It is over twenty years since I was gifted with Reiki but in the last few years I have almost forgotten about it. I have been busy with other things during the last few years mainly writing my blogs and books. But one day last week I was sitting reflecting on those years when I felt a surge of energy and a feeling that I must come back to Reiki. Talking about this to others I discovered that many of them were also thinking of doing the same whether it was with Reiki or some other form of natural therapy.
I have felt that people are starting to wake up to see that there can be a different world out there. We don’t have to eat processed food, we can grow our own or buy organic food. I know it is generally more expensive but what does your health mean to you? Some foods can be grown in the smallest garden if you make the effort.
I have a problem with most allopathic medicines so have to rely on natural ones and I soon discovered which work for me and which don’t. Every one of us is unique, none of us have the same chemical or physical make-up and we need to bear that in mind when choosing foods and medicines. It is the same with certain foods, which make my illness worse not better so you soon learn to avoid them.
Perhaps it is time we took responsibility for our own bodies and lives and stopped listening to others who try to tell us what to do, what to eat and what to wear. Take time to reflect on your life style. Can you find things that you can change to make your life better? Can you grow some food on your window sill if you don’t have a garden? Can you walk or ride a bike to work instead of using the car? Can you get out into nature and walk through the woods or on the hills? There is so much you can do to lead a better life. Think about it and change what you can change. One must be the change one wishes to see in the world.
Earlier this week I went to sign all the papers and collect the keys for my new home. Within a couple of minutes walk is a small country park. As I was early for my appointment and feeling a bit stressed I decided to take a look at this small park. There was a small pond with a few reeds and irises around it and a man sitting quietly fishing. There were several seats so I sat down for a while listening to the most wonderful birdsong and enjoying the peace and the sunshine.
After a while I decided to explore the paths I could see. One went back down into a street while another one wound upwards through the trees. I took this upward path noticing the blossom on the trees and the wild flowers. It was not long before I had to return for my appointment but that short break in nature had destressed me. I know I will be there often to sit and enjoy the natural world around me.
I am sure that we all feel stressed at times and science is now proving that being out in nature can help us and is beneficial for our health. I hope you know places like the one I have found and use them for reflection and replenishment. I am adding a couple of photos to give you some idea of what the park is like.
I have got lots of ideas in my head about what to write about this week but where to start? One of the main things that got to me this week was the attitude of those who don’t vote because they say whatever happens won’t affect them. One local seat was lost by fifty votes and I wonder how much difference it would have made if those who did not vote had actually gone and voted. Many years ago only men who owned property could vote and then it became all men as long as they were employed. Eventually women were able to vote as well. We owe it to these ancestors to use our right to vote which they fought for.
Another thing that got to me this week is how brainwashed a lot of people are. They seem to think that what they read in the papers and hear on the television or radio is the truth. They are not able to discern fact from fiction. Our local paper had a wraparound cover the other day paid for by the Tory party. I found it rather offensive but then the newspaper is owned by a large firm who will do anything to get more money. The money that paid for this cover in many other newspapers too, could have gone towards our health service and helped many people.
I try to keep politics out of my writing but I want to see a fairer world where children do not go hungry, where education is good and free and where our health service is available to everyone. We should not be seeing homeless people on the streets or people having to use food banks. As a population we should be moving forward and looking towards a better, fairer future, not moving backwards to what life was like in the Victorian age and before. What went wrong I often ask myself. Where did we become complacent about our government and when did we stop believing that they had our interests at heart? How can we help others to learn to discern truth from lies and find out the best way to get things changed? I’m not sure it will happen in my lifetime but I hope it happens soon so our children and grandchildren have a decent future to look forward to.
What drives us? What is it and does it change over the years. I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. In my early years I loved music and learned to play the piano reaching diploma standard by the time I was sixteen. It was music and the love of it that drove me then. But a love of art also joined in, painting, drawing and just being outside doing this too. When my children were of school age I was working, going to art classes and studying part-time for a degree in science mainly geology. Then the love of the landscape took over together with the music and art. It was good to know how the landscapes I loved so much had formed and this drove me onwards to find out more.
Throughout my working life music had played an important part as well as painting and being outside in nature. But when I got the opportunity to retire, did these things change? I now had time to do other things but music and art were still there as a driving force but then I began to write.The writing has taken over from the painting but the music is still a part of my life even if I can not play the piano so much nowadays. But I can’t seem to stop writing. I research for historical writing and watch nature for my creative writing but everything I have done is a form of creativity.
So what do I call that urge to create, that urge that drives me on? I have no idea what to call it but it comes from deep down in my soul. Creating is a way of life, I need to do it and am compelled to do it. Some would say Spirit is driving me on? What would you call it? What drives you on each day and forward into the future? Has it changed over the years? Could you survive without this urge to do things? Even now as my physical body is failing me my brain is active and I keep writing as in this blog. Why do I do this I ask myself. I could sit back and relax and do nothing but that is not my way. I need to be active and if I can’t get outside in nature like I did when I was younger, than at least I can write and take photos. I think I would wither away without this in my life.
I often hear people of my age and older saying how hard life was for us when we were young and that today’s young people have it easy. So first of all let me tell you about my life when I was young. I was born during the Second World War so things were a little difficult to say the least. Food and clothes were rationed and we had a ration book we had to use to buy things. My parents had saved enough money to pay a deposit on a new semi detached house. But it was not as you would see one today. In the kitchen there was a Belfast sink and a small gas cooker. A heavy wooden draining board was attached to the sink. My mother washed everything in this sink and used a hand wringer to squeeze the water out of the clothes. There was a washing board for putting clothes on which needed scrubbing. (the washboard later became a musical instrument with Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle group) There was no refrigerator but a larder or pantry with a heavy marble slab in it and on the slab stood a mesh cupboard known as a meat safe. Milk was delivered in bottles which were washed when empty and put outside for the milk man to collect. In the dining cum living room (the front room was only used when we had visitors) there was a coal fired range with two ovens and a hob for boiling things in saucepans. The kettle was put on this hob to boil. We had a radio as well. There were two wooden armchairs and a stool for me. We played card games, dominoes and snakes and ladders of did jigsaws in the winter. My dad grew lots of vegetables. When we went to buy them we took a shopping bag and whatever we bought went straight into the bag. No packing stuff at all. Meat was wrapped in a heavy white paper and handed over to go in the bag. We did not have a car until my dad was in his forties.
So life was hard in many ways but we had lots of freedom to go out and play in the open spaces and in the woods coming home dirty but happy. Young people today do not have that freedom. They do have lots of electronic gadgets and washing for example is done in a much easier way. But is life better? I look at the young ones of today and the pressure put upon them to achieve at whatever cost. Everything is measured, education especially and certain standards have to be reached or else. Then there are the adverts on the TV and all around which keep saying that you need this and that to make your life better and easier and give you happiness. I don’t think they have it easy. They have to make far more choices than I had to and many do not cope with the pressure put on them. They all want the latest designer outfits not because they really want them but because their friends have them. At least we didn’t have that worry. My mother made most of my clothes and her own.
So how do you look back at your past? Was it good or better than what younger people have now? If you are young and reading this, how do you feel about what I have described? I know that when I was teaching, my class could not understand why we did not have a TV.
Over the last few years ethnicity seems to have become far too important in our lives. I keep hearing about immigrants from Europe and immigrants from other countries but we all have some genes in common even if only in trace parts. (I am writing about Europe here) Some time ago, several years in fact, I took a DNA test to find out which daughter of Eve I belonged to. This came about because of research by Bryan Sykes on the theory of human mitrochondrial genetics. He classified modern Europeans into seven genetic groups, haplo groups. Each of these groups shared an ancestor, the original Eve. It is much more complicated than this but I hope I have given you some idea of what I am getting at. From this I gained the knowledge that my group was Katrine and she lived around 15000 years ago.
So what is this to do with druidry? I believe that we are all connected in spirit at least but many of us are also connected genetically although we may not know it. I recently took another DNA test specifically for the purpose of tracing close relatives or distant cousins. This test reveals your ethnicity and many people have been surprised by what they found. So what about my ethnic origins? Briefly I am 82% British, 7% West European, 6% Scandinavian and the rest are traces of the Iberian Peninsular, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy and Greece. There will be many others with similar DNA living and working in the UK but who are classed as immigrants because they were not born here. We are all immigrants if you think about it. The British Empire and much of Europe, invaded other countries and pushed out the natives. Americans most of all must know how much of other nations is in their genes.
My ancient origins are Siberia, Sweden, Spain, Hungary and Russia! Now there is something to think about. How do we decide who is an immigrant and how are they different from us? Think of the Vikings and the Normans who invaded Britain and how much of their genetic heritage is in our own genes. Will the advent of all this DNA research help us to be more tolerant of those we feel are not like us? If we all descend from the ‘Eve’ of Bryan Sykes (not the biblical Eve) then we are all connected.
I hope you have managed to sift through my words and understand what I am getting at.
This last couple of weeks I have refrained from posting on social media. I felt I needed a break from the negativity that is all around me. Why is everyone so negative? There is so much to be positive about in our lives despite the chaos of the current world. Everything and everyone has something positive about them and we should look for this positivity.
So my sort of retreat has been quite beneficial. It has allowed me to look at my own feelings and thoughts about my life and that of others. But taking time away from all the pressures that others put upon us gives us time to reflect and recharge. Not only was I able to finish off a lot of my research work but I was able to put what you might call my’ affairs’ in order or some of them at least. I was able to take time to read for pleasure and listen to music all day if I wished. I find music regenerates my soul just as much as being outside in nature.
Nature of course has given us plenty to think about this week with many changes in the weather from warm days to snowy days. But I have watched birds again on the feeder, the squirrel who comes to visit and the shoots of the bulbs breaking through the surface in their pots. New growth, a new year and new positive thinking about life and the world.
There is much to look forward to, the lengthening days, the signs of spring and new growth in the natural world. Yes, there are changes afoot, some of them likely to be not what we need but look past that to what you can do for your own well-being and that of others. Stay positive and strong, stand up and be counted when you need to and above all, find peace in your life so that others feel it too.
Here are the bulbs in their pots in my garden. Let nature give you hope.