Mr Benn

I was recently asked this question:  If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would I choose and why?  Well, it’s got to be Mr Benn, my favourite children’s animated programme of the 1970s. 

Mr Benn was an ordinary English gentleman, dressed in pin-stripe suite and bowler hat.  He lived at No. 52 Festive Road.  However, Mr Benn had a very surprising ‘other life’ in which he would often visit the Costume Shop in his town.  There, he would try on a different costume each time before walking through the second door in the changing room, “the door that always led to adventures”.   As he did so, he became the person from the costume and would have an adventure.  So, for example, when he tried on the space suit, he became a spaceman; when he tried on the Safari costume, he became a big-game hunter on safari and so on.  I loved this as a child.  How rich is the world of our imagination!

And for the writer that I am now, I can see why it entranced me so much back then.  For isn’t this what we do when we write or read?  Each time we open the cover of a book, it is leading us on an adventure, isn’t it?  And with each page that we turn, we enter a different world, another life.  We can be the characters in the book and live through their experiences with them. There are plenty of episodes of Mr Benn on YouTube.  One of my favourite episodes is Mr Benn Spaceman.

The above forms part of my Interview with the Authors on the fabulous Camilla Down’s blog, MeetingtheAuthors. I’m sure she won’t mind if I publish this teaser in advance of the full interview! So, who would you be if you were trapped in a cartoon world, and why? It’s a very interesting and revealing question! Have a great week. Much love, Anita.

Misty mornings

I was trying to sleep one afternoon, but the beginning of this piece kept repeating itself in my mind, a sure sign that I should get up and write the words down lest I lose them as quickly as they had arrived. I am entranced by early morning, the quiet time just before all the chaotic ‘human’ action begins. Here are today’s musings:

    “The mist hangs low across the field this early morn: an ethereal backdrop to the grand play of life; a silken web of silence spun by Nature’s thread. All the supporting characters are already in place. The trees stand stock still, a verdant frame if you will to the enfolding picture, with their delicate branches trailing to touch those of their neighbors, as if wishing to hold hands. A couple of roe deer graze in their usual spot in the far corner of the field, ears, head and tail popping up at the slightest sound. And the birds—both garden and woodland―are rousing, taking their roll call, yet still too drowsy to venture out for food.

    There linger a few man-made traces in the pink-smeared sky – evidence of recent holidays abroad and business trips. Life in the fast lane. If only it were as easy for us to fly as it is for our avian friends! The swallows who dart and swoon so gracefully and in perfect unison, or the woodpecker with his comical bounce, seeming as if he will tumble out of the sky at any moment, or finally the great majestic buzzard who languidly circles in the blue. His eerie call echoes through the treetops, attracting families of crows to rise in ambush of this dangerous intruder.

    My neighbor, (some 20 years my senior and hardier than a lifelong North Sea fisherman) is walking his dogs. Rico, the soppy Rottweiler, who sits on your feet and leans into your legs for a cuddle, and little tiny Rosie, a fawn-colored terrier, barrel-round and waddling, with the cutest face to bring a smile to the gloomiest of hearts. I wave to them through the glass. “Well now,” I turn and say to my own two dogs, “let’s take our places girls. Today’s play has begun!”

    TODAY: Try not to let the drama of life’s ups and downs get to you. Just treat them like scenes in a play or movie. Keep yourself a little more detached from the action. This helps to balance your mood and steady your emotions, leading to a calmer, happier you! □

The above was an excerpt from my new book, Soul Murmurs, out July 26th.

Self-Realization of the awakened soul

What is self-realization?

Well, it’s many things to many people.  For some, it’s simply the fulfilment of our character, our dreams, our place in the world.  Often the first thing people ask us when we meet for the first time is, “And what do you do?”  We are identified with the position we hold in our community, aren’t we? 

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I remember with such clarity the time in my life when I had to retire on medical grounds.  Pretty soon thereafter, I was left feeling distraught and completely lacking in purpose. This was the exact opposite of self-realization as I envisaged it at the time.

For others, self-realization is a deeper knowing of our role in the universe, of being awake to and aware of all our infinite capabilities, inextricably linked to Source (God, the Creator).  We realize that we are not this body-mind; we simply inhabit it temporarily.  It took trauma and crisis in my life to open my eyes to this eternal truth, and I’m forever grateful for it!

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Read the full post on Bellesprit magazine, here.

Have a wonderful week. Much love, Anita. Send me your thoughts. I love to connect!! 😊❤

Sentinels

 Pure white sands and turquoise blue waters
frame the Sentinels’ view
tall and strong they stand
these robust endeavours of the faithful.
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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.
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The blueprint of the past lies
embedded in their skin
an energetic imprint for future kin.
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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.
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Callanish standing stones

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.

This poem is taken from Soul Murmurs, available online from July 26th 2019.  You can read more about it here.

Soul Murmurs!

I want to share with you some exciting news! My third book, Soul Murmurs, will be published July 26th, 2019. Can’t wait to read it? Here’s a sneak preview…..! Have a great week, Anita.🤩

Soul Murmurs
Seasonal words of spiritual wisdom to enlighten the soul

by Anita Neilson

You know those moments when the hairs on the back of your neck stand erect? A little warning perhaps that all is not right.  Those are soul murmurs.  And those instances of inner stillness, in an almost breathless state of being, when you feel tingles all over—a wonderful confirmation from your intuition?  Those are soul murmurs.  And those days when despair and unrest do battle with your psyche, leaving you feeling unable to cope?  But then the telephone rings or a social media post pings, with just the right message to guide you through the day!  Those are also soul murmurs.

Soul murmurs are nudges from the Divine; messages from Source; intuitive wisdom, all sent to us innumerable times each day.  What we need to do is learn to listen out for, and be aware of, these messages.  When we do begin to notice them, it brings a sense of peace, calm and joy to our daily lives.  We smile inwardly in private recognition and gratitude for this Divine assistance.  To the awakened soul, aware of being tied to this heavy, physical body, it is a delight and a comfort to know that we are never alone through all the challenges of life on earth; that help from Spirit is always on hand; and that we are eternally connected to Source (whatever name we may give It—God, the Divine, Allah, Krishna, Christ, Universal Consciousness, and so on).

My awakening was a gradual affair, albeit abruptly begun a decade ago through ill health.  I believe this is quite a common occurrence, ie that we awaken as a result of a challenging time of extreme crisis in life.  There are frequent accounts of people who, for example, have had near-death experiences and then awaken.  Reborn. Twice!  Once, in the physical body, and twice in the realization that they will never be the same again, blessed as they are thereafter with the knowledge of the soul’s true identity and purpose on earth: Self-realization, to find our way back to God.    I awakened through ill-health.  At first, I perceived this as an extreme time of physical and emotional trauma.  Now, with the grace of hindsight, I can see it as the most wonderful spiritual gift, imbuing me with compassion and understanding for others, two spiritual qualities which I sorely lacked in my previous ‘life’ pre-awakening.

Self-realization is a wonderful journey, and as I walk further along this path full of twists and turns, pitfalls and detours, I know that it leads my soul on a gradual return home. I especially cherish having a stronger connection to the Universal source of knowledge and intuition.  This poured forth the inspiration for the poems, prose, short story, autobiographical vignettes and affirmations in my new book, Soul Murmurs: Seasonal words of spiritual wisdom to enlighten the soul.  I love its peaceful wisdom and keep it beside my bed.  I can do this with no trace of ego, since the inspiration for it was gifted to me in those moments of inner stillness, during meditation, during peaceful walks in nature and so on.  I see it as a loving joint venture between the little soul (ego) and the true Soul (connected to Source). I have structured the book under seasonal headings to echo the eternal cycle of life and my own spiritual journey.  Why not take some time each day to read a page or two?  Let its quiet wisdom sit with you as you go about your day and allow your heart and mind to process what it means for and to you. 

Read the full article published in Best Self Magazine!