HOLIDAY TIPS Day3

FAITH VS HOPE

“Faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen” … “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death .. By Faith Noah .. prepared and ark to the saving of this house … By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac .. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents .. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down …” “The idea that faith is something that has to do only with one’s religious experience is incorrect. ”

extracts from Christian Healing by Charles Fillmore

Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid, is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept.

You may wonder what has God/Divine/Spirit have to do with Creativity Education and Therapeutic Art. Well, quite a lot, actually.

You are the Creator of your own Life and as that you are fully responsible for your Creation. Spirit/Divine within is the Loving guide helping you make your Creation a healthy and happy one. (As long as you are touch with him/her!)

I find that creating Art comes from the same place where I find myself when I meditate. It is hard to explain it because it is rather a feeling state than a mental concept. In some ways creating Art helps me connect with that part of me who shows up when I meditate. I hope it makes sense.

For me, walking a Spiritual Journey is like walking a journey of Creating.

This is what Julia Cameron has to say about creativity&spirituality HERE

So, today, I feel like creating something as part of my spiritual devotional practice of this Holy Season. Some say that the first week of the Advent is about Faith. So, my artistic endeavour will be about meeting Faith in the face! 🙂

HERE IT IS!

My dancing Spirit in the Candle reaching up into the Light. On the side of the page you can read my Fait Haiku

HOLIDAY TIPS Day2

Hanukkah – The Festival of Lights or The Feast of Dedication

Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, is often called the Festival of Lights. The holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

Hanukkah overlaps with the first Advent Week of Hope this year. Both Hanukkah and Advent are about inviting Light into the Darkness. Hanukkah’s special message for me is about re-dedication and spreading the message of Hope. The story of the Second Temple – pls find story below – talks to me about cleansing and reaffirming one’s commitment to spiritual life.

The first week of Advent brings the message of HOPE.

The word advent itself comes from the Latin word “adventus” meaning “arrival.” We prepare for the arrival of Christ. The wreath itself represents eternity and everlasting life, a circle that never ends. During the Week of Hope, we anticipate the arrival of our Saviour.

The Saviour in my interpretation is my own Soul or Spirit. During the Advent Season, I am invited to strengthen the Light of my Spirit by rededicating myself to a spiritual life of prayer and meditation.

Darkness is none other than Fear. During the Dark months of the year we tend to slide deeper and deeper into our fear-habits. (pls check this video out for more info on fear-habits HERE) As a result of that our Spirit sinks into the background. We run our whole life as a respond to our ‘main’ source of fear, whatever it maybe.

This is why it is so important to re-dedicate ourselves to the Saviour who lifts us out of our own darkness, from our fears. The saviour is you. It is you who when devoted to Spirit can hope to expect the arrival of the Saviour. It is you who makes the effort and elevates yourself out of the Darkness into the Light.

Regardless of one’s faith or religious affiliation, it is obvious that the messages are the same: Guard and build the light within so the Darkness can be cast out. The more we pray, meditate, or spend time with Spirit, the stronger the Light within us will grow. The stronger the Light within, the more it shines and inspires other Lights to shine, too.

The Light of Loving within by Kelsie Mc Sherry

GENERAL INFORMATION ON HANUKKAH

Hanukkah 2021 began in the evening of
Sunday, November 28
and ends in the evening of
Monday, December 6

The story: The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Judah called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah—the gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night.

 The Miracle: Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply.

The Hanukkah celebration revolves around the kindling of a nine-branched menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday.

Source

HOLIDAY TIPS Day1

40 days Nativity Fast, Advent, Hanukkah

What do they have in common?

Opportunities! 🙂

This time of year is full of opportunities to de-garbage and re-focus on Spirit, the Essence within. I am aware that when I make an effort to slow down and centre myself in the Silence, my life blossoms in many unexpected ways.

HOWEVER, it is soooo easy to slip into busy-mode and make ‘life’ and my to-do-list more important than my spiritual being. So …

Today on the 28th November 2021, we started the 40 days until Orthodox Christmas Day on the 6th January.

We celebrate Christmas on the 25th December which is about half way to the Orthodox Christmas Day in January. Also, form today we are observing Hannuka for a week.

I like the idea of Nativity Fast. There are many ways to understated ‘fasting’. I look at it thorough the lens of cleansing. I think , I will use the next 40 days to cleanse my consciousness from ‘garbage’.

Interestingly, this time of year, I am also crazy busy. It seems that I am somehow wishing to be more Spirit-centered but I am also afraid of it. Sowing down and sitting in the silence also means that I need to face what’s bothering me or I am afraid of. Though it is uncomfortable it is also a great opportunity to release all that and re-centre myself in the peace and calm of the world of Spirit.

So, I decided to do a 40-day spiritual cleansing. I have also promised myself to make it manageable so I will actually do it.

Starting today, I will spend at least half an hour every day with nourishing myself Spiritually. I will experiment with different creative and artistic ways and will report on them.

Today I meditated for an hour so to start the process off. 🙂 TICK. Honestly, it was hard. I spent most of it either doozing or swimming in endless thoughts.

Listen to this meditation. Lovely!

It will get better! <3

The Love Chapter

– The significance of the famous ‘love chapter’, ICorinthians 13-

ICorinthians 13 beautifully talks about the human journey into Love or Oneness; starting from the beginnings when one is lost in the world, through learning and practice, arriving to enlightenment where one sees ‘in parts’ no more but sees eternity.

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

This passage talks about the very beginning of the journey when we only know the world. Our words and actions are empty because it has no aware consciousness just yet. It describes how our efforts are in vain until our thoughts and actions come from a place of Oneness.

The second passage gives meaning to LOVE and explains what it and how it is different from the ‘empty’ words and actions described in the previous passage. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”. Therefore, LOVE is Oneness with all and embracing it all without fail. To be in LOVE means to be centred in Divine Presence and following Divine Guidance in all matters. It is being a living example of the Truth.

In the third passage he talks about the final step, the arrival of our evolutionary journey in Spirit. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
As we grow in Spirit we leave behind the limitations of our childhood, the way we were brought up, the conditioning. It also means that when we start on our inner journey our understanding of Spirit is limited.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. As we walk the inner journey, we let go of our misconceptions, partial knowledge and beliefs that do not serve the Truth. At the end, all that “is in part disappears” and we are centered in LOVE.

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
In Divine Presence, in Truth I am faced with my own eternity, and I can see myself and know myself fully in God as God.

“Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord”

True self-knowledge is essential for one to establish a relationship with the Creator. The human soul contains mysteries that, when discovered, reveal the nature of the Divine to us and allow us to grow closer to It and to ourselves at the same time.

God is revealed through Me. When I know myself, I know God.

A classic Arabic proverb states:

مَنْ عَرَفَ نَفْسَهُ فَقَدْ عَرَفَ رَبَّهُ

Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord.
Source: Ḥilyat al-Awliyā’ 10/208 SOURCE LINK

As we draw our Mandalas, our Soul’s magnificent uniqueness takes shape. Every Mandala is an opportunity to discover our deep seated mysteries.

Since that time I have taught the process of mandala making in workshops to hundreds of people, all of whom have created mandalas to facilitate their own physical or psychological healing and spiritual transformation

Dr. Judith Cornell Mandala Luminous Symbols for healing

On compassion

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes on that what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Compassion is the knowing that we are (all) doing our best regardless of the appearance of things.

It is easy to judge. We do it automatically really. We do not even notice that we make a mental note of basically everything that enters our mind. We either ‘like’ it or we ‘don’t’. Positive judgment is a judgement based on a positive preference whereas negative judgment is the opposite. We constantly judge our experiences either way.

Compassion is a place in between the two. It is a neutral way of being where I embrace my experiences regardless of my positive or negative judgement. The judgement is in the mind. The mind lives in separation that is unavoidable. However, we can chose not to engage in the mind’s judging process and move straight into compassion.

Compassion allow us to embrace each experience we have as it is. Compassion says it is OK, we are all doing our best here! Relax! It is fine! Breathe!

Compassion is having faith in the unknown. It allows us to trust that what is happening is OK regardless of our preferences. It affirms that “we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” , that our life is constantly unfolding.

By faith we stand firm. … Examine ourselves to see whether you are in faith: test yourselves. I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

2 Corinthians 13:2-8

… research has shown that when we feel compassion, our heart rate slows down, we secrete the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, and regions of the brain linked to empathy, caregiving, and feelings of pleasure light up, which often results in our wanting to approach and care for other people.

Source

Positive attitude vs positive thinking

AKA DEALING WITH TRAUMA

Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you, as a result of what happens to you.” “Every human being has a true genuine authentic self and the trauma is that disconnection from it and the healing is the reconnection with it.”

By thinking positive thoughts you will not become happy and contented. Thinking positive thoughts usually only covers up areas of self where there is a disturbance, only keeping it hidden from us. The disturbance must surface. It is like an aching foot, if you do not address it you may lose your ability to walk. Many of us suffered events that left us traumatized. The residue of the event still lingers in our psyche even in our body in some cases. Wrapping these in positive thoughts will not release us from the grip of the trauma. We just stay ignorant of it.

Disturbances are the results of self-judgments, unmet expectations, unacceptance of what is, shunning and such. Looking at a disturbance with loving compassion for ourselves is not dwelling in the past, neither it is recycling the painful event. It is embracing ourselves with what happened, how we felt, with the judgements and pains. We must allow the disturbance, the thoughts and the feelings, to surface so we can embrace them and let them go.

The past can heal and the disturbance can dissolve in our acceptance of it and loving ourselves with it. With positive attitude to self and life, now we can affirm that this disturbance added to the person I am today and will use it to my upliftment and growth. I love myself no matter what. Positive attitude entails awareness of self, willingness to investigate disturbances, loving and embracing oneself as is, and the knowing that regardless of appearances all is well.

One is happy and contented who has embraced oneself in one’s totality: with the good, the bad and the ugly!

The Wisdom of Trauma by Gabor Maté – upcoming film – MORE INFO (CLICK)

Openness to Learning

The Openness – to – Discovery Scale

Created by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D. & Gay Hendricks, Ph.D.

Willingness to learn from each moment — as opposed to defending ourselves by stonewalling, explaining, justifying, withdrawing, blaming — is much more important than factors like IQ, family background, race or degrees. The great advantage of openness-to-learning is that you’re in charge of it at all times: it’s always within your control to shift out of defensiveness into genuine curiosity. Another great advantage: it can’t be faked. You can feel instantly whether you’re genuinely wondering — or clinging to a defence. This scale was designed to help you make more graceful shifts out of defensiveness.

High Openness-to-Discovery
+10 Implementing (planning actions, requesting support for follow-up).
+9 Feeling and showing genuine enthusiasm about the possibilities.
+8 Taking full responsibility for the issue and the results that were created.
+7 Thinking out loud, making new associations about an issue.
+6 Requesting information and examples about an issue.
+5 Listening generously (able to paraphrase other person’s statements without interjecting your point of view)
+4 Expressing appreciation for the messenger and the message, regardless of delivery
+3 Openly wondering about the issue.
+2 Expressing genuine curiosity about the issue.
+1 Demonstrating open posture and body language.
…………………………………………………………….
Key transition moves:
Choosing WONDERING over DEFENDING & Committing to LEARN
…………………………………………………………….
Low Openness-to-Discovery
– 1 Showing polite interest outwardly while inwardly clinging to your
point of view or rehearsing your rebuttal
– 2 Explaining how the person has misperceived the situation.
– 3 Interpreting what the person is saying as an attack.
– 4 Justifying why you’re the way you are, or why you acted the way you did.
– 5 Going silent, getting edgy or snappy.
– 6 Finding fault with the way the message is delivered.
– 7 Righteous indignation: demanding evidence in a hostile manner.
– 8 Blaming something or someone else.
– 9 Attacking or threatening the messenger, verbally or otherwise.
– 10 Creating an uproar or leaving abruptly.

©2013 The Hendricks Institute 800.688.0772 www.hendricks.com

At this link, a lovely person summarised the great learnings from Dr Gay Hendricks Conscious Living book. Highly recommended!

AMAZON LINK

Positivity vs. Awareness

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of self-awareness and what it means to me lately.

Positivity experts claim that happiness is a state of mind where one focuses on the nice things in life and hold only uplifting and positive thoughts in one’s mind.

I agree. It is so important to see the beautify in our lives and to strive to generate positive and uplifting experiences. It is also true that where we focus is where we are going. Keeping a positive attitude when faced with life’s challenges is a blessing.

However, life’s challenges and learnings are always at hand.

I believe that our karmic patterns show up as childhood experiences in order for us to learn those lessons and let them go later in life. Every ‘learnt’ lesson brings us closer to the Core of who we are, the Divine within.

Ignoring our lessons, mostly because of lack of self-awareness, means that we keep on recreating painful/uncomfortable situations and emotions in our lives. As soon as we start being more present we become more aware of what is going on in our lives. As a result, we start to have choices.

Becoming aware does not mean analysing. It means embracing.

When I trace my ‘uncomfortable’ feelings and thoughts back to their origin, I start seeing what I am dealing with. Most of my post in this category discusses different ‘issues’ that I have become aware of.

When I become aware of what’s bothering me or in my case why I am angry, I suddenly have a choice. I stop being reactive and start being proactive. First, I sit down with myself and assure myself that it is all OK and that I love myself no matter what. My own loving to myself opens doors to places inside of me that hurt. I am allowed to now see what happened that as I child or a young adult I could not face. And now, it is time to let go. When Light shines on my darkest parts, they dissipate automatically. It usually takes some time but there is not much else I need to do, apart from loving myself through it.

Positive and uplifting thoughts and ideas are great and very helpful. But the Mind cannot love, only the Soul can.

The art-filled programs I run support participants to become more aware of their lessons to learn in life and become more align with the Loving that inherently resides inside of us all.

Where is your focus?

I am sorry that this post got little longer than I had intended but I hope it is worth you time! 🙂

Well, my focus is on overcoming and releasing what blocks my inner flow of the Divine.

The Divine, Its Love, becomes available to us when we become available to IT. Until parts of ourselves is engaged in reactions that originate in painful memories of the past, we are not available to the Divine flow. The painful (stressful) memories and attached emotions stand as blockages in our energy system. Our focus is being pulled off from our centre and off from the Divine as it is automatically – unconsciously – pulled into these blockages.

It is easy to focus on Loving when we are sitting in meditation. It is more challenging to experience God’s (use your own word) ever present Loving energy when someone is being nasty to us or we are being told off or being cut off on the motorway. Such events trigger old memories and related emotions. As we revisit them again and again, unfortunately, we recreate them by investing energy into them. We are not meant to indulge in these but become aware of them.

Life throws experiences at us so we can notice where out trapped memories and energies are.

Please see my previous post HERE on my awareness where my trapped energies are.

I am aware that part of me is still trapped in emotions that were the results of responses to painful or stressful experiences in the past. In order to be free, I embrace these experiences and release the emotions trapped in the memory.

Dr Hendricks – in Conscious Living: Finding joy in the real world, in Part I, Chapter 2. – explains how an emotion that is allowed to be present and accepted – not acted upon – eventually loses its power and eventually disappears.

I cannot change the past but I can come to terms with it and let go of the emotions trapped in the memory. In order to become neutral and free I need to release these otherwise I will forever react and relive the emotions when I am reminded of that past event. On top of it all, because the energy is strapped in the memory of the event – trauma – and in the emotion related to this event, I automatically recreate similar events.

I believe in ‘reconciliation’ and ‘healing’; my preferred word is LETTING GO.

When I notice a reoccurring reaction and emotion, I trace it back to its origin which is always in the past. I look at what happened (probably) and what choices I made mentally and emotionally at the time.

I do my best to embrace that moment: whatever happened, how I reacted, how I felt, the choices I made; I also accept the other parties’ choices in the event. I look at that part of me whom I started to judge or shun in response to the event: the source of my negative emotions.

By doing that I start a healing process in me that lasts as long as it does. I do not keep on revising what happened after I got clear on where the thorn is.

This is my process of releasing the charge of an emotion that kept on surfacing each time something happened that reminds me of that initial event and triggers those old emotions.

With all this, I embrace myself as I am in the present moment: with my past, my emotions, my reactions; the whole lot.

The artwork I create supports me to embrace all that is present in me at any given moment in time. It helps me let go so I can be free of it. As the charge goes, the triggers disappear.

In response to ‘where we place our attention is where we place our energy’, I can say that, one does not need to focus into the past to find oneself in the same emotions all the time. Emotions are habitual. That ‘habituality’ originates in the past. One can ignore the source and try and override the emotional triggers by focusing on ‘positive’ things or in the present moment which I think is rather challenging. In my observation, the mind is a wanderer! 🙂 I don’t think anyone can stay in the present all the time constantly focusing and generating positive and loving thoughts.

Instead, I believe that, one can ‘heal’ oneself from the triggers and the sources of negative emotions that is in the past by embracing it all. As a result, I find, that one eventually stops creating reactions and negative emotion all together.

There can be many different approaches to healing and changing. This is mine.