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.

Posted by: starrystez | July 11, 2014

Reaching beyond limitations

Man on top of mountain.

Image from http://www.denniscummins.com

I haven’t posted for a little while due to being virtually consumed by a very tough essay that I had to write as part of my psychology degree module. I am not exaggerating when I say it was the hardest essay I have ever had to write…and I am part of the strange breed of academically minded people who actually enjoys writing them. But this one was an exception. For once I found the material mind-bogglingly dull and as a result I did not understand it. I need a reasonable around of engagement with a subject to make sense of it and write with my personal spin on it. For a week  I sat at the computer screen attempting to find a thread with which to achieve coherence, but all that came out was rubbish. After a few days of crying with frustration I just wrote the odd paragraph here and there…again, nothing that linked in any way, but just out of desperation to get anything down that might trigger my creative mind.

In the midst of this anguish I spoke to someone who told me that I am a creative and thus I use that side of my brain (can’t remember if it’s left or right) and so, when I have good knowledge of a subject, I simply sit and write my argument without planning or deliberation. When, however, an assignment demands logical planning and evaluation, I falter. It is no co-incidence that I am far better in exams than I am in writing assignments in my own time. While I have struggled with previous essays on this particular course, which ironically is on the cognitive side of psychology, I have always known that I’ll get it done eventually. I can see the finished essay in my mind. This time, I could not. I truly thought it was beyond me. The situation seemed so bad that I looked into what my overall grade would be if I did not submit the assignment…a decision that I could, for this essay in particular, make without failing the course.

As you’ll probably guess, after almost a week something clicked and I spent a whole day writing yesterday. I read back over it and I think it is pretty good! I have absolutely no idea why it was different; maybe I suddenly understood what I was writing about, maybe I’d subconsciously given up, or decided to submit any amount of rubbish just to get it over with. The fact is, I did it.

What is my reason for writing this? The sense of joy that overwhelmed me when I realised I had done it. The wonderful, almost indescribable joy of creativity that gives life its meaning. For me it’s better than sex, better than the silkiest chocolate, even better than the moment a plane takes off with me on board on the journey of a lifetime. It is the high that comes with being totally at One with the universe. I had self-actualized, reached beyond my small self and touched the stars.

It is the reason that I have the biggest, proudest grin on my face despite aching all over and having a sore throat due to the stress of the past week. It is knowing that if I get a good mark for this assignment I will cry with joy because of the blood, sweat and tears that went into it (literally in two cases).  It is remembering that three years ago I walked away with a Distinction for one module despite being seriously ill during the exam and the fact it meant so much because I had been so unwell. It means I can stretch past my limitations and achieve my dreams.

In these moments it’s as if I no longer exist as a person and my heart and soul have found their wings.

 

 

 

Posted by: starrystez | June 22, 2014

A beautiful day

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Ah the simple things – a freshly mowed lawn; hot summer sun in a sapphire sky; lush green overhanging leaves shading us from its intensity; sparrows chirping and landing on nearby fences; my dog laying next to me; the tinkle of the ice cream van in the distance. What more could I want?

Today was such a perfect day, one that I will carry with me into the darkest winter.

 

Posted by: starrystez | June 20, 2014

Spiritual sight

I’ve been aware of not remembering my dreams recently. They have been very hazy and jumbled. I think this is because my attention has not been on dream recall or in fact anything of an obvious spiritual nature for a little while. I urgently needed to rectify the situation so, just two or three days ago, I set the intention to remember my dreams. To encourage the process, I read one of my dream journals from a few years ago to remind myself just how powerfully I can dream.  Just a night or so later I started to recall my dreams vividly again. It is incredible how just deciding to remember dreams can affect my subconscious. My acupuncturist recently said that I have a very powerful subconscious, so it may be that my dreams had faded into the background to allow me to focus on the more mundane things in life that I was dealing with.

Last night I was not well after a severe allergic reaction to something of unknown origin, leaving me with dripping nose, eyes, throat and incredibly congested. Not a recipe for a good night’s sleep! However, it did provide me with some interesting dreams to ponder. In one,  I was on board a train that was travelling through deep snow. I was sitting near the front as if I was the driver, although it was clear I was not driving the train. Out of the front window I saw a man walking his dog right in front of the train. The train slowed behind him, then the man moved to the left, taking deep strides across the snow. I became worried at the depth of the snow and wondered if the train would make it.

The train began to climb a very steep hill. I watched in fear, realizing the train would skid on the snow and ice. As it got higher, the train began to pull back from the hill and sway, but not violently. I watched as it seemed to turn in on itself and then suddenly it crashed landed. I was aware of the bump, but it didn’t feel severe.

My mum, who was behind me on the train, said ‘we have to get out now.’ She grabbed my niece who was also there and we all quickly ran to the door and jumped, afraid the train would catch fire and/or explode. We walked towards a station where we saw a crowd of people who had presumably been on the train – they all had various facial injuries. Someone came up to me and asked if I’d been on the train and if I was okay. I said ‘I was at the front’ then I started to cry.

I think the dream ended here. It was remarkably vivid, to the extent I could experience the train about to crash and the horror of seeing the victims afterwards, as well as knowing that I had made it okay because of where I sat.

But what did it mean? I’m still not entirely sure, but the dream symbols are common:

Snow – stuckness, frozen emotions, purity, Divine, perhaps congestion due to my allergy symptoms!

Train- journey through life.

Hill- Obstacles and challenges sent to help us grow.

Man and dog – Not sure, maybe representative of another type of journey, or allowing events to flow as they need to |(by getting out of train’s way and letting life run its course).

Crash – life can bring about difficult and painful events.

Sitting in front – By being aware, I will be okay.

Victims and their injuries – Spiritual blindness, emotional pain and suffering, compassion for the parts of me and/or others who experience great pain.

I do think there is something about spiritual sight in this dream, also of getting out of the way of wishing life could be different. It will go the way it goes, but I will survive the pain.

 

 

 

Posted by: starrystez | June 16, 2014

When things aren’t what they seem

On Saturday I was out with my dog on our usual morning walk. While out, the local post lady had tried to deliver something, found me out, and posted a card to say she had left the item by my dustbin. When I returned, I found no sign of it.

Almost immediately, I went into a state of panic, believing it had been stolen from my garden. I was waiting for a laptop due to seemingly irreparable problems with the current one and a need for a back up. I haven’t been back long from holiday and have very little money so I knew it could only have been the new laptop, which took all the money I had. Unfortunately, due to being the weekend, there was nothing I could do until Monday.

I felt angry and miserable and worried. On a practical level, I wondered whether the person I’d bought it from would refund me or send me another since I hadn’t received it, or whether it could be tracked to the post lady leaving it in the garden which would be considered delivered and therefore not the seller’s problem? I didn’t want to lose all the money I’d paid due to a theft that was not my fault. On an emotional level, I was angry – angry at the person who had stolen my parcel in blatant view of the street, angry that my worldview of my area as being friendly and relatively safe had been challenged, and angry at the post lady for leaving the item beside the rubbish bin, not inside it. Also, I felt really miserable and was close to tears at being a victim of a theft, of a laptop, of all things, an expensive item that is very rarely something I order online.

My boyfriend tried to cheer me up but sad to say I felt completely down in the dumps for the whole of Saturday and Sunday wasn’t much better either. Finally, I considered the idea of acceptance – knowing that life does what it does, and as much as I’d like to change what occurred, turn back time and not go out, make it a different day the laptop was delivered and all the rest of it, I couldn’t. The flow of life creates various situations and I am powerless to change them. Yet, as many people know, it is possible to change my reaction to the event.

I let myself feel my anger, knowing that avoiding it would not make it go away. Then I considered that every situation in life is an expression of the whole and resistance is futile. The person or people who went into my garden and took what was left were reacting from their own state of consciousness. Perhaps, even, they needed money for daily living or to fund a desperate addiction. This doesn’t change the injustice but I tried to forgive them for their actions. Also, I tried to accept there was a bigger picture surrounding the situation and that my feelings were one part of it. I decided to try to let it be, then contact the seller on Tuesday to state that the laptop had not been received. I thought to myself that if I was meant to receive my money back then I would, if not, I could trust that things were not meant to turn out that way.

(I have to say, I did not do the above with a completely open heart; I was still furious!)

This morning I awoke, I considered walking my dog, then decided to stay in bed for a little while since I didn’t feel too well. The doorbell rang, I answered it to find a private courier on the doorstep with a large square parcel. My laptop?????In a state of excited delirium, I ripped it open to find that it was. Relief turned to confusion. So what was the item the post lady had left? I hadn’t ordered anything else. No one I have asked has sent me anything. I didn’t see the post lady this morning to ask the size of the item she had left and where she had left it. So at the moment it’s still a mystery.

My reason for writing this post is really to share this ‘slice of life’ and the depth and range of my reactions to one event that has turned out to not be exactly what I imagined. Maybe something WAS stolen from my garden, just not my laptop. Maybe I will find there was a mistake of some sort, perhaps it wasn’t my item at all. This strange situation has reminded me that there is value in taking a step back from worry and emotion, letting life unfold as it does, sometimes resulting in ways that I never imagined.

Furthermore, it is a lesson in letting go of attaching to items, situations and outcomes…although this is naturally far easier in theory. I wasn’t particularly detached from my experience of the ‘theft’ but in being aware of my reactions I could explore and reason how I interact with the world. This can only lead to healthier ways of being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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