Friday 28 October 2011

Happy Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en in Ireland these past few years has gone all American - big, expensive fancy costumes, lots and lots of lights, spiders and webs, and houses decorated to the max. It wasn't like this when I was growing up, all we used to do was build and burn a bonfire, dip our faces into buckets of water to catch apples (hated doing that), eat brack and choke on the cheap ring wrapped in baking paper, paint our faces black and red and ask door to door to "Help the Hallowe'en Party". I always thought that was a political party! But it was an Irish tradition that has been replaced with the American "Trick or Treat".

For me Hallowe'en has always been a time when the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest. Another name for Hallowe'en is Samhain, and that translates as "the day of the dead". A Celtic festival honouring the passing of the souls of our ancestors, a time where it is believed that the spiritual and material worlds touch for a moment, a time of greater potential for magic.

The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held during Samhain and a window or a portal opened which allowed the dead to cross the veils into the land of the living. So if you are feeling the need, do ask the universe for extra protection and feel the energies around you become more solid and stronger. In the old days, just in case there was confusion with the opening of the portal, Jack O'Lanterns were made to help guide any lost souls back home. In those days turnips were carved out and candles placed inside them, but I do think pumkins are a lot easier to work with than turnips!

Take some time this year to honour the dead, those you know and those you did not know in body. Honour yourself too, where you are on your journey of life, how far you have come, and recognise how much work it has taken to be here, now. If you want to do a small ceremony, you could create an alter, light a candle in honour of the dead, perhaps one for yourself or for your family. You could say a prayer for healing, ask for help with something that is troubling you or send love and light from your heart to the world to help raise the vibration of Mother Earth. And of course, you could follow the ceremony by eating something sweet!!

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Autumn 2011

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog entry and I discovered that when I don’t read, don’t meditate or don’t breathe mindfully, I become blocked and I’m not creative.

Only yesterday I started to do all of these things again, and something must have shifted because as I’m back here writing my blog again and I didn’t even plan it!

I think that what is going on in the world can get in between us and our hearts so easily. When this happens we stop living, and turn into survival mode. This is a natural thing to do – in order to survive, we must disconnect from our hearts and buckle down and do whatever it is we have to do. Learning: When I’m in survival mode, I forget to do the things that I love.

When we go into survival mode our bodies shut down and our minds take over. We do only what we think we need to do, we get tired, exhausted even, when this is ongoing we lose our zest for life. The smallest things annoy us, we forget to eat properly, we get caught up in what is on the news, comparing ourselves to other people and getting angry at the small things. We get trapped in a vicious cycle which gets smaller and smaller until it’s all that we see. Survival. Not living. Not growing – we were made to grow.

Autumn can do that to us – somewhere inside us is the primal animal that needs to store up all the food and prepare to go to sleep for several months. We pre-empt winter and some of us start sleeping a little early.
Seeing what we do is one thing but then changing it another - do we have to do it this way? Can we break out of survival mode and live? Even in the autumnal months?

I’m going to try it – I am making conscious decisions about how I want to think, how I want to relax, and how I spend my time. Instead of getting caught up in the energy around me which is heavy, sluggish, tired, exhausted; I am disconnecting from that and connecting into my inner wisdom.

If I need to I’ll write it all down and burn it. I’ll use a structure that someone else created until I can make it my own – a class, a guided meditation cd, a book with affirmations in it. I need to re-light that spark in my heart that allows me to grow and expand.

We can’t do the things we love if we are surviving. The time to live is now.