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Space For Grace Spring Retreat – A Journey of Awakening

Emerging

Hello friends,
It is such a joy to feel the energy of spring arriving and to witness nature bursting into life. I find this time of year so reassuring, as nature just knows what to do and there is nothing that I need do but to breathe it in and enjoy. Whether it is a blade of grass, a flower or a butterfly emerging, it is all perfectly timed. The energy within the DNA of each living thing is hardwired to create itself and all the collective components collaborate in perfect harmony to bring its uniqueness to the world.
This still blows me away and I am constantly in awe of this universal truth again and again.
I think we all need to be inspired and I also think that we all need to know there is something within us that knows exactly what to do too. But, if your anything like me I forget this and I get this knee jerk reaction to take over and be in control. In short, I forget that there is a power greater than me in charge. However, when I do remember, I feel such relief – I let go, I trust and I surrender. Life then flows and I feel so natural and free.

It’s been quite a journey to get to this point, but what has helped me the most is my commitment to plugging in on a daily basis to the energy that creates worlds – that same energy that is within the blade of grass, the flower and the butterfly.
I have no doubt that you remember to plug in your phone, your laptop or your kettle as a matter or great importance everyday. Goodness me – where would you be without them!! So why is it that we forget to do the same for ourselves and do the only thing that really works and plug into our own Source and receive the energy, wisdom and guidance that will support us to thrive?

Here are some of the common traits we humans seem to have:
1) Busyness
2) Laziness
3) I know betterness
4) I don’t have enough timeness
5) I’m worthless
6) Tomorrow, next week, next month ness
7) Who cares ness
8) Fill in your own ……ness

You get the picture right, but this really is a sign of insanity. It’s like plugging in the vacuum cleaner without switching it on – you go round the whole house cleaning away but unfortunately not one speck of dust if lifted or removed and in actually fact you have now used all your own energy on a fruitless task and you wonder why everything just looks the same!

It all needs to work together – you, the plug, the switch and the intention — BINGO!

It’s so funny really and yet as a human species we get into a rut of sameness without questioning what we are doing until it’s too late – until we get burn out, illness, stress, relationship breakdown, heartache or some other wake up call.
Slow down folks – slow down and take a look at your life. Do a spring clean and get rid of the old, sparkle the things you love, dust the smudgy windows of your soul and open up the curtains of your tired heart and let the light in.

Get authentic and do an inventory or what is working and what is not. Be curious and committed to finding new ways of being in the world and finding practises that soothe your soul. No one else can do it for you but trust there is always someone out there who can support you on your journey and be willing to ask for help from those you trust.

My commitment for this year, was to start doing more of what I love and more of what aligns me to joy, love and expansion. This has included daily meditation with the lessons of A Course In Miracles, joining an online Course in Miracles support group, learning salsa, being more radically honest and authentic in my relationships and listening to my heart in ALL areas of my life.
It’s been amazing, if at times challenging but I have to say the level of grace and growth that is emerging is truly incredible.

So my invitation to you dear friend, is to ask yourself, how you could live an even more authentic life? What would serve you or keep you plugged in?

“One way I could live a more authentic life is….?” I love the simplicity of the quote from Robert Holden and for me his teachings and talks are always so inspiring and authentic. I went up to see him recently in London – he was talking at the Miracle network with his wife Hollie and together they presented an evening entitled ‘Easter for Mystics’. It was wonderful to be amongst such open and enquiring people and I loved the analogy they used around Easter as we enquired into how we crucify ourselves! Then what is it we need to do to rise again and be reborn? Such radical honesty is so rare, but for me it was so beautiful to behold and to also to be witnessed in this way.

I love to uncover the parts of me that have been hiding in the dark and give them permission to shine – and indeed give myself permission to shine. As I do this, so I can be of more benefit to those I work with and coach, along with my family, friends and anyone I encounter.

As mentioned earlier, we really don’t need to do this all on our own. I used to find it hard to ask for help in certain areas of my life and in actual fact, I used to assume if I did needed help that people would somehow read my mind and and know exactly what to do! Yet another sign of insanity along with thinking I need to do it all on my own. Robert describes this as dysfunctional independence in this inspiring and funny talk on youtube. It’s a long talk but I would highly recommend you listen to it all, as it is groundbreaking and insightful in so many ways!

In summary, the more we are true to ourselves and present in our own lives – the more aligned we are to the Universe and those other mighty companions who we walk hand in hand with on the path.

This level of awareness is really informing my life, my work, my play and my spirit. I am working with more and more people who are awakening and wanting another way too and I feel so touched when clients are so committed to change. I am particularly finding that the six week programme that I offer Flowering of the Heart is of immense benefit for those wishing to shine the light on their journey and go to another level of acceptance, joy, abundance and peace. If you are curious or ready for this kind of change too, then do check out all the details on my website page or feel free to get in touch for a an informal chat.

There are also some exciting events coming up very soon and I would love to see you!

And finally I want to say THANK YOU.
Thank you for being you, thank you for life, thank you for love, thank you for friends, thank you for family, thank you for abundance everywhere, thank you for my heart, thank you to spirit for showing me the way and thank you for the music! This inspiring song from Karen Drucker sums it up so well – enjoy!

Have a wonderful Easter and I look forward to meeting you in person, at an event, in the ether somewhere – but always in the heart.
With Love
Ann-Marie x x x

July News

Where do I begin I ask myself, and how can I put into words the love, the beauty, the depth, the expansion, the growth and the awareness that I have experienced this month? Well I don’t really know the answer but what I do know is that I want to share more from my heart and I want to see you and I want to see each person I encounter with more grace and awareness.
I feel so much appreciation for my life and the path I am on, and I am seeing with clearer eyes my judgments falling away quicker as I choose to be present with what is showing up.

I had a wonderful experience of this a couple of weeks ago, when I attended a long weekend Coach Camp with Robert Holden in London. I was very drawn to attending the weekend, as I had been feeling a state of inertia in my work and felt ready to dive in with a new verve and willingness to be guided from a place of open heartedness and innocence.
I love Roberts clear and uncluttered way of speaking and teaching. I know he is walking a path of truth and authenticity and as a fellow Course in Miracles student/teacher I know at the basis of his work is a deep path of self love.

At various times throughout the weekend we had to work with different people and one particular exercise we were asked to go around the room and share what success we could remember from the past week. The first person I worked with was a lady who really did not seem very happy and in actual fact did not want to do the exercise at all, and was not comfortable with the word success. I understood this and asked her instead if the word proud would be an easier option for her. She said no and decided not to take part in the exercise and went off to get herself a cup of tea. I proceeded to carry on with the exercise and thoroughly enjoyed it.

On the next exercise we were asked to pair up with just one person and it just so happened that I was sat next to this very same lady. I felt a sense of wanting to avoid her and in truth did not really want to work with her as I thought she was miserable! But, as is always the case, the Universe had other ideas and we were indeed paired up. I thought oh God, how is this going to work out then working with a ‘miserable’ person but I also knew that my ego had judged and labeled her, and therefore this was the perfect opportunity for me to choose again and see the truth.
I shared with her my feelings from the previous exercise and was honest about my feelings and judgments towards her. I also explained that a massive light bulb had gone off as I saw how I had avoided ‘toxic’ and non-spiritual people in recent years to ‘protect’ myself (subconsciously of course). This was deeply profound for me and as I opened up to this dear lady, I could see her deep pain and my tears fell, as I realised how my ego’s way of labelling people as spiritual or not was actually a form of separation.
My God, the ego has many subtle tricks up its sleeve and it was such a relief to have been aware enough to bring this one to the light. I had played this one out over the years and I knew from that point on, things would be very different indeed.

When we swapped over and it was now time for the lady to share, I could really see how much she was hurting and holding on for dear life – she expressed how she was struggling with the whole weekend and through tears she shared how she was grieving the loss of her husband. She then clammed-up and changed the conversation very quickly but I respected this and understood why she had seemed so ‘miserable’ (the ego loves to project hey!).
Harking back to the previous exercise about success, I expressed how I thought her act of honesty was a great success. She struggled to hear this compliment, but I can remember feeling just like her as I started my own journey of awakening – an unable to own my own successes. She was exactly in the perfect place and nothing had gone wrong, quite the opposite in fact and for me she was an Angel in disguise.

I had been shown an incredibly important lesson and realised that being a spiritual snob needed to change. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to be discerning about who we choose to spend our time with, especially when we are in a vulnerable place and in the early stages of our awakening. We do need to be conscious of our boundaries and energy and only when we have learnt to feel strong in our roots and our connection are we ready to show up more in the world and be with different people.

Eventually however, we are asked to show up and be the presence of love regardless of who or what is in front of us. We become stable in our connection and choose to see the truth before us instead of the ego illusion. This is a true teacher and I have been so blessed to have teachers appear in my life at the perfect time and now I can hand over the baton too as I step forward with more ownership of who I am.

This awakening journey is never ending and the more we are ready to offer anything that is not from love to the light, the more we are given opportunities to do so. It is a normal part of the awakening and can feel very uncomfortable as we start to see clearly our learnt behaviours. But take heart friends, we were asleep and as such could only see through blurry eyes, so lets be kind to our sleeping heart as it emerges to the light.

I feel so much softer and lighter through this experience and am loving just being present and open to all that comes my way. I am still in awe of the magnificence of letting go and letting God and how everyday there is an opportunity to heal and to love.

I really am enjoying seeing the beauty in the world and in each person too, but like anything there is the flip side and I am also seeing how many people condemn and judge themselves so harshly, particularly with the way they look and that is why I wanted to share with you this short video which we saw over the coach camp weekend. It is part of the Dove campaign which Robert was involved in and is very moving and sobering. Which door would you choose?

I know which door I would have chosen before I ‘woke up’ – plain and simple really. The thought of even contemplating going through the beautiful door would have been an alien concept to me and certainly not what I was brought up to believe. I can also hear the old tape running of “who does she think she is” to those who would have chosen the beautiful door – when in reality my heart was yearning to walk through it. But back then I didn’t listen to my heart and was quite happy to live an average life. Not anymore, im done with average and I can happily stand in front of a mirror and say I love you and see my true beauty.

What if?

What if you were to just sit still and wait to feel your way to the next step?
What if you were to trust in your own intuition as the guidance you are seeking?
What if you made space to listen to your heart and spend time with it?
What if you noticed your pain and allowed it to show you the truth of what is behind it?
What if you stopped blaming others for your suffering and chose peace regardless?
What if you let go of an agenda and let the flow take you?
What if you let your imperfections be your gift of growth instead of a reason to beat yourself up?
What if you listened to your truth and made your path about joy and only joy?
What if you said YES to life and NO to suffering?
What if you allowed the voice of judgement to go on vacation and said “today is the day I start living and embracing my utter magnificence”!

Over the weekend we partook in one of my favorite exercises and one I use a lot in my own workshops and retreats. This time however, I got to understand where it originated from. It is a zulu greeting: Ngikhona (I am here – to be seen) and Sawubona (I see you). Many of you may remember it from the film Avatar.
The first time I came across this exercise was some 15 years ago and a day I will never forget. It was in a meditation/psychic development group with my lovely friend Sarah Cox. She demonstrated the exercise with our friend Mary and it was something I had never experienced before. They held hands and looked deeply into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity and in turn each one said “I am here to be seen” and the other replied with “I see you” and in silence they swapped over. When we were then asked to do this exercise my fight or flight response kicked in BIG TIME and I wanted to run away – I really did!!! But I kinda thought that would look pretty crap, so decided to stay. It felt intense to do it and let’s face it, it’s not your everyday greeting, well at least not in my world back then. But I did it, and I survived it – who knew! And over the years I have met this greeting with more and more openness and reverence and can honestly say I love it now.

Why I share this now, is because I realised that over the last 15 years I have been willing to be seen again and again – especially my soul and spirit. But doing the exercise this time round, it dawned on me that I was now ready to be seen in my work and business. I have played small in my work in many ways and never saw myself as a leader or business person – but I am and I am incredibly proud of what I offer in my work and know that it does help people in many ways. Even more than that, I know that as a Teacher of God I am in service to see the truth in each person and help walk them home.

The whole weekend with Robert showed me that it is important to have people in the world who are living in love and bringing love into the world through their chosen career. It is not just for the spiritual ones but for everyone – we are all waking up and we all need guidance and support on our life’s journey. It is crucial to have someone by our side who will truly see us, help us overcome our hurdles of self doubt and unworthiness and encourage us to fly free and share our unique gifts and talents.

Returning home after the weekend, I couldn’t sleep. I had so much energy popping like fireworks with many new ideas and insights for my work. There is a lot of new growth that is emerging which I will be sharing as the time feels right, but for now I am very proud to show you my recently created treatment room which is now open for those of you seeking a Space of Grace.

Really it’s all about paying attention, balance, slowing down and finding time for you. I’m not really telling you anything new there am I – but it’s easy to talk about it and nod your head but it’s another thing altogether to actually take action and change your life if its not working or your unhappy. The ego will love to keep you busy and distracted for the rest of your life if you let it, but If we don’t voluntary stop there will be an involuntary stop!

Here is a great video from Eckhart Tolle talking about how to bring balance into our world.

Finally I wanted to share with you this sultry, sizzling, song which feels so appropriate for this time of year and I also hope it makes you smile as it did me!

With Love and summer smiles, Ann-Marie x x x x

Let your smile and your beauty open doorways of truth and be proud to walk through them! 
With love and summer smiles 
Ann-Marie x x x

Surrender & let go

I have been finding the theme of the last few months to be about surrender…..
For a control freak (as I was back in the day!) this was not a practise that came easily. I had been encouraged to let go and encouraged to surrender! But what was I surrendering to and what would become of me?????
It was a very scary proposition and one that saw me kicking and screaming…..
Not anymore I am pleased to say.

So now when the uncomfortable feelings come along I am more attuned to them and have learnt to embrace them. I no longer wish to be in charge – I no longer wish to control others – I no longer wish to know the outcome – I just want to allow all the grace, good and great to come my way and wish the same for each dear soul on this planet too.
I can however, get impatient in some areas of my life and want to demand an outcome – yes me demand an outcome!!
People seem surprised at this, but I find it all quite hysterical now and no longer beat myself up for being less that perfect (RELIEF!!).

I actually enjoy letting go but of course still find myself being presented with situations, people or scenarios that challenge me in this area. The difference now is that I understand what is behind it all – my separation from my Source – and boy oh boy that is painful!

I feel great appreciation when I am presented with these learning opportunities and I get out of my way quicker and quicker…. so when a recent relationship came my way, I found myself challenged and wanting to control the outcome…… I soon came to my knees realising that this ain’t gonna work and the only ‘work’ was to hand it over with LOVE.

It’s still unfolding and finding its way, as is everything in my life, but I know that I have attracted every experience and I know it is part of my growth….. I just have to be vigilant to the old ‘stories’ and then be prepared to surrender some more.

True Home
How about you – how do you find this surrender thing?
Does it challenge you?
Does it leave you hiding, running away or trying to fill the void with food, alcohol, sex, shopping, fixing another or abusing yourself or another?
In this honest enquiry we can come to see that our control is fear based and was acquired from an old paradigm of ‘right and wrong’, ‘good and bad’ or having to ‘prove’ to ourselves or others our worth – but guess what – you don’t need to prove your worth to God! You are loved always and without exception.
Let this in and let yourself be loved without any justification whatsoever…..
Then say to yourself ” How can I love more?” and then say to the Universe, “Teach me to Love”

Take time out to be still and take time out from the ‘doing’ enter into your heart instead. Let it be your guide and trust that the outcome may not be what you planned but it will most definitely be for your higher good and probably even more beautiful that you could have imagined!

I look forward to hearing how it goes …….

Relax – Jeff Foster
The way I am facilitating workshops and working with my clients has inevitably taken on a different way too. I hold a clear intention and see each person as already whole and in alignment. I am less and less interested in people’s ‘past stories’ and more and more interested and creating the new and inspired ‘story’ – after all what we give energy to grows….. if we keep feeding the old how can the new evolve?

Balance is the key and what I have observed for true lasting change is this cycle….

Be Authentic

Own It

Accept It

Free It Up

Be Kind to Yourself

Tell a New Story

In short, feel what you feel and get real and cease apologising for the so called ‘mess’ – life isn’t always pretty and we can be so so harsh on ourselves if its not perfect. Once we do this we come to a place of acceptance and loosen up the grip by freeing up the stuck emotions, pain or suffering. Finding a way to free it up is very personal but for many it can be by dancing, resting, singing, painting, writing, walking, meditating, laughing, loving, gardening or anything that gets you out of your head (that’s legal of course!!!!). Then come back to self love and kindness by soothing your soul like you would a young child with great tenderness and warmth.
You are then free to start creating the new story and visualizing from a place of freedom, grace, delight and richness – and this really is where the FUN begins!

wayne-dyer when you dance 2
As many of you know, Vital Danza has become one of the past times that frees me up. I have learnt to express my true essence through this medium and have experienced so much joy, fun, connection, bliss and surrender.
It has challenged me of course, as I have at times felt stuck, annoyed with myself or others and indeed played out many stories on the dance floor. But I have been willing to step (or dance) out of my comfort zone and do it anyway.
It is an ongoing journey and always an opportunity for expansion of mind-body-spirit. I have also witnessed this in others and it is so humbling and enriching to be part of a community that opens their hearts and soul in this way.

I invite you too – to be part of this experience.
Particularly if you are ready for change, self expression, bliss, joy, vitality and vast richness….
Come join myself and Helen Thatcher for a truly inspiring and uplifting weekend.
We have a few spaces left at the Summer Soul Retreat (22nd to 24th June) in the beautiful Didlington Manor in Norfolk.
We combine Vital Danza along with the Law of Attraction principles – plus meditation, self-enquiry, stillness and ceremony.

It may be the dancing that takes you out of your comfort zone or it may be the authentic stripping away of your stories that scares you – either way, I can guarantee you that it will be a truly inspiring weekend and your life will never be quite the same again. How bold of me to say that hey…. but I know it to be true, as I have seen again and again the transformation of those beautiful souls who have joined us in the past at other Soul Retreats. If you are hearing the calling too, do check out my website for full details and testemonials and do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all.