Happy Easter, friends and family,
If you’ve ever experienced a Causeway Living event for yourself, you’ll know the emphasis and importance I place on, ‘setting an intention’ for the actions you’re taking. i.e. Finding your cause and moving that way. This was a huge part of my personal health transformation and an insight taken from my time being treated by the plant medicines of the Amazon.
During my stay in Peru, I learnt that the indigenous belief was that once you’d really set the intention to take the medicine, it started working. My personal experience is true to this - once I set the intention and booked my place to be treated there, I really did start getting better from the chronic illness I suffered at the time, albeit because of the actions I took.
Setting an intention for what you want is extremely powerful. An intention set with determination can be SO powerful that I also teach the importance of being mindful to check in during your journey to see whether or not that intention still serves you, or if you are now just serving the intention.. and fulfilling it at whatever cost (even if it’s to your own detriment).
Being brave enough to ask for help.
I try to make a point of emphasising that the content I put out with Causeway Living is usually what I myself, need to hear most. Without getting too in depth on specifics, I’ve recently had to analyse some of the intentions I’ve set and held for years, and make decisions over whether they still serve me or not. This process for me has caused probably the most emotional pain I’ve ever suffered, and I don’t say that lightly considering my path.
At the time of writing this, I’m really struggling. I also know that I’ll get through these struggles and be stronger for it, but this is where one of the pillars of strength comes in - human connection or ‘The Others’. If you can keep me and those close to me in your thoughts and prayers right now it would mean a lot. I know people make light of ‘thoughts and prayers’ but humour me.. or check out my other blog post and analysis on prayer.
REDISCOVERING THE MAGIC.
I hope to come to a time someday soon where I can write about this with more clarity but there’s no need to worry unduly, time makes everything ok and I’ll be fine. Hopefully better than, ‘fine’. To bring it back to Peru, I’m feeling things stir inside me again I’d let fade since that adventure over three years ago. Remembering we’re actually living in a world where there's more than meets the eye (and no need to roll your eyes at that, it’s true even at the most reductionist level).
Synchronicites are occurring in my life more frequently again. I wrote a little about these, ‘meaningful coincidences’ and the benefit of keeping an eye out for them a while ago, beginning the process of writing my book. I’m keeping faith that as one good friend put it, “everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me” - which is always true provided you actually learn and take the lessons and act upon them.
A SERIES OF SYNCHRONOUS TEACHINGS
Yesterday I found guidance from a teacher who’s dramatically influenced my work and philosophy, clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson. Like all humans, the man is imperfect and would appear doubly so if you read some peoples’ political view of him. But regardless of what you think of his politics, he is a genius, and whilst feeling sorry for myself and idly scrolling through Twitter, I saw an interesting post about Dr. Peterson’s new book
Dr. Peterson had posted an image from his new book for the chapter entitled, “Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street”. Myself a dyed-in-the-wool ‘dog person’, I was interested to see the picture was of a person cuddling a dog, at odds with the title. It was enough to raise my eyebrow and put the title into youtube and discover an interview in which he describes the chapter in more detail, and it was as if he was speaking to me directly..
It turns out this chapter deals with advice on coping strategies when ‘you become powerless in the face of tragedy’ which isn't a bad way to describe where I'm finding myself. He suggests keeping your eyes open for the little things that are ‘soul sustaining’ during these times, in his words. Also to ‘shrink your temporal horizon’ - reduce the frame of time you’re thinking of. If you’re on fire, don’t think more than 2 seconds ahead. In other dramatically bad circumstances maybe you go from hour to hour.
This spoke to me so much that I went to find the complete interview, and was staggered by how much the section JUST before this, also meant to me. A passionate monologue on what it means to push beyond your current level of competence with faith that you can do it. You can see this and the following section that goes in depth on that chapter I'd mentioned here below:
** SKIP THE VIDEO TO 1hr 57min 35sec (until 2hr 03min 06sec) **
It’s exactly what I needed to hear on several levels. I’ve caused myself a lot of short-term pain recently by stepping out beyond what feels safe. It's what I’ve been doing in one form or another over the past 4 years and very publicly the last 18 months with Causeway Living. Sometimes I and those closest to me have questioned it, but this passionate speech reminds me that IS worth it, “It’s like a great musical performance… being in that place where everything lines up”.
And when everything lines up, and you find reason for being - a meaning to make bearable the suffering you’ll inevitably face throughout life at times. That’s really the bigger picture of Causeway Living; once you have that meaning, it’s just the constant process of finding a balance to maintain it. This is what I’m struggling through at the moment but sharing each step along the way, most of the time a little (or a lot) outside the comfort zone in the hope that we all learn something along the way.
To bring to conclusion what has been a far more rambling, winding piece than I'd normally write (probably an insight into my current state), we'll come full circle with this perfectly imperfect stack of stones pictured below:
I took this photo early summer 2017 whilst forming the curriculum for the Giant Awakening retreat and even though those stones, and my intentions from then (a little inside joke to anyone who's been to a retreat of mine) are no longer lined up, I'm going to continue the process of seeking balance anyway, to sustain what provides me with meaning and jump back into chaos time and again, full of faith I'm come through it stronger - and you can do it too.