Mindset of Ageing

Mindset of Ageing

By Lynda Dyer

Why does a simple attitude adjustment suspend Ageing?

Why do some people become well centenarians while others die young?

Does Age affect our wellness or wellness affect our age?

All great questions and ones I wanted to explore to truly understand the ageing process.

Let me share with you some of my findings that I wrote about in my International Best Selling Book ‘Age is an Attitude’ in 2017.

“Cultural Beliefs effect our immune system and thus our health and ageing process”, says Dr Mario Martinez who is a clinical neuropsychologist and developed the Bio cognitive Science Institute in 1998. He wrote the ‘Mind Body Code’ by studying over 400 centenarians. From his research he believes that longevity is learned and not inherited. This study puts a whole new slant on the ‘Nature/Nurture’ controversy and I think it has great credibility.

His bio cognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. I find this fascinating as I believe our thoughts are so powerful. I have been teaching this for many years.

You have to ask yourself why can some people live well past 100 without seeing a doctor? Why can some people live well past 100 when both their parents died young? Why can some people reverse incurable diseases, like I did, while others hold onto childhood diseases despite years of treatment and therapy?

Dr Mario Martinez, on the 180 Nutrition Show with Guy Lawrence and Stu Cook talks about “The Secret of Living Beyond 100 years old”. He gave some great examples for us to get this concept of the cultural thinking influencing our health and thus our ageing process. This is the example.

“Let’s say your culture has a propensity in the immune system issue like Lupus or Cancer. Research has shown that that culture generally teaches you to be subservient with authority”. How many of you have felt subservient with authority growing up? I know I did. I had a big issue with ‘people in charge’. I think many of us have felt this at some time.

Dr Mario Martinez then says “Some of the characteristics for Cancer and Immune Disorders are:

  • Unassertiveness
  • Inability to set limits
  • Fear of the world and not being liked enough
  • Inability to reduce fear which causes a low immunity and a low ability to produce the natural killer (NK) cells that can kill the pre cancer cells.

He goes on to say that “The family quite often fosters the illness teaching us helplessness and subservience”. So we teach ourselves to get sick and remain sick. We should never blame ourselves because we don’t do this consciously. If you can learn to get sick you can learn to trigger the causes of health you inherited.

I believe this because I did it. I felt subservient around authority. I created an auto immune disease.

I know from my teachings that we have a Mind and Body Connection. What Dr Mario Martinez has added is that this Mind Body Connection is influenced by our culture. So our perception of who we are and why we do what we do is cultural. In fact we are influenced by cultural beliefs from the day we are born. I believe Bob Proctor would call this ‘Programming’. In each culture our beliefs are different. We are influenced by what we share or fear even at the pre-birth stage.

As an NLP Coach and Trainer I know this from many processes that we can do with people to take them back to a time where they felt that fear or shame for example. The actual meaning of the words is different in each culture. For example, Dr Mario Martinez says that “Shame and Honour may mean different things in different cultures”. He goes on to say that “Shaming causes inflammation of the immune system by reducing imunoglukans”. Were you ever told that you did not do well at school or sport? This is one way of shaming. Each culture can shame in different ways. Some cultures shame the whole group. For example some older people feel not treated well as a group. Women in some cultures are shamed to keep them feeling subservient.

The problem with shaming, or any other negative word is that our subconscious mind is symbolic so it refers to words as symbols. “These symbols can create a bio cognitive set of responses that can influence our immune system. Therefore illnesses and ageing are learnt and the causes of health are inherited” says Dr Mario Martinez.

He goes on to say that “We are basically born healthy. There are very few chromosomal errors. In the process, however of dealing with the world, we learn to respond in a dysfunctional way. We have a pre-disposition in our DNA to overcome illnesses, through our resilience, that allows us to get well. We become ill from factors we have learnt. We have a tremendous ability to be well and overcome many illnesses and challenges”. I know this from practical experience.

So if .001% is inherited illnesses, why we age must have a lot less to do with our genetics and a lot more to do with our environment or culture. Dr Mario Martinez says “We don’t inherit illness. We actually inherit a propensity for illness. What we do learn is how to be hyper alarmed.” So we live in a constant stress state without realising it.

So let’s have a look at an example of why he says this. “Let’s say you are raised by abusive parents, where you are constantly mistreated. That is not just psychological damage. That creates problems with the immune system and endocrine system and nerves. These systems are learning to get sick and so they secrete chemicals, stress and cortisol steroids, into our immune and endocrine system which lose their ability to assist us. So all our systems, nerve, immune, endocrine, and cognitive are learning stress. The medical system then offers us a tablet for that which enforcers the illness belief.

We don’t inherit illnesses. We inherit the propensity for the expression of genes based on our environment, culture and beliefs”.

Ellen Langer, a Professor in Social Psychology from Harvard University did a study on working women in a hotel. The study was to demonstrate ‘How Context Affects your Ageing Process’. So she split the group of hotel workers into two groups;

  1. Group 1 were all told that what they do in the hotel must be hard work and I’m sure you must get tired at the end of the day”. In NLP we call this an ‘embedded command to the mind’ because it is so suggestive.
  2. Group 2 were told “Do you know that the work you do is similar to aerobics, bending and stretching, like going to a gym and you must be burning lots of calories”. So these workers also had embedded commands of a whole different nature given to them. They were given attributes that the work they were doing attributed to their fitness and had aerobic consequences.

So they then looked at both groups 6 weeks later:

  1. Group 1 got worse
  2. Group 2 allowed the attributions of aerobic exercising while working to change their mindset and attitude about their work and they made significant changes. They dropped their cholesterol, weight and blood pressure significantly, just from thinking about their work differently. They allowed the attributions to change their attitude about their work and they had a significant mind body change.

I actually did this exercise with my son. He was working in a ‘Boost Juice’ bar and he was not happy with the amount of work he had to do for the amount of pay. So I said to him “why don’t you go into your work tomorrow and pretend you own the business and work as if it is your business”. To do that he would have to change his mindset and attitude about his work and his role in the job.

Well the outcome not only surprised the people at his work, it also surprised him and me. He was told “you can’t change that quickly”. His comment was “yes you can because I just did”. He was then asked to become the assistant manager in four days. He not only did this at this casual job, he did it at his next job in a music store with the same results. He now knew that he was in control of his outcomes every day and that his attitude was very much connected to his aptitude.

In NLP, we believe that Attitude is very much attributed to Aptitude. The effort you put into anything in your life will be governed by your attitude, thoughts and beliefs around that task. Attitude is the way we decide to do our behaviour from the way our beliefs and values are.  So our behaviour is a great indicator of our mindset and attitude. If we want to make change we may like to check our willingness to change our mindset and thus our attitude first.

So Can The Power of Thought Stop You Aging?

“Professor Ellen Langer carried out another experiment in 1979 to find if changing thought patterns could slow ageing” according to the BBC News. The full story of this experiment was hidden until 2010 so it’s just being realised now.

Here is the link to the full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8498233.stm

The most important point here is that thoughts can actually change the chemistry in the brain. We can make the choice to grow older in a healthy happy way or not. To become a well centenarian is a choice.

So let’s look at what Dr Mario Martinez found as the common denominators for longevity according to his research on over 400 centenarians.

  • They all intuitively express the causes of their wellness
  • They were all assertive, celebrated life and others
  • They had what has been called righteous anger which is good for letting off steam
  • They all set their own limits. They were happy to help others but only to a point.
  • They ate mostly vegetarian or Mediterranean diets until they were ¾ full
  • They don’t manipulate. They acknowledge that both they and you were worthy. This is healthy for the immune system. If we don’t feel worthy and acknowledge it then how can we project ourselves. Our culture quite often teaches us to be humble and helpless.
  • They exercised regularly by walking, riding bikes and dancing
  • They had a purpose every day. Whatever they did (even if it was to mind the great grand- kids) they did it with the best attitude.

The important point here is that cultural anthropology and neuroscience back this information up. So if ‘SHAME’ is the underlying reason behind your immune system not allowing you to have the longevity that you want then you can STOP and DECIDE to find times in your life when you felt HONOUR because honour is the healer for shame. Honour becomes an anti-inflammatory component. So what may be a great exercise for you to do is to write about all the times you felt honoured in your life. You may be surprised at how far you can go back. By focusing on your worth, and a mindset of your purpose, your body feels well and you age well.

Lynda

Lynda Dyer Msc, Mind Power Global

Certified NLP Trainer & Master Trainer of Matrix Therapies

International Best Selling Author of 8 books Including ‘Make it Happen Now’, ‘Good Grief Book’, ‘Healing your Immune System’ and ‘Create Confident Kids’.

You can connect with Lynda at http://mindpowerglobal.com.au/

Read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

Never Let Them See You Sweat

Never let them see you sweat

Written by Glyn Conlon

I see the big picture, organise the details, meet the deadlines, and never let it seem as if I need support.

I had never asked for appreciation or acknowledgement, I wore the lone leader cap, both with family and my career. I’ve got this as my badge of honour, that is, until I noticed that perhaps I wasn’t appreciated anymore. When did this happen to me?

When did I become unnoticed, unappreciated, undervalued and undone. And when did it start to matter?

Is this the big M?

Yep, I was on top of it all the time…except when a task veered beyond my toolkit of expertise. But that rarely happens. Right?

I’m here to admit it happens more and more of late. What I’m talking about is self-doubt that comes with Menopause. Those changes in my body and in my mind that I am trying to pretend don’t exist.

I now find myself saying “I am not prepared to drop this because of the principle of it”. That niggling sense that I am going in a different direction to the rest of my family and they are looking at me weirdly.

Pre the big M, sometimes the task is too foreign, the time too short, the energy too finite to pull it off. And then I’m stuck acting like a Lone Leader, trying to operate without the necessary support. Then I get hit with the sick stick and “have” to stop.

This pattern is on incessant repeat in women’s’ lives and possibly men’s lives, although I’m not as sure because in my experience, men are not talking about a whole lot of stuff. They suffer with anxiety and depression just like women though.

I have reflected on the reasons a Lone Leader prefers to operate solo, even when overwhelmed and here they are:

You could be accused of being high maintenance. You could raise eyebrows and whispers in the powder room like “how did she land this job”? Or at playgroup “what is she thinking, I’m a mum; I would have handled it SO differently”.

Will they think you’re a pest?

Will they have more important people to support and no one will answer at all!
This imagined consequence of rejection is enough to keep you from raising your hand; unless, that is, it’s to help clean up.

Or are these reasons in our own heads?

Are we perpetuating our own futures?

Is what my kids say to me actually true? “Mum you need to talk to someone and get help with your feelings…”

Holy shit! What about some acceptance or recognition of the things I have achieved! The self-development hours I’ve put in. I want someone to see me with fresh eyes, see me for the growth and the investment in myself over many years.

Until recently I had forgotten the basic simple human trait – Others want to help.

When you can ask someone to help you, they are instantly flattered. Beyond the initial ego-boost, your potential helper experiences a sense of validity and purpose. It’s almost like you’re doing them a favour.

According to recent research, heterosexual marriage is an unequal institution. Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands/partners. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals in the relationship and for their relationship.

I have two daughters 30 and 27 years and a partner . A year ago started I noticed I was feeling blue a lot more. I caught the symptoms a lot later than some of my friends. I wanted more fairness and equality and HELL YEAH I wanted more understanding, team work and to be heard.

Then I asked, if society undervalues most of my work, perhaps I do too. Time to start doing what I ask my clients to do……Journal.

I notice my children who come from the “pampered” generation. They know more about everyday things, especially technology and are able to do things quicker. Often looking at each other as if they have finished the book and I am way back at the forward.

Please let’s stop talking about what’s gone wrong, what’s going wrong or who’s wrong — let’s plant trees together and save the future, I say.

Maybe, just maybe women are subordinating themselves! Are we undervaluing ourselves in our relationships, our careers and with our children? Are we enabling the struggle of menopause?

Then I utter those famous words …ahem cough cough – “Coach!, Coach thy self”!

My life takes on a warm glow when I keep a journal. This type of journal is special and is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg Ph.D

The way I journal is to has two components to it, firstly to hear my feelings and to know that when my needs are not being met, this stirs feelings I don’t like and I can then make an action request; a powerful component to listen to any pain that surfaces and discover the beautiful needs that lie underneath any hurt and misunderstandings. I then look at specific action requests to meet that need; a very powerful part of moving forward for future peace of mind and connection with your partner, family or workplace colleagues.

Then lastly, just before sleep; simple gratitude. A quick 3 minutes of indulgence is enough to lift my mood and bring forward opportunities.

My Mum who is 87,is an ornery character of late, her badge of lone leader is, never asked for support and never will. She is so proud of that mantra.

I have discovered that by giving her a journal she eventually tells me that she needs to know someone cares and is listening and that helps her think she can go on. The anxiety seems to take her from behind and with a flurry of texts to me she is once again complaining about everything that has ever made her sad in her life and everything that is not fair and how everyone there is unkind to her. Post journalling she seems to be embracing peace of mind.

This is possibly her own beliefs catching up to her and being played out on the big screen before her eyes each day. These beliefs have always been in her life yet and now she has a way of journalling them through to clear them from her body and her mind. Its early days still.

What can I learn from her behaviour? To work through things as they arise to look at my needs as my guidance and know they stimulate feelings I don’t like and then do the journalling to breakthrough these beliefs, habits behaviours and doubts.

In a study of 400 healthy people, those participants who had higher scores on a gratitude test also had significantly better sleep. They reported faster time to sleep, improved sleep quality, increased sleep duration, and less difficulty staying awake during the day. This is not because their life was simply better – levels of gratitude are more dependent on personality and life perspective than on life situation.

Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.

A small bit of jealousy or envy directed at the right target is motivating. Too much produces feelings of insecurity, materialism, inferiority, distrust, and unhappiness.
Did you hear social media swan in the back door?

How does gratitude reduce feelings of envy?

An attitude of envy and an attitude of gratitude are largely incompatible. Just like it is impossible to feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time, gratitude is the act of perceiving benevolence, while envy and jealousy is the act of perceiving inadequacy. Benevolence and inadequacy cannot be completely perceived at the same time.

Make sense?

I propose our greatest joy needs to come from our work and from our families. Perhaps nurturing our life’s work which includes our family, rather than excludes our career.

I propose a purpose which starts when we are kids, takes a detour or sabbatical when our kids are born, comes back with a vengeance when our kids are whatever age you decide and then our passion and purpose continue until grandkids, then right back into it.

Fear is our greatest enemy, not our children or our partners or our bosses. Let’s self-coach ourselves to peace of mind.

Loads of love

Glyn

Glyn Conlon Communication Mediator

Glyn helps business professionals resolve conflict by communicating effectively so they can protect the things that matter most– in the workplace and at home.

Get your free copy of 5 Steps to Personal Power by visiting https://keystoneskills.com.au/

Read more articles like this in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

Tuning into Animal Magic

Tuning into Animal Magic

Author: Bianca de Reus

 Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the beautiful eyes of animals? What they must be thinking, and how they experience life?

I know that every animal has a story to tell, wanting to express how they feel, and share their wisdom with the world.

How do we know they can do this, and how can we hear them?

Luckily, many people are open to listening to animals and receiving the stories, knowledge, and wisdom that helps us humans, so we can learn, be inspired, and create a positive change in ourselves and in the world.

When I am out and about in nature and around animals, they often just start talking to me. It doesn’t matter whether I’m wandering amongst them or I see a picture in front of me; animals’ need to communicate with me is ever present.

Whether they have a specific message or just want a chat, I find that communicating with our animal friends is a fun, healing, loving, and therapeutic experience.

Over the years, I have learned that many people are curious about what their beloved animal is thinking. What goes on in their mind? Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds, sheep, cows, lizards; all animals can communicate with us, and we with them.

We simply need to be quiet and listen.

Over the years I explored, about our connection with animals and I learned more about how I could hear the animals, I was amazed at how much I learned from them and how lovely and relaxing it could be to have a conversation with an animal.

Initially I practised only with my dogs, Rosie and Toby, discovering the differences in their energy, personalities, and how they communicate with me. For example, Toby is very relaxed and his energy reflects that. He is a sook, very dependent, and his energy is extremely mellow. Toby is also an old soul, and very wise.

Rosie, on the other hand, has a higher and more energetic vibration, and comes through with lots of excitement. She is more pedantic and not always willing to communicate. She will indicate to me if she is ready to talk. She is also a very independent dog and likes to do things her own way, yet on the other hand she is very supportive towards Toby and us.. In many ways, her personality mirrors mine.

I always speak with animals with gratitude and respect.

I talk to Rosie and Toby every day, whether out loud or in my mind. It is so much fun! It has also helped me to understand them much better. For example, Rosie tells me whether she is hungry or not and what she wants to eat. She also tells me what she wants to do; go to the park or just a walk around the block, chill and relax. Rosie is a wealth of wisdom, advice and support. Toby is my guardian, my gatekeeper.

Talking with animals is an intuitive process, and usually happens via telepathy. Of course they can hear our voice, but don’t necessarily understand our language. What’s important is what we project to them, including our energy.  That is how they understand what we are saying. They can send us a picture, a smell, a colour, or words via telepathy.  We receive this only when we are tuned in to them.

Animals live from their hearts. They are connected to spirit at a higher vibrational or energy level and give absolute and complete unconditional love. It gives us such a great feeling to see our own beloved animal approach us, wanting us to receive their love.

Whether animals have a specific message for us or just want to have a conversation, communicating with our animal friends is an enjoyable and therapeutic experience.

I’d love to share the experience I had with Audrey, the cat.

This beautiful cat formed part of a loving family. She was mature, and usually very friendly, yet kept to herself. She had her favourite spots around the house, and was living out her life in a gentle way.

However, one day this suddenly changed. Audrey became quite aggressive towards people, something she would otherwise never do. In particular, she showed aggression towards one member of the household. They couldn’t figure out what was going on with her, and asked me if I could help.

I connected with Audrey, and my, what a fussy eater she is! The main issue though, was that one particular family member  was drinking alcohol at night, and she didn’t relate to that very well. She didn’t feel that it was a good thing for that person to do, because it had a negative effect on him. Being aggressive was her way of letting him know “I don’t like what you are doing, you need to stop this.”

Sometimes I provide Reiki healing during an animal communication session. This form of energy healing helps the animal to calm down, reduces aches and pains, and can help to balance energy levels as well as reduce  inflammation. I also apply Reiki when I want to ‘see’ what the animal is sharing with me. I receive the images directly from the animal through the energy in my hands.

I provided some Reiki healing for Audrey during our session, and she loved it! Audrey became very mellow and her energy shifted from being angry, upset, and annoyed, to relaxed and comfortable. She even went outside and lay in front of the window in the sun. Apparently she hadn’t done that for a long time.

After we learned of Audrey’s reason for her behaviour, it was shared with the members of her family. She started to settle down after the person in question started to change his behaviour.

This story is one of the reasons I am so passionate about connecting with animals; we can help each other.

Animals are so wise and have many stories and much information to share, so it is important for me to share how you can connect and listen to them. Whether you have a pet in your family, you are a foster animal human guardian, have animals on your farm, or rescue animals from misery and abuse, everyone can learn this wonderful and important skill.

Be inspired

I’d love nothing more than you being inspired and encouraged to tap into soul to soul connecting with animals. I want you to be amazed by what the animals will share with you, and to have the capacity to do the best you can for animals who need you. I also want you to fully understand that animals are sentient, just like you and me. They are Soul Beings, living with genuine love, absolute passion, and a desire to serve the planet and all Beings on it.

My vision is to inspire people to create love, harmony, and joy around the world, so that humans and animals may live side by side with real love and respect.

My mission is to teach humans how to connect with animals by way of spiritual communication, inspired soul connection, mentoring, and energetic healing.

So let’s practise! Take a breath, and open up to the possibility that you too can talk with animals and understand them.

Here are a few simple steps you can take at home, and connect with your pet, soul to soul:

1 – Find yourself a quiet place at home, or outdoors. A place where you are free from interruptions. For example, you may have a quiet meditation corner in the house, or a favourite spot in a park or on the beach.

2 – Take a few deep breaths. Visualise green beautiful light surrounding your heart. Feel the warmth, the love. Sit with this for a few moments.

3 – Imagine sending the green light directly to your pet or any other animal you wish to talk with. The green light represents unconditional love, from your heart to the heart centre of the animal.

4 – Ask for permission to connect and have a conversation. Introduce yourself. Some people receive this permission by hearing the animal saying ”yes”, or the animal showing you a picture of love and approval, or by feeling an intense hug. It is different for everyone, and I invite you to take note of what it is for you.

5- Start by asking questions and patiently wait for the answer. The information will present itself through words, images or feelings, and will come in very quickly, so it’s important to record it and not analyse it! Allow the information to flow.

6 – Now that you have received the information, you THANK your pet for the connection and share how grateful you are for this.

Don’t worry if the connection didn’t happen immediately. Keep practising; you are learning this skill, so be patient with yourself.

Communicating soul to soul is extremely important for us humans to experience, so that we are in the best position to create love, harmony, joy and freedom around the world.

Over the years, I have spoken with birds, dogs, cats, goannas, horses, guinea pigs, cows, sheep, koalas, kangaroos, and certain insects.

I feel so honoured to be able to communicate with animals.  It feels great to hear the different voices and feel the different energies.

I am loving it, and I am sure you will too!!

Bianca

Bianca De Reus

Bianca de Reus was born and raised in the small town of Heemskerk, in the Netherlands. She  found her way to Sydney, Australia in 1996, where shortly after she was approached by a wild  snake who told her what her life purpose was to be. Bianca is an inspiring and passionate Soul Being, who loves the connections between animals  and people, bringing them together with love, joy, and harmony.    She is a game changing animal communicator and soul connection mentor who works  outside the norm, and takes people to a higher energy when working with animals.     She helps conscious animals lovers to create harmony and love by connecting deeply with  their animal friends.

Bianca has recently published her book called Hello, Can You Hear Me? 

You can get your copy at https://www.biancadereus.com/book

Connect with Bianca

https://www.biancadereus.com

https://linkedin.com/in/biancadereus

https://www.facebook.com/BiancadeReus/

Read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

My Story – Turning Point

Turning Point

Written by Margaret Rainbird

I ventured out one beautiful crisp Autumn morning to walk the labyrinth in the community garden in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. This example of an ancient path for walking meditation had been my staunch companion through some pretty turbulent times that included the death of my beloved dog and watching my ex-husband waste to his death in the same year. These were accompanied by the sale of my home and commencing work as a doctor to the dying. These experiences culminated in admission to a psychiatric hospital with crippling anxiety and depression. Already, a few months since my hospital stay, that duo were once again pinning me to the bed early in the morning. Heaping fears and recriminations upon me and making it well nigh impossible to crawl out from under the doona and face the challenges of day to day reality.

I paused at the entrance to this mosaic beauty and felt the sun on my upturned face, the cool fanning breeze on my skin. Aptly, as I made one of the turns on the path an idea emerged. It felt as if it left the shelter of the heritage apple trees and walked up to me. It carried a question: What would my life be like if I walked a different labyrinth every day for a year? I felt excitement rise up from my feet and pass through my body. Such a quest would involve travel. After all, there aren’t 365 labyrinths in Australia. Immediately I had a sense that, unlike the planning and forensic diagnostic thinking that guided so much of my life, this would evoke a willingness to trust in invitation, inspiration and serendipity. Of course, I was already talking myself out of it by the time I got back to the car.

I gave myself the final piece of permission to fulfill my ‘crazy idea’ and go on this personal pilgrimage when I was diagnosed with two large tumours squashing the left hemisphere of my brain 3 days before Christmas in 2016. I had already made moves that defy logic and ‘good sense’: I had quit my job at a palliative care hospital and was in the process of surrendering my apartment and giving away many of my possessions. My young adult children had both left home.

On the eve of my surgery I was reflecting on this ultimate test of trust:  Allowing other people to take sharp implements to my brain! I was told that I may have a stroke or die. At the very least, I was to expect things to be worse before they got better. However, leaving the tumours in place would kill me. No-brainer really!

Prior to the operation I was experiencing weakness in my right hand and foot, was walking in to walls, my writing and memory were deteriorating. A whole constellation of symptoms worsened slowly then much more rapidly. By the morning of surgery I couldn’t sign my name.  I vowed that if I survived with my intellect intact I would start to share more of what I had learnt in the last 40 years: no more hiding the magical, metaphysical and mysterious that medicine pushes aside. I pictured myself kneeling and touching my forehead to the floor of the 800 year old labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France.

I realized how important my intellect was to my pleasure in life: reading, writing, intelligent conversation, studying, teaching. I didn’t want any of that taken away from me. It was with great relief and gratitude that I found myself the next day walking, talking, writing much more clearly. My brain slowly creaked back in to place and in to action. I was discharged home within 5 days with the mother of all headaches but excited to be alive.

I got to fulfill that dream plus many that were unforeseen. Within four months of my surgery I commenced my travels to 8 different countries including France, England, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, USA and Australia. My grateful feet trod the path of 400 different labyrinths. It was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. One whose wisdom I’m still harvesting. I called it my penciled-in-pilgrimage because I learnt very early in the piece that the landscape was constantly shifting and changing. It didn’t pay to write any plans in ink!

Harvested Wisdom from my Labyrinth Journey

In case it is valuable for other people undertaking something fairly major I will share some of what I learnt through the course of this 12 month process.

  • Share your ‘crazy’ idea out loud (perhaps not with your accountant and other seriously pragmatic people). Stating your intention allows you to start feeling your way. It also allows other people to come forth with help, knowledge, assistance and useful contacts.  Telling others also makes it harder to talk yourself out of it.
  • Put in place things that will encourage you. I plastered a quote from Goethe to the fridge:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

In retrospect I can strongly attest to the truth of this. While I was quitting my job and packing up and relinquishing my home I was flying more by the hope that this was so.

  • I created a collage that included pictures of labyrinths I intended to walk and quotes from books on pilgrimage as well as some of the world’s great philosophers including Woodstock and Michael Leunig. I included the thought that came to me one cold, anxious morning in bed: I am tired of living a small, scared, defeated life.
  • One of the things that I turn to when facing major decisions that won’t appeal to everyone is divination tools such as Runes, Labyrinth Wisdom cards and others. I find they are often an uncanny source of encouragement particularly when I am contemplating things that fly in the face of logic and ‘common sense’.
  • I can’t write this in big enough letters: reach out to other people: for support, for encouragement, for practical help. We/I have such strong values around independence and self-reliance yet every single person who extended their hospitality to me said that they benefited from my knowledge, my company and my experience. They were reconnected with the labyrinth and with each other. Obviously there was reciprocity in all of these aspects of my travels.
  • Be willing to live with ongoing uncertainty. You may only be able to see a couple of steps ahead at any one time.
  • That the linear models we create of set a goal, take action, achieve the goal are a false representation of how most of life unfolds.
  • Trust your gut feelings and your bodily responses to things: go with the ones that energise and enliven you.
  • Be prepared to change course and alter plans. What actually unfolds is likely to be far richer (though at times difficult and painful) than anything that you originally envisioned.

I wish you all the best with whatever you dream of bringing in to being.

Margaret Rainbird

 

Dr Margaret Rainbird decided to undertake a quest to walk a different labryinth every day for 365 days.  You can learn more about her journey on her website – https://labyrinthsforlife.com/

You can read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, a magazine for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE.