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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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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Sharing our light in service to others

Have you ever thought about light energy 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).

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 individualized light —our gifts, love, time, and so on — with others.

Summer is the perfect time to do this because 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. We each possess a vast amount of inherent Divine light that 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. Amazing!

Read the rest of the article here as featured on Best Self Magazine.   Have a wonderful summer – and remember – share your light with others!  It will benefit both them and you.  Much love, Anita.🌞

Love and kindness to all

Love is such a powerful emotion.  Most of us find it easy to love our nearest and dearest –  our family and friends – and for some people this is enough in life.  They see no need to extend their love outwards from this closed circle.  In fact, the thought doesn’t cross their mind at all!

I used to think like this, but now the thought of sharing love to others outwith my little circle crosses my mind all the time.  I know it’s God prompting me to act.   I believe the first and easiest way to extend love outward from family and friends is to focus on the local community, which has a diversity of layers and avenues to become involved in.

Here are a few things we can all do to show love and kindness to those in our community:

Donate:

Donate food, toiletries etc. to the local food bank for those who are struggling financially and cannot afford to feed themselves and their children.  Don’t donate with judgement in the back of your mind.  Just help people who need help and give gratitude to God that you are financially able to do so.  We think nothing of spending £10 on a good bottle of wine to take to a family gathering.  Include your local community as your family now!  I’ve decided to allocate 10% of my weekly food bill to the local food bank.  You could, if you prefer, allocate a specific amount each week, say £5 or £10.   Do it regularly.  Make it a new, positive habit in your life.  One added benefit of this is that you will feel good knowing you are making a difference.  Not only will you be changing others’ lives; you will be changing yours too!

Respect others:

Treat others respectfully:  do not use them for your own gains; think of their good points when they are being difficult; speak well of them to others; walk away if they seem intent on having an argument with you; do not read their private correspondence; give them space; allow them to be the person they are, not the person you want them to be.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.  In other words,

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.”  (Exodus 20:16)

 Actions speak louder than words:

Be actively helpful:  for example, pick up litter from your neighbour’s garden if you know s/he is unable to do so; if someone asks for your help, give it if you are able (this could be simple things like giving directions, opening a door for someone with a pram/in a wheelchair and so on); and that metal gate to the park which squeals and grates each time it is opened or closed – go ahead and grease it so that others will not have to hear it.  Actively look around your local community as you walk or drive through.  Where is help needed?  Can you phone the local refuse department to uplift an old sofa which has been lying on the grass verge for a week?  Can you phone the police department to install speed detectors on a local road where cars regularly speed?  Can you pester local community groups to do litter picks in your area?  If community groups are unaware of problems, how can they be expected to deal with them!  That’s where you come in!

I hope this post has given you a few ideas of how to spread love and kindness out to your local community.  Please feel free to send in your suggestions.  Much love, Anita. 😀

Just Giving!

This week is holy week in the Christian calendar.  It asks us to remember the life of, and sacrifices made by, the avatar Jesus Christ who came to earth as an incarnation of divine forgiveness and love and was crucified by his people for blasphemy.  I’m thankful for his teachings and for the example of his life.  He was still teaching his disciples right up to the end.  At the last supper, he washed their feet, and I remember this being done at Holy Thursday mass when I was a little girl.  The priest would wash a member of the congregation’s feet, and I always wondered why he did that.  Jesus explained it to his disciples:

4 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.  – John 13:14-17

So, I’m thinking, okay I’m not going to be washing anyone’s feet any time soon, but how can I carry out a simple act of respect and service for another?  Well, I woke up this morning with the hymn “Suffer little children to come unto me….for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” ringing in my head over and over.   Yes, I can do something to help children!  Here’s what I’ve done.  I’ve set up a justgiving.com fundraising page to raise money for the Save the Children charity, which helps children in desperate situations all around the world.  I have set an easily attainable fundraising target of £100.  Would you like to help me reach this target by donating 1% of your income for this month (or any amount you like, however small)?  If you would, God bless you and I send you love from my heart.  If you can’t donate, send good thoughts.  Every little helps.   Anita.  Click on the link below to make a donation:

Anita’s justgiving page