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Posts Tagged ‘BEing present’

#IamYouAre (more…)

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“You must find yourself before you can know where you belong, yet to find yourself first you must know who you are. However, you will never really know who you are if you are always allowing other people to define who you should be, so be yourself and if you are still unsure of who you are then reinvent yourself.”
― Andrew James Pritchard, Smoke and Mirrors
” Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”
– Alan Alda

Like all good things, stories need an ending. In Search Of deserves to have it’s final ending, the climax as it happened at the time. Here is the beginning of the end of the journey.

 My last days in Switzerland went by both in a blur and stretched out enormously. There was a feeling of storing memories for times to come, but also of seeing each infinitesimal moment as an entire story, just waiting for it to unfold itself. Whereas each individual minute was a treasure, even those things often repeated, they also felt unique in and of themselves.

It was strange that so many different memories could be evoked by the daily routine of enjoying a coffee in the lounge. The smile of the waiter and the bonhomie of the other vacationers as we sat around, reading, talking or silently gazing into the further reaches of forever, each felt in some way part of the other and yet at the same time, as individual as the clothes we wore. It as simple as that. We were together and at the same moment, completely separate.

The last night in Geneva was spent in another type of blur. Good food and wine, scintillating conversation. It was difficult to realise that a few short weeks earlier we had met for the first time and yet now, it was as effortless as if we had been friends for many years. Time flew by alarmingly fast and I wanted to cram as much into it as possible. The feeling of not having enough time made me think of the film “The Langoliers” by Stephen King. Somewhere in the vastness of the Universe were some eldritch creatures gobbling up the seconds as we used them, leaving nothing behind unless we filled them once more by something we had said or done. I found it amusing that I should think of that before I was to board the plane in a few hours since during the film it was just that which saw a catastrophe loom.

Yet the morning came all too fast, and despite my fanciful notions, I knew that the trip would be peaceful enough. As we drove to the airport I knew I was going to miss the glorious scenery, the brisk feeling of the air and the beautiful scents of spring flowers growing everywhere. I said a silent ‘goodbye’ as we drove round Lake Geneva and passed the beautiful swans in their nests close to shore. Where else would I see such an unusual sight?

The flight to Athens was uneventful, as I expected. The otherworldly view of the rolling carpet made by the clouds covering the land below, allowing the mountaintops to peak through was a unique way to end my short trip to Switzerland, allowing me the knowledge that I was eager to return, one day soon I hoped, to finish my exploration of this beautiful country.

#InSearchOf

Alp peering through a carpet of clouds                  Image courtesy of http://www.startribune.com

We arrived in Athens late in the day and after I had collected the luggage I had left in storage, we made our way to the city centre and the hotel. Except this was not the way we had travelled on my last stopover. Liveried staff hurried forward to help me from the car, gathered my luggage and ushered me to the Concierge’s desk. A beautiful, tall and dark haired man explained that the hotel had been booked out by a wedding party. My stomach dropped. He then went on to explain that due to the hotel inconveniencing me I was being upgraded to another room – free of charge, of course! This was completely unexpected.

Dressed in my well-worn, if clean and respectable looking jeans and blouse, I still felt woefully under dressed for this sumptuous hotel. As we rode the lift up, ever higher, I was beginning to wonder if I was being sent towards the heavens for an angelic ride home. Escorted through the door to my room it took all my efforts not to gasp. The room was simply stunning. A magnificent display of luxury met my eyes at every turn as I was shown through this incredible suite. Not only was there an enormous king sized bed with luxurious bedding in the master bedroom, there was also a large and exquisitely appointed lounge and dining room, and an equally opulent bathroom with gold plated taps and the largest bath I had ever seen. I knew what I would be doing later.

Since the wedding party made my dinner arrive late, a bottle of wine accompanied my simple meal. Silk, satin and velvet seemed to be everywhere and the towels were so thick and heavy, it felt as if I could wrap myself up in one and simply fall asleep. A long, luxuriant bath, steam curling round my head, the scent of wildflowers swirling in the steam and I had found a measure of heaven for a time. I finally dragged myself out, wrinkled but so very relaxed that I hardly remembered sliding between the incredible sheets and falling asleep. Thankfully I had requested a wakeup call or I would never been ready in time for the car to take me to the airport. Even paying the excess luggage bill failed to mar the feeling of impersonating Jackie Onassis for a short time.

“We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life. What more have we to give one another than our ‘truth’ about our human adventure as honestly and as openly as we know how?”
– Rabbi Saul Rubin

Next Week – Revelations  The final instalment and what it all meant.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

 

In Search Of…Part 23 Switzerland

In Search Of ….Part 22 – Athens and Geneva

In Search Of….Part 21- Back to Tel Aviv

 

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

“What Price Trust, Respect and Communication?”

It may sound like a ridiculous question, and in some ways it could be said to be a question that is automatically answered and therefore a waste of time. After all, if you have a “significant other” in your life, then you presume that trust is one of the most important things in your relationship. It is an integral part of everything you do. Or have I misread the fine print somewhere?

I know this is something I have asked myself before, probably more than once, and therefore the answer should be in front of me. Yet, I am continually reminded by others, that life is not always so straightforward. People are seldom one-dimensional, and as far as language is concerned, what something means to one person, means something entirely different to another.

So how can we ensure that what we say and do is clearly understood by someone else? It’s really Communication 101, with a dash of Trust 201, and also Respect 301. Sounds funny doesn’t it, yet also self-evident, don’t you think?

I’ve spent my entire life working on the principle that, what I say I can be held to, at any time. I’m reminded of the film and series “Fifty Shades of Grey”. For many life is like that. (No, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard so much about it.) If someone can find a grey area, that wiggle room, they will exploit what they say to get round the finer points of the truth. Yet to me, the truth is all important. It is a foundation block for all life.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of simplelifecelebrations.com

 

“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.”
Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Think for one moment about the misunderstanding, the hurt, the pain and the betrayal, felt by individuals and you begin to realise the importance of truth and trust. You can also add ‘countries’ in this equation, as the furore over the perceived intention on someone’s words has seen entire continents go to war.

Perhaps I am the one “at fault” here. Perhaps I am too black and white, the one who cannot see the middle ground in a situation?

Yet, I’m always reminded of the old Western films, John Wayne, Henry Ford and Paul Newman; even Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner in “Open Range”. They always depicted people of strong character who were willing to die for the truth, the right, and to protect those weaker than themselves. Idealistic isn’t it?

Yet there are times when idealism is what we need to return to, in order to get our country, our world, and our relationships, out of the mire and into the clear skies once more. Are we not meant to be “smelling the roses” each day, “paying it forward”, remembering “kindness, gratitude and appreciation?” I’m surely not the only one who has become lost along the way? I should ask if I have become lost along the way.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of crunchmodo.com

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out they way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
Goldie Hawn

There was a time when I believed that family was everything, the glue which held all of us together. These were the people who, no matter what happened, you could rely on to “have your back” and help you, come what may. Yes, another idealistic outlook, but there has to be a start somewhere and if not with family, then where?

We cannot talk to each other any longer because everyone seems to feel the need to ensure they are “one better’ than you are. It makes them feel so much more satisfied if they can “blame you” for saying or doing something, even if they have no idea what actually happened. It makes me feel saddened at the loss of that family bond. I know my parents would be more than disappointed.

These simple “codes of life” apply across the spectrum, from the individual relationships, friendships to the dynamics of country interaction.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of http://www.quoteswave.com

 

“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

In the end, I feel, we have to build trust and respect through communication. It is essential we do this if we wish to survive and bring the world forward into a better place than it is presently. Is this not the meaning of our journey here on earth?

If I say, I will tell you the story of my life, so that you can learn from it, avoid the pitfalls which brought me low, then I must follow through with that promise. I cannot decide to change my offer after I have begun, because I think I can “make more money from it” by selling it to someone else. I cannot say, I will make this promise with you, yet if another country offers me more, then I will forget our arrangement and go with the new offer.

We have to respect our own words first and foremost so that others know they can trust us. They can believe in our words because we have shown them our word is important. It was one of the founding blocks of society when we began forming societies. Respect and Trust in our Communication with ourselves and with others. I don’t believe things have changed much at all. If only everyone else understood those three little words…. We could avoid so much hurt and pain, so much bloodshed. Understanding could be second nature.

So many clichés and yet they are all true. My you find your Truth and Respect for yourself and your fellow spirit along life’s journey and learn the dance of communication to bring us closer together.

#trustrespectcommunication

Image courtesy of sherwoodfleming.com

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Stephen R. Covey

 

May all our days be filled with understanding so that we can trust one another from a place of respect. Let us then communicate from our hearts.

 

Blessings,  Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, August 2014

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#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of wallpapers-xs.blogspot.com

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Jess C. Scott, The Intern

 In this wonderful life, this often difficult to understand existence we share with the world around us and all its inhabitants, we can be forgiven for wondering what is wonderful about it. It can drive us to distraction and also to the heights of ecstasy, all within the space of moments. It can make us question our reason for being, our reason to stay, and our reason for the apparently innumerable atrocities we are bombarded with daily.

I rarely watch the news broadcasts, the innumerable advertisements, radio broadcasts or read the newspapers. Good news is hard to find in any of these places and the horrors are far too many to count. It is difficult to find the “milk of human kindness” whilst being deluged with the nightmarish ability of some people to perpetuate abominable acts.

Yet, even accepting all of this, I still feel, still believe, that this life is wonderful. We have been gifted with an abundance of beauty, of goodness, kindness and the opportunity to share our happiness, gratitude and kindness with our fellow Spirits, our fellow travellers on life’s road. We have the choice, should we decide to do so, to make a difference in our world, even if it is only in a small way. Even the small acts of kindness and gratitude add up and make a significant difference to others and to our world. Without these simple acts of goodness we would surely be in a dark place.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of artorifreedom.deviantart.com

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

 

I see the struggle some people have to endure, the hardships and terrors, homelessness and cruelty and I know that our small acts of consideration are immeasurably worthwhile. The “Thank You” to a waiter or shop assistant for serving us with a smile, helping us to find something we want and in doing so, making our day better. They deserve the same acknowledgement. It makes my heart light to return a smile, a “Thank You” and more, to let their superior know that they’ve done a good job. It takes but a small moment and can mean so much.

We can have no idea what is happening in their lives – the hardships or losses which might be lightened, even slightly, by a kind word or gesture. I remember one sad-looking lady, going about her job in the coffee shop, smiling in all the right places, going out of her way to help by bringing someone an extra jug of milk with a smile. A smile tinged with sadness – hiding the loss of someone dear. A gentle touch on her wrist, a connection between our eyes as I thanked her for her kindness and for just a moment, I saw that dark cloud lift, just a little. Letting her boss know how good the service was and seeing her smile again – worth so much to know I may have made a small difference for just a moment. Who knows how important such a moment may be?

These small acts of kindness, or “Random Acts of Kindness” as they have become known, are often as precious as gold or silver. They spread ripples out into the world, growing ever larger and with unknown consequences. I have even heard a story about how one small act of kindness stopped someone from taking their life. They later said it was this small thing which made them decide they would keep trying and then they helped someone else and they found the strength to keep going.

 

#In this Wonderful Life
image courtesy of flickerhivemind.net   Wonderful Life in Nature
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of robsmovievault.wordpress.com

 

We have all seen or heard of the film “Pay it Forward”. A beautiful film which has immortalised on-screen this effect of doing small acts of kindness and how it can grow beyond anything we may imagine. Yet, it is only one side of the coin. We can be selfish, self-centred and consumed by our own wants, ignoring everyone and everything else.

If you watch the daily news, read the daily papers, even the internet, you can be inundated with the horror stories which can destroy any chance of peace of mind. Occasionally it is impossible to ignore the stories of cruelty perpetuated by other people. Children beaten so badly, like a young toddler today that he could not be saved. We can be brought down by these stories, these acts of barbarism to such an extent that we can find no answer to the question of “Why?” Why do these things happen to innocents before they’ve had a chance to explore this wonderful life?

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of 1hdwallpapers.com  Magic is all around us – always.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If this question is asked there is usually someone who will say they were angels, not meant to stay here on earth. Yet I find little comfort in this. Even accepting the premise that they chose this life, however brief it was, cannot lift the weight on our hearts at their pain and suffering.

Bad things happen because, at present, good people do not do enough to create enough ripples of kindness to prevent bad things happening. It is a wonderful life. It is filled with wonder and joy, happiness and kindness. We can and do make a difference if we chose to. We don’t need coaching to do this because we already know what to do. Being kind, grateful, generous, are already a part of us. We have to make a conscious choice to follow those beautiful parts of ourselves and we can effect wonderful change around us.

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

When was the last time you smiled at a stranger, or dropped spare change into a buskers cap? When did you last smile at your waitress and genuinely thank her for serving you, thanking her for looking after your needs? When did you thank the lady at the checkout, the baker in the bakery, the butcher for selecting a beautiful cut of meat from the local farm or the stall holder who was selling fresh home-grown vegetables for you to enjoy? There are so many ways we can all make this world a wonderful place, our daily lives a “Wonderful Life”.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of http://www.care2.com

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of theoldrectorydonard.com

 

So I would ask you – remember to be Mindful, be in the moment, stop to consider how you think and act and remember that one small act of kindness or generosity can indeed be the small seed to save a life or even save the world. In this Wonderful Life we can make magic happen.

 

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson 31 July 2014

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#Advance and Retreat

Image courtesy of flickr.com

 “Not to give up under any circumstances should be the motto of our life: we shall try again and again, and we are bound to succeed. There will be obstacles, but we have to defy them. So do not give up, do not give up! Continue, continue! The goal is ahead of you. If you do not give up, you are bound to reach your destined goal.”
Sri Chinmoy, The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide Your Life-Journey

There are times when it feels almost impossible to find out why things happen the way they do. At other times the steps you’ve taken to reach a point can be all too apparent. It doesn’t always mean that either scenario is palatable.

Several months ago I determined that I was going to push myself to my limits – and beyond, in order to help with our move, relocation to Queensland. The aches, the pains, discomfort, at times the agony and tears were expected. Not always palatable but, “I’d signed up for this” so I was aware of the possible consequences. In fact, they weren’t possible but probable consequences of suddenly throwing a body, already reduced to what felt like a meagre existence limping through each day, into what was, beyond mere normalcy when contemplating the workload of packing and unpacking a household.

Since then, and our move to Queensland, there has been more of the same. Yet along with that there was also a greater sense of achievement. Here I was after so many dreary pain filled months, achieving more than I had for such a long time. My decision to make my body work, like a normal body would, in ways it had been unable to without a great deal of pain meant I would have to accept the natural consequences. The achievement, the sense of purpose made the pain and tears and discomfort worthwhile.

As the old saying goes, “I paid in spades.” Yet, to me it was well worth it. I was doing something worthwhile. That sense of achievement long missed was a heady drug which helped me feel a little stronger, a little happier and much more contented as each day passed. Such are the things we measure our successes by.

#Advance and Retreat

image courtesy of howtoraiseyourvibration.blogspot.com

I have yet to find a straight road in life. In fact, I sincerely doubt there is such a thing as a straight road through life. Each road is meant to have its bends, uphill, downhill, roundabouts and the usual missed turns which send you back the way you’ve already been. I believe it’s the way we are meant to learn our lessons. Often not simply learn them but by revisiting them, ensure we really have learnt all there is from that learning experience. Cliché’s abound for this, “Two steps forward, one step back” and “Advance and Retreat” seem the most appropriate right now, and yet, that is what life is all about.

The occasional hiccough, the down day or days when things seemed to pile up and that wonderful forward momentum trickled so slowly by, came along with the rich positives. My ever patient husband was my strength and support to help me through and a very dear friend was always ready to offer sage advice and cheer me up. Just sweeping those dark clouds away helped enormously.

 

So What Happened? Well, Life Happened.

 

I needed one final visit to the “No longer Lyme doctor” to get my Genetic Genie result explained. I decided that after going to all the hassles of getting the wretched thing ordered, completed, sent away and the long wait for the results that I might as well find out what it had to say. Learning about my genetic structure seemed a fair recompense for all the pain and heartache over the past fourteen months. In reality, it seemed ludicrous not to get something valuable from this learning experience I had been given. It was also immensely intriguing. Mind boggling but intriguing.

#Advance and Retreat

image courtesy of http://www.crystalinks.com

Then he beat me to the gratifying punch line. Rather than being able to tell him I would not be returning to see him again he jumped in and said he didn’t want to see me again! Hmpf! It was, in retrospect, an odd way to put it, but the end result was the same. However, before I could say, So long, it’s been good, but”…..I was whisked into the Naturopaths office, deluged with a tonne of information and the adjuration that I needed “X,Y and Z” to correct the enzyme breaks shown in my genetic coding.

Now I’ve been through the hoops a time or two and I know how my body reacts to a great many things, especially dietary and medicinally based items. Several rather stressful episodes in the past few weeks had seen my friendly ulcer begin to act up and the attendant gastric reflux rear its burning head once more. It’s no fun at all feeling as though you have a vat of boiling acid churning inside your stomach and flowing upwards to burst out of your throat like an enraged Mount Etna! Upsetting but it was something I could get back under control with a little rest and meditation.

I did tell the Naturopath all this, explained in great detail since they seem to think you have no idea what you are talking about if you are not graphic. I explained – decisively, that anything not in capsule form would act like a gigantic irritant wreaking havoc on my stomach. I mustn’t have been clear enough. My powers of description must have deserted me since it was apparent she failed to believe me. Did I really care that these things were supposed to help my stomach and ulcer? Not if they were going to feel as if I were dying in the process.

The lowest ebb if my day is early morning at present and I was supposed to toss this vile concoction down my throat into an empty stomach to start the day. I love liquorice, but this vile stuff is not liquorice flavoured at all – it’s a pale imitation, a foil on the very word designed to befuddle and cloud the senses. Feral, foul and disgusting.

One week later and I feel too wretched to get out of bed. My throat is raw, my stomach in turmoil and the thought of a drink, not even food, is palatable. Add to that the almost indescribably migraine… what was I contemplating? This strange thought keeps circling my mind like a shark through bloody waters….”Why?” “Why did I do this to myself when I was beginning to feel so much better?” I have, yet again, paid an obscene price to once again poison myself in the name of getting well.

#Advance and Retreat

image courtesy of academyoffood.blogspot.com

Frustration, pain and anger, not a good mix for a stomach in turmoil. Nothing to show but a return to the nightmare and another email suggesting a garlic cleanse (eight whole cloves of garlic swallowed with water, no food for a day and febrile reaction, followed by a coffee enema). PLEASE.

NO! I’m sorry, but enough is enough. I’ve done everything I was asked to for fourteen months only to learn it was all for nothing – I don’t and never did have Lyme disease. I warned you I couldn’t tolerate this kind of natural “stuff” and what would happen and you didn’t listen, just pedaled your potions. A day in bed contemplating the next step has seen me decide that a polite but firm email is all I need to do. I am retiring from medical experimentation.

I’ve reached my place of clarity. I’ve had my hard-won taste of a return to normalcy. It was painful but it was an achievement of being able to act like everyone else. I’m not ready to take even a small step back to where I’ve been. There will be other ways to “fix” anything which may need fixing but not at the expense of my sanity and health. After all, what is health? It’s being able to live, laugh, move, do the normal things of life without pain and agony. It’s feeling loved and being loved and being able to love life again. Slowly but surely I am reaching that beautiful place and I will get there, without needing to pour copious amounts of money into someone’s pocket for pills and potions.

#Advance and Retreat

image courtesy of healthsaints.com

“A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits.”
Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Welcome back health and harmony.

 

I will Advance only and Retreat no more from this battle to be all I can be.

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson July 2014

 

Postscript:
I admire and applaud all those who work in a health or alternate health capacity. What works for one may not for another and vice versa. I have recorded my feelings and responses to what I have been through and whilst they are true for me they may not be for another. I pray for good health for all people, including me. 🙂

 

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#IAsked

image from imagine.omusilibelula.ro

“You will know who truly loves you when you ask them to do you an unconventional favour.”
Michael Bassey Johnson

 

I asked for help and none was given

I asked once more and received a smile

I asked again and received a puzzled frown

How many times do I ask before I ask no more?

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”   Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
“The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces that you can find; are all the pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize; is the portrait of your soul.”   C. JoyBell C.

It was much sadder than I had anticipated, saying goodbye to the people who had shared my journey of self-discovery as we toured the Middle East. I began my journey alone and fleeing from a situation I needed to put into perspective. I had learned so much as we travelled these ancient lands and found a friend when I least expected to do so.  Yet my journey was not yet done.

The trip back to Tel Aviv was not without dramas, but then, after so many airports I had no expectations that it would be any different. I was no longer part of a tour group. Yes, I had my trip planned to go back to Tel Aviv but I was a single traveller once more, with no guide to wend an easy path through the departure rigmarole, and no-one speaking English within sight or sound. So it was with relief that I finally emerged through Israeli customs and was met by my driver to take me back to my hotel.

For two weeks I spent my time wandering through Tel Aviv and Jaffa and reacquainting myself with those people I had met when I first arrived. I went back to Caesarea and sat gazing out to sea wondering what the many people who had lived there had thought when their time came to leave. (That is not discounting the many people who have remained in the area all this time and still call it home, but of the “invaders”, that is a different story.) Of them, not many had chosen to leave voluntarily.

At one point I found myself perched on one of the large column blocks, not thinking, mind just drifting along in a sudden period of silence. I suddenly felt held in place by some unseen force as I heard a “clanking” all around me – a sound I recognised as the sound chain mailed and armoured bodies make as they walk around.  There was the smell of the ocean strong in my nose, then overtaken by the coppery smell of blood. Ships were in the harbour, a forest of trees as the masts swayed in the ocean swell, waiting to take the remaining crusaders to safety. The fighting had been intense and the casualties too high.

As I sat there mesmerised, I saw a mailed hand descend on my shoulder.

The voice belonging to that mailed glove said, “Come now, Bertrand, there is nothing more to be done here. It is time to leave. We have been given our orders”.

From within the space where I sat another crusader rose to stand beside his lifelong friend. As I watched they hurriedly descended through the tunnels to the docks. I felt a pull from somewhere deep inside as if I was meant to go along too. Finally I saw them in the boats being shepherded out to the waiting ships. The relief that they both made it as far as the ships was overwhelming. As they left my sight the sounds and smells of the day seemed to suddenly crowd in again.

Was I day dreaming or did something just happen? Was I shown a glimpse of the past or was it a glimpse of another life? All I know for certain is there was an intense connection with Bertrand as he sat on the column, one which pulled me along with him as they left the garrison. One which allowed me to feel how heavy his heart was at leaving this place and the loss he felt with the death of a dear friend. 

I left later, still somewhat dazed by the revelations of the day. In some strange way I felt part of myself had been there on that day and my drive home I felt as if I was on the high seas. Incredible!

The often otherworldly experiences as I had walked these ancient lands had been making a profound change within me. After my return, instead of following the glam and glitter of the nightclub scene I was offered by my friends, I chose to remain alone much of the time.

#InSearchof

Tel Aviv Boulevard

We still met for coffee at the beautiful venues along the Tel Aviv esplanade when we could, always entranced by this incredible area. I wandered the Ha Carmel markets and visited the large shopping centres, seeing a life so similar to the everyday that one almost forgot the armed security guards at each entrance. I wandered Ben- Gurion Avenue and saw the home of David and Paula Ben Gurion. David Ben Gurion was the first Prime Minister of Israel. The somewhat unimpressive exterior hides their home which they lived in until 1970. The upstairs rooms, all four, were floor to ceiling books, 20,000 of them!

Oh for a library of that calibre. I often forgot to take photos on these meanderings and this is a picture of their kibbutz home I saw there which shows the vast difference between their old home and the place they spent the remainder of their days.

#InSearchof

Image from triptoisrael2006.blogspot.com Ben Gurion Boulevard

In the evenings I again resumed my walks to Jaffa and then sat on the esplanade enjoying the ocean breeze. The beautiful weather had been a tremendous gift whilst I had been there and the sunsets were something I would always remember. At those times it seemed as though a special light, a Spiritual light, was healing all the broken parts inside me and leaving me feeling at peace. There is no other way to describe the feeling of serenity with which I would leave after the sunset and head back to my hotel for a latte in the lounge. The girls there spoilt me with their generosity.

The feelings of a deep peace and a blossoming of my Spirit gave me a belief that there was so much more than this everyday existence we often become bogged down in. The majestic expansiveness of life, the mystery of past, present and future, all being available if we but allow it, was a blessing I had not imagined nor expected to find here. I realised that there was far more for me to do in this lifetime, and thoughts of leaving it behind became like dim memories.

#InSearchof

Glorious sunset over the Mediterranean.

The time came to leave Tel Aviv all too soon and it was with a very heavy heart that I packed my bags once more.

Leaving brought one unpleasant reality to the fore.  I had over packed before I left and with all the pieces I had acquired on my travels, for myself (of course), and my family, I had far too much luggage to take with me to Athens and then Switzerland. Pragmatism came to the fore and when I repacked, I did so with the intention of leaving one case in storage at the Athens airport.  It was far less expensive than paying excess baggage!

A HINT for anyone travelling overseas, Check ALL the countries/airlines baggage allowances before you leave and pack for the least amount allowed. It is not only easier on the back it is far less expensive on the pocket!

Whilst sad to be leaving, and feeling certain there was more I could learn, of a personal and spiritual nature, I was looking forward to my quick visit to Athens whilst I made my way to my friend in Geneva. There was a certainty that my time there would be as fruitful to my yearning to learn my spiritual reason for being here, and so with mixed feelings I left.

A snapshot of the wonders of these ancient lands.

Israel will always remain a special and wonderful time in my life, a time when uncertainty and pain were replaced with a belief and surety that life has more meaning than our everyday existence.

 

Next Week…….Geneva and Switzerland.

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

 

 

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#Imperfectly perfect

Heavy orchid spray                      I love my orchids

Imperfectly Perfect
“Excellence is the Result of Caring more than others think is Wise, Risking more than others think is Safe, Dreaming more than others think is Practical, and Expecting more than others think is Possible.”
Ronnie Oldham
 ~

Doing anything half-heartedly gains you very little except dissatisfaction with life, and the reason is very simple; it is because you are settling for second best. There are hundreds, if not thousands of quotations, some by the rich and famous and some who would like to be. What they all have in common is to tell you what you should do to reach the top, whatever the top happens to be for you.

It seems difficult for me to acknowledge that today is Friday, that the ‘end’ of the week is almost here. When I sat down to type I suddenly wondered where the week had flown and what I had achieved during that time to make it appear to have vanished. An entire five days vanished almost without me being aware of it.

#Imperfectly Perfect

image from anndr.deviantart.com                 In your imagination anything is possible

Of course I could make excuses and blame something or nothing for the ‘loss of time’, yet the sad fact is, I don’t have a good reason. What I think may be of even more concern, is the fact that I don’t feel that I’m on my own with this. Would you say I was being “Mindful” or that I was “Being present” in everything I had done?

Strangely enough the answer is yes. I complete my Gratitude Journal every morning, refresh my Affirmations and send my healing to those I know and those I don’t. I complete my Life Change 90 program each day, all reminders of times passing and making the best use of it for myself and others. And of course, I write. When I have completed my morning ritual I think about writing and I write, whatever it is that has made an impact on me or whatever ‘comes’ to me.

#Imperfectly Perfect

image from aniisah.wordpress.com –   Time where does it go?

Today, time was concerning me. The fact that I felt I was losing time… great chunks of time which I couldn’t really account for. Was my mind taking a siesta? Were my subconscious busy planning things for me to do in the future? I’m not sure and that lack of surety has made me feel uncomfortable. Have I been losing time that I haven’t been aware of? That is a truly scary thought.

Thoughts of Alzheimer’s, blackouts, seizures, or other malady which have no name, just visceral fears, ran amok through my mind. The fear of losing one’s faculties is a great one since there is usually little chance of coming back from such a problem. “Accepting what is”, as I have read previously, would simply not be something I could comfortably acquiesce to.

#Imperfectly Perfect

image from http://www.josephinewallart.co.uk       Bubbles of time floating away

I have to add this little incident which occurred moments ago. My husband told me he had a rather unpleasant headache, something which is unusual for him. However he is off in his little den with computer, doing heaven only knows what.  Since there was silence in the house I called out to him – and since he is concerned about my welfare he came to see that I was alright. Checking on his ‘timetable’ to the days close I asked him if he had taken his little blue headache tablets. He replied in the negative. He had become caught up in whatever he was doing and his headache was still thumping away, something I can validate only too easily. In a mock stern voice I said, “Well, you’d better take some immediately, and I mean that with the utmost infection!”  Infection? The moment the word escaped my lips I knew it was wrong and he fell into gales of laughter. Charming! It is said that laughter is the best medicine, but take it from one who had some dreadful headaches, laughing with a headache is to be avoided. At least for me it is.

#Imperfectly Perfect

Pre Lyme meds

Taking the humour from the situation, I ask myself where my mind was. What was I thinking about? Was I thinking? Was I being courteous, mindful and present with my husband? I was thinking about him, his headache, and his little pills and hoping he would be finished soon, so he could rest. So what caused the slip?

Truthfully, it is a little unnerving, a little frightening, and preys on my mind. I can blame ill-health, the brain fog, the medication, but is it? Is that the cause of these slip ups and loss of time? I believe there is nothing serious wrong, but it remains an unanswered question.

I question whether I have the right diagnosis since I feel no better after nine months of treatment than before, in fact I feel worse, much worse. New horrors are affecting my mind, my stability, feeling as though my spine will fall apart like a domino stack at any moment, cracks and creaks and severe muscle and joint aches. All these should surely be getting better by now – or at least some of them?

#Imperfectly Perfect

image from gardeningwithconfidence.com     Because beauty hides the pain

Today I looked at some photos taken just two years ago, just after we became engaged. Happy days! I have some photos taken just a couple of weeks before my Lyme diagnosis and all the medication I began taking. In both instances I looked happy, full of life and energy, and slim and smart. I know people say being slim is not a benchmark for how your life is and “If you’re fat, you’re fat – accept it”.  No way! Not this little black duck. If I had been overweight previously I could say it was a fair comment. The only difference is the medication and my worsening physical state.

So I’m left with a conundrum and many questions. Perhaps that is the reason for the slip. I hope if any of my ‘fellow Lyme sufferers” or the “Fibromites”,  or fellow bloggers I have come to know, have any insights, suggestions, or anything to calm overwrought nerves, I would be more than simply grateful. In fact, if anyone has any words of advice to offer I would listen since I know that solutions come from many strange and otherwise discounted places.

#Imperfectly Perfect

Orchids, always Perfect

I know I am “Imperfectly Perfect. I might also be “Perfectly Imperfect” and that is how it should be. I am who and what I am. I care, for the people I have come to know, their hopes, their dreams, their problems and hurts. You, my readers, have become dear friends and I trust my dear friends to tell me the truth, their truth as they see it. From there it is my responsibility to find my truth.

That, to me is what a community is all about. It is, I hope, what our WordPress community has become. I have been welcomed, in my idiosyncrasies and that is a great gift, one I willingly reciprocate because friendship is a great gift.

I can live with “Imperfectly Perfect” since I accept I am a “work in progress. We all are.

#Imperfectly Perfect

My Dancing Lady Orchid.

“When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.”  ~Bernard Baily

When the world seems full of imperfections, and answers are hard to find, there is a perfection in Orchids which soothes my heart, my mind and my soul.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

Ray and I on our wedding day May 11, 2011

“This is what our love is––a sacred pattern of unbroken unity sewn flawlessly invisible inside all other images, thoughts, smells, and sounds.”   Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
My Husband, My Lover, My Friend

It’s been a rough week here and although I’ve tried to play it down, inside my head and in my posts, there have been times when the thought of simply ‘giving up’ wasn’t far away.  It’s very difficult to remain positive when you wake up and the moment of consciousness brings the awful knowledge that your entire body is screaming in agony.

It’s becoming a real nightmare, a waking nightmare and this morning was the worst to date. Let me explain, although it’s really hard for me to write this. I cannot move my legs, body, head or shoulders. I am fortunate that my hands and lower arms appear to be okay. I wake up feeling as though I’m in a roasting oven, on well done!  I cannot push the covers off and I cannot get out of bed, (I can’t move).

#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

image from autobio-blogs.plazilla.com

I’ve tried everything I can think of to get out of bed without waking my husband, especially as sometimes I wake really early and I’m ruining his rest. He needs it, he has to look after someone who is cranky because she can’t do the things she has previously done alone and I’m not in the right head space to “give in gracefully” and acknowledge that for the moment, this has to be my reality.

#My Huasband, # My Lover,#  My Friend

image from http://www.123rf.com Is this what is coming?

So let’s go back to this morning. I had a magnificent sleep, six hours of deep sleep. It’s a shame it was drug enhanced but I can’t fight that any longer either. But, I heard Ray get up and that was enough to wake me.  It was a world of hurt and I had no idea what to do. My entire body was locked in this agonising position and I had to move. I simply had to.

From a mental angle it is full on despair, a waking nightmare I cannot banish. Giving in is against my entire world view. I have always stood my ground, but that has become a joke since I cannot stand. Not first thing in the morning.

The first challenge is getting upright and Ray has to hold my hands and when I say “Pull” he has to pull me upright quickly. This morning I screamed as he did this.  (Going slowly is more painful.) Ray has to slowly pull each leg around until I can reach the floor and then once again, pull me to my feet. He has to make sure I don’t fall backward or forwards or I’ll be on the floor. I’ve mentioned the ‘damned stairs’ before but this morning they almost defeated me. But he wouldn’t let go, nor would he give in and we painfully made our way along the corridor.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from owlsandorchids.com       Is this all that’s left?

It has brought home the simple dignity chronically ill people suffer which is taken by others as something they just have to get used to. I wonder if, in the same position, they would find it so easy or welcome! Well, we made the journey, back to bed and sitting back brought another stifled scream. (I have some pride left). It was not going to be an easy day. I swore I wouldn’t take the tablets but I was afraid, seriously afraid I might have to call the ambulance.  Maybe it’s the meds but that’s tantamount to throwing in the towel and I’d rather the unthinkable than that.

So, doped up and basically incoherent I remained in a land somewhere between reality and who knows? I do know that after Ray had left I felt someone sitting down and then a cuddling into my legs, but that’s another story.

We decided on a bath, detoxing again, but with added special things Ray thought up. He helped me to the main bathroom, (when we build I’m having a bath in the en suite!) and the most beautiful sight met my eyes. My special bath salts, lavender-scented had been liberally placed in the bath, extra Epsom salts, my coconut body wash, coconut scented body cream, candles, my bath pillow and my iPod. I could have cried. It was exquisite – and I forget to get a photo so this will have to do…

How can something so wonderful be so painful? Getting in and lying back caused another loud groan, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. (Note to self – larger bath needed in our en suite). It was hot, as it needed to be and as I felt the warmth slowly seeping into my body, I felt a wonderful feeling enveloping me. I got my iPod and some meditation music and I was left in peaceful silence.

I came back to myself as the water lost its heat but over an hour had passed and I was a wrinkled prune – almost. Helped out and dried off and then the final surprise, the beautiful coconut butter lotion… He carefully and slowly rubbed it in from my toes to my neck and down my back. I had the most incredible massage of my back. His magical fingers caressed the painful knots and tender spots and relaxed the rest of my back. I was covered from head to toe with lotion and I felt amazing. Every muscle had turned to jelly.

Helping me dress and back upstairs we had a beautiful cup of tea.

I realised how lucky I was. I found in one inexplicable gift from the Universe, my soul mate who is my husband, my lover and my best friend. The pain notwithstanding, I realise I’m so darned lucky. To be loved and accepted by such a wonderful man, someone who not only stands by me, but helps me through my nightmare is a rare blessing. I don’t make it easy on him at times and my guilt becomes another torment. I feel stuck in this limbo, yet supported by a magical earth angel.

What more can I say? Love is beautiful and found in unexpected place and at unusual times. Enjoy it anytime you can.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from 2guysphoto.wordpress.com

I feel my love flowing to all my friends out here, and to all the people everywhere. Love will eventually change our world. It is too great to ignore forever.

Blessings and love to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2014

~

For the Love of My Life and for the Love of Your Lives, whoever they may be.

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In Search of...Airports and Cairo

image from www-josephinewall-co.uk

The drive to the Ben Gurion airport was straight forward. For the rest of the tour group it was with mixed feelings that they were leaving. We had seen so many delightful things, the history and the way of life in Israel. For me, it was just a hiatus.  After the tour was concluded I was coming back to Tel Aviv for a further two weeks, I wasn’t finished with Israel yet.

What a difference having a tour guide made at the airport. The speed with which we were ushered through the checking in process was awesome, until it ground to an unseemly halt. Both Mel and I were selected to have our bags thoroughly checked out. Why were we chosen? I have no idea. Well, one, we were the only “single young females” in the group. Perhaps rifling through our underwear was part of the thrill of travelling overseas? Finally through we had our tickets, instructions that we would be met at Cairo airport and we were off on the next stage of our adventure.

#In Search of..Airports and Cairo

image from http://www.timesofisrael.com      Searching for the smallest thing

We traveled on Egypt Air this time and the plane gave the impression it might shake itself to pieces before we arrived in Cairo. No-one was inclined to walk around the plane this trip! However, it didn’t take long before we were landing and lining up to go through customs. The tour official who met us was a strange man indeed. He had a high pitched giggle which seemed to pop out far too often. Definitely not a laugh to make you feel comfortable, and then it all began again.

Mel and I were pointed to as we lined up with our luggage. No, they didn’t want to go through our clothes, this time they wished to search us! Much pointing ensued as we were hustled over to two semi partitioned cubicles where the ladies were searched by female airport security staff.  I’m sorry to say I was attacked by the humour of the situation and had an attack of the giggles. I don’t think the very stern looking, short and fat female security ladies found me amusing. At all!  Prodded and patted and twirled around, the prodding and patting down continued and then out came the wand to be whirled up and down our body. I nearly choked in the effort to stop laughing. If it hadn’t been for the tour official running around, his high pitched voice clearly audible where we were, I think we may have been retained a while longer.

#In Search of...Airports and Cairo

image from www-demotix-com. Egyptair

Finally released, we collected our bags and made our way through the airport, at speed, towards the bus awaiting us at the kerb. The bags seemed to be dispatched at greater speed into the bowels of the bus, as we were hurriedly ushered inside. Then came the most amazing lesson of all. Transport in Cairo.

I should explain that the main entrance into Cairo, from the airport, had six lanes, three each way. We are all fairly familiar with the road system, whether we drive on the right or left hand side of the road. Nothing however, could prepare anyone for this. The three inbound lanes became six! Two vehicles per lane, and it made no difference whatsoever how large either vehicle was. Pedestrians scuttled madly across this hurtling, screeching, nightmare of metal to reach either the centre of side of the road.

#In Search of..Airports and Cairo

Egypt, Cairo traffic

Stunned silence enveloped the bus as we watched these kamikaze pedestrians risking life and limb to cross the road. Sensing the quiet the tour official popped up out of his seat and said, in his high pitched giggle, “Not to worry, they’re made of rubber, just bounce if they hit the cars.” I’m not quite sure what was more astounding, that people ran across the road as they did or that this person seriously thought we would believe people bounced off them if  hit. Well, they do bounce but it’s not very good for them when they land. The honking of horns filled the air as we made our way to the hotel.

#In Search of..Airports and Cairo

Tourist entrance Cairo Marriott Hotel

What an incredible transformation. We were staying at the Marriott. I know I felt awkwardly under dressed for the reception. Opulence greeted us everywhere we turned. I simply wanted to find my room, bathe and change into something more respectable. Somehow jeans and joggers didn’t seem quite right amidst the gilt and grandeur.  For the first time the group was spread all over the hotel. I was in the far wing, far enough away to need a map to get back to reception, and of course, I got lost in the labyrinth of the hotel. Thank heavens for bell boys.

#In Search of...Airports and Cairo

Cairo Marriott Hotel and Casino

Mel and I had decided to buy water for our trip and so had arranged to meet in reception after we had time to get our luggage into our rooms and felt a little more respectable. Perhaps it was due to the fact that my room was in the far wing, but it took an age to get my luggage up to my room. In fact I was waiting so long I had time for a coffee and Mel called to find out if I had a problem – Um mm yes, my luggage hasn’t arrived.

Buying water at the hotel was exorbitant, plus they only sold small bottles. We wanted to stockpile sufficient to take us through our Egyptian sojourn. The instructions to reach a shop, outside he precincts of the hotel, were simple. We needed to go down through the rear of the hotel to the “tradesman’s entrance”, then cross the road and turn left, and the shop is on the corner. Simple! Yes?….. No!

Uniformed bellboys, ushers and waiters were delightfully helpful. We found the rear entrance, or should it be exit, with no problems. Then we took a good look at the road. Three marked lanes and six, seven lines of hurtling metal, all heading past us. We noticed, just one of those strange things which happen at these times, that there was not a single vehicle which had even one panel without a multitude of dints in it. I have never seen a more motley collection of vehicles which looked as if they should be heading for the wreckers, and ‘they’ apparently thought pedestrian were made of rubber!

#In Search of...Airports and Cairo

image from http://www.theguardian.com                  Running the Gauntlet

Taking our courage in both hands and a large serving of insanity, we charged across the street during a slight lull (a one car space) and reached the far side. The shopkeepers and their customers came out and looked, some clapped and the car drivers all honked their horns, and waived at the two crazy western women. Laughing we looked round for the shop. No, it’s not here. Wait a minute, right across from where we were standing, back where we had just come from, was a little shop with a sign out front indicating water was sold there. It seems our guardian angels were looking out for us.

#In Search of...Airports and Cairo

image from http://www.non-competes.comWater! The ice would have been nice.

It appeared the road we needed to cross was the driveway to the hotel, on the same side of the street. They really didn’t want us buying water outside the hotel. We looked at each other and then at the once more speeding traffic.  Suddenly, one of the other pedestrians strode out into the maelstrom of speeding madness and held his hand in the air. The universal signal to STOP! We cringed, waiting to see the inevitable happen, or if he would ‘bounce’. With a screech of many brakes the traffic stopped, every single car stopped without hitting anything. We hurriedly crossed to road to the sound of good natured calls and waves. Waving back we reached safety back where we started five minutes earlier.

#In Search of...Airports and Cairo

image from caieg_phototour149 Promenade, Cairo Marriott Hotel

Buying our water supplies we headed back to the hotel. We decided a cup of coffee and a short respite was in order before we explored a little. We were served coffee in beautiful gold embossed china cups and a Turkish delight that melted in your mouth. Life was wonderful and a short while later, refreshed and glad to be alive we set out to explore the hotel.

Blessings, Susan x

Next Week  – Sandstorms, Light Shows, Poverty and Riches.

© Susan Jamieson 2014

In Search of….Part 14

In Search of…Part 13

In Search of…Part 12

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