I started writing affirmations months ago at the start of Lockdown. Having read Hal Elrods’s Miracle Morning, in which affirmations serve as one of his recommended daily practices, I made a list of lots of positive things I wanted to affirm.
‘I am strong. I am creative. I exercise every day.’ and so on.
I took heed of Hal’s advice that they be positive, present tense and possible, and I wrote out several lists of goals and dreams as if I were already living them.
So in an effort to still my scrambling mind, I turned to YouTube, my old friend and advisor, who knows me so well. Even the adverts he shows me are about wellness and meditation. And tonight YouTube tells me to watch this interview with Mooji. Yes I think I need to get a bit transcendental today.
I had to call my counsellor again on Monday. I would have normally dealt with the anxiety and overwhelm on my own but because my job required me to attend the Monday night meeting, I needed to quickly tidy up my spinning head before 7pm. We had a ten minute call in which I breathlessly explained that things were getting really tense at work, there was a lot of conflict and hurt around, and I was scared of attending this meeting in which I’d be stuck in the middle of it all. She very gently got me to slow down and speak clearly, and asked me why the conflict was bothering me.
I suppose I should just accept it, enjoy it even. Set my alarm for 2am, make a cup of tea and settle down for the inevitable hour of drama after the pub kicks out. As the sun set over another warm July evening earlier, I looked at the people setting out for the evening and knew it would be a loud one.
The initial fear and apprehension as crowds gather, swaying and swearing, turns to fascination at the dynamics of a drunk crowd. A fight is taking place a little away from the crowd, people watch and laugh. The doorman moves towards them and one eventually walks off, shouting back his defensive ‘yeah fuck you!’ the whole time. Someone is carrying a woman on his shoulders. The others look on amused, as he walks off, and places her down on the pavement so they can walk together. Couples under the tree and more interested in each other and some dancing and giggling is taking place. I try to image their excitement, their euphoria to finally be out, their need to shout to each other, to the whole of Melksham, I’m alive! And their inability to consider the few dozen of us that would prefer to be alseep a few metres away from them.
By 2.30 most of the immediate crowd has gone, I watch them disperse, very slowly, and other little groups form further down the street. The daytime features of beautiful hanging baskets and flags of civic pride adorn the brightly lit street, punctuating the spaces where groups of people now stagger, shouting, laughing, swearing, screeching. It’s another 20 minutes until I can try to sleep again, with just the last few shrieks of ‘fuck you! You’re nasty!’ drifting up through the window.
My partner has a friend from school who is a musician in Cornwall. Since March, and since he is a musician, Helm De Vegas has been doing live stream shows from his piano at home, three nights a week, and we have been tuning in at 7pm every time. His incredible skill on the piano, his fabulous singing voice and his quick-witted hilarious interaction with his online crowd have kept us coming back every time.
After last week’s session in which we looked at all the ways we might be avoiding telling our stories, our homework was to arrive at tonight’s zoom class with a large piece of paper.
And after a discussion about the scary state of the world and how difficult it is to feel like this process is even relevant while there are immense global issues touching everyone’s lives right now, Cara suggested that a time of turmoil is one in which a lot of ugliness is surfacing, but on the other side is a possible awakening, an awareness, and a striving for the beauty, truth and connection that is the opposite of the division and fear bubbling over in some places.
I have started a course. An impressive woman who grew up in the same unusual religious group as me has spent seven years producing a documentary about her complex and challenging life. She is now running courses to help other people find their voice. It is all very new and a bit daunting, but six of us have signed up and I like this little screen full of women, who all have a story, a truth, and who I will spend the next 11 weeks on a little exploratory journey with.
One of the areas of learning in Lockdown is of course in my relationship. I absolutely love my man, and instead of being worried, I chose to be curious about how 12 weeks stuck in a tiny flat with him would challenge us both.
I bought this book a few years ago, and I loved the concept but couldn’t stick to it. Mr Hal Elrod outlines a six step program of practices to do every day, to achieve optimum success and happiness. It includes exercise, affirmations, stillness, visualising, reading and writing. I like all these things, I know the value of doing them well, and I love the idea of carving out an hour every morning to focus on them.