Life has always gone in phases and fads and looking back at what was once our intense desire or fascination becomes laughable – indeed my recollections of a house full of home brew kit stewing nicely on the boiler and my home-made ginger beer exploding on top of the kitchen units and one has to ask what on earth were we thinking! Yet it was fashion and all my friends had downstairs’ bathrooms loaded with undrinkable home-made wine festering in huge glass jars and had more in common with some form of cleaning spirit than anything lovingly nurtured from grape to eventual bottle. What was worse was that these unholy terrors were unleashed at dinner parties and the guests had to endure someone else’s enthusiastically delivered horror when they had so successfully left theirs at home where it belonged, in the bathroom!

Our lives are often dominated, albeit unwittingly, by others. I had lived years blissfully unaware that my troubles with dividing and sharing ginger beer plants was about to commence in earnest and this became an albatross around my neck but I did it because it was what people were doing – cool if you like. Can’t say that I ever even liked the stuff and certainly not in the factory quantities I was outputting and as everyone had a child, niece, nephew who was also filling their kitchens with exploding glue, it became harder to shift than the result from another “incident”.

How many experimented with using fabric softener for hair conditioner? For a mind-boggling time it became an unhealthy fad in our area at least.

Clothes dyeing became a cool trend which caused mass misery as older siblings threw younger siblings’ clothes into the washing machine with an unpleasant smirk and the favoured colour of the moment was the only sight on the washing line as tops, skirts, tights all became “puce”, much to the delight of one and absolute horror of the other.

Thinking also goes in fads and becomes as much an expected behaviour and with as ridiculous results. It goes without saying that we become who we surround ourselves with and those then become our bar – we either lower it to accommodate our friends and family, or we raise it and step up to the added behaviours expected of us to fit in. We all know of children who were teased or worse for carrying a violin to school and as a result gave up – why? Those teasing were not in a position to judge and who says that violin is not “cool”? Just a few seem to hold the secret cards of what is, and what is not, cool at the time. Having been through several “cool” dynasties, I have to say it is with great relief that I would walk through a mall in shorts carrying a violin with my hair dyed green and not care – that has been a long and worthwhile journey and ensures me a ginger beer- free future and it is worth it!

Always being sure you are surrounded by people who think on similar, not the same, just sharing the same core values, is vitally important and some friendships reveal a middle ground where we all get on no matter what if those cored values are honoured. I value freedom of choice in medicine and love the success which some alternative fields of medicine enjoy and have found health myself this way and urge others to seek ways of finding positive results without the harmful chemicals and yet one of my close friends is in the government health service and trains people in top level investigative methods and yet we get on so well – her values regarding life, children, food, friends, fun and wine are totally in accord – so we are able to enjoy a great friendship of support and merriment without it conflicting with just the one area of difference. Most focus on the difference and make it the entire reason for not being friendly and yet we have far, far more in common that we do differences.

Also another colourful character was a friend, let us call him Martin, who, after a considerable time together proclaimed he would never leave live anywhere but England (one town in particular) and of course it became such a source of difference that I did leave as it was important to me to be flexible and I loved living in new places and that would have been a huge abyss between us – me flighty and adventurous and him wanting to stay in the same town for ever. Sadly that was that and I packed my bags and could almost see the person he would be settling down with and it would be someone who would keep to a routine, be fun at the most appropriate times, buy raffle tickets at the local events (and win), exchange plant cuttings, contest change vociferously, be kind to everyone and never dare wish to leave this heaven. To me it was a comfortable hell yet here was a bright, funny and kind man destined to stay in the same old hamster wheel. He loved that wheel, got up and polished it each morning, wondered where it would take him and was grateful for it. Who was I to dismiss this shiny wheel of life as a limiting fake – he saw it as the spinning universe, diverse and interesting and filled with potential….he was absolutely right from his perspective too.

Some are saying I was ungrateful and deserved to have a loveless life living in some seedy foreign resort, and they may be right but you have to know that if you are resisting, then one day you are going to kick the stable door down. I would have kicked the house down – so I saved him a miserable time and allowed him to make someone else, on his frequency, very happy indeed. That is enviable frankly and she is a lucky girl. Had I listened to my inner voice I would have side-stepped the entire episode as there was a niggling feeling all along that this was not going to end happily and although I was unsure of why, just listening would have saved us all heartache. We over-think, over-analyse and miss the point entirely.

Clients of mine are familiar with the way I use “pit of hell” to describe what others fondly call “comfort zone”. We are not here just to be comfortable and the so-called comfort zone is too cosy to leave even if nothing in it makes you jump for joy, and nothing in it is so terrible you have to find answers to changing or growing. It can be a place of hypnotic, robotic responses rather than life-force empowering Living.

So how do we know when to battle on stoically, majestically, and when to walk away and say, you know, this is comfortable and cosy and I am just so unhappy? The Solar Plexus area is the key here – always. It is the soft, belly bit between the bosom and the belly button and it is, importantly, where we feel our personalities, our innermost truths, our best and our worst are fully represented here, nowhere to hide and this is where we should retreat to find our answers to our most important questions.

I shall repeat that – the soft underbelly bit between our chest and waist is the place where we access our preferences. “Easy, peasy”, you say, well not so actually as we are not taught to listen to this aspect of our natural selves and you ignore it manifesting in children as they have “tummy ache” and vomit at everything they are not pleased with. An incident which still brings a smile to me is of my being in the back of our car and my parents were discussing something which upset me and I felt strongly enough to remove my thumb and announce in plenty of time, that I felt sick. My parents looked around at a pink cheeked chubby face and announced authoritatively that I was fine – sadly my emotional system remained unconvinced and I managed to throw up over my father who was driving – I forget whether my mother’s joy or his anger won the day.

They had said I was fine yet my system was more effective, thank you, and it was shouting out loud but nobody heard so it served them right! Thumb was back in – triumphant!

The whole point of this system is that it is our own navigational system and is supremely powerful as a technique for guiding us through life smoothly and effectively. Even when we use it we tend to mess it up as we are untrained in it. Frankly our pets have a complete advantage over us when it comes to using the skills we were given – we are fantastically underpowered in the areas of natural ability and would last five minutes having to rely on our natural abilities. Animals who hunt in packs do not have protracted strategic management meetings prior to the attack, outlining courses of action should such resistance be met or one get sick or a target animal turn and bite back – they just go for it and work as one silently and yet in unison. They second-guess each other and know exactly what the other is doing as a strategy and they work in balletic formation to secure the result. They do it in silence as a group and, most importantly, as one mind.

It is this one mind which is key. We are unique yet within the one mind – so we are meant to be us, to be that quirky mix of emotional complexity and to simultaneously enjoy that place of one-ness, knowing all along that the “one mind” is the one driving us to our uniqueness so we can never be alone, or get it wrong. Listen to that vital energy source the Solar Plexus, that epicentre of the emotional world which drives our desires and fears and makes sure we are alerted to all options with preferences outlined clearly by feelings. It might just save us a ton of illness and anger later and leave “cool” alone – it means we are not dipping into the reservoir of ourselves and that is denying our divinity.

About the Author:

To contact Penny Dee send an e-mail to

One-to-one coaching and workshops available. Coaching includes energy coaching all ages, sport energy coaching for juniors and spiritual coaching including alternative health coaching as experience of some of the best in the world.

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