What do female voices from around the globe think is the meaning of the Divine Goddess/Feminine? To find out, I recommend this wonderful book, Goddess: when she rules (Golden Dragonfly Press). Profits from the sale of the book will go to charities which promote education for women. I wrote the essay below as a contribution to the Goddess book. The editor, Catherine Schweig, also hosts a great blog site for those interested in spiritual poetry: Women’s Spiritual Poetry. Click on the image to read the article which was published in Mystic Living Today e-zine. It’s a bit longer than my usual posts, so you’ll need a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit. Enjoy! Much love, Anita.🙏
Okay, so I’m learning already this week about how to use hashtags so that they are discoverable and no-one else has used them. Yikes! It’s a minefield, but the secret for me is to tread very carefully (which if my mother were still alive would make her giggle, as she used to say I was like a bull in a china shop!)🐂🙂
One of the things I enjoy about blogging is that as you write, you pause from time to time and think, “Why did I use that word?”, “Where does that word come from?” That’s what I was thinking when I decided to write about compassion. The word seems to derive from Latin compassio which itself is translated from the Greek sympatheia. So to embody compassion, we must have sympathy, pity, empathy with someone. In other words, we share their pain at that moment. And when a problem is shared, we are half way to solving it, aren’t we?
Compassion is something which I lacked in my younger adult life. Like many people, I was so entwined in the material world seeking my happiness there, with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, that it hardened my heart over time. I had (subconsciously even) locked the door of my heart so that no pain could hurt me and no harm could come to me. I know now, of course, that life doesn’t work like that. We have to open our heart and let the light flood in, be brave enough to analyse ourselves and change our bad habits. For it is through our choices in life that we create for ourselves either pain and harm or joy and success. When we become aware of this and decide to change, only then can pain and harm no longer trouble us. I was blessed to go through this awakening life transition around 9 years ago when chronic ill-health struck. It afforded me the space and time to do this inner work, and to start to see the world around me and everything in it in its true light: a cosmic dance of energy. Through my own suffering, I could finally empathise with others’ suffering. The door to compassion had been wedged open.
My husband, on the other hand, is one of those naturally kind and compassionate people. He is truly inspiring, helping others instinctively with no thought of reward. He is happy to describe himself as my carer. I don’t need help with everything, but as I have chronic fatigue and daily pain which pops up in random places, there are some things I can’t manage, like showering, drying hair, housework (no great loss!), shopping and so on. Anyway, whenever he does something to help me, I always thank him, and he replies (affecting a silly voice) “Everything I do, I do for you.”
Now, lock me up if you think I’ve gone mad (and even if I were, why would you?) but I’ve come to the realisation recently that God or my Guru (which are really one and the same for me because my Guru is the mouthpiece for a silent God) are at times speaking to me through my husband (and others, but that’s another post!). Let me explain. As part of my meditation every day, I chant mantras translated from Sanskrit, or I say Christian prayers. But sometimes the archaic language is a barrier to my devotion. All I really want is a simple mantra that sums it all up: how I want to get closer to God and live a good life helping others. Something like, “Everything I do, I do for you”! When my husband says it, he is addressing me; when I say it, I am addressing God and Guru. It’s perfect.
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For this week’s #healingwordsthu I wanted to highlight an amazingly beautiful YouTube video 40 acts of compassion by Micah Christian.
These are just a few of the acts of compassion mentioned in this short 5 minute video. You may have heard of many of them before, but to make a difference, we know that it’s no longer enough just to read and perhaps leave nice feedback. We also need to make the right choice to put inspiration into practice. We need to act.
TODAY: Take 5 minutes out of your busy day. Watch the video and let it inspire you! Now, here’s the most important part – commit to putting one or two of the ideas into action in your life.
- Leave a room cleaner than you found it
- Ask people to donate to a charity you specify instead of giving you gifts for birthdays
- Pick up rubbish (or dog poo) on the ground instead of stepping over it
- Register to be an organ donor
- Talk to a cashier when they are serving you and ask how their day is going….and really listen to their answer
- Give up your seat on a bus or train to someone who looks tired
Have a great weekend. Much love, Anita.💙
I believe we are all interconnected on Earth. Everything we think, say and do affects all others, if not in this life, then in the next. Here are two things to focus on today to strengthen our interconnectedness:
- Treat people with respect, how you would like to be treated.
- Stop trying to fight the current. You can never control it! Life is so much easier and more loving when you accept this and go with the flow.
Here’s a poem for you to enjoy today:
We’re all little ripples on the
Vast ocean of thought and energy
At one with the other in sublime synergy.
Ebbing and flowing with the passage of time.
I want to float on this ocean for eternity
And carry its sigh through my bones;
Feel its gentle bliss
Like a silken kiss up my spine.
I want to swim through these waters
Untroubled by waves of emotion
In tune with the current.
I want to sail through this ocean
And sprinkle its light on others
Anointing them with the Creator’s love.
I am a happy, little ripple on my way home!
Aah! The Prayer of St. Francis. I love it. 🙏 It sums up how to live a good life really by helping others rather than focusing on ourselves. It’s Winter here in Scotland and Mother Nature’s chilly, icy grip has been tightening throughout the month of December. I woke up this morning in my cosy, warm bed with warm gas-fuelled radiators heating the whole of our home. Boy, was I grateful for the gift of heat when I peeked out of the blinds to see the frosty field opposite, the driveway twinkling its icy warning and the early-morning dog walkers’ breath rising like comical chimneys skyward.
So grateful was I for all my blessings this morning. I am every morning anyway, but I was especially thankful today for:
- a warm, safe, secure home;
- a strong body and mind to allow me to thrive in this physical world;
- people who love and care about me;
- a growing compassion for others arising out of moments of personal suffering.
Yesterday, I noticed the horses in the field, wearing their winter blankets, happily munching away on the remnants of grass. Someone had been thinking of their comfort, their basic need to be warm in a cold climate.
It got me thinking of the cold snap of weather and of those people who don’t have a warm home or enough warm clothing. So, I rummaged through my wardrobe and looked out some warm clothes (knitwear, hats, scarves, coats and so on) to donate to our local homeless charity. It’s just a little thing, but it’s all the little things added together which bring big changes, isn’t it? No act of kindness is ever too small in my book.
This morning I asked God, “How can I help people today?” When we blog, it’s one way of helping people, by sharing our thoughts and ideas on how we can make a big difference with lots of small things. If you live in a cold climate and are blessed to have safety, security and warmth but don’t have any items of clothing to donate, you could perhaps think about one of the following:
- donate your time (in prayer or meditation, sending out good positive energy to those in need);
- donate your time by helping out for an hour at a local food bank or homeless charity;
- make a financial donation to a local or global cause that resonates with you. Any amount, however small, is gratefully received and always makes a difference.
I’m not writing this post to make you or I feel guilty about our blessings in life. And if you think you don’t have any blessings, you’re not thinking hard or smart enough! This morning, I felt I was given a little Divine nudge to do something for others, so I thought I’d share this with you. Please like and share this post if you agree. God bless you. Namaste! Anita😊
(published in Kindred Spirit website June 9th 2017. Jeu décisif Kindred Spirit)
It’s amazing what inspiration comes to you when you’re watching a game of tennis! The first fortnight in June hosts the French Tennis Open (Roland Garros) and I have been struck by the determination, fearlessness and tenacity of the players as I watch their interaction during play. This is especially so in the Tie-break (jeu décisif): the decider game. These qualities of determination, fearlessness and tenacity are also sought-after spiritual qualities, the acquisition of which will hasten our soul’s growth, and so it is in all our interests to nurture these qualities in our life. How can we follow the examples set by athletes and sportsmen and women to integrate these spiritual qualities into our daily lives? Here are a few pointers to help you do this:
Determination is such an important quality in all aspects of life: the attitude of “keep on keeping on”. It’s important to try and nurture this quality in ourselves: in the routines of daily life, in meditation, in relationships and so on. It would be so much easier, and yet much less spiritually valuable, to take the easy way, to drop the racquet and say “I give up. This is too difficult”. But it’s through all the trials in life—when we need to dig deep and be resolutely determined to overcome these challenges—that we see massive growth spiritually and emotionally! We can all use this gift of determination wisely, and especially, to do good in life.
Remember to never give up trying, even when the odds seem stacked against you! If you are continually coming up against a brick wall, try sitting in quiet and asking for inner guidance. Perhaps what you are trying to do or achieve is not the best course of action for you and that is why obstacles constantly arise. Perhaps your motivations are ego-led: selfish as opposed to selfless. Living solely for the self can give temporary moments of happiness absolutely—but not long-term joy. Many of us discover this lesson very late in life. So, think through problems logically, analyze your motivations, reason possible solutions and try these one at a time. When you have discovered the right course of action for you and for the good of others, things will flow easily.
Courage to trust in oneself, but also to trust in a higher power. Those who have faith in such an overarching power often appear calmer and less afraid to take action. Even if we don’t always know what’s going on in our lives and how what we think, say or do will affect others, God does. The essence of the message in this quotation is to trust in Him (whatever name you give Him: God, Source, Allah, Jehovah etc.) that everything will be okay. This can be a frightening thing to consider and do: relinquishing control to something unseen and unknown. However, ask yourself if you are happy with the status quo: continually spinning plates trying to control each aspect of your life, usually out of fear that something bad may happen if you stop running. Is living in fear helping you to grow emotionally and spiritually or is it stifling your life-energy?
“It is I who remain seated in the heart of all creatures as
the inner controller of all.” (Bhagavad Gita XV:15)
Whatever your beliefs, it is certainly true that none of us can see the whole ‘big picture’ in life; we’re only a tiny spark of light in the vast cosmos, a single thread in the tapestry of all life. Therefore, we can only see our little part of the tapestry! How freeing it is to fearlessly put our trust in a higher power and hand over any doubts and attempts we make to control life around us! It is at this point that we are able to act without fear of any results of our actions. If God is the umpire of this terrestrial match of life, we are the players on court, and we need only do our best at the end of the day. This is what really matters: how we play the game, the lessons we learn from each challenge and how we learn to love others.
If we search for the meaning of tenacity in a dictionary, one interpretation will say: “the quality of being able to grip something firmly”. This is an apt description when talking about a game of tennis or even a limpet clinging to a rock! But what about you and I? How do we stand firm in the face of, for example, peer pressure to ‘fit in’ or change? Well, firstly we have the courage to be who we are and not what we think others want us to be; we affirm our self-worth daily to ourselves and to other people; we stand firm when criticized or ridiculed for our beliefs or selfless actions; we constantly battle our bad habits and work just as hard to establish new, positive habits of thinking and doing. We strive at every turn to be the best player we can be in this game of life. These are the qualities of tenacity which can be nurtured in all of us in order for our soul to prosper.
Our jeu décisif:
Are we going to be tenacious in all aspects of life? Is this life on Earth going to be our ‘jeu décisif’ in which we conquer accumulated karma with no further need to reincarnate? Or will our tenacity weaken, hastening our return to play another game? The ball is in your court!