2019 is already well into the third month! So much is happening and it’s happening at a very fast pace. We need to keep our sanity and to have times of switching our thoughts away from the hustle and bustle and busyness.
In 2013, after my husband passed on from this life, I went for grief counselling. At one of the sessions, we were talking about taking time out to breathe. Things can get pretty intense when winding up an estate while dealing with grief. Going away to a restful haven was not possible and so my counsellor suggested that I create tiny pockets of peace right in my own home. Her suggestion was to start with one small section and then, if I wanted to, create a haven in each room, so that no matter where I went, there was a place to sit apart and catch my breath.
This was one of the most exciting and yet challenging suggestions that she made to me. It has stayed with me, and now 6 years later, there are a few havens around the home. Spaces that bring my soul peace.
My cozy library corner: There is a little dead end in my home that has made the perfect little library. I go here to sit and read and relax my mind.
Stillness and Grounding: This space above my piano gives me little pockets of stilling my mind and grounding me when my mind gets too filled with worries.
Prayers and meditation: All these little icons bring my soul to place of stillness.
Way back in January, I wrote my last blog and it had to do with improving my own emotional intelligence. That was 8 months ago! Goodness, “What happened?” I ask myself. Well, life happened, I suppose…I went to visit my daughter in China, got a compressed fracture on the last day and flew home in that condition. From then to date it has been about focussing on physical healing.
But, life is never that simple, is it? What also happened was me learning how emotionally immature I really am. Isn’t the Universe consistent that way? What you put out to the Universe will be brought to you to truly realise in abundance.
Today, on Women’s Day in South Africa, I decided to listen to a video by Brené Brown. A group of Soul Sisters have decided to discuss one of her books and so I decided to listen to one of her talks. What I heard when listening was: “Can you be trusted? Do you trust yourself?”
She discusses it in an acronym:
Take a look at the video. Let me know what you think.
What is emotional Intelligence? It is described as: the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
As Reiki healers, it can be so easy to fall into the trap…that ego trap…the one that tells us that we are doing just fine…that we are enlightened…compassionate…loving others unconditionally.
Being an instrument in the healing of another is awesome, but we often forget the saying that says: “Healer heal thyself”. We become so immersed in helping others that we forget to help ourselves, and what often happens is that we begin to express ourselves in needy or angry ways; we forget how to express our emotions in a way that is healthy and helpful rather than destructive and damaging. Self Reiki is meant to be a daily practice and one that we practice without fail.
What happens though is that we become complacent, running from one healing session to another, without remembering that this work cannot be done when we are running on empty.
So…Just for today…I will do my self Reiki and allow my body, mind and emotions to be balanced by this Creative healing.
A creative activity which can help you symbolically hand your worries, fears and anxieties over . Whether you prefer to give your worries to Godde, your angels or simply put them in a worry box, it is the act of handing them over that relieves our minds and hearts of so much excess, unhelpful baggage.
The idea is to write each worry, fear, anxiety on to a separate piece of paper of place it the box. You will notice that the box has no opening. The lid has been glued on tight. The reason for this is so that we do not go digging out these pieces of paper to remind ourselves of our worries. This is truly a physical representation of handing our worries over.
You will need:
A shoe box (or any box will work)
Pictures from magazines, calenders
Hodge podge (or wood glue) to paint over all the pictures and hold them in place
Play some music that speaks to your soul. Some of my favourites are: Leonard Cohen, Gentle Reiki music such as Tranquility, The Light Touch or any music that helps you relax.
Allow your eyes to pick pictures that first attract them. Try not to think or reason why these particular pictures. Enjoy the creative, meditative time.
If I take this saying seriously, then I am only able to love others as much as I am able to love myself.
This makes sense from a few angles:
If I believe that I lack enough resources, then I will not want to share my “little” with someone else. I will want to keep it for myself so that I don’t do without.
If I believe that I am un-likeable, then I will not be able to share my heart with others as I will not believe that I am worthy
If I believe that I am stupid, then I will not want to sit in conversation with others as I will feel that I have nothing to offer.
This list of “Ifs” can go on and on depending on our thoughts about ourselves.
Now let’s look at this from the other side;
If I believe that I am trustworthy, then I will be willing to trust others
If I believe that I will always have enough, then I will be willing to share what i have
If I believe that I am smart, then I will want to share and learn from others.
Learning how to love all aspects of ourselves, both light and dark, comes from a variety of ways. All of them require some action from us.
Gratitude journal. Write 5 things you are grateful for every day. Try not to skip a day.
Letting go and letting The Divine hold all parts of you-the broken and the radiant.
Self-Reiki. If you have learnt Reiki I, you will know how to give yourself Reiki. Daily Self-Reiki keeps you balanced and able to think of yourself with compassion.
Speaking with another person: I have needed professional help in learning to love certain aspects of myself. People who have helped are: Spiritual Directors, Psychologists, Social workers and Narrative Therapists. Sometimes we need to hear stuff from people who don’t know us well.
To end, there is a little exercise that I do which helps me to keep a check on how I am doing on an emotional and mental, and sometimes physical level. I have a attached a short video explain how to do this exercise and how it works.
It’s been a long time since a post has been written for Sacredsutine. Life can sometimes lead us down a few meandering paths, but there is always something or someone who beings us back onto our path.
While doing my personal Vision Board for 2017, it became glaringly obvious to me how far I had wandered from my chosen journey. I became obsessed with making a living and forgot how to live. As much as it is important to be able to pay rates, lights and water, put food on the table, and get the car fixed when it needs a service; it is even more important to be able to be loving and compassionate to those around me.
It reminded me of a book in my library which I read a few years ago: “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong. She speaks of a council of religious leaders, from all faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) who met in Switzerland in February 2009 to compose a final version of a Charter for Compassion which all of them had contributed to. The second point in this charter is the one I want to focus on in this post. It goes like this:
Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everyone without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect. (Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, 2011, The Bodley Head, London, Page 4)
Today, may we choose to be compassionate to at least one other person who is different to us. Maybe someone of a different gender, race or age. May we also remember to be compassionate towards ourselves. As is mentioned many times in the Christian Holy words: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
Here is a short video giving an exercise which can help you symbolically bring the compassion of the Divine into your being.
For this month of November, I have been writing on how some words of wisdom from the Indian tradition have impacted on my everyday life. This week, the above saying, “Only the ignorant person becomes angry. The wise person understands.” has been playing round and round in my head.
I would love to be wise and know just how to speak, act and react in every situation. Imagine being the Wise One whom everyone comes to, to get advice, or the one who acts with love and compassion in every situation? Or, being the one who can laugh in the face of adversity knowing that “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well” (Julian of Norwich)
However, my truth is that I sometimes still become angry at the slightest provocation; it is easy for me to misconstrue what someone has said and at times to take offence. Road rage remains a very real challenge in my life.
Through daily practice of qigong and mindfulness meditation, I am learning to keep my mouth shut and my ears open, and hopefully, before I die, I will understand “The Other” in love and compassion.
Lots of love, light and laughter
P.S: Please feel free to join me for qigong and meditation on my front lawn on Thursday morning (6.30-7.30) or Sunday afternoon (16.00-17.00). These sessions are free and everyone is welcome. xxx
I have been wrestling with how to get across my blog for today. The dictionary defines energy as: “The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. (changes in the levels of vitamins can affect energy and well-being); or: “A person’s physical and mental powers.” (an alternative is to devote your energies to voluntary work). But I have been wanting to explain that more spiritual energy without making it sound like I have lost the plot.
Then, along came Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, in her book “My Stroke of Insight” (1) and explains from the inside out that “We are composed of energy and energy fields, which interconnect us to all things.” (2). This book is well worth a read if you want to read more detail.
Dr Taylor, a brain scientist, had a stroke which affected the left side of her brain. In her book she shares her experience and her subsequent understanding that she gained during her 8 year recovery. Here is a 20 minute TED talk where she speaks of what it was like, what happened ad what it is like now. Very interesting and well worth watching.
With love, light and harmony
(1) Bolte Taylor Ph. D, J, 2009 My Stroke of Insight, Hodder & Stoughton, London
(2) Dale, C, 2013, The Subtle Body Practice Manual, A Comprehensive guide to Energy Healing, Sounds True, Colorado
Nathaniel Branden, the author of “The Psychology of Self-Esteem” and “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” says that the core idea that he has always wanted to teach is: “Your life is important. Honour it. Fight for your highest possibilities.”
As I contemplated these words, a few thoughts came to me. Firstly: Who would I be fighting in order to gain my highest possibilities? The answer came crashing through the usual muddle of thoughts that I have:
Sue the first, and probably the only, person that you would fight is yourself.
These words hit me with such force as the negative-speak which often has priority in my head usually rules over my more positive thoughts.
Secondly: Yes, my life is important, as is every single being on this planet. We each have a vital role to play in the continued well-being of all. A question that came up here for me was: What is your role in this crazy life you have? Well, I live with this question now, asking myself almost daily: “What do you need to do today to live your best life?”
Finally, how do I honour my life? Well, for today, the answer that came through is to know that my life is balanced and in order and all is well. And just for today, that has been achieved through self-Reiki, cleaning my living and working space, eating as healthily and well as I know how at this moment in time, and…Reaching out to share with others.