Diving for Pearls with Maggie Kay
Trusting the Tides of Inspiration
Riding the Rhythm
Do you trust your own rhythms? Do you allow yourself to do nothing and stare into space just because you feel like it? If a rush of creative ideas wakes you up at night, do you get up and start scribbling or smother it down because ‘you must get your sleep’? When all your energy has vanished, do you force yourself to get on with some work or allow yourself to rest?
Observing the ebb and flow of my creative energy after our final big house move in 2011 prompted me to think about this. When we first moved, it was easy to see why I wasn’t dreaming up any new workshops or enthusiastically promoting my latest inner wisdom product – I was exhausted! Then the weeks went on and I settled deeply into my inner world, wanting to do little more than meditate and write.
After a while, I started to get a bit concerned. What if all that creative juice has gone? Should I try and drum something up? But no matter how I looked at it, I just did not feel like it. I know from hard experience that it’s counterproductive to exhaust myself trying to swim against the tide, but it’s not always easy to keep the faith. Nonetheless, this time I managed to wait and trust that the change would come naturally.
Then, eventually, it happened; a huge up-rush of creativity and inspiration came bursting through. Ideas, excitement, enthusiasm and energy came forth aplenty – fully formed and in such abundance – and my new workshops were conceived. A couple of phone calls were made and the people and places I wanted all fell into place beautifully. There was a quality of effortless cooperation with a power so much greater and wiser than myself. My job was to be switched on enough to notice the turning tide, fit enough to get on the surfboard and keep my balance, and from there-on-in simply have a wonderful ride!
To me, one of the greatest gifts of my self-determining lifestyle is the wonderful opportunity to follow my natural rhythms more truly. Sometimes it is an emotional rhythm – feeling slow and sad or fast and excited; sometimes it is intellectual – clear as a bell or dull as dishwater. Then there are physical rhythms prompted by hormonal changes or food, exercise and sleep patterns. And of course there’s the environment – the light, the dark, the sun, the moon, the seasons, the weather, the surroundings.
Our bodies and psyches are fantastically engineered sensing machines. Should you pay attention – simply pay attention – you get all the bio/psychic feedback you need in a nanosecond and you will KNOW what is right for you at every turn. However, if you override this awareness by getting too busy and out of touch with yourself (or giving too much of your power and freedom away to an over-demanding person or job) you lose one of your most precious abilities – to regulate a happy, balanced lifestyle for yourself. What’s more, regulating yourself like this is your primary responsibility in life. No one else can do this for you or be blamed if you do not do it for yourself.
However, there is another whole dimension of rhythm in our lives, the ebb and flow of inspiration – our spiritual rhythm. When you are inspired you feel a creative energy rising up within you, giving you the ideas, direction and impetus to make something new happen. It seems to bubble up from inside you even if it is triggered by an external source like an inspiring talk or a sublime piece of music. Sometimes it just seems to come from nowhere.
Only when you have a sense of being in possession of your whole self can inspiration start to come through into an adequate container. Having pulled yourself into some sort of shape, your natural creative energy has a place to be and a vehicle through which to express. It feels like you have a wellspring within you, constantly bubbling up from your deep inner source.
Hence, why, as a coach, I prefer to work with inspiration rather than motivation. As well as being a carrot rather than stick approach, it is a much more empowering and graceful way to work. Helping people ignite their own natural joyful impetus is more independently sustainable than trying to push them up a mountain they would rather not climb. Sometimes I think we’ve got it all wrong, that we think we have to ‘make’ ourselves do stuff because it is ‘good for us’. No, no! Spend the time to develop the self-love and find the thing you really want to be doing because you were meant to be doing it. Then it is just a matter of lighting the touchpaper and standing back while an inspired new lifestyle takes off.
Inspiration is a massive force for the good. When you are inspired you are in touch with who you really are and what truly moves you, with love and joy rather than fear and dread. As I was saying earlier, one of my favorite tips is how to tell if you are making the right decision by asking yourself, “Am I making this choice from love or fear?”
Follow Your Bliss
If we only could remember that these three little words, famously coined by Joseph Campbell, hold the key to a truly happy, fulfilled life.
Follow your bliss.
To follow means finding the trail and taking one step. Maybe you can’t see exactly what your complete destination is, but you get a bit of the picture, a feeling, a general sense of direction. It is okay to take one step and trust that the next step will be revealed. All you need do is ensure that you are still on the path of bliss, that each step feels good – even if you don’t know where it is ultimately leading.
It is your bliss we are talking about. Not anyone else’s. And not what other people think should be yours. What sets you alight, turns you on, and fills you with happiness? You don’t have to understand why or justify it to anyone else. You came into the world with your own unique talents, interests and potential. Just stick to what you really love and eventually it will all make sense.
And what is bliss? It is something deeper than just immediate gratification. It is an expansive feeling of rightness, truth, freedom, unfolding and fulfillment. Sometimes we do something that we think we want to, but it does not really satisfy us. It feels hollow, like it hasn’t really hit the spot. Bliss is a gentle fullness that bubbles up from deep inside and it can’t help but spill over and create happiness wherever you go. And so, if you have a decision to make, take a few breaths and check in with yourself. Am I following my bliss? The decisions we make ultimately come from either love or fear. We create happy, fulfilling lives by making sure we are in a state of love before we make decisions. Then we can be sure that we are following our bliss.
So do keep the faith. You do know what is best for you. Your only responsibility is to cultivate sensitivity to your rhythms and allow inspiration to flow. Of course many of us have busy lives with many demands, but even within that, it is possible to invest a little time developing awareness. Meditation is a brilliant way to do this. Just 10 minutes a day, sitting quietly, feeling your breath move through your body is a wonderful start.
Known as the Inner Wisdom Coach and formerly an ordained Buddhist, Maggie specialises in meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, metaphysics and spiritual intelligence for life, love and business.
As well as coaching one-to-one, she trains accredited Thrivecraft life coaches and meditation teachers and runs retreats and workshops for soulful entrepreneurs, coaches and well being professionals.
In 2016, with her son Jamie grown up, Maggie established Thrivecraft Home Hub, a riverside country retreat in Cornwall, UK, where she lives with her soul mate husband, Patrick.
Her new book – Diving for Pearls: A Wise Woman's Guide to Finding Love (O Books) – is a highly readable true love and spiritual adventure story laced with tips and teachings on meditation, Buddhism, inner wisdom and relationships relevant to all.
Maggie's vision for the future includes taking Thrivecraft worldwide via a new online academy; continuing to mentor coaches, well-being professionals and meditation teachers to grow and prosper their businesses; producing audios of her full range of guided meditations; and writing further books to inspire and support everyone to create rich, happy and fulfilling lives.
Buy Diving for Pearls on Amazon.
Thrivecraft with Maggie Kay
Wisdom. Inspiration. Self-belief.