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#PuppyRules

“In our heart love comes unexpectedly without any doubt or hesitation; it comes in times of frustration or desperation. So when you feel it and have it, don’t let it go because it’s hard to find love.”   Author unknown

 

#PuppyRules

“Can I sleep here Mum?”

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.”   Dean Koontz, False Memory

Some seven weeks ago I was thrilled to finally receive my beautiful, bouncing, bundle of joy! Now before anyone who knows me becomes convinced I am finally ready for a place on the funny farm, let me explain. My bundle of joy is a beautiful Mini Fox Terrier called Bella. She is a bouncing bundle of joy in every sense of every word. I am convinced that at times she truly has springs in her legs as she bounces beside me filled with mischief or glee.

My long wait for her has taken me through many a strange journey. I was determined after I lost my last dog, another Mini Foxie, Rusty, almost seven years ago, that I would never have another dog. He had been my constant and faithful companion for over eighteen years. He had been my confidant and protector for all that time and when he passed, peacefully, the heartbreak was more than I could handle. He was a part of my family and had seen me through some of the worst times in my life, thus far.

 

#PuppyRules

Looking for trouble – “Mum, Are you sure I can’t pull something out?”

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings

Yet there was always that feeling of emptiness. The odd feeling that something was missing and more and more often, I found myself detouring into pet shops and gazing wistfully at the puppies. Finally I couldn’t fail to understand the message, Rusty was telling me it was time to find another friend. So the search began.

I scoured the rescue refuges and came away more disheartened by the week. It seems that in Queensland the only dogs not centenarians, by dog standards at least, were the size of horses. Really! Wolfhound x Staghound cross, Staghound x Rhodesian Ridgeback cross, Wolfhound x Ridgeback cross and on and on. They would be gigantic and in the city was no place for a huge dog. Not only that but I knew they would break my back (slight exaggeration only) as soon as they pulled on the leash.

I began to wonder if I was meant to have a dog at all as I began searching for breeders and could find none. When I did, no puppies for the foreseeable future. It appeared all the females were being given a break from breeding at the same time. Was this a message to wait longer?

Now, whilst this may sound out-of-place, I realised that this delay was simply another example of “Divine Timing”. When the right puppy was there for me I would find him or her. Conversely, as it occurs to me now, when I was absolutely ready then the right dog would be there for me.

Bella was born on November 5 last year, an odd date for me since it always brings back memories of Bonfire night and the Gunpowder Plot in England.

 

#PuppyRules

“I love you, Mum”

 “Not a single creature on Earth has more or less right to be here.”   —  Anthony Douglas Williams

At nine weeks of age she barely covered my two palms, a truly small bundle of joy. Yet she filled my heart with a deep protective love and when she curled up on my lap, trusting and filled with love, I could deny my ‘baby’ nothing. Well within reason. I could almost hear Rusty telling her of the mischievous things he did and which she copied so faithfully. Running off with my slipper and hiding it where I would find her curled up asleep! The beautiful peep show as she pretended to be asleep and not hear me. It felt as though a part of my heart was suddenly swelling with this amazing joy and happiness. I was so grateful I had waited as long as I had.

 

#PuppyRules

Bella, the gardening Guru!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”    ― Lao Tzu

Little Bella, who at 16 weeks weighs just 1.6kg with harness and lead dangling, had her final vaccination two days ago. St the vet’s insistence she was also given the 12 month heartworm vaccine. Having seen what heartworm can do to a dog I am in favour of the vaccination, previously done by monthly tablet. But she is still very small and was due one vaccination already. My concerns were overridden with a peremptory “Yes, she could have had this at 12 weeks!”

Since she had my precious cargo already clutched in her hands, it felt as though I was a hysterical “mother”. Bella had her two vaccinations and nails clipped before being returned to us looking very agitated. When we reached the car and I settled her on my lap her tiny eyes drooped shut immediately. Her head was like a ball of molten lava and the red hue of her temperature was livid through her short fur.

Bella has been almost “out of it” for two days, barely drinking and vomiting anything we attempted to feed her. This of course was after the three, almost projectile vomits after the vaccination.

I realise I sound melodramatic but thus tiny bundle has tied her chains around my heart as surely as Rusty had. If anything should happen to her… it would feel like losing a member of my family. She is a member of my family. So whilst I have done little bits here and there to this I’ve been preoccupied with her.

“Love lets no connection between you become stronger than you allow it.” -Susan Jamieson
#PuppyRules

“Can I sleep here Mum?”

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
Milan Kundera

I am a dog lover and I love my dog. In that I am unashamed. I hope you understand my story and my quick disappearance again.

 

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2015

 

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I

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I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasures. It’s all a question of how I view my life. – Paul Coelho.

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There have been times aplenty when I’ve wondered where time flies but I never thought I’d find out first hand.
Being a Science Fiction fan I’d always quite fancied the idea of “The Langoliers” by Stephen King – furry balls of steel teeth gobbling time as it passed away. Definitely worth watching, if you can find it. Not however what happened.

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Alas, I cannot say that I have such an imaginative reason for not writing. In fact, even this short effort is telling me my time is running out.I am working on something, it simply isnt finished.  Soon but not soon enough!
From a flare up of an old  complaint I languished in a state akin to despair…until I decided to take a photo of a newly flowering plant.  It’s hard to pass up on those photos. I couldn’t  stand, or rather squish down for the shot, so I sat in the old reliable plastic chair. Mistake! Oh what a mistake!
One moment seated on the chair, the next flying through the air with the greatest of ease. No mean feat, I assure you.

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Alas and alack I’m aching like a forlorn pretzel. Better yet, a crumbled pretzel. Even sitting is no fun – and neither us lying down by the way. All typos due to the phone and screwy eyesight from meds!
I’ll be back shortly, more or less in one piece. (One piece just many bruises). Believe me, there are times I wish for …..a fairy or three to help me. Although they have nade my flowers grow beautifully.
Til later mes amis. No more flying for me!

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Love me, love my fairies helping in my garden.

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Blessings,  Susan 💖
(C) Susan Jamieson,  2014

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#MagicalPower

Sorceress of Golden Dragon

 

It was that magical hour

The powerful most time

Man called the ‘witching hour’

If they only knew

The power to be found

Opening their senses to this

The most incredible of times

Sweet eldritch chimes

With unhurried step she glided forth

Her back to the house

As she moved to the north

Towards the grove

Deep in the woods

The Sacred grove

The magical circle

Where time could be suspended

As well as all man’s rules of should

Replaced instead by power filled could

Within the circle

Ground laid bare

Sisters one and all

Gathered there once more

To join in joyous splendour

No man could perforce engender

To create a celebration new

Which called for self-surrender

Opening all to wider mysteries

Of power most sublime

Believed lost for all time

Yet living still in hearts and minds

Of every member of her kind

#MagicalPower

colourful bejewelled dragons

A grove surrounded

By Birch and Elder

Hawthorn and Rowan

Magical all

Whose power had shown true

To those who had known

The power available to the few

Remaining of the dragon kind

Of such a one was she

Who knew the magic of the tree

To be called upon in knowledge

Power unforgotten by the few

Once more to be set free

As the moment of high power drew near

No potions or spells

Neither a descent into hell

Just power gathering within herself

Of knowledge long learned

By those who yet yearned

To recapture the ways of old

No longer freely told

Into herself she turned her bright gaze

Her mind’s eye once more fiercely ablaze

With the glow of potent magic

Of power most true

Building a great vortex anew

Preparing herself to step through

 ∼

The corner once called

The elements true

Spirits and elementals they knew

The fierce glow from her grew

Her favourite hue

Enveloped them all in the circle she drew

Til it appeared to all

She was all but consumed

By the fires she wielded inside

For her essence distilled

By the power she willed

He form to transform once more

 ∼

Sharpening her focus

With each beat of her heart

Joy held inside but a part

The power of her mind

She bent to her will

Til in her place stood a glorious beast

A dragon of old

Sparkling once more like beaten gold

Larger than all life

A picture of might and awe

With a primal cry of command

Beat her wings on demand

Followed by her brethren below

Dragons of colour profound

Metallic hues did abound

As they launched away from the land

Some to return with the dawn

Return to the land

To the call of the Sacred Grove

To gather yet more of this new treasure trove

Of priceless magical beats

Of every metallic hue imagined

From times long ago

To fly in the night once more

Releasing their magic on this new shore.

#MagicalPower

Golden Sorceress, Golden Dragon

 Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

Top image from: cedar-and-willow.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#WhatPriceTrust

From the beginning and innocence and trust

Image from: Wings-of-Love-by-Stephen–006.jpg

“Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don’t know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.”
C. JoyBell C.
“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.”
Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

I was asked a strange question over the weekend and to be honest, I found it difficult to put the answer into words at first. The question, put simply was, “What price would you put on trust?”

Think about it a little. TRUST, what does it mean to you? Is your answer the same as someone else would think, or say, or even believe? If there are different answers to the question, and they are all valid answers in themselves, does that mean that TRUST is something arbitrary? Or, is there only one answer to what TRUST is?

The Oxford Dictionary explains it thus:

Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something: relations have to be built on trust

Acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation:

 And synonyms for TRUST: confidence, belief, faith, freedom from suspicion/doubt, sureness, certainty, certitude, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance

#WhatPriceTrust

Trust, the first step is the hardest

I find it difficult to accept that something as important in life as Trust, can be split so that it has different meanings in differing situations. Am I wrong? I don’t believe so. It is that which brings me to another question.

If trust can mean different things to different people, then how many other truths by which we live can mean different things to different people, depending on the situation?

For that conundrum to be even partially acceptable, it means that my world view has been knocked on its head. It also means that my old English teacher would be turning in her grave right now. Each word has a definition, a meaning which is written down for reference. TRUST would have been a big one. I wish I could ask her right now.

I know that the strict definitions and usage of words has become a thing of the past, especially for the younger generation. Yet some words, I believe have a meaning, and only one meaning and it cannot be twisted to gain an advantage.

#WhatPriceTrust

Trust, once gained is irreplaceable

So, my answer was this:

TRUST is something which is earned, not expected. If you fail to live up to your word, you cannot expect someone to TRUST you, and it must be reflected in the way you live and speak. You must show, by your very actions that you are able to be believed so that another may have confidence, a certainty, that what you say is the absolute truth. They can TRUST what you say, irrespective of the circumstances. You can be TRUSTED.

Trust is something I don’t often think about, in and of itself. Trust is a part of my life. It is a part of the way I live my life, without which everything becomes unravelled. Without Trust, life becomes unmanageable.

#WhatPriceTrust

Trust, that’s all you have sometimes.

As a child you trust your parents to do their best for you, and you act in accordance with what they say, because you trust they know what they are doing and therefore, ask you to do what is right. You can trust them.

As a parent, I earned the trust and respect of my children by how I acted and what I said. It is not unusual to find trust and respect go hand in hand. My children are now passing on those same values of Trust and Respect.

When two people marry TRUST is a vital in each other….. Any couple who decides to speak vows to live together, does so because they trust each other. Day by day Respect for each other has their Trustworthiness has grown.

A soldier TRUSTS his comrades or he cannot do his job.

#WhatPriceTrust

The first time we learn real trust, we don’t know it.

Trust is invaluable to the world although it is often ignored or misused.

I was asked this question by a battered wife. She was hurting and afraid and more than a little ashamed of her situation. “What price would you put on TRUST?” she asked, as I sat beside her for many hours.

#WhatPriceTrust

Is Trust a Must?

It was a mistake,” you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.”
David Levithan, The Lover’s Dictionary

 

It is the coin by which we pay for our lives. It is as difficult and as simple as that, and once lost or broken can almost be unable to be recovered.

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

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“Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you should have acted and what you wish you would have said differently. You have to accept that you can’t change the past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time or outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognize that truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

It shouldn’t surprise me any longer, yet it still can. We live in a society where, by and large, everyone is slotted into a stereotype. If we don’t fit into a recognized stereotype, or worse still, refuse to fit into these groups, then we find ourselves outside society.

Once upon a time, in the dim and distant past, and now found only in books, the term used to be called, “Being sent to Coventry”. It was horrendous. Not being accepted by your fellow peers, being non-conformist, can be a lonely existence.

Until, that is, you realise that it isn’t a detrimental thing not belonging to the mass of “sheeple” as someone I know once referred to the mass of followers of the accepted trends. (Following along like sheep).

It seems that being different, an individual, even if you yourself are unaware that you are an individual, can be confronting to others. It can make you feel that there is something not right with who you are, even if you are not seeking to ask anyone to walk your truth. They can be confronted by what they see in you.

They can also be more than a little uncomfortable at seeing you as a mirror, shining back to them the insecurities they are hiding from, and unable to accept. If this happens they are more than likely to ‘attack’ you, indirectly of course. Direct confrontation, even to discuss, in an adult fashion, the differences they see between you and them, is foreign. In order to make themselves feel “righteous” they must try to convince others that you are the one at fault, doing something wrong.

Yes, you are simply being you, but that is enough. They will seek to undermine you and cut you down, and you will not even know why.

So, like the ladies of the First Wives Club, a great movie about loss, despair, growth and claiming your own power, you have to rise up, like the Phoenix and be all that you are.  It is a powerful feeling to recognise, even if you need a little help to get you over that line, that you are more than simply okay as you are. You are YOU.

You are a Spirit in a human body and learning all you can. You are learning to be all that you can be, and as long as your motivation is for the Highest Good of all and with the Best Intentions for everyone, including yourself, then it is a wonderful thing to be your unique self. This is living a Spiritual Life. Live your life and love it, all of it.

#YouDon'tOwnMe

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
Robert T. Kiosaki

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

 

 

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@TheTruthInside

soulevolutioncenter.com.

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
― Dalai Lama

There is never a time when we are not challenged to be true, to be authentic when we are interacting with other people. As Spiritual people, that is acknowledging that we are spirits in a human body, here to learn all we can before evolving into a new and greater beings and travelling to new and greater places, we have to learn to live our truth.

It sounds challenging. It sounds frightening. It may sound as though it is too much to ask of you. Yet it is not. All it is asking of you is that the true essence of your being is allowed to shine. If your inner essence, that Spiritual glow that exists inside each and every one of us, is allowed to shine its light into the world, both you and the world around you become a magical place to be.

Never forget, that when you enter this life, you are a powerful Spiritual being. We have chosen to come here and learn in this environment because it allows us so many lessons in life. Some we may wish we had avoided. Yet strange as it may seem we have chosen these lessons to learn. Learning these lessons, those hard and emotional lessons, teaches us one of the most important things we can learn here, compassion.

#TheTruthInside

Source unknown

We learn compassion and forgiveness for our humanness. There is no one among us who is perfect. It may be something some of us strive for, yet is it the most difficult thing to achieve because we are human. We make mistakes. We may make the same mistake over and over again. The best we can ask of ourselves and others is that they have the compassion to see, we are trying to strive for the best we can be, our highest good and for the good of all. In the end we can only ask of ourselves that we too strive to be the best we can be, that all we do is for the highest good, both for ourselves and for others.

If we can learn this that compassion comes from a heart filled with love, understanding and acceptance, then it is an easy step to find forgiveness for the apparent failings of others. It is so easy to place our expectations on others. When we do this we forget that this is our journey and not theirs, and we must show true forgiveness to ourselves and others.

#TheTruthInside

Why forgive ourselves? If we cannot find it in our heart to forgive ourselves for what we do, for what we expect of others, how can we ever expect forgiveness from them? More importantly, how can we expect to be able to forgive ourselves? We are human also. A spirit in a human body, learning the same as everyone else, just at different stages and places in the arena of life.

For, truthfully, if we cannot forgive ourselves for our failing we harbour a judgement that is impossible to meet. We make ourselves feel unworthy because we cannot extend the forgiveness we show others, to ourselves. When we learn to show the compassion and forgiveness to ourselves that we readily show to others, than we can grow far beyond that which we at first expected. We can make this life in a human form, a magical experience indeed.

#TheTruthInside

Image courtesy of http://www.yummy-wakame.com

This is the truth inside you which is often carefully hidden. Why – because once we have mastered this apparently simply understanding, we can show the love which is inherently within us. We can accept the differences between people and love their uniqueness. We are able to forgive their human failings because we know there are pure Spirit. A glorious energy form that has to conform to a rigid human body. It has to learn new ways of being and doing and in learning to show compassion and forgiveness towards them, we can recognise the same beauty within ourselves.

We are a beautiful Spirit. Energy is what we are and it is beautiful and pure. Forgiveness and compassion, love for all that is, is a part of what we are.

#TheTruthInside

Image from
what-we-are-today. source unknown

We are part of the greater beauty of the world around us. The energy of the majestic trees, the beautiful birds who choose to live there, all the creatures of the sky and land. Their energy shines brightly into the world making a rainbow colour of beautiful life. Compassion and forgiveness for our human frailties beings a glitter and shine to the beauty which surrounds us. Let the truth that lies within see the beauty which surrounds us. Let us see each day, the glory we are a part of, and release the burden of achieving, for being a beautiful Spirit shining our light into the world, making the world a more beautiful place in which to live.

Let the Truth inside you, be the Truth that we can all share. Let the world glow with the beauty of our spiritual energy. We are all energetic beings and the brightly glowing existence we share can make the world a wondrous place. Shine your own light into the world and make the rainbow a glorious reality.

 

 Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

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#Shareyourworld

image from artelartlivejournal.com

Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

Only One? Heavens that’s virtually impossible. So I bow to my hubby who said “Serendipitous Sorceress”, which is two so we both cheated a little.

Serendipitous – occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way

Sorceress – a woman who practices sorcery; witch.

(Perhaps I cast a spell and he found me thus by chance?)

#Shareyourworld

image from litaburke.com

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

Since I believe we all have our own special lives to lead I’d have to say no-one. There may be people who felt their life may be more exciting, more rewarding, more fulfilling, but I ‘d say it’s all in the way you perceive your own life. Some days I’d change mine in a flash, but then there are many more days when I wouldn’t give it away for anything, and I’m sure there would be some, perhaps many of that one hundred who would say the same.

Who knows, perhaps they all might think their lives were more satisfying than mine.

If you were a tree, would you become a book or furniture? Please describe.

If I were a tree I’d choose to be a mighty Oak tree, in which case I’d be made into beautiful furniture, lasting for years. If I could I’d stay a tree for many years though.

#Shareyourworld

image from sigridmcnab.com

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

My dog, Rusty – but that could get rather messy, so no: My Mum, but then she gets claustrophobic, – so no: In which case I’d say Og Mandino since he was an amazing man. It would be a challenge since he’s passed away but I’m sure we’d manage somehow.  🙂

#Shareyourworld

image from wfgr.com Og Mandino

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that I had my first really good night’s sleep in many years and I’m looking forward to keeping that going.  There is nothing like a really good refreshing sleep, free from pain. I’m really grateful for my new computer too and this is the first post on it this week. 🙂

Blessings, Susan x

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Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.josephinewall.co.uk “Snow Flake” #spirit of Christmas

“Christmas, when observed with the right spirit, still has the power to call miracles from Heaven to Earth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich,   Smile Anyway

Spirit of Christmas

I’ve let myself down this year. More than this I’ve let everyone else down. I lost the spirit of Christmas.  After meditating for a long time to gain some perspective, some equanimity to look at everything I’ve made some remarkable discoveries.

  • As well as an existing back/neck problem which has seen me ‘confined’ for long periods I finally discovered:
  • I have Lyme disease and a host of companion diseases to confront.
  • From being “flat on my back” from the injury now I’m “flat on my back” from the medication, most of the time
  • I have been challenged to re-define my approach to the spirit of Christmas
Spirit of Christmas

image from caixinhadepirlimpimpim.blogspot.com

I found that I had allowed my existing beliefs about who and what I am, my beliefs about “how” Christmas should be and my role in it, the very spirit of Christmas, to push me into a position where I was severely depressed because I could not meet these expectations. What was more devastating was that I allowed this to almost ruin Christmas this year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.superstock.co Remember – if you were naughty you got coal in your stocking?

I have found, with the help and support from my husband and some very dear friends that this does not have to be my reality at all. The spirit of Christmas which is so important to me is still alive within me. Whilst this may sound such a simple thing it is, in itself, incredibly profound.  Anything which alters your perception in such a manner is life changing, if you allow it to be.

I found:

  • I have pain, at times intense and unremitting pain, but it does not define me, it is not ME
  • I have some nasty bugs running my internal programs but they do not define me, they are not ME
  • The lack of support for the spirit of Christmas I have always held as a family tradition is not defined by the presence of others, they are not ME

Most importantly I have found that:

  • I am a unique spiritual being having a human existence, my spirituality is not affected by any pain I might suffer, I am ME
  • My unique spiritual  being is not the zillion bugs attacking my human body because I am ME     and
  • It is my spiritual being which creates the magic, joy and belief in the Spirit of Christmas because I am ME

Such a simple and profound statement: I am ME.

Knowing who and what you are, is something which people search for their entire life. I have not found the full scope of Who, and What I Am, but I am content that I have found the ME who is here, right now.

I have always known and accepted I was a “work in progress” since that is the purpose of my spiritual presence here. I simply forgot that changes in the lives around me, which affected my own life, did not change my purpose. I had to learn how to adapt to those changes, to learn something new perhaps, but I retained the essence of who I am. I can retain the spirit of Christmas within me.

I am so grateful that this incredible appreciation has arrived now.  I have been struggling with my meditation but today I found it was there all along.  I have welcomed it back with so much happiness that it feels as though a great light has been re-lit and a beacon now shines in the place of the darkness the depression had enveloped me in.

Spirit of Christmas
“Beacon of Light” walking into sunshine  Spirit of Christmas
  • I am celebrating Christmas Day with my husband, our first alone together and it is going to be uniquely special because we are together.
  • I am celebrating Boxing Day with my son and his girlfriend, a first, which is another uniquely special occasion.
  • I will see my daughter when I can before New Year’s Eve, and I am grateful I can see her then. Whilst she cannot be here “at Christmas” she is here in spirit, in my heart, which is all I need at the moment.
  • Most importantly, my parents, Mum and Dad, will be here in spirit. I miss them more each year but I now know, beyond any doubt, that they will be with me as I sit at my dinner table with my husband eating our Christmas dinner.
  • In all of these and many more the spirit of Christmas I rejoice in is alive and well within me.

It may be the first time I have been ‘alone’ on Christmas Day but it will also be the first time that I have been able to put aside the crushing loneliness their absence brought – even if it is just a little. It makes it a little easier not to have my family physically with me at Christmas when I have always believed that family and the spirit of Christmas were synonymous with each other. I have no idea when or why that changed but since it has and I cannot turn back the clock, I have to “move with the times”.

As the saying goes, “life goes on”, and it does, whether we will it so or not. Whether it hurts or not, life always goes on. It is a spiritual lesson our human selves must accept. When we do, life isn’t as bad, even if just by a little.

Whilst my family may be moving in other directions, as their lives change, then so has mine. Now I have a wonderful and loving husband who spoils me, not just on Christmas Day but every day. As our love grows it encompasses all the changes which occur.  Our spirit of Christmas is alive and growing each year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from twu.ca

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
Bob Hope

When so much seemed to have been taken away I looked and saw that I have so much to be grateful for, a family who are strong and capable individuals, who care enough to want to be around, and a husband whose love will wrap me round and always keep me safe and warm.

The Spirit of Christmas – what a wonderful thing to be grateful for,  I know I am. I hope you are too!

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas with the Spirit of Christmas alive in your own hearts.

Merry Christmas,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson, 2013

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Gratitude

Gratitude – hold it in your hands
#gratitude

“When you express gratitude for the blessings that come into your life, it not only encourages the universe to send you more, it also sees to it that those blessings remain.”
― Stephen Richards

There has been much discussion on Gratitude and how important it is in our lives.  What has also been shown is that if we only look at our world with open eyes we can see much to be grateful for. All it takes is a change in the way we look at our daily life. Let’s take a walk through an average day.

We wake up after a wonderful sleep. A bed, what a wonderful thing that is; it certainly provides a much more comfortable sleep than roughing it on the floor.  Let’s be grateful for the people who thought up the idea of sleeping on a framed bed, mattresses and pillows and beautiful sheets, blankets and quilts (duvets, eiderdowns).

Gratitude

image from http://www.thetextileicon.com   #gratitude

Showers and baths – we know baths have been around for ages, and they’re certainly my preference for a long relaxing soak, candles, scented soaps and soothing music, so we can be grateful for the people who thought of the idea of building a tub (instead of bathing in the river), and all the changes since then; candles – yes they’ve been here for aeons too, and scented, it took someone to think about the idea first before we had the pretty ones we use today; soap, this is a good one, they used a lye soap many years ago, what skin it didn’t remove was definitely cleaner. Our soaps today come in endless varieties and forms and some smell divine, given your own preference of course. Now, Showers, they take convenience bathing to a whole new level. We have scented shower gels and soaps that smell divine. New inventions and it’s wonderful to be grateful for them.

Gratitude

image from fineartamerica.com   #gratitude

Music, we know has been with us for a long time, but it has been born on the backs of old shepherds, blowing on reed flutes to calm their flocks. It has changed incredibly since then. We’ve seen Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Bach through to Eminem, Ronan Keating, Seal and Katy Perry. Again, depending on age and preference we have so many to be grateful for.

Yet the day is only begun, we have the benefits of cars, trains and trams, buses, lifts, high rise buildings made from structural steel and concrete.  Early morning, coffee from the barista, croissants from the patisserie and so it goes on. Where would we be today without all these wonderful conveniences to lighten or brighten our day – so many things to be grateful for?

Gratitude

image from http://www.fotomage.com #gratitude

Not everyone will have all these elements in their daily lives, but most people will recognise many of these time and energy saving technological and lifestyle advances in their environment.

Now, take a look at the average day from the perspective of a person with a chronic illness or ailment. Their day might look like this: They wake in the morning (if they managed to sleep at all) in their comfortable bed. Yes, they’re grateful the bed is comfortable, unlike the board and feather mattresses of old, but they also feel a sense of loathing towards what is in effect their prison.  It’s preferable to lying on the floor, but it is a prison none the less and no sensible person likes a prison.

Now let’s look at a bath or shower. Well, depending on the illness, it is likely that there is no choice, a bath it has to be.  With all the allergies and sensitivities they may not be able to use the beautifully scented soaps, bath lotions and candles, nor the scented

moisturisers and lotions afterwards. In fact, whilst being grateful for the bath, which is cleansing and refreshing, the effort it has taken has now made them so exhausted they need to return to their prison, the bed. Yes, they are grateful they can be clean and fresh, have good clean towels, and soap which is easy on the skin. All these things are new, and, of course there is gratitude that they are here and that there is an option which doesn’t inflame any of their conditions, but options make life enjoyable, don’t they?

Depending on each person’s predicament, the idea of coffee may be impossible. They may once have been able to enjoy going out with friends and enjoying a coffee morning or lunch, but now that’s a thing of the past. They remember fondly or sadly those days. Yes, coffee machines and baristas, wonderful inventions and something to be grateful for…. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could only…..

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if only they had good health and could go to work? Yet that is not the case and they have to rely on the wonders of modern medicine and doctors. We rely on our doctors and medications to make us well, the advancements have been amazing and of course we are immensely grateful for everything we have today.

Gratitude

image from hylaco.com #gratitude

Unless…. The diagnosis is such that there is no cure or medication, neither modern nor naturopathic which can ease the pain or symptoms. Of course there is gratitude for all the developments and knowledge the medical fraternity have gained, yet there is also frustration that with all the advances, there has been no cure found for this or that. Time rolls on and for the chronically ill life seems to draw out all too slowly and painfully.

Sometimes, healthy or ill, people are simply grateful if they are acknowledged in their daily life.  Ill or healthy, if ignored by those around you it is hard to be grateful for being where we are. We have to seek smaller things to be grateful for. We have to hold onto the happy times which occur, the times when we are able to do that little bit extra, spend time with loved ones and friends, even if they are few and far between or we have to pay in pain and suffering later. We hold tight to the pleasure and gratitude we feel when the good times visit us. For the memories we will have later.

Gratitude

image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk #gratitude

Things change day by day, advances are made day by day and we can only go on hoping that one of these days the change or the advancement will mean a cure for whatever ill is visiting us. We can be grateful that there are people always searching for answers and breakthroughs to the challenges which face us.

The more we are grateful for those people and things in our lives already, for the people who are the inventors or researchers who make the changes which improve life, the more we will see changes to be grateful for. It is not always easy, sometimes it is downright difficult, yet if we look for those small things then we may find, one day, we are looking at the big thing we were hoping for.

“Living your life through Gratitude, is not one of comparing how you are better than someone else; or Gratitude only for what you own or obtain or achieve. Living your life through Gratitude, is seeing that the world would be missing something very valuable if you were not in it.”
― Sumner Davenport

May your day be filled with love, happiness and gratitude.

Blessings.  Susan x

Gratitude

image from yourbrainatwork.org #gratitude

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Learning How to Breathe Again

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

“I thought about having a proper room, breathing life into it, and nobody minding.”
― Jenny Valentine, Broken Soup

Arriving at the airport in Athens to catch the El Al plane to Israel was the beginning of something totally unexpected. The entire place was bustling despite the early hour. Needless to say the El Al departure gate was at the furthest end of the airport. Arriving in Athens I had realised I had over packed, but by then it was too late to do anything about it. After hauling my cases (2) to the El Al checkpoint I was unconcerned when I was shepherded to the side to have my luggage checked. After all, I had nothing to be concerned about. Had I?

Enter one of the most handsome men I had seen in a long time. Pointing at my large suitcase he indicated I should place it on the waist high bench and open it. OK, everything was tied down really well so as soon as I unclipped the straps the clothes jumped up another eight inches – at least. Not content with that embarrassment I was then amazed to see him painstakingly go through everything in my case, and then the second case. I mean EVERYTHING – bras, pants, the lot! By the time he had finished inspecting them there was this mangled mess of clothing and toiletries on the lids of the suitcases. Smiling beguilingly he told me I could repack my bags and join the queue to get a boarding pass.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.live4.com.au         Too much of a good thing is still too much!

Time – I couldn’t forget the time. It was running through my mind over and over with the idea that I might miss my connection. I knew I shouldn’t have packed so much! So when I finally got to weighing my bag I breathed a sigh of relief. A sigh which was very short lived. Over weight! On Singapore it was only two kilos over which they waived. On El Al the weight permitted was much less and I was eight kilos over! OMG. Take the bag back and haul ass to the counter to pay for the excess baggage. Of course the counter was two thirds of the way back up the concourse, a very long concourse, and I had to take my luggage with me.

Thank heavens for a very helpful Greek airport staff guy. He hauled the big case and I grabbed the second and off we trotted. The trot became a gallop as we tried to get to the counter. Of course they wanted cash which I didn’t have as I was leaving. Finally they put it through on my Visa, mainly thanks to my Greek friend and we began the mad dash back to the El Al departure point. After a very frosty look from the lady behind the El Al counter I escaped towards the departure lounge. The fun was just beginning though.

Boarding a plane is fairly standard, right? There’s the squeezing between the seats and trying to get your luggage in the overhead racks, getting into your seat and settling down. This was completely different and people were going every which way, apparently without any rhyme or reason. Seats seemed to be taken as they wished and it felt as though chaos ruled the day. Amazingly, all the seats were filled and the plane left on time.

However! As soon as the plan set off down the runway seat belts started popping open and by the time we were airborne most of the passengers were wandering all over the place, talking, from one side of the plane to the other and from back to the front, and all in Hebrew. The odd one out wasn’t even close. I huddled down and tried to remain inconspicuous. Not very likely but there you have it. I did receive some rather odd looks which I interpreted as “what on earth are you doing here”?

The trip from Athens to Tel Aviv was just over an hour long and the passengers milled around the plane for the entire trip. I’m not even sure if they sat down for the landing, and the disembarkation felt like a free for all to get off first.

Learning to Breathe

image from http://www.itnews.com.au                 Why are you here?     

Arriving at the passport check in was reasonably straight forward; just follow the queue, yet not quite. The Israelis walked through their gate at a fast pace whilst I joined a much smaller queue. I handed over my passport and then had my first ever taste of being on the receiving end of an interrogation. Why was I coming to Israel? Why was I alone? Was I meeting someone? Did I know anyone here? Had I come to find a husband? A husband?! I had just managed to divest myself of the last mistake so I most definitely wasn’t looking for another. After I explained that I was divorced she relaxed, until she asked me for my maiden name since I didn’t have my husband’s surname.

Oh! Well. Hmm. I had changed my name by deed poll after my divorce and chosen a name I liked, so I couldn’t give her my maiden name as a reference either. That didn’t go over very well so we went through all the previous questions again. It was obvious she didn’t like me and didn’t believe I wasn’t there to snare some poor unwary Israeli guy for my next husband.  Eventually, as the last person in the checkpoint left and I was there alone, one of the other men came around to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t speak Hebrew but the rapid fire statements from her gave me the feeling she would have loved to send me back. Thankfully he must have out ranked her and I tiredly walked through the checkpoint to get my luggage. I was the last person in the airport and my greeter had vanished.

Learning to Breathe

image from jewishcentralvoice.com                       Tel Aviv

After many phone calls and what felt like a long wait but was probably only a half an hour I was met by a nice guy who shepherded me to his vehicle and we set off for the hotel. I was thrilled to have a running commentary of all the sights and history as we traveled into Tel Aviv.

The strangest part of all, despite the language barrier and the quasi interrogation at the airport, there was a real feeling of coming home. I took my first deep breath in a long time and realised I had started to feel relaxed. It really felt quite strange.

Next week – A blend of new worlds

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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