Should I meditate or vacuum the carpets?

I have had a crazy Summer with three teenagers/youmg adults starting new schools, University, new job and was reminded of an article I wrote a couple of years ago. I have copied it below for your amusement.

Should I meditate or vaccum the carpets?

I have been an evangelist for personal development for three decades. Yep, for thirty years I have read virtually nothing but self help, personal development, psychology and spiritual development. I have spent over £100,000 on going to seminars all over the world – Europe, USA and even the Gold Coast. I have studied under every Guru under the sun, who seemed worth listening to, and even spent some time at a spiritual retreat and experienced shaktipat.

If the definition of an expert is that they have 10,000 hours experience under their belts then I must qualify. Thirty years of training in the area of human potential and, in the last ten years, 10,000 people have trusted me to share some of that knowledge through my seminars, web casts, products, newsletters and blogs.

Impressed? Whether you are or you aren’t there is another side to this story and it doesn’t sound as pretty or impressive or exciting. And on some level, despite what I know, I am still really confused.

Running in parallel to my ‘WOW’ career I have also been a single Mother of three daughters who are now aged twenty, eighteen and fifteen. Nothing is more important to me than my girl’s happiness. And, I also think this is where I, and thousands of women that I’ve spoken to, come adrift. This is where confusion, guilt and doubt creep in. Nowhere in the world of personal development have I seen this issue addressed properly.

What do I mean by this? Well, in the world of success psychology, there is an agreed formula. How you define success is unique to you but the supposed process to fulfilment is not unique it is a formula that goes something like this:

Every day I commit to

• Meditate for at least 20 minutes

• Exercise for 45 minutes

• Eat 80% health giving food

• Drink two litres of water

• Take daily green drinks and vitamins

• Visualise, re-bound, breathe

• Connect daily with Mastermind, Coach or Mentor

• Connect with nature

• Read and learn for 20 minutes minimum

• Set, yearly, monthly, weekly goals and just do it!

• Ensure that all of the above serves my mission and values

Does this formula work? No doubt about it. If you follow this plan and deal with your fears, you cannot fail. You can literally have anything you want, the life of your dreams, all the money and success that you want, the relationship that your heart desires, health, happiness and connection to something beyond yourself. The examples of this working are everywhere. Go to a book store and see how many people there are who want to share their story of success with you. See how many people there are who made millions with this method – particularly the visualisation, meditation, dream book, vision book part. And I know that it works for me too. I have lived it all and applied it all and have the stories to tell that prove it.

BUT, not many people will tell you what I am about to tell you next. I have never, in fact, seen or heard anybody in the world of personal development talking about this because most don’t really get it. Some of them are men and (sorry guys) your Biology just doesn’t work the same way as ours. Some are single women; some are women without children and some with children and a supportive husband. But where is the Guru that says you can ‘have all the rewards and success you want and bring up three teenagers at the same time – on your own.’

I can honestly say that there have been too many desperate days when I have wept with frustration. Younger children can be looked after by somebody else as their needs are relatively simple. But your teenagers need YOU and you cannot say ‘sorry darling, I really haven’t got time for piano lessons, College research and enrolment, University research and enrolment and then the moving in and out of student accommodation. I don’t have time for GCSE’s and A levels or to help you write a CV and look for a job. I don’t have time to help you pass your driving test and then research a car and the insurance and then go look for a car. There isn’t time for coaching and help with relationships and finances and I really really don’t have time for the weekly emotional (hormonal) car crash because I need to maintain a peak state darling and go meditate.’

And multiply all of the above unspoken, unpaid work of the heart by three but don’t let it interfere with your formula Tracey or your day job, whoever you are and wherever you are out there reading this. I feel tears of empathy for you.

This week I read about a man (single parent) who gets up at 6 am to vacuum the carpets before he takes his daughter to school and it made me wonder if the key is to keep it simple. But then, I know too much to go back and so I hope that tomorrow is calm enough that I can get up at 6am and meditate in the silent day break and that will make all the difference to my day and anything that it throws at me that isn’t in the formula.

One comment

  1. 'Where is the Guru that says "you can have all the rewards and success you want and bring up three teenagers at the same time – on your own"?' Tracey, aren't YOU that Guru? You share with us constantly how to do it. Romantic happiness – your own – has come last but hey, it has and look at your girls! Look at your life. Look at the risks you took in pursuit of your dreams and in self-belief. I, for one, am looking forward to THAT book…!

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