More choices and some other thoughts

It looks as if we here in the UK are going to have to decide for ourselves what is best for us to do in the next few weeks and months. Being sensible about things would be a good idea like not going in crowds and crowded places. There are some people around who do not think of others at any time and just go on their way passing on to others the thing that they do not want at all. I am being careful how I word things here as I do not want to get banned fro anything at the moment and you can’t be too careful but I am sure you all understand what I am saying.

Our lives are changing in many ways and we are all having to make choices about what to do and where to go. One of the things I have noticed is that children nowadays do not play in the dirt. Every surface is sanitised and they never come into contact with dirt. This leaves them with no immunity to whatever is in the dirt. Another thing they don’t do generally is walk and talk together. Many of them seem glued to the phones in their hands.

There is so much to see out there in the hedgerows and bushes. I am lucky enough this last few weeks to see butterflies that I have not seen before. This for me is a wonderful thing. I like to sit outside in the shade and watch all the insects flying around. I am discovering the different bees now as well and have taken photos of some of them. There are a lot of different insects that I have noticed and there are so many varieties of them too. Ladybirds are one example. There are 47 species of these in the UK alone and many more worldwide. I like to see how many spots they have and also how different their larvae look. They are not all red either. But they are tiny and often go unnoticed by passers-by.

It is extremely hot this morning so another choice to make. I shall go outside shortly to check whether my small garden patch needs watering and then stay inside for the rest of the day. Each day brings choices of one kind or another and we make choices without thinking at times but some choices need a lot of thought and I am still working on some of these. I do feel though that my original thought is always the best and that is my gut reaction so I do tend to follow that.

Challenges and choices

I was not sure whether to write a blog this week or not but eventually decided that it was right to do so. The last few weeks have been full of challenges, physically, mentally and emotionally and they took away all my energy and I then spent several days just resting. Unfortunately some of the challenges are still unfinished like the heating refurbishment and the shower that does not work.

My 80th birthday brought its own challenges. How was I going to cope with this milestone? Would I continue my life in the same way or would I take more time out and rest more? Dementia runs in the female line of my family and generally started soon after the 80th milestone birthday and I am very aware of this. I would not like to be in the state my mother was when she was diagnosed with dementia.

I have decided to do some tidying in my home and change some pieces of furniture for others to make it easier to store items I wish to keep. This will take some time however as the kind of furniture I like is not always available but I will keep looking. But it is a choice I have made as the challenge of putting a 3 bedroomed bungalow into a 1 bedroomed flat is very difficult.

Another choice to make is whether to continue writing blogs and possibly new books as I do love researching. Another choice is what to do with my photos. I generally get the best ones printed and make scrapbooks but I am already on scrapbook 2 this year with more photo prints on order. I do find that the time it takes to make the scrapbooks can be therapeutic and also bring back good memories.

Other choices to make are either to put myself first all the time and take care of others or help others only occasionally. I am the kind of person who will always help others so I don’t think putting them last would work. It is part of my soul plan to care for and help others.

I love to teach as well and am still doing this remotely but feel it is something I can continue with for the moment. After all we learn something new each day. I have started to take more care of myself, visits to an osteopath who does myofascial massage and also a visit to the dentist. I have started to use my etheric weaver more as well. So I am choosing to take more care of myself.

While out with my son this week we saw a butterfly we had never seen before. It was white with its wings closed and then it opened its wings and there was a wow from us both. It was a purple hairstreak butterfly. Nature brings its rewards. So those kind of walks will continue as long as possible.

Walking your talk

So many people promise to do things but never actually do what they say. I know of many who offer help but don’t follow through with the help and I find that very disappointing. There are many who say they will change something for the better but again that never happens.

I get lots of invitations to join groups on social media but I try to choose ones which may help me or where I can help others. I don’t like just reading posts and not commenting or clicking a button. In the past I have helped to organise or actually organise, various activities.

Organising such activities can take some time and the activities were such that you needed a yes or no response so that you knew how many would attend. I found that some people joined the group with no intention of actually attending but liked to say they were a member of that group. If you join a group that has an activity or activities then surely you want to take part in those activities. I find it disappointing when people join but don’t join in with the activity.

I used to run a distant healing group via email and had many people willing to send out healing to those who asked for it. So I sent out an email with details of those requesting healing each week and hoped that my members would actually send out the healing energy. After some time I discovered that this was not actually happening. If you make a promise to send out healing each week then you should do it. It doesn’t take long. If you don’t then I feel that you are not walking your talk.

I try to do as I promise and help others along their paths. I am told that because I do this for free then people don’t value it and that I should charge for the healing. Many of those asking for help cannot afford to pay and my reward is to see them having a better life. Money is meaningless when you don’t have any. I offered some soft toys I have knitted during the last 18 months to a charity which helps those less well off mainly refugees. The look on the woman’s face as I made the offer told me how much this was appreciated and that is all I need for doing this. So in the next few weeks I shall be sorting out my stash of knitted toys to take down to this charity so that children with no toys can have something to cuddle to help them feel safer. I am walking my talk or at least I am trying to do that.

Labyrinths

Over the years I have been able to visit and walk various labyrinths. I think the first ones were with a friend Coifi who has long been passed over and enjoying life in the otherworld. He used to draw them in the sand and then we walked them several times. I learned how to draw simple ones this way too.

Then I visited Wing Maze in Rutland. This is a turf-cut maze situated on the edge of the Rutland village of Wing. It is better seen as a labyrinth rather than a maze. It is around 14 metres in diameter and consists of a single grass path that winds and backtracks around in a circle before finally leading to the centre. The age of this particular maze is not known but it may only date from the medieval period .

On a visit to Launde Abbey in Leicestershire, I saw that they had built a labyrinth of some kind in a glade in the woods. This was built using stones. There was a notice at the start about how to use the labyrinth and you could choose a stone from a large pile. You walked with the stone in your hand around the labyrinth putting all your worries and sad thoughts into the stone. When you reached the centre you could leave the stone there and walk back unencumbered. Since then the Abbey has laid out a new one in the wildflower meadow so when you walk it in the summer you are surrounded by wild flowers.

Recently I was able to visit a labyrinth set out on private land. It was a beautiful day and walking this labyrinth was very special. So what do I mean by walking a labyrinth? Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used by many different faiths for spiritual contemplation, and prayer. Entering the winding path of a labyrinth, you walk slowly while quieting your mind and focusing on a spiritual question or prayer. One local vicar told me that each corner or turn was a turn in your life and when you reached the centre you had reached God. Whether you believe in God or not, it can be a very profound experience and also an experience of joy. On my last visit I felt a very deep connection to the earth and found myself chanting ‘Mother I feel you under my feet, Mother I feel your heartbeat’. So walk a labyrinth if you get the chance or draw one in the sand and walk it.

Stress and the wonder of nature

It has been a very stressful week for various reasons but which started with last weeks blog which triggered someone else’s agenda and led to acrimonious discussion. But less of that, it is gone now and is in the past. I live in sheltered accommodation, that is, a complex of flats for the elderly with alarm buttons and other safety aspects. We are in the middle of having new heaters installed and then during the same time frame asbestos is being removed from the airing cupboard so new water tanks can be installed and then a new bathroom. This kind of work is going on for several months and can be quite stressful. It is better to be out of the flat when work goes on especially when the asbestos is removed. So let’s hope the weather stays good so we can sit outside and enjoy the bird song and the sunshine.

A trip to a different nature reserve this week led to seeing flowers and dragonflies I had not seen before. I cannot believe I have reached my old age and never seen a bee orchid before. What a beautiful flower it is. There were lots of damselflies as well and it was a good day despite the humidity. My small patch of garden here is doing well too. There are a lot of buds on the plants and they will soon be opening ready for the bees and butterflies. I have also learnt to identify small beetles and other insects some of which are quite fascinating. And they all have some kind of purpose as we do.

One of the things I love about being here is the sight of red kites in the sky. Every day one or two can be seen flying around and soaring high in the sky. So nature helps me with the stress and that is very good.

Fear and the new normal

I am going to stick my neck out as the saying goes and write about things I normally shy from. I read avidly about everything I have an interest in as well as other reading which I read for information. All this reading over the last 18 months or so has led me to many different beliefs than many of my friends. But I don’t think I am alone in my thinking. Fear has been dominant over the last 18 months and fear breeds obedience. Think about that first. Fear can cause many different illnesses as it depletes your immune system. Nowhere in the last 18 months have I seen a recommendation to boost your immune system. If you have fear about something then you need to change the story about what you fear and make it a happy story so the fear disappears.

Earlier this week I came across a cartoon which said a lot of what I think. It stated that most people don’t really want the truth, they just want constant assurance that what they believe is the truth. There were two desks in the cartoon, one had a large queue at it. The heading over the desk was ‘comforting lies’ and the other desk had no queue. That heading was ‘unpleasant truths’. The truth can be uncomfortable to know but knowing it is important. It is easy to be satisfied with what you hear instead of looking to see whether what you hear is the truth or not. Reading and researching is good to do but sometimes you just know that what you are being told is a lie.

Last month I wrote a new poem called ‘A New Normal’. Here it is.

Is this how it is meant to be?
Men and women staying in
Cowed and afraid to go outside
Just in case they become ill.

Why have they obeyed so fast?
Why have they stopped thinking?
Why do they believe so many facts
Even though they are often false?

How do they change and go outside,
Learn to laugh and hug again,
Learn to tell truth from lies,
And to trust their inner selves?

I don’t understand
Why people don’t question
What we are asked to do.
Have they lost their ‘knowing’
In the chaos of life
Or don’t they care any more.

If we took more care of our bodies and minds
Our lives would change for the better,
So think about this and get outside
To find joy and beauty for ever.

Shifts in consciousness

This week I feel I have seen a some little shifts in consciousness around me and within me. Shifts in consciousness involve opening up to aspects of our being that we have hidden away. I suspect that really I have just got back to where I was earlier in my life but have deepened what I already know and do.

I have had a busy week meeting friends for the first time in over a year. I have had discussions about healing energies, past lives and other similar themes. I have been out in nature as well and have noticed more of the tiny insects that are out there. I have been chanting in the mornings, something I have not done for a long time. I feel more at peace and even more at one with the natural world than I have before. So is this a shift in consciousness?

I think it is although I am not really seeing things in a different way but in a more deeper way. I have loved to see the different kinds of insects in their environments and learn what they eat and how they live. I feel all of this is important as we learn about the connection between everything that lives including plants and the land itself. Without understanding this connection we cannot change anything and change is important as long as it is the right change.

On another level but still connected I decided to spend a lot of money on good shoes. My feet are deformed and walking is painful but I know of a shoe company that produces the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. If I want to do a lot of walking in woods and around lakes then I need comfortable shoes. I have already noticed the difference. As I walk better and without pain I am able to notice more of what is going on around me. And that is all good.

A new day

What a beautiful morning it is. The sun is shining, the blue sky is dotted with small white clouds, the dew is sparkling on the grass and the plumage of the starling is stunning. I stood for some time by my open window breathing in the fresh air and letting the new day soothe me. I noticed a red kite high in the sky soaring then swooping to catch its prey. What a wonderful world it is!

What more could I want or need I thought. But there is much I would like to see in our world. I want to see people going out and about enjoying the natural world around them. I want them to talk to each other, to hug and embrace and to share both good and bad. I want to see an end to war but we don’t seem to learn from the past as war follows war and then another war somewhere else. I want to see an end to the hatred, the racism, the feeling that we are better than others.

It doesn’t matter where we come from, who we are and how much money we have, we all came from the same source and we must learn to honour each other. We need to show our children the right way to live. Some years ago now I read a book by Kent Nerburn ‘The wolf at Twilight – An Indian Elders Journey through a land of ghosts and shadows.’ In this book the elder named Dan talks about teaching our children by giving them a vision of what is right and wrong, and teaching them to help the weak and that giving things away brings wealth. He also states that we need to let them know that they are an important part of the circle of life and if they do not play their part then no-one else can. We are all part of the circle of life and we are all connected in this circle. We need to remember this connection as we go through our daily lives.

Hope and despair

There are times over the last 18 months when I have felt moments of despair as I noticed what was going on in the world around me. I wrote a few weeks ago about our world with a lot of questions. The events of the week, both personal and global led me to write a poem with more questions. Here it is.

Hope and Despair

I look around the world and sigh.
What is the matter with humankind?
Why is there war and desecration?
Why do people see themselves
As better that anyone else?

It comes down to greed for more land and more money,
No thoughts of anyone else.
How can we change the way people think
So they will change their ways?

I have no answers but do have hope
Although I sometimes despair.
There must be a greater plan around
If we are to make our world fair.

Are we still getting rid of the old to make way for the new?
It doesn’t really seem that way
But I’ll hang on to hope as long as I can
And help others to feel the right way.

Sadness and trees

This week I have been feeling rather sad after the events of the last few days so I decided to write about a special tree I know but this is quite sad too in some ways. For many years I have visited ancient trees, three of them in an ancient forest in Northamptonshire. I knew about three trees there and visited one of them many times so sit with it and on it and enjoy its peace and wonder at how it had grown. It was an ancient beech. Later I found it had been cut down and only a stump remains. It was quite close to the road so I suspect it had become unsafe. The other two trees are in a different part of the forest and a small distance apart. One is an ash tree and the other a beech tree.

The first time I visited the ash tree was around 15 years ago or more. It was awesome. I stood under its canopy and felt like a midget standing there. The tree was so powerful I could hardly believe it but I felt its energy strongly. Some years later on another visit I was dismayed to find it had been almost cut in half. and looked bare and desolate. Last week I persuaded my son to take me out there. I felt an urge to see this ancient ash and find out if it was still alive. It was alive. It was hollow but had branches coming out from it and there were signs of new growth. I felt relieved but sad too.

We did not have time to visit the third tree so I hope it is still growing strongly and giving pleasure to many. I have also visited many other ancient trees in various places, one in a farmyard! I often wonder what stories they could tell us about the life of people during the ife of the tree. 300 years is a long time and much has changed over this period of time.

Here are 3 photos of the ash tree, one in full bloom, one after its cutting and the final one from this week.