Living Life Sideways: A continued movement towards an increasingly happy and fulfilled life, as an ever clearer expression of our highest ideals and insights.

Welcome

This is About You, Not Me

Apparently this is where I’m meant to tell you about me. Show how relatable I am, tell you about all my qualifications and stuff. Sure, I’ve got a nice life, but I’m not selling you my life. And I’ve learnt a lot, in many fields. But I won’t bore you with that. 

This is about you, not me.

I’m here to reflect what is going on for you, and help you to transcend it. 

Think of me like a genie in a Gorgeous lamp
So What are you Wishing For?

You found the shiny lamp of this website in the dusty cupboard that is the internet, so I know there’s a wish or three. 

What is it you are wishing for? 

The first wish will be what you believe you SHOULD want. 

The second wish will be what believe you NEED. 

And the third? That’s the one I most want to hear. The hidden wish. It’s the one I already know, because it echoes in every heartbeat: 

The desire, right here, right now, to BE brilliantly, transparently, shamelessly happy, free and at peace with all that is*.

(* And trust me, if you want to be a warrior, an entrepreneur, or an adventurer, being at peace with all that is, this is your foundation and your springboard, into truly inspired action and living.) 

Working together

Of course, we’ll work on what you think you should want, for as long as it looks important: to be kinder, more successful, enlightened(!)…

And we will definitely look at what you think you need, because there will almost certainly be trauma to clear, habits to break and simple, old-fashioned personal growth. But what you’re really growing into is your own true self – the essence of our being…

So, sooner or later, we’ll go to the root of every other wish, and explore the nature of being, the nature of happiness and the nature of freedom.  In other words, we’ll explore, establish and deepen into what it is be brilliantly, transparently, shamelessly happy, free and at peace with all that is – to be YOU.

Are you ready to voice your wishes? 

I’m Sara. I’m a writer, a teacher and a guide.  I offer one-to-one support, online groups or courses, and physical products (books and other things) in each of my three main areas of work:

–DISCERNMENT A deeper understanding of the person, through systematic enquiry and intuitive conversation.

–NONDUALITY A simple, mature, integrated sense of the authentic nature of being, and the living of it.

–WELLBEING A restorative space to face problems and aspirations (in body, mind or spirit) without prejudice.

These three strands have a single guiding principle of continued movement towards an increasingly happy and fulfilled life, as an ever clearer expression of our highest ideals and insights. There is an alchemy that occurs when we weave the strands together, which enables us to see behind the facade of what we’ve been told life is. I call it “living life sideways”.

You are very welcome to browse this site, and do get in touch if you have questions. 

* My work is not suggested to be an alternative to medical referral, psychological treatment or specialist training. It stands alongside and supports these modalities. 

Sara Priestley
About
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Introduction

I’ve got a diverse background across a number of disciplines. Learning is a passion of mine, leading to several post-grad and professional qualifications in different fields, including theology, psychology, teaching and physiology. My goal is to support you on your journey to a rounded, embodied nondual understanding, because that is the most reliable foundation for a lived experience of peace, love and freedom.

Why "Living Life Sideways"?

On old movie sets, it was common to create a facade, supported by scaffolding, instead of full buildings. From the front it looked real, but from the side you knew it was something else entirely. Knowing this doesn’t change the enjoyment of the movie – indeed it might be enhanced by knowing what everything is made of. Having seen behind the facade of life, you can’t be fooled by appearances any more – even as you willingly engage with what shows up.

Movie set facade and scaffolding
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Latest Article

A PARADIGM SHIFT

Our paradigm is how we see all of life – a worldview, if you like. When it shifts, it’s like being turned upside down and shaken.

It might be tempting to describe any paradigm shift as a once-in-a-lifetime event, and therefore a revelation of truth. Yet if we hold each shift lightly, we find it’s simply one step on a path (progressive, direct or pathless).

One marker for major shifts is the person you believe yourself to be.

Level 1: Paradoxically, the ‘second person’. Now, in this paradigm, the language may still be “I”, not “you” – but look more at the content of the self-talk and mental chatter: Whether the word is used or not, the implication is “YOU should have done better, YOU are a failure, YOU are a hero, YOU need to speak your truth, he was mean to YOU, she was friendly to YOU.” A lot of the chatter at this level is based around blame, guilt or self-promotion. Everything is a comparison: worse, better, bigger, small, more valid, less valid. The mental voice is the cheerleader, the abuser, the comrade in misery. This is the level of the victim or the zealot.

Level 2a: The ‘first person’. The realisation of “I”, rather than “you”. A vast reduction in mental chatter. Ironically, much less comparison. This level can equally be lived in concepts of duality, nonduality, or mysticism – each one slightly deeper than the last. It’s a happy place to be, and the target of good psychological intervention, and much religious or spiritual teaching. The most useful thing to understand is that this is a progression, not a destination, but it might be where we hang out for a lifetime. This is the level of the contented activist, the happy human, or the channel.

Level 2b: The ‘third person’. The witness. The pinnacle of some religious or spiritual traditions. This comes with a sense of distance from the person, like watching a movie. There may still be a person, but the person is “she/he/they”. This level is characterised by much less emotion and a high sense of freedom. It also comes with a vastly reduced or non-existent sense of self and sense of humanity – if there is no self, there is no one to feel anything, so nothing really matters, beyond the witnessing. This is the level of the observer, and can deepen forever.

I’m calling this 2b, because while most who move along the path experience it at least briefly, there are a number of possible next steps:

  • in fear of the dwindling sense of humanity, a reactive kick to level 1;
  • in recognising this is not a very integrated space, back to level 2a;
  • in enjoying the freedom and distance from emotion, a settling into level 2b;
  • in choosing not to go back, a step into level 3.

Level 3: The ‘zero person” perspective. This is a content-less perspective. The only direct experience is seen as such. There is no movie to watch, and no one to watch it. And the wonder of this level is that deepening into it often leads us to live ‘as though’ level 2a.

This level is the fulness of the nondual teaching. To see the wholeness of all experience, because all there ever is, is THIS. In seeing the completeness of experience, using one apparent part to battle another apparent part becomes nonsensical – because each apparent part is the whole.

That is important: each apparent part IS the whole.

There is no paradox in living an emotionally rich, integrated and engaged life at this level, because THAT is all there is. This is, clearly, the level of wholeness.

There are many other ways to describe the path of paradigm shifts, but this is simple in its clarity: our paradigm, the apparent reality we live in, will show up in the perspective of self.

Are you living from the second person, the first person, the third person, or the zero person perspective?

With Love,
Sara

All Writings & More

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Articles

My weekly nondual blog, with nothing off the table.

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Books

Published poetry and photo-illustrated mini bites of inspiration.

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Telling Tales

Explorations in stories, poetic form and messages.

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Video & Audio

Meditations, teachings, and spoken word poetry.

writing gallery

Writing Gallery

An easy glimpse into a collection of some of my writings.

In realising our own essential Self as timeless, aware presence, nothing is lost. There was never a single thing to lose. Everything is just as it ever was. But known. Known in the full, delicious, raw beauty of it all. Known clearly as our own true nature.

With Love,
Sara