Posted by: starrystez | August 17, 2014

Seeking connection

Last night I had an interesting and vivid dream that I was invited into an alien spacecraft. I saw myself walking up a series of steps illuminated black. When I reached the craft my vision was severely compromised so that I could only make out vague shapes. I understood that I was searching for someone or something. It felt vaguely X-filesy, as if I was Scully finally on the verge of finding Mulder. Then I was the observer of myself, watching as I was about to be injected with a virus. I understood that this virus would infect me, but it would also allow me to see. 

I don’t remember anymore, but needless to say, the dream has made an impression. I have been feeling a little down over the last few days and physically, emotionally, spiritually out of balance. The death of Robin Williams and the wider issue of depression has been on my mind, so perhaps it isn’t surprising. Yesterday I was reading an article about the fact all art is, at its very essence, sad, because the act of creating – as well as appreciating – art means becoming aware of the wholeness and connection we all long for at heart, but struggle to find in this life.

I am also aware that it is possible to achieve such a connection in one’s spiritual life and those who can sustain that connection are truly blessed. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I get fleeting glimpses, but they they are gone. It seems that my struggles continuously bring me down, making me one of those perpetually sad people, even though I get moments of joy, often profound ones. 

Ever since I was a child i have taken comfort in creativity, whether my own (through stories) or other peoples (TV, films, music, painting, books). They become an escape when everything else gets too painful. Ironically, though, this escape usually becomes a source of pain in itself. Something that can be a source of wonder and pleasure very quickly turns toxic. Maybe this is because I am turning away from the present moment, life itself, and seeking fulfillment in a medium that cannot sustain because, like anything else, it is a temporary experience.

Taking that further, I believe that through creativity I seek connection. Sometimes creativity is an outward manifestation of feeling connected to life and love;  I have certainly experienced times when it is. More often, however, my experience is that creativity is longing for that connection to each other and the universe. Whether I am reading a book, watching a TV show, writing my own story, what I’m searching for is that spiritual knowing that we are all One, and the sadness results from feeling disconnected within human life. 

Depression is of course a condition of complete and utter alienation and disconnect from self. It goes beyond loneliness. It often stems from deep existential pain and feeling separate from all beings. There is nothing more painful than feeling cut off from everyone, that no one could possibly understand or relate to your experience, or that no one will allow you into theirs. I have been there. I believe that the comfort I derive from other people’s art is equally painful in that it reminds me what I am seeking in everyday life. It is a paradox because in art we also realize we are not alone, yet we can be so painfully reminded that we are. 

What does my dream say about all this? Quite possibly, it represents the need to enter my sense of alienation and disconnect when it arises. The virus may represent negativity thoughts and feelings, or perhaps more generally the ego. It may also symbolise my personal pain and struggles. Only by working through them will I gain clarity and find a way to re-connect. It is very interesting that the dream felt vaguely like an episode of the X-Files, since I used to deeply admire the relationship between Mulder and Scully, seeing it as the most wonderful connection, something that I could not experience in my own life.

I started this blog to share my experience with the ultimate goal of knowing that I am not alone and showing others who may have similar thoughts, feelings or experiences that they are not alone either. I take comfort in that and I hope others have as well. I try to be brave and share difficult and occasionally controversial thoughts and feelings to reach out to those who may share them. I believe that we are each trying our best with what we’ve been dealt in life; no one can know why certain things happen, we can only have faith in the goodness of our hearts. 

I am trying to go with the flow, realizing that I have always been prone to such episodes, and probably always will to some extent. ‘Dark nights of the soul’ seem to be deeply sewn into the fabric of human life for many of us. Remaining aware of my sense of connection to spirit, even when I can’t actually feel it, will carry me through. 

Blessings everyone.

Posted by: starrystez | August 13, 2014

The legacy of Robin Williams RIP

robin-williams-quote-ideasimages

Yesterday I woke up to the news that Robin Williams has died, persumably by suicide. The shock and sadness is still with me. I hope he has found the peace that he could not find in his life. I wish comfort and love for his family and friends as they attempt to deal with the loss. I loved every film he was in and although I did not know him personally, from interviews and others’ comments he always came across a very gentle, kind soul, full of humanity. Yet also full of pain. 

It’s not often that I talk about depression on this blog although many of my regular readers will know I periodically struggle with it, which includes several long and very dark spells as a teenager and later in my twenties. Whilst no one who did not know Robin Williams can claim to know what was going on inside his head, it has been said he suffered with depression, and I do know my own version of what that is like. 

It has also been said that for all his comic genius, Robin Williams always had sadness in his eyes. I know what it is like to put on a ‘mask’ to hide inner torment. I use humour and irony as a coping mechanism and it’s often the things that are most devastating and painful that I find the funniest. The phase ‘tears of a clown’ has never seemed more apt. In fact, the themes of comedy and tragedy are never far from one another. Many comedies play on this relationship, most notably in One Foot in the Grave, a TV show in the UK that I am currently re-watching and appreciating immensely.

I don’t want to start analysing a devastating loss – the media are doing plenty of that- but I do what to acknowledge that on some level, I recognize what it’s like to carry a sadness away from the knowledge of the world like an invisible yet unbearably heavy elephant on one’s back, wishing and waiting for the day it can be released. I know the inner loneliness that can lead to such a horrific state, the feeling of shame and isolation because it seems no one can possibly know how bad it feels, or want to know.

Some people never find freedom in this life and I accept that. But I also hope that Robin’s death can raise awareness of the fact so many are suffering no matter how well they seem to be coping or are doing in life, so that help is available for them. In this country in particular people don’t feel able to talk about their emotions, especially (perhaps) men due to stigma. Fortunately, I do feel there has been a small shift in that regard, but there needs to be more awareness and more help so that people have somewhere to turn to.

What people need most is someone to listen. Not pills, nor a label. As a society we need to move beyond our superficial concerns with appearance, with celebrity status, with conforming to the cultural and societal expectations and instead live from the heart, reaching out to those who may be hurting, showing kindness and compassion and genuine interest in others. In a world like that maybe, just maybe, fewer people will feel there is no other option but to end their earthly existence.

RIP Robin Williams. You may have been a troubled soul, but you shone your light onto the lives of so many. I hope now that you have found your peace. 

Posted by: starrystez | August 12, 2014

Powys

Hello everyone, sorry for the delay in updating my blog. Recently I stayed in a very beautiful part of Wales; the county of Powys. Here are some of the photos I took, both from near where I was staying and the surrounding area. My break was so tranquil and it really helped me feel connected to Spirit.

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Posted by: starrystez | July 26, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

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While I always appreciate them I don’t normally accept awards due to lack of time to dedicate to them. However, I make an exception with this: Katalon is a long term supporter of my blog and spiritual journey so it means even more to be thought of and nominated. Thank you deeply Katalon at http://www.empowerandbalance.wordpress.com

Here are 7 facts about me:

1. I played Cinderella in the school play when I was eight years old and from then on I decided I wanted to be a television actress. I was in several school plays since, but never the leading role.

2. Chocolate is my favourite food, especially dairy chocolate, to which I am sadly allergic.

3. I am a very poor sleeper and can’t remember ever sleeping through the night.

4. I’m a massive fan of the sixties era, including the music, cult TV shows and style of dress.

5. I would’ve died giving birth to my son if it wasn’t for the doctors quick thinking and expertise.

6. I used to be in love with Zippy from Rainbow.

7. I have a dark sense of humour (think ‘One Foot in the Grave’).

 

I nominate the following amazing blogs:

1. Fromthedeskofmardrag.wordpress.com for her daily inspirational quotes for happier and healthier living.

2. jeanw5.wordpress.com for her thought provoking conversations with spirit.

3. kundalinidotorg.wordpress.com for sharing so much about her spiritual awakening and providing hope that one can find love and healing from a challenging past.

4. thoughtalone.com for his beautful photos that always light up my day and his simple yet profound wisdom.

5. endlesslightandlove.com for his beautiful and inspirational spiritual messages.

 

To accept this award please copy and paste the image, write 7 facts about yourself, nominate the blogs you would like to receive the award and then let them know.

 

Blessings everyone.

 

Posted by: starrystez | July 17, 2014

Exclude no one

excludes no one

Today I want to share something with you that showed me the difference between love and fear, especially the instinctive power of fear.

Earlier today I went down my local shop to get some lunch and an ice lolly, for its a blistering hot day. As I walked out the shop a shabby, worn, middle aged man approached and asked if I could spare 50p. Sad as it is to admit, my immediate response was ‘no. I have no change, terribly sorry.’ I then rode off on my scooter.

I didn’t get very far because the shame pricked at me. I knew I had some change in my purse. I call myself a spiritual person, yet I’d walked away from someone who probably genuinely needed help. Why did I say no? Quite simply, fear. I was afraid if I’d taken out my purse he’d have snatched it, or used the money for drugs. I’d judged him…but it was more than that. I didn’t want to face what he represented. I didn’t want to be confronted by the pain of someone who may have been so short of money he’d resorted to begging outside shops. It was an unpleasant reality that burst my sunny bubble and I didn’t want to see him.

Anyhow, after a short while, I stopped in the middle of the street and grappled with myself. Silly thoughts like ‘He’ll be gone now’ and ‘I’ll feel bad for the rest of the day’ tormented me until I opened my purse, found 50p, rode back and gave it to the man who was incredibly grateful and blessed me. I left him, my heart feeling as free as a bird, full of song. It makes such a difference to give. It doesn’t even matter if he uses the money for unhealthy purposes – I don’t have control over that, only my feelings and actions. And anyhow, if I judge him for what he does with the money it would be a gesture with conditions attached, not love. Love doesn’t have a definition, it just is.

Of course, I know this doesn’t mean I have to hand out money to every Tom, Dick and Harry! But it does mean trusting when I react out of fear, not love. Many people are struggling financially in the UK at the moment, and I’m sure we are far from unique. I’m fortunate to be managing at the moment, but I’m certainly not forever exempt from the possibility of having no money, food or even no home.

The situation has unsettled and even scared me, particularly as I don’t believe I’m an uncaring person. I’m studying psychology and I know from that perspective how easy it can be for genuinely loving and giving people to be influenced by fear and other collective energies. But it has also shown me how rewarding it is to let love in and know that it may have made a tiny difference to someone’s life. And heck, I sure hope someone would do the same for me.

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