I took my book and made my way into the backyard this afternoon. The sun in Brisvegas is unseasonably warm and being a girl who loves the heat, I was keen to make the most of it.
My backyard includes a pool, thick green grass and a view of the river. But it hasn’t always been this way.
A few weeks ago, I left my home of 13 years to move here. It was a big choice to sell my house and I’m still feeling the reverberations of that choice, even now. My life is different now. The way I live is different now. And the space I inhabit within the world has changed.
It always intrigues me how when we change one thing in our lives, things change around us too. When we shift so does our energy and those ripples inexorably spread out into the world affecting our relationship with others and indeed, our relationship with ourselves.
Change one thing and many things change. Change a lot of things and you can imagine the impact is little more significant.
For me, my recent big change has led me to see much of my life through a different lens. I feel freer because in many ways I am starting anew. How I interact with strangers has shifted too. I am more open and I find myself feeling even more curious about the human condition. I observe more, feel more. Certainly my psychic channel feels much stronger, more attuned and more powerful than it has been.
My house was a home and a refuge. But eventually it became a place where I felt stuck and hidden from the world. Perhaps it was also a symbol of a life I thought I would once have that never eventuated.
So now I’m here.
As I sat beside the pool, relaxing in the sun, I found myself asking that question we frequently ask when seeking clarity about our next steps and where we want to go:
“If you could do anything, what would you do?”
As I rolled the question around in my head, I realised something that had never really cut-through my psyche before. I had asked the wrong question. The real question is:
“You can do anything so what are you going to do first and when are you going to do it?”
The second question is the true question and I laughed at myself when I realised it.
So many of the reasons we give ourselves for not doing what we truly want are mere excuses. They may be very reasonable and logical excuses but they are excuses just the same.
And when we start the discussion from a place of restriction with a focus on perceived obstacles, we cut ourselves off at the knees even before we start the race.
I was sitting there in that beautiful setting because I made some difficult but necessary decisions to change my life. To be honest, the Universe in many ways brought me to metaphorical knees before I would make those decisions, but I still made them. And I don’t regret them for one minute. Because once you let go of what you ‘think’ your life should look like as you move towards your goals, you allow whole new perspectives to show up that will take you to places you never expected to go (and sometimes resist visiting) and soon after you will realise you are exactly where you need to be.
I never thought I would end up living somewhere like this, but it’s perfect. So as I settle in, I now know what question I should really be asking.
Fear is the silent stalker that stifles creativity, achievement and our ability to rise up and take our rightful places as the change makers in our communities. It suffocates our enthusiasm, plays into the hands of our detractors and prevents us from serving at a much higher level.
Where does it come from this fear? Is it something we create inside ourselves as a self-protective mechanism born of our egoic mind? Or is it simply absorbed into our souls from external environments, the messages we’re exposed to and the people we learn from?
When you witness a young child climbing trees, swinging from a rope, running barefoot through the grass or simply spinning in circles in a field because it’s fun, there is no fear there. In fact, children in everyday normal life usually don’t feel fear at all. They trust. Fear is something they’re taught through the words and actions of others.
“Don’t do that, you might get hurt,” we warn them as they put their hand carelessly near the flames. And that message is fine. Our destruction by fire is something we should avoid so the lesson is eventually learned and it’s a useful one.
But what about the other fears we teach children and even teach each other. The messages parents tell their children like, “Don’t stand out too much, you need to fit in and make friends” and “Always try to get along with everyone” are fine on one level, they really are. But why is the truth that some people will never like you no matter what you do or say, so unpalatable. And do we really always need to try and get along with everyone? Because if we do that, then we’re always going to be conforming to what other people are comfortable with and this is unlikely to lead to our ultimate happiness. Right?
This is a fear of being who we are.
Our governments propagate our fear, insidiously. “Those people are a threat and shouldn’t be trusted,” we’re told about men, women and children who seek our protection from war and persecution.
Or, “They’re taking advantage of our system” we’re told of people who can’t get jobs and the majority of whom feel humiliated at seeking government assistance to pay their bills.
This is a fear of others taking what we have.
Then culturally we’re told, “The answer is out there!” It’s in technology so scroll through those electronic screens day and night and you will find the answers. Don’t stop and be quiet, alone with your thoughts. No! Fill your waking hours pulled inexorably into the world ‘out there’ and leave your own creative space behind. Soon enough you become uncomfortable with silence, with stillness and with nothingness. You must always be doing, watching someone or something else.
We become fearful of a life without distraction.
Eventually we don’t want to stand out too much, we want everyone to like us, we believe that strangers who don’t look like us and don’t believe what we do want to take something from us, and we can’t be still with our own thoughts.
What chance does our inner voice have then? Where is your intuition then? Where is the Universe’s opportunity to send you guidance then?
It’s squashed. It struggles. It slides to the edge of oblivion.
Fear, if permitted, takes over and leaves nothing in its wake but conformity and loss of consciousness.
How do we bring ourselves back from the brink?
We can begin by recognising that fear has become our driver in the first place and if it’s at the wheel of our car then we need to kick it out. Fear is never going to show us peace or happiness or fulfillment. It’s like a drunk driver – dangerous, with any vestiges of self-awareness drowned out by liquor.
Recognise it’s something we’re taught and absorbed. Then question it.
Acknowledge that we are all different and not all of us are going to ‘like’ or agree with each other – and that’s okay.
Know that in order to follow your calling you’re going to have to stand out and sometimes it will be uncomfortable. Some will try to pull you back into the status quo – resist the pull.
When we’re told that someone is a threat and seeking to take something from us, we need to come back into our hearts and ask is that really true. Or are we being fed a fallacy to manipulate and separate us from other human beings who are just in a tough or desperate situation that they don’t know how to escape from.
And finally we need to regain that balance between the external world and our internal one. We need to stop fearing the silence and instead, embrace it. We need to remember that our creativity and our ability to see opportunities and gain fulfillment begins first with our connection to ourselves and our inner voice. From there everything grows.
Are you ready to stop the fear and begin your real journey?
Lucretia Ackfield is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who seeks to empower women to create change and serve humanity. Her program, No I’m Not a Weird Hippie Chick, helping women to develop and manage their intuitive gifts so they can step into their Calling and live their Purpose. You can follow her on Instagram @noimnotaweirdhippiechick or join her Facebook group Rock Your Inner Channel for insights about being psychic and living in the mainstream world.
Have you ever felt so happy that you could literally skip along the street? That is how I felt so many times during my recent trip to Italy. I felt playful, childlike and overwhelming joy for the moment and place I found myself in. Italy often generates these feelings for me and I find many of its inhabitants also create the same response.
On the day I arrived for my stay in a small town called Montefalco, my host offered to collect me from the nearest train station in his little black VW beetle.
Filippo was the epitome of the creative Italian – a furniture designer, painter, musician and writer, his enthusiasm and passion for life simply bursts from his every pore. With kisses on both cheeks and a warm embrace, he then somehow crammed my huge suitcase into the back seat of his car and we were off.
During our drive up the hill, his conversation covered Brexit, refugees, Syria, Libya and Gaddafi, Germany (their policies and the fact they would face off against Italy in a football match that night – clearly they were the ‘enemy’) and so many other subjects.
I liked immediately.
Filippo invited me to join him, his girlfriend Martina and some friends to watch the match at a bar that evening. Of course, I said yes. I’ve never watched Italians watching soccer before but it certainly lived up to all the stereotypes you could imagine; it was an emotional, dramatic and engrossing experience. We sat on plastic picnic chairs watching it on a big screen television. The bar was in a suburban street and drivers would often beep their horns in solidarity as they travelled past while my fellow match-watchers yelled their approval in response.
One supporter had brought along an Italian flag about the size of a Queen-size mattress and every now and then he’d stand in the middle of the street, waving it this way and that (while making way for the occasional passing car and lady on a bike).
As an observer, it was the passion of these people that struck me the most. Passion seems to be a way of life for so many Italians. They are passionate in love (you only have to walk down any street to witness the frequent public displays of affection to know this), passionate in argument and discussions (it’s never about restraint and control), passionate in their expressions (witness the hand gestures that accompany many conversations) and passionate about their football.
Passion for life is a way of life, not an exception. It’s this passion that I find inspirational and my trip to Italy also reminded me of my passion too.
I’m always inspired by people who are passionate about what they are here to do on this planet. I’m inspired by those who take chances and take the roads less traveled. I’m also inspired by those who, simply by getting up every morning and doing the best they can, make a difference just by showing up.
It is passion that is at the foundation of creating change, growth and the diversity of our experiences. For me, passion is the key.
My trip to Italy and meeting inspirational people like Filippo reminded me of my passion and my purpose. My passion is stories; the stories about how we live, the decisions we make, the challenges we face and our willingness to just keep going when we’d honestly rather give up and go back to some place that’s more safe and mainstream. And it’s my purpose, sharing stories to heal, that supports my passion.
I believe that everyone has at least one (usually several) inspirational stories to share. It is only by sharing our personal stories that we enable others to see what is possible; reduce individual isolation and create connections; and ‘normalise’ our diverse life experiences so that others understand that although our journeys are unique, there are always commonalities, challenges and shared experiences (no matter how seemingly unusual and unexpected).
This Wednesday I will begin sharing weekly stories of #coolpeopleIknow on my Lucy and Life blog. The contributors will share their personal stories to help inspire others. They will be my friends or friends of friends who are seeking to make things better through living a heart-led and authentic life underpinned by their passion (whatever that might be).
I’m really looking forward to publishing these stories and I hope that in doing so, readers will be inspired to begin living their passion today.
Sometimes I feel like it’s taking me a long time to grow up. Well, longer than most people anyway because I don’t passionately desire those things we’re told that grown-ups should want: a good job with a big company, a big house, a flashy car and so on.
Sometimes I think maybe I started off as the atypical grown-up and am now growing backwards?
My 20s – sensible, serious, marriage, a house, a house renovation, hours upon hours working for others.
My 30s – divorce, another house, and hours working in a career where I was stressed out in senior roles but kept telling myself I was making a difference and making good money so it was okay.
My 40s – voluntary redundancy, complete stepping away form the corporate life, psychic stuff, and starting my own business and doing a few other things just so I don’t have to return to my old life.
Would my life be easier if I returned to more traditional grown-up ways and got myself a corporate job where the money is good and the people are nice but my soul is being slowly eaten alive?
No, it wouldn’t. The truth is I have moved past that version of grown-up from my past and I can’t do it anymore. Oh, I can do a short-term contract here or there (about six months is my limit) and that’s fine. But stay for too long and I begin to flounder – my creative synapses become blocked and my balance undone.
So I must find a way to make this other grown-up life work. I must create my own way and trust that I’m doing it right (even when occasionally it feels like it’s all going drastically wrong).
The old grown-up Lucretia has left the building for good and the life of this version has only just begun.
Not long after I moved into my first house as a newly-single person, I bought a metal sculpture of a naked woman, reclining backwards, holding a candle aloft.
These days the sculpture has migrated from my lounge-room to the deck and, although it looks a little worse for wear, it still attracts interest from my visitors.
Often they are intrigued. ‘Why do you like that?’ they ask. ‘What’s that about?’
My answer is always the same, ‘She symbolises how I wish to live my life. Naked, open to the world and lighting my own way.’
Now don’t misunderstand me. You won’t see me strolling through my local streets without clothes on anytime soon. It’s more of a metaphor.
The nakedness and openness speak to my desire to live openly, without barriers and from the heart. I wish to live as I truly am, not as others or society expects me to be.
I wish to light my own way by knowing I always have the strength and light within me to keep moving forward because I trust my own judgement and intuition. It’s not about turning away from the assistance of others. Instead it’s about knowing that my light comes from within me and I can re-light my own candle whenever I choose. I do not have to wait for someone else to light it for me.
When life gets difficult, as it does for all of us, it can be easy to put up barriers between ourselves and others, close down our hearts and let our light go out. It can be easy to lose faith that we have the strength and inner guidance to find our way forward, to take the next step, to just keep going.
But in those moments I will glimpse the naked lady and I’m reminded of my capacity to find my way. Like me, she has some age spots (in her case, rust) showing up here and there, and she has weathered a few storms. She has matured a little more and, in my more fanciful moments, I imagine she has, like me, relaxed into her own (metal) skin over the years.
Yet in spite of all the bumps, rust, storms and challenges of living exposed to the elements, she is still there naked, open to the world and lighting her own way. She is still there inspiring me to do the same