Healthy, wealthy, happy and strong!

How often do we affirm to ourselves how lucky and blessed we are with our life?  Yes, we have challenges—everyone does, that’s what life is all about: how we rise to the challenges and become better human beings to ourselves and each other.  So the challenge for you today is to think about how you are healthy, wealthy, happy and strong?  Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Healthy:

(a) Physically—I eat a healthy plant-based diet; I do gentle exercises every day; I go for a little walk in the meadow with my dogs, inhaling the sweet scents of the natural world; I do small bursts of writing then I rest, and repeat.

(b) Mentally—I meditate twice daily, as well as regular 10 minute mini-mindfulness/soft breathing sessions to re-energise, help me focus and clear the mental dross that builds up during the day; I do puzzles (crosswords, Sudoku etc.) to exercise the brain cells!

(c) Emotionally—I have stopped watching news on tv as it was drenching me with sadness.  I feel a lot healthier emotionally for doing this one simple thing.

Wealthy:

I am financially secure and I give thanks for this every time I have a major purchase to make; In terms of assets, the most important is my small group of friends who are as sisters to me, and this makes me feel blessed and content; I also never take for granted having a safe, secure home in a healing natural environment.  What more could I want or need?

Happy:

I am content with my life.  How many of us can actually say that? I acknowledge past mistakes as simply stumbling blocks along the path to where I am now.  I am grateful for all the skills and aptitudes I have been given/gained in this life and my aim now is to use these in order to help others.

Strong:

I have a strong body with hands to use as tools and legs as my transportation, an intelligent brain to reason and think.  I have a strength of character, a determination to do things to the very best of my abilities and a resilience to keep on keeping on regardless of any hurdles which need to be overcome.  I am stronger still when I engage with God and ask his help.

It’s over to you now!

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Spiritual Qualities: Purity of heart

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

There have been many great saints and masters (eg. Jesus, Krishna, Mahatma Gandhi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Saint Francis etc.) who have come to Earth to show us how we can be better, kinder human beings, in order for our souls to grow and become closer to God.  Saints are pure in heart; pure in thoughts, words and deeds.  That’s an enormous example for us to follow, but if we take one desirable spiritual quality at a time and work on nurturing that within us, before moving on to the next, we will get there! Fear not.

What is purity of heart?

Purity of heart for me conjures up the idea of thinking of and putting others above ourselves—always—with no selfish motives on our part of seeking either praise or thanks.  That’s tough isn’t it?  Try doing this for just one minute at a time, then for an hour, then try and incorporate it into your day.  When I wake up in the morning, I ask: “Okay God, how can I be kind today?” and I actively look out for opportunities during the day to do something kind for someone else. It’s about entraining ourselves with new, positive habits and ways of thinking and being.  It will eventually become automatic.  It’s not easy, but that’s the point.  God isn’t going to give away his gifts to a half-hearted aspirant!

Some easy ways to nurture purity of heart in your day:

  • don’t overthink things.  If it feels right to do something for someone, do it!
  • do something you don’t enjoy and do it gladly!
  • be grateful for the simple blessings in your life (a warm, safe home; food on the table; being born into a lovely family and so on.)
  • be mindful of the motivations behind your ‘selfless’ acts (are you even subconsciously seeking praise, attention or thanks?)
  • don’t allow yourself to be swayed emotionally by events (in other words, try to be even-minded, not over-excitable nor overly upset).  This is like a cleansing routine for the heart, keeping it pure.
  • think of God often.  Put your trust in Him.
  • maintain positivity in your thoughts.  Thoughts are so powerful and can lead us down the shaky path of negativity and mistrust if we let them. Don’t!  Keep your mind, as well as your heart, pure!

Have a great week everyone. Namaste!

 

 

 

Sharing our light with others: “Give and it shall be given unto you.” (Luke 6:38)

Published in Bellésprit Magazine online, June 2nd, 2017.

Est. reading time: 10 mins.

Solstice Light

Lush green grass
Spun by nature’s wheel
Trembles in dawn’s eager light.
Solstice embers
Of days remembered
Fizzle out under dew’s
Watchful gaze.
The Sun God Ra flexes his limbs
Coursing rays of love
All over this land;
And like flowers releasing
Their night-borne scent,
The shadows of my heart
Unveil themselves,
Dispersing into ether
To be transmuted into light.

Everything is light:

The above poem came to me one bright, sunny day in late May as I sat on my favourite bench in the garden.  The sun’s gentle rays seemed to permeate all life there as my senses delighted in the birdsong and flitting of wings, in the ethereal delicacy of the butterfly in flight and the drowsy drone of the bee, drunk on nectar and too heavy to fly.  There was a definite scent in the air of summer approaching and I looked forward to days entranced by shimmering heat hazes blurring the edges of earth and sky.

I got to thinking about light and how it is the basis of everything on Earth. All the great Masters knew this.  Jesus was often quoted in the Gospels as saying:  “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6: 22-23), referring to the practice of focusing on the spiritual eye in the forehead during meditation.  Similarly, in the Hindu scripture, The Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells spiritual seeker Arjuna: “Out of compassion for them, I, who dwell within their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, with the luminous lamp of knowledge.” (Chapter 10: verse 11).

Sharing our light with others:

The sun is our greatest source of light in the universe.  It provides energy to allow plants to photosynthesise and grow; its heat and light ripen fruits and vegetables, providing us with endless food; we open our curtains to flood our homes with light each morning; we talk about being “enlightened” when we gain spiritual knowledge and practice.  Light is detected in the pineal gland deep in the brain, which then controls our body clocks.  Light also comes into our body through the eyes— the two physical eyes and the spiritual eye at the point between the brows.

In ancient times, the importance of the sun to all aspects of life was reflected in its deification in the form of the sun god Ra.  As Ra shares his universal light with us this summer, let’s follow his example and share our individualised light (our gifts, love, time and so on) with others.

Summer is the perfect time to do this.  It’s a time of plenty when the natural world offers infinite bounty: there are fruits ripening, vegetables ready to be harvested, warm sunshine raising our spirits.  As we delight in this bounty, let’s remember the words of Christ and Krishna above, who showed us how to lead a better, kinder and more spiritual life, to bring us closer to God.  We can all do this by giving of ourselves to help others.   Let’s share our inner light under the following 3 categories—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

What is this inner light?

We each possess a vast amount of inherent Divine light which can be readily augmented by tapping into our inner silence.  As we do this, we strengthen our link with its Source.  For me, this happens best when I connect with God during meditation.  Once we rediscover this light through the process of awakening, we can then share it with others.

Putting others first:

The benefits of putting others first, of selfless service with no thought of reward (ie. sharing our light) are bountiful. All the great ascended Masters and descended Avatars who have come to Earth to provide guidance on how to live a life pleasing to God—all of them—dedicated their time on this planet to serving others, in sharing their light: Jesus, Buddha, Mahavatar Babaji, and so on.  When we serve in this way, not only are we awakening God’s light in others, we are also enhancing our own light:  “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

Simple ways you can share your light with others:

1.Physically:

Do you ever wonder why you have some gifts and not others?  Why are some people good at maths while others excel in languages? Why are some painfully shy and others ebullient and outgoing? Many of us carry gifts and attributes from previous incarnations into this life in order to learn a life lesson from them.  Some are conditioned by family and environment. Some are attained in this life.  Regardless of their origin, I believe it is our responsibility to use these gifts for the benefit of ourselves and others.

Try these five suggestions:

Use your gifts and give some of your time to local ‘skills-swap’ groups.  There are many online sites (eg. www.swapaskill.com) where you simply list the skill(s) you can offer and the skills/jobs you require). This could be anything from friendship, cleaning, pet care, translation, gardening, and so on.

Volunteer work (eg. singing at a retirement home or teaching others how to fix appliances at a ‘skills cafe’ in your local community.)

Give a sincere compliment to someone (for a service they have done, or simply to give them a boost). This is sharing your love (your light) with another.  By looking them directly in the eyes as you do this, you will amplify the effect.  Imagine light streaming from your spiritual eye to theirs.  It’s easy to share our love and light with family and friends, but it takes far more spiritual effort to share it with others from whom we feel ‘separate’ or different.  Persevere though, as it will get easier and will bring you great benefits.

Share the warmth in your heart with others.  A sincere smile to another, or holding a door open for them, are simple acts of love which can have a huge impact on their day.

Remember the power contained in our words: speak respectfully to and of other people, and remind others to do this as well.

B. Emotionally:

This first suggestion may appear childish in its simplicity: I share light each time we have a sunny day in Scotland by drawing a sun on the calendar and colouring it in yellow. This gives me—and others who see it—a psychological boost.  It reminds us to stop and appreciate the gifts given to us. You could share a photograph of a sunny day on your social media page and add an uplifting message. Everyone has worries and this simple gesture can make a huge difference to their state of mind that day!

Alternatively, if you, or someone you know, suffer from low mood, draw a smiley face on the calendar for each day that you (or they) feel positive and happy.  This is a useful feedback tool to look back on during days of low mood.  In this way, we can remind ourselves that the good days far outweigh the bad. Try it and see!

Secondly, practice listening without interrupting or nodding your head constantly thinking: ‘When can I interject and say what I want?’ Is that a conversation or a competition? Is giving our opinion more important than listening to the other person’s viewpoint?  If so, perhaps this is an aspect of the little self (ego) that warrants exploration with a view to changing it to a more positive way of relating to others.

Try this instead: Sometimes all that is required is to listen without offering words of advice.  The act of listening is an important act of kindness.  By listening, we are giving our love, attention and time to another. This is especially important in this digital age when connecting with a person face-to-face is so beneficial to mental and emotional well-being.

However, do guard against allowing yourself to be an emotional dumping ground for others, as this will diminish your own inner light.  Protect yourself before and after such a conversation; before, by erecting a sphere of protection around your auric field (I call on Archangel Michael to oblige); and afterwards by sweeping down each arm with the hands, physically ‘wiping away’ any negative emotional residue from shoulder to wrist, then flicking it away through the ends of the fingers.  Do this 2 or 3 times on each arm, repeating out loud ‘I release this negative energy from others’.

3. Spiritually:

For many years I dismissed prayer and God, choosing instead the materialist path to life, thinking that this was the sure way to happiness.  In retrospect, I can see that for me this was a selfish and lonely existence—filling each moment with activity, acquiring new possessions, seeking wealth above all else with no thought for others.  There is a better way to be: we don’t always have to be human ‘doings’—human ‘beings’ is just fine! Try these ways to share your light spiritually with others:

Actively think of ways to be kind to everyone you meet (face-to-face, online or telephone). It may be easier to begin by not being negative or unkind.  For example, change your learned behaviour of being bad-tempered with someone who is just doing their job (I’m thinking here of sales people).  Instead, try being pleasant but firm; another example would be to give a few moments of your time to complete a customer feedback questionnaire.  For small firms in particular, this can be especially important.

By doing these simple acts of kindness, you are sharing your love and light.  You are giving freely of yourself.  There are many who trust in the Law of Attraction which echoes the quote from Luke’s Gospel (“Give and it will be given unto you”).  They believe that what you give out into the world by way of your thoughts, words and acts will be reciprocated in the way others treat you.

Start to pray for others. If you meditate, include it in your meditation. I ask God to heal “according to Thy will” the person I am praying for.  I ask that they be given strength and courage to deal with life’s challenges.  I pray for myself also and ask “How may I serve?”. When we pray, we are asking a question of God, and so we then have to be ready to listen out for the answer!  This usually comes by way of intuition, or inner wisdom, a ‘feeling’ that a course of action is right for us; repetitive signals are also not to be ignored.

It’s over to you:

I hope this article has given you plenty of ideas on how to share your light with others—physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As you do so, keep the image in your mind’s eye of the sun God Ra who “flexes his limbs coursing rays of love all over this land”, for this is what we do when we share our light with others.  When we give our gifts, time and love, with no thought of reward, the shadows of our heart will unveil themselves and be transmuted into light.  We are on Earth to learn from life’s challenges and enable our Soul to grow. We are here to rediscover that we are all interconnected, we are all One. So, use your gifts and skills not solely for material gain but for the good of others; nourish your inner compassion and use it to help those in need; choose to be kind at every moment; and re-establish your connection with the Creator in meditation and prayer.

Sharing our light is a wonderful way of being! Putting others first above ourselves takes a lot of practice, but persevere, as it will become second nature (or rather ‘true’ nature, for we are rediscovering our true selves in the process). So throw open the curtains on your heart, let in the light and start sharing it today!

Determination over disablement

Disablement:

This image  shows a woman filled with determination to overcome her physical disabilities. It is a truly inspiring snapshot of the inner power we all possess.  It got me thinking about the spiritual quality of determination to overcome our difficulties in life, whether that be disablement—emotional, physical, spiritual—or the numerous other “opportunities to learn” that are regularly presented to us.  My ‘disablement’ is ill-health, which with hindsight I can see was brought on by myself, by not living a healthy, spiritual life.  This period of physical and mental ill-health has been a blessing for me, enabling me to re-evaluate life’s priorities, change focus from negative to positive and nourish the spiritual self.  The level of determination required to do this has been enormous these past few years, but worth every moment!

Determination:

Determination is not the same as stubbornness.  Stubbornness can be led by blind desire and whim and can manifest itself in many negative acts such as aggression, anger and suspicion.  Determination is a quiet, constant, inner strength drawn upon at every moment to meet life’s challenges.  Determination is making the most of the present circumstances, at the same time mixed with an element of surrendering to a higher power.  For me, this means that I accept (surrender to) my current limitations of physical activity and levels of concentration, whilst also doing the best I can to work within these limitations.  I have determination to improve physically and mentally day by day, but also accept that if that is not God’s plan, then so be it.  I’m fine with that too.  Perhaps the less I can do physically frees me up to do more spiritually.  How amazing would that be!

The inspiring light of determination:

Others are drawn to this inner strength of spirit and will often feel inspired to offer their assistance. They do this in a totally selfless way, not wanting anything in return, just helping because it is the right thing to do.  When you are in the company of a person possessing this inner light of determination, it can make you feel uplifted, more positive and more willing to “have what s/he has”.  We all have it within ourselves.  You don’t need to read spiritual or self-help books to find it: the best way is in the inner silence.  Find time every day to be quiet and undisturbed.  Meditate or practice mindfulness, sit and watch the clouds float past the window.  Then ask for help (from your guardian angel, from an Archangel, from Jesus, from your Guru, from God); ask for wisdom to recognise when opportunities to learn are given to you; ask to be imbued with determination and strength to learn from (different from ‘overcome’) life’s challenges; ask how you can help others.

Lord, how may I serve?

I wish you a happy weekend and remember – be watchful for opportunities to learn a life’s lesson at any moment!