Living authentically

Authenticity 2

My path of growth, awareness and spiritual development is an on-going process. It is not making a list of goals and ticking them off like a ‘bucket list’ once accomplished. NO. It is a forever project, open-ended, ever-changing, making detours, pausing to take stock and to re-evaluate beliefs and strategies, recognising set-backs and achievements.

I’ve just had my 62nd birthday. Currently I’m struggling with decisions made and future decisions looming. I know. I know. Live in the ‘now’, for that’s all we really have. I get that. And because I ‘get that’, I’m going to focus on living authentically – from living authentically I am absolutely positive that I’ll find inner peace with the person I am and the way I live my life. Everything will fall into place. I will be totally on my path, therefore I’ll go where I need to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In theory living authentically sounds easy: knowing yourself and making decisions accordingly; be yourself (all the time); accept the person you are; be your own master and don’t follow the crowd; don’t suppress your inner voice; let honesty be a part of everything you do. A deep inner authenticity that is individually yours.

But in the reality of everyday life and all the issues (big and small) that we’re faced with, it can take immense courage and faith to live authentically all the time.

Living authentically means you are going to ‘rock the boat’, and it means tension or conflict might be created around you when people judge you. And they will judge you. It will undoubtedly mean letting go of some people in your life. Not everybody will continue to like you when you live authentically.

Some people (family, friends, associates) will feel uncomfortable about the real you when you are the real you every minute of every day. Some people will consider you weird, or ‘up-yourself’, or too different to be bothered with. Whatever unaware people fear, they will shun. If they fear your new ways, they are likely to shun you. Most people are afraid of this. Don’t be. If people are not meant to continue to be in your life, let them go (with love).

Everyone has his/her own journey for their own reasons, and living authentically also means accepting that without judgement. If people slip from your life, then that’s the way it’s meant to be.

Believe in yourself. Find your voice. Become comfortable in your own skin. Trust the Universe to take you where you need to go.

Be who you truly are, no matter what they think.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

An attempt to explain my spirituality

40069272_1720548031401227_2418293344741359616_n - Copy

If people were interested enough in me and my life, they might ask, “What do you mean by ‘spirituality'”? And, “What is the meaning and reason of all the ‘weird’ things you say and do relating to spirit, rituals, sacred circles, moon cycles, crystal grids, higher powers, universal energy, etc”? And I’d be rapt by such questions, although I know I’d struggle to adequately explain myself in a simple manner.

While I am deeply spiritual, I do not participate in or subscribe to any religion. But I am not an atheist. I acknowledge powers higher than my self, but I do not worship God or a god.

The spirit is the aspect of our human self that allows us to have an intimate relationship with non-physical and physical elements of our ‘self’ and our world and the universe as a whole – that is, everything. Our spirit is the ‘driver’ that allows us to change and grow on a soul level. Our spirit is the energy field that connects us to everyone and everything, including non-physical elements of our self and the universe, whether past or present or future.

Put very simply, my spirit is the energy that connects me to all, therefore, making me part of the ONE, part of everything that is, that was, and that will be.

The soul is the inner core of our being that changes, grows, evolves into the heart-driven being we are destined to be. The soul is not a physical organ that can be touched, but a divine essence within. My soul is me; I am my soul. The soul is eternal, it does not die with our body. Our body is just a vessel for our soul, so that our soul can have a human experience in which to learn and evolve. Our soul will re-incarnate over and over to learn the lessons it needs to learn.

sacred circle with crystal grid

Now, with that over-simplistic explanation of the spirit and soul accomplished, I will endeavor to briefly describe how and why my spirit and soul are an everyday (in fact, every-minute) part of my life – they are my life; my spirit and my soul are ME.

My spirituality is an attempt to educate myself, through experience, over a lifetime – this education being the hows and whys of my non-physical and physical self understanding and relating to my self and my surroundings for the greater good of all. It is not a self(ish) education. It is not an education that results in anything tangible in my hand at the end, nor is it a learning of skills that will be put to use to earn a living or accumulate material possessions or gain social power. It is a deep insight into the relationship between ourselves and the wider universe around us in a quest to live as love.

My spirituality is my individual perspective and involvement in the non-physical and physical world; a deep search within and around me to better understand that which cannot be explained by accepted means (science, technology, medicine etc). My spirituality is a private and individual journey of soul growth that is flexible and enjoyable. To share this wisdom is living a life of love.

A spiritual path has no maps, no doctrines, no rules, no one overseeing our progress, no one judging or instructing, no churches or other buildings to maintain, does not exclude minority groups, there is no one controlling us or insisting that some way is the right way. A spiritual journey is a life of freedom. You personalise your spiritual journey to match your views, beliefs and tendencies; and you change direction on your path when you see fit, without asking permission from or being denounced by hierarchy.

A spiritual life answers the big questions that you once thought had no answer. Once we feel the truth of why we are here, we cease to live simply for pleasure and structure and advancement in the physical world; we engage in a higher order of reality, and everything suddenly makes sense and has purpose – and there can be no turning back to the irrelevant, perplexing ways before you saw the light – you now are the light.

And with your newly discovered curiosity for all things non-physical and divine, you will find beauty and wonder and awesomeness in so many new and exciting directions. You will develop a connection to the sublime and the minute, a compassion towards all (including self), a kindness that supersedes all other attitudes, a humility that shows you the truth always, and an innate knowing that everything will be alright.

Mandala coloured stones dry riverbed

 

Travelling – and losing the travel spirit

hahndorf adelaide 024

 

Lola’s unsettled and troublesome again. Nurses are barely coping with her demands and verbal tirades. The nurse on duty handed her mobile phone to Lola after asking me if I could oblige by calming her down. I distracted Lola with talk of birds and trees, rivers and oceans, bandicoots and numbats.

That’s what drew me to Lola in the first place, ten or so years ago. Finally I’d found a friend who understood and shared my passion for nature. People in general considered me a tad weird, but with Lola it was different. Nature touched her soul and warmed her to the core, just as it did me. We enjoyed the bushland together, admiring the details that most people inadvertently stepped on, unnoticed. At the time I felt blessed.

But it wasn’t long before her controlling, manipulating, judgmental manner shone through. It was too late. She had me in her clutches and she knew I was too ‘nice’ to abandon the physically disabled elderly and lonely woman who loved and depended on me.

She was totally unaware how her toxic energy sabotaged all her potential friendships and every event or project she undertook in her life. I mean, I don’t get how an intelligent adult could possibly not have any idea of the reality of the world around them or how they affect it. But that’s the way she was.

Of course Lola had good traits. She was generous with her time, and donated as much money as she could afford to worthwhile causes on a regular and continual basis. She did volunteer work and helped people whenever the opportunity arose. I admired her determination to be as independent as possible through her daily struggles to conduct a normal as possible life despite her physical disabilities. She was an exceptional human being in many ways.

But after every visit I paid to her on the other side of the country, I came home extremely stressed and depressed, and without exaggeration, teetered on the edge of self harm more than once. I tried to disengage myself from her, but she wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, wouldn’t listen to any explanation. To be successful in exiting her life completely, I would have had to change my phone number, move house, and my husband and I would have both have had to change jobs, leave our home town and god knows what other measures that hadn’t occurred to me. She was addicted to me. She didn’t know the difference between ‘need’ and ‘love’.

Lola’s old-age has taken over her body, moving in on her mind, and she is now confined to hospital awaiting aged care placement. It’s a sad situation. Dementia is a cruel affliction and her immobility makes matters worse. Not surprisingly, she has no family or firm friends, except me. And me is all she wants, every day. I’m at my wits end as to how to manage her demands. In private, I get angry and tearful. And torn between guilt and self-preservation.

We travelled with the caravan all day today to reach Lola. The scenery was lovely with green paddocks and greener than green grain crops, flooded creeks, expanses of swollen waterways with ducks and waterbirds taking advantage of recent downpours, eucalypt woodland, flowering heath and historic towns. But I was preoccupied arguing with the voice in my head and coping with my knotted chest. My Old Mate and I have lost the urge to continue our once-in-a-lifetime holiday, and after I’ve done all I can for Lola, we’ll start heading across the country towards home, a few months earlier than planned.

Our choices are our own responsibility, I know. So I have no one to blame but myself. I’m aware of that. I’ve got a lot still to learn about self-compassion, but the lessons I’ve been given during my association with Lola have been valuable. I hope the rain has let up by morning so I can go for a long walk on the beach before I tackle what’s waiting for me. Nature nurtures me, and I’m grateful for the blessings of sunshine and rain, earth and wind to sustain me, to give me strength and resolve.

hahndorf adelaide 020

 

My first card reading

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Earlier in the year when my daughter and I attended the Mind/Body/Spirit festival in Brisbane, I purchased a deck of intuitive-reading cards. I already have an oracle deck, but hadn’t been inspired to read them. My Old Mate and I have been travelling Australia with our caravan for more than 4 months now, but we’ve suspended our trip so that I can prepare a friend for nursing home entry. Besides being physically disabled, she has dementia.

Dementia. What a horrid, horrid affliction. My mother died with dementia only a few years ago. All that goes with it is still raw for me, and I’m struggling to cope day to day with this current situation. Depression had taken hold of me, and it’s only today that I’ve begun to take control of my emotions.

Following a disturbing and sad visit to the hospital this morning, I was inspired to take up my new deck of cards. Despite not having yet cleansed or blessed my cards, I shuffled them and picked a card – it read:

PARADISE

A message from your departed loved ones: ‘We are with you always as we hear your words and watch you tenderly from above. We love you.’

How very appropriate. My interpretation of ‘Paradise’ at this point in time, is ‘the afterlife’, where our true and complete soul is revealed to us after death. What could be a more sublime paradise than a place where we are finally connected to all that is,all that was, and all that will be – the realm between life lost and re-incarnation.

My parents are my only close loved ones who have passed in my adult life. I was with them both in their final time on Earth, and I’ve consulted them often since, when I’ve had questions of importance, when I’ve suffered disconnection, or wished to know them more intimately than I achieved.

I feel close connection to the reality behind the message my cards whispered to me today. I know that my father is guiding me. I’ve sensed it since his death, even though he gave me no guidance through his lifetime. Unfortunately I’ve had no intuition that my mother is with me, but I feel blessed knowing my father is watching over me. I feel nurtured, and I feel that he’s sharing his new-found wisdom with me – wisdom that he didn’t possess in his most recent lifetime.

Now, I’ve been reminded that my father’s spirit is touching my heart always, and I feel resilience that I didn’t have a few days ago. I am blessed.

The card pictures an empty rocking chair, and golden light. Although my father no longer sits in the chair, his spirit and love is in the light everywhere, all the time – I simply need to to recognise the light and be guided. I am reminded to remember. And the card says “We” love you – thus: even though I do not feel Mum near, my father wants me to know that she loves me. She is helping others, elsewhere – I accept that, and I am pleased.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once-in-a-lifetime friendship

Early morning light paddock dam reflections

To find one person in a lifetime who genuinely understands you deep to your core, totally accepts you for the unique individual you are, and loves you unconditionally, well, you’ve really hit the jackpot. A blessing and gift beyond imagination.

People come and go throughout our lives, even family, and that’s the way it’s meant to be. We don’t meet people accidentally or by ‘coincidence’. Every person in our life is placed on our path for a reason, be it to learn from or to teach, to love us or hurt us, to open our mind or our eyes, to encourage us to question or to discover. And more. We draw these souls to us with the energy we emit and the quality of humanity we exemplify.

I believe our souls choose our family and birth circumstances before reincarnation so that we are placed in a situation and family that will best teach us the soul lessons we need to learn. The worse our birth/family situation is, the better opportunity we have to reap the rewards from the lessons we will be presented with. Nothing comes from an easy ride.

Sometimes we feel the need to leave family members behind, just as we do with friends or lovers, because that relationship has deteriorated beyond repair, and we realise it’s time to let go and move on. Don’t resist this need. It is meant to be. The real tragedy lies, not in the breaking of the union, but in not being open and accepting of the lessons offered by these people who are now also ready to move on.

I have a precious relationship with my daughter. We have a soul connection that is stunning in its strength. It has not always been like this, but as each of us came out the other side of trauma and grew from the challenges that our souls took on individually, we discovered who we were. And we discovered each other.

We’re both aware of this special bond that goes far beyond family ties, and we both nurture our relationship. Our connection transcends all, and we are truly each other’s saviour in times of need. I am so grateful that the Universe has gifted me with this friendship.

Sometimes I also yearn for a friend who is on that same frequency but more my own age. I haven’t found her. I may never find her. But I am living my life in a manner whereby I am open to our energy drawing us together. Meanwhile, I feel blessed beyond words.

It is my hope that every person can make a soul connection as profoundly rich as I have. But be aware that it won’t happen unless you are prepared to go outside of your comfort zone, be open to new knowledge and experiences, and be willing to nurture this relationship like the precious connection of soul energy it is.

Ritual circle paddock early morning light sunrise

 

Travelling – The beach of the balancing stones

Balancing stones beach cairns 1

It’s like the peace hidden and lying in wait in every person’s heart has emerged, just for a few moments. I wonder if they felt it? And I wonder if they experienced a connection with the other travellers they wandered amongst? And I wonder if any person leaving the beach was changed forever?

There are no directional signs, and it’s not an official tourist attraction, yet the beach is obviously visited by thousands of travellers who contribute to the impromptu art. Balancing towers of rocks and stones against a backdrop of tropical ocean, on the road from Port Douglas in far north Queensland to Cairns. I guess it’s rather unique.

Just picture: all cultures, all religions and all faiths, all political persuasions, all sexual orientations, and a full spectrum of social standings mingling, admiring, and feeling part of something simple that is also something special. And knowing that this simple natural expression of cross-cultural creativity is special. Boundaries have been crossed and walls have come down, and everyone is part of a whole. There are no officials telling dark-skinned people to go there or rich people to go here or heterosexuals to go there. Every person is equal and one with everyone else. A celebration of humanity. That’s how the world should be.

I’m disappointed to find, a few months later, that most of the stone stacks are gone. It doesn’t appear to be an act of wanton destruction by humans, but rather, I think Mother Earth has claimed the stones with boisterous stormy seas. More towers of balancing stones are starting replace those washed away, and I hope the process will be repeated so that people from all over the world and from all walks of life can once again leave their positive energy and creativity for all to enjoy.

I sat on the beach this morning amongst the new art pieces to write, imagining cultures mixing, and all going away with a smile in their hearts.

Balancing stones beach cairns 2

 

One way to help make the world a better place

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There was a time when I thought the human race wasn’t worth anything. Our world in such a state of disconnection and discord – crimes against humanity, violation of our planet home, and local communities obsessed with ‘success’ at the cost of all else. Corporate greed, personal gratification, governmental corruption, ignorance and neglect at a family and neighbourhood level. Ethics of a gutter rat. Too grim to comprehend a future.

My darkest days were upon me. Mental ill-health ruled my life, and I sank into isolation. Wild creatures were my friends, my only friends – backyard birds, lizards and snakes, frogs and bugs. Any and all of Mother Nature’s animals that would allow me into their space. I all but gave up on people.

Although my love and appreciation of nature has not diminished, my hope for humanity has grown many-fold. Violence against humanity and Earth, on a global scale, if anything, has increased: terrorism, inequity, persecution, greed, materialism. BUT my thought processes and outlook have changed. My perspective is more grown up, more universal, more positive, more charitable. My view is holistic and comes from a place of love instead of a place of fear.

Despite the world’s massive and apparently irreparable woes, I can sense an undercurrent of goodness, of change, of connection that transcends nationality and social standing. There is an energy of universal love spreading through humanity, causing a shift in attitude.

The catalyst for this energy is self-love and self-compassion. Not a love that involves the ego, rather, a self-love that must replace self-loathing for any growth on a soul level to occur. We (you and me, the elderly crippled woman, the business man, the retiree, the janitor, the school teacher, the single parent, the barrister, the troubled youth, the  homeless, the refugees), we can help heal the wold ONLY if we can find the courage or develop the capacity to love ourselves and work on healing our OWN pain, our own past hurt and grief.

When we are able to accept our past ‘stories’ for the necessary and beneficial lessons that they have truly been, we are then able to heal and move forward. As this process begins, we begin to change, we become aware of who we are and why we’ve been where we’ve been, and why we’re here. And then we can not help but live from a place of love that inspires others and triggers a ripple effect of soul growth far and wide.

One seemingly insignificant individual who doesn’t have a spare dollar to give to those less fortunate than  him/herself, can help heal the world simply by living authentically and unashamedly from a place of love. And it is my unwavering belief that this is the REAL giving.

learning to love yourself is the best way to help heal the world