Posted in CAT'S LIFE, CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS

Who is your Mother?

Today (the 8th of may) is my beautiful Mother’s 70th birthday and every 7 years, as the calender goes, my Mother’s birthday also falls on Mothers day.  So I thought I’d use this comment to celebrate my Mother and Mothers around the world.

We can all say what a good Mother does, but when we look at our own Mothers, I wonder how often we think about who they are?

My Mother has a name, she is named after her Aunt, but that is not who she is.  Who she is, is a good, kind generous person, who has a practical nature and a sharp and intelligent mind.  She is someone who will help a friend and a stranger, if they are in need, she is someone who loves craft and music and who bakes a mean lasagna.  She is a person who likes to travel and explore, who has fun because she got lost, and has fun finding her way back.

She is all these things, but what does she do in the world?

Well my Mum is a triple certificated Registered Nurse and Midwife.  She helped thousands of women become Mothers over her 40 year career in the UK and here in Australia.  She has delivered thousands of babies and nurtured thousands of new borns in the  humidy cribs, too sick to stay with their Mothers in the first fragile days of life.  She has educated Indigenous People about health matters and travelled to remote townships to live with them, when she taught them this vital work.  She has vaccinated thousands of children, saving their lives from the tyranny of disease.

So I know who she is and what she did, but how does she now spend her days?  Well now she is retired, she spends her days creating amazing quilts and items of clothing, by sewing and knitting.  She sells them and she gives them away.  Each piece gives her so much pleasure that she is always planning ahead to the next.  When she is not doing this, she is making music on her Piano or her Guitar.  She sometimes watches Agatha Christie murder mysteries on the TV while she sews and she loves to watch Shakespearian plays and Opera.

But when is she happiest?

I think she is happiest when she is with the people who love her most.  When she is with her family.  When she is with the people she feels most at ease with, her people.  The ones who love her back unconditionally.  She is happy when she is with her friends; she has a group of friends all who graduated Nursing at the same time, still all alive and living near each other.  These women have seen each other through life’s triumphs and tragedies and yet, they remain close and supportive of each other as they have come to the retirement years of their lives.

And so why am I telling you this?  Because I took the time to get to know my Mother.  To learn that she is not a 1 dimensional person.   She is my Mum, the one I think of when I am in distress and the one I think to call on to tell my good news to first.  She is the one person who I feel I can hold onto no matter what, she is my soft place to fall.  But she is not just that.  She didn’t just raise  my brothers and I, she also had a career and friends and interests.  She continued to learn and gain Degrees and Certifications long into her 50’s.

Sometimes it’s easy to categorise a person, in what they do for us, and to see little of whom they are apart from that.  This Mothers Day, I hope that you can see your Mother for all of her self and no matter what your relationship may be with her at this time in your lives, be grateful that she gave you the gift of life.  For the greatest gift we children can give to our Mothers, is to use the life we have been given, well and to make them proud.  For Motherhood is full of self-sacrifice for the sake of seeing your child live and thrive.  Make that sacrifice count.

I love you Mum, happy birthday.

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Posted in CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE

SELF-TALK LIKE A WINNER!

I was watching a show about people losing weight recently and there was a young man on the show who didn’t know how to think like an athlete. His trainer was getting extremely frustrated with him, as it was obvious he was floundering around. When he finally asked the young man, what the bleep are you thinking when you are doing this exercise, the young guy said, I don’t know what to think!
This prompted me to look at other situations in life when people don’t actually know what to think in a situation. When I exercise, I think to my self, ok you’ve gone 5 min but you’ve ridden 1 mile so keep it up only 6 more miles to go, then after 4 and a half miles I say to myself, you are half way now, good work, push through the pain and keep going. Then I count  down the time or the miles I ride. Until I complete he task. If I’m doing resistance training it’s counting the reps and telling myself to feel the burn and push through it. I have a self talk which allows me to work through the pain of excercise in order to make the achievement of a great work out. I finish with endorphins released and fat burning away, muscles pumped and me sweating profusely. But I feel so much better for it.
So what about someone who is studying. Many of us want to take up study but as an adult, it’s a daunting task. So we have to talk ourselves through it in a similar way. Say you have two Uni assignments to do, you would tell yourself, ok time to research this assignment and brainstorm the subject. Done that, now I have to complete the essay so it make sence and applys to the requirements of the professor. Just a few more thousand words, now to spell check, ok review, done yes!
It is a great feeling when you are able to submit an assignment ahead of time, because you have talked yourself into the work and you have talked yourself through it.
We use self talk all the time, but how often do you talk to yourself as if you are going to make an achievement? How often do you give yourself set goals within the task as you are doing it to keep yourself moving? What about that great feeling when it’s done!? That is a great feeling.
The difference between winning and losing is in the self talk we encourage within ourselves. If you are always feeling like you can’t win, then learn to apply this to simple tasks like the washing up, or the folding. Take small chunks out of the pile until it’s all done. The feeling of achievement is a boost and it is a stepping stone to the next achievement and the next.
Life is just a set of tasks all set out for us each day, they may vary and they may each have different categories and challenges, but we still have them. From the time you awaken to the time you fall asleep, you have tasks to do.
How about getting yourself a little challenged today and set a new task, talk yourself through it and feel the boost of achievement.

You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in CAT'S LIFE, CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized

Body Image, Relationships &Gratitude

Scales
Image thanks to http://www.olivia2901.blogspot.com

Sometimes I think people put too much pressure on themselves to be of a so called perfect body shape in order to attract a partner.   Those people that I have known who buy into having to be super slim to get a man or a woman to fancy  them, tend to end up with people who are superficial and who only want to see that outer beauty and not the real beauty of a person, the beauty within.  ‘Time stops for no man’ they say and this is so true in regards to the shape of your body.  Bodies change; bodies grow and evolve as we grow older.  They never stay static and believe me, you won’t look the same way you did a 25 when you are 50, so why stress so much about body image, just to land a partner?  In fact, in regards to women and their idea of body image, I haven’t met one man yet who doesn’t think curves rock!  They love them.  It’s only the fashion designers who despise curves.  They need to sell clothing and so they keep the clothes small.  Here in Australia, the average size of a woman is size 12.  That equates to size 8 in the USA and a size 10 in the UK.   This is a healthy weight, a weight range to be happy with and in doing so, you will find that everything changes for you.

When I met my partner, I had put on a little weight because I had gone through a major period in my life full of struggle and hardship and I had become burnt out and depressed.  So I wasn’t exercising as much and food became a comfort for me.  I was a size 14 in Aussie clothing and he still fancied me.  He still liked what he saw and he still wanted to get to know me.  In fact, now I am a little chubbier, because that time of being burnt out made me sedentary and then I ended up with some health issues and I couldn’t get back to the gym.  Guess what?  He’s still here.  With my pot belly and flabby arms, he’s still hanging around.

It’s because he is able to see beyond my imperfections and he realises that I am motivated to change when the time is right and really, if I didn’t care and I was happy with the way I am he’d be happy too.  He just isn’t worried so much, because he thinks curves rock.  He’s not super slim, either.  But I don’t care because when I look at him, I see a beautiful person and I like him just the way he is.

True love transcends all the superficial stuff.  True love doesn’t care that you’ve just had a baby and your belly is a bit floppy and your boobs are huge.  True love doesn’t mind that you have chubby thighs or that your nose has a hook in it.  True love only sees the heart and the heart, personality  compatibility and communication are what make a relationship tick.

I spent many years in my adult life alone, without a partner.  Many of these years were by choice I must admit, because I didn’t want to find I’d made a bad choice and regret entangling my life with someone who was wrong for me.  So when I did meet someone, it meant that I had the perspective of knowing that I have been alone and I like not being alone now.  It means that I never take him for granted.

Relationship in a Rut
Relationship in a Rut: Image thanks to http://www.sheknows.com

Too many relationships end up in a rut where each person is going through the motions of the day and they forget to stop and remember why they are with that person and why it is wonderful to have them around.  We get caught up in the rat race too easily and this can take over the joy of the little things.  If you are in a relationship, try and remember to stop and be grateful for the one you are with every day and if you can, let your heart be filled with gratitude that they have chosen to stick around and be with you.  This choice of gratitude will make up some of the glue that keeps you together.  I think it’s also important to put yourself in the other person’s shoes once in a while and to reiterate to them what you have observed.  So that they know that you are thinking of them and that you appreciate their efforts.  This is also important in keeping the relationship glued together.

In doing these things, in loving the body your partner occupies and in loving your own, in accepting the imperfections of each other and in allowing yourself to stop and feel the gratitude for the life you have together, you will not overload your love with demands.  Because love soars when it is not overloaded with demands.  How can a bird fly if it is covered in oil?  Its feathers are overloaded and it cannot take off.  Love cannot fly either if you demand it to be skinny or to earn more money or be more sociable or whatever the issue may be.  If you were to back off from what is annoying and encourage what is wonderful, your love will grow to heights you could never expect or even dream of.

For those of you who are reading this and you are single.  Do not worry, your time will come.  There are billions of people in this world and therefore billions of possibilities for love.  Just remember that you are at your most attractive when you are happy with yourself.  When you have no pressure on yourself to be a certain way.  Just allow yourself to be free.  Of course if your Dr says lose weight, you should do so, but this may be the key to you feeling that freedom.  But if you are chasing perfection, let it go and just love yourself in this moment, for the reasons that brought you here and make the choices to live within that sense of freedom, to find yourself and find the love you deserve, within yourself,  for who you are.  Then, when the time is right, your one true love, may just meet you and a new life together can begin.

Easy to Love You
Easy to Love You: Image thanks to http://www.misscarlyrenee13.deviantart.com

When you are with The One, that togetherness is easy.  There is no regular tears or fighting, there is no regular dramas or hassles.  There is just the ebb and flow of life and all that entails.  It is a wonderful and fulfilling experience to be with another person who is your best friend, your lover and your confident.  If you have that, never take it for granted, don’t’ place pressure on it and never hold on too tight for fear of losing it either.  Just love it with all your heart and soul.  True love is awesome and I wish for each and every one of you the opportunity to experience it.

 

 

Posted in CAT'S LIFE, CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized

My Puppy Dog & a Spiritual Song

Today I was doing the washing up, just thinking about life and then my mind fell upon what I was going to talk with you about today.  I looked over at my sleeping hound dog and I thought about how perfect he is for my family and as I looked at him more, I remembered the process I went through to find a dog in the first place.  I had a specific set of parameters I wanted in a dog.  I had boys, so I needed a dog that could handle the rough and tumble of life with brothers; I was alone at the time, so I needed a dog that would protect me and my home.  I was also a single mother, so that meant I couldn’t afford vet fees, so I needed a dog that was a cross breed, who thrived on very little medical care and rarely got sick.  I wanted a dog that would be loyal and loving, a dog that wouldn’t bark unless there was a good reasons and a dog that was smart enough to be trained with both vocal commands and hand signals.  I searched the net for ages and then I searched the pounds for a suitable puppy.  I needed a puppy because I had cats and birds and I couldn’t trust an older dog in my home, I needed a young one who could happily grow up around these other animals and not eat them.

Jasper in his Jumper
Jasper in his Jumper

After a while of searching, I let it go.  I’d had enough of looking and other things struck my attention as being more important.  Then, one day, I on the way home from my son’s drumming lessons I got this strong urge to call into a particular pet store.  I thought I would be buying some bottom feeder fish for my aquarium, but, instead there was a little waggy tailed puppy.  My son fell in love and I ummed and ahhed.  They said he was a cross between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever.  Both very similar breeds, one is short haired and one long.  I though, ok, this dog won’t get too big, I don’t want a horse of a dog…Well we took him home and called him Jasper.  Jasper grew  and grew and grew…pretty soon it was clear he was not a Labrador crossed with a retriever, he was crossed with either a ridge back or a mastiff.  He is now 3 yrs old and 40 kg or 88 pounds!  Yep, he’s a big boy.

Jasper being good.
Jasper being good.

He is everything I asked for in a dog and more.  But the point of this Spiritual Comment is not that I got what i asked Mother Earth for, it’s that the animal came to me.   It’s that the dog was a true friend waiting for him family.  He is a brother to my sons and a child to me.  Yet he is a dog.

As I was thinking about all of this during the mundane task of washing up, I began to think back to a time when I was 18, when I was friends with a lady who was into exploring all aspects of spirituality.  She was a bit older than me and she owned a spiritual shop.  She gave Readings and she had many spiritual experiences along side of me.  She understood me.  We found a clearing out near a manmade lake, in the outback of Queensland and there we would do very earthy rituals and commune with mother earth.  She got into shamanism and we went out there one time to do a shamanistic ritual for beginners.  We had to sort of stomp and dance in a circle and chant.  We had lit a fire in the middle and we were getting right into it, when suddenly a rush of energy came over me and I heard every voice of every animal that existed on the planet at that time.  It was a totally spiritual experience.  It was better than any human intimacy I had ever experienced.  It was like my mind was filled with the luminosity of gold.  My friend got spooked, I don’t know what she experienced, but she broke the connection for me and then I didn’t hear it anymore.  But I was left this knowing sense that Humans are the sum of all the creatures on the planet.  Our bodies are made up of all the most efficient workings of all the other bodies and our personalities can reflect all the aspects of each and every one of those animals that walk this planet with us.  With that knowledge firmly implanted in my mind, I hear the sound of wings above my head and I looked, only to see nothing.  It was a spirit bird I could hear.  I hear the beating wings maybe three times and then a song.  I didn’t know the language at the time, but i knew it was sacred.  I have since sung it to a few trusted people, who have told me it sounds very Native American.  I don’t know if some of the words are real or not, I don’t know what the words mean…I just know that when I sing this song, I feel so much closer to my soul and so much closer to Mother Earth.  I can only write it phonetically so here it is…

OOsha balah hayo

Oosha bala heya a

Oosha bala heyo

Monai o haro haya

Oosha bala heyo

Oosha bala heya a

Oosha bala heyo

Monai o haro heya

I call this song my ‘sacred blessing’ because it came to me in such a way.

I have had many wonderful experiences with animals, both wild and domestic.  I think it’s important to recognise that they do represent aspects of ourselves if they come to you, because they are reflecting themselves in you.  Just as we mirror ourselves onto other humans.  Animals are our teachers as much as we are teachers to each other.  I personally never use terms like ‘you filthy animal’ because I don’t think of myself as above animals.  I am at the top of my pack as far as my dog, jasper is concerned, but that is because he has a huge mouth and if he thought he was top dog we’d all get bitten and my cats would be his lunch.

Jasper busted on the couch!
Jasper busted on the couch!

This brings me back to Jasper, he is my loyal companion.  I realised that I am a loyal friend too.  I realised that I stick around for quite a while and I turn the other cheek allot before I choose to walk away from a friend.  I still love them though, even if the time together has run it’s course.  Just like a loving loyal dog would with a human who chose not to love it back.  During the time that I adopted jasper, I had been betrayed by three people and I was healing from that hurt.  He reminded me that I was a good person and that I was loving and loyal, even if I had suffered this set back.

Animals come to us for many reasons.  They usually come to us to teach us something about ourselves, because we are the sum of all the animals here on the planet and as such, we have the most to learn about who we are.  We are the Human Animal.  We must take responsibility for that.

Posted in CAT'S LIFE, CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE

Family Feuds & Forgiveness

Image thanks to myarticles.over-blog.com
Image thanks to myarticles.over-blog.com

When I was 17 I attended a tertiary college to study secretarial skills…Office work was and has never been a subject I enjoy, however it has proven to be the foundation of my business skills, so for that, I am grateful…One morning, before class a lady approached me while I was sitting on a bench, minding my own business. She introduced herself and began to talk…She was in her late 30’s, re-training now her kids were older and she was very sad and very alone…but not because of her change in life…She felt this way because of an unresolved family feud, resulting in unfinished business and the lost chance to say ‘I love You’ to her Father before he died.
She was so very sad as she recounted having found out that her Father was in his death bed and that she had been deliberately left out of the Family call around for the gathering to say goodbye. When she arrived at the Hospital, it was too late. Her Father had gone and he died a bitter man towards his beautiful girl… Here sat before me, a broken Woman. A woman who could never say ‘I forgive you’ or ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me’, a woman who would die herself one day with that unhealed heart. I was 17, I did not have the emotional maturity or life skills to counsel her. I just sat with her and let her talk…I felt very sad for her and I thought to myself ‘No matter what, I’m never going to let a chance go by, to tell my family that I love them’.
My Mother told me that I had a very trustworthy face, because the more I ventured out into the world, the more strangers would seek me out to confess their sins or tell me their storeys of regret. It was a burden for me, because I just didn’t know how to deal with it, but it was a release for them, because they felt they were connecting with someone who cared…and I did care, that is why I felt it was a burden. I didn’t know how to help these people and I just didn’t know why they were all coming to me.
However, looking back on those times, I now know why they chose me…Because I was born to give others Spiritual Counsel. It is in my capacity as a Funeral Celebrant, that I find myself wishing I had met some of these people long before the death of their loved one. Because it never ceases to sadden me to see the hurt and disappointment of family members estranged, never to speak again and cursed with this decision as one of them dies.
The institution of Family is a major part of every Human’s life. It is a fundamental part of your creation to be a member of a family unit, a Clan or a Tribe. When that institution breaks down, for one reason or another…it is imperative that the family members re-unite under a common umbrella. They need to rise above the issue and see that love is more important. Because you never know when your time is up, or when it is theirs.
I have family members who live in different locations around Brisbane and Queensland, Scotland, England and the USA. After that conversation with that lady, all those years ago, I realised that if I had to drive for two hours to spend 5 minutes with a Family member, it was worth it. If I travelled half way around the world and only got a window of an hour with someone in my family, no matter how emotionally close they are to me, or not…I would be grateful for every second. Because they are your blood. Your ancestors, your DNA. They are more important than money, material goods, popularity or power.
When I give a Funeral Service, I often find that there are one or two people in the official party, who want to make the day ‘all about them’. They ignore the proceedings of the day and create a sideline event, or they dress inappropriately or they are loud and rude during the service. These people have forgotten what the meaning of Family is. They have forgotten their own hearts too. They have been drawn into the illusion of the instant gratification culture, the meanness of ‘give me, give me, give me.’ And they have created for themselves a day of regret. It may not dawn on them that day, or later that month…but it will hit them hard when it does. Because, at the heart of it all, Family is there. Deep within your Soul, there is a connection that is forged in the White Light of the Source of All There Is.

Forgiveness card
Image thanks to enjoythefun-life.blogspot.com

The band ‘Mike and the Mechanics’ wrote a song about this subject, you may have heard it on the Radio – ‘In the Living years’. It is a song that always brings a tear to my eye, because I have witnessed the results of so many family feuds, over the time I have been a Spiritual Adviser and Funeral Celebrant.

Is there someone in your family who doesn’t see eye to eye with you? Is there someone you are angry with or who you just can’t face because of whatever reason? Don’t let that bad feeling sit and fester for another second. Write them a note. Send them a card. Tell them that no matter what has gone on before, you love them dearly and you are always going to be their champion, tell them you forgive them…
Because one day, one of you will die, and for the one left behind it will be too late.