And It Was Good…. though it may not appear that way.

Cooking for three days in anticipation for dinner on the eve of Rosh Hashona (the Jewish New Year)  has rekindled my belief that if you do what you love, with love, from an open heart, you can rest assured that what you create will be good, even if it does not always appear that way.

It is these words in Genesis, “And it was Good” that inspired me to write today.

During those three days, I attempted to bake a coffee /honey cake. After all, we are celebrating the World’s Birthday. Guaranteed to be delicious, I did everything in the recipe and placed the mixture in the bundt pan and waited. Nothing much happened for a while and then my oven became a container for Mt. Vesuvius. Bubbles rose and filled the hole in the bundt tin, batter poured over the sides and began to ooze out and fill the aluminum container I manages to slide onto the floor of the oven. I just stood and watched in shocked fascination. Eventually, I removed the disaster from the oven and tried to rescue a corner here and there that was not burnt or still runny.  I looked up the reviews on this recipe and many people said the same thing happened to them.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a request for a recipe.

It is a metaphor. Even when we put forward our best efforts, bad things will sometimes happen. They have to. We don’t live in a fairy tale and real life is not about happy endings. Real life is not about devervability. Just because we are good and kind and reasonable, it doesn’t ensure we will receive the same behaviour from others. Just because we drive our car with care, doesn’t mean we will never be in an accident. Just because we were good parents, doesn’t mean our children will forgive and forget our mistakes. Just because we are generous to others, doesn’t mean others will be generous to us.

It doesn’t work that way.

If we do unto others what we would have them do unto us, it doesn’t mean they will.

At this time in the Jewish calendar we are given ten days to look at ourselves with clarity and compassion. We are asked to focus on who we have been over the past year and  we are given the opportunity to forgive ourselves for the times we  reacted rather than responded. For the times we treated our self or another harshly, rudely, thoughtlessly or angrily. For the times we forgot to offer help to another, neglected our true beliefs and wasted time complaining rather than taking action. For the times we chose not to understand why a friend would behave in a certain way, or a family member remembers something you wish they had just forgotten.

At this time we are also invited to forgive every person who we believe has done us wrong. Why would we do that? Nothing happens to us that, on some level, we have not the capacity to understand and forgive. Actually nothing happens to us. We are the creators of our own lives, whether we are consciously aware of that or not. If life just happened to us, then we would all be victims. And surely we are not. Indeed we are the creators of our lives because we can choose how to attend to everything that happens.

As author and teacher Wayne Dyer said, “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself, or treat what has happened as a gift. Either everything is an opportunity to help you grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

Self-pity can mask itself as entitlement.

It starts with a ‘should or should not, a must , a have to, or an ought.

She should not have written such a thing.

They should apologise first.

He has to make the first move… because I always do.

They ought to help out because… blah blah bah

All these shoulds and have tos etc, camouflage the underlying issue.

“Poor me. I don’t deserve this.”

Self-pity can also mask itself is righteous anger.

When we step into this way of being, when some of us would prefer to lose family, friends and relationships rather than be wrong, when some people would prefer to die than be wrong, we become blind to the truth.

In the words of Helen Keller, “Self pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.”

My failed honey cake was a gift. It took nothing away from the joy of the evening with family and friends. It was a tiny hiccup that melted and disappeared in the face of what was important. Love. Connection. Joy. Thankfulness.

One the tenth day we arrive at The Day of Atonement and as important as it is to atone for the hurts and injustices we may have perpetrated, it is, in my humble opinion, far more holy and rewarding to reach a State of At- One- Ment with All That Is. As we look into ourselves and recognise that the parts of ourselves that hurt others usually come from the parts of ourselves that remain unhealed, we are ready to  ask ourselves this question.

Whether you are from the Jewish faith, or another faith or no faith at all, ask yourself am I holding myself back from trying to understand the significance of what happened or stuck in blame in order to remain right, or am I willing to embrace this opportunity, step out on the limb of humility and grace and accept compassionate responsibility for my own actions, my own words and my own life?

 

Posted in Being Here and Now | 8 Comments

Oops! I forgot

Over twenty years ago, a man I saw for clinical supervision had forgotten our  appointment and was not present when I arrived.

Later that day he sent me a message saying, “Please forgive my memory.”

I thought that was such a strange way to apologise. Can we really disassociate ourselves from our memory? And because I never came to any clear understanding of that kind of apology, his sentence, “Please forgive my memory,” has lingered in my own memory bank ever since. I was angry he had forgotten our appointment and I judged him.

Now in my sixties, having undergone some of life’s big challenges the question of memory has risen again. And it comes out of feeling a sense of compassion for my own occasional  lapses in memory. They come not as a result of anything dire and serious, but rather as a result of one or more of the following.

Remembering and forgetting are impacted by our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual situation. They are ‘here and now’ experiences. Grief, sorrow, depression and loneliness all affect our ability to remember certain events, appointments and things people say. When our lives suddenly change and we find ourselves confused, or mixed up we can forget who said what and even the name of our best friend standing right next to us. When we have been unwell, recently undergone surgery, or getting over a fall, we are more likely to forget something someone may have said to us, even though they apparently remember it clearly.

Forgetting is human.  It’s what we do when we or someone we know forgets something that was  said or planned, that takes us to the next level of humanity.

Judging someone who does not remember something is more about the person doing the judging than the person doing the forgetting.

I’ll tell you why.

When we judge or criticize another it is usually in an area we dislike about ourselves.

When we judge someone we cannot appreciate them fully as well.

When we judge we block our ability to understand. Understanding blocks judgment.

When we judge we make ourselves dissatisfied and unhappy with the way things are.

When we judge another we lower our vibration, shut ourselves down from receiving joy and abundance and prosperity from the universe.

And so to that supervisor so many years ago, I get it.

Your memory is not who you are.

And of course, I forgive your memory.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 2 Comments

Thank you

How often do we thank each other for a kindness and thoughtful phone call, a birthday gift or a bowl of soup from a neighbor when we are under the weather?

I am sure most of us would say we say the word thank you every single day.

I began to think about who and what we thank a few days ago when I realised the time to I exchange the hip I was born with for a ceramic and steel ball and socket was getting closer. This hip, that has only a few more hours left before it is to be replace, has served me so well. And I feel it is only right to thank it for supporting me from the time I began to walk, to running the egg and spoon race, to helping me carry our  five babies. It has helped me move tons of shopping up the steps of our family home and climb thousands of steps over my life time.

It moved me to the beat of bands such as The Animals, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival  and took me on long beautiful walks  through wonderful countries and in our own gorgeous Australian bush

How do we thank our bodies that tirelessly help us get well after illness, for taking us to the top of a mountain, or to that finishing line. How do we thank our bodies for keeping us alive when we felt too ill to move. For healing the infection, and disease, the burns, the pain, the cancer?

So to my hip, who has been such a loyal and trusted part of my life for well over 60 years, I thank you.

Here’s to joining the marvellous medical club of new knees, new hips, new hearts and lungs and infinite new possibilities.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 1 Comment

Can’t Wait Till We Can Return to Normal. REALLY?

I hear it often. “Can’t wait till we can return to normal.” And I think to myself, “Really?”

Now let me be clear. I am not a heartless creature who wishes suffering or pain on anyone. I am well aware that Covid 19 has entered our lives and taken many away. It entered our bodies and left millions sick and it interrupted life as we have known it and left millions without work, and shelter and enough to eat. Because of this virus, towns and cities have been shut down, and we have been asked to take responsibility to stop the spread, by staying home. We all know that. So before we rush, (yes I am intentionally using that word) back into the world that cut down trees, and filled our oceans with plastic, and dumped toxic rubbish near towns and villages, and stopped the distribution of food for political reasons, perhaps it would better serve us to look again at our world that has, for the last few months, stopped.

We have been given an opportunity to have a tiny glimpse at a world that could be different.

We have been given a glimpse of a world that is cleaner, clearer and moves a little more slowly. What a pleasure it has been to have longer conversations without those blasted interruptions of an  iPhones ringing in the middle of a sentence. We have been given a peek at how working from our home gives our children a chance to eat more meals with their parents, watch a movie together and more importantly go out for walks together.

Communities have not only sprung up focusing on how they can help others and make a difference but many people have welcomed their communities love and care and now feel seen and heard and remembered in ways that didn’t always happen.

We have begun to see ourselves in a different way.

Some of us have been so frightened we are willing to fight for a packet of toilet paper or buy 7 cans of Glen 20 just to be ‘safe.’ Some of us have done everything possible to avoid being alone. Zooming three times a day and watching Netflix for the remaining hours.

Some of us have avoided the one thing that would give us peace of mind. Without this there is no space to ask and hear what all this means and where to go to next. Silence. Some of us talk about being bored with doing nothing and yet doing nothing is the gateway to wisdom. Doing nothing, sitting in silence, opens our consciousness to ideas, imagination, and guidance. As long as we fill our hours with chatter and stuff to do, we cannot create or contemplate, we cannot meditate and concentrate on growing, on evolving, on learning and taking a risk or two. Without taking risks we cannot grow.

The one and only thing that can open ourselves to our inner wisdom, is silence. Sitting still. Not looking down at our phones or filling in all the hours, but giving ourselves the gift of silence between the actions.

Some people have discovered that not only can they still run a business at home but they can teach their children and cook and clean, and smile, yes, still smile! and manage brilliantly. Of course they are tired. It’s been huge, but did you know you could do it? And you did it so well.

We are so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

So, what is the normal we so desperately want to return to? This experience of the world stopping is not an accident. It is an opportunity to look at our lives, at how we have chosen to live and to ask ourselves do we want to go back to that; to rushing to meetings, speeding off to Pilates, squeezing in speedy phone calls in the car and scratching out those surreptitious texts at the next red light. It’s okay to be busy but not if it steers you further and further away from your heart.

For those who were constantly helping their children and grandchildren, coming home and sharing only with a  good friend or two how exhausted and tired they are, how every bone in their body aches, we have now seen that our children have managed well without us. No one is indispensable. Is that the normal you can’t wait to return to? No, I’m not saying we stop being available, I’m saying being available only when it works.

Yes our world stopped. And maybe it stopped to show us all how important it is for everyone to occasionally stop too.

And to consider the most pressing question of our time.

What next?

Posted in Being Here and Now | 1 Comment

Trouble with a T

Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered different natural bush walks and flat walks along the long roads near my house. And I try to walk for the length of the podcasts I love to listen to.Usually around an hour. Today however, the pain in my right hip, that arthritic bone on bone that comes with age and probably carrying more than my small frame could manage over the years, gave me reason to detour home a bit more quickly than usual.

That first twinge after 20-30 minutes and I whisper to myself. “ Here comes trouble.”

Clearly I like walking more than I dislike the pain because I won’t stop. So back to my walk. As I was walking today I just couldn’t get this song out of my head. You know how that happens sometimes?  It reminds me of when there was a scratch on one of my records and it just repeated over and over again. So the words go like this,

Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you’ve got

Till it’s gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

It seems Joni Michell  has a lot to say to me during these times.

She once said trouble was her Muse and maybe that’s one of the reasons she keeps popping up for me. We are not short of trouble during these time. I know that in years to come, if we are still alive, we can look back and observe and reflect from a distance what came out of that time for ourselves personally and for the world.

And we can ask ourselves, did trouble inspire me too?

Trouble inspires me to clean out all the cupboards in my kitchen and brushed away those cobwebs from the entrance to my house. I like cleaning my home. Why not? How wonderful to clean our space.

Trouble inspires us to have a two minute chat with a neighbour you never met before.

My kids call me every day and that reminds me that paying it forward has never been so important. I belong to a group of people from all over the world and we meditate together. We learn and we share what we are learning with each other. And our last conversation was about what can we do in service for others in these troubled times. Trouble was standing very close to me the last time we all met. But the enthusiasm of those in the group sharing their ideas about what could make a difference to those in the world where Trouble wasn’t leaving their side, was enormously uplifting.

I don’t think we necessarily need to feel proud of the kind and thoughtful acts we do for each other, but I do know that doing acts of service bring a sense of joy and fulfilment into our own hearts. I have a school friend who is a bundle of bubbles and joy. And she has known crushing sorrow. She has found ways to be of service to others, including me and every time I see her she appears more and more joyful. And it’s not the joy that requires big wide grins and flowery effervescent sentences. No. That kind of joy is often too much to take when trouble is standing very near.

It’s a warmth and a kind of ‘of course-ness’ that emanates from her when I see her. Of course I’m popping over to give you some of my potatoes. Of course I’m dropping off a pot plant. Of course I’m leaving you with two hand-made masks. She is the one I called when Oren was in ICU and ‘of course’ she just said all the right things because, well she knew exactly what I was going through. She’s had her own troubles.

Did you know there are 339 songs that have Trouble in their title? I looked it up. Trouble has inspired thousands of artists to write and sing and paint and create from their experience of it.

As a child I got into so much trouble. I just didn’t fit into a neat box. I argued with my parents, questioned my teachers, hitchhiked in strangers cars and walked a road less travelled.  Some people seem to attract trouble into their lives more than others. Believe me I know!

And so when I listen to Big Yellow Taxi by Joni, I know what she means. Everyone who listens to those lyrics knows what she means. And so I guess the reason this fame-shunting  genius, who wrote and painted and lived life with vulnerability and courage, is so loved and admired, is for one simple reason. She is relatable. There is nothing that draws us closer to friends than that feeling of being able to relate. That’s why our acts of service need to be experienced not only as a giving but we must acknowledge that in the giving we are too are receiving.

There is a television series called Merlin. I loved it but probably not for the reason the writers and producers intended. I loved Merlin, the young Warlock whose whole purpose was to protect Prince Arthur who later became King Arthur, because everything he did was done in complete anonymity. Arthur was never to know. And although Merlin was often ridiculed and teased by Arthur, he never revealed that he was the one that rescued the King when he got into Trouble. Without Merlin, Arthur could never have become King of Camelot.  And without Arthur, Merlin could never have lived his true purpose.

And so maybe I can’t walk as far, or as well as I once could, but I can relate to those, who know that they have lost something they once had, and yet are damn thankful for what they’ve still got.

Trouble has the power to inspire appreciation. Its paradoxical but true.

In the words of my wise and wonderful late husband, If you don’t have what you want, want what you have.

Posted in Being Here and Now, What Breaks Your Heart? | 1 Comment

I Get It Now

Transformation -it’s bloody hard!

Many years ago I met a young man at a Gestalt therapy training in San Diego. We  had very different way of understanding and practicing our chosen  modality of psychotherapy. One day we were playing with these inner-sight cards. You know the ones with words like Kindness, Compassion, Introversion, Truthfulness written on them. I picked Introspection and sighed. I guess that was what I knew I needed at the time but didn’t want to admit.

Introspection requires self-examination, analysing yourself, looking at your own personality and actions, and considering your own motivations. So for me an example of Introspection is when I meditate to try to understand my actions, thoughts and feelings.

My friend chose Transformation. And in my excitement, imagining a quick and wonderful change to his life and exclaimed, “Oh Wow . How wonderful!.” To which he slowly replied,

“Transformation is not easy. It often hurts. It’s usually a complicated and challenging  process.”

And at the time, I confess, I didn’t completely understand. I was in the throes of studying to become the psychotherapist I would eventually become, and I was excited to have entered a world that would change me and I was loving the changes. But that was not what my friend meant. Not at all.

In an organisational context to undergo profound and radical change that orients an organisation, community, country and planet into a new direction  required a dismantling of the structures that held the original ‘oragnisation’ in place.

And as I believe physical, emotional and mental change cannot occur without recognising the implicit Spirituality that exists in all that IS , then clearly we are all experiencing a Spiritual transformation of, as I prefer to call it, a Spiritual Shift.

As I contemplate this I can reminded of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar and I began to wonder how that feels. But before I could imagine this I needed to know what actually happens. This is what we all know.

The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg. The caterpillar, or what is more scientifically termed a larva, stuffs itself with leaves, growing plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin. One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth.

But what some of us, including me didn’t know was that in order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.

In a way that’s what appears to be happening now. There is a ‘falling apart’ of the structures that we believed or perceived,  held our world together.  There is a Spiritual Shift occurring, a transformation and is not comfortable. It not easy. It’s often painful, frightening and full of uncertainty.

I imagine those of you who read my writings on Speed of Light-Heartedness are already conscious and even welcoming of the changes that are occurring, but some of us are  so overworked, so struck with the grief and horror of the loss and sickness and death, so confused and angry and just so, so tired,  that they naturally want this to end as soon as possible.

Here is how I think we might be able to speed this up for ourselves and in doing so help everyone.

When we are pushed in the supermarket, spoken to rudely, when groups of people stand too close to you, when you disagree with the leaders that hover and change their minds and say something you completely don’t agree with, when people regard you as overreacting, when you feel judged, when memes, Facebook and Instagram images and posts putting down individuals find their way into your email boxes, I want to suggest what you might want to do.

  1. Remind yourself that they are frightened and this is how they are reacting.
  2. Try to respond from the heart and not react from fear.
  3. Take three breaths( they don’t even have to be deep) while you wiggle your toes in your shoes.
  4. Look at your feet and remember we are all walking this journey together.
  5. Remember no one is less than or better than another.
  6. Become aware of when you are being judgmental and just stop.
  7. Put your awareness ‘or your hand’ on your heart and say, 

Who do I want to be right now?

What needs some healing of love within me right now?

What words of comfort do i want to hear right now

8. Speak carefully

9. Be Kind

10.  Be Forgiving

11.  Be generous

12. Consider the rude, the cranky, the judgmental, the frightened and the struggling are all part of our spiritual family

And so to my old friend from San Diego, all I can say to you is, thank you.

I get it now.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being Here and Now, The 12 Levels of Being | 2 Comments

Bringing Calm to Chaos: Now Is the Time

As I sit in my home quietly living out the days of quarantine, following my return from Northern Italy I ask myself this question. What was my soul’s intent for this incarnation? What did I want to learn, to understand, to create, to share? As I sit in my home thankful for the powers that be, who brought me home at the eleventh hour, just before the doors of Italy were shut, I ask myself, how is this experience connected to the Intent to which I was born.

Let’s take a few steps back. To even ask myself this question, it is clear that I believe we have consciousness that exists beyond our physical life. That I am, you are, a sacred, indivisible spark of Light that originated as part of the Source of all Life. That spark of light does not wear out or flicker and go out in a puff of cosmic smoke. That spark of light holds all the memories, lessons, triumphs and tribulations that make up who we are from the very first moment we enfolded and surrounded it with a physical body. There is a difference between the Essence of who we are and our Soul but that is not the purpose of this writing. The purpose is to explore with you, what is my, your, Intent for this life.

In The 12 levels of Being I explore the significant difference between Intention and Intent. They are not the same. Intention is more like a hope. We have an intention to wake up early every day and go for a walk or we make an intention to write in our journal, or stop buying chips for a month, or read a new book a month. We make these statements but they come from a desire, a wish a hope that this is what we will do.

Our Intent is something different. Intent is a higher frequency. It requires clarity and action. It requires a deep understanding of how to action this Intent and to put that action into practice. Intention can become Intent with clear and concise action but without it Intent can slip right back into intention or  sit is a metaphorical place where our Intents, those sparks of Divine energy gather and wait to be remembered.

Our ethnicity is intrinsically connected to our Intent. We learn because of who and where we come from or in spite of who and where we come from. From my perspective there are no mistakes and so, however we arrived in this life, it was part of that Intent for this life.

Why am I exploring all this with you at this time? Because as part of my own spiritual growth I have been invited to look at what was my Intent for this life time and as I am confined to my home for two weeks, I am struck with the realization that I am not waiting to get back into my life. This is it. This moment, though not one I had even thought of when I left for Venice 6 weeks ago, is my life.

 How do we live our life without waiting for the next part of it? How do we embrace the unexpected, the challenging, the painful without waiting till it’s over?  When my husband, Oren died, just over a year ago, people often tried to console me by telling me how I will feel, in time,  how and when I will heal, eventually. It’s the same with chronic illness, years of sleepless nights with tiny children, incarceration, or detention. Waiting to get better, waiting to sleep the whole night or get out of jail, though completely normal is not accepting that this situation is actually my life. Here and now. And to use it to become stronger, wiser, more resilient, turns it into a powerful opportunity to reconnect to your original Intent.

There are many examples of people who have done this and have changed the world through aspiring to live their lives every day and not waiting till it gets better. Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Dass, Steven Hawkins, Franklin Roosevelt and Victor Frankle, just to name a few. If I look at these lives, I love to imagine what was the Intent made by their souls for their most recent life. They all inspire me. I certainly aspire to live every day putting into action the Intent that informed my birth in this life.

We have watched and perhaps even participated in the panic and chaos that Covid19, or  Corona Virua,  is bringing to the world. We worry about what ‘might’ happen if…….

We do, we say and we behave in ways that are not aligned to our perception of ourselves and we try to defend or rationalise our behaviours because of the situation we all find ourselves in.

I have given myself a small challenge and I want to share it with you.

How can I bring Calm to Chaos  in my actions today? Whether it is at work, shopping, caring for our children, elderly, sick or infirm, how can I bring calm to chaos right now? What can I say that shifts the energy? What can I do that brings a smile to that person in front of me?

Who do I choose to be in the life I am living, right now, at this time, in this situation?

There are no mistakes. Only choices and the opportunity to action our sacred Intent.Bringing Calm to Chaos

 

Posted in Being Here and Now | 2 Comments

And We Go Round and Round and Round in the Circle Game

We’re Captive on a Carousel of Time

I’m in Venice walking for hours every day. I’m never sure where I’m going unless it’s to the dentist or the hairdresser. Getting lost down a calle ( side street) and turning corners day after day, and finding myself going round and round in circles has become the new normal for me.

I’m okay with that. The heart is open and I am here to Be and to see and to touch and taste and feel it all.

I only learned that Carnivale was cancelled from my children because the news here is in Italian and I listen but don’t understand what I’m hearing. I hope that by some magical form of osmosis I will suddenly click and understand everything, but so far I only understand a spattering of words. One of them is Corona virus. Once I hear that, I tend to change the channel or put on Netflix mainly because I know there is a lot of media hype and fear creating going on. The media influence mass consciousness a bit like the spread of well….an infection.

Level 6 in The 12 Levels of Being is Mass Consciousness. That is the emotional climate of a community, country or indeed the world. It could be grief, blame, fear or revenge and it permeates people’s consciousness until it becomes difficult to differentiate between the feeling as being yours or being something that is so strong in the mass consciousness it only appears to be yours.

Turning off the television only partly works. My friends call me… did I know……..?

Did I know that the planes to Israel have been canceled if have they come from Hong Kong, Singapore or Korea? No! And did you know that all the theatres and places for events has been closed in Italy? No. And did you know that… well you get the message. It was stuff they hear and read through the media.

So, to be clear I am not worried. Let me get that out first. And I am taking some precautions.  I wash my hands all the time. But every bottle of sanitizer and every mask in the whole of Italy was panic-bought last weekend. I kid you not. Nothing on the shelves.

All this made me start to think what could the significance be? The appearance is easy. A new virus it causing people to become sick and some to die. The result is panic.

But what is the significance?

We all know that individual countries are  concerned about themselves. Their financial situation, the education of the population, their medical services  and their people’s well-being. Every individual country has their own ideas about what is right for their country..

Then one day a new tiny little microscopic virus arrives. Even though influenza takes a few lives every year and the SARS virus cause a bit of Asian panic this virus seems to be scaring the whole world. I remember when HIV and AIDS terrified the world but in our ignorance it became an us again them situation. In other words Separation. This corona virus has the whole world working together for one of the first times I can remember. The common enemy. A teensy little virus that can cause serious illness and occasionally death. The whole world is trying to work together to eliminate this new strain of virus.  Universities and laboratories around the world working together, hospitals and towns across borders protecting their cities and towns and communities  And every time this tiny virus shows up in a new place or in a new person the whole world hears about it.

But. And it’s a big BUT

Panic is the main cause of this global connection. Fear is bringing people and countries together and unfortunately still turning some people against others. So my question is why do we need Chaos for us all to come together?

What would every nation leader say and do if they could all come together for the highest good of the entire planet.

How could we as one living entity called Earth unite and make Global decisions for the highest good of all.

What would every nation commit to and create for the whole world to thrive?

This is virus is an opportunity. Another one. They come and they go, but without recognizing an opportunity it’s like a wave that breaks on the beach and just disappears. We have an opportunity here to disconnect from mass fear perpetrated by the media in search of some new drama to sell news. I’m here in Venice. It’s quiet today, but the re are some restaurants and cafes are open. Hardly anyone is wearing a mask. People are smiling and children, home from school for this week, are enjoying time with their parents. Life is not a swirling mass of terror as much as the media would wish you to think.

As I walked in circles trying to find the vaporetto that brought me here, I notice an art gallery. I get distracted by a moment in time.

Everything the artist, Enzo Fiorie makes comes from trees and roots, and dirt and dead insects. This work is beautiful in its honoring of life. From dust to dust. The richness of life emerges. She, our Mother Earth will survive no matter what,  no matter what we fear. Indeed no matter what we do. But we also have choices.

As I walk around and around I realise I am embracing uncertainty.  I am here, we are here, for such a brief time and the opportunities to make a difference, to  open our eyes and hearts and take it  in, moment by moment, come and go. Sometimes the opportunity to do something beautiful, something meaningful, something  purposeful only comes once.

It’s a new day here in Venice and I’m back on the carousel.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 11 Comments

How does Spirit Tap you?

How does Spirit tap you?   Does it come on the wings of a bird or through a fallen feather? Does it come through the words of a song or in the whisper of a dream? Does it come whilst you’re walking, or when you are sitting watching the ocean. One thing is for sure, if we try too hard, or worry too much, or focus on getting things right, Spirits tap can be easily missed. If we get stuck in our fears or concerns or drown in our own expectations, we will probably miss the gentle guidance sent to us.

If you choose to stay busy trying to get things right … Spirit will still softly tap or even nudge you on the shoulder, but you probably won’t feel a thing.

This was one of the reasons I have come to Venice. To hear the whisper, to feel the nudge. To  listen to the guidance and allow myself to be shown what is next. The where, the how and the what, are so often things we struggle to get right. But what if trying to get it right is a sure way to get it wrong?

If you know, as I do, that we are spiritual beings here to experience physicality and also to fulfill our part in the Divine Plan, then surly we will be given all the guidance we need, if only we can stop long enough to listen, feel , see and understand the sign posts.

Part of this journey includes our free will. The signs are there but we can choose how and when to follow them. That’s the tricky part. For me at least.

So here I am in a new country, alone, with only a brand new spattering of Italian and a huge  physical need to talk to people. But I have discovered a part of myself that I had forgotten. A part of myself that 40 years of marriage and five children hid very well.

I don’t approach new people very easily. I get on the vaporetto (boat bus) and stand in the same corner and quietly just watch everyone. I go into a café or a restaurant and sit quietly and no matter who’s around, I don’t start up a conversation.  If I hear English I might say something, but I don’t naturally start up a conversation. I am equally as introverted and as I am extroverted and the situation could have gone on and on like that except, a few days ago I got a very sore tooth.

I sent a message to a new Australian friend living here in Venice asking whether she knows a dentist. I wrote to my Italian teacher and I wrote to an Italian friend, who speaks perfect English and who was introduced to Oren and I years ago. No one answered. So what do I do? I’m in pain and am starting to feel a bit hot and damnit I’m alone. It’s early morning. The chemists are still closed. I feel tired. Hard to get out of bed. I know I have an infection and I have to do something.

 I get up and go to a café not far from my home. The owner doesn’t not speak one word of English. I approach her and try to tell her I need a dentist. Niente. Nothing. She doesn’t understand.  She looks at me and waits. I feel myself get anxious. I miss Oren so much at that moment I can feel the tears. And then I’m angry and then I’m sorry for myself. All this in less than a second.

I search my brain for the words in Italian. Ho…. un problema. Mi… ( oh God what’s need)  serve… ( Yes, serve)  un dentista.

Bingo. And the owner told me where there was a dentist and how to get to him. And suddenly just like that, we became friends.

I found the name of a dentist on the outside wall of a locked residential building across the Guidecca canal. How do I get into the building? Suddenly, a cleaner arrives and opens the door to the entrance. I calmly follow into the building, pretending I am supposed to be here at 8 am. I take a lift to the 3rd floor and knock on the door that has a sign Dentisa. A round lady, dressed in a green apron opens the door, and looks very surprised. She says what do I want in Italian. I understand but get tongue-tied trying to tell her.  I squeeze out the same sentence again. “Ho un problema. Mi serve un dentista.”

A few hours later I meet an elderly dentist, with a huge mop of grey curly hair and two seriously blood shot eyes. He  tells me I have a big problem. He doesn’t speak a word of English but he says ‘problema’ and shows me BIG with his arms. I will need root canal treatment, antibiotics and rest. He draws a picture. Slowly. Kindly. And a few words are the same in English. Necrosis. Pulp. Dead.

I’m so happy. I have a problem and I have a dentist. Couldn’t be better, but it is.

As I sit on the Vaporetto still completely numb from the injections I realise I have spoken to 3 new people in one day and I have a new friend, (even though we can’t really talk yet)  There are times I absolutely hate being so alone. I haven’t been hugged for 3 weeks. To be fair I have had some human contact though, thanks to a rough but very friendly hairdresser.

But this tooth problem has been a God sent. Literally.

It has helped me break through an old pattern of shyness.

We don’t often thank Spirit for ill health but you know the saying, “Spirit works in mysterious ways.” I know that inflammation is anger. I talked about it in my last post. Last night realised I needed to punch a couple of pillows and shed a few hot tears. Anger may not bring him back but it sure helped me clear away some old energy.

And  I got to speak to three strangers and make a new friend.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t a spiritual tap. Maybe it was more like a  shove, but whatever it was, I heard it,  put something into action and here I am, in Venice, loving the experience. And I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I’m  even looking forward to my next dental appointment.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 13 Comments

Do you Clean Up After Yourself?

Seems like a simple and logical question, doesn’t it?

When make a mess, say preparing a meal in the kitchen, or find half our wardrobe on the bedroom floor, or when the children leave toys and soap  in the bathroom, we all would agree that at some point we need to clean up.

Why do we do that? Why do we clean up?

Yes, its because most of us like to have a clean and relatively ordered environment but there is another good reason.

Our mess impacts others. Our physical mess and our emotional mess.

Last month I talked about the Elements, Water, Air, Earth and Fire and how our emotional, mental and physical disorder add to the disharmony in the world. I talked about the fact that Anger is Fire. Being overly emotional or over sensitive is Water. Thinking too much or being overly analytical or unfocused is Air and being overly judgmental is Earth.

Too little energy however can affect us also. Not enough earth can leave us disconnected to our physical bodies.  Not enough connection to Air leaves us  unfocused and vague.  Not enough connection Fire leves us lethargic and sleepy.  Not enough connection to Water can affect our creativity.

Each element has its own guardians.  When I worked and studied with Ian White founder of the Australian Bush Flower Essences he would share his stories of coming in contact with the elementals and consequently many people, finding themselves trusted by these beings in the bush, were gifted with a sighting or even a meeting with one or more of them.

The Gnomes of the world are the guardians of the Earth.

The Sylphs are guardians for the Air

The Salamanders are guardians of Fire

The Undines are the guardians of Water.

Our connection with the Elementals brings  ourselves back into balance and consequently the world in which we live back into harmony and balance.

 How do we clear and clean the energy we leave after feelings of disappointment, anger and upset?

How do we clear away the energy left by our thoughtless actions and cruel words?

How do we call back our judgments and blame and guilt?

There are people who feed on the negative energy of others. They love the drama, the upset and the disruption.  Eckhart Tolle talks about the Pain Body. This, as he describes is the accumulation of painful life experiences that have not been fully faced or accepted. This leaves behind an energy of emotional pain. And I wrote last month this energy is not isolated into one person but becomes part of the whole energetic field in which we exist.

So what do you do?

Ask  that the energy sent by you in a moment of disappointment, anger or judgment be returned to the Source to be healed and made whole. 

It’s as simple as that. It requires Awareness, Intent, Words and Action.

Become aware of what happened and what you created. Make a clear intention to call back the energy. Connect to Spirit or whatever you believe. Say the words from your heart. And then get on with your day.

We ask so often what can we do to make a difference. This is one way to bring ourselves and the energy we put out into the world back into harmony and balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being Here and Now, The 12 Levels of Being | 3 Comments

Separation- Our Illusion

  Recently my children  and I were sharing information about climate change aka global warming especially in relation to the hugely damaging fires still burning around Australia right now.  Extreme weather has caused floods, cyclones and typhoons in the last few months

We are faced with leaders reticent to admit Global Warming over the past 70 years  is primarily man made and many people who listen to and agree with the global scientific analysis are frustrated and angry.

There is no doubt that the weather is shifting and changing, and that mankind has mis-treated our planet. The connection between these two facts has led scientists to say the way we have treated the earth, those huge carbon emissions , the over use of chemicals and plastics along with the destruction of rainforests have all contributed to the issues we see today.

However, I want to invite you to consider there may be other contributing factors.

One thing follows another

    I have always recognized and accepted that one thing follows another. A simple truth. Something happens, for example a car gets a flat tire on a highway, the car behind that car puts on its breaks, the car behind  skids on the road in order to avoid a collision and before you know it, 5 more cars go crash bang boom and we have a huge pile up. Of course it doesn’t stop there. All the cars behind the pile up have to stop and cars that at the time of the pile up, that are just pulling out of their garages to get on the highway find themselves in a bumper to bumper traffic jam that lasts four or five  hours. By the time these cars pass the place where the accident occurred there is nothing to see, but the effect has been significant.

This scenario can be described as The Butterfly Effect. The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system.

  The Butterfly Effect: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. It may take a very long time, but the connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at just the right point in space/time, the hurricane would not have happened. A more rigorous way to express this is that small changes in the initial conditions lead to drastic changes in the results.

Without going into the physics of matter, the truth is we humans are a collection of vibrating atoms  science has now proven that our thoughts and feelings have an impact of reality. The world we live in is not separate from us. Quantum physical explains that we are all in integral part of a grand and unified field. Everything is connected.

The elemental world that consists of Air, Water, Earth and Fire and all parts of the grand unified field of on this planet. Many cultures have since time began, understood  the importance of living in balance with the elements.

The Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples have lived on this land for tens of thousands of years in balance with the elements of the land and have a profound understanding of what it means to be one with the Earth.

Here in Australia we have been experiencing the worst bush fires in living memory. People have told me, God is angry. Of course, the God I believe in is never angry, and certainly doesn’t send us floods, fires, cyclones, tornadoes or earth quakes. Punishment and reward are offered to humans by other humans. Spirit is not interested in this. Spirit offers us guidance to Be the best human being possible. Guidance to hear and feel and see and know the truth to living in perfect balance.

Humans have been given the most wonderful and challenging gift.

The gift of Free Will. We can choose how we react, respond, and relate to each other and the world in which we live. And the world in which we live will respond and react to how we live and what we choose.

Our emotions impact the Global elements. Why? Because everything is connected.

When we rage against each other, when we are frustrated, jealous, bitter, angry or revengeful we ignite a great deal of fire within.

When we hold too much emotion, depression, sadness, chaos and  fear, the water element in us is out of balance.

When we are stubborn, heavy, impatient, thoughtless, and unstable, or when we are bored the Earth element is out of Balance.

And when we have our head in the clouds or we are full of ‘hot air’, when our mind is too busy and we hold our breath or breathe erratically, we have too much air.

By bringing ourselves back into balance we help to bring harmony and balance back to our world.

   By using our joy and passion to ignite love and harmony. By becoming more organised and disciplined to fulfil our intentions we will manifest and ground our purpose.  By being more empathic, we wash lovingkindness  over our planet. And by  communicating authentically with clarity and care we help our world to breathe deeply into its sacred lungs.

We, human Beings have a responsibility, to ask ourselves every day, how can I bring myself into balance today. If we remember we don’t live on our planet but rather we are One with our planet then we can breathe with Her. We can listen to Her whisperings.  We can sing and dance with Her. And when we do, we can rejoice with Her that we have co- created a sacred planet where everything is in perfect Balance.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 2 Comments

A Thousand Years

In only two weeks it will be one year.

One year.

A thousand years.

It feels the same to me.

Some people have said to me, “Wow, one year already . It’s gone so quickly!.”

And for those whose rich and busy lives have continued relatively unscathed, one year can fly by.

I remember when one year flew by.

When our brand new grandchild turned one. Where did the year go?

Living in a new home and suddenly it’s one year since moving in.

That first wedding anniversary.

One year since a son left home.

Staying with a friend overseas one year ago.

And yet one year can also be a thousand years.

They told me it gets easier. But they didn’t tell me it also get harder.

It’s true I don’t cry as much.

I talk to him unselfconsciously now and love imagining his responses.

I feel his presence more than ever and laugh at the synchronicities that ‘prove’ he is right here with us, his beloved family.

But it’s taken almost 365 days to get there and that’s 365 days without a hug from him. Without a cuddle, a joke, a disagreement, a cheeky raised eyebrow, a kiss.

I have probably felt every emotion imaginable.

I have probably cried two or three buckets of salty tears.

I have been overwhelmed with the compassion, caring and love from family and friends.

I have been incredulous at the silence from those that I had considered friends.

I have been touched by the thoughtful, sweet and simple ways people who I did not really know until now, have continued to connect with me almost on a daily basis.

I have been shocked by the comments from people that I thought would have known better. An example.

A person I had not seen for a few years walked up a few months ago and with a huge smile, called out, “How’s the single life treating you?” I kid you not. One of the few time in my life I was speechless.

Nearly three weeks ago I went to India. It was my 5th or 6th time but this time went with a friend.

I wanted to say ‘Kaddish” on the  Ganges for Oren and I wanted to create a ceremony that was meaningful to me.

I started last March collecting stones from all the places Oren had lived. From his birth place in Haifa and from the gardens of all the homes we shared together.

I crept into the garden in Lindfield and walked around the apartments in Randwick looking for the right stone. I wandered down to Tamarrama and to Woollahra and of course where our home is now and wrapped them in a napkin bought on our first trip to India so many, many years ago.

And as I read the Kaddish, the sacred prayer for the dead,  from a boat on The Mother Ganges, I dropped the stones into the water, planting forever the physical life of the love of my life, and slowly, very, very slowly I felt a year of sorrow start fall away, one ripple at a time, into the holy waters.

And a sense of joy, warm golden honey, the like of which I had not felt for a thousand years filled my heart.

In only two weeks it will be one year. Our children have carried the grief into every day, every hour, every minute. Our granddaughters have cried, and tried to understand the impossible to understand and yet stories of stars, and kookaburras, and water dragons and King Parrots that carry the energy of their darling Aba and Saba will continue to be told for another year and another and another and another.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 25 Comments

If Only, What If and Why

There are countless times we kick ourselves when we are down especially after someone or something has gone wrong in our lives.

Have you ever reprimanded a child only to find out that child actually was not the culprit? Perhaps you forgot an appointment after changing it twice to suit your schedule, or agreed to a radical hair cut only to denigrate yourself for being so  (choose your word) stupid, impulsive, hopeless, ridiculous, for doing such a thing.

 The same thing happens when someone we love dies. Someone very close like a mother, father, husband or wife. If only I had said I love her one more time. What if I had not missed that bus I might have got there in time. Why did she have to leave me before I told her the truth.

These scenarios are examples of kicking ourselves when we are down. Judging ourselves when we are already in pain.  What happens when we do this is rather than recognizing our human frailty through kindness and  compassion, we resort to punishing ourselves. It reminds me of a saying my mother repeated ad infinitum. Two wrongs don’t make a right.  We tumble into  a cesspool of self- judgment, self-criticism and even self-hatred. We ignite emotions such as anger, fear, resentment frustration and even shame and guilt. These negative emotions create stress in our bodies and our minds and when the level of that stress reaches a specific point our health can be affected.

Why is recrimination of self or other our natural go-to after something painful, tragic or shocking happens to us?

What to do? Strangely, trying to avoid these feeling does not work. However, to return to Connectedness and Harmony ( Level 2 of The 12 Levels of Being) we now have an opportunity to ask ourselves some important questions.

  1. Why am I so hard on myself? Who else was hard on me in my life? How did it feel? Do I want to become that person? If I don’t how can I begin to bring kindness back into my life.
  2. Do I know anyone who has never made a mistake? If someone did that to me would I tear into that person or would I try to understand what might be going on for him/her.
  3. What is the significance of all this? Is there a space in all this chaos to sit and breathe and allow what I had no choice in, to simply be.

We are not the sole orchestrators of our destiny.

We all have the power to ask ourselves those important questions and to listen to the answers through love and compassion for our self.

  Life chooses what Life chooses

We all have the ability to recognise, acknowledge, allow and accept what we are feeling without judgement and when we do, we inevitably bring ourselves albeit slowly and gently back to  balance, harmony and ultimately inner peace.

Posted in Being Here and Now | 5 Comments

Waiting

Writing has always given me joy, solace and peace of mind. I started writing poetry at the age of 10 and still have those poems pressed into a blue album that has sat on my shelf for over half a century. And yet, the one time I need those things more than any other time I find I am slow to write them down. Words drip into my partly numbed brain and hover briefly around me, only to dissolve like those little clouds we drive through on a winding mountain road on a cold autumn morning. They burn up at first light. Some of them however, sear my skin, stab a poker in my heart and leave me shredded and raw. Those words of death and loss and finality scream at me inches from my face and make me shut my eyes and clench my toes and hold my breath and hold back, for just one more second please let me hold off the inevitable avalanche of grief that wants to consume me for hours and hours and hours. I hold on begging my body to be calm, to breathe slowly, explaining I just can’t go through another 6 hours of heaving and wailing and sobbing.

But I do.

There are words shoving their way into and over and on top of other words. Pushing them out of the way. Take me, take me. I’m the word you want. Write me. They come at me, not to me, jumbled and stuck together with dried old tears.  Glued to my heart, shards of memories that shatter into a violent, painful, aching moan.

Four months and I’m still waiting for him to come home. I want to write to him “Enough already. Come home. Just come home.”

Everything in our home is waiting. The freezer is filled with food he loves, waiting to be thawed and lovingly cooked. His chair, still slightly dented from the last time he sat looking down at his iPad writing words to friends, shopping lists, emails to our children. Words flowed from him through his fingers with such effortless ease.  Our bed is waiting. Pillows neatly placed every morning after a night of wrestling, throttling squeezing and piling them around me.  They pretend to be him and to be fair they do their best but they a hopeless.  I never tell them because I may need them to pretend again tomorrow but they know and I  know they are not him. I guess they are waiting too.

Those nights. Those dark salty demented nights are softened by the words I cannot write. I whisper, ‘Can you hear me? I’m here. Can you give me a little sign?”  The pitch blackness quivers and I feel a tingling in my head. “Are you here? Is that you?”  And I begin to share how it is and what I think and I imagine he is right here arm draped heavily around me as I talk and talk and remind him about the time we went skinny dipping at Hof Dado in Haifa and I laugh. “You only did it that once in all the years we were married. I laugh out loud and startle myself with the sound. And remember the time you were lifted high on a chair at our daughter’s wedding and you held on for dear life. Dear life. You are so fragile. So precious. So, fleeting. Somehow, I fall asleep and wake to a new day. Another day.  I take 4 deep breaths and will my feet to step into this day not knowing how am going to make it through.

But I do.

I miss him. But I also miss me. That passionate, positive, powerful woman who relished and cherished every day. That mother of five who was rarely tired and who could write and study and cook and drop off and pick up and dress up without blinking twice. Grief takes away twice and it is a journey only those of us who have bid a final farewell to a loved one, really understand. I listen with such intensity when those who have undergone what I have just begun, speak to me. I relish their stories of healing and the gentle dawning of their new lives. I thirstily drink in their every word of possibility, potential and promise.  I am overjoyed when one or two share their latest adventure and assure me they had a most wonderful time.

In the meantime, when I am asked how am I, I still take a few seconds to reconnect with my heart and scan my sense of self. I look within and then check the weather outside. Part of me is very thankful to be alive and to have the best family and dearest friends imaginable. The other part remembers how easily I once answered that question and I am struck by the realization that I am still waiting for her to come home too.

 

 

Posted in Being Here and Now, What Breaks Your Heart? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Beyond building bridges is Becoming the bridge

 

   When we look at any job or profession there is always the potential to build a  bridge.

The gardener. I love gardening. When my garden is in full bloom, as it is now, people pass by and if they notice the profusion of colour and soft fragrance they have crossed the bridge between getting somewhere and being in the here and now.

    The waiter. I have always felt that serving people in a cafe or restaurant is a sacred  profession. The waiter can transform an ordinary cup of coffee into the sweetest moment. Through a smile, remembering your name, a gentle comment on the weather or simply the warmth in which the order is taken that person has created a bridge from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

    The Grandpa. Yesterday my husband taught our 5 year old granddaughter how to sew on a button. A bridge was built. From not knowing how to do something to actually doing something new, created a strong new bridge between them and a bridge for our granddaughter to explore sewing again should she wish.

And yet all these bridges could not be possible unless the people who built them were themselves a bridge. How do we become a bridge?  A bridge between concrete and nature. Between sorrow and joy. Between hesitation and certainty. Between ignorance and knowledge.

   Being a Bridge is a heart to heart encounter.

I remember years ago I read a book called Mister God This is Anna. Anyone who knew me back then knew that book changed my life. I went out and bought 20 copies to share with everyone. Anna was a tiny five year old child who was found on roaming the streets of London by a man called Fynn.  Fynn took her home to his mother, and that choice changed his life forever. Anna loved God in a way that most children loved puppies. He was her friend and she chatted with Him all the time. She didn’t try to love God. It was simply the way she was. He was her friend and through that friendship she transformed every people she met. Her love of God was the most natural thing for her and it came from her heart. And as loving God was her authentic way of Being everyone one she met was touched.

When we are true to ourselves, fearlessly authentic, with a healthy resilience to failure, we engage our heart and when all that we say and do is connected to the heart of who we are,  we become the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Being Here and Now | 4 Comments