Jan 20

Forgetting the past . . .

rear viewA couple of days ago I asked the questions:

Did I live?

Did I love?

Did I matter?

One of my wonderful friends asked the question “what if the answer is ‘no’?” Now, I happen to know that this young lady actually should be answering a huge ‘yes!’ to all three of those questions. For many of us, we underestimate the effect we have on those around us – we forget the impact that we have on others, and how a kind word and gentle encouragement can have a huge impact on those around us. I was talking about this with my dance instructor the other day – how many people have different beliefs about themselves, and massively increased confidence, simply because she has helped them to learn to dance. She does that because she loves it – and yet because she is doing something she loves, other people find their lives changed. I know this, because I am one of them!

But the real question is not about the past. It never is. We can learn from the past, for sure – our mistakes AND (please) our successes. We are all doing the best we can with the resources we have available to us – believing what we believe, having what we have, knowing what we think we know – we move through life trying to do the best possible, trying to be the best possible human beings we can be. And as my son said, aged about five – “there’s no such thing as a mistake. There’s just what has happened”.

The real question is about the future. How do we want to be? I want to look back at those questions when I get to the end of my life and be able to answer “Yes!”

Did I live well? Did I manage to enjoy the experience of life as fully and as completely as I could? Did I take the risks I need to take?” – and if I sense that right now, today, I am holding back, that I am not truly living this life as vividly as I could be – then I have the chance, right now, in this moment, to change that.

Did I love others? Did I find ways to make the lives of others around me better? Did I do the best I could for my family…my partner…my friends…my colleagues? Was I kind? Was I encouraging? Did I help people? Did I give something of myself to others?” – and if I sense i am withholding love in any way, to resolve, right now, in this moment, to love more fully tomorrow.

Did I matter? Did I set out to achieve something with my life that contributed to the world? Did I do something that mattered to someone? Did I set out to do something worthy? Did I attempt something worthy of the amazing being that I am? Did I dare to make a difference? Did I choose to do something spectacular? Did I think big?”

On this last one, I don’t care whether you changed the world or changed the life of one person. Because, if you changed the life of one person, you did change the world. In every moment that you decide to live from love you change the world. As Mother Teresa said:

“There are no great deeds. There are just small deeds done with great love”

So go easy on yourself. Recognise who you are and what you have already achieved…. and then, tomorrow, go and be even more amazing. Live even more fully. Love even more passionately. And decide to make a difference in the lives of others. Make a difference in every moment you are here.

As Liora Garcia said in the movie “Conversations With God”

“I don’t want to spend my life making a living. I want to spend my life making a life.

A life that makes a difference. A life that is built on love and compassion”

Are you with me?

1-TimSignature

Jan 17

Seeing the beauty

moonIn the movie ‘Serendipity’, John Cusack’s character, Jonathan, has his (somewhat premature) obituary handed to him by his friend, the obituary writer for the New York Times. The movie itself is a riff on destiny and fate, on whether there is something more than just random chance involved in our lives. Part of the obituary read

“Ultimately Jonathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call ‘fatum’, what we currently refer to as ‘destiny’.”

“Serendipity” remains one of my favourite movies, because it echoes my belief that there’s something more involved in life – that there is something more than the cold hearted cruelty of blind chance at work here. Whether we call it ‘destiny’ or ‘fate’, ‘the Universe’ or ‘God’, it seems to me that there is something more going on than might immediately meet our eyes – that there is indeed a pattern running through our lives – as Jonathan’s epitaph goes on to say:

“Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Rather, it’s a tapestry of events that culminate together in an exquisite, sublime plan”.

As I look back on the events of my life, I could choose to see many of them as unmitigated disasters – moments that have plunged me into despair and left me feeling lost, helpless, confused, and alone. Or I could choose to see the warp and woof of divine destiny threading through each of them: and the longer I reflect on events, the more I can see them fit together, that at the back of them is a beautiful design – a pattern that has helped me to be where I am and freed me to do what I am doing.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the details of the tragedies of our lives, so hung up on the drama of the moment, that we fail to step back and look at what is being woven out of what seems like chaos and mayhem.

The book of Isaiah promises:

“Those who grieve will receive a crown of beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and thankfulness instead of a spirit of despair.”  (Isaiah 61:3)

– and it seems that when we take a moment to step back, to reflect.. or when we look back at what has happened and where you’ve come from – that everything is working out in a harmony of perfection.

I don’t know if you’re going through a time where everything seems chaotic right now, where it seems that life is sucking your very soul out, and where malign events are piling up one after the other – but I will tell you this… what is happening will, in the end, prove to be for your ultimate wellbeing and for the welfare of your soul.. so have faith that there is meaning in the chaos – and if you find it difficult to find that faith, then, if only for a moment, lean on mine.

1-TimSignature

PS. That is SO not what I sat down to write this evening… but I hope it has meaning for you. We might get on to what I planned to write – tomorrow!

Jul 20

In search of a new hope

We stand on the edge of a new world, a new chapter in the history of mankind. The whole of creation holds its breath to see what humanity will choose. We have created this moment, you and I – a knife edge on which we balance, precariously. We have brought ourselves to the edge, through our wars and violence, through our lack of love and caring, through our rape and destruction of the world that holds us, protects us that brings us life, through our lack of caring, our indifference to our fellow man.

Halong Bay (4)

And yet, balanced as we are on the precipice of disaster, we also find ourselves on the edge of our greatest opportunity. Something else is burning in the heart of mankind. Something else is awakening at the core of our beings. Something else draws us forward, draws us towards our inheritance as sons and daughters of God.

We are evolving, you and I. Stepping into something new, something more incredible, more amazing than we could imagine. We are beginning to remember Who We Truly Are… the power, the raw magic that is our inheritance. We’re beginning to step into that destiny as we begin to recognise that we are, truly, Princes of the Universe – imbued with the supernatural power of our Source – the power to create, to transform, to destroy, to heal.

We are beginning to step into freedom, you and I. Freedom from our self imposed limitations. Freedom from the barriers that we have set around ourselves. Freedom from the sense of what we must or must not do. And as that freedom rises in our hearts, as we let our hearts catch in the wind of God, we say to that which oppresses us ‘set my people free’. Free to have our own experience of God, of Universal Intelligence, of the Divine. Free to experience the world as we want. Free to love and to live as we choose. Free to be who we truly are – and free to be the way we were intended to be.