Let the walls of your life fall away around you.

This is a photo of the Berlin Wall which separated Soviet-controlled East Germany from West Germany.  It was erected in 1961 during a period in history called The Cold War, and was finally destroyed by the people in 1989.  A monstruous symbol of rampant egos, of man’s inability to understand or accept difference in others’ views and ways of life.  Intolerance leads to fear and hatred if we let if fester in our hearts.  I still find myself tutting with disapproval at a naughty child, or rolling my eyes at my husband’s ways of doing things (cos I know better, right? or so I think!).  The bright colours of the wall don’t dim the sadness of separation which many families had to endure during that time.  Now 27 years later, in 2016, we have secure walls and fences in Calais, northern France and encampments in other countries, to keep refugees out of Europe.  Please, let’s not build any more walls between us.  We’re all different.    Let’s just get on with it, lead peaceful productive lives for the good of all.

Give Gratitude

Being thankful is a major way to show love and kindness to ourselves.  By positively changing the way we view and react to people and events, we tap into our inner core of compassion.  A few years ago, I was given a book on gratitude by a friend.  It immediately made me realise how negatively I had viewed the world around me up until that point.  I had been so self-centred, trying to control every aspect of my life, with any deviations from this plan resulting in “chaos” as I saw it.  I took Continue reading

Out with the old….

“Embrace sorrowful thoughts for they

sweep the house of your heart clean,

scatter the withered leaves and pull out

the twisted roots, preparing the ground

for the new shoots of joy.” Rumi.

Rumi was a 13thC Persian poet and theologian. He was a weaver to trade, and his words weave the Divine into our hearts. Put simply, the message of this extract from one of his poems (Rumi’s Little Book of Life, Hampton Roads Publishing) is that we cannot really appreciate the ‘good’ things in life without having experienced some of the ‘bad’. I’ve had many times in my life when I’ve felt completely unable to cope through the bad times. It’s often only with hindsight that we can see the benefits which they bring.

To give you an example, I had a teaching job many years ago where I was very unhappy. I hated the school: I found the pupils rude and uncontrollable; my boss was hyper-critical and all this eroded my confidence, which spiralled me down into depression.   The effort it took to get out of bed in the morning and put myself through another day was immense.  I was a mass of anxiety. I would cry every day driving home after school had finished. My husband wanted to go to the Head Teacher and complain. He wanted to take away my pain, but he couldn’t. So I put in my time, I applied for other jobs, I wrote down three things each day which had been positive.  Three months later I had a job at a promoted level in a new school in which I felt completely comfortable. I appreciated being there so much, and I know if I hadn’t experienced the former I probably wouldn’t had felt such appreciation.

So, today, just today, meet life’s challenges head on, because they’re given to you for a reason.  And remember – you’re always stronger than you think.  Much love x

Kshanti

I wanted to share this poem by Wendy Stern from her posthumous collection, Kshanti Poems, courtesy of www.PoetrySpace.co.uk

Trapped on the inside

Life came to me today,
Through my window,
All feathers and passion,
With more colour, intensity, swiftness and determination
Than perhaps I’ve ever known before.
It perched, finally,
Trapped on the inside for once,
And it looked at me.
I spoke to it, calming it,
And then I set it free.
Life came to me today,
Trapped on the inside for once.
I set it free…