Yesterday, I posted a forgiveness chart to be used as part of the 'Life Review'. However, for those of you who want a simpler chart for 'healing on the go', then I suggest familiarising yourself with the the chart below. This particular forgiveness chart is a powerful tool, which if used frequently can play a vital part in transforming the way you think and see yourself/other people and the world. In my experience; the key to writing a successful chart is to remain willing; willing to take complete responsibility for your own experience, without exception. I really encourage you to actively use this chart whenever you are triggered or upset. It will help you move swiftly from fear to love.
Okay, here goes...
1. Healing Prayer or intention-
'I commit to taking full responsiblity for the thoughts I am thinking and to seeing myself and my brothers as innocent'
2.Write down all your attack, blame judgements, etc - Write them out quickly and intensely without reading them. Empty the mind, leaving no stone unturned, no matter how murderous or sick it may appear. No one will read this, not even you.
3. Root feeling and just like when. Deep down, what are you feeling and what does this remind you of, in your past? 'Underneath my attack , I am feeling……….…, which reminds me of………….…”
4. Limiting beliefs. Write in present tense about your deepest fears and shame. “I have been trying to prove that I am………” Then take a deep breath after each one and consider the possibility that you may be mistaken. End each belief with: “ And I am willing to see this differently.”
5.Ground yourself with 3 deep breaths. Invite The Holy Spirit to help you see this differently. Say slowly and whispered: 'Dear Holy Spirit (substitute your own) ... please help me change my mind so I can remember the truth. Amen.'
6. Reverse the limiting beliefs in step 4 and gently reaffirm the truth about yourself and other. Write in present tense.' The Truth about me is ... I AM .. Innocent, strong, loving etc. Write these new beliefs on a small card and sit quietly, breathe and reaffirm these positive statements of truth. Let each one land.
7. Carry card with you and read throughout the day. Be the change that you seek in the world.
8. Tear up the chart, as a symbol of letting go.
'Straight and narrow is the path - Waste no time.'
'An experiment in conscious dying' is a discipline in being truly present. Because I know this is just an imaginary experiment, there is a possibility that I may cut corners, and withhold forgiveness in certain areas of my life. In my experience; hyper vigilance is essential for rooting out troublesome weeds of fear based thinking. The original chart was devised by Ian Patrick and myself for a workshop called 'The Real Alternative' It was based on the 'Get Real' process used by Duane O'kane in The Awakening Workshop. This chart is extremely useful for healing on the go. However, the 'Life Review' I have undertaken - as part of this experiment, has called for a bit of tinkering.
So, fellow readers, I have.( with a helping hand from beautiful Elloa) concocted a powerful new chart to help take the necessary steps to forgive all my percieved enemies
I really encourage you all to actively use this chart, as part of your own ongoing 'Life Review.'
Okay, here goes...
1. Healing Prayer or intention-
'I commit to taking full responsiblity for the thoughts I am thinking and to seeing myself and my brothers as innocent'
2. Write no-send letters to each of your percieved enemies emptying the mind of all disempowering thoughts (attack, blame judgements, etc.) - Empty the mind, leaving no stone unturned, no matter how murderous or sick it may appear. No one will read this, not even you.
3.Root feeling and just like when.Deep down, what are you feeling and what does this remind you of, in your past? 'Underneath my attack , I am feeling……….…, which reminds me of………….…”
4. Ground yourself with 3 deep breaths. Invite The Holy Spirit to help you see this differently. Say slowly and whispered: 'Dear Holy Spirit (substitute your own) ... please help me change my mind so I can remember the truth. Amen.'
5. Limiting beliefs. Write in present tense about your deepest fears and shame. “I have been trying to prove that I am………” Then take a deep breath after each one and consider the possibility that you may be mistaken. End each belief with: “ And I am willing to see this differently.”
6. Walk a mile in your percieved enemies shoes. Write from their perspective exploring what may have been happening for them at the time. The intention of this step is to arrive at a place of understanding and compassion. 7. Explore your shadows -Would you have condemned yourself for having done the same thing? Be specific.
8. Reverse the limiting beliefs in step 5 and gently reaffirm the truth about yourself and other. Write in present tense.' The Truth about me is ... I AM .. Innocent, strong, loving etc. Write these new beliefs on a small card and sit quietly, breathe and reaffirm these positive statements of truth. Let each one land.
9. Carry card with you and read throughout the day. Be the change that you seek in the world.
10. Tear up the chart, as a symbol of letting go.
'Do this one thing, that everything be given you' - ACIM
Preparing for the funeral was ritualistic - I ironed my clothes, steamed my face, and slowly and carefully removed the stubble. I remembered how Dad taught me how to hold a razor, as I took my first awkward steps to becoming a man.
Lastly, I placed his gold wedding ring on my finger and stared deeply at my reflection in the mirror .
'I am my Fathers Son'
There was something deeply moving about carrying Dads body into the church. This was a rite of passage - gently cradling the wise one in the same way he supported and cradled me as a child .
When it was my turn to speak at the service of Thanksgiving for the life of Jim Atkinson, I took a deep breath and prayed for guidance. Then, I looked up at the people, and witnessed family and friends, who had travelled in the snow to pay their last respects to this gentle-man. My heart melted like a snowflake
I shared the story of a man who believed he was robbed of a childhood - cast aside by his Father like a tatty old sweater. A young boy who took solace in reading books on DIY and astrology. I mentioned his adventurous spirit - cycling, walking, family camping holidays, and the epic bike ride on Salter Fell. I talked freely about the profound healing that took place between us - a fiery love, that cleared the way for us to become friends.
The journey to Dads final resting place was exquisite - a journey through a winter wonderland, to a place called home.
This morning during meditation, I read the following quotation, visualized the image and offered my blessings ...
' A ship sails and I stand watching until she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says , 'She is gone.' Gone where? Gone from my side , that is all; she is just as large as when I saw her. The diminished size, and total loss of sight , are in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says .'She is gone,' there are others who are watching her coming , and the other voices take up the glad shout.'There she comes!' And that is dying.' - Victor Hugo- Toilers of the Sea.
The death of a loved one is a time to offer him or her blessings for their journey, and an invocation of joy as they sail over our horizon toward the beyond. By holding on , we subtly hold back: so let go. Offer your joyful blessing and imagine it attended by the affirming cry of seabirds and the soothing rhythm of the waves.'
I met Harry Heritage at the bike shop because he was having a new brake cable fitted by a very nice bike mechanic called John. Then, the journey into remembering began - in thick fog. I rode Harry across the bridge over the river adur and started to make my way up the narrow road that lead to Botolphs. Within a couple of miles my fingers had gone completely numb with the cold. I dismounted the bike and sat on my hands which didn't really work, so I tried hiding behind a bush instead and pissing on them which warmed them up a bit.
The climb over Bostal was brutal - my legs were aching from the cold and the fatigue was horrendous but in 'the true spirit of Jim' I continued to work my way through the gears. I could hear Dads voice inside my head - cmon lad, I believe in you. For a moment I sensed the presence of a demon hill climber pedalling alongside me, holding my heart, encouraging me to keep going. Father and son riding side by side - mighty companions.
I started to reflect on Dads final moments.
On recieving news of Pops rapid decline I called up the nurse at the East Lancs Hospice, who informed me that Dad was preparing to leave his body. He was semi-conscious and no longer able to speak. The nurse held the phone against his ear. I could hear his shallow breathing. The second he heard my voice the nurse told me that his eyes opened wide. I thanked him for all the support he had given me during this lifetime, and the healing that had taken place between us. Then, I gently encouraged him to let go and take a step towards God.
'DAD ... I LOVE YOU '
I hung up the phone and wept uncontrollably. Then, I ran myself a hot bath and bathed in candlight. I retired for bed feeling at peace.
Dad died peacefully in the early hours of the morning with his beloved Jenny holding his hand.
Eventually, I reached the summit of the hill, tears streaming down my face. There is nothing greater than grief and sorrow for opening a pathway to the heart. My fingers had started to thaw - the pins and needles were so unbearable that I almost fell off the bike. I quickly jumped off, and hopped around at the side of the road vigorously rubbing my hands together.
The descent into Lancing was lovely - the mist had lifted and the sun was shining. - I was living life at the speed of bike.
I stopped off at Lake View cafe for some nosh; fish finger sarnies, chips and a mug of tea. There is nothing better than a bike ride on a freezing winters day for working up a hearty appetite. ( See right for a photo of my big 'riding for Jim' lunch )
There will never be a day without Dad in it. Our love is stronger than death - without beginning or end.
Thank you Dad... for always being a pal. Xxx
Note* Please click on the following link to read a really cool blog by Elloa Barbour called Dear Jim.
I first met Tomas Vieira a couple of years ago in London at a workshop called 'Take Me To The Truth.' Our connection was simple and heartfelt. Tomas was a student/teacher of A Course in Miracles who dedicated his life to living the Course without compromise.
A few months ago Tomas was diagnosed with cancer - the irreparable kind. In a recent interview he said;
' Saving my life is none of my business. Living my life is all of my business.'
Today, I have reached the halfway point in 'An Experiment In Conscious Dying.'
From the time Dad was diagnosed with 'that lung cancer' to the moment he took his last breath, his ramble here on earth lasted 104 days. Then I blinked, and he was gone.
I have spent part of this lifetime clinging to the edges - in an attempt to quell the fear of dying.
Since starting out with the experiment I have meditated every morning; the space between the bed and the door has become a sacred place of reflection and stillness. I am learning to let go and trust the process.
'Listen, - perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in whch you heard it completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember, from just this little part, how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
The notes are nothing. Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. You could remember, yet you are afraid, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. Listen, and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.' - ACIM
Supposedly, we think about 55,000 thoughts per day, 2292 per hour, 38 per minute, half a thought per second. Each thought is either fearful or loving. It is really that simple. Every moment; every thought is a golden opportunity to choose one or the other. There is no in-between.
So today, I once again ask myself a question.
What if I had 52 days left to live on Planet Earth? How different would my life look?
52 days to live as if that is all that remains.
Let the experiment in conscious dying continue ...
This picture of Roseberry Topping was made by Dad on his final ramble, before he hung up his walking boots in favour of dying consciously
Recently, Ell and me returned to Broomfield after spending a few days in Liverpool, at The Awakening workshop. I had no undies and desperately needed to do some laundry. So, I loaded up the washing machine with all the clothes that I had worn over the weekend and set the machine for a economy wash.
Unfortunately, the washing machine broke down mid-wash - while my clothes were still in the machine. In a moment of panic I realized that Dad’s knitted sweater was stuck in the machine drowning in dirty water. I started to frantically press all the buttons on the machine in the hope that it would miraculously work but the machine was having a nervous shakedown.
I explained the situation to my landlady who came rushing into the kitchen, and threw a wobbly, switched off the machine and quickly left slamming the kitchen door hard behind her.
So, it was just Ell , me, a broken down washing machine - and Dads tatty old knitted sweater.
I sat down face to face with Ell and started to pour out my heart. The first step involved releasing the anger towards my landlady being rude to me, and ignoring my plea to save Dads sweater from the machine.
Suddenly, I fell through a trap door and started to cry like a small child.
I experienced a vivid flashback from my childhood. Me, aged 8, perched on the edge of the bath with Dad trying to console me after I had just watched Mij the otter killed by a ditch digger in the film Ring of Bright Water.
Dad joked with me about how one day he would grow old and die, just like Mij the otter. The mere thought of losing Dad terrified me. I was bereft with grief.
Back at Broomfield standing in the kitchen, I believed that if Dads sweater got wrecked then another piece of him would be erased from my life. In that moment I believed that my relationship with Dad was defined by the few simple possessions that I had inherited from him after his death.
Ell held me close, whilst the boy inside expressed deep sadness over the fear of losing Dad.
Whilst in the sadness I had a moment of clarity.
Maybe, Dad was trying to communicate something vital in that moment - straight from the heart. Perhaps he was attempting to prepare me for the inevitable. Maybe this moment in the bathroom , awkward as it was, was a right of passage.
As for the sweater, it survived the ordeal, but even if it hadn’t, it wouldn’t really have mattered, because my relationship with my Dad isn’t defined by some tatty old knitted sweater. Rather, it is defined by the Love that we shared in this lifetime, which I carry in the blood that runs through my veins, in every cell of my being, every breath, every heartbeat, every smile, every snowflake, every birdsong, every tear, every moment , every year… His spirit lives on in me. Xxx
All meditations between the bed and the door have currently been suspended, due to crap weather conditions.My extremeties are struggling to cope with the sudden drop in termperature. As a result, I have moved to a new warmer 'leaning against the wardrobe' location. Its doesn't really compare to the space between the bed and the door because I can't hear my favourite black bird singing, but its better than getting permanent winkie shrinkage.
Ate a yummie blend of short grain organic brown rice, banana, raisins, honey and yoghurt for brekkie.
Drove Winston to Sayers Common to train lovely Claire ( See left for a picture of me and Claire wrapped in toilet roll ) Within seconds of starting the warm up, there was a knock at the door, and a neighbour appeared in tears, clutching her hand, after slipping on a sheet of ice in the garden. I wrapped her hand in ice to help reduce the bruising, and reassured her that she was safe and loved. Claire revealed to me later, that Sue's Father was buried yesterday.
During the workout I shared with Claire how I was feeling nervous about tonights audition for the part of 'Rooster' in the musical Annie. She kindly reminded me of the power of intention, and the experiment in conscious dying.
So once again I ask myself a question.
What if I had 59 days left to live on Planet Earth? How different would my life look?
Okay here goes ..
Did a food shop at Tesco in Burgess Hill . Bought enough supplies for the next 6 weeks. In my experience; better to be safe and full up than sorry and starving.
On this occasion, I chose to use the self service check out.
A sexy, sassy automated voice instantly spoke out at me making me jump out of my skin all jack in the box like.
UNIDENTIFIED BAG IN BAGGING AREA!
For f**ks sake! Give me a break! I've only got 59 days left to live.
Sexy, sassy voice was humiliating me in front of the other customers - for bringing my own recycled bags, instead of using the wafer thin plastic bags provided. (Supposedly, a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year, and it takes hundreds of years for the bags to breakdown. . unlike human beings, who break down everyday over the stupidest things.)
A few seconds later, a real shop assistant came along and pressed lots of touch screen buttons, making it okay for me to place my recycled bags in the bagging area.
The first few items sailed through the checkout; frozen fish, carrots , de-icer, honey, hemorrhoid creme. eggs, smart price tissues, blueberries...
Then it happened - the gala apples wouldn't scan. There is nothing more embarrassing than standing at a self service checkout with 15 impatient queing people giving dirty looks, frantically rubbing and stretching a polythene bag of gala apples, to get them to scan.
At this point sexy, sassy had taken the huff and was giving me the silent treatment.
Somebody muttered something under their breath
I quickly retaliated; IT'S NOT MY FAULT THE F**KING GALA APPLES WON'T SCAN!'
In the brief time it took to make the above comment my pecs must have grown two inches, Sadly, this growth spurt lasted the same length of time it took me to make the comment, and quickly evaporated into thin air , to be replaced by an blown up version of the guilt I was trying to get rid of in the first place.
I felt awful.
So, I took a deep breath and invited The Holy Spirit into the situation, to help me make a healthier choice.
Then, I remembered the truth, and everything worked out okay. I made friends with sexy voice, apologised to the gala apples for treating them unkindly, and sent unconditional love to the 15 people in the queue.
in a nutshell; only the love is real in any situation.
Worked on Roosters New York accent.
Ell arrived looking slightly green due to a case of pre audition nerves. We had a boogie to Stereo MC's, ate a simple healthy dins, and cleared our fears around auditioning for Rooster and Lily eventually arriving at the truth .. that Its perfectly okay to SHINE.
The audtions went brilliantly. Fortunately, we both got to read and sing together along with Deb as Hannigan. The audition panel laughed out loud and when the song and dialogue finished said that they had seen enough, turned to each other, nodded, and said the words ' we know, we know'.We celebrated our mini victory with a photo of Rooster and Lily.( See below) Whether we get the part or not is now in the hands of the lovely people on the panel.
Watched the movie Underworld with Ell on my new flatscreen TV. It' a fantastic, slick film about vampires and werewolves refusing to forgive each other. Kate Beckinsdale plays a PVC clad vampire. ( Some people suffer from latex allergies, so if after reading this blog you notice any skin irritations or rashes developing after wearing your latex leggings, please check with your doctor.)
Ell and me did face to face sex. I played the werewolf and Ell pretended to be Kate Beckinsdale. PHWOAR!
Went to sleep humming the words to the song Easy Street..
During the drive back to Gail’s flat , Ell stopped off at a convenience store to pick up some milk. As I sat waiting in the car, I noticed a box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes sitting on the top shelf through the window like a dirty magazine. (Crunchy Nut is an addictive breakfast cereal made with flakes of corn, honey, large quantities of sugar and chopped peanuts.)
'Gimme Gimme Gimme a Crunchy Nut after midnight
Won't somebody help me chase the craving away
Gimme gimme gimme a Crunchy Nut after midnight
Take me through the darkness to the break of the day' - ABBA
I often wonder if rehabilitation centres actually exist for Crunchy Nut dependency...
Hello, my name is Nige, and I’maddicted to Crunchy Nut!
People from all walks of life are chasing the crunchy nut dragon; This involves placing powdered crunchy nut on baking foil and heating it from below with a lighter. The crunchy nut turns to a sticky liquid and wriggles around like a Chinese dragon, hence the name Crunchy Nut Dragon . Sugary fumes of corn, sugar and peanuts are given off and are inhaled through a rolled up back issue of Miracle Worker.
One thing is for certain; Crunchy Nut abuse destroys lives.
Moderation is impossible. Complete abstinence is the only way forward.
'Say f**k it and have the courage to get to know yourself'
'A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this, somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone elses' - ACIM
I answered the call to become a TOG after taking The Awakening workshop in Toronto in 95. The moment I invited spirit into my life there was no going back; everything that could possibly piss me off quickly followed. My mind had become stained with dark blotches from the past, directing me to attack in the present, so that the future could be more like the past.
'Healing cannot be accomplished in the past. It must be accomplished in the present to release the future. ' ACIM
The ego could be likened to a nasty computer virus, forcing our system to crash without warning.
The Holy Spirit on the other hand is the ultimate anti-virus, cleaning, degunking and unraveling our thoughts; helping restore peace of mind which is our natural state. Living fearlessly is like learning to walk all over again.
Teaching from the wisdom of our struggle is first and foremost about acknowledging and taking responsibility for our current dilemma whatever that may be....
'All shallow roots must be uprooted.'
When we make a conscious choice to lay aside our distorted perception of the world, and make friends with our wounds, the dark blotches soften at the edges, to reveal the oneness that connects us all. This creates a simple-hearted space to share our learning with others.
I seek for reassurance outward; everywhere I find
The silent screams and dreams and fears my unforgiving mind,
Until I breathe with Holy breath the Spirit’s Voice I’ll heed
Remembering that in me I have everything I need.
Correcting my perceptions I remember I am safe
With passion heart and courage too these healing steps I take.