This wee poem came to me last night as I lay in bed. The first for ages! I am feeling so inspired and creative at the moment, so I will take full advantage while it strikes. Click on the image of Paris below to access the poem and do let me know what you think! Much love, Anita. 🙏😊
Just as the quote below says, we need oppposites in life. We need challenges which, although painful at the time perhaps, will help us to grow emotionally and spiritually. If life were just one series of material and bodily pleasures, what impetus would we have to improve ourselves, or to seek the pleasure found in spiritual endeavours such as meditation, helping others and finding our way back to the Divine? The duality of life is one of the ways that God throws in his fishing line in the hope that we will take the bait and return to Him.
Here’s another beautiful quote that I came across this week:
“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us
to give ourselves the gift of living well.”– VOLTAIRE
In order to grow from life’s challenges, below are outlined just a couple of examples of how to change learned habits of behaviour and react in different, more positive, ways:
- when someone is angry with you, don’t retaliate because you will simply be fanning the flames of their ire. (I had to learn this skill pretty quickly as a high school teacher. At the start of my career, I took part in a couple of quite ridiculous in retrospect shouting matches with pupils. My goodness, the flames of anger must have been reaching out of the top of the building! But I was presented with this opportunity many times to change my ways of reacting to pupil challenges. And each time I learned how to behave more positively, more lovingly. Teaching isn’t all lovely children and fun, although it is that too. To really appreciate the good times, we need to learn through the challenging ones. So, to get back to the issue of anger, quite often if you are quiet and say nothing, this can extinguish the flames! It is really difficult to do this at first, but you eventually reach the stage where you immediately see this challenge as a test. How will you react? If you can do this, it is a major spiritual step forward in my view. If you have a mantra, repeat it over and over inwardly. When the person’s ire has burnt out sufficiently, then you can talk to them quietly, reassuringly. They don’t need to hear harsh words; they don’t need to hear how stupid they’ve been; any kind words and acts you can offer them at this stage will sow a seed in their consciousness. Hopefully, they will think twice about igniting their rage in the future!
- when you feel rushed for time and feel as if you don’t have enough minutes in a day, do an activities audit. I PROMISE YOU THIS WORKS! Write down all the activities you do in a day/week such as taking the kids to dance class or play dates 3 times a week, doing the weekly cryptic crossword in the weekend newspaper for 2 hours, watching 4 hours of tv a night. Which of these activities are really essential to your life and which can you simply let go? Learn to let them go and you will feel more at peace, more relaxed. The challenge of time pressure was created by you and you can change it.
Well, we are being blessed in Scotland with summer heat for a few days and it made me think back on childhood summers which seemed to go on FOREVER. School had finished and now it was time to explore the natural world around us and play games with our friends.
We loved to make daisy chain necklaces, play “Six white horses in a stable, pick one out and call it Mabel” with two balls up against a wall- if anyone remembers this please let me know as I have forgotten the rest- or hopscotch on the pavement outside. Then of course we had farmland and meadows to run through, and two seaside beaches to visit only after the heat of the day had burnt away. My goodness, how blessed and lucky were we to grow up in such an environment. And didn’t I take it for granted!
"Summer heat rising:
of movement and sound
a symphonic concerto
playing in my mind."
So what does my idealised home town look like now? Here are a few images. I no longer live there but it still stirs the emotions when I see photos or visit:
Have a great day everyone whatever you are doing. Much love, Anita.😏🌻
Pure white sands and turquoise blue waters
frame the Sentinels’ view
tall and strong they stand
these robust endeavours of the faithful.
A harsh land this where no tree
survives, peat bogs their only terrain.
The Stones have seen lives born
and torn apart by strife
lovers entwined in their shadows
widows mourning in sorrow.
The blueprint of the past lies
embedded in their skin
an energetic imprint for future kin.
They feel cold to the touch, like ice
but a fiery heart lies within
a gift from the ancestors
our eternal protectors
sheltering us from the wild Atlantic winds.
This poem was inspired by the Prehistoric Standing Stones at Callanish on the Isle of Lewis (Scotland), shown above. For me, they symbolise the steadfastness and resilience of those who laboured to erect them. This Midsummer they remind us to stand firm to our beliefs, show resilience and keep on keeping on.
Today marks the 3-year anniversary of the brutal murder of the Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, by someone who was offended by her views. You can read my original post from back then, which includes a lovely poem about diversity, here.
Let’s not despair at the gladiatorial style politics displayed by many of our world leaders; instead, let’s give hope to others by our example of understanding and compassion.
Let’s not look for differences to be suspicious about; rather, let’s seek out what we have in common and celebrate that!
Let’s never doubt that the ordinary man and woman can make a difference. If we choose to change the way we relate to every person we meet in person, see on television or read about in the media, we can effect great change. For we are all interrelated on this third rock from the sun and every thought, word and action affects those around us. Let’s make positive choices therefore to always see that we have #moreincommon.
Be the change you want to see in the world.🌿 Mahatma Gandhi
Much love, Anita. 😀