A Privileged Life

From Ashley in Cambridge, UK

A Privileged Life

AshleyI feel incredibly privileged to be alive, to have this life I have, to have whatever time I have to be on this amazing planet. It came as a feeling vast, expansive and urgent that I didn’t quite know what to do with (there was a little pull to panic). I got it sitting in my seat, waiting for my night flight to take off from New York to London on Sunday night after a weekend workshop called Transformation in the Workplace with Ariel and Shya Kane. It had been an unreasonable weekend. I booked my flight the day before I left, making arrangements for my children to be looked after, shifting the class I teach, and surrendering an opportunity to see the New Zealand All Blacks (my home country’s brilliant rugby team) perform in the Rugby World Cup. But I had been inspired by an international teleconference call with the Kanes the Tuesday night before where something so simple and beautiful happened just by gathering and listening to Ariel and Shya and each other. I was inspired by Vicky van Praag an incredible artist and beautiful woman in whose home we gathered for the call and by her amazing and talented daughter the author Menna van Praag who is a gift to all who encounter her. I was inspired by what I saw happen to the people in the room around me.

The next day I woke up with a soft almost nonchalant kind of feeling that I’d like to go to New York that weekend. Of course all sorts of thoughts came flying in about the irresponsible, unreasonableness of it. But I went. And thanks to Ariel and Shya and the brilliant people who attend their workshops I feel grateful for my life. Up until now I have been buried in complaint and anger and victimizing myself and hurting others. I didn’t see how I was being passive in my life, not participating fully, expecting others to do it for me. I wasn’t comfortable seeing some of the ways I have gone about life but for the first time I feel I have the possibility of expanding my awareness rather than working on myself.

Funny thing is a while ago I came across a really neat graphic design print that said ‘New York is always a good idea’. I really liked it but didn’t buy it. But the idea clearly got through, even if it was a little last minute.

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