Tuesday 29 November 2011

Love heals

Our fears reflect our hurts, according to Marianne Williamson.  The parts of ourselves that we want to hide, to protect, to cover up and defend are those parts of ourselves, of our character, where we have been hurt in the past.

This makes perfect sense to me; the characteristics that I was praised for, I accept and allow to shine.  The characteristics I was rebuked for or that were made fun of by the people who mattered at that time, I tend to hide.  Yet most of those characterisitics are not necessarily 'bad'; they were just not acceptable then.

When they are pointed out now, I get defensive and either pull back or react unconsciously, attempting to distract my 'enemy' with a smart comment, joke, or an equally wounding observation about them.  After all, we do know where our loved-ones buttons are located too.

The way to heal our wounds, thereby healing our fears, is through love and acceptance, Williamson says.  When we are seen and accepted, without judgement, the wounded parts we hide seem to soften and, over time, they melt and disappear.

This is one of the spiritual purposes of intimate relationships, healing through love.  When we provide a safe space for our loved ones to be, without censure or judgement, we create a healing space for them and for ourselves.  When we accept them as they are, not for how we want them to be, we create a healing space for them and for ourselves.

I have to admit that I'm not there yet.  I still give out to Dirk (thereby creating a wounding) for the most mundane things.  But at least Williamson's perspective has given me a vision of how I would like our family life to be, a vision of a safe, loving and healing space for all of us.  And it is towards that vision that I strive now, even if I haven't made it yet.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Miracles do happen

I lost my mobile phone on Saturday.  I only realised it when Dirk rang the number so I could find it!  I couldn't find it.  But someone did answer the phone.

"Are you looking for your phone back?" they asked.

Dirk quickly handed me the phone!

"Em, yes please...?" I replied, somewhat sheepishly.

"You must have left it here, at the coffee kiosk at the Christmas Fair, come and collect it," replied a very warm and helpful voice.

Here's the anomaly, while we were at the Christmas Fair, I was no where near the coffee kiosk.  How ever my phone left my bag, it made its way through at least one helpful person who handed it into the lovely lady at the kiosk.

London living can be quite taxing: the crowds, the speed, the stress... but in moments like this, when a chain of kind strangers reunite me with my smart phone, I cannot help but be impressed by the kindness of strangers.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

New dawn, same path

I love being a mother, but when everyone else has jobs as well as motherhood, I wonder who am I to be so lucky that I can spend this time with my son.  I know it's because I haven't got any of the jobs I've applied for, so it's a double edged sword.  On the one side, I'm delighted to have the time with James and on the other side, I wonder how I'm so unemployable.

Thank goodness sleep cleanses the mind.  I'm not feeling so forlorn or failing as last night.  I am on my path.  Patience.

Recently, facebook suggested as a 'friend' a teacher I really admire.  I would never have thought of friending her, as I simply assumed she was too far outside my league but, according to facebook, we had two mutual friends.  Who could they be?

When I checked, I could have laughed.  Of course it was them!  They are my successful friends, the two who are known internationally in their chosen fields.  But, as I thought about them, what struck me is how different they are from each other.  One uses every ounce of her will power to achieve all that she has achieved.  The other is constantly surrendering every situation to a higher power, waiting for her intuition to show her the next step.

If I'm like one of them, it's the Surrenderer.  That is my path, my natural way.  I believe that the spiritual path must surely be one that calls forth and amplifies the best in us, not forces us to be what we are not. Applying this to my fear of not living up to my potential, of not being 'enough', brought two insights.

First, I realised that the divine isn't looking at me thinking, 'she's so lazy'.  No, that's me.  That's my ego.  That's my fear speaking.  It's not the thought of divine love.  Seeing myself from a different perspective, outside myself, I realised that I'm not being lazy, and God is not judging me harshly: I'm the only one doing that.

The second thing I realised was that my path is where it is right now.  I may wish for a path that has more social status, higher visiblity, or a more socially endorsed contribution, but that is not where I am.

With time, this too will change, and I will know what to do and when, by surrendering and listening for the voice of intuition, feeling for the tug of soul.

Monday 21 November 2011


When I die, what would I like to be remembered for?  Why would I have made a difference?  What would my legacy be? 

Perhaps it's full-time motherhood, perhaps it's not getting a job yet, but I'm wondering what's the purpose of my life.  While James is the most incredible blessing, I just can't help wondering what I have to show for my life... perhaps at this point, I should buy a red sports car!  Oh yes, no job, so no sports car - darn it, I thought that might help!

I would like to be remembered for making a real contribution to making the world a more peaceful and loving place.  That's what I care about: love and peace.  That is what matters to most people, once they stop thinking about the bills... or sports cars.   Every one of us has an internal homing beacon, quietly calling out for peace and love.

We are looking to feel peaceful, whether that's deep self-acceptance, or trust that the universe will provide for us and that our needs will be met.  And we are searching for love, to give it, to receive it and, to experience deep self-acceptance, self-love.

Identifying what truly, deeply matters to me is wonderful.  But it's just a first step.  I have no idea how to apply that in this world.  And, more disappointingly, I find I have difficulty even summening these qualities in my own life at the moment. 

Is it because society values work above all other occupations?  Possibly.  Being a full-time mum isn't given much kudos in society at present, which is typical of a society that undervalues what is of true import. 

I have lost myself to the 'outer world' and that's the wrong place to search for love and peace.  What matters, I'm learning, is the inner world.  It is only within that I can create peace and love for myself, regardless of what is happening in the external world.  No one and no thing can ever do that for me.

And again... Breathe in... Breathe out... Breathe in...

Thursday 17 November 2011

Inside out

I think I have lived my life on three dimensions.  Indeed, I continue to do so, for better or worse.  There is the external world, the world of coming and going, doing and achieving, acting and reacting.  That's the every day world that I get lost in, time and again, day in, day out.  I get lost in it and think it's real, that the slings and arrows that abound can hurt me.

Then there's the internal mind world.  That's where I think about the external world: I plan, I dream; I fear, I regret; I act and react. I'm thinking about what's going on, about the slings and arrows, lost in the drama of it, all this glorious doing and thinking.

The third world is the internal heart world.  That's where I be.  That's the space of peace and of love, of acceptance and surrender.  This is where I reconnect with the person I am becoming, it is where the best of me resides.

It takes so much mindfulness to return to this world, the inner world of the heart.  It is from here that I draw strength and optimism, insight and compassion.  I believe that heaven on earth is when we move from our heads to our hearts, from fear to love.  When we live from the inside out.

Monday 14 November 2011

Transforming the Path

There is not one friend of mine at present who is not facing a significant life challenge.  My life is no different.  Indeed, in almost every life, there will be one theme, one aspect, one drama that keeps on playing itself out in various guises, time and time again. 

This is our archtypal quest.  The path that provides us with the greatest opportunities for growth.  For most of my life, I've tried to change the world outside, to deal with the challenge, to find the solution: in short, to get rid of the problem.  Because once the problem is gone, I will feel better.  Yes? 

No.   That is the logic of the mind and fear.  I'm no longer convinced that this is the solution.  Rather than resist our Dao, our Way, our Path, perhaps it is in accepting and embracing our Path that the breakthrough happens. 

I am increasingly inclined to believe that transformation occurs within, not without.  Transforming my Inner world is what will lead to transformation in my Outer world.  Tapping into forgiveness, patience, kindness, peace or even love, any positive emotion, brings us one step closer to living through our hearts, to living through love.  We may even have to forgive ourselves for being so very harsh with ourselves every time we have walked the path up to now.

We are all faced with challenges.  If we can remain open, if we can respond with curiosity, kindness and patience, then we can begin to generate deep transformation in our Inner world.  Then the happenings of the Outer world affect us less.  And ultimately, I believe, the Path will become effortless, because the learning will be complete, so it will have served its purpose.  And its purpose is our healing.

Sunday 13 November 2011

Just one step ahead

I've read so much about manifestation and the power of positive thinking and I've come to the conclusion that, clearly, reading is different to doing or being.  Or even manifesting, in this this case.  We still live in our 'bijou' one-bed flat and somehow, the eight-bedroomed Georgian country house has not manifested!

I realise that I have been feeling an undercurrent of guilt that I have not managed to manifest a job or a house (not even a two bedroomed house with potential).  I have been supressing a small voice that has worried that I have somehow 'not done it properly' or that I must be too negative a person if our life circumstances haven't changed. 

Today, Sam, suggested that nothing in life is about going from A to Z in a single bound.  At best, we can from from A to B.  And then on to C.  Society appears to be obsessed with instant change at the moment: instant fame, instant house make overs, instant millionaires, instant body changes.  For a very small minority, this may happen, but for most of us, life is more gentle, more incremental and less radical.

So Sam's idea, to focus on the next small step; to imagine the next possible good thing in life is a much gentler approach, a much kinder approach. 

Keeping hope alive is good, because I believe it helps us stretch ourselves to our next point of growth.  Paradoxically, this is juxtaposed with my own belief that accepting the present, rather than trying to force the future, may just be my path.  While the instant millionnaire makeover is possible, gently appreciating what is, is where true peace is found, not yearning, wanting, guilt or fear.

Monday 7 November 2011


I'm not sure how it got there, but lying under our bed, was an angel card.  If it were our bed at home, I could understand it, but the bed in a holiday gite in France?  That seemed a little special.

When I turned over the card, it read "Transformation".  I was excited.  I thought this heralded a new start, wonderful happenings... a lighter brighter me.  I was wrong.

I feel as though I have been living in a hall of mirrors for the past two months.  Every negative thought, word and deed has been mirrored grotesquely back to me.  Last night I told Dirk that I used to think I was a nice person, but all I can see right now is the less-than-beautiful knots in my character.  It has started to wear me down.  Where does all this meanness, lack of forgiveness, and sarcasm come from?

I felt as though I was going backwards: that is if there is a backwards or forwards in the spiritual journey: until today.  This morning I read that when we invite the divine into our lives, when we pray to be transformed so that our light shines more brightly - as I have done - it is not the beauty that comes forth. 

It's the muck that lies below the surface that bubbles up, for those are the spots outside comfort zones, the points where we live in fear, not love. 

The process of transformation is to burn through those shadows, like the sun evaporating the early morning mist.  The ride is bumpy, but the secret, they say, is not to believe in the illusion of the shadows and to focus on the light.  It's form of mental discipline to keep returning to the heart, to love and acceptance, each time I stumble into fearful thoughts.

It is a comfort to know that I am on point ... all appearances to the contrary! 

Tuesday 1 November 2011

The Velvet Revolution

Our world is broken on so many levels that the challenge of healing the hurt and pain that oozes from every aspect of our society can feel overwhelming. Society globally is calling out for a makeover.  Not the external kind: an internal makeover.  A shift from head to heart, from fear to love, from cynicism to trust.

No prophet has ever preached fear.  They come in love, they offer us love and they invite us to love.  It could not be simpler, it could not be kinder and it could not be gentler.  It is a velvet revolution of the heart.

None of us are asked to get from A to Z, to change the world single handedly.  We are, however, invited to change our corner of the world, to step from A to B.  The easiest, fastest way to do this is to open our hearts.  Moving from fear to love, from despair to hope, from cynicism to kindness is the most immediately impactful action any of us can take to begin healing our planet.

I know from my own life that moving out from behind my armor is not always easy, but it is rewarding, I finally feel that no matter how minute a contribution my kindness may make, it is indeed that: a genuine contribution to the velvet revolution of love that is swaddling our hearts and swaddling our planet.

The Velvet Makeover

Television is obsessed with makeover shows.  Their appeal lies in their ability to bring out the inner beauty that we all believe resides deep within us.  If only someone could see it...

Our inner beauty is not a figment of our imagination.  It is real.  Each and every one of us has a unique beauty, but most of us have erected walls around ourselves and our wounds, preventing others from approaching us honestly, genuinely and openly.  In guarding ourselves from possible pain, we hide our own light and deprive those around us from the warmth and comfort our light could offer them.

While we cannot all appear on makeover shows to reveal our inner godess, we can all reveal our inner goodness.  We can allow the light we have hidden for so long to shine on others.  This is the light of charisma and genuine charm. 

It is our inner light, our kind gaze, our compassionate listening that allows others to feel nourished and beautiful in our company.  In creating our own inner makeover, we automatically call forth the deep inner beauty of others.  As we reflect our light, from one to another, we enlighten ourselves and our world.