Healing

After many years of experiencing deep seated suffering any notion of healing may seem so far removed from our everyday reality now. All hope of any form of recovery has, more likely, faded and we have come to accept our difficult plight as the norm. This is understandable because we have been on a roller coaster ride, health wise. Yet underneath all this there is still hope. We may have underestimated our ability to turn things around because of a constant feeder stream of self-aggression towards ourselves – a subtle flow of personal guilt, shame and perhaps embarrassment that keeps us locked in failure. Now we must start again, we must start to believe in ourselves, a revived, enriched personal validation, that understands that progress can still be made. That there is always action that we can take, however small that could secure a better future. The personal rejection that we have promoted must now be rejected and replaced with a self-belief that will invest in our lives.

 

Non Violence by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

 

 “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”

 “ It must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight… The way of nonviolent resistance … is ultimately the way of the strong man. It is not a method of stagnant passivity… For while the nonviolent resister is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and his emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent that he is wrong. The method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil. “

 “Nonviolence … does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through non co-operation or boycotts, but he realizes that these are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.”

“ It is the evil that the nonviolent resister seeks to defeat, not the persons victimized by the evil. If he is opposing racial injustice, the nonviolent resister has the vision to see that the basic tension is not between the races… The tension is, at bottom, between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness…. We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.“

 “Nonviolent resistance [requires] a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back… The nonviolent resister is willing to accept violence if necessary, but never to inflict it. He does not seek to dodge jail. If going to jail is necessary, he enters it “as a bridegroom enters the bride’s chamber.”

“Unearned suffering is redemptive. Suffering, the nonviolent resister realizes, has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities. “

“Nonviolent resistance … avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. The nonviolent resister would contend that in the struggle for human dignity, the oppressed people of the world must not succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter or indulging in hate campaigns. To retaliate in kind would do nothing but intensify the existence of hate in the universe. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives. “

 “Agape means understanding, redeeming good will for all men. It is an overflowing love which is purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative. It is not set in motion by any quality or function of its object… Agape is disinterested love. It is a love in which the individual seeks not his own good, but the good of his neighbor. Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is an entirely “neighbor-regarding concern for others,” which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friends and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.”

“Another basic point about agape is that it springs from the need of the other person — his need for belonging to the best in the human family… Since the white man’s personality is greatly distorted by segregation, and his soul is greatly scarred, he needs the love of the Negro. The Negro must love the white man, because the white man needs his love to remove his tensions, insecurities, and fears. “

 “Agape is not a weak, passive love. It is love in action… Agape is a willingness to go to any length to restore community… It is a willingness to forgive, not seven times, but seventy times seven to restore community…. If I respond to hate with a reciprocal hate I do nothing but intensify the cleavage in broken community. I can only close the gap in broken community by meeting hate with love. “

“Nonviolent resistance … is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. Consequently, the believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future. This faith is another reason why the nonviolent resister can accept suffering without retaliation. For he knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic companionship. It is true that there are devout believers in nonviolence who find it difficult to believe in a personal God. But even these persons believe in the existence of some creative force that works for universal wholeness. Whether we call it an unconscious process, an impersonal Brahman, or a Personal Being of matchless power of infinite love, there is a creative force in this universe that works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole.”

Martin Luther King Jnr

King used the phrase “I have a dream” eight times in his address to about 2,000 people at Booker T Washington High School in Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina, eight months before he electrified the country during the so-called March on Washington, the Associated Press said. He also referred to “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners,” saying he dreamed they would “meet at the table of brotherhood”. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where he spoke in Washington King changed that to “sit down together at the table of brotherhood”. In both speeches, “Let Freedom Ring” served as his rallying cry. Experts have said it may have been fortunate that King practiced the “dream” section of his speech in North Carolina, and later in Detroit, as it was not part of the type-written text prepared for Washington. Indeed, historians say the singer Mahalia Jackson shouted “Tell them about the dream, Martin,” as he reached a slow point in his prepared text. King then improvised, and lit up the audience.

The Independent 12/8/15

 

ACHIEVING SUCCESS IN LIFE

 

We often settle for less, feeling perhaps that we are not good enough for more achievements, more success. This is nonsense of course; it’s just a self-sabotaging device that is allowed to run away with debilitating feelings that prevent us from going further. Never settle for second best, never fall back from going that extra mile and startle yourself in what you can achieve.

 

Never measure your life in years but in the number of lives you touch.

 

Cultivate balance in your life. It’s right to work hard to achieve your goals but it’s also equally right to take time out for relaxing, for renewal.

 

Mindfulness attends to our lives peacefully and contentedly allowing things to get done at their own pace. Its special gift is its ability to connect us to an inner harmony, a natural rhythm which flows unimpeded in relaxing calm.  

 

Don’t beat yourself up over the mistakes you make. Mistakes are an integral part of life, there as our instructors to guide and push us in the right direction.

 

If we look deeply enough into the problems we confront you will see a corresponding solution. Remember the words of Krishnamurti: “ If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem. “

 

Keeping your sense of humour in difficult circumstances is essential if we are to keep our sanity.

 

Be generous in your dealings with people. This will always pay you back in often unexpected ways.

 

Always seek out clarity in your communications with others. Ambiguity and vagueness always impede fuller understanding. Better to articulate in clear, simple, succinct terms to get your message over so as to dismiss any possibility of misunderstanding.

 

Death is already waiting for us so live your life fully, completely as you can, making every moment count before it’s too late.

 

Someone once said: “If you have a vocation you will never work again.’

Let’s all find our vocation as a matter of priority and if you have been fortunate enough already to have found yours then deepen that engagement.  

 

We must endeavour to live a life that feels nourishing, wholesome and good on the inside irrespective of our perception of how we appear to others on the outside. This is called being authentic to the true self.

 

Don’t compromise too much on ‘ false ‘ friendship. Because it wastes time that could be spent in finding the depth of companionship we always wanted.

 

Wisdom can only arise from a still, contemplative mind and for this we need to free ourselves from the busyness of our everyday activities and our inherent habitual thinking.

 

Relaxation is the tool we need to re-engage with balance and perspective, in other words – our sanity.

 

Keep it simple. Life often gets too complicated, too stressful at times to handle. By restricting our work load and relaxing around goals and achievements we can rebalance our composure and settle down to a more manageable, peaceful existence.

 MICHAEL LEWIN

 

 

CULTIVATING PERSONAL GROWTH

CULTIVATING PERSONAL  GROWTH

 

You might think restricting and doubting thoughts about your endeavours such as: “ Who am I to undertake this?! “ “ Who am I to dare?! “

But it’s your duty to enlarge these questions for a deeper, more positive response: “ Who said I can’t?!”

 

Always try and RESPOND to a situation / problem and avoid REACTING, especially over-reacting which is unproductive and time consuming

 

Every step forward we take should be in pursuit of our dreams

 

Be certain you do not leave yourself in pockets of underachievement and worse, become comfortable and accepting of this

 

Your life is your responsibility, no one else so make the right decisions

 

Always move beyond your imagined limitations

 

Where goals are concerned you may not have any real control over final outcomes but you do have control over the commitment you show

in reaching those goals

 

The meaning of your life is in your hands

 

When you have finished your work – RELAX

 

Stay open, avoid judgements that will entrap you in what is

 

Pay attention to your speech. Never try to consciously hurt anyone

 

Try to look deeply and fairly at the intentions and motivations behind your behaviour – be honest

 

Work hard, give of your very best, but always let go of expectations

 

Allow others to be themselves

 

Share your thoughts with those you love

 

We are interdependent people ( us ) not independent people ( me ).

Express and celebrate this

 

Bring your ideas to fruition, let them find creative expression, after all that’s what they’re for

 

Constantly work at your communication skills they are the bedrock of success in life

 

Be inspired and allow this to filter through to your work

 

Live life with integrity and sincerity and never allow others to try and convince you otherwise

 

Respect and honour all forms of life

 

Stay close to nature and enjoy its full richness

 

Graciously accept the limitations imposed on us that are beyond our sphere of influence

 

Try to see the world as it is rather than as you were told

 

Go at your own pace mindful not to over exert yourself remembering that “ The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. “

 

The circumstances ( however difficult ) in which you find yourself are never as important as the attitudes you develop around those circumstances

 

Take risks mindful of Erica Jong’s words: “ ….the trouble is if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

 

To be fully alive, fully connected to life you have to face every experience directly and never try to evade or hide from it

 

When you reflect on the amount of ultimate freedom you have in life

you will astound yourself.

 

Regularly think about how you can simplify everything

 

Regularly ask the question: “ What’s important in my life? “ Then listen…..

 

There’s no real choice – you have an obligation to live well, live fully finding your true potential

 

If you are always arriving elsewhere you have missed the fullness of this moment

 

Look after your body, serve it well with regular exercise because it has to last you a lifetime

 

Try your best and remember Buckminster Fuller’s words: “ There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.”

 

Connect regularly with the feeling of ‘ oneness ’ that comes from a process of letting go

 

The more you look and listen the more you will see and hear. The world, in all its infinite richness, will constantly open up and unfold for you. There are no limits on this process

 

Whenever you see a successful life you will know that person has made a courageous decision

 

In a world of change remaining static is the fastest way of going backwards

 

If you don’t mange change, change will manage you

 

Above all else be creative with your life

 

GOOD LUCK

 

 

 

DAILY REFLECTIONS FOR A MORE FULFILLED LIFE

Everyday try to think up a new idea that could be introduced into your life to enhance it, to push it forward. Even small changes can freshen you up and help you to feel more positive, more alive. Experiment; take a trial run on something new.

 Enjoy the fruits of your work, all the effort you put in to make a better life. But never sacrifice yourself at the work alter. Work must never take us over to define us, narrow us down into some ‘ machine ‘ there solely to ‘ produce,‘ there must be a life outside of work, sufficient quality time to meet friends and family, to pursue hobbies, to relax and rest, etc. Set boundaries in place to regulate this schedule and keep to it.

 Never get too disappointed when individuals let you down or upset you in other ways. People operate from their own base, from their own level of awareness and understanding so we shouldn’t really expect any more than what they can deliver.

 You will never be truly happy if you do not follow your dreams trying to put in into practice what is deep inside you that needs expressing.  

 Regardless of what has happened in the last week, month, year, you are now in a different time zone and a different place so let go of the past and embrace the future for a new beginning, a fresh start.

 The formula for life is quite simple – use all your talents, work hard.

When relationships fall apart, that creates space for new ones to develop. Always remain open for this opportunity.

When we are inspired the thought of a potential project – that contains implicit directional goals – can surface within us. It’s a feeling of a powerful presence that enters our lives and opens us up to think: This could be it! a new route to explore. This is a special opportunity and we must never waste it.

Fear can interrupt the clarity of our perceptions and undermine our self-confidence thus weakening our endeavours. Using caution when making decisions is no mean thing but to allow fear to trap us in procrastination, to hold us back in dread of giving our best efforts, paralyzing our best intentions, is no way to lead our lives.

Never be put off by failures because we can re-work them to achieve eventual breakthrough. Never forget that it’s our trying that builds our character, not our successes.  

Deliberately cultivate social relationships, go out and make an effort to meet new people. Be prepared to cast a wide net and see what happens. People are more than important to our individual lives, they are vital and it’s good to recognize this reality.

Change is constant in our lives so best adapt to it.

 Ask yourself when was the last time I did something for the very first time?

Act on whatever sensibly comes to mind.

 We always have the potential to keep growing, to keep pushing forward into the new. Never forget this.

 Underneath all the distractions, noise, anxiety and confusion is another person. The real you, the real essence that you must always return to when you forget who you are.  

Look after your health – number one priority. Your body needs looking after, it needs nourishing and it needs you to be present in it. We often get too preoccupied with busy activity and forget all about trying to maintain balance then it could be a slippery slope into illness. Be careful, be mindful….    

MICHAEL LEWIN

 

DAILY REFLECTIONS FOR A BETTER LIFE

DAILY REFLECTIONS FOR A BETTER LIFE

It’s now that you must strive to achieve the best that is within you. It’s now that you can begin to excel like never before. It’s now that you must place yourself in a position of trust and take up the reins of a new invigorating life. Your time has arrived and it’s now that you must get inspired, remain committed and reach out to push the boundaries back. Pretending that you’re just not good enough is simply not good enough! Believe in yourself; adopt the belief that you contain hidden potential that must find expression and fulfilment; then move forward leaving your old life behind.

 

Trying to perceive our lives as one long succession of lessons and opportunities to participate in for our growth and development is one of the most impactful ideas I have ever encountered.

 

Remember, how you make people feel says an awful lot about who you are.

We are made stronger through adversity because it forces us to dig deeper within ourselves, to find the inner resolve necessary to overcome what confronts and challenges us.

Be a witness to your life, pay attention to everything that surrounds you in a mindful, engaged way.  

Remaining in the shadow, hiding your light, your innate talents, serves no one.

Life is a challenge, a call to step up to the mark and do your very best so never deny yourself this opportunity to expand as an individual.

 

Unhappiness is often a product of our inflated idea that others are always happy; others are always having a great time. They aren’t although we sometimes may have difficulties in believing this.

 

In any relationship we must ask ourselves, on a regular basis, is this serving my emotional needs? Is it conducive to my wellbeing? Is it meeting my expectations? Is it what I really want? Ultimately, if it’s restricting your growth as an evolving, growing individual then it may be time to reappraise the relationship/s for everyone’s sake. We have to accept the reality of letting people go but the flip side of this is welcoming new people into our lives and this can be an exciting, growth promoting exercise.

 

Anxiety will draw us in the wrong direction, into fear, doubt and confusion. Moving into the shadows serves no one and we do have a choice. Setting up and working towards positive goals, however small initially, will bring the best out of us which can be harnessed for a new, invigorating life.  

 

If we wake up in the morning truly contented about who we are, assured that we will are growing each day, confident that we are on the right path to personal fulfilment, then happiness will automatically follow us – it can’t fail to do anything less.

 

Avoid the trap of seeking out perfection, running after it as if it represented the be all of everything – it isn’t! We live in a world of imperfection and we must acknowledge this but providing we give all our efforts the best that we possibly can then that’s good enough. Remember, at some level imperfection is perfect.

 

 

We often say to ourselves, sometimes used as an excuse, “ I must find time for that ” when in reality we don’t ‘ find time ‘ at all we have to make it, carve it out of our day if we consider it important enough.

 

Good parenting starts with being a good individual, a decent person who feels the need to be present in this world in a positive, caring, compassionate way.

 

You cannot just love your family and friends displaying to them your positive heartfelt emotions then cut off everyone else who is situated in your life. Love knows no boundaries, no restrictions; it is universal, encompassing every human soul. Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbours worthy.” Thomas Merton

Good Luck Michael Lewin

Sara Teasdale

Love in Autumn – Sara Teasdale

I sought among the drifting leaves,

The golden leaves that once were green,

To see if Love were hiding there

And peeping out between.

For thro’ the silver showers of May

And thro’ the summer’s heavy heat,

In vain I sought his golden head

And light, fast-flying feet.

Perhaps when all the world is bare

And cruel winter holds the land,

The Love that finds no place to hide

Will run and catch my hand.

I shall not care to have him then,

I shall be bitter and a cold

It grows too late for frolicking

When all the world is old.

Then little hiding

Love, come forth,

Come forth before the autumn goes,

And let us seek thro’ ruined paths

The garden’s last red rose.

 

Naomi Shihab Nye

 

Naomi Shihab Nye

KINDNESS

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.

Mary Oliver

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?