The duality of life

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.
“The only reason for time is that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
– Albert Einstein

Offerings of devotion

“A leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, offered to me in devotion, I will accept as the loving gift of a dedicated heart.” 

These loving words were spoken by Lord Krishna to his devotee Arjuna in Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita (the Hindu Bible if you like).  It was written centuries before the Christian Bible, and at a time of higher spiritual attunement to God.  The sentiments are clear:  if a person is sincerely seeking God, determinedly trying to be a better person each day, meditating regularly and deeply, this person need not offer gifts of material wealth to God. Rather, seekers are encouraged to offer up everything they think, do, say, eat, drink, see, touch and so on, even and especially the smallest thing, so that we realise that it is God Himself that is behind everything.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Out with the old (2)

I love this quote from Rumi above.  It was the starting point for my new PODCAST channel on Soundcloud (yay! – major learning curve overcome).  This episode offers guidance on how sorrowful thoughts can be used to our advantage.  It’s a 5-minute listen, easy to do while you’re busy with daily tasks.

You can tune in here:  Podcast Episode 2 Out with the Old

I would love your feedback and any helpful suggestions!  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.

Continue reading

Trusted friend and guide

Do you have a friend whose advice you trust implicitly?  Are they on the physical or spiritual plane?  For some, this friend may be what they call their guardian angel; for others, it may be God; for others still it may be a friend with whom they have almost a psychic link.   Whichever meaning you give to “trusted friend and guide”, my hope today is that you may continue to be guided by their intuition, wisdom and love in everything you do!   Enjoy my poem.  Much love, Anita.

Angel by my Side

When I stop doing and sit quietly
just being, I feel you by my side
trusted friend and guide.

Towering over me
your wings enfolding me
in a loving embrace
as a parent to a child.

My scalp tickles at your touch
causing smiles of surrender
all over this body.

Such benevolence! Such grace!
Your breath pours over me
soothing my muscles
loosening my joints
quietening the mind
unlocking the soul.

May your light flow through me
sending healing to all.
Give me strength to work with you
in service to all.
Be by my side always
to catch me when I fall.