Category Archives: Faith

Survival

Survival Stories

As I enter a new phase in my life there seems to be a common theme in the articles and TV shows that I am attracted to – they are all about human endurance.  Everyone (well me anyway) loves a miracle and reading these stories has inspired me not only to keep going but also to keep my faith – I have no doubt that it was faith that kept these people going in their darkest hours.  Happy Reading…

Whatever it is, sometimes humans survive situations they really have no right to…

2013

2013 The Year of the Tree

Has 2013 been a fabulous, rewarding, special year or a difficult, challenging, confronting year for you?

I don’t actually ever remember a year having been so talked about as much as 2013.  Is it just me, or have you noticed too, there have already been countless comments in passing summing the year up, what has happened, just how challenging a year it has been – and it hasn’t even finished yet.  From a world economic environment being anything but secure, to an general underlying feeling of unfulfilment within the work place, to the weather being the hottest or the wildest or the extremist in recent history, 2013 has brought its fair share of challenges.

On a personal level 2013 has been an ‘interesting year’ to say the least (I say this through gritted teeth).  I am not sure I would call it the worst year but it certainly has not been the best.   As we seem to be on the homerun, with 31 Dec being only 46 sleeps away, I thought I would take the opportunity to examine what 2013 has meant to me, perhaps it has meant similar to you…

To sum it up it has been a year of ‘forcing growth from adversity’

The November horoscopes in the STA magazine reinforced the point: ‘if you understand adversity is a gift then you will fare well this month.’

I would have extend that to ‘this year’.

But in experiencing adversity for the most part of this year, I see now the gifts that it has brought me.  Dealing with situations that have left me raw and lacking faith, have shown me my edges.   From people who have pushed my buttons I have seen the weak spots in my character. From difficult situations I have asked and answered the questions of myself, the – why am I so affected, the – why am I behaving this way, exposing my true character.   From every testing and challenging situation I have learned oh so much.

From unfulfilled desires I have learned patience.

From bouts of jealousy I have learned there is enough to go around, like a cloud of experiences above the earth we draw what is rightfully ours, while others draw what is rightfully theirs.

From bouts of anxiety I have learned to calm my mind.

From lack of acknowledgement I have learned that I am my most important audience.

From times of loneliness I have learned to connect with society.

From having to do things on my own I have learned I can take as much or as little from the experience as I wish and this knows no boundaries like those from a closed but well intention companion.

From showing my vulnerable side I have been shown just how compassionate people can be.

From the times I have expressed ‘poor me’ I have learned from others the power of making decisions or taking action to change something that is not working.  And I have also learned that not taking action is a sign that there are blockages to work through.

From asking I have learned how willing others are to give.

From reacting to critics I have seen my own fragility, a sign to firm up my own self belief.

I have learned that courage is about forging your own path, believing in yourself even when others try to lead you a different way.

From lack of support I have had to grow all on my own, to cement in my own mind what it is that I stand for, that I believe in, without influence.

From ongoing power struggles I have learned to negotiate with love, first and foremost with a love for myself.

From financial insecurity I have learned to stop worrying about the future but to do things today which may aid my security for the future.

From desperately wanting to know the future I have learned to live in the present.  A necessary end to a constant search for answers has lead me to live for now and to follow my instincts.

From open and closed doors I have learned to follow my intuition.

From failure I have learned to let go of expectation.

From facing my fears I have learned that the pride that follows the achievement from facing fear far outweighs the fear itself.

I have learned that to be a leader is to walk a lonely path.

From despair I have learned how important it is to have faith.

I have learned to see colours so that as I type this, my computer is surrounded by green blotches, the colour of healing.

From working with energy I have learned that everything is about the flow of energy.

I have learned that to live through my heart is the answer to keeping the energy flow in balance ensuring I neither desire it from others nor give it away unconsciously.

And most importantly I have learned that life is about practice, while all this learning should improve the way I handle myself and the situations I face, it takes practice to change old habits.

So finally, while I would not want to relive 2013, neither would I want to change any bit of it.  I hope with all my heart that 2014 is much, much easier, but I am sincerely grateful to 2013 for I have grown.  I have grown from a vine into a tree xx

31 July 2013 – Control Freak

Change is the name of the game in 2013, as is facing our fears.  Many people love change, the feeling of freshness, the new breeze that sweeps through and clears out the old.  However, I am sure I speak for just about everyone when I say that even when it is positive, there is an element of fear associated with change.  That fear comes from our inner control freaks as we seek to direct what happens next to ensure future stability, control the unknown and avoid suffering.

ControlBut what if one of our life lessons was to approach change by relinquishing control and jumping into an empty void, in total faith that all will be well, that all is as it should be. 

What happens if we take the road less travelled and let life guide us in the direction that IT chooses?  Well I think, no I am sure, that this is a lesson I have been asked to learn recently…

For the last 5 or 6 years I have had a notion in my head that I would move house so that my children could go to a specific highschool (anyone with children would know that school zoning is a complete nightmare).  I was sure that particular highschool was going to be the best for them and there really wasn’t anyone who was going to convince me otherwise.  I had even stopped short of making some very needed alterations to my current house because I had a grander plan.

Then suddenly, much earlier than I expected, it was time to move.  And of course I set off with a rigid plan to get done what needed to get done.  And trust me I was RIGID.

Then came the first lesson, from the best house ever.  It got the 10 out of 10 from everyone who saw it, the kids chose their rooms and there was even a picture of a cat the same as ours on the wall.  But it was 50m out of the set school zone!!!  And from there things went down hill, lots spanners were thrown in the works, seriously unexpected issues arose and the whole process of change of abode got bigger and bigger.   There were signs that this whole exercise needed broader consideration beyond my 5 year old plan.  I had to let go and get a new plan as the many stumbling blocks screamed ‘this is not the best way’.

I would love to say I was graceful in getting to this point, but to be honest it felt like a band aid had been ripped off and consequently there were quite a few quiet tantrums thrown before I could let go of my preconceived ideas.  And unfortunately this didn’t just happen once… it took a couple of talking to myself, mind broadening sessions before I stumbled across the perfect house in an amazing location, zoned for a completely different but equally amazing school, satisfying all the external unexpected criteria and best of all it came with a whole lifestyle change.

From there within a week I had sold my house and bought this new perfect one.  Things are still progressing so there could be plenty more spanners thrown in the works before the end, but the pace and ease with which everything occurred once I had removed the blinkers, was astounding.  What can I say – it was meant to happen.

Planning and controlling events and other people to within an inch of their lives is a common human response to a fear that life might just not happen the way we want it to.  But what if it could be even better.  Relinquishing control and allowing life to guide us, is a more spiritual response to change and therefore, although difficult, is also very rewarding.  Embracing change without control opens up unimaginable opportunities, brings adventure and enables an open-minded approach to life.

Conversely the desire to control leads to narrow thinking, limited opportunities and blinkered imagination as well as having an affect on our bodies in the form of arthritis in our hands as we try to hold that control and anxiety and knots in our stomach and shoulders as we carry the burdens of life.

From my own experience, and trust me buying and selling houses is no small feat, I have seen the possibilities in being guided by faith, faith that every stumbling block is asking for a change of perspective, a broadening of approach.  When something appears difficult or events do not go according to plan, faith that there is a bigger reason, as there is a bigger reason for every failed experience, every delay, every disappointment.

Everything happens for a reason and because of that to relinquish control is really our only option.

And speaking of everything happening for a reason – as I came to post this piece I saw my star sign for today which read – Challenge yourself to trust that the universe has a grand plan for you, and that this is all happening in divine order. What are you holding onto, anyway? Throw your hands in the air and enjoy the ride of your life…