job that I respect and that fits in with my values, disposition and schedule, and a great network of friends who inspire, nourish and support me!

So to help you achieve your version of this, I have written an ebook that contains the process I went through to get to where I am today.

My ambition with this booklet is to share with you how I achieved all this, in a way that facilitates and supports your own personal journey. You will find practical exercises designed to get you thinking and reflecting on your dreams and ambitions, and some of my experiences on my journey towards manifestation. What is most important to you? How are you going to get there? Is it really what you want – or what you have been trained to desire through your family/culture/societal ideals? 

Interested? You can purchase your copy here:

I have also created a Sowing The Seeds Of Change  Facebook page and the Sowing The Seeds Of Change Closed group on Facebook so that you can share your journey and insights with a community of like-minded individuals. It will be a safe space so please do come and share with us!

 

 

Being Your Own Best Friend

Fear of the name is worse than fear of the thing itself. Hermione Granger said it first I think. Referring to everyone’s fear of speaking about “He who must not be named” in the Harry Potter series.

I’ve learned this, in my own life, on an increasing level. All of my stress and anxiety stem from more fear of my feelings and my relationship with myself if the worst should happen than the thing itself. I’m more afraid of how I will feel than the actual situation.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Another thing I have learned – there are some things in life that are beyond our control. Other people’s choices for example. Natural disasters. The state of the economy and businesses going bankrupt, leaving you out of a job. People deciding that maybe you are not the one for them. Out of all these things, the way we feel about ourselves is often worse than the situations surrounding us. The choices and reactions we make from this place of fear, from this place of powerlessness. The ugly part of ourselves we show when we feel challenged, when we, either consciously or unconsciously start to try to control and manipulate the people and the situations around us. The stress that accumulates from holding on too tightly to the way we feel, we believe, it’s supposed to be.

Sometimes I catch myself amidst all this inner turmoil and every fiber of my being shouts STOP! ENOUGH!. Sometimes I have to physically unclench my fists, or visualize my fists all clenched up and then release them. Sometimes I have to cry. Sometimes the crying is so strong that it feels like vomiting up my emotions, because I feel them so strongly in my stomach that my system can’t handle them anymore. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in it all. I can’t be there for anyone anymore until I am there for myself. Oh the pain of being a highly sensitive person. The pain of being an Empath and not knowing exactly who’s feelings and fears are swirling around your body like a cyclone.

I have learned to soften my body when I suddenly realize that all of this is going on. I let it wash over me. I feel all of it, and when I feel strong enough, I work on accepting it. On saying repeatedly, under my breath, that’s it’s ok. These feelings are a valued part of me too. I accept them. I accept myself. It’s ok to feel this way.

I allow myself to feel my fear, my love, my joy, my anguish, as it comes up. By heck it hurts sometimes. I feel so drained when I feel all of these emotions in my system. The trouble is, when I don’t acknowledge them, the energy it takes to pretend or deny or stuff down is so much more. So much more tiresome and irksome.

The way to be your own best friend is to accept all of these parts of yourself.

It is trusting that an ideal solution already exists, and sitting with the feelings and the situation, without judgment, until the solution appears.

Ask: “What does this situation or feeling want me to know? What is the message in it?”

Be open to whatever comes up.

It takes bravery. It takes strength. But nothing is worse than the atrophy and inertia, the underlying fear, of denying aspects of yourself, is there?

Love and blessings,

Lucy Loizou.

Picking Yourself Back Up

There are times in life when you feel uninspired and everything feels like a chore. There are times when you feel you have lost touch with yourself and that you’re not on the right path anymore. You feel lost. You criticize yourself and feed yourself with the wrong foods, watch copious amounts of television, or play games with your phone to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that arises when you’re not living on purpose.

There are times that you remember, not so long ago, when you felt you were living on purpose. You felt empowered, inspired, organized. You worked on your projects and priorities every day and you could clearly see the design you envisioned for yourself, for your life.

Then there are the times when you realize that you needed the time out to rest and relax, to really listen to yourself. You realize you were in a cocoon – storing up your energy for the next stage of the design. Perhaps the design looks different now. Perhaps you have changed during your downtime. Things look different. You have learned something about yourself. Your recent lessons have now become a part of you. You are wiser, stronger. Fresh. Different.

Then there are the times when you drop anchor in the resting place and don’t get back up. You start to feel down. Inertia drew you in. Watching telly becomes a habit you can’t seem to break. So does lying – in regularly instead of getting up to exercise. Ordering takeaways instead of cooking fresh foods. Leaving the dishes in the sink until they build up. Turning down opportunities to grow because they feel too uncomfortable.

It feels so difficult to get back up again – but there will come a time when you can’t take it anymore. Trust that there will come a time when you are bored with your inertia. Will you be brave enough to pull yourself up to a standing position? That’s all you have to do first. Summon the strength, the energy to get up. Take a deep breath. Mentally, or out loud, say “Enough!”

Perhaps you will start by clearing away a small a bit of clutter in your nearest vicinity. Make your bed, open the blinds, perhaps a window, and then you will let the sunshine in, and feel the fresh air on your face. Breathing life back into you.

You might then decide you want to wash your face and brush your teeth, put some comfortable clothes on. And then you sit down – on the bed or on the sofa. You offer a prayer to the room, to God, to anyone who will listen. “Now what?”

You look outside the window, and in a hit of inspiration, you whisper “ a walk”. You pull on your trainers and head outside, and escape to your nearest bit of scenery, even if it’s only in your garden, on the street or in your village, but preferably a woods or some pasture. You feel the wind in your hair, on your face, your feet hitting the pavement. You notice the sound of the birds in the air and the blue of the sky. The smell of nature. And with each step, you start to feel alive again. Perhaps, still a little sad. Still a little confused and down, but you feel the stirrings in your soul, telling you that you will be ok. New beginnings await you. You feel a flicker of hope in your heart. You are becoming one with all that is, even if it is only for a brief time, you can feel the connection with a world that is bigger than yourself.

You get back home and put the kettle on. Make yourself a steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage, and sit down with it. In front of a beautiful notebook and a smooth pen. You write down three goals for yourself. Three baby steps to help you to get back on track. Baby steps that don’t involve the will of others.

What are they?

I hope you have fun with this exercise – if you need help deciding on your three goals and how to fit them into your life, feel free to contact me on my Facebook page for information about a session with me.

Love and blessings,
Lucy Loizou.

Resistance Is Futile

Life happens, that’s a fact. No matter how spiritual we are, no matter the kind of relationship we feel we have with the creator, sooner or later, challenges come up that we have to face. We live in a world where we do not only have our free will, but everyone’s free will.

There is a collective unconscious, and a collective Karma, as well as our own. We also have the lessons we agreed to learn before we incarnated into this life. And then the choices we have made – whether they were wise choices or not. There is cause and effect.

Sooner or later something will happen and we might feel like everything we have worked towards, all we have learned, is lost. We feel lost, we feel scared, angry, confused, hopeless. These feelings are natural of course, and then when we feel them we feel that we are back at square one.

We may feel that we have reached a stage where we “deserve” not to encounter such inconveniences again. I for one, when something like this happens, crumble for a moment. You are likely to find me, sat on the kitchen floor like a child, melting into tears. Expressing my anger and disappointment for a few moments. Letting the tide of emotion wash over me. Resistance is futile. The feelings are real. You can’t stuff them down. They will come again as illness in your body. As dis – ease. Neither can you find solutions when filled with the tension of these feelings.
You have to sit with them for a while. This is just one example.

Life is a rollercoaster. There are things outside of ourselves that we have no control over. War machines, bankruptcy of the companies we work for, car accidents, earthquakes. We can’t control other people’s choices or behaviours, we can’t control the forces of Mother Nature.
Resistance is futile. These things will happen no matter how evolved we are as individuals, at least until the whole world evolves.

If resistance is futile, and all of these things are out of our control, then what is in our control? Who is the one constant in our lives? We are. You are. You are the person that you will have known the longest in your life. You are the person with whom you are in relationship ALWAYS.

This is where the strength lies. I have been on a rollercoaster these last two years, of joy and sadness, of scary learning and empowering learning. What I have been crafting most is my relationship with myself. I have been learning how I tick on a much deeper level, and trust myself now. I am my own best friend, and I like who I am. In fact, sometimes, I think I’m a pretty cool person. It’s taken a lot of work. I know now that, no matter what happens, I will survive, learn and grow. I know how to get back on my throne when I get knocked off, as the Queen, the Goddess of my own life. Granted, I won’t enjoy it when these lessons come around, when life does a 360 on me, who would?

The time to cultivate this self-knowledge, and the tools and habits to help oneself get back on one’s throne, is when everything is going well. It takes work and discipline, but discipline in a beautiful way. Discipline is controlling your thoughts and words in order to cultivate unconditional love for oneself, to cultivate your life purpose, your dreams, and the ability to listen to and to know you deserve what you need at any given time.

Over the coming months I will be sharing tools and practices that can help to build this throne and to keep you on it, but there are two tools that I have always advocated that you can start right now.

1) Writing a journal – Yes I know. I am always harping on about self-awareness. But really, if you don’t understand who you really are and what makes you tick, what makes you stronger, then how can you make the most life affirming choices? Do yourself a favour – go to a bookstore or stationers and treat yourself to beautiful notebook or diary, one that inspires you to spend time with it. Maybe even a pen or two in your favourite colour. Write in it or draw in it at least three times a week. Your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Your dreams for the future.

2) Meditation – at least 15 minutes a day. You can listen to your breath, or say a mantra or repeat an affirmation, or even listen to a guided meditation. You can find plenty of free guided meditations online or even download one onto your device for your convenience. This will help you to develop the skill of listening to yourself, of presence and being mindful and accepting of what is happening in the present moment. It gives your body time to rejuvenate and slow down as well. It’s a win – win really, isn’t it?

I would love to hear your own thoughts and experiences – please feel free to share with me. Also, watch this space for details on how to receive practical tools and tips for developing your relationship with yourself, and how never to miss a blog again.

Wishing you love, and Angel blessings,

Lucy Loizou

The Truth about Happily Ever After.

The run-up to my birthday this year has brought on some serious self-reflection. I am about to become 37. Another three years and I will be 40. I never thought my age would bother me, but I have come to the realization that somewhere, in the back of my mind, 40 is my adult number. The age at which I am to have it all together, to have achieved my success, whatever that would look like. When I realized I had three more years to reach this age, I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, I won’t live forever. I started to see my life as a timeline. Going back to the beginning and reliving moments, reliving times when I was just existing, relaxing, playing. Reliving times when I limited myself, not realizing my right to be here, my right to be happy in my own way. Living a life of people-pleasing and thinking that other people knew more than me and I was obligated to listen to their advice more than my own.

My exact thought was, shouldn’t I be well on my way to my own Happily Ever After by now? Shouldn’t I be sorted? We live a life of expecting this state of being sorted – knowing who we are, the perfect relationship, career, family, home so that we don’t have to worry about it anymore. A stage of stasis is perpetuated by children’s fairy tales, by the movies, and cartoons. Happily Ever After, and that is where the story ends.

What happened to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty – after the wedding? After the story ends? Is that the end of their yearning? Their sole purpose in life?

You might think I’m being cynical, but in this earthly life, in our time here, there is no happy ever after. There might be happier ever after, or pretending to be happy after. But things don’t just stop once you find the perfect career, the perfect home, the perfect family, friends, or social status. Well, – correction, for some people it does stop there, but not just because of some unforeseen illness or sudden death, but because they hold on to that space in time in a death grip that prevents them from growing and learning.

The truth is, Sleeping Beauty, five years into her relationship with the prince, probably discovered that her relationship needed work and went into journalling to or therapy, in order to learn how to communicate with him better. I mean, after sleeping all of those years, one would think that she needed space to find herself, to find out who she really is, and what she wants to do with her life. The prince may have though, goodness, who is this person that I woke up with a kiss? I love her dearly but I do long for another adventure – I want to rescue someone. You see?

The truth is, we are here to evolve and learn throughout our lives. Yes it feels great to reach a goal. Yes it feels great to reach a clearer understanding of yourself and life so far. But no, it doesn’t you mean you should risk changing everything you have accomplished for the chance of something that could be even more fulfilling for you. That you shouldn’t leave your place and level of learning, you shouldn’t challenge your outlook and ideals of life again. Life without change, life without growth, is stagnation. Is death. Slow, painful, soul-destroying death.

As we learn, as we grow, we change. We understand ourselves better. We get Divine guidance to work on new projects, meet new people. These yearnings, though they might feel scary, should be tested out and considered, not just ignored so we can stay in our comfort zone.

Please always stay open and listen to those beautiful inner whisperings, calling you to learn something new. Some new skills, some different ways of being, or a new healthier habit. Be open to the new friends that come your way, the new experiences, and opportunities that the universe brings to you. If you listen to your inner voice, and check it with common sense and a good plan, setting your intention and taking daily action, you will be living a life, not just an existing one.

So, why don’t you write a list of all of the ideas and thoughts of your inner whisperings? Write a journal, draw pictures or talk to a trusted friend about the new things you are learning about yourself, and choose which actions you feel would be the best to take on next.

Love and Blessings,
Lucy Loizou.

Meditation

Well, I haven’t written anything new for a while. Sometimes, you need to stop doing and go into peaceful isolation with your maker and rest your spirit a while. I guess this is what I have been doing. Recharging my batteries, shoring up my meditation routine and developing the spiritual and mental fortitude for the next stage of my life journey, whatever that may involve.

Another aspect would be that sometimes you need to help by helping and giving time in a physical sense rather than just writing about helping in a way that will inspire others to help themselves. I do love writing in the hope that my journey, my learning, will inspire, help, and give hope to others who may be going through similar experiences and feelings. Sometimes, though, people need real-time help and strength that is specific for them and their situation.

If life is a balance between giving and receiving, it also a balance between doing and being. Both are important. During my recent time out from writing I have been working on developing a more regular meditation practise. The ideal, I believe, is 10 – 20 minutes in the morning, and the same again in the evening. This is like a daily snapshot of the bigger picture in life. You start the day in communing with the Divine, this is the receiving part. The being part. You temporarily let go of the perception of separation from all that is, you just are. You are soaked up in the Divine energies and learn to just listen to that still quiet voice within. This then sets you up for a day of doing and giving. Of creating and learning and practising what you have learned. Then, before we go to bed into that unconscious state of dreamland, another stage of just being, communing, receiving, and showing gratitude.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy to start with. For ages I have listened to guided meditations because the instructions and the music helped to stop my mind from wondering. I still use them through the day or as I am going to sleep. But if you think about, they still involve doing. You encouraged to use imagination and visualise, which is helpful in itself. But I felt called to breathing meditation. Twenty minutes when you pay attention to the ebb and flow of your breath. You become aware of your heartbeat. You become aware of how many thoughts run through your mind in a dizzying minute, and imagine them as if they are on a stage or on a boat drifting by. You don’t settle on them. You recognise them, let them go and take your next breath. You become more aware of your body, it’s heaviness on the bed. The sensation of sheets or the air in the room on your skin. The birds tweeting outside your window. And you let it go on. Around you. You let it go – you are of it – of the same star-dust, and yet you are not. You may become aware of feelings you didn’t know you had. You feel them bubble up through your heart, through your throat, up into your head. Maybe your eyes release the tear drops, and through it all, you keep your focus on your breath. Every time your mind wonders, you smile lovingly and bring your attention back.

You may find that you have received inspiration and solutions to situations you felt were impossible to resolve, and in gratitude, you release them for the time being, in joy as well, and bring your attention back to your breath.

And then your calming and gentle mobile phone alarm goes off, informing you that you accomplished your intention of twenty minutes of meditation. You say a prayer of gratitude to the Divine for it’s presence, take a final deep breath, and gently, slowly open your eyes. You put your feet to the ground, and imagine roots going deep into the Earth, planting you firmly in the Earthly Mother and her amazing strength. You stretch your arms up over your head to the heavens, and branches go up – way, way up into the sky, connecting you to the Heavenly Father, to Divine guidance through the day.

Now you are all set. The smile on your face is connected to the smile in your heart and the smile in your soul and the smile your eyes.

You affirm: “I am a Child of God. I am His”

And then you have a Blessed day.

Love and blessings,

Lucy Loizou xx