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Sunday, 11 November 2018

Sunday Reflection - On Being A Child of Light

Our ancestors must have feared the darkness of night terribly. Oh how they would have loved 
daylight and those nights when the moon shone bright. Most of all they must have loved the full moon. It is all too easy to see how they came to worship the sun and the moon. But then, of course, they discovered fire. At first it was probably a natural fire; perhaps, a bush fire following a long hot summer. Those fires would have inspired awe. And keeping alight a flame from a natural fire through the dark winter must have been a very special responsibility - the sacred flame.

In time, the secret of making fire was discovered. The Greek myth tells how Prometheus defied the gods by stealing fire and giving its secret to humanity. He was sentenced to eternal torment for an act that enabled human progress and civilization. Life in the cave without fire would have been pretty constrained, if not impossible. It was the coming of light in the form of flame  that led to man's greatest creativity and those cave paintings.

Of course, untamed fire could so easily consume life. The power of light and the energy of fire could be misused and weaponized. Many of the inventions and discoveries of science can be used for evil as well as good. And the weapons we claim will be used for defense become the means of offense again others. Those who wish to resist oppression become the oppressors.

For me, being a child of light means trying to see things as they are really. That isn't always easy or  pleasant. And I think it means to observe them with goodwill, love and compassion. It means, as well, trying to can banish the dark and sometimes shining a light perhaps where no light has been shone before.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Night, night - my poem of Remembrance 2018

I have a new poem on my Dreaming in Purple and Grey poetry site. It is written in remembrance for the 100 years' anniversary of the First World War armistice.  You can find it at this link.

I wanted this poem to sound like a nursery rhyme despite the gruesomeness. For us growing up in the fifties, the First World War was not very far away. My Grandad was a wagonner when the war began. He was called up with his horses. My Mum could remember those horses being dressed in horse ribbons to be paraded through the village before they made their journey to France. Grandad drove a water wagon at the start of the war and a water truck by the end. I don't know what happened to the horses. I know he lost a brother and, I believe, a brother-in-law, on the Somme. All they told us kids about his experiences in the war was about the lack of clean clothing. And,how each night in the trenches, Grandad and the other soldiers would kill the lice in their vests by running a candle flame up the seams. Each night Grandad would send us to bed with the words, night, night, sleep tight, mind the bed bugs don’t bite. For me as a young child, the memory of killing lice and the poem got mixed up.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Sunday Reflection - Just Listening

 

When you think about it, it seems strange that so many people use sound to help them sleep. Surely most people prefer silence. But do they?

During long periods of silence in sensory deprivation experiments, people have imagined some pretty strange sounds. Being robbed of sensory input doesn’t suit the brain - it needs to fill the silence. The brain just craves sensory input. So, to sleep better, some people listen to white noise machines. Others love the sound of waves or a tropical forest.

What about meditating in complete silence? Well, the first challenge is to find somewhere completely quiet. That isn't easy in the modern world. And, the countryside is certainly not quiet. Of course, you have then to sit in silence and quiet the mind. That in itself requires the strongest mental muscles. So, gentle rhythmic sounds or chants can help us meditate more easily. 

There is a practice that I love - meditating on sound. To do this, sit quietly with your eyes closed and take some gentle conscious breaths. Next, focus on what you can hear. Listen to what is closest. Most buildings have some kind of sound going on all the time. If you are outside, what can you hear buzzing nearby. Then, gradually listen further out. What can you hear from the street outside the house? Listen in wider and wider circles. I love to hear a distant train. Let the sound be all there is. I find a few quiet minutes listening can be incredibly relaxing



Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy's books on Amazon at this link