Wednesday 30 May 2012

Puppy dogs' tails

What are little boys made of?  Frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails, that's what little boys are made of!

I'm beginning to think it's true too!  At 19 months, he's turning into a real boy. He still loves books and In the Night Garden, but his interests are evolving.  He's obsessed with moving stones and pebbles from one place in the garden to another (maybe he has been watching too much Macca Pakka!), finding sticks to poke in earth, and squelching mud in his fingers.

As for acquiring a robust immune system, well, I think he may be ahead of schedule: yesterday's treasures included someone's used chewing gum, a discarded icecream stick, a cigarette butt and two used Q-tips.  Lovely!

He got his first knee graze yesterday as well - running to the shop!  He loves closing other people's gates (that's his father's side, can't abide open doors!), shaking railings - I've no clue! - and jumping on manhole covers to see if they will make a noise. 

When his friend started to cry because he wanted to play with the plastic Hippo while she played with the Zebra, he gave her the Hippo as well.  A proud day for any Mum, especially as I hadn't asked him, it was his idea.

Finally, recently we were driving to a local 'village' recently when James started to cry.  I wondered why he was crying for no apparent reason.  I soon realised: we had passed the turn off for his playgroup, he had thought we were going to playgroup!

As he grows he becomes more fascinating: he's a mix of both his father and myself, as well as characteristics that neither of us recognise.  He is also his own person. 

Tuesday 29 May 2012

The prayer duvet

A few weeks ago I had an accident in the car. I scratched another car, as well as our own.  I was distraught by the incident as I am already an overly cautious driver.

"Why? Why? Why did this happen?" I asked myself over and over again.

Out of the blue, a man whom I had never met before was occupying all my thoughts.  Our paths had crossed and in a very unpleasant way.  Although I was very upset at the time, I was touched by a feeling of pain, or suffering, eminating from the driver of the other car.

"Well," I reasoned, "our lives have connected for a reason.  Nothing is random and, as I have no idea what the reason is, I shall pray for him.  Maybe that will help: it will help me if nothing else."

Random things happen.  When they are good, I give thanks.  When they aren't 'good', I wonder what's gone wrong!  It helps me to make sense of life, to weave an uplifting story, if I imagine that such events are an opportunity to spread love and healing.  Since then I have prayed that the other driver be wrapped in a duvet of love; soft, healing, comforting, and nurturing.

Prayer may have gone out of fashion, but that doesn't mean it is worthless.  Double blind studies have found that patients who receieved prayers, even if they did not know they were being prayed for, recovered faster than those in a control group who received no prayers.  Prayer works.

Monday 28 May 2012

Our two minds

In Eastern cultures, it is accepted that we have two minds, but the concept is much newer in the West.  For us, the thinking mind is the dominant model.  We know we think.  In fact, asked what else our mind does, I think I'd be hard pushed to give an answer.  What else does the mind do?

It is aware.  It observes.  There are many times when we are so lost in a moment that we have no awareness, no ability to observe ourselves or to notice what is unfolding.  We are actors lost in the drama.

The observing mind is more like a director.  It stands back and notices how the drama is unfolding, how the actors are participating.  The observing mind offers us the ability to stand outside ourselves, even while we are involved in the drama. 

Sometimes this can help us to stand back from the situation, to notice that, although we are in the drama, we don't have to be the drama.  It can go on around us, but we do not have to buy into it, consqeuntly we are not so deeply embedded in the drama. 

As we evolve on the spiritual path of self awareness and, concurrently, divine consciousness, our relationship to the observing mind changes.  We spend more time in that mode, even while thinking.  The beauty of the observing mind is that is far more expansive than the thinking mind.  The observer mind, or the aware mind, shares the expansiveness of our spirit and as such, it is the conduit for our creativity, our inspiration, and our sense of connection to All That Is.

Thank you

I'm so proud, James has learnt to say 'Thank you'.  Well, I say learnt, drilled might be a more appropriate verb.  We have been repeating 'thank you' endlessly to him and it worked.  He now says 'thank you'. 

Mind you, he's not quite there yet.  It sounds like 'dank ooh', and he hasn't quite mastered when to say it.  This morning when Dirk put on his bib, he said 'dank ooh'; a sweet gesture as his Dad doesn't get to spend a lot of time with him.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Not only in my dreams

For years I have had a reoccuring nightmare.  My teeth loosen, crumble and fall out.  I am helpless to stop it in any way.  I have looked up the symbolic meaning of the dream because I find the dream deeply unsettling.  Apparently it's a sign of stress.

Last night I had the dream again.  My teeth loosened, and three were about to fall out.  I was with a dentist who hadn't done a proper check up and hadn't noticed the teeth.  I wiggled the teeth to show her,
"That's why you need to do a proper check up" I said.
"Ah, now I see," she replied. 
Now she was taking me seriously.

The scene changed.  Suddenly my teeth were perfect.  I wiggled them and they were all intact.  Solid.  In all the years I've had this dream, this is the first time it has ended positively.  I was elated.  When I woke, the dream was so real I checked my own teeth to make sure they were firmly embedded.

I take this sea change in my dream world as an indicator from my unconscious that a deep shift has occured within my psyche.  I put this down to my commitment to owning my thoughts and the consequences they create in my life.  In the dream, I have been powerless; I am no longer powerless.

In practice I don't know what to do about the negative quality of many of my thoughts, so I've been surrendering them to Archangel Michael, who dispells negative thoughts.  For me, this dream indicates that I'm going in the right direction...  And what happens in the unconscious eventually bubbles up to the surface: great changes are afoot!

Let go, Let God

"If you were to surrender just 1 per cent of your life to God, you would be the most enlightened person on the planet in three months." Deepak Chopra

I'm willing to try.  Yesterday I had the negotiate our local tube station with baby, buggy and ancillary support items, a mere 18 kilos, when all is said and done.  The twenty steps leading to the track fill me with dread as it always triggers a two days of back pain. 

On the way home, I decided to surrender that part of the journey to God.  Two people stepped forward to help just as I picked up the buggy, and one of them was a teenager in a school uniform.  They carried the pram down the stairs, then the teen turned around and went back upstairs to catch his tube.

This was a powerful gift for me.  I've never had two people carry the pram for me before; this was not just help, it was an abundance of help. 

The other side of this story is the teen.  He went out of his way to help me and his kindness deeply touched me.  He listened to his intuition and responded, giving me a priceless gift.  It can be easy to pretend we don't hear our intuition when it takes us out of our way, but we never know how a small act of kindness can impact on another.

Monday 21 May 2012

Huff and puff

James has discovered that to cool down food, you blow on it.  He has even discovered how to blow.  What he hasn't discovered is that you have to swallow what's in your mouth before you blow.  T-shirts, high chairs and walls have all been given a sprinkle of the Plat de Jour in recent days.

Ah yes, life is all about the subtlety!

For better, for worse...

To reverse out onto our street from the driveway involves negotiating a significant blind spot.  I'm very conscious of it, but today I did not go carefully enough.  I completely missed the car coming from my right.  He went from one blind spot through to another as I looked left. 

Rather than slowing down and letting me out when he saw the car reversing out, he decided to race past, assuming I would see him and stop.  I didn't see him. Luckily, I did stop for the car behind him.  I could hear the shouting and swearing, but it was only when I looked left again that I saw he had stopped his car, jumped out and was calling me the most awful names I have ever been called in my life.  Ever.

So, if our thoughts create our reality, did I create this? Absolutely.  I even know how.  I'm a very cautious driver: I don't trust myself and I don't trust other drivers.  That consistent, insidious distrust and anxiety created this moment.  A shot across the bows, asking me to review my ideas about myself and other drivers.

'Don't let Fear decide for you', my friend Debbie says.  Fear may not have been deciding, but anxiety has definitely been driving. 

For better or for worse, my thoughts are creating my reality.  Learning to understand this and to think more productively may take me a lifetime, but I'm committed to this path.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Free will or destiny

It's an age old question and despite answers from great sages, I've been trying to grapple with this question myself.  First, I realise it's important to point out that I believe in reincarnation; that we have many lifetimes, the purpose of which is to bring us to awareness of our own divinity.  By this I mean that we are made in the image and likeness of God, that we are divine, not that 'he' is human, and prone to the petty jealousies and anger of humans! 

Within this context, I wonder if, as souls, we decide on certain key events that will occur during our lifetime, when we incarnate.  The soul needs to preplan these because the personality is living unconsciously, with no communication between the soul and personality, with no flow of intuition and no awareness that our thoughts create our reality. 

These events form our destiny, they are the fundamental experiences our souls wish to have in order to understand fully what it is to be human, and consequently, what divinity is too.  However, we can reach these moments by going down different paths, some of them are easier and some of them are harder, the choice is ours: that is our free will.

As we become increasingly conscious of our journey while in human form the balance between destiny and free will evolves.  As lifetimes progress, and we become increasingly conscious, we develop greater free will as the soul no longer has to preplan the lifetime in the same degree of detail, because the personality begins to create their lives more consciously, no longer being swept along by the tide of life.  The soul and the personality come into communication, and the personality creates with awareness and increasing care, as it realises that what it does affects not just those around them, but all others on this journey too.

I've no idea if this idea represents reality or not.  It's just a wondering...

Monday 14 May 2012

Clearing my basement

This morning I was down in the basement.  I'm speaking literally, not metaphorically, for once.  Dirk's collection, neatly stored in cardboard boxes, littered the floor, the dampness had disintegrated the boxes.  My first thought was, 'well, it's his collection, he can sort this'.  Not, I will agree with you, the most compassionate reaction to have.

Fortunately, my second thought was more redeeming.  'What if this were my collection?  Would I want him to react that way? What if he looked after my collection as I would, how overjoyed, how cherished I would feel?'  I took the high road.  I went out and got new boxes, threw out the old ones, restacked them and put the dust sheets into the wash to clean them up.

As I meditated on the situation this evening, I felt as though I were bathed in a glow of golden light.  One of the reasons I try so hard in life is because I can be mean sometimes.  I could have left the mess for Dirk to clear, but I didn't.  I saw myself on Dirk's side, not my own side, looking out for his good instead of my own.  That's not always a decision I make: sometimes I am less kind.

It is said that whatever is inside comes out.  We cannot hide our true characters forever.  If I am unkind to him, it is because I am unkind to myself.  I see myself sabotaging myself.  Today was different.  I saw the potential for unkindness, for the small victory of 'it's-not-my-problem', but I was immediately drawn to a deeper feeling of solidarity between Dirk and myself.  I saw the oneness of our path.

In meditation, I saw that this oneness extends beyond marriage to all beings.  We are all on the same path, getting side tracked by keeping score is an illusion that does not serve us.  I am left with a humbling feeling of solidarity, and slightly bewildered: intellectually I thought I understood solidarity, oneness, but now I feel it.