Saturday, April 30, 2011

365 Days, Day 324

Life is about giving, and the rest is taken care of (Peter Cajander)

All that you give to others you are giving to yourself (Anthony De Mello)

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words (Rachel Naomi Remen)

Today, after giving Sarah a long-promised and much-postponed Reiki session, she thanked me for the session and I said it was my pleasure, sincerely. Sarah remarked that my real gift is that of Giving. I smiled broadly at this, because Giving kept popping up today. I remembered the meditation in London: I took away one sentence from the guided words – “I am on this Earth to Give, not to take”. My Ohm Message for today was about giving:

Yet by simply [Giving to] others whenever we can, we become part of something far larger than our individuality. Any isolation we might have felt disappears and is replaced by a wonderfully potent sense of personal satisfaction. Our efforts, no matter how small, remind us that we are, in fact, capable of making a difference using only the tools and resources we have in our possession.

And, my Findhorn words for today were about the gift of Giving.

I gave a smile to a street-person in London. He seemed slightly taken aback, then beamed back at me. I loved that I made a tiny difference in his life. I like giving positive words of encouragement. I like giving tiny gifts: on the beach at Beachy Head I selected a pebble each for Ariél and Shane.

I am quite happy to give rather than receive. In fact, it is often difficult to take; to accept ‘gifts’ from others. This has been a lesson I am still learning. When I was in South Africa recently, I was so spoiled by everyone and sometimes found it difficult to accept the gift of a meal, for example, from Mom and Dad, to Doug, to my friends Paul and Andre. But after protesting for a bit, I thought that they wouldn’t have offered if they didn’t want to Give…Hopefully I accepted their gifts graciously.

I like making a difference using the tools and resources with which I have been blessed. I love giving Reiki sessions. When I Give I do Give something to myself too, or receive something – a sense of delight and pleasure.

I now Give you a warm hug and a smile.

Friday, April 29, 2011

365 Days, Day 323

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love (Pearl S. Buck)

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

(Kahlil Gibran)

We watched the Royal wedding on TV today. It was delightful, Kate’s dress, 1950s retro style, reminded me of my mom’s dress. We had a good laugh at some of the hats. We decided we really like hats for a wedding and were somewhat inspired to find hats for Roarke and Gina’s wedding! We decided that no-one carries off the pomp and ceremony as well as the British. They do it superbly.

Of course other people’s weddings always make one look at one’s own marriage. What Tom and I have got right, I think, is a balance: we have allowed for change and growth in each other and we don’t stand “too close” – we each have own breathing space, we do not stand in each other’s shadow. There are, obviously, the moments when we disagree or hurt each other (inadvertently) or seem to be like ships in the night. But over the years we have stood together like pillars of a temple and weathered the storms of Life. Even though I may not always be the Perfect Wife, I think I make life pretty interesting, mostly…

Much love to my fellow pillar, my partner, lover and friend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

365 Days, Day 322

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts (Giovanni Giocondo)

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly (Gilbert Chesterton)

Sometimes we are thrown a curved ball which completely winds us. Something you really didn’t see coming. A trial, a sorrow, a turn of events that causes great sadness. We are left reeling; the weight of the world is upon our shoulders.

There are lessons to be learned. Ones which often only become apparent with hindsight. Sometimes the lessons may be about letting go. To release the load. Not to take on the problems of others. When we do take on our loved ones’ problems, when we expend energy worrying about them, we dis-empower them. They need to carry their own burden; we can only be part of the back-up team in the background, waiting for when we can spring into action to lend a hand. We need to use our energy for this purpose; do not waste the energy on something that we cannot ‘fix’ or do not understand.

Let the rock of worry dissolve into little grains of sand that can run out like salt, back to Mother Earth. Send your worries out to the Universe, Mother Nature. Listen for your guardian angel’s wise whispers in response.

Just for today: do not worry.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

365 Days, Day 321

Overcoming attachment does not mean becoming cold and indifferent. On the contrary, it means learning to have relaxed control over our mind through understanding the real causes of happiness and fulfilment, and this enables us to enjoy life more and suffer less (Kathleen McDonald)

Delight in meditation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker (Buddha)

Simply perform every task with your Being; it becomes a meditation (Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda)

Amidst the hustle and bustle of London today, I took time for out – for a meditation. There is a little space called Inner Space in Covent Garden, which has a quiet room and a meditation room. I spent a bit of time in each.

What a different day out in London: home-hunting with Sarah. From Hornsey in the north to Covent Garden to the portrait gallery, to Soho, to Westminster to Limehouse. And much walking in between. I had THE most delicious cappuccino at a pub overlooking the Thames, in Limehouse.

I learned a lot today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

365 Days, Day 320

Whatever you do, do it with all your heart (Sharon Tee)

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us (Helen Keller)

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the Guru (Joko Beck)

Meanderings of a wild mind. I have not really come up with a specific theme for today, but have instead come across a few quotes that echo thoughts I have in my head. I found the individual quotes rather randomly after much reading. Putting them together gives them a new context and possibly a train of thought. Sort of like my own subconscious Fortune Cookie…

I am where I am meant to be.

I need to stop fighting my circumstances and relax and enjoy… I am worried about the lack of finances though; but if Life is giving me this ‘teacher’, what am I learning from it?

I am where I am meant to be.

Flow down this river and do it with all of my heart. If I was working right now, I wouldn’t be able to go home-hunting with Sarah tomorrow, I wouldn’t have been able to take Ariél to work this morning in Horsham (being ill, she needed to come straight home again), I wouldn’t be able to look after my little chicken. I am where I am meant to be.

I need to accept this…

Monday, April 25, 2011

365 Days, Day 319

Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect. When we are dealing with people's dreams - their visions, really - we are in the realm of the sacred. We are involved with forces and energies larger than our own. We are engaged in a sacred transaction of which we know only a little: the shadow, not the shape.

As artists, we belong to an ancient and holy tribe. We are the carriers of the truth that spirit moves through us all. When we deal with one another, we are dealing not merely with our own human personalities but also with the unseen but ever-present throng of ideas, visions, stories, poems, songs, sculptures, art-as-facts that crowd the temple of consciousness waiting their turn to be born (Julia Cameron)

The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story (Byron Katie)

I watch. Stories unfold. I have vowed to have notebook with me to write down the little narratives as I perceive them. Little characters that could pepper my story are just waiting to be picked.

My imagination is every active. Sometimes I see the stories unfold in human terms and sometimes in art works. Nothing is concrete. Nothing is real. Words and images merge. My imagination takes over: adding more images and words and scenarios.

It's all about letting the story take over (Robert Stone)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

365 Days, Day 318

You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity (Hal Borland)

It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun (Henry Ward Beecher)

They start of as pretty sunshine yellow flowers on the lawn. Then they are pert balls of fluff. When the wind starts blowing – they become airborne. Kapok in Spring. The tiny umbrellas find their way into every crevice and corner of your garden and home. Each seed disengages from the mother-pod and becomes an individual.

Each little seed a black dot of germination potential, clinging voraciously to its parachute. Fragility coupled with tenacity. En masse they become beauty coupled with pestilence.

Lesson from this:

Beware of fluffy grey-haired grannies: remember – fragility coupled with tenacity!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

365 Days, Day 317

The real beauty of realizing your true nature is in the freshness,

peace and deep bodily relaxation which touches to the core of

your being, flows into your everyday life and bursts forth naturally

into blossoming from within itself. Without you 'doing' a thing

about any of it.

This is a beautiful and simple change of lifestyle.

A lifestyle of letting go and living openhandedly,

curled up in the sunlit warmth on the lap of

the Divine (your heart)

(Julie Sarah Powell)

If I had my life to live over I'd like to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would perhaps have more actual trouble, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day (Jean de La Bruyere)

In art theory, vertical lines represent strength and power. Horizontal lines represent peace and harmony.

I have had my moments. Moments of fun and silliness. Moments of seriousness and stress. Probably more moments of seriousness and being ‘grown-up’. Vertical moments.

I think I am on the downhill road now and would like to have more horizontal moments. More relaxing moments. More childlike moments.

While I am writing this I have a CD playing in the background called 10 Minute Chakra, it is like a bath of sound caressing my ears. I think back to the meditation that we did each morning at the Retreat centre, and I think as I often do, that this is how I need to start each day at home. I will put it to the test to see if starting the day off with intention and quiet and peace has an effect on the rest of the day.

Happy Easter.

I reminisce back to when I and another lady (whose name I cannot remember) created, in banners, the seven Stations of the Cross for our church. It was quite a controversial thing to do in the Methodist Church, as the seven Stations of the Cross is traditionally a very Catholic tradition. But Gavin, our minister, was a little alternative and not averse to ruffling some feathers. I became quite emotionally involved in the making of my four banners. I looked at the event from the point of view of Mary, the mother of Christ. How must she have felt at the persecution and death of her beloved son? The anguish she must have experienced. An emotionally charged story with great depth of meaning. A Serious moment in my life – creating these banners.

Easter Egg Hunt - silly moments. Like when Charlie our dog, ate ALL the hidden Easter eggs before we even got to start the hunt! He was rather clogged up with tinfoil for a few days and had to be taken to the vet to alleviate the problem! Since then the hunts were more-dog-friendly (or Unfriendly if one happens to be the dog). I have the Easter Eggs ready, but not the Hunt. Time for someone else to take over?

Friday, April 22, 2011

365 Days, Day 316

All good fortune is a gift of the gods, and . . . you don't win the favour of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold (Anita Brookner)

Happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It's a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don't have. It's so simple - yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend (Unknown author)

I believe I am very fortunate. Around me my little family are all finding new and exciting jobs. I am still applying regularly for new and exciting jobs; I know something good will come my way soon. Things are falling into place: our house is being sold, even thought the process seems long and there seem to be setbacks along the path.

Trust your intuition. The universe is guiding your life.

This is what my fortune cookie today said. I rather like it. Although this brings up the age old debate about how much free choice we have in our lives. I like to think I have a choice in the way my life unfolds. I would rather interpret this as the Universe having a guiding eye over my proceedings and choices, and when I make an inappropriate choice, I might get a gentle reminding nudge in the right direction.

This calls for some quiet meditation time so I can hear the gentle whispering nudges. I think I need some right now. No, not because I have made an inappropriate choice; but rather because I am not quite sure where I am headed just at the moment. I am not being bold enough.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

365 Days, Day 315

For me, gardening is a form of prayer. Most people have an awareness of life and death, but few have an awareness of life, death, and life again. Gardeners do though.

Bulbs come up every spring. Then in winter, it looks like there's nothing there, no hope for life ever again. Then, Hallelujah! Next spring they're back even fuller. Perennials - same thing.

Annuals have a slightly different lesson. Annuals really do die, but they broadcast seeds before they go. Where there was only one calendula the year before, there will be ten this year, and one day, they will fill every empty space in your garden. Annuals are a lesson in the difference one living thing, plant or person, can make, and how their presence resonates long after they're gone. There again, the effects are not immediate. There is always the winter. And when you consider the garden as a whole, well, winter is a time to reflect, a time to dream. It gives you time to ask the big questions...

Gardening is an affirmation of divine timing. Some years, in early spring, my enthusiasm takes an ugly turn, and I seemingly believe I can make spring happen earlier than it normally would, if I just work hard enough, if I till enough, compost enough, harden off seedlings earlier than I normally would. In the end, I wind up with twelve flats of dead seedlings. Then I direct seed a couple months later, and with much less effort, everything grows into the full glory it was destined to encompass. To everything there is a season. Amen.

(Kaya McLaren)

My friend Nicki has green-fingers. Not literally. Although, if you look carefully at the photo, you might see that her fingers are green... But these are actually my gardening gloves.

At her home in South Africa, Nicki has a wonderful garden. She has a very special vegetable garden which has a painted and mosaic-ed wall at one end (thanks to her mom-in-law, Chris) and is full of seasonal veggies, which (being a vegetarian Nicki puts to good use in her culinary activities).

Yesterday morning, Nicki asked if we could do some work in the garden, and she proceeded to work wonders on gently trimming little bits off of the wild and unruly bushes in our garden. Last summer I had used huge shears to lob off the wayward branches. Nicki talked to the bushes and told them what she was doing and hoped they didn’t mind.

Lessons in having a connections with your plants…

365 Days, Day 314

I reject your reality and substitute it for my own (Adam Savage)

What I do is based on powers we all have inside us; the ability to endure; the ability to love, to carry on, to make the best of what we have - and you don't have to be a ‘Superman' to do it (Christopher Reeve)

The greatest superpower is the ability to make people laugh (Unknown author)

I have moved from one Reality to another, but seem to be caught in a Parallel Universe. My own Reality.

In my head I am a bit of a Superlady… Whipping things into shape, sorting things out, smoothing the humpyrumpies of Life. But in reality, right now I am rather floaty and tired.

I have been shopping with Easter eggs with Ariél, and we always seem to have a good laugh; so I will just have to work on this SuperPower of mine – the ability to make people laugh. Even if it is At me rather than With me. I will hone my SuperPower skill… mwhahahahahaha

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

365 Days, Day 313

O Tiger-lily,' said Alice... 'I wish you could talk!'

'We can talk,' said the Tiger-lily: 'when there's anybody worth talking to." (Lewis Carroll)

It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another (Dan Simmons)

Sometimes, words cannot express one’s feelings adequately enough. I have such gratitude and love in my heart that words cannot express. I am so blessed: I have a very special family and friends.

I am sending you Love and Light because I cannot put my feelings into Big Enough Words: Thank you to my wonderful family and friends for Good Times.


365 Days, Day 312

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light (Helen Adams Keller)

Your humble light

the fire of your mind

blinds you:

If you walk

with a lantern in the dark

you won't see the stars

(Hans Børli)

We are where we are. We are where we are meant to be. Try to see the Light in every moment. Live in the moment and find something in each day to enjoy, and to appreciate as a moment of Light.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

365 Days, Day 311

If we do not see the beauty of God in this life then we will never see it in the next life. We must see the glory of God in the smallest flower (Gerontissa Makrina)

Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding (Jacob Bronowski)

In all things of Nature, there is something of the marvellous (Aristotle)

The petunia is growing out a crack in the paving. I have come back to a garden of colour and delight. Tom has been planting, and Mother Nature has been weaving. Last year’s bulbs and annuals have burst into flower.

I spent an idyllic afternoon being shown around Aileen’s garden in Fourways. My soul felt enchanted by the little secret areas of plants and objects that she has created. I am inspired to achieve this in a small way in my garden here…

365 Days, Day 310

That "ol' black magic" is a fickle force. The chemistry of romantic love can trigger the chemistry of sexual desire and the fuel of sexual desire can trigger the fuel of romance. This is why it is dangerous to copulate with someone with whom you don't wish to become involved. Although you intend to have casual sex, you might just fall in love (Helen Fisher)

Shopping is better than sex. If you're not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like (Adrienne Gusoff)

My new shoes ooze sensuality. I did not intend to buy anything on Wednesday; I was naively walking past the shoe shop, and suddenly I noticed The Shoes were sitting in the window like a siren, beckoning to me. I was seduced. I went in and tried on The Shoes, the only pair that was left: a size too big. I had to have The Shoes: these exquisite little objects. Arrangements were made for The Shoes in my size to be kept for me at another branch – miles away. I climbed into the car and drove ALL the way to get my Beauties.

As you know by now: I love shoes. I usually just lust after them, not actually indulging my fantasies. I do not allow myself to get intimately involved with many shoes. It’s safer that way. I just look and admire from afar. My guard must have been down for The Shoes to have been able to fuel the chemistry. And I fell in love. With The Shoes.

When I step into The Shoes, I step into my imagination, into my world of fantasies…

Friday, April 15, 2011

365 Days, Day 309

May you eat an unfamiliar dessert in a strange land at least once every three years.

May you wake up... and start dancing while you're still half-asleep.

May you spray-paint Rilke poems as graffiti on highway overpasses...

My you learn to identify by name 20 flowers, 15 trees, 10 clouds, and one extra solar planet...

May you dream of taking a trip to the moon in a gondola powered by firecrackers and wild swans

(Rob Brezsny)

The best way to be on time is to simply decide to be on time and to acknowledge that travel and meetings always take more time than originally anticipated (Mitch Thrower)

The part of travelling I love is the brief moment of take-off. I love the speed as the plane accelerates to leap into the air. I love being pushed back onto my seat. This thrilling moment is almost worth the tedium, the queuing, being part of the mass of people herded like animals at the abattoir into lanes where we have to be subjected to the bureaucratic whims of the security systems at each airport…

I left Johannesburg after having a lovely morning with Mom and Dad, then a delightful lunch with my special Doug, who had been into Sandton in the morning, and bought me a Gautrain ticket so I didn’t have to queue at the station. He dropped me off at the station after a very relaxing interlude. It was a very laid-back start to the journey. The rest of the journey was long and tedious, but without any setbacks.

I arrived back in England this morning, tired but glad to be home. The softness of the landscapes I could see from the coach felt welcoming and calming. Tom’s delight at seeing me made my day!

I guess our lives are like this journey I have described; filled with long periods of the Mundane inter-spiced with Enchanting Interludes. The secret is: to find something to enjoy about the Mundane and fully relish the Enchanting Interludes.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;

(Reinhold Niebuhr)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

365 Days, Day 308

Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends (Richard Bach)

Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. (Charles M. Schulz)

I am not good with good-byes. I have to be brave and not cry. I leave a little bit of my heart behind each time.

I have enjoyed my stay in South Africa. It has been a most fulfilling time. I take my leave of Mom and Dad knowing that they are doing alright. I hope that my stay here made a tiny glimmer of difference to their lives and brought some sunshine. I leave behind my love and my calm-th – draw on it when you need it.

So I will say adieu until we meet again. Much love.

A sunbeam to warm you,

A moonbeam to charm you,

A sheltering angel so nothing can harm you

(Irish Blessing)