Stepping into the magic

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I’ve been a stranger to this blog for a few months while I wrapped up the loose ends of my life as a corporate communicator…and planned for an entirely new chapter. Now it has arrived, and going to work means heading a few metres to my ‘my home office’ (actually a desk in the bedroom window) to start work on a new book and plan more workshops, I plan to rediscover the joys of writing about what’s on my mind.

There are many, many people I have to thank for having found the courage and inspiration to take this step, but I can pinpoint almost to the day the person who set the ball rolling. That day was in late November 2008, in which the very best of autumn had turned the Lakeland scene to shining gold and ochre. I’d set out from home in Milton Keynes around 4am to arrive at Ambleside, still sleeping under a cloak of mist and woodfires, in time for Gill Edwards’ Living Magically weekend workshop.

I’d come across Gill’s books a few years’ earlier, echoing much of what I had learned from Louise Hay when I trained as a facilitator of her workshops. That training was changing my life, as were the books I was gobbling up from many other self help/new thought writers. But Gill was different because she was writing and teaching in the UK. What’s more she had jettisoned her high pressure work in London to settle in the Lake District. I admired Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Cheryl Richardson and too many more to mention. But I could actually imagine being Gill; unlike the US personal development movement with its almost cult-like language and ideas, it was only a smallish stretch from where I was at the time, writing book proposals and running workshops on the margins of my time while earning my living elsewhere, to a point when I would have the courage to realise the margins are not enough. Certainly not by the time you are into your fifth decade.

I have written in Best Year about the need for us to use our gifts. I have written too about the magic that lies behind our kindnesses and example to others: how we can never know what we seed in others.

Both thoughts take me right back to Gill. That not only was she a role model in how to do the former, but that through her books and workshops she seeded so much in others.

That November workshop three years ago was an inspiration to me, partly because I enjoyed the content, but mainly because, at the end of the weekend Gill beamed her wide smile and told us this would be her last workshop for a while. She was awarding herself time off to work on her next book: six months at least.

I remember how, more than anything else I heard that weekend, that one hit home. Take time out from life to honour what she wanted or needed to do next. And there I was, turning up every day for a job that so many others could do when inside me burned a passion to write my book and tell my truth as she was doing.

A few months later I took that sabbatical and wrote that book - the one this website is all about. Then I went back to the job, but it wasn’t enough. So here I am again, doing a Gill again, taking a leap of faith into the magic that she encouraged us all to find.

Gill died on 19 November, her belief in the magic as strong as ever, as you can see from the words she had organised to be posted on her website after her death. Please read them.

Posted by Jane Matthews on 11/20 at 12:56 PM
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