My Beautiful Blog

An Actualiser's weblog

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I adore her work…

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

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December 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I met a man…

… who coincidentally couldn’t see… but who had Vision.

He saw me clearly, although I did not know he was looking, alert, awake.

His name is Meltia and he is visually disabled, in layman’s terms.

But he can see deeply.

Meltia has climbed a mountain, literally, although he can’t see. He wanted a challenge.

He has learned to read and write and to teach… and to motivate and to inspire. And he does this daily.

And his most striking words to me, of his life were:

‘Nobody owes me anything.’

His ‘disability’ occurred from a fall, an accident, while he was in the womb. He had no say; he wasn’t ‘there’ to avoid it. It just happened; it just was.

My encountering him was at a strange meeting; you know those official kinds. The ones that go nowhere and are destined to be repeated weekly, indefinitely, until another new hot subject comes up to start having meetings for again.

So I sat in the meeting with my notes, not interested… tuning out the chatter to concentrate on my work and I started to hum some little song… some inspirational song.

It was under my breath, no-one should hear. But he heard and he responded by agreeing to the tag line, whatever that was. It was a grateful song, so whatever it was, resonated.

This man was joyful; very concerned sometimes about his future, as an older man without family and having had to earn his own living all of his life… But cheerful and so thankful to give people hope and inspire people despite his ‘disability’.

We could speak deeply, for long periods. He didn’t see me as a superficial being. We didn’t have to get by my ‘looks’ or my age… I didn’t have to curb my charm or my smile at the risk of being too attractive.

‘If people only knew the challenges of being… If only…’

‘Of course they know! ‘[smile]

No, he saw me. He ‘met’ with me. He appreciated me. He inspired me. He showed another light to me to keep going… to stay on the path…

And I wish Meltia well. I pray he will be protected and taken care of in his old age, and given the comfort of mind that he has afforded so many people.

I pray, if I can help him to secure his future, that someday I will be able to.

God bless you, kind Meltia.

Meltia Hamilton

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Found in the wilderness

This poem is entitled ‘Lost in the Wilderness’ in Deepak Chopra’s edition of Love Poems of Rumi.

I renamed it for this posting…

Deeper...

Deeper...

Oh lovers, where are you going?  Who are you looking for?

Your beloved is right here.  She lives in your own neighborhood.

Her face is veiled.  She hides behind screens calling for you,

while you search and lose yourself in the wilderness and the desert.

Cease looking for flowers, there blooms a garden in your own home.

While you go looking for trinkets, your treasure house awaits you

in your own being.  There is no need for suffering, God is here!

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Love & Connection by Thomas Merton

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. The whole illusion of a separate holy existence is a dream…There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun….

I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all of the time.” ~ Thomas Merton

Photo credit: Tamara Bokuchava, Galapagos Islands

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dividing God by Hafiz

The moon starts singing
When everyone is asleep
And the planets throw a bright robe
Around their shoulders and whirl up
Close to her side.

Once I asked the moon,
“Why do you and your sweet friends
Not perform so romantically like that
To a larger crowd?”

And the whole sky chorus resounded,

“The admission price to hear
The lofty minstrels
Speak of love

Is affordable only to those
Who have not exhausted themselves
Dividing God all day
And thus need rest.

The thrilled Tavern fiddlers
Who are perched on the roof

Do not want their notes to intrude
Upon the ears
Where an accountant lives
With a sharp pencil
Keeping score of words
Another
In their great sorrow or sad anger
May have once said
To you.”

Hafiz knows:
The sun will stand as your best man
And whistle

When you have found the courage
To marry forgiveness,

When you have found the courage
To marry
Love.

(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Moon... Sun... Light... Life... Cloud formation: Bristol, UK 2008

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When I listen…

… I hear,

it has all been for a purpose; it wasn’t meant to only hurt, it was to toughen you up for things to come, when the muscle would be needed for This Reality and would feel oh so natural and ready to be flexed…

it had conclusions you couldn’t think of, couldn’t conceive of, couldn’t receive in that time, so it was better you weren’t aware of them just yet…

it was so appreciated that you listened and followed Our Lead, that the bounty we are bestowing on you is in line with the finest gifts around: sense of peace, of satisfaction, of free mind, of clear heart, of safety, of security, of harmony with your world, of love at every turn.

you could have listened to different, louder voices which told you to compromise, to be in the mix. But you made a different choice. I am pleased.

I listened, I followed, it was tough. I didn’t know. I felt alone. I felt quite crazed! I had no support but my own mind and heart most days and nights.

Now as I listen more, I hear confirmation, it was not in vain.

God, I am thankful.

Thanks, simply…

A Grateful, Sherrilene

Fringes of the Rainbow

December 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dream Era…

I am remarking how, though I try my best to do reflections regularly and bring myself to a place of acceptance and often gratitude, out of those looks backward and inward, that the degree of detail and amount of evidence of the Universe’s good general intention, still stays out of my grasp somewhat.

I am a fairly grateful person, in my opinion, but confess I don’t hang onto the consciousness of blessings quite often enough, which would do me very good in keeping good in my space and help make my ride of life, far less bumpy. This is a mighty big conclusion!

Earlier this year after two or three run-ins with some of the most obnoxious people that I had the displeasure to have to live around, I finally came upon a residence that was spacious and lovingly natural, green, beautiful. It was like a snapshot of a vision I had put into the ‘less than likely’, rather barren zone of my dreams. But omygosh, it was here!

I remember registering shock, not necessarily thankfulness or gratitude, as my first emotion. Evidently my belief system didn’t stretch that far to actually accessing those tiny little desires of one’s heart!

There is one other lovely delivery that was manifested just over a year ago that I haven’t spent a lot of time in appreciation. The exact type of car I’d dreamed about as a teenager… I used to look at them on the street, while walking home. And most of my friends were like, ‘They’re ok’… but not as excited as I.

Well one day last year while deciding on a new car, I said, what the heck, make an enquiry. And in two snaps I had my car… yes, the same kind, in a rich colour, special to look at, distinctive, just like my car would be.

Two ‘major’ messages coming through at this time are both related to the bigger picture and perspective. For both these dreams I built relationships that were more comfortable for the property ‘owner’ than for me; that bind me to work my tail off even if I’m not well, to pay for them. This is because, it certainly looked as if this was the only available option for me and as I look back, it wasn’t for lack of trying that I ended up having to do a rental and take a loan…

But the eventual burden of it all and eventual, quite disrespectful behaviour by the bank in particular, have shaken my desire even in the least way, to continue that kind of imbalanced security arrangement. It just isn’t fair or right that some people sit comfortably receiving value, while others work incredibly hard to create it and never have, especially time, to enjoy returns from it.

So I’m at a Square One zone, about to let go the car (it’s been coming for a while… they dragged their feet, hoping I would get back to work and make them comfortable again; but my body/The Universe protested!). And this morning I am feeling a tad of sadness that I’m giving up the dream car, the one that I hadn’t taken very much time to embrace the amazingness of the Universe following through on visionary promises… Yeh, I feel sad that I wasted time, not appreciating it and that…

I’ve lots of excuses! I am a creative person, of course I do! But in the end it is useless. I still didn’t embrace the moment enough, throughout.

The second sensation is about the fact, that although I don’t necessarily give ‘It’ credit for its ‘behind-the-scenes’ incredible work, things are indeed ongoing, unseen, unnoticed, and so wonderfully, just waiting for us to merge in with it… to lock in sincerely and honestly and truthfully… to admit, this is what I really want, no kidding…

I remember saying so often that Nature is evidence that there is a whole lot going on around us that we couldn’t possibly conceive of. And I say it and mean it! But so many times, I haven’t internalised it and I think – the real issue, isn’t it? – that I have something to do with outcomes, besides blending with the amazingness of It.

I’ve said often I wouldn’t want to live with a life of regrets, which is why I step out oftentimes and face fears and challenge myself. Today I feel a slight little one, for not having faith, for not believing more in my dreams manifesting, even the ones dashed away because ‘reality’ had messed with them.

Looks like some growing up is due.

Namaste.

With love and light and respect of old and new dreams.

Sherrilene

Tears on my heart

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Ok, so I’m starting to write my book!

No dramatics, I keep promising myself. Just let my decisions all flow.

Life is too strange, that’s all I can say. It doesn’t matter how decisive one is, what is meant to happen will happen. I had so many thoughts of how I’d start this note out and now they’re down the drain because my emotions have taken me in the next direction. So let me just express what is going on at this time.

I had a revelation yesterday that indeed I want to feel passion again in my life. This has come and gone; gone up and down… but it’s generally been my guide for ‘big’ decisions like taking ‘risky’ jobs or furthering my studies or even changing my circle of friends. Deep down in my heart I know that life is about excitement and enjoyment and so ultimately I will get to this place of saying, ‘What is happening here? This is NOT living!’ Then I’ll take action. [smile]

Why this is probably relevant right now is that I feel the need to let other people be aware that there are different things to life than what we keep seeing. It doesn’t matter how many, where or who, just anybody! It is for my own good as well, for my wellbeing, for me being happy.

You see I interface daily with mostly people who are so extremely priviliged that they have no concept of what excitement is; they have a structure in their lives which says with certainty ‘things’ will be there. There is security of sorts in this existence. The only problem is, security of this type brings some apathy, some ennui, some boredom and sad to say, a dear lack of appreciation for what they have.

Now as a person with many friends who live in countries and in difficult situations where the privilege of boredom is not an option, this constantly wears me out. It exhausts me for a few reasons: one is, with apathy, ennui and all those things, there’s no creativity; no ideas, no likelihood of moving resources and helpfulness along to where it is needed. So I wait disappointingly for any simple solutions to manifest themselves.

The [not-so-privileged] world sits looking to the ‘thought leaders’, the intellectuals, the educated lot, to bring solutions to them. The logical idea is, with all the research and development and analysis going on, so much funds pumping into great ideas, that someday, somehow they will trickle down into solutions for everyone.

The only thing is, sitting here on the outside and yet in the middle somewhat, I can see that the ‘wait for someone’ approach is unfortunately the way of the intellectual side of the world as well. Taking action isn’t a part of that cultural psyche. People aren’t nudged to take decisions, really, unless they are required to by [external] pressure most times.

What does this have to do with me?

My experience, repeatedly, has been that I am instructive in moving people to think a little, trust a little, try a little bit more than they had been doing in previous times of their lives. The consequences are usually a release from a rigid place and the flow of beautiful ideas and energies that serve everyone. Indeed it is a really satisfying experience watching this, so win-win for all.

I would like to say I don’t want to touch just the privileged lot at all. In fact fresh ideas are just waiting to be implemented from many people who didn’t know they had many options as well at their disposal. The point being: I just want to stimulate thinking, connecting, creating. That is it!

I also know that if I, myself, die with my story in me, it would be a waste of this life which has been pretty remarkably pleasant and very enjoyable despite all the ups and downs, the traumas and dramas. If more people recognise themselves in me, perhaps they would mobilise a bit more to that enjoyment that is due to them but is still not considered a characteristic of this life as we know it.

I also think that my philosophies of life, borne out of experience and not just intellect… indeed, hardly from traditional intellect, bear more significance today than ever before, in serving my higher purpose of education, which I’ve always known is my bigger calling. So more reason to do this.

Though the past has brought me to this place I don’t want to live there. I would like the future to shine brightly in my mind’s eye and if I can contribute to it, then I’d like to, in any way I can. Here is one way hopefully.

Thanks for your well wishes in advance.

Blessings and Love,

Best, Sherrilene

bookcover

November 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Sea

Until I lived abroad, I didn’t really realise how much the sea meant to me. Indeed like many people, I could easily go for months without even noticing the waters around me. My work schedule didn’t allow for much beaching anyway; I could easily leave home very early and not go that route and I definitely left work sometimes at such a late hour, it was dark outside on my return.

Schedules were about work not pleasure in those times so the beach was down on the list in terms of my priorities.

Going to France was an interesting exercise that got me to see how much the sea is worshipped in some places. I often compared our beaches and thought, ‘What is the big deal?’, not very pleasantly rating my own much higher in terms of natural beauty [smile].

But the truth is, I really didn’t appreciate the ocean very much until my friend visited from Holland and immersed herself with such love. Being her hostess I had to take her everywhere she wanted to go, and I found I was quite jealous when she’d dive off without hesitation, and I, like most natives, would hesitate… all kinds of crazy stories about what could go wrong, in my head.

It struck me as ridiculous that she had more confidence in these waters than I! So I made my commitment to overcome my fear and went and really learned to swim.

The fear was quite real; I could actually feel my heart slamming every time I had to think about that deep, dark blue water where we used to train. I did great; nobody really knew how terrified I was. But long story short, I overcame the fear and that time became a watershed in my general approach to life. I often compare new difficulties to the pushing past of fear at that time, and they usually don’t quite compare…

The first time I went snorkeling was without a doubt a huge high point. You know you’ve been touched when you wake from sleeping and say out loud ‘Did you see that?’ to nobody or anybody in particular! Snorkeling in tropical waters is something I think every living person should experience.

red_sea_coral_reef_pa_400x260

Tropical Waters

I have seen the toughest ‘home-boy’ lose all resistance after getting a glimpse of some multi-coloured fishes rush past, close-up! Even now, I still get freaked out when a school of silver ones decides to swim around and not be bothered by my presence. Seeing the sun glinting off of them through crystal waters is like nothing I could describe, but definitely something that awakens you to what beauty is…

I have had much enlightening and also healing from the sea. Sitting and watching the expanse of water without real boundaries puts in perspective this Reality of ours. After taking a real look with some humility, you could never again conclude that life is about man-made construction, talking and television and so many other things we have consume us often.

After seeing a manta ray come close to the cliff only you are sitting at, and raise its wing almost in greeting, and witnessing precious sea turtles pop their head up and hang out with you for a long time, how could you not feel connected with all that’s living?

Once I was quite ill and my semi-addiction to the sea got me to thinking that perhaps I should consider taking the advice of the old people and try out the sea as my cure. By then I had long sworn off ‘drugs’ and the alternatives the doctors kept giving me were too radical for my liking and would keep me coming back to them. So crazy me, I decided a sea bath a day, or two if I’m compelled to, would be my prescription. And indeed I did. The first day or two, I could hardly stand because of the pain, but each time I emerged from the sea I was standing taller.  After about five days I was in good shape. I could literally feel myself healing. I was focussed on healing, yes, but indeed two years and more later, I have had no recurrence of this ailment and am not the least bit worried about its returning.

And so even though right now I don’t distrust the doctors and their remedies to the same extent, I still find that the sea sits at the top of my list of cures if I ever have to heal.

There is still no colour quite like my waters; those waters have inspired me so much and in so many ways. They now stay with me even in my travels. Abundant Beauty is manifest in that place.

miamicliffs

Sea Rocks Beauty

Oceans of Blessings to all friends.

Sherrilene

November 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Getting good with Goddess!

A young online friend inquired of me today, what is my relationship like with the Creator. I often get asked questions like this, from people of all ages, because I think I’m a novelty of sorts being a believer, with no particular religious links or leanings besides being natural. I really try to live life according to an ideal that is set in my mind and not based on what has been given to most of us as ‘gospel’.

As the sub-title of my blog says, I consider myself an Actualising person so my rules and my needs for living are quite different than ‘the average’ and the consequence is, my spirituality has been also impacted in this way.

A long time back,  I was involved with the church, quite voluntarily, since I wanted to ‘do my part’ for the community. Unlike many people including my siblings, my grandmother didn’t force me to go to church as a child, so I showed up on my own and immersed. I have many aspects of church life that I like but in totality it never fulfilled my zeal, so I visit periodically and find other ways to do this in my day to day life.

After achieving all the highs of the physical life (academically, professionally, socially) I hit a speed bump; or should I correctly name it, a reality pit stop where again my enthusiasm for life was bumped down. It was disappointing, yes, but mostly because I really wanted to see myself fitting somehow into society, enthusiastic and all. It wasn’t meant to be, at least not yet. So I set out on my own, ‘stumbling surefootedly’, I like to say, to find ‘what else’ is there, besides society as I know it.

I found lots… AND LOTS I didn’t like. If not for my love of nature, of people on the whole and my open mind, I would have been seriously battered spiritually. A few years into that part of the journey and I was ready to throw it in again! I found that my instinct kept telling me to stay in, to not even try to go out there to find work anymore. It wasn’t the fear of competition since my product is unique and I’m comfortable in its delivery, it was the clear evidence of learning nothing new, of not growing, of actually being really depleted with exchanges in the institutional environment where I was often called.

All this time I was transforming into a creature of Nature again. The simple pleasures drew me like nothing else and even now, not too much in society is interesting, although my desire to serve remains strong.

To answer my friend’s question referring to my relationship with God, I spontaneously smiled, as I recall having given this response many times before. ‘We are good!‘,  I continued by saying ‘Now I am trying to be good with Goddess…’.

Like I said it has been an incredible experience on my journey to find myself wanting to be at home, to putter around, to do kitchen things, to crochet and to sew, to dream up new dishes and the like. But it’s very satisfying! It’s also quite pleasing to find myself out of supplies of some sort and perform a bit of magic to substitute and end up with a creation out of my wits! These are the most fun of my days, when the Creative in Me kicks in!

How do I explain that? If anyone knows me, they will know that I am very much a strategic mind. I can analyse with the best of them. I’m good with numbers, with industries, with economics, whatever comes up. I’ve got the left brain covered really well. So it doesn’t make much sense to me even, that I’d be a content homemaker! Throw in the calls out to Nature and the whole image is overturned!

But today a few pieces converged and I recognised that despite being an actualising human being firstly, I’ve been put in a physical form that is woman as well. There are certain ‘things’ that come with this. They are not by any means specific or generic but they’re there! And if I am going to actualise and achieve my best self, I will have to give honour to the creative ‘best’ in me as well… shall we say, the Goddess. [smile]

In recent times I’ve observed the imbalance in power in society, in terms of benefits across the two sexes and I’ve been saddened because I’ve had to admit that despite my love for the male in Me – the strong, solid, direct parts –  the Female in Me has been neglected and ignored and many times ridiculed… even by me… I have wanted to walk away from the very same attributes that qualify me as a girl, just so that I won’t have to feel weakened in any form.

But my greater need is to honour this ‘package’, these gifts I’ve been given… all of them. So my spirit hasn’t sat very well with any such efforts.

There is much more to life still to be explored; all of Nature, in fact. That’s where abundance rests. Now it’s up to me to pursue this exploration with exciting zeal as I did my mind all those years, and see what Creation has ready for me, as a Divine Female.

Life is interesting again.

Wishing friends well.

Always,

Sherrilene

Barbados 067

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 4 Comments