Category Archives: Soul food for thought

My take on love, light and life

Truths from my backyard

Some weeks ago, I had to uproot two potted trees in my garden because their roots had found their way out of the pots and were delving into the earth beneath. As I live in a condo and the estate rules only allow residents to grow potted plants, I had no choice but to ask the gardener to help me pull the roots out of the soil before they got too entrenched, and move the pots to different spots.

A couple of days later, I was horrified to see that the leaves on both trees were turning brown, and in the following weeks, they began to drop by the dozen. Had I killed them by doing what I did?

Someone comforted me by saying that sometimes, when plants are uprooted and replanted, they drop all their leaves and flowers before regenerating. So I prayed and waited with bated breath to see if this, indeed, was what was happening with my beloved trees.

The hardest thing was having to watch, helplessly, as they seemed to die before my very eyes. Every day, more leaves shrivelled up and dropped despite watering and care. Since we had them put into large pots in the garden just outside our unit, these trees have given my husband and me countless mornings of quiet joy, just watching little birds perch on their branches and drawing straw-like twigs from them for their nest-building.

I apologised profusely for any hurt or harm that I might have inadvertently caused by uprooting them, and I asked for the help of the fairies and nature spirits to heal them.

But still they continued to shed, until all I saw one morning were the skeletal remains of my once beautiful, thriving trees. As I looked at them and mourned, the angels whispered, “They are showing you what it means to die to the old and be born again into the new. Have patience, and learn what they have to teach you.”

Then my husband and I had to go away for almost two weeks. On the morning that we left, one tree was completely bare, and the other was well on the way to being the same. I made arrangements for the trees to be watered every day while we were away, for I would not give up my hope of a miracle.

We came home last week to find one tree bursting with beautiful new leaves and the other almost barren, with dead leaves stubbornly clinging to the branches. I was delighted with the transformation of the first tree, and I knew then that I was being granted the privilege of witnessing and learning about the power of transformation in my own backyard – literally.

Yesterday morning, I looked out my balcony and gasped. Not because the birds were back,  flitting about the branches of the first tree as it stood tall and beautiful. But because the once-bare branches on the lower half of the second tree were now sprouting fresh, bright green leaves. That which had seemed lifeless just the day before had, overnight, resurrected and been reborn. The topmost branches might still have some dead leaves on them, but I know that they will soon drop off to make way for the new.

This, then, was the lesson the angels had spoken of. This is what it means when we speak of death and rebirth.

Just like the trees, we can be uprooted and challenged when we least expect it.  When everything we have or think we need in order to function is cut off, and we are moved away from all that is familiar and comfortable; when we are placed in an environment so very different from what we are used to or hoped for, and are left to find our bearings; when the abilities that we have always taken for granted no longer produce the usual results; when we are mired in self-doubt or fear, and are unable to move forward … all this – and, sometimes, more – is what the Universe allows to happen in order to give us the opportunity to dig deep and discover within ourselves strength, resilience, and courage that we never realised we had.

Often, the “dying” process causes the most pain, takes the most time, brings up our worst fears. Because it is in our nature to cling to the dear and familiar, to resist change, to want validation for all that we do, to demand guarantees and not take risks. Most of all, we dread being alone in the dark; we hate to be still and allow nature to take its course.

But like the trees, we need to dig deep to find strength; adapt to change in order to thrive. We should not be afraid to shed what no longer serves, or the new and the relevant cannot come through.

So when things seem to come to a standstill, know that it is simply God’s way of making us rest and recharge, to allow us to integrate all that we have learnt and experienced thus far, so that – in Divine timing – our soul can sprout and grow.

 

 

Be you is in beautiful

Like Christmas, Vesak is one of my favourite times of the year. While Christmas always brings in the energies of love, joy and peace, Vesak brings inner peace and the energy of fulfilment.
2017 is a year of beginnings, and I know this has proven challenging for many – because beginnings can only come about through endings, and we often forget that.

The letting go of the tried and true, and the shock of being shown things in a new light; of being led to learn new ways to do things, to live, can often be more painful than joyous. But remember, these are just growing pains. As you begin to truly free yourself from the constraints of what no longer is right for you, and build up the courage to open your wings and spread them, you will begin to understand and experience what it is like to soar with your soul.

The full moon of Vesak brings in powerful energies of completion and fulfilment. If you are working towards something, ask yourself why you are fighting for what you have been fighting for. Are you doing what you do just to earn another dollar, to gain recognition among your peers, to have power over others? Or do you bounce out of bed every morning because, despite the challenges of the day, you love what you do, and you believe that you make a difference just by giving your best, in being you?

As you go about your work today, and look forward to the Vesak Day public holiday tomorrow, I encourage you to take some time tonight and tomorrow night to go outdoors if you can, and look up at the sky. Bask in the beauty of the full moon, and allow its light and energy to heal and refresh your wounded soul.

Let the peace and wisdom of Buddha remind you that all that you would like the world to be is within you. You are the flower that adds beauty and fragrance to the world. You are the bud waiting to unfurl.

So if you want peace, be at peace. If you want integrity, show it by your example. If you want truth, live by it. Be you, and all will be as it should … beautiful.

 

What’s love got to do with it?

Today is Good Friday, and most Christians would be spending the day contemplating on the ultimate act of sacrifice that Jesus made by dying on the cross. Three days from now, Christians will celebrate his resurrection and triumph over death and sin.

Late last night and in the early hours of this morning, as I took some time to quietly remember and honour Jesus in my own way, I was reminded of how, the night before he got arrested, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. It is written and widely recognised that Jesus made 2 prayers that night: First, that the bitter cup of what was to come – his arrest, revilement, and torturous death – be removed, if possible; and second, that if it was not possible, then God’s will for the greatest good be carried out.

As I contemplate this, it becomes clear to me that this recorded incident of what Jesus went through that Thursday night is a prime example of not just self sacrifice, but a conscious choice to exercise the higher, detached love that only a truly advanced soul is capable of.

Just as any sacrificial beast being led to the altar of sacrifice goes crying, fearful and unwilling, to its ultimate end,  Jesus the man would have suffered through the fear of pain and death that he knew lay ahead of him. Because he incarnated as a man, I believe he would still have identified with the vibration of humanity and all that it entailed.

To understand this more fully, I humbly put myself in his shoes. For I believe that I, too, am  a child of God, whose spirit is connected to the Divine. Yet because I am in human form, I am still capable of all the human fears and foibles that come with this plane of consciousness.

So I ask myself, what would I do if I knew that

Tomorrow, my life as I know it will come to an end as a result of inevitable, tumultuous change?
Will I try to escape while I still have the chance, or try my best to prevent it from happening, even if it means sacrificing or sabotaging people and relationships in order to save “my world”, maintain my lifestyle and retain my comfort?

Whatever celebrity or reputation that I have will be attacked and my name, dragged through the mud?
Will I try to counter-attack, for those ingrates who dare mock or turn against me deserve everything that’s coming to them – perhaps even more! – especially after all that I have done for them? Or will I put all my energy into defending my good name, because I have spent so many years trying to do my best for the greatest good?

I will be forcibly parted from my loved ones?
Will I weep, wail, and worry, because how will they cope, who will take care of them when I am not there?

I am going to be wrongfully arrested, accused of some preposterous crime that I am not guilty of, tortured and ultimately put to death in the most agonizing, inhumane way, as an example to others?
Will I run as fast and as far as I can to escape it, because hey – I’m neither stupid nor crazy!
Or … ?

I find that I cannot even answer that last question because it boggles my mind. But I know this:

Jesus was always aware that he had a choice. Because God gave mankind the gift of free will. As much as he wept and perspired as he prayed for guidance and clarity that night, Jesus received both in every way. The angels who ministered to him that night were not there to tell him he had no choice. They were there to lay everything on the table for him – just as they do for us when we ask. And they were there to support and strengthen him by unconditionally loving and being there with him. Just as they do with us.

But the choice was still Jesus’. He could still have turned away from the bitter cup that was held before him. Instead, this advanced, enlightened soul saw the Big Picture that no one could at the time: In dying, he would prove the truth of what he had spent his life preaching – that we all have a direct connection to God as a child has to his parent, and that no one needs  a third party who is “better or higher up” than they to communicate with the Divine on their behalf.

Jesus found clarity that night. It came from within. And with that clarity came inner strength. Enough strength to choose to show by example that a Higher Love does exist. A love so high and so deep that it is capable of taking a step away from the ties that bind the human spirit to the ways of the world – even if it means letting go of whom we love and all that is seemingly important.

It is my prayer this Easter that regardless of religion, we may all rise together with the vibration of Higher Love, and emanate the light and truth of it in our own humble way, wherever we are.

Perceiving is believing

I once channelled the Archangel Gabriel on the subject of transformation (see http://www.angelsandlight.net/archangel-gabriel-transformation.html).  Gabriel said that transformation does not happen at the snap of the fingers or a twinkling of an eye; true transformation requires conscious understanding of choices made and lessons learnt, as they occur.

In the nine years since that message, mass consciousness has evolved to such an extent that the word transformation is widely used among both the spiritual and the non-spiritual; and often, used so loosely that every change or shift in perception is regarded as transformation.

In a way, it is. Change is part of the process of transformation, but transformation does not necessarily equate with change. The whole is not the sum of its parts.

The problem is, we spend so much time and energy thinking about, examining and cross-examining every intention and action of others as well as of ourselves that we often turn something trivial into heart-breaking, mind-blowing, soul-searching angst of titanic proportions.

The book, A Course In Miracles, teaches: “If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself. You cannot know your brother when you attack him. Attack is always made upon a stranger. You are making him a stranger by misperceiving him, and so you cannot know him. It is because you have made him a stranger that you are afraid of him. There are no strangers in God’s creation … God knows His children with perfect certainty. He created them by knowing them. He recognises them perfectly. When they do not recognise each other, they do not recognise Him.”

To me, this passage also reflects one of the Laws of the Universe. The Law of Projection states: All that we perceive outside ourselves is a mirror of something within.

What this means is that every time we judge ourselves or someone else, we are, in fact, projecting outwards what is already present within us. So if you are suspicious of someone’s intent, or have no faith in another’s “flawed” character, you are quite probably suspect yourself because a part of you (which you haven’t yet acknowledged) recognises that very same flaw in you.

So yes, we are in the midst of change. And yes, that means we are in the process of transformation. But while the process of transformation requires the added elements of self-awareness and understanding, change can occur without us realising it. I know it’s confusing, but perhaps the Zen monk Haemin Sunim puts it best:

Things I liked when I was young but now couldn’t care less about:
Airplane rides, all-you-can-eat buffets, horror movies, staying up all night.
Things I enjoy now that I am older:
Mozart, brown rice, meditation, spending time alone, regular exercise.
We change without realising it. We are in the midst of change even now.

Back and forth

I have not written very much this year. Other than my workshop schedules, the grand total of the number of articles that I have put up on this blog, including this one, is … two.

For a soul like me, who has incarnated time and time again to serve as teacher and scribe; and for someone who, in this current lifetime, has spent the most part of her professional career writing and editing, this is pitiful, paltry output.

I could say that so much happened this year that I got so caught up in the whirlwind of change and activity that I just could not find the time or energy to sit down and pen my thoughts. Or I could say that nothing very much happened at all, too little to merit me sharing any insights.

Perhaps it was because I procrastinated too long before writing; so the window of inspiration opened and closed without me properly looking through it. It could have been that, when I finally made the effort to sit down and write, I allowed myself to be distracted – by the television, by my cellphone pinging as it alerted me to text messages that I found impossible to resist reading or replying to immediately, even if they were not important. Or – horror of horrors – could it have been because when I began to write, I got hit with Writer’s Block, and so, in frustration, I began playing a silly computer game which held me in such thrall that, when I finally came up for air, hours had passed, and the Block had grown to such massive proportions that I simply had to give up?

Take your pick. I will admit to not one of the above, but to all.

So what do I do now? Should I bow my head in shame and remorse, and beg for forgiveness and understanding? Should I act tough and pretend that it does not matter? Or could I find a way to lay the blame at someone else’s door? Perhaps I could blame the world for always giving me the short end of the stick, for the way so many things did not turn out the way I would have liked them to, for how horrible people are and how awful life is in general.

According to many, this year has not been a good year for the world. We’ve had our share of disasters, acts of terrorism, economic upheavals and deaths. Change got a new name and face – Brexit and Trump. If I subscribed to everything I see on Facebook, I would be counting the minutes to the start of 2017, for the horrors of 2016 just have to end.

Even as I write this, my cellphone is pinging every so often, as friends and well-wishers send me early greetings and shared hopes for the new year. I appreciate them all.

But I also appreciate that if I did not have this fast-ending year behind me, then I would be missing a huge chunk of growth and expansion of my heart, mind and soul. I would be missing a piece of me.

Every year brings with it offerings galore – joy, sorrow, life, death, happiness, pain, healing, suffering, triumphs, defeats, beginnings, endings… The list is comprehensive, but more importantly, the opportunities are endless. It is not what is dished out to you that matters. It is how you choose to perceive it, and what you then make of it, that does.

This year, without the pain of losing several pets and people that I loved, I would not cherish the companionship of those that are still with me as much. Without the frustration of having people – in my life as well as in the world – behave badly, I would not have caught sight of the reflections of myself from the mirrors that they were unconsciously holding up for me. Without failing some of my own tests, I would not have passed the ones that came after, or helped others with theirs because I had learnt from my mistakes.

If I do not look back, I would not see clearly enough to move forward. Because understanding my past, and learning from it, brings about insights that can lead to wisdom in the present. And it is this wisdom that guides me as I continue forward into the future.

If I run towards the future just because I can’t wait to get away from my past, then I have not recognised the opportunities for transformation and growth that had been proffered, and there is no guarantee that what the future holds will not turn out to be just another rerun. If I lose faith in others because I think they have not learnt, or are unlikely to learn, their lessons, then I do not truly honour them as sparks of the Divine, Eternal Flame… as I am. If I say I have released my anger at someone with whom I have past- or present-life issues, but still quicken to rage or judgement at the slightest provocation, then I have not truly released it, but am, in truth, choosing to hold on to that baggage so as to indulge in self-pity, self-justification and self-righteousness.

So. However you choose to see out the year and welcome the new, this is my prayer: May you see the rainbow that spans across all that comes with 2017. And may you choose not just to go with the flow, but to roll with the punches and come up again with a smile.

A happy, blessed New Year to you all.

Oh, yes. And you’ll be hearing more from me 🙂