Wednesday 31 October 2012

Partnership with God

I had a small car accident on Friday.  It completely shook me to the core and undermined my trust in my safety, in my relationship with the Divine and in my entire spiritual journey.

The accident broke me open.  I questioned deeply.  I felt as though I lost faith.  Now I see the blessing. 

I asked some friends for their perspective and, in general, they said to trust it was for the highest good.  Rereading Jane's reply today, a new level of clarity dawned.

I have imagined that because I love Source, Spirit, the Divine, God, that somehow my love would protect me. Not only would it protect me from all harm, it would provide for me.  I realise now that while greater love for the Divine brings greater divine love towards me, it does not make me exempt from the lessons I must learn, or the karma I must balance.

These challenges are a part of the Divine love and always arrive in the most loving way possible.  The real challenge is not living through those trying moments; the real challenge is keeping the love alive and bright in those challenges, remembering that they are conduits of increased divine love.  They are not rebukes from an angry god on a throne; they are gentlest possible redirections from the Infinite Mother who wishes the very best for me.

Jane noted that if we are all part of God then s/he feels as we do.  If we live our lives with joy, regardless of the challenges we face, the Divine feels our love and joy.  It is only then that we are really working in partnership with the Divine force of life, that we are living in partnership with God, because it is only then that we want what we have, we are moving in the same flow, the same vibration as the Divine.

I'm not saying I have to squash my natural disappointment or shock, but I can experience it, move through it and choose not to dwell in it.  Nor does this mean we cannot wish for better - my housing being an abject case in point - but if I fight what is, I am not aligned with Source. 

Surely it is much better to love what is - home or car  - and accept that if I have that, then that is what is perfect for me.  That is my perfection.  Then I am no longer identified by my home, by my driving record, or by any externals whatsoever.  Then I am defined by my love and that love is my foundation.  I can work for a better future for others from that foundation, I can create inspiring projects for myself from that foundation: I can believe that a wonderful home will come.

If this blog is circular in its logic it is because I keep coming back to the same point: all else pales into insignificance in face of the one truth.  Love what is.  There is no question to which the answer is not love.  There is no circumstance that is not the outcome of love.  Loving what is aligns me with All That Is.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

The Alchemist

Yesterday I got angry with man in a car insurance company.  I was embarrassed to have got angry with him and I did apologise but ohhh.... These huge companies have dehumanised both their empolyees and clients in order that they fit a system that, frankly, is not humane.  It's no wonder we see videos of employees suddenly throwing their laptops out the 29th floor window of a grey call centre.

At about the same time, I received an email from Georgeanne with the following quote:

"Be an Alchemist
Like an alchemist, transform something worthless into something precious.  The key to alchemy is in your perception.

Look for the limitless possibilities that surround you.  See the innate value of everything and turn lead into gold.

Focus on the pure gold within each one.  You may have to overlook the visible lead to seek the hidden gold!"

At the point when I received the email, I was too ashamed to read it.  I never lose my temper... well, hardly ever.  The other thought for the day I received was about the process of creativity and how it opens our heart and fills us with joy, from Diana Cooper.

Slowly it dawned on me.  I am an Alchemist.  I am creative every day.  I am always looking for the gold nestling silently under its leaden cloak.  From Mud to Miracles is all about alchemy.

I am an Alchemist.

I haven't found the gold in my interaction with the car insurance company.  Yet.  But the realisation that Alchemy has always been my passion, well that is profoundly... enlightening.

In the face of love

Yesterday I was doing a meditation on love and spreading love into every cell in my body.  As I explored what love is, I came to two understandings.

The first is that love, specifically divine love, is not only big, like the divine ecstasy described in many stories.  I experienced it as an infinitely gentle wave of kindness.  It was unconditional; I received this love regardless of what I did or did not do.  The intention of my highest good, my well being, was at the very centre of this incredible gentleness and well being washing over me. 

The second insight into love was that it really can heal anything.  As I felt the love wash gently through me I started to think about President Assad of Syria and send him love.  The dream that unfolded was this: if everyone were to send love to him, if even the oppressed and freedom fighters, if even the soldiers on his side, were to spend all the energy they invest in fighting in loving him, the present situation could not continue. Anger begets anger.  Violence begets violence.   In the face of love, evil is not possible. 

When we are utterly enveloped in love, we cannot hurt another.

I'm not suggesting that I go over to Syria and preach love, though I now understand why Jesus preached love. The reason I share this is because it was a profound insight into the power within love, and it made me think again about how I can love for both personal benefit and the higher good.

Love is the essence of the divine.  As I think about it, it makes sense that it would carry within it the infinite power of the divine.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

James - another jump

James has taken another leap, and I don't just mean attending nursery school for the first time.  Mind you, the bizarrest thing about that was that he smelt different when he came back.  They never tell you how strongly a newborn baby smells, and since then I've been aware that he has a scent, as we all do.  I thought it would always be the same.  Apparently not.  It was disconcerting when he didn't smell like he used to because he'd been in another environment.

Suddenly, we are back to tantrums, though those seem to be a result of tiredness.  On the more endearing side, he's now got a whole new string of words, from 'geeleelee' for jellyfish and 'docadoc' for crocodile to 'tactac' for tractor.  Yes, we do spend a lot of time in sea and on farms!

He is also starting to sing songs.  'Old McDonald', otherwise known as 'eye, eye, eye' (read: ei, ei, ei, ei oh!) is his favourite.  Yesterday he started to do 'roley poley', complete with actions, at dinner!   When he wants to ask a question, he says, 'how 'bout....?'  I didn't know I said that so often!  Nor did i know I had so many cups of tea: every time he hears the kettle boil, he says 'cupatee'.

He is also more interested in imaginary play.  We build little 'baby houses' for his teddies out of sheets and chairs or clothes horses.  We gave him a tea set for his birthday and we are now treated to 'cup o tee's all day long!

He's more fussy about food now, sometimes skipping an entire meal.  I've decided not fret over this, he'll eat at the next meal if he's hungry.  And although baking - much less walking! - is still a messy affair, I find it's getting easier: we made feta and herb scones yesterday (I thought he'd be more inclined to eat if he made it himself, which turned out to be true.)

It's wonderful seeing him develop his character and watching out for his preferences, so that we can support him in following his interests and, eventually, find his path in life easily and gracefully.

Monday 22 October 2012

Fumbling along the front line

Remember when I wrote that I could love myself and what I ate for one week?  Well, I was wrong.  I couldn't.  It's too big a life pattern to love right now.

I realised, in my avoidance of loving what is, that food is not just nourishment for me.  It's fear, pain, comfort, anger and rebellion. 

My body isn't just a means of being in the world.  It is a failure.  Every time I look at it, I do so to criticise it.  It fills me with shame and a sense of failure.

All of these emotions have been with me for decades.  Many of my earliest memories are of comments about being a 'big girl', of needing to curb my appetite... of seeing my brothers eat anything and remain as stick insects, of feeling I had failed my very petite mother by being so big.

So I'm not really at a point where I can love all that yet.  But I can accept it.  I own it consciously now.  I even understand that it's not 'reality', just one version of reality. 

It's a small step on the path of healing. 

Friday 19 October 2012

Motherhood and letting go

James is two today.  Today is also, coincidently, his first day in nursery.  It was a gift from his father to me, to give me a break one day a week and I am enormously grateful to him. 

This morning as I left James at nursery, I felt deeply the contradiction of parenthood: pain at leaving him alone in the world, withoout me to keep him safe, and excitement at having my first full day off in a year.  I imagine it's the same for every mother, at some point in life.  We want to keep our children safe and yet we know that we must also allow them ever greater freedom to discern their own paths.

I am reminded of Kahil Gibram's wisdom on parenting, our children come through us, though of us, they are not ours.  They are here to live their own lives, fulfill their own destinies, and evolve in their own unique ways. 

This tiny parting of ways, James nursery day, is his first big step into self-hood, onto his own path.  I wanted to mark this event and to bless it, so that it may unfurl for the highest good.  How do we release our beloveds without clinging - albeit unconsciously?  Without creating cords that unconsciously bind our children to us?   I wrapped him in Archangel Michael's cloak of blue for protection, Mother Mary's aquamarine cloak for love and nurturing, and Archangel Metatron's orange cloak for even more protection! 

When I came home, both yesterday and today, I lit a candle.  It is a symbolic act: I light the way, I burn through my fears, I honour the moment.  I gave thanks for the honour of being his mother, for this new phase in our journeys through life, and asked blessings for James, myself and Dirk.

Now the cynical out there may feel all this is a bit overkill.  You may be right.  But you may be wrong!  We live in a world that is now so fast and impatient that we ignore symbolic rites of passage and life milestones.  Noticing these moments, and consciously acknowledging them, brings with it a freedom and a lightness.  Ignored, they can be misunderstood and traumatic (especially later rites of passage into teenage years and adulthood); by noticing them, we become aware of the stepping stones of life, how they are the natural fulfillment of all that has gone before and the preparation for all that is to come.

Sunday 14 October 2012


Last week I decided to practice harmlessness for one day.  Needless to say, I had many moments throughout the day when I forgot all about my practice.  I had several others where, having made a comment, I realised it wasn't harmless.  But I am finally willing to concede, I'm human! 

What was interesting was that, as the day progressed, I began to understand harmlessness in a new way.  Initially I thought it was about being harmless to others, to the planet... it wasn't even about being kind, it was just not being thoughtless.  Then I noticed the deep kindness, the gentleness that exists at the very heart of harmlessness. 

Finally, I noticed that harmlessness is not just about how I treat the world outside myself.  It runs to the core of how I treat myself.  My thoughts to myself are the antithesis of harmlessness.  I am cruel to myself.  I am constantly berating myself for not doing better - from what I say to what I eat, nothing escapes my inner critic's caustic attention.

The Dalai Lama notes that if we practice kindness to others, we learn how to be kind to ourselves and if we practices kindness to ourselves, we learn how to be kind to others.  It does not matter with whom we start, which is good news for me!  

The concept of harmlessness proved so complex that it became my daily intention, to live in harmlessness, for the bulk of  the past week.  Next week I may pick something easier!

Monday 1 October 2012

My final frontier

I have done so much personal work that I was bound to arrive at this point sooner or later.  Mind you, I had kind of thought that I would get away with skirting around the edges of it.

But here we are.  My final frontier.  My body.  The long and short of it is that I have been punishing my body for being too fat since I can remember.  I was always the 'big girl'.  I have associated being fat with failing and with being unlovable.  I may no longer be fat, but a thousand times a day I will berate myself for my body shape and weight.  It's a dysfunctional relationship but I'm used to it.

I thought this was it.  This was the way it would be from here on in.  Apparently not.  As my journey progresses, I get intuitions of what needs to be healed, made whole and released.  Next stage: my body.  Agh....

So where to begin?  Over thirty years of conditioning await.  The idea I had was, for just one week, to love my body; to enrobe it in a duvet of pink light, to see pink light flowing through me.  I am to eat what I want, simply blessing it with love and blessing my body with love as I eat it. 

Two days in I can already say that when I have taken the time to envelop myself in pink light for ten minutes I feel amazing.  I really feel lighter - in all senses!  I feel nurtured.  I am love.  I eat love.  It's that simple.