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The Real Consequences Of Poor And Unconscious Life Choices

The Real Consequences Of Poor And Unconscious Life Choices.
In any moment at any time, we are always at choice.  We are constantly making choices and creating outcomes with our thoughts – both good and bad.  Much of the time this is unconscious.

Our choices will always have an impact on others.

Choices need to come with an understanding that not everyone will like or appreciate what we have chosen or why we made that choice. 

We may offend people.

That’s where the origin of our choice becomes important.

There will be judgment and assumptions made.

Being aligned with the choices we make matters – for yourself.

Choices have consequences.

Which choices do you celebrate, and which ones do you regret?

Are you still comfortable with the choices you made that created waves bigger than you had anticipated?

There is the potential for deep learning in the choices we make –
the tougher the circumstances, the deeper the learning. 

But only when we are aware enough.

I was recently on holiday with friends.  While preparing to pack for coming home, we were joking about using up all the suntan lotion to make room for the one or two things we’d bought.

But my friend can’t waste anything.  She was laughing about cramming in the complimentary shampoos and conditioners, saying she already had loads at home….  “But I still go home with more.  You just can’t help it can you?”.  ‘You’, meaning everyone and missing the point that it was her!

Of course we can help it!  It’s a choice.  But she didn’t recognise her ability to choose in that instance or was unable to choose because of something deeper going on.

This is a banal example, but probably something most of us can relate to.

On the other hand, in 2019 my 20-year old son made some poor life choices

……for which he paid the price.  He was sent to prison for 12 months in September 2020.

Unsurprisingly, I felt challenged, as I was then given my own choices to make as a result of his choices, and his lack of appreciation of the knock-on effect of those choices to himself and his family.

When the police had first called and told me that he’d been arrested, I nearly fell apart, as many would. The police told me that, after investigation, if they had enough evidence, he would be charged with Intent to Supply, which was a custodial offence.  

So, as I hung up the phone, just before breaking down, I remembered that I had a choice. 

The knee-jerk reaction could be avoided.   The conditioned social response to fall apart, cry and tell everyone about this dreadful thing, was a real thing – but I could choose my response.

And in that gap of awareness, I remembered what I’d learned about choice, and I decided to manage it differently.

There were many choices for me now.  I had set aside that Sunday to do last-minute tweaks and prep for my first client coming to an Experience at the cottage.  I wanted it all to be ‘just right’.  But now the time was whipped away from me as I had to collect my son from the police station and manage that situation.

I had time to consider my choices even more as I drove to collect him.

Do I cancel my client, or do I trust myself to deliver less prepared than I would have liked?  I chose to continue because it felt the right thing to do and thankfully it came together.

Regarding my son’s situation, having decided not to have a drama, I chose how I would like to be, day by day.  I also have a daughter to consider, and it was important that she was not lost in this event.

I chose possibility and resilience, to manage my thoughts, and decided that at every step of the way I would choose who I would I speak to, who I would find to support us, and how I wanted to ‘be’ on a day to day basis.

I chose being present as much as I could, because over-thinking either the past or imagining the future had no merit.  I drew on everything I’d learnt about choice, awareness, self-examination and self-awareness and how to think from a place of possibility.

Another choice – I could throw him out, or I could support him. 

It was a no-brainer for me. 

To throw him out would have forced him even more deeply off-track.  I chose not to judge.  What he’d done, he’d done, and I refused to be swamped by the drama.

I chose to look at it as an event in our lives that needed to be managed in the best way possible to create the best outcome possible.  That there would be learning was a given, and I didn’t second guess what that would be but left myself open to recognising it whenever it showed up.

If I had followed the drama route and told everybody I knew, I would have spent the next few months fielding concerned questions and well-meant curiosity from people who were not in a position to help.  I wanted to choose who could support me and us.

So, what are The Real Consequences Of Poor And Unconscious Life Choices?
All of our choices have consequences for ourselves and for those around us and further afield.

The choices I made may not be the choices you would have made.  If I had not delivered for my client or had made different choices regarding my son, I would have lost so much opportunity to learn on so many levels.

Thoughts, choices and decisions create waves which will ripple through life and will affect countless others.

When we develop our awareness, we open up to being more conscious of how and when choices are available so that we can navigate a more powerful life.


“The only place we can exercise our freedom of choice is in the present.” 

Edith Eger holocaust survivor and clinical psychologist

This is a gift in itself. 

Exercising our power of choice gives us freedom and allows us to notice whether we are aligned with our values.  When we develop our awareness, we can notice alignment or lack of it, by what we feel in our bodies.

How far do you want the ripples of your choices to flow, who to and where?

With best wishes until next time

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Being Aware Of Your Un-Awareness

The 4 Principles Of Awareness

How To Be Aware Of Your Un-Awareness?
Think about this for moment.  How many dramas, crises and chaotic moments are you aware of happening during a month, a week, or even just a day?

More worrying – how many are you NOT aware of?

From the seemingly small incidents, like losing your car keys and phone again, to the ones that really reverberate.  Those tectonic plates of team dynamics shifting to create yet another upheaval in the office.

But here’s the thing; have you ever noticed that somehow, you’re always at the party?

I’m sure you’ll have heard the phrase, ‘Patterns repeat’ – and they do. 

And, I expect you’ll have noticed similar disagreements, upsets, and annoyances repeating themselves in the office and at home over the years. They bug you and get under your skin, and then you get frustrated because it’s happened again

The same angsty dance between the same people. 

Patterns repeat because they’re our patterns, not someone else’s. 

I can still remember when I experienced my first significant awareness of this phenomenon, as something that I was, in some way, responsible for.

I was sitting at the kitchen table at the farm with my toddler.  My partner had gone to start on things outside and I was having a moment of reflection.  From seemingly nowhere I saw that I had got myself into another controlling relationship. 

That awareness was profound

With a superficial comparison, the relationships looked very different to me.  My first partner was forensically intelligent and spoilt by his mother and loved to get his own way.  My second partner was neither, but the outcome was the same for me.  Well, not quite, the second one had bells on just to make sure I eventually got the message and learned the lesson.  Which is what happened that morning.  I realised I was playing a part in this.  I was in the centre of this party.

Don’t worry, though, you’ll be relieved to know that this isn’t an article about domestic abuse.

This is an article about awareness and noticing our responsibility in what blows up and goes on around us and what’s beneath it.

With hindsight, luckily, I had only repeated this pattern twice.  While twice doesn’t sound like much, I’d been repeating it day in, day out for about 25 years until that moment of awareness.

And, as with all awareness, there comes choice.

The thing is we are all doing this.  We’re all repeating our patterns and are so often blind as to who the common denominator is.

Whatever is going on around us day to day we are a part of – always.  And if we don’t like it, we do have a choice in either how to change it or how to manage it better.  

The key thing is HOW do we go about doing this?

We are all subject to layers of conditioning – some wonderful and powerful and some not so wonderful, and still powerful.

And, as you read this, you will have your own unique cocktail of ‘symptoms’ that make up who you show up as day to day.   

I’m going to talk about 2 different sorts of symptoms.
So, how To Be Aware Of Your Un-Awareness?

Set 1

You’re at work – you’re enthusiastic, you want to make an impression. You’re given a task, or you’ve got a project you want to develop.

You’ll be thinking …. “I’ve got this thing sewn up, I’m on it! I’m flying.”  You’ve got your sleeves rolled up and you’re going to get this thing done.  You’ll do whatever it takes.  You’ve got meetings, goals and unmissable deadlines.

You’re pumped!

You’re putting in a lot of hours.  Well, you’ve got people to impress …. and you make sure your jacket’s on the back of your chair, just in case.

However, you’re probably stressed to the eyeballs, but you’re so used to feeling this way, you don’t recognise it for what it is, because you’re unaware of what the opposite feels like.

Now I know it’s not breaking news that these go-getting, ‘work as hard as you can and get the badge’ ‘symptoms’ are likely to be making you ill.    So why are they still here?  

Set 2

With the second set of symptoms, things are quite different. 

You’ve been watching your team-mate, your colleague, or more likely, your employee for a while now. You’re aware of how things are looking from where you’re sitting.

To you, it’s looking like really hard work, out of date even.  Watching your employee suffer, is making you think differently.

There’s a curiosity developing in you about the way things are being accomplished in the office these days.

So, you’ve decided to do bit of exploring about how things might be different.  And at times, it’s made you feel a bit weird because what you’re discovering is unusual to you.  But you can’t stop your exploring because what you’re hearing and reading about is beginning to make sense, and you’re getting drawn in deeply.

You get niggling doubts from time to time, and there’s no-one to talk to about this at work.  Possibly, you have a coach, and they’ve been great at the practical, forward-planning, outcomes and goals sort of stuff, but what you’re experiencing isn’t their area.

You are starting to look at this differently, and there’s a growing awareness that you’re in the middle of this – in a good way – in a way that you can make a difference.

So, you keep on exploring, digging deeper, and some days you feel a bit isolated, lonely even, but most of the time you’re consumed with curiosity about the impact that your presence has moment to moment, day to day.

And …. some days you think that there’s something wrong with you, that this kind of thing doesn’t ‘happen’ to people like you – you may even think you’re going a bit mad.  You’re sort of relieved that there isn’t anyone to talk to about this at work, because you think they’ll think you’re weird.

But what you’re discovering is telling you, you are on the right track 

And YOU know, that long-term these symptoms and this curiosity will not only be good for you, they’ll be the making of you and your organization.

What are your symptoms?  Rather than being addicted to work, you could be developing an awareness of the importance of your own growth.  It happens to many of us.  It IS happening now and needs to happen more and more in this disrupted, changing world.

So how do we deal with this?

It’s all about Being v Doing – allowing things to emerge versus over-thinking and trying too hard.

The world is changing.  We’re in a maelstrom in so many ways, and old leadership styles are no longer as effective as they once were.

Rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in up to your armpits and ‘getting this thing done’ is no longer a viable strategy for successful change – it’s exhausting, creates stress in our bodies and shuts us down.

Successful change happens from the inside

So, we need to stop over-thinking and wracking our brains.  It’s time to take a step back, to consider, to allow the answers to show up. 

It’s time to live and to work from the inside out by taking moments that allow the busyness of our minds to subside so that we listen to ourselves.

We need to be less in our heads and more in the belly and the heart

So back to the repeating patterns. We repeat them because we’re steeped in unawareness.

And there are 4 Principles

Principle 1 – Unconsciously Unaware

Most of us are Unconsciously Unaware – ie we are steeped in unawareness.  So many of us are sleep walking through life with a victim mentality.  It’s someone else’s fault – the postman, the team, the PA, your partner.

The question on these people’s lips is, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ rather than the other way around, ‘What’s going on for me to continue repeating this pattern?’

It’s living from the outside, seeing everything externally and being completely unaware that our internal state governs our outcomes.  When we are here, noticing the inside rarely comes into it.

Pushing to get things done, the sleeves are rolled up again, thinking hard, wracking your brain. Stress and illness.

Principle 2 – Consciously Unaware

The next stage is when we develop an uncanny clarity that things could be done differently.  We become aware of our unawareness, so we are Consciously Unaware

  • A curiosity has crept in about this ‘stuff’ – this stuff being growth – being better than you were yesterday
  • You’re beginning to wake up to the fact that previous ways are no longer viable
  • There’s uncertainty and consternation about the changes you are experiencing.  You’ve seen in this in others, but you didn’t see it ‘happening’ to you
  • Confusion, maybe some embarrassment, ‘What if somebody notices I’m different?!’
  • But the penny is beginning to drop

When you realise that the change begins with you and you’re drawn in more deeply, you’ll grow into the next stage

Principle 3 – Consciously Aware

  • Here, you’ve noticed that there’s a developing feeling of spaciousness inside you – a calm peacefulness.  Sometimes its intoxicating
  • You’re developing a new way thinking and being.  Thoughts come more slowly, but with greater clarity and more purpose.  Repetitive, old thinking patterns begin to die away
  • A field of awareness is beginning to emerge around you
  • You’re in that place of being more often, which brings an entirely new way of doing
  • It’s easier to recognise thought patterns and styles, and then to catch yourself thinking unhelpful thoughts.  The best bit is that you’re learning how to change those thoughts
  • Instead of reacting you’re responding and making empowered choices
  • This is where you’re beginning to recognise a growing state of presence and you’re learning how to bring yourself back to that place of presence when you realise it’s slipped away
  • And you’re feeling it’s time to break the old moulds

And finally, as you continue to develop there is

Principle 4 – Unconsciously Aware

I would also call this a state of Grace and I’m not qualified to talk to you about this yet.

I’ll leave that up to the Dalai Lama and the late and lovely Bishop Desmond Tutu

If you’d like to talk about what is going on for you in this new way of being, please get in touch.  

With best wishes until next time


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The Power Of Solitude: Exploring The Deep Impact Of Spending Time Alone

The Power Of Solitude: Exploring The Deep Impact Of Spending Time Alone

Sometimes, to have success you may need to go away for a while – alone. 

What may be one person’s nemesis could become your bliss.  Being alone and feeling lonely are two completely different things.  It’s possible for 2 people to feel lonelier than they could have imagined in a relationship where the connection has been lost.  But this isn’t about loneliness.

This is about the benefits of the deep impact that spending time alone can bring.

The work ethic in the Western world is riddled with the importance of working hard and ‘busy-ness’.  The pressure of ‘always being seen to be working’, and always at your desk carries a misplaced kudos that spending long hours in the office is the ‘thing’ to do.

Have you ever found yourself secretly craving an opportunity to spend time alone but, so far, have avoided getting anything in the diary?

What’s stopping you?

The Power Of Solitude: Embrace Time With Yourself

Busy-ness Is A Problem

“You should sit in nature for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re busy, then you should sit for an hour.”  
Old Zen Meditation

Or is it?  Maybe it’s more that we don’t understand the deep impact of spending time alone and have not been taught to value it.

Having 10 minutes of quiet time without interruptions and no tech, is a start if you’ve never tried choosing to switch off before.  But 10 minutes doesn’t really cut it.

Getting away for a minimum of 3 days, tech-free, will begin to show you what it’s all about.  The deep, cathartic, changes you open yourself up to when you take yourself away from the mundane distractions of the day to day. 

Solitude isn’t just for Buddhist monks and Hindu Sadhus.  Solitude can be for anyone who wants to discover new perspectives on their work and life and come to uncluttered conclusions without the influence of others.  It offers an opportunity to people who want to know themselves better, and be better.

When you remove yourself for more than just a few minutes from the habitual, mundane distractions that surround you, you may be surprised to discover how much you’ve been missing about yourself.

However, spending time alone isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, not least because it’s often been used as a form of punishment – from solitary confinement for some adults to disciplining a recalcitrant toddler in their bedroom.

However, spending time alone can be very powerful, as well as cathartic, and is an overlooked and under-rated opportunity for feeling your way to new insights.  It allows us to see persistent problems from an entirely new perspective, and allows us to connect with ourselves in ways that we may never have done before.

Solitude For High-level Decision Makers

If you’re a high-level decision maker, consciously choosing to spend quality time alone to rinse away the over-thought and worn out ‘solutions’ that may be dragging you down, is at the very least deeply refreshing and often transformative.  It can allow for previously unseen opportunities to appear in the present moment creating significant shifts from stodgy, tired thinking to sensing the possibilities.  Spending time alone is an inspiring leveller.   

When you leave behind the thrum of city life and everything that’s competing for your attention, you can give yourself time to stand and stare.  To just be.  Time to notice the small stuff.  Being able to choose the rhythm of your day will help you condense and distil your thoughts.  You can empty your head, stop the mind chatter, and then wait and see what fills the space.

The Power Of Solitude
“When I touch that flower, I am not merely touching that flower, I am touching infinity.”  
George Washington Carver – American botanist and inventor

Packing just your vision or conundrum and leaving the rest behind means going offline, disconnecting from habitual distractions and connecting with your Self, and sensing your inner knowing, possibly for the first time.  There is richness in being rooted in the present moment, and you’ll find that you’re able to evoke your most inspired ideas when you settle in to being by yourself for an extended period of time.

And time does matter.  10 minutes sitting against the trunk of a tree in a park at lunchtime can be very peaceful, however it will never match the deep impact that true alone time will give you.

When we separate ourselves from the white noise of our work environment and the habitual distractions of home life, curious and wonderful things can happen.   By going some distance away, we change the perspective of what we are creating and get new insights into its development.

Being More By Doing Less

Best ideas are never created staring at the computer screen.  It’s not about trying harder to think smarter – that lacks flow and inspiration.  It’s about not thinking at all.  Best ideas happen when we rest our minds and allow expansive awareness to take hold.

Usually, a walk around the block or a stroll through the park is sufficient to blow away superficial cobwebs and clear the head, but it has little impact on accessing the deeper areas where inspiration lies.  Innovation and breakthrough thinking happen when we take considered, constructive time-out.

Spending an extended amount of time on our own gives us the space to develop an idea, solve problems and notice a connection to intuition in a deeper way. This allows us to trust our judgment without our conclusions being influenced or diluted by the opinions of others. 

“If you can have the experience of being in the moment for two or three days, we don’t only feel restored, it seems to produce a difference in qualitative thinking and mental performance.”  
David Strayer, Cognitive Psychologist 

When you give your brain the chance to adjust into relaxation, then you begin to connect to your hidden seams of inspiration.

When you’re immersed in solitude and your intention is to spend that time allowing your vision to develop in an unconstrained way, you’ll notice a sense of anticipation, and completeness.  A blending of you with it and it with you.  Spending time alone with your vision allows you to re-calibrate, re-evaluate and re-group. 

Being Alone On Purpose

Where you choose to spend ‘you time’ alone matters too.  Find somewhere that is immersed in an intense creative field giving you the opportunity to access a place of deeper knowing and repose.  A place that offers you the privilege of living to your own rhythm, time passing as it wants to pass.  

You now have the privilege of living to your own rhythm, the luxury of pleasing yourself, ensconced in your own thoughts with nothing and no-one to distract you.     

The thing about spending time alone for the first time is we have nothing to compare it to.  With nothing to calibrate it against, we may wonder if it’s worth taking a punt.

Being alone on purpose for the first time is to flirt with a change of consciousness and to soak up the privilege of being present. 

This sojourn will trigger fresh thinking and focus the mind. 

The power

You’ll be presented with new perspectives. After a couple days, you’ll notice that the part of you where all the answers are held is eased open. The hidden seams of inspiration in your subconscious mind.  Keep a notebook and pencil beside you, because answers and ideas will begin to show up as you sense a connection to something much bigger than yourself.

When you return to your work, your vision will have deeper clarity, you will be more focused, and you will have a fresh perspective on the work.  What is precious about spending time alone is that inspiration is unpolluted and pure.  Your thoughts are free from interruptions or the opinions of others.  

Our inspiration and sense of self is smothered by the 21st century distractions of Wi-Fi, smart phones and smart TVs.  Offline is becoming a necessity where we can access those instinctive and intuitive parts of our Selves.

Spending time alone with a purpose, is very different to ‘going on a retreat’ for self-reflection. 

When you are being pulled along by a deep desire to lead a change, taking time to be alone with an intention to create and refine your vision, is unquestionably an advance.   Making a conscious decision to take time out and to tap into the subtle dynamics of being alone is likely to turn it into something extraordinary.

When we allow the process to unfold naturally and trust that everything we need to know is already here, the subconscious readily offers up to us everything it has been holding onto, waiting for this moment.  The more we connect with our subconscious the more it gives us.  

Ultimately, by regularly tapping into the creative potential of taking time out alone, it’s possible to access our infinite well of creativity and innovation at will.

Being alone gives you space to be yourself – giving you time and space to feel who you are so that, when you return to being with others, you will have developed an inner strength and deeper knowing of your Self.

Solitude Can Strengthen The Mind

Learning how to be comfortable being by yourself builds a mental resilience and self-confidence in knowing that it’s not necessary to rely on others all the time. Studies have found that people who set aside time to be alone often tend to be happier, more satisfied with life and have lower levels of stress. 

“It might take a little bit of work before it turns into a pleasant experience. But once it does it becomes maybe the most important relationship anybody ever has, the relationship you have with yourself.” Professor Matthew Bowker – Psychoanalytic Social Theorist

Being alone gives your brain a chance to relax, to let go and to wander.  Without the need to meet a schedule, be socially interactive or meet deadlines you will begin to sense a growing confidence in the truth of your deeper thoughts.  

Spending time alone is something to embrace, cherish and respect.  The more you do this, the more you will notice deeper clarity and a sense of grounded certainty in your way forward.

During 2022 we will be running a series of Open Days at the cottage.   As well as the small workshops introducing you to the fundamental inner work needed to help navigate personal and organisational change, you will get a sense of how the deep impact of spending time alone can accelerate the changes.

With best wishes until next time

Second Open Day – 20th May 2022 (10am – 4pm)

To dip a toe in the water of the experiences we offer, I am inviting a small gathering of like-minded business leaders to an Open Day at the cottage in the forest in the stunning surroundings of the Llanthony Valley, in the heart of the Black Mountains, Monmouthshire.

The Day can be enjoyed on its own or used as a route to hear more about the range and scope of the experiences we offer.

A luscious lunch is included and we’ll also be exploring some fundamental concepts of choice and thought processes, with the intention of introducing a clear direction of how you can lead differently.

£97

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWlZwep2JCs&feature=emb_logo

Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout: An intelligent approach to bringing yourself back into balance

Interested in beating burnout? In this blog, I’m looking into an intelligent approach to bringing yourself back into balance.

From the beginning of time humans unconsciously existed in a state of wholeness. It just was. As we evolved, we lost ourselves in our thinking and in our minds, and as a result, in the ego (which is a topic for another day).

For example, the aboroginal tribes of North America, Africa, Australia and many other parts of the world have been struggling to hold on to the cultures that have always connected them with Source. Over hundreds of years, Western society began to under-value these skills and set them aside. As a result, we traded our innate condition of conscious awareness and the ability to Be, for Doing more and more.

Conscious Awareness

As we evolved over the many thousands of years, our intelligence has developed, and our brains have adapted to the challenges of existence and progress. We have become the ultimate problem solvers, inventors and creators. As a result, our capacity to think ever more deeply and widely has developed. 

However, in this case, thinking more isn’t necessarily thinking better. Thinking has become such a complicated and compulsive process that it is now making us ill on a grand scale. The evidence today says that our thinking and overthinking creates stress, anxiety and mental illness. It applies on all levels from worry to madness.

Arguably, we have reached the stage where this state of being lost in our minds and at the mercy of our ego has produced so much suffering that we have created a nightmare. 

The chaos and change that we are experiencing now, in the 21st Century, is forcing us to look at how we are being as humans. It is shaking us awake. It is nudging us to learn how to regain our lost state of consciously being which has become smothered by our infinite capacity to think.

Beating Burnout

Beating Burnout: State of Being rather than Doing

So, as we wake up and shake off the nightmare of unmanaged thoughts and overthinking, we can begin to reconnect with the state of Being rather than Doing. We can learn to manage the way we think and be.      

We can learn how to scrape away the debris of conditioned, habitual, polluting thoughts and choose thoughts that enhance who we are and what we do. Thoughts that bring us to the present moment, and incrementally develop a sense of Being. We can start beating burnout.

As we develop this state of Being (as opposed to Doing) second time around in our evolution, but first time around for all of us, this is a more potent and deeper state of Being because we are developing it consciously.

So, What Is This State Of Being

It is the sensation of timeless-ness. Of being ‘in time‘ (as opposed to ‘on time‘).  

The only times you may have noticed being in time are when you have been deeply absorbed for a while and then become aware of the sensation of time having stood still. It’s not about being prompt!

It’s easy for the mundane distractions of everyday life and work to keep us from achieving this equilibrium, but it is possible to bring that state of being in time all the time, into everyday life, once you know how.  

Why Does This Matter?

This matters because when you are intent on seeing your vision through, being ‘in time’ more of the time allows you to open up to intuition, your inner knowing, and connect with it. Then you begin to make a conscious connection with your subconscious (or unconscious mind) whenever you choose.

You can learn how to return to this state and keep hold of a higher energy and awareness. And when you get it, you’ll notice that in these moments you are more alert and more aware. You start beating burnout you have been experiencing. As a result, you’ll have quicker insights, a sharper perspective, and all the while noticing a real sense of a developing internal stillness and spaciousness – an equanimity that you have not experienced before. Intuitive nudges will happen more often, and you’ll see the bigger picture more clearly.

While others around you may still be losing their heads, you will be able to retain a powerful peacefulness that gives you an insight from a higher place of consciousness. You’ll begin to spend more time in the present moment and, if it’s your style, hurtle through life at 100mph+ with a powerful sense of presence.

This is when synchronistic events begin to happen, as if ‘out of the blue’ (they never happen out of the blue!). Coincidences and chance meetings happen, and life and events unfold effortlessly. That doesn’t mean to say the challenges drop away. They don’t – but you will instinctively know how to handle them, and you will discover how not to make problems of them.

So, How Do You DO This?

Well, that’s the point.  You don’t Do it – you Be it.

You begin to create this state more and more often when you consciously choose your thoughts and feelings and pay attention to what you feel more and more.

“The only place we can exercise our freedom of choice is in the present.”

Edit Eger – Psychologist and Holocaust survivor


You’ll notice that negative, disempowering and ugly thoughts make you feel grotty and lower your energy, while life-enhancing thoughts make you feel quite different – energised, grounded, centred and more powerful.

When you do this, you begin to trigger higher vibration energy fields more often, and you create a different level of consciousness in those moments. 

 

A bit like dripping blobs of ink from a fountain pen onto blotting paper, when you practice being present more of the time, the blobs eventually join up and you will find yourself in a state of alert awareness, stillness and presence more and more often. And with that you are becoming a much more effective person, more of the time.

You may notice an aliveness and spaciousness developing inside you. Other people may notice that you are calmer, you’re getting things done more easily. Sometimes with an inexplicable sense of effortless-ness.  You make decisions from a more powerful place – not your head. In fact, your mind becomes less and less cluttered with thoughts. As you join the dots and blobs in your growing state of awareness.

Beating Burnout: State of Being

What if you begin to practice putting your whole attention, your whole being, into every thing that you do? When you pull out a chair to sit down. Or when you are engaged in a conversation with someone – are you present? When you’re walking up the stairs, doing the washing up, getting into the car, or closing a deal. Begin to develop a state of being in the present moment more often.

If you’re sitting down reading this, then as you read, notice the soles of your feet. Can you feel any tingling in them? Where are your shoulders? Are they up and tense or relaxed and down? Do the palms of your hands tingle? Are you still breathing in and out rhythmically?

If not, consciously return to noticing as you breathe in and out.

When you bring your whole Self to every one of these actions and notice how you do it, giving it your full attention, your mind will settle into the present moment more and more. You are beating burnout.

Until next time.

What’s next? Take a look at our flagship program, HERE:

If you’d like to find out more, message me on What’s App to arrange a chat (07973 908577)

or

Email: hello@beingatthecottage.com 

If You Thought YOU Were In Control, Think Again!

Getting To Know Your Overlooked And Under-estimated
Subconscious Mind

We live with the illusion that we are running our lives through the wishes, desires and aspirations created by our conscious thoughts.   However, neuroscience has established that our conscious mind is in charge, at best, only 5% of the time and that the programming installed in our unconscious mind influences 95% or more of our day-to-day experiences.

The subconscious mind is in charge.

Introduction

The vast majority of people wake up every day with an unconscious assumption that they have no control over their lives.  They roll out of bed and face whatever life throws at them that day, remaining oblivious of the powerhouse that is their subconscious. 

The key here is choice.  You can choose to consciously connect with your subconscious mind and with practice, reap the rewards … or not.  This article will help you to make an informed choice by helping you understanding and appreciate your subconscious mind, and to notice and translate the nudges that you are receiving.

Once you engage with the phenomenon that is your subconscious, you’ll begin to see possibility in an entirely new way.

I wanted to share a series of articles with you, which are designed to help you move from the outdated, external way of doing, to understanding the relevance of developing who you are being and who you need to become day on day, to make your difference.

Being gives you the lift and weightlessness that doing is entirely without.

So, I hope that you will find the articles not only informative, but transformative as well, should you begin to put what you learn into practice.  Obviously, the second bit won’t happen if you don’t!

This article is the final one of 3 sharing with you 8 robust habits that will help you create a good working relationship with your unconscious mind.

When you pay attention to these habits regularly you will be able to tap into the depths of your subconscious and harness its wisdom to support you in realising and delivering your vision into the world with grace.

First, a bit more background.

‘The fundamental behaviours, beliefs and attitudes we observe in our parents become conditioned as synaptic pathways in our subconscious minds. Once programmed into the subconscious mind they control our biology for the rest of our lives – or until we become aware of them as a hindrance and choose to do something about them – ie reprogramming.’
Dr Bruce Lipton, ‘The Biology of Beliefs’

If You Thought YOU Were In Control, Think Again

The subconscious mind chooses the reality we continue to live in based on the concept we have of ourselves.  This is moulded by our conditioning and beliefs.

Information is only passed onto the conscious mind if the subconscious determines that there is a need for it to do so. Otherwise, it filters out information through distorting, deleting or generalising.   It will hold onto all the stored information until you trigger its release.  

The subconscious makes many decisions before informing the conscious mind.

The limbic system, the oldest part of the brain and also known as the reptilian brain, (made up of the thalamus, amygdala, the hippocampus, the basal ganglia and the nucleus acumbens) creates and controls our emotions and drives 95% of our behaviour.

In experiments done in an fMRI scanner on subjects during the process of decision making on basic A or B choice decisions, the researchers looking through the fMRI scanner can tell whether the subject will choose A or B up to 10 seconds before the subject themselves becomes aware of the decision they are about to make!

Neuroscientist Professor John Dylan Haynes based at the Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience, in Berlin performed a key experiment that showed that the subconscious mind is making many decisions before the conscious mind is informed.  Professor Haynes was able to predict a subject’s decision with more than 90% accuracy before the person was aware of having made a decision themselves.

The Unconscious Mind Does Not Process Negatives

This is a really useful and important fact to know.  The unconscious mind does not process negatives.  When someone says, ‘Don’t think of yellow wellies.’ What happens?  You will just have thought of yellow wellies.  This is why it’s so important to think in terms of the things you do want and not what you don’t want.  Thinking of what you don’t want, only brings more of the same.  For instance, change the thought. ‘I don’t want this to go wrong,’ to ‘What do I need to do to make sure this is a success?’

Just learning to switch this thought habit when you are giving instructions to people, and what you say to yourself, will begin to bring significant change in how easily you get things done.

Embodying Thoughts And Beliefs – Practising Thought Replacement

Practise becoming aware of what you are thinking from moment to moment.  Every thought in your mind or spoken out loud, conscious or unconscious, is an instruction to your subconscious to take action.  It is 100% suggestible.

From now on you can train yourself to watch the tone of your self-talk, how you are saying what you say to yourself and then notice how helpful it is to you on a moment by moment basis.

A simple example would be that you may find that you are telling yourself over and over again that you are useless at something.  Every time you say this, you will be giving your subconscious the instruction to reinforce this in your physiology (your body and cells). 

That’s fine if you know that you are doing this.  The issue that may arise is that this thought is unconscious.  And here’s the rub.  The problem is that because it is unconscious you won’t notice that you are telling yourself this over and over again!  The thought has become so habitual that you no longer notice it, (if you ever did) and so embodied in your physiology that you are not aware of how it is making you feel.  So, the behaviour remains and becomes more deeply embedded. 

This is where training yourself to notice your thoughts, stopping as soon as you are aware of that train of thought and realising that this is the moment you can choose a better thought, becomes such a revelation because you finally put yourself in control.  Only then you can decide what to change and what to keep.

(This goes on to be a big topic and is beyond the scope of this article*).

Making Decisions

When we get the sense of making a decision, we are making a decision, but just from a pre-selected list of choices presented to our conscious mind by the subconscious.  

In the next article, I will be sharing 8 habits that create a good working relationship with your subconscious mind.

Until next time

I hope that you have found value in this article.  I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.  If you have any questions or would like help, please get in touch.

* We all have limiting beliefs, and mostly we just don’t know how to recognise them easily.  There are ways in which unconscious limiting beliefs can be brought into conscious awareness and busted, replacing them with new, enriching beliefs.

Sources: 
Psycademy – NLP Spiritual Practitioner and Master Practitioner Training ‘The Biology of Beliefs’ – Dr Bruce Lipton
‘Moving Through Parallel Worlds’ – Kevin L Michel

Many Minds Make Light Work

One Body Many Minds – Getting To Know Your Overlooked And Under-estimated Subconscious Mind

‘If the unconscious is the turbid bottom of the lake of the mind,
you have to be peering down into the lake to notice it.’  

Prof Guy Claxton – The Wayward Mind

Introduction

When you begin to feel dissatisfied with what you may have been doing for many years, and you find yourself driven to make a difference, what’s most important to understand is who you want to become in order for you to make the difference.   Understanding and connecting with your subconscious mind will help you with this.

The vast majority of people wake up every day with an unconscious assumption that they have no control over their lives.  They roll out of bed and face whatever life throws at them that day, remaining oblivious of the powerhouse that is their subconscious. 

The key here is choice.  You can choose to consciously connect with your subconscious mind and with practice, reap the rewards … or not.  This article will help you to make an informed choice by helping you understanding and appreciate your subconscious mind, and to notice and translate the nudges that you are receiving.

Once you engage with the phenomenon that is your subconscious, you’ll begin to see possibility in an entirely new way.

I wanted to share a series of articles with you, which are designed to help you move from the outdated, external way of doing, to understanding the relevance of developing who you are being and who you need to become day on day, to make your difference.

It helps you to define who you need to be to make the difference that is pulling you forwards, and then putting into practice.

Being gives you the lift and weightlessness that doing is entirely without.

So, I hope that you will find the articles not only informative, but transformative as well, should you begin to put what you learn into practice.  Obviously, the second bit won’t happen if you don’t!

This article is 2 of 3 that will give you a deep insight into the role your subconscious mind plays in your day-to-day life, and how you can tap into its infinite wisdom to support you in realising and delivering your vision into the world in a much more seamless way.

In this article you will learn to what extent the subconscious mind is in charge of your thoughts, choices and behaviour.  Once you have fully absorbed this, you will realise:

  • how your perception of life changes and will never be the same again, and
  • you will notice that adopting the new ways of thinking and being are the tools that put you in charge of who you want to become in order to make your difference, day after day.
Not Just One, But Three Minds


You may well have lived your life under the impression that what happens day to day, how you think, function and create, are all products of your conscious mind.  The stuff that you know is happening.   

In fact, you have access to 2 other minds, (arguably 3 if we take into the account the egoic mind).  As well as your Conscious Mind, there is also your Subconscious, or Unconscious Mind, and your Higher Self – your connection to universal intelligence.

What happens in your conscious mind may be impressive, but when you consciously connect the intelligence of your conscious mind with that of your subconscious and your higher self, you plug yourself into the field where everything has a beginning.

Like learning anything new, this will take practice to get good at, and when you do, you will notice that life begins to glide.  The friction falls away and what you have been creating in your mind’s eye slides into place.  You’ll lose the sensation of having to push things forward, or the urgency that you have to make things happen.  That formula is tired and broken, and it’s probably been making you feel tired and broken too.

When you consciously develop the relationship with your unconscious mind, you fall into alignment with what wants to emerge from you, in ways that defy the imagination and become beautiful ways of achieving your outcomes.   


Aligning The Three Minds

There is a free exchange between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind, and most of us are unaware of this most of the time.   However, there is no connection from your conscious mind to your higher self.  You can only access the wisdom of your higher self by consciously connecting to your subconscious.

When you freely access your subconscious, you will be pushing open the door to the depths of your purest potential.

The Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is the narrow area of your current focus.  It is only capable of processing between 5 and 9 pieces of information at any one time.  The conscious mind has to process information sequentially.

The limited capacity of the conscious mind to focus on information explains why we are easily overloaded and how it is impossible to ‘think’ of everything.  Trying to only creates stress and deepens any anxiety.

You can mitigate this by getting your thoughts, actions and inspired ideas out of your head and into a notebook or mind map.  This will free up your conscious mind so that it can move onto something else.  While this is a great organising, self-management tool it is superficial for our purposes here.

Important:  Information is only passed up to the conscious mind from the subconscious if the subconscious determines that it is necessary to do this.  The subconscious will have distorted, deleted or generalised the information it shares with your conscious self, according to your conditioning and beliefs.  Most of these beliefs will have been created unconsciously.


The Higher Self

This has many different descriptions depending on differing beliefs.  Other common terms used are Source, The Tao, Spirit, God, Universal Intelligence and Collective Consciousness. 

What term you use is unimportant.  For the purposes of this article, I will be using the terms higher self, universal intelligence and source interchangeably.

It is impossible to access your higher self through your conscious mind.  However, you have direct access to your higher self via your subconscious.

Scientifically speaking Source is the source of all that has ever been created and all that ever can be.  All that we know about, and more, has to originate from somewhere.   This place is also known as the Zero Point Field.


The Subconscious or Unconscious Mind

Where is the subconscious mind?

The subconscious mind operates from the oldest parts of the brain.  This is made up of 5 different regions of the reptilian brain, also known as the limbic system.  All the information received by the brain is gathered up in the first place by parts of the limbic system before being relayed to the conscious mind, after being filtered for relevance.

The unconscious mind stores and organises all of your memories.  It is also the domain of your emotions.  It controls and keeps your emotions repressed or suppressed until it is safe for you to become aware of them.

What Is The Subconscious Mind?

The subconscious mind makes up all the mental activity that is occurring below the point of conscious awareness.   It is capable of processing at least 2 million pieces of information at any one time.  Some say an infinite amount.  The subconscious is responsible for taking in an almost infinite amount of data and filtering it down for processing by the conscious mind.

“The human brain produces in 30 seconds as much information as the
Hubble Space Telescope has produced in its lifetime.” 
Neuroscientist Konrad Kording


The subconscious works tirelessly, ceaselessly and largely, thanklessly in order that we may function.  So many of us in a Western-style society are oblivious to the magnitude of what it does moment to moment which allows for this seamless functioning to take place.

One of the directives of the unconscious mind is that it is responsible for the health and well-being of our physical body.  As much as 99% of the processes that keep us alive are run by the subconscious outside of our conscious awareness. 

The subconscious mind is your intuition.

The unconscious mind is developed to the age of a child between 5 and 7 years old. 

In the next article, I will be revealing who’s really in charge.

Until next time

I hope that you have found value in this article.  I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.  If you have any questions or would like help, please get in touch.

* We all have limiting beliefs, and mostly we just don’t know how to recognise them easily.  There are ways in which unconscious limiting beliefs can be brought into conscious awareness and busted and replaced with new life-enhancing beliefs.

Sources: 
Psycademy – NLP Spiritual Practitioner and Master Practitioner Training

‘The Biology of Beliefs’ – Dr Bruce Lipton

‘Moving Through Parallel Worlds’ – Kevin L Michel

Humanity Living In Ignorance

Getting To Know Your Overlooked And Under-estimated Subconscious Mind

When you begin to feel dissatisfied with what you may have been doing for many years, and you find yourself driven to make a difference, what’s most important to understand is who you want to become in order for you to make that positive impact.   Understanding and connecting with your subconscious mind will help you with this in order to get deep insights and vital new perspectives.

‘If the unconscious is the turbid bottom of the lake of the mind, you have to be peering down into the lake to notice it.’  
Prof Guy Claxton – The Wayward Mind

Introduction

The vast majority of people wake up every day with an unconscious assumption that they have no control over their lives.  They roll out of bed and face whatever life throws at them that day, remaining oblivious of the powerhouse that is their subconscious.  

The key here is choice.  You can choose to consciously connect with your subconscious mind and with practice, reap the rewards … or not.  This article will help you to make an informed choice by helping you understand and appreciate your subconscious mind, and to notice and translate the nudges that you are receiving.

Once you engage with the phenomenon that is your subconscious, you’ll begin to see possibility in an entirely new way.

Over the following weeks, I will be sharing and breaking down a course of lessons with you that I have written for clients, which includes working closely with them to assimilate the learning.

The course is designed to help them move from the outdated, external way of doing, to understanding the relevance of developing who they are being.  It helps them to define who they need to be from day to day to make the difference that is pulling them forward, and then putting it into practice to make their positive impact.

Being gives you the lift and weightlessness that doing is entirely without.

So, I hope that you will find the articles not only informative, but transformative as well, should you begin to put what you learn into practice.  Obviously, the second bit won’t happen if you don’t!

This article is 1 of 3 that will give you a deep insight into the role your subconscious mind plays in your day-to-day life, and how you can tap into its infinite wisdom to support you in realising and delivering your vision into the world in a much more seamless way.

Why Does A Relationship With Your Unconscious Mind Matter?

The unconscious mind is our most over-looked and under-utilised tool, and it doesn’t cost us a penny to tap into.  We pour hundreds of pounds into learning, training and deeper education while we ignore the fathomless well of creativity, insight and wisdom that we all have unbridled access to when we learn to engage with our unconscious mind.

To engage with the unconscious mind is to be able to see and create whatever you choose because it has direct access to universal intelligence – the source of all information.

‘Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as real, the subconscious can and must objectify.’  Neville Goddard

The Consequence Of A Thought 

Our thought patterns are crucial to how each and every day unfolds, the results we seek and the outcomes we get.  It all lies in beginning to notice your thoughts and how they are making you feel.   The emotion attached to the thought is key. 

You’ll notice that negative, disempowering and ugly thoughts make you feel bad, grubby even and lacking in energy because you are actually lowering your energy frequency and restricting and shrinking the life force around you. 

Life-enhancing thoughts make you feel quite different – complete, centred, optimistic, fulfilled, upbeat, euphoric and with a deep sense of possibility and certainty.

When you begin to practice noticing your habitual thoughts and learn how to change them to something better, you begin to trigger higher vibration energy fields more and more often, and you begin to create a different level of consciousness.  Which in turn is a more effective and efficient way to live and work.

Taking Instructions

The unconscious mind does not think for itself and continually takes instructions from us through our conscious mind.  Through our perpetual self-talk and thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, we are giving instructions to our subconscious all of the time, so, how and what we think is of fundamental importance.   Knowingly or unknowingly, we shape our lives, because the subconscious will always do as it is told.  Free will is the domain of the conscious mind.  The subconscious has no free will.  It does as it is told every time, all the time.  The choice is ours to make.

The Unconscious Filtering System

The unconscious mind controls and maintains our unique perception of the reality we each experience as individuals, filtering out information if it thinks it’s not important for you, or suppressing something that is painful.  This happens on the basis of your conditioning and consequently, your beliefs.  This is why you don’t receive an overload of 2 million+ bits of information into your conscious awareness all the time.  The subconscious decides what information to give you based on your past programming.  So, it distorts, deletes or generalises information in order to make sense of it. 

Each individual’s perception of reality is uniquely their own.  While your perceptions may cross over in many ways with many other people, your reality will be coloured by your unique conditioning and beliefs.

Our Programmed Limitations

Arguably, the biggest impediments to the things we want to achieve are the limitations that have been programmed into our subconscious.  These are usually known as our limiting beliefs.

Our evolution in terms of thinking Beings has evolved to such a level that we can accept other people’s perceptions of belief.  As we become more aware, we can adopt or reject the beliefs of others, if we choose.  However, from birth until the age of around 7 we will easily and unconsciously have adopted the instructions we regularly heard, and then embedded them as our own beliefs.  These will be carried forward into our lives and will influence the successes and failures that shape our future, and our levels of self-esteem.

In the next article, I will be covering in more detail how to get to know your subconscious mind and have it working even more seamlessly alongside you.

Until next time

PS: I hope you’ve found value in this article – I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.  If you have any questions or would like help, please get in touch.

PPS: * We all have limiting beliefs, and mostly we just don’t know how to recognise them easily.  There are ways in which unconscious limiting beliefs can be brought into conscious awareness and busted and replaced with new life-enhancing beliefs.

Sources:  
Psycademy – NLP Spiritual Practitioner and Master Practitioner Training
‘The Biology of Beliefs’ – Dr Bruce Lipton
‘Moving Through Parallel Worlds’ – Kevin L Michel

The Truth Behind Disruptive Events And How To Manage Them

For the last few months, all over the world, disruptive events have been taking place.  Some may go as far as saying, degenerative too.   While my summer has certainly been disrupted and disruptive on many levels, I refuse to buy into an assumption that it is necessarily degenerative.  

What if we took a different view of the unfolding disruptive global and personal events that have been opening fissures between family, friends and countries?   What if we saw them as necessary nudges to move away from the immediate emotion and get a fresh perspective?  When we consciously move away from our ingrained opinions and two-dimensional and conditioned judgment of situations, we begin to recognise that these events might be necessary as we become aware of a new phase of developing and evolving opening up.

The disruptive events that require us to wake up and notice our own evolution are often challenging, painful and can appear apparently out of our own control.  Someone close to us suffers, and we may feel like a bystander as we watch their reality unfold.  However, if we can see it, then it is our reality too.  So, we are not helpless bystanders, we do have control.   

When things ‘go wrong’ in our lives, it feels to me as if there is a conditioned social response which we feel obliged to engage with and get swept up in.  We forget that we can choose our response.  Just because other people may behave in a certain way, doesn’t mean that it is right for us as an individual to do the same.  With all the disruption out there at the moment, take a breath and choose your response.  It can be quite liberating to choose to do things differently. Be positively disruptive in return and choose your own outcome.

In my sometimes haphazardly managed, Tigger-like enthusiasm, I can forget that everyone’s evolution is their own, though.  If we are not evolving, then we are either stagnating or going backwards.  And it may not necessarily happen for them.  Above all, no-one can make anyone else evolve and grow, but it all starts with awareness, an awareness of the possibility of change, a new paradigm, something better.

If my own experience of growth is anything to go by, it has not been like a flower pushing steadily upwards, drawn by an invisible force and blossoming into a beautiful and elegant thing to behold. I wish! True, there have been times of effortless gliding upwards in steady and pleasing curves, but also stagnation, crashes of momentum, and then a dive as another evolutionary challenge arrives on the scene like a hurricane coming out of the Gulf of Mexico.

Often what instigates another period of growth and evolving is something very mundane which then becomes a metaphor for the necessary change of perspective.  

Having been experiencing stagnation as well as the metaphorical hurricane coming out of Gulf of Mexico, unusually for me, I felt impelled to clean the windows!  All of the new ideas and insights began to flow in while I was brandishing the broom around window frames outside.  Swiping away at the cobwebs in corners while sweeping out the cobwebs that had surreptitiously accumulated in my mind.  Refocusing and correcting the myopia in my short-sightedness allowed me to see the events from a different perspective.   I could see clearly again.

The second metaphor became the repotting of the money trees.  What took me so long? How is growth possible if we are bound and constricted?  We all need mental, physical and emotional space to grow and evolve.

So, while it was useful on a practical level to get the window panes squeaky clean and to repot the money trees, the time it gave me to reflect and the insights I got has lifted the myopia and brought back a sense of expansion.

By grounding and re-evaluating the disruptive events of recent weeks in metaphors, I have been able to make some sort of sense out of it all, as well as making way for the next phase of evolution.

The 13 Key Differences Between A Boutique Business Retreat And Other Business Retreats

Red and yellow orchid flower at Being At The Cottage boutique business retreat

The word â€˜boutique’ originates from the French, meaning a small shop selling fashionable clothing and accessories.  More recently it has also come to mean a small company that offers highly specialised services in a specific area.

It goes without saying that at a boutique business retreat the surroundings are stunning, the food is delicious, and we have hand-picked massage therapists who will help you unwind soon after you arrive.  However, one of the key ingredients of a boutique business retreat is its matchless intimacy. 

Below are 13 more key differences between a boutique business retreat and other business retreats:

Bespoke V Off-The-Shelf 

The experience is tailored for you and your vision, so it’s important to get to know you.   We’ll begin working together a couple of months before your stay with initial conversations over the phone to learn about you and your vision.  We’ll talk about the plan, conundrum or vision you want to bring with you, your likes and dislikes, what you love to eat and what you hate and the little things that matter to you.  Every client will have a unique experience as a result of this preliminary work. This ensures that you have the optimum experience possible when you get to the cottage.

Private Space V Public Space 

You have the luxury, the intimacy and the privacy of having the cottage all to yourself for a minimum of 4 nights.  The time spent here is always all about you.  There’s no need to search for a quiet corner to snatch some time to reflect and ponder.  Time to reflect, go deeper and process is a natural part of this business retreat and gently runs in the background throughout your stay. 

Progressive, Provoking Conversations V Fact Finding

You may or may not have developed the art of self-enquiry.  Either way, having a skilled and impartial listener provides a counter-point to spending time alone, and is a fundamental part of the week. Probing, provoking and full of curiosity, the conversations are woven into the experience.  These can be held in the sitting room or talking while walking in the hills above the cottage. The conversations are intended to gently elicit answers or challenge ingrained assumptions and are woven into the experience to open up paths to your unconscious, helping you to discover information held in your hidden seams of inspiration.  They pull together all the threads of the insights gathered throughout the week.

Personalised horoscope notebook for creative ideas

Just You V A Group Of Colleagues

Spending time alone is an overlooked but important element of teamwork, dovetailing into and enhancing your work with your team.  In developing visions, taking time out to reflect, to process and to evolve is essential. It’s a time where you can glean information in a pure and uncluttered space, then return to share your findings.  Sometimes, other people, however important they are, can be an un-necessary distraction.  

Inspiration V Motivation

Inspiration is internal – motivation is external.  When you’re inspired, you’re pulled forward by something bigger and unstoppable.  You might not feel completely in charge of the process, but you can’t help but allow it to take you.  You trust that it will unfold.  Motivation needs to be generated from you or someone else.  It’s external.  When you’re motivated, you’re pushing things forward – it can be an effort. Being inspired is effortless.  

Your Agenda V Organiser’s Agenda

While there will be suggestions and pointers for you about how to get the most from your time at the cottage, including a loosely choreographed timetable, ultimately you can choose your agenda – when to eat, when to sleep, when you get up and when pay attention to your vision.  You can go with your gut instinct and choose what you do when.  The entire experience is designed to provoke intuitive nudges, get creative solutions and answer the bigger, deeper questions.  You won’t have a train of thought interrupted because you need to be somewhere else.  You’re in charge.   

Roam the Black Mountains plateau above the boutique retreat see mountain ponies

Creating V Analysing 

Everyone has an innate potential to create.  The intention of the boutique business retreat is to encourage more of your creative seeds to germinate and flourish while you’re there and to have put down deep enough roots so that they will continue to grow long after you’ve left. You won’t see any charts, graphs, modules or handouts at the cottage.  

Allowing Intuition V Thinking Hard

There’s no wracking your brain, searching online or thinking hard.  The experience is designed to help you connect with your intuition, to naturally trigger insights, answers, possibilities and new ideas.

A Unique Dynamic V Something A Bit Similar

Spending an extended amount of time on your own creates a unique dynamic and connection with your Self and your surroundings.   A boutique business retreat isn’t about deepening relationships with colleagues, although relationships are an important part of the experience.  It’s about helping you notice your part in something much bigger.  The relationships you’ll begin to notice evolving are with yourself, your surroundings and your vision, because you are free from the usual interactions with colleagues and the mundane distractions of the office. Spending time alone, and immersed in nature, it’s almost impossible not to become aware of a deeper connectedness at play. 

Being V Doing

When I was thinking of what to call the business, the phrasebeing at the cottage wouldn’t leave me alone; so it stayed.  When you stay at the cottage it’s all about being more and doing less.  In the peace, the solitude and the potential that is inherent in being immersed in nature, it’s about finding that extraordinary part of yourself which in turn supports you in pursuing something extraordinary and making a difference, potentially on a significant scale.   You pack your vision and you leave the rest behind.  Doing becomes insignificant.

Allowing V Making It Happen

This is about going with your own flow and allowing things to evolve.  You’ll begin to listen to your Self and learn to tap into the information your unconscious holds – mining those hidden seams of inspiration.  There’s no need to roll your sleeves up, brainstorm and ‘make this thing happen’.  When you get good at having a dialogue with your inner self, you’ll notice synchronistic events unfolding more and more.  The striving to â€˜make things happen’dissolves and life and events flow.  It all starts with allowing. 

Offline And Unplugged V Internet Connection

Research shows that deeply resting and relaxing your brain takes a minimum of 3 days.  For this to happen effectively it’s important to be offline and unplugged. In order for you to settle down and in to the experience of a boutique business retreat you need to be able to feel peaceful, unhurried and undistracted.  So, there’s no access to any of the usual tech stuff.  There’s nothing here to remind you of the office.   

Your Way V No-one Else’s Way

A boutique business retreat is about supporting you to optimise the realisation of your vision – your pursuit of something extraordinary.  The answers you’re looking for are already inside you. The experience is designed to help you to elicit those answers.  There are no â€˜done for you’ handouts.

How The Brain Makes Creative Solutions

‘The evidence that the brain responds to events that do not appear in consciousness is overwhelming’.  The Wayward Mind – Guy Claxton

I know that when I want to find solutions to puzzles or get into a creative flow, I need to access a different state of mind – make my brain work in a different way that never feels like work – to reach down into my unconscious to get the answers from my hidden seams of inspiration.  This isn’t news to creative people.  I’ve been reading Guy Claxton’s book recently, ‘The Wayward Mind’, and for the first time I came across the explanation of what is going on in the brain when we switch between expansive wondering and reverie to acting on the ideas and insights we retrieve from our unconscious and want to act on them. In other words what the brain does to trigger creative solutions.

Claxton writes that the most basic form of activation in the brain is excitation – when a pattern of connections becomes active and goes on to positively affect other patterns associated with it.  The yin to the excitatory yang is inhibitory, whose function is to suppress the activity in the connections further down the line.  Guy Claxton uses the analogy of the accelerator and brake in a car. Having both pedals gives us much finer control over our speed and consequently steering.  In the same way, the brain, with its ability to excite and inhibit has much finer control over its own stimulation, and instructions and information can be channelled much more precisely.

These are not recent discoveries. Over 150 years ago, the Russian physiologist Ivan Sechenov recognised inhibition in the brain of frogs and associated them with the human ability to override our own movements.

Sechenov argued that it was the inhibitory action that allows the brain to unhook thinking from action, allowing our minds to wander, meditate and come up with novel ways of ‘thinking’, keeping it internal without the need to turn into an external ‘thing’.

Through inhibition the brain can capture and constrict its own natural outpourings allowing its internal activity to become deeper and wider.

So, how does this affect creative solutions?  How is it that creative ideas just ‘pop’ into our heads (our conscious awareness) from out of the blue?  And is creativity nurture or nature?

According to what scientists have discovered, creativity has 2 phases: inspiration and elaboration and the thinking behind each process is different.

In order to encourage inspiration, we must let the excitation element in our brains have command over the inhibitory tendencies so that many ideas can flourish at once, overlapping, spreading out and allowing for new, expansive connections in the brain.  This musing means that different ideas can mingle together unconsciously, and when something gels, the concentration becomes increased so that it pops up into our conscious awareness.  

To arrest this phase of creativity, we want our brains to behave differently.  Rather than the wandering, random pattern of unconscious thoughts, we are looking to be more focused, purposeful and selective.  In other words, to inhibit the ideas that are no longer relevant so that we can keep the new thought process on track.

Creative people know intuitively that to lapse into reverie will allow ideas to bubble up.   But, when you let it, this is what the brain will do naturally.  

Creativity is, therefore accessible for everyone.  Recent research by Guy Claxton and Paul Howard-Jones at Bristol University, indicates that for those who seem to have forgotten how to use more of the excitatory aspect of their brains, undoing this rigidity is for many people quite easy.

Relax your brain and you open up to previously untapped inspiration and insights.