Week 19 – Power posture

Ok, while reading this put your feet up and take on a power posture.

What a mind-blowing simple way to significantly change how my life unfolds. Amy Cuddy has researched body language and presented it in a brilliant short TED talk. In essence she says that we are not that different from the animals really, body language seems to be universal and there are distinct ways we express ourselves, be it power or vulnerability the signs are the same:

Crossed hands or legs, hunched up and protective vs. stretched out arms, firm stance and hands on hips spell put the way we feel even if we don’t utter a word.

Amy’s research lead her to the conclusion that we can measurably improve how we feel by practicing power postures for 2 minutes daily. This is brilliant as far as I am concerned as it takes nothing more than just being mindful of the postures I adopt and an exercise of 2 minutes to feel better, increase testosterone and decrease cortisol.


No retail therapy,

no self help books,

no supplements,

no expensive presents and treats.

But hey, wait a minute that might be taking it a step too far!

Thank you for reading my blog.


Week 18 – Conscious attention and focus …. and then leave it to the Universal Mind

Part 18 of the Masterkeys has been rather fascinating and thought provoking. The way I understand it is that on one hand I, as the individual am simply the means by which the Universal Mind expresses itself. Thought is creative, but the creative power does not reside in the individual – the individual is merely a channel for the distribution of the energy and power.

But then again the individual is not just merely a channel, is she/he?

29. Power depends upon consciousness of power; unless we use it, we shall lose it, and unless we are conscious of it, we cannot use it.

30. The use of this power depends upon attention; the degree of attention determines our capacity for the acquirement of knowledge which is another name for power.

We have the power of thought, conscious attention and focus that on the object. The cultivation of attention depends upon practice.

I find this extremely empowering as on one hand the creative process resides with the Universal Mind but on the other hand it is down to me to focus my thoughts and conscious attention on the object or condition. It is freeing to know that I don’t have to figure out a way to manifest. I can focus my attention, like a spotlight, we have all been trained to do that since early school, as Alan Watts explains clearly:

“…..The spotlight is what we call conscious attention, and we are trained from childhood that it is the most valuable form of perception. When the teacher in class says “Pay attention!” everybody stares, and looks right at the teacher. That is spotlight consciousness; fixing your mind on one thing at a time. You concentrate, and even though you may not be able to have a very long attention span, nevertheless you use your spotlight: one thing after another, one thing after another…” Alan Watts

For me this realization is huge, as a self-confessed control-freak it means a lot not to have to do it all and to know that the Universal Mind will take things into hand once I have completed my conscious attention and focused on the thoughts that I would like to manifest my life.

“There is no thought in my mind but it quickly tends to convert itself into a power and organizes a huge instrumentality of means.” Emerson

Week 17HJ – Leaving Scroll Marked IV

The Scroll marked IV was a delight to read and now it is time to move on and I trust those things that have touched me most will remain with me.

There are more than just one aspect that resonated with me, and that is not so much the statement that:

“I am nature’s greatest miracle”

But the very practical advice contained within the statement:

“None can duplicate my brushstrokes, none can make my chisel marks, none can duplicate my handwriting, none can produce my child, and in truth, none has the ability to sell exactly as I. Henceforth, I will capitalize on this difference for it is an asset to be promoted to the fullest.”

I guess the reason why this scroll appeals on so many different levels is because differences have not been celebrated as readily in the past and in my experience a tendency to amalgamate and blend in was more beneficial. So without feeling as though I have wasted time going to schools and universities that would please others around me, I read this scroll with the feeling of liberation and a sense of permission to pick up my brushes and do whatever I do because I am “a unique creature of nature”.

If in any way you too feel you have spent much to much time doing what was necessary to blend into the environment you live in, I highly encourage you to read the scroll marked IV and also pick up a brush and dance with it. Pick up a chisel and listen to the heartbeat of timber or stone, or pick up a pen (or keyboard) and start listening to the whispers of your spirit.

Thank you for reading my post.

Week 17 – Courage springs forth from kindness

Following the week of kindness my word for this week was courage. Somehow I picked it as the 2nd or 3rd on the list of importance and boy was I not wrong. I figured there are different kinds of courage.

There is courage, like bravery courage, and then there is the other kind of courage that challenges the inner daemons. According to Wikipedia: “Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.” They go on differentiating between “Physical courage” and “moral courage…..”

It is not physical, nor moral courage I am referring to here. It is what some people refer to as “real courage”, courage that makes me go face to face with my fears, insecurities, doubt and self-judgement.

It had all started to crumble away a week or so ago when I was told that I was acting like a victim, focusing on the lack of things in my life rather than seeing the many blessings that I have. It was not an easy pill to swallow but I deep down I knew that it was all true. So true that I noticed that my use of language in writing always reverted to some form of justification and a subjunctive.

Well this week has been special for me, not only because of the amplified need for courage but because I have made a large step forward to having my dream and desire fulfilled. I have been blown away by the kindness and selfless enthusiasm that others have given me this week. I am deeply indebted to all who have touched my heart this week in particular the Kindness from people I do not know and who do not know me either. Kindness that has spurred on the kind of real courage that has made me face my insecurities and open up and “come out”. Made my old blueprint cringe and shudder as speaking openly and even admitting a need for help and Positive Thoughts is not something within my comfort zone.

Strangely though it did not hurt as much as I thought it would. And I honestly think that the largest portion of judgement was self inflicted coming from the fears within. And I was so glad to be reading this week in the Master Keys that:

If you wish to eliminate fear, concentrate on courage.
If you wish to eliminate lack, concentrate on abundance.
If you wish to eliminate disease, concentrate on health.

Thank you for reading my blog this week.

Week 16 – Kindness transcends language barriers

Istanbul 2I traveled a little this week. I paint and seeing different places is how I gather inspiration. This time it was Istanbul – an ancient old city full of history and a different world altogether.

The task this week was kindness, to notice, see and be kindness.

Having picked up a tourist guide in the hotel lobby the day I arrived I proceeded to read a little. One thing that jumped out was the caution to not engage with the sales people in the Bazaar and to ignore comments in the streets unless one is willing to buy a carpet or suchlike.

Hmmm…. how is one to be kind when the advice is to ignore the locals?

It was not difficult at all. Even though I had less than 5 words of Turkish available to me and most of them relate to foodstuff like Baklava and Kaveh (sweet pastry and coffee) it was easy to see kindness all around. The hotel staff was brilliant, kind and helpful and the street vendors were generally happy to leave me alone.
Istanbul Tram
My trip ended with a most generous display of kindness on my last day when I went to see a group exhibition of Watercolour Artists that I found out about totally by accident. I made my way across the Bosphorus to the Asian part of the city and having found the gallery I was promptly offered a Turkish coffee and a tour of the exhibition. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and professional exchange of tips and tricks of watercolour painting (largely done by waving hands and feet in the air and some broken English). As I was getting ready to leave the group I was promptly told that I am going to be taken to the port. My attempts to persuade them that I can walk the distance caused a bit of laughter and they explained that it is at least 6-7 km and I was bound to get lost. So I was grateful for the lift offered in peak hour traffic it was longer than necessary but infinitely shorter than walking the distance.

In conclusion, kindness transcends language barriers, in my experience.

Week 15 – difficulties, inharmonies and obstacles…

Part 15 of the Master key system has been a thought provoking chapter. And not only the reading matter but also the encounters I have had with people this week have been thought provoking too. Perhaps it was all a big lesson without the friendly warning of “buckle up, it’s gonna be rough”.

“Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.”

I have had my fair share of difficulties and I am told that everybody has them… that it is the human drama and life. I accept that even though I am not sure that makes it easier for me or anyone to deal with mine/their difficulties – but I accept that. I have heard it in the past and I heard it again last week that it is the way I deal with it that makes the difference. So how do I deal with mine?

When these challenges present themselves, it is a good indication that something has got to happen; change has got to happen in my behaviour, habits or patterns. I really enjoyed reading this part of the Master key system as it seems to focus on why and how this is all happening in my life experience and that:

“We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have. We are able to consciously control our conditions as we come to sense the purpose of what we attract, and are able to extract from each experience only what we require for our further growth. Our ability to do this determines the degree of harmony or happiness we attain.”

The challenge here is that knowing all this and reading about it does not resolve anything – “Knowledge does not apply itself” It is the conscious application that knowledge will bring about a change coupled with the feeling around the issue or challenge – well that is my understanding and I will have to test it before I can say that this is it. Although even then it may work for me but not the person next to me.

It is like the “you have got to let go” that seems to be a constant mantra but not one person can say how to do this exactly. And I get it that we are all different and all have to find our own way of letting go. Some would just accept that it was not meant to be and others would go out and buy extra high heels to dig them in.

I know I have the tendency to dig my heels in (metaphorically) But I also know that I want the change – so I realise I cannot have both. I have been blessed with people around me that have been very kind and caring and that have offered time, support and kindness. Thank you

Week 14 – Natures Greatest Miracle

At the beginning of January we were supposed to start reading the Scroll marked IV. And so I did. In fact I was really relieved that we had moved on from scroll III. Scroll III did present a few challenges for me, some of the words and terminology really did not sit right. I was aware that there is a good reason for the wording and perhaps I was a little pedantic, crossing semantic swards and stumbling over particular passages as though I was learning to walk, that is read…. Notwithstanding all that I persisted in reading scroll III faithfully, more or less. The reason I say more or less is because I crossed out one particular line of the Scroll and omitted reading it.

My old self did not like that! You see, I don’t scribble in books, I don’t underline, I don’t fold pages to mark where I am (unless it is a second hand novel I found in the hotel lobby while on holiday). In other words my books look pristine – up until Scroll III came along. To “defile” a book, as my beautiful friend Louise use to say, is, I correct myself, was not in my character.

And then it occurred to me that it was not so much that I had made the book unclean or impure, it was more to do with the fact that this particular sentence was somewhat in stark contrast with the Scroll marked I.

“The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity yet it is fraught with heartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.

Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts, which will guide me through perilous waters to shores, which only yesterday seemed but a dream.

Failure will no longer by my payment for my struggle. Just as nature made no provision for my body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for my life to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past I accepted it as I accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom and principles which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position, and happiness far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward. ”

I will not even mention the passage that I had obliterated in the scroll marked III as you know exactly which one it is. All I will say to end this post is that I am so glad that now I read repeatedly how glorious, unique and different we are. And I am also glad that I am not a “defiler” of books but simply endeavour to stand behind the principles learned sofar. Though rattling my subconscious from time to time is not a bad thing either.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Week 13 – A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness

Part 13 of the Master Key falls conveniently smack in the middle of the Christmas festivity. Whether by accident or by design it really makes no difference my point is that with all this joy and happiness around this time of year it should make it easier to be and relax.

But was it really relaxed and easier? ‘Should’ being the operative word here. All sorts of things swirling around my head. Did I or did I not? Should I or should I not? Can I or can I not?

“Thought is a spiritual activity and is therefore creative, but make no mistake, thought will create nothing unless it is consciously, systematically, and constructively directed; and herein is the difference between idle thinking, which is simply a dissipation of effort, and constructive thinking, which means practically unlimited achievement. “

Thus me having a thought overload did not help. Neither did my unconscious and unsystematic approach i.e. idle thinking swinging like a pendulum from one direction to the other. Talk about dissipation of effort. By the end of that Christmas week I was forced to retreat to bed with alternating shivers and running high temperature. The body is a marvelous machine in that it knows how to bring me back to reality from the games and pretense the mind and subconscious get involved in. For two days there was no thought to be seen, heard or otherwise experienced; only pure physical attention to the needs of the body: keep warm or cool down, drink some water or go to the loo. Brilliant how basic and primal the needs of the body can be.

But that mindless bliss did not last too long. As soon as the main brunt of the cold passed the mind came back to play. Even though my head is still fuzzy and the pile of tissues by my bedside is ever growing I am now looking at the backlog of things to do, things to ignore….

So now as things are starting to go on as they were left off I am experiencing something of a déjà vu. Just because I have had a cold why should my mind and the subconscious be denied the pleasure of idle thinking? Well, because… I am working on changing my life; I am determined to focus on the things that I want to have more of in my life; because a happy thought cannot exist in an confused consciousness; and moreover ….because I don’t really want to get another cold.

“A happy thought cannot exist in an unhappy consciousness; therefore the consciousness must change, and, as the consciousness changes, all conditions necessary to meet the changed consciousness must gradually change, in order to meet the requirements of the new situation.“

I wish this new year to be a focused one. I wish this year I change my confused consciousness. I wish I am more alert to the world within and the conditions it creates. I wish to be kinder to myself. And most of all I wish the same to you.

Week 12 – The only way to keep from going backward is to keep going forward


I enjoyed reading part 12 of the Masterkey. Perhaps because I can relate to some of the passages. Perhaps because I am a little more challenged by what they stir up in me. With some passages though I have to pause and think as my inner critic and subconscious mind brings up all sorts of objections that are, fair enough based on past experience.

“The only way to keep from going backward is to keep going forward. Eternal vigilance is the price of success. There are three steps, and each one is absolutely essential. You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.”

Based on my experience, I know, I have the knowledge of my power. I don’t mean for this to sound overconfident or smug. Far from it. I know I can draw that which I don’t want into my life. I know I can draw that which I fear into my life and I know that I can draw that which I am anxious into my life. And as much as I use the law of substitution and affirmations it, that which I fear and am anxious about still comes my way like an unstoppable avalanche.

So even though I know I have the power I lack the courage to dare and the faith to do it. And yet still “The only way to keep from going backward is to keep going forward.” At times I feel as though I am battling the tip of the iceberg and occasionally feel as though I have gotten rid of the top that is the tip of the iceberg.

“6. But your ideal must be sharp, clear-cut, and definite; to have one ideal today, another tomorrow, and a third next week, means to scatter your forces and accomplish nothing; your result will be a meaningless and chaotic combination of wasted material.”

To achieve that clear vision and ideal I feel I have to delve deep and look at the mind, my mind, that is both complex and confusing at the best of times. Alan Watts puts this aptly in

“There is in turn, no possibility of making up our minds so long as “I” am one thing and “experience” another. If the mind is the directive force behind action, the mind and its vision of life must be healed before action can be anything but conflict. ” (Alan W. Watts, The wisdom of insecurity)

So how does one bridge the gap between “I am one thing” and “experience being the other”? How does one attain a healed mind?

By staying present?

By focusing on the Good?

By reading the index cards?

By abstaining from negativity?

By applying Scroll II now and now again?

I would love to hear your comments.

Thank you for reading my blog.