Let’s make room at the inn this Christmas!

Twenty centuries ago, a young couple is turned away when they ask for help and shelter for the night.  She is heavily pregnant and eventually gives birth to her child in a stable.  We will come to know the child as the God-realized avatar that is Jesus-Christ.  Fast-forward to 2018.  A young girl (from a country torn apart by war or environmental catastrophe) witnesses her home, her family, her world as she knows it, decimated.  Will she find help and shelter?  


“What place is this, where blossoms cry in pain, dripping sorrowful nectar, an indelible stain, on my bleeding heart?”   from poem In the Garden, by Anita Neilson.


Our world can often appear tragic, unkind and inhumane.  Isn’t it all the more important that we turn our focus to all the positives, to every act of kindness and compassion which happens day by day, minute by minute, second by second.  Then we can reimagine our world as the precious place it is.  We can rediscover our place in humanity by making sure there is room at our inn, in our heart-space. 

Let’s leave aside our judgement of how others choose, or are forced, to live their life and drop a few coins in the begging bowl of the homeless woman on the street;  let’s offer help in any way we can to our fellow human beings, be that in thoughts, words, or acts.   If we are blessed enough to be relatively wealthy in comparison with those who are struggling in our communities, well what use is wealth if not shared with others?  Let’s make it our mission to find out what charity projects are running this Christmas and to contribute to them.  It could be our local newspaper organising a Christmas Dinner in a Box to be distributed to vulnerable families.  It could be a local children’s charity asking for donations of a new set of pyjamas and a toy for those children in disadvantaged families.  It could be welcoming an elderly lonely person into our home for Christmas Dinner.  Let’s look into our hearts.  What would we buy for our own child or grandchild?  Can we find it in our hearts to extend this love to other local families?


I was reminded this weekend about family and about why God gives us family and then (so cruelly it seems) takes them away from us in death.  I believe He gives us the joy of family so that we may experience all the different kinds of love He offers – parental, filial, romantic, children and so on.  In taking loved ones away from us, He wants us to learn to extend the love we feel for family out towards the wider world, so that eventually we will learn that all the world’s peoples are our family.  We should not differentiate between anyone, regardless of race, colour, creed, gender and so on.

Can we find it in our hearts to open wide the doors of our inn(er) heart centre to welcome others and give them shelter, materially, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.  Have a wonderful week.  Much love to all.  Anita.🙂🙏

The alternative 2018 Advent Calendar

Fed up with the usual Advent Calendar?  Cheap chocolate shapes behind doors that are infuriatingly cumbersome to open?  Here’s my gift to you – the alternative (free) 2018 Advent Calendar!  No bad chocolate to sicken your palate, but plenty of practical tips to spend a wholly more spiritual advent season.

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Sharing our bounty with others

We have been blessed this month with a bounty of fruit from the trees in our garden.  It filled me with glee as I thought about ways to share it with others.  Read on to see how we did it in 5 easy steps.  This hopefully may inspire you to share more of your bounty (food, skills, etc.) for the benefit of others. Continue reading

Kerala Flooding Disaster

Our good thoughts and prayers surely go out to those affected in the southern Indian state of Kerala which has been badly afflicted by torrential flooding over the past month, with more than 325 people killed and 200,000 made homeless.  The amount of rainwater in this year’s monsoon has seen an increase of 30% on normal years (I’m taking these figures from Hindustantimes.com.

Scientists blame climate change and deforestation for the landslides which followed such huge amounts of rainfall in the region.  I’ve done some research on Kerala.  It has a population of 34 million people in an area of 34,000 km2, whereas the country where I live, Scotland, has a population of a mere 5 million in an area of 79,000 km2.  So Kerala, which is only a tiny part of the Indian sub-continent, has more than 6 times the population in an area half the size!!  Puts things into perspective.

My prayer today:

I pray that Kerala’s people may find their inner strength and determination to help each other through the awful situation in which they find themselves.  I pray that Government and industry leaders will have their eyes opened to the abuses done to the environment in India and across the world, and will finally stop these practices.  Money and convenience should not be put above caring for the environment and all its inhabitants (for there have surely also been many (unreported) deaths in the animal kingdom during this time).  Finally, I pray that we in the West will not shrug our shoulders at another disaster on the other side of the world, but will reach out to help in whatever way we can.

So, how can we help?

We can spread the word about this current disaster.  Information can lead to positive action and pressure being put on our leaders for change.

We can donate (eg.) to the Oxfam Kerala Emergency Appeal.

We can pray for those affected.

We can pray for and give gratitude to the emergency services personnel who put their lives in danger to help others.

We can use this experience to put our own troubles into perspective.  Let’s not use phrases like, “This dress is crumpled.  I’ll not be able to wear it tonight.  What a disaster!”.

It’s really not a disaster!

I felt compelled to write this today after watching the news this morning (something I rarely do, so it must have been meant for me to see).  If you do not share my views, that’s fine.  We are all entitled to our own opinions, we are all distinct and different – or are we?  Perhaps we are all interconnected and everything we think, say and do affects all others on Earth.  Something to think about.

Much love and many blessings to you today.  Anita 🙏😥

Things that make my heart sing

Don’t you just hate those times when you’re in a low mood and none of your usual strategies works (see my previous posts on distraction, gratitude, acts of kindness, meditation)!  At times like these, I just allow myself to feel the emotions fully, knowing from experience that for me this low mood will pass tomorrow.

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