Last weekend was truly magical. I taught Reiki Level One to two ladies. As usual on these courses, there was a synchronicity to these two people choosing to learn on the same course. It is said that people come to Reiki at the time that is just right for them and the teacher who is just right for them also appears at the right time. I think the same is true for the teacher, because just the right students appear. I always say that every treatment teaches you something and so does every student. It is just a case of listening well and being aware of what is happening in every moment . What did I learn? I learnt that I have more knowledge than I thought I did; I just speak from the heart and it flows like a mountain stream through clear bamboo. The same as Reiki itself. You can’t learn Reiki from books and videos. You have to experience it and let it teach you. There is a constant balance of seriousness and playfulness that keeps you intrigued as you evolve with the practice. I became a Reiki Master in 2011 and since then I have evolved so that I no longer recognise my former self. As we said at the beginning of the course, “If you don’t want to change, you are in the wrong place.” Be assured that change happens gradually at a pace you can cope with; just as water may be a gentle drop in the ocean, over time it can also cut through rocks to change the landscape. I am celebrating all the change the last few years has brought and my new viewpoint of just trusting and just enjoying. Thank you to my teachers and my students too. We are all changing all the time and all is well.]]>
We have combined this turning point time with grey, rainy days curtailed by darker nights and that mounting hysteria that accompanies the Christmas Season. And yes I do call it Christmas! It’s not a winter festival to me.
Christmas means different things to different folks, but it is well known that it is not always so full of cheer for people finding themselves alone for the first time perhaps through bereavement, transition in relationships or a new location. This can mean a time of looking back and reflecting on what is lost before we can look at the present moment or look forward to presents and celebrations.
I am celebrating a new home in an old country – my country. I have already welcomed many wonderful old friends, finding enough corners for them to put up an air bed, pull out a sofa bed or even nestle under a mid sleeper in a pile of cushions and duvets. I love the hubbub of reunions and the shared stories old and new. Having people stay over makes a house into a home. Coming into a brightly lit home from the blustery weather outside and hurriedly kicking off a muddy pile of boots and shoes in the porch before we find our guests some slippers in the warm hall makes me feel cozy and glad to be here.
A few days ago we set out into the night to see trees aglow with warm reds, purples, blues and golds in an unfolding kaleidoscope of displays that inspired delighted gasps of wonder and whoops of joy as we explored along the winding little pathways through the forests and meadows of Anglesey Abbey.
We were with new friends this time, enjoying exploring something new together. The path would have been spooky and scary alone in the dark, but that evening was all light and loveliness. Same path, different experience. Like the difference between Christmas spent unwillingly alone and a Christmas Party.
Yesterday was the first lighting of the advent candle and as we welcome December, thoughts inevitably turn to a New Year waiting to begin. Before it hurries nearer, let me take this moment to send everyone out there Warm Wishes of Love and Light for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year that brings you all your heart desires and more.]]>
Raffael Monti worked with the natural translucency of marble to create the “Veiled Vesta” statue in the 1840’s. He created a statue that has become a favourite of visitors to Chatsworth House. They marvel at the lightness of the veil and wonder how it could be possible to make something so heavy and solid appear so light and delicate. Monti simply took an intrinsic, natural quality of marble and worked with it to produce something of intense beauty.
I was reading about Rawl’s idea of the Veil of Ignorance, a philosophical justification for the idea of justice as fairness that which underpins Rawl’s argument that the foundations of social order rest on securing justice for all. According to Rawl, if we place the imagined creators of a future society in an ‘original position’ of a complete lack of knowledge of what role they will play in this given society or what social standing they will have, this will ensure they will make decisions that cater for the least advantaged because they will decide based on the fear that they may end up in this category once the ‘veil of ignorance’ is lifted. They will make sure that whatever mental, physical, or social state they find themselves in, they will get their fair share of ‘primary social goods’ including Rights & Liberties, Powers & Opportunities, Income & Wealth and Conditions for Self Respect. Rawl uses this ‘veil of ignorance’ to devise the right to individual liberty and freedom, as long as it doesn’t interfere with others’ rights, and the obligation of social/political orders to allow marginalized members of the order to have a voice. It came to my mind that it would be possible to achieve all this another way if there was a lifting of another kind of veil. We could place the creators of the new order in an ‘original position’ where they were all deeply engaged in a process of awakening. The first step in this creation of a new order would be to operate from a position of compassion rather than fear and they might be in a position to create something of intense beauty.
A is for Amazing Thoughts
Today I heard the President Elect of the British Psychological Society confirm that thoughts are just chemical reactions. We can affect our mental health by altering those thoughts that drag us down. This was my reason for buying some sparkling white ankle socks that said “You are Amazing!” in lipstick red across the toes this summer. I wore them round the house and smiled each time a looked at my feet. It felt rather decadent.
B is for Brave Faking
Summer is long gone and lately my autumn-turning-to-winter thoughts are not so easy to change. I have to be brave; I chose to drive into town by myself to attend that lecture. I could have stayed at home and had another night like the last 40 nights. I’m not keen on driving at night but I want to get out more. Putting a brave face on it is a therapy in itself. Or as modern girl might say, “Fake it ’til you make it”.
C is for Crying
Crying is good for you too. My son cried so much as a baby he wore his tear ducts out. It took him years to learn to cry again. Today I wept in the shower and let the tears wash away my grief at another lost battle for support for my son and for me. We will find another way.
D is for Distraction
I learnt at the lecture that there is research into using distraction after a traumatic event as a way of reducing PTSD. Subjects in this study played tetra after watching horror films. That must be why I tidy cupboards in a crisis and other people put the kettle on.
E is for Energy Work
Energy levels are like an electric hob today; slow to warm up and hard to switch off. I need to plan ahead for these fluctuations and keep checking I’m not wasting resources. I have an energy work diary that is getting dusty. It’s time to make an entry.
F is for Friends
My son had a friend over from school for the first time in 40 days. His face was alive when I got home from the lecture. It was kindling for my happiness and I felt warm again. I miss my friends, but I know that all my good friends started off as new friends.
G is for Getting Out More
In Bulgaria I ran the What Knot Club for people who wanted to get out and do something interesting and enjoy good conversations. Now it exists in Cambridge. We go walking and talking. Maybe we have created a version of ‘The Talking Therapies’ made simple.
Freedom is free and right on my doorstep. This was the day to live that thought! The whole day was all mine to explore all alone and it was obvious what I needed to do. Weeks of cramming my life into suitcases and exploding the contents over a series of temporary places to stay had culminated in a move into a tiny little house in Cambridge. It already had a lived in feeling before we moved in, which is why it appealed to us; we love a little character in our lives. Two weeks of intensive unpacking had left us in no doubt that our downsizing operation had been seriously flawed. It had lacked the drive that arises from dire necessity. The life of global nomads with a large shipping allowance had left us suffocated by our possessions.The last two weeks had left me feeling like Alice in Wonderland wondering how to expand my dwelling space to fit me or shrink my life to fit my tiny space.
We were free of the hamster wheel of ex pat life and its constant goodbyes and pack outs. We were home to roost in our little nest and the nest was finally feeling cozy and comfy. My one day to explore coincided with the culmination of our most drastic move ever. So it was with a song in my heart that I cycled away into the wide open fields to celebrate a clear mind and a clutter free life with the affirmation in my mind that I let go of the things that no longer serve me, that I live life in the moment with joy in my heart and that my new life is filled with abundance.]]>
“I could ask that tree to fall down now.” I looked at it intently, thinking how it would be good for it to fall down now that my last goodbyes had been said. A few months ago my Bowen friend had whispered in my ear during a deliciously relaxing Bowen treatment, “Christine, we have to stop the treatment – a tree branch has fallen on my car.” After that day, I thought about my connection with trees. Strangely, I once had a past life explained to me in which a tree fell on me trapping me for days.
Today my Bowen friend had braved parking her car for the very last time next to this infamous tree that stood in the river bed outside my garden wall. She came to say goodbye, but there were no tears shed because, as I said, “This is not goodbye, this is see you next month!” We are doing the Louise Hay Heal Your Life Course together and that is a very exciting prospect for us. We are lucky to have found each other to explore Bowen and Reiki together and will carry on this journey of discovery wherever we both end up. In fact, her leaving present to me was meeting Deepak Chopra together and we both asked him our most important questions and got intriguing answers.
Anyway, back to the tree and my last day in the house. A couple of hours had passed and a million decisions of what to pack and what to let go had been made. My child minder had been following me round asking if each and every thing she had found still unpacked was rubbish and I needed to collect my thoughts. I looked out at the garden and I thought about the tree again because it was getting very windy outside. I went upstairs and asked my child minder to step out onto the balcony so that I could point out the tree and warn her not to walk in its path today.
It was hard to keep packing and yet I had no choice if I wanted to leave for the hotel today. I decided it was time to take a little break. I needed to to fetch my daughter from her friend’s place anyway, so I stood at the window downstairs again with my phone in my hand ready to call the taxi. Suddenly, the tree crashed to the ground with an almighty cracking, wrenching, whooshing sound. The carport was in its path but not my car or my children and not me. I was pleased it was down at last and I could stop thinking about it. I went out and took a few photos, feeling like a huge weight had been lifted – feeling free and ready to leave the house and all its memories behind me to start a new life in England. We wheeled our suitcases over the broken branches and took a taxi to the hotel to spend a few nights peacefully resting before the next adventure begins. Along the way, the sun came out again and I smiled knowingly when a rainbow appeared to welcome me to my room. It felt so good to be letting go. Would you believe that we are leaving Hazlenut Hill behind to live in the village of Haslingfield in Cambridgeshire? I just found out that it is pronounced like the nut; Hazle-ing-field!]]>
As a child, I collected frogs and caterpillars in order to observe and admire their movements. Then, I moved onto a collection of 72 elephants – many were ornaments, some were candles and one or two were curious objects, including an antique pie funnel and a boot pusher with an elephant’s head. Then I moved on to books. Luckily, I let most of the elephants go and my mum was glad she didn’t have to house the collection while I travelled the world for 20 odd years. But the books… Oh dear. Even a Kindle Fire didn’t save me. I ended up buying the kindle version and the hard copy. Now I’m letting go as I move to the UK. It is time to release my dependence on books and start to publish my own words. I am the woman I am meant to be. I accept my power. My power lies within. It does not lie in a pile of books. This day marks the birth of my blog. Welcome to my words.]]>