Being in Hawaii with my family and having time to walk rain forests, and surf beaches with mountains with waterfalls in the background, and lie in the sun has given me the emotional space to reflect. My meditation practice has been profound whilst away, a luxurious delving into the depths of my soul. It has revealed much to me. Over the last 5 years I have completely turned my life upside down, shaken it up and stirred every pot and emptied every pocket, and dusted every surface. I’ve attracted a lot of advice in these last 5 years. I’ve been keeping my favourites in my notes. I would love to share some with you.
‘You! You want to be a teacher of Vedic meditation, oh…I’m sorry, I need a minute, I just cannot see that happening…wow, seriously, this is what you want to try do??’ (a meditation teacher I once had in a tone far from encouraging)
‘Are you serious? You cannot take one of Australia’s most successful restaurants and flip it into some by the sea diner come bar, for gods sake pull your head in’ (a journalist)
‘There’s no way anyone will take you seriously, you just can’t up and leave marketing and PR and move into teaching meditation and all that shit’ (a friend)
‘If you feel like 45yrs at 32yrs, well it’s all downhill from here, there’s nothing you can do about it’ (an old client. This did not prove to be true, I’ve never felt younger and more alive 3 years later)
‘You’re too strong headed, over 30 and you have a kid, and I’m sorry but basically guys just don’t like women like you, you’re independent and want for nothing, it’s not attractive’ (a well meaning friend. I met Arran a month later)
‘Stop moving house so much, the grass isn’t greener over there’ (a friend. Note, the grass has to date been greener every time)
‘You write that intro to your book, you’ll regret it forever. It’s like streaking naked through a football field, it seems like a good idea at the time but it’s not’ (one of my dearest friends about Mothers Mind Cleanse. I decided to publish it anyway, with trepidation but a commitment to honesty)
‘I would not recommend you take too many people to a country like India on a Retreat, do it slowly, build it no risks, or you’ll fail’ (a colleague)
‘You need to slow down, calm down and stop trying to achieve so much. We don’t do that kind of thing in the Vedic community’ (a colleague)
Other advice I have received…
‘You’re operating at an iota of your capacity Jacqui, continue with passion, with creativity and allow the universe to support you. I believe in you’ (one of my guru’s)
‘Well my darling nothing has ever stopped you from trying, so you just have to follow your heart and trust, trust it will all be ok, that you’re doing good things in the world and that it’ll all work out’ (my mum)
‘You can totally conquer your fears, I do it all the time, the thing is to stop panicking and just breathe, nothing’s going to get you out here’ (Marley to me in regards to snorkeling, and I think this is probably the best advice ever for daily living)
‘Fuck anyone that says guys don’t want women like you’ (my well meaning friends wife)
‘I don’t know most of the time Jac, I don’t understand it all, but I know this, you’re super passionate and you love what you do, so let’s just keep going’ (Arran)
‘You said you would get off your phone when we ate dinner, and eat slowly while you ate. You’re not doing either of those things. You gotta follow through mum’ (Marley)
The thing is I receive and I give advice all the time. Some of it fits and some of it doesn’t. Some if it slaps you in the face so hard it stings with its truth. Some of it is for now, and some of it sits like coffee, is fragrant and percolates and then filters through. Sometimes it’s like making a really beautiful wine, it’s just bitter tasting grapes in the beginning, that over a long period of time, and some transformation and process, turn into something exquisite.
Some of the things that hurt me the most over the last five years have turned over time into what has driven me to prove to myself that it was incorrect. Many times I have lay awake at night, many times I have cried tears of frustration at what I perceived was negative feedback. Then I would work through it, and sometimes realise it had nothing to do with me actually. That their feedback expressed their fears, and what kept them up at night. Some of it is beautiful and profound, and I hold it in my heart, like a tiny bird.
So while we might not get to choose what advice we are given, we can certainly choose what to do with it. Whether that’s bin it or believe it, that’s up to us.