Wednesday 23 February 2011

Today is Gratitude Day!

Concluding my list of '100 Gratitudes', I am grateful for...

97. travel - I went on my first overseas trip when I was ten. My mum, dad, sister and I went to the U.S.A. I remember being stunned by everything that was different. I'd grown up in a very, very small town so America was definitely an eye-opener! Looking back, I suppose that's when I got bitten by the travel bug. I've been to some amazing places since then; some I dreamt of for a long time. I can't help but pinch myself when I think over all the wonder I've seen with my very own eyes. I am eternally grateful. Nothing can ever take those travelling experiences away from me. They'll live on in my memories for the rest of my life. If I want to return to the safari in Namibia, or Karnak Temple in Egypt, or the crystal clear ocean in Zanzibar, or the snow-covered mountains in France, or the grungy cityscape of Berlin...all I have to do is close my eyes and I'm back there. What joy!

98. Australia - I've actually seen very little of my own country. I've never been to Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. I always imagined I would see Australia when I was old; a grey nomad! So I still have that to look forward to. :-) I know there is some truly magnificent scenery to be seen in Australia. I'm very, very fortunate to be able to call such a beautiful country my home. I'm grateful to my homeland for making me into the person I am today. Travelling the world may have opened my mind and I may currently live overseas, but the Australian in me is always there.

99. love - this is the most significant thing I am grateful for. I live for love. That might sound lame, but it's my truth. People find it hard to explain love, and I'm no different, but it's something we've all felt - whether it be from our families, friends or partners. Even strangers. It's the one thing that brings us all together, a common goal. We're all searching for it, hoping for it, longing for it. I love and I am loved. That's all I could ever wish for.

100. my life - cliché I know, but I had to end this gratitude list with something really important. And what's more important than my own life? I can't think of a thing! I'm so very grateful for not only the life I am living, but my life in general. I'm grateful for having this opportunity to think and breathe and experience. I'm grateful for simply being. My life has its ups and downs just like everyone else, but when I step back and look at everything I'm experiencing and feeling I am reminded that life is pretty fantastic! I only get this one chance to live my life in this particular incarnation, so I want to enjoy it! That's why I started this list; to remind me of what makes me happy in this world. I am absolutely filled with gratitude as a result. Blessings!

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Today is Gratitude Day!

Continuing my list of '100 Gratitudes', I am grateful for...

93. 'The Sky is Everywhere' by Jandy Nelson - this is a Young Adult novel I came across while browsing the Lovereading website. It follows the story of seventeen-year-old Lennie as she deals with the death of her older sister. As the younger, quieter sister Lennie was used to living in her sister's shadow, but now she must learn how to shine. A part of me can relate to the feeling of living in an older sibling's shadow, but what really makes me grateful for this story is the way the author Jandy Nelson inhabits the world of the teenager so convincingly. Reading the novel made me feel like I was in high school again, going through all the rollercoaster emotions, desperate to be an adult but lacking the emotional maturity to really be one. Oh the joys of adolescence! :-) This book reminded me how far I've come since I was a teenager, but that even as adults we're always learning, always growing. I haven't read YA fiction since I myself was a young adult (apart from Harry Potter of course) but this novel has shown me that it's a genre worth exploring.

94. Ancient Egypt - I've mentioned The Pyramids in this list already, but I come back to Ancient Egypt because last week I went to the British Museum to see the Book of the Dead exhibition. It was fascinating! It's hard to believe that the papyrus they have on display is thousands of years old because the colours are still so vibrant. It's wonderful to be able to get so close to ancient cultures, almost as though they still exist to this day. When I look at these ancient hieroglyphic-covered papyrus I always imagine the scribe who wrote them. I picture the person bent over the papyrus, their writing so delicate and precise, and I'm reminded of the art of writing. These ancient scribes were artists as well as storytellers and record keepers. I like to imagine all modern day writers as descendents of ancient Egyptian scribes. Myself included! :-)

95. writing - I don't think I need to explain why I'm grateful for writing; it's obvious isn't it? But let me just say this - having an outlet for creative expression is so important to all of us, even those who say they have no artistic talent. That's the thing - it's not about talent. It's about finding something that allows you to say what is in your heart, a way to bring your truth to the world. Mine is writing. What is yours?

96. 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron - reading this book was the first time I became aware of writing being a spiritual practice. Before then I thought spiritual practices were confined to the church, something I had no interest in pursuing. So it came as a welcome surprise to find that something I enjoyed doing so much could help me connect to the divine and help me live a more spiritual existence. For those who aren't familiar with the book, Julia Cameron asks you to write three pages each morning, ("morning pages") as soon as you wake up, to get all those niggling doubts and thoughts down onto the page and out of your system, which allows the real creative energy to flow. Once you're connected to that energy, you're able to create with much more ease. I'm grateful for anything that helps make the writing process easier! :-) I'm also eternally grateful for anything that helps me live in harmony and balance. That's what writing with spiritual intent does for me.

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Today is Gratitude Day!

Continuing my list of '100 Gratitudes', I am grateful for...

89. 'The Five People You Meet in Heaven' by Mitch Albom - I came across this book when I found it on the bookcase of a houseshare I was living in (it belonged to my flatmate). I had never heard of Mitch Albom nor his famous memoir 'Tuesdays with Morrie' (which I have since read too), but I was drawn to the premise of this book; that when we die our life is explained to us by five people who were in it. I loved the idea that our lives can affect others, without us even realising. It made me think about how connected we all are and that our lives are meaningful even if we consider them the opposite. It is impossible to go through life without influencing or inspiring other people, whether we do it intentionally or not. I like that. It's nice to know that something will always be left behind once we're gone; that in one way or another our lives make a mark on this earth.

90. Eckhart Tolle - both of Eckhart's books, 'The Power of Now' and 'A New Earth' have had a strong effect on me. Before reading them I never thought much about living in the present moment. I was just like everybody else who gets caught up regretting the past or worrying about the future. I still get sucked into that sometimes, but now at least I have the awareness to recognise when I'm getting bogged down in negative patterns and I can consciously bring myself into the now. It works! Eckhart is right - the present moment is all there is; the past is gone and tomorrow is yet to come. Where we can discover our power is in the present moment, in our awareness of what is happening right now. The now can remind us of the joys of life and the happiness we're capable of feeling if we only allow ourselves to let go. We don't need to keep striving for more or trying to prove our worth in this world - we're already worthy just by being alive. That's the wonder of life; each of us is as magnificent as the planet, the moon, the sun, the stars. If only the human race could recognise how amazing we are and respect our magnificence...maybe then love would prevail and suffering would end forever.

91. Elizabeth Gilbert - this is the second time I've written about Elizabeth Gilbert on Healing Scribe. In June last year I wrote a post about creativity after having been inspired by Elizabeth. I continue to be inspired by this wonderful writer, not only because of her writing success but for what she has brought to the world, and to me in particular. I'm grateful for what I feel is an artistic and spiritual affinity; Elizabeth is a writer trying to make sense of her world and using the written word to do so. All writers do this, of course, but for the way her words have changed me and helped me to grow Elizabeth deserves a special mention in my list.
Check out my earlier post -
Musings on Creativity, with a little help from Elizabeth Gilbert

92. Movie Yoga - my wonderful sister bought me the book 'Movie Yoga' by Tav Sparks for Christmas. The minute I started reading the book I thought 'I've found someone else who understands how powerful movies are!' It's not that I don't know other people who enjoy movies. Everybody I know does, actually. I've never met a single person who hates movies. But there is another level to my love of film. I think I've mentioned it here before, but I'll say it again - I've learnt a lot about life and about myself by watching movies. And that's what Movie Yoga is all about. Tav suggests that the way we relate to a particular film, the way it affects us, is a transformational experience that can help us get to know ourselves better. And here's an example from my recent movie watching - I saw The King's Speech and felt my heart pull when King George VI screams "Listen to me. Listen to me!...Because I have a voice!" Now my reaction to this wasn't just down to Colin's magnificent performance, oh no. I had an emotional response to these words because at times I've often felt that I don't allow myself a voice. I sometimes mumble, or I just keep my mouth shut, even if I want to speak up. Watching The King's Speech, with my new Movie Yoga knowledge in mind, I was able to recognise an emotional issue that has stunted me in my life (my fear that my voice isn't worthy of being heard) and I was able to work through it and try to heal it. All because I went to the cinema. Brilliant! Movie therapy - gotta love it!
Of course, writing about my fear here has been hard (years of thinking that whatever I have to say is unimportant), but I don't do it for sympathy. I do it to help me move past the issue, so I can let go. I do it so my voice can be heard.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Today is Gratitude Day!

Continuing my list of '100 Gratitudes', I am grateful for...

85. Reiki - I don't know who I'd be if Reiki hadn't found its way into my life. I've mentioned a lot in this list the things that have helped me to grow and change; Reiki would have to be the most significant of these. One of the first posts I wrote on Healing Scribe was about my journey to Reiki. It sums up just why I'm eternally grateful for this magnificent healing art.
Read it here -
My journey to Reiki and beyond

86. 'Eastern Body. Western Mind' by Anodea Judith - once I learnt Reiki and discovered the world of energy it was inevitable that the chakras (energy centres) would come into my awareness. I began to devour books about the chakra system. The best one, by far, is Eastern Body Western Mind. This book, like its title suggests, weaves together the eastern understandings of our energy body with the western traditions of psychology. Not only did Anodea Judith give me a wonderful knowledge of each of the seven major chakras, but she also passed on her wisdom of how each chakra affects us as we grow from baby to adult (and continuously in a cycle throughout the rest of our lives). For example - the first chakra found at the base of the spine relates to grounding and coincides with our initial stage of development; our new life as a baby as we learn to crawl and then walk. We are finding our footing in this world - literally and energetically. Knowing more about the role of each chakra in my energetic development has helped me to understand my personality better and where my specific issues came from. I've been able to let go and heal myself of past emotional pain. For that I'm very, very grateful.

87. crystals - last year I studied Crystal Healing. Doing my twenty case studies blew everything I thought I knew about the energetic power of crystals out of the water! I've always been attracted to crystals (especially amethyst - purple!!) and I had an abstract understanding of their energy and healing qualities. But when I was able to witness it myself, among my case study clients, I realised that crystals have very, very strong healing energy. Using them in conjunction with the chakras gave the client a powerful healing session that balanced their energy body, aided their wellbeing and helped them to feel relaxed. I'd seen these same responses during Reiki sessions, but during my crystal case studies I did not channel Reiki energy at all. The healing that occurred was a direct result of the power of these little gems of the Earth. How magnificent!

88. affirmations - while I'm talking about energy I can not forget to mention the energy of our thoughts. Yes, thoughts have an energetic vibration as well. They are not just confined to the insides of our brain. They move beyond our heads to the energy soup that is our universe and they attract their physical manifestations into our lives. Feeling sad and being hard on yourself, that's what you'll continue to attract - more painful thoughts and an even more painful reality. On the other hand if you're conscious of your thoughts and try to maintain a positive frame of mind, you will inevitably attract more and more joy and prosperity into your life. It's the law of attraction. Fact. That's why affirmations are so valuable - they can be used to retrain your thought patterns and get rid of those nagging self-doubts that plague you.
Try saying this affirmation daily and see if you start to feel lighter, happier and more content with who you are and the life you're living... (it works for me!)...
'I love and approve of myself.'