Staying calm in a chaotic world

Staying calm can sometimes be extremely difficult in the world of today. There is so much going on in the world around us as well as in the wider world and there is so much pressure to do this or do that or be that way not the other way and so on.

Many years ago when I was first working with the Reiki energy I learned to stop and take deep breaths when I was getting worked up about something or pressured into doing something that I knew was not right for me. I also gave myself a boost of the Reiki energy. But not everyone can do this so how can you stay calm when you need to be calm?

I find that just stopping whatever I am doing and looking around me at the world of nature outside my window calms me down. I love to watch what is going on outside the window in my garden. I can see butterflies and damselflies and lots of flying insects all busy about their daily work.

But what if you don’t have a garden outside your window but have noisy traffic and other sounds. Then you have to find a place in your imagination where you can go to when you need peace. Have you been on holiday somewhere or on a day out where you have found a place you really like and feel at peace there? This is the place you go to in your imagination when you need to feel calm and peaceful. It can only be for a minute but it will help. It is the stopping what you are doing and taking a few seconds or minutes out that does the trick. Don’t think of what is getting to you but think of the peaceful place you love. If you do this regularly then you will feel much better and get less stressed by everything that is going on. You will be more able to go with the flow of things as they occur and deal with them in a much easier way. So take a few minutes out at intervals during your day and see how much difference it can make.

Here is a photo taken in my garden this week.

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Hope

Hope is a word we use a lot. ‘I hope you are well’ or ‘I hope you get what you want’ are two examples. There are many more as I am sure you well know. But what do we mean by ‘hope’?

Generally in the cases above it is a feeling of expectation or a desire for something to happen. In some cases it is merely wishful thinking meaning ‘I’d like you to be well’ or ‘Id like you to get what you want’.

But hope can be seen as a capability to motivate ourselves and others in order to reach goals that we want but these have to be realistic of course. So many of us hope for things to happen that are definitely not realistic or to have things that we are never going to have.

However hope is important and can help people to get better when they are ill. If they believe they can get better then hope will help them to do so. If you are hopeful then you are also optimistic. Hope gives us the ability to see possible good in the future. Hope can make you feel positive and can improve your health. Hope creates self worth and gives you the strength to keep going. Hope gives you motivation which enables you to do things you had not known you could do.

Hope allows you to approach problems with your mind set on success. If you have hope, you can face the most negative times in your life with positivity. Hope therefore improves your mental health. Hope allows you to see opportunities in challenges; we often say ‘Look on the bright side’.

Here is a quote from Emily Dickinson ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul — and sings the tunes without the words — and never stops at all.’ And one final quote, author unknown, ‘Hope is the dream of a soul awake’.

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Looking back

We are often told not to look back but to be ‘in the now’ or to look forward to the future. But there are various reasons why we can look back and times when it is good to look back.

I like to look back at my life journey so I can see what I have learned, or not learned as the case may be, so I can  decide what I need to do next. I can reflect on my journey so far. I also like to look back in history to see how countries and people have changed over the centuries.

Looking back at my life can also bring to mind some wonderful memories, some which I have shared with others and some when I have made journeys alone. Yesterday I went out with my son and his partner to a local, wildflower farm. The sun was hot, the sky a clear blue, the flowers colourful and the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies were out in abundance and stunningly beautiful. Tea and cake added to the day and it will be a day to remember when in years to come, I cannot get out to enjoy nature.

In my history/genealogy research, I am of course looking back, but I try to find out what life was like then, what people wore, and how they lived so that I am in a way bringing them alive. It enables me to see how much our world has changed in the last three or four hundred years.

So looking back for me is important. It enables me to make changes in the way I live my life and it also enables me to see how I do things differently than my ancestors. Do you look back and if so do you reflect on what you see? Does it help you to change the way you do things now? Does it help you to find out what is important in your life as it does in mine?

Here is one of the dragonflies from yesterdays memories.

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The joys of nature

The sun is shining and it is quite warm. It makes me feel so much better. This week I have watched a family of plump baby blackbirds  learn to feed themselves getting worms out of the ground and now they have flown off to make new lives for themselves. As blackbirds have more than one brood I suspect the parents are now getting ready for the next brood.

I have also seen a pair of goldcrests which look as if they are nesting close by. They come into the garden several times a day. And there are many butterflies including some orange tipped ones.

There are also lots of other garden birds too and plenty of insects of various kinds. A question posed by my son yesterday has made me do some thinking. How do the butterflies know which plant to lay their eggs on. Some butterflies only lay their eggs on specific plants so how do they know they have the right plant? The more I look at the natural world around me the more I am amazed by it and the more I realise that I don’t know about it.

I’ve also seen quite a few bees which is good. I am trying to make my garden friendly for bees and other insects but it is going to be a long job as I am limited in how long I can work in the garden at one time. But at least I have the joy of sitting and watching what is going on in the garden and that makes me feel very blessed.

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Some random thoughts

It is Mothers Day here in the UK where we honour our mothers and give them presents. But should we not honour our mothers every day for what they did for us and often still do for us every day? After all we wouldn’t be here without them.

A visit to a local park made me look at and think about boundaries. The pair of swans were not allowing the Canadian geese anywhere near them and shooed them off noisily whenever one was spotted. The male mallard ducks were pursuing the females although there were many more males than females. Signs of Spring and also signs of setting boundaries. Do we set boundaries around us and our properties and how do we do this?

The days are getting longer as dawn is much earlier and sunset later. It is also warmer although a bit damp at times. It is time to do some clearing out really but I am packing for a house move. I am not clearing out any more books or other items as I did this last time and now need some of the items I cleared out. I have done this with books and then had to go and find another copy. As a writer I need books for reference as well as for my personal spiritual work. Are you good at clearing out?

I have been ‘giving’ Reiki to a friend this week. We have had several short sessions and these have been quite powerful for both of us. It has made me think that I should work with Reiki much more. Do you do any kind of healing work and if so how do you feel about what you do?

I am looking forward to settling in my new home next month when I can get back to my art work as well as my writing. I have felt a great need to paint again especially since looking at some of the art work from previous years. Do you find looking at what you have done in the past triggers a need to do more of that kind of work?

So random thoughts and questions for you to ponder. The photo is of the swan taking off after the goose.

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My heart sings

I have just returned from a few days away in North Wales. Snowdonia is my spiritual home and I spend time in meditation being there but being there in reality is so much better.

It was good to see the snow capped mountains while walking on Llandudno pier. That was only the start though. The following day was a tour round through Betws y Coed to Llanberis. There was the rushing river over the rocks, refreshing and exhilarating and new buds on the trees. There was  a lovely view of one of the mountains I have not managed to climb in my younger days, Moel Siabod, standing there proud against the sky. Llanberis gave another view of the mountains and the stark landscape of Vivian quarry.

The second day was Caernarfon followed by Anglesey and then back round the mountains to Llandudno. Each time we stopped  I breathed in deeply, by the sea and in the mountains. It refreshed me and replenished my soul.

The final day was the best. Two friends for whom I am truly grateful organised a taxi up the Great Orme. To stand there with my feet on the earth where ancients have trodden was wonderful. To stand and look out over the sea and the mountains made my heart sing. We walked back down, me with my walker,  to the little church of St. Tudno, and sat on a bench looking out over the sea watching a ship go past and the sun glinting on the blades of the wind turbines. Peaceful as well. I not only have new memories but more photos as well.

I am going to copy here the words of a poem I wrote many years ago but which came to my mind on the Great Orme.

I felt the earth beneath my feet,

I saw the sky above,

I felt the throb of my heart beat

In wonder and in love.

I give thanks for the days spent there and for my two friends, Viv and John who made the trip up the Orme possible. It has meant so much to me to be able to tread the land of the ancients and of my forebears. Despite the pain I feel it was a wonderful time and I am blessed.

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Wake up calls

Wake up calls are important and I am not writing about those wake up calls to get you out of bed on the morning. Wake up calls often happen when you become ill or are involved in something traumatic but they can happen at any time. These wake up calls are the ones where you stop and take a look at your current way of living and decide to change it for the better. Many people come to a spiritual path through a wake up call. My own wake up call came when I had an out of body experience while undergoing surgery many years ago. It changed the way I looked at my life and how I did things.

Some wake up calls occur during illness such as cancer which can be life changing in many ways. Some occur during an accident of some kind and these can often be even more life changing. We hear on the news of injuries that are life changing due to accident and terror attacks. So our lives can change in physical ways but often the wake up call is about changing our approach to life and our thoughts about how we live our daily life.

Meditation, mindfulness, crystals and Reiki are a large part of the way I live. Although I spend a lot of time researching family and local history I find that without the other things I have mentioned above, then the research would not be the same either. It never ceases to amaze me how the atmosphere in a room can change through music or the chimes of bells or a singing bowl. These all enhance my life and enable me to live more peacefully and in more harmony with myself and those around me. All these came from my wake up call and my life changed in many ways and continues to change as I meet each challenge on my life’s journey.

Have you had wake up calls? How did they change your way of life? Did your diet change or your perception of things? Did you find a spiritual path to follow? Do you find being in nature helps you?

I will end with a brief note about my short walk the other morning. It was very frosty and as I walked down this path I saw the sun melting the frost and the resulting mist rising into the sky making the surrounding landscape look very mystical. A wonderful experience.

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