Letting Go

HannahHGrief and Loss, Personal Development, Relationships, SpritualityLeave a Comment

7734030_mAs a Life Coach, I see so many situations that people want to shift and change. Setting goals can help us feel more free and more inspired to make even more changes. But sometimes change isn’t our choice. Sometimes it’s forced upon us, and has repercussions and consequences that reach far beyond anything we can imagine.

To use a personal example, I experienced a change this week that wasn’t through my choosing, and it presented a dual experience: one that was incredibly sad and scary, and another that was completely awe-inspiring.

Let me fill in the gaps.

On Wednesday evening after having dinner with a friend, we were walking to another venue in search of a cosy space where we could continue chatting, when I received an SMS from my mum asking me to call her. I live on the opposite side of the world from my parents, so getting a text message that says “Call me” is my biggest fear.

As soon as I got through to my mum she told me that three days prior, my dad had suffered two concurrent seizures and had been taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Before I go on, let me tell you he’s OK. My dad was admitted and released the same day, with promises of neurologic tests to find out what’s causing the problem. So as I’m sure you can appreciate I heaved an enormous sigh of relief.

As my mum instructed me not to worry, I did my best to keep it together until I got off the phone with an “OK, cool, send Dad my love” and then promptly lost my sh*t. Thankfully, my friend did the most perfect thing: she hugged me while I wracked and shook, tears flooding down my cheeks with thoughts cascading through my mind about the fact I had just performed a dress rehearsal for The Phonecall.

The Phonecall is the one that says; “Your dad is seriously ill, can you come home now.” Or worse still, “I’m sorry, your dad has passed away.”

Over the following 24 hours, as I processed the horrible thought that I will probably not see my dad many more times, (if ever – I’m due to visit the UK in October, but anything could happen between now and then, right), a very interesting thing occurred.

I Let Some Stuff Go.

Feeling the reality of my dad not being here any more forced me into a new realm of thinking. Namely, who am I without my dad? What will the world mean when he is no longer here?

The honest answer to that is, I don’t know.

I don’t know who I am if my dad doesn’t exist. How could the world still revolve if he isn’t part of it? I literally have no idea what that feels like. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed 42 years of having a father who is always there for me. What could the opposite of that possibly feel like?

[… blank …]

That’s when something dawned on me.

For most of my life (at least for most of my adult life), I have had this burning desire to Be Someone. By that I mean to make my mark on the world. To leave a legacy that people will talk about after I’ve gone. “Who, Hannah? Yes, she was the girl who changed the world. She was the one who made a difference to how people think. She did work that helped people communicate better and helped the world become a more peaceful place.”

Heck, I’ve even dreamed that when I pass away, my picture will be on the cover of Time magazine! Sounds foolish when I say it out loud, but it’s the truth. At least it was, until I got that phone call. Like I said, that moment changed things for me. And one of those things was the need to be famous.

I recognised, in the hours after really wondering how much longer my dad has to live, that the only person I’ve ever really wanted to be famous for (or to), is my dad.

Yup, when all is said and done, that burning desire to Be Someone was actually a desire to Be The Light of My Dad’s Life. And all I have to do to be that, is to be alive; because I know my dad loves me more than life itself. I should add here, that I didn’t always see it that way. The horrible truth is, I spent many, many years believing that my dad didn’t love me. Which makes this realisation all the more sweet.

So, all of a sudden, some of my inner struggle – namely that underlying sense that I must do more, be more and have more, slowly but surely began to dissolve. Truly, even as I write this, three days later, that sense of urgency that has shadowed me since I can’t even tell you when, has a far less aggressive hold on me. The interesting thing about that inner struggle is, I couldn’t have told you it was there until this week. Yet, as soon as I identified it I simultaneously recognised that it had been there for as long as I can remember.

Wow.

Letting that one go, wasn’t so much a choice as a natural reaction to one of life’s biggest moments (losing a parent).

I hope my dad continues to live for a long time yet, but I am truly grateful for what happened as a result of my going through the dress rehearsal of him no longer being here. As each day passes, the sublimal “need” I had to be famous is inadvertently falling away. And, with that comes a lifetime of I-Must-Become-Famous cellular memories that can now dissolve, creating room for more wholesome and self-serving desires.

I don’t know if this is the absolute truth – because I’m only just getting used to the fact that I’m letting go of something I didn’t even know I really felt until this week – but I think that old space is now being filled with a desire to simply Be Me.

The desire to just Be Me was also always there, but swaying on the other side of that Ego see-saw was that desire to be Someone. Now that the latter is reducing to nothing, there’s more space to run the Be Me programme. And I can honestly tell you, it has given me an incredible sense of calm.

There is so much more to say about this event. The implications of releasing that one belief has created an enormous cascade of realisations that are too many and too intricate to explain in one blog. They are however, relevant to my being a Life Coach and to the positive repercussions of Letting Go, so I will definitely blog about them in the coming months.

For now though, let me leave you with this: every single one of us experiences change as part of the ever continuing evolution of life. The incredible thing about that is how one change can (and always does) lead to another change, and another and so on, ad infinitum.

The remarkable thing about life for me, is not the fact that it changes. The thing I find the most astonishing is the incredible lack of awareness we all have about ourselves. I mean, how can it be that I couldn’t see the link between my wanting to Be Someone and the correlation to actually just seeking approval from my dad? When it’s laid out in black and white it’s so obvious, but until the moment when we see another side of ourselves more clearly, some insights simply sit behind veils that are so thin, yet so thick at the same time, they prevent us from knowing who we really are.

And that, I guess is why Life and Life Coaching are so inspiring to me. I hope that having these deeply insightful experiences will help me help someone else who is experiencing change and who is yearning for more peace and happiness. As I said, change is not the issue; self awareness is. When we see who we are, it helps us realise why we react to things the way we do. Increasing our self awareness is the key to having a happier life. Because when you come to know that you don’t even know yourself, it makes it a lot harder to judge and criticise other people.

In fact, the more we come to understand ourselves, the more we feel compassion for others. When you can recognise that some of your own past behaviours were at best a bit warped, and you know that you were always doing the best you could, you just didn’t have the information about yourself that you have today, well, it leaves you in a very interesting position.

In my experience, that position is one of Letting Go. Letting go of the need to judge others, letting go of reasons to point out other people’s flaws. Letting go of the need to be anything other than who you are and steering your life towards greater happiness, because really, there are only two things we know about life.

1) That our physical body will die

2) That there will always be more to learn about ourselves

Hari Aum x

PS If your parents are still alive, be sure to send them your love.

 

End Of The Road

HannahHGrief and Loss, Personal Development, Relationships, self esteem, SpritualityLeave a Comment

End of the RoadSo, earlier this year I outed my deepest and most personal “secret” in a blog called Defining Moments. It was about the fact that I had survived a horrific car crash that took the life of my friend Dawn and left my then-boyfriend Steve in a coma for a while.

For those of you who have read the story, there are a few questions that haven’t yet been answered. Hopefully this blog will serve up the final words on that night and fill you in on the missing pieces that I haven’t yet shared.

I’ll start with the verdict.

The accident happened on 8 December 1989. It was a Friday night and as you already know, we had a head-on collision with a truck. There were four of us involved. My friend Dawn who died at the scene, my boyfriend Steve (who was driving) who suffered head injuries and was in a coma for a couple of months, and then there was the driver of the truck, and me.

As neither Dawn nor Steve could testify, and because there was a question as to whether Steve or the truck driver was potentially at fault, I was the only witness.

From memory, the inquest happened around April 1990, about 5 months after the crash.

I had already walked away from my relationship with Steve, had come out the other side of a nervous breakdown and was surviving as best I could. My dad and my friend Carol came with me to the courthouse.

As you can imagine, Steve’s family would have been desperately troubled over this verdict as it could potentially throw their son under the spotlight and as far as they knew, maybe he was at fault. And what would that mean?

I was no longer in contact with them and you can read all about why in my blog Broken But Not Forever. Suffice to say, I wasn’t exactly over the moon when I saw his dad and one of his uncles sitting outside the courtroom when I got there.

In fact, I wish the ground could have swallowed me up because it became another chance for his family to use me as a scapegoat and take a stab at me with their projected pain.

As I sat waiting to be called, Steve’s dad came over to me.

“Why did you say you were travelling at 40 miles an hour?”

He had been given a copy of my statement (that had been taken a couple of days after the crash), and he was far from pleased with what I had said. Even though it was the truth.

I honestly don’t remember what I said in response but I do remember feeling mentally bashed (once again), and totally appalled at his lack of respect, lack of compassion and basic lack of human spirit as he venomously spat his thinly-veiled accusation at me.

Like it was my fault his son was in a coma and that my friend was dead?

I don’t think I need to tell you, his spiteful words didn’t exactly help me feel better about an already stressful situation.

Thankfully it wasn’t long before our case was up and I was called to the witness stand. Declaring my oath to tell the truth and nothing but, the judge proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions which I answered as authentically as I could remember.

The verdict was given almost instantly: Accident.

That’s right. Neither Steve nor the truck driver were held accountable. The verdict was that the accident was exactly that: an accident.

As for Steve’s health? I don’t know the answer to that. I have never heard from him since. Bar one phone call a week after I left him there has been no contact. I heard that he suffers from epilepsy and walks with a slight limp, but that’s hearsay and not something I can verify.

I did write him a letter about 4 years ago. I found an address for someone with the same name as him at an address that was in the vicinity of where we lived at the time. I never got a reply. But when you think about it, it took me 22 years to write that letter, so it could take 22 years for him to respond. If it even ever reached him. Which I guess I’ll never know.

The final question that I may have left unanswered is about whether I’ve ever actually been in love since I walked away from my first love. I wrote in Life Sentence that I hadn’t ever loved a man as wholly and completely as I loved Steve, and that’s at least partially true.

However, just for the record, and to clear up any misunderstanding (especially for my exes…!), I should make it clear that yes, of course I have been in love since then. The point I was making is that I had come to realise that part of me had stayed locked in that situation. Until I saw it more clearly, which is why I wrote about it.

It’s not that I’ve never loved anyone since then, but I had a definite sense that some part of me had been holding myself accountable for walking away, and I hadn’t recognised it until last year when it was the 25th anniversary of the crash.

My writing about the Life Sentence wasn’t so much to say that I have been a stone cold ice queen for 25 years, it was merely that I had come to a new level of understanding of who I am in relationships and that maybe, part of me had been holding back because the first time I’d fallen in love it all ended terribly. And that maybe a part of me had held on to that because I was scared to love at that deep level incase I ended up feeling as hurt as I had back then.

So, in order to set the record straight, I should acknowledge that I have been in love many times.

There was the sensitive musician who I had a 2-year relationship with when I was 21. I definitely loved him because I was distraught when he called it off. Then there was the DJ who stole my heart and who I reconnected with 15 years after our first fling. Still love him. And of course, my longest relationship – 9 years with the kooky creative who was a brilliant athlete and all-round funny guy. That was a love that had its own recipe and came to a natural end.

They’re the ones I call my most important loves, but to be honest, I fall in love on some level all the time.

So my Life Sentence wasn’t about never having loved since then, it was about having baggage that I hadn’t fully let go of. Which as far as I can see, means not fully allowing myself to love in the way I did when I was 16 when life seemed so bright and full of promise.

Lucky for me, that baggage has been put down and I am now in a far more available position than I can ever remember.

Maybe this is where all of us arrive at some point? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I feel different. More free and ready to dive in to new things without holding on to the unconscious belief that I still owe my ex for leaving him.

So there it is. The conclusion to my 25 years of unconscious “suffering”.

Having been through such an awful experience as being involved in a fatal car accident it’s worth saying that I believe the worst things that happen are truly our greatest gifts.

Losing people we love and being forced to get up and dust ourselves off when all we want to do is crumble and fall is one of life’s most humbling yet empowering opportunities. And I’m glad I went through all of it. Because now I get to look back on past events and see how far I’ve come.

I can look through the window of the past and notice how strong those painful moments have made me. They provided me with a choice to grow and become a better person. And they have certainly made me more compassionate.

I hope you’ve enjoyed travelling that road with me as I relived the pain and unearthed those memories that, until writing this blog, had been stored in my cells, waiting to be set free.

Because now, I’m well and truly back on the road and loving every minute.

And I hope you are too.

Choose love xx

The Voice Within

HannahHGrief and Loss, Personal Development, self esteem, SpritualityLeave a Comment

The voice withinIf you’ve been following my last three blogs Defining Moments, Life Sentence and Broken, But Not Forever you’ll be up to speed on the fact that I survived a horrific car accident when I was 18. My friend D died at the scene and my then-boyfriend suffered head injuries and was in a coma for a number of weeks.

Me? I walked away with a ripped earlobe and some torn ligaments.

“We saw the car,” said the police when they came to my house a few days later to interview me. “It was a total wreck,” they said. “I don’t know how anyone managed to survive that crash.”

Damn straight. The roof had to be cut off the car and the front end was basically squashed under a truck. It was a mangled wreck to say the least so I’m not surprised the cops were amazed at how I survived.

But I know exactly how that happened.

About a month before the accident I was temping as a receptionist for a construction company. I had been working as a temp since the age of 16. After leaving school in year 10 I had skipped college and gone straight into the workplace. I wanted to be a temp and had managed to manifest that dream despite having nothing but a couple of O-levels (certificates of achievement in English and maths) and a bucket full of confidence.

My confidence wasn’t just teenage arrogance. I’d harboured a very cool “secret” since the age of about 3 when I realised that I could “smell” whether someone was trustworthy or not. That secret evolved into a deep knowing. I somehow always knew what was the right path to follow, or if someone was being deceitful or dishonest.

Now, obviously at the age of 3 I wasn’t able to articulate what I have just explained to you, but I do know that from as young as I can remember, I had a very strong sense of knowing what was “right” and what was “wrong”. It didn’t necessarily mean I never did anything “wrong”, because wrong means all kinds of different things to different people depending on the circumstance and their own version of what’s “good” and “bad”. But I definitely had an inner compass that sensed whether I should do X, Y or Z.

“Go and sit on so-and-so’s lap” my parents might say.

Not on your nelly, I would think to myself.

“Eat your beetroot” said the dinner lady.

But I’ll be sick. 

“Eat it,” she insisted.

So I ate it and promptly vomited bright purple spew all over the classroom.

Those are two very general examples but what I’m trying to point out here is that even as a very young child – when you’re expected to listen to and believe what teachers, aunts, uncles and parents tell you – I had an inner barometer that would sometimes tell me a very different story, and lucky for me, I knew when to listen to that voice instead.

I became such good friends with that voice (which is most often actually a feeling), that when I got to the age of 18 and heard it even louder than ever before, I knew I had to sit up and listen.

And thank God I did.

“Hannah, be careful.”

This was the voice I heard every time I got into my car during the month that led up to the accident.

True. Every single time I got behind the wheel of my bright yellow Ford Fiesta, (my first car), a voice, as clear as day would “appear” over my right shoulder and tell me to be careful.

Huh?

At first, despite it being a very loud voice (one that I knew no-one else would be able to hear), I was surprised. Because despite being highly intuitive, most of my intuition arrived in the form of a feeling. Yes, there would be a thought attached but it was more of a sensation followed by some inner dialogue where as this was like a real person standing over my shoulder and speaking VERY LOUDLY.

I couldn’t ignore it.

I’m not sure if I remember telling one of my friends or if I’ve since made that up, but I think I told a girlfriend because even as someone who relied on their intuition all the time, it was a bit weird. The memory I have is that I told a friend, “Hey, I keep getting this voice telling me to be careful every time I get into my car, so I’m just telling you incase anything happens and you’ll know I wasn’t going mad.”

Whether I really did tell her or not, I’m not 100% sure.

But I am 100% sure that the voice existed. Because on the night of the accident I heard it again.

Only this time, I wasn’t the one driving.

On the way to pick up D, I was sitting in the front passenger seat of my boyfriend’s car. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. This was 1989 and wearing a seatbelt had (I think) only fairly recently been made compulsory. Sometimes I would wear it, sometimes not. And there were definitely no seat belts in the back seat of the car. Or if there were, there were no laws saying you should wear them.

So, driving to D’s house I did not have my seatbelt on. I didn’t even think about it. I often didn’t wear it.

When we pulled up at D’s house, I jumped out and let her into the backseat. We were in a 2-door car so she had to climb past the front seat to get in the back.

As soon as I sat back down I heard the voice saying “Put your seatbelt on.”

I didn’t think about it. I didn’t question it. And I didn’t hesitate. I simply put my seatbelt on.

Clunk. Click.

You know the rest of the story so I won’t go through it all again. But suffice to say, had I not paid heed to that voice and fastened my seatbelt, I think it’s reasonable to assume that I would not be here today.

At the very least (or most), I would probably be a vegetable.

There’s no way of knowing of course, but going by the wreckage that cost my friend her life and left my boyfriend with severe injuries, I can take a fair punt in the assumption that I would have been flung out of my seat, hit the dashboard and been thrown around in such a way that would have most likely resulted in my being severely physically damaged. There were no airbags in those days so the only thing between me and the windscreen was the dashboard.

My friend D was in the backseat (with no seatbelt) and was flung past me straight into the windscreen. She hit me on the way past which twisted my seat round to the left and caused me to feel as though I’d been hit by a baseball bat on the right side of my head.

Truly horrible.

If I hadn’t been strapped in, (thanks to the voice that told me to do so, I was), the collision – not only of our car and the truck – but of D and I, would probably have been a lot worse for me.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d be dead.

It sounds dramatic to say all this, and maybe it is because there’s no way of knowing what would have happened. And there’s no need to even go there except that it’s healing for me. But the reason I’m writing this is not to shock or to retread the past, it’s to show how important listening to our instinct is.

Had I not learned to listen to my inner voice, to my gut, to my inner barometer, I may not have listened to that voice that night. And had I been someone with less trust in myself and the Universe, I may have heard the voice but hesitated, or questioned it, or not paid attention, thinking it was just me being silly.

But the voices we hear are not silly. We all have an inner voice. You might hear it as a voice, or you might just feel things, or maybe you see stuff? I get all three, but feelings are the most common sensation for me.

Truly, I am certain that all the guidance we need is within us. Right in the palm of our hands and the centre of our chest. In our hearts. All you have to do is learn to trust those feelings. To listen to what your body and your heart is telling you.

I’m lucky in the sense that when I get a feeling that something isn’t right, or that I should take that road instead, or not get on that bus, or fasten my seatbelt, that I listen. I trust my heart. I always have. And lucky for me, I have proof that those inner messages are for real. That they are there to serve us and keep us safe.

Because if it wasn’t for that voice that told me to put my seatbelt on that night of December 8, 1989 there’s a very high chance I wouldn’t be writing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it.

So learn to trust your inner voice.

It might just save your life x

Broken, But Not Forever

HannahHGrief and Loss, Personal Development, self esteem2 Comments

Broken but not foreverThe human spirit is incredibly powerful.

But the ways in which we behave can test that spirit beyond belief.

If you’ve read my last blog Life Sentence, you’ll know that when I was 18 I was in car accident that left my best friend dead, and my boyfriend in a coma. And you’ll have read that I made a choice to break up with my boyfriend because his family had made it very clear that they didn’t want me around while he was still so fragile.

But a friend asked me this week; “Why would anyone ostracise the girlfriend of their son when they would have known she (me) was obviously grieving?”

Well, there’s a whole bunch of reasons why, and I’m about to tell you what they could have been.

Now, obviously I don’t have access to another person’s mind, so what I’m about to tell you is simply speculation. I’ve had a long time to think about all the why’s and what for’s of the accident and I have spent a lot of time doing just that. So when it comes to understanding what his parents were going through, even though there’s no way I could possibly know for sure, the one thing that makes me feel authorised to share what I’m about to say is that I have no bad feelings towards them whatsoever.

Literally none.

But of course, that wasn’t always the case…

As I drove away from S’s house after breaking up with him, I cried a river. But like I said in my last blog, I also felt relieved. Somehow I had just set us both free. Well, maybe not him in the immediate sense because he would now probably go through a grieving period of not having a girlfriend, but looking at it through a big picture lens, his family would now be able to parent him in the way they saw best.

When I got home that night I stumbled through the door into the hallway of my parents’ house and immediately broke down. Remember, I had already been signed off work for having a nervous breakdown and I was still a complete and utter mess. My parents were distraught at how upset I was. I told them I just had broken up with S because his parents were treating me so badly and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Prior to the accident it wouldn’t have been very often that even my parents would have seen me cry, so having them witness me in floods of tears must have twisted their hearts like a knife.

They knew how much I was hurting from losing my friend and from essentially losing my boyfriend. And even though we never talked about the accident (my family don’t necessarily speak their love, they show it in other ways), they could see how broken I was.

It was too much.

As the three of us (my mum, my dad and I) stood in the hallway, with me still sobbing uncontrollably, my dad picked up the phone and called S’s parents. The poor man was torn apart seeing me so heartbroken and he very lovingly tried to relay his thoughts over the phone. I remember him telling them that every night he saw me coming home and bursting into tears. That whatever it was they were saying or doing to me was not on. He wasn’t yelling or shouting, but he was firmly telling them that he wasn’t happy with the way they had been treating me.

Thank you Dad.

I don’t know what was said on the other end of the line and I don’t recall much more than what I’ve just told you, but the phone conversation ended and I felt loved and supported by my parents. My dad had just said what I wasn’t able to say and I was glad that he had been able to articulate some of my pain to them.

I hated them.

But that’s still telling my side of the story, and it’s not explaining why they would have been so “mean” to me.

It took me a long time, but once I had processed most of my own grief and had managed to move from victim to warrior, I began to imagine what it must have been like from their perspective.

I considered: what must it feel like to be the parent of an 19-year-old son who was driving a car with two passengers, one of whom is no longer alive?

That’s pretty full on, I thought.

That would be terrifying, I thought.

Especially when you consider Maybe your son was the cause of that accident? Maybe he did something that caused those two vehicles to wind up in a head on collision? And maybe he will be charged with manslaughter or whatever legal term there is for causing the death of another person because you misjudged a situation while in control of a car?

Hmm, things started to look a little different…

The more I thought about it, the more their situation became “clear” to me. I use inverted commas here because like I said, this is still only my version of how it could have been for them.

But the fact is: they have a son in a coma. The fact is that a passenger of his vehicle is dead. The fact is they are legally not allowed to contact the parents of D until the inquest, which at this point hasn’t had a date set. The fact is, they are not even allowed to attend Ds funeral.

They didn’t know D or her parents, but put yourself in their place: I imagine they would have wanted to show their respects. I imagine they were terrified that their son might be charged with the death of my friend. And I can only imagine how utterly distressing all of that must have been, especially when they are having to visit their son – who’s in a coma – and that they have no way of knowing whether he’ll ever come good again.

When I started to look at it like that, it became somewhat easier to understand where they might have been coming from when (once S had come out of his coma) they told me they didn’t want their son to know what had happened. And that I was under no circumstances to mention the accident to him.

I’m guessing they didn’t want me to influence their son’s thoughts about what had happened. And I’m guessing that at that point, I was the biggest threat to that situation. What if I told him something that he then repeated that would incriminate him? Having me around must have felt quite dangerous to them. They wanted to protect their son (what parent wouldn’t?), and if I were to say something to him that might make him remember the accident, or believe that he was responsible for the death of D, then there was a chance that by the time the date was set for the inquest, their son might be charged with manslaughter.

I don’t think you need me to point anything out here, right?

So, all that aside, yes, they were pretty mean to me, and at the time I thought they were horrible for doing what they did and was glad I never had to see them again. I wasn’t glad I would never get to see S again, but I had made that choice and it felt right.

But today, 25 years later, I have nothing but compassion for those people. I have completely turned around any venomous thoughts I had for them, and can see that all they were doing was protecting their son the best way they knew how.

Granted, it wasn’t particularly sophisticated or compassionate (towards me), but I think it’s fair to say they were in an extremely stressful situation. And when any of us are under stress, particularly as immense as this would have been, we tend to make “interesting” decisions.

When your entire world has just turned upside down and the outcome is at best unclear, and at worst could be called your greatest nightmare (your son, who comes out of a coma gets locked up for causing death by driving), well, it’s a lot easier to accept that being less-than-kind to your son’s girlfriend isn’t necessarily top of your priority list.

Really, I get it.

I mean, I don’t know the real story here. So like I keep saying, this is pure speculation on my part. But it kinda adds up doesn’t it? Whether the details of what I’ve surmised about what they were thinking are true, and even if they had always hated me and just wanted me out of the picture (which is another possibility), I can totally see that what they were doing came from a love for their son. And I’m confident that in the cold light of day, once their own grief and stress about the situation had diminished, that they would never choose to be unkind to me.

They were simply human beings dealing with an horrendously difficult situation.

And I am totally OK with that.

Because I make mistakes too.

And, I don’t know how I would have responded under their circumstance.

Of course, there is still so much more to this story. Like, what happened at the inquest? What was the outcome? Did S get charged? Was it his fault?

I’m ready to tell the whole story and I will do that. But for now, I just wanted to get clear on the fact that I hold no hard feelings toward S or his family. And that’s why I can comfortably write this blog.

I have nothing to hide.

Forgiveness has provided me with an incredible freedom to tell this story. A story that is etched deep into my cells. And a story that I hope will help other people see that even when life seems hard, unfair or downright f*cked, that if you find the right lens, it’s always possible to see some light. That underneath even the darkest, most traumatic experiences of our lives, there is always a star shining a beam of love.

And if you keep searching, I promise you, you’ll find it.

Choose love x

Life Sentence

HannahHGrief and Loss, Personal Development, Relationships, self esteem2 Comments

 

Life SentenceSo, having exposed in my last blog: Defining Moments that I survived a car crash 25 years ago, I’m slowly becoming ready to reveal some more about that time…

Like I said, the incident that occurred (the death of my friend and the head injuries suffered by my boyfriend), branched out and touched many people’s lives. At D’s funeral, the church was packed to the brim.

She was 18. Too young to die.

A part of me died that day too, but a bigger part of me began to grow and has continued to grow ever since. One of the lesser-discussed aspects of accidental death (or any death) is the outward ripple effect that causes the people left behind to act in “strange” ways. I say strange in inverted commas because when it comes to stress and trauma, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as normal.

And I’d know…

The person I am today is not who I was 25 years ago. I’m sure you can all relate. Thoughts, actions and behaviours at the age of 18 are guaranteed to evolve by the time you’re 43. But our essence often remains the same. At my core I would describe myself as having a childlike spirit and being hyper-capable. I’m an eternal optimist. I see life as a playground and it takes a lot to throw me off course, but when I do “lose it”, I lose it big time.

Doing things by halves has never been my style. I’m not one of those “I’ll just have one square of chocolate, thanks” kind of people. I smash the whole bar, no matter how big. Same goes for life. Whatever I choose to do, I put everything into it. Exercise, work, friendships… It’s all the same to me.

I live my life at 100% all the time. That’s not to say I do a lot of stuff. I don’t. I’m essentially an introvert who likes to do one thing a day max, but whatever that thing is, I do it wholly and completely to the best of my ability. And that includes being in love.

Or at least, it did, once upon a time.

Which is what this blog is about. My first love. Who I walked out on after we’d been in a terrible car accident.

Here’s my story…

S and I had been dating since I was 16, so by the time the accident happened we’d been together almost 2 years. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d only dated guys for 2 weeks at the most before I met someone who I fell in love with. He was a great guy and we got along like cheese and crackers.

As with first loves, you share an incredibly strong bond. You’re both learning; neither one has baggage yet, and love flows freely and easily. I loved S in the way any teenager loves their first: wholly and completely. He was my world. We did everything together. Life was great.

After the accident, S was in a coma for a number of weeks. You can imagine how distressing that was, adding to the fact that my best friend was no longer alive, it was a difficult time for me. I felt like the only one who knew what had happened (later, during the inquest, I was the only witness). I felt like a lone survivor – who had walked away from a horrific scene with barely a scratch. (There’s actually a reason I managed to remain unscathed but I’ll save that for another blog. It’s a long story…)

While S was in hospital I visited him religiously. I’d drive to the hospital before work, back again at lunch time and then, after zipping home for something to eat, I’d be back until visiting time was over. I loved him and wanted to be there with him.

Tensions were high among those of us still alive and well. D’s parents were absolutely distraught and S’s parents were doing everything they could to be there for their son. Which, when someone is in a coma isn’t easy. How does anyone know what to do? None of us had ever been in that situation before. So, understandably it was a tough time for everyone involved.

Lots of incidents happened while S was in hospital and all of them had a huge impact on me. I learned a lot about life, sickness, health and healing, people’s response to trauma, and mostly about who I was during that time.

Turns out I’m not the most conventional when it comes to coping.

Coping is a very personal thing. We all do it differently. Some people falter, some weep, some avoid, some deny or minimise. To list all the ways would take a whole blog. Me? I cope by coping. I become extremely practical, get things done, make sure everything is running smoothly, I observe and listen. And then, when I get behind closed doors I fall into a massive heap and sob uncontrollably. Or scream. Or both.

From the outside looking in, it can seem to anyone involved that nothing phases me. I’m one of those people who always seems to have my sh*t together. But that’s because for most of my life I would cope impeccably in public and only indulge my vulnerability when I was alone. I’m sure some of my oldest friends have never seen me cry. (I’ve since changed and can openly cry these days…)

Like anything, that old coping mechanism has pros and cons. The down side is that sometimes it can appear (to people who don’t know me) that I’m doing OK. Or that I am cold. How can she still be functioning? I never see her cry. She obviously doesn’t care.

Unfortunately for me, that’s how my boyfriend’s parents perceived me.

On one occasion, S’s mum actually tapped the metal railing on her son’s hospital bed and venomously said to me “You’re as hard as that, you are.”

Hard as steel.

Maybe on the outside, but little did she know that inside I was dying.

Over time, S’s health improved, and after a couple of months he emerged from his coma and was allowed home. And that’s when the cracks really started to show. S was now in a healing phase, still very unsteady, and by his own admission had a “fuzzy head” but he was definitely on a path to recovery. Thank. God.

His parents had firmly told me that they didn’t want S to know what had happened. That I was not to mention the accident. I didn’t agree with their thinking, but being 18 and wanting to be loyal to their wishes, I conceded. We weren’t even allowed to walk to the shops unaccompanied. I’m guessing that was incase I spoke of the accident… but who knows.

Either way, keeping their wish became the hardest thing I ever had to do.

As S continued to get better, he and I would spend time in his room chatting and hanging out. He was a shadow of his former self, and by no means the boy I had known prior to 8 December, but nonetheless, he was my boyfriend and I loved him.

On two occasions he asked me if I’d seen D. She’s dead, I would think to myself. I’ll never see her again. But I had his parents’ wish to honour and so both times I said “No, I haven’t seen her.”

At least I didn’t have to lie.

Thankfully and remarkably, S continued to improve, and his head injuries, obviously healing, enabled him to speak and think a little more clearly.

That’s when the clanger came.

“My mum said you only visit me because you feel like you have to.”

[silence]

Wow

I don’t recall what my response to that was, but knowing me at the time I’m pretty certain I would have told him that I was definitely there because I wanted to be. Because that was the truth.

During this period (about 3 months after the accident), I had a nervous breakdown. One day while I was at work I had a sensation that was like being in a Hitchcock movie – the foreground panned out as the background closed in. I didn’t know where I was. I burst into tears and had to be taken home.

I had finally “lost it”.

No denying, I was a complete mess. From the outside I’d been “coping” but all the while I was dying inside. Knowing that my boyfriend’s parents wanted me out of the picture hurt me to the core. I had nothing but love for their son, and they seemed to be doing everything to keep me away from him.

It killed me.

I was promptly signed off work for a week.

But, far from being able to rest and seek help, I had a contract with S’s parents to keep. He wasn’t to know anything was wrong. (I didn’t even tell his parents about my breakdown. I felt they didn’t trust me so what would they care how I was doing.) Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but at the time, I was 18 and was doing the best I knew how with the resources I had back then.

So, as per usual, while being unable to work because I was a total mess, I would get into my work clothes and drive to see him, morning, noon and night so as to keep up the facade. In hindsight, I can see this wasn’t the most useful move, but again, I was 18 and didn’t know how else to deal with the situation.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t long before even bigger cracks began to appear.

I no longer recall the timeframe between this happening and my walking away but I’m guessing it was a matter of weeks. Knowing that S’s mum was feeding him negative information about me, when all the while I was keeping her wish, became more than I could handle.

I recognised that his family needed to heal in whatever way they saw best. Which definitely didn’t include me.

So I made a choice. I walked away from the man I loved more than anything. From my first love whose bedside I had been at morning, noon and night. But who I could no longer be around because it was breaking up his family. They wanted shot of me.

I still remember the day I went round to his house and broke the news: that I was no longer able to be his girlfriend. I was broken but relieved. As I drove away, filled with tears and completely torn between doing what I felt was the “right” thing and what I wanted to do (which was stay), I decided I would live with my decision and get on with my own healing.

That task has taken 25 years.

On the recent anniversary of the car crash, I had a sense that something inside me was shifting. I meditated on it and became clear that my “abandoning” S was something I had paid a price for. On some level I realised that I had unconsciously made a pact with myself that I would serve a Life Sentence for that deed. I walked away because I thought it was the best thing for S and his healing journey (I still do believe that). But the consequence would be that I would not allow myself to fully love another man until I had served my time.

Unbeknown to me at the time, the sentence I imposed was 25 years.

But now I’m free. My karmic debt has been paid and I feel different. I know now that I am once again free to love whoever I choose. Wholly and deeply, just like the love I had for S all those years ago.

And if that isn’t in keeping with my 2015 theme of miracles, I don’t know what is.

Choose love x

Defining Moments

HannahHUncategorized2 Comments

14242976_sDefining moments are a universal experience – we’ve all had them: the first day of school, the day you lose your virginity, graduation day, finding your first grey hair etc. Not all of those will apply to all of us, but you know what I mean.

There are certain events that occur in life that we remember. Vividly. Some of those events stay with us forever: usually, it’s the highly emotional ones. Because emotions make feelings stronger – they heighten your experience. A dull day becomes a technicolour memory whenever high levels of emotion are involved.

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotional side of things which is why I want to talk about my most vivid defining moment. It happened 25 years ago…

There we were, driving on a cold December night on our way to collect my friend D who would be coming out with us to the Angel pub for some pre-Christmas jolliment. We weren’t going to drive to the pub – drink driving wasn’t our style. No, we (S, my boyfriend, and I) were collecting D, heading back to my house 5 minutes away, and then my mum was going to drop us at the Angel and head out with my dad for their Friday night at a workman’s club.

Only things didn’t quite pan out that way.

S, D and I never made it back to my house that night. What happened instead was horrific and I’ll never forget it. Talk about defining moments. This is still my biggest and most vivid.

I still remember what D and I were talking about the split second before I looked out the windscreen and saw a truck heading towards us. “Watch out for that lorry,” I said.

And then everything went black.

The taste of that moment still haunts me, in the sense that I can still clearly recollect it. Whenever I hear two cars collide, no matter how big or small the ding, I get that taste, the metallic taste of blood and broken glass. For me, that sound is a multi-sensory experience: I taste the sound. That’s what heightened emotions can do to you.

I don’t know for sure, but I’d guess that the criss-cross of sensory input occurs for many (if not all) of us when we experience a defining moment. And the more heightened the experience, the more the crossover occurs. For example, I’d bet that for most people their wedding day or the birth of their first child is one of those times. A time when everything is happening at once and, to put it bluntly, a time when you don’t know if you’re going for a shit or a haircut. Everything is crystal clear and a blur all at the same time.

So, that night, 8 December, 1989 is my most vivid. The crash occurred in a fractured moment, but that entire day is still so clear to me. Not to mention the ensuing months, although they have become somewhat foggier over time.

But why am telling you all this?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, other than having reached the 25-year mark and because I feel a sense of reaching a new moment. One that I can choose to define rather than have etched into my cells simply through happenstance.

A story such as this has many arms that branch out in a vast array of directions. But I’m not going to go into any more details just now.

However, I do feel a great urge to tell my story. Not just this one, but many of my life’s moments. And not because I love talking about myself but because it helps me understand who I am when I write things down. And I enjoy phrasing my feelings in a way that other people seem to relate to and benefit from.

When I started this blog I had no idea where it was going. I played around with a few ideas and my writing took a few twists and turns that I enjoyed observing as much as partaking in.

I tried writing about life coaching but I gotta tell you, that idea ran out of steam pretty quick. I can’t make it about anything other than the simple events of my life.

The experience of having my entire world pulled from under me at the age of 18 was by far the worst and the best thing that has ever happened to me. That defining night laid a foundation for the person I am today. It gave me an opportunity to know how strong I am. It gave me a platform on which I can lay every other experience and know that it will never come close to being in the accident and emergency ward, knowing my best friend is no longer alive and that my boyfriend is in a coma. My best friend D did not survive the crash and my first love was in a coma for a number of weeks.

That moment and the moments, days and months that followed, gave me the greatest gift I could ever ask for: knowing that life is a miracle.

If ever I need to look for an answer as to why something is happening or if I find myself wondering will this work out ok? All I have to do is remember that night 25 years ago when I was given a second chance at life. Because as soon as I recall the miracle that is my life, I know that whatever happens today doesn’t matter. Not in the sense that it is insignificant, but because life is life and ultimately I have no control over it. Just like I have no control over whether you like this blog or not: and that doesn’t matter either.

I write because I love to write. And I write about my personal experiences because that feels right to me. And easy. And fun.

Even when I’m writing about the most traumatic night of my life.

One day I will write about the details of that night and all the events that followed, because they are incredibly interesting and shine a light on human behaviour: the good, the warped and the ugly.

But for now, I just needed to give myself permission to do what I love: to write for the pure reason that it feels good.

I’m theming 2015 the year of miracles, which seems fitting to me. What theme will you give your year? What vibe will you choose? Whatever it is, I invite you to make this year one that is filled with defining moments of your choice. Make this a year that really means something to you. Choose uplifting emotions and really focus on the good stuff. Bad stuff is OK – shit happens – and defining moments don’t have to start out joyful, but it is possible to make every moment meaningful in a useful and worthy way. No matter how bad they seem at the time.

If you can, I really encourage you to spend some time considering how you’d most like to feel during 2015. I’m focusing on seeing miracles so I’m going to heighten those feelings and emotions even when nothing’s happening. Maybe you can do the same with your theme?

Because, ultimately, we never know if this moment might be our last.

With love x

Raising My Game

HannahHLaw of Attraction, Personal Development, PostsLeave a Comment

21018115_sI’ve been coaching professionally for about 7 months now and up until last week things were going reeeeeaaalllly well.

I was making tonnes more money than I’d ever made before. I was loving the clients I had, I was thriving in the space of running my own business – doing what I want, when I want. Life was so good I was seriously thinking to myself on a daily basis; Yep, I’ve got this. I am finally on the road to endlessly growing success.

Yeah, except the reality was a little different.

Because while I was busy patting myself on the back, I had missed an obvious lesson that was staring me in the face: No, you haven’t got this.

Within the space of a few weeks I didn’t close a single sale. In fact, I had three people say yes to signing up as clients only to contact me later and tell me actually they couldn’t do it. Not to mention others who said yes until they heard how much I charge.

That’s when I found myself back in the familiar territory of Holy F*ck, What Do I Do Now?

Instead of compassionately soothing myself by focusing on good things I’m doing I slipped down the old rabbit hole and started waking up at 2am with panic in my chest.

I did the only thing I knew to do which was call my coach. Thankfully she managed to get me out of the hole and back on the road which is where I’m at now. But only after having to borrow some cash from a pal because the bills were coming in and I didn’t know how I was gonna pay them.

Not an ideal space to be in.

Looking at the positives, one thing I’ve learned in all this is that no matter how far along I come, there’s always further to go. And the further along I go and the bigger the risks I take, the greater the challenges are that I face, and equally, the gifts that those challenges provide are greater and more enlightening too.

But more than that I realised that in order to keep growing I have to keep doing things differently.

Had I not had that week of freaking out, I wouldn’t have been forced to find new and more creative ways of working. So, in the past week I have changed my coaching game. I’m now going even deeper than I was before. I’ve upped my game.

I decided that I need to show up as the best coach I can possibly be in order to be in alignment with the rates that I charge. I thought I was already doing that, but when I investigated further I could see there was room for expansion.

Which for me, meant no more holding back.

And so last week, that’s precisely what I did. I did my best coaching ever. And by stretching myself and being willing to really go there, in order to help other people see, hear and feel where they can grow I went as far as telling a potential client that I love him.

After almost 2 hours of coaching, we were still nowhere near cracking through to the big stuff. So I asked him “What do you need from me right now to make this session feel complete.” He had nothing.

So, I checked in with my higher self and asked the same thing; “What do I need to make this session feel complete?” What came up immediately was that I must tell this person that I love them.

WTF?

My first reaction was No Way! That is totally out of bounds and is weird and inappropriate.

But then I went deeper. And that’s when I saw that I absolutely MUST tell this person – because it’s the truth. In that moment I did love him and if I am to be the best coach I can possibly be, then I must always be authentic.

So I told him: I love you.

Silence.

Awkward. Silence.

I sat in that silence and I held space for its truth. I watched as my client shut his eyes and processed what I had just said. I imagine he was thinking all sorts of things around what he’d just heard and what I meant by it.

But I sat in it anyways and I didn’t get attached to what he might be hearing in that.

After a few minutes of silence I began to feel more free. And that’s when I told him: When I say I love you, what I’m really saying is that I see your power. I see your greatness and I see what’s possible for you. I expressed to him that I felt sad that I hadn’t been able to help him see that too. I told him I felt I had let him down as his coach.

Because that was the truth. I did feel sad that he couldn’t see what I could see.

That session changed me. I saw how powerful I am when I bring my full game to the table. I saw how my refusing to hold back is actually my gift because in that, I get to be completely vulnerable and authentic.

I saw my value as a coach. I re-remembered that what I bring when I am my fullest self is the ability to help others see their own magnificence.

And so, instead of lowering my rates to meet the market, I have raised my value to meet my rates.

And in doing that I have changed inherently.

I have upped my game and seen that what I’m able to bring really can change lives, just so long as the person I’m coaching is willing to change.

By having a meltdown I was given an opportunity to do something different. I could have fallen back into publishing – that’s how I’ve earned a living for over 20 years. That would have been the easy option. I could have made a couple thousand dollars and the immediate panic would have lifted.

But I don’t want to play that game any more. I want to play a new game. A game where I grow and learn constantly. A game where I continually up my game.

In short, I am choosing to be the most expansive version of me that I can be in this lifetime.

And that may take my entire lifetime.

Because I’m 100% sure that if I don’t meet my old fears with a new way of operating i.e. changing forward rather than changing back, then I’ll never be that beautifully expansive me that I know is available. And that means anyone I coach will miss out on that too.

So while I sit in this space of not holding back, I wonder, where are you staying small? Where are you holding back for fear of being a more expansive version of you?

Where are you ripping off the world by not fully showing up? Where are you being selfish in hiding your talents for fear of being who you are?

I’m not doing that any more.

I’m choosing to be the best I can possibly be.

Choose love, be bright and shine, shine, shine.

h xx

Why We Resist Change

HannahHPersonal Development, PostsLeave a Comment

45360405_sChange… how you do feel about it?

The majority of people I know don’t like change. It’s unsettling and it’s about venturing into the unknown, which means there’s a possibility we can make  mistakes along the way and then regret ever having made the change, right?

But, there are changes that we choose to make and they can feel a bit different. When we actively seek something different, there’s excitement and anticipation. Sometimes there’s still a bit of fear but largely that fear is manageable and partly that’s because we’ve chosen the thing we want to change and therefore have probably assessed the consequences of such.

But, as I felt this past week, even the changes we choose can be deeply scary.

I’ve wanted to be a life coach for years. I probably decided about 5 years ago but was waiting for the right time, enough finances and enough freedom in my situation to study and set up my business. I’m in the early stages of business but so far so good.

Until last week that is.

Having worked for 22 years as a magazine writer/editor, I really felt it was time to close the door on that career and fully focus on my new business. I’ve started businesses before (I ran a healing practice for about 3 years and launched a natural therapies website), but I always had publishing as my fall back.

I knew that if my business ventures didn’t work out, I could always find work as a writer or editor. And so that’s inevitably what I happened.

When the success or stresses of my new ventures got too much, I would bail and go back to what I knew. Publishing. Safe. Familiar. Tick.

But for all its familiarity and “safety” that fall back was stunting my growth. And so this time, it’s different.

I still have all the skills I learnt as a writer and could easily fall back into that world if I chose, but this time, I’m choosing change – for good.

And so, this week I cam to truly realise what comes with that.

Because I’ve decided to wholly and completely change my career and am choosing never to use my fall back option again, the Universe responded with equal measure.

And, pardon my French, but holy f*ck it was REALLY SCARY!

Even though I’ve chosen this change, what came with that was feelings of anxiety, grief (letting go of my past thoughts, behaviours and career), fear of what’s to come and fear of putting myself out there in a big way (for me), which leaves me open to feedback from the general public.

As a journalist, I’ve written many a story about other people, had my name in print, and I’ve written a very personal blog for the past 2 years, but nothing felt like this. I have never felt so exposed before. And the reason for that is because I’ve never actually put myself out there. Not like this anyway. Not without the shoulders of a publishing house to stand on, or the informality of posting my blog to mostly friends and family.

Sure, people I don’t know have read my blog and would come to my healing practice but it in no way felt as enormous as this does.

And I have to say, I find it extremely interesting that my job is literally to help people change. To transform their thoughts and beliefs so they can be a brighter and better version of themselves.

Through telling the Universe I want to be a coach full time (with no fall back), I have found myself in uncharted water. I am now choosing to step completely into my own higher version. A far brighter and more buoyant me than I’ve ever had the courage to unleash before.

And despite it feeling SO right, it also resulted in me spending two days having what can only be described as a total meltdown!

The point I’m getting to here is that now I’ve come through the breakdown stage I feel compelled once again to write. And I’m writing about the very thing that every single one of my clients struggles with at some time or other. Change.

By sitting in my fear and feeling it, I came to understand it better. I understood that I was shifting to another level and that meant I had to let go of some of the old me.

I had to release the thoughts and beliefs that have held me back from doing the thing I wanted most. I had to dissolve the cellular memories that have kept me small. The fears that strangled my dreams even when they felt right.

Change comes with a price.

But if you are able to find logic in the process and can find the courage to sit with the uncomfortable feelings that change can bring, the gift is always there waiting for you. And in my experience, the bigger the fear and the more challenging the breakdown, the bigger and shinier the breakthrough is.

And that’s why I’m glad I chose to change. Because through change we grow. And even when you choose the change, as opposed to its just happening, sometimes it’s bigger than you, and that means you have to grow into it. Which hurts. Until you get through to the other side.

Because when you ride the change, rather than resist it, you discover you had far more strength, courage and capability than you could have ever imagined.

Choose change. Choose love.

h xx

 

Let’s Disconnect

HannahHPersonal Development, PostsLeave a Comment

OK, I’ve got a confession. A not-very-admirable story that I want to share. It happened last Saturday and it provided me with a subtle wake-up call.

It was 8am on Saturday morning and I was heading home after staying at a friend’s house the night before. We’d done some beach runs that morning and I was on my way back home to have a shower and get on with my day.

On the way I passed a man standing outside a medical centre. He was oldish. Somewhere between 70 and 90.

As I sashayed past he asked me what time was the centre going to open. I checked the door: 9am – I told him it wouldn’t open for another hour. I pointed out that there was another medical centre on the next corner that possibly opened at 8am. He indicated that he knew where I meant.

As I began to walk away, he held up his hand and told me he thought he had broken it. His English was peppered with an accent, Russian maybe, and his overcoat and trilby seemed out of place for a Sydney morning in Spring. His inflection was slow and I got the feeling he was someone who saw life as being filled with a lot of problems. Hardship.

I’m not proud to admit this, but I didn’t want to hear his story.

His hand was grazed but in that split second I doubted it was broken. But more than that, I just wanted to get home, have a shower and get on with my day.

Nice, huh.

I asked him again if he knew where the other medical centre was and he muttered that he did.

We both proceeded to cross the road, me going towards the bus station and him going towards the medical centre.

But as I walked away I felt disgusted with myself.

How can you just walk away from that man I asked myself. He has obviously hurt himself and you’re just going to let him find the medical centre and walk away? How dare you!

What if that was your dad? What if your dad, who lives on the other side of the world had hurt himself and a young woman didn’t stop to help him. How would you feel about that?

After that sort of a telling off, I did what anyone would do and I turned back.

I asked the man if he wanted me to come with him? Those were the words that came out of my mouth, but I’ll be honest, inside I was hoping he’d say no. Inside I still didn’t want to help this man. I had ascertained that (according to me) he was OK. I speculated that he had simply hurt himself but it wasn’t that bad. And although I felt guilty enough to go back and ask him if he needed help, I didn’t really want to help him at all.

He said he didn’t need my help.

Phew.

I took that as my out and went on my way. But I gotta tell you, I didn’t feel good about myself. From the outside looking in, I had done my best; been a good citizen, asked a man if he needed help. And, had he said yes, I would have absolutely gone with him.

But from the inside I knew the real story.

The real story is that I didn’t want to connect with that guy. I wanted nothing less than to hear his story and what happened. I had made up my mind that my life was more important than helping that old guy get to the medical centre. Sure, it was only a 2 minute walk, but really, is that good enough?

Really, did I act in the best way possible? Did I step up and do the best I could?

No. I didn’t.

I did the bare minimum that my Soul would let me get away with, but it was enough to make me want to write this blog.

I coach people for a living. I coach people on stepping up and recognising the actions, thoughts and behaviours they have that are not serving their highest good. I coach people on catching themselves out on the things they are saying and doing that are actually thinly veiled excuses (see above).

And yet, even though I am able to see, hear and notice all that in others, I still do it myself. Even though I have uncovered a million of my own veils, that helps me recognise it in others, I still have more to learn.

Saturday morning was testament to that.

And that’s why I wanted to share my story. Because no matter how far we come along the path of personal development, there is always more. And the further along you come, the subtler yet more profound the lessons are.

As you continue to expand your self-awareness, you start to see the slivers of deceit that you’ve been using to make yourself “feel better”. You come to a place where you can no longer hide – not even from yourself.

Getting to that point can take years. And doing it on your own can be tough.

So if you want to expand your experience of life and really open yourself up to the brightest most illuminous version of who you really are, why not hire a coach to help you get there? By asking someone to help you, you open yourself up to so many new possibilities. And you get to experience those lessons of awareness with someone who can explain them to you in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wrong.

A coach is like a professional friend. Someone who supports every dream you’ve ever had and who will do whatever it takes to help you get there. Unlike a friend they don’t mind if you say things that are socially “out of turn”, and they won’t hold it against you if you don’t like what they say. They’ll just help you to see things in a new way.

A good coach will simply help you unravel your understanding of yourself and how you view the world, so that you feel more supported and able to fulfill your dreams.

And with any luck, you’ll find yourself willing and able to not only help yourself, but to be able to help others too.

Even when you don’t feel like it. At least, that’s the idea.

Choose love

h xxx

When Spirituality Sucks

HannahHPosts, SpritualityLeave a Comment

OmSo, you’re a spiritual being, right?

You know there’s more to life than flesh and bones, a career and a mortgage. You’ve probably read hundreds of books on subjects like positive thinking, soulmates, spiritual intelligence and the law of attraction.

I’ll bet you even own a crystal (or two), have done at least one ritual than was intended to bring you the thing you most want (love, money etc), and I’ll also take a stab that you meditate (or try), and have been to at least one Hay House or Tony Robbins workshop, or some other breakthrough to success type deal.

So why then, does it feel SO DAMN HARD to be this way? Why is it that other people can seem to waft through life without ever having seen The Secret and can manifest a great career, financial abundance and an enviable love life, when they don’t even do any of the stuff you do?

It’s annoying, huh!

And there’s a very good reason for that.

The spiritual path isn’t easy. The trenches are deep, the road is long and sometimes it feels like someone turned the f*cking streetlights off and it surely must all be a sick joke. And you’re the only one who hasn’t been told the punchline.

Yet.

But that’s the whole point of the spiritual path. Without the hideous lows there would be no celestial highs. In order to know Absolute and Divine Love, you must also know total and utter destruction and abhorrence.

The spiritual path is one of divine dichotomy. Good does not exist without bad. You don’t get to eat the fruit of the kingdom of Heaven without having had a few charred and burnt barbecues in Hell.

That, I’m afraid is the deal you signed up for. But the good news is, the further you travel and the deeper you go, the greater and more frequent are the highs. Because what you ultimately learn along the way is how to see the good in the bad.

Spirituality is a path. A process. You don’t get to be enlightened just because you want to be.

For whatever reason (and maybe there isn’t even a reason, maybe it just is) you have chosen the spiritual path. And what comes with that is deep and integrative learning. Anyone who chooses to walk through life this way, at this level will be thrown numerous obstacles to help them see The Truth.

According to the Baghavad Gita The Truth is something that never changes.

I invite you to consider what in your life never changes or has never changed? I’m not going to give you an answer to that because understanding it is part of your own journey, and the bummer about the spiritual path is that no-one can ever give you the answers. But if you take time to consider that one question, you might just come to a new breakthrough. Maybe.

Other people can guide you on where to find the answers, with the greatest of goodwill they can even show you them and explain them, but your understanding of them will only come with time. The spiritual path unfolds with every new lesson we learn. Every petal that unfolds allows another one the space to do the same. It’s the thousand petalled lotus that the Buddhists talk about.

Enlightenment is the blossoming of a thousand petals.

That’s not gonna happen overnight. And that’s OK.

Your lessons will appear differently to mine, because your life and your circumstances are different to mine. The overall understanding will be the same for all of us, but the path that leads us there is personalised.

So in order to enjoy the spiritual path, the best advice I can give is to at least understand and know that there is nowhere you need to be that you’re not already. The fact that you call yourself spiritual is enough. Truly.

You are already on the path, and you already know more than you even realise. Because at some point along the way, you’ll have a big Aha moment (it’ll usually follow a few days or weeks of feeling really annoyed with life). And in that moment, you’ll understand that every single moment that went before was exactly what you needed!

And that understanding will continue to grow and be relearned until it becomes a knowing. A certainty.

I’m sure you already get this on an intellectual level, and probably already tell yourself this with a shrug when things are still not going your way.

The road is long and winding. The Beatles knew that and so do you.

But there is a way you can ease the pain somewhat, and that is by having a guru to guide you. Someone who has travelled the path before you, who can recognise the pitfalls for what they are, and who can help you understand how it is helping you personally.

A life coach is a modern-day guru of sorts.

I know that I still have tonnes more to learn, but I also know a million trenches that I’ve fallen into a million times, and I know the thoughts I used to have felt so real but  I now understand them as gifts. I know why some of those things happened and I can explain them to you.

Your path is your own. Your lessons are yours to learn. But if you’re at the end of your spiritual tether and feel like there can’t be another single thing that you haven’t already tried, then maybe it’s time for you to hire a coach.

Someone who can walk with you along your own individual path, and who can guide you out of those trenches without the scratches and wounds that it would take to navigate the path on your own.

You’ll know if it’s time, because you’ll feel ready to go deeper, and you’ll know that you’ve already tried every single trick, ritual and meditation in the book.

I can help you. I promise. When I hired a coach my whole life opened up like a lotus flower, so now it’s my turn to help you. Contact me today and tell me what it is you really want and I’ll gift you with a free coaching session.

But you’ll have to decide if you’re ready for that.

Choose love,

Hannah x