Life and death as one

life and death

Not taking risks, avoiding what we perceive as ‘risky’ implies that there’s no freedom in our choices only a stagnant, familiar and constrained. Life imprisoned is like constant death anxiety. Surely the more death is feared the more we should embrace life yet we ignore it as if death is not present in life but something of a distant abstract idea, concept that is never to materialise.

Being free in life means being free in death, not afraid of taking a turn unconventional, perhaps, but something that calls us in the moment. Mistake, you say? That’s an instant regret about choosing freedom. That’s beating yourself up about having courage to live in the moment. There are no mistakes only a decision taken in the moment, a choice. How we take that turn is up to us. Will be go for it unconditionally and without attachment to an outcome, or cautiously with a degree of fear in the background. Both are valid to some extent and both are possible.

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End of winter Imbolc 2017

Imbolc 2017I sat on an early morning train to London feeling apprehensive yet excited at the possibilities that might await me at the end of my journey. I felt a slight smile touching my lips and became aware of a warm feeling within, which reassured me I was in the right place, at the right time. I continued by observation of passengers looking at their faces wondering what they might be thinking, feeling and where the train was taking them on this morning of Imbolc 2017.

Imbolc is my favourite Sabbat, which always feels fragrant with delicate scents of crocuses, tulips and daffodils to me. Snowdrops begin to poke their innocent white heads out of the ground preparing of the play of spring ahead. Those are the first signs of the earth beginning to wake up in the next few weeks. We are not out of the winter yet, but I always feel this energy of fresh, newly promised possibilities around me. I feel grounded in this day, which is particularly useful when today I am taking a journey towards exciting possibilities of working in a hospital with patients and other team members. It is all happening and there is a sense of disbelief that this is actually possible. The outcome of today is yet to be known, but I am filled with hope.

It wasn’t an easy ‘birth’, with a lot of people and energies completing for space and I found myself breathing into my heart with reassurance that whatever was to happen would be for the best. I resolved to being myself and presented with authenticity. It worked. I got the place and the manifestation of that felt so fast that amidst pure joy I felt overwhelmed by this new beginning.

Success and achievement is the primary happiness signature for me. It makes me feel expanded in all senses, full of joy and hope. I feel truly satisfied, a feeling I embody within myself. It feels good.

On the way back I reflected on my encounter with Brigit on the train and how real that was. She felt so present and free-flowing in her deep wisdom and knowing. I am filled with gratitude and love for the possibility of connecting to deities and their sacred energies if and when needed or called. Imbolc has been the most ‘deity present’ celebration for me so far when Brigit never fails to be close to me with her support and teachings.

Blessed end of winter!

Searching for…

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Searching for what I know not

The invisible, senseless, shapeless something

Grabbing on to nothingness of what’s there

Where? Here? Not now, not yet, not ever…

What do we search for? Meaning, fulfilment, purpose, love, joy, happiness? Moving towards having our needs met, things, adventures and people that make our lives full and our hearts singing, feeling useful and present in life, noticed, heard and seen. What do we want? We want to live and not fade into nothingness, that scary uncertain place no one wants to talk about, but let’s. It is not nothingness or empty when a life lived fully can be felt in our blood and expressed even in our last breath. Dying well, dying knowing and conscious holding on to love and vision to the last moment. Preparing to travel to places unseen and unknown.

Searching is a natural element of life, like a flowing river always on the run not knowing where it will end or will settle, but it does, I am sure it does and perhaps, then the flow begins again? Like trees stripped of their foliage every year come back to blooming again at some point. Trust, faith in growth and movement of life protects and comforts and it is jumping on board of the train seemingly running away into nothingness or river flowing into place unknown, it is that jumping into life that will carry us through and will lead us to whatever we are searching for. It is a journey of searching, questioning, which contains periods of peace and settled feeling, contentment, slowing down, picking up pace again. It is in the mixture and variety, colour and moments of dull despair and the darkest night there is life itself, which is the meaning of it all. Life is the meaning of life.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Existential…

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We are born, we bloom and we die. What of those in-between spaces? That is day-to-day living, those are the moments, of which life consists.

Today, it feels like the past is gone and the future is doubtful and uncertain. There is death anxiety present and struggles with staying in the present moment. ‘What if, if only, can I, when this and that’, how will I, what if I don’t, I suppose I will have to’, etc. – these phrases run through the mind over and over.

Yesterday I had a vision of my life going forward. I have seen what is there potentially on offer in the next 20 years and it felt good, comforting, grounding and certain, as opposed to feeling very unsettled and doubtful in the last week. It looked contained, structured with challenges and transitional points clearly outlined, but what it didn’t outline was the way one would deal with it and what the actual outcome would be. That is life and no one knows for certain. There weren’t that many things out there, to be honest, it felt clean, clear and peaceful and would present a good life path for anyone, in my opinion. I like that existential language, which often sounds harsh and direct, which goes ‘this is your lot, this is what you’ve got at your disposal, what are you going to do with it or about it?’. I used this with my own clients a few times and it has that vibration of ‘wake up and smell the coffee’. It is startling, but refreshing if allowed to be present with. It is calling to look at life and present circumstances in a very real way (reality check) and see what can be done and how and be aware of the feelings. It is very ‘present moment’, life here and now and what can we do now in order to feel alive and really living. It is calling us to define in a way what we are about and what we want from however many years we might have. I like the idea of knowing what your purpose is and living it out, so to speak, similar to making a decision and sticking to it. I like that vibration of decisiveness and clarity of route.

I haven’t been in this place before, I don’t think, and if I have been it didn’t come through in the same way. This is really existential. Having gone through a spiritual journey and revival of my soul nature (transpersonal approach), which continues every day, and having looked at childhood set-up and my past (psychodynamic psychotherapy) and worked on self-growth and potential (humanistic approach) what is coming up now is the look at life as it is currently with all there is there, facing cross-roads and defining meaning (humanistic) going forward. It offers options and when one can see a potential path of how things could play out. It gives you certainty to a degree providing one is happy with the vision of their future. I am happy with it for now, as who knows what tomorrow will bring. There is safety in knowing, for sure, and fear in not knowing, absolutely. Both are very valuable. Security and certainty provides a good feeling and so does a vibe of adventure, freedom in a sense of not knowing anything at all. Providing I make it through the years and those around me make it there is a strong chance we make the vision a reality and what a lovely picture that is. In the meantime we live every day as if it is the last doing our best and feeling present and meaningful in our interactions and activities we partake in and feeling ok on the inside. Notice how ‘I’ became ‘we’ in the last few sentences, as I write completely intuitively. There is some meaning in there somewhere pointing towards a collective, community purpose with myself playing a role.

This phase can be scary and they don’t call it an existential crisis for nothing, as one of the most common descriptions. This, however, really resonates with my personality in terms of questioning, finding meaning and certainty within and following a natural course of life with a few challenges and hardships, but also bagging joyful and precious moments of any day like a beautiful sunrise and a good night sleep, a good meal and a smile of a child. It is all in that in-between space of life, in between we are born, we bloom and we die.

If you don’t know me…

unconditional love, spiritual journey

A Ritual to Read to Each Other
William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

I read this poem this morning and sadness and a sense of ‘this is what happens again and again’ penetrated me. It is so easy to just carry on, go on with never really getting to the heart of the matter why we are here, why we are in a relationship with a certain person, who are we in relation to them and ourselves.

It is this journey that makes things more interesting, a conscious journey of discovering your truth and then shine it out into the world.

A teacher gave a definition of love last night, which I really loved. He said that

‘Love is a profound appreciation of someone just as they are’

It touched something in me that rings absolute truth. There is the next level, which connects us to ourselves and others on a spirit level where the feeling is all accepting and unconditional where one must be prepared to let something or someone they love go free rather than holding on to them in order to really LOVE them.

I think what I am trying to call for is a close look at your relationship with yourself and your loved one and see if you can really SEE them as they are and for who they are including weaknesses, wounds, shadowy dark sides, irritating habits and all their magnificent traits. All together as this colourful treasure and say I love you just as you are. It is that appreciation that sets the person free, it is that allowing for them to BE that unique soul here on Earth. It is from that fountain of allowing and appreciation they can then go and fulfill their life purpose and be a gift to others and the world.

If this doesn’t happen, how many souls remain unseen, unheard, untouched by the love that is pure spirit. There is this unique opportunity for each of us on a journey of relationships to love the other to spirit, to help them grow their wings, so they can fly free and be just as they are. It is a glorious opportunity to be with another and produce a beautiful union with yourself, them and the spirit.

 

Transitioning into the ‘homeland’

homeland

Do you notice or aware of things, places and people that feel like home? I think ‘home’ is such a unique signature that aligns fully with what the universe and spirit wishes for us to go back to, find our way to. It is delicious, comfortable, beautiful, cosy, warm and very light in its essence. It is pure content within and without. Many would resonate, I am sure, with that feeling of arriving, finally fitting into a paradigm that your soul came from and wants to reunite with.

For many people it is different things. Cities, big and small, market towns, countryside wild and wonderful, village life and close community, jungle, tropics, cold winters and high mountains, lakes and lush forests, open spaces, desserts and very hot temperatures. So, what is one to do when one is called to join the land, to merge with the signature they recognise as ‘home’? This process, I found, for myself reminds and often coincides with a spiritual awakening when something suddenly happens and even though you are thrown into a space of uncertainty and fear, you also know that you must go, you must take that jump into the unknown, as there is no other way. Often this comes uninvited and unexpected and can throw things up in the air for you to consider asking you for sacrifices and compromises that you were not prepared for. What is one to do? If you resist that call, will you regret it, will you always look back on it as an opportunity lost?

Feelings is what is important to observe here again, our best compass, navigational system, which informs us where we are and where we want to be. Feelings will answer many questions.

I find myself in a position where I know where I am meant to be, but I am not able to be there, not full-time anyway and not just yet, but what I find more and more is my heart-ache for the land is becoming more intense and more unbearable with tears coming in instantly when I think about not being there. This is exactly the same feeling when I get in touch with my 5th dimensional self. I first encountered and was shown myself in that level of consciousness about a year ago and it is the most incredible feeling I have been unable to describe. I am finding a way to be with the feeling having faith that one day I will merge into the land with all circumstances aligning for me to be able to do that.

Qualities of the Earth element is needed during the period of this sharp awareness and inability to complete the transition at this point. Patience, focus, doing things, which will facilitate the move. Water element is crucial, as it holds the vibration of all of our feelings in the moment. We are required to feel our way through any period of transition or merging. It is there to cleanse and purify our blocks and wounds that might be holding us back. Through tears we release tension and allow the flow to take us places of comfort and knowing. Air element is full of ideas and plans and a creative force of all the possibilities that might lie ahead. It is an exciting element that is great at making connections from within with our external reality. Fire is truly transformative, as it will ask action and decision-making of us with enthusiasm and passion.

Life is a wonder and we are all walking towards the merging with the spirit be it moving to a land that calls you and holds gifts for the development or taking up an occupation, which serves your life purpose or both. Whatever we are meant to be and wherever we are meant to end up is pre-destined, I believe, and the spirit will guide us through our paths towards what is needed for our ultimate transformation.

It is worth stopping for a minute and ask whether moments of craving for something or somewhere are present within you. This process really asks for us to be with ourselves on every level and explore every emotion we feel. If someone pulls you in or a place that is constantly on your mind never leaves your senses it is worth investigating further. What is its purpose? How does it feel? Are you able to ignore it and move on easily or is it something that keeps coming back? If you know, you will know and if you are unable to move into that any time soon, keep it in your heart and your awareness as a precious gift of love from the universe.

Be alert, wonder, observant and ready to be hit by something wonderful such as a sign that your land is waiting for you and your soul is in need to serve, to be free and to fly in joy towards the higher purpose.

Discovering your purpose in Nature, communicating with trees and the Elements

planes of consciousness

I am feeling dizzy and sensing being called into the woods. I am also drawn to reading some spiritual text, particularly on planes of consciousness. I just read the latest blog from Teal Swan and I cried. You can read it HERE. It touched me, as her writing is very similar to mine, I find, and the way she describes her experiences in different places resonate with how I experience places. Here are my blog posts on places I visited and spiritual experiences. (Isle of Skye and Snowdonia, Wales). Teal has such a ‘flow’ throughout, the flow that I am attracted to strongly. So, I am going to the woods, to commune with the trees and join in embrace. I feel dizzy, ‘spaced out’ feeling and what I feel is there is a reason and purpose to the feeling, it is not just feeling dizzy. Something is trying to put me to sleep almost it feels, there is veil just above my brow, which is hanging a bit too heavy.

Message from the woods

I left the house with a clear quartz in one pocket and my phone in another to be used as a camera, as I never know what I may encounter on my narrative walks. I call them ‘narratives’, as there is always a story, a message, a purpose that comes to me when I am out in my woods and often I write afterwards. Today is such a day.

I still feel dizzy and as I approach the woods I inhale deeply and oh, it is so good to be out. This morning I pulled a card, which said – go outside… Here I am walking towards my usual entrance point, but what I find is a blockage, you can see on the picture.

blocked entrance

I am immediately diverted from entering the woods my usual way and I continue forward. The next entrance I encounter is a clear opening into something I am about to find out. It is a gateway.

I turn right instinctively and from that point decide consciously I am going to walk wherever the sense takes me. I walk through the thick greenness of the woods, it is peaceful and so fresh here. I come to a clearing, which looks unusual and I know this is where that something is, yet I am not ready, I continue walking intuitively and see my guardian tree at a distance. I thought about ‘him’ recently when finding myself struggling with lack of ‘male’ energy within, lack of Fire. I remember turning right a minute ago and it makes sense again, as not only the right side represents expressive nature of the male, but I was also meant to see ‘him’. That tree is a representative of a male parent to me, it is old and wise, holding and understanding. One glimpse of ‘him’ and I know what he is saying. He affirms my energy available to me whenever I need to tap into it. I bow with thanks and turn back into the woods. Read More