Posted by: starrystez | October 16, 2014

Magic and the Divine peach

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image from students.expression.edu

A couple of nights ago I had a funny vision as I lay in a dozy, half-sleep state. I saw the peach from the famous novel ‘James and the giant peach’ by Roald Dahl. I haven’t read this book in years but liked it as a child. What was even funnier was that I was one of the insects that had been transformed by the magic croc tongues given by the mysterious man to James at the start of the book. These tongues turned an ordinary peach into one large enough to house James and several now human-sized insects and squash James’ abusive aunts to death on its travels. Dark yes, but Dahl was no sickly sweet children’s author.

All I can remember of my vision is walking towards the peach knowing I was going on a great adventure and that I had to trust it. As I awoke I knew I had to remember what the book was about. As it turned out, it certainly involved a great adventure: the child James and his insect buddies had to overcome several terrifying obstacles such as nearly having their peach-boat pecked apart by birds on their way over the Atlantic in search of a new life, and friends, in New York City. Orphan James had lived most of his life with his horrible aunts who made his life an utter misery; he was shut away when it suited the aunts, did most of the chores, and he had no friends to play with.

And yet, his plight did not go unnoticed. The stranger with the croc tongues brought the magic that was needed to instigate James’ transformation. No one knew who he was in the book; he was never mentioned nor thought about again. To me, he represents Divine Grace. Grace is that little bit of magic sent to each of us to ensure we follow the path we were meant to, or the nudge that we need to get off the incorrect one. It is the feeling that, when looking back on our life more objectively, despite the inevitable suffering and pain at times, or perhaps most of the time, people and events showed up exactly as we needed them.

However, the man with the croc tongues obviously did not take James across the ocean to his destiny. He didn’t play any part in that. It was up to James to use his bit of magic to find his path. It was no doubt a very scary journey indeed for an orphan boy travelling with people/insects he didn’t know, inside a peach that just a short time ago had been growing from an ordinary peach tree but now had suddenly grown to mega proportions and killed his aunts. The only life he remembered was gone. He had to trust it was all for the best. He had to place his faith that the journey would take him to where he needed to be. To do that, he had to lose everything he ever knew to embrace an experience unlike any he had ever had.

Of course, this is simply a children’t story and can’t be taken too seriously. But at the same time it’s difficult to avoid the profound truth that lies within it. It has added significance for me because I’m terrified of most insects. I know this is relevant because I was writing about this the evening before I had the vision. I try hard to show compassion to all creatures and avoid killing them unless absolutely necessary, but my fear quite often gets the better of me. I feel out of control when insects come near me. I fear they are going to get in my face or my hair which leads to a feeling of being attacked. So it is very interesting that the story of James and the giant peach came to me in a vision. I believe it is saying ‘do not fear the unknown.’ In the story, the insects turned out to be the best friends James had ever had or known. He lay all his trust in them and the strange territory that was the peach.

The vision is thus a reminder to embrace the unfamiliar. It shows me that each of us are being guided to reach our destiny, yet it is up to us to make it happen. Divine Grace can give us the magic but it is up to us to trust and use it.

Posted by: starrystez | October 14, 2014

The autumnal heart

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After a long, wonderfully hot summer here in the UK, give or take a few not-so-warm days, I’m starting to feel the chill on my fingers again. My dog in particular is sensing change in the air as she reluctantly allows me to compress her already tiny body into a woolly Christmas-style red jumper. As we experience the rapid movement of seasons, ripe green into rich red and eventually decaying brown within the everlasting cycle of life, my thoughts follow thus: What and where is the beauty growing through my own autumnal muck? Perhaps harder to see is the muck itself. Unlike other forms of nature, we humans have a habit of clinging to decay, for we remember the beauty and remain ever fearful that there will be no more. Many of us distrust the flow of life and rely on our memories to keep us. We hold onto the past.

Of course, I’m hardly saying anything new. People, especially spiritual seekers, but more often now it is those who are simply tiring of old habits, have said this for many years. There can be a real resistance to the flow of energy that is called life. And this is totally understandable. Aside from fear, our memories are precious and make us who we are. They may be a joy to remember. Who wants to let go of some of the happiest times?  Who wants to forget loved ones who are no longer with us, or special times in our childhoods or significant times in our lives, such as a wedding or a birth?

This is what makes humans so endearingly complicated. This is what makes me pause at 2am and wonder why I am crying my eyes out over someone I haven’t seen for nearly four years, someone who helped me more than I can ever express in words, who largely made me who I am today. Suddenly the thought of never seeing her again, never experiencing certain moments or feelings that I did while with her, ever again in my entire life, was more than I could bear. I was gripped by the terrible human agony of loss and all the knowledge of ‘keeping her in my heart’ was lost along with it. I wanted those memories for real.

Everyone has the capacity to feel like that. Grief and loss are part of every human life. They remind us that our relationship with a person mattered, that we cared, that we had opened our heart to something beautiful. The grieving process is life itself, flowing through us in one of its million expressions. The wishing and longing for a physical presence with a lost person is thus part of that flow. We don’t have to forget those memories to move forward. If we did, no one ever would. The knowledge that we never really ‘lose’ what we shared with that person is horribly inadequate at times, but nonetheless true.

During my tears I convinced myself I was doing downhill because after several years of feeling fine I was suddenly feeling the depths of my loss to nightmarish proportions. By the light of day I realized that the emotion is not taking me back into a dark place. As long as I remain aware, it is reminding me of the importance of that relationship and what it taught me about myself. The message is to let go of the ‘muck’ which symbolizes old feelings and patterns that I have outgrown. It is a reminder that as much as I loved this beautiful person, I also loved who I was when with her. And I am still her.

And yet, paradoxically, sometimes that will never be enough. The worst pain inside any human heart must be knowing a certain person or experience will never be again. This is where I find comfort in nature and the ever changing seasons. Every single relationship I experience is part of a flow of energy and I can keep the energy alive in creative ways. I will always miss their presence. However, their energy remains in my heart which can be seen as a tree spreading its branches into the lives of others. While I know its leaves (people and experiences) will change and die, my inner beauty that is enriched in turn by people I have been truly blessed to meet, is eternal.

I made someone smile the other day when I said ‘Trees don’t grieve for their leaves.’  We add layers of emotion to the story. We add our joy, despair and longing. These are Divine gifts. The difficulty is when we doubt ourselves or get ‘stuck’ and energetically block growth because it’s easy to hold onto times past, letting the energy stagnate. As I said earlier, we distrust the bigger flow and hold onto smaller stories. It’s easy to forget that life is always moving, or seeking to move through us. Even when the pain of loss feels too much, there is a message to reflect on and remember the beauty shared with that person or experience, and keep it alive inside us. Trees don’t need to grieve because they would know their leaves are part of themselves that never die; they keep growing, shedding the old and opening up to the new. In the same vein, each person we meet who touches us, however simply or profoundly, is part of ourselves.

It may be Jung who says ‘We meet the self in many guises along the path of life.’ To remember that is to be blessed indeed. It doesn’t take away the pain of loss, but it transforms it into something greater.

T I miss you so much but will grateful for the rest of my life for the light you shone onto me.

Posted by: starrystez | October 9, 2014

What I’m looking for

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Posted by: starrystez | October 8, 2014

Being and doing

I haven’t been around for a little while as I was studying for an exam, which was yesterday. I expected to feel relief that it’s over (it was a tough course) but instead I feel sad. I realize now the extent of the gap studying seems to fill, and the emptiness I experience when I experience that gap, if only for a short period of time. I have another course starting which is far less difficult and does not have an exam, but I will miss the striving, the stress, the long study sessions.

I can’t just BE. I have to DO something. And yet spirituality seems to be all about BEING. I’m not happy unless I’m working towards a goal. Maybe that just makes me ME.

It’s interesting, though, the silence when it all stops. When the pressure cooker in my brain slides right down to zero. When I feel the emptiness in the room, my mind, my heart. And then I pause and wonder.

Posted by: starrystez | September 19, 2014

Spam related comments are not welcome

For the last few months I’ve been getting a huge amount of comments from spammers wanting to sell me their programs or items. I don’t know why this is suddenly a problem as it has never been an issue for well over a year of having this blog. Anyhow, whatever the reason is, I am automatically trashing any spam comment that appears. I have no interest and will not buy or use anything advertised from any spam comment. You are wasting your time with me.

Comments from blog readers are of course always welcome!

I will be back soon when this exam is over.

Blessings

Sarah

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