How does your garden grow?

Times can be very difficult at the moment and I am so happy that I have a garden. When I was thinking about this blog post the words of the title came to my mind. They come from an old nursery rhyme and this is it.

‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.’

I did find a more modern one though;

‘All the flowers, all the colours, all in a perfect row, first the seeds and then the water ……’

One thing about having a garden is that you have to care for it. Seeds are sown and watered and then you wait patiently to see then grow. When they are large enough you put them in small pots and keep watering them. Eventually they will be large enough to go out in the garden but water is still very important.

I spend a lot of time every day in my garden. I go round it and look to see what is coming into flower and how much the plants have grown. It brings me such joy at this time of staying at home.

Looking after yourself is important too in all ways, Physical, mental and spiritual care are all important. It is easy to become depressed or just feeling down and I too have days like this. I know on one level that change is coming but the world I would like may not appear until I have left it. I have to trust that all will be well. I know that all is as it should be at this time as we change our perceptions of what life is about. Stay strong and care for yourself.

Dealing with disappointment

I have been working on the words for this blog since Friday and hope that my words will help some of those who are feeling let-down and disappointed after the recent election in the UK. (although this can apply to other situations) First of all, it has happened and it is done and cannot be changed so acceptance is the first thing. Getting angry is no good either as that only hurts you and no-one else. So try to accept what has happened. I have heard some people gloating but that does not say much for them. Gloating over someones else’s misfortune is not good and shows a shallow personality. Ignore these people.

Next sit down and look inside yourself. Have you changed or are you still the same person? Are you still compassionate and caring for those less able, are you still loving your family as before, are you still aware that we are all connected? Whatever our colour or political beliefs we are all members of the human race. We come from the same source and we all have a spark of the divine within us. Find that spark and allow it to help you through the next days and maybe years. There is much for us to do if we are going to eventually get the change that the world needs. We have to care for others, look out for those needing our love and help and most of all we have to look after ourselves. If we are angry and frustrated then we won’t get anything done as we will be trying to do it while in the wrong frame of mind.

I believe there is a larger plan out there and often it takes time for the real plan and the truth to come out. Over the last few years you may have noticed that hidden things are coming to light much quicker than they did in the past. It is harder for those in government and high places to get away with wrongdoing. Have hope that all will be well in the end but we will have to work to get there. Success built on lies will always founder and the truth will come out.

Take heart, care for each other and those less fortunate, speak your truth and stay calm and centred. I send you all love and peace and the blessings of our Mother Earth.

Helping each other

During and after the war, everyone worked together to make sure that each person had what they needed. If someone was ill, then others would help with cooking and shopping. Children were cared for too when a parent was ill. Somewhere along the way this ‘helping each other’ seems to have disappeared. Yes, there are some who will always help someone less fortunate but there are many who turn their eyes away.

I have seen this happen recently when a lady collapsed in the bus queue. Many just stood there and did nothing while some of us tried to help. One lady phoned for an ambulance and we made the lady as comfortable as we could while we waited. But helping each other is something that should and can happen all the time. There are so many people nowadays who are vulnerable, the disabled, those out of work and the homeless as well as the elderly or those with some kind of mobility or mental problem. It says a lot about us as a society when there are lots of homeless people sleeping on the streets and the use of food banks is growing.

We need to look at the reasons for these things. It is easy to become homeless if you become ill or are made redundant from your job. If you can’t pay your rent or mortgage then you can lose your home. If no-one helps you then you can end up homeless and sleeping on the street. But what about helping others by offering to shop or cook for them? Even holding a door open for a woman with a pushchair or an elderly person is helping someone. Helping each other can be simple. Sharing food and transport is another way of helping. I am sure you can think of many ways in which we can help each other.

At this time of the year when we remember all those who died in the war, then let us think back to the ways we had of helping others then and try to do this again. It doesn’t cost anything, only perhaps your time. Remember that actions speak louder than words.

Friendship

We all have friends of one kind or another. Many of us have social media friends, some of whom we have never met. Are these people real friends or are they just people we know. I remember having childhood friends where we played together, did our homework together and went out together. There were no mobile phones or computers then so no social media. Some of these friendships have endured for many years. I also have many friends from when I belonged to groups and societies some of whom I still write to or send email to.

But what is friendship? I found a good definition on the internet which resonates with me. ‘  Friendship is a close association between two people marked by feelings of care, respect, admiration, concern, or even love. ‘ So how many of my ‘friends’ fit this definition? Some definitely do this while others are just names on a social media list.

For me a friend is some one with whom I can share things, outings, cups of tea, my deepest thoughts, my worries and they can share these things too as we support each other through the bad times and care for each other making sure all is well with each other.

So imagine having a meal with a friend one day and they get out their phone and start texting. How does that make you feel? Would you do the same or would you ask them to put their phone away? For me, friendship also includes respect and texting on your phone while out for a meal with a friend is not really acceptable. If it was an emergency that would be different. Also do you make plans to meet with a friend and then let them down as something better turned up for that day or you just didn’t feel like going? To me that also shows a lack of respect and respect is important.

Friends have to be cherished, especially the good friends. It’s like any relationship, you have to work at it to keep it strong and good. If you don’t then it will fall apart and both people lose out. Good friends are like a pot of gold, look after them and treat them right.

Extremes

Extremes are in the news at the moment but they have been around for a very long time. But lets take the weather first as that is very current. There have always been extremes of weather but we seem to be getting more, possibly because the climate is changing. So we have lots of flooding and lots of drought. These bring their own problems, like landslides and forest fires which both devastate the land around them and people’s lives as well as the wildlife which also lives there. But we are unable to change these events so far. However, such events often bring out the best in people and they all help each other to get back what they have lost. But a question here, does it change their lives?

We can look at extremes of beliefs next. There are some very right wing and some very left wing thinkers around. They each have their strong beliefs and many try to get rid of those who don’t agree. This turns into dictatorship and is not good for the many who don’t have the same beliefs. How do we deal with such extremes? Compromise is essential and we all need to think about what is fair, not just to ourselves, but to others who share our planet. What is best for one person is not necessarily any good for another. We are all different with different needs and this needs to be considered  at all times.

Sometimes it can be easy to see if something is good for all of us. Take a large car for example, made in this country. That benefits people by giving them a job, it benefits those who buy the car and drive it, therefore benefiting those who maintain the car. But against all of that, we need to consider emissions and air quality. Not easy is it.

I am a great believer in changing what I can and trying to work with what I can’t change. This applies in all parts of life and the ways of my life. I feel that is a start and try to encourage others so that extremist views may at some point become a thing of the past.

 

Caring

Caring for others, for animals and for our planet has been on my mind this week. Caring like compassion, respect and appreciation seem to be less seen than it used to be. What is happening to people that they lose these aspects of their lives? I often here the words ‘I don’t care about that, as long as I’m OK that’s fine’. But is this the right response?

OK caring for ourselves is important especially caring for our health. If we are not fit then we cannot help others, in practical ways at least. But caring for others and our planet is important. There are many vulnerable people in our world and we need to care about them. There are young children, harrassed young mothers, those who are disabled in some way and of course the elderly. At this time of the year caring about those older than us is important. As the colder weather comes along with ice and maybe snow, then it is difficult for many older people to get out. The same applies to young mothers with children. If we care enough we can offer to help in some way, do their shopping, sit and chat, babysit for an hour or take their dog for a walk. These are simple things but can make a huge difference to those on the receiving end. We hear about the elderly being lonely but young mothers can also be lonely if they have no adult company. Taking time to sit and chat over a cup of tea or coffee can be a life saver for someone.

Caring for our planet is also important. Keeping your area clean and free from litter is a good start. Trying to use less electric or electronic gadgets is also good and recycling is so important for us all. When I was young, my mother made all my clothes as well as her own. It was a skill she passed on to me and I try to make at least some of the things I wear, if not by sewing, by knitting.  These clothes last much longer than those manufactured by cheap labour in other countries. We have become a throwaway society and that is not good for people or for our planet. We need to recycle or upcycle nowadays and reuse everything we can in some way or other.

So do you care enough to do some of these things, to help others, to recycle or upcycle and reuse as much as you can? I hope you do this to show your caring for others and for our planet.

beefriendly

Loving and forgiving

I don’t usually write about books I have read but a few days ago a friend lent me a book to read, one I would not have chosen myself if I had seen it on a bookshelf in a bookstore. It was a story of a man meeting God and it was a very interesting book. A lot of the concepts in the book resonated strongly with my own beliefs.

One of these concepts was love and loving. There are many kinds of love as we all know. There is the love of parents for their children and vice versa, there is the love we have for our friends and for our pets. Love is not just about sex as the media would have us believe but love is far more wide ranging. Together with loving there has to be respect for each others and compassion for those who are in pain or hurt or need help of some kind.

This brings me to forgiving. If we don’t forgive someone for any hurt they have done to us then we can become extremely resentful and angry. This in turn can make us physically ill. Some scientists believe that anger and resentment can turn into life threatening diseases if we keep the anger inside ourselves for too long. So many times I have heard the words ‘I can’t forgive him or her’. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget the hurt but it does allow you to move on from the hurt and live a better life. We all have things to forgive. Often our parents or friends did things we did not like and which hurt us. Angry words, violence and other forms of abuse all hurt but it is no good hanging on to the hurts as it makes us ill.

Love is one of the most important things in life. We are all human and I feel that we all have a bit of the Divine inside us connecting us together. We humans are like the pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, all of us different but fitting together to make a whole. If we all loved each other and forgave any hurts then what a wonderful world it would be.

The book I was lent was ‘The Shack’ by Wm Paul Young. Thank you to my friend Vivian for the loan. Below is a painting I did many years ago with the title ‘Sanctuary’.

sanctuarypic2

For the highest good and more

This week has been a week of deep thought and a week of asking questions. Thank you to all those who responded. My first question was what do you think  healing for the highest good actually means. Aristotle stated this ‘Men generally agree that the highest good attainable by action is happiness,’.. Your responses were different from this because healing was part of what I asked. I don’t like to use the word ‘healer’ because if I am ‘giving’ Reiki healing energy to someone I am only the channel for the energy which does the healing together with the person receiving it. I don’t necessarily ‘send’ the energy either. I ask that it be sent to the person who has requested it for their highest good. Only they and their Higher Self know what that is and we have to trust that the healing energy goes where it is really needed.

This brings me to other thoughts. How is healing different from curing? One definition I found was this one ‘Curing means “eliminating all evidence of disease,” while healing means “becoming whole’. I like this quote because it helps me to explain to others why I still have my various diseases but I feel I am healed.

Another thought was about the belief that disease starts in our auric bodies before it manifests in the physical body, therefore healing energy may go to these auric bodies not the physical body first. So someone receiving healing energy for a physical complaint may not feel any better and if they don’t have the right understanding they may feel disappointed.

My last thought was about healing lists of which I am a member. We often ask for healing for a specific thing such as depression, anxiety, fractures, and other physical ailments.I am guilty of this yet I know that the healing energy will go where it is needed most and not necessarily where we expect it to go.

So there has been a lot of deep thinking and I hope this blog is not too complicated to read. I would love to read your comments on all of this. Many druids become interested and work with healing energies during their Ovate studies and there are many different ways of  using healing energy for yourself and others. This blog is a brief summary of my own thoughts on this and I know I have missed a lot of my thoughts out as I didn’t want the blog to be too long.

Just for today

I have decided quite recently to start working with Reiki again. I have missed my daily sessions and meditations with Reiki. The Reiki precepts are not only for Reiki but suitable for use every day whatever your beliefs.There are many versions of the precepts but this is the one I like:

Just for today I will let go of anger

Just for today I will let go of worry

Today I will count my blessings

Today I will do my work honestly

Today I will be kind to every living creature.

Some of these can be quite hard at times. I am not one to get angry at others or things that happen but I do worry and find this precept quite hard to deal with. Yet worrying doesn’t make sense and I know this. I try to change the things I can change and learn to live with those things I can’t change. I always count my blessings, doing this every night before I go to sleep. Looking at what you have puts things into perspective when you see those who don’t have anything not even water in some places. We are so lucky in the western world.

I am honest and always have been and that can cause me grief as I do tend to speak my mind but try to think first before opening my mouth! I also try to be kind to every living creature including the spiders I don’t like but in general I feel I do this.

After all the recent stress of moving house and having the new bathroom, then working with Reiki has helped me greatly. I am no longer stressed and feel much happier in myself. I always understood that Reiki was not just about helping others to heal but about healing yourself and becoming who you really are and this has certainly worked for me. I am now at the moment where I am going much deeper into Reiki and the meaning of the symbols and everything that goes with Reiki. I am also now feeling able to teach others Reiki again and this does not have to be done person to person but can be done over distance so if you are interested then do let me know.

My photo this week is a butterfly, a symbol of transformation.

 

Community living

As I now live in what is called a retirement village for the over 55’s I though I would write down my thoughts on this kind of living. This particular village is a complex of one and two bedroom flats. There are two annexes as well as the main building and I believe something like 285 flats in all. That is a large number and could mean around 400 people live in this complex. There is a shop open in the mornings for a couple of hours, a coffee bar open in the mornings for breakfast and a bar open in the evenings. These are run by people who live here. There is also a hairdressers, a charity shop, a games room, a computer suite, a laundry, as well as a small library. The corridors are wide and there are plenty of seats to sit on if you get tired walking somewhere. There are also two atriums where you can sit amongst the plants in comfort and entertain your friends. In the evenings and some afternoons there are quizzes, knit and natter groups, bingo and entertainment at the weekend. Various business people bring stalls at regular intervals so you can buy clothes, jewellery, handbags etc.

This means that you don’t actually have to leave the building at all and I suspect there are some that don’t. Does everyone get on together? Well, like any village there will always be those who complain about others and those who do not like where they live but in general everyone seems friendly.You can stay in your flat all day if you wish or you can go out on the bus to shop elsewhere and you can go for a walk in the small country park a few minutes walk away.

There are several thoughts that have crossed my mind about this kind of living. One is that it could be very easy to do nothing else except what is provided here. Would that make you an introverted person or perhaps dependent on what is provided here? Is this a good thing or not? For me it is fine as long as I can get out in the country park and to other places on the bus. I do wonder if my feelings will change if my mobility goes completely. Is it good to have people of this age range living together? If some residents have children and grandchildren and they visit then that keeps the family ties and the generations mingle together. I am lucky that I have found a few people here who also like the walk up to the pond and that is good. It is early days yet so more friends could be made in the future.

What are your thoughts on this type of housing complex for the over 55’s? Would you live in one when you get older? Are there better ways of living for the older person?