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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Jordan’

image from dreamworlds.ru –

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Ever since my daughter introduced me to this film I’ve been fascinated with it. It is Labyrinth with David Bowie and Jennifer Connolly.  I love the imagery and the messages it puts across. I can empathise from the outset with Sarah who lives in her fantasy world, memorising the lines to her favourite story. What I wouldn’t give to have some of her costumes! (Yes I still love dressing up).  I especially love the ball scene where she dances in a beautiful ball gown.

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At this point  everyone may be wondering what the purpose is in this ramble. It’s really simple, pure unadulterated escapism. I have heard this film described as a horror movie but whilst for a children’s movie there were scary parts in it, I thought it was a wonderful example of a young girl growing up. She finally had to realise that whilst she could retain her childhood innocence and wonder there was another world waiting for her too.

Jared, the Goblin King wants to control her, feed off her emotions by telling her he had “turned the world upside down… all for you”.  In reality he was changing reality to keep her enmeshed in his world where he could order things to his needs. When she finally remembers her lines “You have no power over me”, the spell is broken and she returns to reality.

Yet what is reality? Is it the hours we spend hunched in pain and agony as illness rips us apart. (poetic license). Yet tonight that is precisely what it feels like. My innards feel like a volcano is erupting, violently and often, and I cannot rest or even forget for a few moments what is happening. (Thank you Lyme disease). Hence my escape into something as far from my reality as possible. It is permissible to use whatever means we can at times like these.

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image from pinktentacle.com

Of course I did consider using the film Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones as my example but there’s no idyllic subterfuge hidden within its drama. Love the film but I needed that total opposite to illustrate the difference. I would much rather be Jennifer Connolly in a beautiful ball gown, even in a fairytale than stuck in molten magma, the bowels of the earth ripping and tearing and spewing forth in fearsome splendor.

Now that I think of it, as an avid Robert Jordan fan I could use the imagery of a Darkhound or a Myrddraal as my nemesis. I suppose it all depends on what most resonates with you.  I love Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series so either will be suitable for me.

image from onlyhdwallpapers.com

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Then again perhaps I would like to be Moiraine, an Aes Sedai, wielder of magic and able to be healed by another. That sounds fine right about now.

Back to meditate for some rest.

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image from totalbalance.com.au

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No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

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Blessings one and all in our own form of escapism or coping skills.  Susan x

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image from totalbalance.com.au

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices

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I realise that for many the idea that “A new you” can be attained from something a mundane as meditation may be enough to turn you away completely. What isn’t perhaps as well explained is that meditation can be done in hundreds of ways, not simply sitting still in the lotus position. Also “a new you” is not the aim of meditation, it is tuning into the inner essence and finding peace and clarity in our rushed and hurried world.

Now if I tried to sit in the true lotus position, or even as this lady is I would be crippled as soon as I tried to move. That is if my back hadn’t already told me it was very unhappy – which means in agony. So the experience of attending a traditional yoga or meditation retreat, whilst still pulling me, is simply not on the cards any longer. Even my tarot cards tell me so!

image from http://www.flickr.com A walking meditation along the beach.

The beauty is that meditation can be done any way you like. Yes, many people will say you must have your feet on the ground, you must sit with your spine straight, but suppose that isn’t always possible or practical? What if you don’t have any feet to put on the ground? What if you have a back injury and sitting upright is not possible?

The entire premise reminds me of ‘old school’ church philosophy: you must go to church/mosque/synagogue in order to commune with your deity. Whilst I in no way intend to offend anyone’s personal religious beliefs I have to ask what happened before we built these edifices to worship in? It takes only two people gathered for the same reason to have unity of purpose, and that does not specify inside a dwelling of any kind. In fact I firmly believe that you can commune and worship your deity when you are alone, and possibly achieve a greater closeness than in a crowded ‘house’.

image from lotusflower888.blogspot.com

Which is why meditation can be so useful. It can be done with a group of people and it can be done solo. My husband and I meditate together and it is a wonderful time out of our day together. The main point is that whatever happens is the right thing to happen. I have been told that falling asleep in a meditation group is bad manners, shows disrespect for the facilitator, and yet after being so disappointed at my ‘failures’ to stay awake at times I finally found someone with a different viewpoint. Their premise is that if you fall asleep during meditation it simply means that you need more healing and spirit helps you with that. Beautiful!

My favourite way to ‘get in the zone’ or ‘zone out’ is an exercise from Robert Jordan‘s books for his characters the Aes Sedai.  In my mind’s eye I think of a curled up rose bud and slowly allow it to open until it is fully open. I always use the Peace Rose as it is one of my favourites but any colour would do. I find that by focusing on that I can forget everything else. Perhaps not traditional but it works for me!

image from aikoyoshida.wordpress.com

Of course any pastime which allows you to forget ‘everything’ is a meditation. A walk along the beach, wandering through the bush or forest, sitting on a rock in the sun, doing the ironing, listening to a piece of music, rocking a baby. There isn’t a “one way fits all” meditation. Occasionally it takes a little time to find the one which suits you. Many guided meditations work wonderfully if you need something to help you along.

At the end of the day finding an oasis of peace and tranquility in our daily lives is precious and if we use the tools we have at our disposal we can tune in to that new, calmer person. Insights come which have eluded us and we feel better about not only ourselves but other people and issues as well. If we can do that, even if only for a few moments then we are well on the way to achieving that air of peace and calm we yearn for.

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”
Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

May you enjoy “Tuning in to a New You” and find you have always been there.

Blessings  Susan

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People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

It is impossible to deny, there is both light and dark inside everyone. Each human being, each soul has the ability to perceive both the light and the dark.  This simple fact is explicit in everything we do and say. It provides the balance by which we grow as human beings and as souls in a human body.

There are times when, despite our best endeavors we are overcome by the dark, by “the bleakness”. I first heard this term in a novel I was reading.  In short, a race of people who were warriors, the Aiel,  detested another, the Tinkers,  who followed the ways of peace, who not only turned the other cheek but would sooner die than raise a weapon in their own defense. During a sacred Aiel ceremony, where a man would become either a clan chief or die, or a woman would become a wise one or die, they learned their entire people’s history. What they learned was the peaceful Tinkers were actually the original Aiel people.

Understandably, this sudden turning upside down of their world was overwhelming. Those who were unable to deal with this dropped their weapons and simply walked away. It was described as “being taken by the bleakness”.  For those who recognise the plot, it is from a Robert Jordan series, “The Wheel of Time”. For brevity I have shortened the explanation greatly.

image from    modernmartialartist.com.au

And the symbol used in the book:

image from http://www.comicvine.com

It intrigued me, not only for the magic and abilities of the characters, but for the way the dichotomy between the light and dark within ourselves can be similarly described. It was also interesting that the Yin Yang symbol was adapted to illustrate the light and dark forces at play.

As souls having a human existence we strive to reach the light, to increase its presence in our lives, in our bodies and souls.  We practice drawing the white light of the universe down, through the crown chakra, flooding our body with positive energy and removing any negative energy.

image from soundofheart.org

In meditation I follow this daily, and as a practice in the shower it is soothing and energising.  There are times when I can only reach that feeling of calm whilst I am meditating or showering ( a shower meditation), but the dross of the day sometimes overwhelms me again. It irritates me and I try to remind myself that I am only human, a soul in a human body and I am a long way from perfection. Anyone who knows me will recognise that I have been going through my own form of “the bleakness” of late.

Yet that in itself is also comforting – eventually! I am like a Willow, I will bend before the storm but I will not break like the mighty Oak. We draw our inspiration from strange places, places which are important to each of us but may have no relevance to another.We have to acknowledge our dark side, those undercurrents of “bleakness” so that we are able to see the light in all its glory when it occurs, just like the sunlight after a storm.

It is a measure of our soul growth that, in the midst of chaos and despair we still strive for the light.

Like a protagonist in any battle we often feel thrown from one extreme stance to another. It is somewhat like being a tennis ball or a basket ball, any ball in sport, we are tossed, seemingly at whim to and fro until we are unsure where up or down is.  I know that anyone reading yesterdays blog will wonder if the same person is writing this. Change can happen quickly or not, a slow return or smashing volley.

image from http://www.odt.co.nz – The Nadal, Federer match.

Like a small bud opening to the suns first rays, we are small and fragile but can open to be a beautiful bloom. Even though our ‘life’ may be short there are more buds on our tree and we will continue to grow and flower with the sun, the light shining on us. We can only wake each day, or take a deep breath during the day and make that decision to keep going. Find something, even something small to be thankful for. Grateful for the scent of the opened roses, freshly mown grass, the laughter of children playing, the warmth of your husband’s hand in yours. It may even be a simple ‘thank you’ from someone for something you thought too insignificant to remember, yet it was important to them. They are often hard to remember when things feel grim, but like the turning of the seasons we cannot stop them if we continue to be mindful of everyday things and grateful that we can be resent to experience them. No, the battle may not be over, but then neither am I.

image from jbeachyphotography.blogspot.com


May you too find your heavenly fire to light your way out of the darkness, my blessings and gratitude for you will continue each day, hopefully brightening your day knowing that there is indeed someone out there who truly cares for you for no other reason that you are there.

“There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”  ~Washington Irving, The Sketch Book, 1820

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