Book Review: Making Happy Work by Mick Timpson
Have you become overwhelmed with all the things you feel you have to do? Do you feel as if you are forcing yourself through each day, waiting until all the tasks are done before you can feel any joy? Have you lost faith in yourself to grow and change after taking on transformational challenges only to fall at the first hurdle? Have you forgotten what it is to hope for a better tomorrow among the thorny tangle of today?
Mick Timpson tackles just this phenomenon in his book “Making Happy Work” which is a beginner’s guide to navigating the modern world with meditation. I have been meditating for over five years now and have developed a practice that has allowed me to move towards a life where I am changing from the inside out; where what I do is connected to who I am; and where a state of flow is not a mystical impossible dream but a daily reality. This book can help to do the same for you.
In the book Mick talks about preparing the ground ready for what is underneath to emerge into the light, positing that what we are looking for outside of ourselves is in fact buried within. In order to connect with it we need to stop grabbing for what is beyond us and instead go deep into ourselves and learn to observe and accept what we find.
As the flowers of Spring emerge from the barren winter landscape we can see that this is certainly true for the natural world. Bulbs that have sat long under the earth are now wriggling into the sunlight, the trumpets of daffodils and the delicate white snowdrops reminding us that life is a cycle, that rebirth is only possible after the ground has been cleared and time has passed. And we are a part of that natural world, however unnatural our surroundings or our lives have become.
In the same way that a tree or a plant requires certain conditions to be met before it can grow and reach its full expression the same is true of us. I love rhododendron plants and tried to grow one in my garden, only to find it lamely wilting by my fence while others grew into magnificent bushes full of colour and grace. No amount of fancy plant food or careful cultivation helped it to change. It was in the wrong place and not being treated as it should.
We do this to ourselves. We plant ourselves in the wrong place and then do what we think we ought, what we have heard will make us feel better, become stronger, develop success. This doesn’t work because it is change from the outside in, true growth is motivated from inside and emerges into the world because of who we are.
This growth is challenging but effortless, it happens because we are and we do what we are propelled to do from an internal motivation. This is the growth which comes from deep self- awareness developed through a practice of listening, of meditation.
Mick Timpson takes the reader through a cycle of understanding, allowing them to rediscover their neglected being, to recognise that they are not what they do, feel, sense or think but the one that watches and the one that is aware of this awareness. From this position as witness we can learn to accept the chatter in our minds; let the sensations in our bodies pass by; and release ourselves from the attachment we have to our habits and the things we believe we need.
Free from what we have believed ourselves to be we are able to prepare the ground and watch as our fertile souls find their way into the light. We are incredible, to be human is a super experience yet we limit ourselves as we search for safety and comfort. But we are not meant for something so mean. We are meant to grow, to develop, to explore and to thrive.
Within Mick’s book is a cycle with exercises to take you on a journey into yourself. It doesn’t require a robe or a chant or any incense. All you need is yourself and somewhere to sit in peace. Meditation is not for the elite, the super successful, or the deeply spiritual, though it may over time bring you into those categories. It is for everyone and gives us all space to let go of what we don’t need, a spring clean for the soul.
The cycle takes you through the various distractions that our ego uses to hide us from our true selves; the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations that niggle us and keep us trapped. As we pull back from them into a space where we can see them, they are free to move through us and we develop a new way of knowing. From here, this place as witness, we become connected to the seeds of intuition and insight that were planted in us and have been waiting for us to tend them, to find them the right place to thrive.
As we commit to this practice, day by day, we find more wisdom in ourselves, less stress; more patience, less effort; more compassion, less frustration; and like the daffodils of spring we emerge into the light ready to bloom in the gentle glow of the season’s sunshine.
So, read this bookand let Mick guide you into the beginnings of a meditation practice. Through this daily discipline declutter yourself from all the things you think you need, clear the soil and step back. Let yourself rest and wait with faith that you have all that you will ever need, and watch as hope springs from your soul, ready for you to bloom into a life you love.
If you enjoyed this blog please look out for the next one on the power of hope, and