It’s said that everyone has a book in them, and to be honest, I’ve always wanted to write not just one but many books. I’ve completed several as well, but you won’t see my name on them, because they were ghost writing assignments for an American publisher. I got the brief, produced the book for someone else to put their name on and got paid – easy as that.
My first ‘real’ book is different though. It took almost 18 months to get from writing the first paragraph to seeing it in print, and the book I proudly hold in my hands now is nothing like the first draft I sent to my publishers, Local Legend.
The Soul Cave: It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Power has a piece of MY soul within its pages, and it has two important messages I felt I needed to convey. Early feedback from readers so far would seem to confirm I’m succeeding. It’s all very well having a book inside you, but if you want people to buy it, read it and learn from it, something needs to draw them in. The messages I convey in my book are personal to me, yet relevant to everyone who reads it, so it’s worth taking a detailed look at them.
Message One: You can work your way through anything and be happy again
When we face trauma, we feel life will never be the same again, and it’s true, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because we learn our most valuable lessons through our challenges. And sometimes, the changes that happen as a result of this can actually lead us into a better life, although it won’t feel like that while the world we’re familiar with is apparently collapsing around us.
I’m not going into my particular trauma here; it’s in the book for those who are interested, and talking about it now would make this article about me, and I don’t want that to happen. We’ve all gone through life-changing situations of varying degrees, but you can’t measure trauma by accepted standards. Anything that steals your joy and disrupts your life is something that needs to be worked through, because if you don’t do that, you can never accept it and move forward with your life.
I can hear some of you saying ‘But I’ll never get over it,’ and I want to say to you, with the greatest respect and love, ‘You will, as long as you want to.’ That might sound like it doesn’t compute, but it’s simple really. When something bad happens, with the best will in the world, we can’t change it. So if we can’t change it, we need to accept it and move forward. There’s no timetable on this, just as there’s no measure for trauma or its effects on you and those you love.
Before you can even begin to heal, you need to allow time to process your feelings of grief, loss, regret and blame. And you need to be honest about these feelings, and your part in the situation that’s played out. Did it come out of the blue, or were there clues you didn’t pick up on or chose to ignore? Did you expect or assume too much, or did someone else? Were you truly happy before the change, or were you just going along with the status quo for a quiet life?
It may be hurtful to examine these feelings when everything is new and raw, but it’s necessary, because before we can let go of our challenges and accept them as life lessons, we must also take responsibility for our own role in any situation. At the same time, we shouldn’t automatically assume that we must be at fault and should have done more to avoid the outcome, because every interaction has two sides, and nobody is ever 100% responsible for what happens. We make our own choices, and once made, we must live with the consequences.
Processing our feelings in this way is more productive than replaying events without really thinking about them, because all that does is renew the original hurt and even magnify it. If we can’t change a situation, the only thing we can change is how we respond to it, and this is where our real power lies, even in those situations where we feel totally powerLESS. It’s the first step to acceptance, and letting go.
Then we need to forgive, and again that can be easier said than done. What makes forgiveness easier is seeing it for what it truly is – a gift to yourself, rather than someone who has done you wrong. When you forgive, you take a step back from trauma and challenges and you find peace with the situation. It doesn’t mean you condone unreasonable behaviour from anyone one else, it’s a powerful choice you make not to be defined by your trauma but to deal with it, learn from it and move forward.
If you find it difficult to forgive, it may help to write a letter explaining that you choose to forgive and move forward with your life. And you may also want to write a letter to yourself, because we always tend to attach some blame for challenging situations to ourselves, don’t we? We feel we should have said or done things differently, picked up on clues or set boundaries, but the truth is, we can only control our own thoughts, words and deeds. We’re not responsible for the actions of others, or for events that may trigger trauma, but we get drawn in and feel that on some level we have let down ourselves and others.
Another way to practice forgiveness is to use a forgiveness visualisation. This can be a powerful way to direct your energy to forgiveness, and it will certainly leave you feeling lighter and happier afterwards. If you want to include yourself in the visualisation, place yourself in the middle of those you are sending forgiveness too.
Finally, in order to move on, we need to practice gratitude for everything in our lives – including the challenges. The best way to be grateful for the bad stuff is shift the energy around the situation. Don’t ask – as we naturally tend to do – ‘Why is this happening to me?’ or ‘Why are they treating me like this?’ Those are reasonable questions in the circumstances, but they carry the negative energy of the victim, and it’s a passive statement, which makes you feel you have no control over the situation.
Instead ask ‘What can I learn from this?’ or ‘What needs to change here?’ Immediately, you switch into the positive, active energy of accepting what’s happening and taking the good from the situation. And trust me, there is good in there, because everything that happens in life is a balance of good stuff and bad stuff. On another positive note, it’s when things go wrong we learn our biggest life lessons, so remember that.
When we accept what happens to us, forgive where necessary and express gratitude for the lessons taught by trauma, we are well on the way to letting go of the past, moving forward with our lives and living in the joy of the moment. I did it – so can you!
Message Two: It’s never too late to follow your dream
The subtitle of The Soul Cave is ‘It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Power,’ and honestly, it isn’t! If you really want to do it, you really can. You’re only limited by the restrictions you place on yourself. When you come across a roadblock to your plans, find a way to turn it into an opportunity, as I did.
As I write this, I’m a week away from my 71st birthday, and my first book has been on sale around the world for a month now. Lots of friends have bought it, which I expected, as they told me they would. In fact some times it feels like they are almost as excited as I am! What’s really bowled me over though is the people I don’t know who are messaging me or writing 5 star reviews for The Soul Cave.
Around 55 years after I told my mother and my form teacher I wanted to be an author, only to be told I needed a ‘proper job,’ here I am, with my name on the cover of my first book and my second in the planning stages with the introduction already written! You might not want to write a book – or begin to work as a clairvoyant and healer at the age of 64, as I did – but what do YOU want to do? Whatever it is, start working towards it now. Do something to get things moving.
Okay, there may be practical considerations, like lack of funds, lack of space or other commitments, but are these things really holding you back, or are you using them as excuses to put your dreams on the back burner? Be honest now!
The good news is, science now tells us what many of us already knew – we can manifest our best lives by managing our energy appropriately. Studies show that people who actively visualise what they want in their lives are more likely to achieve their goals, because when we focus on our future and visualise how life will be when we achieve our dreams, the brain thinks it’s happening for real, and our thinking patterns change accordingly. Our minds shift into success mode, and difficulties are overcome more easily, which encourages us to persevere through the difficulties.
When I was writing The Soul Cave, there was a lot of reviewing and rewriting before my publisher was happy to give me a contract, but when I felt like the book would never come out, I visualised myself holding it in my hands, signing copies and giving promotional interviews. It kept me going, and so far I’ve held the book and done a podcast, and on Sunday I have my first book signing here in Spain. I first saw it happening in visions, and now it’s happening for real!
We often fail to realise just how powerful we are. We can shift our energy from negative to positive, and train our minds to see our future and make things happen. That’s why we can overcome any challenge and do anything we dream of. I’m living proof it can happen, and you don’t have to believe in anything – other than yourself and your own power – to make it happen for you. Those are the main messages in The Soul Cave, and that’s why I had to write it.