My first card reading

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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 husband 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 infliction. 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 and mental condition.

Following a disturbing and very 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 and was and will be.

My parents are my only 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 last 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.

 

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One way to help make the world a better place

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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

An effort to let life wash over me effortlessly

Waves rolling in slowly

Humans are drawn to water. It’s more than just survival instinct; it seems to be an intrinsic human requirement for self-reflection. Any pleasant natural setting will provide a fitting atmosphere in which to contemplate life and self, but for me, the sound or view of water is the ultimate place for thought and introspection.

I love being immersed in water, cool and refreshing, but I can also appreciate the value and pleasure in simply watching the water. The process of ebb and flow of the waves, or various pace of the journey of a waterway is endlessly beautiful to my senses, anywhere, anytime.

On the beach, the waves roll in with gusto, lose momentum, and spread over the sand melding with whatever is in its path, offering no resistance to obstacles, trickling backwards to blend with the water around it, and continuing to BE.

That’s what I’m aiming for. That is my goal: to emulate the harmony, wisdom, and acceptance of NATURE BEING NATURE.

When my world is rocked, to recognise that it’s all part of my journey, to let it happen, to let it teach me, to let it strengthen me, and then to let it go – that is the way to grow, to change, and to ultimately lead me and those around me to a better place.

I’ve still got a lot to learn about letting life flow over me like water. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business – and if people treat me poorly, I am well aware that it shows their character rather than mine. I’m doing well with that bit. I get it. But I can’t always disregard this, and at times I even begin to doubt my choices.

It takes incredible inner work to learn to let it all flow over me spontaneously. Whilst ever this flow does not come naturally, whilst ever I suffer other people disrespecting my space and choices, I am digging further into the rut I find myself in.

My progress is slow, but positive. Writing helps me to evaluate situations and to process information. It is my hope that my writing also helps others. Meanwhile, I will absorb the beauty and wonderment of the water’s effortless journey.

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Do we consume fear?

I am not well versed in how ‘energy’ works. All I know, is that we’re all connected by Universal energy, energetic threads, a web, that connects us all – so that one action or thought on one side of the world can, and does, affect people and conditions on the other side of the world.

A visit to the cattle sale-yards was an eye-opener for me, a spectacle that affected me emotionally, on a soul level. It heightened my sense of right and wrong, prompted me to ask myself questions.

Humans treat animals like a commodity to be used, abused, like it is our birthright to get every possible inch out of an animal’s life. It reminded me of old movies where black slaves were traded, used, abused.

Cattle housed in a grassy paddock in their ‘usual’ environment have warm gentle faces, deep eyes that reflect the peace that is their life; a slow life of farm routine.

The eyes of the cattle at the sale-yard betrayed the fear they were experiencing. Fear thrust upon them as their routine was interrupted with the herding up ramps into trucks. Crowded. Foreign. Fear as they are transported, unloaded, penned. Waiting. Moved from pen to pen, yarded, loaded again, trucked again. To where? Most will go to feedlots to be fattened on unnatural food, with no shade, no grass, no opportunity to exercise. When they meet human standards, they’ll be loaded and trucked again, to an abattoir. More fear as they breathe in the stench of death; death of their own kind.

An old white bull is shuffled from one pen to another. The beast is past its use-by date, done its job, completed its life’s purpose. It slides as it enters the pen ungainly, struggles to regain a solid footing, but falls. It is injured and can’t stand, but it does get up. Both hind legs are hurt, the right is worse than the left. No wounds, just tired legs that can’t withstand the foreign treatment. It falls again. A tear escapes my eye as I watch from the public platform above the animals.

The bulls remains are probably destined for the canned pet food market, or for beef patties for fast food chains. Why? Why can’t that beast be respectfully retired to a paddock, or at least shot in the head at the back of the farm and pushed into a  hole?

Does that old bull not deserve to be disposed of in a kindly manner? How much is its carcass worth in dollar figures to the industry it has served? In what condition will that poor animal arrive at the slaughterhouse? And what fear and pain will it be forced to endure on the onward journey?

There is a young healthy steer singled out, alone in a pen without the comfort of his kind for company. A human walks past and the animal moves to the other corner of the tiny pen. Its eyes are the image of fear. Agitated, it tries to make a noise, but fails. It froths at the mouth. I turn to leave. I have seen enough.

I must add, the workers at this facility did not mistreat the animals. I witnessed proficiency and care. It is the expectation of meat in the supermarket cold shelves that causes the problem.

I ask myself: Do we consume their fear at the top of the food chain? The energy? A steak on my plate – does it still contain threads of the animal’s fear? There are issues and morals to ponder here.

My taste-buds have always won over my ethics when it comes to consideration of vegetarianism. But, I feel sickened by my contribution to the poor treatment of animals raised for the table – the insatiable diet of meat. Yes, I contribute because I eat meat and animal products.

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Living from a place of fear

Five year-old me stood at t he rusty wire gate with my mother. Dark clouds prowled all around. My uncle asked me if I’d like to have an over-night visit with him. Didn’t these people who loved me see the black rain clouds bearing down? Another glance at t he threatening sky, and a timid shake of my head. What if it rains so much that the water rises and makes the river crossing on the country road dangerous? What then?

My mother waved her brother off and t he evening storm came.

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FEAR. Where did it come from? My mother cared for me, and she loved me. Why didn’t I trust the people who loved me, and why did a five year-old child make decisions based on fear?

A child has a limited perception of the events and non-events that make up his or her life and is shaped by that perception.

It would be nearly five decades until the penny dropped for me. Fear became my constant companion as I grew, allowing imagined future events to dominate my thoughts. Living from a  place of fear stifles creativity and achievement, while the opposite (living from a place of love), creates limitless possibilities.

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The ego controls ‘fear’. It is the ego’s job to stay safe and  in control at all times, so therefore if the ego is aware that a projected situation could be unsafe, it will push all the right buttons to produce enough fear so that particular situation is avoided. If you’re in a mindset of habitually choosing to fear outcomes (like I was), then there  is very little button-pushing required. playing it safe, making excuses, and placing demands on others, comes natural. Safe and familiar at all costs.

A person who allows their ego to make choices based on fear, will remain unfulfilled. Risk-taking will be at a minimum, change will be avoided, introspection and self-discovery will be totally out of the question.

Ask yourself why you haven’t undertaken some project, career change, move, or relationship issue (or indeed, even accepted love into your life), and the answer is always ‘fear’. Fear of failure (or success), fear of loss or hardship, fear of repercussion or discomfort, fear of change or growth, fear of psychological pain, fear of judgement, disapproval, embarrassment or opposition.

Conquering fear will allow you to thrive, rather than just survive. Everything that you fear is a fictitious future event or feeling, so in short, you are afraid of something that hasn’t yet happened and is not guaranteed. Look at your choices from a different perceptive, a perspective that involves ‘time’. Live one moment at a time; you can not go back in time to alter past decisions or events and their outcomes, and t he future is not yet here. Fear only exists in our thoughts, our thoughts of what might happen in the future. Everything that  happens, happens right now at this moment. So resist imagining the worst that can happen in the future, and live in the moment. The present.

If fear of making a mistake prevents you from moving forward, then you’ll stay stuck without the prospect of improving your life. I remained stuck, numbed by fear of the unknown for decades. When I finally grasped the concept of living in the present moment, I thrived. Good things happened.

I have not totally conquered fear of the future or of outcomes from my decisions, but my thought processes are much more constantly realistic and positive. I am consciously living in the present. This  has not been a quick fix, but living from a place of love instead of a place of fear creates endless possibilities. Living from a place of fear is self-defeating.

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