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.
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?
The answer is yes. If you think that is a nonsensical answer, you are correct, because the question is nonsensical.
We are all people. We are all spirits having a human experience. There are no superior spirits.
Of course, there are spirits that are further along their eternal journey, like Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
There are other spirits who still have much to learn on their eternal journey, and I don’t need to remind you of those who provide very funny, sad and scary daily entertainment with their shenanigans on the world stage.
What prompted me to write this article is one of far too many arguments in social media about “psychics” who dare to act as “mediums” and the other way round – and then of course those infernal “empaths” who are superior to everyone because of their emotional sensitivity – or is it lack of emotional maturity?
Which box is the superior one? Which box do you prefer to fit into, and why?
Let me explain the meaning of each one of these boxes – and this is my view, so feel free to disagree.
Definition of a psychic: An ordinary human being who is aware that there is another dimension. The awareness ranges from a scale of dreaming at night to having brainwaves while being awake to being able to foresee the future, and it includes experiences of being aware of people who no longer inhabit their earthly bodies.
Definition of a medium: An ordinary human being who is aware that there is another dimension. The awareness ranges from a scale of dreaming at night to having brainwaves while being awake to being able to foresee the future, and it includes experiences of being aware of people who no longer inhabit their earthly bodies.
Definition of an empath: An ordinary human being who is aware that there is another dimension. The awareness ranges from a scale of dreaming at night to having brainwaves while being awake to being able to foresee the future, and it includes experiences of being aware of people who no longer inhabit their earthly bodies.
No, none of those are typing errors. Yes, every one of those are correct – in my view. How you define humanity and the connection with another dimension is your own choice.
I am often astonished by people who work in spiritualist churches as mediums, and who have more health issues than you can imagine because they don’t look after their bodies, and who are quite vehement in their criticism of psychics.
Of course many psychics (when sober enough and when not complaining about their ailments because they disregard their bodies) reciprocate by vilifying mediums because of their “limited” ability to communicate with another dimension only by speaking to spirits.
And then there are the empaths – more than the marketing guru behind the term could ever imagine – who are so sensitive that they cannot sleep if they read anything against their belief systems on social media, and who have this sense of superiority where they often shout out to the world that they cannot be hoodwinked because they are so “sensitive”.
I am sorry, but all of that sounds like ordinary human beings to me. Granted, some people have an increased ability to get information from energy waves around others, but that is not because of being superior. It is simply because they have an active pituitary gland and they are aware of how to use it.
Being able to use their pituitary gland to pick up these broadcasts of energy from others (in this and the other dimension) does not by default imply that the user has a strong sense of ethics, or that they no longer need to grow and mature.
If you brag on social media about how strong an “empath” you are and how nobody can pull the wool over your eyes, then you still need to learn a lot about humility and about not being judgmental, and a few other simple skills like listening.
If you go on a fishing expedition among your social media friends about “a sailor from WWII who visited me with a message in the night – who among my friends and acquaintances can even remotely associate with this illusion?”, then you have a lot to learn about the ethics of using such an ability – and yes, every person on this planet has this ability. We all need to love and respect our neighbour, regardless of whether we have a more active pituitary gland or not. Expecting people to indulge in your general fantasies so that you can confirm you are a “medium” is not fair.
If you expect people to pay for your psychic gift, then with that comes a huge responsibility to ensure you provide words of wisdom, encouragement and upliftment, and that you don’t communicate death sentences or misleading future options based on your own needs and views.
Let’s get rid of the labels, and just be human beings with dignity and respect for each other. Some people feel comfortable with communicating with dead people, and can bring comfort to others by doing that responsibly. Other people are more able to focus on the here and now, and help fellow human beings to understand their situation and make more informed choices. And others are simply human beings who prefer to just live their lives.
Of course, there are people with really strong abilities to receive information from the other dimension and help people in this dimension. Many of these people have only one agenda, and that is to help their fellow human beings. Many of these people charge for their services, because they also inhabit a human body, and they have to buy groceries and have a roof over their head. This does not make them a special breed. They are still human. We all are human. Let’s not forget that.
What happens when a globally recognised figure who is active on social media does not understand the power of his words?
Firstly, those words reverberate around the world within minutes, because of social media.
We need to understand the power of our words. Saying words is the final part of the creation process, and every word carries its own magic.
We also need to take responsibility for what happens in our own small corner of the world, by being aware of the consequences of what we say.
Any eye for an eye based on words spoken in haste or words not thought through does not make the world a more peaceful place.
Rather than say "we are not like that" - and adding a barrier, say "Tell me more? I want to know about the other side"
The result is that we accept and tolerate our differences, and look out for each other.
Listen to Elsabe Smit explaining the magic of our words on The Elsabe Smit Show on 10th Decembe 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is a link to the recorded show on Youtube.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is only one of the five pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Paul Roger explains the power of acupuncture when it is used as part of a holistic approach.
Paul is a qualified acupuncturist and a member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners.
He is passionate about Traditional Chinese Medicine and feels genuine care for all of his patients. His mission is to help them get rid of their pains, discomforts and stresses, so that they can make the most out of their life and enjoy it to the fullest. Result-driven, he keeps studying the various forms of acupuncture in addition to pursuing a diploma in Chinese Osteopathy.
Originally from Normandy, France, Paul has settled in the UK with his wife in October 2012.
Being from an Economics and Marketing background, Paul studied in Le Havre, Montreal, Edinburgh and Lyon between 2007 and 2012. In the summer of 2015 Paul decided to really make a difference in the world one person at a time through healing.
With an instinct for reading human bodies and an interest for shamanism, Paul enrolled in a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Academy of Oriental Medicine from which he graduated in April 2017.
Wanting to extend his knowledge about this millennia-old technique, Paul attended the Foundation track of the SiYuan Balance Method Acupuncture in Paris in May 2017, which unveiled yet another way of practising acupuncture, providing patients with instant results.
The name Yggdrasil Acupuncture came about as a way of merging the Norse and Oriental influences present in Paul’s life into a coherent whole. Yggdrasil being the Norse Tree of Life, it bears strong connections to healing and shamanism.
In addition, Paul is a Drengr (warrior) of the Jomsborg organisation, attached to the Ulflag and considers himself a modern viking. With their companions, he and his wife campaign throughout the UK and Europe, re-enacting life and battles of the viking age around 800-1200.
Listen to Paul Roger explaining how acupuncture is a part of a bigger solution, on The Elsabe Smit Show on 31st December 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
A link to the recorded show will be posted here after the show. If you cannot connect on the live show, diarize the date and come back later to watch the recording on Youtube.
Some people leave an indelible imprint on the history of mankind. Cynthia Lucas helped capture the life of peace activist Mahatma Ghandi as a reminder of what can be, in a time when we desperately need such a reminder.
Cynthia Lukas—CO-PRODUCER is a film producer, writer and lecturer of transformative films that educate and inspire.
She and Director-Co-Producer Kell Kearns created the non-profit educational media organization, Heaven on Earth Creations, in 2004.
They have co-produced six acclaimed documentaries about humanity's oneness and nonviolence, such as the acclaimed PBS Biography of the great Sufi poet, RUMI RETURNING (2007).
Their 7TH AND 8TH are GANDHI'S GIFT and GANDHI’S AWAKENING, to be broadcast by American Public Television on PBS. These are the first major films about Gandhi made in the U.S.
Cynthia began her career as a college English professor and print journalist. She was a two-term City Councilwoman in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now Cynthia lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
She loves to present these films around the world, such as at the UNESCO Universal Forum of Cultures (Monterrey), World Peace Festival (Berlin), University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban), St. Ethelburgas Centre of Peace and Reconciliation (London), National Cathedral (Washington, D. C.), Parliament of World’s Religions (Salt Lake City), Spiritual Living Convention (New Orleans), etc.
After a recent program of GANDHI’S GIFT, an audience member offered: “While I have been a fan of Gandhi for many years, watching GANDHI’S GIFT and listening to you speak sparked a new interest for this great man in me. I want you to know that I enjoyed your question and answer period after the film, as much as the film itself."
Listen to Cynthia Lucas explaining the heritage of Mahatma Ghandi on The Elsabe Smit Show on 24th December 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
A link to the recorded show will be posted here after the show. If you cannot connect on the live show, diarize the date and come back later to watch the recording on Youtube.
Do you believe that a new beginning means leaving your past behind you? That is not the case.
You take your entire past with you into your new beginning. The question is not whether, but how you deal with your past.
Will you have doubts? Yes, of course. Again, how do you deal with the doubts? Because if you don't ackowledge the doubts, they will grow and set you back.
Elsabe Smit and her friends from the Pleiades give some advice on The Elsabe Smit Show on 12th November 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is the link to the recorded show on Youtube
Rob Burlinson grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and from an early age was very interested in subjects such as Astrology, crystals, and spirituality. After gaining a degree in English, he initially pursued a career in music, and ended up composing music for theatre productions. It was while in north-east Scotland touring with a show in 2002 he came across the Findhorn Foundation, which, after first visiting, was like being hit by a ‘spiritual sledgehammer’, and after which he was never quite the same again. He began attending Findhorn regularly, and doing numerous workshops there, including ‘Astroshamism’, with Franco Santoro, ‘Communicating with the Intelligences of Nature’, with Dorothy Maclean (one of the three founders of Findhorn) as well as on ‘Spiritual Development’ and ‘Life Purpose’.
His experiences at Findhorn led him to first train as an Integrative Counsellor, and then do a five year training in crystals and subtle energy with the Vibrational Healing Foundation (VHF) in London. He gained the qualification of ‘Subtle Energy Medicine Specialist’.
At various times he has also studied sound healing, Astrology and shamanism.
With the support of VHF in 2013 he founded the ‘Academy of Inner Resonance’ a school of subtle energy healing and inner development, that runs a two-year part time Crystal and Energy healing Diploma course at the Holistic Centre in Godalming, Surrey, which is accredited by the ‘Federation of Subtle Energy Medicine’ He also offers workshops and talks in the Surrey area on crystals, astrocrystal therapy, sound healing, and spiritual development and writes articles on various aspects of healing. Earlier this year he presented a week long workshop ‘Working with crystals and subtle energy’ at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.
Find ways to protect and ground yourself on The Elsabe Smit Show on 3rd December 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is a link to the recorded show on Youtube.
What is the difference between a pagan, druid and witch?
Where does paganism fit into modern life?
What are the tools of the trade and why?
Trevor Jones, the director of a witchcraft shop in Glastonbury provides information.
Trevor Jones speaks English, French, Spanish, and some Dutch. He has a BA Honours in Humanities from the Open University, and is a Director of The Cat and Cauldron, a witchcraft shop in Glastonbury in the south of England.
Listen to a fascinating talk on The Elsabe Smit Show on 26th November 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is the link to the recorded show on Youtube.
What is right and what is wrong? How do we learn the difference?
How do we define justice and what does that have to do with the law?
Do we find the definition of right and wrong in religion? Or do our parents teach us?
Elsabe Smit answers this sticky question with some straight answers.
Listen to a fascinating talk on The Elsabe Smit Show on 15th October 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is a link to the recorded show on Youtube.