Archive | March, 2017

Living off the Land. A right or a privilege?

28 Mar

Another memory to share with you, out of which to serve the higher good.

Toheroa season was  an annual highlight – until, of course, it became so popular that the succulent treat was threatening to abandon the planet.

Until then the farming families would sort out a day when weather and tides suited, load up their vehicles  (we would sit on an old car seat on the back ofthe land rover – oh my, OSH, what you would say today!) and head off to Dargaville to camp for the day at the high tide mark on the wild west coast beach.

You were allowed to take a certain amount of the shellfish home but as well as that you could eat as many as you liked on the beach. We would build a fire to boil a billy of water in which to open them and set up a hand mincer so fritters could be fried.

What enjoyment there was to be had – rolling down the sand dunes, racing through the tussock grass, getting bowled by sweepers while digging in the sand at the edge of low tide  and then eating fritters or steamed Toheroa sandwiched between slabs of soft white bread and dripping with golden butter! Such sea-splashed, sun-washed, salt-sprayed, sand-blasted, greasy, sticky, exhausted delights were we at the end of those golden days!

Yes, wonderful memories. It does not seem likely that such experiences will be available to the general populace again. If I’m really honest about it , it was probably my experience only 2 or 3 times – it all had to coordinate with tides, milking, weather and budgets.

The following article by Glenys Stage, “The Elusive Toheroa”, while written some time ago, outlines some of the adversities this delicacy has endured.

https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/the-elusive-toheroa/

It is apparent from this that the shellfish is extremely sensitive to any environmental change and has always been so, so that even in prehistoric times, the population underwent huge fluctuations. Does this mean we should ignore the call to restrict access?

I think not. At no time has the environmental change that the toheroa endures been so huge as in recent history. Never before have they had less time to adapt to continuing pressure.

The restrictions must help. The question is whether or not we think it is important. We of older generations desire to share our more delightful experiences with the younger – but perhaps it must be our stories which provide this, rather than the actual experience, since we have taken without giving back.

We have lost many species to the pressures of increased population and business exploitation of resources. The planet and the entities which live with it will always strive to achieve balance and nature will always succeed. The energies held in living organisms – including us – will be utilised to this purpose. If we are not aware of this law and do not consciously work with it to maintain balance, it will be attained to our detriment and to the detriment of animal and plant species.

If we believe all is connected, then we understand that we can influence this balance and that we have choices. Our interaction with nature triggers effects which can snowball and cause reactions beyond our understanding in the longer term. The highest good will always be served when we love and respect nature, our planet and each other equally. Would anyone sacrifice their loved ones for  material gain? Unfortunately they can and do. They remove choice from their existence and they do it in the absence of love.

In the ‘old days’ a smaller population lived in balance where nature was revered and resources preserved for future generations. But in more modern times, we have ignored the needs of our oneness, separating ourselves from all of it. Living off the land has been something we have interpreted as the right to exploit it rather than as a privileged relationship of give and take. The give part has been forgotten.

To my mind, anything we can do to restore that paradigm, adapting and adjusting with love our relationship, is positive. This includes supporting efforts to cut down on environmental pollution, discontinuing exploitation of natural resources and promoting the use of natural and balanced farming methods.

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Memories – how do they serve us?

17 Mar

My weekend is filling up pretty fast so I thought I would share a memory with you. It is a piece I’ve worked on for a book in progress, about my journey – the experience rather than the learning – although we can’t help ourselves but colour the experience with who we have become in the present.

This particular experience is one which I can say is a fond memory, and one which will not be a part of my grandchildren’s experience. They will only ever know it from what I tell them.

Here is the piece. Many of you will find connection with this story in the timeline of your own existence:-

Community affairs were great fun.

 The local families would get together for Guy Fawkes nights, for example.

 We would make our poor Guy effigy out of sacrificed work clothes, socks and stockings close to the end of their patched on patches and darned on darnings’ lives, stuffed with old newspaper and tied with bale string.

Despite knowing the history, it never occurred to any of us to associate the Guy (and our delight at watching it disintegrate in screaming, twisting agony amidst the flames), with the barbarities and moral dilemmas of real events from a long ago time in a faraway place.

We would revel in being chased by jumping jacks, deafened by double happys, terrorized by rockets and delighted by sparklers as the great bonfire roared happily, tossing its wild flaming head, spraying great showers of sparks and belching gusts of smoke in unpredictable directions. (Such wild pleasures are unavailable today – at least to the law-abiding and socially responsible!)

There was always a feed which seemed to us to manifest out of nowhere and it was followed, at our place anyway, by snowball fights around the house and through the wild garden![1]

[1] The snowball tree was an unfortunate victim of the season each year, bonfire or not and it is testimony to its weed-like tenacity that it survived for so long, even after being fenced out of the house yard for the stock to eat – a cunning ploy designed by my parents in later years to cut down on the amount of lawn to mow – and also in deference to the general decline of the Garden.

Nostalgia! How tempted we are to desire a return to the past.

How does nostalgia serve us today when such delights are frowned upon by the ‘Establishment’?

What we can do is bring the feelings of joy from the past into the present, being aware of, and grateful for, the gift that they are. We can bring fun, laughter and community togetherness into any affair which brings people together. It is our memory of the camaraderie and the joy of fellowship from the old memories which can serve us today.

If we continue to hanker for the old scaffolds, we lose sight of the real gift of the memory – the feelings which can serve the moment. By reliving an event which brought joy in the past, we can bring the joy of it to the present; but to focus instead on the physical circumstances of time and place is to deny the joy in the present – it only brings the feeling of lack!

It is from our feelings that we create our world.

That nostalgia serves us is a conscious choice we can make.

In the Spiral of Existence -Toxic Relationship or Lesson from Love?

12 Mar

Many of us feel like we are stuck ‘looking after’ others our whole lives. We watch as they drain our resources and we do not get ahead in achieving our own aspirations. We wonder why our kindness and help are not effective in changing people’s  neediness. Why they don’t get up on their own feet and take our example to – as the song says –  ‘get a haircut and get a real job’!

I have used the word ‘toxic’ in this title because there is so much ‘out there’ that addresses this as a ‘problem’ which  needs to be solved and against which we must defend ourselves in the future. Everyday on social media we see advice about ending these relationships.

But what if they are people we love? What if they are family? It’s not so easy, then, to set those boundaries. But set them we must. We can see it’s a spiral of existence that needs to be reversed.

I once had a text from a person whom I had attracted into my life, which was abusive and downright nasty, accusing me of being everything I know I’m not.

I was dopey enough to engage in an exchange (which to my mind was fair, reasonable and understanding on my part), which simply gave reason for them to feel they could come back into my life gain to exploit my desire to be ‘kind’ and ‘helpful’ once more. Of course I allowed it – gave them ‘one more chance’ to be a ‘decent’ person! (Like me?!)

But despite all that, I accept that it was me who attracted them in order to serve the lesson. Certainly my gut instinct warned me from the very start what I was in for.

I remember my emotions at the time, foaming with anger, resentment and outrage. I came to realise my ‘very reasonable’ response was  self righteous and judgemental!

It is only by taking responsibility for my own behaviours , and recognising MY role in creating the behaviours of others, that I can hope to bring positive change in my life and in the lives of those I interact with. S’not my fault? Most people live lives covered in their own snot! We can clean ourselves up or ignore our own condition and try to clean up others. Well – they don’t like it!  Especially when they see the slime dripping off OUR noses!

Wow! That discovery has lead me to realise my condition was no better or worse, and needed to be addressed way before I could hope to advise anyone else.

Our thoughts, by the way, are behaviours in themselves, tangible actions which affect others and the world. We need to watch them mindfully, stay fully in the present to monitor them, and give them forward into love whenever we catch one born of an absence of it.

As a result, I can say I am learning to feel genuine compassion for the soul buried in a human psyche which sees the world and other people as the reason for all problems and negative events and which are potentially harmful and destructive to their needs.

Mine is that soul!

It is my own human psyche that needs to transform. And because all is connected, my own transformation will impact on others.

When I have achieved this, such people will no longer be coming into my life. I will be able to enjoy giving to those in need without  feeling  either exploited OR superior. I will be assertive without guilt OR judgement.

In the meantime, we must create our boundaries and take steps to stand up for our right for the freedom to choose who to help and for how long, putting a stop to behaviours which impinge on the right to that choice, despite our feelings. And we must work on transforming those feelings with, through and in Love!

Primarily the experience served my desire to drop judgment from my life. Perhaps, as this person  evolves, it will serve them as well. Perhaps it will serve you, too, without the need to call such a thing in!

The following is a selection from a ‘channel’ I did with ‘I AM’ – High Self – God (this form of communication is available to all of us. Some call it prayer or meditation. It is a powerful way to recieve advice when the intention driving it is heart based and truly desires the highest good for ALL. I was questioning my judgement, my motives and guilt in order to find solutions through love and feel peace and compassion around the situation. I wanted to avoid self righteousness – which I could observe in my emotions.)

‘You created this situation. You came into the world knowing these things might happen to challenge you into seeing the truth of who you are.

Now you are sorry – SO READY – to forgive – GIVE FORward into the love that you truly are – all of the feelings, expectations, prejudices and judgments that you have created about yourself (guilt) and others (judgement) and they about themselves, others and you!

And you desire to feel gratitude for those who have come into your life to give you this gift of experience – you brought their energy to you for that reason. So you are thankful to yourself also.

And when they throw their poison at you, you now understand that from where they are, it is the only thing they can do. And their choice is honoured, for they are trapped in a defensive position against a world they see as hostile to their existence, and their hopes for their future and must fight to survive. You understand this for it is your experience, also.

Their poison cannot touch you, though, when you know you are in light. It is their choice and none of yours that they wish to destroy you from their place abSINt of love.

Now, with you in love with who YOU truly are, send love to them knowing that is who they are, too – even as you refuse to empower them any longer with your servility. This is forgiveness. It allows them to be free to choose love, too.

They may choose to move out of your life. Do not follow for you cannot make their journey for them. The kind and generous things you have done for them, and also the kind things they have done for you, with whatever motivation, will not bring change. Love will – when they are evolved enough to see it within themselves.

It really is ALL about love, the human choice to embrace it and God’s need, YOUR need, OUR need to be able to define it and then experience it as Heaven on Earth.

And so it is!’

Judge Not…

4 Mar

Many of us in ‘Western’ culture have been raised in a society whose mores and laws are rooted in the Judeo – Christian teachings of the Bible. We have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the ten commandments of the old testament. We carry reaction to the premonitory warnings of the book of Revelations and have heard stories of Solomon’s wisdom. From the New Testament, most have at least heard the Lord’s Prayer and have been exposed in some way to Jesus’ teachings about not judging, giving to Rome, turning the other cheek, the meek inheriting the Earth and so on.

However, I would say everyone is very aware of the hypocrisies which abound in an unjust, unfair and unbalanced world. It is why so many are rebelling against traditional teaching and philosophy.

In my last blog I addressed the concept of guilt as self judgement and its relationship to hypocrisy. I would like to expand on this theme to focus on Jesus’ teaching – ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’

The human, by ‘being’ and making choices does so by comparing and categorising options. When exploring options for what to think and what to do, we usually sort things into two groupings. What is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. We draw on our experiences and how they have impacted on us. We also draw on the experiences of others and how we imagine they would impact on us. When we are unsure, we draw on the choices others make. These tend to be people we ‘agree’ with,  those we admire and look up to and/or those from whom we desire approval; or those we fear. Sometimes we change how we categorise things that are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ depending on who we are with.

If we are to listen to Jesus, then the mere act of comparing in order to separate people into one group or another, is to judge them. This is an enormous paradox for us to come to terms with if we believe that a person’s behaviour defines the person. When we define people by what they do we are not only judging them, we are also failing to love them unconditionally. (Another of Jesus’ directives.) This includes oneself.

Instead of judging people for their behaviours, we can discern behaviours which are the result of an ab(sin)ce of unconditional love, and desire that those empty spaces be filled. Compassion for ourselves and our fellow humans recognises our oneness both as humans ‘being’ together and as an energy of unconditional love flowing ceaselessly  in every direction – except where it is shut out by our ‘being’ human.

We are in this thing called ‘Life’ together! When we judge a fellow human we are not only shutting a door to a room in our own hearts against Love entering or leaving, but we are barricading the doors to others against their potential choice to open them to Love. As humans when we lock our own rooms from the inside, we lock others’ from the outside. Love doesn’t have the opportunity to enter. Forgiveness is about unlocking the doors. Sorry is being so ready to find the humility to recognise the need to do so.

I am not advocating fence sitting or live and let live policy in addressing behaviours which are the result of a loveless existence. These deny others’ choices –  to make decisions, to choose partners, to make mistakes, to learn, to enjoy living, to freedom – to choose life.

What we can do is be discerning about the choices we – and our fellow humans – make, which impact directly on the right for others to choose. We can act as necessary to stop or change that behaviour. But there will be no possibility to fill empty rooms in human consciousness with love, if we have no desire to find compassion, born of unconditional love, in our own hearts.

Many of us who observe hypocrisy in others  are unwilling to consider that we recognise it because we have been – or are – there already. It is in our experience. Some reject all wisdom because of it.

If our hearts are open to love, we can discern wisdom from folly, courage from foolhardiness, kindness from guile, assertiveness from anger, justice from condemnation, compassion from sympathy, appreciation from prejudice, humility from weakness; there is no right or wrong – there is only Love or Not Love. No one can change the vibration of love. We can only shut it out -or in- with a hard and closed heart, as lead blocks radiation, or walls block light.

Within every human heart is unconditional love – the soul. To open our hearts and allow the flow of love through our ‘being’, will affect human consciousness and bring about Heaven on Earth.

So, ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’ Let’s be mindful of hypocrisy in our thoughts and actions and begin to allow unconditional love to transcend it.