Synchronicity, the story of the rainbow crystal

Synchronicity, sometimes the universe has a way of making magical things happen.

One of the most special moments I have encountered synchronicity, is when the beautiful rainbow crystal came into my life.

In September 2012 I spend a holiday with friends in Nevada. One of the things we did was to visit Virginia City, once a settlement on the route between San Francisco and Denver, now an old style mining town which attracts visitors from wide and far.

In this town I found a most wonderful crystal shop, where I had to shop taking luggage restrictions into account. Even though I already had several pointed clear crystals, my eye was drawn to a lovely little clear South American quartz cluster, which I decided to bring home with me without thinking much of it. Of course it was special to me, as all my crystals are, but nothing really stood out about it.

Almost a year later I was to follow a course with the lovely Catherine McMahon (www.facebook.com/divineprescriptions) to become a certified angel teacher. At first I planned to do the course in Glosna Holistic Centre, but a friend and colleague asked me to follow the course with her in Catherine’s home, as that friend has trouble driving distances and Catherine’s home is only half an hour away from her. Of course I agreed, as I knew following the course together with this friend would make it even more special and we’d become certified teachers together.

Before the course Catherine received an amount of beautiful rose quartz crystals, which she displayed in her home until she found them an even better place to live. As we were talking about these crystals during the second day of the course she pointed out that she received this clear Lemurian quartz crystal in the same box as the rose quartz, and it seemed to need a bit of love and attention. So, we took turns in holding the crystal and placed it in the middle of the altar to give it the attention it deserved. You might call me mad, but you could see the sparkle come back to it.

As we were speaking about Lemurian crystals vs. regular clear quartz crystals, the next day I decided to bring my little cluster from Virginia City with me, as I felt it was a Lemurian crystal as well. You can find more information on the difference between Lemurian and regular crystals online, for me even though both crystals would have the same properties, Lemurian crystals feel more balanced and more powerful.

So, back to Catherine’s home. There I was sitting with my own little cluster and the big cluster, when for some reason I felt the urge to see if they fitted together in some way. I got the idea that somehow these two crystals were long lost pieces of the same crystal.

I placed the top left of my cluster into the right bottom part of the big cluster and it was like they were glued together. It was an unbelievable moment in space and time.

Here I was, I travelled from Ireland to Nevada and felt the urge to buy this one crystal, meanwhile somewhere someone was packing a box with rose quartz and decided to put in this Lemurian crystal. Then I was asked to join a different study group than I planned, which I did. Then, for some reason we were drawn to the big crystal and I decided to bring my little crystal to join it the next day. Et voila, the universe had orchestrated a small miracle to bring the two crystals back together. They are now living happily in my practice.

I do believe that this might not be the end of this crystal, it came into my life for a reason. I don’t know this reason yet, but am sure it is a magical one. I love it when magic happens.

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The Pain

The following poem, which I have translated from Dutch, came into my life first in my early twenties. Following a traumatic medical experience I suffered some symptoms related to post traumatic stress and this brought about a lot of other feelings locked up inside of me.

I went to see my GP, because I wasn’t sleeping and came to the point I could no longer function during my internship during the day. At first my GP sent me to a Freudian therapist, and this relationship simply did not work out. I am sure that Freud was a brilliant man, however psycho-analysis is not for everyone. I then came to a Gestalt therapist, who really did wonderful work with me. One of the things she shared with me was this poem by Magda Maris. At the time I first read it, I kind of got it, but I did not get the true essence of it, I understand now.

Last week I reorganized my bookcase and found the book (‘Van Hart Tot Hart’), which has travelled with me all this time, and, remembering the poem, I decided to read it. I really feel that I have made amazing personal growth, as I now get the complete essence of the book and its meaning, and it made me feel accomplished.

I have searched for an English translation, but didn’t find one, so I am taking creative liberty to share this poem with you in my own translation.

The Pain

I am the pain;

I am the hurt love;

I visit when it is dark

And if there is light still

I will make it dark.

 

I am the pain;

The pain that is unaccepted;

I am already rejected;

Before I announce myself.

 

I am an unrecognized signal,

A denied reality.

 

I hide in many expressions

Sometimes in anger,

Sometimes in ridicule,

Sometimes in hatred,

Sometimes in apathy,

Sometimes in boredom, all pieces of armour around the heart

Where I have my stay.

I am the wound-energy of the heart

Where love has its throne. The heart is

The radiator of the love.

The heart that once trustfully

gave that love to

a wounded and blinded world

that was only able to reject it

in fear and pain;

and with that hurt it so much

that it too, had to make itself blind and insensitive,

through which it became of that world;

cold, hard and closed off,

afraid of the warmth of the love

that is the only one that is able

to reach the heart, to move it

and to bring movement to it

 

But when this movement hurts her, because

It makes old wounds bleed,

Is it odd,

That she hardens herself?

 

I am the pain,

I am the rejected heart-energy:

In order to avoid me,

In order not to sense me,

People will numb themselves

With hate

With ridicule

With indifference

In short, with everything

That seems to make me bearable.

 

I am the pain,

Because of me you are asleep

Because of me you do not want to wake up

Because of me your heart hardens

Which makes you lose contact

With your inner love,

With the energy of your heart,

The radiating energy that is ever healing,

To be connected to this energy is:

Being able to trust

Being able to surrender

Being able to act like a child, open and free.

 

I am the pain

You don’t want me

You don’t suffer me

 

Oh, if you would bear me with love

Feel me and suffer with open heart,

Mentally and physically,

I would be healing for you

To bear with love means

To want to feel me

To want to suffer me

To accept me as I am

It means: give up your fear for me and allowing me to be

No matter where and how I am

It means being willing to acknowledge

That you hide me

Underneath your anger or detachment.

 

I am the pain,

To be willing to bear me

Means that are willing to acknowledge me

In my sharpness, my harrowing truth;

I am not sweet,

I am not terrible.

 

I am the pain, nothing more

Nothing less

Who finds, feels and experiences me

inside themselves will heal!

 

Living with the four agreements

The first time I read the book ‘The four agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz, I was amazed by how short and simple the book was to read. No big elaborate words, no ceremony, just plain and simple: 4 agreements.

1. Be impeccable with your word

2. Don’t take anything personally

3. Don’t make assumptions

4. Always do your best

How different though when starting to work with the 4 agreements. Not that simple at all!

This blog is about my personal journey with the agreements, and my continuous effort to master them.

We are all different, we all think different, and as such, most likely we all have different pain points when it comes to living according to the agreements. For me, the hardest one to master is to not make assumptions, but rather ask questions.

I mean, we all need to make assumptions from time to time, I assume that if I cross the road in front of a big truck that is driving in my direction at speed, I have a very big chance of getting hurt, and so I don’t do that. I do not feel the need to test my guardian angels on it.

Assumptions have the ability though to bring us on very slippery ground when it comes to personal and professional relationships.

My favourite psychological question is ‘think of a dog’. When I think of a dog I think of a butch westie named Arthur, that looks up to me with his big brown doggie eyes. However, I am sure that there are only about 3 to 5 others in the world that think of a westie called Arthur when they think of a dog. This is the problem with assumptions, we all view the world from our own perspective, sometimes forgetting that there is not 1 person that sees the world as we see it. Simply because we are the only ones that do not see ourselves in 3D.

When I teach, assumptions can become essential. Before I even get into teaching new knowledge, I need to ensure that everyone is on the same page as in existing knowledge. In the holistic trade there is little to none ‘hard science’, almost everyone I know that works in my area goes with what feels right and resonates with them, before adding their own touch to it. For me, this is what I love, it allows me freedom of thinking and makes my life journey so very interesting. Because of my work, people may assume I walk around in the forest a lot, barefoot and braless in flowy dresses, hugging trees. Fact is, yes, I hug trees, walk barefoot a lot, however, I love ‘normal’ things, like going to concerts, making spreadsheets and watching Star Wars. Coming from a place where I am often misunderstood, I give it my very best to ask questions before assuming anything about someone. Asking questions and exploring the other’s person’s view often brings about the best of conversation, as you allow them to expose their true views on the matter.

It is something I need to remind myself of every now and then though, and luckily opportunities present themselves constantly for me to practice not making assumptions.

Don’t take anything personally

I must say, working with this agreement has given me the biggest part of inner peace. I do not have to think about why people say the things they say and what they mean to really say to me, and was it that they were hinting at something specific I did when they said something in general. I am tired even writing that whole inner conversation down.

What people say, how they say it, when they say it, if they say it, it is always reflective of the other person and how they view the world. I understand this now, and I live it now.

We all have a little inner child, and the more we feed our inner child with hurt and anger, the more it becomes impossible to step over the things people say or do to us. Believe me, I had fed that inner child of mine up to its nose with hurt, so every time I got into a particular situation, my inner child raised its voice and instantly I went to a place where I did not care about where the other person was coming from, only about what hurt I was carrying.

Now, a few years down the road, and living with this agreement, whenever I see others displaying this behaviour I just want to hug them and show them that live can be different.

If someone ‘insults’ me, I can now ask why they are saying what they are saying, without going into hurt or anger. This is a choice. I can also choose to walk away.

What I notice in others is that they cannot believe that I do not take something personally. Because I do not respond to certain things, they assume I took things personally. When I say ‘it’s cool’, they hear ‘I am really angry’. So, often I find myself in situations now, where people are starting to explain why they said what they said, without me ever having asked about it.

Being impeccable with my word

Here’s the thing with this agreement, I use irony. A lot. It gets me in trouble. A lot.

I am not sure if I am ready to change my ways in this, which makes living this agreement to the core a bit hard. So, I have developed my own interpretation of this agreement, which works for me. For me, being impeccable with my word really means that I generally think about what I am going to say before I say it. I am careful in the way I speak about others, I would rather comment about the positive qualities of someone than say something nasty. I’d rather build something positive than something I have to hide.

I have always been very true to my word. I do not have the skills to lie. If I would tell anyone a lie, it would probably stay with me for a long time. In fact, as I am typing this I am remembering 2 times I lied over the past 10 years, and I am letting it go. The funny thing about this is that I am always completely shocked when someone else lies to me, as I simply don’t expect this. I am not the right person to write about what motivates this behaviour, as I would be making assumptions 😉

So, for me, I use this agreement as ‘do not speak to or about others as you do not want to be spoken about or to’. I like other people that get irony.

Always do your best

For me the main lesson in this agreement is in accepting my own limitations and giving myself a break. My best is never going to be exactly the same every day of every week. What is important it that I have a positive attitude towards the things I do and do them in the best way I can.

I once had a manager that asked me ‘what if your best is not good enough?’.  I left, didn’t have an answer. I still do not have an answer for her, my best is my best. And I know that my best is pretty awesome. If I see someone that, despite everything, is giving something their best in that moment, no matter if it is 5% what they could at full energy, I praise them. It is always about the intention. I do not believe many people live their lives trying to do the very worst they can do. If you can say ‘I have given it my best’, you should be proud, no matter what the result is.

So, the 4 agreements, it really is a journey. I do think that since applying them to my life, the quality of my life has improved tremendously. This is why I encourage anyone to try them. Even if you start with just one, one that seems easy to you. See how you fare and let me know.
(I do not think I used Irony once in this blog, but if I did, please do not take it personally)

The wonderful ways of St. Francis

October 4 is the day that we celebrate the life of st. Francis of Assisi by honouring the animals around us. St. Francis is known as patron saint of the environment.

He also brought a very important other lesson to earth, that of distancing yourself from material goods in order to get closer to God.

In regards to ascended masters, st. Francis is said to have carried the same life energy as Lord Kuthumi, who works with people to understand spiritual truths.

St. Francis lived from around 1182 until 1226, a lifespan of around 44 years seems rather short for the great things he achieved in it.

He grew up as the son of a well-of merchant and a noble woman, a life that brought him riches and joy, an opportunity to be carefree in an age where those that had less material riches had a very hard time surviving. Yet, as still a rather young man, he realized that material riches was not what he craved from life. He craved to be close to God.

Now, in this day and age, more and more people chose the quality of life over material riches. St. Francis however, took it one step further. He denounced everything he had and put his full trust in God that he would be taken care of by the kindness of strangers.

When we think of a monk, we often see them wearing a robe of brown cloth, held together with a rope. This is the outfit that st. Francis choose to illustrate that he needed nothing more than the cloth on his back, and if someone would have approached him and asked for that, he would have given it up too.

Imagine how this would work. You give up your house, your car, your savings, your clothes, everything you possess. You then go out in the street and start preaching the word of God and begging your neighbours for food. This might not go down particularly well with your neighbours, nor did it go down very well with the friends and relatives of st. Francis.

Yet, Francis was determined and everything that crossed his path he saw as an opportunity given by God to get closed to him.

Francis’ attitude to everything that came on his path is likely the cause for him being the founder of a religious order that still continues today. He took every challenge with patience, kindness, and most important, good cheer. True saintly behaviour.

He showed this kindness and wholeheartedness, not just to his fellow humans, but to all beings he encountered, as they are all the creations of God.

Again, it is important that we take this in the context of time. Being kind to all animals in this day and age may not seem as remarkable as it was in at the beginning of the 13th century. Animals in those days did not have tailor-made food, treats, play time, etc. Animals had their place, and it was below the order of humans, humans saw themselves superior and therefor allowed to treat animals in ways that nowadays we would call the ‘cruelty to animals’ helpline for. And, here is Francis, giving kindness to animals, respecting them as if they were his equal.

This great respect for all of nature made him patron saint of the environment.

There is so much inspiration in the teachings about st. Francis. I have a very interesting encounter myself with the spirit of Francis, which, of course, I will share.

At the beginning of the year I found a beautiful book about st. Francis in a local charity shop. I was over the moon, it was a beautiful book, published in 1927, in perfect condition, lovely blue cover with white doves on it, lined with silver. Basically they do not make books like that anymore these days. I placed it next to my bed, so I could read a little every day before going to sleep.

A few days later I hear the puppy upstairs, and then stumbling on the stairs. Wondering what he was up to, I looked up and saw him with the book in his mouth. What I must mention here is that this same dog had not ever touched a book before and has not touched one since, even though he always had plenty of opportunity. Needless to say, I was really, really, really bummed off.

The book was still enough intact for me to read it, however every time I saw it, my heart sank a little. I did enjoy the contents thoroughly, and then one day I came to this part:

‘There were bound to be some alterations in the life of the Order as time went on. The haphazard way of living, which worked well enough when there were only a few brothers, did not do when they numbered many thousands. Gradually it came about that they had more settled places to live in, and they built larger houses. Sometimes it was more convenient to accept money than food as payment for their work. Again, as more and more learned men and students joined the Order it became necessary for them to have books and places for study. S. Francis hated the friars to have books. Once he had wanted to possess books himself, so he understood the scholar’s longing; but he had put away the desire for study, thinking of it as a temptation. He was afraid of learning. He thought it would turn men’s mind away from the following of Christ.’

There are no coincidences in life, and I am sure that my beautiful book was broken for a reason that the spirit of St. Francis has brought to me. I now have the book on display in my practice, it is my personal reminder to see that material possessions are irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.

I do not denounce material goods, I do not denounce my shelter and security. I do not denounce study, as the more I learn, the more I develop spiritually. What I do take from the story of st. Francis is that I treat all beings with respect, no matter how big small or human, as everyone plays their part on this planet.

Most of all his core believe that God would look after him is something that I have been striving for in the last year. It is hard to reach that core believe that no matter what, the universe has your back, but I am getting there. My gratefulness for all I receive is growing with every lesson in this I am learning.

Why mindfulness matters.

Mindfulness, it is becoming a more common term every day. But what is it, and why does it matter?

 

Mindfulness is not a practice that was started somewhere over the last few decades. It has its origins in Buddhism and goes back as far as the 1th century CE. In Buddhism Mindfulness, or Sati, is one of the 7 factors of enlightenment.

 

So what exactly is ‘mindfulness’? Mindfulness is the practice of having your awareness in the moment.

That sounds easy enough right? Don’t we all have awareness in the moment? Not exactly.

Take this for an example. Imagine you are in a room with a very good friend. Your friend is telling you about something they went through recently, and you are listening. Next moment though, your friend asks a question and you cannot bring it into context, as your mind took you on a trip to your to-do list for the rest of the day.

You were there in the room, your friend was right in front of you, and maybe he or she experienced your conversation very mindful, you however, not so.

If you would have approached this same situation in a mindful way, you would have been fully aware of when your mind started wandering, and you would have been able to bring it back to focus on your friend, your conversation and hopefully, your cup of tea.

 

Our minds are amazing things, we can create anything we want in our minds.

This can be really great when we are in love and we are thinking about being together with our partner and the feelings that come with that. It can be less great when a challenge crosses our path and we feel lame from fear because we imagined ourselves go through the most terrible outcomes.

Practising mindfulness allows us to create some ‘quiet time’ for ourselves.

 

Whatever we manifest in our future hasn’t happened yet, and better yet, might never happen.

So, if you are the ‘worrier’, mindfulness allows you to free yourself from worry. This is because generally, there is no worry in the present moment. Worry comes from what we think might happen next. If you worry, you are living in the future.

 

We can hold ourselves back with fear, hurt and anger that we carry with us from the past.

Say that when you were a child and someone close to you told you that you were never going to succeed at what you set out to do, because you were simply too dumb. You might still be carrying this fear, hurt or anger with you. If an opportunity arises in the here and now and your mind is still in the past, with your inner child, you might actually stop yourself from taking the opportunity, telling yourself you will not succeed. The mindful way however is to see the opportunity and with your full awareness realize what it brings to your life before taking it up.

 

Note that mindfulness is not about ignoring limiting emotions such as fear, hurt and anger, but to acknowledge them and let them move on. We are all human beings and as long as we are in this human body we will have negative feelings and thoughts at times, there is nothing wrong with that.

Acceptance is a big part of mindfulness. If we want to bring our full awareness into the present we must fully acknowledge and accept who and where we are. This again, is easier said than done. I will talk about acceptance and inner peace in a next blog.

 

So, what mindfulness can bring to our life is quiet time. Time without worry, fear, hurt or anger. Also, it brings us the opportunity to acknowledge where we are in life and grow from it.

Talking about opportunity, opportunities come to us in the here and now, life happens in the here and now. If you are in the here and now, who knows what treasure you will find right in front of you.