Sustained extreme happiness

Here’s another excerpt from Easy – Deconstructing the Art of Effortless Creation. It comes after all the stuff about making the practical aspects of life easy: projects, time, possessions, etc, and encapsulates my vision and hope for the deeper side of life…

First edit is complete. Thinking about publication early July.

Chapter 45 Sustained Extreme Happiness

There’s one more chapter I want to add before the end. It doesn’t quite come into the category of making life easy, but it is certainly important for making life worthwhile.

The last few months have been rough ones for me. That thing I alluded to about adding unnecessary complexity to my relationships and emotions has been playing out on a massive scale.

Now, I know that I create whatever I want in life; I choose how I feel, how I respond to the things that happen around me, the circumstances of my life. So for a long time I asked myself: why would I choose grief? Why would I choose pain when I could choose happiness and peace. I know they exist; I know I could create them. So why not?

But somehow, the idea of “happiness” just didn’t attract me. After the intensity of the everyday experience I was creating with my grief, how could mere happiness compare?

In common human experience, there are two experiences we associate with vivid happiness: new love and new babies. All other forms, as far as I could remember, tended to deliver a much milder form. Nothing special. Nothing wildly exciting. And that’s what I craved.

Then I stopped myself. I recognised a semantic pattern, a resignation to something just because it was common in the status quo. I was assuming that just because sustained extreme happiness was not common in the world, I could not create it. But of course I could.

So here I am, having formed the idea of sustained extreme happiness. People I tell about it respond sceptically at best. There’s the caution of someone confronted with mania, fearing the depression which traditionally follows.

But why shouldn’t I create this? We see prolonged grief all the time. I myself have lived it, brilliantly, for months on end. Why not flip the coin, live the other side. The intensity is possible, we all know that; it’s just the flavour that would be different.

Having seen the vision, I’m certain it’s possible. Having chosen it for myself, and, by contagion, for the people around me, I am sure it’s on its way. There are clear moments of it already, glimpses of how it looks in reality, how it feels, how it is.

I’m eager to see the form it takes longer term, the circumstances of life that form around the central emotional experience. Life is already pretty good here: close relationships, physical expression, beautiful environment, work I love, plenty of time and money, and vibrant good health.

What more is possible? Watch this space.

Dream Project Challenge

What if the thing you thought would take your whole life could be done in ten months, in half an hour a day? What would you do then?

Consider the possibility that everything is much, much, much easier than it seems. I have this theory that everything is easy. It’s just our way of looking at things that makes them seem as they seem.

I’ll get into the history and origins in a minute; first, here are the guidelines of the Challenge itself:

Dream Project Challenge Guidelines

1. Be a busy, successful person, with lots of great stuff happening in your life
2. Think of or recall a Dream Project, one you’ve had shelved for a long time, or never really thought you would be able to do, or perhaps never thought you would have time for
3. Commit half an hour a day to that project – think where you could find half an hour a day, if you really wanted to, if that meant this Dream Project could become reality
4. Do half an hour each day, each day thinking what is the best use of that half hour to move the project forward
5. At the end of the half hour, stop! Experience the magic of what can be achieved in a tiny amount of time, once you allow it

Then rinse and repeat. You can miss one day if you need to, but never two in a row – the magic is in reconnecting with the project daily, even if that’s just talking about it to a friend, a colleague or a stranger…

And then, would you do me a favour?

There are a couple of extra things I’d love you to do, once you get into the challenge itself: first, let me know what you’re up to – I’m collecting stories for a book, and I’d love to hear yours. Email me with your project, and update me with your progress. If you like I’ll add you to the Facebook group, so you can share what you are doing with others.

And second, issue the challenge yourself, personally, to the people you know who have bigger dreams, bigger capacity than they are currently living, people who could do more, love more, change the world faster than perhaps even they know is possible. They might already be doing huge, amazing things, and you know they would love the challenge to do more, in a different way. Send them to this page, and tell them to get going!

So how did it all start?

I was on the train back from the airport yesterday. My husband, daughter and I had spent a few days in Florence looking at art.

Paul was asking me about my New Universe, how it works, and I was describing the idea of projects in the new paradigm, not problem-based, but creating without historic constraints. In the New Universe, as I see it, we create whatever we can dream of, according to positive constraints we set ourselves.

So here’s what I said.

“You need to get people’s minds to shift, to see how things can be easy. If you put people in the same office, working the same hours, they’ll continue to work the same way – you can give them a new job title but nothing fundamental will change. You have to change something fundamental – like tell them they’ve only got half an hour a day to work on a project. Then they’ll do something different.”

“And you’ve tried this, you’ve tried it out on people?”

At this point I got grumpy. “I’ve done it myself, with my books. And I’ve suggested it to people. But no, I haven’t conducted any kind of systematic experiment.” I stared out the train window, feeling inadequate.

And then I thought, why not? Why not conduct a systematic experiment? There are plenty of people I could ask who would rise to the challenge. I’m looking for the examples that push the envelope – what’s possible, not what’s guaranteed. It’s easy, like everything – issue the challenge, let people be inspired by what they themselves can achieve.

So here I am, issuing the challenge. What could you achieve in half a hour a day? Why not try it, see for yourself, and then let the whole world know about it?

Let me know about your Dream Project by email, or message me via Facebook and if you’d like information on how to get personal support, see the Dream Projects page.


Effortlessly creating world peace

Excerpt from my forthcoming book: Making Projects Easy – Deconstructing the Art of Effortless Creation

Chapter 19 In case anyone’s interested, here is my simple strategy for creating world peace…

You know that little voice inside you that tells you what is right for you to do and what isn’t – and I don’t mean “right” in a moral sense, something you could argue about or discuss, I mean it in the sense that it feels right, you just know it.

You know that voice?

It’s my theory that that voice always leads us perfectly; and more than that, it fits us in with everyone around us, so that when others are following their voice, and we are following ours, the world fits together like a jigsaw puzzle and everything falls into place.

We don’t need to think about what other people are doing – we only need to pay attention to ourselves, and what we are doing.

Even less than that, we don’t need to do anything right away at all. We just need to listen to that voice, and if the thing we are about to do does not feel right, we just don’t do it. Do nothing.

Within minutes, another action, another option will appear. Check that as well – if your internal voice and feeling tells you it’s right, do it; if not, don’t, and wait for the next option to appear.

If we look at all the things around us that seem to cause problems: pulling triggers, making guns, mindless consumption of resources, if we just stopped taking those actions, almost all of our current “problems” would disappear.

As for what happens next, once we start taking the right actions, the gut actions, the things we know in our hearts are what we are supposed to do… Imagine that. Imagine what would happen then.

To find out how you can have me support you in your projects, take a look at Project Flow!

Life at full speed

It seems that all my life, people have been telling me to tone it down, pull it back, lighten up, not be so intense…

Nah, not doing it.

Watch out, world, maximum expression and speed is on its way, is here. Accelerating today, terrifying tomorrow. Get used to it.

Anyone care to join me?

Life, marketing and sales made easy

Amongst the many wild theories I am known to expound at length any time someone or something sets me off, is that everything is easy, and in many cases, things are far, far, far easier than they seem.

People seem to like this idea. They take enough interest to stay with me as I fizz with enthusiasm, and tell some of my stories of when this has been the case for me.

The vision of Project Flow Days

Dining room, Cobham Hall

We did our first Project Flow Day on Saturday, a glorious day, filled with sparks and flashes of inspiration, of vision, and of seeing how those projects could be easy, too. For me, being in that beautiful room, with those beautiful people, being part of that flowering of life and purpose, was in itself a vision come true – I’d seen it, experienced it, in moments of daydream – to the point that I surprised myself when I remembered I had not actually lived such a day before.

Relative speed

I was also surprised when someone pointed out to me how quickly the day had come to fruition. “You were only talking about it three weeks ago, as an idea, and now here you are!” My head tilted to the side as I considered this. In my world three weeks is a long time, but their surprise that something could happen so quickly triggered curiosity in me. How had it happened? What made it so easy?

Well, it just was easy. We set a date, my co-host Dave Kibby called someone he knew who had a stately home library for hire, and we started inviting people.

First Project Flow Day, Library, Cobham Hall

What is it for you?

I already knew the idea captured people’s attention, because for the few weeks before, I’d been asking everyone I met: “What is it for you? What is that you know in your heart you need to be doing?” and seen their faces go pale, or light up, or their mouths drop open. I knew people knew what they wanted and needed to do, I was pretty sure the offer of space to do it would be attractive and I knew, deep down, it was a good thing to do.

And as soon as we started talking about the day online, people started taking notice, sharing it, talking about it, and then they started booking to come.

Vision unfolding

From there, what? My vision was of a day of space, for people to work on their projects away from their everyday lives. The plan of how the day would unfold came to me complete, easy. It took me five minutes to write it down. I had some thoughts of what to say at the start, about how life is easy for me, and had a chat to my friend Stuart, who knows about these things, about how to introduce Dave so that his genius and vision would flow easily from there. All easy.

Endless examples

I was going to talk here about other examples, of similar moments of ease, but I won’t, for now. There’s just one more point I’d like to make: for me it’s passion, excitement and clarity of vision that fuels my choices of what to do. It’s that light in the eyes of another that tells me “Yes, this is it, this is the next thing, this is something that will make a difference.” When I feel that, I don’t even need to think “how will I do this?” – it simply unfolds.

With thanks to Lucy Whittington for her wisdom on “doing your marketing Thing”.

The New Universe

These last few months have been a time of huge personal growth for me, letting go of the last of fear and hesitation, guided and supported and challenged by two exceptional coaches: Dave Kibby, and Saskia Clements,

Part of the learning over this time has been of interdependence, and the realisation that two are more powerful than one, many are more powerful than two, and developing the skills to harness and revel in that possibility. I knew this before, in my head; now that learning has reached my body and become an integrated part of who I am.

There came a time a month or so ago when I found myself asking a question: “once we’ve got to that point beyond fear, and are looking at a world of truth, of destiny, of following our true path, what then? How does the world look different from here?” It’s a question I didn’t immediately get an answer to. In fact, it’s a question I couldn’t immediately get people to understand.

Bit by bit, however, the answer is emerging; I get snatches of phrases, glimpses of visions, exhilarating, exciting ideas of how things might be. I see, long term, a world without money, as everyone contributes their unique part with joy. Resources stretch and expand because people only take what they need in the moment, trusting tomorrow for tomorrow, like the lilies of the field.

I see health as distinct from medicine, focusing on the delights of the human body in its flexibility and strength. I’ve been working with Martha Grover at Joie de Vivre, London, on effortlessly creating a body that moves easily, and is a source of joy; and here has been the reinforcement of a truth I’ve suspected, that everything is so much easier than we have believed it to be.

Things can be easy, effortless, if we only open ourselves to that ideal.

Every aspect of life has a new vision in this new universe. I know I’m only just beginning to see. Just running the thought experiment gives me a deep sense of satisfaction, of purpose, that we might have the vision ready when the world as a whole steps forward, and asks how we would like things to be.

Today’s imagining: The beginnings of education in the New Universe… in audio format here, because it’s time I speed up my thoughts, to keep pace with the changing view. (Right click and choose Save link as… to download)

Adventure – managing the gaps in the action

One of the things about adventure is that while the action, when described, sounds exciting, a lot of the time there’s pretty much nothing going on at all.

Joan of Arc waited around for a year for Robert de Baudricourt, governor of Vaucouleurs, to give her the men-at-arms she was commanded to wait for before presenting herself to the Dauphin, the King – and by any and all standards, hers was a fairly exciting life.

We’re used to our stories being distilled down to their essence – a 22 minute sitcom; a 90 minute movie – that’s the most effective way for us to consider those stories, and integrate their relevance into our lives.

The trouble with that is, we get to thinking that action happens in a continuous stream, one event after another, with no waiting, uncertain, perhaps doubting, in between.

I tend to take my action in the inspired form: I get a clear sense of what is needed, and whether it delights me or fills me with dread, the result is the same – I do it. That’s the easy part. More challenging are those times when the voice inside me, clear as a bell, tells me “there’s nothing to do, do nothing”, or simply goes quiet and I’m left twiddling my thumbs, a menace to myself and others, searching for something to fill the time.

I’m getting better at it. Sometimes, now, I can go easy on myself: stare out the window at the glorious view; listen to music; watch a film. And at other times? Well, let’s just say I’m working on it, masterpiece in progress, hoping the artist, whoever that might be, can repair the chisel damage that happens when I have a go at sculpting life myself.

To generate greatness, significant actions are few and far between – that’s what I’m learning – and the less I keep myself busy, or thinking, or planning, or trying to do it all myself, the clearer the voice inside me, the one that dictates those significant actions, becomes.

(By the way, for inspiration, I recommend Mark Twain’s biography of Joan of Arc – he spent 14 years researching and writing it, and considered it his best work)Product Details

Why do people keep saying there are only six senses?

Why do people keep saying there are only six senses? It is time to open our minds much broader than that, and acknowledge the vast range of things we sense beyond sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – and whatever sixth sense the speaker happens to be considering at the time.

What about the sense of where our bodies are in space, without reference to sight? What about the sense of our bodies moving? What about the sense of another person’s mood, even if they’ve left the room before we enter it? What about the sense that it’s about to rain or thunder, or the exhilarating sense of imminent lightning?

What about the settling we feel in our bodies when we have a cat sitting moulded onto our knee, or after we’ve finished a bout of laughter? What about our sense of direction, however that works? What about the prickle of premonition or deja-vu? What about pain, in its myriad forms? What about hunger, what about thirst, what about knowing we need to exhale?

What about our sense of space, or of order? What about the sense of rightness, of certainty? What about our sense of justice? What about the sense of intuition or the sense of logic? What about the sense that a loved one is with us, even when they are a long way away, or no longer in this world? What about the sense of belonging, and being loved?

Some of these things could be rolled in together, but none of them come under one of the five standard headings, unless we stretch those headings beyond “sense” as well. And there is more, so much more…

There’s the sense that we have been holding ourselves back for many, many years because in language we acknowledge limits to our world that do not need to exist.

What would you sense if you took an expanded moment of freedom to breathe into? Is there something there for you that your body, in its most intelligent sense, has known for a long, long time, that your mind did not?

What about the feeling of love for another? Where does that come under the headings of the big five?

And our other emotions: fear, anger, joy, excitement, peace, happiness, grief… ah, yes, grief?

These things we feel in our bodies, but not with the sense of touch, taste or smell. These things we feel in our hearts, our tight muscles, our headaches, our expanded arms; the lifting of our chest in anticipation; the bowing of our shoulders in pain.

In describing our world we can limit it, it’s true; but we can also open our view, widen our horizon with a few, deep, heart-chosen words.

The compelling call of adventure

Forgive me for thinking aloud here, for beginning with no end in view, for making this offering a small adventure in itself, undertaken with the primary motive of just launching into the unknown. Forgive me, because without that outlet, I feel I might burst.

Who else feels the keen need for adventure? Who else closes their eyes against the smell of wind and sea and pictures themselves as Jack Sparrow, departing for an unknown, uncertain destination? Or is it just me?

And I wonder, why should it come so strongly today?

A good friend reminded me of our very human competing needs for certainty and uncertainty, the balance of which possibly influences our lives more than we realise.

“No,” I said, “my actions weren’t driven by the need for uncertainty,” but then I took another honest look, and realised that, just possibly, they might have been; and then I couldn’t help but smile at myself and start looking for another, more constructive avenue to stretch my wings, test my strength, get that need met.

There are various cliched ways we find variety in our safe western lives: we fall in love, we go on holiday, we dabble in legal and illegal drugs. Compare this to the great historic adventures, however, and the contrast is a little sad. So what else can we do? I feel my heart beating against the confines of my chest as I ask this question, impatience at not seeing an immediate answer…

The same friend suggests that if I allow them, answers, fresh thoughts will come, and my response is somewhere between a laugh and a scream: “When? When will they? I want them now!” In my mind’s eye I see him smile, a warm, infuriating smile, laughing in turn at my impatience.

From experience, I know the call to adventure can be a challenge, requiring courage and conviction to follow through. Okay. I’m ready for that. I’m ready to answer the call – just call, adventure. Please come.