Antidotes to unworkable beliefs

I first encountered Colette Brown (no relation!) by reading her book, Maybe the universe just isn’t that into you. As a reviewer I get exposed to New Age writing, much of which makes me want to cry. Colette’s book is a brilliant antidote to this. It’s a small, punchy and amusing read, which lead me to contact the author and ask if she’d do me an interview. So, here we are, and here it is!

Nimue: Maybe the universe just isn’t that into you, made me wonder if you had been subjected to one piece of new age silliness too many. Was there a final straw that prompted you to write?
Colette: Actually it was a build up over a few months. I had watched an acquaintance forge forward with what seemed like a very daft idea ‘because this is what the Universe wants of me’. That in itself wasn’t that bad but the venture itself would involve other people. When it failed I was upset for good folk who had invested in it. Then I thought ‘when will it be ‘a lesson from the universe?’ and sure are goodness that is the next thing I heard from the acquaintance! Simply a bad decision being flaunted as ‘lesson’.
At the same time I had been reading daily inspirations from a site on the Internet and was becoming bored by the way they all seemed to be saying the same thing day after day. To be truthful, I didn’t find them inspiring as most seemed to be saying if you could visualise success, then you could achieve it. I thought this was a bit much if you were starving in a third world country, had a terminal disease or were long term unemployed. The flip side of it seemed to be saying that circumstances play no part in life and to almost be blaming folk for their ‘failure’ even if they had no control over their circumstances. What annoyed me is that I still looked for these ‘inspirations’ and was hooked in case I missed a good one. They can be addictive.
Then I read something on Facebook along the lines of ‘God only gives the strongest warriors the pain and suffering’. Like pain and suffering was gifted to strong resilient folk but that God avoided giving it to wee sensitive weak folk? NOT TRUE!
It just seemed one thing after another. Spiritual people following ideologies like sheep, disrespect to higher beings like angels who seemed ‘on call’ for anyone who cared to turn an angel card and people spouting conspiracy theories online. I was ranting about it all to my husband, injecting humour so that it didn’t depress me and he said simply ‘write all this down’ . So I did and that is how the book came about.
I consider myself spiritual. I do believe that in the correct circumstances, with the correct intent and a lot of hard work, that we can work with the Universe to make things the best they can be. But there are times when ‘maybe the universe just isn’t that into you’ and you know, that is ok too.

Nimue: I share your unease about ‘failure to achieve’. That’s troubled me with New Agey stuff for a long time. We can’t all be winners, logically. What have you found most helpful when you’ve been learning?

Colette: I am an avid reader so I found it easy to read lot on lots of different subjects and then dispense with books or ideas that didn’t suit me. You have to be discerning as there is a lot out there and not all of it is good. I also found a strong connection with the tarot early on and found that it became such an amazing tool for self-knowledge and personal development.
I have been lucky to have some wonderful teachers i.e. people who walked their talk and informed me of it but then let me make up my own mind on it. The best teachers are the ones who simply live it and don’t preach or stifle your own thoughts.
I also have felt that my instincts have served me well. If something seems too good to be true, it normally is. I like simplicity. There are so many terms out there just now that simply don’t mean anything or are confusing to say the least. If your brain can’t understand the name of a workshop or therapy, then be wary! Either it will be a rehash of something else or it will be something you have to pay to understand the intricacies of or become ‘apprenticed ‘ to.
My family and husband have also made my spiritual life very easy for me. They accepted that it is who I am and that without it, I lose me!

Nimue: Not everyone seems to know where to find their intuition, much less how to trust it. Any other suggestions for how to tap into the innate knowing we probably do have somewhere…?

Colette: The fact is that we are sentient beings so we all do have intuition. I liken it to having the potential to play the piano: some folk can be very good piano players if they practice and give time to it. Others may well be more talented as such and have a more impressive natural gift. If they use this natural gift AND practice, then that will bring the most successful connection.
So I feel that first we must accept that we are all intuitive to different degrees and practice as much as we can to achieve our own personal best. To me there has to be time, discipline and energy given to this pursuit, even if you are a natural. A friend of mine who is a very respected astrologer told me he thought that I was like a psychic athlete who flexed and honed their psychic muscle every day as I meditated and did readings most days. So I think maybe we need to think of our psychic senses as muscles and feed them good spiritual food and exercise them a lot but not too much.
My basic requirements for this are: solitude, nature, meditation, mantras and prayer, burning herbs, and my trusty tarot deck.

Nimue: There’s a lot of warm humour in your book…. who makes you laugh?

Colette: I have always loved observational humour and for me the best with this is Eddie Izzard. He can make something as mundane as hoovering so funny. I was also blessed to see the late great Les Dawson live before he died and laughed for weeks after it.
I laugh at myself a lot too. I am dyslexic and some of the faux pas in my writing can be so funny. Thank Goddess for great copyeditors! I am a real people watcher and can find humour in most situations. But I don’t like humour that is cruel or divisive.
My previous book was Weegie Tarot which was the tarot Fool’s Journey set in the east end of Glasgow. This gave me so much fun as I had worked there for many years as a pharmacist and so enjoyed the humour of the people. I relayed stories I had heard and some from my own experiences and chuckled so much as I wrote it. Of course it was sad too……
I feel that many spiritual people can take themselves far too seriously. I think we all need to lighten up and have more fun with life. If a ritual or ceremony goes a wee bit wrong and something funny happens, it is ok to laugh. I don’t feel that the ancestors were humourless!

Nimue: Where can interested people find you online?

Colette: my website is http://www.coletteclairvoyant.webs.com my facebook is Colette Brown ( author) or colette clairvoyant.

Colette Brown MRPharmS
author of
Tarot Novice to Pro in One Book (Nov 2011)
Menopause a Natural and Spiritual Journey ( May 2012)
Weegie Tarot Life of a Foolish Man(October 2012)

coming in 2013….
Maybe The Universe Just Isn’t That Into You
How to Read an Egg

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Antidotes to unworkable beliefs

  • syrbal

    I’m so glad I am not alone in getting fed up with the New Age suck-up to the Prosperity Gospel routine, nor alone in seeing en-nobeling of suffering as the wrong direction away from RELIEVING suffering.

    Both of those faults have a ‘blame the victim’ taint about them that drives me nuts!

  • Graeme K Talboys

    I have a friend who pronounces New Age so it rhymes with sewage.

  • Alex Jones

    I have been exposed to New Age thinking since childhood, I agree that most of what is hung under the name New Age is ignorant and deluded.

  • janecolbourne

    What a relief to hear someone saying what I was thinking! We can take all life’s experiences as lessons if we choose to and this is how we grow, but I have become very sceptical about events happening to us because it is “destiny”. And yes, we’re none of us that important. I guess people just try to find some sense of meaning and purpose in life.

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