Friday, 22 February 2013

The Redundancy Angel

"I've been touched by the Redundancy Angel," Susannah told me last night. 
"Well there's one I haven't heard of before!" I replied.
"Yes!  Well, it's true, I was getting too complacent at things not working out for me," she added.
"Yes, some people might fight when everything is taken from them, and I haven't.  I think it's here to give me a shake up," she responded.

I have read that we lose our jobs when we have disengaged from them, when we have outgrown them but we are unwilling to move on.  It is a blessing, albeit another blessing in disguise!  Yet it can be so terribly hard to feel that way about it when we first get the news. 

I remember being made redundant many, many years ago: the shame, the embarrassment, the fear for the future, and the quiet knowing that it was the right thing, for both the company and myself.  It proved to be a turning point.  I retrained and moved into a completely different field.

Life is infinitely gracious.  The more I walk my path with honesty and integrity, the more I see that grace, especially in the face of so-called disasters.  We are held in great love and behind every event that scares us, that troubles us, that intimidates us is the guiding hand of love.  Over lifetimes it rebalances our experiences with infinite kindness and compassion, bringing us to the point where we finally are ready to blossom into love.  To remember who we truly are and always have been, love.  Divine love.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Blessing deep and wide

Blessings seem to have gone out of fashion. I often feel a bit like an old woman when I talk about blessings, and yet nothing could be further from the truth.

I once read the story of a woman who was in a car accident.  She left her body and meet an angel who traveled with her above the tailback her accident had caused on the motorway.  In all the cars she saw angry, anxious people, annoyed at the delay to their journey.  In all the cars, except one.  In that one car a woman sat quietly blessing all involved in the accident, whether directly or indirectly.  She and her car radiated light.  The lady made a mental note of the car registration and when she recovered she went and found that woman to thank her for her blessing, as they had speeded her recovery and to tell her how powerful her blessing had been.

I love that blessing woman!  I want to be that woman: the person who, when everyone else is angry and annoyed, is centred and spreading love; mind you, it's even better if we are all spreading love!

So I bless accidents, people who look sad in the street, houses where I hear shouting, crying children... the obvious people and situations.  But I also bless deep and wide (well, that's my fancy term for it).

When sitting on the underground, I send a blessing to everyone who has sat in that seat, ever.  And everyone one who will ever sit in the seat.  And ride that train.  Then I think about everyone who rides any train, anywhere in the world; we are connected by the same activity though we are on different corners of the world and have never met.  I bless them.  Then I think back in time to all the people who have ever ridden any train, and I bless them.  Then I think forward to all future train users, and I bless them. 

Gradually, I build a little web of blessings, weaving love and light across time and space.  For a moment, I feel my connection to unknown others.  I feel an intimacy with strangers, a genuine desire for their well being, and I too am blessed, because I feel a deep sense of peace, love and connection with All That Is.  When I bless, I touch All That Is.

For me, it is a blessing to bless.  It allows me to contribute directly to the wellbeing of each person, of every person.  My Blessing Deep and Wide method is just for my own amusement, I enjoy finding new ways of experiencing my connection with All That Is.

There are as many ways to bless as there are human thoughts - so quite a few! - and we can all find our own way.

The Ascension Rose

The Ascension process is the human equivalent of a rose bud blossoming: it is gentle, graceful, and of infinite beauty. 

It's worthwhile remembering those qualities because I know that, too often, I'm in such a hurry to flower, I become impatient and self critical: hardly a moment of beauty!

So, how do we blossom?  How can we engage in the process, gracefully?

At the core of the Ascension process is Love: the intimate, fully conscious union of ego and soul.  Remembering this makes the path a little clearer. 

This is a gentle path, which I frequently forget, but I think this is of fundamental importance.  Reconnecting with the soul, the Higher Self, is all about raising our vibration.  It is about expanding our ego from its traditional focus on fear, anger, greed and loss to the higher qualities inherent of the soul: love, compassion, forgiveness, and humour.

We all possess these beautiful qualities, but we have a tendency to save them for our nearest and dearest.  In our Ascension blossoming, we are invited to express these qualities fully, consistently and with everyone.  It's a tall order.  It requires practice.  It requires great gentleness because, for me anyway, I get really frustrated when I fall asleep on the job!  When I snap at my husband, because he pressed my button and I react blindly rather than taking a moment to stand back, to notice the truth of his comment, to respond from a place of honesty and compassion. 

This is a spiritual practice and like any spiritual practice, it takes time and commitment, and being human, and a willingness to keep forgiving ourselves when we forget.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Is grief selfish?

A friend asked me if grief is selfish.  It's such a good question I wanted to explore it for myself. 

In essence, I believe that grief is of the self (the personality), but not of the Self (the Soul).

Grief is our pain at loss and separation from a loved one.  It comes from that limited part of us that is bound by the personality and the ego.  It comes from the part of us that believes the story of death, of separation and loss.

The Self, on the otherhand, is infinite.  It knows All.  For the Self, separation is simply an illusion.  It knows that the drama of life is simply that: a drama, a stage we have created on which we can experiment with emotions and physicality, all under the veil of amnesia, the complete forgetfulness of our expansive, infinite, divine essence.

We live, love and even lose whilst we play on the stage of life.  When the drama is over, when we have experienced all that we came to experience, we leave the stage.  We return to the Self we had forgotten while acting upon the stage.  As the Self, we are one with all.

I suspect that the reason that, in mourning, we pass from moments of acceptance to moments of grief is because we are both the ego self and the Divine Self.  Consequently, we flow between those two states of being, touching into the knowing of each part in turn.  As the light subsumes the darkness, so too the knowing of the Self eventually dissolves the grief felt by the ego self.

So my answer is this: grief is of the self.  It is not selfish, because selfish carries the weight of criticism and error.  It is, rather, a dance in the experience of life.  It is a state through which we pass, until we have made our peace with the passing, with the ever evolving drama of life.

Friday, 15 February 2013

What is Ascension?

A friend recently asked me what is this Ascension that I'm constantly mentioning.  Excellent question, to which I hope this is, at the very least, a good reply!

Ascension is the current stage in the process of evolution through which humanity is constantly moving.  Human kind has made several big jumps in the past: breathing out of the water and walking on two legs are two of the biggest evolutionary steps we made.* 

Ascension is the next big leap.  In short, it means living with conscious knowledge of our soul.  Through the ages there have been people who have achieved enlightenment, or self realisation, but they were the exceptions, not the rule.  We are now entering a period when enlightement is possible for everyone. 

Imagine such a world...  A world where we care more about people than things, a world where we care not just for our loved ones, but for complete strangers; a world where we share willingly whatever we have; a world where we nurture the young, the old, and the ill. A world where we value wisdom over beauty, and soul over body.  A world of tolerance.  A world of compassion. A world of love. 

I don't imagine that the sun rose one day and suddenly our fishy ancestors could all breathe air.  Nor were our ancestors all able to walk on two legs one fine day.  It was a process.  It took time and practice.  A cursory glance at the present state of our planet is enough to tell us that Ascension is also a process.

Now for my sceptic friends reading this (you know who you are!), where's my proof?  In short, I don't have any.  Many, many spiritual teachers I respect are speaking of this.  I have my own experience of the energies on the planet changing, but I have no proof.  Then again, is there ever enough proof for a sceptic?!

All I can say is this: we have to believe in something.  I choose to believe in a world where the magnificence I feel in other people is manifest, in a world where we live up to our potential, a potential which spirtual teachers from Allah to Buddha to Christ have seen within us and invited us to embrace. 

I choose to believe in Heaven on Earth.

 *I'm not including fire, agriculture and industrialisation as they were processes outside us rather than intrinsic to us.

Be peace, be love

As I wobbled my way through two upsetting events in the space of 24 hours, I finally got it...

I cannot be at peace in times of challenge if I can't be at peace in times of peace.  That's why it's worthwhile becoming present... aware of my breathing... connected to my heart, to love, in everyday moments.  

That's why it's important to become self aware in the day to day of mundane life; so that I can remain centred, peaceful and loving, when challenges arise, because that's exactly the opposite of what I want to do when faced with a challenge. 

Challenges are a bit like a spiritual end of term show: they are opportunities for us to show how we have developed and grown, spiritually if not more than personally. Challenges, true challenges, can seem to overwhelm us, and our immediate reaction is to close down or lash out.  It's tough to remain centred.

It's very clear to me now.  Life on the spiritual path is about our energy, it is about consciously holding our Divine spark (peace and love) no matter what. 

It's not about the car or the house, it's about retaining our connection to who we really are, our Divine Essence.

Gentling death

We fear the unknown, so it is no wonder that we fear death, that it's presence makes us distinctly uneasy.  Recently, death has been nudging into my life, through friends and relations who are, or have been, terminally ill; so I spent some time getting gentle about what death means for those who are left behind.

We fear the unknown because we have known so little about death, but that is changing.  From esoteric wisdom to near death experiences, a clear, consistent understanding is emerging.

We came from love, we return to love.  The life force that animates us is not lost, nor can it be, for energy cannot be destroyed, it simply changes form.  Even the personality goes on, though it is absorbed into loving embrace of the soul to rest, to recharge and to renew itself.

Death, or even the discovery of a terminal illness, splits us in two.  It is as though we live two lives simultaneously.  On the surface, it may appear that we are coping; inside we are falling apart, or even numb. We walk down the street and wonder how everyone else is managing to live life normally, when the fabric of our lives, the fabric of our very being, has been irreperably torn apart.  Life will never be the same again.  We will never be the same again. 

It is an illusion that we are independent.  It is only when we lose a loved one that we realise we were never independent.  We are entwined in each other.  The spiritual truth that All is One can seem so very abstract, but when we lose a loved one, we glimpse the truth of it.  They are a part of the fabric of who we are and, as such, they go on being a part of our fabric, woven into the character of who we are, assimilated and living on within us.

And we are left behind.  We stay on, trying to pick up the pieces and act as before, in a world that seems somehow unreal, unaware of our titanic loss.  Yet spiritual traditions say that death is the greatest gift we give those we leave behind because, in being torn open, we can learn much. 

We glimpse the truth that All is One; we understand the value of loving and being loved, how nothing else matters as much as that, in the final analysis; and, in our broken hearts, we learn compassion, for everyone has been touched by the loss of a loved one.  All is One.

In our fear and distrust of death, we have made it somehow brutal and barbaric.  We meet people who have lost a beloved, and we turn away, or ignore the greatest truth of their lives in that moment because we lack the skills to express our compassion. We have tried to hide it on the fringes of life, pretending that it doesn't exist.  It is time for a rethink.  It is time to gentle death.  

It is a right of passage, the greatest second only to our birth (and look at how that is embraced).  The pain it leaves behind shows only that the joy in our birth was justified, we loved and we were loved. 

Toddler talk - Jamesisms

More insights into life through the eyes of James, age 2 1/4.

Train road  ....   train track

Mummy's washing hands .... Washing up gloves

Oh yesa pulease ....  Yes please.

Kangbaloo  ....   kangaroo

Epelent  ....   elephant

Gaga  ...   granddad (he may be right though!)

"Mama, snack please"
"But you'll be having your breakfast at nursery in a little while, James."
"Yes Mama, snack in the home."
[I did give in.  Who could blame me?]

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Peeking behind the veil I

More than ten years ago, I had the opportunity to peak behind the veil of reality.  I was shown the deep symbolism of our planet and the richness of love that permeates Everything.

The experience was staggering in its depth and beauty.  It changed me forever, but it wasn't enlightenment, just a glimpse of what that could be: a glimpse so intense that I stopped meditating for years in order to feel more 'normal' again.    And with all the contrariness of a human being, life is now so 'normal' that I miss the richness of those experiences!  But humanity is changing, changing rapidly; I have no doubt that what was so exceptional then will become commonplace understanding before long.

We are surrounded by nature, by trees, mountains, clouds, rocks... We were originally embedded in the natural world, living as one with the cycles of the earth, the energy of the seasons, of night and day.  It permeated us.  We were that energy.  Indeed, we still are.

With industrialisation, we moved away from our intimate connection with the earth energy, the energy of creation, to create for ourselves, by our own minds.  While this has been a part of the journey, its success needs to be juxtaposed with the cost of our relentless consumption of finite resources in order to fuel that creation, a principle that is utterly out of sync with the natural forces that pillage nothing, but recycle everything.

Through our success, we became disjointed from ourselves.  We are of the earth, of the cycles, of nature.  We can suppress that intrinsic part of ourselves, but we cannot eradicate it.  We are as inexorably connected to this primal energy as we are to our very souls.

Peeking behind the veil, I became aware of a deeper truth embedded in nature.  Take trees as an example: at the superficial level, they provide oxygen, shade, fruit... some may even believe that they have a soul, that they are an incarnation of the divine, just as we are.

There is an even deeper significance: each species of tree holds a different 'code', a vibration... We may look at the leaves of a tree and see the leaf, the veins, the stem but, simultaneously, our soul recognises the message of the leaf.  That leaf has reminded our unconscious of our true origin, of our divinity, of our soul essences (our values and qualities).

Each leaf, each species, tells a slightly different story, but all with the one story line, the Book of Divine Love.  Nor is this just true of trees: it is true of every species of flower, bush and grass... all elements of nature.  It is even true of every cloud shape.

This is one of the reasons why it feels so good to be in nature.  When we are in nature, it's not just the richer oxygen level, the beauty of the trees, or even the blessings and detoxifications that the Nature angels and elementals offer us.  It is because we are returning to our source - our physical source, in harmony with the primal energy of Gaia, Mother Earth, and our Divine source, as we are reminded by the deep symbolism all around us in nature.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

True to yourself

Do you find it hard to disappoint others?  I'm guilty of this; and it came home to roost this weekend.

A friend asked me out with a group of her friends recently.  I said yes, eventhough I don't like going out in the evening very much.  To be honest, I'm rather a hermit these days.  The day before the event I felt very unwell.  The day of the event I felt better, but I was still not right.  Finally, I cancelled. 

I know, it's rude to cancel at the last minute and if you knew me, you'd know that it was probably inevitable.  My friend was understandably annoyed.  Very annoyed.  It's been awkward since.

I was talking this through with one of my 'soul sisters' which helped so much I thought I'd share her wisdom.  She suggested that people pleasers are best served by going for short term pain instead of long term pain; it's better to say 'No, I'm sorry, that's not really my thing,' at the outset and risk upsetting someone, than spending weeks worrying about something and disappointing them closer to the date, when they are more invested in your attendance/participation/contribution etc.

She added that if someone is a true friend, they will accept me, flaws and all.  Moreover, if it is a new friendship, what is it worth if it's not built on honesty?  They will never get to know the real me, what kind of friendship is that?

It is a hard lesson to learn, but I need to stop and think before I respond to invitations, at least for a while.  It's a cliche but, if you never say 'no', what is your 'yes' really worth?

Monday, 11 February 2013

A change of heart

There is a Socialist at the local hospital who often asks me to sign his petition to save the NHS.  I always refuse gently and bless him as I leave.  I agree with his cause.  I don't agree with his politics.

Whether socialist or conservative, democrat or republican, all political movements are built about arguments, upon mental constructs.  And the problem with mental arguments is they are so fickle, so fragile, all it takes is a new argument we change our minds.  We go from one policy to the opposite, from one ruling party to the opposite.

What is required is a change of heart, not a change of mind.  The mind is fickle.  The heart is eternal.

It is only when we have a change of heart, when we genuinely care for others that we will demand an expanded health service for all, that we will commit to high quality education for all, that the youngest and oldest in society will be protected, honoured and nurtured.

Society stands on the foothills of a new dawning.  We already see that the veils of the old melting, for it is impossible to keep secrets any longer.  The truth always comes out.  Our desire for truth and integrity is just one indication of the evolution of our species.  This comes from the heart.  And as our hearts evolve, so too will our policies and our politics.