I wanted to write this article about November 11 for two reasons – one heavenly and one earthly, but both reasons have a Divine connection. I have waited for the day to pass, because I did not want to rain on anyone’s parade, and the article reflects my personal opinions
I will start with the hype around 11am on November 11th, which apparently was the time of ascension, and the time of magical manifestation for those that were ready to receive. Of course the implication is that if nothing magical manifested for you, you were not ready to receive, and therefore you are somehow guilty of something.
I have not ascended (probably my karma because I had already planned to write this article) but I have also not heard of anyone else who had ascended over the weekend.
I did experience magical manifestation in several forms over the weekend, but I want to put that into perspective.
I have been working very hard, and for long hours for years, to get where I am in terms of my spiritual work. It has been a long and often lonely journey, but I kept my faith, and I am now in a space where things are materializing. I believe it has all to do with timing (ensuring that everyone and everything are in the best positions) and with a window of opportunity that I am strongly aware of.
Here is the crux: I am aware of the window of opportunity, and I know it will last for about seven months, of which two months have already passed. This is my personal window of opportunity, and yours may coincide with it – or it may come later or be longer or shorter. The point is that it is here for me, and I am aware of it.
What do I do about it? I have options. I can say there are still five months left, and I am doing well, and I can slow down. I can work even harder and be even more focused, and achieve even more – knowing this option will mean more work, less social time, being more productive, and meeting my specific targets. I chose this last option, because I have been in this space before, and I have learnt. Another option would have been to say I am tired, and to get despondent because nothing is happening, and to ignore the window of opportunity – but this is not in my nature and it is not my truth.
What will happen if I miss or ignore this window of opportunity? I can still achieve my targets, and my plans will still materialize, but it will be like swimming with an elephant tied to each foot. It will require extremely hard work, and the energy-draining emotions will multiply ten-fold. No thanks – I would rather work myself to pieces now and see the fruit of my labor later.
Another advantage of fitting everything I can into this window of opportunity is that it is like swimming with fins on – I go faster than ever, and things fall into place like domino blocks.
What has this got to do with 11am on November 11th? Everything and nothing. What and how much will materialize if you did not put everything into the creation process? Nothing. No date and no time will create miracles if you have not done the groundwork. That is why you are on this earth – to practice your creation skills, and not to stand around waiting to receive from others.
The other question is: where in the world did I have to be so that I could benefit from this “only once in 10 years” magical moment? We have time zones, and clocks can be wrong. And I have never noticed that the sun, the planets revolving around the sun, the moon or the entire solar system – or another solar system for that matter – freezes until everyone from Greenland to Australia and everywhere in-between have caught up with numerological predictions.
With the window of opportunity that I referred to, that is another story. The planets don’t stop. They simply continue on their ancient paths, regardless of what I do. These planets will align, and remain in that alignment for a while in earthly time, while they move along slowly but surely. It is up to me to do that I need to do while the alignment is in my favor.
And I am definitely not against numerology. One of the best books I have read in my life is The Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael S. Schneider. The book explains the meaning of every number on three different levels, but the book does not link the ancient science of understanding numbers in any way to earthly time. W.E.B. Du Bois said “When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books. You will be reading meanings.” There is a lot to numerology, as long as you don’t try and tie numbers to time and to Divine timing.
If you look at the advice that has been touted about preparing for and experiencing 11am on November 11th, all of it is good, and all of it needs to be applied – but apply it every single day of your life, not just on a specific day at a specific hour. God is not your baby-sitter, and God entrusted you with the ability to create. Out of 8 400 000 species on this earth, humans are the only ones who can create. What are you doing about it?
The second aspect to 11am on November 11th is the insistence that everyone must stop, buy a poppy, pray and in other ways show respect to dead soldiers from the two world wars. I get into trouble about this every year, but I will repeat this again. I have never expected or asked anyone to go to war and kill people on my behalf, and I would rather die than do that. I don’t regard anyone going to war as making a sacrifice for anyone. Either it is a conscious career choice, or people in positions of power abuse their power and send their subordinates to death. What is there to celebrate about that? I believe in the Law of Attraction: What you think about and thank about, you bring about. I would happily join a peace rally, but I will not give credit to two horrific wars in any way. Call me hard-hearted or disrespectful, and when you are done, decide for yourself how you feel about war and what message you send into the world. I will take responsibility for myself.
And while I am on the topic: What really irks me are these videos of children being reunited with their mothers after the mothers abandoned them for months at a time to go off and do military service. Children, like dogs, are not just for Christmas. A mother is entrusted with a child to raise, and that child needs to take preference over joining the army. I have no issue with working mothers, but I do have an issue with mothers clearly neglecting their children and being applauded for doing so purely because the mothers chose to wear a uniform. If anyone out of a uniform abandoned their children so that they can go and kill people or support the killing of people, they will go to prison or the children will be taken away from them. And did any of these kids give their permission to be paraded around the world in videos where they are used as marketing props for “sacrificing” parents? Why should the kids sacrifice and who gives them any options?
I will stop here.
Namaste and peace to you.
What are you going to create today? Remember, the creation process takes place in your mind before anything else.
I am clairaudient, clairvoyant and clairsentient. When I do psychic readings for clients, I clearly hear, see or feel what I need to convey to clients. This is not my imagination – that is a different topic altogether. It is as real as I am writing here.
Or maybe it is not as real. Or maybe it is more real than me writing here. This elusiveness is exactly the reason why people often don’t trust that inner Voice.
I like to explain that when I do psychic readings, I tune into your private space and tell you what I see, hear and feel while I do that. I do this with confidence, because I have over the years learnt to fully trust the information I get in this manner. I may not understand half of it at times, but then I remind myself that I am the messenger. I rely on my clients to tell me when I am wrong, and I can say with confidence that this happens very seldom. I have also had a few rare experiences where clients told me I was wrong, and then contacted me again to tell me that what I gave them was right.
I am writing this, not to blow my own horn, but to explain how easy it is to listen on behalf of other people, because I have learnt to trust that inner Voice when it comes to clients.
There is another side of the coin – me and my life. And this applies to everyone, not only to people who work as psychics.
There are times when I struggle with something and I desperately want to hear that inner Voice guiding me – and it is not there. I have observed that sometimes I need to wade through treacle before I get any clarity on a situation. While this goes on, I cannot tell you how lonely I feel. After all, I am supposed to be in touch with all these helpers and guides and ancestors all the time – and I am supposed to have full access to their wisdom at all times.
So why does this inner Voice not work for me whenever I want to summon it? Why is it that I have to sometimes go through hell and back before the Voice talks to me? I am a good person, and I help people all the time by using my gift to help them navigate around obstacles in their lives. Why is it that God sometimes forsake me and I have to find my way all by myself?
When we have these challenging experiences, we forget that we are here to have human experiences and gain wisdom from them. We forget to observe ourselves and detach from the situation. We allow all these emotions to take us on a roller-coaster bare-knuckle ride, and we – or at least I – desperately cry out to get this to STOP – because it is so painful.
I recently found myself in a situation where I felt my whole world came tumbling down around me. I felt that everything I had planned and worked for had come to an abrupt, vicious and vindictive end, despite all the Love that I had poured into the situation for as long as I can recall. I needed a way out – and I realised that retaliation and aggression was not the answer. But what was the answer? And where was that trusty inner Voice? Why did I only experience a dead quiet?
And when you are in such a situation, it is very easy to suddenly have a thought that gives you hope, only to realise that it is your own thought – not the Voice – and that it is about as useful as bursting a pimple by force.
You cannot make that Voice talk to you. You cannot imitate it. You cannot dictate to it.
All you can do is to keep focusing on Love, no matter how hard the situation is, and no matter how desperate and desolate you feel,
The Voice will come.
And the Voice did come for me.
At a point where I had accepted that my whole world had come tumbling down, when I least expected it, there was the Voice, telling me in one short sentence what would happen next. I knew, as sure as I am writing here, that it was not my thought, and that it was the Voice guiding me. I knew that from where I could see, the outcome was about as possible as a chocolate teapot. But I knew it was the Voice, and that what it was telling me was pure truth.
And would you believe it, less than two hours later it was as if my world had been righted again by an invisible Hand that wanted to show me that my world was never broken – my perspective was broken. The outcome that I simply did not believe was possible, was offered to me on a plate, and it was exactly what I was promised.
In one short moment my faith was restored – and I was reminded of how fickle we can be. Nothing had changed except that I had managed a situation with lots of tears, but with none of the aggression that I could have used to be totally destructive. I felt like the Voice was in the background all the time, observing and supporting me, watching to see how I would manage the challenge that life had thrown at me.
I now know that I had passed some sort of test. I also know that the Voice is there all the time – not just for my clients, but also for me. I still have a pulse, and as long as that is the case, I will have these life experiences and I will be able to rely on the Voice to guide me when necessary, and to let me walk my own path in silence when necessary.
All I need to do is trust. And that is the challenge with the Voice which is as solid as it is subtle. I will continue to do my work and listen and learn.
Interesting question, and one I have had on my list of topics to write about for a while now, but the time is right to write about it.
I noticed the question on social media, and at the time thought by myself “Sweetheart, you don’t understand. They don’t destroy, they set free. What are you doing with your freedom?”
It is so easy to blame the “destroyer” when you are in the situation. Of course, the “destroyer” needs to take responsibility for what they have said and done – shouldn’t we all? Then why does it look and feel like someone behaves in a vicious, immature and destructive manner and they don’t show any regret? Why, even if you make them aware of how you feel, don’t they show any repentance, and often tell you to “get a life” or “not take things so seriously”?
It is easy, while you are in the situation, to focus entirely on your emotions. Often the predominant emotions are self-pity, anger, hurt and even thoughts of being equally destructive.
The perspective normally comes once you have distanced yourself from the situation – and therein lies the dilemma. For you to distance yourself form the situation, there are two crucial ingredients. The first is enough knowledge and self-insight to understand that you need to detach and become an observer in your own life.
You need to understand that your life is part of a journey which did not start with your birth. The day you were born was a significant day, but your journey started long before you were even conceived. We are part of eternal life and your life here is simply one chapter – albeit a chapter that can stretch over close to a century if you are lucky.
Your life here does not happen by accident. Most of the details are thoroughly planned long before you are born. Part of the planning involved conversations and agreements with people who will play an important part in your life. Some people agree to be our parents and siblings. Others agree to be our life partners and our children. Then there are less significant role players who agree to be friends, work colleagues, important or distant relatives and so on. We also enter into contracts with each one of these people regarding the role they will play in our lives. These roles differ, and each role has its own purpose. For example, you may have cousins that you are close to, and cousins that you would not even recognise in the street. You have life-long friends, and friends who play a role and then fade out, and they may return after some years.
None of these things happen by accident. They are all part of a Divine design, and we have the privilege of being the actors in this design.
And yes, this includes contracts with people who will intentionally behave in a less than pleasant manner. Are they deliberately hurtful? Yes, in the sense that they live out their contracts of providing us with specific experiences. No, in the sense that we choose how to respond emotionally to these experiences.
A large part of our journey on earth is to experience and tame our emotions. We have experiences that could evoke certain emotions in us. We initially react with these strong emotions, and they take over. We don’t even try too make sense of the emotions, but rather wallow in them for as long as we can manage to keep them going.
Once we learn the art of detachment, we still experience the emotions, but we don’t hold on to the emotions for that long. Instead, we observe the emotions, and become curious. Why did this person press this button? Why did I respond in this manner? I noticed that I did not have that knee-jerk reaction like I had in the past. I responded in a slower manner, but I still had a strong emotion. Why did I have this emotion? Or rather, how has the emotion changed me?
That is the crux of the matter. When we have emotional reactions or responses, we change.
This is where the second critical ingredient, namely time, comes in. We can take all the time in the world to experience those emotions, and not be aware of anything else, anyone else, or any way out of the situation. The alternative is that we can cut this dreadful time short by asking different questions.
You may enjoy contemplating your navel with questions like “Why me? Why does nobody care about me? What have I done to be treated in this dreadful manner? How does he/she sleep at night knowing that he/she has destroyed me emotionally?” and so on. If those are your questions, the torture can go on for years and you will not get anywhere.
So, let’s change the questions. Rather ask “Why me? What is it that I needed to learn from this experience? How is this experience making me a richer, stronger, wiser person? What would be the nature of my contract with this person?”
When you ask this new set of questions, detachment comes much sooner. You become aware of the before and after, and you notice the difference in yourself. Did you need to become more independent? Are you now less insecure because you have discovered inner strength that you were not aware of? Are you now more careful about who you trust? Do you listen to your intuition, which you in the past wrote off because it was too faint, subtle or not quite what your ego had in mind?
With detachment comes forgiveness. When you understand why the “destroyer” acted they way they did, you also intuitively understand the nature of your contract with this person. You find a reason to be grateful for the behaviour you otherwise would have resented for years.
Does this mean you give in too easily? No. It means you are more aware, and you learn faster.
Does it mean you need to continue the contract with the person who evoked such strong emotions in you? That depends. If the person is for example a co-parent, you need to continue the relationship for the sake of the children involved, but it does not necessarily mean you need to remain married. You will intuitively know where your contract takes you next.
If the person is for example a friend who stabbed you in the back, then you may get the clarity about the reason for the experience and move away from the friendship – because you will intuitively know that the friendship has run its course.
What happens once you understand how the experience has made you a stronger, wiser, better person, does not really matter. What matters is that you need to ask the right questions, so that you can reach the conclusions much sooner.
And yes, the “destroyer” will probably continue to sleep like a baby at night – because they have done a good job, whether you agree or not.
Ask the right questions, and you will also sleep well.
Have you ever worked very hard to get out of an untenable situation like a dreadful job or a destructive relationship? Have you worked even harder to make a dream come true – like finding that brilliant business idea, or finally getting rid of a health issue?
Have you tried everything – all sorts of approaches, business plans, affirmations, any creative idea you can think of, and all that happened is that you are left exhausted and disillusioned?
It is because you don’t understand the creation process. There is a logic behind creation that we overlook. As a result, we believe that we have failed, and we get depressed, physically and emotionally tired, and despondent. We stop believing in what we know to be true.
We need to follow the creation process that God spelt out for us. We need to understand that we should approach creation the way God did when creating everything.
Are you saying God is the only Creator, and we should not even think about creating like God?
Did you know the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts, tell us there are 8000 species in this world?
Do you know how many of these species have the gift of creation? Only one species – and if you read this, you are part of that species.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a painting created by a giraffe? Or read a book written by an elephant? Or listened to a beautiful piece of music composed by a mosquito? No. Only humans can create, and we got the gift of creation from God.
So where do we go wrong? What is it that leaves us exhausted with nothing to prove as part of our creative efforts when it comes to the really important issues in our lives?
We forget about the importance of the creative cycle, and especially the rest period at the end of the creative cycle.
Remember, God created the earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day.
Yes, it is true that we spend a lot more time on creating the answer to our prayers – because we often lack faith and say those affirmations while crossing our fingers.
We need to understand that it is important to create for six units of time – however long that is – and then to rest during the seventh unit of time.
A unit of time might be one day, but more often a unit of time is much longer. We live our lives in cycles. We could spend an entire cycle of up to seven or even nine years creating, and then get to the rest period. But then we are so exhausted that we forget everything about the process, and we get despondent – especially if the rest period lasts for a few months. We don’t understand that we have just come out of a long period of creation, and that the rest period is in fact relatively short.
How many hours are there in a day? Did you say 24 hours? If that is the case, then why do we need to add a day to the calendar every four years? It is because we got the duration of a day wrong.
Maybe if we had more time, we would be better at understanding what a unit of time is?
We use the Gregorian calendar. Most countries stopped using the Julian calendar in 1562. In England the only way to make the transition was to gain a few days. People went to sleep on 11th September of that year, and woke up the next morning to the 1st of September.
In many European countries both calendars were used side by side until the early twentieth century.
And that is only one calendar. We are not even talking about the current Jewish calendar and other ways where we showed our lack of understanding of time.
Take for example the changes from British Summer Time to British Winter Time and vice versa. Why do we do it? A Native American remarked that only white people would cut a piece off a blanket, sew the same piece to the other end of a blanket, and believe they made the blanket longer.
We don’t understand time, and yet we want our creations to materialize sooner rather than later. We don’t want to rest for a unit of time after creating for six units of time. We want things to materialize, and we want it now.
There is of course the matter of timing – where things happen when the timing is right for everyone involved. We can try and make things happen, but we will simply end up feeling more exhausted, or we won’t understand how things can go so wrong despite our best efforts.
The alternative is to understand that after creation comes rest, and to honor and enjoy that rest period before miracles start to happen and we see how our creation manifest.
I will give you an example. Someone I know wanted to move back to his home country after many years abroad. He packed up everything and had his belongings shipped to his home country. However, he could not make the final move without any income. He was then offered a permanent job in the country where he had been staying for many years. That did not fit in with his plans, but he needed the money and accepted the job, while surviving on the bare minimum.
He could have been disappointed, but he understood the creation process and the matter of rest and timing. The time was obviously not right yet for everyone involved. A few months into the new job, out of the blue he received a job offer that would enable him to finally move back home. At the same time there was a family crisis that required him to be back home. All fitted perfectly together. He was able to accept the job offer, move back home, and be available to deal with the family crisis. This was the end of a cycle, and also the beginning of a new cycle.
When you feel that your creative efforts came to nothing, remind yourself to be patient and have faith. Look back to see more or less how long your six units of time were and remind yourself that you need a seventh unit of time to rest. Be kind to yourself and rest as much as you need to.
Then, when miracles start to happen, you are ready for the new cycle in your life. Whatever you create always materialize, but not necessarily when you expect it to do so. Patience is a virtue.
Do you know Trevor Noah? He is a brilliant comedian who is the host of The Today Show in the US. The other day I watched a skit he did on the British occupation of India. Part of the confusion was that the British believed their occupation of India was ordained by God - but this really confused the Indians, because they did not understand which of many gods
So whose god is the true God? Is the true God the one which each reborn Christian discovers when they get reborn? Is it any of the Hindu gods that have been worshipped for millenia? Or is it the Christian God who will reincarnate sometime soon, although Christians assure me they don’t believe in reincarnation? Did Jesus truly rise from the dead after three days? Was this when he reincarnated, and has the Christian world been waiting in vain for over two hundred years for that reincarnation? Is it the God of Islam, who enforces sharia law? Or is the true God the God who insists that Jews now switch on lights on the Sabbath?
Or are we all wrong, and the true God is only represented in the United States, where prayer meetings are held to drive any witchcraft away from the country’s fearless current leader? And I kid you not – adults who have a right to vote swooned around one such preacher while he was yelling something like “yaba daba doo” to drive those spirits – who have way too much common sense to follow the leadership farce – away, so that the next election can be won and the tragi-comedy can continue. I think God was not sure whether to laugh or cry in Her hands – or is it His hands – at that circus in the name of God. And I think Fred Flintstone turns in his grave every time that video gets played.
I know when I talk about God, I am as ignorant as the next person, because we can at best guess about the nature of the true God.
I am currently reading Hare Krishna material that explains the Personality of Godhead – and the one thing that becomes clear when you read the material, is that the most explicit language on earth can only give a weak imitation within the limits of words and sounds, of the Personality of Godhead. But I suppose part of our journey here is to get one tiny step closer to understanding this during this lifetime, as part of our eternal journey.
Part of the puzzle for me is the division of the one true God into a Father, Son and Holy Ghost. So, this is one God which is in fact three gods, and that is right, but the multiple Hindu gods are wrong? Or should it really be the Father, Sun (as in the sun which shines every day) and the Holy Ghost (which proves the existence of spirits, reincarnation, and an eternal life)? After all, pagan beliefs have been around for many thousands of years longer than Jesus and his crowd – that is, if Jesus actually existed – for me, the jury is still out on that one.
So, who and what is my God? I see God in the smiles and hugs of my loved ones. I feel God in the early morning when the day slowly breaks. I taste God in a fresh meal. I hear God in songs like “The sound of silence”, and in Mozart’s music, and in the talents of young people who sing and play music that make my toes curl. I feel God in quiet moments, and in those times when I feel gratitude for both large and small miracles, and in the satisfaction of a job well done. I smell God in a peony, and in a rose, and I see God in a clavia and foxglove. I have felt God in moments of closeness and intimacy. And the list goes on and on. This is my God.
What if my God is the true God for me, but not for anyone else? Do I try to convert that person to my God? Absolutely not. Many years ago, a good friend told me that she goes to church on a Sunday because her Christian faith is a resting place for her foot in a very busy world and a demanding life. I immediately grasped the truth of that, and I have never tried to convert anyone to my faith or my belief system. As far as I am concerned, each one of us is a facet on a diamond called God, with at least seven billion facets. Who says I am right, or more right than you are? It does not matter who is right – we all are, because we all are on an eternal journey.
So, if my God is the true God, and people offend my God, how do I deal with it? People like to say “oh, my God”. I personally don’t find that offensive, because quite often they see a true reflection of God in that moment, even if they may not be consciously aware of it.
However, I heard a reborn Christian say the other day that when someone says that, he feels offended, and he expects an apology. I would not expect an apology, and neither would I give one. People often use words that don’t resonate with me (which I would rather not repeat here), and my solution is simple: I ensure that I don’t use those words. Do I stay in the company of the person who uses such offensive words? It depends. Do I feel comfortable in the company of those people? If so, I simply draw a shield around me that protects me from the energy that emanates from those words. If I don’t feel comfortable with the person, I simply leave. I don’t give a sermon, and I don’t demand or expect any apology. I simply make the world a better place by starting with myself, rather than by trying to change others.
What makes your God better than mine? To be honest, I don’t care. Let’s just live in peace together, each worshiping our own version of God, and each respecting the God of others.
Discover the meaning of each tarot major arcana card.
Have you expressed your gratitude today? Should you?
The more I experience of life, the more I understand that gratitude causes good health on all levels – physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, you name it.
What is gratitude? I will give you my definition. Gratitude is a state where you are able to see both sides, and to then allow your heart to open like a lotus flower with joy and appreciation. Deep gratitude allows you to see a glimpse of eternity, and in that moment a quantum of light is formed, and you understand the meaning of unconditional love.
That is a mouthful.
I will give you some practical examples.
I was born in a country where white males enjoyed the benefit of a white dictatorship for decades. That then changed and the pendulum swung to the other side, where white males are a minority who are required to work for everything they want. They can no longer rely on their white skins to get to the front of the queue.
So how do they deal with it? I have observed two ways. The first is arrogant anger, because “they” are taking up too many jobs, too many opportunities, too many everything. The white dictatorship and its benefits have been wiped from their memories, and there is a deep anger. The second way to deal with the changed situation is unbelievable self-pity because “things are no longer the same” and they are clearly not coping. We are talking of suffering over decades here.
Speak to a white South African male and the conversation very quickly turns to crime, new ways of car-jacking, and the lost opportunities of their youths. Ask that same group what they have experienced over the past day to be grateful for, and what is in their future that gives them reason for gratitude, and within seconds you understand the meaning of the expression “raining on their parade”. A question about gratitude is a sure-fire conversation killer.
They have never been to Hungary. They don’t know that the majority of men in Hungary are white. They are unaware of hundreds of years of oppression by other white males. They don’t know how the white Hungarian males simply kept getting up time after time after being hit to the ground.
Another example. People complain very quickly about a lack of customer service, and often the sector of the economy who are in the limelight when it comes to customer service are not that well off. All they often have are their dignity and clean clothes. I have seen in South Africa what people often need to go through to get to work wearing clean, ironed clothes, and a lovely smile that shows their caring about people. I have also been to shops in France where I would not dare reaching out to touch or – heaven help me – try on an item. In more than one shop I felt guilty about entering and showing interest in the wares. Many years ago, on my first trip to the United States, I was in a grocery store. I gathered my shopping and took my time walking to the checkout counter. I heard a public announcement asking a cashier to go to the checkout. It took me a few seconds to realise that the reason for the public announcement was me approaching the checkout counter and they did not want to let me wait. I felt special and important. I learnt to feel gratitude for good service, and to provide excellent service where I can.
Oh yes, and how is the infrastructure in your country? Are there potholes in the roads? Are people complaining about the politicians who have no desire to fix the potholes? Have you been to Portugal? In recent years, with EU funding, some roads have been upgraded. Despite that, I visited the country on a few occasions where I had to use a taxi that was falling apart, or a rental car that was rattling from having to navigate too many potholes and dreadful roads.
Do you complain about Irish or South African people being too talkative and invading your personal space? Have you been to Finland where people hardly look you in the eye? Or to Italy where people turn away from you in disgust because you speak English and therefore must be from England? Rather give me the South African Ubuntu where a black stranger addresses me as “mammie” because he sees me as his mother – one of his many mothers.
Are you in a job where too much is expected of you? Would you resign at the drop of a hat for a better salary, purely because you can? I saw factories in Egypt where children are employed to weave carpets because their fingers are small and nimble. They would not dare complain, because that job feeds a family.
Do you take your health for granted, or are you one of the victims of the pharmaceutical industry? I have been exposed to so much information on the internet which has helped me to make lifestyle decisions resulting in excellent health. This seems to be more and more an exception. I am employed by a company which will expect me to see a Western doctor and get a medical certificate if I feel unwell for more than two days. Consulting a homeopath or any other alternative energy healer does not fit within the rules. Getting in the queue at the pharmacy to gratefully accept your monthly prescription of drugs is part of the culture – not for me. Putting on a funereal voice when referring to a cancer victim who believes that chemotherapy will not beat their compromised immune system, is what you do. Don’t even think of talking about an alkaline diet, cannabis oil or sound therapy in the same conversation where the word “cancer” is used – you are very quickly branded as a heathen. I am incredibly grateful that I have ben exposed to such a wide array of information and that I am where I am.
I have had people look down on me because of my Afrikaans accent. These people invariably spoke only one language – English – and decided that my accent lowered my IQ. The reason why I speak with an Afrikaans accent, is that Afrikaans is my first language. I also understand Dutch and German, have studied French – which I don’t claim to speak or even understand after so many years. British retirees in Spain refuse to learn Spanish and expect the locals to serve them in English. Americans who are limited to English daily show their worst side to other Americans whose first language is Spanish. I am grateful that I am from a country with eleven official languages, and that I can at least greet people in four of those languages.
What other complaint do you like to take for granted and wallow in every day?
Did you know that over and above the various forms of energy that engineers and scientists can measure, there is another form of intelligent energy that surrounds us? That intelligent energy grows when we make choices that bring us closer to Love and gratitude, and it shrinks when we are exposed to damaging and negative thoughts. Talk about crime and shortages and discrimination all the time, and see what you attract to you. Talk about every single moment in your day that brings a smile to your face – or to the face of someone you encounter, and feel and see what you attract to you.
Last week a black school boy stepped aside so that I could use a part of the sidewalk where I could avoid a burst water pipe. I felt gratitude because he did that. I would not for a moment have hesitated to do the same for him, but on that day I reached the spot first. More recently I entered a shop, and a young Indian boy said “hallo tannie” – Afrikaans for “hello aunty”. My heart immediately felt warm. This child felt free to address me in this respectful and friendly way in one of the at least two languages he speaks. His grandfather would not have dared to address my grandmother as anything other than a cold and distant “madam” or “missis”. I wanted to hug this boy because he made me aware of how lovely interaction between people can be.
I have also discovered that the more I see and acknowledge this intelligent energy that makes me feel good, the more I attract people to me who radiate this lovely energy. Does this mean that nothing “bad” will ever happen to me? On the contrary. Right now, I am dealing with a situation where a person believes authority means the right to shout at people in the workplace. I have to put a protective layer of energy around me every time I am in the presence of this person. This energy is incredibly destructive and not pleasant to deal with at all.
However, I have also learnt over the years that the Universe is in complete balance. We need to be aware of the dark side, so that we can recognise and appreciate the light side. We need to be aware of the light side, so that we can understand the wisdom and experience that the dark side brings to us. The more we experience, the closer we get to balance and having a balanced view of everything. That is gratitude. I have seen the dark side in many different countries, and that highlights for me the light side that locals choose to ignore. I have experienced the light side in many guises in my journeys, and that sustains me when I deal with an imbalance to the dark side.
I nowadays find myself waking up after a good night’s sleep – which is also routine for me – and expressing my gratitude for what I woke up from and for what lies ahead. Gratitude is the strongest drug that I am willing to take – because I love the side effects.
If you have experienced the dark night of the soul, then I don’t need to explain – you know exactly what I am talking about.
If you have never experienced it, then you are probably just a little bit too young, but your turn will come.
Do you think I am a pessimist? On the contrary. I am not an optimist either – because both optimists and pessimists are not quite balanced. I have learnt to always see the bright side of a crisis, and to always understand that good luck comes with a price. No, I am not cynical. I am fortunate enough to have discovered that the Universe is in complete balance, even when we don’t think so.
Is the dark night of the soul the opposite of Love? No. It precedes the deepest Love you can imagine – truly unconditional Love.
Can you escape the experience? I am afraid not. Even when you make perfect life choices, at some stage life will throw you a curveball – or two – or ten. The rest of your life is determined by how you manage these curve balls.
If you believe in the romantic view of get a good education, find the perfect partner, get married, have talented children and a satisfying job, retire in good health and leave this world in perfect ecstasy, you are in for a rude awakening. You will get to a point in your life where you will lose what you have held precious – and believe that you have lost everything.
You will experience darkness like never before. You will feel that your trusted friends are stabbing you in the back for no reason. Or you will develop health problems that will make you reconsider your lifestyle. Or you will be made redundant at a stage when you can least afford it. Or you will experience too much stress and lose your sanity.
Enough of that stuff – you get the picture.
And then, just when you think you cannot get any lower – and you are probably right – something happens that makes you not only regain your faith in humanity, but it also puts your experience and your losses in a totally different perspective – and you slowly, slowly start to see what it is all about.
It is not punishment for your past decisions. It is not that God has forsaken you when you needed him most. It is not simply bad luck. It is not people who need to be blamed for turning their back on you for no reason and when you need them most.
If that was the case, every butterfly will remain in their cocoon because the sun is too bright, or because it is too cold outside the cocoon, or because there are no butterflies in sight. But the butterfly can only stay in the cocoon and contemplate its navel for so long. Then instinct forces it to start chewing away at the cocoon until the hole is big enough to escape.
And then – you guessed it – the worm is no longer a worm, but a beautiful butterfly that can reproduce and the cycle starts again.
In the same way, every one of us who have experienced the dark night of the soul can look back with immense gratitude – not only because the horrors are over, but also because the sunrise after the experience is not just a once-off. That sunrise lasts for years, and brings calmness and gratitude every day.
For some people the transition is simply into calmness, a different lifestyle, a different career, or other changes that brings forward your potential.
For other people the transition is the challenge they finally needed so that they can prove others wrong, and so that they can finally use their full potential and fulfil their life purpose.
Either way, when you experience your dark night of the soul, trust me, it will and does get better – in ways that you cannot even imagine.
So how can you make things easier for yourself? I will tell you, and you will say but these are practical things, while I am looking for a solution to an existential crisis. Trust me – I have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Of course, each person needs to find their own perfect path, but that requires a lot of inner work.
Let’s start with the outer work – the more visible stuff that gets you through every day.
Make your bed every morning before you do anything else. If that is the only thing you accomplish today, then congratulate yourself for creating some order.
Honour your body. I am not only talking about shaking off excess weight. Ensure you look after your personal hygiene. Find a way of exercising which works for you and which you can afford. Even if you just walk every day or climb stairs, do it. Eat the freshest food you can afford. Focus on what you eat and determine what works for you and what you should stay away from. And yes, you may not have had problems with different food types in the past, but trust me – when you go through your transition, your body changes. Your food tolerances change. Your hormones change. Listen to your body and fine-tune your diet until you have energy. If you don’t do it, nobody else will do it for you.
Take control of your finances. Ensure you know where every penny comes from and where every penny goes. You would be amazed at how that awareness makes you focus. Plug the holes that deplete your financial energy, and focus on visualising the money you want to see flowing in for you.
And of course, there is the self-talk. How do you deal with that? How do you get that inner voice to stop criticising and to help you on your new journey? Meditation is a good start. Yes, yes, I know that takes time. What can you lose? I also know that the moment you close your eyes to meditate, those horrible thoughts that break down your self-esteem jump at the chance to be in the lime-light. Let them. Give them the limelight, even if it means you set your alarm to only spend a maximum of five minutes meditating every day. You will be surprised, if you focus on your breathing with closed eyes for just five minutes a day, how quickly those pesky thoughts take a hike and make space for the insights and creativity that sets you on your way. If you don’t do it, then the critters remain between your ears and try at every opportunity to take over your awake time and your life.
And what do you do with the friends or family or lovers who walked away from them? Take the high road and thank them for their contribution to your wisdom. Of course, you can fall straight into the traps of blame, vindictiveness, anger, judgement and a few others. What would you achieve with that? The people who caused these emotions have moved on and sleep like babies. You can spend your energy on all that go-low stuff, or you can spend the same energy on going high and simply moving on. And if judgement and other stuff is aimed at you, deflect it by simply not responding. You can be a miserable sod who tells everyone who is willing to listen how people have treated you, or you can simply close the door and move towards the Light – especially when there are children involved. What example do you want to set for your children? Do you want them to carry venom, or to face what life brings their way with courage and fortitude? Such a lovely old-fashioned word – fortitude.
If you feel you need the help of professionals to move on, then get the help – but ensure that the professionals look towards the future and guide you into the Light. If the professional feels their job is to let you contemplate your navel for too long, then cut the ties and move on to more exciting things. Nowadays you don’t necessarily need to pay for professional help. See what you can find on Youtube that is helpful and that inspires you. If it does not resonate with you, move on and continue to search. If it does resonate with you, take the bull by the horns and make the changes that you are growing into.
And probably the bravest, most exciting, most fun thing you can do is to be open to new experiences. Reserve your judgment, and first experience. Of course, you will always have new experiences in physical safety and bearing in mind that your body is a temple of your spirit. That will not spoil your fun – it will simply be a matter of loving and honouring yourself, and following your heart.
One thing I can tell you is that the dark night of the soul is just that – a night. In the greater scheme of things, what may feel to you like a lifetime of agony will not last for ever – and then you are a butterfly and the world and everything around you looks so different.
Blessings to you on your journey – and know that you are Loved.
If a doctor tells you to drink medication, would you do it? If the same medication could potentially leave serious damage or even kill you, would you still drink it?
I have to make one thing clear: I am not a medical doctor, and if you do believe and trust a medical doctor, don’t listen to me. Your body is yours, and your medication is yours.
I have read enough about chemotherapy to know that I will never go that route, because my logical mind says that if someone injects your body with poison, it cannot possibly heal you.
I have never had a mammogram, because deliberately injuring your breasts to prove that they can withstand the injury makes no sense to me.
I have not had a flu injection in over 30 years, because the last time I had one, I was really ill with flu for about 3 months. I then read up on what the flu injections contain, and I am very happy to stock up on vitamins with fresh vegetables and fruit – and no flu.
I recently had the experience of observing the effects of a concoction of mind-altering drugs prescribed by a psychiatrist. And of course he is right, because he has the title of doctor – even though it took him a week to discover that the prescription was taken in the wrong sequence and left his vulnerable patient literally staggering around from side effects.
This psychiatrist recommended that his patient does not take any homeopathic medicine, because “the chemicals in homeopathic medicine will clash” with his own chemical cocktail. Unbelievable. Beyond understanding, and he gets away with it because he carries the title of Doctor, and in a very unhealthy paradigm he is the cock of the heap – and therefore used to dictating and being believed.
In case this psychiatrist reads my blog, I will explain this slowly – and I am not even a homeopath, but I can read and understand. In homeopathy various methods of dilution are used. The basis of all of them are the following: take the original substance, e.g. arsenic. Add 99 parts of water for every part of arsenic. Then take 1 part of the mixture, and add 99 parts of water. Repeat this process 30 times. The result is a substance that was so diluted that just about only the memory of the original substance remains. That is the “chemical” which is a threat to a cocktail of drugs with side effects. Note to the psychiatrist: Sweetness, do yourself a favour and check your facts next time ...
So in this instance homeopathy lost to drugs – for now.
Was there any other alternative? In this situation the extreme measure was to rely on the chemical cocktail – even though it was wrongly administered to the disadvantage of the patient. The extreme measure brought relief, but at a price.
A psychologist was in on the deal – at a price, of course.
I was an industrial psychologist many years ago. It left me disillusioned, because I struggled to fit people into exact boxes. However, psychologists are still trained in specific, lucrative treatments, to the exclusion of common sense and healthy prevention.
A psychologist would be quite happy to wait for a chemical cocktail to kick in, and then use that means of control over a patient while finding the box with the best fit for the patient. They would not even think about stepping back and asking questions about food which exacerbates the situation, or which can provide the correct chemical balance in a healthy way. And again, the psychologist gets away with murder because he has the title of Doctor.
Where did we go wrong? Diet? Lifestyle? Self-discipline? The pace we live at? There are so many things that we can do to build up our immune systems – and there is no one size fits all.
So what is the solution?
I can tell you what works for me.
You ever heard about “love your neighbour”? My first neighbour is the body that I live in. I am not my body. I chose a body and I have the obligation to take care of it. This requires a healthy diet – and I am not a saint, but I do a lot better than before I became aware. I avoid sugar and carbohydrates. This means reading a lot of food labels – and you will be shocked at the amount of food that contain sugar. Did you know that when you eat carbohydrates, they turn into sugar?
I avoid diary – a treat every few months is OK, but that is what makes it a treat. And if you do that, you discover quickly that what you thought would be a treat is in fact not the best idea. Try it for yourself – you need to find what is right for your body.
I eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day – and I am grateful that I can do this. I also eat much more fish and chicken than red meat. Yes, I do eat red meat. Vegetarianism is not a prerequisite to sainthood. I will repeat: do what is right for your body, not for mine. I will take care of my body but I cannot do the same for yours. And by the way: if you are a vegetarian, do you talk to your plants? Do you realise that when you eat a plant, you destroy life just as meat-eaters destroy life? Let us respect each other’s choices rather than be sanctimonious.
I also get regular exercise. I should climb more stairs, but I can out-swim many people who are much faster than I am in the pool, and I fit in around 40 lengths at least once every week.
And do not underestimate the power of meditation. If you only take care of your body and you don’t bother with your spirit, you will very soon discover the meaning of “a healthy body goes with a healthy spirit”. You have to make time to listen to that inner voice. If you are too busy to medicate for 10 minutes a day, then it is imperative that you meditate 20 minutes a day.
And yes, all of the above works for me because of not only trial and error, but also nasty health experiences that I would rather not repeat.
And how did you guess? Of course, my first port of call is always homeopathy – for everything from painful joints to tearfulness. Because of this choice, I hardly ever need medication. I would also not for a moment hesitate to question a medical practitioner about the medication they prescribe. If they could get a doctorate, they have the intelligence to look at healthy alternatives.
At what point do you start listening to your body? If you for example know you are diabetic, when will you cut out the sugar and carbohydrates if that is what the doctor advises? Will you do it over time – and bear the consequences because you are telling yourself that less poison is not really poison? Will you do it the moment you turn blind – and then say “I should have done this long ago – and maybe I can now reverse my decision and undo the damage to my body”?
Despite all my good habits, I still eat maize products – knowing my body struggles with them, and knowing their effect is worse than chocolate – you know the one about “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”? That is what maize products do for me. I am working on it …
Now go and find your own way. Listen to your body.
Phew! I had no idea that me being a woman can be so intimidating to men that a flight can be delayed. Seriously. If I wasn’t there, and if I was not the cause of a commotion, I would not have believed it myself. And all I did was to occupy a randomly allocated seat on a plane.
Anyone who know me, will know that I am curious about all sorts of religions, philosophies and faith systems, because I believe having an open mind is important, and there is always a gem in the beliefs of others that I can benefit from.
I am still struggling to see the gem in this experience.
I was on a late-night flight from Krakow to London. The flight was delayed by over half an hour, and it obviously had been a long day for the flight crew. To add to the stress, the flight was overbooked.
There was a group of about ten Hassidic Jewish men in the departure hall. They kept to themselves, away from the other passengers. Nothing wrong with that – I guess if you believe, act and dress against the mainstream, you can have bad experiences, and deliberate isolation is a weapon against unwanted attention.
When it was boarding time, the group was first through the gate. No big deal, since everyone had a paid seat, and the seats were pre-allocated by the airline – unless you wanted to pay extra for picking your own seat. All I wanted was to have a seat, and to get home. I got a window seat, and although I normally prefer an aisle seat, I decided to do nothing about it, because I intended to sleep anyway.
So, we got on the plane – a crowd of tired people, eager to get home.
I found my seat and got settled. After a short time, most of the passengers were seated, but three of the Hassidic Jews were still standing in the aisle – in fact, not standing, but mulling around as much as you can do this in a cramped airplane. The very patient steward probably asked these three men seven times to please have a seat, while he was closing overhead lockers, and dealing with other pre-flight stuff. But they kept mulling around and talking to each other and the rest of the groups, clearly agitated.
Eventually the steward told them that they had to sit down, because the plane doors were closed, and the flight was ready to depart. Suddenly they all understood English, and one of them (a well-fed one with a plastic bag containing cigarettes and tin foil-wrapped food) pointed at me and I heard the word “woman”.
It turned out that the reason for them not taking their seats, was that none of them wanted to sit in a middle seat where there was even the remotest possibility of them even touching me, a mere woman.
And this on an overbooked plane where there are no spare seats, at 10.30 pm. Seriously, brother …
What was I to do? Give up my seat so that we could just get home? For a split second I thought of doing that, but then I thought no, God created me and each one of them and each one of their mothers, and God did not make a mistake. They clearly wanted the world to turn their way, and not in a pleasant or considerate manner either. Behind the prayer shawls and other garb were ordinary mortals who have obviously learnt to use their appearance (with long hair locks over the temples) and their dress code to manipulate the world, even if it is at the expense of other people.
I sat there and looked each one of them in the eyes in the friendliest possible way, and smiled.
The end result was that two other passengers offered to change seats, so that Tom, Dick and Harry could for heavens sake just sit down and we could get going.
Does this make me intolerant or disrespectful? Let’s see.
We got to London – by now it was close to midnight.
The plane was still taxiing, when the three musketeers and the rest of their crowd unfastened their seatbelts and gathered their stuff. I had never seen anything like that. The plane only came to a standstill about three minutes after the first of them got up. They were already crowding the aisle. I think the stewards were equally surprised by this.
The well-fed one was standing in the aisle next to the couple who did them (and everyone else) the favour of changing seats. The man in the aisle seat made an effort to get up – as passengers normally do when the plane comes to a standstill.
And guess what Mr Well-Fed did? He actually pointed a finger at this man and told him to stay seated. Like you would address a naughty pet. The man was as astonished as I was and remained seated.
So the crowd of Hassidic Jews marched off the plane, and everyone made way for them, because the alternative would have been a confrontation and God knows what the outcome of that would be in politically correct England.
But that was not the end of it.
I got my luggage and waited in the queue for the shuttle bus to the car park. There they were again – at the front of the queue. So? Of course, they can be at the front of the queue – first come, first served. Don’t be petty.
And the bus came. And Tom, Dick and Harry and their entire crowd got onto the bus and grabbed all available seats. Forget the couple with a small and restless baby. Never mind the elderly couple and the pregnant woman. They had their seats.
Do my observations indicate religious bias? Or did I happen to observe a group of exceptionally rude men who otherwise would probably have been punched on the nose, but who got away with this behaviour purely because they are big bullies in black garb with prayer shawls? You tell me.
I was just too happy to get home. And I still don’t subscribe to any religion, but rather believe in the philosophy of “live and let live”.
How would you have acted?