Sunday, 23 November 2008

Calming the Soul

I have been amazed recently at how much a grip anxiety and worrying about non-existent or perceived events can have on me. I am not going to go into much detail but one thing has been occupying my thoughts for a month or so and that has been the rather destructive and disrespectful behaviour of some rather young children just up our Close. In the end I had to call the police, but not before I had made a good attempt to communicate with many of our neighbours and share our concerns and intended course of action.

I do not react to conflict well, but when you get it after trying to be kind and friendly then you can be left feeling a bit confused. Perhaps I have led too sheltered a life, but it has thrown open a door to part of my emotions and being that didn't like being awakened. My NLP course is teaching me a few lessons in positive thinking and I think part of the problem is my lack of exercise and the demands of work - I'm just not leading an active, balanced life that deals with all the hormones running around in my blood. I am realising that anxiety can drain a huge amount of energy from the body.

I am looking to answers in dealing with anxiety from my spiritual path. It is easy to read about solutions to problems and ways to outwork a daily practice but, in reality, it can be less than easy. I think it is all about learning. I just have to learn, experience and then outwork things. It's b****y difficult at times and I feel I fail often - perhaps I am being too hard on myself - but I love the challenge, I want to learn more.

I wonder how Nature deals with conflict...?

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Celebrating Samhain

The Celtic New Year tradditionally began at the beginning of November and was a time for feasts and celebrations - to give thanks for the harvest and to prepare for the onset of winter and the year to come. I am drawn to think that, with the loss of a predominantly argrarian based society, the rise of the more scary and ghoulish Halloween celebration has taken over. This is fueled by the media's presentation of horror and more frightening entertainment through the likes of television, film, books and computer games. With the loss of contact with the natural world, do we draw into ourselves a more depressive and self-destructive love of fear and violence that pervades our culture? Supermarkets don't particularly celebrate a farmer having grown successful crops whereas Halloween paraphenalia is far more commercially viable. A week ago I joined with a few friends to celebrate this traditional Celtic festival in a positive and meaningful way.

A Pilgrimage

It felt like I was going on a pilgrimage
this dark, windy and very rainy evening.
Along the lonely country lanes
with windswept leaves everywhere,
A journey to the unknown
welcoming anticipation and hope.

The tipi asked us in
to sit upon the golden bales
and touch the warmth of the fire,
to join with a sharing of our souls.

We respected each other
awaiting our turn to talk with antler
to express our thanks
for the year that has passed
and look to the future
with our visons and dreams.

The rain beats on the canvas
the fire gently crackles:
natural music to fill our thoughts;
and after we have gently warmed
the deerskin drums over the flames
our music, too, joins with nature.

I am there, welcomed and warm
giving where I am able
taking what I am able to receive,
and my apprehension turns to peace.
It feels like this just continues
all my previous experiences
in many churches and conference halls
but yet this feels closer to me
something I have been longing for.